Modified citrus pectin is currently a source of much interest among cancer researchers. It has demonstrated its usefulness in helping prevent cancers from spreading (metastasizing) as well as helping to kill existing cancer cells.
Citrus pectin comes from the pulp and peals of various citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and tangerines. It is a complex polysaccharide composed of long chains of sugar carbohydrates. In it’s long chain form it is practically indigestible and functions as fiber. Citrus pectin is “modified” by chemicals or heat to produce shorter chain molecules that dissolve much better in water and more easily enter the blood stream through the digestive tract.
How Modified Citrus Pectin Prevents Cancer From Spreading
Essential oils are natural, highly concentrated organic compounds in plants that give them a strong fragrance. They are found in all parts of the plant, including roots, stems, twigs, bark, wood, leaves, buds, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Scientific study has found many uses for essential oils including many healthhy effects you can benefit from.
Essential oils were the original drugs used as cures for various diseases. By the 13th century they were being made by pharmacies in the East and their effects were well documented. By the 16th century they were plentiful in Europe and England. In the 17th century, pharmacies in France were stocking 15 to 20 different oils.
Essential oils are currently used most extensively in the fragrance and flavor industry. Aromatherapy is now a minor use, amounting to just a few percent of the total essential oil market.
Plants use essential oils to further their propagation by attracting pollinators and to protect their life by repelling harmful insects and warding off mold, fungi and bacteria. Each plant has a unique blend of approximately 20 to 60 compounds in its essential oil. The specific compounds and the concentrations of those compounds define the effects of the oil.
Eat healthy foods. This means plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoid processed meats and, if you must drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
Avoid obesity. Maintain a healthy weight and get plenty of exercise.
Avoid overexposure to the sun. Skin cancer is a common form of cancer.
Avoid carcinogens. These include viruses, bacteria, and parasites as well as air, water and soil pollution.
Avoid a compromised immune system.
Some Cancer Prevention Research to Keep in Mind
Eat Your Veggies
One study published in the journal Epidemiology studied how fruits and vegetables affected rates of cancer of the colon, rectum, and breast. The authors indicated that carotenoids, flavonoids, phenols, isothiocynates, fiber, and vitamins C and E could have anti-carcinogenic effects.
They found that raw carrots were the only vegetable that lowered cancer risks by 20% or more for all three types of cancer. They also found that apples, pears, and kiwi were associated with at least a 5% risk reduction for all three cancer types.
Overall high intake of raw vegetables lowered risks by 20% for colon cancer, 18% for cancer of the rectum, and 15% for breast cancer.
Cooked vegetables also reduced risks by 28% for colon cancer, 20% for cancer of the rectum, and 4% for breast cancer.
Watch Out for Sugar
Cancer cells love glucose (blood sugar). They take in and metabolize glucose faster than normal cells.
This fact allows positron emission tomography (PET) scans to detect cancerous tumors without invasive operations. This is possible by giving the patient a glucose analogue of slightly radioactive FDG, The cancer cells suck this up and it accumulates in cancerous tumors and can easily be detected in a PET scan.
Another study published in the journal Cancer investigated various glucose transport mechanisms in human breast cancer.
Glucose transport across cell boundaries is performed with the help of various protein enzymes. They found that the so-called Glut-1, Glut-2 and Glut-4 protein enzymes were active in breast cancer, but Glut-3 and Glut-5 mechanisms were not as active. Glut-1 was the most actives means of taking glucose into breast cancer cells. Such studies can help identify ways to slow down or inhibit the sugar feeding of cancer cells.
Another study published in the British Journal of Cancer looked at breast cancer rates in various countries. The researchers found that the rate of breast cancer in older women (aged 65-69) were positively correlated with sugar and fat consumption.
Yet another study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined risks for pancreatic cancer and consumption of sugar sweetened foods. The study looked at 77,797 women and men.
This study found that those who consumed the most sugar were 1.95 times as likely to get pancreatic cancer as those consuming the least amount of sugar. Similarly for soft drinks, those who consumed most were 2.3 times as likely to get pancreatic cancer as those who consumed the fewest soft drinks.
