Patients often ask what they can do to naturally keep their body in peak form to reduce the risk of cancer and fight cancer during cancer treatment.  One common approach is through a colorful variety of foods ensuring a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients that help the body fight and prevent cancer. Included in these are a variety of spices that offer cancer-fighting compounds; One such spice that has gained scientific acclaim is cinnamon. Commonly known as a powerful anti-oxidant, and recognized for its powerful properties among practitioners of s,  scientific research now shows cinnamon has been found to block the formation of new vessels in cancer tumors, a process required for growth and spread of cancer.

Cinnamon, which originates from Sri Lanka, is one of the oldest known spices and at a time it was considered more precious than gold.  Cinnamon’s popularity made it a critical link between the Western world and the Orient.  Cinnamon has a long rich history and was even mentioned in the bible.

The spice is derived from the inner skin of the plant species, cinnamonum verum. The skin of the plant is detached from the branch, which allows the skins to roll around themselves and dry, forming cinnamon sticks.

Blocking the Growth of Cancerous Cells

Cancer growth in the human body is dependent on being adequately fed by a network of blood vessels, this process is called angiogenesis.  In most cases, angiogenesis is a healthy process that occurs in the body. During growth stages the body relies on this process to generate new blood vessels to get needed blood to the new cells and also helps heal wounds and repair damage. However in a person with cancer, this same naturally occurring process fuels cancer growth by creating new blood vessels that provide the tumor with a blood supply, enabling its survival and growth.

New research shows that certain compounds found in food, such as those found in cinnamon, have the ability to block the formation of new vessels by obstructing the activity of a protein essential for the angiogenesis process. At low doses, an extract of the spice deactivated this protein, which blocked the formation of new blood vessels created by the tumors. This new research shows that components of cinnamon may directly play a role in cancer prevention by blocking angiogenesis.

Anti-Angiogenesis Treatment

Understanding the angiogenesis process required for cancer tumor growth, scientists have identified this process as a target for the development of new drugs. Instead of attacking the cancer itself, these new ‘targeted-drugs’ attack the blood vessels required by the cancer cells to grow and survive.  Anti-angiogenesis drugs are helpful in treating many types of cancer and can be used in combination with other drugs.  For certain cancers, such as kidney cancer, they provide a favourable option given chemotherapy is not indicated.

Once considered a dessert spice, the healing powers of cinnamon are turning it into a dietary stable. Add cinnamon to your diet to help block the formation of new blood vessels required for cancer growth and survival. To gain the most from your cinnamon intake, try buying cinnamon sticks and grating them into your food and benefit from the same cancer fighting principles as found in targeted cancer drugs.

If you have any queries about our Functional Oncology approach or then get in touch today and speak to one of our trained case managers.