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April 5, 2005

Nutrition and Cancer: Can oxidative damage be treated nutritionally?

Topics: Health Issues

Nutrition and dietary patterns have been shown to have direct impact on health of the population and of selected patient groups. The beneficial effects have been attributed to the reduction of oxidative damage caused by the normal or excessive free radical production. Strong evidence suggests that people who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables(important sources of antioxidants) a day can cut their risk of cancer from 20% to 50% when compared to those who consume one serving or less. The beneficial effects have been attributed to the reduction of oxidative damage caused by the normal or excessive free radical production.

The chemical composition of fruits and vegetables is complex, which makes it difficult to determine which compound or combination of compounds may provide protection against cancer. Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods is the best way to get the necessary components.

Some examples of nutritional benefits in cancer include:
(...) Several studies from around the world have found that people who consumed higher levels of garlic had a lower risk of certain types of cancers. In particular, human studies have suggested that garlic may play a protective role in stomach, prostate, and colorectal cancers, skin cancer, esophageal cancer.

(...) People who have diets rich in tomatoes, which contain lycopene, appear to have a lower risk of certain types of cancer, of the prostate, lung, and stomach.

(...) Recent investigations have shown that the frequent consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk for cancers of the bladder, colon, and prostate.

(...) Indole-3-carbinol (I3C is a phytonutrient that occurs naturally in certain cruciferous vegetables), appears to affect estrogen metabolism in ways that might help prevent breast cancer, and indole-3-carbinol may also be critical in preventing or retarding prostate cancer.

(...) Most people think of honey as something to put in tea, but test tube studies suggest that Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester(CAPE) has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Research indicates(Cancer Research,Sept.15,1993; 53:1482-88) that the caffeic acids in propolis and honey might prevent colon cancer, which kills some 60,000 Americans each year.

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Recent research supports the premise that antioxidant micronutrients have beneficial effects in defined models and pathologies, in the general population and in critical illness: ongoing research encourages this supportive therapeutic approach. In the critically ill antioxidant supplements have resulted in reduction of organ failure and of infectious complications. Although further research is required to determine the optimal micronutrient combinations and the doses required according to timing of intervention, cancer patients should be attentive to following a healthy diet of five or more(much more, much better)servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

But while making sure to take-in adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables, don't forget the importance of quality protein, particularly whey protein, if you have cancer. Whey protein(I suggest Solgar "Whey to Go") has the ability to act as an antioxidant, antihypertensive, antitumor, hypolipidemic, antiviral, antibacterial, and chelating agent. The primary mechanism by which whey is thought to exert its effects is by intracellular conversion of the amino acid cysteine to glutathione, a potent intracellular antioxidant. A number of clinical trials have successfully been performed using whey in the treatment of cancer, HIV, hepatitis B, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and as an antimicrobial agent.

Cross posted at NewHopeBlog

Posted by Hyscience at April 5, 2005 9:32 AM

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