The Role of Polyphenols and Botanicals in Metabolic Reprogramming
According to the World Health Organization, one-third of all cancer deaths are preventable through an increased consumption of natural compounds able to modulate key molecular signaling cascades that ultimately inhibit cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis.,,,,,
One of the many cancer targeting effects of botanical and food compounds is their ability to increase efficiency of energy metabolic pathways and potentially reprogram cancer cell metabolism. The metabolic properties of malignant cells differ significantly from those of normal cells, providing the potential to target cellular metabolism to improve the selectivity of anticancer therapeutics.
In exciting new research, clinical studies for the first time are reporting convincing evidence of the value and credibility of herbal therapeutics in cancer treatments. As an herbalist, botanical medicine has been an essential part of my toolbox for decades as a useful complement to conventional medicine in oncology as well as other chronic diseases, and for general health optimization.
Health Optimization and Adaptogens –
An Effective Strategy Against Pathogens
In general, I
am astonished by how little attention is placed on the value and importance of
good health in our society. In the face of the current pandemic, with
underlying co-morbidities present in an estimated 60% of the population,
increasing the risk of death from complications, there is an even greater
urgency to educate our communities and urge our citizens to adopt the key
components to optimal health. For example, there is now a clear association
between diabetes and increased mortality and severity in COVID-19 pneumonia,
and ocular symptoms of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2).
These and many other underlying conditions can be successfully managed by
applying the fundamental building blocks to optimal health and wellness, which
include nutrition, botanical medicine, lifestyle, and diet. The more robust our
health at the molecular, cellular, and organ system levels, the better equipped
we are to resist and recover from disease.
The vibrant colors we observe in plants serve a
different role depending on the organism being considered. For the plant itself, the pigments may aid in
the absorption of light and photosynthesis, as well as contribute to metabolism
and reproduction. For birds and insects,
the pigments provide a signal to the availability of food, such as nectar or
pollen. For humans, the pigments may
provide a clue of the type of health benefits we are likely to incur upon
unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it
is one of those things which give value to survival.”
Lewis, The Four Loves
these unprecedented times, it’s important for all of us to focus on positive
steps that we can take to stay healthy, not only physically, but also emotionally
and spiritually. As difficult as things may appear to be, remember that within
every crisis lie opportunities for growth and change.
Commentary on the Widely Disseminated Article entitled “Dietary
Supplement Use During Chemotherapy and Survival Outcomes of Patients with
Breast Cancer Enrolled in a Cooperative Group Clinical Trial (SWOG SO221)”
Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, December 2019
The DELCaP study, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology evaluating
the use of dietary supplements during chemotherapy, has alarmed many patients
and raised troubling questions for health practitioners.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate associations between ‘antioxidant’ supplement
use and breast cancer outcomes in light of the widespread use of supplements
during cancer therapies and the ongoing debate over concerns that antioxidants
could reduce the cytotoxic effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated
by chemotherapy agents. The authors claim that the use of dietary supplements
before and during chemotherapy is associated with an increased risk of
recurrence and, to a lesser extent, death.1