List of foods, herbs and spices, vitamins and minerals with known powerful anti-cancer activity and short mechanisms (NB other mechanisms may also be at play) - Author Dr Chris Barnes 12th July 2016   Bangor Scientific and Educational Consultants e-mail



The human body is a staggeringly complex quantum electromagnetic biochemical machine. If you do not give it the correct ingredients how can you expect it to function? The modern diet is often lacking in these and worse, together with modern technology such as mobile devices which produce blue light at night and rotating LF and microwave fields   it promotes inflammation and oxidative damage, pre-cursors to cancer.     My recommendation is that all of the below components should be consumed every day but if this is not possible than at least 3-4 times per week.    


·        Foods:


·         Blackberries and blueberries – contain anthocyanins downregulates COX-2

·         Beans – Source of folate -see below 

·         Broccoli – alters oestrogen metabolic pathways – provides Folate (vitamin B9) which may reduce DNA methyl transfer activity – contains selenium see below  

·         Brazil nuts – source of Selenium -see below 

·         Brown rice -source of Selenium see below  

·         Brussels sprouts- contains methyl sulfone known to increase normal structural order in breast cells   

·         Cabbage – contains indoles which have anti-oestrogen activity

·         Cauliflower- ditto

·         Lentils -Source of folate -see below

·         Spinach -Source of folate -see below

·         Sweet Potato – contains anthocyanins as above  

·         Tuna Fish – Source of Selenium -see below  




b) Herbs and Spies


·         Basil -protects against oxidative DNA damage

·         Black pepper – Upregulates p53 

·         Cinnamon- Upregulate BAX and BAk, strongly inhibits angiogenesis (also offers protection against Alzheimer’s)  

·         Garlic – (powered garlic also effective) -  modulates E-cadherin repressor

·         Ginger – inhibits h-pylori – therefore protective against some stomach cancers in this mode – and in general cancers it has multiple action including inducing apoptosis and autophagy and inhibiting metastasis   

·         Marjoram – increases telomere lengths for more effective DNA replication   and anti-ageing effects     

·         Oregano – activates mitochondrial apoptosis

·         Rosemary- powerful antioxidant- changes ROS pathways- inhibits COX-2 activity – but also importantly inhibits DNA methyl transfer activity therefore supporting tumour suppressor genes.   

·         Thyme- Anti-oxidant and activates p53 tumour suppressor gene  


·         Turmeric- (curcumin) – Multiple effects- Regulates BAX, Restores BCl2, causes apoptosis and ACD. 

·          Vanilla- COX-2 inhibitor

c) Vitamins and Minerals


General:   A deficiency of any of the micronutrients: folic acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron, zinc, or selenium* mimics radiation in damaging DNA by causing single- and double-strand breaks, oxidative lesions, or both. For example, the percentage of the US population that has a low intake (<50% of the RDA) for each of these eight micronutrients ranges from 2 to >20%. A level of folate deficiency causing chromosome breaks was present in approximately 10% of the US population, and in a much higher percentage of the poor. Folate deficiency causes extensive incorporation of uracil into human DNA (4 million/cell), leading to chromosomal breaks. This mechanism is the likely cause of the increased colon cancer risk associated with low folate intake. Some evidence, and mechanistic considerations, suggest that Vitamin B12 (14% US elderly) and B6 (10% of US) deficiencies also cause high uracil and chromosome breaks. Micronutrient deficiency may explain, in good part, why the quarter of the population that eats the fewest fruits and vegetables (five portions a day is advised) has about double the cancer rate for most types of cancer when compared to the quarter with the highest intake. For example, 80% of American children and adolescents and 68% of adults do not eat five portions a day. Common micronutrient deficiencies are likely to damage DNA by the same mechanism as radiation and many chemicals, appear to be orders of magnitude more important, and should be compared for perspective. Remedying micronutrient deficiencies should lead to a major improvement in health and an increase in longevity at low cost,


see ‘Ames’


‘Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis’


Volume 475, Issues 1–2, 18 April 2001, Pages 7–20


‘Micronutrients and Genomic Stability’   * not in original paper included here due to Barnes.




Some specifics


·         Vitamin D – especially D3 variety- numerous publications cite deficiency as a risk factor   for multiple types of cancer – by implication restoring it by as much sunshine as possible or by supplementation ought to be beneficial see for example but not exclusively   Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis1,2,3,4,5 by   Michael F Holick   

·         Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – Is essential for DNA replication. Deficiency may cause mutations.   Found mainly in Beans, Lentils, Spinach, Broccoli. 

·         Vitamin E – essential for minimising free radical damage – works in conjunction with anthocyanins mentioned above.   

·         Selenium- Selenium is an essential dietary trace component for animals including humans, and there is increasing evidence for the efficacy of certain forms of selenium as cancer-chemo-preventive compounds. In addition, selenium appears to have a protective effect at various stages of carcinogenesis including both the early and later stages of cancer progression. Mechanisms for selenium-anticancer action are not fully understood; however, several have been proposed: antioxidant protection, enhanced carcinogen detoxification, enhanced immune surveillance, modulation of cell proliferation (cell cycle and apoptosis), inhibition of tumour cell invasion and inhibition of angiogenesis. Research has shown that the effectiveness of selenium compounds as chemo-preventive agents in vivo correlates with their abilities to affect the regulation of the cell cycle, to stimulate apoptosis and to inhibit tumour cell migration and invasion in vitro. This article reviews the status of knowledge concerning selenium metabolism and its anticancer effects with particular reference to the modulation of cell proliferation and the inhibition of tumour cell invasion.      Food sources of selenium include: Brazil nuts, Broccoli, Tuna fish, Brown Rice, Cabbage and Spinach.    



In my mind it is crystal clear, the above clearly explains why both the so called ‘Mediterranean’ and Indian Asian diet seems to both supress cancer incidence and promote longevity – Chris Barnes July 2016.