The Anti-Cancer Properties Of Carrots

Via: Alena Haurylik

 
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by Luke Sumpter

on February 11, 2016

The common carrot serves as a bright orange addition to many different delicious dishes, with artisan cultivars providing purple and yellow hued contributions. Although striking in appearance, this root vegetable far exceeds simple looks. Carrots contain a banquet of essential and beneficial nutrients that include vitamins A, C, K, folate, and choline and the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and sodium. Carrots also harbor carotenoids and polyphenols that, along with the abundant vitamins and minerals, provide antioxidant, anti-cancer, and immune enhancing properties. Such characteristics are a true testimony to the fact that food really can serve as medicine.

Via: Nattika | Shutterstock

Via: Nattika | Shutterstock

The Science

Carotenoids are strong antioxidants that serve to neutralize free radicals in the body, thus reducing DNA damage and therefore the risk of certain cancers manifesting. A paper published in the journal Food and Nutrition Sciences notes that carotenoids “have been shown to have inhibition mutagenesis activity contributing to decrease risk of some cancers.”

Other antioxidants present within carrots, flavonoids and phenolic derivatives, have also been shown to exert anti-carcinogenic, immune boosting, and inflammation reducing capabilities.

A paper published in Nutrition Journal documents an experiment that evaluated the effect of consuming 16 fl oz of freshly squeezed carrot juice on a daily basis over a period of three months. The authors concluded that drinking carrot juice may protect the cardiovascular system by increasing total antioxidant status.

Equally as exciting as the defensive antioxidant shield provided by carrots is a more offensive means of protection, especially when it comes to cancer.

A study documented in the Journal of Medicinal Food shows some extremely promising results. The authors of the paper state: “Carrots contain beneficial agents such as β-carotene and polyacetylenes, which could be effective in the treatment of leukemia.” The researches involved in the study applied carrot juice extract to leukemia cell lines, which induced apoptosis and inhibited progression through the cell cycle. They concluded: “This study has shown that extracts from carrots can induce apoptosis and cause cell cycle arrest in leukemia cell lines. The findings suggest that carrots may be an excellent source of bioactive chemicals for the treatment of leukemia.”

Apoptosis is an important bodily process that regulates the elimination of old and damaged cells. MedicineNet states: “When apoptosis does not work correctly, cells that should be eliminated may persist and become immortal, for example, in cancer and leukemia.”

In addition to carotenoids, a flavonoid present in carrots named luteolin has also been shown to have cancer fighting powers. A paper titled “Luteolin, a flavonoid with potentials for cancer prevention and therapy” states: “luteolin induces apoptotic cell death in a variety of cancers, inhibits cancer cell proliferation, and suppresses tumor angiogenesis.” (Angiogenesis refers to the development of new blood vessels within tumors.)

Additional research, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, brings further evidence to the table that carrots contain powerful anti-cancer agents. Researchers at Zhejiang University in China conducted a meta-analysis of ten studies from all across the world that evaluated the relationship between carrot intake and the incidence of prostate cancer.  The authors noted: “The results  indicated  that  high  carrot  consumption  was  inversely associated with prostate cancer risk. A dose–response analysis showed that an increase in carrot consumption of one serving per week or 10 g per day was associated with a 5.0 or 4.0 % decrease in the risk of prostate cancer in the overall population.”

Photo: Ann Cameron

Photo: Ann Cameron

A 24 Carrot Gold Success Story

The science suggesting that carrots may serve as an anti-cancer therapy is very positive. Adding further optimism is a real world story featuring a courageous woman who utilized the root vegetable against a brutal cancer diagnosis. Reset spoke to Ann Cameron, a Harvard University graduate and author of 17 children’s books, about her success using this alternative treatment.

“In 2011 I was anemic and started having pains in my abdomen, “ Ann tells Reset. “Because of my age (68) my doctor should have referred me for a colonoscopy, but she didn’t. When the pains got acute and I was very sick, I went to a different doctor who ordered x-rays and colon cancer was discovered and removed in June, 2012.”

Cameron’s battle was not over with this procedure, however.

