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Foods that Starve Cancer

Sometimes, big break throughs happen when you look at a problem from a new perspective. Instead of asking why does a cancer grow, medical researchers asked how does a cancer grow. This led to the observation that, for a cancer to grow, it needs to be fed. Each cell in our body is in direct contact with a blood vessel that brings it nourishment and takes away waste products. The same is true for a cancer cell. As a cancer grows and spreads, as the number of cancer cells multiplies, the blood vessel system supplying these new cells also has to grow. The cancer can only grow if each of its new cells has a blood vessel next to it to give it food. This process of new blood vessel growth (either for normal or cancer cells) is called angiogenesis. If angiogenesis is stopped, cells cannot grow. There are now some cancer specialists who believe to stop cancers from growing, stop angiogenesis.


Scientists have developed cell models of angiogenesis in the lab. They can now study factors that inhibit or slow down angiogenesis. Their findings show that many food and food ingredients are anti-angiogenic, they stop the growth of new blood vessels.

Although there are currently few clinical trials which have shown that the introduction of such anti-angiogenic foods into the diet can effectively slow down or stop cancer growth, the initial reports are very encouraging. The foods and beverages which have been identified so far would be very easy to incorporate into a "normal diet. Cancer patients looking for ways to accompany more traditional cancer treatments may want to start by adding anti-angiogenic foods to their diet.

Foods and Beverages with Anti-angiogenic properties
Fruits: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries oranges, lemons, apples, pineapples, cherries, red grapes
Vegetables: bok choy, soy beans, kale, artichokes, pumpkin, tomato
Sea food: tuna, sea cucumber
Oils: olive oil, grape seed oil
Spices: turmeric, nutmeg, parsley, garlic
Other: ginseng, dark chocolate

Suggested Reading

Nutreaceuticals as anti-angiogenic agents: hopes and realities.
J. Physiology Pharmacology 2005,56:51-69

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