Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Nutrition Versus Medicine: Cancer

The current medical treatment for cancer is to wait for cancer to progress to a mature tumour and then to cut, slash or burn the cancer from the patient. Alternatively, toxic drugs may be used to poison any cancer cells. Often both treatments are given. This treatment protocol is highly ineffective for many sorts of cancers. Recurrence of cancers are high using this treatment protocol and as a result survival rates are low.

How Does Cancer Form?

Not many people realise that most people develop cancer. Autopsies of people who have died of diseases other than cancer show immature tumours in most individuals. Therefore some people seem to be able to prevent the progression of the tumour from the initiation stage through the promotion and progression stages of cancer. Research suggests that this difference is largely due to diet and lifestyle factors.

The Nutritional Way

In contrast to mainstream medicine, the nutritional approach to cancer is not to wait until cancer forms and then act. Nutrition is a preventative strategy. Research suggests that poor nutrition is a cause of over 30 % of all cancers, and so by eating a high quality diet, the risk of cancer can fall by a third without the need for expensive treatments. Of the nutrients that can prevent cancer, phytonutrients in plants appear to be particularly beneficial.

Phytonutrients

Plants contain a number of chemicals including polyphenols, glucosinolates, carotenoids, terpenes, sulphur compounds and saponins that can inhibit the growth of cancer. These plant chemicals have been extensively researched and combinations of these compounds are effective at preventing the initiation, promotion and progression of cancer. Phytochemicals therefore inhibit all stages of cancer formation, something that no drug can currently do.

Vitamins And Minerals

A number of vitamins and minerals may also be effective at inhibiting cancer. Traditionally such substances have also been obtained from plants in the diet. Supplementation of selenium for example has been shown in well designed clinical trials to inhibit cancer mortality and morbidity by 50 %. Vitamin D and vitamin C also show anti-cancer effects. Eating a high quality diet and supplementation with nutrients not present in the diet is therefore pivots in preventing cancer.

Synergism

individually nutrients have small effects at preventing cancer. However, many of the compounds in plants have different mechanisms of cancer prevention. Therefore maintaining high intakes of a wide variety of such nutrients provides a variety of protective effects. Theses effects have shown to be synergistic. In other words, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This suggests that variety in the diet is an important component in preventing cancer
RdB

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