As new research is published, it’s clear that supplements have tremendous potential for supporting the immune system in major ways.
Nutrients and prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in American men. In a review published in the journal Anticancer Research in October 2019, scientists explored natural ingredients with the potential to prevent prostate cancer.
It’s too early to make specific recommendations or give dosages, caution the researchers; however, they acknowledge that, according to recent studies, “select dietary micronutrients (lycopene, epigallocatechin gallate, sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol, resveratrol, quercetin, curcumin, and piperine) and zinc play a key role in prostate cancer prevention and progression and therefore hold great promise for the future overall management of prostate cancer.”
Curcumin and cancer
Curcumin is the primary active ingredient in the spice turmeric. It’s also a powerful supplement with a long history of use. Researchers hypothesize that curcumin fights cancer-promoting inflammation, and it may help ease side effects of cancer treatment and work together (under careful supervision by a health-care professional) with other cancer treatment methods.
Because curcumin is hard for our bodies to absorb and use, recent formulations aim to optimize its bioavailability.
Probiotics strike again
Who knew that probiotics, aka the good bacteria famous for their role in digestive health, might also play a role in cancer prevention? According to cutting-edge research published in Current Microbiology, healthy bacteria strains not only help support healthy immunity, but also display antitumor properties. Scientists are now studying probiotics as a possible complementary cancer treatment.
An update on resveratrol
Many of us have heard of resveratrol, the antioxidant polyphenol compound found in red wine and grape skins, which hit the mainstream market several years ago. What’s the current research?
A 2019 review examined 31 studies about resveratrol and cancer. The researchers concluded that resveratrol may help prevent cancer and may also play a role in protecting the heart, liver, kidneys, and digestive system from damage during chemotherapy treatment.
Vitamin D and autoimmune disease
Since vitamin D is required for healthy immune function, researchers hypothesize that a deficiency of this crucial vitamin may be implicated in autoimmune diseases. Although ideal doses have yet to be determined, scientists believe supplementation may be helpful.
People who live in northern areas are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D. Get your levels checked, and then head to your local health food store to pick up vitamin D and any other supplements you’re looking for.