Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA- FOODS TO AVOID FOR HEALING CHRONIC ILLNESS

images (10)FOODS TO AVOID FOR HEALING CHRONIC ILLNESS

 

“If you’re concerned about your health—if you have any sensitivities or conditions, if you’ve struggled with illness, or if you’re just concerned about prevention—then it’s critical to avoid as many triggers and instigators as possible, and this includes certain foods and ingredients. Your body needs every possible level of support so it can heal and then maintain optimal health.

By now, we’ve all heard of preservatives and artificial flavors—we know to avoid those, for very good reason. There are other problematic ingredients, though, which you should know to avoid. These ingredients can feed existing viral, bacterial, and fungal conditions, which can lead to inflammation—and can also wreak havoc with your digestive system, weaken and confuse your immune system, strain your glands and organs, hinder cells anywhere in your body, disrupt or destroy your brain’s neurons and neurotransmitters, make you anxious and/or depressed, set you up for strokes or heart attacks, and more. Health professionals are unlikely to warn you about most of these foods and additives, because it’s not common knowledge that they can substantially worsen already-existing illnesses, nor that they can trigger new health conditions. You deserve to have full knowledge of what you consume, and what effects it all has on your body.

Corn

Corn used to be one of the fundamental sources of nourishment on earth. Unfortunately, the technology of genetically modified organisms (GMO) has destroyed it as a viable food. Corn products and byproducts create substantial inflammation. It’s a food that can feed viruses, bacteria, mold, and fungus. Even if you see corn advertised as being non-GMO, the chances are high that it can still trigger any kind of health condition—and that it may still be GMO.

Try to avoid all corn and all products that have corn as an ingredient. These include foods such as corn chips, taco shells, popcorn, corn cereal, and anything that clearly incorporates corn syrup or corn oil. They also include less obvious products, such as soda, gum, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), toothpaste, gluten-free foods that use corn in place of wheat, and herbal tinctures that employ alcohol as a preservative. (It’s most likely corn grain alcohol. Buy the alcohol free versions of tinctures instead.) Try to read ingredient labels carefully and do the best you can. Staying away from corn products and byproducts can be a lot of work. For a treat in the summertime, it’s okay to enjoy a fresh, organic corn on the cob. For the sake of your health, it’s worth the effort of cutting out corn the rest of the time.

Soy

Soy has suffered a similar GMO fate as corn. Soy used to be a healthy food. However, you can now assume that any soy product you encounter could have some GMO contamination or contain added MSG. Be cautious when eating soybeans, edamame, miso, soymilk, soy nuts, soy sauce, textured vegetable protein (TVP), soy protein powder, artificial meat products made from soy, and much more. Try to stay away from soy the best you can. If you really enjoy soy and feel deprived without it, stick to the safest options: plain, organic tofu or tempeh, or the highest-quality nama shoyu.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is mostly GMO at this point in time. And regardless, canola oil creates a great deal of inflammation. It’s especially damaging to your digestive system, potentially scarring the linings of both your small and large intestines, and is a major cause of irritable bowel syndrome. Canola oil can feed viruses, bacteria, fungus, and mold. Beyond that, canola oil has an effect similar to battery acid on the inside of your arteries, creating significant vascular damage.

Canola oil is used in many restaurants and in thousands of products, often as a low-cost alternative to olive oil. Even reputable health food chains and restaurants use canola oil to keep prices down, sometimes advertising canola as a health food. Unfortunately, if canola oil is even a tiny part of an otherwise perfectly healthy dish of organic and all-natural ingredients, you should probably avoid that dish because of how destructive canola oil is. If you’re dealing with a mystery illness or a health condition, try to avoid canola oil at all costs.

Processed Beet Sugar

So far, GMO beets are mostly reserved for making processed beet sugar. You should therefore avoid products that contain processed beet sugar, which feeds cancers, viruses, and bacteria. This is different from grating fresh, organic beets over your salad, or juicing fresh beets. If you stick to organic, most whole beets that you buy in the produce section at your local natural market or at the farmers’ market are safe to consume.

Eggs

Humans have eaten eggs for thousands of years. They were once an amazing survival food for us to eat in areas of the planet where there were no other food options at certain times of year. That changed with the turn of the 20th century, though—when the autoimmune, viral, bacterial, and cancer epidemics began.

The average person eats over 350 eggs a year. That includes whole eggs and also all the foods with hidden egg ingredients. If you’re struggling with any illness, such as Lyme disease, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, or fibromyalgia, avoiding eggs can give your body the support it needs to get better. The biggest issue with eggs is that they’re a prime food for cancer and other cysts, fibroids, tumors, and nodules. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), breast cancer, or other cysts and tumors should avoid eggs altogether. Also, if you’re trying to prevent cancer, fight an existing cancer, or avoid a cancer relapse, steer clear.

Removing eggs from your diet completely will give you a powerful fighting chance to reverse disease and heal. Eggs also cause inflammation and allergies; feed viruses, bacteria, yeast, mold, Candida and other fungus; and trigger edema in the lymphatic system. People who are diagnosed with Candida or mycotoxins are often told that eggs are a good, safe protein that will starve the Candida and mycotoxins. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know how popular eggs are. There’s a growing trend that promotes them as a major health food. Plus they’re delicious and fun to eat. If eggs were good for us in the current day and age, though, I’d be promoting them as such.

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Dairy

Milk, cheese, butter, cream, yogurt, and other such products contain a substantial amount of fat, which is a strain for your digestive system—and especially your liver—to process. Dairy contains lactose, and the combination of fat and sugar has negative effects on health, especially if you’re diabetic. Further, dairy fat in your bloodstream helps to breed viruses and bacteria. Dairy is also mucus producing, and a major cause of inflammation and allergies. Those are the issues that have always held true for dairy, even when it’s organic and free-range. And now, conventional, mainstream practice has made a problematic food into a toxic one by creating farm industry pressure to give hormones, antibiotics, GMO corn and soy, and gluten to cows, goats, and sheep. If you want a smooth healing process, it’s best not to eat dairy at all.

Pork

Avoid all forms of pork, including ham, bacon, processed pork products, lard, and so on. It’s difficult to heal any chronic illness while consuming any kind of pig product, due to these foods’ high fat content.

