Saturday, January 19, 2013

Phytonutrients, Cancer and Acupuncture

Cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, parsnips, kale, and bean sprouts. Dr. Nieske Zabriskie cited scientific evidence to explain why increased intake of cruciferous vegetables has been shown to decrease overall cancer risk. One of the constituents found in these vegetables, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), has been widely studied as a potential chemo-preventative and chemotherapeutic agent, indole-
3-carbinol (I3C) has the following beneficial effects for our health, according to Dr.
Niewske Zabriski:
1. It increases estrogen metabolism via the beneficial 2-hydroxylation pathway in humans from 29 percent to over 45 percent. Increasing the 2-hydroxylation pathway decreases the activity of the other, more harmful pathways.
2. The good estrogen, metabolites, 2-hydroxylation end products, decreases cell proliferation and increases programmed cell death, which are important in the prevention of cancer.
3. I3C also increases the expression of the well-known breast cancer suppression gene
BRCA1. Additionally, I3C inhibits the activation of estrogen receptors by estradiol, which prevents estrogen-enhanced cancers.
4. I3C also protects against cervical cancer. Estrogen promotes development of cervical cancer in cells infected with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV). I3C and 2-
hydroxyestrone inhibiting the estrogen-increased expression of the HPV cancer- promoting genes.
5. Evidence also demonstrates that I3C is a potent scavenger of free-radicals, highly reactive chemicals that cause damage in the body and lead to aging, degenerative diseases, and cancer.
6. I3C is acid-catalyzed in the stomach into diindolylmethane (DIM). DIM is believed to be the active beneficial constituent in I3C and cruciferous vegetables. Animal models show that supplementation with I3C prior to exposure of a known carcinogen, decreased the development of breast tumors by 70-90 percent. Studies on human breast cancer cell lines show that DIM inhibits the growth of both estrogen-dependent and estrogen-independent cancer cells by approximately 60 percent. The same study also showed that
DIM binds to the estrogen receptors in these cells, inhibiting the binding of estradiol.
7. Other evidence shows that I3C decreases both the growth of blood supply to cancer cells and the spread of the cancerous cells locally and that it protects the liver from carcinogens.
8. DIM also exhibits anti-androgenic activity. Research shows that DIM inhibits
dihydyrotestosterone (DHT) from binding to androgen receptors in androgen-dependent human prostate cancer cells, decreasing the induction of DNA synthesis. DIM also decreased levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA).
If cruciferous vegetables have so many protective effects, then why are they so unpopular? First of all, these vegetables require enzymes to digest, so if you've never eaten them, your body might not be able to digest them, due to the complexity of the compounds involved. You will have bloating, gas and indigestion. So when you finally do decide to eat these vegetables, you might start with a small steamed serving. You have to find the right amount in order to avoid indigestion. Also acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help you to digest them more efficiently by bringing more blood flow to the stomach area.
Secondly, these vegetables have no spontaneous stimulating effect on your brain and cannot induce dopamine, endorphines or serotonin instantly as sweets and alcohol do. It takes time for your body to produce the beneficial effect. When you change eating habits like this, the stress can cause other problems. Therefore acupuncture can help your body to cope in order to develop a new healthier habit by facilitating its ability to produce more dopamine, serotonin and GABA. Thirdly, If you are taking anti-acid medication, you might have more difficulty digesting. You could use acupuncture and herbs to reduce any acid reflux instead of taking the anti-acid to stop it, because acid is very critical to digesting fibers, vitamins and minerals. Acupuncture can improve your digestion and strengthen the esophagus and stomach muscle tone and prevent acid from coming up in your throat. Acupuncture can also facilitate regular stomach and intestine movement to reduce stomach pressure.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Estrogen, Testosterone Acupuncture, and Prostate Cancer

             Dr. John Lee said estrogen can be the angel of the life and the angel of the death. When estrogen is metabolized abnormally, it can modify the gene expression and alter important intracellular signaling sequences, that promote abnormal cell growth and endothelial damage by creating the vasoconstriction and high cholesterol. Thus too much estrogen can be a weak DNA damaging (genotoxic) carcinogen and stimulate tumor-cell activators. For women, abnormally metabolized estrogen can lead to uterus, breast and ovarian cancer, for men, prostate cancer. A new article published in Molecular Cell Endocrinology in 2012 explained that testosterone can be metabolized to estradiol by aromatase in the fat cells, breast cells, endothelial cells and prostate cells.  Dr. Bosland MC of U. of Illinois at Chicago did experiment in which  estradiol is applied to the rats, prostate cancer incidence is markedly increased and even a short course of estrogen treatment results in a high incidence of prostate cancer.

            In the old time, prostate cancer usually was more common in older people. By age of eighty years old, more than 50% percent of men may have enlarged prostate. But most older men do not die of prostate cancer, because they do not have imbalanced estrogen and testosterone. Why some men develop prostate cancer, while others do not. This depends how the testosterone is metabolized. The testosterone can be metabolized to 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone which cannot be aromatized to estrogen and hardly induces prostate cancer. On the other hand, if too much testosterone is converted by an enzyme called aromatase, into estrogen, it may lead to prostate cancer. Therefore it is not testosterone itself but how it is metabolized that leads to prostate cancer. Estrogen receptors are expressed in the prostate and may mediate which direction the testosterone can be metabolized. In the rat prostate, DNA damage can result from estrogen treatment; This phenomenon can occur prior to cancer development and at exactly the same location. Masayoshi Hiramatsu et al. suggested in a book called Prostate, that overexpression of aromatase, possibly attributable to abnormal gene regulation, may result in abnormal estrogen production in situ and play a role in the induction or development of human prostatic disorders.

             Why are more and more younger men diagnosed with benign prostate enlargement and prostate cancer even in their forties or fifties? Because as a society, we eat more and more processed food or simple sugar every day,  which can be converted into fat due to our sedentary life style. Simple sugars can lead to an insulin surge, which causes inflammation. More fat means more testosterone can be converted into estrogen by aromatase. An abnormal level of estrogen, stress, lack of exercises and inflammation together can turn on bad gene expression.  Drinking alcohol regularly may not only cause impotence due to lowered level of testosterone, but also increase activity of aromatase abnormally, which lead to more intracellular estrogen production from testosterone.

         How does acupuncture help prevent or treat prostate cancer? First acupuncture can balance your immune function to reduce general inflammation, which is closely related with cancer development. Secondly, acupuncture can change the way you metabolize by improving your digestive and thyroid function.  So when you eat certain foods, instead of storing all the calories as fat, you produce more energy and heat to let your body work more efficiently. Less fat, less estrogen and less gene mutation. Thirdly, acupuncture can reduce stress improving your sleep, reducing,  anxiety and enhancing  natural killer cell activity, which is critical during chemo- and radiation therapy treatment. Fourthly, acupuncture help your body produce more feel good hormones, such as GABA, Serotonin and Dopamine, so you do not have to drink alcohol to feel good and relax.