We ALL should know more about really potent anticancer molecules in food we can readily enjoy. At certain times in human history, spices have been among the most valuable substances on earth and traded as international currency. Spices not only cure and flavor food, but add what are termed “nutraceuticals” which are easily contrasted with pharmaceuticals. Studies isolating the medicinal benefits of spices have begun to draw attention because geographical areas where people use large amounts of certain spices have been noted to have very low incidence of certain life threatening diseases. This topic is further discussed in the book, Slam the Door on Cancer and Lock It Out of Your Life (available on this website and at www.amazon.com ). Anticancer molecules in spices are truly important health maintenance and sustenance foods.
In Comparison, both Nutraceuticals and Pharmaceuticals have known molecular structures and both have known cellular and molecular targets. However, in contrast nutraceuticals have potent anticancer molecules that act specifically as noted below:
Nutraceuticals: Molecules Naturally Occurring in Food – Natural
Pharmaceuticals: Created in a laboratory – Synthetic
Nutraceuticals: Selected over the course of history (with survival as motivation).
Pharmaceuticals: Selected in a laboratory (with profit as part of motivation)
Nutraceuticals: NO Side Effects
Pharmaceuticals: PRONOUNCED Side Effects (often detrimental)
Nutraceuticals: Synergy or antagonism by design to work with complex biochemistry and bioelectrical body functions
Pharmaceuticals: Synergy or antagonism due to chance and rarely recognized in useful ways regarding biochemical functions.
CATEGORIES OF NUTRACEUTICAL SPICES
This blog post (also appendix four of my book, Slam the Door on Cancer and Lock It Out of Your Life) is a chart of spices compiled from the work of Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, as the lead writer of a NIH manuscript entitled: “Molecular Targets of Nutraceuticals Derived from dietary Spices: Potential Role in suppression of Inflammation and Tumorigenesis (tumor growth)”.
Allspice, Anise, Basil, Bay Leaves, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamom, Celery Seed, Chives, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cilantro/Coriander Seed, Dill, Fennel, GARLIC, GINGER, Horseradish, Marjoram, Peppermint, MUSTARD, Nutmeg, Onion, Paprika, Parsley, Red Pepper, Rosemary, Sage, Sesame seed, Tarragon, Thyme, TURMERIC (curcumin), White Pepper.
STIMULATES APOPTOSIS (CELL SUICIDE):
Basil, Dill, Fennel, GARLIC, GINGER, Horseradish, Peppermint, Mustard seed, Nutmeg, Paprika, Parsley, Red Pepper, ROSEMARY, Saffron, Sesame Seed, Thyme.
INHIBITS PROLIFERATION (TUMOR CELL GROWTH):
Allspice, Basil, Bay Leaves, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamom, Celery Seed, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, GARLIC, Horseradish, Mustard, Nutmeg, Onion, Paprika, Parsley, Red Pepper, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Sesame Seed, Tamarind, Tarragon, TURMERIC.
INHIBITS INVASION OF TUMOR CELLS INTO OTHER TISSUE:
Allspice, Basil, Bay Leaves, Cardamom, GARLIC, Ginger, Horseradish, Mustard seed, Onion, Oregano, Red Pepper, Saffron, Sesame Seed, Thyme, turmeric, Vanilla.
INHIBITION OF ANGIOGENESIS (GROWTH OF TUMOR BLOOD SUPPLY):
Asafetida, Caraway, Cardamom, Chives, Cilantro/Coriander Seeds, GARLIC, Ginger, Horseradish, Mustard, Oregano, Red Pepper, Sesame Seed, Tarragon, Thyme, TURMERIC
Note: I have emphasized with capitalization and bold face those spices with more than one nutraceutical molecule. Obviously Garlic and some others are particularly potent; however, that doesn’t mean others are weak. There may be a particular spice with only one nutraceutical molecule, but it may be a very active one. Eating a variety of anticancer molecules IS “the spice of life”.
To pursue this amazing topic further, I recommend the book, Healing Spices, written by Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD (with Debora Yost). The sub-title is “How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease”. This book is available at www.amazon.com . Aggarwal is the researcher who did the early work on the “staggeringly” important impact curcumin (molecule in turmeric) has on cancer cells. This book is well organized and well written. It contains recipes, explanations, history, and other helpful information such as synergies in combining certain spices.
Why wouldn’t a person want to employ such a tasty health asset? I’d like to hear your comments on this subject.