Rx to Wellness

Aspirin Slows Spread of Pancreatic and Colon Cancer.

aspirin

Aspirin Slows Spread of Colon, Pancreatic Cancer

 

The humble aspirin, already a recognized ally in the battle against heart disease, is also a partner in slowing the spread of colon and pancreatic cancer.

Aspirin has already been found to reduce the risk of some gastrointestinal cancers, but scientists didn’t understand the mechanics behind the benefit.

Researchers knew that platelets, the blood cells involved with clotting, promoted spread of cancer by releasing chemicals that spurred the growth of cancerous cells, and by increasing the response of certain proteins that regulate tumor cell development (oncoproteins).

“The current study was designed to determine the effect of inhibition of platelet activation and function by aspirin therapy on colon and pancreatic cancer cell proliferation,” the researchers wrote.

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University combined platelets with three groups of cancer cells: metastatic colon cancer (cells that have spread outside the colon), nonmetastatic colon cancer (cells growing only within the colon), and nonmetastatic pancreatic cancer cells.

When aspirin was added to the mixture, they found that the platelets were no longer able to stimulate growth and replication in the pancreatic and nonmetastatic colon cancer cells. However, the metastatic colon cancer cells continued to multiply when treated with aspirin

In pancreatic cancer cells, low doses of aspirin stopped the platelets from releasing growth factor and hindered the signaling of the oncoproteins that cause cancer to survive and spread.

Only very high doses — larger than are possible to take orally — were effective in stopping growth in the metastatic colon cells, said the researchers.

The study was published in the American Journal of Physiology — Cell Physiology.

 

Other research has also found that aspirin can be a powerful weapon against cancer.

An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients who used aspirin after being diagnosed with colon cancer had a 29 percent lower risk of dying from cancer than aspirin nonusers. In addition, those who used aspirin for the first time after a diagnosis of colon cancer reduced their risk of colorectal death by 47 percent.

A study from the University of Oxford found that a daily aspirin reduced the risk of developing cancer of any kind by about 25 percent when compared to controls who didn’t take aspirin. After five years, the risk of dying in the group taking aspirin was reduced by 37 percent.

Chinese researchers found that women who took aspirin lowered their risk of developing lung cancer by 50 percent if they’d never smoked — and a whopping 62 percent if they smoked.

 

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How Ginger Destroys Prostate, Ovarian and Colon Cancer Better Than Chemo

ginger

How Ginger Destroys Prostate, Ovarian and Colon Cancer Better Than Chemo

 

Ginger is one of the most widely used and loved ingredients in culinary dishes worldwide.

 

Its unmistakable zing gives everything from beverages and deserts to veggie and meat dishes a fresh and exciting taste.

 

 

 

But ginger is much more than a spice to liven up your recipes. This root plant has been used medicinally for over 2000 years for its broad-spectrum antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic and antioxidant properties. In fact, ginger has more than 40 powerful pharmacological actions. (1)

 

What is even more exciting is that studies now also confirm this spicy root has potent anti-cancer properties that can be up to 10,000 times more effective than conventional chemotherapy for targeting cancer stem cells, preventing new tumors from forming, and even keeping healthy cells alive, something chemotherapy cannot do. (2)

 

Ginger’s Anti-Cancer Compounds

The most commonly used part of the ginger plant is the rhizome—the root-like stem that grows underground similar to a carrot.

 

The rhizome contains a variety of trace minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. It also contains numerous vitamins, including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, folate, as well as vitamin C and E.

 

Apart from these valuable vitamins and minerals, the rhizome is also a significant source of antioxidants including gingerols, shogaols, zingerones and paradols, all of which give ginger its potency and unmatched anti-cancer properties.

 

To date, studies show that ginger is effective as both a cancer preventative and a therapeutic agent. One 2012 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition clearly revealed that whole ginger extract (GE) exerts significant “growth-inhibitory and death-inductory” effects in a wide range of prostate cancer cells. In fact, the study suggests that GE can inhibit the growth and progression of prostate cancer cells by as much as 56 percent. (3,4)

 

Other studies show that ginger is a key factor in defeating hard-to-treat cancers such as skin,(5) lung, (6,7) ovarian,(8) colon,(9) breast,(10,11) and pancreatic cancer cells.(12)

 

