If chemotherapy is the “Best Actor” of cancer treatments, then wheatgrass juice may just be “Best Supporting Actor” according to new research. A small study showed some promise in the use of wheatgrass juice to boost white blood cells, increase oxygen in the blood, and reduce the overall toxicity of the chemotherapy taken by women fighting breast cancer. Chemotherapy is infamous for causing horrible side effects, so it’s no wonder that complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, is commonly used by chemotherapy patients. Finding ways to augment Western treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy without undermining their effectiveness is no easy task.
Some suggest that making dietary changes, like adding a daily dose of wheatgrass juice, may be a harmless yet effective way to go. Wheatgrass contains chlorophyll, vitamins A, C, E, K and B-complex, iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium and an array of amino acids. Some experts attribute the positive effects of wheatgrass to the antioxidant properties of chlorophyll and the plethora of vitamins suggesting that these nutrients boost the immune system at a time when it could be trounced by chemotherapy.
The 2007 study described is the only one of its kind and as such, may not apply to the larger population of breast cancer patients taking chemotherapy. However, with minor nausea reported as the only side effect in a small number of subjects that took wheatgrass juice, this CAM treatment appears safe.
The third phase of this research study is currently underway in Israel, so be sure to check for updates as the next phase of this trial unfolds.
It may not hurt to throw in some wheatgrass juice during cancer treatment, but it certainly doesn’t replace chemotherapy treatment. However, if you’re looking for proven ways to fend off cancer before it strikes, be sure to snack on some cauliflower, take a brisk walk and cut back on the steak dinners.