Turmeric is widely known for its effect on cancer, but current research has shown that its’ cousin ginger, is just as powerful. An active compound in ginger has been found to be more effective than some cancer medications when it comes to killing cancer. There is preliminary evidence of some cancer medications being completely ineffective and accelerating the death of cancer patients.
The Power Of Ginger
Georgia State University conducted one study and found that ginger extract was able to reduce the size of a prostate tumor by 56% in mice. In its effect on cancer, ginger was also said to reduce inflammation and supply the mice with life-enhancing antioxidants.
PLoS published a study where they found one particular component in ginger known as 6-shogaol is superior to conventional cancer medication, namely chemotherapy, at targeting the cause of breast cancer malignancy: breast cancer stem cells (1).
Often referred to as ‘mother cells,’ cancer stem cells are the cause of a wide range of cancers. These ‘mother cells’ are responsible for creating the ‘daughter’ cell types that make up the tumor colony. While cancer stem cells only constitute .2 to 1% of the cell makeup of the tumor, they act almost ‘immortal.’
What this means is, these cancer stem cells can self-renew, and they are capable of continuous differentiation, they are also resistant to conventional chemotherapeutic agents, and are capable of splitting off and forming new tumor colonies. The only way to ensure that your body is cancer free, is to destroy the cancer stem cells within a tumor.
This new study found that the pungent constituent in ginger known as 6-shogaol is very active when it comes to anti-cancer stem behavior. This constituent is produced when the root is either dried or cooked, both very common uses for ginger already. There is something very specific about 6-shogaol that makes it potentially superior to some available chemotherapy treatments for cancer.
Researchers found that the cancer-destroying effects occurred at concentrations that were non-toxic to non-cancer cells. That means, this particular component of ginger only killed cancer cells, leaving healthy cells alone. This makes it very different from conventional cancer treatments that do not display that kind of selective cytotoxicity.
When it comes to breast cancer, 6-shogaol significantly affects the cell cycle, which resulted in increased cancer cell death. It induces programmed cell death through the induction of autophagy. It inhibits breast cancer spheroids (lumps) from forming. But that isn’t the only astounding thing about 6-shogaol.
This study also found, that tests of the cancer drug Taxol, did not show the same level of effectiveness at destroying cancer stem cells and tumors as 6-shogaol. Even when Taxol concentrations were increased, it was still found that 6-shogaol was 10,000 times more effective at killing cancer stem cells, stopping tumors from forming, and keeping healthy cells alive.
Of course, more research needs to be done to show how ‘modern cancer medicine’ may not be as effective as natural remedies, this is promising preliminary research.
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