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Life Extension Magazine April 2013
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Shield Yourself from Environmental Cancer Risks

By Steve Frankel
Extracts that Complement Cruciferous Vegetables
Bunch of rosemary in a pestle
Rosemary

Several plant extracts complement the detoxifying and epigenetic effects of cruciferous vegetables, making them valuable additions to a comprehensive cancer-prevention supplement. The three most potent ones include apigenin, cat’s claw, and rosemary.

  1. Apigenin is a bioflavonoid found in celery, parsley, and some other plants that has known chemopreventive effects. These include stopping the cell reproductive cycle, inducing cancer cell death by apoptosis, preventing metastasis, and slowing new blood vessel formation.102-105 Clinical studies show that 20 mg/day of apigenin, in combination with 20 mg/day of the green tea extract EGCG, drastically reduced the rate of colon cancer recurrence following surgical treatment (only 7% of treated patients had recurrences, while 47% of the control patients had recurrences).106 Apigenin shows promise in laboratory and animal studies of cancers of the mouth, skin, and pancreas, as well as in leukemia.102,104,107-109
  2. The second extract that can be used to complement cruciferous compounds is called Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa). Lab studies have shown that Uncaria extracts are effective against tumor cells from breast, cervical, lung, thyroid, and colon cancers as well as leukemia.110-112 Uncaria extracts contain powerful antioxidants that protect—and can even repair—DNA from environmental damage.113,114 The result is protection from cancer, especially in organs with a rapid rate of cell turnover, such as skin, colon, and lung, where a small amount of DNA damage can have a rapidly accumulating pro-cancer effect. Uncaria extracts reduced reductions in immune function after chemotherapy while inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis) in malignant cells.110,111,115-117
  3. Rosemary extracts have shown effectiveness in lab studies of colon, skin, and ovarian cancers, and leukemia.118-124 Rosemary is capable of enhancing the ability of the body to rid itself of potential carcinogens.125,126 In addition, rosemary offers remarkable protection against radiation, shielding cells of the blood and gastrointestinal tract in particular from radiation’s ionizing and oxidizing effects.127-130 Rosemary slows or stops DNA damage and tumor cell proliferation, induces apoptosis of tumor cells, and markedly suppresses genes that enable tissue invasion and metastatic spread.118,131-133 Currently, oncologists are giving special attention to the combination of rosemary extracts plus vitamin D3—and for good reason. Together, these supplements promote normal cell differentiation into mature, non-cancerous white blood cells, helping prevent conversion into leukemia cells.124,134

Summary

Environmental toxins are major causes of cancer. They cause damage to our DNA and can activate cancer-causing genes that would otherwise have remained dormant. Although it’s impossible to avoid these toxins, you can arm your body with the tools it needs to identify the toxins and remove them from your system before they can cause any damage.

Cruciferous vegetables neutralize chemical threats by optimizing your body’s detoxification system, by maintaining the integrity of your DNA, and by activating the genes necessary to fight cancer. The result is unprecedented cancer protection from the unavoidable assaults of daily living.

Many of the cruciferous vegetables’ constituents hold up poorly under cooking and processing conditions. That’s why the best way to consistently gain the benefits of cruciferous compounds is to lightly steam the vegetables and/or obtain them in standardized dietary supplements.

 

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

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