Grapefruits Cause Breast Cancer?

The New York Times investigates the claim that GRAPEFRUITS can INCREASE breast cancer risk—what the heck? More from Anahad O’Connor:
The British Journal of Cancer that found an increased risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women who ate large amounts of grapefruit. In the group of women, more than 46,000 over all, those who ate about a half a grapefruit every other day had a 30 percent higher risk of breast cancer than those who ate none, even after other risk factors were taken into account…


…That analysis used data from the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 77,000 women 30 to 55 over many years. The scientists looked at intake of both grapefruit and grapefruit juice and found no rise in breast cancer risk, either among women over all or among postmenopausal women.
I don’t know, but I have a hard time believing any fruit or vegetable causes cancer—what about you?

UPDATE: Here's what Dr. Fuhrman had to say:
This is not new. I have been advising women on DrFuhrman.com not to consume too many grapefruits, not more than 2 weekly for the last year or so just to play it safe. The issue is a compound in grapefruit that interferes with the breakdown of estrogen. Whereas green vegetables aid in the breakdown of estrogen for easy excretion of excess by the body.

Manly Food: I Say Tomato, They Say Beef

“Man food” really agitates me. This concept that the American male only qualifies as such if he craves beef, barbeque, and beer, is asinine. Yet, it’s true. A recent survey determined that men prefer meat and women want veggies. The Associated Press reports:
The study of eating habits of American adults -- called the most extensive of its kind -- was a telephone survey of 14,000 Americans. It confirmed conventional wisdom that most men eat more meat than women, and women eat more fruits and vegetables.


But there were a few surprising exceptions: Men were much more likely to eat asparagus, brussels sprouts, peas and peanuts. They also were bigger consumers of frozen pizzas, frozen hamburgers and frozen Mexican dinners.

Women are more likely than men to eat eggs, yogurt and fresh hamburgers.

Men also showed a little more of an appetite for runny eggs and undercooked hamburgers -- two foods that health experts say carry a higher chance of contamination that can make you sick.

Women were more likely than men to eat only one risky food, raw alfalfa sprouts, which in the past 15 years have been linked to outbreaks of food poisoning.
Now, I’ve talked about this before, but look at me. I lift weights, watch sports, love action movies, play fantasy sports, and, I regularly forget “important” anniversary dates, but, here’s what I ate yesterday. Check it out:
Breakfast
Chocolate pudding made with bananas, flaxseed, sesame seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, coco-powder, avocado, spinach, Romaine lettuce, dates, and unsweetened almond milk. Plus my morning shot of pomegranate juice.


Lunch
Carrots sticks and one head of Romaine lettuce with mashed avocado spiced with onion and garlic powder, and, a cactus pear.

Dinner
Sautéed cabbage, peas, and sliced garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil and seasoned with dill and rosemary. Also, one nectarine later in the evening.
And, a couple hours after dinner I was the only guy sitting in my Yoga class—surrounded by a room full of hot chicks—now, does this make me any less of a man? No! But yes, if you think DISEASE is manly. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
A recent study showed that after following almost 200,000 Americans for seven years, those who regularly consumed red meat had a double the occurrence of pancreatic cancer1…


…Researchers from the American Cancer Society followed 79,236 individuals over ten years and found that those ate meat more than three times per week were much more likely to gain weight as the years went by than those who tended to avoid meat2…

…If you eat the typical American diet, you will likely die of typical American diseases. In the typical American diet 40% of calories come from animal foods such as dairy, meat, eggs, and chicken, and 50% of calories come from processed foods such as pasta, bread, soda, oils, sugar, puffed cereals, pretzels, and other adulterated products. Cancer and heart disease is the consequence.
So, this idea that you’re only a man if you like steak, grease, and heart disease is ridiculous. Now, I’m a peace monger, but, if any one calls me a Yoga-doing, meat-avoiding, tree-hugging wuss, I’ll gladly feed them a Grade A knuckle sandwich.
Continue Reading...

