Archive for the ‘Cancer’ Category

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Vitamin D Prevents Systemic Inflammation to Keep Chronic Diseases in Check

December 3, 2012
Vitamin D Prevents Systemic Inflammation to Prevent Chronic Diseases

Vitamin D Prevents Systemic Inflammation to Prevent Chronic Diseases

The connection between cellular saturation of the prohormone, vitamin D and development of chronic conditions ranging from cancer, dementia, stroke and heart disease have been well documented among forward-thinking scientists for at least a decade now. The specific mechanism of action has not been well documented though, as most studies have not drawn a clear line between blood levels of vitamin D and disease prevention.

High Vitamin D Status Inhibits Inflammatory Messengers to Prevent Chronic Disease

High Vitamin D Status Inhibits Inflammatory Messengers to Prevent Chronic Disease

High Vitamin D Status Inhibits Inflammatory Messengers to Prevent Chronic Disease

Researchers from National Jewish Health reporting in The Journal of Immunology have discovered specific molecular and signaling events by which vitamin D inhibits inflammation to help prevent and possibly even treat a host of potentially deadly diseases. Current levels considered satisfactory by most medical professionals did not inhibit the inflammatory cascade, leading to the progression of many forms of disease. Conversely, individuals that maintain significantly higher blood levels of vitamin D had lower levels of inflammatory markers known to aggravate disease progression and were protected against the major killers so prevalent today.

The study author, Dr. Elena Goleva noted that this research “goes beyond previous associations of vitamin D with various health outcomes. It outlines a clear chain of cellular events, from the binding of DNA, through a specific signaling pathway, to the reduction of proteins known to trigger inflammation.” Current guidelines call for minimum vitamin D blood serum levels of 20 ng/ml, a benchmark set decades ago that was intended to prevent rickets in children and promote bone health. Researchers conducting this study found improvement in inflammation levels at a minimum of 30 ng/ml. leaving millions at risk for chronic disease.

Check Vitamin D Blood Levels Every Six Months to Prevent Inflammation

Check Vitamin D Blood Levels Every Six Months to Prevent Inflammation

Check Vitamin D Blood Levels Every Six Months to Prevent Inflammation

Scientists conducting this study examined the specific mechanisms exhibited by vitamin D to act on immune and inflammatory pathways. They incubated white blood cells with different saturation levels of vitamin D and then exposed the culture to an inflammatory molecule known to promote intense inflammatory responses. Cells exposed to low levels of vitamin D (less than 15 ng/ml) produced excessive levels of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha, associated with disease development and progression. The highest level of inflammatory inhibition occurred at 50 ng/ml and above as cells become fully saturated with the prohormone and maximum immune response is observed.

Researchers identified a new location where the vitamin-D receptor appears to bind directly to DNA and activate a gene known as MKP-1, interfering with the inflammatory cascade promoted by long-term stress and a highly refined, processed food diet. Dr. Goleva concluded “The fact that we showed a dose-dependent and varying response to levels commonly found in humans also adds weight to the argument for vitamin D’s role in immune and inflammatory conditions.” Maintain your vitamin D blood levels above 50 ng/ml (measured with the 25(OH)D test) to afford maximum protection against chronic inflammatory-mediated diseases.

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Broccoli Influences Gene Expression to Halt Cancer Development

September 25, 2012
Crucifers Found in Broccoli Help Prevent Cancer

Crucifers Found in Broccoli Help Prevent Cancer

Broccoli is a super star member of the cruciferous family, well known and documented as an immune boosting food that supports the healthy clearance of aberrant cancer cells before they multiply and develop into detectable tumors. Researchers reporting in the journal Clinical Epigenetics have found that the bioactive compound in broccoli, sulforaphane provides a multi-modal attack against cancer cell development and proliferation through the complex mechanism of epigenetics.

Epigenetics refers to the way that diet, toxins and other environmental contributors can change which genes get activated, or “expressed” within our genetic code to guide the accurate replication essential to cellular metabolism and repair. This can play a powerful role in preventing and promoting many chronic illnesses from cancer to heart disease and other health issues. Consuming broccoli raw or lightly steamed several times each week can supply a potent dose of sulforaphane to help prevent many types of cancer.

Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables Directly Influence Genetic Expression to Inhibit Cancer

Broccoli Influences our DNA to Prevent Deadly Mutations

Broccoli Influences our DNA to Prevent Deadly Mutations

In past research bodies, scientists have documented the pathway utilized by sulforaphane to inhibit the action of an enzyme known as histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitor) that helps restore proper balance and helps prevent the development of cancer. Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have uncovered a second mechanism, DNA methylation that works in concert with HDAC inhibitors that work to maintain proper cell function. Sulforaphane from broccoli and other crucifers stimulates both HDAC and DNA methylation pathways in a synergistic fashion to prevent cancer development.

The lead study author, Dr. Emily Ho commented regarding the sulforaphane-cancer connection “Cancer is very complex and it’s usually not just one thing that has gone wrong… it’s increasingly clear that sulforaphane is a real multi-tasker. The more we find out about it, the more benefits it appears to have.”

Nutritionists Recommend Three to Five Servings of Broccoli Every Week

Eat Broccoli Several Times Each Week to Benefit

Eat Broccoli Several Times Each Week to Benefit

DNA methylation controls the healthy expression of genes. When this pathway is blocked scientists have found a significantly increased risk of conditions including cardiovascular disease, immune function, neurodegenerative disease and even aging. Foods that provide sulfur groups necessary for proper DNA methylation include onions, garlic, nuts and seeds. Sulforaphane from broccoli is found in this research to stimulate the methylation path to enable normal gene expression to thwart cancer cell genesis.

Nutrition experts recommend consuming one to two servings of broccoli (or other members of the crucifer family such as cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or kale) several days of the week. A rapidly growing body of evidence demonstrates that the natural, active compounds found in these vegetables help to prevent cancer and other chronic disease by dealing a two-step knockout blow to influence gene expression.

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Study Shows Omega-3 Fats Could Help Prevent Leukemia

May 31, 2012
Omega-3 Fish Oil Compound Targets Leukemia Cells

Omega-3 Fish Oil Compound Targets Leukemia Cells

Scientists from the medical sciences division at Penn State University have discovered that a compound in fish oil appears to target leukemia stem cells and could lead to a cure for the disease. The compound is a natural extract from EPA, the Omega-3 fat component found most commonly in fish and fish oil supplements. Known as delta-12-protaglandin J3, or D12-PGJ3, the molecule is shown to target and kill the stem cells of chronic myelogenous leukemia, a common form of the disease.

Extensive research from past studies has shown that Omega-3 fats are critical to cardiovascular and brain health. This new evidence supports the regular intake of EPA omega-3 fats to selectively kill leukemia-causing stem cells that could prevent and possibly even provide a cure for this devastating disease.

Omega-3 Fat Compound Shown to Kill Stem Cells Necessary for Leukemia Progression

Fish Oil Causes Leukemia Stem Cells to Self Destruct

Fish Oil Causes Leukemia Stem Cells to Self Destruct

The research, currently being conducted on mice that exhibit metabolic characteristics similar to humans, shows that some metabolites of Omega-3 have the ability to selectively kill the leukemia-causing stem cells. Scientists determined that D12-PGJ3 kills cancer-causing stem cells in the mice’s spleen and bone marrow. Specifically, it activates a gene known as p53 in the leukemia stem cell that programs the cells own death in a process called apoptosis.

The p53 gene is a well known “tumor suppressor gene that regulates the response to DNA damage and maintains genomic stability”, noted lead study author Dr. Sandeep Prabhu. The D12-PDJ3 compound kills the leukemic stem cells (leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells), an important step to prevent the development and division of white blood cells that can be used to propagate new cancerous tissue.

Long-Chain Omega Fats Help Regenerate White Blood Cells to Prevent Leukemia

Omega-3 Fat Component Enables White Blood Cell Regeneration

Omega-3 Fat Component Enables White Blood Cell Regeneration

Current drug therapies are ineffective as they only attempt to keep the number of leukemia cells low, and carry many dangerous and sometimes fatal side effects. Drug therapy for leukemia patients fails to completely cure the disease because they do not target the source of new leukemia stem cells. Current treatments are unable to kill the leukemia stem cells and fall short of providing an effective cure for the disease.

