By Dr. Kathleen Ruddy
The most common definition of angiogenesis refers to the natural process in the human body represented by the growth of new capillary blood vessels. Angiogenesis-based medicine is a new and comprehensive approach to fighting diseases like skin cancer, vision loss, and breast cancer. Doctors use this new approach in order to restore the body’s natural control of angiogenesis, engaging in treatments that either inhibit or stimulate it. For instance, angiogenic therapy can be used to literally starve cancerous tumors of their blood supply by interfering with the body’s natural process of releasing angiogenic growth factor proteins which usually provide oxygen and nutrients to the tumor, stimulating its growth. Besides undergoing angiogenic treatments, you can influence the angiogenesis in your body by taking into consideration the following tips.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Your diet can impact angiogenesis in your body. Consuming foods that include naturally occurring inhibitors of angiogenesis will help to boost the body’s existing system of preventing the undesirable growth of new blood vessels that promote or accompany disease. You can choose from a wide variety of foods such as fruits (apples, cranberries, and blueberries), herbs and spices (garlic, thyme, and basil), vegetables (cabbage, fennel, and sweet potato), seafood (sardines and shrimps), and sweets (chocolate and cocoa powder).
There is no better way of keeping healthy than by exercising. When you exercise, you build muscles by stimulating growth factors that in turn increase the bloodstream. These growth factors attract angiogenic stem cells from your bone marrow into circulation, helping your body adapt quickly in order to build both muscles and the blood vessels that support those muscles. Also, regular exercise will increase good angiogenesis in the lungs and brain, helping them to function better.
DID YOU KNOW?
The first successful treatment of an angiogenesis-dependent disease happened in 1989. For this treatment the doctor used an angiogenesis inhibitor to regress the abnormal blood vessels growing in the lungs of a boy with a benign disease.
Keep Stress to a Minimum
Try to avoid stressful situations or, at least, try to relax and have positive thoughts when you are feeling stressed. When stressed, many hormones are released in your body and they can, in turn, influence the growth of cancer cells. These hormones are also guilty of causing cancer cells to release angiogenic factors that will grow the blood vessels to feed the tumors. Therefore, try to decrease your stress levels and be sure you get enough sleep.
Smoking stimulates the growth of lung cancer cells and the inflammatory cells of angiogenic protein, increasing the growth rate of lung cancer. Quitting smoking is the best solution to improve your body’s health.
Try to Lose Weight
Obesity increases the risk of various cancers and is now linked to angiogenesis. In this case, the fat tissue contains many promoters of angiogenesis, including angiogenic stem cells. Therefore, obese individual have high levels of proangiogenic factors that can promote or contribute to the growth of tumors. If you are obese, try to get your weight under control by strictly complying with your doctor’s recommendations.
Angiogenesis is an important natural process. The definition of angiogenesis is simply the growth of new blood vessels. This occurs in the human body all the time. Sometimes new blood vessels are created to keep your body healthy. Other times, diseases like breast cancer trigger the growth of new blood vessels in order to feed themselves. There is now a whole new area of medicine devoted to using the body’s process of angiogenesis to cure and treat various diseases that involve it. Besides undergoing angiogenic therapy, you can develop healthy angiogenesis in your body by doing some simple things like exercising, eating healthily, and avoiding stress.