By now it’s widely understood that focusing on a healthy diet and lifestyle plan plays a key role in the prevention of many types of breast cancer. In fact, a number of studies show that engaging in regular daily exercise can vastly lower your chances of a breast cancer occurrence and, even in conventional healthcare settings, certain foods are being touted as effective breast cancer fighters.
This is good news, because it means that we have some control over this terrible disease. More good news? Recent research is proving that even people who are genetically more susceptible to certain breast cancers can practice prevention with clinically studied nutraceuticals. Curcumin, DIM, and pomegranate oil are three important natural ingredients every woman can take to help avoid breast cancer or prevent its reoccurrence.
Curcumin is a powerhouse nutrient known for preventing breast cancer, including antiestrogen-resistant and triple negative breast cancers which can be resistant to standard treatments. Besides providing powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support, curcumin works by regulating cell signaling and DNA in the body. Researchers have studied curcumin to see if it could affect breast cancer cells (MCF-7 cells) that become resistant to antiestrogen drugs, such as tamoxifen. In one cell study, researchers found that curcumin helped induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) to kill breast cancer cells. They also found that curcumin treatment reduced the cancer cells’ ability to form colonies, which leads to the cancer spreading to other parts of the body, by as much as 91 percent.
Additionally, in a study of triple-negative breast cancer cells, curcumin inhibited the growth of new blood vessels that feed cancer tumors. Curcumin also shines as an addition to conventional cancer treatment, helping to sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy while also protecting healthy cells from chemotherapy’s detrimental effects. But to get the most from your curcumin supplement, look on the supplement facts label for a bioavailable formula that contains BCM-95/Curcugreen—a highly absorbable type of curcumin that is enhanced with turmeric essential oil containing ar-turmerone.
Diindolylmethane, or DIM for short, is a compound created during the digestion of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, or Brussels sprouts. DIM helps maintain the beneficial types of estrogen in the body, while detoxifying the harmful kinds before they can cause serious trouble.
Some individuals have a greater risk of developing breast cancer because they lack a cancer-stopping gene and its protein called BRCA1. One clinical trial found that women taking supplemental DIM saw a 34 percent increase in BRCA1 expression. The researchers consider this to be a potentially major shift in the way we think about preventing breast cancer. By using a natural compound to influence how a person’s own genes prevent cancer, we could see a very different approach to fighting this disease.
Pomegranates are prized for their extraordinary antioxidant capacity, but pomegranate seeds have their own powerful anti-cancer chemicals. One of the most important is punicic acid, an omega-5 fatty acid. In a cellular study, the punicic acid in pomegranate seed oil was capable of inhibiting breast cancer cell proliferation by as much as 95 percent. In that same study, this omega-5 fatty acid also increased apoptosis by up to 91 percent. In other research, pomegranate seed oil showed a 90 percent inhibition of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The researchers stated that pomegranate has excellent cancer prevention properties—either on its own, or as an addition to conventional therapy—meaning less dependence on dangerous drugs.
Determining your breast cancer risk can be complicated, but adopting a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and adding this trio of nutrients may offer protection. And don’t forget to keep track of the health of your breasts with routine cancer screenings as advised by your doctor.
Download this article as a PDF