Whether or not you choose to use a mainstream medicine form of cancer treatment, there may be some foods that can help in your recovery as well.
More specifically, there are chemicals in the foods we eat that can help.
Dr. Patrick Quillin discusses…
- what these powerful plant chemicals are,
- the role they play in the life of fruits and vegetables,
- and how their natural actions can be translated into benefits for your own body… including helping you fight cancer.
Find out what foods these chemicals are in, and how you can put them to work for you…
iHealthTube: Let’s go back to nutrition a little bit. Y, doctor, can you talk about vegetables? And you mentioned different properties of vegetables, can you explain?
Patrick Quillin, PhD, ZRD, CNS: Vegetables are a rich soup of phytochemicals, Phyto means plant chemical. And so what we have is there’s roughly 20,000 different carotenoids, 800 different bioflavonoids.
And these are accessory pigments with chlorophyll in photosynthesis. So they allow the plant to capture energy from the sun and bring it into glucose.
“Those chemicals become our protectors in our body”
So these, they protect the plant in the process of photosynthesis. Those chemicals become our protectors in our body.
They’re not only protecting the plant from the sun, and they’re protecting the plant from fungal or pesticide invasions, they’re protecting our own cells.
So, for instance, resveratrol is a substance that’s found in the skin of grapes. We now find that it’s actually there to help protect the grape against fungal infections and in doing so we consume this in grape juice, tiny bit in red wine… uh it’s in other foods… that our cells are afforded the same protection that the plant was trying to get from its adversaries.
“We can eat those survival tools and enhance our ability to beat cancer”
So throughout nature there is this ongoing war of trying to survive and we can eat those survival tools and enhance our ability to beat cancer. So, for instance, lycopene is in tomatoes—which are also in watermelon and in other red produce.
Ellagic acid which is in dark berries. Ellagic acid is in blueberries, blackberries, red raspberries, and so it’s that dark pigment. What they find is ellagic acid induces apoptosis, or programmed cell death. It causes the cancer cell to commit suicide.
“One of the problems with cancer cells is they’re immortal”
Because one of the problems with cancer cells is they’re immortal, they forget to die. Our normal healthy cells have a lifespan and then they die… apoptosis, programmed cell death. Uh, the cancer cell forgets that. Ellagic acid, from dark berries, reintroduces suicide into cancer cells patterns
We’re finding all kinds of chemicals that we, we…. wasn’t until very recently that we had the analytical equipment to say what’s in that food. Why is it that we have known for centuries that a person who ate a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables had a lower risk for getting cancer and if they got cancer it was more likely to help them beat the cancer?
Now we’re being able to look with some very sensitive analytical equipment to say. “Ah, Indole–3-carbinol. Sylvestriol."
These are… This is some phenomenal chemical soup that are biological response modifiers that help our body to beat cancer with no collateral damage. That’s the beauty. The risk, to benefit, to cost ratio of these substances is overwhelmingly in favor of using clinical nutrition with cancer patient.
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