Adaptogens and Angiogenesis
Angiogenesis is a process by which your body forms new blood vessels to aid in vital processes like growth and development or wound healing. Obviously that’s a good thing.
It also feeds the growth of cancerous tumors, be fundamental in the transition from dormant to malignant. Cancer-related angiogenesis is needed in the early stages of development to transform cancer cells that are dormant into invasive and metastatic tumors.
Growing cancerous tumors need their own blood supply and they hijack angiogenesis to get the job done. It’s the degree of tumor vascularity that determines the stage of cancer, how fast it metastasizes and even has its recurrence.
So even though angiogenesis is a good thing under normal circumstances, it has to be controlled in any natural program to rid the body from cancer. Angiogenesis has gotten a lot of press lately because of certain foods that have anti-angiogenic properties.
You might think these would be exotic foods but in reality most of them are common fruits and vegetables. Kale, blueberries, broccoli, raspberries, soy, olive oil, garlic, green tea, dark chocolate, pumpkin, lavender, turmeric and bok choy all make the list.
As you can see this partial list contains many foods that can be incorporated into any diet pretty easily.
One of the best strategies for fighting cancers and tumor growth is dealing with stress.
We all know that stress shuts down immune system function but more importantly it raises blood sugar, directly feeding cancer cells. I used to think the main anticancer effect of adaptogens were the regulation of blood sugar and limiting inflammation but now it shows that some adaptogens have very potent antiangiogenic properties as well.
One of my favorite adaptogens, ashwagandha or withania somnifera, regulates angiogenesis and inhibits tumor angiogenesis. Turns out this potent anti-stress herb suppress two major pathways to angiogenesis, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and NF-kappa B, both of which drive cancer proliferation.
Combine all of that with lower stress and helping to naturally regulate blood sugar, you have a very potent super food for cancer prevention and treatment. Modern research points out one of the most amazing differences between superior tonic herbs like ashwagandha, reishi, schizandra, eleuthero, rhodiola and medicinal herbs.
Tonics have innumerable pathways by which they nourish and protect the body. Medicinal herbs are usually limited to one pathway by which they kill off an invader.
Both are highly valuable but tonic herbs are truly super foods for the promotion and maintenance of radiant health or health beyond danger.