(NaturalNews) Over a million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Most patients don’t succumb to the initial tumor, but rather to metastatic (spread to another body site) tumors, or drug side effects. For instance, melanoma comprises four percent of skin cancers, but 80 percent of skin cancer deaths, due to its metastatic potential. Keeping cancer from spreading starts with a healthy anti-inflammatory diet.
Most cancers can be traced to environmental and lifestyle factors, like smoking, alcohol, sunburn, pollution, infection, stress and obesity. Good nutrition serves to counteract these risk factors. Micronutrients prevent initiation and survival of mutations, reduce tumor size, and keep tumor cells from entering the bloodstream. Diets high in fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices are linked to reduced cancer rates and spread. It also helps to avoid processed, factory-farmed and overheated foods, restrict calories, opt for organic, fresh foods and take high-quality supplements.
Cancer loves sugar. High blood sugar and insulin increase inflammation, which promotes cancer spread. Conversely, low-carb diets suppress cancer growth. The damage by sugar and other toxins are mitigated by antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods, including fiber-rich foods, mushrooms, green tea, turmeric, ginger, omega-3 (fish, walnuts, flax), cruciferous vegetables, thyme, celery, rosemary, berries, whole citrus, red wine and dark chocolate. High quality fish oil, vitamin D and curcumin are the best supplements for inflammation. High-dose vitamin D may reduce cancer incidence by more than 70 percent.
Blood clots, which are linked to inflammation, provide havens for tumor cell attachment and spread. Micronutrients intervene at all stages of cancer, through a wide range of mechanisms, including anti-oxidation (carotenoids, selenium, vitamin C and E), differentiation (vitamins A, D, calcium), and immunity (vitamins A, C, selenium, zinc). Natural anti-blood clotting agents include magnesium, vitamin E complex, garlic, and omega-3 fatty acids. Dietary fiber and healthy gut microbes also play vital roles in cancer prevention by neutralizing toxins. Metastasis is also promoted by stress, which is relieved with magnesium, B and C complex vitamins, calming herbs, and high-quality protein.
Wandering tumor cells are eliminated by a healthy immune system, which requires many nutrients. Garlic inhibits cancer cell proliferation and migration. Cumin and turmeric spices suppress metastasis in animal research models, and are linked to lower cancer rates. Broccoli lowers invasiveness and metastasis in cancer cells. Pomegranate inhibits cancer cell movement and attraction to bone. Selenium and vitamin D promote glutathione, the major cellular antioxidant. Copper, zinc and manganese activate enzymes like catalase and superoxide dismutase, which devour free radicals that damage DNA. Spices like rosemary help neutralize cancer-causing toxins in the body, on the shelf, and when frying foods. Vitamin K is a potent inhibitor of tumor colony formation. Indeed, a wealth of nutrients are involved.
Don’t worry much about how nutrients and phytochemicals affect anti-cancer drug therapy. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, including 50 human studies involving thousands of patients, have consistently shown that these food substances do not interfere with therapy for cancer. Instead, they enhance cancer drugs, decrease their side effects, and protect normal tissue. In 15 human studies, thousands of patients taking antioxidants and other nutrients actually showed increased survival. Diet is paramount to preventing cancer and metastasis.
Sources for this article include:
Klement RJ. Nutrition & Metabolism 2011, 8:75
About the author:
Dr. Phil Domenico is a nutritional scientist and educator with a research background in biochemistry and microbiology. Formerly an infectious disease research scientist, he now works as a consultant for supplement companies and the food industry. Visit Dr. Phil’s blog at: http://thescienceofnutritiondotnet.wordpress.com/
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