Low Cholesterol and Cancer-Risk

“Low cholesterol as a result of eating healthfully does NOT place one at higher risk of cancer,” exclaims Dr. Fuhrman in response to a recent Reuters report that low cholesterol has been linked to stomach cancer-risk. From the report:
Some studies have linked low cholesterol levels to higher death rates from cancer in general, Dr. Kouichi Asano, of Kyushu University, Fukuoka, and colleagues explain in the International Journal of Cancer. "With respect to gastric cancer, a limited number of studies suggest this inverse association, while others do not."


The researcher looked into this in a study involving some 2,600 residents of Hisayama, Japan, who were followed for 14 years.

Gastric cancers developed in 97 subjects. After accounting for age and gender, stomach cancer rates rose significantly with descending cholesterol level. For example, among subjects with the highest cholesterol levels, the gastric cancer rate was the equivalent of 2.1 cases per 1000 persons per year; among those with the lowest cholesterol, the rate was 3.9 per 1000 person-years.
I talked to Dr. Fuhrman at length about this study and he thinks it’s a bunch of hooey. He goes on to explains why you shouldn’t worry about low cholesterol and cancer if you’re consuming a superior diet. Take a look:
Low cholesterol levels around the world in healthy populations are linked lower rates of all cancers and that was confirmed in the China-Oxford-Cornell Study. That means if you eat a cardio-protective diet that earns you a low cholesterol level. That is indicative of a lower risk and protection against multiple cancers.


Cancer is a disease with a slow doubling time. It is in the body on the average of 8-12 years prior to diagnosis in the U.S. and 12-18 years prior to diagnosis in areas without modern screening and detection. Having cancer and having cancer even when it is not yet diagnosed lowers cholesterol levels. Having very low cholesterol, on a diet that you would expect to generate a high-cholesterol, is suspicious and it could potentially be a sign of an undiagnosed or early cancer.
Take my cholesterol numbers for example:


I’m not worried about getting cancer from low cholesterol—are you?

Confusion Says: Diet Linked to Breast and Ovarian Cancer

This Reuters report got me excited—diet tied to breast and ovarian cancer risks—but when I started reading it, right away I found problem. Can you spot it? Take a look:
Women who eat diets rich in meat and dairy may have a decreased risk of breast cancer, while those who bulk up on fiber, fruits and vegetables show a lower risk of ovarian cancer.


The findings, published in the International Journal of Cancer, add to questions surrounding the role of diet in women's risk of the cancers…

…Using detailed dietary questionnaires, the researchers identified four common dietary patterns in the study group: an "animal product" pattern, which was heavy in meat and saturated fat, but also zinc, calcium and certain other nutrients; a "vitamins and fiber" pattern, which besides fiber was rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and other nutrients found in fruits and vegetables; an "unsaturated fat" pattern that contained high amounts of vegetable and fish oils, as well as vitamin E; and a "starch-rich" pattern high in simple carbohydrates, vegetable protein and sodium.

Overall, the study found, women who followed a pattern rich in vitamins and fiber had a 23 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer than women who consumed the lowest amounts of those foods and nutrients.