Going Nuts!

Personally, I’m beyond nuts—probably certifiable at this point—anyway, MSN Health & Fitness tells us why nuts are great for our health. Take a look:



Almonds: A June 2006 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed an ounce of almonds provides as many flavonoids—compounds that fight free radicals and reduce inflammation—as a 1⁄2-cup serving of broccoli or a cup of green tea.

Walnuts: Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat linked with reduced risk of heart disease, improved glucose control and, most recently, stronger bones. In a study of 23 overweight people published earlier this year in Nutrition Journal, increasing intake of ALA via walnuts and flaxseed oil decreased the rate of bone breakdown.

Pecans: Last year in Nutrition Research, researchers from Loma Linda University reported that pecans contribute significant amounts of gamma-tocopherol, the major form of vitamin E in U.S. diets. Pecans also provide notable amounts of zinc, a mineral most often found in animal-based foods.

Pistachios: Research presented earlier this year at an Experimental Biology conference suggests that lutein, an antioxidant in pistachios, helps protect "bad" LDL cholesterol from oxidization by free radicals. Oxidized LDL contributes to the development of plaque in arteries.
Fantastic! All four of these are delicious. Now, We Like it Raw passes along this awesome video. Here’s how to make your own nut milk. Enjoy:




I’m a big fan of nut milk. My favorite is almond milk. In fact, here’s the one that’s in my refrigerator right now. Check it out:


Here’s the official write-up about Almond Breeze:
Almond Breeze is a non-dairy beverage made from real almonds, all natural, smooth and creamy with a hint of almonds. Almond Breeze is a great tasting non-dairy beverage without the thin, chalky after taste of rice and soy beverages.


Almond Breeze won the 2004 Best Taste Award from the prestigious American Culinary Institute (ACI). ACI is an independent, chef based judging organization.

Enjoy Almond Breeze chilled by the glass and on your cereal. You will love how it froths in coffee drinks, enhances fruit smoothies, and blends cup for cup in your favorite recipes.
  • Gluten, cholesterol and lactose free
  • Excellent source of calcium, vitamins D & E
  • Good source of vitamin A
  • A refreshing alternative to soy and rice non-dairy beverages
Do any of you drink almond milk? Ever try this one?

Health Points: Monday

When he became a psychiatrist in the 1970s, John Ratey didn't expect to evolve into an exercise buff. But today, the Harvard University professor and expert in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder calls exercise the single most important tool people have to optimize brain function…

…Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, can improve cognitive performance, soften the effects of stress, help fend off addiction-related cravings and tone down the negative consequences of women's hormonal changes, Ratey says. When it comes to psychiatric disorders, he calls exercise "one of the best treatments we have."
Bacteria can cause rhinosinusitis -- an inflammation of the sinuses -- but a virus such as the common cold is often a more likely culprit so antibiotics seldom work, the researchers reported in the journal Lancet.


Yet doctors still dole out the drugs more than they should. In the United States, for instance, 80 percent of sinus patients are prescribed an antibiotic while the proportion ranges from 72 percent to 92 percent in Europe.

"What tends to happen in practice is when patients have had symptoms for a while and go see their family doctor, the doctor assumes they have a bacterial infection and gives them antibiotics," said James Young, a statistician at the University Hospital Basel, who led the study.
In the new study of about 5,000 adults, the college-educated with household incomes of more than $75,000 a year had much less of a blood protein linked to heart disease than did the poorer or less educated - as long as they weren't overweight.


But as weight crept up, so did C-reactive protein in the blood, a sign of inflamed tissue that can lead to blocked coronary arteries, says Cathy Bykowski, a psychologist at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

That's not surprising, because excess body fat is known to increase the protein, she says.
New research suggests that people who don't get enough sleep tend to weigh more -- and that sleep can affect levels of the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin.