Farmed Fish

Farmed fish are often raised in small, enclosed spaces. This breeds algae, parasites, and other diseases—so the breeders often give the fish antibiotics and treat the water with toxic chemicals. This makes consuming farmed fish risky. The safest fish you can eat are wild ones, such as salmon, halibut, and haddock. No matter what type you select, beware of mercury— especially with larger fish such as swordfish and tuna.

Gluten

Gluten is a protein found in many grains. The forms of gluten to which people are especially sensitive are in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt (a type of wheat). (When it comes to oats, be aware that growing and processing sometimes cross-contaminates them with grains that contain gluten. Oats can be a very good food for people who are less sensitive, though. Look for those that are labeled gluten-free.) Grains that contain gluten also contain multiple allergens and proteins that can trigger any condition. They create disruption and inflammation, especially in your intestinal tract and bowels. They also confuse your immune system—which is your primary defense against disease— and often trigger celiac disease, Crohn’s, and colitis. Eating these grains makes it very difficult for your body to heal. If you’d like to recover from your illness as quickly as possible, minimize grains of any kind.

MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive that’s used in tens of thousands of products and restaurant dishes. MSG is a salt that occurs naturally in glutamic acid (a non-essential amino acid). But there’s nothing natural about the extreme damage it can do to you. MSG typically builds up in your brain, going deep into your brain tissue. It can then cause inflammation and swelling, kill thousands of your brain cells, disrupt electrical impulses, weaken neurotransmitters, burn out neurons, make you feel confused and anxious, and even lead to micro-strokes. It also weakens and injures your central nervous system. MSG is especially harmful if you have an illness that involves your brain or central nervous system. However, there are no circumstances under which it’s good for you. As a result, this is an additive you should always avoid. Because MSG is included in countless products, it’s essential to read food labels carefully. It’s also important to know what to look for. MSG is often “hidden” on labels because of its deservedly bad reputation. The following terms usually mean that MSG is an ingredient: glutamate, hydrolyzed, autolyzed, protease, carrageenan, maltodextrin, sodium caseinate, balsamic vinegar, barley malt, malt extract, yeast extract, brewer’s yeast, corn starch, wheat starch, modified food starch, gelatin, textured protein, whey protein, soy protein, soy sauce, broth, bouillon, stock, and seasoning.

Natural Flavors

Any ingredient with a name like natural flavoring is hidden MSG. Natural cherry flavor, natural orange flavor, natural lemon flavor, natural fruit flavor…they’re not just fruit extracts, and they’re not your friends. The same goes for smoke flavor, turkey flavor, beef flavor, natural peppermint flavor, natural maple flavor, natural chocolate flavor, Medical natural vanilla flavor, and all their “natural” and “flavor”-ful cousins. (Although pure vanilla extract is safe to use.) Each type of natural flavor potentially contains multiple biohazards and chemical compounds. Natural flavoring has slipped under the radar and been allowed into thousands of health food store products that are advertised as good, safe, and healthy for you and your children. Moms, take heed. Natural flavors are one of the newest and stealthiest now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t tricks for hiding MSG. Take care reading labels so you and your family can avoid this hidden ingredient.

Artificial Flavors

Artificial flavors can represent any of thousands of chemicals that were birthed in a lab. Don’t take risks by consuming them. As much as possible, the best you can, stay away from chemical additives.

Artificial Sweeteners

Most artificial sweeteners act as neurotoxins because they contain aspartame. This can disrupt your neurons and your central nervous system. Long-term, artificial sweeteners can cause neurological breakdowns and strokes in your brain. If you crave sweets, eat as much fruit as you like. Fruit fights disease and has powerful healing properties.

Citric Acid

Compared to the other additives in this chapter, citric acid isn’t so bad. That said, it’s very irritating to the linings of the stomach and the intestinal tract, so it can create a lot of inflammation and discomfort if you’re sensitive to it. Citric acid (the additive) is not the same thing as naturally occurring acid in citrus. Try not to confuse the two. Citrus itself is a healing food. The isolated ingredient citric acid, however, is often corn derived. Especially if you’re experiencing any kind of stomach pain, keep an eye out for citric acid on ingredient labels and consider skipping foods that include it.”

 

We are in this Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

 

REVIEWED BY DR PATRICIA CARROTHERS

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Could Mammograms Screen for Heart Disease?

Could Mammograms Screen for Heart Disease?

 

By screening for breast cancer, mammography has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives. Using the test to also screen for heart disease might someday help save many thousands more.

Though expert guidelines vary, generally women are advised to have a mammogram every year or two starting at age 40 or 50. Nearly 40 million mammograms have been performed in the U.S. during the past year, government figures show.

The prospect of leveraging a test that already is so widely administered, without additional cost or radiation exposure, is tantalizing to researchers hoping to find a new way to fight heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death among U.S. women.

Besides revealing masses that may be tumors, digital mammography – a technique in which low-dose X-ray images are captured and enhanced using computer technology – can reveal buildup of calcium in the arteries in the breast. About 13% of women are estimated to have this buildup, called breast arterial calcification, or BAC, including about 10% of women in their 40s and around half of women in their 80s.

Early studies so far have found BAC’s presence appears to signal an elevated risk for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular consequences. Research has begun to reveal a link between calcium buildup in the breast and coronary artery calcification, an established measure that helps predict cardiovascular disease risk.

“Mammography has the potential to alter the course of two leading causes of death in women, breast cancer and heart disease,” said Dr. Quan Minh Bui, general cardiology fellow at the University of California, San Diego. “We believe that there is truth to the sentiment that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ and that seeing calcifications in the breast arteries may empower patients to participate in their medical care.”

Last month at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions conference, Bui and his UCSD colleagues presented preliminary research examining the utility of BAC in predicting existing or future heart failure, a condition in which the heart is weakened and doesn’t pump properly.

The study looked at records from 2006-2016 for 278 middle-aged and older women who had both a mammogram and coronary calcium test within a one-year window.

Almost one-third of the women had BAC, and 7% had heart failure. Even after accounting for age, diabetes and high blood pressure, all heart failure risk factors, women with calcium buildup in the breast arteries had 2.2 times the odds of having or developing heart failure.

Heart failure is a particular challenge in women, said Dr. Erin Michos, director of women’s cardiovascular health for Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. An estimated 3.6 million U.S. women have the condition, and more than 40,000 women die of it annually.