On the other hand, the animal-product pattern was linked to a similar reduction in breast cancer risk.
Meat and dairy decrease cancer-risk—since when! Uh hello, The China Study? Here’s a quote from The China Study. Author T. Colin Campbell, PhD drops the hammer on milk:
What protein consistently and strongly promoted cancer? Casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein, promoted all stages of the cancer process. What type of protein did not promote cancer, even at high levels of intake? The safe proteins were from plants, including wheat and soy.
Okay, let’s see what he has to say about animal protein in general. My guess is the cattle ranchers of the world are going to be just a wee bit upset. More from Dr. Campbell:
Indian researchers had studied two groups of rats. In one group, they administered the cancer causing aflatoxin, then fed a diet that was composed of 20% protein, a level near what many of us consume in the West. In the other group, they administered the same amount of aflatoxin, but then fed a diet that was only composed of 5% protein. Incredibly, every single animal that consumed the 20% protein diet had evidence of liver cancer, and every single animal that consumed a 5% protein diet avoided liver cancer.
Make no mistake about it. Animal products are no friend to cancer-prevention. Now, Dr. Fuhrman and Dr. Campbell are friends, so, here’s Dr. Fuhrman’s take on all this:
Humans are genetically adapted to expect a high intake of natural and unprocessed plant-derived substances. Cancer is a disease of maladaptation. It results primarily from a body’s lacking critical substances found in different types of vegetation, many of which are still undiscovered, that are metabolically necessary for normal protective function.
Trust me, he’s not kidding. Plants are strong medicine! Take green vegetables for example. Leafy green or cruciferous vegetables are potent cancer-fighters. Check it out:
These vegetables also contain indole-3- carbinol (I3C). Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing estrogen activity. Important recent studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables and the compounds they contain can do the following:
  • Halt the growth of breast cancer cells2
  • Dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer3
  • Prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells4
  • Inhibit the progression of lung cancer.5
Good stuff and the sooner you start eating lots of veggies—the better! Consider the plight of young women and breast cancer-risk. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Higher consumption of produce and protein-rich plant foods such as beans and nuts is associated with a later menarche, and the higher consumption of protein-rich animal foods—meat and diary—is associated with an earlier menarche and increased occurrence of adult breast cancer.6
The newswires are a virtual ping-pong of what’s good for you and what’s not—drawn your own conclusions—here, this might help. From the European Journal of Cancer Prevention:
The aim of this study was to investigate whether polymorphisms in N-acetyl transferase 1 and 2 modify the association between meat consumption and risk of breast cancer. A nested case-control study was conducted among 24 697 postmenopausal women included in the 'Diet, Cancer and Health' cohort study (1993-2000). Three hundred and seventy-eight breast cancer cases were identified and matched to 378 controls. The incidence rate ratio (95% confidence interval) for breast cancer was 1.09 (1.02-1.17) for total meat, 1.15 (1.01-1.31) for red meat and 1.23 (1.04-1.45) for processed meat per 25 g daily increment in intake. Compared with slow acetylators, the IRR (95% confidence interval) among fast N-acetyl transferase 1 acetylators was 1.43 (1.03-1.99) and 1.13 (0.83-1.54) among intermediate/fast N-acetyl transferase 2 acetylators. Interaction analyses revealed that the positive associations between total meat intake and red meat intake and breast cancer risk were confined to intermediate/fast N-acetyl transferase 2 acetylators (Pinteraction=0.03 and 0.04). Our findings support an association between meat consumption and breast cancer risk and that N-acetyl transferase 2 polymorphism has a modifying effect on the association, indicating that the association is confined to only genetically susceptible women.
Alright, since we’ve already crossed over into nerd territory. Let’s look at one more study. It appeared in the International Journal of Cancer. Here’s the abstract:
Meat intake has been positively associated with risk of digestive tract cancers in several epidemiological studies, while data on the relation of meat intake with cancer risk at most other sites are inconsistent. The overall data set, derived from an integrated series of case-control studies conducted in northern Italy between 1983 and 1996, included the following incident, histologically confirmed neoplasms: oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus (n = 497), stomach (n = 745), colon (n = 828), rectum (n = 498), liver (n = 428), gallbladder (n = 60), pancreas (n = 362), larynx (n = 242), breast (n = 3,412), endometrium (n = 750), ovary (n = 971), prostate (n = 127), bladder (n = 431), kidney (n = 190), thyroid (n = 208), Hodgkin's disease (n = 80), non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (n = 200) and multiple myelomas (n = 120). Controls were 7,990 patients admitted to hospital for acute, non-neoplastic conditions unrelated to long-term modifications in diet. The multivariate odds ratios (ORs) for the highest tertile of red meat intake (7 times/week) compared with the lowest (3 times/week) were 1.6 for stomach, 1.9 for colon, 1.7 for rectal, 1.6 for pancreatic, 1.6 for bladder, 1.2 for breast, 1.5 for endometrial and 1.3 for ovarian cancer. ORs showed no significant heterogeneity across strata of age at diagnosis and sex. No convincing relation with red meat intake emerged for cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus, liver, gallbladder, larynx, kidney, thyroid, prostate, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and multiple myeloma. For none of the neoplasms considered was there a significant inverse relationship with red meat intake. Thus, reducing red meat intake might lower the risk for several common neoplasms.
Ultimately it’s your call, but I think the evidence is clear, eat more veggies and less meat. So, when you read headlines like this, you got to dig deeper and THEN see if you believe it.
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Prevent Cancer, You Need Nutrients

