Fight Cancer Stem Cells with Food, Not Drugs

| Oct 16, 2017

The mainstream oncology industry would have you believe that dangerous and invasive treatment methods like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery are the only options for fighting cancer. But a mountain of research says otherwise—a growing community of experts are beginning to recognize that conventional cancer treatments are unnecessarily risky, and that there’s a better way.

More than 600 different functional foods and natural compounds have exhibited anti-cancer properties in research settings (and even more have been used in folkloric settings for thousands of years). Needless to say, these natural cancer fighters work their magic without the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

And the real kicker that has researchers in awe is that a handful of phytonutrients found in common foods are capable of directly targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs), the normally untouchable “mother cells” that control the growth and proliferation of cancer cell colonies. We talked before about how this CSC-fighting capacity gives both turmeric and ginger an advantage over chemotherapy.

In previous articles, we’ve also discussed the nested levels of corruption in the world of oncology—cancer rates are continuing to skyrocket despite the availability of dramatically safer and more effective modes of cancer treatment. In some states, it’s even illegal for doctors to administer any form of alternative cancer treatment (and even when holistic oncology isn’t forbidden by law, it’s still rarely covered by any form of insurance).

The tide is finally beginning to turn, though. One prominent study focused on examining the anti-cancer effects of blueberry isolates. Researchers not only reported on the efficacy of blueberry phytonutrients for killing cancer stem cells, but also noted that on the contrary, radiation actually enriched the CSC populations of malignant tumors and made them more resistant to treatment.[1]

Corruption aside, let’s remain optimistic and assume that with enough research into functional foods and phytonutrients, the “cancer industry” will finally morph into something that serves the health of patients, not the wallets of pharmaceutical and mammogram manufacturers. In this article, we’ll focus on highlighting some of the other cancer-fighting foods that are paving the way toward a better future for cancer patients.

Ten more food nutrients that stop CSCs in their tracks

There are so many profoundly anti-cancer phytonutrients that it would take volumes to discuss them all—but a new study published in the journal Anticancer Research did compile a list of some of the most powerful ones.

Here’s ten that made the list (other than turmeric and ginger, which we already know are cancer-fighting superstars).

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol that is abundant in green tea, has been shown to induce cancer cell apoptosis (during which the cell essentially commits suicide), and to increase the efficacy of cancer drugs (while decreasing their side effects).[2]

Baicalein, a compound found in a medicinal herb called Chinese Skullcap, has been shown to increase the efficacy of chemotherapy and fight cancer on its own, especially when combined with other natural herbs and remedies.[3]

Resveratrol, which is found in grapes and peanuts, has been shown to slow the spread of cancer dramatically, and to induce apoptosis in various types of cancer cells.[4]

Lycopene, which gives tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruits their pink color, significantly decreases the risk of developing cancer if integrated into one’s diet, and strongly suppresses the growth and development of many types of cancer.[5]

Luteolin, abundant in cabbage, spinach, and peppers, kills a wide range of cancer cells by inducing apoptosis or “cell cycle arrest,” which naturally halts the process of cancer cell replication.[6]

Genistein, a phytoestrogen in soy products, reduces the risk of cancer and exhibits strong antitumor properties. It’s important to remember that while this compound holds great promise, soy as a whole food has many drawbacks and should be consumed sparingly.  Make sure you are eating fermented soy and not processed soy.[7]

Oleuropein, a secoiridoid found in extra virgin olive oil, inhibits the initial onset of cancer, suppresses tumor proliferation, and induces apoptosis in cancer cells.[8]

Beta-carotene, found in orange-colored fruits and vegetables (carrots), stops cancer in its tracks by reducing the self-renewing properties of cancer stem cells.[9]

Sulforaphane, a phytonutrient in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy), induces apoptosis not only in differentiated cancer cells, but also in cancer stem cells. For this reason, it also reduces the risk of relapse dramatically (because, by killing cancer stem cells, the root of the problem is dealt with).[10]

Isothiocyanates, which are also found in cruciferous vegetables, exhibit powerful cancer prevention and tumor-suppressing properties. As you can see, your mother was right when she told you to eat your greens—they contain an absolute wealth of phytonutrients and other compounds that optimize and protect nearly every aspect of your health.[11]

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23878592

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509513/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26254190

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4013237/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3850026/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2615542/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2575691/

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997426/

[9] http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199409013310912#t=article

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23902242

[11] http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/2/10/1045

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