Common seaweed outperforms chemotherapy for breast cancer, researchers reveal

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seaweed(NaturalHealth365) Breast cancer, a major cause of death from cancer for women of all ethnicities, claimed 42,000 lives in the United States in 2014 alone – a truly grim statistic. But a new study – in which seaweed worked better than a leading FDA-approved pharmaceutical medication to combat breast cancer – is raising hopes that this safe, natural superfood could alter the face of cancer treatment as we know it.

Today, we’ll reveal the science behind killing cancer cells with seaweed.

Red seaweed was shown to be clearly superior to tamoxifen for treating cancer

In a groundbreaking animal study published in Nutrition and Cancer, researchers found that edible red tropical seaweed was more effective than tamoxifen – an FDA- approved medication considered the “gold standard” of anticancer drugs – in suppressing experimentally-induced mammary tumors in rats.

First, the researchers divided the rats into three groups. One group was given no treatment whatsoever, while the second group was given tamoxifen and the third was given a type of red seaweed scientifically known as Eucheuma cottonii L. and commonly known as guso. The seaweed group received a dosage of 100 mg/kg of body weight – which translates to roughly 800 mg for a 110 pound human.

And the results were astounding.

A mere four weeks into the study, researchers found that rats in the red seaweed group experienced an astonishing 97 percent decrease in tumor size. (If a pharmaceutical drug achieved this level of success, there is no doubt that manufacturers would be trumpeting the results far and wide!)

But that wasn’t all – red seaweed also boosted the activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione – a pair of disease-fighting antioxidants – by a stunning 78 percent.

While tamoxifen cut tumor size by 71 percent – a less impressive rate than that achieved by seaweed – it also slashed levels of SOD and glutathione by 60 percent. And, while seaweed presented “zero” toxicity to liver and kidneys, tamoxifen produced visible lesions on these vital organs.

Scientific research affirms seaweed’s time-honored medicinal value

While ancient healing systems – including Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda – have long used seaweed to fight cancer, Western medicine has been slower to catch on.

Seaweed’s first recorded use in mainstream medicine took place as part of a study in Italy in the 1960s – where an impressive 68 percent of 162 patients recovered after receiving a combination of intramuscular seaweed injections and chemotherapy.

Puzzlingly, there was a lapse of 20 years, in which no further research was performed. Then, in the mid-1980s, Japanese researchers undertook a series of studies – and declared seaweed extracts to be more effective against cancer than conventional chemotherapeutic agents.

Since then, numerous studies have highlighted seaweed’s ability to inhibit the growth of experimentally-generated cancers and to prevent cancer cells from growing and reproducing.

A 2001 Japanese study found that wakame seaweed suppressed breast cancer mammary tumors. And, research conducted at the University of California at Berkeley suggests that consumption of bladderwrack, a type of brown seaweed, can reduce risk of estrogen-related cancers.

Finally, a 2013 study found that polysaccharides in Sargassum vulgare – yet another type of brown seaweed sometimes called hijiki – inhibited breast cancer tumor growth.

Seaweed’s constituents seem tailor-made to ward off cancer

Researchers believe that fucoidan – a polysaccharide found in red and brown seaweed – can directly trigger cancer cell death by promoting the production of caspase, an enzyme that helps to trigger apoptosis – or “cell suicide.” Alginic acid – another natural compound occurring in seaweed – may also contribute to seaweed’s anti-cancer effects.

Naturally high in iodine, seaweed can help correct deficiencies that might otherwise lead to the development of breast cancer.

It is also extremely rich in specific micronutrients believed to offer some protection against cancer. Seaweed is an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E – as well as a good source of B-vitamins such as pantothenic acid, riboflavin and folate.

Essential minerals, including calcium and manganese, round out seaweed’s impressive nutritional profile.

How can I use seaweed to help prevent breast cancer?

The best types of seaweed to consume for breast cancer prevention are brown and red seaweeds, including wakame, guso, kombu – or kelp – hijiki, sargassum, dulse and Irish moss. You can try seaweed toasted, served as a side vegetable, or added to soups, stews and salads.