I asked Dr. Fuhrman for a quote on cancer once and here’s what he said, “Cancer is a fruit and vegetable deficiency disease.” Is he right? Wait! Before you decide, let’s let him drop some more knowledge on us. Check it out:
Not surprisingly, fruits and vegetables are the two foods with the best correlation with longevity in humans. Not whole-wheat bread, not bran, not even a vegetarian diet shows as powerful a correlation as a high level of fresh fruit and raw green salad consumption.1 The National Cancer Institute recently reported on 337 different studies that all showed the same basic information.
Now, Dr. Fuhrman isn’t alone in his thinking—eat your fruits and veggies—because a new study has determined that a lack of vitamins leads to cancer. Its over at EMaxHealth, here’s a peek:
Bruce Ames examined how junk food stuffed with calories causes micronutrient deficiency and leads to diseases. Lack of micronutrients damages DNA and cells, causing weakness to immune system. This leads to numerous diseases, mostly cancer.


"DNA damage increases on deficiency of each of the 15 micronutrients that have been examined in humans, primary human cells in culture or in rodents," said Ames. "These deficiencies are associated with cancer."

Among common lacking vitamins professor mentions Vitamin E, among common minerals magnesium. About 56% of US population lack magnesium, about 93% lack Vitamin E. Micronutrient deficiency commonly occurs among poor, teenagers, elderly and obese people. African Americans generally lack Vitamin D.
Okay. I’ve got to be honest. The length of my attention-span could fit into a thimble—I love bullet points. So, if you’re like me. Dr. Fuhrman serves up four quick reasons to eat lots and lots of fruits and veggies. Take a look:
  1. Vegetables and fruits protect against all types of cancers if consumed in large enough quantities. Hundreds of scientific studies document this. The most prevalent cancers in our country are mostly plant-food-deficiency diseases.
  2. Raw vegetables have the most powerful anti-cancer properties of all foods.
  3. Studies on the cancer-reducing effects of vitamin pills containing various nutrients (such as folate, vitamin C and E) get mixed reviews; sometimes they show a slight benefit, but most show no benefit. Occasionally studies show that taking isolated nutrients is harmful, as was discussed earlier regarding beta-carotene.
  4. Beans, in general, not just soy, have additional anti-cancer benefits against reproductive cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer.2
See! Fruits and fruits and veggies are loaded with those ever-necessary vitamins and minerals. Heck, they sure beat popping some random multi-vitamin and then gobbling up the standard American diet. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Though Americans would prefer to take a pill so they could continue eating what they are accustomed to, it won’t give you the protection you are looking for. Consume high levels of fruits, green vegetables, and beans. This is the key to both weight loss and better health.
And here’s the great part—not to sound like a commercial—but eating tons of whole fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and beans is awesome! Once you experience it, there’s no better feeling than eating for your health—yippee!
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Obesity and Cancer-Risk, Linked

“Overweight individuals are more likely to die from all causes, including heart disease and cancer,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. Wait, it gets worse. Here’s an excerpt from the new Food Scoring Guide:
The ever increasing waistline of America is not merely a cosmetic issue. This March toward national obesity is taking a dramatic toll on our health and economy, and is causing medical and financial tragedies for more and more families. At present, two thirds (67%) of American adults, and nearly one-third (31%) of our children, are overweight or obese. Over the past thirty years, the average weight of an American male has increased 27 pounds (from 164 pounds to 191 pounds). Childhood obesity has tripled over the past twenty years. Because of America’s eating habits, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) predicts that the current generation of children will be the first in our nation’s history to live shorter lives than their parents.
That’s a daunting a prospect. Now, not to scare the living daylights out of you, but you’d think all the health complications from being obese would keep people from letting themselves go. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Health Complications of Obesity
  • Increased overall mortality
  • Adult onset diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Gallstones
  • Fatty infiltration of the liver
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Cancer
Getting winded when I bent over to tie my shoes made me get my act together, but it could have been worse—much worse. A new study has determined that obesity does in fact increase cancer-risk. HealthDay News reports:
"This is a profoundly important issue. Obviously, the obesity epidemic is a huge problem itself, and the relationship to cancer is only one of the many adverse health effects of being overweight and obese," said Dr. Michael Thun, head of epidemiological research at the American Cancer Society. "The evidence has been accumulating now for over 10 years. . . This study tries to provide a quantitative measure of how much the relative risk goes up with each increment, basically jumping from one BMI [body-mass index] category to another."


