Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Butter vs. Margarine (plus 10 healthy fats we love!)

Reposted from Food Matters

By Wellness Mama

When it comes to the butter aisle, picking the best product for your health can be a confusing decision that ends up leaving a lot of people stumped. It's no wonder so many people don't know whether they should be opting for butter or margarine as years ago we were continuously told that butter was a big no-no.

This caused vegetable-oil based margarines to increase in popularity as doctors started warning patients about the dangers of saturated fats and recommending that margarine was the safer alternative for heart conditions.

We're going to stop this confusion and reveal why you should never consume vegetable oil or margarine! Aside from “healthy whole grains,” vegetable oils and margarine are some of the most misunderstood and over-recommended foods in the health community.

You’ve probably heard these referred to as “heart healthy oils,” a good alternative to those “artery clogging saturated fats.” These oils are supposed to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, increase weight loss, and somehow improve overall health.

Only one problem... again, science doesn’t back these claims up!

What Are Vegetable Oils / Margarine?

Vegetable oils (and margarine, made from these oils) are oils extracted from seeds like the rapeseed (canola oil) soybean (soybean oil), corn, sunflower, safflower, etc. They were practically non-existent in our diets until the early 1900s when new chemical processes allowed them to be extracted.

Unlike butter or coconut oil, these vegetable oils can’t be extracted just by pressing or separating naturally. They must be chemically removed, deodorized, and altered. These are some of the most chemically altered foods in our diets, yet they get promoted as healthy.

Vegetable oils are found in practically every processed food, from salad dressing to mayo to conventional nuts and seeds. These oils are some of the most harmful substances you can put into your body, but more on that in a minute!

How Vegetable Oils Are Made

Vegetable oils are manufactured in a factory, usually from genetically modified crops that have been heavily treated with pesticides.

Take for instance, the common Canola oil, the beauty queen of the vegetable oil industry. It was developed by making a hybrid version of the rapeseed, and it was given its name in the 1980s as part of a marketing effort organized by a conference on mono-saturates.

Rapeseed oil contains high amounts of the toxic erucic acid, which is poisonous to the body. Canola oil is an altered version, also called Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed (LEAR) and it is commonly genetically modified and treated with high levels of pesticides.

Canola (modified rapeseed oil) is produced by heating the rapeseed and processing with a petroleum solvent to extract the oil. Then another process of heat and addition of acid is used to remove nasty solids (wax) that occur during the first processing.

At this point, the newly created canola oil must be treated with more chemicals to improve color and separate the different parts of the oil. Finally, since the chemical process has created a harsh smelling oil, it must be chemically deodorized to be palatable.

If the vegetable oil is going to be made into shortening or margarine, is undergoes an additional process called hydrogenation to make it solid at cold temperatures. Unlike saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, etc.) vegetable oils are not naturally solid at these temperatures and must be hydrogenated to accomplish this. During this process of hydrogenation, those lovely trans fats we’ve heard so much about are created.

The chart below outlines the process:

Nothing like petroleum produced, overheated, oxidized, and chemically deodorized salad dressing for dinner…. yum.

(Compare that to butter… Step 1: milk cow. Step 2: let cream separate naturally. Step 3: skim off cream. Step 4: shake until it becomes butter.)

What’s Wrong With Vegetable Oils?

There are many problems with vegetable oil consumption, and in my opinion, no amount is safe. To understand why, let’s look at a few of the biggest problems with vegetable oils:

Our Bodies Aren’t Meant To Consume Them!

The fat content of the human body is about 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only 3% Polyunsaturated fats. Half of that three percent is Omega-3 fats, and that balance needs to be there. Vegetable oils contain very high levels of polyunsaturated fats, and these oils have replaced many of the saturated fats in our diets since the 1950s.

The body needs fats for rebuilding cells and hormone production, but it has to use the building blocks we give it. When we give it a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats instead of the ratios it needs, it has no choice but to incorporate these fats into our cells during cell repair and creation.

The problem is that polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and oxidize easily in the body (if they haven’t already oxidized during processing or by light exposure while sitting on the grocery store shelf). These oxidized fats cause inflammation and mutation in cells.

In arterial cells, these mutations cause inflammation that can clog arteries. When these fats are incorporated into skin cells, their mutation causes skin cancer. (This is why people often get the most dangerous forms of skin cancer in places where they are never exposed to the sun, but that is a topic for another day!)

When these oils are incorporated into cells in reproductive tissue, some evidence suggests that this can spur problems like endometriosis and PCOS. In short, the body is made up of saturated and monounsaturated fats, and it needs these for optimal health.

Vegetable Oils Contain High Levels Of Omega-6 Fatty Acids

I’ve talked before about how the body needs Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats in balance, preferably a 1:1 ratio. Most people consume a much higher ratio of Omega-6 fats, and this can lead to problems.

Unbalanced levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats have been linked to skin cancer and many types of cancers. An article by the Institute For Natural Healing explains:

In one study performed at the University of Western Ontario, researchers observed the effects of ten different dietary fats ranging from most saturated to least saturated. What they found is that saturated fats produced the least number of cancers, while omega-6 polyunsaturated fats produced the most.

Numerous other studies have also shown that polyunsaturated fats stimulate cancer while saturated fat does not, and that saturated fats do not break down to form free radicals.

Chemicals And Additives In Vegetable Oils And Fats

Since vegetable oils are chemically produced, its not really surprising that they contain harmful chemicals. Most vegetable oils and their products contain BHA and BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene) which are artificial antioxidants that help prevent food from oxidizing or spoiling too quickly.

These chemicals have been shown to produce potential cancer causing compounds in the body, and have also been linked to liver/kidney damage, immune problems, infertility or sterility, high cholesterol, and behavioral problems in children.
Vegetable oils also contain residues of the pesticides and chemicals used in their growth and manufacture and most often come from genetically modified sources.

Reproductive Problems And Problems In Children Caused By Vegetable Oil Consumption

Vegetable oils are extremely damaging to the reproductive system and the developing bodies of unborn babies and children. Because the reproductive system in both men and women is constantly producing and dividing new cells, there is potential for mutation and problems when these cells are made of the wrong kind of fats and are oxidized.