"There is a dynamic balance between proper sleep and proper health. Sleep deprivation affects weight and a lot of other things. If you cheat sleep, there are a number of consequences, including affecting your hormones, appetite and mood," said Dr. Patrick Strollo, medical director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Sleep Medicine Center.
At first glance, the $45 session just looked like a bunch of boys having fun, not surprising since Lego Club members have good language skills and average or above-average intelligence. In contrast, children at the severe end of the autism spectrum may be mute and have catatonic behaviors.


But signs of problems were soon evident. A boy wearing a long-sleeve T-shirt stood amid the hubbub, staring at the floor, obsessively pulling the hem of his shirt - until leader Greg Shugar gently drew him into an activity. At a table, Lily Brown, another leader, helped two boys revise their "script" - a sheet of lined paper covered with angry scratch-outs and scribbles.

Jonathan Shanahan, 13, of Riverton, rocked from foot to foot and acknowledged that earlier that day, in school, he threw a pencil at a classmate.

"He's my archrival," Jonathan declared, holding a winged Lego beast he had created.
Breast-fed babies appear to be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes when they reach adolescence, according to findings published in the medical journal Diabetes Care.


"Dramatic increases in childhood obesity and the emergence of type 2 diabetes in youth motivate research to identify lifestyle approaches to primary prevention of both conditions," write Dr. Elizabeth J. Mayer-Davis of the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and colleagues.
Folate
Use: To improve heart health


Why it works: Folate and other B vitamins help break down excess homocysteine -- an amino acid that can damage the inner lining of arteries -- possibly reducing the risk of heart disease.

Daily intake: 400 mcg

Best food sources: 1/2 cup cooked asparagus (134 mcg), 1 cup raw spinach (58 mcg), 1/2 cup cooked lentils (179 mcg)
Type 1 diabetes occurs because of pancreatic beta cell damage. These cells are responsible for insulin hormone production. The disease is becoming more common and it is expected to increase by 40% in 2010, compared to 2000.


The study showed that those suffering from type 1 diabetes have lower levels of vitamin D and are common in countries with less sunlight. It is well known that sunlight exposure stimulates vitamin D production and that supplement intake without sunlight exposure doesn't mean anything.

Lack of vitamin D is previously linked to autoimmune disorders, and this new study shows another key role of vitamins in health.
Breast cancer patients who are overweight have more aggressive disease and are likely to die sooner, U.S. researchers reported on Friday.


A dangerous type of breast cancer, known as inflammatory breast cancer, was seen in 45 percent of obese patients, compared with 30 percent of overweight patients and 15 percent of patients of healthy weight.

"The more obese a patient is, the more aggressive the disease," said Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, who led the study.

Food Scoring Guide: Key to Superior Health and Your Ideal Weight

When you eat to maximize micronutrients in relation to calories, your body functions will normalize; chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol melt away; and you maintain your youthful vigor into old age. Heart disease and cancer would fade away and become exceedingly rare if people adopted a lifestyle of nutritional excellence. But in the here and now, what is exciting to so many people is that when your diet is high enough in micronutrients, excess weight drops off at a relatively fast rate. It’s like you had your stomach stapled. You simply don’t crave to overeat anymore. In fact, it becomes too difficult to overeat when you eat your fill of high-micronutrient food.

The mistake of focusing on the “importance” of protein in the diet is one of the major reasons Americans have been led down the path to dietary suicide. For too long, we have equated protein with good nutrition and have thought that animal—products in spite of the fact that they are deficient or devoid of most micronutrients—are highly favorable foods simply because they are rich in complete proteins. This miscalculation has cost us dearly. By favoring a dairy- and meat-heavy diet, instead of one rich in fruits, vegetables, and beans, we have brought forth an epidemic of heart attacks and cancers.

Health Points: Friday

The Food and Drug Administration listed poor sanitation and other deficiencies in 47% of 199 inspections from January 2001 to February 2007, according to a report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. None of the cases was referred to the FDA's enforcement arm for further action.

