How pro­tect­ing your DNA could be the key to cancer pre­ven­tion and over­all good health.


Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By MICHAEL A. SMITH, MD

Acancer di­ag­no­sis is just about the scari­est news any­one can re­ceive. It can also be very con­fus­ing. The sheer vol­ume of in­for­ma­tion on treat­ment can be over­whelm­ing. With this in mind, I’ve tried to sim­plify the most critical com­po­nent for cancer pre­ven­tion and treat­ment—cel­lu­lar health. Put sim­ply, cancer is the un­con­trolled growth of a group of cells turned bad. It be­gins within the DNA, af­fect­ing genes that reg­u­late the process of cell divi­sion and du­pli­ca­tion. Cel­lu­lar divi­sion is a com­plex process that in­volves turn­ing on and off hun­dreds of genes. The “reg­u­la­tors” of the process play a critical role in con­trol­ling and lim­it­ing divi­sion. With­out these reg­u­la­tors, cel­lu­lar growth pro­ceeds unchecked. Un­for­tu­nately, the cell divi­sion reg­u­la­tors are prone to dam­age from ox­ida­tive stress, tox­ins, and in­flam­ma­tion. And when these reg­u­la­tors be­come dam­aged, the DNA isn’t pro­tected, the cells be­come un­healthy, and cancer is the re­sult. So pre­ven­tion be­gins with the health of the cells them­selves. How to we keep healthy cells from turn­ing bad? It starts with my least fa­vorite veg­etable to eat—broc­coli.

Cru­cif­er­ous Veg­eta­bles Pro­mote Healthy DNA

Lab­o­ra­tory ex­per­i­ments of­fer ev­i­dence that cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles—such as broc­coli, cau­li­flower, and kale—help pre­serve the in­tegrity of DNA. As a vi­tal cell com­po­nent, DNA is vul­ner­a­ble to dam­age from tox­ins, in­flam­ma­tion, etc., which can con­trib­ute to the ini­ti­a­tion of cancer and de­ter­mine the over­all health of the cell.

Ex­tracts of broc­coli and wa­ter­cress, for ex­am­ple, pro­vide bioac­tive com­pounds, in­clud­ing glu­cosi­no­lates, isoth­io­cyanates, carnosic acid, and carnosol, that have a mul­ti­tude of fa­vor­able ef­fects on DNA and healthy cell divi­sion.

If, like me, you detest broc­coli, cab­bage is an­other op­tion. It pro­vides a nat­u­ral source of ben­zyl isoth­io­cyanate, a com­pound known to main­tain cel­lu­lar health, likely through DNA protection mech­a­nisms.

But here’s the mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion: How much cab­bage, broc­coli, and wa­ter­cress do we have to eat to ob­tain the ben­e­fits of healthy DNA and healthy cells? A lot! We’re talk­ing sev­eral serv­ings ev­ery day.

This is why sup­ple­ments are so im­por­tant. A high-qual­ity cru­cif­er­ous veg­etable sup­ple­ment can pro­vide op­ti­mal lev­els of the bioac­tive com­pounds nec­es­sary to af­fect your DNA. For most of us, food alone just can’t do it.

Cur­cumin: The Work­horse of Cel­lu­lar Health

Cur­cumin’s ben­e­fits are so di­verse that they af­fect vir­tu­ally ev­ery sys­tem in the body. It’s no ac­ci­dent that the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health has funded nu­mer­ous stud­ies in­ves­ti­gat­ing cur­cumin as a treat­ment for dis­eases from cys­tic fi­bro­sis to au­toim­mune dis­eases to var­i­ous can­cers. Even phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies are jump­ing on the band­wagon, work­ing to de­rive patentable mol­e­cules based on cur­cumin, which they hope to mar­ket as an­ti­cancer treat­ments.

Sci­en­tists usu­ally go out of their way to avoid hy­per­bole when de­scrib­ing the sub­jects of their re­search, but cur­cumin’s amaz­ing properties can tempt even the most staid re­searchers to throw cau­tion to the wind.

“Cur­cumin… has emerged as one of the most pow­er­ful chemo­pre­ven­tive and an­ti­cancer agents,” wrote In­dian re­searchers last year. “Its bi­o­log­i­cal ef­fects range from an­tiox­i­dant and an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory to in­hi­bi­tion of an­gio­gen­e­sis, and it is also shown to pos­sess spe­cific anti-tu­mor ac­tiv­ity.”

