Once again, evidence-based natural medicine provides us with some insight on supporting women on a healing journey. Recent studies confirm that glycoside extracts of sea cucumber may be greatly beneficial for breast cancer prevention as well as after a breast cancer diagnosis.
Sea cucumbers are found on the sea floor, worldwide. They are interesting looking marine animals that are part of traditional Chinese Cuisine.
What is So Special about Sea Cucumber?
Even though sea cucumber’s effects against cancer are just beginning to become
evident in modern science, practitioners of Chinese medicine have long known of their benefits for a variety of conditions, including stomach ulcers and oral infections.
What makes sea cucumber so potent against cancer is a particular kind of phytochemical called Triterpene glycoside found within them. Plants utilize glycosides as chemical protection but humans also use them in extracted form for everything from drugs to sweeteners. In fact, stevia is made from two particular kinds of glycoside called stevioside and rebaudioside.
Sea Cucumber and Breast Cancer
Triterpene glycoside, a saponin glycoside found in sea cucumber, has a special significance when it comes to cancer. Studies have shown that it not only stops the spread of cancer, but it also can create “cell death” or apoptosis in cancer cells.
According to one report:
“Triterpene glycosides from sea cucumbers, in particular, have shown multiple anti-cancer mechanisms, such as blood flow inhibition to a tumor, receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition, induction of apoptosis, and caspase activation.”
Here are a few more studies that have come to the same basic conclusion:
-Research conducted at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Science found that sea cucumber extract reduced tumor volume, was anti-angiogenic and also inhibited key cell signaling pathways having to do with “….cell survival, proliferation, adhesion and migration” in a mouse model;
-A 2012 study conducted at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center found that Frondoside A, another glycoside derived from the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa, had a significant effect on mammary-gland tumor metastasis;
-Finally, sea cucumber extracts have also been shown to be powerful “aromatase inhibitors (AI’s)” in some studies. AI’s lower estrogen levels by prohibiting enzymes in fatty tissue from converting other hormones to estrogen. The American Cancer Society (ACS) states that “AI’s may someday prove to be as good as or even better than tamoxifen or raloxifene in reducing breast cancer risk.” Of course, the ACS was speaking of pharmaceutic drugs in making this claim. Sea cucumber, however, is a natural AI that does not have dangerous side effects like its synthetic counterparts.
Sea cucumbers may have potential as powerful anti-cancer agents. If you are considering utilizing them along your Healthy Breast journey, there is a product called Angiostop. Angiostop is a sea cucumber extract created by Dr. Tsu-Tsair Chi (“Dr. Chi”), a popular Southern California-based naturopathic physician. Dr. Chi is also the founder of Chi’s Enterprise Inc.
Research studies conducted using Angiostop have found that it may be beneficial for arresting the development of many “growth factors,” such as VEGFr, that lead to tumor proliferation. This is potentially great news for those who have Triple Negative Breast Cancer as well. TNBC patients may have several such growth factors, like VEGFr that are operating at high levels.
A sea cucumber in its natural habitat doesn’t offer much appeal. It is basically a brownish-yellow “elongated blob” with spikes. What it lacks in charm, however, it definitely makes up for in powerful benefits for breast health!