Watercress is a DNA-repairing plant

DNA Damage Can Be Repaired

This rainforest vine I discovered in the Peruvian Amazon consistently restores the youthful characteristics of your cells.

You’ve heard me talk about cat’s claw and its ability to strengthen your overall immune defense shield…

But it also has powerful anti-aging effects.

In one study I came across in my research, cells treated with cat’s claw extract lengthened telomeres and extended the lifespan of cells by 201%!1

Using human skin cells, scientists in New York showed cat’s claw stimulates repair of DNA damaged by UV light.2 Doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center found similar results.3

And researchers in Sweden showed that cat’s claw extract helps defend against DNA damage — and promotes DNA repair — in humans.

The Swedish doctors used hydrogen peroxide to trigger free-radical damage in their volunteers. Some took cat’s claw extract, while others received a placebo. The volunteers taking cat’s claw suffered less DNA damage… and also showed a much higher level of DNA repair.4

This is incredibly important research for people who have to undergo chemotherapy for cancer treatment…

As you know, chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cancer cells. But in the process, it damages – and even destroys – many of the healthy cells in your blood, bone marrow, mouth, and other parts of your body.

Patients on chemotherapy have higher levels of DNA damage in their blood cells. Repairing this damage as soon as possible is vital for total health recovery.

In the study, patients who had undergone chemotherapy supplemented with cat’s claw extract for eight weeks. At they end of the study, researchers examined their blood. All the treated volunteers exhibited dramatically decreased DNA damage and increased DNA repair.

The participants also exhibited a marked increase in white blood cell counts. This is important since chemotherapy suppresses white blood cells and increases your susceptibility to infections.5

I recommend anyone undergoing chemo start supplementing with cat’s claw right away. Look for a supplement made from the inner bark of the plant. Take 500 mg daily, but you can take more during times of stress.

2 More Ways To Reprogram Your DNA

It’s not just chemo that assaults the DNA in every cell in your body. Your DNA is under constant attack from our toxic environment and contaminated food supply. But you can repair and reprogram your genetic material.

  1. Simple mineral repairs DNA. Most people associate zinc with immune protection. But this essential trace element also helps prevent and repair DNA destruction. In a recent study, 18 men consumed 6 mg of zinc a day for two weeks. Then, for four weeks, they increased their intake to 10 mg daily. At the 10 mg dosage, researchers saw a significant reduction in DNA strand breaks in white blood cells, as well as increased DNA repair.6

    Zinc picolinate is the most absorbable form of zinc. I recommend 30 mg a day to reverse DNA damage and mutation. Because certain foods block the absorption of zinc, take it an hour before you eat or two hours after.

  2. Go Greek for better DNA. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, built his first hospital right next to a stream where watercress grew. That way his patients had easy access to this DNA-repairing plant. Today, science backs up what he knew…

    Researchers at the University of Ulster measured the effect of watercress on cancer risk biomarkers connected to DNA. They gave 60 volunteers, half of whom were smokers, three ounces of watercress a day. For eight weeks, their DNA was measured. By the end of the study, all participants had an almost 20% reduction in overall DNA damage. The patients with the most DNA damage saw the greatest results.7

    Raw or lightly steamed watercress can be used in a variety of dishes, including salads, pesto, and anywhere you’d use lettuce. You can supplement, as well. I suggest 400 mg daily.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD, CNS


1. Na M, et al. “Cytoprotective effect on oxidative stress and inhibitory effect on cellular aging of Uncaria sinensis H.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;95(2-3):127-32.
2. Mammone T, et al. “A water soluble extract from Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s Claw) is a potent enhancer of DNA repair in primary organ cultures of human skin.” Phytother Res. Mar 2006; 20(3): 178-183.
3. Emanuel P and Scheinfeld N. “A review of DNA repair and possible DNArepair adjuvants and selected natural anti-oxidants.” Dermatol Online J. Jul 13, 2007; 13(3):10.
4. Sheng Y, et al. “DNA repair enhancement of aqueous extracts of Uncaria tomentosa in a human volunteer study.” Phytomedicine. Jul 2001; 8(4): 275-282.
5. Sheng Y, et al. “DNA repair enhancement of aqueous extracts of Uncaria tomentosa in a human volunteer study.” Phytomedicine. Jul 2001; 8(4): 275-282.
6. Zyba S, et al. “A moderate increase in dietary zinc reduces DNA strand breaks in leukocytes and alters plasma proteins without changing plasma zinc concentrations.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Feb;105(2):343-351.
7. Gill C, et al. “Watercress supplementation in diet reduces lymphocyte DNA damage and alters blood antioxidant status in healthy adults.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2007. 95(2);504-510.