In the case of ovarian cancer, this type of cancer is often deadly because symptoms typically don’t appear until late in the disease. So, by the time ovarian cancer is diagnosed, it may have already spread well beyond the ovaries. In fact, in over 75 percent of women that develop ovarian cancer, they are not diagnosed until they are already in the advanced stages of the disease. (13)

 

These numbers are not only scary, but unacceptable in a day and age when known preventatives are available. In a 2007 study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ginger was shown to not only inhibit the growth of ovarian cancer cells but to also modulate the secretion of angiogenic factors in these cells. What this means is that ginger can stop cancer tumors cells from stimulating nearby normal cells from creating new blood vessels that “feed” growing tumors with oxygen and nutrients, which allows these cells to invade nearby tissue, and to move throughout the body to form new colonies of cancer cells—metastases.  (14)

 

Other studies show that a daily dose of ginger may reduce inflammation in the colon and ultimately help reduce the risk of colon cancer. One study in particular showed that people who took ginger supplements had a 28 percent decrease in colorectal inflammation, a key risk factor for developing this type of cancer. (15) Ginger inhibits growth and modulates secretion of angiogenic factors in ovarian cancer cells. The use of dietary agents such as ginger may have potential in the treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer.

 

One of the primary reasons that ginger is so effective against these hard-to-treat cancers is that while cancer stem cells only constitute up .2 to 1 percent of the entire cellular makeup of any tumor, these cells can be extremely difficult to kill. This fact is significant because unless the stem cells are completely destroyed, they can and will eventually create more cancer cells that can travel throughout the body (metastasize). Ginger is able to target the root cause of cancer—the cancerous stem cells.

 

What researchers also found is that ginger can help prevent a number of toxic effects caused by other substances, including cancer drugs. As such, according to researchers, ginger is not only a useful treatment option on its own, but it may also be useful in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments.

 

One of the other issues with conventional chemotherapy drugs is that apart from suppressing the inflammatory markers of the cancerous cells, these harsh treatments can also cause cancer cells to become resistant to the effects of the very therapeutic drugs needed to kill these cells. But a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan revealed that ginger may be especially beneficial because the cancer cells that were exposed to ginger in this study did not in fact, become resistant to ginger’s cancer-destroying effects. (16)

 

Some might even say that ginger is the Holy Grail of anti-cancer agents. It not only prevents and treats the hard to kill cancers but it assures it will continue to work without the often deadly side effects of traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy.

 

Forms of Ginger

Ginger is available in several forms—whole fresh root, crystallized ginger, honey-based ginger syrups, supplements such as capsules containing powdered ginger extracts, ginger teas and water or alcohol-based extracts.

 

You can buy whole fresh ginger at your local market. You can use it immediately or freeze it and simply grate what you need.

 

You can also buy crystalized ginger at your local market or health food store. This type of ginger is great for upset tummies or nausea.

 

Ginger syrups are also available in most health food stores and are a good option for colds or other viruses.

 

When looking for an herbal extract, you can buy one with either a water or alcohol base. Water-based extracts are typically okay with most herbs but studies show that an alcohol-based ginger extract is more effective.

 

You can also buy a variety of ginger supplements, however, as with any supplement, always make sure it is a quality brand that ensures the efficacy and potency of its therapeutic ingredients.

 

If you prefer a tea, you can buy a commercially made brand or you can make your own using whole fresh ginger. If you decide to make you own, simply cut about a cubic inch of ginger from the root and then gate it or slice it thinly. Boil it in about 1½ cups of water for about 10 minutes. You can also add some honey or stevia to sweeten it.

 

When using ginger, it is recommended that you do not take more than 4 grams per day.  You should also be aware that ginger is a known blood thinner, so if you currently use any type of anticoagulant, speak to a medical professional before adding ginger to your daily health regime.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods

Health Benefits of Pomegranate

pomegranate

Secrets Revealed: The Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate

One of the oldest known fruits, found in writings and artifacts of many cultures and religions, the pomegranate (punica granatum) is an original native of Persia. This nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life.

If you’re not familiar with the pomegranate, it is a red fruit with a tough outer layer; only the juice and the seeds inside are edible. Pomegranate juice is available year round, but you can purchase fresh pomegranates in most grocery stores from September through January. When refrigerated in a plastic bag, pomegranates keep for up to 2 months. Try tossing the seeds on a salad for a brilliantly colorful, crunchy, and nutritious addition.