This same thing applies to unborn babies and children, whose cells are dividing at high rates. There is more potential for mutation because there are more cells dividing. This article by Healing Naturally By Bee reveals:

"What the scientific literature does tell us is that low fat diets for children, or diets in which vegetable oils have been substituted for animal fats, result in failure to thrive–failure to grow tall and strong–as well as learning disabilities, susceptibility to infection and behavioral problems. Teenage girls who adhere to such a diet risk reproductive problems. If they do manage to conceive, their chances of giving birth to a low birth weight baby, or a baby with birth defects, are high."

Excess consumption of vegetable oils also causes problems with hormone production, since hormones are dependent on certain fats for their manufacture. Vegetable oils that are hardened by hydrogenation to make shortening or margarine are especially damaging.

Other Effects Of Vegetable Oils On The Body

Because vegetable oils oxidize easily, they deplete the body of antioxidants since the body must use these to attempt to neutralize the oxidation. People with high consumption of vegetable oils and their products are at risk for Vitamin E deficiency and other deficiencies.
Vegetable oil consumption has been linked to a host of other problems, among them (from the same article above):

"In test animals, diets high in polyunsaturates from vegetable oils inhibit the ability to learn, especially under conditions of stress; are toxic to the liver; compromise the integrity of the immune system; depress the mental and physical growth of infants; increase levels of uric acid in the blood; cause abnormal fatty acid profiles in the adipose tissues: have been linked to mental decline and chromosomal damage and accelerate aging. Excess consumption of polyunsaturates is associated with increasing rates of cancer, heart disease and weight gain."

In light of all that information, how do you sort out which oils are healthy, and which ones aren’t. Even more important, how do you know how much of each one to consume to be healthy?

Oils And Fats To Avoid:

Vegetable Oils and their fats should be avoided completely. There are much healthier alternatives and there is no reason or need to consume these types of fats. The main culprits to watch out for are:
Canola Oil
Corn Oil
Soybean Oil
“Vegetable” oil
Peanut Oil
Sunflower Oil
Safflower Oil
Cottonseed Oil
Grapeseed Oil
I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter (You better believe it!)
Smart Balance (Not a Smart idea!)
Any fake butter or vegetable oils products

There is no nutritional need for these oils and healthy fats can be found in higher amounts and better ratios in many other types of fats. 

These foods in particular often contain one of the above unhealthy oils:
Salad Dressings
Store Bought Condiments
Artificial Cheeses
Store bought nuts and snacks
Snack Foods
Practically anything sold in the middle aisles of the store

What To Do With The Vegetable Oils You Have Already?

If you already have some of the unhealthy vegetable oils in your house… don’t eat them! I’m not a fan of waste either, so use them up in other ways. They can be used to make homemade play dough or floor cleaner. You can also stick them in your shed for oiling tools. (Did I mention, don’t eat them!)

10 Healthy Fats We Love!

There are so many wonderful and healthy fats that are beneficial to the body, so there is no reason to consume the unhealthy vegetable oils above. Fats that can be consumed freely for optimal health are:

1. Coconut Oil

Filled with Medium Chain Fatty Acids and Lauric Acid, coconut oil is an all star of the saturated fats. Since the fat composition in cells in the body is largely saturated fat, it is important to get enough of it from healthy sources. Coconut oil does not oxidize easily at high temperatures or go rancid easily, making it a good choice for cooking and baking. It also makes a great natural moisturizer and can be substituted for butter.

2. Avocados and Avocado Oil 

A good source of monounsaturated fats and great on salads or in guacamole. Avocado oil is milk tasting and can be used in salad dressings.

3. Olive Oil 

High in monounsaturated fats and low in polyunsaturated fats, olive oil is a great oil for salad dressings, homemade mayo,  and cold recipes. It shouldn’t be used for cooking since its high monounsaturated fat content makes it susceptible to oxidation at high temperatures.


4. Chia Seeds & Flaxseeds

These seeds contain a good amount of Omega-3s and are great to add to salads and smoothies! I don’t recommend flax or chia oil however, as the Omega-3 is easily corrupted by heat and oxygen and can quickly go rancid.

5. Macadamia Nut Oil & Walnut Oil

These are some of my favorite tasting oils, but it is expensive. It is great in salad dressings or mayo. It has a lot of monounsaturated fats and low levels of polyunsaturated fats.

6. Nuts

Most types of nuts (remember peanuts are not nuts) are a good source of protein and healthy fats and can be eaten in moderation without problem. Just check to make sure they haven’t been cooked in vegetable oils, which is often the case. Nuts also contain phytic acid, so consuming them in excess can be problematic for tooth and bone health unless you soak them.

And for those who choose to consume animal products then the following are recommended for their healthy fat profile:


7. Pasture Fed Cultured Dairy (Kefir, Yoghurt & Butter)

If you do consumer dairy then making sure it is organic / biodynamic, pasture fed and raw where possible is best. The cultured dairy products are by far easier to digest including yoghurt, kefir, cultured butter and cheese. When prepared in the traditional way using the best raw quality ingredients these foods can impart healthy fats including Vitamin D.

8. Pasture Raised Eggs

Another all-star in the healthy fats community, eggs are loaded with vitamins, healthy fats and necessary cholesterol. Make sure the eggs have been raised in a pastured environment so that the chickens are able to eat their natural wild diet of herbs, weeds and insects which is the basis for the rich omega-3 content in their eggs. Also, most of the beneficial fats are in the yoke and it is best kept gently cooked / under cooked.

9. Wild and Grass Fed Meats

Many meats have gotten a bad rap, and unfortunately, the animals most people eat have been as mistreated nutritionally which is one of the biggest problems. If you choose to eat meat then meats like grassfed beef and free range chicken can have a very different nutritional profile than their feedlot counterparts. Grassfed and free range meats have higher nutrient levels, healthy forms of saturated fats and even omega-3s.

10. Wild Fish

Fish are naturally high in Omega-3 fatty acids and can help improve the Omega-3/Omega-6 balance in the body. Look for sustainable wild caught sources, and stick to small fish to minimize mercury.

Monday, October 14, 2013

How To Protect Your Memory with Supplements

Reposted from Life Extension

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

You've probably had at least a few “senior moments” in your lifetime, who hasn't? Now this doesn't necessarily mean that you’ll develop Alzheimer’s disease; it just means that your brain has normal lapses just like everyone else’s.

