Cancer treatment invariably involves plenty of invasive medical intervention, whether it’s surgical, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a harsh drug regimen. All of these treatments are in the hands of the professionals and if you, or someone you know, is facing a cancer diagnosis then it can be helpful to take some of the control back.
This article discusses pineapple and its use in both the prevention of cancer but also its purported positive affects on the outcome of modern cancer treatment.
What’s in a pineapple?
As well as being packed with fibre, vitamins, mineral salts and organic aides. Pineapple also has its own unique component: it’s is rich in a natural enzyme called bromelain. This enzyme is already proven in its ability to:
- reduce inflammation
- ease arthritic pain
- treat diarrhoea
- act as a natural anticoagulant
- aid digestion.
What’s special about bromelain?
Bromelain can be extracted from the stem and fruit of the pineapple. It has proven effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant and to supplement the body’s own digestive enzymes. It’s proponents also report that bromelain has positive effects on the outcome and experience of cancer treatment.
The first claims are that the anti-inflammatory effects of this extract can ease the symptoms associated with the ill-effects of chemotherapy such as as nausea and digestive complaints. The anti-inflammatory properties are also reported to ease the symptoms of sore mouth and throat following radiation treatment.
In the treatment of cancer itself, one study suggests that this enzyme has an anti-tumour effect. When compared to 5-fluorouracil, a chemotherapy drug used to treat a variety of cancers, the initial results from animal studies suggest that bromeline outperformed 5-fluorouracil.
Although further studies are needed, the initial results suggest that the enzyme has selective toxicity meaning it tracked the and killed divided cancer cells quickly, without affecting healthy cells.
How does it work?
The key to effective cancer treatment is in shrinking and destroying cancer cells. The problem with current medicine is that such treatment also affects healthy cells. Bromelain exhibits the ability of selective cytotoxicity targeting only the cancer cells. Whilst much of this power can be gained from the raw fruit, scientists are beginning to work on the extract to allow this super enzyme to enter the bloodstream.
What should you do?
When it comes to having a cancer diagnosis, the most important thing is to listen to and talk with your oncologist and specialist nurses. Some natural remedies can interact with the medicines you have been prescribed so it’s important to have an open dialogue with the professionals. Having said this, eating well and staying healthy is of utmost importance when undergoing cancer treatment. It’s important to eat a nutritionally balance diet which addresses:
- loss of appetite
- weight change due to steroids
- change in taste
- nutritional deficiencies owing to the treatment
- convenience (treatment can really deplete your energy levels).
Supplementing your treatment with natural remedies is a positive step to having control over your own treatment and, as long as there are no interactions with your medication, should be encouraged. In addition to pineapple, there are plenty of foods rich in enzymes which are reported to have similar properties; vitamin C, beet extract and turmeric extract for example.
Pineapple enzymes have shown some incredibly powerful positive effects and could just improve the outcome of your cancer treatment.