Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Study proves that people who eat organic have 25% lower risk of cancer

Study proves that people who eat organic have 25% lower risk of cancer

 

organic

 

If you’ve ever doubted whether organic food is worth the higher price tag, a study that was recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine should put your concerns to rest. In the study, French researchers showed that people who consume organic food have a 25% lower risk of cancer.

The study, which was carried out under the guidance of epidemiologist Julia Baudry, looked at the diets of nearly 70,000 French adults with an average age in their mid-40s. The volunteers were divided into four categories according to how often they ate 16 organic products that included vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, prepared meals, condiments, dietary supplements, vegetable oils and other products.

After an average follow-up time of 4 ½ years, the researchers looked at how many of the participants had developed some type of cancer. After comparing the volunteers’ organic food scores with the cancer cases, they were able to determine that those who ate the most organic food were 25 percent less likely to develop cancer than those who did not eat organic food. When it came to specific types of cancer, the group who ate organic was 73 percent less likely to go on to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and 21 percent less likely to go on to develop postmenopausal breast cancer.

It might be tempting to assume that the group who ate organic food would be more health-conscious overall and likely had a healthier diet in general, and that may be responsible for the lower cancer risk. However, the researchers say that simply is not true; even those who ate a low- to medium-quality diet yet opted for organic enjoyed the reduced cancer risk.

The authors concluded that should the findings be confirmed, promoting the consumption of organic food to the public could serve as a good strategy against cancer.

Pesticides have long been linked to cancer

The co-author of the commentary that was published alongside the study, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Associate Professor Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro, called the findings “incredibly important” and pointed out that they are consistent with the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s finding that pesticides cause cancer in humans.

The study’s findings are also supported but other studies have shown a negative relationship between the consumption of organic food and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in particular.

Agricultural chemical firms like Monsanto have long insisted their products do not cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, in August, Monsanto was ordered to pay a school groundskeeper who was terminally ill with the disease $289 million in damages, and they are facing class-action lawsuits on behalf of countless other cancer patients who have developed the disease from exposure to glyphosate.

Yes, organic is worth it

Although the study does leave some questions unanswered, the authors believe that the negative relationship between organic food consumption and cancer risk comes from the “significant” decrease in contamination exposure that takes place when people replace conventional food with organic varieties.

Defenders of conventional agriculture and those who profit from pesticides may argue that the study was flawed, but it’s hard for many people to justify continuing to take such a gamble with their health. In the past decade, the organic food industry has more than doubled. Last year, the Organic Trade Association reports that organic food made up 5.5 percent of all the food sold in the U.S. Although more people are making this healthy choice, it’s clear that more progress needs to be made in spreading the word about the benefits of choosing organic.

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Women and Mesothelioma

cloyhespin

 

Women and Mesothelioma

 

Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related disease that is commonly found in men who work in blue collar trades. But did you know that women can also be at risk for a deadly diagnosis, as well? There are many ways women can experience secondary asbestos exposure, which can lead to mesothelioma. Here are just a few:

 

Doing the Laundry

Many women have been exposed to asbestos when doing a loved one’s laundry. Spouses and others who work in blue collar trades, such as electricians, construction workers, and mechanics, can carry asbestos fibers home with them on their clothing after long days at work. If their clothes are shaken out before being washed, asbestos fibers are released into the air and can be inhaled by those doing the laundry. In many cases it has been the wives of workers who are exposed this way.

 

Hugging a Loved One

 

As mentioned above, many men who worked in blue collar trades are at risk for asbestos exposure at work. After the worker has returned home, women — including wives and daughters – might greet their spouse or father with a long hug. This embrace could result in exposure to the asbestos fibers that could eventually lead to a mesothelioma diagnosis.

 

Car Rides

Riding in a car that a worker regularly uses can also lead to asbestos exposure. Those same asbestos fibers that come to rest on a workers’ clothing can follow the individual into their car as they drive home, day after day. Suddenly, car rides with a loved one can turn into a dangerous activity.

 

Mesothelioma does not discriminate between men and women. If you are a woman who is spending or has spent a lot of time around someone who has been exposed to asbestos, the potential for your own exposure is high. Do not hesitate to alert your doctor if you believe you have been exposed in the past.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease

Breast Cancer and Iodiine

iodine

Breast Cancer and Iodine

One out of seven women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Many studies have found a strong association between thyroid abnormalities caused by lack of iodine and breast cancer. A mere 30 years ago, iodine consumption was much higher and only one in twenty women developed breast cancer. In Japan, the breast cancer rates are well below the US rates. This is because they consume lots of seafood, kelp, and other iodine-rich foods as a regular part of the diet. The average intake in Japan is about 12 mg (12,000 mcg) a day. Now look at Americans who get about 50 times less iodine than Japenese in their diets. The only iodine comsumption is iodized salt which many people have been convinced is bad for you. It is NOT! Salt at fast food restaurants is bad for you. If you are not getting at least 12mg of iodine/iodide a day, you are falling behind. If you are deficient in iodine (90% or more of Americans are), it will take more than 12mg a day for a few months to catch up.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Lifestyle

Natural Insect Repellent that works better than DEET

lemoneucalyptus

Natural Insect Repellent that works better than DEET

Biting insects can put a damper on your summer

fun, not to mention potentially transmit diseases like Lyme disease and West

Nile Virus. The majority of US adults (75 percent) said they are actually more concerned about such diseases than

they are about potentially dangerous chemicals in insect repellent.1

Still, most

people also told Consumer

Reports that safety is important when choosing an insect repellent, and only

one-third believe products on the market are safe for adults (and only 23

percent considered them safe for kids).

