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Lowering the Risk of Melanoma: Exploring the Role of Various Substances

Wednesday, July 12th 2023 10:00am 6 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Melanoma is a highly aggressive form of skin cancer that arises from the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells. It is the deadliest form of skin cancer, with a significant impact on public health worldwide. While sun exposure and genetic factors are known to be major contributors to melanoma development, emerging research suggests that certain substances may play a role in reducing the risk of this malignancy. In this article, we delve into the scientific evidence surrounding the potential protective effects of probiotics, curcumin, ginger, red meat, coffee, resveratrol, retinol, and vitamin D against melanoma.

Probiotics and melanoma risk

Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer various health benefits when consumed. Several studies have investigated the impact of probiotics on melanoma risk reduction. A study by Pan et al. (2018) found that specific strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis suppressed melanoma growth and metastasis in mice. The study suggested that the mechanism involved the enhancement of immune response and anti-tumor activities. However, further research is needed to determine the optimal strains, dosage, and duration of probiotic use for melanoma prevention in humans.

Curcumin: a potential melanoma protector

Curcumin, a bioactive compound found in turmeric, has gained considerable attention for its anti-cancer properties. Several studies have highlighted the potential of curcumin in reducing the risk of melanoma. For instance, an in vitro study by Vijayalakshmi et al. (2019) demonstrated that curcumin inhibited melanoma cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. Additionally, a study by Ahn et al. (2016) showed that curcumin suppressed melanoma growth in mice by inhibiting angiogenesis and metastasis. While these findings are promising, more clinical trials are required to ascertain the efficacy and safety of curcumin as an adjuvant therapy for melanoma prevention.

Ginger: an anticancer spice

Ginger, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, has shown potential in lowering the risk of various cancers, including melanoma. A study by Park et al. (2013) indicated that ginger extract reduced melanoma cell viability and induced apoptosis in vitro. Moreover, a study by Lin et al. (2017) demonstrated that gingerol, an active compound in ginger, suppressed melanoma growth by inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing cell cycle arrest. However, more research is needed to explore the specific mechanisms underlying ginger’s potential protective effects against melanoma.

Red meat consumption and melanoma risk

There is evidence suggesting that excessive red meat consumption may decrease the risk of melanoma. A study in 2018 found an inverse association between red meat intake and melanoma risk.

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