Hotdogs Linked to Leukemia Risk

Last year, it was discovered processed meats and cheese speed up the growth of lung cancer tumors. And now, new research in BMC Cancer found children who consume cured meats, like hotdogs and bacon, were 74% more likely to develop leukemia. It’s believed nitrites, which build up in cured and smoked meats, amplify cancer-risk. Conversely, researchers suggest the potent antioxidants in vegetables and soy foods may help protect against cancer; Reuters reports.

Not surprising, Dr. Fuhrman considers processed meat, like luncheon meat, as one of the worst meat options available and discourages eating them, especially expectant mothers. Women who eat hotdogs while pregnant put their child at risk for brain tumors later in life.

And other research has shown diets high in saturated fat, i.e. meat, increase the progression of prostate cancer, while eating lots of fruits and vegetables stomps breast cancer risk!

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Rubber Chemical Linked to Cancer

Your rubber ducky may be more dangerous than you think. According to a new study in Occupational and Environmental Medicine a chemical called 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT), commonly used in rubber products, may heighten cancer risk. Researchers examined data on plant workers from 1955 to 1984 and 1971 to 1984 and determined those exposed to fumes during the manufacturing process were twice as likely to develop colon cancer and 4 times as likely to get bone marrow cancer; Reuters reports.

Great, another chemical to worry about! If you recall, Bisphenol-A (BPA) was all over the news last year. BPA is used to make hard plastic and has been linked to learning impairments and depression and prostate cancer and breast cancer.

So, be mindful of your environment, especially if you have kids!

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Chicago's Health Chief Says No Meat!

The windy city is well known for big beefy “Da Bears” fans, but Chicago Health Commissioner, Dr. Terry Mason, wants all Chicagoans to kick the deep dish pizza and go vegetarian. This January, Dr. Mason, a practicing urologist, won’t eat any meat. Dr. Mason, who has high cholesterol and had a coronary stent implanted in 2005, hopes his example will encourage others, especially African-Americans, who have a high rate of hypertension and high cholesterol, to cut harmful fatty foods; The Chicago Tribune reports.

Kudos to Dr. Mason! Lots of cool people have gone veggie. And who’s cooler than Batman! That’s right, the dark knight himself, Christian Bale, is a vegetarian. Even Batman knows fruits and vegetables offer excellent protection against cancer and heart disease reversal.

And switching to a vegetable-based diet is good for the planet too. Meat and other animal products strain the environment and require vast amounts of natural resources to produce, unlike fruits and vegetables which are far less taxing. So eat your veggies, lots of them!

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More Obese Americans than Overweight Americans

Well, its official, we’re doomed! According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the number of obese Americans now outweighs the total number of overweight people, 34% of Americans are obese, compared to 32.7% of people who are overweight. In 2005-2006, researchers say one-third of Americans were obese, a startling 72 million people, and the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled since 1980, however the trend of overweight has remained stable during that time; via Reuters.

We shouldn’t be proud of this milestone, especially since obesity has been linked to poor health and migraines, cancer, thyroid inflammation and other diseases. So, based on this research, we’ve got a wave, scratch that, a tsunami of sick people on the horizon.

But, oddly enough, a recent study actually claims obesity protects against heart disease. It’s cuckoo!

Cut Back Meat, Save the Planet...

You shouldn’t eat a lot of meat. It’ll boost your risk of heart attack, cancer and other diseases. But the rearing of livestock also beats up the environment, polluting water supplies and generating huge amounts of greenhouse gases. That’s why many scientists are scrambling to repurpose cattle emissions, i.e. cow farts, burps and poop, into sources of energy, specifically methane fuel.

Now, those systems cost money and might not always be practical. So here’s a simpler solution, don’t eat as much meat! It doesn’t mean you have to go vegetarian, vegan or even flexitarian, but some experts insist if Americans cut meat consumption from 12 ounces per capita to only 3.1 ounces per day, roughly the size of a deck of cards, we’ll slow global climate change; Fresh Greens explains.

Not a bad idea. Especially when you consider Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid, he recommends eating foods like meat and dairy very infrequently.

Via Serious Eats.

Obesity Boosts Ovarian Cancer Risk

Older obese women are more at risk for ovarian cancer than women of normal weight. Printed in Cancer, new research studied 94,525 women, ages 50 to 71, for 7 years. During that period, 303 participants developed ovarian cancer. Scientist determined obese women, i.e. having a body mass index of 30 or more, were 1.26 times more likely to get cancer; The New York Times reports.

Obesity has also been linked to other cancers, like prostate cancer and breast cancer.

More Americans Have Multiple Chronic Conditions

A new study in Health Affairs claims more Americans have multiple chronic illnesses than ever before. The percentage of people with 3 or more chronic illnesses rose from 13% in 1996 to 22% in 2005 for ages 45 to 64. It increased 45% for ages 65 to 79, jumped 54% for individuals older than 80 and among all ages, figures went up 6% from 1996. And data reveals the number of Americans with 1 chronic condition, like cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart failure, was 41% in 1996 but rose to 44% in 2005. Obesity and inactivity are being blamed; Reuters reports.

And these maladies are hitting us in the wallet too. On average, obesity and it’s sequelae cost the United States more than $100 billion a year and physicians and hospitals usually fail to make a long term impact on the health of their patients, which is evident when you consider a recent report revealing 24 million Americans have type-2 diabetes, a risk factor for many chronic diseases, up 3 million since 2005.

Fruits and Veggies Tied to Breast Cancer Survival

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reveals women with early-stage breast cancer may live longer if they adopt a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and avoid things like red meat and refined foods. Researchers followed 1,901 women diagnosed with breast cancer for 8 years and found those maintaining a healthy diet had a lower overall death rate than those eating a Western diet, i.e. lots of processed meat, high-fat dairy and white bread. This trend held up even when other factors were considered, like tumor size and smoking; Reuters reports.

Actually, previous research, also in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, claims breast cancer survivors who eat more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day are less likely to develop recurring tumors. And pectin, a compound found naturally in citrus fruits and used in jams, has been shown to inhibit the growth of proteins responsible for cancer progression.

The powerful phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables have anti-aging effects, promote cardiovascular health and also lower the risk of other cancers, like prostate and pancreatic cancer. And a recent reported linked fruits and vegetables with reduced risk of colon cancer too.

Breastfeeding Helps Kids' Lungs...

In the past, research has shown breastfeeding can increase children’s IQ, decrease risk of obesity and release happiness hormones in babies. And now, a new study in Thorax has determined children who are breastfed for at least 4 months have better lung function than children breastfed for shorter periods and then given a bottle; Reuters investigates.

Dr. Fuhrman advocates breastfeeding until age 2. This allows plenty of time for the mother’s antibodies to be passed along to her child. These nutrients are necessary for proper immune system function, maximizing intelligence and protecting against cancer, like breast cancer.

But sometimes breastfeeding can go berserk, like this crazy restaurant that cooked with human breast milk. Very gross!