Concern is well-justified, as DEET

(N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is used in hundreds of products, in concentrations

of up to an astounding 100 percent. DEET has been shown to harm brain and

nervous system function.

Children are

particularly at risk for subtle neurological changes because their skin more

readily absorbs chemicals in the environment, and chemicals exert more potent

effects on their developing nervous systems.

DEET is not your only option for insect

repellent, fortunately, and Consumer Reports tests have recently revealed

natural alternatives that may be even more effective

without the harsh side effects.

Picaridin and

Lemon Eucalyptus Beat DEET for Repelling Insects

Consumer

Reports recruited volunteers to test out spray-on repellents made of DEET, oil

of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, a chemical called IR3535, and products made

with natural plant oils. After the repellents were applied and allowed to sit

for 30 minutes, the volunteers reached into a cage containing (disease-free)

mosquitoes or ticks.

Two products

emerged on top and were able to keep mosquitoes and ticks away for at least

seven hours: products that contained 20 percent picaridin or 30 percent oil of

lemon eucalyptus. Picaridin resembles the natural compound piperine, an

essential oil in black pepper.

However, picaridin is not a natural compound;

it’s produced synthetically in the lab. According to the Environmental Working

Group (EWG), picaridin does not carry the same neurotoxicity concerns at DEET,

although it has not been tested much over the long term. They report:2

“Overall, EWG’s

assessment is that Picaridin is a good DEET alternative with many of the same

advantages and without the same disadvantages.”

Lemon

Eucalyptus Is a ‘Biopesticide’ Repellent

Oil

of lemon eucalyptus comes from the gum eucalyptus tree, but it is

p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), its synthetic version with pesticidal properties,

that is used as an insect repellent. While the term “PMD” is often used

interchangeably with lemon eucalyptus oil, know that it is different from the

“pure” unrefined oil, which is typically used in making fragrances.

The pure oil is

not registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an insect

repellant. PMD or the refined version, on the other hand, has a long history of

use but only recently became important as a commercial repellent.

In 2000, the

EPA registered oil of lemon eucalyptus or PMD as a “biopesticide repellent,”

meaning it is derived from natural materials. Both lemon eucalyptus oil and

picaridin are not actual repellents,

but insteadmost likely work by masking the environmental cues that mosquitoes

use to locate their target.

Side effects of

both picaridin and lemon eucalyptus include potential skin or eye irritation,

and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that picaridin should not

be used on children under age 3. Urvashi Rangan, PhD, executive director of

Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center, said:

“They are not

side-effect-free, but ‘those problems are much less severe than deet…’ Still,

all repellents should be used sparingly and only for the time you need

them—especially on children and older people.”

Why

DEET-Containing Repellents Are Better Off Avoided

About 30

percent of Americans use DEET every year, but you should know that this

chemical – though generally effective in keeping away insects – can have deadly

repercussions. From 1961 to 2002, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease

Registry reports eight deaths related to DEET exposure.

Three of these resulted from deliberate

ingestion, but five of them occurred following DEET exposure to the skin in

adults and children.3 Psychological effects have

also been reported including altered mental state, auditory hallucinations, and

severe agitation.

In children, the most frequently reported

symptoms of DEET toxicity reported to poison control centers were lethargy,

headaches, tremors, involuntary movements, seizures, and convulsions. Further,

in a study of more than 140 National Park Service employees, 25 percent

reported health effects they attributed to DEET, including:4

Rashes

Skin or mucous membrane

irritation

Transient numb or

burning lips

Dizziness

Disorientation

Difficulty

concentrating

Headache

Nausea

In addition, Duke University Medical Center

pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia spent 30 years researching

the effects of pesticides. He discovered that prolonged exposure to DEET can

impair cell function in parts of your brain — demonstrated in the lab by death

and behavioral changes in rats with frequent or prolonged DEET use. Other

potential side effects DEET exposure include:

Memory loss

Headache

Muscle weakness and

fatigue

Shortness of breath

Muscle and joint pain

Tremors

Another

potentially harmful chemical found in many bug sprays is permethrin. This

chemical is a member of the synthetic pyrethroid family, all of which are

neurotoxins.

The EPA has even deemed this chemical

carcinogenic, capable of causing lung tumors, liver tumors, immune system

problems, and chromosomal abnormalities. Permethrin is also damaging to the

environment, and it is particularly toxic to bees and aquatic life. It should

also be noted that permethrin is highly toxic to cats.5

Non-Chemical

Options to Keep Bugs Away from Your Barbecue

Consumer

Reports also tested three non-chemical options for keeping pests away from a

simulated backyard barbecue: a citronella candle, a portable diffuser with

essential oils, or an oscillating pedestal fan set at its highest speed.

While neither the candle nor the diffuser showed much promise, the fan worked

well, cutting mosquito landings by 45 percent to 65 percent among those sitting

near the fan.

Similar results were found from the Consumer

Reports survey, which found 45 percent of people who used fans to keep insects

away reported them as “especially helpful” (compared to 31 percent of those who

used candles).6

Naturally, the

best way to avoid mosquito bites is to prevent coming into contact with them in

the first place. You can avoid insect bites by staying inside between dusk and

dawn, which is when they are most active.

Mosquitoes are also thicker in shrubby areas and

near standing water. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA)

recommends the “Three Ds” of protection to prevent mosquito breeding on your

property:7

  • Drain – Mosquitoes require water in which to breed, so

    carefully drain any and all sources of standing water around your house and

    yard, including pet bowls, gutters, garbage and recycling bins, spare tires,

    bird baths, etc.

