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Oxidative stress is a major player in the formation of pathological conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, accelerated aging, and neurodegeneration. Oxidative stress is when the body encounters an environment of increased free radicals that break down cell membranes and tissues that increase inflammation and the risk of disease.
Anti-oxidant rich foods, herbs, and supplements are used to protect the body from unwanted oxidative stress. Recent research has found a new signaling pathway that plays an enormous role in amplifying the effects of anti-oxidants on the body.
The body adapts to function in a state of homeostasis or balance. When the body is confronted with major stressors the cells must quickly modulate their anti-oxidant capacity to counteract the increased oxidative stress. In order to do this the body is able to activate a massive anti-oxidant effect in a matter of nanoseconds through a specific genetic pathway.
How the Keap1-Nrf2 Pathway Effects Your Health
Nrf2 (NF-E2-related factor 2) is a transcription factor in humans encoded by a specific gene that regulates the expression of a set of antioxidant and detoxifying genes. This pathway is activated under times of oxidative stress to enhance the expression of a multitude of antioxidant and phase II liver detoxification enzymes that restore homeostasis to the ox/redox cycles in the body.1, 2, 3
An enzyme named Keap1, which sits on the cytosol of the cell interacts with Nrf2 and activates it. Keap1 is rich in the amino acid cysteine, and acts as a sensor that is constantly reading the environment for any increase or decrease in oxidative stress. Under times of increased stress, Keap1 activates Nrf2 which then migrates into the cell nucleus and bonds to the DNA to active the Antioxidant Response Element (ARE). ARE then upregulates a variety of powerful antioxidant enzymes and detoxifying proteins.4, 5, 6
This Keap1-Nrf2 pathway regulates over 600 genes involved in cellular protection and anti-oxidant defenses. These various genes act to boost major anti-oxidant and detoxifying enzymes such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase. They also promote anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and enzymes and improve tissue healing and repair. 7, 8
Nrf2 and Cancer Prevention
High levels of oxidative stress damage normal cells, affecting the DNA and inducing cancer causing mutations. Oxidative stress also activates chronic inflammatory pathways that create an optimal environment for cancer development. The Keap1-Nrf2 pathway has been shown to be protective against tumor formation.9, 10
Nrf2 has a dark side in that cancer cells can use a mutated form of this pathway to protect themselves against the body’s immune system and chemotherapeutic agents. Mutations in the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway can lead to fast growing and highly resistant tumor growths. 11, 12
What Are the Top Nrf2 Activators That Can Prevent Cancer?
There are several compounds that can be found in nature and ingested through specific foods and herbs that enhance and coordinate the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway. The most powerful nutrients that support the activation of the anti-oxidant amplifying Nrf2 pathway include curcumin, stilbenes, catechins, and sulforaphane.
You can find these nutrients in turmeric (curcumin), resveratrol in grape skin and berries (stilbenes), green tea and dark chocolate (catechins) and cruciferous veggies (isothiocyanates and sulforaphane). It is highly advisable to consume these compounds every day to keep anti-oxidant systems in balance. This will result in positive adaptations that improve aging, reduce disease formation and improve quality of life.
Turmeric: Curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric compounds) absorbs best when combined with black pepper
Resveratrol-Stilbenes: Grape skin, red wine, berries
Catechins: Minimally processed dark chocolate, raw cacao, and green tea
Sulforaphane and Isothiocyanates: Cruciferous veggies – broccoli sprouts and fermented cruciferous veggies (sauerkraut and kimchi) have the most
There is also benefit to consuming these ingredients together as they have a synergetic effect that amplifies their effects on the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway. The easiest way this is done is through key supplements that are specifically designed to upregulate this pathway.
From a food and nutritional perspective, you could have steamed Brussel sprouts with grass-fed butter (fat-soluble carrier) or coconut oil melted on top. Add generous amounts of turmeric to the dish, broccoli sprouts (greatest source of sulfuraphane), and a pinch of black pepper to maximize the curcumin absorption.
Consume this with green tea and have some blueberries or organic red wine. Finish with a small bite of minimally processed dark chocolate. This is a great preventative step, but much more needs to be done to boost these pathways in individuals with faster growing cancers.
Strengthen Your Keap1-Nrf2 Pathways:
It is important to strengthen the Keap1-Nrf2 pathways throughout our lives to prevent cancer cell growth. Additionally, we need to constantly work on immune coordination improvement through diet, lifestyle, natural therapies, and supplementation.
In the case of fast growing, chemo-resistant cancers, super high doses of these Nrf2 activators should be used along with other cancer therapy protocols to override the mutated Nrf2 pathways used by the cancer cells.
It is advisable to work with a physician trained in the NrF2 pathway and effective modulation of this Antioxidant Response Element (ARE) if you are looking for maximal protection or you are dealing with a rapidly growing cancer.
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ken burrows says
thank you for this info….but now I have a question to ask…..which is if there is a type of food that would help me with cleaning out my lungs, I am a long time smoker with emphysema copd, and am looking to find something that might help me get my lungs to start clearing them out so to start breathing a little easier. would appreciate any information you might be able to give. thanks for your time.
I have Protandim nfr2 and nfr1. This is the knock out punch it as it consolidates all of nutrients in a extremely powerful condensed delivery system. Stopping extreme inflamation is what these products do as well as helping slow the aging process. I am a 2time non Hodgkins. Lymphoma stage 4 survivor. After my treatments l was sapped and confined to bed. A friend of mine who keeps up with scientific discovery on a daily basis showed me that this was true science and not the junk science many products claim. These products you can actually look up in journals and see real data. So l tried it. In about two weeks l was getting out of bed and walking around. A month on it l was feeling amazing! Huge energy gains. I also have not had any relapses. Protandim works. Try it you will feel different and rejuvenated and won’t have to buy a whole stores produce department and go to lndia to get exotic spices. Good luck to everyone and their health
Look into serrapetase.
