Curcumin works with chokeberry to kill brain cancer cells


Ten years ago, I read research that chokeberry, curcumin, fish oils, choline and inositol and CoQ10 all had a positive effect with brain tumours. Ten years on researchers from the Department of Natural Sciences at Middlesex University have shown that both chokeberry extract (Aronia melanocarpa) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) can work together to stop the spread of malignant cancer cells, as well as induce cancer cell death (apoptosis). (Oncology Reports)


The research evaluated  the effects of both Aronia and curcumin on a specific glioblastoma line of brain cancer cells known as U373. The researchers looked at these two natural compounds because they had already established that both herbs possess unique anti-cancer properties.


The Aronia berry, which is rich in anthocyanin flavonoids and other antioxidants and nutrients, does kill the U373 cancer cell line; and the polyphenol curcumin, also induces apoptosis in U373 stopping it from producing new cells and spreading.


“The aim of this study was to extend our previous research to evaluate the therapeutic potential of these two agents by testing their ability to induce apoptosis in an established glioblastoma cell line (U373),” wrote the authors in their abstract. “Taken together, the comparative data suggest that both curcumin and chokeberry extract may exhibit their anti-cancer potential by inducing apoptosis and inhibiting invasion by reducing MMPs (matrix metalloproteinase) gene expression.”


Meanwhile: Significant new research published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand found that curcumin is able to repair and even regenerate the liver tissues in diabetic rats. Researchers at the Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok administered curcumin to rats afflicted with diabetes and whose livers demonstrated the characteristic pathology and destruction of tissues and microvasculature. The curcumin was able to trigger a significant reversal of the condition.

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Bee Propolis ingredient seems to stop prostate cancer growth  

We have written extensively on the subject of Bee Propolis before. (Bee Propolis article: /cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=2028&Title=Bee Propolis)

Propolis, a substance the bees make to protect the hive, may contain up to 180 natural compounds. However, not all Propolis was created equal. The content of the propolis obviously depends totally on the local environment of the bees.

The most extensive research has been conducted to date on Brazilian Bee Propolis. One of the ingredients, CAPE or Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester has previously shown strong anti-cancer properties.

Now, researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine have shown that CAPE stops the growth of early-stage human prostate tumours grafted into mice. The results presented in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, suggested that CAPE stopped cell division rather than actually killing off the cancer itself.

If you feed CAPE to mice daily, their tumours will stop growing. After several weeks, if you stop the treatment, the tumours will begin to grow again at their original pace, said Richard B. Jones, PhD, assistant professor in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research and Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology and senior author of the study.

So it doesnt kill the cancer, but it basically will indefinitely stop prostate cancer proliferation, he added..

It appears that CAPE suppresses the activity of certain growth proteins such as those in the Akt and p70S6 kinase pathways.  The next step is Clinical Trials.

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Largest ever study shows fish oils help beat cancer  


Anybody who has ever heard Chris Woollams speak will know that he always asks the audience to put their hands up if they took a fish oil supplement that day. It is because he wants the rest of the audience (usually two-thirds) to realise that fish oils are a true superfood.

In Cancer Watch it seems that every month there is a study showing that omega-3 prevents cancer, or reduces polyps in colon cancer, or reduces inflammation or does something else like increases longevity.

In one of the largest ever studies (35,016 post-menopausal women between the ages of 50 and 76 who were taking part in the 10-year Vitamins and  Lifestyle (VITAL) study) researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle have found that regularly taking a fish oil supplement may lower the  risk of breast cancer by approximately a third.

“This study is one of the largest studies that have come out showing  that there may be a role for fish oil in the prevention of cancer,  specifically breast cancer,” said Lorenzo Cohen, of the M.D. Anderson  Cancer Center at the University of Texas-Houston.

All of the women lived in Washington state and had no history of  breast cancer. After an average of six years, the researchers found that women who regularly took a fish oil supplement were 32 percent less likely to  develop invasive ductal breast cancer than women who did not take the  supplements.

ED: We have regularly commented on ductal breast cancer after a UCLA Professor stood up at the American Breast Cancer Conference and said that DCIS was, most usually not breast cancer but calcium deposits in the breast ducts and in 80 per cent of cases never led to breast cancer! We opined then (5 years ago) that this could be why fish oils and vitamin D could be so effective in preventing breast cancer they both have a significant effect on reducing excessive blood calcium levels (cows dairy consumption increases them and is known to increase breast cancer risk). Magnesium, deficient in at least 40 per cent of the population, will also take calcium from the blood stream into the bones.  

Long-chain Omega-3 is known to play a role in reducing inflammatory localised hormones around cells, by reducing the Cox-2 enzyme levels. Fish oils may also contain vitamin A and vitamin D both of which have a cancer preventative ability, according to research.

