Keeping Your Emotional Health
Emotional health is an important part of overall health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They are able to cope with life’s challenges. They can keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks. They feel good about themselves and have good relationships.
Being emotionally healthy does not mean you are happy all the time. It means you are aware of your emotions. You can deal with them, whether they are positive or negative. Emotionally healthy people still feel stress, anger, and sadness. But they know how to manage their negative feelings. They can tell when a problem is more than they can handle on their own. They also know when to seek help from their doctor.
Research shows that emotional health is a skill. There are steps you can take to improve your emotional health and be happier.
Path to improved well being
Emotional health is an important part of your life. It allows you to realize your full potential. You can work productively and cope with the stresses of everyday life. It helps you work with other people and contribute to society.
It also affects your physical health. Research shows a link between an upbeat mental state and physical signs of good health. These include lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, and a healthier weight
There are many ways to improve or maintain good emotional health.
Be aware of your emotions and reactions. Notice what in your life makes you sad, frustrated, or angry. Try to address or change those things.
Express your feelings in appropriate ways. Let people close to you know when something is bothering you. Keeping feelings of sadness or anger inside adds to stress. It can cause problems in your relationships and at work or school.
Think before you act. Emotions can be powerful. Give yourself time to think, and be calm before you say or do something you might regret.
Manage stress. Try to change situations causing you stress. Learn relaxation methods to cope with stress. These could include deep breathing, meditation, and exercise.
Strive for balance. Find a healthy balance between work and play and between activity and rest. Make time for things you enjoy. Focus on positive things in your life.
Take care of your physical health. Your physical health can affect your emotional health. Exercise regularly, eat healthy meals, and get enough sleep. Don’t abuse drugs or alcohol.
Connect with others. We are social creatures. We need positive connections with other people. Make a lunch date, join a group, and say hi to strangers.
Find purpose and meaning. Figure out what it is important to you in life, and focus on that. This could be your work, your family, volunteering, caregiving, or something else. Spend your time doing what feels meaningful to you.
Stay positive. Focus on the good things in your life. Forgive yourself for making mistakes, and forgive others. Spend time with healthy, positive people.
Things to consider
People who have good emotional health can still have emotional problems or mental illness. Mental illness often has a physical cause. This could be a chemical imbalance in the brain. Stress and problems with family, work, or school can trigger mental illness or make it worse.
Counseling, support groups, and medicines can help people who have emotional problems or mental illness. If you have an ongoing emotional problem, talk to your family doctor. He or she can help you find the right type of treatment.
Questions to ask your doctor
What steps should I take to improve my emotional health?
Would medicine help me be able to cope better?
Should I see a therapist or counselor?
How does my physical health affect my emotional health?
What stress management techniques would work best for me?
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr M Williams
Depression In Teens
It’s not unusual for young people to experience “the blues” or feel “down in the dumps” occasionally. Adolescence is always an unsettling time, with the many physical, emotional, psychological and social changes that accompany this stage of life.
Unrealistic academic, social, or family expectations can create a strong sense of rejection and can lead to deep disappointment. When things go wrong at school or at home, teens often overreact. Many young people feel that life is not fair or that things “never go their way.” They feel “stressed out” and confused. To make matters worse, teens are bombarded by conflicting messages from parents, friends and society. Today’s teens see more of what life has to offer — both good and bad — on television, at school, in magazines and on the Internet. They are also forced to learn about the threat of AIDS, even if they are not sexually active or using drugs.
Teens need adult guidance more than ever to understand all the emotional and physical changes they are experiencing. When teens’ moods disrupt their ability to function on a day-to-day basis, it may indicate a serious emotional or mental disorder that needs attention — adolescent depression. Parents or caregivers must take action.
Dealing With Adolescent Pressures
When teens feel down, there are ways they can cope with these feelings to avoid serious depression. All of these suggestions help develop a sense of acceptance and belonging that is so important to adolescents.
Try to make new friends. Healthy relationships with peers are central to teens’ self-esteem and provide an important social outlet.
Participate in sports, job, school activities or hobbies. Staying busy helps teens focus on positive activities rather than negative feelings or behaviors.
Join organizations that offer programs for young people. Special programs geared to the needs of adolescents help develop additional interests.
Ask a trusted adult for help. When problems are too much to handle alone, teens should not be afraid to ask for help.
But sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, teens become depressed. Many factors can contribute to depression. Studies show that some depressed people have too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Also, a family history of depression may increase the risk for developing depression. Other factors that can contribute to depression are difficult life events (such as death or divorce), side-effects from some medications and negative thought patterns.
Recognizing Adolescent Depression
Adolescent depression is increasing at an alarming rate. Recent surveys indicate that as many as one in five teens suffers from clinical depression. This is a serious problem that calls for prompt, appropriate treatment. Depression can take several forms, including bipolar disorder (formally called manic-depression), which is a condition that alternates between periods of euphoria and depression.