  • Dress – Wear light colored, loose fitting

    clothing—long sleeved shirts and long pants, hats, and socks

  • Defend – While the AMCA recommends

    using commercial repellents, I highly recommend avoiding most chemical

    repellents for the reasons already discussed; try some of the natural

    alternatives instead, when necessary

Bat houses are another option since bats are

voracious consumers of insects, especially mosquitoes. For more on buying a bat

house or constructing one yourself, visit the Organization for Bat

Conservation.8 Planting marigolds around

your yard also works as a bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance

that bugs dislike.

Enjoy the

Outdoors with These Additional Natural Repellent Options

Body temperature and skin chemicals like lactic

acid attract mosquitoes, which explains why you’re more likely to be “eaten

alive” when you’re sweaty, such as during or after exercise, so trying to stay

as cool and dry as you can may help to some degree. Some experts also recommend

supplementing

with one vitamin B1 tablet a day from April through October, and

then adding 100 mg of B1 to a B100 Complex daily during the mosquito season to

make

you less attractive to mosquitoes. Regularly

consuming

garlic may also help protect against mosquito bites, as may thefollowing natural insect repellants:

  • Cinnamon leaf oil

    (one study found it was more effective at killing mosquitoes than DEET9)

  • Clear liquid vanilla extract mixed with olive oil
  • Wash with citronella soap, and then put 100% pure

    citronella essential

    oil on your skin. Java Citronella is considered the highest qualitycitronella on the market

  • Catnip oil (according to one study, this oil is

    10 times more effective than DEET10)

Another option is to use the safe solution I have

formulated to repel mosquitoes, fleas, chiggers, ticks, and other biting

insects. It’s a

natural

insect spray with a combination of citronella,

lemongrass

oil,

peppermint

oil, and vanillin, which is a dynamite blend of natural plant

extracts. In fact, an independent study showed my bug spray to be more

effective than a product containing 100 percent DEET. And it’s safe for you,

your children, and your pets.

You can also try using lemon eucalyptus oil to make a homemade insect

repellent. Here is a recipe from Backpacking Spirit to try out:11

“Make your own

mosquito repellent consisted of around 10% lemon eucalyptus oil. If you are

using the essential (‘pure’) oil, note that it does not mix with water and will

therefore require a carrier oil, such as hazel, vodka, or olive oil.

Procedure:

  • Obtain an

    appropriately sized bottle for travel; a 100 to 200 ml bottle will be a good

    choice. You may also go for a bottle that has a spritzer nozzle for easy

    application.

  • Choose your

    carrier oil

  • Use a measuring

    jug for more precise measurements.

  • Think 10%

    essential oil. If you are using a 100 ml bottle, mix 90 ml of your chosen

    liquid and 10 ml of lemon eucalyptus oil. If you are using a 200 ml bottle, mix

    180 ml of liquid and 20 ml of essential oil.

  • Shake the

    bottle thoroughly before use.

  • Spritz onto

    skin and rub in.”

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Archived Article

Foods, Health and Disease

Celery and Cancer Prevention

celery

Just eating two cups of celery weekly can help block the growth and spread of cancerous

cells in your pancreas, a University of Illinois study has shown.  Celery contains apigenin, a

compound that tinkers with the DNA of abnormal cells, forcing them to self-destruct.

Apigenin is also abundant in parsley, spinach and red wine.

We know that people who have diabetes, gout, BPH, ED, rheumatoid arthristic and several

other diseases are prone to pancreatic cancer.

Do not eat fresh spinach if you have any kidney or urological problems.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Foods, Health and Disease

Super Energy Kale Soup

superenergykale soup

Super Energy Kale Soup

Eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables two to three times a week or, even better, four to five times a week, is an easy way to significantly boost your health. Just one cup of kale will flood your body with disease-fighting vitamins K, A, and C, along with respectable amounts of manganese, copper, B vitamins, fiber, calcium, and potassium.

With each serving of kale, you’ll also find more than 45 unique flavonoids, which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.1 In terms of green leafy vegetables, you really can’t go wrong… but kale is definitely worthy of its reputation as “king of veggies.”

And here’s a secret: kale’s flavor gets sweeter after it’s been exposed to a frost, making winter the ideal time to eat it (and it is in season starting mid-winter). When the temperatures drop you might not feel like eating a raw kale salad, but what about a bowl of warm kale soup?

The recipe that follows, from the George Mateljan Foundation,2 will not only warm you up and boost your nutrition, it’ll give you a nice energy boost, too.

Super Energy Kale Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 cups chicken or bone broth
  • 1 medium carrot, diced into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 red potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 cups kale, rinsed, stems removed and chopped very fine
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.Chop garlic and onions and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their health benefits.

2.Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium soup pot.

3.Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.

4.Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.

5.Add broth, carrots, and celery and bring to a boil on high heat.

6.Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 more minutes.

7.Add kale and rest of ingredients and cook another 5 minutes. If you want to simmer for a longer time for extra flavor and richness, you may need to add a little more broth.

Serves 4

Kale May Fight at Least Five Types of Cancer

Like other cruciferous vegetables, kale is a good source of cancer-fighting sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. To date, kale has been found to lower the risk of at least five types of cancer, including bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate.3

The glucosinolates in kale and other cruciferous vegetables break down into products that help protect DNA from damage.4 As noted by the George Mateljan Foundation:5

“Kale’s special mix of cancer-preventing glucosinolates has been the hottest area of research on this cruciferous vegetable.

