Nowadays, cancer treatment options abound. Whether its new immunotherapies or cell-based therapies, researchers are constantly searching for new options for cancer treatment that can give patients hope and help them feel better quickly.
Unfortunately, despite these advances, options like chemotherapy and radiation treatment remain the go-to treatments for most types of cancers. Among the oldest of cancer treatments, these options, while offering important and helpful benefits to patients, also leave patients with a range of unpleasant side effects that can make it hard to recover from cancer treatment.
But what about therapies that focus on preventing cancer altogether, potentially helping people avoid the need for cytotoxic drugs like chemotherapy? Researchers have also looked for options like these, particular ones that involve more natural ways of healing. One such options is the process of detoxification, which some claim could help rid the body of cancer-causing compounds. Keep reading to learn more.
What is detoxification?
You’ve probably heard of detoxification in some way shape or form before. For example, you’ve probably heard of all number diets and cleansing fads focused on detoxification in the body. The goal is to help restore vital nutrients or balance in the body by helping the body eliminate toxins that can be dangerous or unhealthy. Despite many of these fads, your body also has ways of naturally detoxifying itself.
What role does detoxification play in our health?
The idea behind detoxification is that it can help remove your body of dangerous and unhealthy substances, such as carcinogens, from your body to help you live healthier.
Though there are many fads and trends focused on cleansing and detoxifying the body, there are actually a number of ways our body conducts its own detoxification processes. There are also ways you can help support detoxification in your body naturally by focusing on what you eat. For example, the following can help support detoxification in the body:
- Regular digestion, which can be supported by drinking enough fluid, or eating enough foods rich in fiber.
- Eliminating toxic substances, such as toxic metals, which can be aided through eating certain fruits and foods that are high in healthy fats and selenium (which helps remove mercury).
How does detoxification help with cancer?
Detoxification works on theory that toxic substances in our body (such as carcinogens, including toxic metals like mercury) can lead to the development of cancer. And there is some truth to these claims about the source of cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for example, has listed certain mercury-based compounds as a carcinogen that could potentially cause cancer.
So, in theory, detoxification works to remove these harmful substances and potentially prevent cancer from developing altogether.
Is detoxification an effective treatment for cancer?
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of good evidence out there that supports the use of detoxification as a way to prevent or even treat cancer. However, researchers have made promising strides to understand how certain detoxifying compounds in the foods we eat could significantly help with the prevent and treatment of cancer. Here’s what existing research has found:
- D-glucarate/glucaric acid may play a role in cancer prevention. One review study found that eating fruits and vegetables high in this compound could help prevent cancer. Foods high in glucaric acid include a range of options, including several vegetables (Brussel sprouts, cabbage) and fruits (applies, grapefruits).
- Allyl sulfur compounds could help detoxify and prevent cancer. One study also found that certain sulfur compounds commonly found in foods like garlic and onion could have cancer prevention benefits, as well.
Is detoxification a safe treatment for cancer?
When done correctly, detoxification can be a perfectly safe and healthy way to keep your body in tip top shape. Several fads, such as juicing cleanses, can actually be unsafe because they don’t give your body vital nutrients that it needs. Some also “flush your system out” and include large amounts of laxative that could be dangerous. If you’re looking to start any kind of detoxification treatment, talk to your doctor first.
With any type of cancer treatment, it’s important to make sure you fully understand the available treatment options and choose options that work for you. This should include talking to your doctor before starting any cancer treatment. They can help you decide which treatment options are right for you.