The researchers thought that high levels of blood glucose created oxidative stress which resulted in free radical damage to the pancreatic cells. The idea is that the regions of the pancreas produce hormones have low concentrations of antioxidant enzymes. Thus, they are especially susceptible to glucose created free radicals.
Yet another study published in the British Medical Journal examined how the consumption of sugar and fat affected the risk of colorectal cancer.
They found that the overall calorie intake of those with large bowel cancer was 18% higher than their control group without cancer. Those with cancer consumed 21% more carbohydrates than those without cancer.
The cancer patients consumed 41% more sugars with little or no fiber and 19% less natural sugars with fiber. They found that the third of the study group consuming the most refined sugars (with high energy to fiber ratios) had an 8 times greater risk of contracting large bowel cancer than those in the lower third of refined sugar consumption.
If you’re not convinced already, another study published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control looked at the medical history of 98,030 women aged 55 to 69 years in Iowa. These women were mailed a questionnaire on known and suspected cancer risk-factors.
They found that BMI was related directly to cancer risk. Cancer risk for 60% of the women with the highest BMIs was from 40 to 70 percent higher than for those in the lowest 40% of BMIs. There was also double the risk of colon cancer in women consuming the most sucrose-containing foods.
You Can Stop Cancer Before it Starts
Research tells us not only the causes of cancer, but how to prevent many cancers types.
Cancer prevention strategies include consuming healthy fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed sugars that are depleted of fiber.
Unfortunately, this requires some effort on your part. You’ll need to about most of the manufactured foods that contain lots of added sugars. And, you’ll need to eat more raw fruits and vegetables.
A recent article (Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals) in the journal The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tells us that phytochemicals are a key component of a healthy diet that could reduce your risk of unnecessary death.
This article tells us that a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains “is a practical strategy for significantly reducing the incidence of chronic diseases.”
For example, the article tells us that a third of all cancer deaths could be avoided with an appropriate diet. And prevention is always a better strategy for staying healthy than treating a chronic disease.
More than 5000 phytochemicals have been identified in plant foods. These are biologically active non-nutrients in fruits, vegetables and grains. Many of these are antioxidant compounds that help protect your body’s cells by preventing oxidative damage. This reduces your risk of developing chronic diseases.
The Amount You Consume is Key
We all consume different amounts of fruits and vegetables. But, the journal Nutrition and Caner reports that the quarter of the population that consumed the fewest fruits and vegetables had double the risk of cancers when compared to the quarter of the population that consumed the most fruits and vegetables.
Of the types of cancers that were studied, phytonutrients helped protect people from the following cancers:
Cancers of the oral cavity
Considering that breast cancer and lung cancer are at the top of the list of all cancers, this is critical information you need to act on.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention gives some guidelines for the consumption for fruits and vegetables. They indicates that “Adults who engage in <30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily should consume 1.5–2.0 cup equivalents fruit and 2–3 cups vegetables daily."
But, the sad fact is that most Americans are not getting the recommended levels of fruits and vegetables — and thus the protective phytochemicals. They indicate:
“Overall, 13.1% of respondents met fruit intake recommendations, ranging from 7.5% in Tennessee to 17.7% in California, and 8.9% met vegetable recommendations, ranging from 5.5% in Mississippi to 13.0% in California. Substantial new efforts are needed to build consumer demand for fruits and vegetables through competitive pricing, placement, and promotion in child care, schools, grocery stores, communities, and worksites.”
So, it’s vital that you increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
What About Individual Supplements?
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tells us that taking individual supplements is not an effective way to consume the important phytochemicals. They indicate that “taken alone, the individual antioxidants studied in clinical trials do not appear to have consistent preventive effects. The isolated pure compound either loses its bioactivity or may not behave the same way as the compound in whole foods.”
The combination of all the phytochemicals from fruits, vegetables and grains seems to be the important key to preventing many chronic diseases.
Supplements are simply not going to supply all the nutrients, phytochemicals and fiber found in real fruits and vegetables. That’s why many people are using blenders to create vegetable and fruit smoothies to capture the most nutrition possible for their healthy diets. Check out our page about juicing and blending to see how you can get the most healthy protection against chronic diseases.