So if you’re like most of us, you probably want to keep your brain as sharp as possible as the years go by. Keeping your precious memories within reach is pretty important, because after all, they help define the very essence of your being.

And since you’re never too young or too old to start, the best time to start protecting your memory is now.

So consider these three proven memory-boosting supplements sooner than later. Why? Because they actually work.

Memory Protector #1: Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Acetyl-L-carnitine is a combination of carnitine (an antioxidant found in red meat) and an acetyl group. You've probably heard of acetylcholine. It’s the neurotransmitter that regulates thought, learning, and memory. Well, acetyl-L-carnitine helps its production.

In one study, people supplementing with 1.5 to 2 grams of acetyl-L-carnitine daily showed improvement in memory scores.1 These individuals had mild cognitive impairment (MCT), a condition which involves some degree of memory loss but is not yet dementia. Acetyl-L-carnitine has also benefited early-stage Alzheimer’s patients.2

Memory Protector #2: Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a plant extract derived from Chinese club moss. It’s used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Huperzine A works in a similar fashion to certain Alzheimer’s drugs. It inhibits acetylcholinesterase,3 an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine.

Young, healthy adults taking huperzine A have experienced improved learning and memory.4 Older adults have experienced benefits as well.

In a review of four clinical trials, huperzine A was found to significantly improve cognitive scores in Alzheimer’s disease patients.5 It also improved the ability to perform activities of daily living.

Memory Protector #3: Magnesium L-Threonate

Magnesium L-threonate is a special type of magnesium that can easily cross the blood-brain barrier. This makes it unique because no other forms are known to cross easily.

In a study, animals given magnesium L-threonate experienced an 18% increase in short-term memory and a 100% increase for long-term memory.6 So how does it work?

Magnesium L-threonate increases synaptic density.7 These are the connections between neurons in the brain. The more connections, it’s believed, the better one’s memory, concentration, and attention span.

Magnesium L-threonate also protects the brain against oxidative stress, a process which destroys neurons. For this reason, we seriously suggest giving this one an extra look.

The Bottom Line

Remember — you’re never too young or too old to start taking care of your brain. Regardless of where you are in life, now is the time to start putting the health of yours into full focus.

So exercise your brain daily, take on new hobbies or learn something new, and consider giving some of the supplements mentioned in this post a try. Being proactive now could mean many more enjoyable years later, filled with the memories you've spent your life creating.

Have you been using any of the supplements we’ve mentioned above yourself? If so, please tell us what you think in the comments!


  1. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1994;20(4):169-76.
  2. Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova.2011;111(9):16-22.
  3. Nanomedicine. 2011 Feb;7(1):60-8.
  4. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1999 Jul;20(7):601-3.
  5. J Neural Transm. 2009 Apr;116(4):457-65.
  6. Neuron. 2010 Jan 28;65(2):165-77.
  7. J Neurosci. 2011 Oct 19;31(42):14871-81.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

How Resveratrol Combats Leading Causes of Death

Reposted from Life Extension

By Brian Vogelman
How Resveratrol Combats Leading Causes of Death
In 1997, the first scientific paper on resveratrol was published showing that this polyphenol could prevent cancer in experimental models.1
Since then, researchers have documented resveratrol’s ability to favorably modulate multiple processes associated with degenerative disease, from atherosclerosis to obesity.
What had been lacking was a systematic, comprehensive overview of the available data to determine the underlying mechanisms by which resveratrol exerts its anti-aging effect.
Until now!
In 2011, the findings of the 2010 Resveratrol Conference2 held in Denmark were published. Its primary objective was to examine the totality of the evidence for resveratrol’s disease-preventing role in aging humans. Nearly 3,700 published studies were analyzed.
In this article, you will discover the 12 mechanisms of action these experts identified by which resveratrol acts to combat the killer diseases of aging and delay the aging process itself.
You will also learn of the latest data on resveratrol’s multimodal power to protect cells, tissues, and organ systems against five leading causes of death among Americans, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
The participating scientists at the 2010 conference covered a broad range of research on the biological effects of resveratrol. Since 1997, roughly 3,650 studies on resveratrol have been published, all of which were reviewed.
Based on the most encouraging data, they focused specifically on resveratrol’s capacity to favorably modulate factors involved in cancer, heart disease, neurodegeneration, systemic inflammation, obesity, and diabetes.1,2
Out of this extensive analysis they isolated 12 mechanisms by which resveratrol exerts its anti-aging, disease-preventing effects (See table 1).
A thorough review of the literature was then undertaken to identify their relevance in onset of various forms of degenerative disease.
They found confirmatory evidence of resveratrol’s preventive role in five of the leading causes of death in maturing Americans (See table 2).