Compared with men, Michos said, women with heart failure tend to be older and have more symptoms such as shortness of breath.

They also have stiffer hearts but normal ejection fraction, a measure of pumping ability. Effective treatments for this type of heart failure are lacking.

“That’s why preventing heart failure from developing in the first place is so important, by identifying at-risk individuals and applying appropriate lifestyle and pharmacology strategies,” she said.

While a mammography finding of breast artery calcification should prompt women to pursue better heart health, it’s still unclear what doctors should do about it, Michos said. For instance, she asked, should those patients be given cholesterol-lowering statins?

It may turn out that BAC is better at predicting some conditions than others. It occurs in a different layer of the blood vessels than coronary artery calcium and may be more closely linked to hypertension and vessel stiffening – major risk factors for heart failure, Michos said. By contrast, “coronary artery calcium likely captures lifetime exposure to risk factors that are key for formation of coronary (plaques), such as high levels of LDL cholesterol.”

Bui’s team is reviewing additional mammograms from women diagnosed with cardiovascular conditions related to arterial plaque buildup, such as coronary artery disease. That effort may help fuel future studies to track breast artery calcium findings and heart health in real time, he said.

Meanwhile, the California researchers hope mammography reports will start to include more information about breast artery calcium.

“Incidental calcification is reported on other diagnostic studies such as CT scans, and we envision BAC not being any different,” Bui said. “We suggest that reports include a statement in fine print noting an association of BAC with cardiovascular disease.”

 

Remember, We are in This Together

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

 

Cherries for gout

100g of cherries has 50 caloriesCherries are especially useful for treating gout.  Gout is a kind of arthritis linked to an unusually high amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is made in the liver and sometimes too much uric acid is made. Needle-like crystals form as uric acid levels increase, and these crystals build up in the joints over time, resulting in the pain and inflammation typical of gout.

Bing cherries have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties, in particular a compound known as cyanidin, which has been found to inhibit the activity of the enzyme involved in the making of uric acid. Research has revealed that eating the equivalent of a pound of fresh cherries each day is highly effective for lowering uric acid levels.

One study demonstrated that healthy people who ate Bing cherries for 28 days had reduced inflammation markers and they stayed low for days despite discontinuation of cherry consumption.

Another study has also shown that eating cherries may lower risk of gout attacks. Gout sufferers consuming cherries for a 2 day period had a 35 % reduced risk of gout attacks when compared with those not eating cherries. The risk of gout flare continued decreasing with the increase of cherry intake, up to 3 servings over 2 days. It was found that additional cherry intake did not provide any extra benefit.[3]

Nutritional value of cherries (red) per 100g:

  •     How many calories in cherries – 50
  •     How much protein in cherries – 1g
  •     How many carbs in cherries – 12g
  •     What is the fat content of cherries – 0.3g

Nutrients in cherries

Cherries are a very good source of vitamins C and A. They are a good source of copper, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese.

 

Cherries and blood pressure

Cherries and blood pressure

Montmorency tart cherry juice lowers blood pressure

Consuming tart cherry juice is as effective for reducing high blood pressure as blood pressure lowering medications. Participants of a 2016 study who had early signs of hypertension experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7% three hours after consuming a Montmorency tart cherry concentrate and water mixture.[4]

The blood pressure readings of the 15 participants was least 130/90 mmHg, which means they had a higher risk of having cardiovascular related problems. They consumed either 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate or 60ml of a commercial fruit-flavored drink.

Blood pressure was taken before consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate and was measured thereafter on an hourly basis. The participants consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7 mmHg in the 3 hours after consumption.

The greatest systolic blood pressure improvement occurred when vanillic and protocatechuic, the cherry concentrate’s phenolic acids, reached peak plasma levels. The reduction in blood pressure from the consumption of the Montmorency cherry concentrate was comparable to the reduction achieved by blood pressure lowering medication.

A 2018 study found that consuming Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced systolic blood pressure in individuals between the ages of 65 and 80. The 34 study participants in this 12-week randomized controlled trial were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups.[5]

The 1st group drank 240ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and 240ml in the evening every day for the 12 weeks. The 2nd group drank the equivalent amount of a cherry flavored placebo drink devoid of tart cherries. Blood pressure as well as blood sugar, insulin, weight and cholesterol were measured when the study began and again when it ended.

The Montmorency tart cherry juice group had a significant reduction (4.1 mmHg) in systolic blood pressure in comparison to the drink placebo drink group.

How much tart cherry juice should you drink a day to lower blood pressure?

The participants in the 2016 study drank 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate, which is estimated to be equivalent to about 500g of whole tart cherries.

The participants in the 2018 study drank 480 ml tart cherry juice, which was prepared from 68ml Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 412ml water.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Tart cherry juice for sleep
Melatonin in cherries

Montmorency tart cherries have been found to contain substantial amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Although some other foods also have melatonin, the quantity is too low to be effective, but, according to research, Montmorency cherries have 0.1 to 0.3 milligram of melatonin a serving,[6] and contain about 6 times more melatonin compared to Balaton cherries. At this dosage melatonin has been proven to be an efficient sleep inducer.

 

A 2014 study concluded that Montmorency tart cherry juice helps in improving the quality and duration of sleep, as well as help in reducing insomnia severity.[7] The 7 study participants who suffered from insomnia that consumed the cherry juice in the morning as well as at night slept over an hour longer each night.

Besides Montmorency tart cherries being a good source of melatonin, tart cherry juice also helps in increasing the availability of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin which helps with sleep.  The tart cherry juice inhibits a tryptophan degrading enzyme and degradation of tryptophan is a predictor of insomnia. The researchers suggest the melatonin and tryptophan combination in Montmorency tart cherries is likely contributing to the benefits of tart cherries for sleep.

Cherries for weight loss

The Chemistry of Cherries

A 2008 animal study has suggested that tart cherries have significant potential for reducing belly fat. Obese rats that were given tart cherry powder combined with a high-fat diet gained less weight than rats that were not given cherries. After 12 weeks, the rats that were given the tart cherry powder had 54% body fat in comparison to 63% for rats that were fed a “Western diet”. The difference in weight gain was particularly pronounced in fat around the waist area, the rats that were given the cherry powder gained less belly fat.

