Every year hundreds of the world’s top cancer scientists converge to discuss the latest on diet and cancer. What can you learn from them?
First some background. We all have cancer cells in our body. With cancer, the quantity is what makes the difference. One cancer cell never hurts anyone, and neither will a few cancer cells. However, with a billion cancer cells you got yourself into trouble. Since we all have cells that could potentially grow into tumors, our goal should be to slow and reverse the division of cancer cells. This way our immune systems might be able to clean them up before it is too late.
Every time cancer cells double, the tumor they consist of doubles in size. They need to double only about 30 times, and we’re up to a billion cancer cells. This is a tumor just large enough to be picked up by a woman’s yearly mammogram. For a cell to double once it takes 25-1,000 days. So from the time the first cell gets mutated it usually takes years until it is a tumor we can actually observe (the shortest known interval between exposure to a carcinogen and cancer is about 18 months which is when the first leukemia cases started appearing after Hiroshima).
How can we slow down and reverse cancer while it is still microscopic?
Certain cancer tissues tend to be sensitive to growth supporting steroid hormones like estrogen, so one way would be to decrease our levels of these steroid hormones. UCLA scientists placed women on a plant based diet with exercise and the levels of all measured growth hormones in their blood dropped dramatically. But the exciting thing about their study is what they did next. Before and after the dietary change was initiated the researchers drew blood from the women and dripped it on live human breast cancer cells growing in a petri dish. After just two weeks the blood of the women on the plant based diet reduced the cancer growth rate by 20%. Just two weeks on a plant based diet and the blood circulating in their entire bodies was very inhospitable to cancer.
This and other evidence suggest that whole plant-based food can prevent, treat, slow, and even reverse cancer. It is recommended that you consume atlas 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Watch the video to learn more about slowing the growth of cancer.
Barnard RJ, Gonzalez JH, Liva ME, Ngo TH. Effects of a low-fat, high-fiber diet and exercise program on breast cancer risk factors in vivo and tumor cell growth and apoptosis in vitro. Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(1):28-34.