Although extra fat has already been identified by research as a risk factor for several different types of cancer, Thun said, "the problem of obesity is so large and so difficult to solve that there's a very sound reason for ongoing studies of things that have become increasingly well-known, just because it helps the momentum in stimulating approaches that will actually help people maintain a healthy weight."
Whether its cancer-risk, heart disease, diabetes, or whatever, feeling better and looking better, has got to be inspiration enough—right? If not, get a load of this research in the BMJ. From The Million Women Study:
Conclusions
Increasing body mass index is associated with a significant increase in the risk of cancer for 10 out of 17 specific types examined. Among postmenopausal women in the UK, 5% of all cancers (about 6000 annually) are attributable to being overweight or obese. For endometrial cancer and adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus, body mass index represents a major modifiable risk factor; about half of all cases in postmenopausal women are attributable to overweight or obesity.
Honestly, things like cancer scare the crap out of me. So I after I read stuff like this, I grab some lettuce and hit the treadmill. Then afterwards, I grab some carrots and a Yoga mat. And after that, I usually collapse.

Health Points: Friday

A recent review of scientific research suggests cranberries may offer a natural defense against the development of this dangerous disease. Researchers feel that many of these results are due to the fact that cranberries contain a greater concentration of antioxidants than other commonly consumed fruit and that these nutrients may be working together to offer even greater benefits.

The report conducted at Tufts University, and published in Nutrition Reviews, found that cranberries offered a range of different benefits that work to promote cardiovascular health. These benefits include effects on cholesterol as well as on blood pressure and the development of blood clots, all established risk factors for heart disease.
One in five of all male deaths and one in 20 of all female deaths between the ages of 30 and 69 will be caused by smoking, said the study, conducted by a team of doctors and scientists from India, Canada and Britain and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


"The results we found surprised us, because smokers in India start later in life and smoke fewer cigarettes or 'bidis' than those in Europe or America, but the risks are as extreme as in the West," said Prabhat Jha of the Center for Global Health Research at the University of Toronto, the lead author of the study.
On average, the students gained 14 pounds, added 2.6 inches to their waistline, and padded their body fat percentage by 3.7% during the study.


Blood samples provided by the students throughout the study show a spike in levels of the liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT). ALT levels rose quickly -- typically within a week -- after the students started the fast-food diet.
Tuna is one of those annoying pregnancy foods that might be really, really good or really, really bad for the baby.


Instead of driving yourself crazy (like I did!) trying to guess the proper amount to ingest without putting increasing your mercury level to the point of now return, you can use the handy dandy Tuna Calculator that will give you a suggested weekly serving based on your weight.
PCC Natural Markets is prohibiting suppliers from using cloned animal products in their food. It also wants them to disclose where ingredients are from and what they mean by terms such as "natural flavors."


These moves come months after the Seattle chain eliminated high-fructose corn syrup from its eight stores and began identifying the countries of origin for its meat, seafood, peanuts and fresh and frozen produce.
According to the research, red wine and alcohol consumption were found to have virtually identical impact on health, with one drink of either substance helping to reduce the work rate of the heart.


The findings, which are published in the February edition of the American Journal of Physiology, Heart and Circulatory Physiology, could challenge the perception that polyphenol content of red wine is responsible for cardiovascular benefits.

Red wine has been linked to extended survival rates of mice and prevented the negative effects of high-calorie diets, in other testing, due to the presence of the polyphenol, resveratrol.
"You're in a dark, gloomy place," said Bruce Hollis, a leading vitamin D researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina. "In the winter, you could stand outside naked for five hours and nothing is going to happen."


Increased use of sunscreen has turned a seasonal shortfall into a year-round condition for many people. A recent survey in Britain found 87 percent of adults tested during winter, and more than 60 percent in summer, had subpar vitamin D levels. Doctors in many parts of the world — including California — report a resurgence of childhood rickets, soft bones caused by lack of vitamin D.
Tobacco giants Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco actively collude with cigarette smugglers to gain a foothold in lucrative developing markets, campaigners alleged on Wednesday.


