Thursday, August 23, 2012
Asparagus & Cancer
One of the more interesting sections of the Qi (Gong) Revolution seminar that I attended was the sessions on food. One of the most provocative assertions in that session was regarding the important health benefits of asparagus for cancer patients.
So I opened up my trusty browser and started to read about asparagus and cancer. I learned that this is a hot topic. A nice debate about asparagus can be found on the ABTA’s Inspire website @ https://www.inspire.com/groups/lung-cancer-survivors/discussion/could-be-good-asparagus-glutathione-anticarcinogen-antioxidant/ You do, however, have to register to read the discussion string.
As best I can sort out, a core issue stems from the fact that asparagus is a good source of glutathione, which some believe is a really power antioxidant as well as a substance that acts as an immune system booster, and a detoxifier. And that’s just for starters. There are also claims that glutathione can help your body repair damage caused by stress, pollution, radiation, infection, drugs, poor diet, aging, injury, trauma, and burns.
Phew! That’s a lotta work for a thin stalk of green.
Ok, so what is glutathione? "Glutathione is a very interesting, very small molecule that's [produced by the body and] found in every cell," says Gustavo Bounous, MD, director of research and development at Immunotec and a retired professor of surgery at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. "It's the (body's) most important antioxidant because it's within the cell."
And here’s a somewhat old, but reasoned discussion of all this from MedicineNet.com: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50746
In terms of relevance for brain tumor folks, I’m constantly reminded of Barbara Strauch and her well-researched book entitled The Secret Life of the GROWN-UP Brain in which she points out that “For years, scientists believed diet had little impact on our brains because they thought most nutrients didn’t cross the blood-brain barrier.”
After reading all this I’ve decided not to take any supplements. I will, though, look to eat asparagus more regularly.