Lee Euler, Editor
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About Cancer Defeated!
Should You Believe the Internet Rumors about This "Miracle Cancer Cure"?
Do you believe everything you read on the Internet? I hope not...
Here's the short version of the story: Despite all the buzz, asparagus can't be considered a miracle cure for cancer. The original 1979 article is nowhere to be found, as far as the Cancer Defeated research staff can determine. If anyone has a copy, kindly forward it to me and I'll publish a correction.
A plethora of health benefits
The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans valued asparagus for its medicinal value in addition to enjoying it as a food. The second century physician Galen attributed cleansing and healing properties to asparagus.
Nutrients galore!The National Cancer Institute's The Glutathione Report names asparagus as the one food that tested highest in glutathione (GSH) — a phyto-chemical that's an antioxidant with cancer-fighting properties. Alternative health experts rate glutathione as one of the most valuable antioxidants. Your body makes its own glutathione, but less every year as you age, and it's not easy to find it in the form of food.
Asparagus is also rich in cancer-blocking vitamins A (as beta-carotene) and C, as well as selenium. All three nutrients have been singled out in studies as fierce cancer fighters, which you probably knew, assuming you're not brand new to alternative health. There's more: Asparagus contains vitamin E, zinc and manganese, anti-inflammatory saponins, flavonoids, and inulin.
What's inulin? It's a carbohydrate that supports digestion by encouraging the growth of the friendly bacteria Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli in your intestinal tract.
Asparagus is also an excellent source of the anti-inflammatory vitamin K… plus vitamin B1, B2 and B3, bone-building copper, and phosphorus.
It contains another B vitamin, folic acid. You can get 135 micrograms of folic acid — half your Recommended Daily Allowance or RDA — in just six spears of asparagus.
One cup of asparagus contains more than 11% of the RDA of dietary fiber and nearly 10% of the RDA of protein… serving to stabilize digestion, curb overeating, maintain proper blood sugar, and prevent constipation. All with just a 43-calorie hit.
Add in potassium, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, and rutin (a compound that strengthens capillary walls) — and you have one powerful health-promoting food.
Notice I said food — not supplement. I'll explain why that's important in a moment.
But it's the glutathione that probably spurred the Internet rumors of asparagus as the world's most amazing cancer cure.
The truth about glutathione, cancer,
At least one published study estimates the amount of glutathione in fresh asparagus averages 28 milligrams per 3½ ounces.1
You lose 8-12% of your GSH per decade —
GSH acts as a sentry, protecting your genes from attack. Scientists estimate that each of your cells withstands 10,000 free radical hits every day. GSH disarms these free radicals before they can wreak havoc, and can help clean up already-existing damage.
"If you look in a hospital situation at people who have cancer, AIDS or other very serious disease, almost invariably they are depleted in glutathione. The reasons for this are not completely understood, but we do know that glutathione is extremely important for maintaining intracellular health."
Should you take a glutathione supplement?
People have tried glutathione for a host of conditions — including cancer, high blood pressure, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cataracts, and male infertility.
What scientific studies DO say
Although we'd have to say the Internet rumors are overblown based on current studies, there are some encouraging preliminary studies about asparagus as an anti-cancer agent.
Healthy conclusions about asparagus
Since asparagus contains so many nutrients, it deserves a regular place in your healthy diet — along with other fruits and veggies. As already noted, it's best to get most of your nutrients from whole foods. Think of the meaning of the word supplement… and optimize your diet with increased fruits and vegetables today. Then let supplements be supplements.
How to buy and prepare
Some asparagus are thick and some are thin. We recommend thick ones for roasting or steaming, thin ones for grilling or sautéing.
If you’d like to comment, write me at [email protected]. Please do not write asking for personal advice about your health. I’m prohibited by law from assisting you. If you want to contact us about a product you purchased or a service issue, the email address is [email protected].
Editor in Chief: Lee Euler Contributing Editors: Mindy Tyson McHorse, Carol Parks, Roz Roscoe Marketing: Shane Holley Information Technology Advisor: Michelle Mato Webmaster: Steve MacLellan Fulfillment & Customer Service: Joe Ackerson and Cami Lemr
Health Disclaimer: The information provided above is not intended as personal medical advice or instructions. You should not take any action affecting your health without consulting a qualified health professional. The authors and publishers of the information above are not doctors or health-caregivers. The authors and publishers believe the information to be accurate but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. There is some risk associated with ANY cancer treatment, and the reader should not act on the information above unless he or she is willing to assume the full risk.