The question of the effect of wheatgrass on cancer is a crucial one. However, the clarity in this crucial controversy can be found only in the tremendous scientific evidence presented as a causation and no longer as a mere correlation.
So let’s dive into the evidence.
It is no longer acceptable to simply say that wheatgrass juice contains vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and essential proteins. Rather unraveling the unique cocktail of phytochemicals present in wheatgrass juice is the only justice acceptable.
The phytochemicals present in wheatgrass juice include:
Enzymes: Protease, Amylase, Lipase, Cytochrome Oxidase,Transhydrogenase, and Superoxide Dismutase enzymes.
Vitamins: A, carotene, B-complex, E, C and K.
Minerals: Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Sodium, Sulfur, Boron, Molybdenum, and Iodine.
Flavonoids: Apigenin, Quercitin, and Luteolin.
Amino acids: Aspartic acid, Glutamic acid, Arginine, Alanine, and Serine.
These wheatgrass constituents have been proven to interact with a few known metabolic pathways which are implicated in disease. In simple terms, along the road which leads to debilitating conditions such as cancer, diabetes and other chronic conditions, wheatgrass constituents reroute the road to a healthy destination.
In the specific case of a road leading to cancer, here is how some of the wheatgrass extracts intervene and reroute this debilitating path towards cancer prevention and suppression.
Cancerous cells and tissues are known to have two notorious properties: metastasis and taking advantage of the human body’s ability to form new blood vessels (angiogenesis).
In metastasis, cancerous cells are able to move from their primary site of origin and spread anywhere in the body. This invasive technique is enabled by a process known as Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). Note that EMT is important in many crucial processes in the human body such as in the development of the embryo. However cancerous cells take advantage of EMT and are able to misuse it and propagate themselves.
In angiogenesis, the massive cancerous tissues are also able to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels to supply them with oxygen. To do this, cancerous tissues are able to hack a transcription factor known as Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). By doing so, HIF-1 is upregulated in response to hypoxia which stimulates the formation of new blood vessels to supply the cancerous tissues.
I’m also asking the same question, are some conditions intelligent or is it just the way a human body has evolved to use every single resource to function efficiently?
Even though EMT and angiogenesis have crucial functions in the body, in this case cancerous cells seem to have found a loophole and taken advantage of it. Wheatgrass extracts however surprisingly or not have been shown to selectively inhibit the EMT process and also downregulate HIF-1 without affecting the function of these pathways in normal tissue.
Also, a debilitating feature of cancer is its ability to multiply uncontrollably. Wheatgrass extracts have also been shown to regulate the ability of a cancerous cell to multiply by increasing the production (up-regulating) of a protein known as tumor suppressor p53 (simply p53). Once up-regulated, p53 blocks the cancerous cell from proliferating and directs this damaged cells to commit suicide. In biological terms this is known as apoptosis.
Pinpointing the specific wheatgrass constituent that promotes all of these cancer-protective abilities can prove difficult due to the fact that scientific methods and algorithms that compute the synergistic abilities of multiple compounds are not yet in place. So far we are only experts at determining the effects of a single compound in isolation. With time however we will get there.
Tremendous scientific evidence on the benefits of wheatgrass are still pouring in every day. In the meantime, wheatgrass juice has no side effects and can be consumed within a week after sprouting. You definitely stand to gain something. Well, the taste might not be your most favorite in the world, but there is a very simple way to make the juice very sweet. Discover how to make wheatgrass juice tasty by commenting below and asking us how.