Craig Leonard

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Vitamin A Holds Promise As Cancer Fighting Nutrient

Craig Leonard April 11, 2014
Vitamin A Cures Pre Cancer Cells - Health and Fitness Blog

I have recently had the privilege of reading dozens of success stories of men and women who, after being diagnosed with cancer (some in extremely advanced stages), were able to reverse their seemingly hopeless conditions by switching to a diet that was predominantly based on raw, organic plant-based foods.

The healing properties of phytonutrients are well known within the holistic health community. Conventional medicine, on the other hand, remains committed to relying on pumping the bodies of those afflicted with various types of cancers with radioactive chemicals that are themselves known to be carcinogenic.

Unlike diets chock full of healing foods, radiation therapies have the financially lucrative incentive of being patented, approved by the FDA and having their exorbitant (and superficially inflated) costs passed along to insurance companies to foot most of the bill.

Because beating cancer through holistic means represents a fringe subset in the fight against this pervasive disease that is 2nd only to heart disease as a leading cause of death in America, the science of why a plant based diet is so effective at fighting off cancer has not been extensively documented within the mainstream medical community.

Still, it’s logical that ridding the body of all the toxic carcinogenic ingredients that most Americans are consuming, and replacing them with natural foods containing more nutrition in a serving or two than they were previously receiving in a full month’s time, would be a powerful weapon in the fight against any disease – and perhaps especially against one like cancer that is largely believed to be predominantly caused by direct exposure to toxins.

New Study Finds Vitamin A to Be a Powerful Cancer Fighting Nutrient

Vitamin A Fights Cancer

A recent study was published in the International Journal of Oncology that provides new evidence to the healing properties associated with plant-based foods.

The study was performed by Sandra V. Fernandez, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, and colleagues, where they used a model of breast cancer progression composed of four types of cells, each one representing a different stage of breast cancer: normal, pre-cancerous, cancerous and a fully aggressive model.

When the researchers exposed the four breast cell types to different concentrations of retinoic acid – one of the chemicals that the body converts vitamin A into – they noticed a strong change in the pre-cancerous cells.

Not only did the pre-cancerous cells begin to look more like normal cells in terms of their shape, they also changed their genetic signature back to normal.

Unfortunately, the retinoic acid seemingly had little or no effect on the cells that had advanced beyond being pre-cancerous.

Nevertheless, this effect that retinoic acid had on pre-cancerous cells in this study holds a lot of promise for Vitamin A being a powerful nutrient in the fight against cancer, particularly as a preventative agent.

How To Get More Vitamin A In Your Diet

As you might have guessed, the richest sources of vitamin A come from the vegetable kingdom. Foods with the highest concentrations of vitamin A per serving include:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Greens and lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Red and green peppers

Actually, I should point out that these foods don’t technically contain pure vitamin A. They contain pro-vitamin A carotenoids (such as beta carotene and alpha carotene) that are converted into retinol (a type of vitamin A) in the small intestine as they are digested and processed.

In addition to being implicated as a nutritional means of preventing cancer, foods containing beta carotene and alpha carotene have also been shown to reduce the risk of death from America’s #1 killer: heart disease.

In a 2011 study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people with the highest blood levels of alpha-carotene were 39 percent less likely to die over the course of the 18-year study than those with the lowest levels.

The greatest effect was seen through lowered death rates from heart disease and cancer. Notably, alpha-carotene-rich foods appeared to protect against lung cancer better than any other vegetables did.

Optimal Nutrition Is About So Much More Than Just Carbs, Fats and Proteins

Carbs, fats and proteins hog nearly all the nutritional attention in America and around the world today. While these macronutrients are the primary sources of calories within the foods we consume, human biology dictates that our bodies require far more nutrition than what we can receive from these sources alone if we are going to survive and thrive.

As should be obvious, phytonutrients such as alpha and beta carotene are integral components in our quest to live disease free with optimal health. The best way to ensure that we have all the nutrients we need is to include as many green vegetables in our diets as possible – and try to include them in every meal.

I personally take things a step further by supplementing with a greens supplement and I recommend that you do the same.

This will ensure that your phytonutrient bases are always covered.

Supplementation notwithstanding, my hope is that studies like these will soon force the medical community to take greater notice of the power of proper nutrition and result in more doctors impressing the importance of preventative nutrition upon their patients, and not be so quick to prescribe medication designed to only mask their symptoms, instead of seeking a permanent solution by treating their root cause.

Our current healthcare system is anything but health care, as it doesn’t care for our health at all. Truth be told, it mostly just sustains the sick with fingers crossed that things will get better on their own.

I’m being a little facetious here, but this is much closer to the truth than most people realize.

The bottom line is this: You have to gain control over your health. No one else can do it for you. And it all starts and ends with nutrition.

And you can rest assured that I will continue to be here to arm you with the knowledge you need to prevent disease and live a long, healthy, vibrant life.

Can Vitamin A Turn Back the Clock on Breast Cancer?
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Photo Credits:

1 Green Foods With Extraordinary Healing Powers
2 Cancer Is A Serious Subject…

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