A thor­ough re­view of cur­cumin’s anti-cancer ef­fects shows that this golden spice im­pacts sev­eral dif­fer­ent can­cers, in­clud­ing:

Breast and cer­vi­cal cancer Gas­tric and colon cancer Liver and mouth cancer Prostate cancer

How does cur­cumin help sup­port cel­lu­lar health and pre­vent cancer? While the ex­act mech­a­nism of ac­tion is not known, it has to do with cur­cumin’s an­tiox­i­dant and

anti-in­flam­ma­tory properties. Cur­cumin pro­motes your body’s healthy re­sponse to in­flam­ma­tion by in­hibit­ing key in­flam­ma­tory fac­tors such as NF-kap­paB, a pro­tein mol­e­cule that acts like an “on switch” in genes that govern the body’s pro-in­flam­ma­tory re­sponses. Cur­cumin has been shown to ex­ert pow­er­ful in­hibitory ef­fects on NF-kap­paB ac­ti­va­tion.

Cur­cumin also in­hibits the me­tab­o­lism of the pri­mary pro­tein in­volved in in­flam­ma­tion, called arachi­donic acid.

A ma­jor­ity of the in­flam­ma­tory re­sponse starts with this pro­tein, and cur­cumin pre­vents it from start­ing the in­flam­ma­tory cas­cade.

And that’s just the be­gin­ning. Ul­ti­mately, cur­cumin is a pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant. Free rad­i­cals are highly re­ac­tive com­pounds that at­tack healthy cells, caus­ing con­sid­er­able dam­age. They come from pol­lu­tion, in­dus­trial chem­i­cals, and even your own body. Free rad­i­cals are the rea­son we need an­tiox­i­dants—and cur­cumin is one of the best.

Be­cause free-rad­i­cal-me­di­ated dam­age of cell mem­branes, DNA, and pro­teins is be­lieved to be as­so­ci­ated with cancer,

as well as a other dis­eases in­clud­ing ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis and neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases, cur­cumin is thought to play a vi­tal role in guard­ing against these con­di­tions.

Turn Off Cel­lu­lar Dam­age by Ac­ti­vat­ing AMPK

AMPK is an en­zyme that serves as the body’s mas­ter reg­u­lat­ing switch. It in­hibits dam­ag­ing stres­sors by pro­mot­ing cell de­fenses and preser­va­tion tac­tics. In­creas­ing AMPK ac­ti­va­tion “turns off” many dam­ag­ing ef­fects of cel­lu­lar ag­ing, thus en­abling cells to re­turn to their youth­ful vi­tal­ity.

Stud­ies show that in­creased AMPK ac­tiv­ity sup­ports re­duced fat stor­age, new mi­to­chon­dria pro­duc­tion, and the pro­mo­tion of healthy blood glu­cose and lipids—all of which are critical to keep­ing cells cancer-free.

So how can you “ac­ti­vate” AMPK? By sup­ple­ment­ing with two plant ex­tracts— Gynos­temma pen­ta­phyl­lum and rose hips. An ex­tract of the plant Gynos­temma pen­ta­phyl­lum was tra­di­tion­ally used in Asian medicine to pro­mote longevity, and sci­en­tists now know why— G. pen­ta­phyl­lum pro­motes AMPK ac­ti­va­tion.

The sec­ond nat­u­ral com­pound found to in­crease AMPK ac­tiv­ity is trans-tiliro­side, ex­tracted

from plants such as rose hips. Trans-tiliro­side also boosts AMPK ac­tiv­ity, but it trig­gers dif­fer­ent down­stream meta­bolic ben­e­fits than G. pen­ta­phyl­lum.

Com­bin­ing these ex­tracts boosts AMPK ac­ti­va­tion. By do­ing so, your cells can bet­ter man­age en­ergy, me­tab­o­lism, and cel­lu­lar “house­clean­ing.”

Other Ways to Keep Cells Healthy

Keep­ing your cells func­tion­ing op­ti­mally re­quires a lit­tle work. For starters, drink plenty of wa­ter, limit your in­take of sugar, and eat less.

But there’s much more you can do. In­crease your in­take of col­or­ful fruits and veg­eta­bles, in­clud­ing broc­coli. Throw in some kale, cau­li­flower, and wa­ter­cress. Mix it all up with seeds and nuts, and some good un­sat­u­rated fats.

For sup­ple­ments, take cru­cif­er­ous veg­etable and cur­cumin ex­tracts, as well as AMPK ac­ti­va­tors, and you’ll am­plify your cel­lu­lar health. Which is the best way to keep good cells from turn­ing bad.

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