Restricting Calories: Preventing Cancer?

By Posted on Leave a comment on Restricting Calories: Preventing Cancer?

The morning research conference session starts out with the tantalizing question of how can delay aging, asked by Rafael de Cabo, PhD. Dr. Cabo, who works at NIH’s National Institute on Aging, said how in the lab, the only way that we can restrict aging so far is by calorie restriction. Caloric restriction also delays tumor formation. (In lab research, caloric restriction diets are usually extreme.)

Caloric restriction seems counter-intuitive, he explains. You would think that lowering one’s calories – energy – would lead to fatigue and the organisms’ functions would shut down. But that is not the case; it somehow uses the energy it has in a different way.

Somehow, Dr. Cabo said, the organism or cell has a way to sense the nutrients. Dr. Cabo presented his lab’s research on the link between a specific gene — Nrf2 – and caloric restriction. He is looking at if Nrf2 activates the effect of calorie restriction, and if so, how it works. As usual, his research is turning up more questions and is ongoing.

SHARE:

    Phytochemicals: The Big Picture

    By Posted on Leave a comment on Phytochemicals: The Big Picture

    It’s the end of the afternoon session and Dr. Young-Joon Surh from South Korea is giving an overview of the health benefits of phytochemicals when it comes to cancer prevention. He talks about the work they have done on the health benefits of resveratrol, which has shown anti-cancer properties. Name a fruit or vegetable (or spice) and it likely contains a phytochemical studied for cancer prevention – or other health benefits. 36_Pike_Place_Market_very_long_display_of_fruits_and_vegetables

    There’s many, many studies revealing how these phytochemicals act in the body: A lot of it seems to relate to reducing chronic inflammation. Hopefully soon, says Dr. Surh, we will know enough to identify what foods will help different groups of people at high-risk for cancer.

    SHARE:

      Ginseng Against Colorectal Cancer

      Researchers have identified over 30 major components in ginseng, Studies have shown that ginseng possibly enhances the immune systems, acts as an anti-oxidant, reduces blood glucose level, and has anti-cancer activities.

      SHARE:
        By Posted on Leave a comment on Ginseng Against Colorectal Cancer

        Chun-Su Yuan, MD, PhD, began his presentation recounting how about 30-50% of cancer patients use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including herbs. The Director of the University of Chicago’s Tang Center for Herbal Medicine, Dr. Yuan gave an interesting talk on his research involving colorectal cancer and ginseng – one of the most studied herbs when it comes to health benefits.

        Researchers have identified over 30 major components in ginseng, Studies have shown that ginseng possibly enhances the immune systems, acts as an anti-oxidant, reduces blood glucose level, and has anti-cancer activities.

        Laboratory studies by Dr. Yuan and his colleagues have shown ginseng reduces tumor development in mice. Heating ginseng led to even more effective anti-cancer activities. The studies suggest the ginseng herb has potential anti-cancer activities but it needs verification. They will continue laboratory research and hopefully start clinical trials (studies conducted on cancer patients) in the next several years.

        But as noted in an AICR column, people with high blood pressure or hypoglycemia are usually warned to be wary of consuming ginseng.

        ss_ginseng

        SHARE: