Dairy, Wrong for Weight-Loss

Last year, the dairy industry DUMPED a harebrained campaign promoting milk for weight-loss. Because NO science supported it! Experts assert it’s counter-intuitive to associate fat and calorie-laden foods, like milk and other dairy foods, with weight-loss.

And now, new research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows dairy supplementation FAILED to alter fat metabolism and energy expenditure in overweight individuals; via the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Milk and dairy are NOT your friends. Dairy products cause disease. Previous reports link cow’s milk with diabetes and Crohn’s disease and both milk and meat INCREASE prostate cancer-risk. Not mention, milk-production STRAINS the environment!
 

Fight Cancer, Find Strength in Exercise

Exercise is STRONG medicine. We all know it keeps us fit, but many reports claim it can also help PREVENT cancer, like prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Some California cancer patients are putting EXERCISE to the test, while undergoing treatment, they’re pumping iron and hitting the mat; via The Los Angeles Times.

Diet is important too! Certain foods, like soy beans, garlic and apples, have POTENT anti-cancer effects. Now, imagine if you pair a HEALTHY eating with exercise!

Milk and Meat Up Prostate Cancer-Risk

A new study, by Oxford University, claims a meat and dairy diet might BOOST a man’s risk of prostate cancer. Scientists attribute the increase to HIGH levels of a particular hormone associated with milk and meat consumption.

The research appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The Telegraph reports:

The hormone, called Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), boosts the division of cells and is necessary for growth in children.

However, scientists are still unsure how great an effect a diet high in meat and dairy products can have on levels of the hormone in the blood.

"It could be about 10 to 15 per cent higher in people who have a high consumption of dairy products or meat," Dr Andrew Roddam, from Oxford University, who led the study, estimated.

Scientists cite this ISN’T the first time they’ve seen the correlation between IGF-1 and prostate cancer. A previous study showed saturated fat, found in foods like steaks, burgers, cheese, ice cream and mayonnaise, also INCREASES cancer-risk.

In addition, milk and other dairy products are KNOWN cancer-promoters. Conversely, high nutrient plant foods, like broccoli, have AMAZING anti-cancer properties—even against prostate cancer!

Me Man, Me Eat Fat!

Men get a bad rap. Just look at sitcoms. Male characters are depicted as chubby oafish slobs, basically CAVEMEN in flannel shirts. Like these guys from According to Jim; via YouTube.

Now, AOL Men’s Fitness Center feeds into this Neanderthal nonsense with an article promoting the “healthful” benefits of saturated fats; like beef, pork chops, cheese, butter and sour cream. Get a load of this:

For years you've heard that eating saturated fat is like pouring superglue into your arteries. But the fact is, this forbidden fat actually increases your HDL (good) cholesterol, which helps remove plaque from your artery walls, decreasing your risk of heart disease. So quit depriving yourself and start eating these eight foods -- without guilt.

Make NO mistake. Eating copious amounts of saturated fat from animal products is NOT healthy; via Plos Medicine. For example, this guy ate a diet loaded with clarified butter and his heart was so COATED with dangerous fat, he needed emergency surgery to save his life!

A fat-based diet is DEADLY advice without an air of authority. It’s journalistically irresponsible, because many men are already looking for an excuse NOT to cut back on meat, dairy and other saturated fats.

Dr. Fuhrman wanted to weigh in. His thoughts:

AOL is promoting cancer, heart disease and dementia by promoting the consumption of red meat, butter and dark meat poultry as healthy and not disease promoting. It shows the pervasive influence and web-presence of the pro-animal fat crowd, in spite of a plethora of irrefutable scientific findings proving otherwise.

The bulk of evidence is IRREFUTABLE; red meat, butter and saturated animal fats are linked to cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia. And thousands of scientific studies agree! Burying your head in the sand does NOT change facts.

Guys, if you’re striving for optimal health, you MUST restrict unhealthy foods. Research links the consumption of dairy products with prostate cancer and eating meat with prostate cancer; via CAT.INIST. So, AOL Men’s Fitness Center is promoting getting prostate cancer—which can make you IMPOTENT—not exactly good advice for men!

Okay, I’m NOT an expert, but I am a guy. I watch football, lift weights and play fantasy sports, but I also do Yoga, avoid meat or dairy and I LOVE of salads. Does this make me any LESS of a man? No! So, take Dr. Fuhrman’s advice and don’t be another knuckle-dragging modern caveman.

Pomegranates, Sexy...

That’s a hot chick! She’d have NO problem getting me to eat more pomegranates. Then again, you shouldn’t need ANY convincing to eat pomegranates. They're SUPER foods and oddly enough, pomegranates help with erectile dysfunction. How fitting.

Now, according to Dr. Fuhrman pomegranates have the most powerful anti-oxidants of ALL fruits. Also, pomegranates protect against atherosclerosis and diabetes and improve prostate health.

Okay, as far as fruit goes, SEX sells! “Rachel gets fruity" offers her unique perspective on how plums can help you prevent prostate cancer. Simply awesome!

Via SeriousEats.

Avoid these 10 Cancer-Causing Foods...

Cancer doesn’t just happen! Diet has A LOT to do with it. Take acrylamides for example. According to Dr. Fuhrman, acrylamides are cancer-causing compounds that form in fried, baked, roasted, grilled or barbequed food. You know. Bad stuff!

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that over-cooked food appears in this list of foods that increase cancer-risk. Via Care2:

  • All charred food, which create heterocyclic aromatic amines, known carcinogens. Even dark toast is suspect.
  • Well-done red meat. Medium or rare is better, little or no red meat is best.
  • Sugar, both white and brown–which is simply white sugar with molasses added.
  • Heavily salted, smoked and pickled foods, which lead to higher rates of stomach cancer.
  • Sodas/soft drinks, which pose health risks, both for what they contain–sugar and various additives–and for what they replace in the diet–beverages and foods that provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
  • French fries, chips and snack foods that contain trans fats.
  • Food and drink additives such as aspartame.
  • Excess alcohol.
  • Baked goods, for the acrylamide.
  • Farmed fish, which contains higher levels of toxins such as PCBs.

Cooked meats are a problem. The American Institute for Cancer Research just recommended that people STOP grilling meat and substitute veggies instead. Good idea, because a recent study linked saturated fat with prostate cancer-risk.

No doubt, things like alcohol, sugar and fake sugar should be avoided too. Be sure to check out Dr. Fuhrman’s list of horrible foods. You’ll see EVEN more similarities!

Milk, Stupid

Despite the U.S. Government’s love affair with milk. Milk is NOT a health food. In fact, Dr. Fuhrman is more likely to call milk a health hazard than a health helper. Not to mention, milk HAS been linked prostate cancer and Crohn's disease.

Now, Celebrity Diet Doctor has three more reasons to ditch milk. Take a look:

  • Countries with the highest intakes of dairy, Finland, Sweden and the Unite States, also have the highest fracture rates in the world despite having the highest intakes of dietary calcium in the world.
  • The Nurses Health Study showed an increased fracture rate among women who reported the highest dietary intake of calcium primarily from milk and other diary foods.
  • A study funded by the dairy industry also showed that post menopausal women who drank 3 glasses of milk for 2 years (1400 mg Calcium/day) lost bone at twice the rate as those who did not drink milk.

Like Dr. Fuhrman says, milk is not for people—milk is for the rapidly growing COW! I’ve NEVER liked milk. It’s always made me nauseous.

Sadly, some people just CAN’T face the hard truth about milk. It’s yucky!

Man Stuff: Lifespan, Prostate Cancer, Diabetes...

Despite popular opinion, being a man involves MORE than just watching football, mowing the lawn and scratching your butt. Actually, men—especially our health—can be downright complicated. Yes, I said it. Men, complicated.

Take type-2 diabetes for example. A new campaign by the American Diabetes Association is aimed at better educating men on diabetes. Megan Rauscher of Reuters reports:

Men with type 2 diabetes know the basics about the disease and its main complications - heart disease, blindness, kidney failure - but they seem to know very little about the issues that affect their quality of life, like depression and sexual dysfunction, according to results of a survey released today by the American Diabetes Association.

The survey also shows that men are "really uncomfortable talking about these issues with their physician" -- yet are hungry for more information, Dr. Richard M. Bergenstal, Vice President, Medicine & Science at the American Diabetes Association noted in a telephone interview with Reuters Health.

To bridge the information gap, the American Diabetes Association today announced the launch of a multifaceted nationwide campaign to spotlight the often overlooked physical, emotional and sexual health issues affecting the roughly 12 million American men with diabetes.

And lifespan, why do men die sooner than women? WebMD offers up 6 tips that might help keep the men in your life around longer—not sure if that’s a thing good or not. Here are two great suggestions:

Speak frankly with a doctor: Leave embarrassment in the waiting room. Women are taught at an early age to be candid and open with their doctors. Symptoms that can be uncomfortable to talk about - such as erectile dysfunction - can be tied to more serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. Men, despite cultural tradition, should also request breast checks…

Keep a close eye on young males: The reckless nature and lifestyle of adolescents make them prime targets for injury or death. Females develop a more evolved sense of judgment and decision making at an earlier age then males. Add to that the cocktail of testosterone and other hormones and, biologically, males possess a potentially lethal internal recipe. Monitoring their activities and setting careful limits is vital. "Boys have been compared to a Porsche without brakes," Marianne J. Legato, MD says. "They take risks, are idealistic, intense, and believe they're invulnerable..."

Now, as a short guy, this particular piece of news ACTUALLY relieved me. New research in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention claims that taller men have a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. The Well blog is on it:

Researchers from four universities in England studied more than 9,000 men with and without prostate cancer and found that the tallest men had a 19 percent higher risk of developing prostate cancer than shorter men. Using the shortest men as a baseline, the study showed that risk increased 6 percent for every additional 4 inches in height. The report, published in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, showed an even stronger association between height and aggressive cancers.

“Compared to other risk factors, the magnitude of the additional risk of being taller is small, and we do not believe that it should interfere with preventive or clinical decisions in managing prostate cancer,” said the study’s lead author, Luisa Zuccolo, of the department of social medicine at the University of Bristol. “But the insight arising from this research is of great scientific interest.”

Dudes, we got a lot going on! But here’s the good news. Avoiding diabetes, prostate cancer and dying prematurely is NOT that hard. Dr. Fuhrman will tell you. It all starts with diet. Eating a vegetable-based high-nutrient diet will make you a Superman.

Although, I’d prefer to be a Batman!

Do Low Cholesterol Levels Cause Cancer?

I thought it was important for me to construct a public reply to a recent medical study that reported both high cholesterol and low cholesterol were associated with higher cancer rates because too many people are still confused about this, including the scientific research community. This is because so few people have performed a comprehensive, in-depth review of the scientific research on nutrition and cancer, so they base their decisions on a narrow and incorrect interpretation of the literature. This recent article and the comments by the media and even by physicians and scientists illustrate pervasive ignorance and confusion about human nutrition.

The study in question was published in the August 26th issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).1 It showed that people whose LDL cholesterol was below 2.8 mmol/L (109) had a higher risk of certain cancers (primarily lymphatic and blood cancers) and people whose LDL cholesterol was above 3.9 mmol/L (152) had a higher risk of certain cancers (primarily breast and digestive tract) as well.

My book, Cholesterol Protection For Life, covered this issue in more depth. In it, I explained that certain illnesses, especially cancer, lower cholesterol levels by decreasing the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol and that having a low cholesterol in spite of an unhealthy (high) cholesterol-promoting diet could be an early sign of an undiagnosed cancer. The types of cancers that have been reported to cause low cholesterol levels include lung, liver, lymphatic and hematopoietic cancer, the same cancers associated with low cholesterol in this study.2

My book, Disease-Proof Your Child, reviews the science and explains that cancer is predominantly caused many, many years before it first appears (over 40 years) and that cancerous cells are present in the body for over 10 years prior to diagnosis, when the clump of cancerous cells eventually become large enough to be viewed by the human eye or when the first signs or symptoms appear. This study only followed people for less than 5 years. They recorded the cancers that occurred in the last 2½ years of the study.

The findings were not surprising, but consistent with the main body of literature on this subject. We would expect people who are eating a diet that promotes high cholesterol would have higher cancer rates, because the same diet-style that promotes high cholesterol and heart disease also promotes cancer. We would also expect to find that very low cholesterol was also associated with more cancers occurring because some people in the cohort would have undiagnosed (occult, early stage) cancer that would eventually become diagnosed in the last 2½ years of the study. Their low cholesterol was a sign of early (undiagnosed) cancer, not a cause of their cancer. These people have low cholesterol in spite of not earning low cholesterol with nutritional excellence. Their cancer caused the low cholesterol, not the other way around.

What I stated in Cholesterol Protection For Life is that a low cholesterol that is earned through adherence to a diet rich in vegetables, beans, seeds, nuts and other health-promoting foods will protect you against heart attacks and cancers, however if you have a very low cholesterol that you did not earn via healthy living and a healthy diet, it might be a sign that a disease is present that lowers cholesterol, such as cancer.

To conclude, don’t be alarmed if your cholesterol is low, if you have earned it. Low cholesterol earned through high vegetable consumption and a micronutrient rich diet is linked to protection against all cancers, and populations eating a vegetable-centered-diet earn low cholesterol levels and have dramatically lower rates of cancers along with lower heart disease rates.3 This does not have to be such a confusing subject. Its simple, the prescription is nutrition for improved health and a longer life!

To learn more, check out DiseaseProof's cancer and cholesterol catagories or visit the library at DrFuhrman.com.

Continue Reading...

Health Points: Monday 8.24.08

In a population-based, case-control study, the researchers matched 1,001 men with prostate cancer diagnosed between 2002 and 2005 with 942 age-matched cancer-free controls from King County, Washington.

No overall association was observed between the risk of prostate cancer and the current or past use of statin treatment. Duration of statin use was also not associated with prostate cancer risk.

"We also found no evidence that use of a statin was associated with risk of developing more aggressive subtypes of prostate caner," Stanford said in an interview with Reuters Health. "Overall we found no support for the current hypothesis that statin use may reduce risk of prostate cancer."

However, the results do suggest a significant increase in the risk of developing prostate cancer associated with current statin use and with longer durations of use among obese men (defined as a body mass index of 30 greater).

A team led by Linda Bartoshuk at the University of Florida in Gainesville surveyed 1300 people, 245 of whom had a history of ear infections, and found that among the over-30s, those who had suffered from ear infections were twice as likely to be obese as those with no such history. A subsequent analysis of four US medical databases confirmed the link. Those who had suffered from ear infections also rated fattier foods as 18 per cent more pleasurable than the others.

Infections may damage the chorda tympani taste nerve, which is stimulated at the front of the tongue and passes through the middle ear to the brain, says Bartoshuk. She says that the nerve normally inhibits some of the creamy sensations of fatty foods, as part of a response that inhibits tactile sensations that would otherwise make us gag. But nerve damage would lower this inhibiting effect, making foods seem creamier and so more pleasurable.

The postures, breathing and meditation included in the yoga intervention were "aimed at one common effect, i.e. 'to develop mastery over modifications of the mind' ... through 'slowing down the rate of flow of thoughts in the mind,'" the researchers explain.