Hey Ken, I would recommend doing all the foods mentioned in this article and dark green leafies and algae like chlorella and spirulina. Also water with lemon or lime which contain a blend of vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoids which improve capillary permeability and deep tissue oxygentation. Anything that boosts up the Nrf2 Pathway will help purify your blood and improve whole body oxygenation.
Carol Mann says
Or take Protandim?????!
Gretchen Bourgeois says
I was wondering the same. I take it and a curcumin high quality supplement daily. Wondering if they recommend protandim?
Rob Christensen says
I’ve been taking Protandim for years and I feel great and I’m 63 with great numbers on my blood tests. You can order off my website at RobChristensen.lifevantage.com
Hi I suffering with histamine intolerance, gut problem and intolerance to drugs and chemical. Will this help me to activate my nrf2 and 2.thsnk you fatima
I live in United Arab Emirates 48 years old with 3 chlldren. I desperately need help
Customer Support says
Hi Fathima –
We appreciate you reaching out to us about this.
I’m so sorry to hear about this – I’ll be sure to pray for you.
Unfortunately, we are unable to give any kind of medical advice. The best advice we can give you is to consult with one of the doctors we interviewed in the Global series.
Please note that we are not able to select an expert for you.
We’ve created a page with the experts’ contact info as it was available to us.
Here’s the link to the actual webpage:
We do have one more resource you may be interested in. During our Live Event 2017 series, Dr. Patrick Quillin suggested contacting The Institute of Functional Medicine to locate a practitioner in your area.
If you are interested, here is the link to search for a Functional Medicine Practitioner in your area: https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/
I’m also attaching the info about the Hope4Cancer clinic in Tijuana, MX if you’d like to reach out to them.
Please also see the resources below in case they will be helpful to you.
From our beginning, we have supported charities that really help these cancer patients.
HealingStrong supports MANY cancer patients and are amazing. HealingStrong, a nonprofit organization, is supported 100% by volunteers, who are experienced in using natural strategies. The organization’s mission is to educate, encourage, equip, and empower those seeking comprehensive natural strategies to heal strong and stay strong.
HealingStrong Connect Groups meet monthly in various areas of the U.S. and South Australia to link others interested in natural strategies, holistic protocols, and local resources. Their groups focus on mind, body and emotional healing based on Biblical promises, as they believe the God of the Bible is our healer. For more information on how to start a group, or become involved in one, please go to: http://www.healingstrong.org/groups, and like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/healingstrong.
Cancer Crackdown is so awesome and helps patients without a lot of money get supplements and treatments and even helps them raise money:
Also, the Independent Cancer Research Foundation is another charity that we support, also known as Cancer Tutor. They have been a TREMENDOUS help for cancer patients and have a TON of life saving information they give out freely and they do real research into treatments for cancer that are outside of the toxic Big Pharma Big 3:
The best that we can suggest is to contact Healing Strong and Cancer Crackdown for any need in financial resources.
We also support Mary Beth’s “Nick Gonzalez Foundation” which is bringing Nick’s protocol to the people…which is one of the most powerful cancer killing protocols out there.
I hope this is helpful! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us again if there’s anything else we can help with.
Wishing you endless blessings and love!
Shane Thurman says
go to youtube and type
in Protandim and the truth about cancer. Bob Wright from the anti-cancer institute talks about protandim with Ty Bollinger
Barbara Hawkins says
I was wondering about Protandim too! I would like to know what Ty thinks about this product to activate the Nrf2.
Rien de Graaf says
I want to add a little correction: Because curcumin alone is very bad absorbed by the body, it is necesary to mix it with a good quality coconut or extra virgen oliveoil. Adding ground black pepper will enhance the the effects of curcumin tremendesly.
Sorry for my english but I am Dutch.
Brian Corcoran says
My wife became a distributor with LifeVantage because of what Protandim has done for both her and I and many others…we started a testimony page on Facebook…if anyone wants to join the page, leave your e-mail and I’ll send it…this is a great article and very well written…Thank You!
Ron Gann says
I would like to join your page and learn more about it My email is email@example.com. Look forward to hearing from you, Tkanks !
Shane Thurman says
Love to be a part of the page
Shane Thurman says
Aaron Cottrell says
I would love to be part of the testimony group. Ive heard and seen so many stories including my own parents, another good one is always welcome.
Send info please
Please send me the article. Janice. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send the info protandim rachelyolande@gmail. com
Diane Swain says
Send info on protandim. email@example.com
Mark Hart says
I’d like to be apart of the FB group on Protandim !!!! firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been taking Protandim NRF2 for over 2 years with no symptoms of my Menieres or HS since week 8!
G. Coop says
Been using protandim 7 years. Wife had mutiplemyeloma with a one year untreated life expectancy. With 5 months of chemo she still had a poor prognosis and then had neuropathy and chemo dog. 1st week on protandim these symptoms were gone. In 5 months on protandim the 36 holes in her bones had healed and was able to have a stem cell transplant. Continuing on protandim and nothing elsegave her 4.5 years before needing medical intervention. With the new advancements using mono-colnantbiotics and continuing on protandim, she has now been declared cancer free for 2 years!
Well I’m on Letrozole and Ibrance for breast cancer and oncologist said no herbs, they interfere with the Ibrance . So then what?
Rob Wright says
I have been doing chemo, lanenamide and dexmethsone and in addition 30 apricot kernels a day something is working for my multiple myeloma as my blood is improving however my white cells are slow recovering and Neutropenia is troublesome
Never heard of protandim
I have few side effects now but mm has left me with osteoporosis lesions in my spine
May it help