"Transnationals benefit in a number of ways from the illicit trade in tobacco," said Kathyrn Mulvey, director of international policy with the lobby group Corporate Accountability International (CAI).

Food Scoring Guide: Weight Loss and Cholesterol

When you drop body fat, your cholesterol lowers somewhat. But when you reduce animal protein intake and increase vegetable protein intake, your cholesterol lowers dramatically. In fact, when a high-fiber, high-nutrient, vegetable-heavy diet was tested in a scientific investigation, it was found to lower cholesterol even more than most cholesterol-lowering drugs.1 As you eat more vegetables and fewer animal products, the nutrient density of your diet will go up automatically. Vegetables not only contain adequate protein, they have no saturated fat or cholesterol, and they are higher in nutrients per calorie than any other food. You can achieve your ideal weight and slow the aging process with a high phytochemical intake. So eat more vegetables!

The cholesterol-lowering effects of vegetables and beans (high-protein foods) are without question. However, they contain an assortment of additional heart disease-fighting nutrients independent of their ability to lower cholesterol.2 They fight cancer, too. Cancer incidence worldwide has an inverse relation with fruit and vegetable intake.3 If you increase your intake 80%, the risk of getting cancer drops 80%.
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Puberty before the Age of Ten

Hard to believe? No. It’s reality. Sandy Maple of ParentDish shares her feelings on premature puberty in her own family. Take a look:
I know several women, including my daughter Christy, who hit puberty before the age of ten. Breast development is considered the first sign of the onset of puberty, but lord knows it isn't the only one…


…One new study claims that environmental toxins may be to blame. The mycoestrogen zearalenone (ZEA), which has properties similar to estrogen, can be found naturally in the environment but is also structurally similar to anabolic growth agents used in animal breeding…

…Clearly, the true cause of this phenomenon is yet to be discovered and it very well may be a combination of many factors. But as a parent of a young girl, the trend concerns me.
Certainly a dicey topic, but one we’ve talked about before. Here’s a refresher from last month’s post, Girls and Puberty, Sooner and Sooner:
Physicians are seeing more and more girls with precocious sexual development, even before today’s average age of twelve, and medical studies confirm that the trend is real and getting worse…


…Diet powerfully modulates estrogen levels. One recent study illustrated that eight-to-ten-year-olds, closely followed with dietary intervention for seven years, dramatically lowered their estrogen levels compared to a control group with dietary modification1...

…Early puberty is strongly associated with breast cancer, and the occurrence of breast cancer is three times higher in women who started puberty before age twelve2…

…Cohort studies, which follow two groups of children over time, have shown that the higher consumption of produce and protein-rich plant foods such as beans and nuts is associated with a later menarche, and the higher consumption of protein-rich animal foods—meat and diary—is associated with an earlier menarche and increased occurrence of adult breast cancer.3
Now, I scanned this out of Disease-Proof Your Child—and yes, I did a bad job—but, it should help put things into perspective. Check it out:


Hopefully this influences parents like Sandy to ratchet up their kids’ diet.
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Health Points: Wednesday

Dr. William Hall of the University of Rochester has a theory for how these people could live to that age. In an editorial in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine, where the study was published, he writes that it might be thanks to doctors who aggressively treat these older folks' health problems, rather than taking an "ageist" approach that assumes they wouldn't benefit.

For the study, Boston University researchers did phone interviews and health assessments of more than 500 women and 200 men who had reached 100. They found that roughly two-thirds of them had avoided significant age-related ailments.
Braden Eberle, 4, of San Jose, Calif., told his mother that he had swallowed something, a tiny magnet attached to a toy. His mother assumed that it would pass through. The next day, his parents saw him swallow another…


…An X-ray five hours later showed that the object was not moving properly. Dr. Dutta’s laparoscopy found the magnets stuck together, pinching bowel tissue.
Many patients say PT — physical therapy's nickname — really stands for "pain and torture," said James Osborn, who oversees rehabilitation services at Herrin Hospital in Southern Illinois.


