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A new study finds possible cure for melanoma, a form of skin cancer, in junk food.
Even though melanoma only makes up 1% of skin cancer diagnoses, it is the deadliest form, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
Extensive research, led a team from Boston University in Massachusetts to discover palmitic acid, a fatty acid found in saturated fats has healing properties for the disease.
Palmitic acid, which is in junk food products like burgers and cookies, helps fuel a protein involved in the pigmentation process to protect people from harmful skin cancer mutations, researchers explained.
It helps control the activity of the MC1R gene, which affects a type of melanin pigment produced for the skin, the report revealed.
"Individuals carrying MC1R variants - especially those associated with red hair color, fair skin and poor tanning ability - are associated with higher risk of melanoma," Professor Rutao Cui, of Boston University in Massachusetts, told the Daily Mail.
Exposure to the sun, ultraviolet light or even sunbeds can damage your DNA and cause mutations which can cause skin cancer. For the study, researchers gave mice with gene mutations palmitic acid. They found it prevented melanomas and increased skin pigmentation.
The study's findings help explain why people with red hair are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease. "Collectively, our results highlight a central role for MC1R palmitoylation in protecting against melanoma," Professor Cui told the Daily Mail. "It might be a potential clinical prevention strategy for melanoma in individuals carrying red hair colour variants."
The results could soon lead to a drug for those more prone to the disease.