Depression can be difficult to diagnose in teens because adults may expect teens to act moody. Also, adolescents do not always understand or express their feelings very well. They may not be aware of the symptoms of depression and may not seek help.
These symptoms may indicate depression, particularly when they last for more than two weeks:
Poor performance in school
Withdrawal from friends and activities
Sadness and hopelessness
Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
Anger and rage
Overreaction to criticism
Feelings of being unable to satisfy ideals
Poor self-esteem or guilt
Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness
Restlessness and agitation
Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
Problems with authority
Suicidal thoughts or actions
Teens may experiment with drugs or alcohol or become sexually promiscuous to avoid feelings of depression. Teens also may express their depression through hostile, aggressive, risk-taking behavior. But such behaviors only lead to new problems, deeper levels of depression and destroyed relationships with friends, family, law enforcement or school officials.
Treating Adolescent Depression
It is extremely important that depressed teens receive prompt, professional treatment.
Depression is serious and, if left untreated, can worsen to the point of becoming life-threatening. If depressed teens refuse treatment, it may be necessary for family members or other concerned adults to seek professional advice.
Therapy can help teens understand why they are depressed and learn how to cope with stressful situations. Depending on the situation, treatment may consist of individual, group or family counseling. Medications that can be prescribed by a psychiatrist may be necessary to help teens feel better.
Some of the most common and effective ways to treat depression in adolescents are:
Psychotherapy provides teens an opportunity to explore events and feelings that are painful or troubling to them. Psychotherapy also teaches them coping skills.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps teens change negative patterns of thinking and behaving.
Interpersonal therapy focuses on how to develop healthier relationships at home and at school.
Medication relieves some symptoms of depression and is often prescribed along with therapy.
When depressed adolescents recognize the need for help, they have taken a major step toward recovery. However, remember that few adolescents seek help on their own. They may need encouragement from their friends and support from concerned adults to seek help and follow treatment recommendations.
Facing the Danger Of Teen Suicide
Sometimes teens feel so depressed that they consider ending their lives. Each year, almost 5,000 young people, ages 15 to 24, kill themselves. The rate of suicide for this age group has nearly tripled since 1960, making it the third leading cause of death in adolescents and the second leading cause of death among college-age youth.
Studies show that suicide attempts among young people may be based on long-standing problems triggered by a specific event. Suicidal adolescents may view a temporary situation as a permanent condition. Feelings of anger and resentment combined with exaggerated guilt can lead to impulsive, self-destructive acts.
Recognizing the Warning Signs
Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warnings. Pay attention to these warning signs:
Suicide threats, direct and indirect
Obsession with death
Poems, essays and drawings that refer to death
Giving away belongings
Dramatic change in personality or appearance
Irrational, bizarre behavior
Overwhelming sense of guilt, shame or rejection
Changed eating or sleeping patterns
Severe drop in school performance
REMEMBER!!! These warning signs should be taken seriously. Obtain help immediately. Caring and support can save a young life.
Helping Suicidal Teens
Offer help and listen. Encourage depressed teens to talk about their feelings. Listen, don’t lecture.
Trust your instincts. If it seems that the situation may be serious, seek prompt help. Break a confidence if necessary, in order to save a life.
Pay attention to talk about suicide. Ask direct questions and don’t be afraid of frank discussions. Silence is deadly!
Seek professional help. It is essential to seek expert advice from a mental health professional who has experience helping depressed teens. Also, alert key adults in the teen’s life — family, friends and teachers.
Looking To The Future
When adolescents are depressed, they have a tough time believing that their outlook can improve. But professional treatment can have a dramatic impact on their lives. It can put them back on track and bring them hope for the future.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
The Boys Town National Hotline. (800)-448-3000.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
3615 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016-3007
Phone Number: (202) 966-7300
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website URL: http://www.aacap.org
American Association of Suicidology
4201 Connecticut Avenue NW; Suite 310
Washington, DC 20008
Suicide Awareness/Voices of Prevention
The Jed Foundation. Suicide prevention for college students.
The Nine Line. (800) 999-9999. Covenant Hours crisis counseling for homeless and at-risk children.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr. M Williams
How to Eat Low-Carb at Burger King
Burger King is the second largest hamburger fast food chain restaurant, so it’s often convenient. But how does it stack up in terms of offerings for those of use who are cutting carbs? Here’s how to find your way around the Burger King (BK) menu.
Find Information About Carbs
There is a nutritional information brochure at Burger King, but it won’t tell you about custom options such as ordering a burger without the bun.
But some of that information is available online:
Nutritional Information: Information, including carbohydrates, on all the standard Burger King menu items. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell about the individual components. McDonald’s does this, and it’s very helpful. You might be able to guess about the condiments by looking at the McDonald’s tool.
