It has been known for a long time that the cancer stem cells are what really cause cancer to come back. Most chemo treatments just make them stronger. The cancer that returns is more virulent and harder to deal with. Turns out that Ginger is very good at dealing with it but won’t hurt healthy cells. Those cancer researchers that are looking at diet and food are onto something. The right foods kill cancer without killing the patient.
Ginger naturally contains a compound that is up to 10,000 times more effective than chemotherapy drugs at killing the cancer stem cells that make malignant tumors so dangerous, according to a study published in the journal PLoS.
The chemical, known as 6-shogaol, is produced when ginger roots are dried or cooked. The researchers found that 6-shogaol is active against cancer stem cells at concentrations that are harmless to healthy cells. This is dramatically different from conventional chemotherapy, which has serious side effects largely because it kills healthy as well as cancerous cells.
The fact that 6-shogaol naturally occurs in a widely consumed human food is promising for its safety profile, the researchers noted.
“Dietary compounds are welcome options for human diseases due to their time-tested acceptability by human bodies,” they wrote.
Another food-based chemical that has shown promise against cancer stem cells is phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC). This chemical is produced from the reaction of a compound and an enzyme that occur in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage. This reaction actually takes place simply when the vegetables are chewed, which means that eating cruciferous vegetables causes the human body to be exposed to PEITC.
According to a May 2015 press release by researchers from the South Dakota State University Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, PEITC has been successful at killing cervical cancer stem cells. The concentrations used in the study are actually achievable simply from a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables, the researchers said. The vegetables highest in PEITC potential are watercress and land cress.
This research suggests that PEITC, and possibly even a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables, could assist in the prevention of or recovery from cancer.
Learn more: David Gutierrez