The rats were given either a high fat and moderate carbohydrate diet,  or a low fat and high carbohydrate diet, both of which came either with or without tart cherry powder. The cherry enriched diet rats experienced a total cholesterol level reduction of approximately 11%.The TNF-alpha inflammation marker was reduced by 40% and interleukin 6 (IL-6) was reduced by 31%.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries and cancer

Cherries have quite high levels of anthocyanins (the flavonoids giving cherries their intense red color), which give them anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and chemopreventative properties. Tart cherries contain the natural compound perillyl alcohol, which seems to be very effective in reducing the incidence of all kinds of cancer.  Perillyl alcohol has tested well for treating advanced prostate, breast and ovary cancers.[9] Research suggests that substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals (HCAAs) that develop from the charring of meat.

Cherries for colon cancer

Two of the anthocyanidins present in cherries, quercetin and isoquerxitrin, have been found to prevent the growth of colon cancer.

Cherries for breast cancer

Cyandin-3-glucoside, another anthocyanin found in cherries and other fruits, has antioxidative and anti‐inflammatory properties and also induces the death of  breast cancer cells. Cyandin-3-glucoside inhibits the cytokine VEGF, which plays a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) plays a major role in breast cancer progression by providing cancer cells with nutrients, oxygen, and blood vessels for cancer cells to spread.

Delphinidin is another  anthocyanin found in cherries and other brightly colored fruits and veggies, and is also found in certain dietary supplements used as complementary cancer treatment. Delphinidin induces cell death in HER2+ breast cancer cells. Delphinidin also inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer cells.

Cherries and muscle soreness

Tart cherry juice benefits for exercise

Tart cherry juice improves exercise recovery

Cherries help to alleviate muscle soreness after exercising. A cup of tart cherry juice can help in reducing the soreness and inflammation of the muscles that is experienced after strenuous exercise. Marathon runners consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for 7 days before a race experienced less post race pain compared to runners not consuming cherry juice.

A 2011 study revealed that men who had tart cherry juice after weight training exercises experienced less muscle pain as well as less strength loss.

A 2019 study found that active women consuming tart cherry concentrate twice a day for eight days experienced reduced muscle soreness after exercising.

Tart cherry juice improves exercise performance

A 2019 study concluded that Montmorency cherry supplementation improves cycling performance. Eight trained cyclists supplementing Montmorency tart cherry for 7 days improved cycling time-trial performance. The exercise performance improvement was accompanied by muscle oxygenation enhancement which suggests that the cherry polyphenols’ vasoactive properties could be supporting the performance improvement effects.

Cherries and osteoarthritis

Tart cherry juice for arthritis

Commonly used pain medication for osteoarthritis doesn’t actually reduce inflammation and has  unwanted side effects such as kidney or liver damage. The pain relieving properties of tart cherries have been show to be effective for the relief of pain associated with osteoarthritis without the side effects of conventional treatments.

A 2007 study revealed that pain and function improved significantly in osteoarthritis of the knee patients when they were given tart cherries in supplement form for 8 weeks.

Cherry juice for inflammation

In a 2012 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 20 patients suffering from inflammatory osteoarthritis had significant reductions in inflammation markers after consuming tart cherry juice twice daily for 3 weeks.

The study participants included twenty  40 to 70 year old women experiencing at least moderate osteoarthritis pain. They consumed 10.5-ounces of tart cherry juice or a placebo cherry drink twice daily for 3 weeks. There was a statistically significant reduction in inflammation among those individuals who consumed the tart cherry juice, which was indicated by reduced C-reactive protein levels. The reduction in inflammation was greatest for individuals who had shown the highest levels of inflammation at the beginning of the study.

Cherry juice for pain relief

Cherries are a natural pain reliever. Researchers have found that anthocyanidins from cherries have the ability to block both COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes considered to cause pain. Of all the fruits which were tested, cherries had the highest amounts of key anthocyanidins. The COX-inhibitory activities of the anthocyanidins in cherries were even found to be comparable to those of naproxen and ibuprofen.

Cherries and heart health

Tart cherries and cholesterol

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The standard medical approach to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels to a safer range is to prescribe statins to reduce blood lipid levels. However, some patients encounter Statins are however not without side effects such as muscle pain to liver dysfunction.

A 2011 study reported a 26% reduction in cholesterol levels in mice fed tart cherry powder. A  reduction in early death of 65% was also reported, which was believed to be as a result of an improvement in cardiovascular health.

Another 2011 study in humans reported a reduction in of triglycerides levels of more than 17% on average after consuming 8-ounces of tart cherry juice daily for 4 weeks.[21]

A 2018 study reported a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels after participants drank Montmorency tart cherry juice made from concentrate. Study participants drinking 480ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks experienced a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels as well as lower levels of total cholesterol.

How to Freeze Cherries

Benefits of cherries for skin

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress when the body has an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the cells of the body during normal metabolic processes, and free radical neutralizing antioxidants are also produced by the cells. The body usually maintains a balance between free radicals and antioxidants.

Oxidative stress plays an important part in the aging process, especially in the skin. Aging results in the thinning of the epidermal (outer) as well as dermal (under) layers of the skin. This leads to fine wrinkles as a result of reduction of elastic fibers, collagen, and hyaluronic acid.

What are antioxidants?

Free radicals are unstable molecules which can cause damage in the body, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving the free radical an electron. Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body and can also come from food such as fruit and veggies.

Several human studies have shown that sweet as well as tart cherries reduce oxidative stress. Melatonin, carotenoids, anthocyanins, polyphenols,  and vitamins C and E are all contributors to the antioxidant properties of cherries.

Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, the flavonoid pigment that gives the cherry it’s color, and which has the greatest antioxidant capacity of any of the flavonoids. Tart cherries have more anthocyanins in comparison to sweet cherries. Scientific evidence has suggested that anthocyanins could possibly delay the appearance of signs of skin aging.

Health Benefits of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice and diabetes

There is some evidence to suggest that consumption of cherries could help in promoting healthy glucose regulation and reducing diabetes risk.

The enzymes dipeptidyl peptidase-4 and α glucosidase which are involved in the promotion of diabetes are inhibited by chlorogenic acid, one the main polyphenols of tart cherry juice.

Study results suggest that blood glucose could be reduced from anthocyanins by slowing the production of glucose from complex carbohydrates. The production of glucagon by pancreatic α cells could also be reduced, and hepatic glucose uptake and production of insulin by pancreatic β cells increased.