Kale is an especially rich source of glucosinolates, and once kale is eaten and digested, these glucosinolates can be converted by the body into cancer preventive compounds. Some of this conversion process can also take place in the food itself, prior to consumption.”

While some research suggests raw kale is best for cancer prevention, other studies suggest lightly cooked is best, in part because it improves kale’s ability to bind with bile acids in your digestive tract.

This makes the bile acids easier for your body to excrete, which not only has a beneficial impact on your cholesterol levels, but also on your risk of cancer (bile acids have been associated with an increased risk of cancer). According to one study in Nutrition Research:6

“Steam cooking significantly improved the in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage compared with previously observed bile acid binding values for these vegetables raw (uncooked).

Inclusion of steam-cooked collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage in our daily diet as health-promoting vegetables should be emphasized.

These green/leafy vegetables, when consumed regularly after steam cooking, would lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, advance human nutrition research, and improve public health.”

Eat Kale to Support Natural Detoxification

Foods that support both Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification are key to supporting your body’s daily removal of harmful substances from your body. Phase 1 detoxification is when toxins are broken down into smaller particles, while during your body’s Phase 2 detoxification process, the broken down toxins are shuttled out of your system.

If you eat foods that support Phase 1, but not Phase 2, the broken-down toxins may begin to accumulate in your body. But the isothiocyanates (ITCs) in kale help to promote both Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification. The George Mateljan Foundation explained:7

“In addition, the unusually large numbers of sulfur compounds in kale have been shown to help support aspects of Phase II detoxification that require the presence of sulfur.

By supporting both aspects of our cellular detox process (Phase I and Phase II), nutrients in kale can give our body an “edge up” in dealing with toxic exposure, whether from our environment or from our food.”

Kale Earns Its Reputation as a Superfood

Kale is one vegetable that lives up to its nutritional hype. It’s loaded with both lutein and zeaxanthin at over 26 mg combined, per serving, for starters. Of all the carotenoids, only zeaxanthin and lutein are found in your retina, which has the highest concentration of fatty acids of any tissue in your body.

This is because your retina is a highly light- and oxygen-rich environment, and it needs a large supply of free radical scavengers to prevent oxidative damage there.

It is theorized that your body concentrates zeaxanthin and lutein in your retina to perform this duty, and consuming these antioxidants may help to ward off eye problems like age-related macular degeneration.

And as far as calcium is concerned, one cup of kale will give you 90 milligrams in a highly bioavailable form. One calcium bioavailability study found that calcium from kale was 25% better absorbed than calcium from milk.8 What else do you gain when you eat kale?

  • Anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent arthritis, heart disease and autoimmune diseases
  • Plant-based omega-3 fats for building cell membranes, protecting against heart disease and stroke, and regulating blood clotting
  • An impressive number of beneficial flavonoids, including 32 phenolic compounds and three hydroxycinnamic acids to help support healthy cholesterol levels and scavenge free radicals

Choose Organic Kale When You Can

When choosing kale, look for firm, fresh deeply colored leaves with hardy stems. Avoid leaves that are brown or yellow or that contain holes. Kale with smaller leaves tends to be more tender and milder than larger-leaved kale. Choose organic varieties (or grow your own), as kale is frequently sprayed with pesticides, and particularly toxic pesticides at that. One study by the Environmental Working Group detected 51 pesticides on kale, including several they described as “highly toxic.”9 For best results, store kale in your refrigerator (unwashed) in a plastic storage bag. Remove as much air as you can. Ideally, eat kale as soon as you can, because the longer it sits the more bitter the flavor becomes.

If you want to learn even more about what’s in the food you’re eating, visit our Food Facts library. Most people are not aware of the wealth of nutrients available in healthful foods, particularly organic fruits and vegetables. By getting to know your food, you can make informed decisions about how to eat healthier and thereby boost your brain function, lower your risk of chronic disease, lose weight, and much more.

Food Facts is a directory of the most highly recommended health foods to add to your wholesome diet. Its purpose is to provide you with valuable information about various types of foods including recipes to help you maximize these benefits. You’ll learn about nutrition facts, scientific studies, and even interesting trivia about each food in the Food Facts library. Remember, knowing what’s in your food is the first step to choosing and preparing nutritious meals each and every day. So visit Mercola Food Facts today to get started.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL (9355)

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Health and Disease

Anti-cancer Foods: Cruciferous Vegetables

greenskale

Anti-Cancer Foods: Cruciferous Vegetables

Nutrition scientists have shown over and over that people who eat more natural plant foods – vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, etc. – are less likely to be diagnosed with cancer. But are all vegetables equally protective? To win the war on cancer, we must design an anti-cancer diet, which focuses on the foods with the most powerful anti-cancer effects – then we could eat plenty of these foods each day, flooding our bodies with the protective substances contained within them.

The cruciferous family of vegetables is full of super foods with powerful anti-cancer effects – we should eat vegetables from this family every day. This family includes green vegetables like kale and bok choy plus some non-green vegetables like cauliflower. For a full list of cruciferous vegetables, click here.

Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates and in a different area of the cell, an enzyme called myrosinase. When we blend, chop or chew these vegetables, we break up the plant cells, allowing myrosinase to come into contact with glucosinolates, initiating a chemical reaction that produces isothiocyanates (ITCs) – powerful anti-cancer compounds. ITCs have been shown to detoxify and remove carcinogens, kill cancer cells, and prevent tumors from growing.1

Observational studies have shown that eating ITC-rich cruciferous vegetables protects against cancer – here are a few examples:

  • Twenty-eight servings of vegetables per week decreased prostate cancer risk by 33%, but just 3 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week decreased prostate cancer risk by 41%.2
  • One or more servings of cabbage per week reduced risk of pancreatic cancer by 38%.3
  • One serving per day of cruciferous vegetables reduced the risk of breast cancer by over 50%.4

Cruciferous vegetables and breast cancer

Cruciferous vegetables are especially helpful for preventing hormonal cancers, such as breast cancer, because some ITC, such as indole-3-carbinol (abundant in broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage), can even help the body excrete estrogen and other hormones.5 In fact, new research has shown additional anti-estrogenic effects of both indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane (most abundant in broccoli); these ITCs blunt the growth-promoting effects of estrogen on breast and cervical cancer cells.5-7

Eating cruciferous vegetables produces measurable isothiocyanates in breast tissue8, and observational studies show that women who eat more cruciferous vegetables are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer: In a recent Chinese study, women who regularly ate one serving per day of cruciferous vegetables had a 50% reduced risk of breast cancer.4 A 17% decrease in breast cancer risk was found in a European study for consuming cruciferous vegetables at least once a week.9 Plus, breast cancer survivors who eat cruciferous vegetables regularly have lower risk of cancer recurrence – the more cruciferous vegetables they ate, the lower their risk.10

Within an overall nutrient-dense eating style, cruciferous vegetables can provide us with a profound level of protection against cancer. Don’t forget: chopping, chewing, blending, or juicing cruciferous vegetables is necessary to produce the anti-cancer ITCs. To learn more about cruciferous vegetables, read Healthy Times Newsletter #32.

References

  1. Higdon J, Delage B, Williams D, et al. Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis. Pharmacol Res 2007;55:224-236.
  2. Cohen JH, Kristal AR, Stanford JL. Fruit and vegetable intakes and prostate cancer risk. J Natl Cancer Inst 2000;92:61-68.
  3. Larsson SC, Hakansson N, Naslund I, et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption in relation to pancreatic cancer risk: a prospective study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006;15:301-305.
  4. Zhang CX, Ho SC, Chen YM, et al. Greater vegetable and fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. Int J Cancer 2009;125:181-188.
  5. Yuan F, Chen DZ, Liu K, et al. Anti-estrogenic activities of indole-3-carbinol in cervical cells: implication for prevention of cervical cancer. Anticancer Res 1999;19:1673-1680.
  6. Meng Q, Yuan F, Goldberg ID, et al. Indole-3-carbinol is a negative regulator of estrogen receptor-alpha signaling in human tumor cells. J Nutr 2000;130:2927-2931.
  7. Ramirez MC, Singletary K. Regulation of estrogen receptor alpha expression in human breast cancer cells by sulforaphane. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 2009;20:195-201.
  8. Cornblatt BS, Ye L, Dinkova-Kostova AT, et al. Preclinical and clinical evaluation of sulforaphane for chemoprevention in the breast. Carcinogenesis 2007;28:1485-1490.
  9. Bosetti C, Filomeno M, Riso P, et al. Cruciferous vegetables and cancer risk in a network of case-control studies. Ann Oncol 2012.
  10. Nechuta SJ, Lu W, Cai H, et al: Cruciferous Vegetable Intake After Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Survival: a Report From the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study. Abstract #LB-322. In Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4. Chicago, Il; 2012.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods, Vitamins and Supplements

Tumeric root helps prevent cancer

tumericroot

Benefits of Turmeric Root Shown to Eliminate Cancer

Did You Know that an extract of the turmeric root contains a phytochemical called curcumin, which has been shown to eliminate cancer cells from the body?

Turmeric, the perennial herb which is prized in Ayurvedic medicine, is known to most of us as the gold-colored Indian spice used to make curry and mustard. Now, it is regarded by many medical practitioners as “nutritional chemotherapy.”

It is a low-cost, natural substance that countless people take every day to prevent cancer — and at chemotherapy levels to treat cancer in early and advanced stages without side effects.

Curcumin is one of hundreds of constituents found in the root of the turmeric plant. People often use the words turmeric and curcumin interchangeably, but they’re actually not the same thing. Turmeric is the whole food or whole herb, whereas curcumin is an extracted component of turmeric — the latter being the one that has been singled out for it therapeutic properties.

Curcumin’s medicinal use and benefits dates back 6,000 years ago to the ancient Egyptian pharaohs and Ayurvedic medical practitioners in India. Today, curcumin is used for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-tumor and anti-amyloid (to combat neurodegenerative diseases) effects.

When curcumin’s cancer-fighting properties were first discovered by Western medicine, an American pharmaceutical company tried to patent turmeric. Needless to say, health practitioners and suppliers from India were outraged considering they have been using this herb for thousands of years to heal and treat major diseases.

“Curcumin has broad anti-cancer effects during initiation, promotion, and progression of tumors. Several studies suggest that curcumin can cause cancer to regress… has action against carcinogens… substantially reduces the formation of mutagenic (cancer causing) chemicals… and eliminates DNA damage to prevent the development of cancer.” — Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa (KP), Yogaraj in Ayurveda, author of Herbal Defenses, and one of the country’s foremost natural healing experts.

Curcumin has been shown to be effective in both cancer prevention and treatment because it contains potent levels of:

  • Phytochemicals — non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties;
  • Polyphenols and chemopreventives — compounds that actually block chemicals from getting inside cells and suppress tumor formation;
  • Antioxidatives and anti-carcinogenics — agents that act as free-radical scavengers, anti-mutagens, and bio-protectors that stop pre-cancerous and cancerous growth.

