The Power of Epigenetic Compounds in the Battle Against Cancer
Our understanding of cancer has come a long way. The field of Epigenetics has introduced fresh perspectives on the causes and treatment of this disease. It challenges the traditional Somatic Theory of Cancer, which attributes the loss of gene functionality entirely to genetic mutations, and instead, suggests that a cocktail of lifestyle and environmental factors play a significant role in gene expression.
Epigenetics posits that metabolic changes due to poor diet, stress, exposure to environmental toxins, gut health, oxygen levels, and hormonal imbalances can affect methionine and homocysteine levels in our bodies. Elevated homocysteine levels, for instance, can cause increased methylation around our DNA strands. This leads to an excessive accumulation of histones, proteins that package and order the DNA, preventing crucial messages from the DNA from being expressed - a process known as 'Gene Silencing.' The silver lining is, Gene Silencing is reversible.
The beauty of the Epigenetic approach is that it brings to light that simple lifestyle modifications such as exercising, consuming a healthy diet, maintaining good gut health, managing stress, and getting ample sunshine can help reverse these alterations.
The Epigenetic theory of cancer argues that:
In the context of dietary contributions, we find that specific bioactive compounds in food sources can contribute significantly to this reversal process. Over 65 of these potent compounds have been identified so far, with the potential to correct cancer-related metabolic changes. This article will detail 25 of these bioactive, epigenetic compounds that you can incorporate into your lifestyle right away.
Prominent researchers in the field, like Professor Wim Varden Berghe and Dr. Young S. Kim, the Head of Cancer and Nutrition at the National Cancer Institute in the USA, have highlighted the importance of natural compounds like resveratrol, curcumin, genistein, and EGCG in reversing the progress of cancer stem cells and correcting gene silencing. An extensive review by Dwight McKee and Cord Naujokat adds Sulforaphane to the list of these bioactive compounds, and the National Cancer Institute's Dr. Young S. Kim endorses the use of Piperine, Theanine, Choline, and Vitamins A and E, among others.
Here are 25 bioactive compounds that have shown significant potential in the fight against cancer:
Minerals also have a significant role to play in the process of epigenetic correction. While beneficial minerals such as calcium, selenium, and zinc aid in rectifying methylation and acetylation of histones, harmful ones like cadmium and mercury promote negative methylation effects.
In the realm of breast cancer, particularly the aggressive Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), bioactive natural compounds have demonstrated considerable preventative and corrective effects. This condition, which disproportionately affects younger women, doesn't fit into the typical formulae for cancer treatment. However, the bioactive compounds mentioned earlier, along with an understanding of Epigenetics, could unlock the potential for a more effective treatment strategy.
The science of Epigenetics offers fresh hope, showing how dietary factors, environmental toxins, stress, and hormonal changes can affect gene expression. Notably, these alterations can be reversed, lending credibility to the belief that cancer can indeed be corrected, and you are not inevitably doomed.
1. CDC, US Government - https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/disease/epigenetics.htm
2. National Human genome Research Center, NIH - https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Mutation
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7. Mitochondrial Changes in Cancer;Handb Exp Pharmacol; 2017, 240: 211-227; Shubha Gururaja Rao - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27718058/#affiliation-1
8. Vitamin D Modulation of Mitochondrial Oxidative Metabolism; JBMR Plus; 2021 Dec 1; 6(1). Mikayla Quigley et al; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35079680/#affiliation-1