(BeWellBuzz) We know how cancer has the deadly ability to spread right across our body, penetrating into other organs and tissues apart from the effected one. Perhaps, it might not be cancer itself, but such metastasis that makes it one of the most dreaded human illnesses of all. Before we go any further and understand what facilitates this multiplication and whether we can reduce its pace, let’s briefly look at what is metastasis.
The cancer cells in the human body have the ability to penetrate into your lymphatic and blood vessels and get into your bloodstream. Once done, these cells then manage to invade and grow in the other tissues and organs in your body. This process of metastasis is what makes cancer an almost fatal illness.
Angiogenesis – Facilitating Multiplication
Now that we know what metastasis is and how cancer grows in your body, it helps to know the factors that facilitate this growth and whether there is anything that can be done to inhibit or stop such multiplication of the cancer cells.
Well, as we just studied, metastasis takes place through the growth of a network of new blood vessels which allow the impact to travel through your body. This process of growth of blood vessels is called angiogenesis.
In the specific context of cancer, it is this mechanism that explains:
- How the network of blood vessels grows
- How they penetrate into cancer growths
- How they feed cancer by supplying nutrients and oxygen to the cancerous growths
In other words, angiogenesis is the process which enables a small, localized tumor to proliferate into a cancerous tumor that has the ability to grow and spread to the other parts of the body.
Inhibitors of Angiogenesis
The knowledge of what facilitates angiogenesis points towards a very positive stream of hope in the entire regimen of cancer treatment. Armed with the fact that there are certain factors that pave the way for such angiogenesis, scientists are now looking at the opposite end. In their pursuit to find new breakthroughs in cancer treatment, experts are now making an attempt identify the active angiogenesis inhibitors. Research is beginning to show that these inhibitors, either in the form of medications or in the shape of our diet can work well to stop the proliferation of cancer cells and prevent them from multiplying in our body.
In fact, here it is of interest to know that as a process, angiogenesis is actually an important natural mechanism, facilitating healing and reproduction within the body. When the natural pace of this process is disturbed, the result is either an over activity or under activity of the mechanism. Current medical research aims to restore such original balance of the process of angiogenesis in the body by restricting or stimulating its pace.
In the section that follows, we will closely look at how our diet influences the pace of angiogenesis and hence the spread of cancer. We will also look at another innovative finding which states how we can eat to inhibit angiogenesis, cut off the supply that feeds the process and eventually stop the growth of cancer.
Food – The natural inhibitor of angiogenesis?
What we eat influences the way angiogenesis impacts our body. The normal norm of a dietary guideline for any disease would be to perhaps cut down on certain parts of your diet. However, research shows that to stop or reduce angiogenesis and hence cancer, there are foods you can actually eat that will starve the blood vessels from their supply of nutrition, consequently inhibiting the cancer growth.
Such foods, comprising of a range of spices, fruits, vegetables and beverages are regarded as the natural inhibitors of angiogenesis and restricting agents of cancer.
A recent European study revealed that people who consumed higher amounts of cheese faced a lower risk of lung and prostate cancer, especially the specific types of European cheeses, such as the Swiss Emmental, Dutch Gouda and Jarlsberg. A yet another study of such foods show how men who consumed 2-3 servings of cooked tomatoes every week actually had a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer by a whopping 40-50%. Similarly, consumption of resveratol, an extract of red grapes, also found in red wine is believed to inhibit abnormal angiogenesis by at least 60%.
In fact, some cases, such foods with antiangiogenic properties have actually been more effective in fighting cancer than drugs themselves.
5 Top Antiangiogenic Foods
Here, let’s take a look at some of the key antiangiogenic foods and beverages which are increasingly being seen as potent agents against angiogenesis. Including such cancer fighting foods in your regular diet will successfully cut off the supply of nutrition and starve off cancer.
Fresh fruits, especially when had in concentrated forms of extracts are known to be highly antiangiogenic. Most important amongst these include:
- Cara cara Oranges
- Red grapes
As with fresh fruits, a host of fresh vegetables are known to be effective in fighting off cancer by diminish the supply of nutrition to the blood vessels. The main ones include:
- Maltake mushroom
Herbs and Spices
Perhaps one of the most natural forms of cancer-fighting foods, these herbs and spices carry powerful antiangiogenic properties. A few important ones include:
Some of the most common beverages that might have a diminishing impact on angiogenesis include:
- Green tea
- Red wine
A few other commonly used food groups include:
- Olive oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Dark chocolate
Watch this TED talk with William Li about Cancer Prevention with Angiogenesis