E. coli bacteria in bagged spinach from California killed three people and sickened at least 205 in 2006. The spinach may have been tainted when feral pigs roamed through cattle feces at a nearby ranch and crossed into the spinach fields, investigators from the FDA and California said last year.
The best that Dr. Julie Gilchrist, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and one of the study’s authors, can offer is a few guidelines and observations about why studies have yet to answer the stretching questions.


If your goal is to prevent injury, Dr. Gilchrist said, stretching does not seem to be enough. Warming up, though, can help. If you start out by moving through a range of motions that you’ll use during activity, you are less likely to be injured.

In fact, Dr. Gilchrist said, in her review of published papers, every one of the handful of studies that concluded that stretching prevented injuries included warm-ups with the stretches.
The legislation is aimed at curbing the fallout from Americans' unhealthy eating habits, seen in rising rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. The hope is that the labels will help people make healthier choices when they're eating out.


But dozens of studies have produced mixed results on whether nutrition labeling improves consumers' eating habits. It can't hurt to make the information available, nutritionists say, however, the truth is, if people want a Big Mac for lunch, knowing that it has 540 calories and 29 grams of fat probably isn't going to stop them.
Scientists said they, too, are concerned about the findings of the water testing commissioned by the Associated Press, but several said that there is no need for people to stop drinking tap water.


The contaminants present are "in the parts-per-billion level and essentially at homeopathic doses," said Phyllis Gardner, a Stanford University physician and pharmacologist. "It can't possibly have an effect."

The fact that the substances are in tap water at all concerns Gardner and others. "I wish they weren't there," said Mary Vore, a professor of toxicology at the University of Kentucky. "But I will keep drinking the water."
New rules announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will tighten air quality standards set a decade ago, reflecting a growing amount of research indicating that smog poses greater health risks than previously thought.


The air in Chicago, which met federal smog standards for the first time last year, will fail again under the new limit.

Under the regulations outlined by top EPA officials, the allowable level of smog in the air will be 75 parts per billion, down from the current standard of 85 parts per billion but higher than 60 parts per billion recommended by pediatricians and environmental groups to protect children and the elderly.
A recent study of the PACE (People with Arthritis Can Exercise) program by researchers at the University of North Carolina showed significant improvements in reducing pain and fatigue among those who completed the eight-week course, with benefits persisting for up to six months after completion of the course.


"I liked it because it's not just an exercise program," said Laurie Maietta, who taught the PACE course last fall at Panther Physical Therapy in Hampton. "You have the exercise program, an educational program, and a relaxation component as well."

Arthritis sufferers tend to be less fit than seniors who don't suffer from this condition. Which is too bad, said Dr. Moira Davenport, director of sports and emergency medicine for Allegheny General Hospital, because "exercise can definitely help people suffering from arthritis. It strengthens the muscle around the affected joints, and takes away some of the pressure and pain."
The study, by researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, found that men and women who were severely obese were 45 percent more likely than normal-weight adults to develop pancreatic cancer over five years…


…Pancreatic cancer is difficult to catch early, and 95 percent of patients die within five years of being diagnosed. Because of this dismal prognosis, researchers consider it particularly important to pinpoint the modifiable risk factors for the disease.
In many ways, pediatricians do know more than parents. When your doctor says your newborn needs to ride in a rear-facing car seat, don't argue. When he says your 2-month-old with a 105-degree fever needs to get to the doctor's office -- and fast -- you'd better listen.


But there are far more areas that are gray and have no science, or not very good science, to back them up, says our panel of pediatric experts. They say that sometimes, this means your pediatrician is giving you his or her opinion, not medical fact.

