#6-Blog – Can Nutraceutical Prevent Cancer?
Does the term “Cancer” scares you as well ? It is such a powerful word that evokes fear. However, there are well accepted preventive measures that can be considered healthy, among them one is the use of Nutraceutical products.
Today we will be discussing vital role of nutraceutical in cancer management. The concept of nutraceutical although has prevailed around years ago but still it is yet to gain much recognition in India.
Nutraceuticals are the compounds or their sources with human health benefits beyond basic nutrition. The nutraceutical market is divided into food, beverages, and dietary supplements. These products mostly comprise of phytochemicals, antioxidants, prebiotics and probiotics.
The picture above depicts the different Chemo preventive agents in nutraceuticals.
Phytochemicals derived from the dietary or medicinal plant such as garlic, ginger, tea, and soyabean are considered as a good Chemo preventive agents. Let’s not go afar, a common kitchen ingredient like Ginger is useful to combat gastrointestinal cancer. We all know that, Chemo prevention is the use of dietary or herbal substances to prevent a disease, as opposed to Chemotherapy, wherein synthetic chemicals are used to alleviate the symptoms of a disease. Thus, the potential use of nutraceutical has prompted a surge due to its branching benefits in disease prevention. Phytochemicals like Flavonoids, Genistein, Still beans, Sulphur-containing compounds and many other phenolic compounds have been identified to have a mechanism of action that prevents apoptosis in human body. Antioxidants help in decreasing the spread of cancer induced by oxidative stress.
Cancer initiation is associated with oncogene activation caused by free radicals. Thus, antioxidants like β- Carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E plays a vital role in prevention of diseases like cancer.
The presence of core antioxidants and bioactive compounds have boosted the strength of nutraceutical products. Low levels of antioxidants and some other important compounds in fruits does not mean that these compounds are more effective or safe when consumed in higher doses. The higher dose may increase the risk of toxicity.
The additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables are responsible for their anticancer activities. Consumption of nutraceutical products or a slight diet modification by increasing the consumption of wide variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a proven practical strategy to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and to gain a healthy lifestyle.
Ultimately, the famous quote “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food” has stood the test of time. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed reading the blog. Eat healthy and stay safe.