Cancer Fighting Compounds
Add broccoli sprouts, cabbage, and garlic to your next shopping list. And while you’re at the supermarket, make sure to stop in the supplement aisle and pick up a bottle of ginkgo biloba.
According to Dr Joseph Wright’s Nutrition and Healing newsletter, six recent studies have outlined just how valuable all of these natural ingredients are in fighting cancer. Dr Wright is a pioneer in nutritional medicine and directs the Tahoma Clinic in Washington State.
According to information that was presented to the Baltimore chapter of the American Association for Cancer Research these natural products offer protection and, in some cases, can even stop the spread of cancer.
Among the findings:
- A diet rich in broccoli sprouts can reduce Helicobacteri pylori (H. pylori) infection, which is known to cause gastritis and is thought to contribute to the formation of peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. The youngest sprouts (two to three days old) are a good source of the antioxidant sulforaphane.
- Consuming broccoli sprouts may also reduce the risk of skin cancer in people who have been exposed to the damaging effects of too much sun. Researchers found it counteracted the carcinogenic properties of ultraviolet light exposure in an animal study.
- And more good news for warding off breast cancer; In an animal study at the University of Michigan, it was found that sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli sprouts, eliminated breast cancer stem cells, halting tumor growth after cells were implanted in mice.
- While hot dogs may not be good for you, sauerkraut appears to protect women from breast cancer. The association seems to be highest in women who consume high amounts of either raw or short-cooked cabbage beginning in adolescence and continuing throughout adulthood. It is thought that glucosinolates, a constituent found in cabbage and other members of the Brassica family, can decrease the amount of DNA damage and cell mutation and also block the processes that inhibit programmed cell death and stimulate unregulated cell growth.
- Ginkgo biloba may lower the risk of ovarian cancer. A population-based study of 600 ovarian cancer patients and 640 healthy, matched controls, found that women who took ginkgo supplements for at least six months were shown to have a 60 percent lower risk of the disease. The data showed that ginkgo had a particularly beneficial effect on a particular form of the disease, muncious ovarian cancer, reducing risk by 65 to 70 percent.
- A flavor component of garlic could guard against the carcinogenic chemical PhIP which is produced by meat and eggs cooked at high temperatures. The chemical can cause DNA damage or transform substances in the body into carcinogens when it is biologically active. A component found in garlic, Dially sulfide, may counter this activity.