Heart Disease

Heart Disease
America’s number one killer is heart disease, which includes the conditions atherosclerosis, hypertension, heart attack, and heart failure.2,3 Resveratrol is known to reduce risks for all of these conditions by targeting multiple factors that set the stage for cardiovascular diseases.2
Recent studies confirm that a central mechanism of resveratrol’s activity is to mimic the biological effects of calorie restriction, which is known to extend life span in virtually all living organisms.4
Resveratrol helps to combat high blood pressure (hypertension) by a variety of mechanisms. It decreases inflammatory cell infiltration into blood vessel walls and improves those vessels’ ability to respond to changes in blood pressure.5 In addition, resveratrol has recently been shown to reduce the unfavorable remodeling and stiffening of blood vessels and heart muscle that results from sustained hypertension.5 Resveratrol also acts in the brainstem to reverse increases in blood pressure that are triggered by a variety of dietary and hormonal factors.6
Studies published in 2011 show that resveratrol helps mitigate the cholesterol elevations that result from obesity and a high-fat diet by directly regulating expression of genes that control lipid metabolism.7 Exposure to resveratrol triggers correction of abnormal fatty acid utilization, by inducing mitochondrial enzymes that help break down fat molecules.8 And in pigs with the equivalent of human metabolic syndrome, resveratrol supplementation lowered body mass indices, serum cholesterol, the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein, improved glucose tolerance and endothelial function.9
In the presence of sustained hypertension and/or elevated cholesterol and other fats, damage occurs to the delicate, reactive cells lining capillaries, known as endothelial cells. Endothelial dysfunction is a major contributor to heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure, and is an important target of cardiovascular disease prevention. New data show that resveratrol reduces the effects of both hypertension on endothelial cells and inhibits signs of endothelial dysfunction.10
Build-up of calcium in arteries is a major contributor to arterial stiffening and blockage that occurs fairly late in atherosclerosis.11 It also contributes to the inflammatory changes that exacerbate cardiovascular disease.12 Arterial calcification was formerly thought to be caused by passive accumulation of calcium, similar to mineral deposits in pipes. It is now known to be an active process whereby arterial cells “turn into” bone-forming cells as a result of age- and inflammation-induced genetic changes. Certain drugs, such as the now-withdrawn antidiabetic drug Avandia® (rosiglitazone), can hasten this destructive process.13 New data demonstrate that resveratrol slows or reverses the process by which arterial cells become “bone-like,” reducing the amount and extent of calcium build-up in arterial walls.11,13 Resveratrol limits the inflammation-inducing effects of calcium in cells lining blood vessels.12
In addition to elevated fat and calcium content in vessel walls, aggregation of clot-forming platelets contributes to arterial blockages resulting in heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events. New data now show that resveratrol inhibits the platelet aggregation that can trigger formation of a deadly blood clot.14
When an artery in the heart becomes blocked, blood flow to the heart is restricted, causing ischemic damage. Restoration of blood flow (reperfusion) makes matters worse, at first, by flooding the damaged tissue with oxygen free radicals. Sophisticated molecular probes have now revealed that resveratrol leaves a unique “footprint” in heart muscle that has been subjected to ischemia/reperfusion injury.15 The result is a considerable reduction in death (apoptosis) of cardiac cells following such an injury, and improved cardiovascular function.16
Resveratrol’s calorie restriction-mimicking effects directly improve mitochondrial function in energy-intensive heart muscle cells, making them beat more effectively and reducing their vulnerability to oxidative stress.4 Furthermore, we now understand that resveratrol produces cardioprotective effects in heart muscle cells that do undergo the massive oxidant stress of a heart attack or a serious infection.17
What you Need to Know: Resveratrol
  • A recent international conference devoted to the subject of resveratrol found that this natural polyphenol has 12 key mechanisms of action, each of which contributes to reduction in the impact of factors contributing to premature death.
  • Five of the leading causes of death may be prevented or mitigated by resveratrol supplementation, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
  • Resveratrol’s ability to modulate 5 leading causes of death, along with its longevity-promoting effects, makes it an important part of every wellness program.


More than half a million Americans die of cancer each year, despite considerable strides in our understanding of the disease.18 The very first scientific study of resveratrol showed a preventive effect on skin cancer,1 and since that time more than 1,100 papers have been published on the subject of cancers in general.2 Today’s experts refer to resveratrol as “a promising natural weapon in the war against cancer.”19
Breaking news since the 2010 Resveratrol Conference shows that resveratrol fights cancer on multiple levels.20 The following is a summary of the latest on resveratrol and cancer prevention.
Resveratrol can prevent dangerous DNA “adducts,” modified stretches of DNA that, un-repaired, can trigger a cell to become cancerous in the step known as cancer initiation.21
Once initiated, cancers grow by proliferation of abnormal cells. Resveratrol is a modest anti-proliferative agent, as new data show. Consumption of resveratrol by human colon cancer patients reduced tumor cell proliferation by 5% at a dose of 500 to 1,000 mg daily for 8 days prior to surgery.22 And resveratrol inhibits an important cancer cell signaling pathway called STAT3, further reducing cancerous proliferation, as was recently shown in certain brain cancer cells.23
The body naturally controls cancer growth through the process of apoptosis, by which cancer cells are triggered to die off. Proper apoptosis requires activation of important “suicide” genes found in all cancer cells. Resveratrol has recently been found to increase expression and activation of one important “suicide” pathway known as p53.24
Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) is important in growth and healing, but it also promotes cancer propagation once a malignancy has been initiated. A new human study showed that dosing with resveratrol at 2.5 grams/day (which is much higher than currently recommended) caused a significant decrease in circulating levels of IGF-1 and its binding protein, suggesting that suppression of IGF-1 may be involved in one of resveratrol’s anti-cancer mechanisms.25
Table 1: Resveratrol’s 12 Key Anti-Aging Mechanisms2
MechanismDiseases or
Conditions Affected
• Modulation of oxidation/
antioxidant status
All chronic disease
• Suppression
of inflammation
All chronic disease
• Mitochondrial protection
• Suppression of fat cell formation
and stimulation of fat breakdown
Obesity, diabetes,
cardiovascular disease
• Modulation of cell proliferation
and apoptosis (programmed cell death)
• Inhibition of metastasis
• Modulation of angiogenesis
(blood vessel formation)
• Modulation of DNA damage
• Modulation of foreign molecule
and toxin metabolism
• Modulation of glutamate
(excitatory neurotransmitter) metabolism
• Estrogenic activity/
anti-estrogenic activity
Multiple hormone-
dependent cancers
• Stimulation of
bone formation
Bone health
and osteoporosis
Resveratrol targets 12 key mechanisms to combat chronic, age-related diseases, including those that comprise the primary contributing factors to the leading causes of death.
Many carcinogens enter the body as “safe” compounds, but become modified by enzyme systems in the liver to trigger cancer. Interestingly, liver enzymes are responsible for detoxifying active carcinogens before they can cause harm. Resveratrol has recently been shown to favorably modulate both classes of enzymes, reducing activation of potential carcinogens while actively detoxifying known carcinogenic molecules.26
Inflammation is now widely recognized as a cancer-promoting event. New evidence shows how resveratrol reduces production of inflammatory molecules such as leukotrienes by inhibiting the enzymes that produce them.27,28 Inflammation is also important in promoting cancer spread, or metastasis. In a 2011 study, resveratrol remarkably inhibited invasion and spread of melanoma cells by up to 75%.20
A class of tiny strands of material called RNA, known as microRNAs, is known to regulate cancer cell growth and development. In new research, resveratrol shows the ability to modify the microRNA content of cells, up-regulating cancer-suppressing microRNAs, while down-regulating cancer-promoting ones.29-31
As tumors grow, they stimulate new blood vessel growth to support their ravenous needs for nutrients. Inhibiting this process, known as angiogenesis, has become a major target of cancer prevention and treatment. Resveratrol, in recent studies, has been shown to stimulate new blood vessels in healthy tissue, but to inhibit their growth in malignant melanoma cell cultures as well as in whole tumors.32,33
All of this means resveratrol is reaching the level of large-scale clinical trials by mainstream physicians. Phase I, “dose-finding” studies have now been completed that validate resveratrol’s safety even at very high levels of up to 5 grams (this does not mean people should take this high dose yet).25,34


