Several of my close family members have struggled with breast cancer.
Q. Dear Terry, “Several of my close family members have struggled with breast cancer. I have changed my diet and lifestyle to help prevent a breast cancer diagnosis myself. What natural ingredients do you think are important for breast cancer prevention?” — Sadie P., Madison, WI
A. Dear Sadie, I think diet is incredibly important when facing any chronic health condition, including cancer. If you haven’t done so already, I would start removing dairy products (with the exception of cream, butter, and eggs), sugar, soft drinks, and all grains. Your diet should consist of animal proteins from beef, bison, lamb, poultry, fish, and also include fruits, and non-starchy vegetables. You can also eat nuts, seeds, and berries. You can review my healthy diet plan, and if you visit my YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/terrytalksnutrition) you will find a very informative webinar on breast cancer by my dear friend, Dr. Holly Lucille. For additional information, I also recommend checking out the following websites: www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com and www.drperlmutter.com.
Curcumin is a powerhouse in the natural medicine world, and extensive research points to its value as a breast cancer fighter, even triple negative breast cancers, which can be resistant to standard treatments. One of the remarkable things about curcumin is that it works through multiple cellular pathways to fight cancer. Besides being a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, curcumin also works by regulating various proteins and enzymes that affect cellular signaling and DNA. The best curcumin benefits are produced by combining curcumin with turmeric essential oil. Not only does this greatly boost absorption, but turmeric essential oil contains compounds called ar-turmerones that are not only anticancer, they also make curcumin an even more effective cancer fighter.
Pomegranates are prized for their extraordinary antioxidant capacity, but pomegranate seeds have their own powerful anticancer chemicals. One of the most important is punicic acid, an omega-5 fatty acid that inhibits aromatase, an enzyme involved in estrogen conversion. Scientific studies have shown that pomegranate seed oil can reduce breast cancer cell proliferation up to 95 percent, and the omega-5 fatty acid induced apoptosis (cancer cell death) by up to 91 percent.
Grape seed extract is high in oligomeric proanthocyanidins, often shortened to OPCs. These compounds exhibit strong antioxidant activity and are known cancer fighters. Grape seed extract is also an aromatase inhibitor, particularly useful for women with hormone-sensitive breast cancers. Not all grape seed extracts are created equal, as OPCs vary greatly in their size – some are so large (i.e. tannins) they cannot be absorbed. Only smaller OPCs are useful in breast cancer, so make sure the grape seed you use is tannin-free.
Lastly, vitamin D3 is crucial in the fight against breast cancer as it helps regulate cell division, programmed cell death (apoptosis), and contact inhibition, the process by which normal cells quit growing when they encounter a neighboring cell. Higher circulating levels of vitamin D in the blood have been associated with lower cancer incidence and better survival rates after diagnosis.
I would take curcumin, pomegranate, and grape seed extract twice daily, in addition to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily.
Terry . . . Naturally