How does Bergamot Treat Cancer?
Acetyl-CoA, an important compound for cellular energy production, is the precursor for the synthesis of fatty acids, energy production, and cholesterol. Both glucose (sugar) and glutamine (amino acids) can contribute to the body’s generation of acetyl-CoA. Acetate has recently been shown to be yet another source of acetyl-CoA for many different cancer types, including breast, prostate, liver, primary glioblastomas and brain metastases. Some of these cancerous tissues incorporate acetate into fatty acids to support the cancer’s veracious need for structural elements in growth, whereas others have been shown to use acetate to fuel the TCA (Krebs energy) cycle that feed its need for energy (Comerford et al., 2014; Kamphorst et al., 2014; Mashimo et al., 2014; Schug et al., 2015).
Therefore, acetate might become a crucial nutritional source in poorly vascularized regions of tumors. The acetyl-CoA generated from glucose, glutamine or acetate (or potentially other nutritional sources) supplies the cholesterol and fatty acids synthesis demand of cancer cell growth.
There has been a hypothesis that cancer patients treated with statins could be associated with a reduced incidence of cancer. This has stimulated some research on the use of statins for cancer prevention (Baandrup et al., 2015; Boudreau et al., 2010). However, to date, clinical trials designed to specifically test cancer prevention by statin treatment have not been conclusive (Bertagnolli et al., 2010; Cardwell et al., 2015) and the other negative effects of statins (liver damage, decreased function of liver detoxification pathways, and CoQ10 depletion) seem to be too great a risk to take for cancer patients especially since liver metastasis is so common.
A novel approach to naturally hindering the same pathway without any of the side-effects may be in the use Bergamot Bioactive Polyphenolic Fractions (BPFs). BPFs contains a powerful and unique array of cholesterol-balancing and cardio-protective polyphenolic flavonoids that act similarly to statins. Emerging clinical research has demonstrated that BPFs help maintain healthy total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and triglyceride (TRI) levels naturally.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a citrus plant that grows almost exclusively in the narrow coastal Calabria region in southern Italy. The local population quickly discovered bergamot juice could be used to help support healthy cholesterol levels and optimize cardiovascular wellness.
Bergamot’s health benefits derive from its unique profile of phenolic compounds such as, neoeriocitrin, neohesperidin, naringin, rutin, neodesmin, rhoifolin and poncirin. Naringin has been shown to be beneficial in maintaining normal inflammatory balance, while neoeriocitrin and rutin have been found to exhibit a strong capacity to quench free radicals and maintain healthy LDL cholesterol levels. Also, bergamot is rich in brutieridine and melitidine, which have a unique ability to dampen HMG-CoA reductase, and THAT is the key!
The tumor-promoting effects of enhanced fatty acid synthesis were first appreciated in the 1990s when fatty acid synthase (FASN) expression was identified as prognostic marker of aggressive breast cancers (Kuhajda et al., 1994).
The tendency of ovarian cancers to metastasize to the omentum has been shown to be driven by crosstalk between adipocytes (fat cells and accompanying fatty acids) and the ovarian cancer cells (Nieman et al., 2011). The uptake of fatty acids not only by the tumor cells but also the connective tissue cells necessary for building new cancer cells can affect continued tumor progression. In short, the more a cancer can efficiently make use of fatty acids, the poorer the prognosis.
Furthermore, cancers crave fatty acids and can activate adipose triglyceride lipase (a very specific enzyme that breaks down the body’s fat) in the white adipose tissue and skeletal muscle to make use of such fatty acids for continued growth. This has been linked to cachexia, suggesting that inhibition of such lipases might help alleviate the devastating problems associated with it (Das et al., 2011).
Enter Bergamot, one possible hero.
One study on Colorectal cancer (CRC) revealed evidence that citrus bergamia juice extracts (BJe) reduces CRC cell growth by multiple mechanisms. Another showed that bergamot even eradicated cancer stem cells!
Find study links on bergamot here.
What we use to dampen HMG-CoA reductase:
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Dr. Conners graduated with his doctorate from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 1986 and has been studying alternative cancer care for over 20 years. He holds AMA Fellowships in Regenerative & Functional Medicine and Integrative Cancer Therapy.
He is the author of numerous books including, Stop Fighting Cancer and Start Treating the Cause, Cancer Can’t Kill You if You’re Already Dead, Help, My Body is Killing Me, Chronic Lyme, 3 Phases of Lyme, 23 Steps to Freedom, and many more you can download for FREE on our books page.