Using the game console's unique, motion-sensitive controller, Wii games require body movements similar to traditional therapy exercises. But patients become so engrossed mentally they're almost oblivious to the rigor, Osborn said.
Dr. Partha Basu, the study's lead author and associate professor in Duquesne's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said laboratory analysis reveals that the antibiotic arsenic compound roxarsone, which promotes the growth of blood vessels in chickens to produce pinker meat, does the same in human cell lines -- a critical first step in many human diseases, including cancer.


"This is a significant finding as it relates to potential human health effects from roxarsone," said Dr. Basu, who worked on the study with scientists from Thermo Fisher Scientific laboratories and the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.
Private citizens can sue to enforce California's food labeling laws, the state Supreme Court said Monday in a ruling that revives a consumer complaint about the chemically induced orange coloring of salmon raised on fish farms.


Consumer lawsuits filed in 2003 and 2004 accused supermarket chains of misleading customers by failing to disclose on labels that the fish, naturally grayish, had been fed chemicals to give their flesh the color of wild salmon. Lower courts combined the cases and dismissed them, saying federal law barred states from allowing private suits over food labeling, but the state's high court unanimously disagreed and reinstated the claims.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania State University are nevertheless studying ways to limit excess fat, for three reasons. Producers don't want to waste feed. Fatter chickens might not lay as many eggs. And studying the genes of the barnyard bird may illuminate pathways that lead to human obesity, says the USDA's Monika Proszkowiec-Weglarz.


Fat content has risen because chickens have been bred to grow faster, and the faster-growing birds seem to eat more than they need, says her colleague Mark Richards.
Some political scientists are beginning to change their minds on what shapes our political views. They're starting to wonder whether some of our political identity is rooted in our DNA.


The theory goes something like this: Choosing a political point of view involves thinking through issues: Will more lax immigration rules put the U.S. at risk? Will tighter gun-control laws help lower the murder rate?
Federal standards that specify the length of auto seat belts date back four decades and only require that seat belts accommodate a 215-pound man. Some manufacturers offer bigger belts or extenders anyway, but other auto companies have concerns about effectiveness and liability.


Vanderbilt University psychologist David Schlundt studied the relationship between seat belt use and weight after noticing that obese people sometimes struggled to fit into the auto restraints.

"They really have a hard time getting that belt buckle over them," Schlundt said. "They have to stretch it out and then over and then some can't see the buckle."
In an analysis of 42 studies, researchers found that current smokers were twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop colon polyps. Former smokers also showed a heightened risk, though it was less than that of current smokers.


What's more, the analysis found, smoking was particularly linked to "high-risk" polyps; while most colon polyps are not dangerous, high-risk ones are relatively more likely to become cancerous.
Will the chicken go cold? It seems that the time it takes for people to scarf down the chicken is not long enough for a cool-down.

Cancer Patients, Mega-Dosing Vitamins

People take a lot of vitamins. From centrums to ginkgos to St. Johns to multi-vites—Americans LOVE magic pills! But it seems cancer survivors REALLY love vitamins and supplements. Tara Parker-Pope of the Well blog talks about it. Take a look:
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle reviewed 32 studies conducted between 1999 and 2006. The investigators found that 64 percent to 81 percent of cancer survivors overall reported taking extra vitamins or minerals (excluding multivitamins). In the general population, only 50 percent of American adults reported taking dietary supplements.


The findings, published this month in The Journal of Clinical Oncology and funded by the National Cancer Institute, are worrisome because little is known about how megadoses of vitamins affect cancer. Some lab studies have suggested that antioxidants can improve the effectiveness of cancer treatments. But many more studies raise questions about the use of these supplements. A 1995 report in The Journal of Biological Chemistry showed that cancer cells in a petri dish thrive in the presence of vitamin C.