A 2008 study revealed a significant decrease in hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) after diabetic women supplemented 40 mL of concentrated tart cherry juice day for 6 weeks. Fasting blood glucose was also decreased by 8%.

History of cherries

Cherries were named after the ancient Turkish town of Cerasus and go as far back to at least 300 B.C.

Cherries were among the first fruits the early settlers brought to America. The first cherry orchard was planted in northern Michigan in the 1600s. The 1st commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893.

The ultimate celebration of cherries is the National Cherry Festival, which is held each year in July in Traverse City, Michigan.

Cherry trees have played a part in American folklore since George Washington chopped down his father’s cherry tree, then couldn’t tell a lie and told his father what he’d done.

Sweet cherries are cultivated throughout North America and Europe. France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Russia are big producers in Europe. Sour cherries are cultivated in Eastern Europe, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Germany tops the world in cherry production, followed by the United States.

Remember We Are In This Together!
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Article reviewed by Dr Patricia Carrothers, Regenerative and Preventative Medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wake Up Early and Reduce Cancer Risk

Early Risers May Be a Little Less Likely to Get Breast Cancer

News Picture: Early Risers May Be a Little Less Likely to Get Breast Cancer

If you’re a woman who greets the early morning with a smile, new research delivers good news — you have a slightly reduced risk of developing breast cancer.

For night owls and people who tend to sleep more than the usual seven to eight hours nightly, the analysis suggested a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

“Sleep does impact health,” said study co-author Caroline Relton, a professor at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

“The study found evidence for a protective effect of morning preference on breast cancer risk,” she said.

What the study team couldn’t tease out from the data was exactly why your sleep type — early bird or night owl — could affect your risk of breast cancer.

Eva Schernhammer, author of an editorial accompanying the study, said “one possible mechanism could relate to the misalignment between internal and external clocks.” She is chair of epidemiology at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.

The disruption of a normal circadian rhythm can impact how the body functions. An example is the normal variation of melatonin levels, Schernhammer said in her editorial. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone.

Dr. Daniel Barone, a sleep specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, said that melatonin is a powerful antioxidant.

“If you’re reducing melatonin, that could potentially lead to an inflammatory response in the body,” he said. (Inflammation has been linked to cancer and other health conditions.)

Both Barone and Schernhammer pointed out that night-shift work has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Diet may be one reason why. He said it’s harder to find nutritious food options at night, and night-shift workers may get food from places like vending machines. Diet can impact heart disease and breast cancer risk.

The new analysis looked at two large groups of data, which included about 400,000 women altogether.

Previous studies had asked women about their sleep type — whether they preferred morning or evening, how long they slept, and whether or not they had insomnia.

But these researchers controlled the data to account for other factors that can affect breast cancer risk, including obesity, family history of breast cancer, alcohol use and smoking.

Women who said they were “morning people” were slightly less likely to develop breast cancer. The researchers said that early birds had about one less case of breast cancer per 100 women than did night owls.

So, should night owls be worried?

Maybe not just yet, said breast cancer surgeon Dr. Alice Police.

“This study suggests that there may be a lower incidence of breast cancer in ‘morning people,'” she said, but noted that the data in the study is “vague.”

“Until we understand other correlations, such as obesity rates and exercise rates in morning people versus night owls, I do not think definitive conclusions can be drawn,” Police added. She’s the Westchester regional director of breast surgery at Northwell Health Cancer Institute in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

Relton agreed that more research is needed, particularly to figure out the underlying reason why morning people seem to have a reduced risk of breast cancer.

In the meantime, she said it’s possible that changing your sleep times to become more of a morning person might change your risk, though more research is necessary before doctors could make a specific recommendation.

If you’d like to try to get some shuteye earlier in the night, sleep expert Barone said the best change you could make is to limit “blue light” at night.

“Any screen you can look at without an additional light on is blue light, and blue light tells our brains that the sun is out and we should shut off melatonin production. Shut off blue light a good hour or so before bed to help keep the body more in tune with what it’s designed to do,” he said.

If you have trouble sleeping, taking a melatonin supplement a half-hour or so before bed can help, Barone noted.

If you’re wondering what else you might do to reduce the risk of breast cancer, editorial author Schernhammer said, “A woman should be more concerned about other, more established, breast cancer risk factors.”

Relton agreed, explaining that risk factors such as alcohol intake and obesity increase the risk of breast cancer much more than your sleeping pattern might.

 

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Flaxseed and Breast Cancer

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Flaxseed and Breast Cancer

 

Flaxseeds as well as flaxseed oil are rich sources of plant lignans. Research has shown that flaxseed lignans have considerable anticancer properties. Lignans are fiber compounds that are able to bind to estrogen receptors and restrict the cancer promoting effects of estrogen on breast tissue. Fish and flaxseed, and that includes flaxseed oil, also increase the production of a compound called SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). This protein regulates levels of estrogen levels by eliminating excess estrogen out of the body.fishandflaxsee

 

Women with high levels of the phytoestrogen enterolactone, which is linked to high lignan intake from foods such as flax, flaxseed oils and fish, have been found to have a 58% reduction of breast cancer risk.

A study has shown that daily supplementation of ground flaxseed can reduce estrogen levels. Reducing estrogen reduces risk of breast cancer.

grindinggrains

The director of the breast cancer prevention program at the Toronto Hospital has reported that flaxseed in the diet may shrink breast cancer tumors. His research involved 50 women who had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and were waiting for surgery. They were divided into 2 groups, one group was given a daily muffin containing 25 grams of ground flaxseed, and the other group had plain muffins. After surgery, it was found that those who had been given the flaxseed muffins had slower-growing breast cancer tumors than the others.

 

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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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Breast Cancer and Iodine

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Breast Cancer and Iodine

 

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 Japanese in their diets. The only iodine consumption 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.

 

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Fight Like a Girl

fightlikeagirl.jpg

October is breast cancer awareness month and an ideal time to learn all you can about the steps you can take to prevent the most common cancer affecting women in the developed world.

 

The information that follows will be much different from what is often spouted from anti-cancer organizations like the American Cancer Society (ACS), as — unlike ACS — I have no financial ties to both makers of mammography equipment and cancer drugs.

