Vegetables have been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of breast cancer in both experimental animals and in humans. To a lesser extent, so have fruits. Studies in which the entire diet was controlled and included healthy vegetables — with low levels of omega-6 oils and food additives — showed dramatic reductions in the risk of not only breast cancer, but most cancers.
Vegetables contain hundreds of complex chemicals called flavonoids, which are known to prevent cancers and control the growth of existing cancers. Better yet, they do so with greater safety and effectiveness than conventional chemotherapy. Flavonoids work their magic, in part, as powerful and versatile antioxidants, and they are much more effective than vitamins C, E, and the carotenoids. For more information on preventing and treating breast cancer, see my newsletter "Breast Cancer: Beating the Odds.''
New studies have shown that breast cancers are dependent on certain enzymes and cell-signaling systems for their growth — these include tyrosine kinase, Cox-2, LOX, NFkB, and phospholipase A2. Blocking these enzymes and altering cell signaling can often either stop cancer growth or make it disappear (through a process called apoptosis, or cell death). Many vegetable flavonoids, such as quercetin, curcumin, apigenin, and luteolin block these enzymes in cancer cells, but have no effect on normal cells.
Another enzyme, called aromatase, plays a major role in the growth and spread of a number of cancers, including breast and prostate cancers. This enzyme allows breast ductal tissue to produce amounts of aromatase 40 times higher than in the blood. Blocking aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen, inhibits breast cancer growth.
The flavonoid apigenin (which comes from celery) has been shown to inhibit aromatase enzyme almost nine times more powerfully than drugs. Quercetin (found in onions, teas, and cranberries) inhibits aromatase 1.5 times better. (Green and white tea can improve your health in many ways. To learn more, read my report "Miracle Tea.")
DHA, which comes from algae or fish oils, also inhibits many of these cancer-promoting enzymes, and has been shown to significantly inhibit the growth of cancer cells — especially breast cancer cells.
It is interesting to note that soy (genistein) strongly stimulates aromatase activity, which explains the recent finding that soy extracts enhance the growth and spread of breast cancer.
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