Can Asparagus Help Prevent & Even Cure Cancer?

Asparagus is rich in three cancer-blocking vitamins (A, D and C) as well as the mineral selenium and potent antioxidant, glutathione.

These five nutrients have been singled out in several studies as fierce cancer fighters. Researchers at the Institute for Cancer Prevention found in preliminary studies that asparagus, the food with the highest glutathione concentration, is a potentially effective means of enhancing the body's defense systems and preventing cancer development.

Tests conducted last year indicate that asparagus contain 70mg/100g of glutathione, a small protein composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine which bind to fat-soluble toxins–more than twice the amount in any other common food. The ICP study, led by Dr. Despina Komninou, will provide the basis for a major grant underwriting to the National Institutes of Health. Clinical trials will determine if asparagus may be the ultimate disease prevention food.

In 2008 there was a study that examined the anti-tumor activity of "saponins" taken from asparagus [study

Furthermore, asparagus is known as one of nature's most perfect foods. A 5.3 ounce serving (only 20 calories) provides 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance for folate which is necessary for blood cell formation, growth, and prevention of liver disease. AICR’s (American Institute of Cancer Research) recently-released expert report found that foods high in folate probably protect against pancreatic cancer. Asparagus is also an excellent source of potassium, vitamin K, pectin, calcium, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, and is one of the richest sources of rutin, a compound which strengthens capillary walls.

Purple asparagus contains anthocyanins, a group of phytochemicals that supply plants with a blue-purple color. Lab studies have consistently shown anthocyanins can act as antioxidants and provide cancer-protective benefits, but anthocyanins do not hold up well in heat and the color will somewhat disappear when cooked. Heavy cooking has been known to destroy antioxidants in all colors of asparagus. Steaming retains about 80% of the antioxidant content.

Asparagus also has a high content of a protein called histone. Histones are very strong alkaline proteins found in every human cell nucleus. Histones help repair the DNA, allow chromosomes to undergo mitosis, and regulate genes. They play an important role in forming telomeres, the natural end of a chromosome. If you lack histones, you will have cellular death.

Everything so far confirms that asparagus may be a powerful preventative to cancer, but is it a cancer cure? Many claim that it is.

Although there are no valid scientific studies to back up their claims, there is enough nutritional evidence as to the anti-cancer properties of asparagus that one organization has filed for a grant to begin these studies.

This is from the controversial article `Asparagus for cancer' published in Cancer News Journal, Dec 1979. 
"I am a biochemist, and have specialised in the relation of diet to health for over 50 years. Several years ago, I learned of the discovery of Richard R. Vensal that asparagus might cure cancer. Since then, I have worked with him on his project, and we have accumulated a number of favourable case histories.

Here are a few examples:

A man with an almost hopeless case of Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lamp glands) who is completely incapacitated. Within one year of starting the asparagus therapy, his doctors were unable to detect any signs of cancer, and he was back on a schedule of strenuous exercise.

A successful businessman 68 years old who suffered from cancer of the bladder for 16 years. After years of medical treatments, including radiation without improvement, he went on asparagus. Within three months, examinations revealed that his bladder tumor had disappeared and that his kidneys were normal.

A man who had lung cancer. On March 5, 1971, he was put on the operating table, where they found lung cancer so widely spread that it was unoperable. They declared the Hiss case hopeless. He heard about the asparagus therapy and immediately started taking it. By August, x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had disappeared. He is back at his regular business routine.

A woman who was troubled by a number of years with skin cancer. She finally developed different skin cancers which were diagnosed as advanced. Within three months after starting on asparagus, her skin specialist said that her skin looked fine and no more skin lesions. This woman reported that the asparagus therapy also cured her kidney disease, which started in 1949. She had over 10 operations for kidney stones and is receiving government disability payments for in an operable, terminal, kidney condition she attributes the cure of this kidney trouble entirely to the asparagus.

I was not surprised at this result, as `The elements of materia medica', edited in 1854 by a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, stated that asparagus was used as a popular remedy for kidney stones. He even referred to experiments, in 1739, on the power of asparagus in dissolving stones.

We would have other case histories but the medical establishment has interfered with our obtaining some of the records. I am therefore appealing to readers to spread this good news and help us to gather a large number of case histories that will overwhelm the medical skeptics about this unbelievably simple and natural remedy.

