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Food therapy: fight cancer

  • Published at 04:46 am July 13th, 2013
Food therapy: fight cancer

Fish are cancer fighters

Omega-3 fatty acids – found in salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines – has been strongly linked to a decreased risk of developing prostate cancer. The Harvard School of Public Health study, published in Clinical Cancer Research in the United States, examined the dietary habits of nearly 1000 men.

Those who ate five servings of fatty fish per week slashed their risk of developing prostate cancer by a staggering 63%. What is even more encouraging is that the finding was most noticeable among men who had a family history of the disease, which put them at greater risk to begin with.

Green tea for leukaemia?

There is already a large amount of evidence to support green tea’s role in protecting against different cancers. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology now suggests that a concentrated extract of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), found in green tea, may assist in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), which is the most common kind.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic gave patients with CLL between 400mg and 2000mg of EGCG daily. After just one month, the lymphocyte count was reduced by around 20% in one-third of the patients.

Magic mushrooms

The mushroom has been used in China and Japan for centuries to boost immunity and fight disease. Modern studies have found that two polysaccharides it contains – polysaccharide-K and polysaccharopeptide – help restore immunity in people undergoing conventional cancer treatments, and may possibly improve survival rates in cancer patients. Some mushrooms are rich in vitamin D, B-group vitamins and the minerals iron, potassium and selenium.

Asian mushrooms have additional effects, including boosting immunity, fighting infection, lowering cholesterol and acting as an anticoagulant, thanks to three substances. These are: beta-glucan, a fibre with cardiovascular benefits; terpenoids, which are antiviral, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory; and polysaccharides, sugars which bolster the immune system by increasing the number and effectiveness of natural killer cells, and so support the body’s fight against infection and cancer.

In some cases, this improved immune response appears to slow and suppress the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells. For general health and immune support, you can add these mushrooms to soups, stews, stir-fry and pasta dishes.

Consult your doctor before using mushrooms for any condition, especially if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Don’t forage for wild mushrooms: it’s easy to mistake a deadly fungus for an edible one.

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