Obviously, ordering burgers without the bun is the way to go. You will get the burger in a plastic container with most of the condiments. As with many other places, mayo seems to be considered a condiment for the bun, not the burger, and you won’t get it unless you ask for it. You may have to ask for a knife and fork to go with it. Hamburgers have zero carbs, but some of the condiments have carbohydrate. Other than saying that the ketchup has 3 grams of carbohydrate and the mayonnaise zero, BK does not give information about the condiments.
The best bet on other sandwiches is the Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich without the bun at 3 grams of carbohydrate. If you get the Veggie Burger bunless, it will cost you 19 grams of carb, and the rest of the sandwiches go up from there.
Salads at BK are, unfortunately, a little disappointing.
In particular, the last time I checked them out the side salads were almost entirely iceberg lettuce. A thin slice of tomato and a few tiny carrots complete the “Garden Salad”. The base for the meal salads was a little better, as it had the more-nutritious romaine lettuce included.
The only low-carb meal salad option is the Tendergrill Chicken Garden Salad, at 8 grams of net carbohydrate (not counting dressing and skip the croutons). The Tendercrisp Chicken Salad has 23 grams of net carbs because the chicken is breaded.
The dressings, as always, contain a wide range of carbohydrate. The best one is the Ranch Dressing at 2 grams of carbohydrate per packet. Do NOT get the Fat Free Ranch Dressing, as it contains
15 grams of sugar! The Creamy Caesar and Light Italian dressings could also reasonable choices, at 4 and 5 grams, respectively. And you don’t have to use the whole thing, of course.
Sides and Desserts
The only real possibility is the Fresh Apple Fries (which aren’t fried, BTW) at 5 grams net carbs. Skip the caramel sauce of course.
If you just want a Chicken Tender or two, they are a little over 2 grams of carb apiece. Choose the Ranch dipping sauce at 1 gram per container.
There are a couple of omelet sandwiches that you could get without the bun, but there is no information about carb counts in that case.
Obviously water, diet sodas, and coffee are the zero carb options (or almost so). Don’t be tempted by the iced coffee, with a diet-busting 66 grams of carbohydrate. And believe it or not, the shakes go up to 154 grams of carbohydrate and 960 calories!!
With care, an occasional meal at BK won’t break your diet, but there isn’t enough nutrition available there to make it a habit
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P Carrothers
Best and Worst Health Choices at KFC
Most healthy eaters consider chicken to be a diet-friendly food. But the menu at Kentucky Fried Chicken can challenge even the most dedicated dieter. If you check KFC nutrition facts, you’ll see that many menu items are loaded with fat and calories—including the chicken. But it is possible to eat at KFC when you’re trying to lose weight and even to make healthy choices on the menu.
Analyzing the KFC Menu
The KFC menu is built around items that are fried.
So even though chicken is usually a good source of lean protein, most of the chicken items on this menu are going to less healthy. In addition, the side dishes—primarily comfort foods like mashed potatoes, corn bread and macaroni and cheese—will increase your fat and calorie intake while providing very little nutritional value.
However, there are a few grilled selections on the Kentucky Fried Chicken menu that are better for your health. For example the Grilled Chicken Breast provides just 180 calories and 6 grams of total fat. You’ll also get 31 grams of metabolism-boosting protein when you choose this food.
Most Popular KFC Food
Original Recipe and Extra Crispy Chicken are very popular choices at KFC. But the Original Recipe Chicken Breast is loaded with fat and sodium (see label). If you select the Extra Crispy Chicken Breast, you’ll consume 390 calories, 23 grams of fat and 870 milligrams of sodium.
Extra Crispy Tenders are also a menu favorite at KFC.
A single order provides 140 calories, 7 grams of fat 10 grams of protein and 310 milligrams of sodium. And wings are another popular food. An order of KFC Chicken Hot Wings provides 70 calories, 4 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein and 160 milligrams of sodium. But a serving size is just 22 grams, which is very small. You are likely to consume several servings of this food.
Sandwiches and wraps are also popular at KFC. The Crispy Twister, for example, includes a tortilla, extra crispy tenders, mayo, tomatoes, shredded cheese and lettuce. There are 630 calories in the KFC twister wrap, and 34 grams of fat.
Healthiest Options on the Kentucky Fried Chicken Menu
Grilled items will be best for your diet at KFC, but if you love the taste of fried chicken, you still have options. Choose one of these meals to keep your fat and calorie intake in control.
