Ellagitannin - Cancerís Natural Enemy

THE NUMBERS

  • Each day, your own body produces a few hundred to nearly 10,000 cancerous cells as part of normal metabolism
  • Ellagitannins occur naturally in 46 different foods, but the highest natural content is found in red raspberries
  • Every 45 seconds, an American dies from cancer
  • Today, people are exposed to more toxins in 15 minutes than their grandparents were in their entire lifetimes

IT'S A CELL'S LIFE

We begin life as a single cell -- that's something we learned all the way back in grade school. The amazing thing about our bodies is that from that single cell, an entire person is formed, eventually composed of some 76 trillion cells. The single cell we start as divides and differentiates, and the result is a fully formed and functional human being.

Once our tissues have matured, there is a normal process in cell division -- called apoptosis, or natural cell death - that maintains them in a healthy, normal state. When a cell divides, the replicating cell dies off, and the new cell takes over its functioning. It usually happens like clockwork.

However, there are many cells in our bodies, produced each day as a part of normal metabolism, that don't follow this natural process of apoptosis. These cells don't die off as they replicate. Instead, they continue dividing and multiplying, like an algebraic nightmare. These are cancer cells. They are cells multiplying out of control, and when they reach a critical mass, they are identifiable as a tumor.

But it's not just normal metabolism that can create this renegade cell proliferation. Each day we breathe, eat, drink, and come in contact with numerous toxic substances that have the power to actually alter our cellular DNA, mutating normal cells into cancerous ones. Our immune systems are designed to eliminate the abnormal cells, but the very environmental factors that cause their excess production typically also impair immune functioning.

It certainly sounds like a recipe for health disaster. But then, like some superhero coming to save the day, a wonder-working phenolic compound, a constituent of the ellagitannins found in common fruits and nuts, enters the picture. It's called Ellagic Acid, and it can be a formidable opponent to the production and proliferation of cancerous cells.

HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN CELL PROCESS?

Ellagic acid helps stop cancer cell proliferation in two primary ways. One way is through a process called G-Arrest. Basically, G-Arrest means that ellagic acid stops cancer cells from mutating and reproducing in the first place. In tests conducted by the Hollings Cancer Institute at the University of South Carolina, GArrest began in 72 hours in both breast and cervical cancer cells exposed to ellagic acid.

The other way ellagic acid impedes cancer cell growth is that it simply sends the cancer cells a message to follow the natural apoptosis process and kill themselves after replicating. Other studies show that ellagic acid may help prevent the development of cancer in cells infected with the human papilloma virus, which has been particularly linked to cervical cancer.

Ellagitannins in general can provide a shield effect. They are known to bind to certain blood-borne toxins, rendering them harmless. They have also been shown to bind to receptor sites on DNA, an activity that blocks the binding of other, cancer-promoting compounds.

The power of an ellagitannin complex to promote good health in the body goes even beyond the cancer implications, however. The berries from which the ellagitannins are derived also contain a natural form of aspirin called salicylates. The National Center for Health Statistics has established a clear connection between reduced risk of heart attack and an increased intake of salicylates.

Even the American Cancer Society has noted the potential benefits of ellagic acid in cancer protection and the reduction of heart disease. In its Complementary Alternative Cancer Methods Handbook, the ACS cited ellagic acid's potential for preventing carcinogens from binding to cellular DNA and its ability to strengthen connective tissue, which may help stop the spread of cancer cells. The book also says ellagic acid may reduce heart disease and promote wound healing.

IT'S A COMPLEX PROCESS

Since ellagitannins occur naturally in everyday foods, it makes sense that they are the most bioavailable, or most readily used by the body, in this form. In fact, ellagitannins are water-soluble, making them quite easy for the body to absorb. When naturally occurring ellagitannins (most typically found in fruits and nuts) are consumed, they are broken down into ellagic acid, glucose, and other compounds.

Furthermore, additional phenolic compounds found in fruits and nuts add further anti-cancer impact to that of ellagic acid. These include specific ellagitannins with tongue-tying names like coriariin A, oenothein B, lambertianin C, isoterchebin, tellimagrandin II, and sanguiin H-6. So an ellagitannin complex -- not just ellagic acid in isolation - is a much better choice for wide-ranging benefit when selecting a dietary supplement.

Healing America's Ellagitannin, as its name implies, is just that Ė an ellagitannin complex -- and two capsules twice a day offer 40 mg of ellagitannin complex. This is precisely the amount found in a cup of fresh raspberries. A cup of fresh raspberries per day is what was given to patients in the published studies that demonstrated a positive impact on cancer in a real life situation. Let's look at the sources for this interesting substance:

Meeker Red Raspberry

The seeds of the Meeker red raspberry are the best natural source for ellagitannins (which, of course, break down into ellagic acid and other components). Actually, ellagitannins are found in 46 different foods, including other fruits like strawberries and pomegranate. But red raspberry seeds, and the Meeker variety in particular, are the most concentrated source of this beneficial phenolic complex.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

A hundred years ago, one in 30 people developed cancer over the course of their lifetimes. Today, that figure is closer to one out of every two people. A big part of that increase can be attributed to the sheer volume of cancer-promoting toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis. Asphalt, paint, glues, cleaning solvents, synthetic carpet fibers, insulation -- they're all part of our daily landscape. And yet they all contain toxic chemicals that have been clearly linked to cancer development.

Estimates show the average homeowner often uses 10 times as much pesticide per acre as farmers do. Where do those toxic chemicals end up? They get directly on our skin and in our lungs. Indirectly, they find their way to our streams and lakes, and eventually infiltrate our groundwater - the very stuff we drink and use for bathing and washing our clothes.

It is in this toxic world that ellagitannins can really do their magic. Ellagic acid and the other ellagitannins help our cells resist the cancercausing effects of environmental toxins. They also act as antioxidants, gathering and ridding the body of destructive oxygen free radicals that can lead to cancerous changes in cells. And all of this capability is concentrated in the tiny, hard-to-see seeds of the humble red raspberry. It's pretty amazing stuff!

CAUTIONS

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, but rather is a dietary supplement intended solely for nutritional support

SOURCES

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Mullen W, McGinn J, Lean ME, MacLean MR, Gardner P, Duthie GG, Yokota T, Crozier A. Ellagitannins, flavonoids, and other phenolics in red raspberries and their contribution to antioxidant capacity and vasorelaxation properties. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Aug 28;50(18):5191-6.

Quideau S, Feldman KS. Ellagitannin Chemistry. Chem Rev. 1996 Feb 1;96(1):475-504.

Yang LL, Wang CC, Yen KY, Yoshida T, Hatano T, Okuda T. Antitumor activities of ellagitannins on tumor cell lines. Basic Life Sci. 1999;66:615-28.

Okuda T, Yoshida T, Hatano T. Ellagitannins as active constituents of medicinal plants. Planta Med. 1989 Apr;55(2):117 22.

Wargovich MJ. Experimental evidence for cancer preventive elements in foods. Cancer Lett. 1997 Mar 19;114(1-2):11-7.

Krishnan K, Brenner DE. Chemoprevention of colorectal cancer. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 1996 Dec;25(4):821-58.

Menon LG, Kuttan R, Kuttan G. Inhibition of lung metastasis in mice induced by B16F10 melanoma cells by polyphenolic compounds. Cancer Lett. 1995 Aug 16;95(1-2):221-5.

Stoner GD, Mukhtar H. Polyphenols as cancer chemopreventive agents. J Cell Biochem Suppl. 1995;22:169-80


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.