The Salvestrol molecules themselves are not new discoveries, since their chemical structures and the plants in which they occur have been known about for many years. But never before have these chemicals been grouped together on the basis of this particular set of recently discovered anticancer actions. The key feature of Salvestrols is that they are activated only inside the cancer cells, which they arrest or kill. The anticancer effects are due, not to the plant chemicals themselves, but to what they turn into within the cancer cells triggered by the presence of a specific enzyme.
Salvestrols Are Nature’s Defence Against Attack
Since plants cannot run away from predators and pathogens, how do they defend themselves? The answer is by chemical warfare. Plants produce chemicals that act as attractants and repellents. The repellents are synthesised in response to microbial attack and fight off microbial pathogens such as fungi (mould) or bacteria. When ripe fruits and vegetables are attacked by fungus, which happens all the time, they develop Salvestrols as a natural defence. When we eat the plants, the Salvestrols in the food are triggered by a particular enzyme in pre-cancerous or cancerous cells to produce piceatannol, which then then attacks these cells. So, instead of using a synthetic drug to fight cancer, it may be possible to plug into one of nature’s existing natural defence mechanisms.
Potter believes that Salvestrols have evolved as “a rescue mechanism” that causes a cascade of events that can kill cancerous cells before they have a chance to develop into tumours, possibly explaining the protective effects of a diet high in fruits and vegetables. Having discovered this, his team searched for plants that had the highest level of Salvestrols. Their definition of salvestrol is not an actual compound, like vitamin CWhat it does: Strengthens immune system – fights infections. Makes collagen, keeping bones, skin and joints firm and strong. Antioxidant, detoxifying pollutants and protecting against…, but an actual effect. So, any plant that could activate the production of the anti-cancer agent piceatannol only within cancer cells, but not normal cells, is deemed to have a salvestrol effect.
As I’ll illustrate shortly, Potter’s team identified the potency of each plant in Salvestrol ‘points’. Professor Potter then started testing to see if the compound would fight an active cancer if taken in a concentrated form as a supplement. Results were impressive. Professor Burke describes Salvestrols as “the most significant breakthrough in nutrition since the discovery of vitamins”. Dr John Briffa, writing in the Observer, voted salvestrols as the ‘No. I Big Idea in Health’. And This Morning’s Dr Chris Steele has featured Salvestrols and considers the research behind them to be ‘very persuasive’. If they can really do to cancer cells in the body what they can do in the laboratory, this is a really big breakthrough. In case you didn’t know, single cancer cells are continually forming in our bodies to some extent, but most are destroyed before they develop into malignant tumours. Salvestrols in the diet may be a main mechanism by which this ongoing prevention of cancer can occur.
In terms of cancer treatment, most current anticancer chemotherapy is beset by serious side effects. These occur because the majority of anticancer drugs are cell poisons that do not distinguish between cancer cells and many types of healthy cells. Because Salvestrols are activated only within cancer cells, they offer the possibility of anticancer treatment without the awful side effects. But how can they be so selective?
How Salvestrols Only Target Cancer Cells – the CYP1B1 Story
Salvestrols are initially innocuous. They only become active when they come into contact with a particular enzyme within cancer cells. Knowing that Salvestrols convert into the anti-cancer agent piceatannol, Professor Burke’s group started a hunt for the enzyme in cancer cells that did this critical conversion. In the early 1990s, at Aberdeen University Medical School, they discovered it. The enzyme is CYP1B1 (pronounced “sip one bee one”). It is now well established that CYP1B1 is present in the tumour cells of a wide variety of human cancers but is undetectable in the normal cells of the corresponding healthy tissues. This has been described as “one of the most important revelations in cancer research for the past 25 years” and has since been confirmed by at least 12 different studies by a number of eminent laboratories around the world, including The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Gray Cancer Institute in London.
According to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, “chemotherapeutic agents generally do not differentiate between cancer and normal cells, resulting in considerable toxicity. Since CYP1B1 expression is limited in normal tissue, and highly expressed in human cancers, immunotherapy directed against CYP1B1-expressing cells is far more specific”. CYP1B1 is found inside cancerous cells of tumours within the bladder, brain, breast, colon, kidney, liver, lung, oesophagus, ovary, skin, small intestine, stomach and uterus and is considered to be a tumour marker enzyme since it is virtually exclusive to cancer cells. So, CYP1B1 can be thought of as a Trojan Horse inside cancer cells, which merely has to be provided with Salvestrols in the diet in order to unleash a stream of chemical agents that are deadly to cancer cells. In other words, the presence of CYP1B1 in cancer cells seems to have provided cancer cells with the seeds of their own destruction – if you happen to eat foods high in Salvestrols. What’s interesting to note is that where the CYP1B1 enzyme is artificially inhibited, the Salvestrols will not succeed in destroying the cancer cell.
Although there are now over 3,000 people, mainly cancer patients, using Salvestrols and some extraordinary stories of recovery confirmed by their doctors, the hard evidence to date is specifically on human cancer cells tested in the laboratory in what’s called ‘in vitro’ research. We do not yet have any published trials in cancer patients and will no doubt have to wait a few years for this level of evidence. However, Salvestrols are currently undergoing clinical trials in London, Dublin and Malaysia. And case studies are beginning to be published in medical journals. I have heard of, and seen published, a number of case histories of cancer patients who have recovered with a diet and supplements high in Salvestrols.
Where Do We Get Salvestrols From?
