Starving Cancer

Wikipedia defines cancer as “a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Not all abnormal growths or tumours are cancerous.” Over hundred types of cancer afflict human beings. If you or your loved one has had cancer, you know just how challenging it is to cope. I, for example, lost my grandfather to cancer. An incredibly brave man, even his incredible superhuman strength would have him wince in pain.

Researchers looking for a cure have been examining the effect of natural compounds found in food. They selected curcumin found in turmeric, ursolic acid found in the peel of an apple and resveratrol found in grapes or pomegranate. They then examined the impact of consuming these compounds collectively on cancer cells. Using compounds collectively is an emerging field of biomedical and nutrigenomic study. The researchers use global targeting of cancer cells as the process of examining the individual reaction of a compound is mathematically complex. If the cancer cells demonstrate alterations in cell metabolism, the treatment is working.

In the research study, the phytochemicals or compounds were found to impact tumour cells positively. Both the volume and weight of the tumour changed for the better. Interestingly, consuming these compounds resulted in an inhibition of uptake of glutamine by the cancer cells. Glutamine is an amino acid; think of it as food for your cell. The inability of the cancer cell to absorb glutamine meant it was getting starved.

Global agencies believe that the consumption of natural compounds can prevent over one-third of cancers. The compounds have a signalling effect in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Cancer proliferates by infecting the cells around it. Therefore, any treatment that can address the base cell can have a dramatic impact on the overall ability of cancer to survive in your body. If you are looking to add this to your diet, do pay attention to the manner in which these compounds need to be consumed.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.