Recent research suggests that two natural substances can help to remove ‘senile’ or aging cells and help stop cancerous cell growth. They’ve both been studied separately as anti-cancer agents for decades now, but the combination of quercetin along with a form of vitamin E – called tocotrienols – can help rid the body of damaged cells that contribute to chronic inflammation and disease, including cancer.
Quercetin is a flavonoid present in many vegetables, fruits and beverages. Due to its anti-oxidant, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory activity, it has been studied extensively as a chemoprevention agent in many several cancer models.
Vitamin E has also been used in cancer prevention in the past, primarily for the reduction of prostate cancer risk, however, when tocotrienols from Vitamin E and quercetin are used in tandem, they can help reduce the incidence of smoking-induced lung cancer, breast cancer, and others.
Cellular Senescence is a Likely Cancer Breakthrough
These two antioxidants may work by triggering cellular senescence. In most cases, cellular senescence is considered something bad that happens to good cells. Cells are always experiencing stress and damage from exogenous and endogenous sources, and their responses range from complete recovery to cell death. Proliferating cells can initiate an additional response by adopting a state of permanent cell-cycle arrest that is termed cellular senescence.
In the case of cancerous cells, though, cellular senescence is a good thing, because it would kill off ‘bad’ cells to allow the creation of new, good cells.
Triggering senescence in malignant cancer cells not only stops their uncontrolled replication, but causes them to die. By clearing away senile cells and inducing aging in malignant cells, quercetin and tocotrienols could stop tumors from growing.
Tocotrienols were found to stop cancer cells from spreading in a study published in the journal Biofactors, and quercetin found in sea buckthorn berries was found to be anti-cancer as well, as published in the journal Food Chemistry.
So, how do we get more quercetin and tocotrienols (Vitamin E)?
You can find tocotrienols in the highest amounts in cereal grains (e.g., oat, barley, rye, and rice bran) but also in vegetable oils (sunflower and olive), nuts, and seeds. Tocotrienol supplements are also available in capsule and tablet form.
Quercetin, a plant pigment, can be found in leafy greens, tomatoes, berries and broccoli, to name just a few. Additionally, quercetins are, according to the Department of Pathology and Diagnostics at the University of Verona in Italy, “anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic agents” with the potential to be expressed positively in different cell types in both animals and humans.
In short, phytochemicals available in plants, nuts, and vegetable oils are sufficient for reducing cancerous cells. More than ever, naturally derived compounds are proving to keep cancer at bay, making costly and invasive chemotherapy drugs and surgeries obsolete.
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