Cancer is a looming diagnosis just waiting to happen for many of us, and we need to do our very best to try and keep our bodies in top form. Read the following article published by Greenhouse Health as it puts some new research on the map, and we need to do make the most of it for sure!
Salvestrols are a recently-discovered class of naturally derived compounds from plants, which have shown great benefit in treating a wide variety of cancers. They are safe and effective, and have been provided by nature to protect our bodies against cancer.
Salvestrols belong to a group of phyto-nutrients called phytoalexins. The well-known Resveratrol is also a phytoalexin. Phytoalexins are produced by the plant to protect themselves from attack by pests and disease, and as such are often found in specific parts of the plant where the attack is likely to occur, such as the skin of a fruit, for example. However, modern day crop husbandry and food production techniques cause the levels of these types of compounds expressed by the plant to be significantly reduced. The use of fungicides, for example, means that the plant does not need to produce its own anti-fungal agents at the levels which would normally be needed, since the stimulus to do so, which would be initiated by the attacking fungus, has been significantly reduced or eradicated by the use of the fungicide. Similarly, the plant variety, growing, harvesting and storage conditions have been shown to affect the levels of Salvestrols in plants. Many heritage fruits have the bitter components, such as Salvestrols, bred out of them by hybridisation to make them sweeter and more attractive to modern day tastes.
Why plants produce Salvestrols
Research shows that Salvestrols are produced by plants in response to fungal infection, and are therefore most present at the sites where fungi are likely to attack. In fruits, this means on the skin as the fruit is ripening. Salvestrol compounds are also present on the surfaces of the roots of many plants, as the roots are continually under threat from fungi in the soil. Since they are naturally produced by plants in response to fungal attacks they can, as such, be regarded as part of the plant’s immune system. When crops are sprayed, they no longer need to activate their immune system for defence; this explains why unsprayed [organically grown] crops have much higher levels of Salvestrols.
Another part of the appeal of Salvestrols is that they have been identified in many fruits, vegetables and herbs that are components of the diet throughout the world and are completely natural. However, since Salvestrols are mostly found in skin, peel and rind of fruits and vegetables, and most people discard these parts of their food, they often end up on the compost heap instead of in our bellies!
Discovery of Salvestrols
This group of natural dietary compounds were discovered as a result of the combined research of Professor Dan Burke, a pharmacologist, and Professor Gerry Potter, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Director of the Cancer Drug Discovery Group at Leicester’s De Montfort University. Professor Potter had spent almost 20 years designing synthetic cancer drugs but realized along the way that plants have similar chemicals and started to look for natural anti-cancer remedies. Salvestrol is the name he coined to describe this group of natural compounds from the Latin word ‘salve’, meaning ‘to save’.
As a group, they are chemically unrelated substances, except for the similar manner in which they confer their benefits i.e. as a result of their action with the CYP1B1 enzyme. CYP1B1 is a unique enzyme found within cancer cells with which Salvestrols react to bring about apoptosis [cell death]. Because the enzyme is not present in healthy cells the Salvestrols exert no negative effects on them. According to Burke: ‘CYP1B1 is a kind of Trojan horse inside the cancer cells. Provide it with Salvestrols in the diet and it will unleash a stream of chemical agents that are deadly to the cancer cells.’
Scientists generally believe that cancer cells are forming in the body continually, but most are destroyed before they develop into malignant tumors. Consequently the research team postulates that Salvestrols play a key role in this process, protecting us through our diet.
How much do we need?
Is 5 servings of [commercial] fruit and veg enough?
The scary thing is that it is estimated that we currently only consume today about 10-20% of the Salvestrols that would have occurred in the diet 100 years ago. So, even though we are being urged to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, unless one eats organically grown food, one is unlikely to get sufficient Salvestrols from the conventional diet.
The levels of Salvestrols in a typical ‘5 portion a day’ basket of non-organic fruit and vegetables from a supermarket have been measured and found to contain only 10% of the estimated daily dietary requirement.
So eating adequate amounts of commercially available fruit and vegetables will not provide the essential nutrients the body needs. Even an organic diet may be inadequate since the varieties of fruit and vegetable commercially available may be types that are low in Salvestrols. It can be difficult to find food that is high in Salvestrols.
Different Salvestrols are found in varying concentrations and levels of biological activity in fruits like strawberries, oranges, grapes and even cocoa. There are over 550 varieties of oranges, over 200 varieties of strawberries and grapes, and 450 varieties of cocoa bean! All with different levels of Salvestrols, and each with different levels of biological activity.
Examining other likely sources of Salvestrols in the western diet, such as fruit juices, other beverages and processed foods, Salvestrols were again found to be largely absent. In the case of some fruit juices where they should have been present, for example in cranberry juice, it was discovered that the Salvestrols were removed during processing in order to make the product taste sweeter, as most Salvestrols have a sharp or bitter taste.
So, it is currently very difficult to get an adequate intake of Salvestrols without taking a supplement, but researchers are working with farmers and agronomists to establish growing conditions that can ensure high levels of Salvestrols in crops. They are also producing a directory of organic foods rich in Salvestrols so that people can balance their intake of this nutrient through a combination of diet and supplementation. In the meantime, Professor Potter has developed a Green and Red Diet [see below], which may be helpful to design an organic diet naturally rich in Salvestrols.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
How safe are Salvestrols?
Salvestrols were always prevalent in our fruit and vegetables historically, and they are completely safe to consume. The scientists who discovered Salvestrols have performed many safety tests not on animals, but in human cell lines, and they have identified that the body needs a minimal level of Salvestrols to perform at optimal level, i.e. 350 points a day will maintain good health. Scientific literature shows they are safe at very large doses and patient experience shows no problems in users consuming greater than 10 000 points daily. It has also been established that in one African traditional diet a level of 16 000 points daily is not uncommon. The point system has been developed as a measure of quantity and specificity, to compare effectivity, as not all Salvestrols are the same.
Inhibitors of Salvestrol action
Certain substances should be avoided while taking a Salvestrol supplement, as these have been found to inhibit the CYP1B1 enzyme that metabolizes the Salvestrols. Cannabis, St John’s Wort, Ginseng, apricot kernels [B17], Gingko biloba, Resveratrol and Hesperidin supplements and grapefruit juice. Avoid also artificial sweeteners. Any sources of crop sprays consumed on foods or breathed in the air should be minimized.
We hope you had a good read and stay tuned on how to implement this information into your lifestyle, tomorrow!
Schaefer, Brian A. Salvestrols: Natures defence against cancer. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform [July 2012].
Schaefer, Brian A. Salvestrols: Journey to Wellness. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform [December 2013].
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