“After the surgery, the surgeon and an oncologist recommended ‘adjuvant’ chemotherapy. Adjuvant chemo is chemo recommended when one has no sign of remaining cancer. It’s supposed to, or hoped to, eliminate any remaining cancer cells, but it doesn’t always work. In my case, its side effects were commonly anemia and very inflamed and painful fingers and toes. I earn my living by writing. I type my work, and it seems to me that my thoughts flow out of my fingers. I couldn’t imagine working another way, and I hated the way anemia made me feel. I turned down the adjuvant chemotherapy. Six months later, my first checkup showed I had a metastasis — two tumors between my lungs, each about an inch and a half in diameter.”

After receiving this devastating news, Cameron was told by her doctors that there was nothing they could do for her.

“The oncologist told me that radiation wasn’t appropriate for treating the metastasis, and that chemotherapy couldn’t cure it. The surgeon told me that I probably had two to three years to live. The oncologist recommended chemotherapy. She said it would extend my life about 20 months. The chemo she recommended was the same one she’d recommended before, with the same side effects. I decided once again to refuse it. I was feeling great. It had been years since I’d felt so strong and energetic. I wasn’t willing to make myself sick immediately with the chemo. Many times — about half the time, according to studies — the so-called side effects of the chemo last for years after the chemo ended. I decided I would enjoy what good months I had and if I died earlier as a result, so be it.

“But of course I desperately wanted to live. Three years earlier, my husband had died of lung cancer after refusing chemo and radiation, which he believed would leave him an invalid the rest of his life if he survived them. I’d found about twenty natural anti-cancer treatments — capsules I pushed Bill to take. When he looked at the heap by his plate on the first day of my regimen, he protested, saying, ‘How am I going to be able to eat anything?’ but I cried, so he swallowed them all down, day after day. They hadn’t saved him.

“In my own case, I looked for a different approach. Many proposed natural treatments were very complicated and there was no proof about which parts of them worked. You could spend your entire day doing nothing but taking one thing after another against cancer, without having any idea if any of them were effective. I thought that focus on the disease, rather than on my life as a whole, would be very unhealthy.

“Then, by good luck, I ran across a memo a man named Ralph Cole had sent to his business clients, mentioning that he had cured squamous cell cancer by drinking carrot juice. He didn’t say it would work for everyone, and he wasn’t selling anything — not carrots, not juicers, not special vacuum-sealed jars for juice. I was impressed. His phone number was in the memo, and so I called him. He told me the carrot juice cure had worked for a few others he’d told about it and gave me all the details on his own cure. His tumors had been touchable, just beneath his skin. After only a day or two, he could feel them smaller. In eight weeks, they were gone. I decided on using just carrot juice for my cure. If in eight weeks carrot juice hadn’t reduced my tumors, I could try something else.”

Cameron’s courage and determination paid off — it literally saved her life.

“The cancer was gone after four months, and perhaps had disappeared earlier, before the four-month CT test… Many details of exactly how carrots work in the body are still unknown. However, there are two anti-cancer compounds in carrots, luteolin and falcarinol, which have been found in many cell and animal studies to reduce cancer. In experiments by Dr. Kirstin Brandt at the University of Newcastle in the UK, mice injected with carcinogens and fed either carrots or falcarinol in their chow developed one third fewer large tumors than controls who just got regular chow. The carrot or falcarinol dose the treated mice got in her studies was the mouse equivalent of a third of the dose Ralph Cole said had cured his tumors. That research was very encouraging to me.

“Additionally, carrots are a highly anti-inflammatory food. Inflammation is the greatest accelerator of cancer. Inflamed cells attract growth factors that spur the creation of new cancer cells, which in turn irritate the body even more, spurring more growth. Carrots slow this process drastically. Carrots also stimulate production of dopamine (which increases our sense of pleasure) and serotonin (which calms us). Because they’re anti-inflammatory, they decrease pain. Carrot juice hasn’t cured everyone I know of who’s tried it, but in almost every case drinking it has increased people’s energy and well-being. Much more research needs to be done on carrots and other natural foods’ effects on cancer. But since there’s no profit in it for the big drug companies, this is research they are very unlikely to ever undertake.”

Photo: Ann juiced five pounds of carrots daily. Via: verca | Shutterstock.

Via: verca | Shutterstock.

Cameron went on to talk about her protocol and the information that influenced it.