Traditional KFC Meal: 480 calories
Original Recipe Chicken Breast: 320 calories
Corn on the Cob: 70 calories
Mashed Potatoes: 90 calories
Grilled Chicken Meal: 385 calories
Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast: 180 calories
Green Beans: 25 calories
Biscuit: 180 calories
Crispy Chicken Salad Meal: 450 calories
Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad: 330 calories
Marzetti Light Italian Dressing: 15 calories
Cornbread Muffin (half muffin): 105 calories
Least Healthy Choices on the KFC Menu
One of the reasons that a Kentucky Fried Chicken meal is challenging for dieters is that many menu items are served family-style. This can make portion control very difficult. In addition, many of the most popular foods at KFC are fried. So even though they provide a dose of healthy protein, it comes bundled with fat and calories.
To stick to your diet when you eat at KFC, follow these three rules to avoid common mistakes that can send your daily fat and calorie intake through the roof.
Order only single-serve items. Skip the family-style buckets and platters – even if you are eating with a group. That way you know you are consuming only the calories that are posted on the menu board. You may also want to avoid KFC’s popular Go Cups if you are trying to slim down. You don’t get enough food to justify the 500 (or more) calories you’ll consume when you eat one.
Be smart with salad choices. Salads are usually healthy, but there aren’t any grilled salad choices at KFC. Each of the entree salads at Kentucky Fried Chicken comes with fried chicken on top. And the calorie counts listed do not include dressing. You can include these in your diet (see the meal listed above) if you crave crispy chicken, but a healthier choice is to order the side salad and add a piece of grilled chicken on top.
Be selective about sides. The KFC sides you choose can make or break your entire meal. So check the nutrition facts for your favorite dish before you order. The healthiest side dish is Green Beans with only 25 calories and zero grams of fat. Potato wedges are the worst with 290 calories and 15 grams of fat. You might also want to skip the BBQ Baked Beans. Even though beans sound healthy, this recipe will add 210 calories to your total intake.
Lastly, remember to drink water instead of soda when you visit KFC or any fast food restaurant. It’s a better choice for your body when you consume the high sodium levels that you find in many fried foods. And try to make your food choices before you go. That way you’re not distracted by the pictures on the menu board and you’ll be more likely to stick to your diet.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P Carrothers
Best and Worst Health Choices at McDonald’s
Analyzing the McDonald’s Menu
McDonald’s and many other fast food restaurants post calorie counts for each of their food products.
But if you are in the drive-thru lane you might not have time to grab your calculator and do the math. So be safe and stick to sandwiches that include grilled meat or chicken to keep the calorie count low. You’ll also boost your daily protein intake with those choices.
It’s also a good idea to skip the French fries and choose fruit instead. If you want to indulge, get a small size of fries and choose a smaller sandwich. And your best bet for saving calories? Skip the soda! Get water and add lemon to make the water taste better.
The best way to stay healthy at McDonald’s is to order a la carte. That means you bypass the popular Value Meals and only order the menu items that you love so you don’t waste calories on foods you don’t need.
While you might imagine that burgers rule at McDonald’s, French fries, chicken sandwiches, and chicken nuggets are also very popular. Even breakfast items rank very high on the McDonald’s must-have list. These are calorie counts for some of the most popular items:
A 4-piece order of Chicken McNuggets provides 180 calories, 11 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein and 11 grams of carbohydrate.
The more popular 10-piece order of Chicken McNuggets provides 440 calories, 27 grams of fat, 24 grams of protein and 26 grams of carbohydrate. Double those numbers for the 20-piece chicken nugget calories and nutrition.
An Egg McMuffin provides 290 calories, 12 grams of fat, 17 grams of protein and 29 grams of carbohydrate.
A McChicken sandwich provides 350 calories, 15 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbohydrate.
One Quarter Pounder with Cheese provides 540 calories, 27 grams of fat, 31 grams of protein and 42 grams of carbohydrate.
A Filet-O-Fish sandwich provides 390 calories, 19 grams of fat, 17 grams of protein, 38 grams of carbohydrate.
A Cheeseburger provides 300 calories, 12 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein and 33 grams of carbohydrate.
If you choose to enjoy your meal with one of McDonald’s popular sweetened drinks, you’ll have to add more calories. A large McDonald’s Sweet Tea contains 160 calories and a large Coca-Cola contains 300 calories.
Healthiest Options on the McDonald’s Menu
There are some items that are lower in calories. Depending on the meal you choose to enjoy, there are several different ways to enjoy a full meal for under 500 calories.
McDonald’s Breakfast Under 500 Calories
There are some items you should avoid if you are watching your waistline.
The Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle provides 550 calories. And the Bacon Egg & Cheese McGriddle doesn’t fare much better at 420 calories. These items, however, should keep you satisfied and won’t ruin your daily calorie count:
Fruit & Maple Oatmeal: 310 calories
Apple Slices: 15 calories
Coffee: 0 calories (no cream or sugar)
Lowfat Milk: 100 calories
Total: 425 calories
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: 150 calories
Iced Latte: 60 calories (medium with nonfat milk)
Hash Browns: 150 calories
Total 360 calories
Egg McMuffin: 290 calories
Hash Browns: 150 calories
Black coffee: 0 calories
Total: 440 calories
Low-Calorie McDonald’s Lunch or Dinner
Most dieters will visit McDonald’s for their popular lunch or dinner burgers and fries.
So can you enjoy these popular favorites and still keep your weight loss program on track? Yes! Just stay away from the super-sized items and high-fat condiments like mayonnaise and cheese.
Milk: 100 calories (1% low fat)
Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad (no cheese or tortilla strips): 260 calories
Fruities (Mandarin orange): 35 calories
Total: 395 calories
Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 380 calories
Side Salad: (no dressing) 20 calories
Water: 0 calories
Total: 400 calories
Hamburger: 250 calories
Kids Fries: 110 Calories
Small Diet Soda
Total: 360 calories
Cheeseburger: 300 calories
Side Salad: 20 calories
Newman’s Own Low Fat Dressing: 80 calories
Total: 400 calories
Hamburger: 250 calories
Small fries: 230 calories
Total 480 calories
Unhealthiest Food on the McDonald’s Menu
As you might expect, the fries won’t do wonders for your diet. An order of large French Fries contains 510 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 66 grams of carbohydrate. And you might also want to avoid the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese which will add 780 calories and 45 grams of fat to your daily total.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P Carrothers
Killing Cancer Cells with This!
Not long ago, researchers at the world-renowned University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center published a groundbreaking scientific review of their favorite anti-cancer nutrient — curcumin. Curcumin, along with several other nutrients, is remarkable in that it can actually tell the difference between a healthy cell and a cancer cell.
According to Wellness Resources, here is how the researchers explained their interest in curcumin:
“’ … Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) … is one of the most powerful and promising chemopreventive and anticancer agents … How curcumin exerts its powerful anticancer activities has been thoroughly investigated, and several mechanisms of action have been discovered … curcumin exerts its biological activities through epigenetic modulation.’”
In other words, curcumin changes the regulation of DNA to help kill cancer. In fact, curcumin not only influences epigenetic settings, it also manages the downstream consequences, helping to guide multiple steps in the way gene orders are implemented.
But genes are in fact NOT self-regulating.
Having “bad genes,” does not at all mean you’re doomed to suffer some inevitable fate. Genes are merely blueprints, and these blueprints are activated and controlled by something else entirely, namely their environment. This environmental information—which includes diet, toxic exposures, as well as thoughts and emotions, and more—can create more than 30,000 different variations from each blueprint, allowing for an astounding amount of leeway in modifying the expression or “read-out” of each gene!
The Power of Food as Medicine
As a result of these findings, we’re now finally seeing science alter its course to investigate the power of optimal nutrition to improve health and prevent chronic disease from occurring in the first place. To anyone who is well-versed in alternative medicine, this is simply common sense. But many are still in denial about the power each individual wields over their own health, and that preventing disease and even treating disease can be as simple as modifying your diet and lifestyle—essentially, altering the environment of your body, to provide the best, most health promoting growth medium possible for all your cells.
Part of the explanation for why food can have such a powerful influence on serious diseases such as cancer is due to its influence on a biological process called angiogenesis– the process your body uses to build blood vessels. Cancerous cells, like all other cells in your body, cannot thrive without the oxygen and nutrients supplied by your capillaries.
Excessive angiogenesis (too many blood vessels) promote diseases such as cancer.
Most of us actually carry around microscopic cancer cell clusters in our bodies all the time. The reason why we all don’t develop cancer is because as long as your body has the ability to balance angiogenesis properly, it will prevent blood vessels from forming to feed these microscopic tumors. Trouble will only arise if, and when, the cancer cells manage to get their own blood supply, at which point they can transform from harmless to deadly.
As our ancestors intuitively understood, Nature has laced a large number of foods and herbs with naturally occurring inhibitors of angiogenesis, rendering them natural “anti-cancer medicines.” Simply by consuming these anti-angiogenetic foods you can naturally boost your body’s defense system and prevent blood vessels from forming and feeding the microscopic tumors that exist in your body at any given time.
I’ve previously written about a number of different foods found to have particularly powerful epigenetic influence, such as broccoli and resveratrol, but many researchers consider the curcumin in turmeric to have the greatest potential in combating cancer.
Curcumin—One of the Most Powerful Cancer Gene Regulators
It’s now becoming more widely accepted that cancer is not pre-programmed into your genes, but rather it’s the environment of your body that regulates your genetic expression that can trigger cancer to occur. Adverse epigenetic influences that can damage or mutate DNA and alter genetic expression, allowing cancer to proliferate, include:
Nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances Toxins and pollution Chronic infections Infectious toxic byproducts
Chronic stress Chronic inflammation Free radical damage Thoughts and emotional conflicts
Curcumin currently has the most evidence-based literature supporting its use against cancer among all nutrients. Interestingly this also includes the metabolite of curcumin and its derivatives, which are also anti-cancerous. Best of all, curcumin appears to be safe in the treatment of all cancers.