For the treatment, asparagus should be cooked before using. Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree, and store in the refrigerator. Give the patient 4 full tablesp. twice daily, morning and evening. Patients usually show some improvement in from 2-4 weeks. It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink. This suggested dosage is based on present experience, but certainly larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases.

1. Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefied to make a puree, and store in the refrigerator.
2. Give the patient four full tablespoons twice-daily morning and evening.

Patients usually show some improvement in from 2 -- 4 weeks. It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink. This suggested dosage is based on present experience, but certainly larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases.

I'm convinced of the old saying that ‘what cures can prevent’. Based on this theory, my wife and I have been using asparagus puree as a beverage with our meals. We take 2 tablesp. diluted in water to suit our taste with breakfast and with dinner. I take mine hot and my wife prefers hers cold. For years we have made it a practice to have blood surveys taken as part of our regular checkups. The last blood surveys, taken by a medical doctor who specializes in the nutritional approach to health, showed substantial improvements and all categories or the last one, and we can attribute these improvements to nothing but the asparagus drink.

As a biochemist, I have made an extensive study of all aspects of cancer column and all of the proposed cures. As a result, I'm convinced that asparagus fits in better with the latest theories about cancer. Asparagus contains a good supply of protein called histones, which are believed to be active in controlling cell growth. For that reason, I believe the asparagus can be said to contain a substance that I call cell growth normalizer. That accounts for its action on cancer and in acting as a general body tonic. In any event, regardless of the theory, asparagus used as we suggest, is a harmless substance. The FDA cannot prevent you from using it and it may do you much good. It has been reported by the US national cancer institute, that asparagus is the highest tested food containing glutathione, which is considered one of the body’s most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants."

In any case, contrary to the impression given above there are no peer-reviewed medical studies proving that eating asparagus alone “cures” cancer.
That’s not to say asparagus offers no cancer-fighting benefits whatsoever — there’s a good chance it does, given that stated at the start of this article, it contains vitamin D, vitamin C, folic acid, and the antioxidant glutathione, as well as many other compounds, all thought to play some role in lowering risk factors for certain cancers.

So there you have it, eat your asparagus. Although asparagus testing indicates it contains one of the body's most potent cancer fighters, it still remains that there is apparently no clinical proof that asparagus cures various forms of cancer.

After studying the research the truth is in the hands of the individual. What harm can be done by consuming Asparagus daily?

Health Benefits of Asparagus:
  • It is high in vitamin K and Folate
  • Eat asparagus when you are pregnant or thinking about conceiving – because of it being high in folic acid it helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida
  • Great for your heart
  • Helps with fertility problems
  • Great for your gastrointestinal tract and your colon
  • Helps menstrual cramps and PMS 
  • Great food to help treat depression
  • Has been known to increase the success rate of chemotherapy
  • Is considered a diuretic which means it is a good anti-inflammatory and it contains compounds called steroidal glycosides – best for arthritis, asthma rheumatism, and even water retention.
  • Help get rid of warts
  • Helps detoxify your body
  • Add more asparagus to your diet to lower cholesterol
  • Great for nursing mothers stimulating milk production
  • Has antioxidant agents – prevents the effects of aging
  • Has antifungal and antiviral qualities
  • Great for your kidneys – cleansing your body by stimulating urination and preventing kidney stones
  • Helps prevent bladder and urinary tract infections
  • Use to be used as an a aphrodisiac – increase sexual and comforting feelings
  • Helps with treating HIV
  • Helps prevent multiple sclerosis
  • Helps prevent scurvy
  • Asparagus has anti-cancer agents – especially lung cancer
  • Helps fight chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Helps fight off high blood pressure
  • If you bruise easily – eat more asparagus
  • Eat an asparagus if you have diarrhea or constipation
  • Great for your capillaries – eat more asparagus to avoid varicose veins
  • Great for your eyes preventing cataracts
  • If you are experiencing hair loss- eat more asparagus
  • Helps treat toothaches.
  • Asparagus stimulates insulin secretion, which may provide new opportunities for the treatment of diabetes.
Did You Know?
-Asparagus is often called the "Food of Kings." King Louis XIV of France was so fond of this delicacy that he ordered special greenhouses be built so he could enjoy asparagus all year-round.

-In a study, it was determined that everyone’s urine has an odor after ingesting asparagus, and that not everybody has the abili
ty to smell it.


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