It’s hard to believe, but each one of us undergoes around eight hundred hits to our DNA—every hour. That’s as many as 19,200 attacks—or potential mutations—every single day!
This is why it’s so important to take care of your body and eat the right foods. Each one of these mutations could potentially give rise to cancer.
The good news is, you’re not completely at the mercy of whatever genes you were born with that leave you vulnerable to mutations. Based on how you treat your body, you may be able to control some of your DNA-repair capabilities.
Even better, you can make a huge difference in the long-term health of your DNA, in turn cutting your cancer risk, by eating something as simple as an orange. Here’s why…
Is Drinking Too Much,
Citrus: The ultimate DNA repairman
A few years ago, the journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism published a study that looked at the “genoprotective effect” of orange juice. The researchers tracked subjects who gave blood samples both before and two hours after drinking 400 ml (about 13 ½ ounces) of commercial orange juice.
A week later, the subjects drank water supplemented with vitamin C and glucose and gave blood samples again both before and two hours after ingestion.
Researchers measured both pre- and post-ingestion DNA damage scores, and found a significant decrease in DNA damage two hours after drinking orange juice. But after drinking the water-vitamin C solution, there was no change in baseline DNA damage.
Another study, published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, looked at the effect of several different types of whole fruits and vegetables on DNA. Citrus fruits were found to have the strongest positive effect in boosting DNA repair.
This potentially explains why eating citrus foods is tied to lower breast cancer risk and lower esophageal cancer risk. In two different studies, the risk of these two types of cancer was inversely related to citrus fruit consumption. That is, the more citrus fruit, the less cancer.
These were some of the first studies that looked at the effect of specific whole foods on cancer risk. Other studies have gone on to suggest that citrus intake may improve prevention of several other cancers, including pancreatic, colon, and prostate cancer.
A world of nutritional wonder
Oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are the most common types of citrus fruit people consume. Each of these is a complex source of the carotenoid β-cryptoxanthin, β-carotene (i.e. beta carotene), folate, vitamin C, and the flavonoid quercetin.
One of the relevant mechanisms for protection is that citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which neutralizes free radicals and also regenerates other antioxidant vitamins. In addition, C helps block the formation of carcinogens that attack DNA and force it to mutate.
Less familiar to most people are two citrus flavonoids known as hesperetin and naringenin. Found in oranges and grapefruits, they’ve been shown to inhibit the proliferation of human breast cancer cells.
What’s the best way to consume citrus?
Before you stock up on every citrus juice imaginable or start spritzing lemon and lime onto all your food, know that some of the most powerful anti-cancer compounds, in terms of improving DNA repair, are actually found in the peel of citrus fruits. That’s where concentrations of β-cryptoxanthin are at their highest. Even at low concentrations, this particular carotenoid has a striking effect on DNA repair.
The same thing is true for d-limonene, which is found in the peeling oils of oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. In a study published by Nutrition and Cancer that looked at skin cancer risk versus citrus consumption in an older population of people who lived in Arizona, high citrus peel intake appeared to have a significant effect on lowering skin cancer risk.
But even if you don’t consume the peels, the meat of citrus fruits is also loaded with DNA-repair capabilities. However, for nutritional value the juice comes in third behind the peels and the meat. This could be because with juice you’re not benefiting from the mix of fiber and other nutrients and antioxidants found in the solid parts of the fruit.
If you prefer pulp-free juice, as many people do, you’re removing even more of the good nutrients.
Besides that, sugar makes up a higher percentage of the content of the juice than of the whole fruit, and sugar – even fruit sugar – is the least desirable type of food. Also, fiber – of the sort found in both peels and pulp – is thought to modulate the absorption of sugar so it doesn’t spike your blood glucose.
Long story short, you’re better off eating the whole fruit than drinking juice.
Regardless of how you consume your citrus, aim at the very least to eat the real thing. Citrus supplements don’t have nearly the same powerful effect as the actual fruit.
Just be careful of this particular citrus fruit…
Be cautious about one thing if you decide to make whole citrus fruits a regular part of your diet, and that’s grapefruit. Both grapefruit and grapefruit juice appear to interact with various drugs, and often in a negative way.
For starters, grapefruit can suppress the enzymes that metabolize medication. This makes it harder for your body to clear drugs out of your system, which translates to higher drug levels in your bloodstream.