Women in the yoga group also listened to lectures on using yoga to manage stress and other yoga-related topics, while those in the control group heard lectures on diet, exercise, the physiology of menopause, and stress.

After eight weeks, women in the yoga group showed a significant reduction in hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances, while the women in the control group did not, Dr. R. Chattha, of the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in Bangalore, India, and colleagues found.

The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit -- or they'll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free.

Alabama will be the first state to charge overweight state workers who don't work on slimming down, while a handful of other states reward employees who adopt healthy behaviors.

Alabama already charges workers who smoke -- and has seen some success in getting them to quit -- but now has turned its attention to a problem that plagues many in the Deep South: obesity.

The State Employees' Insurance Board this week approved a plan to charge state workers starting in January 2010 if they don't have free health screenings.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children devote no more than two hours per day to watching TV and playing video games.

Experts also encourage children to exercise regularly; some groups, including the AAP, recommend that boys move enough to take 13,000 steps each day, while girls should strive for 11,000. Another common recommendation is for children and teenagers to get at least one hour of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week.

For the new study, researchers at Iowa State University in Ames looked at whether there were weight differences between children who met or did not meet recommendations for "screen time" and exercise.

They found that among 709 7- to 12-year-olds, those who did not meet either recommendation were three to four times more likely to be overweight than their peers who met both guidelines.

Both vaccines target the human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted virus that usually causes no symptoms and is cleared by the immune system, but which can in very rare cases become chronic and cause cervical cancer.

The two vaccines, Gardasil by Merck Sharp & Dohme and Cervarix by GlaxoSmithKline, target two strains of the virus that together cause an estimated 70 percent of cervical cancers. Gardasil also prevents infection with two other strains that cause some proportion of genital warts. Both vaccines have become quick best sellers since they were licensed two years ago in the United States and Europe, given to tens of millions of girls and women.

“Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer,” Dr. Charlotte J. Haug, editor of The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association, wrote in an editorial in Thursday’s issue of The New England Journal. “With so many essential questions still unanswered, there is good reason to be cautious.

According to the data, women's life expectancy saw a significant decline in 180 counties between 1983 and 1999. The cause for this precipitous drop? The folks at Women's Health attribute it to chronic diseases associated with obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure.

Here is a quick look at the U.S. counties that have experienced the greatest drop (numbers measured in years of average decline in female life expectancy):

Pulaski County, VA - 5.8
Radford, VA - 5.8
Dolores County, CO - 3.3
Montezuma County, CO - 3.3
San Juan County, CO - 3.3.
East Feliciana Parish, LA - 3.2
St. Helena Parish, LA - 3.2
West Feliciana Parish, LA - 3.2
Callaway County, MO - 3.0
Danville, VA - 3.0

Ted Nugent has never been one to beat around the bush so why should he stop now. Honestly I respect the man for the way he is willing and quick to speak his mind, but sometimes he’s a bit too blunt about things. Old Uncle Ted was on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations show on The Travel Channel where he was exploring the elements of Southwestern cuisine and stopped by Ted Nugents ranch in Texas. Anthony and Ted were speaking on many things to include Obesity. The Nuge’ said “Obesity is a manifestation of a cultural depravation in its most vulgar and displeasing-to-look-at form. And it’s suicide as a lifestyle.” Nugent also added “It all comes back to the horror, the soullessness of a trend in America that is the abandonment of parenting. Somebody’s got to go, ‘You can’t eat that. You’re way too fat.‘”

While I can understand what Ted is saying, Obesity is more than just an image issue. The last part of his statement is true that it may lead to certain and early death, but I think someone needs to give this guy a lesson in tact.

Protecting Your Prostate


In what some are calling a surprise move, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends not screening for prostate cancer in men age 75 years or older. Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times reports:
Screening is typically performed with a blood test measuring prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, levels. Widespread PSA testing has led to high rates of detection. Last year, more than 218,000 men learned they had the disease.

Yet various studies suggest the disease is “overdiagnosed” — that is, detected at a point when the disease most likely would not affect life expectancy — in 29 percent to 44 percent of cases. Prostate cancer often progresses very slowly, and a large number of these cancers discovered through screening will probably never cause symptoms during the patient’s lifetime, particularly for men in their 70s and 80s. At the same time, aggressive treatment of prostate cancer can greatly reduce a patient’s quality of life, resulting in complications like impotency and incontinence.

Past task force guidelines noted there was no benefit to prostate cancer screening in men with less than 10 years left to live. Since it can be difficult to assess life expectancy, it was an informal recommendation that had limited impact on screening practices. The new guidelines take a more definitive stand, however, stating that the age of 75 is clearly the point at which screening is no longer appropriate.
In our bilk-the-patient system of modern medicine, nixing this money-maker will certainly hit doctors and hospitals in the bottom-line. Now, there’s more you can do—eat your way to a healthy prostate. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, rich not only in lycopene but in thousands of other protective compounds. Each year, researchers find another carotenoid that has powerful beneficial effects and reduces cancer. Spinach was this year’s recipient of the anti-prostate cancer award, with researchers in Japan finding neoxanthin compounds (a class of carotenoids) that powerfully inhibit prostate cancer. In the past, pink grapefruit, watermelon, cooked tomatoes, pomegranate, cruciferous vegetables, red peppers, berries, figs, and many other foods all have been shown to inhibit the development of prostate cancer…


…Fresh fruits are an important component of the natural diet of all primates. Humans and other primates have color vision and the ability to appreciate sweets. We are designed this way so that we can recognize ripe fruits and be attracted to them. We have a natural sweet tooth designed to direct us to those foods most critical for our survival, but sugar and candy manufacturers also know that bright colors and sweet tastes are instinctually attractive. They have used that knowledge to their advantage. Remember, your instinctual reaction is designed to lead you to fruit—not sugary, processed foods. Fruit is an indispensable requirement to maintain a high level of health. Fruit consumption has been shown to offer the strongest protection against certain cancers, especially oral, esophageal, lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancer1…

…Over the last few years, the health benefits of seeds also have become more apparent. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hempseeds, chia seeds, or other seeds can supply those hard-to find omega-3 fats that protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.2 Seeds are also rich in lignans, a type of fiber associated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. In addition, seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and folate. The plant goes to great effort in producing and protecting its seed, filling each genetic package with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils, and enzymes.
Okay guys, think about it. What would you rather do? Eat your fruits and veggies or get stuck with a needle in a place where no needle should ever be—eek!
Continue Reading...

Research: Drugs Not the Answer for Prostate Cancer


A new study claims using only hormone-blocking drugs to treat prostate cancer does not improve patients’ survival rates. More from Lindsey Tanner of the Associated Press:
The study involved nearly 20,000 Medicare patients with prostate cancer that hadn't spread. A surprising 41 percent got only drug treatment, in shots or implants, showing that the therapy has become a popular alternative to surgery and radiation, the study authors said.

Other experts said the study gives doctors important information about how to treat older men with slow-growing disease that hasn't spread beyond the prostate. However, the study didn't look at whether hormone-blocking drugs alone benefit younger men or compare that treatment with radiation or surgery.

Randomized studies have shown that the drugs can benefit men with more aggressive disease when used along with surgery or radiation. The drugs block production of testosterone, which feeds cancer cells. They are sometimes given in addition to surgery or radiation; using them alone is a less traditional but increasingly used approach, particularly among older men whose prostate cancer hasn't spread, the study authors said.

Patients often believe that any treatment is better than nothing, said lead author Dr. Grace Lu-Yao of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.

"What we are saying is doing something may not always be the best choice, because given the overall picture, this doesn't really give you any proven benefit," she said.
And according to the report, the men given drugs alone actually had a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer—scary stuff!

Eating Saturated Fat Ups Prostate Cancer Risk...


Researchers from The University of Texas have determined that diets high in saturated fat may increases the progression of prostate cancer. Reuters reports:
In a follow up study of men who had their cancerous prostates removed, researchers found that men who consumed higher amounts of saturated fat -- mostly from steaks, burgers, cheese, ice cream, salad dressings, and mayonnaise -- were nearly two times more likely to experience disease progression after surgery than men with lower saturated fat intake.

"Diet before surgery, especially saturated fat, may modulate patient outcome after surgery," Dr. Sara S. Strom, who was involved in the study, told Reuters Health.

Strom and colleagues also found significantly shorter "disease-free" survival times among obese men who ate high amounts of saturated fat compared with non-obese men consuming diets low in saturated fat.

These results expand upon the team's previous finding linking obesity with prostate cancer progression "and suggest that saturated fat intake plays a role in prostate cancer progression," the researchers note in the International Journal of Cancer.

Strom's group used standard food questionnaires to assess the saturated fat intake of 390 men during the year before surgery for localized, or "organ-confined" prostate cancer. The researchers also assessed the men's medical and family history for other risk factors for disease progression.
The diet-prostate cancer connection is no mystery. I asked Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts on this study. Take a look:
Excellent nutrition has been scientifically documented to reduce the risks of prostate cancer and extend lifespan from all cause mortality. This is in direct contrast to medical testing and medical intervention, for prostate cancer, which has not been proven to significantly extend lifespan.
And here Dr. Fuhrman offers up some daily diet tips to help prevent prostate cancer:
  1. Eat a plant-based diet.
  2. Eat less white flour or refined sweets.
  3. Do not drink milk, especially skim milk.
  4. Eat tomatoes, tomato sauce daily
  5. Eat salad and leafy green vegetables daily; both raw and cooked.
  6. Avoid processed meats and animal fats; limit other animal products under 15 ounces weekly.
  7. Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds and nuts and less grains.
Fore more prostate cancer news, check out DiseaseProof’s prostate cancer category. Continue Reading...

Broccoli Wallops Prostate Cancer!


Leafy green vegetables are super foods! There power is especially prevalent in the fight against cancer. Here’s some research from Dr. Fuhrman:
Halt the growth of breast cancer cells.
  • Drug Discovery Today: “Sulforaphane is a chemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts and kale. This compound is a potent inducer of protective enzymes that provide defense against cancer-causing chemicals. Researchers have discovered that sulforaphane can halt human breast cancer cells in their tracks and have identified a new mechanism of action for the compound.”
  • Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology: “Taken together, our data indicate that isothiocyanates derived form broccoli and Rorripa inhibit metalloproteinase 9 activities and also suppress the invasive potential of human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in vitro. The inhibitory effects observed in the current study may contribute to the suppression of carcinogenesis by diets high in cruciferous vegetables.”
Dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • Carcinogenesis: “Our results are compatible with the hypothesis that ITCs from cruciferous vegetables modify risk of colorectal cancer in individuals with low GST activity. Further, this gene-diet interaction may be important in studies evaluating the effect of risk-enhancing compounds in the colorectum.”
Prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells.
  • Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry: “A variety of studies have suggested a cancer protective role of cruciferous vegetables. In the present study, we investigated the effect of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a major indole metabolite in cruciferous vegetables, on cell proliferation and in vitro markers of angiogenesis in phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-stimulated endothelial EA hy926 cells. The results showed that I3C inhibited the growth of EA hy926 cells in a concentration-dependent manner.”
  • Carcinogenesis: “Cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of ITCs that are highly effective in affording protection against cancers in experimental animals induced by a variety of chemical carcinogens (2–8). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that ITCs may inhibit proliferation of human prostate cancer cells. We found that AITC significantly inhibited proliferation of PC-3 and LNCaP human prostate cancer cells in a concentration-dependent manner.”
Inhibit the progression of lung cancer.
  • Cancer Research: “The results show that phenethyl isothiocyanate and sulforaphane and their N-acetylcysteine conjugates given in the diet after lung adenomas have already developed could inhibit the progression to adenocarcinomas. The inhibitory effects of these compounds are likely to be associated with a combination of reduced cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. These findings are important for future research of lung cancer chemoprevention and therapy in smokers and ex-smokers with early lesions.”
Speaking of research, a new study has determined that isothiocyanates—a phytonutrient found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables fights cancer. Reuters reports:
The researchers also took tissue samples over the course of the study and found that men who ate broccoli showed hundreds of changes in genes known to play a role in fighting cancer.

The benefit would likely be the same in other cruciferous vegetables that contain a compound called isothiocyanate, including brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, rocket or arugula, watercress and horse radish, they added.

Broccoli, however, has a particularly powerful type of the compound called sulforaphane, which the researchers think gives the green vegetable an extra cancer-fighting kick, Richard Mithen, a biologist at Britain's Institute of Food Research said.

"When people get cancer some genes are switched off and some are switched on," he said. "What broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer developing and switching off other ones that help it spread."
Makes me feel extra good about the steamed broccoli I ate last night! Here’s a quick quote from Dr. Fuhrman on isothiocyanates. Have a look:
Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens. 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.
No doubt, green veggies are an important ally against cancer. Just check out: Diet, Chemotherapy, and the Truth: How to Win the War on Cancer.

My Thoughts on Dean Ornish's Cancer-Prevention Claims


Dean Ornish, M.D. has always been and still is a pioneer of lifestyle medicine in America. His most recent papers add to the growing body of evidence that shows dietary excellence and other healthful habits like exercise, yoga and meditation have a profound beneficial effect on the body.

It is not just heart disease and prostate cancer, but high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer. It is headaches, allergies, autoimmune diseases and pain syndromes too. We are not going to win the war with more money spent on drug research looking for a magic pill, the money is in prevention and we must educate the public to take action now. We have an unconscionable expensive and relatively ineffective health care system in America that relies on drugs that reinforce to the population that disease is predominantly genetic and not within their control. This just fuels food addiction, poor diet choices and poor lifestyle as people no longer take personal responsibility for their own health. As politicians argue the best way to pay for the mess we have created through our dependency on physicians, medicines and surgeries, we ignore the best answer—lifestyle and nutritional medicine. It works more effectively than drugs for most diseases, and it is practically free.

Not to toot my own horn, but I have been hollering this from the rooftops for twenty years. I and others are also involved with some exciting studies in progress, but many excellent studies have been done already and many more will follow, but you don’t have to wait until mainstream doctors give up their prescription pads, you can take control of your health destiny now and protect yourself so you can have a healthful and more pleasurable long-life. The best health care is proper self care and nutritional excellence.

I may not agree with everything Dr. Ornish advises, but these are small issues. The main thing here is Dean Ornish is making it easier for all of us to convince the skeptics. More people than ever before are joining the bandwagon to take control of their health destiny via a healthier lifestyle and better food choices and saying no to doctors and prescription drugs.

Prostate Cancer vs. FruHis...

According to a new study FruHis, found in dehydrated tomatoes, may have secret powers against prostate cancer. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News explains:
But the study only looked at animals and, the authors warned, FruHis is not ready for the doctor's office or medicine cabinet just yet.

"This study was conducted in a rat model, and you cannot possibly draw any conclusions for people," said study author Valeri Mossine, a research assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Missouri. "That's something we need to do next. But before you enter a study with humans, you have to prove that something works with animals. If it works, then you go on."

Several studies have pointed to a prostate cancer-fighting quality in tomatoes, but the exact mechanisms have been elusive.

In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration laid out evidence or rather, a lack of it, behind a previous statement the agency had issued that tomato consumption is not linked to any reduction in risk of prostate tumors (or ovarian, stomach or pancreatic malignancies).

