Cancer prevention

The Optimal Anti-Cancer Diet (1-2)

In light of the scientific data currently available on the potential anti-cancer properties of dietary-derived molecules, it is possible to elaborate what could be called "the optimal anti-cancer diet," a dietary guide based primarily on the intake of foods known to be exceptional sources of anti-cancer molecules. Since several of the molecules that possess the strongest anti-cancer properties are present in a limited number of foods only, it is essential to include these phytochemical-rich foods in our diet in order to maximize their protective anti-cancer effects. This is a vital part of the strategy because the presence of different classes of anti-cancer molecules makes it possible to target several of the processes involved in the progression of the disease. No single food on its own contains all the anti-cancer molecules capable of acting on all the processes involved in tumour development. This fact underscores the importance of integrating a large variety of foods in our diet. For example, consuming cruciferous vegetables or vegetables from the Allium family helps the body eliminate carcinogenic substances, thereby reducing the latter's capacity to induce mutations in DNA and promote the appearance of cancer cells. Likewise, green tea, berries and soy prevent the formation of new blood vessels required for the growth of micro-tumours with the result that these tumours are maintained in a latent state (anti-angiogenic effect).

Richard Béliveau

News Flash!

One study has recently shown that apigenin and luteolin, two polyphenols found in large quantities in celery and parsley, can prevent the development of pancreatic cancer. Download this column.