If you’re talking about something as innocuous as coffee, then you might enjoy higher caffeine levels if you consume grapefruit in the same meal. But high levels of more serious drugs can give you a higher risk of side effects.
So if you’re on a regimen of prescribed drugs and want to eat grapefruit regularly, just let your physician know in case it’s appropriate to change your dose. Other than that, any opportunity you can find to add citrus zest (grated peels) or whole fruit to your diet is an opportunity worth taking.
As most people who are serious about health already know, your supermarket is your medicine cabinet if you know what to do. Our last article highlighted another example – chamomile tea. If you missed it — and you’re unaware of the incredible benefits of this soothing drink – you can scroll down and read it now.
Natural Sleep-Aid Fights Cancer, Too
This ancient herb tells cancer cells to commit suicide – in a significant way. Especially if you partake of it regularly over a period of years.
In one study, people who enjoyed it for 30 years had an astounding 80 percent lower risk of thyroid problems, including thyroid cancer.1
Rumor has it that Hippocrates himself used this ancient remedy to treat stress and anxiety. And now science is confirming its anti-cancer benefits, too.
Breast Cancer Survivor was told:
Doctors didn’t give Wiltrude much hope when they diagnosed her with cancer in the year 2000. Wiltrude, a German psychologist, never thought cancer would happen to her. But it did. And it came as a big shock.
One doctor told her, “You’ll be dead in a year.” Late stage breast cancer is virtually incurable using conventional treatments. Even M.D.s admit it. They talk about “buying you more time.” (Don’t count on it. The evidence shows you’re better off doing nothing than chemo.)
When Wiltrude told her doctor she was going to try alternative treatments, he said, “You are committing suicide with what you’re doing.” But she was determined to find a way to beat her cancer.
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, this European woman came across a book by my good friend Bill Henderson, one of the smartest and wisest people I know when it comes to cancer treatment.
She tried Bill’s top, number one recommendation — a gentle treatment you can do at home for just $5.15 a day. What’s more, the cost goes down to $3.50 after six weeks because you just need a maintenance dose. And it even tastes good.
Not only has Wiltrude passed the five-year cancer survival mark, she’s survived for 12 years. We just interviewed her recently for this publication. The radiologist who tests her every year told her, “You’re the only one with this kind of result.”
You can find out more about Bill’s proven cancer treatment plan if you click here.
When I ask him about some of the treatments that top alternative doctors use, Bill sort of shrugs and says, “They’re fine, but why bother? My treatment works, you can do it yourself, and it costs practically nothing.”
He’s coached thousands of cancer patients with all different types and stages of cancer. Most of the people who follow the detailed, specific plan in this Special Report get over their cancer and live for years.
“Almost any kind of cancer is reversible,” says Bill. “I never give up on anyone.”
Green and black teas are well known for their anti-cancer effects, especially green tea. But herbal chamomile tea may stand head and shoulders above them.
One of the big problems with cancer cells is that they outlive healthy cells. That’s one way they gain the upper hand, spread, and proliferate.
Chamomile’s most important known ingredient is apigenin, which researchers say tells cancer cells to commit suicide – the natural cell death or apoptosis I often mention on this page. The purported basis of many modern drugs is that they make cancer cells die this way, like normal cells.
But why not create the same systemic effect with chamomile, instead of poisoning yourself and enduring drug side effects? Apigenin blocks a certain type of cell splicing that allows cancer cells to reproduce themselves.
Apigenin is found not only in chamomile – but also celery, parsley, and some other fruits, vegetables and herbs. As I see it, the advantage of chamomile is that it’s something you can reasonably drink every day, and it even relaxes you and helps you sleep.
The studies on chamomile are pretty remarkable:
An Ohio State University study showed that apigenin was able to shorten the lives of cancer cells, thereby denying them the opportunity to grow and spread. And it was effective against many types of cancer. (More on that in a moment.)
A study in the Journal of European Health found that chamomile tea helps slow the spread of thyroid cancer. The more years you drink it, the greater the benefits for your thyroid.
Thyroid cancer rates are substantially lower in Greece than in the US or Europe – just 1.6 per every 100,000 people compared to 13.2 and 5.2 per 100,000 in the US and Europe, respectively.2
Greeks are famous for eating a Mediterranean diet of fresh vegetables and healthy fats. But they also enjoy herbal teas. The study found that the more chamomile tea they consumed, the lower their risk of thyroid cancer.