The November 2005 statement issued by the FDA contended that, "there is no credible evidence to support qualified health claims for lycopene, as a food ingredient, component or food, or as a dietary supplement, and reduced risk of any of the cancers in the petition."
Tomatoes kick butt! Then again, all veggies rock! For more news on vegetables, check out DiseaseProof’s healthy food category.

Lower Cholesterol, Lower Prostate Cancer-Risk

Here’s more prostate cancer news. A new study has determined that men who lower their cholesterol cut their risk of prostate cancer. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:
"Prostate cancer is controlled by the male hormone testosterone. The main molecule that forms testosterone is cholesterol," said Dr. Murugesan Manoharan, an associate professor of urology at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, who was not involved in the study. "So it is known that prostate cancer is related to testosterone, and testosterone is related to cholesterol."

The study's inference is that by lowering cholesterol, you also lower PSA, which in turn may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, Manoharan said. "Obviously this is a very small study and does not confirm anything, but it is a very good start that could lead to something more at a later point," he said.

The results of the study were expected to be presented Wednesday at the American Urological Association annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla.

For the study, researchers collected data on 1,214 men taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. The researchers found that PSA levels were lower after starting the statins, and the drop in PSA was proportional to the drop in cholesterol.
Too bad the study used statins to lower cholesterol—stupid. Instead, try this: Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally.

Prostate Cancer, Wait Awhile...

Some doctors are adopting a wait and see approach for low-risk prostate tumors. Robyn Shelton of The Orlando Sentinel reports:
According to a study released in Orlando, the so-called "watchful-waiting" approach is safe for men with low-risk tumors that have not spread beyond their prostates. But few are choosing the option, partly out of fear and partly because many doctors do not recommend it.

"It's definitely a calculated risk, but for appropriately selected patients, it appears to be safe and feasible for the overwhelming majority of these men," said Dr. Scott Eggener, a urologic oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Chicago.

The study was presented at the American Urological Association's annual meeting, being held this week at the Orange County Convention Center.

Many prostate tumors are so slow-growing that men die of other causes before the cancer becomes dangerous. But doctors can't look at a tumor and tell whether it will grow quickly or at a glacial pace.

That creates an often agonizing decision for the estimated 186,000 U.S. men diagnosed with the cancer annually. They have to weigh treatment options such as surgery and radiation against the risk of impotence, incontinence and other complications.
It might conflict with contemporary medical logic, but before you jump to conclusions, consider this quote from Dr. Fuhrman:
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.
Wrap you head around that, you’d be better off never being diagnosed—interesting.

Prostate Cancer, Radiation, Cancer-Risk

External beam radiation—used in the treatment of prostate cancer—may actually increase men’s chances of developing other cancers. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News is on it:
"We saw an increased risk for lung, bladder and rectal cancer among patients treated with external beam radiation for prostate cancer," lead researcher Dr. Naeem Bhojani, from the University of Montreal's Department of Urology, said during a Monday teleconference at the American Urological Association annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla.

"However, in absolute terms, the absolute risk associated with the development of secondary malignancies in patients exposed to external beam radiation therapy is quite small," Bhojani said.

Among the treatments for prostate cancer are surgical removal of the prostate, called radical prostatectomy; implanted radioactive seeds that deliver radiation specifically to the prostate gland; and external beam radiation, which is a non-surgical procedure that delivers radiation to the prostate from outside the body.

Bhojani said external beam radiation is probably a better treatment choice for older patients rather than younger patients with longer life expectancies, who may be at risk for developing these secondary cancers.
Remarkably this is not the first time we’ve seen something like this. Mammograms can also heighten cancer-risk. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Mammography can be the cause of a woman’s breast cancer. When calculating its supposed benefits, we need to include in the equation the percentage of women whose breast cancer was promoted by the radiation exposure from the mammograms themselves. The younger you are when the mammograms are performed, the greater the risk of radiation-induced cancer.1,2
Before choosing any form of cancer-treatment, it’s probably a good idea to explore all your options. Consider this. From Dr. Fuhrman:
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.
For other cancer news, check out DiseaseProof’s cancer category.
Continue Reading...

Prostate Cancer: Diet and Exercise

Researchers seem to think diet and exercise has something to do with prostate cancer. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Age, genetics and hormones are the usual causal suspects in benign prostatic hyperplasia, but now some data suggest that the condition is a consequence of our Western lifestyle. In a 2006 study of 422 men published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dr. J. Kellogg Parsons, a urologist at UC San Diego, found that men who were obese had an increased risk of prostate enlargement, with severely obese men at 3.5 times higher risk.

In another paper published this year in European Urology, Parsons pooled data from 11 studies involving about 43,000 men and found that those who engaged in regular physical activity had about a 25% lowered risk of enlarged prostates.

It's emerging evidence, Parsons says, "that the same risk factors that are contributing to cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes likely are contributing in some way to [benign prostatic hyperplasia]."
Kind of a no-brainer here, but in case you need to read more. Check out Dr. Fuhrman talking about prostate cancer and exercise:
Prostate cancer is now the single most common cancer among men in the United States. With the spread of our meat- and dairy-centered diet, it is on the rise in almost every country in the world. A meta-analysis of the best independent studies indicated that milk-drinking men seem to have a 70 percent greater chance of developing cancer of the prostate.1 This evidence exists in spite of the multiple studies that show that Vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk of prostate cancer. Since milk is fortified with Vitamin D, using it must have a significant negative effect that overwhelms the benefits from the added vitamin…


…Exercise should be a part of your daily routine like brushing your teeth and taking a shower. If you have a busy work schedule and commute, get in fifteen minutes of exercise every day before your morning shower. For example, if you routinely shower every morning, work up a sweat with some abdominal crunches, back extensions, toe raises, walk up and down the stairs in your home, mock jump rope, and then take your shower. Keep in mind; it is important to exercise your lower back frequently. Get in the habit of exercising the same time every day. Make the days where you do not exercise the exception, not the rule.
I’m not a betting man, but I bet a lot of America’s health woes could be solved by improved diet and exercise habits—what do you think?
Continue Reading...

News from The Cancer Project

Dr. Fuhrman forwarded this to me. Here are some great studies from The Cancer Project’s spring update. Take a look:
Meat Consumption Increases Breast Cancer Risk
The more meat a woman eats, the greater her risk of breast cancer, according to a new study of postmenopausal Danish women. The study looked at 378 women who developed breast cancer and matched them to control subjects who did not develop breast cancer. A higher intake of meat—including poultry and fish, as well as red meat and processed meat—was associated with a significantly higher breast cancer incidence rate. Every 25 gram increase in consumption of total meat, red meat, and processed meat led to a 9, 15, and 23 percent increase in risk of breast cancer, respectively. However, the degree of risk may depend on genetics. Certain genes activate the carcinogens (heterocyclic amines) found in cooked meat. The study showed that women with genes that rapidly activate these carcinogens are at particular risk of breast cancer if they eat meat. (Egeberg R, Olsen A, Autrup H, et al. Meat consumption, N-acetyl transferase 1 and 2 polymorphism and risk of breast cancer in Danish postmenopausal women. Eur J Canc Prev. 2008;17:39-47.)
More Studies Link Milk to Prostate Cancer
Men who consume low-fat and nonfat milk face an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to two new studies in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

One study included 82,483 men in the Multiethnic Cohort Study, 4,404 of whom developed prostate cancer over an average follow-up of eight years. Researchers found no association between prostate cancer risk and calcium and vitamin D intake, whether in the form of food or supplements. However, the study did find a positive association between consuming 1 cup or more per day of low-fat or nonfat milk and developing prostate cancer.

The other study included 293,888 participants in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study. Consuming two or more daily servings of skim milk was associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Several previous studies—including two large Harvard studies—have shown that milk-drinking men have a significantly higher risk of prostate cancer. Researchers offer two possible reasons for the association: Milk drinking increases blood levels of insulin-like growth factor, which is associated with cancer risk. It also decreases activation of vitamin D precursors. Vitamin D helps protect the prostate against cancer. (Park S, Murphy SP, Wilkens LR, et al. Calcium, vitamin D, and dairy product intake and prostate cancer risk: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;166:1259-1269. Park Y, Mitrou PN, Kipnis V, et al. Calcium, dairy foods, and risk of incident and fatal prostate cancer: the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;166:1270-1279.)
Does Childhood Dairy Intake Increase Later Cancer Risk?
Children who consume a high-dairy diet—equivalent to nearly 2 cups of milk per day—have almost three times the risk of developing colorectal cancer in adulthood compared with children who consume less than half a cup of milk per day, according to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. These findings held true after researchers adjusted for differences in meat, fruit, and vegetable intake, as well as socioeconomic status. (Van der Pols JC, Bain C, Gunnell D, Smith GD, Frobisher C, Martin RM. Childhood dairy intake and adult cancer risk: 65-y follow-up of the Boyd Orr cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86:1722-1729.)

Less Fat, Less Prostate Cancer


“For prostate health limit or avoid animal products to less than 5 percent of total calories, and don’t drink milk or eat cheese or butter,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. And, a new study has found that eating less fat may prevent prostate cancer. EMaxHealth is on it:
The study, which appears in the April 15 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Research, focused on fat from corn oil, which is made up primarily of omega-6 fatty acids — the polyunsaturated fat commonly found in the Western diet. Omega-6 fats are found in high levels in baked and fried goods, said William Aronson, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and the study's senior author.

Researchers fed one group of mice a diet with roughly 40 percent of its calories coming from fat, a percentage typical in men eating a Western diet. The other group received a diet with 12 percent of calories from fat, considered a very low-fat diet. Researchers found a 27 percent reduced incidence of prostate cancer in the low-fat diet group.

Aronson also studied cells in the prostate that were precancerous, or would soon become cancer, and found that the cells in the mice eating the low-fat diet grew much slower than those in the high-fat group.
Yeah, if you’re looking to avoid any kind of cancer, you’ve got to eat plenty of plant foods. Take fruit for example. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Fruit is an indispensable requirement to maintain a high level of health. Fruit consumption has been shown to offer the strongest protection against certain cancers, especially oral, esophageal, lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.1
And dairy products are no better. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman again. Take a look:
When the death rates for prostate cancer and testicular cancer were examined in forty-two countries and correlated with dietary practices in a carefully designed study, they found that cheese consumption was most closely linked with the incidence of testicular cancer for ages twenty to thirty-nine, and milk was the most closely associated with prostate cancer of all foods.2 Meat, coffee, and animal fats also showed a positive correlation.
Its got to be hard concocting all the fairytales of the benefits of high-fat diets.
Continue Reading...

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.
Continue Reading...

Milk Linked to Prostate Cancer

Reuters reports, low-fat or nonfat milk may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Take a look:
A total of 82,483 men from the study completed a quantitative food frequency questionnaire and various factors, such as weight, smoking status, and education levels were also noted, Park's group said.


During an average follow-up period of 8 years, 4,404 men developed prostate cancer. There was no evidence that calcium or vitamin D from any source increased the risk of prostate cancer. This held true across all racial and ethnic groups.

In an overall analysis of food groups, the consumption of dairy products and milk were not associated with prostate cancer risk, the authors found. Further analysis, however, suggested that low-fat or nonfat milk did increase the risk of localized tumors or non-aggressive tumors, while whole milk decreased this risk.

In a similar analysis, Dr. Yikyung Park, from the National Cancer Institute at National Institutes (NIH) of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues investigated the relationship of calcium and vitamin D and prostate cancer in 293,888 men enrolled in the NIH-American Association of Retired Persons Diet and Health Study, conducted between 1995 and 2001. The average follow-up period was 6 years.

Behold...MUSHROOM POWER!

Dr. Fuhrman will tell you, “Mushrooms make a great chewy replacement to meat. Exploring their varieties is a great way to add interesting flavors and texture to dishes.” But, did you know mushrooms are also potent prostate cancer-fighters? More from the AFP:
Researchers at the university in northern Israel said they found molecules in the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom, commonly known as the reishi, which help supress some mechanisms involved in the progression of prostate cancer.


"We already knew the mushroom could impede the development of cancer by affecting the immune system. The in-vitro trials we have done show that it attacks the cancer cells directly," chief researcher Ben Zion Zaidman told AFP.

"These results give rise to hope about developing medication to treat prostate cancer," he said of research carried out to date only in Petri dishes. The research still has to be tested on animals.
Mushrooms are one of my favorite foods! In fact, I’m debating adopting one of those truffle-sniffing dogs—kidding. But seriously, mushrooms are the real deal. Here Dr. Fuhrman explains why they’re especially good in the fight against cancer. Take a look:
Even though they are a fungus, and not a real vegetable, mushrooms contain a variety of powerful phytochemicals and have been linked to decreased risk of chronic diseases, especially cancer.
And for you mushroom-haters out there—you know who you are—eating mushrooms does not have to be an icky experience. Check out these amazing mushroom recipes:
Doubly Delicious Greens
1 large bunch bok choy, chopped
1 large bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (no salt)
2 cups shiitake and/or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
Place bok choy, Swiss chard, onions, and garlic in a large steamer and steam until almost tender, about 10 minutes. In a large pot add tomatoes, mushrooms, steamed greens mixture, and seasoning. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cabbage Mushroom Soup
15 oz. carrot juice
10 oz. celery juice
20 oz. water
6 onions
1 head green cabbage
3 stalks broccoli rabe
6 leaves collard greens
4 cups mushrooms, chopped (shiitake preferred)
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Salt-Free 17 Seasoning (Lawry’s)
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash
1/4 cup unhulled raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup red kidney beans
1/2 cup white beans
Cook all ingredients (except the sesame seeds and cashews) on a very low flame in a large covered pot. Remove the cabbage, broccoli rabe, and collards when soft and place in a blender or food processor. Ladle in a little of the soup liquid, purée, and pour the entire mixture back into the soup. Next, put the sesame seeds and cashews into the blender, ladle in some of the soup, purée until silky smooth, and pour the mixture into the soup. Continue cooking until the beans are soft, for about 2 hours. (The basic recipe can be made with any types of greens and beans.)

Low-Carb-Prostate Cancer Study--WRONG!

It seems like anytime the phrase “low-carb” is mentioned in research, you can pretty much just assume it’s wrong. Like this study claiming fat and meat are unlikely to impact prostate cancer risk. Reuters reported:
In an email to Reuters Health, principal investigator Dr. Laurence N. Kolonel and first author Song-Yi Park of the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, said: "Although diet is likely to influence prostate cancer risk, the intake of total and saturated fat do not appear to be important contributors. However, because high intake of fat can lead to obesity as well as other cancers, the consumption of high fat foods should be limited."
How can this be? When foods like meat, cheese, and animal fat have all demonstrated a positive correlation with prostate cancer and all these foods are staples of low-carb living. Check out this quote from Dr. Fuhrman:
When the death rates for prostate cancer and testicular cancer were examined in forty-two countries and correlated with dietary practices in a carefully designed study, they found that cheese consumption was most closely linked with the incidence of testicular cancer for ages twenty to thirty-nine, and milk was the most closely associated with prostate cancer of all foods.1 Meat, coffee, and animal fats also showed a positive correlation.
Now, this new report will have you saying, “What the—” Apparently researchers from Duke University Medical Center have determined that a low-carb diet may slow prostate tumor growth. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News has more:
"This study showed that cutting carbohydrates may slow tumor growth, at least in mice. If this is ultimately confirmed in human clinical trials, it has huge implications for prostate cancer therapy through something that all of us can controls, our diets," lead researcher Dr. Stephen Freedland, a urologist at Duke University Medical Center, said in a prepared statement…


…They compared tumor growth in mice eating either a low-carbohydrate diet; a low-fat but high-carbohydrate diet; or a Western diet high in fat and carbohydrates.
Wow! What a measuring stick, the Western diet? No doubt this report will spur the latest wave of low-carb fanaticism. So, let DiseaseProof be your beacon of truth. Here’s more of Dr. Fuhrman talking about animal products and prostate cancer-causation. Check it out:
A study in the December 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that less animal products result in less cancer and more animal protein raises IGF-1 and promotes breast and prostate cancer...


