What Do You Need To Know About Brain Cancer?
While data are inconclusive, those concerned about developing brain cancer may want to reduce their exposure to possible contributing factors, such as regular use of cell phones and consumption of aspartame (a synthetic sweetener sold under the brand names NutraSweet and Equal, and added to many sugar-free foods and beverages). Preliminary reports have indicated exposure to pesticides may increase risk of brain tumor, but these reports are not conclusive. There have also been reports of higher incidences of brain tumor in children with high exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), for instance, those living near high-voltage power lines. However, more recent research discounts the link between electromagnetic fields and childhood brain cancer.
A whole food diet that minimizes processed foods and artificial ingredients is recommended. Eating organic foods will support overall health and may provide food-based nutrients that will support apoptosis of brain cancer cells. Aside from the data showing a potential link between pesticides and brain tumor as well as aspartame and brain cancer, no comprehensive relationships between diet and brain tumor have been found. For now, avoiding consumption of pesticides and aspartame by keeping to an organic whole foods diet seems to be the best dietary advice.
Some herbs and nutrients are showing promise as potential complementary treatments for brain cancer, such as:
- Curcumin: Several cellular studies have found that curcumin significantly repressed invasion of glioma and other brain cancer cells in vitro
- Dong Quai: Early research on this herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine indicates promise for primary brain tumor treatment. Research in Taiwan demonstrated that Dong Quai had anti-cancer effects on glioblastoma cells.
- Ginseng: A recent report in the International Journal of Cancer indicates that a component in Panax ginseng (which the researchers call compound K) may help control the growth and invasiveness of brain tumors.
- Green tea: Canadian researchers found that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an active ingredient in green tea, may help halt the progress of glioma cells in vitro.
- Phosphatidylserine and ginkgo biloba: Other supplements to consider for primary brain tumors include phosphatidylserine and ginkgo biloba, which are known to enhance brain functions. These nutrients may reduce treatment-related side effects such as cognitive dysfunction and memory loss. Additionally, they may exert some preventive effects by stimulating apoptosis and reducing genetic damage to brain cells.