Rodney ShoemakerSpecial to the Sun

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March 23, 2012
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Health andamp; Wellness: Understanding vegetable’s cancer-fighting properties

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — You may not realize it, but your body creates cancer cells every day of your life (as old cells are replaced by new ones). Over the years, studies have suggested that people who regularly eat cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnips, bok choy) have lower rates of many cancers, including uterine, breast, prostate and lung.Researchers have investigated cruciferous vegetables in an attempt to identify the active agent(s) that account for this cancer-protective effect. As it turns out, cruciferous vegetables are unique in that they contain natural agents that enhance the body’s ability to protect itself from cancer cells by three ways.First, cruciferous vegetables enhance the body’s ability to detoxify cancer-causing chemicals. By detoxifying these chemicals the body neutralizes the harmful effects.So, in addition to speeding up the body’s ability to detoxify and eliminate cancer-causing chemicals, cruciferous vegetables trigger cancer cells to commit suicide before they can become a threat to the body.How does this work? Some of the genes in our DNA act as sensors. These DNA sensors are triggered when a cell is becoming cancerous. Once the DNA sensors identify a problem, the sensor genes (called tumor suppressor genes) rip apart and destroy the genetic material of the cell (so it cannot reproduce). This leads to cell death or what researchers call “programmed cell death.” Cruciferous vegetables disrupt the cancer cells attempt to bypass programmed cell death. They also trigger cancer cells into committing suicide. This is an important mechanism by which cruciferous vegetables are thought to lower our risk of cancer.The third way that cruciferous vegetables protect us from cancer is by preventing the buildup of the form of estrogen that is linked to breast and uterine cancers. Cruciferous vegetables reduce the buildup of dangerous estrogen by converting it to a safer form of estrogen. This isn’t just a woman thing. Higher intake of cruciferous vegetables reduces prostate cancer as well.Each individual should consume broccoli or some combination of cruciferous vegetables at least five times per week or at a minimum supplement. Cruciferous vegetables boost our detoxification and immune systems. These systems work hand in glove to prevent cancer.— Rodney Shoemaker, DC, works with Incline Chiropractic Natural Health Center, located at 894 Southwood Blvd. in Incline Village. Learn more at* Reference: Nutritional and Anti-Aging Research/James P Meschino, DC, MS

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Mar 23, 2012 06:52PM Published Mar 23, 2012 06:45PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.