A recent study published in the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal has validated more natural cures for breast cancer. Top on the list are garlic, turmeric and green tea.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Institute of Pharmacy, Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Agriculture, 38000 Faisalabad, Pakistan; Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, 430074 Wuhan, PR China; Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, University Malaysia Sabah, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia; and Institute of Pharmacy, Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Agriculture, 38000 Faisalabad, Pakistan.
The study reviewed different types of plants that retain the immune stimulating and anti-tumor properties.
Large variety of active phytochemicals such as carotenoids, flavonoids, ligands, polyphenolics, terpenoids, sulphides, lignans and plant sterols has been identified in different types of herbs.
These phytochemicals have different mechanisms of action. They either stimulate the protective enzyme like glutathione transferase or prevent the cell proliferation.
The review centered on the biochemical properties of Allium sativum (garlic), Echinacea, Curcuma longa (turmeric), Arctium lappa (Burdock), Camellia sinensis (green tea), Panax ginseng and Flax seed. Extracts and juices of Withania somnifera, Amoora rohituka, Dysoxylum binectariferum and Vaccinium macrocarpon, respectively also used as anti-breast cancer.
The volatile oils and extracts of these herbs and plants inhibit the synthesis of mevalonate that lessen the tumor growth and cholesterol synthesis.
The researchers concluded: “Multi-factorial factors are involved for breast cancer; many factors act independently or may be in combination, especially in high risk individuals.
It is important to know the pathogenesis of this common disease which is associated with high mortality and morbidity especially if not detected early.
So the role of early screening in high risk individuals as well as proper surveillance of treated case in order to detect recurrence at early stages has been advocated.”
Also, another study has provided explanation why more people are developing cancers: Rates of cancer are rising quicker in millennials because they’re fatter than previous generations.
The research was published in the journal The Lancet Public Health.
Obesity-related cancers – including bowel, womb and pancreatic – are significantly increasing in under-50s, suggesting numbers will soar in decades to come.
Experts warned it is further evidence of a time bomb, which threatens to reverse decades of progress in cancer survival.
Two thirds of Britons are now overweight and more than a quarter of the population is obese. Being fat is one of the biggest avoidable causes of cancer.
Pancreatic cancer cases rose by 4.34 per cent a year among 25 to 29-year-olds over the last two decades. This is 5.6 times higher than the 0.77 per cent in those aged 45 to 49.
Researchers from the American Cancer Society studied cancer data covering half of the United States (US) population between 1995 and 2014.
They looked at 14,672,409 cases involving 30 of the most common cancer types, including 12 obesity-related cancers.
Patients were divided into five-year age groups from 25-29 to 80-84 years old.
Researchers found diagnoses significantly increased over the 20 years in half of the cancers linked to obesity – with the rises steeper in younger groups.
While cases were still far more common in older people, scientists say the growing trend in younger patients is likely to reflect rising obesity levels.
Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, from the American Cancer Society, said: “Our findings expose a recent change that could serve as a warning of an increased burden of obesity-related cancers to come in older adults.
“Most cancers occur in older adults, which means that as the young people in our study age, the burden of obesity-related cancer cases and deaths are likely to increase even more.”
Garlic (Allium sativum), for hundreds of years it has been used for treating many illnesses.
It involves hundred or more than hundred therapeutically useful secondary metabolites, for example, alliin, alliinase, and allicin.
Alliin, an amino acid, is present in garlic oil that is transformed to allicin after its rhizomes are crumpled.
An originator of Sulfur comprising compound is allicin, which is responsible for odor and its therapeutic properties. Garlic oil contains another Sulfur holding substance, Ajoene.
Ajoene delays the cancer production while selenium as antioxidant.
Bioflavonoids, cyanidin and quercetin, are also found in garlic with antioxidant properties. Anti-cancer activity of garlic is due to high amount of organic sulfides and polysulfide’s.
Mechanism behind anti-tumor activity stimulating the lymphocytes and macrophages is that they kill the cancerous cells and interferes with tumor cells metabolism.
Studies have shown that the number of suppressor T cells is increased by garlic and converts the lymphocytes in that form which is cytotoxic to cancerous cells.
Metastases are prevented by altering the adhesion and attachment of cancerous cells, circulating in the blood vessels.