Seeding a pomegranate may seem like a lot of work for just a piece of fruit but think again, getting at those seeds may be well worth it. The pomegranate is a nutrient dense food source rich in phytochemical compounds. Pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants offering protection against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.1

Amazing Clinical Results This fantastic little fruit recently made its way back into the news after some spectacular clinical results. Here’s what you need to know:

A compound found only in pomegranates called punicalagin is shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagin is the major component responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. It not only lowers cholesterol, but also lowers blood pressure and increases the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away.

Recent medical research studied heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages. They were given an ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. Not only did study participants’ blood pressure lower by over 12 percent, but there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. Just as astounding, participants who did not take the pomegranate juice saw their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 9 percent.2

In other studies, potent antioxidant compounds found in pomegranates have shown to reduce platelet aggregation and naturally lower blood pressure, factors that prevent both heart attacks and strokes.3

Not only are pomegranates good for your heart and blood vessels but they have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals.4 Several in vitro studies have shown this remarkable anti-cancer effect.5 Additional studies and clinical trials currently taking place are hopeful to reveal this fascinating effect on humans.

Also of note, pomegranate juice contains phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression and increasing bone mass in lab animals.6

Health Benefits of the Pomegranate

  • Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits
  • Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
  • Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies
  • May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis

Many studies show that the pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health. These clinical findings clearly show a correlation between pomegranate compounds and their positive effect on both human and animal cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health. This is one fruit that you can’t afford to exclude from your diet!

Seeding a Pomegranate

  1. Cut the crown (protruding blossom end) off the pomegranate, removing with it some of the pale-yellow pith. Take care not to pierce the seeds within.
  2. Lightly score the skin in quarters from stem to crown end.
  3. Immerse the scored fruit in a large bowl of cool water and soak for 5 minutes. Holding the fruit under water, break sections apart with your fingers, separating the seeds from membrane. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl.

Discard skin and membranes. Drain the seeds and dry on paper towels.

Antioxidant Rich Smoothie
Serves: 2 Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
8 cups organic baby spinach
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup blueberries, frozen
1 cup strawberries, frozen
8 dates, cut in half
2 tablespoons flaxseeds, ground
1/2 avocado, optional

Instructions:
Blend all ingredients together. This is delicious & very healthy!

References:

  1. Seeram NP, Aviram M, Zhang Y, et al: Comparison of antioxidant potency of commonly consumed polyphenol-rich beverages in the United States. J Agric Food Chem 2008, 56:1415-1422. 2. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr 2004;23(3):423-33.
  2. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation:studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5):1062-76. Aviram M, Dornfeld L. Pomeganate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin coverting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis 2001;158(1):195-8.
  3. Kim ND, Mehta R, Yu W, et al. Chemopreventive and adjuvant therapeutic potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum) for human breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2002;71(3):203-17. Kohno H, Suzuki R, Yasui Y, et al. Pomegranate seed oil rich in conjugated linolenic acid suppresses chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats.Cancer Sci 2004;95(6):481-6.

Toi M, Bando H, Ramachandran C, et al. Preliminary studies on the anti-angiogenic potential of pomegranate fractions in vitro and in vivo. Angiogenesis 2003;6(2):121-8.

Kawaii S, Lansky EP. Differentiation-promoting activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit extracts in HL-60 human promyelocytic leukemia cells. J Med Food 2004;7(1):13-8. 5. Adams LS, Seeram NP, Aggarwal BB, et al: Pomegranate juice, total pomegranate ellagitannins, and punicalagin suppress inflammatory cell signaling in colon cancer cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2006, 54:980-985. Toi M, Bando H, Ramachandran C, et al: Preliminary studies on the anti-angiogenic potential of pomegranate fractions in vitro and in vivo. Angiogenesis 2003, 6:121-128. Sartippour MR, Seeram NP, Rao JY, et al: Ellagitannin-rich pomegranate extract inhibits angiogenesis in prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo. Int J Oncol 2008, 32:475-480. Adams LS, Zhang Y, Seeram NP, et al: Pomegranate ellagitannin-derived compounds exhibit antiproliferative and antiaromatase activity in breast cancer cells in vitro. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2010, 3:108-113.

  1. Mori-Okamoto J, Otawara-Hamamoto Y, Yamato H, Yoshimura H. Pomegranate extract improves a depressive state and bone properties in menopausal syndrome model ovariectomized mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;92(1):93-101.