The American Cancer Society says use of vitamins and supplements during cancer treatments should be avoided. A 2005 report in the medical journal CA cites several studies that show the use of vitamins by cancer patients doesn’t help and may even cause harm.
Now, this got Dr. Petrillo fired up! Dr. Petrillo works with Dr. Fuhrman and she too knows the benefits of a nutrient-dense diet. Here she explains why WHOLE FOODS and NOT extracted ingredients are the key to great health. Check it out:
Well, the point is that people should be getting their micronutrients from whole foods, not from bottles of supplements. Phytochemicals act synergistically in a whole food form to provide even greater benefits than taking one extracted ingredient alone. In other words, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Dr. Fuhrman and I see some incredibly ill people come into in this office who are eating garbage all day long, but they bring in a list of 40 nutritional supplements they are taking as though all those pills they swallow each morning are supposed to protect them from disease; they are actually puzzled as to how they have gotten so sick in spite of all the supplements they take.
But sadly, a lot of Americans are indoctrinated to believe they can eat like crap, but as long as they take their once-a-days, they’ll be fine. As Dr. Petrillo explains, this is a risky proposition and one that can have painful consequences. She tells a true story:
A patient I saw a few months ago was actually arguing with me that it was better to just take a vitamin C supplement than to eat an orange! She said, "Why should I eat oranges? I'm taking vitamin C!" As if vitamin C was the only thing an orange had to offer her. In the end, she lady did not follow our nutritional program and ended up on the bypass table a few months later.
Sure, this story may seem dramatic—but ask yourself—is it really that uncommon? I don’t think so and neither is the sense of desperation many cancer patients feel. Here Dr. Petrillo explains why these patients may start super-dosing supplements:
It is understandable that cancer patients are desperate to do anything to save their lives, but there are too many unknowns to taking mega-doses of vitamins and other supplements (a med school professor of mine used to say, "Americans have the most vitamin-rich urine in the world." We eat junk but overdose on vitamins, the excess of which we are just peeing out anyway!). Look at the evidence on high doses of beta-carotene increasing lung cancer risk, the researchers of that study sure weren't expecting those results! Which brings me to science—science is the vehicle by which we prove to ourselves that that which we think to be true, is in fact true. That which we do not believe to be true is truly not true, or sometimes, that which we believe to be true—is NOT! There can be no assumptions, only proof.


And proof takes time (and money). Do you think the vitamin companies want to see clinical trials done that might show that mega-doses of vitamins are dangerous to cancer patients? No way! Bottom line is it all comes down to chemistry (or science), everything you put in your body is causing some kind of chemical reaction with your tissue in some way, whether it is an FDA-approved medication, an over-the-counter medication, a vitamin pill, an "all-natural herbal supplement," nicotine, caffeine, other drugs or some bok choy! (Aside: if you had never heard of bok choy and someone said to you, "Hey man, want some bok choy?" what exactly would you think you were being offered?) Enough is enough, and, more is too much.
This is certainly a complicated issue and I’m sure desperation could cloud the mind of even the most astute cancer patient. So, with that in mind, Dr. Petrillo offers some final words of wisdom:
We may not know when enough is enough when it comes to certain compounds, but do you want to experiment on yourself? Especially if you have cancer? Maybe you do. But bear in mind that cancer patients should focus on boosting their immune system function and overall wellness the best and safest way we know how—whole foods of high-nutrient density. Anything else may be just a gamble.
I admit, I’ll place an occasional bet on a basketball game, but gambling with my health—not my bag. What about you?

No Cancer from Mobile Phones

As someone who just recently became a text-aholic, this is great to hear. A Japanese study has determined that cellphones don’t cause cancer. The AFP reports:
In a study published on Tuesday in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers led by Naohito Yamaguchi compared the history of mobile phone use in 322 brain cancer patients with 683 healthy people living in Tokyo.


"We studied the radiation emitted from various types of mobile phones and placed them into one of four categories relating to radiation strength," said Yamaguchi.

"We then analysed how they would affect different areas of the brain, taking into account the organ's complex structure."

He added: "Using our newly developed and more accurate techniques, we found no association between mobile phone use and cancer, providing more evidence to suggest they don't cause brain cancer."
Sweet! Now I text my BFF and spend even more time ROTFLMAO—LOL! OMG, I’ll TTYL.

You've Got Prostate Cancer, Is There No Hope?

Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine is a systematic review comparing the effectiveness and harms of treatments for prostate cancer. Check out their motive:
Background: The comparative effectiveness of localized prostate cancer treatments is largely unknown.


