Cancer-fighting foods

February 26, 2008 5:17:45 PM PST
Eating the right foods can help prevent diseases and fight cancer. Christopher Gardner, Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford, tells us about some of the best food choices out there.

Cancer fighting foods:

    It is high in vitamin C and soluble fiber and contains the multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties including diindolylmethane and selenium. The Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anticancer compound sulforaphane, though the benefits of broccoli are reduced if the vegetable is boiled. A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Broccoli leaf is also edible and contains far more betacarotene than the florets.
    May possess cancer-fighting properties due to the presence of allylic sulfur compounds such as Diallyl Disulfide (DADs), believed to be an anticarcinogen.
Soy Beans (Edamame)
    Contain the isoflavones genistein and daidzein types of phytoestrogen, that are considered by some nutritionists and physicians to be useful in the prevention of cancer and by others to be carcinogenic and endocrine disruptive. Soy's content of isoflavones are as much as 3mg/g dry weight. Isoflavones are polyphenol compounds, produced primarily by beans and other legumes, including peanuts and chickpeas. Isoflavones are closely related to the antioxidant flavonoids found in other plants, vegetables and flowers. Isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein are found in only some plant families, because most plants do not have an enzyme, chalcone isomerase which converts a flavone precursor into an isoflavone.
Brazil Nuts
    Rich in selenium although the amount of selenium varies greatly. They are also a good source of magnesium and thiamine. Some research has suggested that selenium intake is correlated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. This has led some commentators to recommend the consumption of Brazil nuts as a protective measure. Subsequent studies about the effects of selenium on prostate cancer are inconclusive. Ironically the nuts cannot be imported into europe in their shells, as the shells have been found to contain high levels of Aflatoxins, which can lead to liver cancer.
Title: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective

Report of the World Cancer Research Fund International and The American Institute for Cancer Research:

Stanford Studies:

We are now recruiting participants for the following studies:

    Potential Health Benefits of Plant vs. Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

    Potential Health Benefits of Dietary Antioxidants from Supplements vs. Foods:
    We are recruiting approximately 100 participants for each of these two studies, and we are about half to three quarters of the way through our recruitment.

    In order to qualify for either study, the general eligibility criteria include:

    • Adult
    • Not taking any medications for cholesterol
    • No heart disease or cancer at this time
    • Having moderately elevated risk factors such as:
    • Moderately elevated cholesterol
    • Moderately elevated blood pressure
    • Being 15-100 lbs overweight