Curcumin is currently being targeted as a way to reduce high breast cancer rates because of its ability to slow and stop the division — and thus the spread — of cancerous cells. In a study on human breast cancer cells, curcumin reversed growth by 98%. Another study using curcumin in mice was successful in slowing the growth of cancer from the breast into lungs, throat, and other areas.

Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center conducted a study that showed when curcumin was added into cell cultures containing multiple myeloma (a type of cancer), it stopped the cancer cells from reproducing — and the remaining cells died.

Curcumin also obstructs cancerous cell growth by activating and protecting the release of human glutathione. Glutathione is a key antioxidant that the body produces to maintain normal cellular activity and is the only antioxidant that resides inside the cell.

From this prime position, glutathione and curcumin inhibit cellular mutagens that would otherwise promote cancer.

Curcumin has also been shown to reduce chemically-induced cancer by 90% — such as mouth and tongue cancers caused by smoking. Curcumin interferes with the process of the p450 enzyme in the liver that would otherwise convert environmental toxins into carcinogens, which mutate cells and promote cancerous growth.

“Curcumin has been found to influence over 60 molecular targets in the cancer process. With an established safety record and a fraction of the cost of conventional chemotherapy, plant compounds like curcumin represent an enormous and almost untapped resource for cancer treatment.” — Jonathan Treasure, co-founder of Centre for Natural Healing, co-author of Herb, Nutrient, and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies.

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Fighting Breast Cancer with Flax and Chia Seeds

flaxandchiaseeds

Fighting breast cancer with flax and chia seeds

What are lignans?

Plant lignans are one of the four classes of phytoestrogens (isoflavones, lignans, stilbenes, coumestans), phenolic compounds that are structurally similar to the main mammalian estrogen, estradiol.1 Plant lignans are modified by bacteria in the human digestive tract into enteroligans. It is important to recognize the role of healthy bacteria in this process, because antibiotics can destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut resulting in long-term reduction in enteroligans.2 Eating commercial meats exposes us to antibiotics, as does the overuse and inappropriate prescribing by physicians.

Which foods are good sources of plant lignans?

Flaxseeds are the richest source of plant lignans, having about 3 times the lignan content of chia seeds and 8 times the lignan content of sesame seeds (note that flaxseed oil does not contain lignans — they bind to the fiber). The other plant foods on the list have about one-tenth or less the amount of lignans as sesame seeds per serving.2, 3

  • Flaxseeds (85.5 mg/ounce)
  • Chia seeds (32 mg/ounce)4
  • Sesame seeds (11.2 mg/ounce)5
  • Kale (curly; 1.6 mg/cup)
  • Broccoli (1.2 mg/cup)

Anti-cancer effects of lignans

Enterolignans are structurally similar to estrogen and can bind to estrogen receptors — this capability allows lignans to either have weak estrogenic activity or block the actions of estrogen in the body. For this reason, plant lignans are classified as phytoestrogens, and there has been much interest in the potential contribution of lignan-rich foods to reduced risk of hormone-related cancers.2, 6 Enterolignans inhibits aromatase7 and estradiol production in general, lowering serum estrogen levels.8 Plant lignans also increase concentration of sex hormone binding globulin, which blunts the effects of estrogens.9-11 These benefits were documented when 48 postmenopausal women consumed 7.5 g/day of ground flax seeds for 6 weeks, then 15 g for 6 weeks — and significant decreases in estradiol, estrone, and testosterone were noted with a bigger decrease in overweight and obese women.12

In a mouse model, a flaxseed diet (5%, 10%) shows dose-dependent inhibition of breast tumor growth.13 Human trials also confirmed similar beneficial effects. A double-blinded, randomized controlled trial of dietary flaxseed demonstrated dramatic protection. Women ate either a control muffin with no flax seeds imbedded or 25g flax-containing muffin starting at time of diagnosis of breast cancer for just 32-39 days until surgery. Tumor tissue analyzed at diagnosis and surgery demonstrated surprising benefits even in this short timeframe. There was a significant apoptosis (tumor cell death) and reduced cell proliferation in the flaxseed group in just the one month.14 Likewise women eating more flaxseeds with a documented higher serum enterolactone were found to have a 42% reduced risk of death from postmenopausal breast cancer and a dramatic (40 percent) reduction in all causes of death.15, 16 Flaxseeds are clearly super foods; even with a mediocre diet they offer powerful protection against breast cancer. Another interesting study on flax followed women for up to 10 years and found a 51% reduced risk of all-cause mortality and a 71% reduced risk of breast cancer mortality. The intake of dried beans was also associated with a 39% reduced risk of all-cause mortality.17 Endometrial and ovarian cancer have not been as extensively studied, but the few studies that have been conducted suggest a protective effect.2, 18

Bottom line; don’t forget to take your ground flax seeds (or chia seeds) every day. I sometimes forget too, but reviewing the science encourages me to remember. When used in conjunction with dietary exposure to greens, onions, mushrooms and beans, dramatic reductions in the risk of breast cancer are possible.

