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Friday, January 25, 2013

Strawberries, angiogenesis and weight loss

Angiogenesis is the body's ability to grow capillary blood vessels, an important function of the body which is needed for healing.  During exercise, the muscles benefit from angiogenesis, giving blood supply to any damaged tissues.  Healing is dependent on angiogenesis in the event of a cut or some other injury.

It is now understood that the body regulates a delicate balance of angiogenesis, making sure that there is not an excess or deficiency of the body's ability to supply blood vessels.  The body is actually able to block the formation of new capillaries  and prune back the supply of blood vessels when they are no longer needed.  Cancerous tumors, however, release angiogenic growth factor proteins in order to get the needed blood supply for the tumor to grow.  Without the blood supply needed to feed it, cancer cannot thrive.

There are many herbs and foods that provide anti-angiogenic properties which can effectively starve cancer cells by blocking the formation of capillaries.  Following is a non-exhaustive list of these foods.

Green tea                        Strawberries            Blackberries                     
Raspberries                      Blueberries              Orange
Grapefruit                        Lemon                   Apple
Pineapple                         Cherries                 Red grapes
Bok Choy                         Kale                       Soy beans
Ginseng                           Turmeric                 Artichoke
Nutmeg                           Licorice                 Pumpkin
Parsley                            Garlic                     Tomato

The following TED talk with Dr. Li is informational regarding anti-angiogenic foods.  He points out that foods can work together, in synergy, to provide very potent anti-angiogenic results.  He also notes that adipose tissue in the case of obesity is highly dependent on new blood vessel supply.  In a lab study, weight loss could be achieved by giving obese mice anti-angiogenic drugs.  Dr. Li also comments that nature has given us chemotherapeutic foods. Cancer patients can look at these as something that they can do for themselves by consuming a diet rich in anti-angiogenic foods.  Perhaps eating from the vast number of anti-angiogenic foods while trying to loose weight could bring great results, too. 

Dr. William Li's 2010 TED Talk

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