…Studies have repeatedly shown the correlation between consumption of [fruits and vegetables] and a lower incidence of various cancers, including those of the breast, colon, rectum, lung, stomach, prostate, and pancreas.2
Clearly, animal products are no ally in the fight against prostate cancer and it’s pretty obvious that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is the key, but with that being said, the dangers of refined carbohydrates should not be overshadowed. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Medical investigations clearly show the dangers of consuming the quantity of processed foods that we do. And because these refined grains lack fiber and nutrient density to turn down our appetite, they also cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and significantly increased cancer risk3...


…The combination of fat and refined carbohydrates has an extremely powerful effect on driving the signals that promote fat accumulation on the body. Refined foods cause a swift and excessive rise in blood sugar, which in turn triggers insulin surges to drive the sugar out of the blood and into our cells. Unfortunately, insulin also promotes the storage of fat on the body and encourages your fat cells to swell.
So after considering all this, one should hardly take this low-carb endorsement seriously. To close, I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman’s colleague Steven Acocella, DC, MS, DACBN offer up his reasoning why anyone would choose to go low-carb. Take a look:
Addiction is the only reason that anyone would continue to maintain that a pro-Atkin’s, low-carbohydrate diet is health promoting. One would have to literally ignore thousands of studies that irrefutably support these findings. For every research article that dispels the direct relationship between a low-carb, high protein/high fat diet style and disease promotion there’s about 500 studies that refute it.
Kind of hits the nail on the head—don't you think?
Continue Reading...

The PSA Test Debate

In August a report came out which called into the question the effectiveness of frequent prostate cancer screenings. More from HealthDay News:
The researchers looked at more than 17,000 men who had prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing every two years or every four years. Among 4,202 Swedish men screened every two years, the overall incidence of prostate cancer diagnosis over 10 years was 13.14 percent, compared to 8.41 percent among the 13,301 Dutch men who were screened every four years, said the researchers from Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


The total number of interval cancers -- those diagnosed based on symptoms during the years between screening tests -- was 31 (0.74 percent) among the Swedish men and 57 (0.43 percent) among the Dutch men.

The differences in the interval cancer rates and aggressive interval cancer rates between the two groups were not statistically significant, the study authors said. This indicates that two-year screenings don't reduce the number of interval cancers, as might be expected.
So, I guess this tells us prostate screenings are “kinda” effective. Certainly contrary to this study contending that PSA testing is still “valuable.” Dennis Thompson of HealthDay News reports:
The cancer society recommends annual screenings for prostate cancer beginning at age 50 for most men, and at age 45 for men at high risk. Those at high risk include blacks and men who've had a close relative suffer from prostate cancer before age 65.


The screening involves two steps: undergoing a digital rectal exam and testing for PSA levels in the blood.

In the rectal exam, the doctor feels the prostate to see if there are any bumps or hard spots that might signify cancer.

And although PSA is not an indicator of cancer, but a protein created during inflammation of the prostate, doctors have found that highly elevated levels indicate an increased risk for cancer.

Studies now show that the regular testing of PSA levels can indicate cancer risk by showing rises or falls in the protein's levels.
And here’s one more side of the debate. Dr. Fuhrman isn’t sold on PSA tests. In fact, he believes they’re wrought with false confidence. Some of his thoughts:
Incredible as it may seem, the PSA test does not accurately detect cancer. If you are over 60 years old, the chance of having a prostate biopsy positive for cancer is high, and the likelihood you have prostate cancer is the same whether or not you have an elevated PSA. More and more studies in recent years have demonstrated that prostate cancer is found at the same high rate in those with lower, so-called “normal” PSAs as those with elevated PSAs.1 An interesting study from Stanford University in California showed that the ability of PSA to detect cancer from 1998 to 2003 was only 2 percent. The elevations in PSA (between 2 and 10) were related to benign enlargement of the prostate, not cancer.


Remember, the pharmaceutical/medical industry is big business. Too often, treatments are promoted from a financially-biased perspective, leading to overly invasive and aggressive care without documented benefits.

If you want to have your prostate biopsied, radiated, and cut out, go ahead, but you do not need a PSA blood test first to decide. The PSA test is just an excuse to give men a prostate biopsy.
Ultimately it’s your decision, but, all this will certainly have you scratching your head.

Fat and Meat DON'T Impact Prostate Cancer?

I know. Kind of an unbelievable headline, but by now you’ve got to be used to a certain level of junk science, after all, low-carb diets are founded on it! Anyway, Reuters reports on a new study claiming fat and meat are unlikely to impact prostate cancer risk. Take a look:
In an email to Reuters Health, principal investigator Dr. Laurence N. Kolonel and first author Song-Yi Park of the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, said: "Although diet is likely to influence prostate cancer risk, the intake of total and saturated fat do not appear to be important contributors. However, because high intake of fat can lead to obesity as well as other cancers, the consumption of high fat foods should be limited."


Fat and meat in the diet as potential risk factors for prostate cancer have been the focus of numerous studies, but the results have been inconsistent, the study team notes in a report of their study published in the International Journal of Cancer. Some studies have found a positive relationship between prostate cancer and diets high in fat and meat, while others have found no relationship.

Kolonel, Park, and their colleagues looked for ties between prostate cancer risk and the consumption of different fats (including total, saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat, and n-3 and n-6 fatty acids), cholesterol, meat (including total, red, processed and poultry), fish and fats from meat in 82,483 men enrolled in a study of diet and cancer. The men were age 45 or older at enrollment between 1993 and1996 and they resided in Hawaii or Los Angeles.
Now, I’d love to rap on this, but, I’m just a snarky blogger. This calls for an expert. “Who you gonna call?” Dr. Fuhrman! Here’s an excerpt from a previous post. Dr. Fuhrman makes it pretty clear that animal products don’t do prostate cancer risk any favors. Check it out:
Men's diets as toddlers and children most powerfully affect the age when they mature and develop facial hair. The prostate gland is essentially a dormant organ until puberty (much like the female breast), when heightened testosterone levels stimulate its development…


…When the death rates for prostate cancer and testicular cancer were examined in forty-two countries and correlated with dietary practices in a carefully designed study, they found that cheese consumption was most closely linked with the incidence of testicular cancer for ages twenty to thirty-nine, and milk was the most closely associated with prostate cancer of all foods.1 Meat, coffee, and animal fats also showed a positive correlation.
Feel free to enjoy the original post: Prostate Cancer: A Growing Disease In Men.
Continue Reading...

Prostate Cancer Prevention

This might shock you, but prostate cancer can be prevented—no! You don’t say? It’s true. According to Dr. Fuhrman the right diet is essential to halting the development of prostate cancer. I’ll let him explain:
Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, rich not only in lycopene but in thousands of other protective compounds. Each year, researchers find another carotenoid that has powerful beneficial effects and reduces cancer. Spinach was this year’s recipient of the anti-prostate cancer award, with researchers in Japan finding neoxanthin compounds (a class of carotenoids) that powerfully inhibit prostate cancer. In the past, pink grapefruit, watermelon, cooked tomatoes, pomegranate, cruciferous vegetables, red peppers, berries, figs, and many other foods all have been shown to inhibit the development of prostate cancer.
Heck, even the so-called “experts” think more cases of prostate cancer can be prevented or so claims the results of a new 15 year study. Alan Mozes of HealthDay News has more:
According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), cancer of the prostate is the most common non-skin cancer among American men. Most patients diagnosed with the disease do not ultimately die of it. However, because of its high prevalence, prostate cancer remains the third biggest cancer killer for men in the Western world.


By age 40, one-third of men have already developed small carcinomas of the prostate, the researchers noted. By age 60, that figure rises to 60 percent, and, in North America, one in seven men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their lives.

But the disease is also often slow-moving, sometimes taking decades to develop from a single prostate cancer cell to advanced-stage illness.

That fact has led to the hope that doctors could intervene in ways that could halt disease progression at an early stage.
Well, I guess this is encouraging, but, as Dr. Fuhrman explains if you’re currently eating a nutrient-rich vegetable-based diet, you’re already doing a great job helping your body prevent cancer. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman again:
There is still some controversy about which foods cause which cancers and whether certain types of fat are the culprits with certain cancers, but there’s one thing we know for sure; raw vegetables and fresh fruits have powerful anti-cancer agents. Studies have repeatedly shown the correlation between consumption of these foods and a lower incidence of various cancers, including those of the breast, colon, rectum, lung, stomach, prostate, and pancreas.1 This means that your risk of cancer decreases with an increased intake of fruits and vegetables, and the earlier in life you start eating large amounts of these foods, the more protection you get.


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. Natural foods unadulterated by man are highly complex—so complex that the exact structure and the majority of compounds they contain are not precisely known. A tomato, for example, contains more than ten thousand different phytochemicals.
For more on all this, check out these posts:

Not-So Confident about PSA Tests

Some research calls into question the effectiveness of frequent prostate cancer screenings. Apparently there’s not much difference between two- and four-year tests. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News explains:
The researchers looked at more than 17,000 men who had prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing every two years or every four years. Among 4,202 Swedish men screened every two years, the overall incidence of prostate cancer diagnosis over 10 years was 13.14 percent, compared to 8.41 percent among the 13,301 Dutch men who were screened every four years, said the researchers from Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


The total number of interval cancers -- those diagnosed based on symptoms during the years between screening tests -- was 31 (0.74 percent) among the Swedish men and 57 (0.43 percent) among the Dutch men.

The differences in the interval cancer rates and aggressive interval cancer rates between the two groups were not statistically significant, the study authors said. This indicates that two-year screenings don't reduce the number of interval cancers, as might be expected.
Wait! A money-making medical test might not actually be as good as they say it is—no! You’re joshing me. Dr. Fuhrman is hardly awed by PSA screenings. He shares his thoughts in a previous post:
Incredible as it may seem, the PSA test does not accurately detect cancer. If you are over 60 years old, the chance of having a prostate biopsy positive for cancer is high, and the likelihood you have prostate cancer is the same whether or not you have an elevated PSA. More and more studies in recent years have demonstrated that prostate cancer is found at the same high rate in those with lower, so-called “normal” PSAs as those with elevated PSAs.1 An interesting study from Stanford University in California showed that the ability of PSA to detect cancer from 1998 to 2003 was only 2 percent. The elevations in PSA (between 2 and 10) were related to benign enlargement of the prostate, not cancer.


Remember, the pharmaceutical/medical industry is big business. Too often, treatments are promoted from a financially-biased perspective, leading to overly invasive and aggressive care without documented benefits.
Here’s the entire post: Positively False Confidence in PSA Tests.

Powerful Flax

The Cancer Blog knows flaxseed is one heck of a super food. Take a look:
Flax, also known as Common Flax or Linseed, is an annual plant that grows to 120 cm tall, with slender stems. Native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India, its leaves are green, its flowers blue, its fruit round and containing glossy brown seeds. Grown for both its seeds and its fibers, parts of this plant are used to make fabric, dye, paper, medicines, fishing nets, and soap. The seeds, like what sit in my refrigerator, come in two forms -- brown and yellow or golden. The yellow, golden variety is the one most often consumed.


Consumption of flax seed is good for several reasons, thanks to lignans that power it with nutrition. It contains beneficial levels of omega-3 fatty acids, promotes heart health, lessons the severity of diabetes, and has anti-cancer properties. A series of research studies at the University of Toronto have shown that flaxseed can reduce tumor growth in mice, particularly the tumors found in human post-menopausal breast cancer.
Dr. Fuhrman’s down with flax too. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
Flax seeds are rich in lignans and omega-3 fatty acids, and scientific studies have confirmed that flax seeds have a positive influence on everything from cholesterol levels and constipation to cancer and heart disease. Use ground flax seed in oatmeal, or add them to whipped frozen bananas, stewed apples, and cinnamon and nut balls. Keep in mind that the scientifically documented benefits from flax seeds come from raw, ground flax seed, not flax seed oil.

Multivitamins Linked to Prostate Cancer

Wow, this’ll make you think twice about downing those Flintstone vitamins. New research claims taking too many multivitamins may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men—eek! More from the Associated Press:
Government scientists turned to a study tracking the diet and health of almost 300,000 men. About a third reported taking a daily multivitamin, and 5 percent were heavy users, swallowing the pills more than seven times a week.


Within five years of the study's start, 10,241 men had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Some 1,476 had advanced cancer; 179 died.

Heavy multivitamin users were almost twice as likely to get fatal prostate cancer as men who never took the pills, concludes the study in Wednesday's Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Here's the twist: Overall, the researchers found no link between multivitamin use and early-stage prostate cancer.

The researchers speculate that perhaps high-dose vitamins had little effect until a tumor appeared, and then could spur its growth.
Kind of a damning indictment—don’t you think? But this begs the question, how safe are multivitamins? Could they actually lead to health problems? In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman explains that multivitamins containing high-dose vitamin A and beta-carotene do elevate cancer-risk. Take a look:
The main concern with taking a multivitamin is that it may contain a high dose of vitamin A or beta-carotene. Ingesting large amounts of these nutrients may interfere with the absorption of other carotenoids, such as lutein and lycopene, thus potentially increasing the risk of cancer.1 10-1 There is also concern that supplemental vitamin A induces calcium loss in urine, contributing to osteoporosis.
Now, Dr. Fuhrman isn’t against vitamins. According to him very few people eat perfectly, which makes supplementing a good idea—it’ll help make sure your body gets all the important substances it needs. So considering all this cancer-talk, what kind of multi should a person take? More from Eat to Live:
There are multiple vitamins available today with natural mixed carotenoids in place of vitamin A and beta carotene that also contain extra plant-derived phytochemicals. Look for this type of multiple.
Continue Reading...

Cancer: Humans Need Plant Matter

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

There is still some controversy about which foods cause which cancers and whether certain types of fat are the culprits with certain cancers, but there’s one thing we know for sure; raw vegetables and fresh fruits have powerful anti-cancer agents. Studies have repeatedly shown the correlation between consumption of these foods and a lower incidence of various cancers, including those of the breast, colon, rectum, lung, stomach, prostate, and pancreas.1 This means that your risk of cancer decreases with an increased intake of fruits and vegetables, and the earlier in life you start eating large amounts of these foods, the more protection you get.

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. Natural foods unadulterated by man are highly complex—so complex that the exact structure and the majority of compounds they contain are not precisely known. A tomato, for example, contains more than ten thousand different phytochemicals.

