Normally, p53 is a gene that works to protect healthy cells when they are dividing. P53 lives in your cytoplasm, but if it senses a cell is coming under attack, it moves into the nucleus. If it detects a genetic error in the cell’s code, it stops the cell reproduction process to give the DNA a chance to repair. If the cell can’t be repaired, the cell kills itself — this is called “apoptosis.”
It sounds like a great safeguard system, doesn’t it? And it is — except when p53 becomes too aggressive. Sometimes p53 starts to kill off perfectly good cells, inadvertently accelerating the aging process. And sometimes it isn’t active enough, letting cancer cells divide.
Is there anything you can do to avoid getting cancer? The answer may lie in making sure there’s less chance for p53 to make a mistake. Here are six tips that could help you boost the effectiveness of this cell protection system in your body.
1. Boost your vitamin D intake. This vitamin is toxic to cancer cells Medical researchers speculate that the vitamin increases the ability of p53 to spot cancerous cells and kill them.
2. A deficiency in folate is linked to cancer. In particular, folate supplementation can decrease the risk for getting colon cancer
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3. Drink green tea — it has the highest content of special nutrients called “polyphenols” that can help p53 in its job of killing off cancer cells.
4. Use more olive oil; not only could it protect your heart, but it could also prevent your cells from mutating into cancer cells.
5. Have some pasta with tomato sauce. Tomato sauce contains lycopene — a powerful antioxidant that protects against cancer.
6. Eat more cruciferous vegetables; they help to energize detoxifying enzymes, allowing them to work faster and more aggressively.