Those who drank chamomile tea two to six times per week were at 70 percent lower risk of thyroid abnormalities. And the benefits were even better for a 30-year habit, as noted above.3
And the news gets even better. . .
Induces apoptosis in numerous cancers
Apigenin has been shown to induce apoptosis in many other types of cancer – including skin, gastric, liver, colon, cervical and prostate. It also inhibits invasion and migration of ovarian cancer cells.
Mice implanted with cells of a deadly fast-growing human breast cancer were treated with apigenin. Cancer growth slowed, tumors became smaller, and the blood vessels feeding the tumors also shrank and reduced blood flow to the tumor cells, starving them of the nutrients they needed to do their deadly work.4
Scientists also know that apigenin inhibits growth in HER2+ breast cancer cells. But its growth inhibitory effects are less powerful for breast cancer cells expressing normal levels of HER2/neu.
In 2013 apigenin was shown to block cancer cells’ ability to short circuit apoptosis and prevent their own deaths.5 Specifically it causes changes in the cancer cell’s gene regulation.
Interestingly, apigenin was also found to bind to 160 proteins in the human body, suggesting it may have far-reaching health effects and is not just a one-trick pony targeting a few kinds of cancer cell.6
Beyond apigenin, a second cancer fighter
Most medicinal plants boast several healing ingredients, not just one. Chamomile is no exception. The luteolin in chamomile has also been identified as a cancer fighter.7 This compound has been shown to:
- Induce apoptosis in oral cancer cells
- Promote cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in colon cancer cells
- Inhibit insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor signaling in prostate cancer cells.
In addition, a major Italian study of 2,569 female breast cancer patients found that the higher their intake of flavones (apigenin, luteolin, etc.) and flavonols, the lower their breast cancer risk.8
Five ways chamomile fights cancer
Chamomile fights cancer in at least five ways:
- A major key to fighting cancer is reducing chronic inflammation, which damages your body at large and your DNA specifically… thereby rolling out the red carpet for cancer. Chamomile helps tamp down inflammation.
- As you’re probably well aware, stress is a major factor in cancer. Chamomile is one of the most soothing of all herbs – a natural relaxant, and superb for fighting stress.
- Insomnia is another known factor in development of cancer and other disease.Chamomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer. One study found that insomniacs who used chamomile improved daytime functioning.And a study published in Molecular Medicine Reports reported that ten cardiac patients immediately fell into a deep 90-minute sleep after drinking chamomile tea.9
- Ever suffer from insomnia triggered by leg cramps or menstrual cramps? Chamomile tea boosts levels of the amino acid glycine. Glycine has many roles in your body, one of which is to calm your muscles and nerves, so that nighttime cramps are less likely to trigger insomnia.
- If you believe (as some evidence shows) that cancer can be caused by an infection, you’ll be happy to discover that chamomile also fights bacteria, fungi, and viruses. I don’t think of chamomile tea as a major anti-microbial, but it can’t do any harm.
An ancient herb with a bright future
Chamomile is wildly popular. The United States imports about one million pounds every year. I suspect this is mainly because it reduces stress and helps people sleep. But as I’ve tried to show, it can have many other far-reaching healing benefits.
The American Botanical Council notes they have studies to support its use for diarrhea, colic relief in infants, wound healing, ADHD, digestive issues, and glucose control for diabetics.
They also cite that it’s helpful for cardiovascular conditions and digestive upset, stimulates your immune system, and of course, provides some protection against cancer.
Chamomile has been used since antiquity and will likely be used far into the future.
Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea before bed or after a stressful day. It’s a far healthier de-stressor than alcohol, and doesn’t disrupt sleep like alcohol does.
Less well known – but interesting – is that you can soak in it as a bath additive, gargle with it, or use as a wash for inflamed mucous membranes. Rub a couple drops of chamomile essential oil in your palms, put over your nose, and breathe deeply.
Chamomile has an excellent safety record – but there are a few instances where it may not be a good idea.
If you’re allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, asters, yarrow flower, arnica, or marigold, you might also be allergic to chamomile.
And if you’re taking any blood-thinning medication please consult your physician before using chamomile. Though the evidence is not conclusive, potential interactions have been reported.