 

My advice for cancer prevention is much more straightforward, involving simple lifestyle strategies that virtually everyone has the power to make.

 

All you need to become empowered to make these cancer-preventive changes is knowledge, and that is what I seek to give you by the time you finish reading this comment … I suggest you not only learn this information for your own benefit, but also share it with other women in your life as well.

 

Using the Wrong Antiperspirant May Influence Your Breast Cancer Risk

Putting on antiperspirant is a routine part of most people’s day, and you may not think much about it. But here’s why you should: if you use one containing aluminum, you could be increasing your risk of breast cancer.

 

Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms — with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.

 

Research, including one study published this year in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, has shown that the aluminum is not only absorbed by your body, but is deposited in your breast tissue and even can be found in nipple aspirate fluid a fluid present in the breast duct tree that mirrors the microenvironment in your breast. Researchers determined that the mean level of aluminum in nipple aspirate fluid was significantly higher in breast cancer-affected women compared to healthy women, which may suggest a role for raised levels of aluminum as a biomarker for identification of women at higher risk of developing breast cancer.

 

Cancer-Causing Aluminum From Antiperspirant May Collect in Your Breasts

In a study published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, researchers tested breast samples from 17 breast-cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies. The women who used antiperspirants had deposits of aluminum in their outer breast tissue. Concentrations of aluminum were higher in the tissue closest to the underarm than in the central breast.

 

Why is this a glaring red flag?

 

Aluminum is not normally found in the human body, so this study was a pretty clear sign that the metal was being absorbed from antiperspirant sprays and roll-ons. Please note that aluminum is typically only found in antiperspirants. If you are using a deodorant-only product it is unlikely to contain aluminum but might contain other chemicals that could be a concern.

 

Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants, and a review of the common sources of aluminum exposure for humans found that antiperspirant use can significantly increase the amount of aluminum absorbed by your body. According to the review, after a single underarm application of antiperspirant, about .012 percent of the aluminum may be absorbed.

 

This may not sound like much until you multiply it by one or more times a day for a lifetime, which adds up to massive exposure to aluminum — a poison that is not supposed to be in your body, and may be more toxic than mercury. Aluminum salts can mimic the hormone estrogen, and chemicals that imitate that hormone are known to increase breast cancer risk. Animal studies have also found that aluminum can cause cancer. Aside from vaccinations, your antiperspirant may be your largest source of exposure to this poisonous metal!

 

You Need to be Careful with Natural Deodorants, Too

There are many brands of aluminum-free deodorants on the market, and many of these are safe alternatives. And as a general rule, deodorants tend to be less problematic than antiperspirants, as they work by neutralizing the smell of your sweat and by antiseptic action against bacteria, rather than by preventing sweating. As such, some deodorants do not contain any aluminum, but you’ve got to be careful about this. While many claim to be aluminum-free, they are referring to aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum chloride, aluminum hydroxybromide or aluminum zirconium, which are the types most commonly used in antiperspirants and deodorants.

 

“Crystal” deodorant stones, which are a popular natural deodorant alternative often used by health-conscious shoppers looking to avoid aluminum, often claim to be aluminum-free, but some actually contain a different type of compound known as an alum, the most common form being potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate.

 

Potassium Alum or Ammonium Alum are natural mineral salts made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin. They form a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. These deodorants are recommended by many cancer treatment centers, but while this may be a better alternative to most antiperspirants and deodorants on the market, it is not completely aluminum-free.

 

So be sure, when choosing a natural deodorant alternative, that it truly is made of toxin-free ingredients. Aluminum is just one of them — you can find other chemical toxins to avoid in your personal care products here.  Alternatively, just use plain soap and water. This is what I use, typically in the morning and after I exercise.

 

Additionally, last year I found an ever more effective strategy and that is to expose your armpits to sunshine. Essentially you tan your armpits. The UVB rays in the sunlight are highly effective germicidal agents and sterilize your armpits in addition to raising your levels of vitamin D sulfate to healthy levels.

 

Do Bras Cause Breast Cancer?

You might be surprised to hear this, but wearing certain types of bras might not be in your best interest. In fact, if you’re in the habit of wearing the most popular styles, you may be setting yourself up for some potentially serious health problems. This includes:

 

Tight-Fitting Bras

 

Many physicians and researchers agree that wearing a tight-fitting bra can cut off lymph drainage, which may contribute to the development of breast cancer because your body will be less able to excrete all the toxins you’re exposed to on a daily basis. Aluminum from antiperspirants is one potentially dangerous source of toxins that can accumulate if your lymph drainage is impaired.

 

You can avoid some of the improper drainage issues if you wear a bra that is properly fitted, so I suggest you make an appointment with a bra-fitting specialist to help you get the proper fit.

Underwire Bras

 

Nearly all underwire bras contain metal underwires coated with plastic. It is the metal that could be problematic for your long-term health.

 

In his 1975 article, Chinese Lessons For Modern Chiropractors, Dr. George Goodheart – known as “the father of Applied Kinesiology” — explained what he calls the “Antenna Effect.” Essentially, he discovered that by taping a small metal ball over an acupuncture point, you could achieve longer-term stimulation to that point in question. This discovery led to what are now known as AcuAids — small magnetic patches that are used by thousands of doctors across the world.

 

However, just like a small metal ball, any metal constantly applied to any given energy channel or point on your body can have the same stimulating effect. Over time, the continued stimulation can cause a subsequent decrease in function of important neuro-lymphatic reflex points located below your breasts.

 

In addition, the metal wire may act as an antenna attracting electromagnetic fields, which may also increase your risk of breast cancer. Fortunately, you can easily remove the piece of metal wire and replace it with a plastic rod of comparable size, which will provide the support but not simulate the antenna effect.

Wearing a Bra in General…

 

There are few solid studies on bra wearing and breast cancer, but one of the most compelling was completed by medical anthropologists Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer — authors of Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. The study of over 4,000 women found that women who do not wear bras have a much lower risk of breast cancer:

 

Their findings included:

 

Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer

Women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day, but not to bed, had a 1 out of 7 risk

Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 52 risk

Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer

When comparing women who wore their bras 24 hours a day with those who did not wear bras at all, there was a 125-fold difference in risk. Based on the results of this study, the link between bras and breast cancer is about three times greater than the link between cigarette smoking and cancer.