Purpose: To compare the effectiveness and harms of treatments for localized prostate cancer.
Now, my new buddy Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times Well blog sums up the study. Here’s an excerpt from No Answers for Men With Prostate Cancer:
But the study, published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine, gives men very little guidance. Prostate cancer is typically a slow-growing cancer, and many men can live with it for years, often dying of another cause. But some men have aggressive prostate cancers, and last year 27,050 men died from the disease. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer has nearly doubled to 20 percent since the late 1980s, due mostly to expanded use of the prostate-specific antigen, or P.S.A., blood test. But the risk of dying of prostate cancer remains about 3 percent. “Considerable overdetection and overtreatment may exist,'’ said an agency press release.


The agency review is based on analysis of 592 published articles of various treatment strategies. The studies looked at treatments that use rapid freezing and thawing (cryotherapy); minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic or robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy); testicle removal or hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy); and high-intensity ultrasound or radiation therapy. The study also evaluated research on “watchful waiting,'’ which means monitoring the cancer and initiating treatment only if it appears the disease is progressing.

No one treatment emerged as the best option for prolonging life. And it was impossible to determine whether one treatment had fewer or less severe side effects.
Kudos to Tara for summing this up! I almost passed out trying to do it myself. Okay prostate cancer suffers, don’t give up hope. Here’s some advice from Dr. Fuhrman. Look:
If you already have prostate cancer—and a Gleason score of 7 or higher or a palpable nodule identified by DRE—nutritional treatment alone does not offer enough of a guarantee of success. In these cases, a customized hormonal approach makes the most sense and has been shown to be very effective.1 Seek out a doctor well versed and experienced with triple hormonal blockade, who has the willingness and capability to customize a medical regimen for each individual patient. Triple hormonal blockade consists of a LH (luteinizing hormone) agonist, an anti-androgen, and finasteride. This treatment is usually performed for about a year and long-term suppression of cancer growth has been evident in scientific studies.


Quite a few enlightened physicians and urologists agree with the treatment options I describe in this newsletter. They no longer recommend local treatments (such as radiation and prostate surgery) directed at destroying the prostate. Instead, they have become experts in hormonal blockade. However, my approach goes farther than this because I add a nutritional protocol to prevent and treat cancer, which includes most of my general dietary recommendations for excellent health in general.
And certainly surgical intervention is risky business. Dr. Fuhrman talks about it Prostate Cancer Facts, here’s a bit:
All of the biopsies, treatments, and surgeries done in the hope of helping men with prostate cancer live longer cause significant side effects, such as incontinence, rectal bleeding, and impotence.

It is reasonable to ask if men actually benefit from such invasive intervention, including the destruction of part of the prostate or its removal. Are the side effects balanced by clear-cut advances in life expectancy?

The side effects of prostate cancer treatment are debilitating and demoralizing, and the percentage of patients who suffer from them is shockingly high.
  • Erectile dysfunction: over 50%
  • Bowel dysfunction: over 10%
  • Urinary dysfunction: over 20%
When it comes to the treatment of the higher-grade forms of prostate cancer, typically distinguished with a high Gleason score, only nutritional excellence and hormonal therapy— which can treat the cancerous cells that have already left the prostate, as well—are worthwhile.


For the majority of men treated for prostate cancer, it appears that their lives would have been much better off if their prostate cancer had never been diagnosed, since it is most likely that the side effects experienced from the treatment are not balanced by an increase in life span.
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Expensively Sick

Julie’s Health Club relays a list of America’s top ten medical costs. Scary stuff, my wallet hurts just looking at it. Check it out:
  1. Heart conditions ($76 billion)
  2. Trauma disorders ($72 billion)
  3. Cancer ($70 billion)
  4. Mental disorders, including depression ($56.0 billion)
  5. Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ($54 billion)
  6. High blood pressure ($42 billion)
  7. Type 2 diabetes ($34 billion)
  8. Osteoarthritis and other joint diseases ($34 billion)
  9. Back problems ($32 billion)
  10. Normal childbirth* ($32 billion)
*Normal childbirth means without medical complications or surgical procedures. C-sections are not included in the normal childbirth category.
This list gets even more frightening when you consider the over-arching cost of obesity. Dr. Fuhrman offers up some facts and figures:
The number one health problem in the United States is obesity, and if the current trend continues, by the year 2230 all adults in the United States will be obese. The National Institutes of Health estimate that obesity is associated with a twofold increase in mortality, costing society more than $100 billion per year.1
Wows, it certainly pays to be healthy.
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