Resveratrol, the first Salvestrol to be discovered, has been the subject of much research and has been shown to have many health benefits including anticancer properties, especially for breast cancer. Resveratrol is found most abundantly in red and green fruits and vegetables, mainly in organic produce (explained in more detail, below). Importantly, some varieties contain Salvestrols while others do not. So, it’s no use saying ‘eat an orange’, for example, because many varieties have little if any intrinsic levels of Salvestrols. Investigations have revealed that the Salvestrol concentration of foods varies enormously and depends very much on where and how the plant is grown and the particular variety of fruit or vegetable. Since Salvestrols have a bitter taste, the problem is not only that we don’t eat enough of these foods, but that Salvestrols are depleted in the diet because of commercial food processing, often to satisfy the demands for ever sweeter tasting fruits and vegetables. Higher levels of Salvestrols have been found in older, more bitter varieties of fruits and vegetables. In many cases, Salvestrols are extracted and filtered out, eg in cranberry juice and olive oil. Unfortunately, these practices are removing the life-protecting Salvestrols from our diet. Salvestrols are highest in stone-ground, unfiltered oil (if you can find it!) and in unprocessed wholefoods.
Salvestrols are thought to be in at least 50 plants. The table below shows the main ones tested to date. As explained, it is not possible to rank foods in order of potency. For example, two Golden Delicious apples bought from different parts of the UK may vary depending on where and how they are grown, regardless of the fact that they may both be organic. And a Gala apple will vary from Golden Delicious apples and so on. Salvestrol activity (‘points’) can only be consistent (‘standardised’), in supplement form. However, to give you an idea of how these points relate to the foods you eat, you can download a free recipe book – Salvestrol Richest Recipes – from www.naturesdefence.com.sg/dietrecipe.html.
|Grapes (& wine)||Brussels sprouts||Parsley|
|Oranges & tangerines||Cabbage||Rosemary|
Salvestrols are good for all of us and need to be part of your daily diet. How many points you need on a daily basis will depend on what you are trying to achieve. Realistically, a non-organic diet will probably deliver 20 points a day if you eat lots (eg at least five or more portions) of fruit and vegetables, and an organic diet probably 60-70, but it all depends on what you eat. We are far removed in the practical sense from the Palaeolithic ‘Hunter Gatherer’ diet of our ancestors, expected to deliver around 100 points a day. And yet genetically, we are not that different. To get the higher amounts means taking concentrated Salvestrol food supplements. These were made available as a result of the demand from cancer patients when the original ‘proof of principle’ work was made public.
A Salvestrol supplement generally provides between 100 and 2000 points per capsule. The lower dose being a preventative dose for a healthy individual, while 4000 is for therapeutic purposes. For instance, if you already have cancer, a dose of 2000 points twice a day is recommended. However, please bear in mind that it is important to ensure that you get the right guidance from a nutritional therapist to ensure that you are taking the right supplements for your particular type of cancer. For extra protection, or as a maintenance dose if you are recovering from cancer, I’d recommend a capsule providing 350 points.
Salvestrol points per day
Healthy (Palaeolithic) diet 100
Extra protection 350
Rescue recovery 4000 (2 x 2000 doses)
Why You Don’t Get Enough From Food
Although some Salvestrols can be obtained by eating lots of organic fruit and vegetables, extra virgin olive oils and unfiltered juices, for some of the reasons explained, it is difficult to get enough from diet alone. Generally, organic produce has a much higher Salvestrol content compared to more intensively grown fruit – up to 30 times if grown without fungicides. In modern agriculture, chemical anti-fungicides are used extensively to prevent rot and fungal infections in fruits and vegetables. These dramatically reduce the natural Salvestrol content of the food – if there is no fungi threatening the plant, there will be no stimulus for the plant to synthesise Salvestrols. Also, many fungicide agents used in modern-day farming can interfere with the CYP1B1 mechanism and therefore block Salvestrols anti-cancer action within the body. In the context of the changes in farming methods, these findings could help explain rising cancer rates since we stopped eating organic and started eating foods sprayed with fungicides. Even today’s wine making methods can deplete Salvestrol levels.
Traditionally, grape pulp is fermented with the skins still on, which results in resveratrol in wine. A bottle of wine made this way can contain 20mg of resveratrol, a significant Salvestrol effect. Today, many red wines provide around 2mg of resveratrol – a tenth of traditional wine. This is because the grapes for the wine are fermented without the skins on. White wines, including Champagne, are also produced this way, so there is no extraction of resveratrol and therefore no resveratrol in the wine. Also, since some Salvestrols can be extracted in hot water, it is best to use any cooking liquids for sauces and gravy and generally eat vegetables raw or steamed.
Should You Supplement Salvestrols?
If you wish to take Salvestrols in a concentrated amount, you may wish to explore the possible benefits of a Salvestrol supplement. As Dr Steele points out, ‘it is extremely difficult to obtain all these phytonutrients from the diet, even if you have access to everything organic’. In fact, it is estimated that we now have only 10-20% of the Salvestrol component in our diet that we had 100 years ago. It seems that even an organic ‘5-a-day’ diet is unlikely to contain sufficient Salvestrols – and certainly not enough if you’re fighting cancer. So, should we all be supplementing Salvestrols? There’s certainly a good case for this. I take an antioxidantAntioxidants are substances that protect cells within the body from damage caused by free radicals. They help to strengthen the body’s ability to fight infection… formula every day that contains Salvestrols in the form of resveratrol, and also a vitamin C supplement containing black elderberry and bilberry extracts, both rich sources of Salvestrols. Time will tell if that’s enough. If I had specific cancer concerns, I would certainly take an additional supplement of Salvestrol from food concentrates. Since Salvestrols are natural extracts from organic foods, there is little danger or risk from harmful side effects, although some people may develop loose bowels from the high fruit concentrate used in some supplements.
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