The body of a typical adult has 60,000 miles of blood vessels, which is enough to circle the Earth twice. The smallest of these blood vessels are called capillaries, which each contain about 19 billion. In a way, these are the vessels that carry life, but they can also carry death.
The body can regulate the number of blood vessels present at any given time through a sophisticated system of activators and inhibitors. This process, known as angiogenesis, controls the formation of new blood vessels. When we need an increase in blood vessels, for example after an injury or during pregnancy, the existing blood vessels secrete steroids (proteins called angiogenic factors) that stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. When these extra blood vessels are no longer needed, the body trims them back to their base amount using naturally occurring inhibitors of angiogenesis.
However, for a number of diseases, there are obvious flaws in this system, in which the body cannot trim excess blood vessels or cannot grow enough new blood vessels when needed.
As Dr. William Lee explained in his TED talk, “Can we eat to starve cancer?” This defect in angiogenesis leads to a variety of severe diseases. Insufficient angiogenesis (oligovascularization) leads to conditions such as chronic wounds, coronary heart disease, and neuropathy. Excess angiogenesis (angiogenesis) also leads to disease, as seen in cancer, arthritis, and obesity.
“Altogether, there are more than 70 major diseases affecting more than 1 billion people worldwide that share abnormal angiogenesis as a common denominator,” Lee told me.
Abnormal angiogenesis occurs in every type of cancer, although cancers are completely harmless when they first start growing. Crabs begin as microscopic nests of cells that grow to only 0.5 cubic millimeters (about the tip of a ballpoint pen). These nests cannot get larger because they do not have a blood supply and therefore cannot access enough oxygen and nutrients.
According to Li, “autopsy studies of people who have died in car accidents have shown that about 40% of women between the ages of 40 and 50 actually have microscopic carcinomas in their chests. About 50% of men in their 50s and 60s have microscopic prostate cancer. In In fact, by the time we reach our 70s, we will have microscopic carcinomas growing in the thyroid.”
We probably form these microscopic cancers in our bodies all the time, but most of them will never become dangerous. With the normal balance of angiogenesis, your body can prevent blood vessels from reaching cancer cells, thus preventing tumors from growing.
The problem occurs when cancer cells mutate and acquire the ability to produce so many vasodilatory factors that stimulate blood vessels to grow toward the source of the cancer. Once a tumor has access to oxygen and nutrients from the blood vessels, it can expand and invade local tissues. These blood vessels not only feed tumors, but also enable cancer cells to enter the circulation and spread. Once angiogenesis occurs, the cancers grow large and go from being harmless to fatal. This late stage of cancer is the stage when people are most likely to be diagnosed.
In contrast to chemotherapy, a recently discovered antiangiogenic therapy cuts off the blood supply to tumors by targeting the blood vessels that feed the cancer. The first treatments for people and dogs are already becoming available. There are 12 different drugs that cover 11 different types of cancer, such as Avastin that treats colon, lung, breast, brain and kidney cancer, as well as Palladia that treats mast cell tumors in canines.
“Beginning in 2004, when antiangiogenic therapies first became available, there was a 70-100% improvement in survival for cancer patients with metastatic kidney cancer, multiple myeloma, metastatic colorectal cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumors compared to when chemotherapy was performed and “Radiation is the only treatment available,” Lee said. But rather than treating cancer when tumors are already metastasized, it focuses on helping individuals avoid cancer altogether by preventing angiogenesis.
With the discovery that diet accounts for 30-50% of cancers caused by the environment, Lee used a test system of food extracts and blood vessels to create a list of natural antiangiogenic foods that boost the body’s defense system and beat blood-fueled cancer. utensils. This list includes green tea, berries, citrus fruits, red grapes, red wine, bok choy, kale, soybeans, ginseng, mushrooms, licorice, turmeric, nutmeg, artichokes, lavender, pumpkin, sea cucumber, tuna, parsley, garlic olive oil, grape seed oil, dark chocolate, and many other common foods.
Lorelei Mocchi, professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, stated that based on the Harvard study of 79,000 men, “Men who consume 2-3 servings of cooked tomatoes per week have a 40-50% lower risk of developing prostate cancer.” .” Of the 8,200 men who actually developed prostate cancer, those who ate more servings of tomato sauce had fewer blood vessels that fueled the cancer. This study is just one example of how antiangiogenic substances consumed at practical levels can have a significant impact on the development of cancer.
As Lee stated, “For many people in the world, dietary cancer prevention may be the only practical solution because not everyone can afford stage cancer treatments. But everyone can benefit from a healthy diet based on local and sustainable antiangiogenic crops.”