“I followed Ralph Cole’s protocol, which he developed by experimentation with quantities. He found that juicing three pounds of carrots daily stopped his tumors from growing but didn’t eliminate them. After he increased his juicing to five pounds of carrots daily, his small tumors (eight of them, each about the size of a grain of rice) disappeared entirely in eight weeks. On the evidence of Ralph’s experience, I juiced five pounds of carrots daily for close to eight months. After seven weeks of carrot juicing, a CT showed that the tumors between my lungs had stopped growing and had shrunk slightly. At four months, they were no longer visible on CT and my lungs were normal. I went on juicing carrots for an additional four months — probably longer than necessary.

“Five pounds (2.2 kg) of carrots daily result in five U.S. cup measures of carrot juice — 1.2 liters. Because most of the falcarinol is in the skin of the carrot, carrots should not be peeled. They must be juiced in a juicer, not in a blender. The resulting carrot pulp, a small mountain of it, can be used in garden post, fed to bunnies, or just discarded.”

After this life changing and life saving experience, Cameron utilized her writing talents to create the book Curing Cancer With Carrots, which contains a wealth of anecdotal and scientific information that she hopes will help others who find themselves in similarly dire situations.

Image: Cover art for Curing Cancer With Carrots.

Image: Cover art for Curing Cancer With Carrots.

Finally, Cameron discussed the advice she would dispense to others who are thinking about following in her footsteps.

“Drink the juice on an empty stomach, either all at once before breakfast, or throughout the day, storing the undrunk juice in a jar with a tight lid in the refrigerator… Don’t skip even a day of juicing. Don’t take antioxidant supplements in capsules, and don’t take other vegetables in large quantities as juice. Artificially high antioxidant consumption has been found to accelerate cancer growth and metastasis.

“Carrot juicing can enhance the positive effects of radiation and chemotherapy and reduce their damages. To play it safe, one can use radiation and chemo and carrot juice at the same time. But because chemotherapy is toxic, if an oncologist says a delay in starting chemo will not greatly increase one’s risks, I would recommend a person newly diagnosed with cancer try carrot juice alone first for a period of six weeks, and then to get a CT scan. If at that point there’s been growth in the cancer, I’d recommend adding chemotherapy or another treatment to continued carrot juice drinking.”

Photo: Patients on the Gerson diet consume thirteen glasses of fresh, raw carrot-apple and green-leaf juices daily, in addition to healthy fruit and vegetable-based meals and snacks. Via: Gerson.org.

Photo: Patients on the Gerson diet consume thirteen glasses of fresh, raw carrot-apple and green-leaf juices daily, in addition to healthy fruit and vegetable-based meals and snacks. Via: Gerson.org.

Incorporating Carrots Into Your Diet

The Gerson Therapy is a great example of how carrots can contribute to full body healing. The therapy was developed by Dr. Max Gerson in the 1930s, originally to treat his own ailments. He then expanded his theories to treat serious diseases in others, such as diabetes and cancer.

The Gerson Institute explains: “The Gerson Therapy‘s all-encompassing nature sets it apart from most other treatment methods. The Gerson Therapy effectively treats a wide range of different ailments because it restores the body’s incredible ability to heal itself. Rather than treating only the symptoms of a particular disease, the Gerson Therapy treats the causes of most degenerative diseases: toxicity and nutritional deficiency.”

The Gerson regimen aims to restore health by flooding the body with nutrients. Those that follow it consume the goodness of about 15 to 20 pounds of fresh, organically-grown fruits and vegetables daily. Much of this is juiced, for ease of intake and bioavailability. The typical daily diet for someone on the Gerson regimen, as set out on the Gerson Institute website, is as follows:

  • Thirteen glasses of fresh, raw carrot-apple and green-leaf juices prepared hourly from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.
  • Three full plant-based meals, freshly prepared from organically grown fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A typical meal will include salad, cooked vegetables, baked potatoes, Hippocrates soup, and juice.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables available at all hours for snacking, in addition to the regular diet.

There are many reported success stories from people who have utilized this carrot drenched therapy. Examples cited by the Gerson Institute include a 68-year old woman who managed to overcome Stage IV mantle cell, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a 54-year old lady who beat bone cancer as a teenager using the diet, and a female melanoma patient, who has not only survived but thrived with the help of the Gerson diet. For more on the basic components of Gerson Therapy, watch the video below: