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Life Extension Magazine November 2012
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EPIGENETICS for Breast Cancer Prevention

by Alexander Johnson

10. Nutrients that Cut Off the Blood Supply to Growing Tumors

Once a cancer has begun its rapid growth phase, it requires a vast increase in its blood supply. Tumor cells are capable of inducing new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) through multiple epigenetic mechanisms. A number of nutrients are capable of reversing that process and depriving growing tumors of blood supply. These include:

  • Apigenin122-124
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)17,125
  • Coffee diterpenes18
  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)85
  • Curcumin126
  • Grape seed extract127,128
  • Green tea129,130
  • Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C)79
  • Lycopene27
  • Melatonin27
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)30,33,34
  • Omega-3 fatty acids131
  • Pomegranate132
  • Quercetin74
  • Silibinin133
  • Soy isoflavones134-136
  • Vitamin D75,86

11. Nutrients that Prevent Tumors from Spreading

11. Nutrients that Prevent Tumors from Spreading
Growing tumor

Growing tumors develop the ability to invade local and regional tissues, and to "seed" other body areas with malignant cells through the process of metastasis. To accomplish these processes, tumors increase their production of "protein-melting" enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases, or MMPs. Effective chemoprevention involves epigenetic changes that impair tumors' production of MMPs, as is seen in the activities of these nutrients (and drugs):

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)137
  • Coffee diterpenes and phenolics18,138
  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)139
  • Cruciferous vegetable components sulforaphane and isothiocyanates140
  • Curcumin141
  • Green tea polyphenols24, 121,130
  • Melatonin142
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)31
  • Silibinin41,42,133
  • Soy isoflavones101,135
  • Compounds that function via other mechanism to inhibit metastasis include:
  • Modified citrus pectin143+
  • Aspirin144
  • Cimetidine145+

+Note that cimetidine and modified citrus pectin are only used by those with existing cancers. They have not shown preventive effects.


Breast cancer, the leading malignancy among women, has long evaded attempts at prevention. However, breakthroughs in the science of epigenetics has led both to a greater understanding of how breast cancer forms—and ultimately to the discovery of novel approaches to chemoprevention.

A large number of nutrients are capable of beneficial epigenetic modifications in breast cancer cells. These nutrients are capable of impeding breast cancer initiation, promotion, proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. They accomplish these multiple effects through the activation of genes that suppress cancer, the deactivation of genes that promote cancer, the promotion of cancer cell death through apoptosis, the modification of hormonal and other growth factor receptors, and fundamental effects such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.

With the broad range of breast cancer chemoprevention available through nutrient supplementation, it only makes sense to include a wide variety of these supplements in your health promotion regimen.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.

(References found below.)

Breast Cancer Chemopreventive Nutrients 1 Breast Cancer Chemopreventive Nutrients 2


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