The Omega-3 EPA fat compound, D12-PDJ3 targets regeneration of white blood stem cells, an essential step necessary to cure leukemia. The authors noted there were no side effects from administering the natural fat compound. Researchers from Penn State indicated that the compound would shortly move to human trials, with similar results anticipated. Long chain omega fats have been documented to promote human health and prevent chronic illnesses ranging from heart disease and dementia to metabolic syndrome and stroke. EPA fat compounds (500 mg per day) may help prevent and treat leukemia and other cancer lines dependent on stem cells to replicate and metastasize.

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Arginine Supplementation Holds Key to Suppress Brain Cancer

April 17, 2012
Arginine is Shown to Inhibit Cancer Formation in the Brain

Arginine is Shown to Inhibit Cancer Formation in the Brain

A diagnosis of cancer, especially the most prevalent form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma can be devastating, with a dismal prognosis for this particularly fast moving form of the disease. Many cancer lines develop and progress due to a decline in immune function, allowing single cancer cells to form groups that eventually break apart and metastasize to different organs in the body. T-cells (composed of white blood cell neutrophils) are responsible for destroying aberrant tumor cells before they have the opportunity to develop.

Immune response declines as we age, in large part due to excess sugar consumption, systemic inflammation and poor cellular oxygenation. Researchers publishing in the journal Clinical Cancer Research have found that natural arginine supplementation may reactivate cancer-fighting T-cells in glioblastoma patients, allowing reactivation of the immune system to fight cancer progression.

Arginine Supports Health Immune System Response to Fight Brain Cancer

Arginine Stimulates the Immune Response to Fight Cancer

Arginine Stimulates the Immune Response to Fight Cancer

White blood cell components known as neutrophils are an ancient and nonspecific type of immune cell that neutralizes invading bacteria and viruses. Neutrophils respond to inflammation throughout the body and effectively provide a powerful immune response to knock out the pathogen. In response to overweight and obesity from poor diet and lifestyle choices, a low-level state of inflammation develops and persists for months and years.

Neutrophils become desensitized to the persistent systemic inflammation and become less responsive to disease-causing agents. Cancer cells thrive in an inflamed cellular environment and if left unchecked, lead to the destruction of healthy tissue and tumor formation. Neutrophils stop the immune response by secreting an enzyme called arginase. After they secrete arginase, commonly they die and are excreted by the body. Researchers have found that patients with glioblastoma do not exhibit the normal neutrophil-mediated immune response and cancer cells grow and spread unabated.

Arginine Supplementation Boosts Immune System Response Help Prevent Chronic Disease

Arginine Supplementation Lowers Systemic Inflammation to Halt Cancer Progression

Arginine Supplementation Lowers Systemic Inflammation to Halt Cancer Progression

Scientists from the University of Colorado Cancer Center found T-cells are critically dependent on arginine for activation and function. They were able to determine immune system response is not dependent on an increase in arginase, but rather the resulting lack of arginine that suppresses the immune system. The researchers concluded group “that persistent arginase production from neutrophils suppresses the immune system and keeps cancers from becoming immune targets.”

Arginine is a well researched natural compound largely associated with lowering blood pressure and cardiovascular health. The result of past research demonstrates that arginine is a precursor to the production of friendly nitric oxide and supports blood vessel relaxation to effectively lower out of range blood pressure readings in at-risk individuals. Cancer prevention can now be added to the list of chronic conditions that benefit from regular arginine supplementation (experts recommend 500 to 1,000 mg per day in healthy adults, based on body weight).

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Milk Thistle is Shown to Prevent Lung Cancer Development

April 12, 2012
Milk Thistle Halts the Progression of Lung Cancer

Milk Thistle Halts the Progression of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a devastating disease with a traditionally poor survival rate less than ten percent after five years from diagnosis. There are a number of well documented triggers that cause tissue damage that eventually results in DNA damage, allowing lung cancer cells to develop and spread.

