Lung cancer is an umbrella term for a type of respiratory cancer that develops in any of the cells lining the air passages, not just the lungs themselves. It is commonly diagnosed every year across Western society, with around 222 520 Americans potentially being diagnosed this year, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and with almost half of these potentially developing into fatal numbers.
Although lung cancer is notoriously difficult to treat once it has taken hold, French scientists have discovered several natural substances that offer substantial protection from the malignancy.
In a study of almost 400 000 participants, those who had higher blood levels of vitamin B6 and the essential amino acid methionine (found in forms of protein in the diet as well as in supplemental form) had the lowest risk of lung cancer - even those who were former or current smokers – although it is obviously important to remember that quitting smoking, passively or otherwise, would significantly reduce cancer risks by a huge factor in itself.
For the study, which was just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Paul Brennan, Ph.D., of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France, and colleagues documented B vitamins and methionine levels based on serum samples from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort study.
In all, they investigated 385 747 research subjects from 10 European countries. By 2006, 899 had been diagnosed with lung cancer; they were compared to 1 770 control participants and all were individually matched by country, sex, date of birth, and date of blood collection.
The results of the researchers' analysis revealed a dramatically lower risk for lung cancer among participants with the highest blood levels of B6 and methionine. In addition, a moderately lower risk for lung cancer in former and current smokers was observed in those with higher serum levels of folate.
Similar and consistent decreases in risk were observed in never, former, and current smokers. Of course with former and current smokers risks still remaining higher than those who have never smoked, even passively, but still a significant reduction was acknowledged.
The magnitude of risk was also constant with increasing length of follow-up, indicating that the associations were not explained by preclinical disease (JAMA).
The results suggest that...”above-median serum measures of both B6 and methionine, assessed on average five years prior to disease onset, are associated with a reduction of at least 50% on the risk of developing lung cancer.
An additional association for serum levels of folate was present, that when combined with B6 and methionine, was associated with a two-thirds lower risk of lung cancer.”
How could these natural substances keep lung cancer at bay?
The key may be found in previous research which has shown that B vitamin deficiencies likely increase the probability of DNA damage and subsequent gene mutations. "Given their involvement in maintaining DNA integrity and gene expression, these nutrients have a potentially important role in inhibiting cancer development, and offer the possibility of modifying cancer risk through dietary changes" the scientists confirmed.
They also pointed out that B vitamin deficiencies are known to be high in many western populations, hence a potential contributing factor to increased risks and resulting cancers in those countries.
As an additional, and literal “food for thought”, other news was presented earlier this year at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference. Scientists found eating a handful of pistachios (raw) daily may also offer a degree of protection from lung cancer risks.
Remember of course that cancer prevention – or cure - isn't reliant on just 1 or 2 simple steps such as this. It surrounds a regime of general healthy eating, good lifestyle, sufficient pure fluids, and overall nutritional supplemental protection.
This includes the use of many specialized ingredients, which all need to be used at certain adaptive dosage, including the ones mentioned above. If you take a look at our Total Balance formula, for example, you will see these in more detail.
The above ingredients form a part of this complex and necessary regimen of protection and treatment aid, along with potential products such as our Omega 3/DHA range to help with anti-inflammation, a common internal complication or contributory factor to systemic and organic degeneration into chronic disease, including many types of cancer.