You probably already know that the Mediterranean diet will protect your heart. That's been in the news for years. But did you know it will also prevent and even treat cancer? That's what a new study out of Ohio claims.
In the study, researchers from The Ohio State University found that a compound that's common in the Mediterranean diet will rob cancer of its seeming immortality. As you may know, cancer cells don't go through apoptosis like normal cells do. This programmed cell death occurs when cells become abnormal. It's your body's way of protecting itself.
Because cancer cells don't commit suicide, they continue to grow and spread, causing more and more damage to your body. This compound in many of the foods in the Mediterranean diet actually alters a very specific step in gene regulation. As a result, it essentially re-educates cancer cells to revert back to normal cells. And these cells will die on schedule.
So what is this compound? It's apigenin. Apigenin is a flavone found in chamomile tea, celery and parsley, and a bunch of other green leafy vegetables. The textile industry likes to use apigenin as a dye for wool. As usual, its yellow color is what tells you it's good for you.
Other studies have found that the Mediterranean diet reduces your risk of disease. What makes this new study special is that the researchers found that apigenin binds with about 160 proteins in your body. This suggests that it has a lot of other uses in disease. And it indicates that other nutrients may have a similar binding effect. Compare this to pharmaceuticals, which target one single molecule. This causes a severe imbalance and, thus, side effects.
Dr. Andrea Doseff, who was one of the lead authors of the study, said, "We know we need to eat healthfully, but in most cases we don't know the actual mechanistic reasons for why we need to do that... we see here that the beneficial effect on health is attributed to this dietary nutrient affecting many proteins... apigenin re-establishes the normal profile in cancer cells... we think this can have great value clinically as a potential cancer-prevention strategy."
The best way to get apigenin is by eating plenty of green vegetables and drinking some chamomile tea before bedtime. You can get it in supplement form, but right now, there aren't a lot of products on the market. Check your local health food store and online for availability. I think apigenin is one nutrient we'll hear a lot more about in the future. And you'll read a lot more about it in these emails. So stay tuned....
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Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.