Strokes are caused by many of the same vascular changes that trigger heart attacks: atherosclerosis, plaque formation, and ultimately blood vessel occlusion that deprive brain tissue of vital blood flow. In addition, aging and certain conditions like diabetes cause brain blood vessels to lose their ability to dilate and increase blood flow as needed, exacerbating damage caused during a stroke. When blood flow is restored after the acute blood vessel blockage is resolved, oxygen free radicals occur abundantly and cause the final destruction of brain tissue. That process is known as ischemia/reperfusion injury.
Resveratrol protects brain tissue from ischemia/reperfusion injury, according to a host of recently-released studies.35 Researchers at Johns Hopkins showed that resveratrol induces production of the enzyme heme oxygenase, which is protective against oxidative stress.36,37 Furthermore, resveratrol protects vulnerable mitochondria during ischemia/reperfusion injury, allowing them to continue their important job of providing cells with energy.38
During the acute phase of a stroke, excitatory neurotransmitters such as glutamate are released in large amounts.39 This release then triggers acute and chronic damage to brain cells. Researchers have now shown that resveratrol significantly prevents dangerous glutamate release following a stroke.39
Finally, new data show that treating diabetic animals with resveratrol restores the responsiveness of their brain arteries to blood flow variations.40 That allows them to re-direct blood flow to vital areas blocked by the stroke.
The combined effect of these mechanisms is to reduce the size of a stroke significantly.41 Remarkably, this protection even occurs when resveratrol is given up to 6 hours after the stroke begins.41 Some experts are now hailing that discovery as evidence that resveratrol may be a potent new drug for use in treatment of acute ischemic stroke.41 Nonetheless, the strongest and most recent evidence suggests that resveratrol used regularly in advance of a stroke provides the best tolerance to an ischemic event if and when one should arise.42,43
Table 2: Sufficient Evidence Exists for Resveratrol’s
Protective Effects in 5 Leading Causes of Death2
Heart diseaseReduces incidence of hypertension,
heart failure, ischemia (loss of blood flow)
StrokeReduces incidence of hypertension,
ischemia, neuroprotective
Neurodegenerative diseases
(e.g., Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), brain injury
Diabetes (and obesity)Improves insulin sensitivity, reduces blood glucose levels, reduces high-fat diet-induced obesity and visceral (abdominal) fat
Resveratrol targets 12 key mechanisms to combat chronic age-related diseases, including those that comprise the primary contributing factors to the leading causes of death.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease
Nearly 75,000 Americans die annually from Alzheimer’s disease, and more than 230,000 others suffer dementia severe enough to require nursing home care.44 Recent studies suggest that resveratrol holds promise in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.45 New science reveals in great detail how resveratrol acts through activation of the “longevity gene” SIRT-1, which triggers many favorable events that may help prevent Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.35,46-48
Much of resveratrol’s neuroprotection arises from its ability to interfere in the cascade of events caused by accumulation of abnormal proteins known as amyloid-beta.49 Amyloid-beta triggers oxidative stress and inflammation that directly damages brain cells, especially in memory centers of the brain. That’s why Alzheimer’s patients have such profound and progressive memory loss.
Resveratrol inhibits amyloid-beta toxicity at multiple points in the cascade.49 Resveratrol acts as a powerful antioxidant, scavenging oxygen free radicals and inducing protective enzymes such as heme oxygenase.36,50 Two recent studies demonstrated that the addition of melatonin synergistically enhances resveratrol’s neuroprotective effects.45,51
New data also show that resveratrol can prevent amyloid-beta molecules from clumping together into damaging oligomers, or small collections of individual molecules.48,52 That action significantly prevents amyloid-beta damage. Exciting new studies also show that resveratrol can remodel existing oligomers into non-toxic forms.53
Studies released in 2010 revealed that, by activating specific intracellular signaling pathways, resveratrol can reduce toxicity caused by the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate.54 Glutamate toxicity is thought to be a major trigger for Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
An intriguing study published in late 2010 demonstrated that, by protecting brain mitochondria, the combination of resveratrol and mitochondria-targeted antioxidants could restore normal function in an experimental model of Alzheimer’s.55 That effect in turn produced new outgrowth of the tiny intercellular connections known as neurites, which are damaged or lost in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.55
Finally, an important recent study showed that orally administered resveratrol achieves effective concentrations in brain tissue, meaning it crosses the blood-brain barrier that keeps so many other potentially beneficial compounds out. This finding has important implications for future research into resveratrol’s role in protection against neurodegenerative disease.56


Diabetes is one of the most preventable chronic conditions known. It kills more than 70,000 Americans annually, and its complications impair function in hundreds of thousands more.3 Overweight and obesity, conditions that cause many cases of diabetes, now occur in nearly 70% of Americans, and contribute to untold numbers of additional untimely deaths.57 Resveratrol’s actions have been shown to protect against the development and consequences of this deadly condition.
High blood sugar, both chronically and acutely following a meal, exerts massive oxidative stress on body proteins, ultimately changing their structure and inducing inflammation. It’s these changes that produce diabetic complications. New studies show that resveratrol, by activating the important SIRT-1 system, inhibits cellular oxidative stress and resulting inflammation in diabetes.58,59
Resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity through its effects on SIRT-1.58,60 New, highly detailed data reveal that these benefits arise from resveratrol’s ability to stimulate metabolic sensing pathways in cells that allow them to use insulin and glucose more effectively, helping to reduce blood sugar levels.61
Glucose-damaged blood vessels lose their ability to regulate blood flow in brain and heart tissue, contributing to heart attack and stroke damage. Chronic resveratrol treatment has recently been found to restore blood vessel responsiveness in diabetic animals.40
As a result of these basic mechanisms, resveratrol is showing promise in protecting against virtually all forms of diabetic complications. Resveratrol may be beneficial in treating or preventing diabetic foot syndrome, a devastating loss of nerve function and blood flow that results in thousands of amputations annually.62 Resveratrol treatment retarded progression of diabetic kidney disease through modulation of oxidative stress and inflammation in a 2011 animal study.63 Muscle wasting and deranged lipid metabolism are common in diabetes; resveratrol ameliorated both issues in one recent study.64 Abnormal blood vessel leakiness is a major cause of diabetic eye disease, a condition that can now be blocked by resveratrol treatment in an animal model of early diabetes.65


