Beets are good for you – an excellent source of nutrition, high in fiber and low in calories, they make a great addition to anyone’s diet.
But this root vegetable may have even more important health benefits – including helping our bodies fight off cancer.
Comparisons To Cancer Drugs
“Previous cancer chemo prevention studies… have demonstrated that the extract of red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.), the FDA-approved red food color E162, can be effective in suppressing the development of multi-organ tumors in experimental animals,” one study explains.
“To further this finding, we have compared the cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot extract with anticancer drug doxorubicin (adriamycin) in the androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells (PC-3) and in the well-established estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells.”(1)
Both beetroot and the commonly-used cancer drug had similar effects on the growth of tumors – decreasing the rate of tumor growth in just three days.
How It Works
According to the study, “The results suggest that betanin, the major betacyanin constituent, may play an important role in the cytotoxicity exhibited by the red beetroot extract.”
In other words, the chemo protective effects of beetroot extract are likely due to a specific nutrient in beetroot known as betanin.
Making The Links With Previous Studies
This isn’t the first study that’s linked betanin to the inhibition of tumor growth – an early study in 1996, published in the journal Cancer Letters, linked dietary beetroot ingestion to slower tumor growth(2). Yet another study, this one from 1992, found that beet fiber had a protective effect on colon cancer in rats(3).
Beetroot Juice And Exercise: A Powerful Combination
Beets are an excellent source of nitrate, which has been known to improve exercise performance.
One study showed that beetroot juice consumption could markedly improve the athletic performance of healthy men(4).
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to preventing, treating, and surviving many diseases, including various forms of cancer(5) – in improving exercise performance, beetroot exhibits yet another potential means of helping us defeat this life-threatening disease.
Getting Your Daily Dose Of Beetroot
Beetroot juice is good for athletic performance, but for fighting cancer there’s anecdotal evidence that points towards concentrated beetroot extract being the way to go.
It’s best to consult with your physician before starting to take concentrated beetroot extract regularly, though, especially if you’re currently being treated for cancer – natural remedies should always be undertaken with the supervision of a doctor.
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