Monday, 27 March 2017

27. Cancer Prevention and Obesity

     With the passing of each month the importance of healthy diet, lifestyle and exercise in Cancer Prevention becomes more evident.        
Recent studies in USA have shown that unhealthy lifestyle factors are responsible for over 70% of a number of different Cancers diagnosed; cancers that could well have been prevented by improved diet, a healthy lifestyle and adequate exercise.   We all know the danger of lung cancer from smoking, but most are ignorant of the risk of throat cancer from alcohol excess or the many cancer risks from obesity.                                                                                      

Recent World Health Organisation statistics for the EU show that 40-50% of men and 25-35% of women are overweight thanks to poor diet and sedentary habits, and some 50% of these are obese. In USA the figures are worse: 68% of adults are overweight and 33.8% obese.   In UK, one in five children aged 10 are now considered obese   Obesity is now a major causation factor or risk elevation for a considerable number of cancers. Indeed obesity looks set to overtake smoking as the major cause of cancer.                                                       
The list of cancers that can be caused from obesity is daunting: cervical; colorectal; endometrial, (lining of the uterus); oesophagus, (gullet); hepatocellular, (subtype of liver cancer); gallbladder; kidney; malignant melanoma; post-menopausal breast cancer; and non-Hodgkinson’s Lymphoma; thyroid cancer.                                                  
The present parlous state of the NHS in the UK, together with the US President’s desire to slash federal funding for Medicare, Medicaid and the US Institute of National Health, make the reduction of obesity ever more crucial in primary cancer prevention as well as in cancerous growth and metastasis, (development of secondary malignant tumour growths at a distance from a primary cancer site).         
In addition to essential weight loss and a healthy lifestyle in cancer prevention, there are a number of plant-based foods that have nutrients, which appear in studies to have cancer-preventive properties as well as inhibiting cancer growth and metastasis. Unlike sugar, which feeds sucrose-loving cancer tumours, they help to starve and eliminate cancer cells and the growth of blood cells that tumours feed on. Their phytochemicals interfere with the cellular communication that triggers inflammation and stimulates the emergence and progression of cancer tumours in the body.  In effect they become biological response modifiers, changing the way the body works.                                                                                                

While all the nutrients shown below can be taken as (sometimes expensive) supplements, they are present in the sort of fresh organic vegetables, fruits, fish and dairy products that can be found in healthy eating such as the Mediterranean Diet.
Ursolic Acid.   Present in apples, basil, bilberries, cranberries, elderflower, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, oregano, thyme, hawthorn, prunes.
Vitamin D.   Present in wild caught, (as opposed to farmed)  fatty fish like salmon, free range eggs, whole milk, Sunlight. Cooking reduces vitamin D by 30%.
Curcumin.     Present in turmeric root.
Sulforaphane.  Present in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale. Also in kohlrabi, turnip, radish, watercress.
Quercentin.   Present in onions, capers, blackberries, dark cherries, cocoa, kale, apples.
Apigenin.   Present in fresh grapefruit, onions, oranges, parsley, chamomile tea.
Luteolin. Present in green peppers, celery, chamomile tea.
Anthraquinones.  Present in rhubarb,

Further Reading

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

26. Turmeric and Cancer Prevention

     Turmeric root is one of the most important anti-cancer nutrients thanks to Curcumin, the root’s distinctive yellow pigment.
     Clinical trials have shown it to combat breast, prostate, liver, colon, lung and pancreas cancer among others. It actually stops cancer cells from multiplying by division and also triggers programmed cell death, the body’s natural and necessary way of ridding itself from damaged cells.  Curcumin has the ability to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. It is still not widely prescribed in cancer prevention or therapy as there is little financial incentive to do so.  Drug companies cannot patent natural substances, and without a patent there is no profit.
     You will receive many of the cancer prevention benefits of Curcumin however, by using turmeric root in your cooking. It has a light flavour and can be grated or chopped and added to recipes. 
     The possibilities are endless with this diverse spice.  Add to curries or to vegetables like rice or cauliflower, for both colour and flavour. Combine with a little black pepper and/or olive oil or coconut oil, to significantly increase the body’s absorption of Curcumin. 
     To make a healing tea, finely slice or grate fresh turmeric root. Add along with some grated or sliced ginger root to a teapot and steep in hot water. Sweeten your tea if desired with local honey or green leaf stevia. The longer you steep, the more intense the colour and flavour of your tea.  I make a batch each week and refrigerate it, to drink first thing each morning with a little added lemon juice.

Monday, 16 May 2016

25. Coconut Oil can kill Cancer

                                          Photo credit: Bigstock

Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers, affecting both men and women.  There have been a good number of natural remedies and foods that have been linked to prevention of this cancer, but there have not been many studies, which show that these remedies kill cancer cells.
However a recent study published in the Journal Cancer Research has found an active anti-cancer component in coconut oil. Lauric acid, a major ingredient of this oil, has been shown in a University of Adelaide study to kill over 90% of the colon cancer cells after just two days of treatment.
This study was conducted in vitro, but the researchers believe that lauric acid could also induce cancer cell death in clinical studies as well.                
Why is it that many in vitro studies never get past this stage and move onto clinical trials? This is because clinical trials are very expensive, making it difficult for those who are not involved in mainstream pharmaceutical research, to find funding.
Pharmaceutical companies have little interest in funding these types of studies, as they cannot patent the oil, so there is no money in it for them.
Clinical studies by the American Society for Nutrition have shown that the fats in coconut oil can help to prevent and treat diabetes, herpes, hepatitis, gallbladder disease, cancer, and Crohn’s disease.
Coconut oil has also be shown to decrease the toxic and often devastating side effects of chemotherapy.

Further Reading
Naturelon Coconut Oil and Colon Cancer
Biomed Central  Cocont Oil and Breast Cancer