Researchers from the University of Colorado publishing in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis found that treatment with silibinin, a major component of milk thistle effectively treated wound development in lung cancer cells that halted the disease and prevented metastasis. Long known for its rejuvenating effects on the liver, milk thistle is now emerging as a viable therapy to help prevent and reverse the damage caused by years of cellular breakdown in lung tissue and halt the spread of this deadly disease.

Milk Thistle Halts the Inflammatory Chain Known to Promote Lung Cancer Progression

Lung Cancer is a Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths in the US

Lung Cancer is a Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths in the US

Although milk thistle use has been documented for nearly 2,000 years, very little solid science exists to validate the beneficial effects on human health. Cells communicate with one another through a complex series of signals to achieve an end result, normally the creation of a protein or completion of an enzymatic reaction. When this chain is broken as a result of poor diet or lifestyle choices that affect metabolic homeostasis, diseases such as cancer are allowed to develop and manifest in tissues throughout the body.

Big Pharma frequently looks to break these chain reactions in an unnatural way to halt metabolic processes in the body, commonly with undesired or potentially deadly consequences.  COX2 and iNOS are two enzymes that are involved in a chain of actions that elicit an inflammatory response to wounds and infectious processes. If you were to cut yourself, inflammation at the local site is a desired response that will aid healing. Unfortunately, systemic inflammation caused by excess body weight and poor dietary choices is a serious problem underlying many chronic diseases including lung cancer.

Milk Thistle Compound Inhibits Genetic Expression to Help Prevent Lung Cancer

Milk Thistle Inhibits Genes to Halt Lung Cancer Development

Milk Thistle Inhibits Genes to Halt Lung Cancer Development

Both COX2 and iNOS aid tumor growth when they remain in circulation as a response to chronic inflammation. Two transcription factors known as STAT1 and STAT3 allow the blueprint of DNA to bind with proteins that continue the signal cascade, eventually leading to the production of harmful COX2 and iNOS. Researchers found that when chain is broken, tumor growth is halted and metastatic growth stops. They found that a derivative of milk thistle called silibinin was able to inhibit the upstream signals that lead to the expression of COX2 and iNOS to help prevent lung cancer.

Lead study authors concluded “What we showed is that STAT1 and STAT3 may be promising therapeutic targets in the treatment of lung cancer… and that naturally-derived products like silibinin may be as effective as today’s best treatments.” Milk thistle represents another natural compound that provides a powerful effect to prevent and treat chronic diseases. Alternative health experts recommend supplementing with 250 mg of a standardized milk thistle extract each day to fight the threat of lung cancer.

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Broccoli and Crucifer Family Help Lower Colon Cancer Risk

December 21, 2011
Researchers Find Fruits and Vegetables Lower Colon Cancer Risk

Researchers Find Fruits and Vegetables Lower Colon Cancer Risk

Health-minded individuals are well aware that a diet high in natural fruits and vegetables equate to vibrant health and dramatically lowered risk of many chronic diseases. The result of a new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association provides details on how specific fruit and vegetable consumption lowers the incidence of many types of colon cancer, the third most prevalent form of the disease.

Foods such as apples, broccoli and cauliflower each lower the risk of cancer initiation in different parts of the colon while high sugar, fiber-void fruit juices are shown to increase risk of the illness. Nutrition scientists from Australia provide important documentation to confirm the importance of eating a colorful selection of fruits and vegetables to lower colon cancer risk.

Diet Packed With Vegetables and Fruits Shown to Lower Multiple Colon Cancer Risk Factors

Different Vegetable Families Lower Individual Colon Cancer Risk

Different Vegetable Families Lower Individual Colon Cancer Risk

Nutrition researchers have designed studies to examine the effect of healthy diet on colon cancer risk in the past, but the protective effect has been debatable as they do not provide specific results for different foods on the key regions or subsites of the colon. Professor Lin Fritschi, PhD, head of the Epidemiology Group at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research and her research team set out to investigate the link between fruit and vegetables and three cancers in different parts of the bowel: proximal colon cancer, distal colon cancer and rectal cancer.