Many natural healers recommend whole seaweed over kelp supplements, which are produced by superheating seaweed and then grinding it into a powder – a process that may deplete nutritional and medicinal value.

Of course, like any other food, be careful of the source to avoid unwanted contamination.

Important note: For some, seaweed’s high iodine content can be problematic. When kept to about .25 ounces per day, or 7 grams – the amount customarily eaten by millions in Japan – seaweed consumption is safe. However, consumption in the range of 10 to 20 grams of seaweed daily can cause thyroid problems.

To be safe, always talk to a trusted, healthcare professional before making any changes to your dietary habits.

In closing, and interesting to note, rates of breast cancer in Japan – 42.7 cases per 100,000 women – are much lower than U.S. rates (76 per 100,000), and high consumption of seaweed plays a likely role. So, making this intriguing “sea vegetable” a regular addition to your diet may prove to be a wise choice for you.

Editor’s note: My wife and I LOVE to eat this dulse from Iceland – available inside the NaturalHealth365 Store.   It’s so fresh, raw and loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals.  Click here to order today!

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  • James Peters

    It’s takes around 10-12 years to bring a new treatment to market and along the way 95% of them fail https://www. bio. org/sites/default/files/Clinical%20Development%20Success%20Rates%202006-2015%20-%20BIO,%20Biomedtracker,%20Amplion%202016.pdf

  • Karin Schubert

    I was diagnosed hormon positive breast cancer in July 2014 and had surgery and radiation. After 2.5 years I stopped taking Tamoxifen after learning more about it. I was so excited when I read this article about Red Seaweed. However, in Germany there are many articles which say that carrageen causes cancer. Now I am not sure whether to use the seaweed. Can someone help me with the confusion, please?

    • Kenneth Shonk

      You are right to be concerned. A review article on PubMed states in the abstract: Review of these data demonstrated that exposure to undegraded as well as to degraded carrageenan was associated with the occurrence of intestinal ulcerations and neoplasms. This association may be attributed to contamination of undegraded carrageenan by components of low molecular weight, spontaneous metabolism of undegraded carrageenan by acid hydrolysis under conditions of normal digestion, or the interactions with intestinal bacteria.
      Source: https://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242073/
      My question is “Does all red seaweed contain carrageenan??” or is it only red seaweed from certain species and locations – Iceland? Maybe best to stick to brown seaweed or the particular species of seaweed used in the research. However, the Asian store I frequent does not list the species and usually uses the Korean name in Korean characters – which is of no help. R.K. Tobacman is the authority on carrageenan and published another review paper in 2014 that I haven’t looked at.
      Here is another interesting article on algae and seaweed:
      Mark L. Wells,1 Philippe Potin,2 James S. Craigie,3 John A. Raven,4,5 Sabeeha S. Merchant,6 Katherine E. Helliwell,7,8 Alison G. Smith,7 Mary Ellen Camire,9 and Susan H. Brawley-c, 2017, Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding. J Appl Phycol. 2017; 29(2): 949–982. Published online 2016 Nov 21. doi: 10.1007/s10811-016-0974-5, PMCID: PMC5387034. Full article free at: https://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC5387034/

      • Kenneth Shonk

        I can now answer the question after a little investiagation. The particular seaweed species used in this study, Eucheuma cottonii L., is a commericial species cultivated in the Philippines and other countries of SE Asia for production of carrageenan. However, carrageenan is not soluble in alcohol so the alcohol extract used in the study was likely free of carrageenan, so eating the seaweed (containing carrageenan) is not the same as using the ethanol extract which almost certainly does not contain carrageenan though this is not stated in the research article. Google carrageenan and seaweed and you will get lots of information on the seaweed species used and extraction method for producing carrageenan. Dosages and strength of the alcohol extract are left out of this article but that info is in the original research paper.

  • We Need A Bigger Basket

    James Sloan did a segment on oxygen and cancer. Oxygen actually helps cancer grow.

    • Wendy Allen

      Precancer started in me due to low oxygen in my cells. Gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO/food with a label etc may promote cancer along with chemicals/Lyme/estrogen dominant etc.