Breast cancer affects close to 3 million women in the United States and is second only to lung cancer as the #1 cause of cancer death. The problem, especially when it comes to traditional breast cancer therapies, comes through metastasis. Metastasis happens because drug therapies do not address the presence of cancer stem cells. These stem cells will continue to grow and generate new tumors long after the therapy has been concluded (and even after many doctors announce a cancer as “cured”).
While chemo drugs apply a “carte blanche” approach, certain natural substances have mechanisms within them that specifically target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. Furthermore, some superstar phytonutrients target cancer stem cells in particular, eliminating tumors while healing cancer at the very foundation. One such substance is Spirulina.
Spirulina algae contains phycocyanin, a green-blue pigment that is made up of protein molecules. Phycocyanin is what gives Spirulina its characteristic color and helps in the conversion of sunlight to energy through chlorophyll in a plant. Phycocyanin is also a highly-effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory while the chlorophyll that it works with to obtain energy has been known to bind to carcinogens.
In 2013, a ground-breaking study conducted by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center gathered a handful of “phytonutrient superfoods” together into what they hoped would be a “cancer-healing cocktail.” In addition to Phycocyanin-containing Spirulina, other phytonutrients in the mix included curcumin from turmeric, Isoflavone from soybeans, Indo-3-Carbinol from cruciferous plants, Resveratrol from grapes, and Quercetin, found in certain fruits.
The researchers were not disappointed. When combined together, the cocktail suppressed breast cancer cell growth by more than 80%! It also caused cancer cell death, inhibited the spread of the cancer, and eventually led to the death of 100% of the breast cancer cells in the sample. Other samples proved the cocktail’s effectiveness against ovarian cancer cells as well.
When it comes to breast cancer prevention and healing in particular, melatonin is vital. Melatonin, which is produced while we sleep, has a direct effect on estrogen levels in several ways. It protects from estrogen overdose and directly suppresses breast cancer cell growth by literally putting the cells to sleep. David E. Blask, PhD, of Tulane University in New Orleans is an expert in cancer biology. He demonstrated that 90% of human breast cancers have specific receptors for nighttime melatonin anticancer signaling.
Dr. Blask found that healthy melatonin levels can slow breast cancer growth by 70%. A 2015 study by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture found that spirulina supplementation significantly increased melatonin levels in an animal model.
Heavy metal accumulation occurs through environmental exposure, the use of commercial personal products such as antiperspirants, metals in foods and pesticides, and from amalgam dental fillings. Studies have shown that heavy metal accumulation, especially of mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic, can also lead directly to cancer.
Heavy metals also contribute to a host of other bodily and especially neurological effects. Spirulina algae acts as chelator by binding with heavy metals in order to detoxify them from the body. It contains high levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, phycocyanobilin (mentioned earlier), and carontens, all of which help with oxidative stress and heavy metal chelation.
You may have heard that up to 80% of our immune system resides in the gut. For the immune system to do its job at fighting dis-eases like cancer, the digestive system has to be functioning in an optimum way. This includes the proper balance of beneficial gut flora. Several studies done with animal models have shown that Spirulina has an antimicrobial effect, especially against overgrowths of candida, and that it also promotes the growth of healthy gut flora. Spirulina can also help with strictly-digestive system related issues such as leaky gut.
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