The controlled study included 918 participants with a confirmed colon cancer diagnosis and compared them with 1021 individuals with no history of the digestive disease. All participants completed extensive nutritional and demographic questionnaires to account for potential conflicts such as socioeconomic status. Analysis of the data showed that specific fruit and vegetables from similar varietal families affect risk for colon cancer in different portions of the digestive tract.

Broccoli, Cabbage and Sprouts Lower Most Common Type of Colon Cancer

Broccoli and Brassica Vegetables Lower Risk of Most Common Type of Colon Cancer

Broccoli and Brassica Vegetables Lower Risk of Most Common Type of Colon Cancer

With respect to different fruit and vegetable consumption, the researchers found a reduced rate of proximal colon cancer was linked to eating brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. In addition, both total vegetable intake and total vegetable and fruit intake were linked to a lower risk of distal colon cancer. And finally a significant reduction in distal colon cancer risk was linked to dark yellow vegetables and apples.

There should be no doubt that natural fruits and vegetables consumed raw or minimally cooked to retain the active enzymes is a critical factor in digestive health to dramatically lower the risk of colon cancer and other chronic conditions as well. This study conveys the important nature of eating a wide variety of different colored fruits and vegetables, high in phytonutrient content to provide a protective shield at different colon subsites and throughout the body.

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Green Tea Improves Blood Cholesterol Profile to Prevent Chronic Diseases

December 5, 2011
Green Tea Consumption Improves LDL Cholesterol Levels

Green Tea Consumption Improves LDL Cholesterol Levels

Green tea consumption has been shown to benefit many health issues ranging from help with weight management to cancer prevention and treatment. New research published in the British Journal of Nutrition explains that the natural extract from the Camellia sinensis plant has a powerful effect on cholesterol metabolism in the human body.

Most forward thinking health professionals now understand that dysfunction in the LDL cholesterol pathway lays the foundation for cardiovascular health problems, cancer and fatty liver disease. Regular green tea consumption is now shown to improve healthy LDL cholesterol function, enabling the fatty molecule to efficiently usher excess cholesterol from the body and improve risk factors for many chronic disease conditions.

Green Tea Alters Gene Expression Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels

Green Tea Alters Gene Expression to Improve Cholesterol

Green Tea Alters Gene Expression to Improve Cholesterol

In one of the first studies of its type, researchers performed DNA microarray analysis to examine the effect of the active compound found in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Scientists specifically targeted the catechin to determine their effect on cholesterol metabolism in HepG2 hepatocytes. They determined that the expression levels of several genes related to cholesterol metabolism, including the LDL receptor, were changed by EGCG treatment.

EGCG was found to boost the function of the LDL receptor on liver cells. Researchers commented “This is very important as proper function of the LDL receptor enables your liver to “capture” circulating LDL and recycle it.”  In this study, green tea is shown to alter gene expression toward healthy LDL cholesterol metabolism by improving receptor acceptance by the liver. The liver displays an improved capacity to capture and filter LDL cholesterol for removal from the body.

Green Tea Improves Biomarkers to Lower Heart Disease, Cancer and Dementia Risks

Green Tea Lowers Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Alzheimer's Dementia

Green Tea Lowers Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Alzheimer's Dementia

In addition to the finding that green tea alters LDL cholesterol metabolism, ECGC was found to inhibit genes to reduce the production of Apolipoprotein B (ApoB). ApoB formation is required to initially form LDL molecules in the blood. Excess production of ApoB is a significant marker for chronic illnesses ranging from cardiovascular disease and heart attack to increased risk of cancer and dementia.

Green tea and the active compound EGCG are quickly ascending to nutritional “superstar” status. The Chinese have extolled its virtues for countless generations. Researchers now document the prowess of this nutrient by scientifically validating the direct impact exerted on our genetic structure to affect healthy cholesterol function and removal from the body. The healthy benefits of green tea are realized by drinking several fresh brewed cups of organically harvested leaves each day or supplementing with 250 to 500 mg of EGCG extract.