Adding tomatoes to that sandwich at lunch or to your salad at dinner is a great idea when it comes to protecting your good health. This is because tomatoes contain a rare red pigment called lycopene. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals. Studies have suggested that lycopene may have twice the cancer-fighting power of beta-carotene. And for men, lycopene seems to concentrate in the prostate, protecting this gland from cancerous tumor growth. Continue reading →
Most of us know the “War on Cancer” is a bad joke that churns revenue for the cancer industry while per capita cancer rates continue to surge. Based on the premise that food should be our first medicine, the cruciferous family of vegetables is the food choice for resisting cancer.
Green tea is known for its ability to protect against tumor growth and fight high cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. In the latest health news, green tea has been found to have yet another feather in its health preventative cap: researchers say that the tea is an excellent remedy for the good health of your teeth and mouth.
Israeli researchers investigated green tea’s polyphenol antioxidants and their ability to benefit oral health. Don’t like the dentist? Hate when you get a cavity and the dentist gets the drill out? Well, green tea could have the ability to protect against bacterial-induced dental cavities, according to the research team.
The polyphenols in green tea also possess antiviral properties, which could help protect Continue reading →
Medical researchers estimate that over 50% of cancers have defective “p53.” So what exactly is p53 and why does it play such a big part in cancer growth?
Normally, p53 is a gene that works to protect healthy cells when they are dividing. P53 lives in your cytoplasm, but if it senses a cell is coming under attack, it moves into the nucleus. If it detects a genetic error in the cell’s code, it stops the cell reproduction process to give the DNA a chance to repair. If the cell can’t be repaired, the cell kills itself — this is called “apoptosis.”
It sounds like a great safeguard system, doesn’t it? And it is — except when p53 becomes too aggressive. Continue reading →
CHICAGO – A socially isolated, stressful environment can speed up breast cancer growth, says a new study.
Using mice as a model to study human breast cancer, researchers have demonstrated that a negative social environment causes increased tumor growth. The work shows-for the first time-that social isolation is associated with altered gene expression in mouse mammary glands, and that these changes are accompanied by larger tumors.
“This interdisciplinary research illustrates that the social environment, and a social animal’s response to that environment, can indeed alter the level of gene expression in a wide variety of tissues, not only the brain,” said Suzanne D. Conzen, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and senior author of the study, to be published on September 30, 2009, in Cancer Prevention Research.
“This is a novel finding and may begin to explain how the environment affects human susceptibility to other chronic diseases such as central obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, etc,” the expert added.
The research began six years ago when cancer specialist Conzen joined forces with biobehavioral psychologist MarthaMcClintock, PhD, professor of psychology and founder of the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago.
The University of Chicago scientists took mice that were genetically predisposed to develop mammary gland (breast) cancer and raised them in two environments: in groups of mice and isolated. After the same amount of time, the isolated mice grew larger mammary gland tumors. They were also found to have developed a disrupted stress hormone response.
“I doubted there would be a difference in the growth of the tumors in such a strong model of genetically inherited cancer simply based on chronic stress in their environments, so I was surprised to see a clear, measurable difference both in mammary gland tumor growth and interestingly in accompanying behavior and stress hormone levels,” Conzen said.
The researchers then turned their attention to how the chronic social environment affected the biology of cancer growth. In other words, they sought to discover the precise molecular consequences of the stressful environment.
To do this, they studied gene expression in the mouse mammary tissue over time. Conzen and her colleagues found altered expression levels of metabolic pathway genes (which are expected to favor increased tumor growth) in the isolated mice. This was the case even before tumor size differences were measurable.
These altered gene expression patterns suggest potential molecular biomarkers and/or targets for preventive intervention in human breast cancer.
“Given the increased knowledge of the human genome, we can begin to identify and analyze the specific alterations that take place in caner-prone tissues of individuals living in at-risk environments,” Conzen said.
“That will help us to better understand and implement cancer prevention strategies,” the expert added.