"There are several ways to approach many issues in pediatrics. There isn't one clear-cut way," says Dr. Robert Needlman, co-author of the latest edition of "Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care." "Pediatricians really should make a distinction between what's based on research and what's based on our own particular beliefs."
The U.S. federal standards for acceptable levels of pharmaceutical residue in bottled water are the same as those for tap water -- there aren't any.


The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the $12 billion bottled water industry in the United States, sets limits for chemicals, bacteria and radiation, but doesn't address pharmaceuticals.

Some water that's bottled comes from pristine, often underground rural sources; other brands have a source no more remote than local tap water. Either way, bottlers insist their products are safe and say they generally clean the water with advanced treatments, though not explicitly for pharmaceuticals.
Tests on mice show that diacetyl, a component of artificial butter flavoring, can cause a condition known as lymphocytic bronchiolitis, said the team at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.


The condition can lead to obliterative bronchiolitis -- or "popcorn lung" -- a rare and debilitating disease seen in workers at microwave popcorn packaging plants and at least one consumer.

At least two microwave popcorn makers -- ConAgra Foods Inc and Weaver Popcorn Co Inc -- have said recently they would stop using diacetyl.

Dairy Dumb for Weight-Loss

Do you remember when dairy consumption was dumped for weight-loss? Kim Severson of The New York Times reported:
The assertion that there is a link between weight loss and dairy consumption has long been contested by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [PCRM], an advocacy and research group that promotes a diet free of animal products.


The group petitioned the F.T.C. in 2005 to argue that the advertisements were misleading. In a May 3 letter to the group, Lydia Parnes, director of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said Agriculture Department representatives and milk producers and processors had agreed to change the advertisements and related marketing materials “until further research provides stronger, more conclusive evidence of an association between dairy consumption and weight loss.”

As of Thursday, the National Dairy Council still had a section of its Web site devoted to the weight-loss claim. But the site, along with some of the advertisements, will be changed, said Greg Miller, who is executive vice president of the council and has a doctorate in nutrition.
According to Dr. Fuhrman dairy, is NOT good for weight-loss and not exactly health-promoting either. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Fifty years of heavy advertising by an economically powerful industry has shaped the public's perception, illustrating the power of one-sided advertising, but the reality and true health effects is a different story. Besides the link between high-saturated-fat foods (dairy fat) and cancer, there is a body of scientific literature linking the consumption of cow's milk to many other diseases.
But some people still insist that cow juice is a good idea. Check it out from Chris Sparling of That’sFit:
Unless you've taken a dietary (or even ideological) stance against dairy, you'd do well to include it into your diet every day. Worried that it may get in the way of your efforts at weight loss? No need to fear, say researchers from Harvard Medical School. No need at all, in fact.


Researchers found that people who consumed three servings of dairy per day (providing them with around 1,200mg of calcium) were 60 percent less likely to be overweight. This is because calcium-rich foods actually burn many calories during their digestion.
More junk science in action, in fact the study is from 2005; Study backs dairy weight loss claims. How current? More Dr. Fuhrman on dairy:
Using weight instead of calories in nutrient-analysis tables has evolved into a ploy to hide how nutritionally unsound many foods are. The role of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was originally to promote the products of the animal agriculture industry.1 Over fifty years ago, the USDA began promoting the so-called four basic food groups, with meat and dairy products in the number one and two spots on the list. Financed by the meat and dairy industry and backed by nutritional scientists on the payroll of the meat and dairy industry, this promotion ignored science.2
I think milk and dairy products are just another food that Americans are chronically addicted too—WAKE UP—and get over it. Continue Reading...

