Posted on Jul 17, 2020, 5 p.m.
According to W.H.O, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world, with 1 in 6 global deaths being attributed to some form of cancer.
90% of cancer related deaths are not because of complications caused by malignant tumors, rather they are due to cancer cells spreading to surrounding tissues, in most cases this metastasis results in site specific cancers that affect the bones, breasts, prostate, colon, and the brain.
Recent research suggests that boosting collagen production and protecting it from degrading may be able to stall this invasion of cancer cells and help to reduce the risk of other chronic conditions such as heart disease. Collagen is the protein that is responsible for giving bones, skin, tendons, ligaments and other structural support.
The extracellular matrix is a structural scaffold which directs the adhesion and migration of cells, as well as regulating the growth of cells, that is composed of water, minerals and a variety of macromolecules such as proteoglycans that cushion cells, and fibrous proteins like collagen which provide tensile strength and resilience.
The ease in which cancer cells are able to spread about may be due to a weak extracellular matrix; cancer cells need to first break through the ECM before they can metastasize according to Dr. Matthias Rath, who is a physician and founder of Cellular Medicine. As collagen is one of the proteins that help to hold the extracellular matrix together the loss of this protein or insufficient amounts of it can cause structural weakness and promote the spread of cancer.
Some experts consider cancer to be a collagen disease, and cancer cells have been found to use destructive metalloproteinases enzymes to erode the ECM; a fragile extracellular matrix is especially vulnerable to MMPs.
Strengthening the extracellular matrix by boosting collagen levels may be a reasonable way of keeping cancer cells from metastasizing. According to Rath in order to do this one could increase the intake of certain micronutrients that can boost collagen production.
Vitamin C is important to collagen synthesis, and high amounts of this essential nutrient are needed to both form and store collagen. Vitamin C is also responsible for holding cells together during collagen production, and it has potent anti-cancer properties. A study published in Redox Biology suggests that high doses of vitamin C can help to kill off cancer cells and tumors.
According to Rath the amino acid lysine may help to stop cancer metastasis and it helps to inhibit the deterioration of collagen by blocking sites on collagen fibers that are susceptible to enzymatic degradation.
Additionally, the amino acid arginine may help to keep the extracellular matrix structural integrity as arginine is an important building block for collagen synthesis.
Collagen may also help to support heart health, but too much collagen can actually increase the risk of heart disease as excessive amounts can form a mesh around the arteries and blood vessels which results in poor circulation. Over time the encased arteries make it difficult for the heart muscles to contract which increases the risk of heart failure and organ damage due to high blood pressure.
Based on research it is important to maintain healthy levels of collagen to help prevent heart failure and other complications that can arise due to high blood pressure as well as for cancer prevention. To help the body create collagen it is recommended to consume a balanced diet that contains protein and vitamin C rich foods. You can also take supplements to boost your health, but most experts recommend getting everything you need from your diet whenever possible.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.