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Fig 8.5

Major sterols found in cocoa butter.

mutation in the DNA. It may seem perverse that the body's own detoxification system creates the ultimate carcinogen, but this needs to be seen in the light of the body's strategy for removing foreign chemicals, particularly insoluble ones. The mechanism involves oxidizing such compounds in order to make them easier to remove in the urine, and although the result is usually benign, sometimes it can result in the formation of a carcinogen. In turn, other detoxification (phase II) enzymes may increase the chemical's solubility further, for example by stimulating reaction with glutathione, thereby removing the carcinogen.

The next stage in the development of cancer is promotion. This stage is thought to be reversible, and involves division of the initiated cells to increase numbers.

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