Methionine and Your Cancer Risk
Do you know of someone who has suffered from cancer? It seems like a silly question, really. All of us know of someone who has had their lives ruined or shortened by this terrible disease. Most recently for me, one of my old friends had a melanoma removed from his upper back. The initial mole removal resulted in a wider excision with several stitches, and considerable anxiety and stress for my friend. A girlfriend of mine also suffered a melanoma on her left cheek, resulting in extensive plastic surgery to correct the disfigurement caused by the excision of the skin cancer. Of course, cancer diagnosis are commonplace in the hospital setting where I work, too. It’s as though we are all caught up in the same terrible tragic web of loss.
Scientists think that all of us have cancer cells in our bodies. Cancer cells are created when normal cells undergo an irregular replication. Instead of replication resulting in another normal cell, the new cell that is created is different. Often, these abnormal cells are so abnormal that they just give up and die. Sometimes, though, the abnormality results in the cell falling out of the normal regulatory mechanisms, so that it can grow out of control. That’s when an abnormal cell can grow and replicate into a problematic tumor, over the next eight to ten years.
Cancer cells that are replicating quickly needs to direct blood flow to themselves, so that they can feed their rapid growth. The process of growing new blood vessels for purposes of feeding the cancer is called angiogenesis. Cancer cells attract and develop new blood vessels with a protein called methionine. In fact, methionine is so important to the process of angiogenesis and cancer cell growth that several drug companies are spending millions of dollars to identify methionine blockers to slow the progression of cancers. Nutrition researchers started to wonder, where does methionine come from? Is there any way to slow the rate of angiogenesis by changing the food we eat?
Wouldn’t you want to know? If you were suffering with cancer or trying to prevent cancer, wouldn’t you want to know which foods are highest in methionine?
I was fascinated to find out that the highest methionine levels are found in egg whites and fish. If someone were looking for the healthiest animal protein available, I would have proposed that fish or egg whites were the best choices. Now, it appears that the fish and egg whites in a person’s diet are some of the most impressive contributors to their cancer risk. Do you remember my friend with the melanoma? He eats fish at least four evenings a week, as a healthy alternative to the chicken he prefers. And my girlfriend with her disfiguring melanoma? She eats egg whites every morning for breakfast.
Click here for a list of methionine concentrations in foods: http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000084000000000000000.htmlPosted on by Get Waisted