Interestingly, the consumption of oily fish did not prompt the same research effects, possibly because fish oil supplements are of a much higher concentration.  

One of the biggest issues with fish oils is possible contamination, for example with heavy metals like Mercury.

If you are looking for a clean fish oil we know Natural Selection chooses only Mercury-free sources.


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Fish oils help lung cancer patients improve nutrition and avoid weight loss  


New research presented in the British Journal of Nutrition has found that supplementation using long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils can help people with advanced lung cancer avoid cachexia.


Researchers at San Giovanni Battista Hospital in Turin, Italy conducted a placebo-controlled trial and confirmed previous conclusions that the continual consumption of EPA plus DHA determined an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative action which could be considered a preliminary goal in anti-cachectic therapy. The nutrition levels of the patients taking the fish oils improved significantly.


In the research, lung cancer patients were given a placebo or four capsules per day containing 510 mg of EPA and 340 mg of DHA for 66 days. Patients underwent chemotherapy and at 8, 22 and 66 days. Researchers found that lung cancer patients receiving n-3 or omega-3 fatty acids increased body weight, decreased c-reactive protein, IL-6 levels during chemotherapy, had lower levels of plasma reactive oxygen species levels and stable hydroxynonenal levels, compared to the patients in the placebo group.


So apart from increasing anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory action, patients increased body weight and had less risk of cachexia (potentially fatal weight loss due to the chemotherapy drugs). No doubt all oncologists treating lung cancer patients will advise fish oil supplementation.

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Resveratrol supplementation can suppress growth of breast cancer 

Resveratrol has had numerous research studies on its benefits with dementia, heart disease, cancer, longevity and even slimming over the last few years we have a full review on our web site.

Now researchers from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Calabria in Italy (published in the FASEB Journal report) have shown that, in vitro, resveratrol blocks the effect of oestrogen on cells and can help to prevent the malignant growth of breast cancer in women. Research used several breast cancer cell lines all with oestrogen receptor sites. One group was given resveratrol, while both were stimulated with oestrogen. The resveratrol group showed lowered cell growth and further research showed this to be due to a reduction in the number of oestrogen receptor sites, as a result of administering resveratrol.

The team concluded that resveratrol is able to counteract the malignant progression of breast cancer cells by inhibiting the growth and spread of hormone-resistant cancerous cells. No negative effects were reported on healthy cells.

(Ed: Please note that this is a laboratory experiment only and may not be reproduced in real life)

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Resveratrol and its significant benefits with prostate cancer


Research has shown that resveratrol has a number of benefits. The natural compound commonly found in organic red grape skins where it wards off fungal attack, has been linked to strengthening the brain, maintaining weight control, fighting leukaemia and improving cardiovascular health. It is a known antioxidant and anti-viral agent. Research has shown that it works synergistically with lycopene and curcumin.

New research suggests it could be an important help in fighting prostate cancer.   Previous research has shown that resveratrol can boost the effectiveness of prostate cancer chemotherapy. Research in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2011, concluded that resveratrol is a powerful chemosensitiser and it actually helps prostate tumours respond more effectively to chemotherapy treatment by enhancing signalling molecules. Resveratrol also seems to increase levels of proteins that fight malignant cells. Now Michael Nicholl, an assistant professor of oncology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, and his team decided to find out if resveratrol had the same benefits if used with radiotherapy.

The researchers found that resveratrol boosted levels of two naturally-occurring proteins: Perforin and granzyme B. Interestingly, these proteins can target any and all malignant cells throughout the body.   Resveratrol seems to produce even more of these proteins when the tumour is that of prostate cancer.

It is critical that both proteins, perforin and granzyme B, are present in order to kill the tumour cells, and we found that the resveratrol helped to increase their activity in prostate tumour cells, said Nicholl. Following the resveratrol-radiation treatment, we realized that we were able to kill many more tumour cells when compared with treating the tumour with radiation alone. It´s important to note that this killed all types of prostate tumour cells, including aggressive tumour cells.


As Chris Woollams book the Rainbow Diet will tell you, resveratrol is an important constituent of the diet, is strongly anti-inflamatory and a forceful antioxidant, both powerful in preventing diseases like cancer.


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Green Tea lowers the development of several cancers

The Shanghai Women´s Health Study is a large scale statistical survey. One part of it reviewed 70,000 middle-aged or older non-smoking women who drank three cups of green tea or more per week. The statistics showed that these women had a lower risk of colon, stomach, and throat cancer (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

Next researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York showed a link with green tea extracts (GTEs) inhibiting breast cancer tumour growth among women already with breast cancer.

Then a study from the David Geffen School of Medicine (UCLA) followed men scheduled to undergo a prostatectomy (the removal of a cancerous prostate gland). Those who drank several cups of green tea every day in the weeks before the procedure had less prostate inflammation and lower PSA readings (a protein marker for prostate cancer), than those who didn´t.

The active ingredients are polyphenols and those in green tea are called catechins. These have been shown in research to inhibit blood supply formation to tumours. The most abundant catechin in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG.


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Researchers claim ginger may be better than drugs at treating breast cancer  

Researchers from the Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia have claimed from their research that ginger extract may be more effective at fighting breast cancer than any drug currently on the market (Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology).

In their paper, the researchers note that in spite of the high global toll of breast cancer, conventional drug therapies are of only middling effectiveness, often with serious side effects.

Typically, the treatment of breast cancer involves hormonal therapy with … selective estrogen receptor (ER) modulators. However, almost all patients with metastatic disease and approximately 40 percent of patients that receive the ER modulator tamoxifen experience relapse that ends by death.

The researchers also note that ER antagonists have little to no effectiveness against ER-negative breast cancer, and that the drugs may have such severe side effects that their usefulness becomes limited. In addition, many breast cancer cells are able to develop resistance to cancer drugs within the course of a single treatment.

Thus, identification of novel agents that are relatively safe but can suppress growth of both ER-positive and ER-negative human breast cancers is highly desirable, they state.

The researchers exposed breast cancer cells in the laboratory to a crude extract of ginger (Zingiber officinale). The ginger had a number of anti-cancer benefits but did not harm healthy cells those benefits included programmed cell death (apoptosis), up-regulation of the apoptosis gene Bax, down-regulation of numerous cancer-associated genes and proteins, increased expression of cancer-fighting proteins and inhibition of cancer-associated enzymes. “Ginger may be a promising candidate for the treatment of breast carcinomas,” the researchers concluded.


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Blueberries can stop breast cancer tumour growth

Eating blueberries may inhibit breast cancer tumour growth, according to a recent study by researchers at the City of Hope in Los Angeles and published in the October 2011 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

The study found that the oral intake of whole blueberry powder could reduce the growth and metastasis of a very aggressive form of breast cancer (triple-negative breast cancer), for which there are few effective drugs.

Tumour size reduced by 60-75 percent. In addition, molecular analysis revealed that blueberry consumption altered the expression of genes that are important to metastasis. The dose required of blueberries to achieve these results was equivalent to two cups of fresh blueberries per day.


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Carotenoids can stop Breast Cancer returning

There are over 600 different carotenoids, for example:

Alpha-Carotene – found in carrots, coriander and green beans

Beta-Carotene – found in apricots, cantaloupe melon and broccoli

Beta-Cryptoxanthin – found in persimmon (Sharon fruit), papaya and tangerines

Capsaicin – found in chilli, sweet red bell and jalapeno peppers

Lycopene – found in tomatoes, guava and watermelon

Lutein – found in turnip, kale and spinach

Zeaxanthin – a strong yellow pigment found in fruits and vegetables

Many have been found to inhibit cancer development but this inhibition is reversible, meaning that stopping a diet rich in carotenoids may allow the cancer to grow again.

Theres a great deal of research into the effects of carotenoids. One way that carotenoids inhibit cancer growth is related to their ability to improve intercellular communication by increasing the production of a protein (connexion 43, C43) which sits between cells. Cancer cells lack the C43 protein, which means they also lack a vital growth control system. A diet rich in carotenoids can help return the situation to normal, especially when combined with selenium a constituent mineral of C43 found in brown rice, fish and Brazil nuts.

Two studies, one from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York and the other from Harvard in 2009 showed that eating colourful red, yellow and orange vegetables not only reduced the risk of developing breast cancer,  but helped prevent it returning. In both cases the groups eating the carotenoids almost halved their risk. (International Journal of Cancer, 2009 Jun 15; 124(12):2929-37. Cancer Epidemiology; Biomarkers and Prevention. 2009 Feb; 18(2):486-94).   Shhwartz and Shklar at Harvard University studied the ability of carotenoids to inhibit tumour growth in breast, lung, oral and skin tissue. They found a positive response to treatment within 1 to 5 hours.

Stahelin and colleagues from the University of Basel researched the role of a number of antioxidants, including carotene in 3000 men over a period of 15 years. They found that there was an increase in cancers of the stomach and bronchus in subjects with low plasma levels of carotene.

Another example from research concerns vitamin A, mainly created in the body from carotenoids consumed. Known to drive many cancers from breast, to colon, to prostate and even some brain tumours, oestrogen causes its damage by binding to cellular receptor sites. Scientists at the University of Chicago have shown that a metabolite of vitamin A (retenoic acid) can compete with and block this damaging action. Whereas oestrogen causes random and rapid cell growth to occur, the vitamin A was found to ´normalise proceedings´.

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