Fruit: Power of the Tropics

“Antioxidants fuel a defensive system that removes toxic cellular metabolites that age us,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. Here he tells us why antioxidants are an important cornerstone of good health. Take a look:
Cancer may be promoted by toxic compounds, but we have cellular machinery, fueled by phytochemicals, to detoxify and remove noxious agents and to repair any damage done. Our body is self-healing and self-repairing when given sufficient nutrient support to maximize efficiency of protective cellular machinery. But, only when we consume large amounts of green vegetables and a diversity of natural plant foods can we maximize phytochemical delivery to our tissues.
Now, it seems tropical fruits are a major source of antioxidants. Emily Sohn of The Los Angeles Times tells us all about mangosteens, açaí, noni, pomegranates, and goji berries. Check it out:
There are many thousands of plant-based antioxidants, called phytochemicals, and these compounds appear in various combinations in different types of produce. Blueberries, red wine and açaí, for example, are high in anthocyanins. Tea has lots of catechins. Mangosteens are rich in xanthones. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids.


Plenty of studies now show that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of chronic disease and might even help us live longer. So, companies that market superfruits often tout the high antioxidant concentrations of their star ingredients. Their findings are sometimes at odds with each other.

In several studies published or presented at meetings, for example, Pom Wonderful (which has poured $23 million into researching the 'Wonderful' variety of pomegranates that the company grows on orchards in Central California's San Joaquin Valley), found that its 100% pomegranate juice had more antioxidant activity than more than a dozen other beverages, including blueberry, grape, açaí and orange juices. The next nearest competitor, red wine, had 17% fewer polyphenol antioxidants and neutralized 54 fewer free radicals than the juice did.
Okay, this is all well and good, but, we shouldn’t consider one or two exotic fruits as miracle cures. Dr. Fuhrman talks about it:
Juices and extracts of exotic fruits and vegetables such as mangosteen, gogi berries, Chinese lycium, acia, Siberian pineapple, cili, noni, guarana, and black currant are touted as wondrous super foods with a myriad of health claims. Certainly, eating exotic fruits from all over the globe can add valuable phytochemical compounds with the potential for beneficial effects. I see no reason why these fruits and their juices should not be used as part of a varied diet with a wide assortment of phytonutrients. Broadening our variety of health-supporting nutrients from exotic foods has value in building a strong immune defense against cancer.


The confusion arises when marketers claim that the juices can cure cancer or kill cancer cells on the basis of studies that show that some component in the juice or other part of the plant has been shown to kill cancer cells. Just because a concentrated chemical derived from a food can kill cancer cells in a test tube does not make that food a cure for cancer.
For more on this, be sure to brush up on Ineffective Anti-Cancer Remedies: Exotic Tropical Fruit Juices.

Dairy Warning

This is great news! Dairy products may be getting health warning labels to remind people about the dangers of saturated fat. EMaxHealth reports:
Health officials worldwide are actively fighting against rising rates of obesity. A lot is already done and new plans are being developed. However, obesity rates still keep increasing.


British Food Standards Agency has offered a new plan to tackle obesity: food with high levels of saturated fats will wear health warning like cigarettes do. FSA has already practiced shocking ways to attract public attention on unhealthy food. TV shows were displaying fat contained in food, and public was really impressed. Warning are expected to have the same affect on public and make them think twice before eating a sandwich with cheese or a toast with butter.

However, FSA will still need to discuss the health warning plan with health officials and food manufacturers before implementing it. They need to find the best way of reminding people of rising obesity rates and importance of healthy diet.
Besides, cow’s milk isn’t for people anyway. “Milk is designed by nature for the rapidly growing cow,” explains Dr. Fuhrman, “About half its calories are supplied from fat.” And all that saturated fat is bad news. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Saturated fat raises your LDL-cholesterol level more than anything else in the diet. Eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol is the main reason for the high number of heart attacks seen in North America and other countries…


…Besides the link between high-saturated-fat foods (dairy fat) and cancer, there is a body of scientific literature linking the consumption of cow's milk to many other diseases…

…Saturated fats are found mainly in meat, fowl, eggs, and dairy. The foods with the most saturated fat are butter, cream, and cheese.
Honestly, now that I eat a vegetable-based diet, just thinking of dairy foods—i.e. milk, butter, and cream—makes me nauseas. Bleh!