It may never be possible to extract the precise symphony of nutrients found in vegetation and place it in a pill. Isolated nutrients extracted from food may never offer the same level of disease-protective effects of whole natural foods, as nature “designed” them. Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of nutrients, which work in subtle synergies, and many of these nutrients cannot be isolated or extracted. Phytochemicals from a variety of plant foods work together to become much more potent at detoxifying carcinogens and protecting against cancer than when taken individually as isolated compounds. Continue Reading...

Pomegranates, Atherosclerosis, and Diabetics

The pomegranate is a bad mama jama and I mean that in the cool Shaft way. According to Dr. Fuhrman pomegranate juice can help lower blood pressure and reduce in atherosclerotic plaque buildup? Not to mention, it’s a powerful anti-oxidant and has strong anti-cancer effects. He discusses pomegranates at length in Pomegranate Power. Have a taste:
Recent medical research completed in 2004 studied heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages. They were given an ounce of pomegranate juice for a year, and not only did their blood pressure lower by over 20 percent, but there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque…1


…Pomegranates’ potent antioxidant compounds have also been shown to reduce platelet aggregation and naturally lower blood pressure, factors that prevent both heart attacks and strokes.2 Pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants offering protection against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.
Here’s some more good PR for pomegranates. Apparently a new study has revealed pomegranate juice also reduces the risk of arthrosclerosis in diabetics. The Diabetes Blog is on it:
The results of this study suggest that the antioxidants found in pomegranate juice may be beneficial in reducing these heart-related risks associated with diabetes. The sugars in pomegranate juice are attached to unique antioxidants, which actually make these sugars protective against atherosclerosis. Researchers examined the effects of drinking a concentrated pomegranate juice that is the equivalent to about a 6-ounce glass of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice for three months in 10 healthy adults and 10 adults with type 2 diabetes (who were not dependent on insulin therapy).
Perhaps the only knock against pomegranates is they can be hard to find. Take my farmers market for example, unfortunately they only have them a fraction of the year—argh! Anyone else have difficulty tracking down fresh pomegranates?

If you’d like to know more about pomegranates, check out these previous posts. They deal with pomegranates and prostate health. Take a look:
And for all of the foodies out there, give these pomegranate inspired recipes a try:
Continue Reading...

Tomato-Broccoli Power!

Like tomatoes? What about broccoli? Ever eat them together? Well if you have, you’re doing your prostate a service. Because according to a new study eating broccoli and tomatoes together is more effective at protecting against prostate cancer than consuming them separately. Don’t believe me? Robert Preidt of HealthDay News explains:
University of Illinois researchers fed a diet containing 10 percent broccoli powder and 10 percent tomato powder to a group of rats that had been implanted with prostate cancer cells. Other groups of rats received either tomato powder or broccoli powder alone; a supplemental dose of lycopene (the red pigment in tomatoes believed to be an anti-cancer agent); or finasteride, a drug prescribed for men with enlarged prostates. Another group of rats was castrated.


After 22 weeks, the researchers found that the combined tomato/broccoli diet was the most effective at prostate tumor reduction. Of the other treatments, castration was the only one that came close to being as effective.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’ll happily choose tomatoes and broccoli over wearing a cone around my head for two weeks. Ouch! Okay, so the power of tomatoes and broccoli shouldn’t surprise you. After all they’re both in Dr. Fuhrman’s Fab Five:
Greens: Make steamed greens with a cashew butter cream sauce. Kids love it. We blend raw cashews and a few dried onion flakes with some soy milk and make a great sauce for chopped kale or broccoli.


Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a wonderful food in their own class. Whether you consider them a fruit or vegetable, it matters not. Slice them into pita pocket sandwiches. Mash some almond butter with a fork into some tomato sauce to add to the vegetable-tomato-sprout avocado pita pocket. What a great school lunch.
And, let’s not forget Dr. Fuhrman considers tomatoes and broccoli two of the best foods for health and longevity:
Top Seven Foods for Good Health and Longevity
  • Black raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Flax Seeds
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli sprouts
Oh man, all this talk about tomatoes and broccoli has made me hungry. How about you? Check out this Italian-inspired creation from Disease-Proof Your Child, it certainly packs a tomato-broccoli punch:
Vegetable Lasagna


1 pound firm tofu
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sesame tahini
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 cups diced carrots
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 bunch of broccoli, chopped
1 cup unsalted tomato sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 cup chopped scallions
1 package whole-wheat lasagna noodles, boiled per package instructions
1 cup shredded soy cheese.

Blend the tofu, lemon juice, tahini, shredded coconut, nutritional yeast, and parsley in a good processor and put aside. Blend all the vegetables with the tomato sauce and the oregano, Italian seasoning, and scallions to make a thick veggie paste. Place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a large casserole pan. Make layers of cooked lasagna noodles by spreading tofu mixture on top of the noodles, then another layer of noodles, and then the veggie mix. Put the last layer of noodles on top, sprinkle the shredded soy cheese on the top, cover the top of the dish, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serves 4.
And for more on broccoli’s anti-cancer prowess, take a look at this Georgetown University Medical Center press release from last year:
Although the health benefits of eating your vegetables—especially cruciferous ones, such as broccoli—aren’t particularly new, this study is one of the first to provide a molecular explanation as to how eating vegetables could cut a person’s risk of developing cancer, an association that some population studies have found, says the study’s senior author, Eliot M. Rosen, MD, PhD, professor of oncology, cell biology, and radiation medicine at Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Can Flaxseed Oil Cause Prostate Cancer?

From the November 2006 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

There is no need for flaxseed oil when whole ground flaxseed provides more benefits and no risk. It seems that everyone you ask about flaxseed oil and prostate cancer gives a different answer. And to be fair, this is a complex subject that I will just briefly address here.

Recent studies have suggested that flaxseed oil may contribute to increased prostate cancer risk. Fortunately, there is no need to consume flaxseed oil. The best way to get omega-3 fatty acids is to consume whole flaxseed. Plus, when you consume whole flaxseed, not only do you get the best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, you also get the richest source of dietary lignans. Lignans are converted by bacteria in the intestinal tract to horomone-like compounds called phytoestrogens that have protective effects against hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancer. In fact, consuming ground flaxseed has been shown to have beneficial properties for prevention and treatment of both breast and prostate cancer.

When you consume the whole seeds, not the oil, the results show significantly reduced growth rate of cancer cells, and increased death rate of cancer cells. Another way to safely and effectively contribute to your omega-3 intake is to eat a few walnuts and lots of leafy green vegetables. When you get your essential fats from whole natural foods, you get powerful disease-fighting nutrients in the process that are not found in oils.

When it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, my recommendation is to consume about one tablespoon of ground flaxseed per day, and forgo the oil. I also recommend a small amount of DHA from a vegan source (about 200 mg per day) to assure nutritional adequacy (but not as your only source of omega-3s).

Not everyone requires DHA, but taking a small dose (not 3000 mg as some have recommended) will assure almost everyone gets an adequate amount, without the negative health risks (including suppression of immune function and risk of hemorrhagic stroke) associated with too much fish or fish oil.

Eating for Prostate Health

From the July 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:

My approach to prostate cancer is dramatically different from the conventional medical approach. It is built on a foundation of preventive nutrition and self-responsibility. Armed with modern science, I have designed a diet that makes it possible for you to virtually cancer-proof yourself by making intelligent choices in your kitchen.

Nutritional excellence, started as early in life as possible, is the only way we will win the war against cancer. As billions of dollars are being wasted on what is called “cancer research,”which would more accurately be called “drug research,” we continue to lose the battle to save lives. The emphasis must be shifted to nutritional education, now.

I advise all men to prevent the occurrence of prostate cancer—and to prevent existing low-grade prostate cancer from becoming aggressive—by adopting my program for nutritional excellence (check out Dr. Fuhrman's Diet Advice for Prostate Health).

If a hard prostate nodule is found during a digital rectal exam (DRE), I recommend that the patient get one year of hormonal treatment for prostate cancer. A hard nodule has a 90 percent chance of being prostate cancer, and there is also an increased likelihood of it being a later stage (higher Gleason score), riskier grade of prostate cancer.

For men who have eaten the Standard American Diet (SAD) for most of their lives, I recommend PSA testing twice yearly after the age of 60 to determine PSA velocity (the rate of increase of PSA over time). If your PSA is increasing at a rate of 2 ng/ml per year (shown to be a sensitive indicator of prostate cancer)1 then short-term hormonal therapy for prostate cancer can be pursued.

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.2 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.
Continue Reading...

Positively False Confidence in PSA Tests

From the July 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

The use of the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test has become widespread in the U.S. Based on results of the test, physicians establish detailed treatment recommendations—which typically involve surgery, radiation, and other invasive techniques—in an attempt to decrease the likelihood of a premature death from prostate cancer.

Prior to the widespread use of the PSA test, prostate cancer was detected only via digital rectal exam (DRE). Digital does not, in this case, refer to modern computer technology; rather it refers to a doctor’s finger, a digit. Unfortunately, once a lump in the prostate is detected via DRE, the prostate cancer is already at a later stage, and any potential benefits of early intervention are reduced. Currently, clinical practice guidelines recommend the use of both DRE and PSA in men over 50 years of age.

Incredible as it may seem, the PSA test does not accurately detect cancer. If you are over 60 years old, the chance of having a prostate biopsy positive for cancer is high, and the likelihood you have prostate cancer is the same whether or not you have an elevated PSA. More and more studies in recent years have demonstrated that prostate cancer is found at the same high rate in those with lower, so-called “normal” PSAs as those with elevated PSAs.1 An interesting study from Stanford University in California showed that the ability of PSA to detect cancer from 1998 to 2003 was only 2 percent. The elevations in PSA (between 2 and 10) were related to benign enlargement of the prostate, not cancer.

Remember, the pharmaceutical/medical industry is big business. Too often, treatments are promoted from a financially-biased perspective, leading to overly invasive and aggressive care without documented benefits.

If you want to have your prostate biopsied, radiated, and cut out, go ahead, but you do not need a PSA blood test first to decide. The PSA test is just an excuse to give men a prostate biopsy.

If you are a male over 60 who has eaten the Standard American Diet (SAD) your entire life, you should assume you have prostate cancer. If you are convinced (and if you are, it won’t be because of anything in the scientific literature) that you will enhance and prolong your life by undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, you might as well get the treatment without even bothering with a PSA test first. If standard treatment actually enhanced the quality of life and extended it, it would make sense to get the treatment before age 50, when your prostate cancer would surely be confined to the prostate. I am not seriously suggesting either of these approaches. But they make more sense than the present standard, especially since populations who get regular PSA tests, compared to populations who do not, show no reduction in prostate cancer-related deaths.2

My recommendations revolve around protecting ourselves from cancer with nutritional excellence, staying as far away from doctors as possible, and enjoying life without medical interference, testing, fear, and futile treatments. However, I recommend nutritional excellence for everybody of both sexes and of all ages, for overall disease protection and for the maintenance of youthful vigor, wellness, and mental acuity as we age. Nutritional excellence is not just for cancer or heart disease prevention or treatment. Continue Reading...

Weight Loss Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk

Now in case you needed even more reason to maintain a healthy bodyweight—listen up guys—according to the Associated Press losing weight lowers a man’s risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Daniel Yee reports:
After tracking the weight of nearly 70,000 men between 1982 and 1992, researchers from the American Cancer Society and the Duke University Prostate Center found that men who lost more than 11 pounds had a lower risk for aggressive prostate cancer than men whose weight remained the same over a decade.


Previous studies have found that obese men have a higher risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. This study appears to be the first to indicate that recent weight loss can decrease that risk.

Magic Beans

Beans, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them, but they’re actually pretty strong medicine. Now I’m no doctor, so I’ll defer to one. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman points out that, among beans’ many other talents, they can decrease a person’s risk of colon cancer and even reproductive cancers. Take a look:
A large recent study examined the eating habits of 32,000 adults for six years and then watched the incidence of cancer for these subjects over the next six years. Those who avoided red meat but at white meat regularly had a more than 300 percent increase in colon cancer incidence.1 The same study showed that eating beans, peas, or lentils, at least twice a week was associated with a 50 percent lower risk than never eating these foods…


..Beans, in general, not just soy, have additional anti-cancer benefits against reproductive cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer.2
Now, I doubt you thought about that when you were singing, “Beans beans a magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot.” Want more bean factoids? Vegan Grandma has got a whole bunch of them:
In some Eastern cultures, legumes have been a basic dietary staple for more than 20,000 years. The lima and pinto bean were cultivated for the first time in the very earliest Mexican and Peruvian civilizations more than 5,000 years ago, being popular in both the Aztec and Inca cultures.
Be sure to check out the part of the post where she lists the many different varieties of beans. You’ll see things like Adzuki Beans and Cranberry Beans—I’m getting hungry already! Continue Reading...

Dr. Fuhrman's Diet Advice for Prostate Health

From the July 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:

1. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, rich not only in lycopene but in thousands of other protective compounds. Each year, researchers find another carotenoid that has powerful beneficial effects and reduces cancer. Spinach was this year’s recipient of the anti-prostate cancer award, with researchers in Japan finding neoxanthin compounds (a class of carotenoids) that powerfully inhibit prostate cancer. In the past, pink grapefruit, watermelon, cooked tomatoes, pomegranate, cruciferous vegetables, red peppers, berries, figs, and many other foods all have been shown to inhibit the development of prostate cancer.

2. Drink a glass of fresh squeezed vegetable juice daily.

3. Have a bowl of soup made with cruciferous greens, leeks and beans almost every day.

4. Limit or avoid animal products to less than 5 percent of total calories, and don’t drink milk or eat cheese or butter. Do not take flaxseed oil; studies suggest it may worsen prostate cancer. Limit the use of all oil, using avocado, whole nuts, and seeds as the main source of fat in your diet and in sauces and salad dressings.

5. Take a multivitamin daily to assure adequate selenium, iodine, B12, and other trace minerals.

6. Take a small amount of DHA fat daily or a few times a week, to assure ideal omega-3 status.

7. Get a blood test for vitamin D every few years to assure you do not need additional supplementation. At the same time, check blood for homocysteine and MMA (methylmalonic acid) to assure that B12 and folate status are ideal.

Prostate Cancer Facts

From the July 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Debunking exaggerated claims about risks and treatment benefits. With the exception of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States. Medical autopsy studies show that by age seventy, 70 percent of men who die from accidental deaths are found to have prostate cancer.

The simple fact is that if you are a male and you eat similarly to other Americans, you eventually will get prostate cancer. No one can escape from the biological laws of cause and effect, and the Standard American Diet (SAD) is powerfully cancer-promoting. The good news is that only an extremely small number of men eventually die from their prostate cancers. The prostate cancer death rate is 226 per 100,000 male deaths over age sixty-five, which is a pretty small death rate.

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?

Long-term side effects
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%

PSA screening
In spite of being heavily marketed to patients by physicians, PSA (prostate-specific antigen) screening and the resultant treatments that follow have never been shown in medical studies to prolong life. In my “Why Prostate Screening and Treatments Don’t Work” article on page 3 of this newsletter, I explain some of the complicated issues regarding testing for and treatment of prostate cancer, to help you understand why it might be wiser to reject PSA screening for prostate cancer.

