Cancer literally means crab in Latin.
The disease was named so because of the swollen veins around a tumour looked like the limbs of a crab. T
he term ‘Cancer’ is the indefinite term used for any condition associated with an abnormal lump of cells.
Apoptosis is defined as a process of programmed cell death that occurs in multicellular organisms. This program is encoded in the DNA.
Damage in this program, which is a part of DNA of a cell, can affect the normal cell growth and division.
This is the underlined cause of uncontrolled cell growth. These extra cells together form a tissue which is unwanted and has drastic effects on the functioning of the cell.
This tissue is called a tumor and the condition called Cancer.
The nature of the tumor defines the severity of the Cancer. A tumor can be benign, which means it does not obstruct or invade the tissues nearby or spread sporadically to other parts of the body.
These tumors are generally harmless and can be removed by surgery but if they grow near a blood vessel or any other vital structures they can cause complications.
On the other hand, malignant cells spread across the body through lymph nodes or blood vessels and create havoc in the system. Thus they need to be taken care of quickly and effectively.
The best way to fight Cancer is to be more aware of the disease, as most of the conditions are treatable.
There are certain foods that help fight against cancer be it in the preventive phase or the curative phase. Chia seed is one such food that helps in curb Cancer.
Table of Contents
- What makes Chia Seed a Super Food?
- How does Chia seed help fight Cancer?
- 1. Chia seeds have suppressed the generation of some tumors
- 2. Chia Seed is effective against mammary tumor growth
- 3. Chia seeds are good anti-inflammatory agents
- 4. Alpha-linoleic acid in Chia seeds prevent the proliferation of colon cancer cells
- 5. Regulation of growth of Breast and cervical cancer cells is done by Alpha Linolenic acid
- 6. Anti-oxidant rich Chia seeds can act in defiance of Cancer
- Recommended Daily Intake of Chia Seeds
- Side effects of Chia Seeds
What makes Chia Seed a Super Food?
Chia Seeds are native to the Latin American parts of the world. Salvia hispanica is how Chia seeds are known according to the Linnaean taxonomy.
Chia seeds are highly nutritious. They are a good source of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.
They also have high fiber content. It is widely popular and is revered as a medicinal plant because it is rich in
It is widely popular and is revered as a medicinal plant because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (Alpha-Linoleic Acid).
Also, it is gluten-free. Most of the essential nutrients are contained in this food alone hence it is labeled as a Super Food.
How does Chia seed help fight Cancer?
Chia seeds live up to the label of Super Food. The constituents of this seed are effective against Cancer. This is how Chia seeds are beneficial in order to counter Cancer.
1. Chia seeds have suppressed the generation of some tumors
Animal models (Nude Mice- Mice having a compromised immune system) were transplanted with human tumor and the effect of alpha-linolenic acid was studied in the animal models. It was observed that alpha-linoleic acid did suppress tumourigenesis (generation of new cells by uncontrolled division) in some kinds of tumors.
What does this mean? Alpha-linoleic acid constitutes 60% of the oil in Chia seeds. The intake of Chia seeds can thus stop the unwanted proliferation of certain cells and thus can potentially help bring control over human cancers.
2. Chia Seed is effective against mammary tumor growth
The effects of alpha linoleic acid (ALA) were studied on the mammary tumor cells induced female mice. On regular dosage of alpha-linoleic acid, it was observed that metastasis (Spread of cancer/any other disease from one organ to another) was stopped.
There was a reduction in the production of Tumor prostaglandin E (A compound that promotes the progression of a tumor)
Eicosanoid, a cell signaling molecule which regulates growth during and after physical activity or inflammation, unregulated secretion of which can lead to the formation of a neoplasm (New and abnormal growth cells which may eventually become).
Omega 3 fatty acids derived from Chia seeds helps control the secretion of eicosanoids and thus stops abnormal growth.
This effect of Chia seed oil was tested against mammary tumor growth.
What does this mean? Chia seed oil which is rich in alpha linoleic acid (ALA) is effective in countering mammary tumor cells and they also reduce the production of certain tumor inducing factors.
3. Chia seeds are good anti-inflammatory agents
It has been made evident that chronic inflammation and Cancer have a long-standing association.
Long-Term inflammation leads to dysplasia.
Dysplasia is defined as the enlargement of an organ or tissue by the proliferation of cells of an abnormal type, as a developmental disorder or an early stage in the development of cancer.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the bioactive compounds in Chia seeds are made apparent as they regulate the secretion of pro-inflammatory chemicals from the immune cells.
What does this mean? The anti-inflammatory property of Chia seeds can be used to counter chronic inflammation which may further lead to the formation of malignant tumors.
4. Alpha-linoleic acid in Chia seeds prevent the proliferation of colon cancer cells
The effects of Alpha Linoleic Acid on human and mice colon cancer cells were studied.
It was observed that Alpha linoleic acid (ALA) prevents the spreading of cells and also their adhesion and invasion to other parts of the body. The
What does this mean? Alpha linoleic acid (ALA) is a major component of Chia seeds. The property of ALA to negatively regulate the malignancy of colon cancer cells was studied and proven, hence we can say that intake of Chia seeds can help prevent the unregulated growth of cells.
5. Regulation of growth of Breast and cervical cancer cells is done by Alpha Linolenic acid
Nitric oxide is a short-lived gas and produced inside the body due to enzymatic activity. They play a role in cell signaling.
If unregulated NO is said to contribute to the development of cancer. It has been reported that NO has dual effects in cancer.
That is NO also has anti-tumor effects.
Therefore regulation of the enzyme activity and controlling the production NO is a key to prevent cancer.
Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS) enzyme is produced by mammalian cells and this is a precursor to the formation of NO in the body.
It has been observed that the level of this enzyme is high in breast and cervical cancer cases.
A study conducted to check the effects of Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) on the growth of breast and cervical cancer cells showed that ALA modulated the production of Nitric Oxide.
What does this mean? Regular intake of Chia seeds, which are rich in Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA) can help regulate the production of Nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide when produced excessively promote the development of cancer.
6. Anti-oxidant rich Chia seeds can act in defiance of Cancer
Oxidative stress can lead to the activation of transcription factors (compounds that control the transcription of DNA to RNA which then translate to proteins) which can then lead to the expression of over 500 different genes.
Oxidative stress activates inflammatory pathways which then can transform normal cells to tumor cells.
Oxidative stress is mainly the imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract the harmful effects through antioxidants.
Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants.
The compounds present in Chia seeds prevent the formation of free radicals, thus reducing the oxidative stress.
What does this mean? The Cancer caused due to chronic inflammation which is a result of oxidative stress can be counteracted upon by the regular intake of Chia seeds.
Recommended Daily Intake of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are filled with nutrients and bioactive compounds which have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antioxidative properties.
Hence the inclusion of Chia seeds in your diet will help you steer away from Cancer.
The recommended daily intake for adults is 18-20 gm daily.
Side effects of Chia Seeds
There is some ambiguity on the side effect of Chia seeds and whether they increase the risk of prostate cancer.
More detailed studies need to be undertaken in order to put an end to the question.
It should be taken care that dry Chia seeds should not be ingested as they absorb 27 times the amount of water than its weight, so it might choke the esophagus.
A daily intake of Chia seeds will certainly have a lot of health benefits.
Cancer is a generic term used for unregulated cell growth and even though there have not been any concrete evidence of Chia seeds acting against human cancers it would certainly help you to maintain good health and prevent any abnormal cell growth.
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