Scientists Discover How Wasabi Kills Cancer Cells

October 4, 2016

If you love sushi, you’ll love hearing this: wasabi can help to prevent and inhibit cancer cell growth – specifically, cancer of the bladder.  This is because of its high isothiocyanates (ITCs) content. Of course, if you don’t want to eat raw fish – that’s o.k. – just see what wasabi can do for you.

Science speaks out: Researcher Arup Bhattacharya has been focusing on how isothiocyanates can help with cancer treatment. He draws from multiple degrees in biophysics, psychology, microbiology and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics. He is also versed in homeopathy, and has had many studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

Wasabi – rich in ITCs – causes cell death in cancer cells

His latest study linking wasabi and its isothiocyanates content to a cure for cancer was published in the Oxford Journal. ITCs are an organic compound that are known to “strongly inhibit” the development and progression of cancer.

Apparently, once ITCs are inside of cancer cells, they bind to proteins and induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death. In short, cancer cells commit suicide when exposed to isothiocyanates – which is found in wasabi and other vegetables.

The organic compound isothiocyanate is an ester present in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Horseradish and mustard are also loaded with it. The study’s original aim was to test the compound more generally to determine its efficacy and to see if cruciferous vegetables actually do inhibit the development of bladder cancer cells.

Eating wasabi shown to stop the spread of bladder cancer tumors

However, the research ended up going beyond cruciferous vegetables, which are already known as cancer-inhibiting. The research group initially focused on an ITC-rich form of mustard seed powder.

In persons with untreated bladder cancer, tumors tend to invade surrounding muscle tissue in over 70 percent of cases. However, when they received ITC, the spread of the tumor was cut by nearly 35 percent.  Plus, the spread of cancer to nearby muscles was cut by an amazing 100 percent.

Another study on isothiocyanates conducted in a collaborative effort between Dr. Fung-Lung Chung of Georgetown University and bioinorganic chemist Dr. Anthony Di Pasqua of the University of North Carolina found similar results.

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