After a comprehensive review of the scientific studies available on this important issue, my conclusion is that men who are found to have low-grade prostate cancer would be better off not knowing about it because it is extremely unlikely to be their cause of death. Low-grade prostate cancer results in only 6 deaths per 1,000 patient years (number of patients with the disease multiplied by number of years they live after their cancer diagnosis), seen after 20 years of follow-up care.1

Men who are found to have high-grade prostate cancer do not benefit from surgery or radiation to their prostate, either. Invariably, this type of prostate cancer already has spread outside of the prostate when it is first diagnosed, and whether CT scans and bone scans show cancers outside of the prostate that are visible on these tests or not, it is still there. There is no technology to measure cancer at the microscopic level. So bone scans, CT scans, and MRIs cannot offer reassurance that the cancer has not spread. Cutting out, radiating, burning, and freezing the prostate with this more aggressive type of prostate cancer is futile. Yet, thousands of prostate operations and procedures are performed all over the country, every day, without probable benefit.

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.
Continue Reading...

Coach Karl On Cancer

Head coach of the Denver Nuggets George Karl knows how serious cancer is. He recently celebrated his first anniversary free of prostate cancer. But the coach wants to know why more isn’t being done to shutdown cancer for good. Chris Tomasson of The Rocky Mountain News quotes Karl:
"I have no idea why there is no national program to cure cancer," he said Wednesday. "If I were a politician, that would be my first platform. Forty to 50 years ago, we said, 'Let's go to the moon.' Now let's cure cancer. Let's throw millions and millions of dollars in federal funding to wipe away the pain and the death that cancer causes."
Regular readers know that most Americans can do a lot more to prevent cancer than they are currently doing. For instance, check out this previous post: Cancer Is a Disease of Fruit- and Vegetable Deficiency.

Obesity: Heightens Breast Cancer Risk

As you know Dr. Fuhrman contends obesity heightens cancer risk and healthy body weight helps prevent cancer. This claim seems to be catching on. According to Michelle Fay Cortez of The Boston Globe a new study shows women can lower their risk of breast cancer by losing weight:
Researchers found that breast cancer may occur in about one in seven women because of the weight they gain as adults.

The risks rose to one in four among weight gainers who never used hormone replacement therapy, the study said.

``Weight is one of the few breast cancer risk factors that women can do something about," said lead author Heather Eliassen. ``Our study suggests it's never too late to lose weight to reduce breast cancer risk. The best advice would be to avoid gaining it in the first place."
The research revealed it doesn’t take a lot of weight gain to increase breast cancer risk:
The increased risk came even from adding as little as 5 pounds, the study found, and rose in proportion with the scale. The good news was that losing weight appeared to be protective.
Check out this previous report to see how obesity affects prostate cancer recurrence.

More On Pomegranates and Your Prostate

We’ve talked about the power of pomegranates in the past, but it seems this fruit’s legend continues to grow. According to Reuters reporter Lisa Richwine a new study funded by juice maker Pom Wonderful found men who drank the beverage had a longer time until doubling of their blood levels of PSA occurred:
In the study, the time until PSA doubling after treatment extended to 54 months on average when the men started drinking eight ounces of pomegranate juice a day. Before drinking the juice, PSA doubled in an average of 15 months.

"That's a very big difference. ... It's an indicator of how quickly the cancer is growing," said Dr. Allan Pantuck, a urologist at UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center and the study's lead author.

Each of the 50 men who took part had radiation, surgery or other treatment for prostate cancer before enrolling in the study. No major side effects were reported from drinking the juice.

"It's too early to tell people with prostate cancer they should drink pomegranate juice" because the evidence is preliminary, Pantuck said in an interview.

A larger study is under way to try to confirm the findings, with results expected in two years, he said.

Research: Obesity Heightens Prostate Cancer Recurrence

A new study in the journal Cancer claims obese men have an increased risk of cancer recurrence after undergoing treatment with radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer. Reuters reports:

The study, reported in the current online issue of the journal Cancer, involved 873 men who underwent radiation treatment as their only treatment for localized prostate cancer between 1988 and 2001.

Obesity was determined by an elevated body mass index (BMI), a ratio of height to weight commonly used to determine if a person is overweight or underweight. The researchers found that 18 percent of the men were mildly obese and 5 percent were moderately to severely obese.

Obese patients were more likely to be a younger age at diagnosis, to have a more recent diagnosis, and to be African-American.

After an average follow-up period of 96 months, 295 men experienced biochemical failure and 127 had full disease recurrence with symptoms.

Prostate Cancer: A Growing Disease In Men

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman's book Disease Proof Your Child:

The studies examining the link between obesity, body size, and prostate cancer have focused on adult Body Mass Index (BMI). The results of these studies have not been conclusive; some studies have found a direct relationship and others have not.1 When looking carefully at tallness versus obesity, there is an apparent link between prostate cancer and height, but not with obesity. This is probably because extra fat on the body results in a higher estrogen/progesterone ratio, and it is the higher testosterone/estrogen ration that promotes prostate cancer. Therefore, the earlier attainment of adult height is more closely related to prostate cancer risk, not merely being overweight. Men over seventy-one inches tall were observed to have a 32 percent increased risk of prostate cancer. The conclusion is that the dietary style that is most growth promoting also promotes a higher level of testosterone in childhood that is linked to later-life prostate cancer.2

It takes at least one generation for men in immigrant families coming to America to assume the cancer risks of their host country, suggesting the importance of early-life factors.3 Similar to early puberty in females, earlier attainment of adult height and early onset of beard growth in males is a marker of increased risk of prostate cancer.4 Men's diets as toddlers and children most powerfully affect the age when they mature and develop facial hair. The prostate gland is essentially a dormant organ until puberty (much like the female breast), when heightened testosterone levels stimulate its development.

The data on prostate cancer causation points to higher testosterone levels beginning at an earlier age in childhood and throughout puberty as having a strong effect on later occurrence of aggressiveness of prostate cancer.5 Furthermore, studies demonstrate that prostate intraepithelial neoplasia, a cancer precursor to lesion, is already common in men in their twenties and thirties, suggesting that the process of carcinogenesis begins early.6

Prostate cancer is the male version of breast cancer. The genetic predisposition is illustrated by the fact that families with a strong history of breast cancer have an increased risk of prostate cancer in their male offspring and vice versa. So the early nutritional environment we grow our children in creates the favorable soil to fuel the breast cancer and prostate epidemics. The same dietary factors that heighten estrogen levels in females raise testosterone levels in males.

When the death rates for prostate cancer and testicular cancer were examined in forty-two countries and correlated with dietary practices in a carefully designed study, they found that cheese consumption was most closely linked with the incidence of testicular cancer for ages twenty to thirty-nine, and milk was the most closely associated with prostate cancer of all foods.7 Meat, coffee, and animal fats also showed a positive correlation.

Continue Reading...

Soy Bean Thoughts from the Member Center

Dr. Fuhrman mentions in Eat to Live that soy products such as soy burgers, soymilk, and soy cheeses have grown in popularity, resulting in their widespread availability. Despite the positives of soy consumption, many people harbor worries over the bean. In the member center of DrFuhrman.com he talks with a few concerned members:

I.
Forum Member: Please give me some advice and direction concerning the use of soy milk, my physician is very upset with me that I started using soymilk, he states it is very dangerous and can cause many thyroid and autoimmune diseases, please clear this up for me, I am a 46 year old female who has had an hysterectomy and do not take any estrogen replacement.


Dr. Fuhrman: Is your physician a real doctor? Or does he just play one on TV? Before you accept a dramatic and radical claim about the dangers of soymilk, you should ask this person to show you some scientific medical journal articles that support his assertion.

Bottom line, there is evidence that substituting soy formula for breast milk has long-term harmful consequences, but no data to suggest that consuming soy milk as an adult has any negative health consequences as he claims. Keep the soymilk and get rid of the doctor.

II.

Forum Member: Should men with prostate problems (enlarged) or women who want to avoid breast cancer take ground flaxseeds? I read something about flaxseed oil and estrogen. Also, can soymilk be safely taken, or do soy products contain estrogen that may promote breast cancer?


Dr. Fuhrman: Of course. All people should regularly use some ground flax or hemp seeds, but not the oil. Soy does not promote breast cancer. In fact, research shows it has protective effects. This has been answered in depth with references on this forum in the past. Did you try to do a search for it?

That does not mean I recommend processed soy products or soy powders. It means using some tofu, frozen soybeans or some soymilk in your diet is okay.

III.

Forum Member: When I was diagnosed with an under active thyroid and began meds, I was told to stay away from soy products. I have much difficulty getting my body to lose weight and I attribute this to slow metabolism from the thyroid condition. Can you give me some information about soy and how it reacts with thyroid medications?


Dr. Fuhrman: I can assure you that eating some soy beans or tofu as part of a well-rounded diet will have zero effect on your thyroid gland. It is true that being raised on soy formula instead of breast milk as an infant increases your risk of hypothyroidism later in life, but this does not mean that eating some soy products causes thyroid problems.

The Chicago Tribune on Milk

The mounting skepticism about milk consumption and its effects on human health is going mainstream. A recent article in the Chicago Tribune is all over the topic:

Milk, the sacred cow of the American diet, is under attack and not just by animal-rights activists. Though federal dietary guidelines and most mainstream nutrition experts recommend that people age 9 or older drink three glasses of milk a day, researchers are examining the role of dairy in everything from rising osteoporosis rates, Type 1 diabetes and heart disease to breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.

Last March, the journal Pediatrics published a review article concluding that there is "scant evidence" that consuming more milk and dairy products will promote child and adolescent bone health. Some leading practitioners of integrative medicine, including best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil, suggest eliminating dairy products from the diet to help treat irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, eczema and ear infections. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock reversed his support of cow's milk for children in 1998 in his last edition of his world-famous book "Baby and Child Care."

Here at DiseaseProof, we have talked about negatives of drinking milk and how some public schools are actually banning whole milk due to its high fat content. Dr. Fuhrman cites allergies, anal fissures, ear infections, and various cancers much later in life as a few potential dangers of dairy consumption.

The Tribune article encourages people not to see milk as the only viable source of calcium, and it's no secret that green vegetables are loaded with calcium (even the National Dairy Council will tell you so).

The calcium from some vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy and kale is absorbed as well as or better than calcium from milk and milk products, according to the National Dairy Council's Calcium Counseling Resource. But the report also says that to get the same amount of calcium absorbed from 1 cup of milk, one would have to eat nearly 2 1/2 cups of broccoli or 8 cups of spinach.
Of course, people are drawn to milk out of habit, because it is a quick compact source of calcium, and because it seems easier to get children to consume milk than vegetables.

But consider the total nutritional picture. Green vegetables are dense with so many kinds of nutrition beyond just calcium.

Also, if you want some pointers about how to get your kids to eat calcium-rich fruits and vegetables, you really should listen to Dr. Fuhrman's free podcast on the topic.

Finally, in his book Disease Proof Your Child, Dr. Fuhrman explains that if you insist on cow's milk nonetheless, do yourself a favor and choose skim.

Senior Journal: Certain Foods May Save Men from Prostate Cancer

The Senior Journal has an article about the important role certain foods can play in the fight against prostate cancer. The article highlights broccoli and turmeric, but those two foods are merely the tip of the anti-cancer iceberg.

To understand better the effects of diet on cancer in general from Dr. Fuhrman's perspective, read this blog post about diet and cancer. And read this example of how one of Dr. Fuhrman's patients addressed his prostate cancer scare.

Prostate Cancer Screenings: an Imperfect Science

The Associated Press reports that two widely used tests for prostate cancer failed to save lives in a new study; 1,002 men underwent a blood test that measures prostate specific antigen, or PSA, and a digital rectal exam, the rubber-glove test in which a doctor feels for abnormalities in the prostate through the rectal wall. Study co-author Dr. John Concato, a clinical epidemiologist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System comments:

For now, doctors should tell men that screening tests for prostate cancer are not perfect, and men should decide for themselves whether to get screened.

Dr. Howard Parnes of the National Cancer Institute adds:

We should tell patients about the uncertainty. All too often we behave as if we know screening is a good thing.

A 1999 study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine yielded similar results is mentioned:

In the study, published in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers compared two groups of men treated at 10 Veterans Affairs medical centers.

One group consisted of 501 men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer and later died of that disease or other causes. Researchers chose 501 men who matched the first group for age and other factors, but who remained alive.

The researchers found that the men who were alive were no more likely to have been screened than the men who died of prostate cancer. The study was based on data from 1991 through 1999, the early years of PSA screening.

The findings support an earlier review by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. That agency said in 2002 that it found "insufficient evidence" for a recommendation that men be screened.

Thankfully, diet gets attention as a method to combat prostate cancer.
Research did show that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

In an August 2005 DiseaseProof post Dr. Fuhrman addresses prostate cancer screening:

Almost all men who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) or something like it will develop prostate cancer. There is no point in screening for it because if you are over 60 you most likely already have some prostate cancer cells in your prostate. If you choose screening, screen for the rise in PSA (PSA velocity) and ignore the total PSA number.

The good news is that even if you already have prostate cancer, it can be induced to grow faster or grow slower based on your diet-style. If you have a slow-growing, less-aggressive cancer, dietary excellence alone can offer tremendous assurance that your cancer never will become aggressive. I have observed numerous patients who have prostate cancer significantly drop and maintain lowered PSA readings through nutritional interventions.

Diet, Chemotherapy, and the Truth: How to Win the War on Cancer

We live in an era where the majority of Americans think that diseases strike us because of either misfortune, genetics, or unknown factors beyond our control. When serious disease "strikes," we run to doctors and expect them to fix us with a pill. Most people have no idea that most diseases--including cancers, heart disease, strokes, and diabetes--are the result of nutritional folly. Because they do not know that adults lived much longer centuries ago, they accept the myth that we are living healthier and longer today.

If we were taught from childhood that the diseases we suffer in the modern world are the tragic consequence of our toxic food environment, we wouldn't be in today's disgraceful situation--where people graduate from high school, college, and even graduate school without learning how to protect, preserve, and restore their precious health. With proper health education, we would learn that our bodies are powerfully resistant to disease when nutritional needs are met. Instead, we have become the victims of the high-tech, mass-produced food culture that is fueling a cancer epidemic unrivaled in human history.

Chemotherapy Mentality
Our technologically-advanced society is suffering from the highest rates of cancer ever seen in human history, rates that are also much higher than in less developed parts of the world. Since 1999, cancer has surpassed heart disease and has become the leading cause of age adjusted mortality for Americans younger than 85. Despite more than a hundred billion dollars in cancer research-- invested largely in the development of drug chemotherapy and screening and detection techniques--we have lost the war on cancer. While there has been a slight reduction of cancer-related deaths in the last 25 years, this is largely the result of the decrease in lung cancer deaths that has resulted from a reduction in cigarette smoking during this timeframe. Mortality rates for most cancers have stayed remarkably steady.

Chemotherapy has contributed to the progress made against cancer deaths from fast-growing cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, testicular cancer, and childhood cancers such as osteogenic sarcoma. But for the major cancers affecting most adult Americans, chemotherapy adds less than one year of disease-free life to those treated.