Harmful effects of carcinogens to DNA are prevented by ripened garlic extract; it improves the immune system of the body, increases the removal of carcinogens from the body, and enhances the detoxifying enzyme’s activity.
Researchers have found that the ripened extract of garlic is also helpful to shield the propagation of several types of cancers such as colon, stomach, breast, lungs and bladder.
Complications of chemotherapy and radiotherapy could be lessen with garlic extract.
Scientific name of turmeric is Curcuma longa. Turmeric gives dark yellow color to food.
Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, is present in its rhizome and rootstock. Curcumin is known to have anticancerous activity due to its phenolic substances.
Propagation of lung, breast, skin and stomach cancer is limited by turmeric.
Eicosanoids, for example prostaglandin E-2 (PGE-2), production is altered by curcumin, an antioxidant agent. It has also anti-inflammatory action in human.
Curcumin has been revealed to have inhibitory action in all phases of cancer growth, which are initiation, promotion, and propagation.
Nitrosamine production is inhibited by turmeric; it results in increase natural antioxidant action of the body. Amount of glutathione and other non-protein sulphahydryls is increased by curcumin, and they act directly on different enzymes.
Scientific name of Burdock is Arctium lappa. Its root is found and used in Europe and Asia.
There are many therapeutic uses of burdock in herbal remedies. Its root has gummy texture and sweet taste.
In old times burdock was useful in arthritis, tonsillitis and measles, but nowadays it has been found that burdock has antitumor activity. It contains some active ingredients that alter the changes in oncogenes.
Burdock has been utilized in treatment of breast tumor, ovary, bladder, malignant melanoma, lymphoma and pancreatic cells. It relieves the pain, lessens the tumor size and enhances the survival phase.
To withstand the fast propagation and division of cells, a huge amount of nutrients is required during cancer.
But cancer cells can live in stressed circumstances for example with low oxygen and less amount of carbohydrates, because tumor cells have high tolerance to stressed conditions.
Burdock seeds contain an active ingredient called Arctigenin. Arctigenin, has shown the ability to remove the tumor cells with low nutrients.
Burdock root consists of flavonoid type and polyphenol anti-oxidant, and they may have oppressive effect on tumour development.
Normal body cells are protected from toxic substances and lessen the cells mutation, by extract of root.
Burdock contains the most important active ingredient that is known as, Tannin, a phenolic compound. It stimulates macrophages action, limits cancer propagation and retains immune-modulatory properties.
An active compound known as “carotenoids” possessed by green, herb with leaf, rose hips.
These aromatic plants are used as dyeing agents for example saffron, annatto and paprika.
Consumption of vegetables and fruits has been linked with less expansion of different forms of tumor. Intake of carotenoids through diet also decreases the occurrence of tumour.
The carotenoid substances are potent antioxidants and show numerous therapeutic activities, such as searching of free radicals, protecting against oxidative damage to cells, improvement of gap intersections, stimulation of immune system and enzyme’s activity regulation contributed in cancer production and encourage the activity of immune system of the body.
Scientifically green tea is known as Camellia sinensis. Anticancer activity is attributed by polyphenolics compounds.
Epigallocatechin (EGGG), a polyphenol is present in small amount in C. sinensis. Researchers have revealed that green tea possesses antitumor and anti-mutagenic activity.
Cells are protected by EGGG from DNA damage produced by oxygen reactive species. Studies on animal were performed resulted that green tea polyphenols restricts the cancer cells division and stimulate the necrosis and apoptosis of tumor cells. While function of immune system is stimulated by tea catechins, they also inhibit the metastases and angiogenesis in tumor cells.
Some studies have shown the protective results of green tea in counter o colon and stomach cancer.
Tea and their primary catechins reduce the risk of tumor in number of organs of the body. Harmful effects of radiation can be lessened with green tea.
All beneficial effects of tea are due to its antioxidant activity.
Scientific name of ginseng is Panax ginseng. It is lasting plant mainly grows in China, Korea, Japan and Russia. Part used of this plant is dried root. It has many therapeutic uses including cancer.
Active substances of ginseng have shown that it reduces or blocks the development of tumor necrosis factor in the skin of mouse, blocks the propagation and metastases of cancerous cells, stimulate cell differentiation, and level of interferon.
Other type of cancerous cells stages may also hindered by ginseng’s ingredients.
An investigation was also carried out in Korea, recommended that ginseng reduces the cancer risk in human.
As related to fresh sliced ginseng, its juice or tea, the most potent and active type of ginseng is its extract and dried powder for prevention of cancer threat.
By interrupting the DNA synthesis ginseng retains the tumor development.
Beneficial effects of active compound of P. ginseng include restart of natural killer cells impaired during chemotherapy and radiotherapy, induces macrophages and enhances antibodies formation.
Scientific name of black cohosh is Cimicifuga recemosa. It is a shrub, found in the eastern forests of North America.
Patients of breast cancer most commonly used Black cohosh during radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
It has been used by Native American since many centuries for the treatment of menopausal signs, pre-menstrual discomfort and dysmenorrhea.
It also induces the abortion-like problems. A patent medicine Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound was famous, and this herb was principle component of this medicine. It was also found in 19th century’s pharmacopeia.
A large range of preparation of black cohosh is present in drug stores. Herbalists have shown that they are safe and effective therapy for menopausal indications.
Females, who have been suggested to escape the Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT) by their physician, it has been used by those women. Most of the studies have shown the herb’s effects on menopausal indications.
Although the vigorous principles of black cohosh have not been known, there is assumption of triterpene glycosides to be a vital component, but trace amount of resins and caffeic, isoferulic and fukinolic is also present.
Ambiguities are found about the estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity of black cohosh.
Various research studies have contradictory results, some studies have shown that it enhances or lesson the cancer cell production in culture.
In the literature it is revealed that black cohosh has synergistic effects for breast cancer patients when given in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents.
Flax plant has small brown and golden hard-coated seeds. These small seeds contain all active components. Flax seeds are rich source of dietary fiber, omega 3 fat, and lignans.
Estrogenic activity is present in flax seeds due to metabolism of lignans to enterodiol and enterolactone, and metabolism occurs in digestive tract.
As compared to soy products, flax seeds have more potent phytoestrogens, while intake of flax seeds causes a huge change in the elimination of 2-hydoxyesterone than soy protein.
A research group of Lilian Thompson at university of Toronto has shown that ground flax seeds have powerful anti-cancer activity.
An experiment was conducted on mice; firstly cancer is induced in mice by administering carcinogens, in one group, anti-cancer activity of flax seed was identified by mixing the lignin in diet of mice.
This experiment has results in reducing the tumor load. Flax seeds and secoisolariciresinol diglycoside reduced the malignancies.
Recently, this research group induces tumor in mice by injecting human breast cancer cells.
While cancer propagates, mice were given with basal diet for eight weeks after cancer cells’ injection. One group was fed with 10 per cent flax seeds while another group continued basal diet.
Rate of cancer growth was reduced by 45 per cent by flax seeds. Mammary glands morphogenesis in mice is improved by flax seeds.
Researchers examined the female mice fed with 10 per cent flax seeds diet, and they found the improved number of terminal end buds and terminal ducts in their mammary glands. They have extra epithelial cell division. All females show increased differentiation.
Relatively low incidence of breast tumor has been shown by female after injection of carcinogens in mammary glands.
As a result, increased differentiation mammary tissues of mouse, prevention of malignancies, reduction of tumor development are possible by flax seeds in female offspring, making less vulnerable to carcinogens.
Vitamin D is produced by sun exposure of skin. Large amount of vitamin D is produced by simple contact of hands, arms and face in summer.
Even standing in sunshine on the beach until pinkness of the skin is equal to a 20,000 IU oral dose of vitamin D2.
Minimal amount of vitamin required by our body is 1000 IU/day, to maintain the sufficient level. Oral uptake of vitamin D is only source to maintain its level in the absence of sunshine.
In one day 4000 IU can be taken safely with other benefits. Kidneys are responsible to maintain the active hormonal form of vitamin D in blood. Anti-cancer activity is possessed by this active type of vitamin D.
The capability to change the chief circulating form of vitamin D 25(OH) D, into hormonal form, 1, 25(OH) 2D, vital organs of the body performed their functions.
All these organs have local mechanism by which they convert the circulating form into hormonal form, and this mechanism is stimulated by exposure to sunshine.