 

Although this study did not control for other risk factors, which could have skewed their results, other studies have found similar compelling links. For example, a group of Japanese researchers found that wearing a girdle or bra can lower your levels of melatonin by 60 percent. The hormone melatonin is intimately involved with the regulation of your sleep cycles, and numerous studies have shown that melatonin has anti-cancer activities.

Setting the Record Straight About Mammograms

I wouldn’t be doing my job if I discussed breast cancer without addressing mammograms — but this isn’t because I want to remind you to get yours. On the contrary, I don’t recommend mammograms, despite what you may hear from other medical sources. There are a few major reasons for this:

 

There is no solid evidence that mammograms save lives. In fact, research demonstrates that adding an annual mammogram to a careful physical examination of the breasts does not improve breast cancer survival rates over getting the examination alone. This is ESPECIALLY true for women under 50 with no breast cancer risk factors as even conventional experts advise this.

A mammogram uses ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which in and of itself can contribute to the development of breast cancer. Mammograms expose your body to radiation that can be 1,000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray, which we know poses a cancer risk. In fact, research in the journal Radiology, reported that annual mammography screening of 100,000 women from age 40-55, and biennial screening after that to age 74, would cause 86 radiation-induced cancers, including 11 fatalities and 136 life years lost.

Mammograms carry a first-time false positive rate of up to 6 percent. False positives can lead to expensive repeat screenings, exposing you to even more radiation, and may result in unnecessary invasive procedures including biopsies, unnecessary surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and devastating false diagnoses.

So why does the American Cancer Society advise women age 40 and older to have a screening mammogram every year, and continue to do so for as long as they are in good health, even despite updated guidelines set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which state that women in their 40s should NOT get routine mammograms for early detection of breast cancer?

 

ACS’ role in the promotion of mammography is far from altruistic, as they have numerous ties to the mammography industry itself:

 

Five radiologists have served as presidents of ACS

ACS commonly promotes the interests of mammogram machine and film manufacturers, including Siemens, DuPont, General Electric, Eastman Kodak and Piker

The close ties help explain why ACS commonly runs advertisements urging women to get mammograms, even going so far in one ad as to promise that early detection leads to a cure “nearly 100 percent of the time.” But mammograms do not prevent nor cure breast cancer any more than an x-ray of your arm prevents you from breaking it or helping a broken bone heal!

 

I do recommend breast cancer screening, however, just not mammography.

 

What Can you do to Prevent Breast Cancer?

Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among U.S. women, and one in eight will develop it during her lifetime. Cancer rates are climbing uncontrollably, and costs are quickly becoming unsustainable, a panel of 37 experts recently reported in The Lancet Oncology.

 

Unfortunately, while the American Cancer Society widely encourages women to get mammograms, they do not do nearly enough to spread the word about the many ways women can help prevent breast cancer in the first place.

 

Along with the tips already mentioned above regarding deodorant and bras, a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, and an effective way to manage your emotional health are the cornerstones of just about any cancer prevention program, including breast cancer.

 

The following lifestyle strategies will also help to further lower your risk:

 

Radically reduce your sugar/fructose intake. Normalizing your insulin levels by avoiding sugar and fructose is one of the most powerful physical actions you can take to lower your risk of cancer. Unfortunately, very few oncologists appreciate or apply this knowledge today. The Cancer Centers of America is one of the few exceptions, where strict dietary measures are included in their cancer treatment program. Fructose is especially dangerous, as research shows it actually speeds up cancer growth.

Optimize your vitamin D level. Ideally it should be over 50 ng/ml, but levels from 60-80 ng/ml will radically reduce your cancer risk. Safe sun exposure is the most effective way to increase your levels, followed by safe tanning beds and then oral vitamin D3 supplementation as a last resort if no other option is available.

Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating right for your nutritional type and exercising using high-intensity burst-type activities like Peak Fitness. It’s important to lose excess weight because estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue, may trigger breast cancer.

Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as those from krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.

Avoid drinking alcohol, or limit your drinks to one a day for women.

Breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows this will reduce your breast cancer risk.

Watch out for excessive iron levels. This is actually very common once women stop menstruating. The extra iron actually works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer. So if you are a post-menopausal woman or have breast cancer you will certainly want to have your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80. If it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Alcohol and Breast Cancer

breastcancaer

Does Alcohol Raise the Risk for Breast Cancer?

 

It’s no secret that genetic, hormonal and environmental factors all seem to play a role in breast cancer. (1) When it comes to alcohol and breast cancer risk specifically, a May 2016 study provides even more insight suggesting that lifestyle factors — including how much alcohol a woman drinks — really matters.

Danish researchers published a study in the British Journal of Medicine providing even more detail of the alcohol and breast cancer risk connection. Analyzing women’s change in alcohol consumption over a five-year period, Danish researchers found that women who increased the amount of alcohol they drank over a five-year period faced a higher risk of breast cancer.

 

For instance, women who drank two more alcohol drinks a day over five years saw a 30 percent increased risk of breast cancer compared to women with stable alcohol intake. That same study found a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease in woman who drank more. However, the study authors noted there are other ways to lower heart disease risk without increasing your breast cancer risk from drinking alcohol. (2, 3)

 

Alcohol and Breast Cancer Risk Findings

 

Research consistently shows that drinking alcoholic beverages increases a woman’s risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol not only damages DNA in cells, but it also triggers higher levels of estrogen and other hormones linked to hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Compared to women who don’t drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15 percent higher risk of breast cancer. The estimated alcohol and breast cancer risk increases another 10 percent for each additional drink women regularly have each day, according to breastcancer.org.

 

Here are more important alcohol and breast cancer risk findings:

 

A large meta-analysis looking at the relationship between alcohol and breast cancer risk in women also found that women who drank about three alcoholic drinks a week experienced a moderate increase in breast cancer risk. (4)

A 2009 study found that drinking just three to four alcoholic beverages a week increases a women’s risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who’d been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. (5)

In March 2016, University of Houston researchers found that alcohol not only fuels estrogen that drives the growth of breast cancer cells, but it also diminishes the effects of popular cancer drug Tamoxifen, a widely-used estrogen-blocking drug used to treat many breast cancers. (6)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises women to drink no more than one drink a day. (7) If you drink less than this, don’t increase the amount of alcohol you drink.