Science or Profits?
At present, pharmaceutical companies-- not independent medical or scientific researchers--control the vast majority of research and clinical trials. We have lost the judgment and rationale of independent experts and now depend on drug companies to honestly report the risks and benefits of drugs they manufacture and sell. This is like asking the fast-food industry to be in charge of our nutritional advice. The medical studies that drug companies pay for and publicize are heavily biased in favor of the drugs they sell. The economically powerful pharmaceutical industry and the large chemical-food conglomerates wield undue influence on government and the media. Accurate nutritional information is rarely reported because the media cannot produce stories that go against the interests of their advertisers. Instead, the media is quick to report on drug company press releases--self-serving propaganda announcing new anticancer "breakthroughs" that reinforce the myth that we are winning the war against cancer.

Mythical Breakthroughs
Most often, the so-called "benefits" described by drug companies announce improved "response rates," for example, when tumor burden is lessened. But an improved response rate means little if the patient does not survive longer. And even the cancer industry's meager definition of survival--living 5 years beyond diagnosis--can be misleading. If "advances" in chemotherapy result in a higher percentage of people surviving for 5 years than did previously, that can be reported as "progress." But if most of them still die between years 5 and 10, it hardly can be called a big success, especially if the same number or more people would have survived 10 years or longer without the chemotherapy.

Unless overall survival and quality of life are improved, it matters not if chemotherapy resulted in tumor shrinkage, or if a slight increase is seen in 5-year survival statistics. By using virtually meaningless terms like "response rates" and "disease-free survival," researchers can report results that make chemotherapy look more effective than it really is.

Unless patients do some investigating of their own, they have no way of knowing that the glowingly optimistic results reported in the press--and too often parroted by their doctors--are designed to lead them to chemotherapy even though it is a poor choice for both quality and duration of life. The false perception that chemotherapy offers significant life-span benefits for cancer sufferers is dramatically juxtaposed by the fact that so many more people die of cancer today than they did years ago. In fact, a Swedish study showed that the risk of developing cancer and dying of it was three times higher in people born in the 1950s compared with those born in the 1880s. Since 1958, cancer has increased 55 percent in men and only slightly less in women.1

Does Chemotherapy Work?
Let's see how effective chemotherapy actually is with a few common cancers.

  • A meta-analysis of chemotherapy for postmenopausal, estrogen receptor-positive women (the largest group of women with breast cancer) pooled the six largest studies to get the most accurate data on survival and complications. Here is what researchers concluded about the group treated with standard chemotherapy: "No significant survival benefit was observed."2
  • In non-small cell lung cancer (the most common type), the 5- year survival is only about 10 percent. In stage 4, when the cancer has spread to distant sites, the 5-year survival is only 1.6 percent. After looking at multiple studies, it appears that treatment generally results in a very slight improved survival rate at 1 year, but this advantage disappeared at 30 months of follow- up.3
  • Even in small cell lung cancer where chemotherapy has proven effectiveness in life extension, the benefit adds only a few months of life, not years. And during this time the patient can experience serious--even life threatening-- side effects from the treatment.

What Should You Do?
If you have cancer and are considering chemotherapy, it is wise to do a search on all of the studies done on the recommended therapy (using med-line, for instance), so an informed decision can be made. If this were done, most patients likely would refuse chemotherapy. Doctors generally hide and distort the realities of chemotherapy, talking to patients about "shrinking the cancer" and "killing cancer cells," not mentioning the fact that the therapy has not been shown to extend life.

Every patient has to make her own decision. But if I were a woman with postmenopausal breast cancer, I would opt for surgery, without radiation and without chemotherapy, and would then pursue an aggressive nutritional protocol. I also would include antiestrogens if the tumor histology showed it to be estrogen receptor- positive.

War Against Good Nutrition
While the "war against cancer" is being fought with the wet noodle of chemotherapy, we are observing a significant increase in some cancers, such as malignant melanoma, multiple myeloma, and prostate cancer. Our population is heavier and as cancer-prone as ever. While we are pouring billions of dollars into drug companies and cancer centers, millions of people continue to die from what should be a preventable disease.

Almost nothing has been done to teach people about the power of nutritional excellence to protect against cancer. In fact, the media regularly reports that nutrition does not affect cancer. For example, a recent New York Times (G. Kolata, September 27,2005,"Science Times") article reported that diet had only a "hypothetical" relationship with cancer. This ludicrous pronouncement was based on studies that showed that perimenopausal women who eat less fat still have high cancer rates. The Times evidently does not understand that modestly reducing fat and eating more chicken and pasta is not an anti-cancer program.

We are losing the war on cancer, and our government policies are actually worsening the problem. With all of the recent advances in science pointing to phytonutrient deficiency as the major cause of cancer, our efforts should focus on prevention; educating the public about proper diet and nutrition. Millions of lives can be saved. We also can eliminate the tragic consequences and family trauma of living with cancer---diagnoses, surgeries, radiation, chemotherapies, suffering, and premature death, which come from the cancer and very often from the treatment.

Avoiding Cancer
Your body is a self-repairing and self-healing machine. Human cells have all the features necessary to protect themselves from chemical damage to their DNA that eventually results in carcinogenic changes. A cancer cell is essentially a normal cell whose DNA has been damaged to the point that it can no longer control its replication. The process that is creating our modern epidemic of cancer is twofold. One aspect involves the exposure of our cells to damaging stresses such as chemical carcinogens, radon, acrylamides, and high levels of saturated and trans fats and animal protein. At the same time, we have a woefully insufficient dietary intake of plant-derived nutrients, which renders our cells incapable of functioning to their fullest potential for repair and maintenance.

Our cells have built-in, powerful mechanisms to remove or destroy toxic substances, inhibit DNA damage, repair broken DNA cross-links, and remove cells that are injured or abnormal before they become cancerous. In recent years, the term phytochemicals has been used to refer to the thousands of newly-discovered nutrients supplied by plants that---in addition to vitamins and minerals---are necessary for maximal immune system protection and for the promotion of cellular detoxification and repair.

Most of our knowledge about what constitutes the optimal cancer prevention diet comes from both human population (epidemiological) studies and animal studies. Populations that have a high intake of natural, unrefined plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and beans always have a low incidence of cancer, proportional to the intake of these phytochemcal-rich plant foods.

Even though other factors such as chemicals, pollution, and smoking play a role in cancer etiology, the scientific literature still illustrates that a better diet offers dramatic protection even against nondietary cancer promoters. For example, the Fiji Islands (where smoking rates are high) still has a dramatically lower incidence of lung cancer than Hawaii (where smoking rates are lower). This protection against lung cancer even in heavily smoking Fiji Islanders was shown to be the result of the high intake of green vegetables in Fiji.4

Examining data from numerous epidemiological studies, the World Cancer Research Fund concluded that the evidence that fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of oral, esophageal, lung, stomach, colon, pancreatic, bladder, and breast cancer was convincing. No single substance in a plant-based diet accounts for this relationship; rather, it is the synergistic effect of multiple phytochemical compounds (which number in the thousands).

The National Cancer Institute recommends eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. However, scientific studies suggest that more is better and that much, much more is much, much better at reducing cancer risk. It is a national disgrace that very few Americans follow this very minimal recommendation to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Cruciferous Vegetables
While fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients, the consumption of vegetables is more helpful in reducing cancer because they contain much higher amounts of cancer-protective compounds-- especially green vegetables. Among these green vegetables, the cruciferous family has demonstrated the most dramatic protection against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage) contain a symphony of phytonutrients with potent anti-cancer effects. Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens.

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 cells;5
  • dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer;6
  • prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells;7
  • inhibit the progression of lung cancer.8


What makes these studies even more fascinating is the discovery of the gene/diet interaction, which has shown that high intake of greens and cruciferous vegetables provides the food factors necessary to interact with--and prevent-- genetic defects from creating disease. This gene/diet interaction activates a battery of many genes, initiating DNA repair and other protection mechanisms.

These cellular repair and detoxification mechanisms are most powerfully induced by eating a mixture of both raw and cooked cruciferous plant foods. Some of the compounds are water soluble and heat stable, and absorption is increased when cooked, for example, in a soup. Other critical ITCs are heat sensitive and are better transmitted in the raw form.

Carotenoids & Polyphenols
Population studies show an association between high dietary intake of carotenoid-containing fruits and vegetables and reduced risk of prostate, breast, and head and neck cancers. A high dietary intake of fruits and vegetables provides a spectrum of carotenoids, including alphacarotene, gamma-carotene, betacryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein, and lycopene.

Vegetable juices (carrot, tomato, spinach, and other greens) represent a particularly potent form of carotenoids. Scientists have demonstrated that drinking carrot juice significantly reduces free radical damage to genes. Tomato juice and cooked tomatoes rich in lycopene and other potent antioxidants help reduce the oxidation of the "bad" LDL cholesterol and also have been shown to dramatically help protect against cancer. Carotenoid-rich extracts of carrots and tomatoes have been shown to substantially inhibit the early stages of liver cancer in animals.

Fruits also contain various key phytochemicals. For example, resveratrol, found in grapes, has been reported to exert a variety of anticancer effects. Studies have demonstrated that resveratrol causes growth inhibition of human colon and breast cancer cells. Ellagic acid, found in strawberries, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, is another polyphenol that has demonstrated anticarcinogenic potential in animal studies.

This article is from the Healthy Times newsletter, a complete archive of which is available to members of DrFuhrman.com.

Continue Reading...

"A Symphony of Phytonutrients" from Cruciferous Vegetables

While fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients, the consumption of vegetables is more helpful in reducing cancer because they contain much higher amounts of cancer-protective compounds--especially green vegetables. Among these green vegetables, the cruciferous family has demonstrated the most dramatic protection against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage) contain a symphony of phytonutrients with potent anti-cancer effects.

Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens. 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 cells1
* dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer2
* prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells3
* inhibit the progression of lung cancer4

What makes these studies even more fascinating is the discovery of the gene/diet interaction, which has shown that high intake of greens and cruciferous vegetables provides the food factors necessary to interact with--and prevent--genetic defects from creating disease. This gene/diet interaction activates a battery of many genes, initiating DNA repair and other protection mechanisms.

These cellular repair and detoxification mechanisms are most powerfully induced by eating a mixture of both raw and cooked cruciferous plant foods. Some of the compounds are water soluble and heat stable, and absorption is increased when cooked, for example, in a soup. Other critical ITCs are heat sensitive and are better transmitted in the raw form.

Continue Reading...

Nutritional Excellence vs. Cancer

Graciela Flores of Reuters Health reports that a study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that smoking lowers chances of surviving throat cancer.
Dr. Rajesh P. Dikshit, a member of the research team, says:

This is a very important finding. We knew that smoking is a cause of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer, but now it's clear that it affects survival as well. Alcohol consumption also had a negative effect on survival, but to a lesser extent than tobacco.

He explains that regular consumption of vegetables can actually improve cancer survival rates:
We found that a high intake of vitamin C significantly improved the patients' survival.

Eating vegetables and vitamin C is also something cancer patients should consider. Doctors are prescribing this already, but now we have demonstrated that these diet components improve the patients' survival, and perhaps make the treatment more effective.

The idea that vegetables can be an important tool in fighting cancer is central to Dr. Fuhrman's work. In Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat to Live, for instance, he explains that the phytochemicals in plants appear to play an important role:
Phytochemicals, or plant-derived chemicals, occur naturally in plants (phyto means "plant"). These nutrients, which scientists are just starting to discover and name, have tremendously beneficial effects on human physiology. The effects of our not consuming sufficient amounts of them are even more astounding--premature death from cancer and atheroscleriosis.

A recent edition of Dr. Fuhrman's monthly newsletter Healthy Times provides some real-life examples of diet having dramatic effects after cancer diagnoses:
In my medical practice over the last 15 years, I have observed numerous people utilize nutritional excellence as their primary treatment for cancer. Although I have been witness to the deaths of some very special, brave and loving individuals, I also have seen some dramatic recoveries. For example:
  • I have observed a young woman with stage-4 metastatic colon cancer who made a complete recovery with no treatment except nutritional excellence and who had no further cancer noted on follow-up CT scans.
  • I have observed 8 women with CIN III of the cervix reverse the abnormality back to normal with my nutritional protocols in 4 to 6 months.
  • I observed a woman with metastatic breast cancer to the bones make a complete recovery, with no signs of recurrent disease.
  • I observed a woman with a positive biopsy for breast cancer who left the tumor untreated; the tumor shrunk and disappeared into a small scar.
  • I have seen many men with prostate cancer drop their PSA levels into the normal range and keep them there with this nutritional protocol with no further advancement of the cancer.

Is Organic Food Safer?

From Dr. Fuhrman's book Disease-Proof Your Child.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is up 10.7 percent over the last twenty years. Brain cancer is up 30 percent; osteogenic sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, is up 50 percent; and testicular cancer is up 60 percent in men under thirty. No one can tell us why. Scientific studies provide clues that are difficult to ignore:

  • Children whose parents work with pesticides are more likely to suffer leukemia, brain cancer, and other afflictions.
  • Studies show that childhood leukemia is related to increased pesticide use around the house.
  • Nine studies reviewed by the National Cancer Institute showed a correlation between pesticide exposure and brain cancer.
  • Exposure to weed killers in childhood increases asthma risk by more than fourfold.
All the dangers stated above are not the result of eating pesticide-treated produce. This clear link between pesticides and cancer is a result of chemical use around the home and farm.1 Clearly, it is not logical to eat organic food to avoid pesticide residue and then spray our homes with carcinogenic insecticides and weed killers used liberally in and around homes, interior plants, lawns, gardens, and even schools.

Because young children are the ones most susceptible to toxic exposures, the National Academy of Science has issued warnings and position papers stating that exposure to pesticides in early life can increase cancer rates down the road as well as increasing the occurrence of mental and immune system disorders.2

We must be careful not to expose our children to chemical cleaners, insecticides, and weed killers on our lawns. Chemicals used in pressure-treated wood used to build lawn furniture, decks, fences, and swings sets have been shown to place children at risk. When children are around, we must be vigilant to maintain a chemical-free environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the majority of pesticides now in use are probable or possible cancer causers. Studies of farm workers who work with pesticides suggest a link between pesticide use and brain cancer, Parkinson's disease, multiple myloma, leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the stomach, prostate, and testes.3 But the question remains, does the low level of pesticides remaining on our food present much of a danger?

Some scientists argue that the extremely low level of pesticide residue remaining on produce is insignificant and that there are naturally occurring toxins in all natural foods that are more significant. The large amount of studies performed on the typical pesticide-treated produce have demonstrated that consumption of produce, whether organic or not, is related to lower rates of cancer and disease protection, not higher rates. Certainly, it is better to eat fruits and vegetables grown and harvested using pesticides than not eating them at all. The health benefits of eating phytochemical-rich produce greatly outweigh any risk pesticide residues might pose.

It has been shown that women with higher levels of pesticides in their bloodstream have a higher risk of breast cancer.4 However, the pesticide shown in these studies to be connected to cancer was DDT, which is no longer used in food production and was banned by the U.S. government in 1972. The problem is that DDT is still in the environment and finds its way back into our food supply, predominately via shellfish and fish consumption. So purchasing organic fruit and vegetables will not lower our exposure to DDT if we are eating fish and shellfish regularly.

