Mangosteen and Cancer
The most important thing to understand is that there is no reliable cure for cancer. Despite decades of research, in 2003 the same percentage of people died from colon, breast, lung and prostrate cancer as died in 1957. However, despite this sad news, this is hope for cancer patients.
Cancer is a blanket term covering a variety of disorders with the common element of abnormal, uncontrolled cell growth that will not stop on its own. Under normal conditions, cell growth is strictly controlled with cell birth equaling cell death so that the total number of cells in the body remains relatively constant. At times, abnormal growth that is not cancerous can occur. We still call the abnormal tissue a “tumor” but it is benign and not malignant (cancerous). In this pamphlet, I will be dealing only with cancer.
The mechanism which stimulates cells to divide and multiply (when repair of replacement work is needed in the body) and then turns them off afterwards is under the control of genes contained in the chromosomes of the nucleus of all cells. These genes, which are composed of DNA, can be thought of as the policeman of cell society. The nucleus of the cell would, therefore, be the control center of all regulatory activity.
In the nucleus, the DNA, like the hard drive of a computer, contains all the programming for the body. When it is damaged by free radicals, for example, it can become corrupted. This damage is called mutation and it’s the critical event that leads to cancer. A mutation can be seen as the failure of a gene to perform its duty. Using the policeman comparison again, mutation becomes possible only if the policeman (gene) is corrupted by criminal elements and becomes a criminal himself or if he is asleep on the job and does nothing while damaging changes occur around him.
Continuing the analogy, disease, viruses, environmental pollutants, dangerous foods etc. can be seen as criminal elements whose purpose is to disrupt the society of cells in our body and then profit from the chaos and damage that results. These criminal elements have agents working for them called free radicals. Free radicals charge around the body like madmen armed with automatic weapons which they fire all around them damaging healthy cells. They then steal electrons from the cells damaged by their attack. Their primary target is the DNA in the nucleus, the command center of the cell where they can inflict the greatest damage.
A prominent free radical researcher Dr. Bruce Ames estimates that the DNA material in every one of the trillions of cells in our body receives about ten thousand hit from free radicals everyday! To prevent a breach of the body’s defenses in the face of an attack of such magnitude requires the concerted efforts of all the agents of the immune system, which can be seen as the armed forces of the body, along with the collaboration of the policeman or the gene regulatory mechanism.
When, despite the body’s best efforts, a breach of our defenses occurs, a tumor forms. Like a city captured by enemy forces, the tumor becomes a stronghold that has multiple defense systems with which it resists the continued attacks of the immune system. Within the stronghold, tumor viruses and deranged cells proliferate and are sent out like secret agents to corrupt (infect) healthy cells elsewhere. The cells of the tumor itself grow without the restrictions that govern normal cells and, almost immediately, become the fastest growing tissue in the body. As they grow rapidly, they steal nutrients and energy needed by healthy cells. For this reason, cancer patients may appear starved and wasted (a medical term called cachexia).
Tumors cause pain by becoming large enough to press on nerves or other pain sensitive structures. They can block ducts or intestines causing severe bodily dysfunction. They often completely take over whole organs, i.e. the liver or lungs, crowding out functioning cells and leading to organ death.
Many cancers spread or metastasize to other areas of the body invading organs far from where they originally started. In contrast, most normal cells are anchored in place. Because of this mobility, a breast cancer cell can make its way to the brain, for example, and start another tumor. When metastases (distant sites of cancer invasion) are present, the enemy has already developed several strongholds throughout the body. If the cancer is unchecked, death is the inevitable outcome.
Standard cancer intervention consists of the surgical excision of tumors and/or their destruction by radiation or chemotherapy. Immuno–simulative therapies, although rare, also exist. Unfortunately, most of these interventions also damage normal healthy tissue as well. For example, chemotherapy indiscriminately destroys all rapidly-growing cells destroying normal hair follicles, blood-producing bone marrow cells, the cells which line the intestine and, most importantly, the protective cells of the immune system which are essential to the prevention of infection. The challenge is to destroy the cancer before the chemotherapy or other treatment mortally weakens the patient.
It is ironic to consider that the radiation and the free radical attacks of chemotherapy that are used to destroy the tumors may resemble the processes that caused the cancer in the first place!
While not commonly recognized by most doctors, food supplements can be valuable adjuncts to standard cancer therapy. No compelling evidence has emerged to prove that they interfere significantly with chemotherapy although some researchers have examined this possibility. Additionally, unlike medicines, which do nothing to prevent cancer, food supplements are extremely effective at regulating the cellular dysfunction that leads to mutation and cancer. The expression, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” was never more applicable!
Mangosteen’s xanthones (phytoceuticals found only in this plant) have proven ability to destroy cancerous cells in laboratory studies. For example, garcinone E, a xanthone was more effective than five commonly used chemotherapy agents (vincristine, mitoxantrone, 5- flourouracil, cisplastin and methotrexate) for stomach, lung and liver cancer in a recent well- designed in vitro study.
In order to understand the several means by which mangosteen phytoceuticals protect us from cancer, I must return for a moment to the most accepted theory of cancer development.
Where do the mangosteen phytoceuticals intervene in this deadly process? Well, the answer is that in addition to being anti-tumor agents when cancer already exists, they prevent and arrest cancerous change at every step.
It is quite impossible for us to avoid exposure to carcinogens and the free radical assaults that follow, but the antioxidants and other active phytoceuticals in mangosteen can provide protection from critical cell damage. They do this by regulating gene expression, repairing free radical damage and blocking the production of tumor-promoting agents.
As a COX 2 inhibitor, for example, mangosteen blocks the production of PGE 2 (prostaglandin E2) thereby impeding the promotion and the progression of cancer when DNA damage does occur. Finally, they directly attack tumor cells.
A word of caution. I’ve described previously in “Mangosteen, the X-factor” the differences between medicines and phytoceuticals.
Medicines are like sledgehammers compared to the rubber mallets of the phytoceuticals. DO NOT STOP ANY CANCER TREATMENT TO REPLACE IT WITH MANGOSTEEN. The phytoceuticals will do their work even in the presence of other cancer therapies.
Finally, while it is exciting to realize what the mangosteen phytoceuticals will do in the area of cancer treatment, it is far more important to prevent the development of cancer in the first place. Waiting until you develop cancer in order to learn how to deal with it just isn’t smart. You may not feel the protective work the mangosteen is doing in your body, but as the years go by, the results you’ll experience will be difficult to imagine. Unfortunately, many of your friends who chose not to supplement will not be around to celebrate your good health.
1 oz. or more 1 to 3 times daily for prevention.
Dr. Templeman is a primary care physician, board certified in both the United States and Canada, with over twenty years of clinical experience.
As Medical Director of Phytoceutical Research, Dr. Templeman is responsible for the development of research projects, and the evaluation of clinical data. He is sought after internationally as a speaker and author on health, nutrition, and the healing properties of the mangosteen fruit.
Dr. Templeman travels regularly to Southeast Asia, where he has established numerous partnerships with scientists in several countries in order to do further research on the mangosteen fruit and the powerful Xanthones exclusive to this botanical.
In addition to his existing responsibilities, Dr. Templeman regularly offers his services as a volunteer physician in the third would, providing essential medical aid to the poverty stricken in isolated communities. Dr. Templeman and his wife Michele are the parents of 10 children and they currently reside in Utah.
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