Including neutraceuticals in our diet is crucial because the risk of developing cancer is ever-present. In fact, most individuals have precancerous cells in their tissue that require an environment conducive to growing and invading other tissue. Using the anti-cancer molecules in foods as a preventive weapon is therefore essential to maintaining these tumours in a latent state and to preventing their progression to full-blown cancer.
This approach may be considered as a form of chemotherapy that uses the arsenal of anti-cancer molecules in foods in order to fight cancer cells that develop spontaneously in our bodies. Preventing cancer by supplementing our bodies with anti-cancer agents of dietary origin therefore constitutes an additional tool that we can all use as a means of protecting ourselves. Consuming fruits and vegetables on a regular basis corresponds to a form of preventive chemotherapy that counteracts the development of cancer at several levels:
- Cytotoxicity against tumour cells
- Anti-angiogenic properties
- Modulation of the immune response
- Increase in intestinal absorption or inhibition of hepatic metabolism
We need to consider our bodies as a battlefield in which an interminable war is being waged between mutated cells seeking to develop into autonomous entities and to degenerate into cancer and our defense mechanisms endeavouring to preserve the integrity of the organism. Preventing cancer through diet thus entails the consumption of the anti-cancer molecules present in certain foods in order to create a hostile environment in which micro-tumours are constantly being bombarded and ultimately prevented from developing into cancer (akin to the goal of chemotherapy). With a diet that is high in unhealthy foods or that lacks protective foods such as certain fruits and vegetables, latent tumours will be in an environment that promotes their growth, and they may therefore be more likely to develop into cancer. With a diet rich in protective foods that contains only a small proportion of potentially cancer-causing foods, the growth of micro-tumours will instead be stifled and the risk of developing cancer will be reduced.