Defining a “Drink”

 

When considering all of this research investigating alcohol and breast cancer risk, it’s important to understand what a “drink” actually means. For instance, drinking one dirty martini is very different than drinking a glass of beer or wine. Each may seem like a single drink, but a dirty martini typically contains about 6 ounces of vodka. That means your single martini, for instance, would actually be considered four drinks.

 

Researchers often use the following National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism guidelines to define what constitutes as one drink, which is about 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol:

  • 12 ounces of beer or hard cider (3 to 7 percent alcohol)
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof liquor

 

Keep in mind that a craft beer with a high alcohol percentage served in a common 16-ounce pint glass could actually be more on par with drinking two 12-ounce bottles of beer with a more standard alcohol percentage of 3 to 7 percent alcohol. (8) And when you’re sipping on something like red wine, be aware of how many ounces the glass is really holding.

 

Women who drink up to one drink a day and men who drink up to two drinks a day are considered moderate drinkers. Women having four or more drinks on any day or a total of eight or more drinks a week are considered high-risk, excessive drinkers. (For men, drinking more than five drinks on any day or 15 or more drinks a week is considered high-risk, excessive drinking.) (9)

 

Other Ways to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer

 

With breast cancer cases expected to increase 50 percent by 2030, it’s important to not only consider alcohol and breast cancer risk, but take steps to lower your risk through other lifestyle improvements. (10) The important takeaway is that there are many things you can do lower your breast cancer risk in a meaningful way. Aside from lowering the levels of alcohol you drink, here are other ways to get started:

 

Fruits and veggies are loaded with cancer-fighting compounds — Interesting, a 2016 study found that when girls eat more fruit during adolescence (at least 2.9 servings a day), they enjoy a 25 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life compared to girls who eat the lowest levels of fruit during adolescence (less than a serving a day). (11, 12) Just be sure to choose organic when possible, since some fruits and veggies on the dirty dozen list harbor pesticides linked to cancer.

Eat organic, fresh foods as much as possible — Avoid canned foods and drinks. Most contain toxic BPA, also known as bisphenol A, a harmful chemical linked to hormone disruption and breast cancer. (13)

Avoid the heavy metal cadmium — It’s found in cigarettes smoke  and linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. (14, 15) Cadmium is a common food contaminant most often found in shellfish, liver and kidney meats.

Exercise — Strenuous exercise for 4+ hours a week can help lower your risk of breast cancer. Exercises can also help keep you out of the overweight/obese category, which is another risk factor for breast cancer in woman who have reached menopause. (16)

Final Thoughts on Alcohol and Breast Cancer Risk

It’s clear that alcohol and breast cancer risk are related, but it may be unrealistic for some women to completely give up all alcoholic drinks for the rest of their lives. The science suggests that increasing the amount of alcohol you drink in midlife increases your risk. Other large research studies found that drinking three drinks or more a week moderately increases risk. In other words, you don’t have to be a binge drinker to experience a significant increase in risk.

 

Having a glass of red wine now and then can provide you with a healthy dose of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant shown to expand your lifespan and aid in weight loss. However, it’s important to remember that alcohol is a neurotoxin that also puts unnecessary stress on your liver. You can easily get those same benefits from blueberries and supplements, so don’t rely on even occasional red wine as your sole source of resveratrol.

 

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Loneliness and Breast Cancer Survival

loneliness

Loneliness May Sabotage Breast Cancer Survival

 

Loneliness may impede long-term breast cancer survival; a new study suggests.

 

In the years after treatment, women who don’t have strong social ties are more likely to have their cancer return or die from it than women with friends and a support network, the researchers found.

 

Reviewing data on nearly 10,000 breast cancer patients, the researchers linked isolation with a 40 percent higher risk of cancer recurrence compared to socially connected women.

 

These solitary women also had a 60 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer and a 70 percent increased risk of dying from any cause, the study found.

 

The results weren’t unexpected, the researchers said.

 

“It is well established that women generally and those with breast cancer with greater social ties have a lower risk of death overall,” said lead researcher Candyce Kroenke. She’s with Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

 

People are social animals, said Kassandra Alcaraz, strategic director for health equity research at the American Cancer Society.

 

“We were not meant to be isolated, so the benefits we get from relationships with others and being part of a community are not surprising,” she said. “We know that social relationships are important to general health and well-being.”

 

Exactly why this is so isn’t entirely clear, Alcaraz said. “Having social ties may provide access to real assistance, like having someone to take you to the doctor or having someone to talk to about your concerns or connecting you with resources that can help you cope with the cancer,” she said.

 

Also, social well-being is correlated with physical well-being, Alcaraz added. Having connections to others helps reduce stress and depression and thus leads to better health outcomes, she said.

 

“We need to think of health in a more expansive way. Social influences can be just as important as other risk factors, such as obesity and smoking,” Alcaraz said.

 

Kroencke and her colleagues agreed, saying doctors should consider a woman’s social supports when making predictions for her recovery.

 

For this study, the researchers looked at a woman’s social connections in the two years after her breast cancer diagnosis to see how having friends, a spouse, relatives or community ties might affect her survival.

 

The report was published online Dec. 12 in the journal Cancer.

 

Data was collected on just over 9,000 women. Over an average follow-up of 11 years, more than 1,400 cancers returned. Also, more than 1,500 women died, nearly 1,000 from breast cancer, the researchers found.

 

The links between social connections and prognosis were strongest among women with earlier stage cancer, the researchers said.

 

Also, specific associations differed by age, race, ethnicity and country, Kroenke said.

 

For example, ties to relatives and friends predicted lower breast cancer deaths for nonwhite women. And marriage predicted lower breast cancer deaths only among older white women.

 

In addition, community ties predicted better outcomes in older white and Asian women.

 

“Our findings demonstrate the generally beneficial influence of women’s social ties on breast cancer outcomes, including recurrence and breast cancer death,” Kroenke said.

 

The results don’t mean that loners are doomed to an early death, nor do they show a direct cause-and-effect relationship between isolation and worse survival.

 

Still, it’s important for doctors and other health care workers to help patients connect with support groups and other programs so they won’t remain socially isolated, Alcaraz said.

 

“Social ties have positive health benefits, and social isolation is detrimental to health,” she said. “And it is not unique to breast cancer or to cancer for that matter.”

 

Please share with family and loved ones.

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