Antioxidants vs Cancer
Although we're not claiming that the flavonoids in palo azul can cure cancer... we thought it would be worth sharing the evidence we found on the cancer-inhibiting effects of flavonoids.
So...What are flavonoids?
Flavonoids are natural products commonly found in vegetables, fruits, plants, bark, flowers, wine and tea such as palo azul.
There’s a ton of studies that have found numerous health benefits in flavonoids and these are are attributed to their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-aging, anti-hypertensive, anti-bacterial, anti-mutagenic, anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic properties.
We read two medical reviews composed of findings from 327 studies done specifically on flavonoids, and found that oxidative stress can lead to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and aging ... For this reason, they found that antioxidants show potential to fight these diseases.
Therefore, "diets rich in antioxidants decrease the cancer-promoting action of free radicals and oxidative stress."
One of the studies we reviewed found that fruits and vegetables that have flavonoids have been reported as cancer chemopreventive agents and are inversely associated with cancer incidence.
What is oxidative stress?
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are atoms with a single valence electron that cause damage to the body associated with diabetes, cancer, aging, atherosclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and many other diseases.
This happens because electrons like to be in pairs... and for this reason, free radicals look for "free" electrons in the body. This causes damage to cells, proteins, DNA and these damaged molecules can mutate, grow tumors, and damage the DNA code. Eventually, this cellular damage causes new cells to grow with defects and it will lead to aging and degenerative diseases.
It is well documented that oxidative stress can cause cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, aging, and thus... “potent antioxidants show potential to combat progression of carcinogenesis. Therefore diets rich in radical scavengers would diminish the cancer-promoting action of some radicals .”
Due to these findings, it’s no surprise that “fruits and vegetables having flavonoids have been reported as cancer chemopreventive agents.” This same study mentioned that the“consumption of onions and/or apples, two major sources of the flavonol quercetin, is inversely associated with the incidence of cancer of the prostate, lung, stomach, and breast.”
These are the most flavonoid-rich foods: apples, pears, onions, strawberries, blueberries, celery, peppers, and teas such as palo azul
The researchers of this study go on to mention that “the critical relationship of fruit and vegetable intake and cancer prevention has been thoroughly documented. It has been suggested that major public health benefits could be achieved by substantially increasing consumption of these foods.”
* Here’s a very interesting fact for wine drinkers: “Moderate wine drinkers also seem to have a lower risk to develop cancer of the lung, endometrium, esophagus, stomach, and colon.”
Thank you flavonoids!
One study even mentioned that “fruits and vegetables are the main dietary sources of flavonoids for humans, along with tea and wine."
We also read a study that recruited 1522 breast cancer cases and 1547 frequency control subjects from June 2007 to July 2018 in Guangdong, China. The results of this study indicated that consumption of “flavonoids and most flavonoid subclasses intakes were inversely associated with breast cancer risk.”
Finally, “the critical relationship of fruit and vegetable intake and cancer prevention has been thoroughly documented. It has been suggested that major public health benefits could be achieved by substantially increasing consumption of these foods.”
In other words... oxidation in our body leads to cancer and other diseases, therefore we should consume lots of antioxidants to stay healthy.
This is why it's so important to eat vegetables, fruit and drink teas such as palo azul every day... (or wine occasionally)!
Below we have summarized the key points of the studies we reviewed. Don't keep this to yourself though...share the magic with your loved ones!
Key findings from medical studies
• “Epidemiological studies suggest dietary intake of flavonoids may reduce the risk of tumors of the breast, colon, lung, prostate, and pancreas.”
• The following is the possible mechanism of flavonoids in cancer prevention: “Flavonoids have complementary and overlapping mechanisms of action including antioxidant activity and scavenging free radicals, modulation of carcinogen metabolism, regulation of gene expression on oncogenes and tumour-suppressor genes in cell proliferation and differentiation, induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, modulation of enzyme activities in detoxification, oxidation and reduction, anti-inflammatory properties and action on other possible targets.”
• “Dietary flavonoids critically influence several cellular and immune processes associated with the development and progression of cancer. It is clear that these food components possess the propensity to modulate a variety of biological events associated with cancer progression and development, such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell differentiation and neovascularization."
• Epidemiological, clinical and animal studies reveal that “flavonoids may exert protective effects against various disease conditions including cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
• “Flavonoids have favourable biochemical and antioxidant effects associated with various diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease (AD), atherosclerosis, etc.
• “The oxidative stress may lead to cellular damage which is related to various health ailments such as diabetes, cancer, CVD, neurodegenerative disorders and ageing.”
• “Flavonoids are important phytochemical components of wheat bran, and have been shown to be potent antioxidants with anticancer activity. Flavones and isoflavones may play a prominent role in cancer prevention since these compounds are found in numerous plants that are associated with reduced cancer rates.”
• “Dietary flavonoids critically influence several cellular and immune processes associated with the development and progression of cancer. It is clear that these food components possess the propensity to modulate a variety of biological events associated with cancer progression and development, such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell differentiation and neovascularization.”
* Palo Azul is commonly referred to by its scientific name: Eysenhardtia polystachya / E. polystachya / E.P - Cyclolepis genistoides / C. genistoides - kidney wood - palo dulce