We all have cancer. Every one of us. Researchers discovered long ago that cancer cells spring up in our bodies regularly. In healthy individuals, the immune system destroys these cells and keeps them from spreading. But a compromised immune system allows the cells to take root and grow into tumors. Wouldn’t it be great if you could boost your immune system to specifically target cancer cells and keep them from spreading? Well, new research says you can. And it’s easy to do.
In a new study, researchers found that a compound in some vegetables helps keep cancer tumors from progressing. This is big news. It means that this compound can keep cancer cells from spreading, and taking over your body.
In this study, the researchers placed a group of mice on two different diets. The first group ate a normal control diet. The second group ate the same diet except the researchers supplemented it with phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC). After feeding these diets to the mice for 29 weeks, the researchers found some incredible results.
They discovered that this natural compound reduced breast cancer by 56.3%. But that’s not all. They also found that it works equally as well on colon, intestinal, and prostate cancers.
Just which vegetables contain beneficial PEITC? Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and bok choy. The same vegetables that contain the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, which I’ve talked about many times.
It may not surprise you to learn, then, that PEITC and sulforaphane are both naturally occurring chemicals called isothiocyanate. These chemicals prevent tumor growth on a number of levels. For instance, PEITC works by inducing apoptosis, or cell death, in cancer cells. This is a natural process that occurs in healthy individuals. When it stops occurring, tumors grow. If you can keep apoptosis functioning properly, you will never develop a tumor.
So it’s vital you keep your immune system operating at its peak function. And eating cruciferous vegetables every day can help with this process. Some of these vegetables, such as kale, have very strong flavors. But don’t let that stop you from eating them. They’re full of nutrients that keep your body operating properly.
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If you struggle to eat these vegetables, there are two things you can do. First, buy a juicer and include them in your juice. Or you can take them as a supplement. One of my favorites is Advanced Greens Formula, which contains broccoli and kale, among many other healthful foods. You also can find other supplements on the market that focus on the cruciferous veggies.
One final note: Because these compounds work so well against cancer, many drug companies use them in their pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, they have other ingredients that cause side effects. Sometimes you need pharmaceuticals to fight cancer. But try to avoid cancer in the first place by eating as many cruciferous vegetables as you can every day.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "Breast Cancer Slowed By Plant-Based Compound In Mouse Model." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 5 Aug. 2012. Web.
6 Aug. 2012. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/248589.php>