A 2010 international conference found that resveratrol operates via twelve key mechanisms to combat five of the ten leading age-related causes of death in the US.
Studies released since that time further clarify and amplify the power of resveratrol to prevent, and in some cases reverse, the biological changes associated with chronic disease and aging. Compelling evidence is now available for resveratrol’s ability to favorably modulate factors implicated in the onset of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
1. Jang M, Cai L, Udeani GO, et al. Cancer chemopreventive activity of resveratrol, a natural product derived from grapes. Science. 1997 Jan 10;275(5297):218-20.
2. Vang O, Ahmad N, Baile CA, et al. What is new for an old molecule? Systematic review and recommendations on the use of resveratrol. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e19881.
3. Available at: Accessed August 31, 2011.
4. Dolinsky VW, Dyck JR. Calorie restriction and resveratrol in cardiovascular health and disease. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Jul 1.
5. Chan V, Fenning A, Iyer A, Hoey A, Brown L. Resveratrol improves cardiovascular function in DOCA-salt hypertensive rats. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2011 Mar 1;12(3):429-36.
6. Subramanian M, Balasubramanian P, Garver H, et al. Chronic estradiol-17beta exposure increases superoxide production in the rostral ventrolateral medulla and causes hypertension: reversal by resveratrol. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Jun;300(6):R1560-8.
7. Azorin-Ortuno M, Yanez-Gascon MJ, Gonzalez-Sarrias A, et al. Effects of long-term consumption of low doses of resveratrol on diet-induced mild hypercholesterolemia in pigs: a transcriptomic approach to disease prevention. J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Aug 16.
8. Bastin J, Lopes-Costa A, Djouadi F. Exposure to resveratrol triggers pharmacological correction of fatty acid utilization in human fatty acid oxidation-deficient fibroblasts. Hum Mol Genet. 2011 May 15;20(10):2048-57.
9. Robich MP, Osipov RM, Chu LM, et al. Resveratrol modifies risk factors for coronary artery disease in swine with metabolic syndrome and myocardial ischemia. Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug 16;664(1-3):45-53.
10. Xia L, Ding F, Zhu JH, Fu GS. Resveratrol attenuates apoptosis of pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells induced by high shear stress and proinflammatory factors. Hum Cell. 2011 Sep 3.
11. Takemura A, Iijima K, Ota H, et al. Sirtuin 1 retards hyperphosphatemia-induced calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2011 Sep;31(9):2054-62.
12. Gutierrez-Perez A, Cortes-Rojo C, Noriega-Cisneros R, et al. Protective effects of resveratrol on calcium-induced oxidative stress in rat heart mitochondria. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2011 Apr;43(2):101-7.
13. Bruedigam C, Eijken M, Koedam M, Chiba H, van Leeuwen JP. Opposing actions of rosiglitazone and resveratrol on mineralization in human vascular smooth muscle cells. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2011 Jul 28.
14. Yang Y, Wang X, Zhang L, An H, Zao Z. Inhibitory effects of resveratrol on platelet activation induced by thromboxane a(2) receptor agonist in human platelets. Am J Chin Med. 2011;39(1):145-59.
15. Mukhopadhyay P, Pacher P, Das DK. MicroRNA signatures of resveratrol in the ischemic heart. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Jan;1215:109-16.
16. Usta E, Mustafi M, Walker T, Ziemer G. Resveratrol suppresses apoptosis in intact human cardiac tissue - in vitro model simulating extracorporeal circulation. J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 2011 Jun;52(3):399-409.
17. Sebai H, Sani M, Aouani E, Ghanem-Boughanmi N. Cardioprotective effect of resveratrol on lipopolysaccharide-induced oxidative stress in rat. Drug Chem Toxicol. 2011 Apr;34(2):146-50.
18. Available at: Accessed August 31, 2011.
19. Shukla Y, Singh R. Resveratrol and cellular mechanisms of cancer prevention. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Jan;1215:1-8.
20. Salado C, Olaso E, Gallot N, et al. Resveratrol prevents inflammation-dependent hepatic melanoma metastasis by inhibiting the secretion and effects of interleukin-18. J Transl Med. 2011;9:59.
21. Zahid M, Saeed M, Beseler C, Rogan EG, Cavalieri EL. Resveratrol and N-acetylcysteine block the cancer-initiating step in MCF-10F cells. Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 Jan 1;50(1):78-85.
22. Patel KR, Brown VA, Jones DJ, et al. Clinical pharmacology of resveratrol and its metabolites in colorectal cancer patients. Cancer Res. 2010 Oct 1;70(19):7392-9.
23. Yang YP, Chang YL, Huang PI, et al. Resveratrol suppresses tumorigenicity and enhances radiosensitivity in primary glioblastoma tumor initiating cells by inhibiting the STAT3 axis. J Cell Physiol. 2011 Apr 18.
24. Hsieh TC, Wong C, Bennett DJ, Wu JM. Regulation of p53 and cell proliferation by resveratrol and its derivatives in breast cancer cells: An in silico and biochemical approach targeting integrin alphavbeta3. Int J Cancer. 2011 Jan 10.
25. Brown VA, Patel KR, Viskaduraki M, et al. Repeat dose study of the cancer chemopreventive agent resveratrol in healthy volunteers: safety, pharmacokinetics, and effect on the insulin-like growth factor axis. Cancer Res. 2010 Nov 15;70(22):9003-11.
26. Chow HH, Garland LL, Hsu CH, et al. Resveratrol modulates drug- and carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes in a healthy volunteer study. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2010 Sep;3(9):1168-75.
27. Chatterjee M, Das S, Janarthan M, Ramachandran HK. Role of 5-lipoxygenase in resveratrol mediated suppression of 7,12-dimethylbenz(alpha)anthracene-induced mammary carcinogenesis in rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Oct 1;668(1-2):99-106.
28. Oi N, Jeong CH, Nadas J, et al. Resveratrol, a red wine polyphenol, suppresses pancreatic cancer by inhibiting leukotriene ahydrolase. Cancer Res. 2010 Dec 1;70(23):9755-64.
29. Tili E, Michaille JJ. Resveratrol, microRNAs, inflammation, and cancer. J Nucleic Acids. 2011;2011:102431.
30. Tili E, Michaille JJ, Adair B, et al. Resveratrol decreases the levels of miR-155 by upregulating miR-663, a microRNA targeting JunB and JunD. Carcinogenesis. 2010 Sep;31(9):1561-6.
31. Tili E, Michaille JJ, Alder H, et al. Resveratrol modulates the levels of microRNAs targeting genes encoding tumor-suppressors and effectors of TGFbeta signaling pathway in SW480 cells. Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 Dec 15;80(12):2057-65.
32. Trapp V, Parmakhtiar B, Papazian V, Willmott L, Fruehauf JP. Anti-angiogenic effects of resveratrol mediated by decreased VEGF and increased TSP1 expression in melanoma-endothelial cell co-culture. Angiogenesis. 2010 Dec;13(4):305-15.
