Can a simple staple sour fruit be helpful in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer?
Well, a study at the University of Arizona Caner Center has revealed some promising news.
Before I share the study, it is first important to understand the significance of the fruit used in the study.
I am talking about lemons but more importantly I am referring to the peel of the lemon.
The peel of the lemon is an excellent source of naturally occurring terpenes. We commonly think of terpenes in cleaning products but there is a natural terpine called d-limonene. D-limonene has shown in scientific studies to be valuable against a wide number of cancers.
In one promising study 43 women with newly diagnosed operable breast cancer electing to undergo lumpectomy were given 2 grams of limonene daily for two to six weeks before their surgery.
Results showed that d-limonene supplementation resulted in a 22% reduction in the expression of tumor markers. The specific breast tumor marker measured in the study was cyclin D1.
Cyclin D1 is one of the frequently overexpressed proteins and one of the commonly augmented genes in breast cancer. The gene that leads to cyclin D1 formation is an estrogen-responsive gene. The overexpression of cyclin D1 occurs in more than half of invasive breast cancers.
Additional evidence shows that cyclin D1 interferes with the anti-cancer effect of tamoxifen in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers – potentially accounting for treatment failure with tamoxifen therapy.
D-limonene can be found in most health food stores as a dietary supplement, however it can be easily obtained by eating a whole lemon more importantly the peel and inside spongy inner parts. The peel and inside of the lemon has the highest content of limonene. In fact the average sized lemon has about 300 mg of d-limonene.
Now if you are wondering how to eat the entire lemon including the peel, then look no further than a juicer or better yet a Vitamex.
Since lemon juice is usually too sour on its own, I recommend mixing it with other juices. Fortunately, adding ½ or 1 whole lemon (complete with peel) is an excellent addition to just about any fresh fruit or vegetable juice including green vegetable juices.
If you are going to juice whole lemons, be sure to choose organic versions and drink with a straw to protect your tooth enamel.
Other dietary sources of terpenes are other citrus fruits, berries, cherries, and volatile herbs such as peppermint, basil, thyme, and rosemary.
Training for Life's Conflict
These studies remind us that health does not depend on chance. It is the result of obedience to the laws of health. I pray that you take the time to today to analyse your life and determine within yourself to start this week with a mindset of preventative rather than curative health. As Marcel Proust once said:
"illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promises only; pain we obey."
Most of us don't rest when we are sick; we continue on our merry way, because work still needs to be done and the children's dinner will not make itself, but today I implore you to rest and take of "YOU". Because at some point, you may not be able to shake that flu standing up anymore. Sometimes the unthinkable confronts us: the lump in the breast, the concerning blood test results and at that point we are shocked into submission to STOP!. So the next time you are sick, give yourself permission to rest, get well, and implement the things that are missing into your life. Whether it be an early night sleep or balancing the need for rest and recreation.
One thing in life I know to be true is that every illness has a life-affirming lesson for us to learn if we are willing to learn it, so take time today to sit down and listen. The lesson for you may be simple and for others profound, but the key is to be open to it. On your journey of life, this detour of health does not and will not be your end. Take your time to explore this new horizon and pray for strength and resilience to appreciate the dark days as well as the good days. So as you seek wholeness this week, search just not for the cure but the cause.
As one of my favourite writers, Ellen G White once said "Teach the people that it is better to know how to keep well than how to cure disease". (Medical Ministry para 22)
Have a great start to your week and be kind to yourself! you are fearfully and wonderfully made!.
With love from Nature's Physician Nutrition Clinic
Reference: Miller JA, Lang JE, Ley M, et al. Human breast tissue disposition and bioactivity of limonene in women with early-stage breast cancer. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013 Jun;6(6):577-84.
Compliments from Functional Medicine University
The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the functional medicine community. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional