In the contemporary world, not a day goes by when newspapers don’t seem to be flooded with a number of harrowing reports detailing the sudden and untimely demise of a certain celebrity or government figure succumbing to the bodily onslaught imposed onto his/her person by Cancer. Whereas the media might be adept at reporting on the fatalities of notorious individuals, it does a thoroughly lackluster job of highlighting the woes of many ordinary people who, due to a scarcity of both funds and treatment options, fall under the knife of the said disease-condition much more readily and unnoticeably. The traditional pharmaceutical interventions of chemotherapy (and increasingly radiotherapy) continue to be the standard treatment routes for the bulk of the population, and their efficacy in killing-off cancerous cells is greatly called into question by their damaging impact on healthy bodily tissues – which are forced to mercilessly suffer alongside their mutated counterparts. Many individuals, on the recommendation of their Integrative Medicine specialists and experts, choose to complement their treatment regimens with an entire range of nutritional supplements considered to be helpful in forestalling the further metastasis of Cancer – by targeting a variety of mechanisms due to which the disease grows and spreads through the circulatory and/or lymphatic systems.
These substances (with a few detailed below) have been proven to be effective in bolstering the immune systems of patients afflicted with the said ailment, and may work in tandem with chemotherapy drugs to target unresponsive tumor cells more efficiently. But (and by way of precaution), they need to be used under the supervision of a medical expert – since certain doses of several holistic supplements (such as Vitamin C) have been shown to be counterproductive to their Cancer-alleviating aims when taken without proper moderation.
The Vitamin D Benefit
It is not uncommon for researchers and holistic nutrition practitioners these days to toute the many protective health benefits that an adequate supply of Vitamin D has for the human body. The sun, of course, provides our greatest natural share of the substance through UV rays which, after being absorbed and assimilated by our skin, lead to the production of 25 Hydroxyvitamin D. This intermediary compound is then converted through structures on the kidneys to the active form of Vitamin D called calcitriol. Several clinical trials and double-blind placebo-controlled studies (viewable on online platforms like Pubmed) relate the efficacy of Vitamins D2 and D3 (both common varieties of the said substance) in promoting abnormal cell apoptosis, as well as the curtailment of mutated cells’ drive towards stimulating increased angiogenesis (the creation of new blood vessels for nutrition-related purposes) – with the latter being more recommended for human consumption. Traditionally, Vitamin D deficiency had been thought of only in reference to diseases like rickets (and other bone-related conditions), but recent studies have also shed some light on its potential role in functioning as another bodily hormone.
Green Tea – for when those blues should strike
Green Teas have long been served in traditional Chinese and Indian folk medicinal procedures as a means to alleviate all kinds of ailments. From treating cough and seasonal infections to providing a panacea against anxiety (and other psychological affectations), the said natural herbal concoctions have played formative roles in the establishment of remedial frameworks – and even in shaping the cultural preferences of certain diverse communities. Teas (particularly Green Teas) contain strong antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, among which are the catechins subclass that has been shown to exhibit potent anti-cancer properties. Antioxidants actively engage in neutralizing the threat posed by reactive free radicals, which beget inflammation and genetic abnormalities (by attacking DNA strands and other intracellular structures such as the mitochondria). These abnormalities lead to defective DNA replication cycles, and may possibly code for uncontrolled cell division (and hence cancer). By taking care of the molecules responsible for wreaking this havoc, green tea (available also as Green Tea Extract supplements) may help in significantly lowering the threat posed by cancer and its related pathologies.
Garlic – an age-old Miracle Worker
As a herb, garlic is notorious for its high sulfur content – which results in many of its health properties made beneficial for consumers. Although garlic has been used as an integral part of traditional folk medicine (in almost every culture) since a millennia, it is only now that its considerable health benefits are coming to light; owing in large part to the advances in laboratory research capabilities made in the 20th century. For individuals who may suffer from bouts of nausea (when trying to ingest the said earthly produce in its natural form), garlic supplementation is nowadays available as a suitable alternative. In a few clinical studies, daily garlic consumption has been demonstrably linked with a lower incidence rate of all cancers; particularly those affecting the colon. Topical garlic oil-infused creams and ointments have also been recommended by some holistic specialists and dermatologists as soothing balms for certain skin melanomas.
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