33. Kunimasa K, Ohta T, Tani H, et al. Resveratrol derivative-rich melinjo (Gnetum gnemon L.) seed extract suppresses multiple angiogenesis-related endothelial cell functions and tumor angiogenesis. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Sep 21.
34. la Porte C, Voduc N, Zhang G, et al. Steady-State pharmacokinetics and tolerability of trans-resveratrol 2000 mg twice daily with food, quercetin and alcohol (ethanol) in healthy human subjects. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2010 Jul 1;49(7):449-54.
35. Albani D, Polito L, Signorini A, Forloni G. Neuroprotective properties of resveratrol in different neurodegenerative disorders. Biofactors. 2010 Sep;36(5):370-6.
36. Bastianetto S, Quirion R. Heme oxygenase 1: another possible target to explain the neuroprotective action of resveratrol, a multifaceted nutrient-based molecule. Exp Neurol. 2010 Oct;225(2):237-9.
37. Sakata Y, Zhuang H, Kwansa H, Koehler RC, Dore S. Resveratrol protects against experimental stroke: putative neuroprotective role of heme oxygenase 1. Exp Neurol. 2010 Jul;224(1):325-9.
38. Agrawal M, Kumar V, Kashyap MP, Khanna VK, Randhawa GS, Pant AB. Ischemic insult induced apoptotic changes in PC12 cells: protection by trans resveratrol. Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;666(1-3):5-11.
39. Li C, Yan Z, Yang J, et al. Neuroprotective effects of resveratrol on ischemic injury mediated by modulating the release of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator in rats. Neurochem Int. 2010 Feb;56(3):495-500.
40. Arrick DM, Sun H, Patel KP, Mayhan WG. Chronic resveratrol treatment restores vascular responsiveness of cerebral arterioles in type 1 diabetic rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2011 Sep;301(3):H696-703.
41. Shin JA, Lee H, Lim YK, Koh Y, Choi JH, Park EM. Therapeutic effects of resveratrol during acute periods following experimental ischemic stroke. J Neuroimmunol. 2010 Oct 8;227(1-2):93-100.
42. Saleh MC, Connell BJ, Saleh TM. Resveratrol preconditioning induces cellular stress proteins and is mediated via NMDA and estrogen receptors. Neuroscience. 2010 Mar 17;166(2):445-54.
43. Zhang F, Wu Y. Resveratrol may be an effective prophylactic agent for ischemic stroke. J Formos Med Assoc. 2011 Aug;110(8):485-6.
44. Available at: Accessed August 31, 2011.
45. Kwon KJ, Kim HJ, Shin CY, Han SH. Melatonin potentiates the neuroprotective properties of resveratrol against beta-amyloid-induced neurodegeneration by modulating AMP-activated protein kinase pathways. J Clin Neurol. 2010 Sep;6(3):127-37.
46. Sun AY, Wang Q, Simonyi A, Sun GY. Resveratrol as a therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative diseases. Mol Neurobiol. 2010 Jun;41(2-3):375-83.
47. Wang J, Fivecoat H, Ho L, Pan Y, Ling E, Pasinetti GM. The role of Sirt1: at the crossroad between promotion of longevity and protection against Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Aug;1804(8):1690-4.
48. Albani D, Polito L, Forloni G. Sirtuins as novel targets for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders: experimental and genetic evidence. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;19(1):11-26.
49. Feng Y, Wang XP, Yang SG, et al. Resveratrol inhibits beta-amyloid oligomeric cytotoxicity but does not prevent oligomer formation. Neurotoxicology. 2009 Nov;30(6):986-95.
50. Granzotto A, Zatta P. Resveratrol acts not through anti-aggregative pathways but mainly via its scavenging properties against Abeta and Abeta-metal complexes toxicity. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21565.
51. Kwon KJ, Kim JN, Kim MK, et al. Melatonin synergistically increases resveratrol-induced heme oxygenase-1 expression through the inhibition of ubiquitin-dependent proteasome pathway: a possible role in neuroprotection. J Pineal Res. 2011 Mar;50(2):110-23.
52. Richard T, Pawlus AD, Iglesias ML, et al. Neuroprotective properties of resveratrol and derivatives. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Jan;1215:103-8.
53. Ladiwala AR, Lin JC, Bale SS, et al. Resveratrol selectively remodels soluble oligomers and fibrils of amyloid Abeta into off-pathway conformers. J Biol Chem. 2010 Jul 30;285(31):24228-37.
54. Lee EO, Park HJ, Kang JL, Kim HS, Chong YH. Resveratrol reduces glutamate-mediated monocyte chemotactic protein-1 expression via inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 pathway in rat hippocampal slice cultures. J Neurochem. 2010 Mar;112(6):1477-87.
55. Manczak M, Mao P, Calkins MJ, et al. Mitochondria-targeted antioxidants protect against amyloid-beta toxicity in Alzheimer’s disease neurons. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 2:S609-31.
56. Vingtdeux V, Giliberto L, Zhao H, et al. AMP-activated protein kinase signaling activation by resveratrol modulates amyloid-beta peptide metabolism. J Biol Chem. 2010 Mar 19;285(12):9100-13.
57. Available at: Accessed August 31, 2011.
58. Yun JM, Chien A, Jialal I, Devaraj S. Resveratrol up-regulates SIRT1 and inhibits cellular oxidative stress in the diabetic milieu: mechanistic insights. J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Aug 1.
59. Ghanim H, Sia CL, Abuaysheh S, et al. An antiinflammatory and reactive oxygen species suppressive effects of an extract of Polygonum cuspidatum containing resveratrol. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Sep;95(9):E1-8.
60. Knight CM, Gutierrez-Juarez R, Lam TK, et al. Mediobasal Hypothalamic Sirtuin 1 Is Essential for Resveratrol’s Effects on Insulin Action in Rats. Diabetes. 2011 Sep 6.
61. Brasnyo P, Molnar GA, Mohas M, et al. Resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity, reduces oxidative stress and activates the Akt pathway in type 2 diabetic patients. Br J Nutr. 2011 Aug;106(3):383-9.
62. Bashmakov YK, Assaad-Khalil S, Petyaev IM. Resveratrol may be beneficial in treatment of diabetic foot syndrome. Med Hypotheses. 2011 Sep;77(3):364-7.
63. Chang CC, Chang CY, Wu YT, Huang JP, Yen TH, Hung LM. Resveratrol retards progression of diabetic nephropathy through modulations of oxidative stress, proinflammatory cytokines, and AMP-activated protein kinase. J Biomed Sci. 2011;18(1):47.
64. Chen KH, Cheng ML, Jing YH, Chiu DT, Shiao MS, Chen JK. Resveratrol ameliorates metabolic disorders and muscle wasting in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jul 26.
65. Kim YH, Kim YS, Roh GS, Choi WS, Cho GJ. Resveratrol blocks diabetes-induced early vascular lesions and vascular endothelial growth factor induction in mouse retinas. Acta Ophthalmol. 2011 Sep 13.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How To Eat When Battling Cancer

