Three of the best substances for boosting immunity are pycnogenol, resveratrol, and green tea.
Pycnogenol is a patented blend of bioflavonoids that are derived from pine bark. These bioflavonoids hook up with vitamin C and help to boost immune function. There is evidence to suggest that pycnogenol may play a special role in strengthening the walls of the capillaries, helping to stave off inflammation.
The bioflavonoids in pine bark may also help protect against cancer.
Although pycnogenol has been patented fairly recently, the use of pine bark as a healing substance has been a part of Native American medicine right from the beginning. There is certainly some evidence that shows that a tea brewed from the needles and bark of certain evergreen trees helped to cure scurvy.
You might not realize that there’s a rich variety of flavonoids that are found in evergreen trees. Two of the most potent of these are catechins and proanthocyanidins—both strong fighters of free radicals.
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that pycnogenol is an all-round healer, helping with everything from heart disease to allergies. Pycnogenol seems to have the ability to heal the body on the cellular level.
Another amazing substance you can turn to boost your health and protect against cancer is resveratrol. Resveratrol is present in a few foods, but is most famously found in red wine. Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes. This flavonoid is great for protecting the heart and inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. What’s more, resveratrol is able to stop cancer growth at all three of its stages: initiation, promotion, and progression. Resveratrol is also good for inhibiting the clumping of white blood cells.
To get the most resveratrol per glass of wine, keep in mind that white wines generally contain no resveratrol. The best source of resveratrol in red wine comes from those beverages made from Pinot Noir grapes. Understandably, you may not want to get your resveratrol from drinking lots of alcohol. Instead, you can take resveratrol supplements. This is a great option for anyone who would like to treat an existing case of heart disease or cancer.
Our third cancer-fighter is green tea. Drink this beverage first thing in the morning to get a big dose of health-enhancing flavonoids. Green tea has been proven to protect against a number of different types of cancers. Most of its cancer-fighting ability comes from the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. Green tea seems to exert a specific protective effect against colorectal and pancreatic cancer—two notoriously difficult cancers to treat.
By making these three substances part of your weekly diet, you’ll be building a cancer-shield around your cells. Nutrients will get in, but free radicals and other harmful invaders won’t.
- Schoonees, A., et al., “Pycnogenol® (extract of French maritime pine bark) for the treatment of chronic disorders,” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. April 18, 2012; 4: CD008294.
- Kma, L., et al., “Synergistic Effect of Resveratrol and Radiotherapy in Control of Cancers,” Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2013; 14(11): 6,197-6,208.
- Yuan, JM et al. Cancer prevention by green tea: evidence from epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Dec;98(6):1676S-81S.
Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The Food Doctor newsletter. Dr. Marchione has also served as Principal Investigator in at least a dozen clinical research projects relating to serious ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).