References: 1. Mense SM, Hei TK, Ganju RK, et al: Phytoestrogens and breast cancer prevention: possible mechanisms of action. Environ Health Perspect 2008;116:426-433. 2. Higdon J: Lignans. In An Evidence-Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals. New York: Thieme; 2006: 155-161 3. Milder IE, Arts IC, van de Putte B, et al: Lignan contents of Dutch plant foods: a database including lariciresinol, pinoresinol, secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol. Br J Nutr 2005;93:393-402. 4. Nemes SM, Orstat V: Evaluation of a Microwave-Assisted Extraction Method for Lignan Quantification in Flaxseed Cultivars and Selected Oil Seeds. Food Analytical Methods 2012;5:551-563. 5. Coulman KD, Liu Z, Hum WQ, et al: Whole sesame seed is as rich a source of mammalian lignan precursors as whole flaxseed. Nutr Cancer 2005;52:156-165. 6. Adlercreutz H: Lignans and human health. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 2007;44:483-525. 7. Adlercreutz H, Bannwart C, Wahala K, et al: Inhibition of human aromatase by mammalian lignans and isoflavonoid phytoestrogens. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 1993;44:147-153. 8. Brooks JD, Thompson LU: Mammalian lignans and genistein decrease the activities of aromatase and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in MCF-7 cells. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2005;94:461-467. 9. Adlercreutz H, Mousavi Y, Clark J, et al: Dietary phytoestrogens and cancer: in vitro and in vivo studies. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 1992;41:331-337. 10. Adlercreutz H, Hockerstedt K, Bannwart C, et al: Effect of dietary components, including lignans and phytoestrogens, on enterohepatic circulation and liver metabolism of estrogens and on sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). J Steroid Biochem 1987;27:1135-1144. 11. Low YL, Dunning AM, Dowsett M, et al: Phytoestrogen exposure is associated with circulating sex hormone levels in postmenopausal women and interact with ESR1 and NR1I2 gene variants. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007;16:1009-1016. 12. Sturgeon SR, Heersink JL, Volpe SL, et al: Effect of dietary flaxseed on serum levels of estrogens and androgens in postmenopausal women. Nutr Cancer 2008;60:612-618. 13. Chen J, Power KA, Mann J, et al: Flaxseed alone or in combination with tamoxifen inhibits MCF-7 breast tumor growth in ovariectomized athymic mice with high circulating levels of estrogen. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2007;232:1071-1080. 14. Thompson LU, Chen JM, Li T, et al: Dietary flaxseed alters tumor biological markers in postmenopausal breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res 2005;11:3828-3835. 15. Buck K, Vrieling A, Zaineddin AK, et al: Serum enterolactone and prognosis of postmenopausal breast cancer. J Clin Oncol 2011;29:3730-3738. 16. Buck K, Zaineddin AK, Vrieling A, et al: Estimated enterolignans, lignan-rich foods, and fibre in relation to survival after postmenopausal breast cancer. Br J Cancer 2011;105:1151-1157. 17. McCann SE, Thompson LU, Nie J, et al: Dietary lignan intakes in relation to survival among women with breast cancer: the Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer (WEB) Study. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2010;122:229-235. 18. Bandera EV, King M, Chandran U, et al: Phytoestrogen consumption from foods and supplements and epithelial ovarian cancer risk: a population-based case control study. BMC Womens Health 2011;11:40.

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Health Benefits of Ginger Tea

gingertea

Health Benefits of Ginger Tea

With its high levels of Vitamin C, magnesium and other minerals, ginger root is extremely beneficial for health. Once made into tea, you can add peppermint, honey or lemon to make this beverage into an incredible tea with immunity boosters known to reduce inflammation and prevent many illnesses.

  1. Anti-Cancer Ginger tea including whole ginger extract exerts significant growth-inhibiting and death-inductory effects in a spectrum of prostate cancer cells. Over 17 other studies have also reached similar conclusions on ginger’s anticancer benefits, with the spice being shown by peer-reviewed research to positively impact beyond 101 diseases. 2. Relieve nausea Drinking a cup of ginger tea before travelling can help prevent the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. You can also drink a cuppa at the first sign of nausea to relieve the symptom. A study by Danish scientists looked at 80 naval cadets prone to seasickness and found that those given one gram of ginger powder suffered less in a four-hour period then those given medication. 3. Improve stomach performance Useful in improving digestion and increasing absorption of food, ginger tea can bloating after eating too much. 4. Reduce inflammation Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal home remedy for muscle and joint problems. In addition to drinking ginger tea, you can also use it to soak inflamed joints. Ginger is one of the best pain killers in the world having analgesic properties like the popular ibuprofen, only better. It contains a quartet, gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone which are active ingredients to reduce pain. Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body. A study by researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced improvement. 5. Fight respiratory problems Ginger tea can help relieve congestion associated with the common cold. Try a cup of ginger tea for the respiratory symptoms associated with environmental allergies. 6. Improve blood circulation The vitamins, minerals and amino acids in ginger tea can help restore and improve blood circulation that may help decrease the chance of cardiovascular problems. Ginger may prevent fat from depositing in the arteries helping to prevent heart attacks and stroke. 7. Relieve menstrual discomfort This one is for all women suffering from menstrual cramps. Try soaking a towel in warm ginger tea and apply it to your lower abdomen. It may help relieve the pain and relax the muscles. At the same time, drink a cup of ginger tea with honey. 8. Strengthen immunity Ginger tea can help strengthen your immunity due to the high levels of antioxidants in ginger. 9. Relieve stress Ginger tea has calming properties that may help lower your stress and tension. This is thought to be due to a combination of the strong aroma and healing properties. 10. Reduce Asthma A team of US-based researchers have suggested that ginger compounds are effective in reducing the symptoms of asthma. Karen Foster is a holistic nutritionist, avid blogger, with five kids and an active lifestyle that keeps her in pursuit of the healthiest path towards a life of balance.

