One study completed in 2009 showed that certain types of flavanols (quercetin, epicatechin, and catechin) were effective in killing cancer cells. There are several sources to get these plant based antioxidants and the highest levels can be found in raw organic foods.
Quercetin can be found in: onions, grapes, apples, broccoli, cranberries, citrus fruits, parsley, sage, tea, red wine, olive oil, dark cherries, blueberries and blackberries.
Epicatechin and catechin can be found in apricots, peaches, apples, red raspberries, green and black tea, legumes, red wine, grapes, plums and dark chocolate.
The British Journal of Nutrition carried out a study on regular tea drinkers in the UK and reported, “Diets rich in flavonoids may reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.” Their conclusion found, “….that flavonols, specifically quercetin, obtained from non-tea components of the diet may be linked with reduced risk of developing colon cancer.”
Another more recent study in 2011 conducted by Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bologna reported, “Chemoprevention of colorectal cancer has been the focus of intensive research for more than two decades. Epidemiological evidence has shown a small, but significant association between fruit and vegetable intake and a reduction in colorectal cancer risk. In vitro and animal data have also demonstrated that many dietary phytochemicals have potent chemopreventive activities. However, in humans, single-agent compounds have yielded conflicting results. A key concept is that dietary phytochemicals exert beneficial effects at low concentrations when working in synergy with each other. As the gut microflora evolved in an environment rich in dietary fiber and phytochemicals, the rapid shift towards a Western diet creates an environment in which the gut is more vulnerable to carcinogens, genetic alterations and inflammation. As enforcing dietary interventions on large populations is not realistic, we believe future chemopreventive work should focus on delivering phytochemical mixtures that target the multiple molecular events involved in colorectal carcinogenesis.”
One common marker in all these studies shows that a diet rich in flavanoids provides the body the tools that it needs to combat cancer. Keep in mind that each study was controlled and there were various factors based on participants. No ‘one thing’ was the cure but given the right conditions and antioxidant intake resulted in positive results to combating cancer cells.
Determining ‘how much or how many’ raw fruits and vegetables a person needs to consume in these studies is not always indicated rather they refer to ‘large amounts’; this leaves a lot to the imagination. It could mean eating plant based foods all day long from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep at night. The average person is not going to take the time or have the money to be proactive even though they ‘know’ it’s what they need because that information is in the news. There are many people who live in the ‘it will not happen to me’ world because ‘it happens to someone else’.
The most recent estimates for colon cancer and colorectal cancer for 2012 as projected by The American Cancer Society are:
- 103,170 New cases of colon cancer.
- 40,290 New cases of colorectal cancer.
These numbers are mind boggling and they keep going up. Colon cancer, if caught early, can be cured but what should one do to become proactive so they don’t fall into the number of statistics? Consider your diet. Re-evaluate what goes into your body. You are what you eat! Food is a natural medicine and the impact flavanoids has on colon cancer is a very promising tool kit for colon cancer.
In the USA
Here is some food for thought! Harvard recently released findings from a study and urges the reduction of red meat intake because the amount you consume is directly related to premature death. The amount of animal fats consumed in the Western diet may be something to really reconsider with such compelling information. Now is a good time to think about using natures medicine and tool kits that combat colon cancer before it can develop by consuming high flavanoids. Just about everyone knows someone that is or was affected by colon cancer.