Keep in mind, there is a significantly larger exposure to toxic chemicals in animal products compared to plant food. By eating lower on the food chain and reducing our intake of animal products, one automatically reduces exposure to toxic chemicals. Plants have the least fat-soluble pollutants, animals that eat plants have more, and animals that eat animals have the highest levels of these toxic compounds. Fish that eat smaller fish will store the toxic compounds from every fish it ever ate, including all the fish eaten by the fish it just made a meal of. It is important to avoid lobster, shellfish, catfish, and predator fish such as tuna, bluefish, striped bass, shark, and swordfish, where toxins such as PCB, DDT, dioxin, and mercury are likely to build up due to the compounding effects of eating lots of smaller fish. One gets larger doses of more toxic compounds from these contaminated animal products than would be possible to take in from produce.

Organic food is certainly your best bet, to further limit exposure to toxic chemicals. No one knows for sure how much risk exists from pesticide residue on produce, but here's what we do know: the younger you are, the more your cells are susceptible to damage from toxins. It seems wise to feed our young children organic food whenever possible.

Of course, wash your vegetables and fruit with water and when possible, use a drop of dishwashing detergent and then rinse well to remove all detergent residues for a little more efficient cleaning. Specialty pesticide removal products have not clearly demonstrated any more effectiveness than mild soap and water.

Besides the heightened exposure to chemicals and pesticides from animal products, the most hazardous pesticides are used on some plant foods responsible for the majority of the plant-food-related dietary risk. These foods with the most pesticide residue are: strawberries, peaches, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, cherries, apples, and celery. Imported produce is also more likely to contain higher levels of pesticides.5

There is another reason to feed our children organic food when possible. Organic food usually has more nutrients than conventional.6 One study performed at the University of California at Davis found that foods grown organically had higher amounts of flavonoids, which have protective effects against both heart disease and cancer. The researchers found flavonoids were more than 50 percent higher in organic corn and strawberries. They theorized that when plants are forced to deal with the stress of insects, they produce more of these compounds, which are beneficial to humans.7 Overall, organic foods taste better, and organic agriculture protects farmers and our environment.

Continue Reading...

NY Times Questions Diet as Cancer Prevention

In The New York Times today, Gina Kolata raises the question: can a healthy diet prevent cancer? After surveying the results of recent case control and cohort studies, she concludes that the benefits of a healthy diet are "hypothetical and elusive" when it comes to preventing cancer.

There's a lot of great research in Ms. Kolata's article, but unfortunately the studies she cites examine only modest dietary changes, over relatively short periods, in adults. A broader look at the research reveals a very different picture, and a convincing case that diet is an important tool in preventing cancer, especially in children and young people.

Understanding Different Kinds of Studies
There are different ways of studying the relationship between nutrition and cancer.
Epidemiological studies look at populations with varying characteristics for comparison. These have shown overwhelmingly that there is a connection between diet and cancer.
Case control studies compare two groups: one with the disease in question, and one without. (Past food intake is determined by questionnaires.)
Cohort studies follow two groups over time, looking for differences that appear years later.

As the Times acknowledges, hundreds of epidemiological studies show in any number of convincing ways that there likely is a connection between diet and cancer. In The China Study, for instance (which the Times earlier called "the Grand Prix of all epidemiological studies" and "the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease") researchers compared the varying diets in various Chinese towns, and found that as the amount of animal products increased in the diet, even in relatively small increments, so did the emergence of the types of cancers that are common in the West. The researchers noted that most cancers increased in direct proportion to the quantity of animal products eaten and decreased relative to the amount of fruits, vegetables, and beans consumed. Areas of China with exceptionally low intakes of animal products were virtually free of the cancers and heart disease that develop in most people living in Western countries.

The China Study is one of many epidemiological studies showing a diet-cancer connection. Among those aged 50-75, cancers of the digestive tract, breast, and prostate are 20 times higher in the United States than in Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. The huge geographic variability in the incidence of these cancers suggests dietary factors as the main cause. When people from a low-risk country migrate to the United States, their cancer rates increase considerably, and their offspring get cancer at the same rate as other Americans. This demonstrates that the lower incidence of these cancers in Asia is not due to a lower genetic susceptibility in Asians, but rather to the lack of exposure to Western lifestyles.

Fat, particularly animal fat, has been implicated as a cause of cancer, while the consumption of fruits and vegetables had been shown to protect against cancer. For instance, Boyd et al reported on this in a 1993 study published in the British Journal of Cancer, as did Steinmetz et al in a 1996 article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and La Vecchia et al in a 1998 article in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention. Studies on laboratory animals also implicate omega-6 oils and saturated fat intake as cancer promoters. (Examples include Hursting et al in a 1990 Preventive Medicine article, Zhao et al in Nutrition and Cancer in 1991, Fay et al in Cancer Research in 1997.)

The Times article draws heavily on the many recent cohort and case-control studies that have been something of a fly in the ointment. They have created confusion and doubt, because with a few exceptions, they have not confirmed the findings of the epidemiological studies.

Case control studies have shown an association with animal fat consumption and cancer, but this was not considered convincing evidence, as patients with cancer have a tendency to exaggerate their prior fat intake on diet recall questionnaires.

The cohort studies are more respected because they follow separate groups over a long time period. The cohort studies have not shown a clear-cut relationship between dietary fat (even saturated fat) and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon or have only shown a moderate relationship. The Nurses Health Study showed that American women who reduced their fat intake did not see a decreased incidence of breast cancer.

Why do the epidemiologic and cohort studies show different results? Do these conflicting results mean that saturated fat is not a significant risk factor for cancer? Is a high-fiber diet that includes large amounts of natural, unrefined plant foods such as fresh fruit, raw nuts and seeds, vegetables, and beans not protective? Is this huge amount of data collected in the China Project and other convincing epidemiological studies wrong?

Cohort Studies: Measuring Too Little, Too Late
Because all the epidemiological studies can't be wrong, there are two possibilities. The first is that these cohort studies followed adults who are past the age when diet plays a significant role. The middle-aged adults who attempted to eat more carefully to prevent cancer were already past the age when diet has its most powerful effect. In China, for example, the dietary pattern observed was present during gestation, infancy, childhood, and beyond.

The second possibility is that the lower ranges of saturated fat intake tested were not sufficiently low to be protective. The dietary variation from one group to another may not have been enough to show a significant difference. (For instance, people eating lots of pasta and chicken, but not lots of leafy green vegetables, beans, nuts, etc. would be considered to be eating a low fat diet, but they would not be eating the diet that the evidence suggests would be optimal for cancer prevention. As I explain elsewhere, they key to a healthy diet is nutrient density.)

The bottom line is that these studies on adults in Western countries are not very accurate. They follow adults who made only modest dietary changes later in life, and who were likely past the age when dietary influence can have a profound effect on cancer occurrence.

Childhood Diet is Key
The piece of the puzzle that The New York Times missed is the research relating to diets during childhood. There is a mountain of evidence that suggests diet among children, especially very young children, can have a strong effect on the likelihood of later cancer. A lot of the reason why I wrote the book Disease-Proof Your Child was to put that research together all in one place.

When you examine what children eat and its effect on cancer, epidemiologic, case control, and cohort studies all fall much more in line with the idea that a healthy diet can reduce the likelihood of cancer.

This makes some sense: the growing body, with its dividing cells, is at greater risk when exposed to all types of negative and toxic influences. With loosely spooled DNA, children are literally more exposed.

Researchers have noted many examples of events in youth that cause cancer decades later. For example, the largest groupings of cancer spikes among those who survived the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings occurred 40 to 45 years after exposure (according to Pierce et al in a Radiation Research article published in 1996.)

Also in Japan, a forty-one-year National Nutrition Survey detected a massive drop in dietary fiber after World War II. An average intake of 27.4 grams per day in 1947 was reduced to 15.8 grams by 1963. Fat intake increased form 18 grams in 1950 to 56.6 grams in 1987. Twenty-three to 24 years after the heightened consumption of animal products began, there was a correlating increase in colon cancer. Those with the highest consumption of plant fiber in childhood had the lowest incidence of colon cancer.

In a 1998 study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, Caygill et al found that incidence of breast cancer correlated strongly with body weight---several decades before the cancer occurred. Those who were overweight as young women were more likely to get breast cancer. Some researchers conclude that dieting later in life may be too late.

Dr. Jerald Silverman of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Ohio State University used a grant from the American Institute for Cancer Research to study mice who are very susceptible to breast cancer. He fed some a high-fat diet. Other groups he switched to low-fat diets at various stages of their lives. The study showed the same things we see in human studies: those mice fed the high-fat diet had more cancer, and more of the cancer spread to the lung. The earlier the change to the healthier lower-fat diet, the better the mice fared.

Breast cancer is not the only cancer that has been shown to behave in this way. Colon cancer has a weak association with obesity in adults. But high body weight in adolescence correlates much more strongly with eventual colon cancer, according to Must et al in their follow up to the Harvard Growth Study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1992.

Engeland et al tracked 1.1 million Norwegian women, and found that women who were heavier and taller as youngsters were 56 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Their results were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2003. Similarly, Harvard Medical School researchers have found that women who reported being overweight by age eighteen were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer later in life.

Numerous studies report links between high caloric intake in childhood and cancer. Frankel et al reported in the British Medical Journal in 1998 that they studied 3,834 subjects for more than half a century, and found a positive association between calories consumed during early life and later mortality from every cancer other than those related to smoking. With every additional MJ/day (238 calories) there was a 20% increased risk of mortality from the most common cancers. Fewer calories consumed during childhood provided protection against all three common cancers. The researchers noted that their findings were consistent with similar animal studies and human studies showing correlation between height (which can be at least partly caused by high caloric intake, especially from high-growth foods like dairy) and cancer, and concluded that their study "confirms the importance of optimal nutrition in childhood."

Just as there are studies showing that diet during childhood can increase the risk of cancer, there are other studies demonstrating that certain foods can reduce that risk. For instance, Sullivan published research in Family Practice News showing that teenagers who eat more high-fiber, high-antioxidant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts have a lower occurrence of benign breast disease, the precursor marker of breast cancer.

In countless studies, early puberty has been repeatedly associated with breast cancer. But what causes early puberty? Lots of research implicates childhood diet.

In 1998, the UK Department of Health's Working Group on Diet and Cancer of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy made public their cohort study showing that 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 dairy--is associated with an earlier menarche and increased occurrence of adult breast cancer.

Similarly, a 1999 study published by Berkey et al in the American Journal of Epidemiology followed children from birth and found that the girls who consumed more animal products and fewer vegetables between the ages of one and eight were prone to early maturation and puberty. The strongest predictor of early puberty was a diet rich in animal protein before the age of five. Many studies have shown convincingly that estrogen levels in children can be managed through diet.

Cho et al followed 100,000 women between the ages of 26 and 46, and found that the younger the woman was, the greater effect diet could have on later breast cancer incidence. Those results were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2003.

These are just some of the ways that a healthy diet, especially for young people, can reduce cancer risk. As I describe in Disease-Proof Your Child, an excellent diet can also reduce exposure to pesticides and hormones--which have been shown in studies to have links to cancer. The book also explains how a diet rich in the healthiest foods can have a dramatic effect in reducing asthma, ear infections, allergies, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disorders.

Pomegranates for Your Prostate

The Daily Mail mentions a small study involving cancer in mice that has been conducted at the University of Wisconsin.

A total of 24 mice were divided into three groups. One was given normal water to drink, while the others had their water supplemented with 0.1% or 0.2% of pomegranate juice.

The doses were chosen to mirror how much juice a typically healthy person might be willing to consume daily.

The results were dramatic, the scientists said. Cancer progression was significantly slowed in mice receiving the higher pomegranate dose.

The study was mentioned on VegSource, which also links to a study from March showing pomegranates may help prevent heart disease, too.

When I first went to Dr. Fuhrman he told me to put a little bit of pomegranate juice--as well as ground flax, nuts, and fresh fruit--on my morning oatmeal. Especially if that fruit is blueberries, that makes for a delicious breakfast.

Prostate Cancer Success Story

A 62-year-old man, appearing to be in good health, came to my office in March 2003 with a six-month history of elevated PSA levels. He was very nervous about his probable prostate cancer.

Almost all men who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) or something like it will develop prostate cancer. There is no point in screening for it because if you are over 60 you most likely already have some prostate cancer cells in your prostate. If you choose screening, screen for the rise in PSA (PSA velocity) and ignore the total PSA number.

The good news is that even if you already have prostate cancer, it can be induced to grow faster or grow slower based on your diet-style. If you have a slow-growing, less-aggressive cancer, dietary excellence alone can offer tremendous assurance that your cancer never will become aggressive. I have observed numerous patients who have prostate cancer significantly drop and maintain lowered PSA readings through nutritional interventions.

Finding out that you have prostate cancer, and learning how powerful dietary intervention is for inhibiting this cancer, actually may save your life. If the fear of this cancer causes you to change your diet and lifestyle as I recommend, you will lower your risk of dying from heart attack and stroke as well. The prostate cancer can be the wake-up call for you to make the dietary changes you knew you should have made years ago.

If your cancer is aggressive, dietary excellence may cause it to become less so, and hormonal blockade can be very effective in slowing its advance. Prostate cancer predictably responds to dietary excellence, and with the addition of a few testosterone-suppressing drugs, even aggressive cancers can be put to sleep.

In this instance, my patient and I reviewed the four separate PSA tests that had been done during this six-month period, and they were all between 4.5 and 6.0. Some of the higher readings were earlier in this time frame. His internist, and the urologist he had consulted, were pressuring him to have a prostate biopsy.

I explained to him that since his PSA clearly was not going up over time, these tests did not indicate he had cancer. I also explained that PSA velocity--which notes the rate of increase of PSA over time, is a more accurate indicator of prostate cancer than the height of a single PSA test. We also discussed the fact that about 50 to 60 percent of men in their sixties have prostate cancer somewhere in their prostate, even those with normal PSA readings, so it would not be a surprise if his biopsy did show cancer.

Since his PSA did not show a steady increase, but varied up and down erratically, my opinion was that his elevated PSA was the result of benign prostate enlargement. Nevertheless, prostate cancer could be hidden in there.

I informed him that even if the biopsy did find cancer, it wasn't likely he could have an aggressive form of prostate cancer, and since his PSA was not climbing, there was no need to rush to do anything. From my perspective, his PSA readings were reassuring, not alarming.

He followed my nutritional protocol for prostate cancer, and three months later his PSA had dropped down to the 3.5 to 4 range. He was thrilled with the results of this approach, especially when he found his LDL cholesterol had dropped from 189 to 124 as well.

He continues to visit me as a patient two to three times a year. He is doing great, and his health improves with every passing year. His PSA level now runs 3 to 3.5. We still don't know for sure that he doesn't have cancer, but he is no longer worried about it.

This story is from the July 2005 edition of Healthy Times, Dr. Fuhrman's quarterly newsletter. Access to the entire catalog of Healthy Times is part of what you get when you become a member of DrFuhrman.com.