Ginger Beats Drugs In Defeating Cancer, Motion Sickness and Inflammation

Along side turmeric, ginger is one of the world’s most potent disease-fighting spices. It has been widely regarded for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. The use of ginger is numero uno when it comes to curing common cold and cough. It is also superior to pharmaceutical drugs in defeating cancer, motion sickness and inflammation.

Astoundingly, ginger is even more effective than many cancer drugs at shrinking tumors. Commonly consumed across the world in small doses among food and beverage products, the medicinal properties of ginger far surpass even advanced pharmaceutical inventions.

Cancer

Whole ginger extract was shown to exert significant growth-inhibiting and death-inductory effects in a spectrum of prostate cancer cells. Over 17 other studies have also reached similar conclusions on ginger’s anticancer benefits, with the spice being shown by peer-reviewed research to positively impact beyond 101 diseases.

The subject of one study based out of Georgia State University, whole ginger extract was revealed to shrink prostate tumor size by a whopping 56% in mice. The anticancer properties were observed in addition to ginger’s role in reducing inflammation as well as being a rich source of life-enhancing antioxidants. But what about cancer drugs? Could this simple spice really topple the advanced pharmaceuticals that are often touted as the ‘only option’ for cancer patients by medical doctors?

It turns out that cancer drugs are not only severely ineffective at permanently shrinking tumors, but they actually make tumors larger and kill the patient more quickly. More specifically, the tumors have been found to ‘metasize’, meaning they come back bigger and more stronger than their original size. What’s more, the ‘metasizing’ was found to be very aggressive. According to scientists Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the premium priced drugs were little more than death sentences for many patients.

“Whatever manipulations we’re doing to tumors can inadvertently do something to increase the tumor numbers to become more metastatic, which is what kills patients at the end of the day,” said study author Dr. Raghu Kalluri.

Inflammation

Ginger is one of the best pain killers in the world having analgesic properties like the popular ibuprofen, only better. It contains a quartet, gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone which are active ingredients to reduce pain. Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body. A study by researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced improvement. The recommended dosage of ginger is between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per day. Drink ginger tea or place shavings in your foods. Either way will get you relief from that recurring pain.

During the past 25 years, many laboratories have provided scientific support for the long-held belief that ginger contains constituents with antiinflammatory properties. The original discovery of ginger’s inhibitory effects on prostaglandin biosynthesis in the early 1970s has been repeatedly confirmed. This discovery identified ginger as an herbal medicinal product that shares pharmacological properties with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the side effects.

Ginger suppresses prostaglandin synthesis through inhibition of specific enzymes. An important extension of this early work was the observation that ginger also suppresses inflammatory biosynthesis by inhibiting inflammatory proteins. This pharmacological property distinguishes ginger from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

This discovery preceded the observation that dual inhibitors of these enzymes and inflammatory proteins may have a better therapeutic profile and have fewer side effects than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

The characterization of the pharmacological properties of ginger entered a new phase with the discovery that ginger extract inhibits the induction of several genes involved in the inflammatory response.

These include genes encoding cytokines, chemokines, and the inducible enzymes. This discovery provided the first evidence that ginger modulates biochemical pathways activated in chronic inflammation.

Motion Sickness

A study in the journal Lancet involved 36 people highly susceptible to motion sickness. The researchers had the subjects take either two capsules of powdered ginger, an antinausea medication or a placebo, and then, 20 minutes later, spin on a motorized chair for up to six minutes. Taking ginger delayed the onset of sickness about twice as long as taking the medication. The study also found that half the subjects who took ginger lasted the full six minutes, compared with none of those given the placebo or the medication.

A study by Danish scientists looked at 80 naval cadets prone to seasickness and found that those given one gram of ginger powder suffered less in a four-hour period then those given medication.

Researchers have demonstrated that ginger beats dimenhydrate, the main ingredient in motion sickness drugs such as Dramamine, for controlling symptoms of seasickness and motion sickness. Ginger stimulates saliva flow and digestive activity, settles the stomach, relieves vomiting, eases pain from gas and diarrhea, and is effective as an anti-nausea remedy.

Why Is Ginger So Important?

“Ginger is very popularly used in Ayurveda for its benefits in digestion and respiratory disorders. It is a wonderful carminative, ant flatulent, stimulant and expectorant,” said  Ayurvedic consultant Dr. Jaishree Bhattacharjee. She adds, “Ginger has many useful minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and few others.”

Zingerone, shogaols, gingerols, and volatile oils give ginger its distinct aroma and flavour, as well as its medical properties. The amount of these therapeutic compounds in ginger is determined by geography, time of harvest, and processing methods.

Ginger as an appetizer? When used before meals, ginger improves appetite by igniting digestive fire due to its hot potency. It also enhances digestion due to its pungent taste and alleviates toxins of indigestion from the body. Besides cold, ginger is useful for… “Fresh juice of ginger is used to cure symptoms of cough and cold. It helps stop watery discharge from nose and help cure headache and fever associated with common cold if taken in tea or as decoction with basil and honey,” Dr. Jaishree continues to list hidden benefits of ginger. Different ways of using ginger for home remedies “One can eat thin slices of ginger in a salt and limejuice mixture before and after meals to improve appetite and digestion.” This can be the perfect remedy for fussy children. And adults too: Ginger could be a replacement for wine as an appetizer. “It can be used in cooking as a fresh spice to enhance the taste.” “Therapeutically ginger juice is mixed with basil leaves juice and honey to cure cough and cold.” “Ginger juice application is said to be good for hypo pigmented patches on your skin.” “It can be used in scrubs and baths for fresh rejuvenating aroma.”

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