Reposted from Life Extension

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RNA cancer diagnosis is probably just about the scariest news anyone could ever receive in their life. It can also be very confusing. There’s tons of information to weed through and it’s very easy to become overwhelmed, scared, and discouraged.

As such, here’s an attempt to simplify the basics of a critical component for anyone following a cancer diagnosis — your nutrition.

A healthy, nutritious diet is really important when you’re being treated for cancer. It can make a big impact on the outcome of your treatments and your quality of life. So, it’s essential that you take your diet very seriously during this time.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, we really hope this helps to take some of the guesswork out of the equation.

Eat Fresh Vegetables

According to research, eating fruits and vegetables could lower one’s overall risk of dying from cancer.1 So, they should form the foundation of your diet. In particular, pay extra attention to cruciferous vegetables (e.g. kale, broccoli, radishes, and cauliflower). They’re notable for their anti-cancer properties.

Specific compounds in cruciferous vegetables have been shown to kill ovarian, prostate, lung, and breast cancer cells in culture.2-5 In one study, eating broccoli was associated with an increased rate of survival in bladder cancer patients.6

Avoid Sugar

Avoid refined carbohydrates, sweets, and foods with added sweeteners. They contain simple carbohydrates which are quickly broken down into sugar.

Cancer cells thrive on sugar, and insulin (a glucose-transporter) is a growth factor for many tumors.7 In animal studies, low carb diets have been associated with slowed tumor growth.8

Be careful with juicing. It’s a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, but it can also be a source of excess sugar (if you’re juicing fruits). Eat whole fruits instead.

Cut Back on Inflammatory Foods

Cancer is inflammatory in nature. In fact, it’s believed that 95% of cancers involve nuclear factor-kappa B, a key orchestrator of inflammation. 9
Cut back on animal products (meat, chicken, and dairy). They’re a source of omega-6 fatty acids and saturated fats. In the body, they’re processed and converted into 5-LOX, an inflammatory enzyme linked to cancer development and proliferation.10

Eat anti-inflammatory foods instead. Flax seeds, chia seeds, tart cherries, olives, soy, seaweed, dark fruits, berries, cold water fish, green tea, ginger, and nuts are just to name a few. And let’s not forget, omega-3s which help to ease inflammation.

Eat Immune Boosting Foods

Incorporate immune boosting foods into your diet. These include garlic, onions, ginger, green tea, yogurt, oats, barley, and mushrooms.

Maitake and shiitake mushrooms, for example, contain beta glucans and other polysaccharides with immune stimulating properties. These natural compounds activate key players in the immune system to prevent the proliferation and spread of cancer cells.11

Add Turmeric to Your Dishes

Add turmeric to your dishes. Not only does it add color, it adds nutritional value as well. Its key ingredient, curcumin, has been shown to fight cancer in a number of studies.12

Clinical trials are in the early stages, but so far compelling results have been seen for cancers of the breast, uterus, cervix, prostate, and GI tract.

Take Your Supplements

A variety of supplements may help during cancer treatments. For example, higher vitamin D levels have been associated with higher rates of survival among colorectal cancer patients.13
However, since supplementation can be tricky for cancer patients, it’s best to receive personalized suggestions before starting a new program. And just in case you didn't already know, we have a team of oncology health advisors on staff that can help with just that.

If you’d like some guidance, consider giving them a call at 1-800-226-2370 (yes, it's free)!


  1. Am J Epidemiol. 2004 Dec 15;160(12):1223-33.
  2. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2007 Oct;86(10):1263-8.
  3. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47186.
  4. J Nat Prod. 2008 Nov;71(11):1911-4.
  5. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2004 Sep;229(8):835-42.
  6. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Jul;19(7):1806-11.
  7. Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Dec;2(4):315-29.
  8. Prostate. 2013 Apr;73(5):449-54.
  9. Mol Cell Biochem. 2010 Mar;336(1-2):25-37.
  10. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2007 Dec;26(3-4):503-24.
  11. Int Immunopharmacol. 2007 Jun;7(6):701-24.
  12. Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2012 Jan 1;4:335-55.
  13. Br J Cancer. 2009 Sep 15;101(6):916-23.