Articles by Natural Health Author Barbara Minton



Ginger Trumps Chemo by 10,000x in New Cancer Study

by Barbara Minton
See all TBYIL articles by Barbara Minton

(The Best Years in Life) Here’s good news. A chemical found in ginger named 6-shogaol may work up to 10,000 times better than chemotherapy drugs handed out by the medical establishment for treating breast cancer. This is the finding of a study published in September by the journal PLoS which showed 6-shogaol can kill breast cancer stem cells. These cells pose a serious threat to cancer therapy because they can be responsible for relapse and recurrence. Previous research has shown cancer stem cells often do not respond positively to various forms of chemotherapy, which makes this finding especially valuable.

A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell in humans and other multi-cellular organisms that is capable of giving rise to many more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cells can arise through differentiation. Cancer stem cells are not only at the root of breast cancer, but many other types of cancer as well.

Although only about one percent of a tumor’s cells are stem cells, they are particularly scary because they appear to be able to self-renew. The ability of cancer stem cells to endure explains why cancer recurrence is often seen soon after the standard of care has been administered. In order for a lasting cure to be affected, cancer stem cells must be eradicated.

“Cancer stem cells pose a serious obstacle to cancer therapy as they can be responsible for poor prognosis and tumour release,” wrote the study team.

Amazingly, 6-shogoal was effective in killing both breast cancer monolayer cells and spheroids at doses that were not harmful to healthy cells. This feature is a striking difference from conventional chemotherapy that kills healthy cells along with those that are cancerous. Chemo’s assault on healthy cells is behind the horrendous side effects patients undergo when they opt for the standard of care.

The researchers reported that percentages of CD44+CD24 cells were drastically reduced upon treatment with 6-chogoal, confirming its action on cancer stem cells. The chemical appeared to be multi-dimensional, targeting cancer stem cells along different pathways that included increasing the cell death rate by altering the cell cycle, inhibiting tumor formation, restoring the health of cells to the point that they are able to die as programmed in the process known as apoptosis, and creating cytotoxicity.

Comparing 6-shogaol and taxol, a common chemotherapy drug, led to the conclusion that 6-shogoal displays a greater range of effects. Although taxol was able to kill breast cancer stem cells in the monolayer (a single dimensional model of cancer), it was not effective in the spheroid (a more complex model of cancer), while 6-shogaol showed efficacy in both models. When concentration of taxol was increased to 10,000 times, it was still unable to affect the spheroid.


Should you add ginger to your diet?

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a common spice that was considered a luxury more than 5000 years ago. The Indians and ancient Chinese used ginger root as a tonic to treat ailments, and through the ages it has been used in the cooking of many cultures. Clearly, ginger is safe to consume in raw, dried or cooked form.

In addition to 6-shogaol, ginger contains gingerol, a substance with powerful medicinal properties. It is closely related to turmeric, another spice with super healing powers.

Ginger may reduce muscle pain and soreness. It is effective against exercised-induced muscle pain. One study found that taking 2 grams of ginger per day for 11 days reduced muscle pain in people doing elbow exercises. This is probably the result of its action to reduce the inflammatory response.

This anti-inflammatory action can also help with osteoarthritis. People taking ginger extract had less pain and required less pain medication.

Have recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach? Ginger will probably be able to help, because it encourages the stomach to empty quicker.

Ginger can drastically lower blood sugar and improve heart disease risk factors. In a study published this year, participants with type 2 diabetes who consumed 2 grams of ginger powder each day lowered their fasting blood sugar level by 12%.

Ginger can fight infections. When it is consumed fresh, it can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. It is particularly effective against oral bacteria linked to inflammatory gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

So what about cancer? Ginger was studied and found useful in preventing cancer long before people heard of 6-shogaol. Those benefits came from eating raw ginger, where much of the plant’s gingerol is stored.

The bottom line is that adding ginger to your diet on a regular basis, whether it’s fresh, dried or cooked, is a very good idea.

See also:

Chemo Does Not Cure: Often It Inflicts Damage and Spreads Cancer

Study finds that radiation treatments create cancer stem cells 30 times more potent than regular cancer cells

Does Chemo & Radiation Actually Make Cancer More Malignant?

Ginger Stops Menstrual Pain, Pregnancy Nausea and Much, Much More

For more information:

About the author:

Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.

See other articles by the Barbara Minton here:

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