Researchers have found that curcumin can affect more than 100 different pathways, once it gets into the cell. More specifically, curcumin has been found to:
Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells Decrease inflammation
Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor Inhibit the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation
Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body Help prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth (angiogenesis)
However, much of curcumin’s power seems to lie in its ability to modulate genetic activity and expression—both by destroying cancer cells, and by promoting healthy cell function. It also promotes anti-angiogenesis, i.e. it helps prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth as discussed above.
For example, a 2005 study in Biochemical Pharmacology found that curcumin can help slow the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs in mice.
“Curcumin acts against transcription factors, which are like a master switch,” said lead researcher, Bharat Aggarwal. “Transcription factors regulate all the genes needed for tumors to form. When we turn them off, we shut down some genes that are involved in the growth and invasion of cancer cells.”
Another study in Biochemical Pharmacology also found that curcumin inhibits the activation of NF-kappaB, a regulatory molecule that signals genes to produce a slew of inflammatory molecules (including TNF, COX-2 and IL-6) that promote cancer cell growth.
Other Health Benefits of Curcumin
The growing interest in curcumin over the past 50 years is understandable when you consider the many health benefits researchers have found when studying this herb. According to studies, curcumin may help:
Reduce cholesterol levels Prevent low-density lipoprotein oxidation Inhibit platelet aggregation
Suppress thrombosis and myocardial infarction Suppress symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes Suppress symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Suppress symptoms of multiple sclerosis Suppress symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease Inhibit HIV replication
Suppress tumor formation Enhance wound healing Protect against liver damage
Increase bile secretion Protect against cataracts Protect against pulmonary toxicity and fibrosis
How to Use Curcumin
To get the full benefits curcumin has to offer, look for a turmeric extract that contains 100 percent certified organic ingredients, with at least 95 percent curcuminoids. The formula should be free of fillers, additives and excipients (a substance added to the supplement as a processing or stability aid), and the manufacturer should use safe production practices at all stages: planting, cultivation, selective harvesting, and then producing and packaging the final product.
Unfortunately, at the present time there really are no formulations available for the use against cancer. This is because relatively high doses are required and curcumin is not absorbed that well.
According to Dr. William LaValley, one of the leading medicine cancer physicians I personally know, typical anticancer doses are up to three grams of good bioavailable curcumin extract, three to four times daily. One work-around is to use the curcumin powder and make a microemulsion of it by combining a tablespoon of the powder and mixing it into 1-2 egg yolks and a teaspoon or two of melted coconut oil. Then use a high speed hand blender to emulsify the powder.
Another strategy that can help increase absorption is to put one tablespoon of the curcumin powder into a quart of boiling water. It must be boiling when you add the powder as it will not work as well if you put it in room temperature water and heat the water and curcumin. After boiling it for ten minutes you will have created a 12 percent solution that you can drink once it has cooled down. It will have a woody taste.
The curcumin will gradually fall out of solution however. In about six hours it will be a 6 percent solution, so it’s best to drink the water within four hours.
Be aware that curcumin is a very potent yellow pigment and can permanently discolor surfaces if you aren’t careful.
Please Remember the Cancer Treatment BASICS
It is encouraging to see cancer research on herbs such as turmeric. However, it’s virtually impossible to discuss cancer prevention and treatment without touching on one of the absolute best cancer prevention nutrients ever discovered, namely vitamin D.
Despite its name, vitamin D is actually a powerful neuro-regulatory steroid, and it’s likely more potent than curcumin, as its epigenetic influence covers more than 2,000 genes in your body—or about 10 percent of all genes! There are also more than 830 peer reviewed scientific studies showing vitamin D’s effectiveness in the treatment of cancer.
Personally, I believe it is virtually malpractice to not optimize vitamin D levels when treating someone with cancer. In this case, your vitamin D levels should be around 70-100 ng/ml. For more information about optimizing your vitamin D levels, please see my previous article Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency.
Cancer Treatments: Chemo or Natural?
Contrary to ‘conventional wisdom,’ chemotherapy is rarely the best option for cancer treatment as it usually typically doesn’t cure cancer or extend life, and it rarely improves the quality of life. Dr. Ralph Moss, who is the author of eight books on cancer treatment, has reviewed thousands of studies as part of the research for his books — and he has not found one single good study showing that chemo cures cancer or extends life.
What chemo does do, however, is expose your body to toxins that kill all cells that multiply and divide rapidly. This includes not only cancer cells, but also other rapidly multiplying and dividing cells, such as bone marrow, reproductive system cells and hair follicles.
These are powerful drugs that present an assault on your system — one that your body must then overcome along with the cancer. And the effects do not end right after the treatment. One UCLA study found that chemotherapy can actually change the blood flow and metabolism of your brain in ways that can linger for 10 years or more after treatment.
Natural (and Epigenetic) Cancer Prevention Strategies
I believe you can virtually eliminate your risk of cancer and other chronic disease, and radically improve your chances of recovering from cancer if you currently have it, by following some relatively simple risk reduction strategies—all of which help promote a healthful biological environment in which your cells can thrive and combat disease naturally.
You don’t read or hear much about these strategies because they have not been formally “proven” yet by conservative researchers. However, did you know that 85 percent of therapies currently recommended by conventional medicine have never been formally proven effective either?!
My top 12 cancer prevention strategies include:
Reduce or eliminate your processed food, fructose and grain carbohydrate intake.
Normalize your vitamin D levels by getting plenty of sunlight exposure and consider careful supplementation when this is not possible. If you take oral vitamin D and have cancer, it would be prudent to monitor your vitamin D blood levels regularly.
Control your fasting insulin and leptin levels. (Improved insulin and leptin control is the natural outcome of reducing or eliminating fructose, grains, and processed foods from your diet.)
Normalize your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats by taking a high-quality krill oil or fish oil and reducing your intake of most processed vegetable oils.
Get regular exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks. If you have limited time, Sprint 8 is your best bet but ideally you should have a good strength training program
Get regular, good sleep.
Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are sorely underappreciated. However, some cancer specialists are now using nutritional typing as an integral part of their cancer treatments.
Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution.
Limit your exposure and provide protection for yourself from EMF produced by cell phone towers, base stations, cell phones and WiFi stations. On May 31, 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared that cell phones are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
Avoid frying or charbroiling your food. Boil, poach or steam your foods instead.
Have a tool to permanently reprogram the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. Energy psychology seems to be one of the best approaches and my particular favorite tool, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique. German New Medicine is another powerful tool.
Eat at least one-third of your food raw.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr A Sullivan
Ketogenic Diet May Be Key to Cancer Recovery
To some, a ketogenic diet amounts to nothing less than a drug-free cancer treatment. The diet calls for eliminating carbohydrates, replacing them with healthy fats and protein.
The premise is that since cancer cells need glucose to thrive, and carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body, then cutting out carbs literally starves the cancer cells.
This type of diet, in which you replace carbs with moderate amounts of high quality protein and high amounts of beneficial fat, is what I recommend for everyone, whether you have cancer or not. It’s simply a diet that will help optimize your weight and health overall, as eating this way will help you convert from carb burning mode to fat burning.
Ketogenic Diet May Be Key to Brain Cancer Recovery
The featured video shows Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D, who is one of the leaders in teasing the details of how to treat cancer nutritionally. I am scheduled to interview him shortly and hope to have that interview up later this year. In the video, Professor Seyfried discusses how, as a metabolic disorder involving the dysregulation of respiration, malignant brain cancer can be managed through changes in the metabolic environment.
“In contrast to normal neurons and glia, which transition to ketone bodies (beta-hydroxybutyrate) for respiratory energy when glucose levels are reduced, malignant brain tumors are mostly dependent on non-oxidative substrate level phosphorylation due to structural and functional abnormalities in mitochondria. Glucose and glutamine are major fuels for malignant cancer cells.
The transition from glucose to ketone bodies as an energy source is an ancestrally conserved adaptation to food deprivation that permits the survival of normal cells during extreme shifts in nutritional environment. Only those cells with a flexible genome, honed through millions of years of environmental forcing and variability selection, can transition from one energy state to another.
We propose a different approach to brain cancer management that exploits the metabolic flexibility of normal cells at the expense of the genetically defective and metabolically challenged. This evolutionary and metabolic approach to brain cancer management is supported from studies in orthotopic mouse brain tumor models and from case studies in patients.
Calorie restriction and restricted ketogenic diets (R-KD), which reduce circulating glucose levels and elevate ketone levels, are anti-invasive, anti-angiogenic, and pro-apoptotic towards malignant brain cancer.”1
Current conventional cancer treatment typically involves chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is a cytotoxic poison, and radiation is devastating to the human body. More often than not, the treatment is what eventually kills the patient. This can no longer be accepted as “the best we can do.” As Dr. Seyfried says:
“The reason why we have so few people surviving is because of the standard of care. It has to be changed, if it’s not changed, there will be no major progress. Period.”
Metabolic Therapy/Ketogenic Diet Being Investigated as Cancer Treatment
CBN News recently published an article on the ketogenic diet.2 Clearly, many people are realizing that what we have been doing in terms of fighting cancer is simply not working, and we cannot afford to continue in the same way. Prevention must be addressed if we ever want to turn the tide on the growing incidence of cancer across all age groups. But even more astounding, in terms of treatment, is that cancer may respond to diet alone.
“Dr. Fred Hatfield is an impressive guy: a power-lifting champion, author of dozens of books, a millionaire businessman with a beautiful wife. But he’ll tell you his greatest accomplishment is killing his cancer just in the nick of time,” CBN News writes. “The doctors gave me three months to live because of widespread metastatic cancer in my skeletal structure,” he recalled. “Three months; three different doctors told me that same thing.”
Dr. Hatfield was preparing to die when he heard of metabolic therapy, also known as the ketogenic diet. He had nothing to lose so he gave it a try, and… it worked. The cancer disappeared completely, and at the time of his interview (above), he’d been cancer-free for over a year.
The video above also features Dr. Dominic D’Agostino who, along with a team of researchers at the University of South Florida studies metabolic therapy. They found that when lab animals were fed a carb-free diet, they survived highly aggressive metastatic cancer better than those treated with chemotherapy. CBN reports:
“‘We have dramatically increased survival with metabolic therapy,’ [Dr. D’Agostino] said. ‘So we think it’s important to get this information out.’ It’s not just lab mice. Dr. D’Agostino has also seen similar success in people – lots of them. ‘I’ve been in correspondence with a number of people,’ he said. ‘At least a dozen over the last year-and-a-half to two years, and all of them are still alive, despite the odds. So this is very encouraging.'”
How Does Ketogenic Diet Starve Cancer Cells?
Dr. D’Agostino explains how the ketogenic diet can have such a dramatic (and rapid) effect on cancer. All of your body’s cells are fueled by glucose. This includes cancer cells. However, cancer cells have one built-in fatal flaw – they do not have the metabolic flexibility of your regular cells and cannot adapt to use ketone bodies for fuel as all your other cells can.
So, when you alter your diet and become what’s known as “fat-adapted,” your body starts using fat for fuel rather than carbs. When you switch out the carbs for healthy fats, you starve the cancer out, as you’re no longer supplying the necessary fuel – glucose – for their growth. As D’Agostino explains:
“Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. But cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility. So we can exploit that.”
I’ve previously discussed ways to “starve” cancer, and eliminating sugar/fructose and grains (ie carbohydrates) is at the very top of the list. It’s the most basic step without which few other dietary strategies are likely to succeed. In order to be effective, you must first STOP doing that which is promoting cancer growth (or poor health in general), and then all the other preventive strategies have the chance to really have an impact.
What Makes for a Cancer-Fighting Diet?
Please remember addressing your diet should be at the top of your list. Naturally, processed foods and soft drinks do not belong in a cancer-preventive diet, as they are loaded with carbs that turn into fuel for cancer cells.
Carbs also raise your insulin and leptin levels, and keeping your insulin and leptin signaling healthy is imperative if you want to avoid chronic disease of all kinds, including cancer.
Processed foods may also contain trans fat – the only type of fat you really need to avoid like the plague. They are also loaded with omega-6 fats which the featured otherwise excellent video failed to mention. Increasing the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is another potent way to increase your risk of cancer cell proliferation.
What About Protein?
One of my primary mentors in the importance of insulin and leptin, Dr. Rosedale. was one of the first professionals to advocate both a low-carb and moderate protein (and therefore high quality fat) diet. This was contrary to most low-carb advocates who were, and still are, very accepting of, if not promoting, high protein, as a replacement for the carbs.
If you or someone you know is challenged with cancer, the healthiest option may be to replace the carbs with beneficial fats, and limit your protein to high quality organic/pastured sources only. Dr. Rosedale advises 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass which for most people will be about 50 grams of protein a day (or 0.5 grams per pound of lean body weight). While you can take carbs to very low levels in ketogenic diets, you must have some protein every day to replace your body’s requirements. The key is to add healthy fat to replace the carbs and excess protein.
Olives and Olive oil
Coconuts and coconut oil
Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Organic raw nuts, especially macadamia nuts, which are low in protein and omega-6 fat
Organic pastured egg yolks and pastured meats
The Fallacies of Fats and Carbs
Coincidentally, Dr. Robert Lustig – another expert on the dangers of high carb diets – was recently interviewed by NPR radio’s Science Friday segment.2 His new book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease, tackles the persistent myths about fat that is endangering the health of millions. It’s difficult to know just how many people have suffered poor health because they followed conventional low-fat recommendations, but I’m sure the number is significant.
The fact is that you’ve been thoroughly misled when it comes to dietary advice. Still today, many doctors, nutritionists, and government health officials will tell you to avoid saturated fat and keep fat consumption to below 10 percent while keeping the bulk of your diet, about 60 percent, as carbs. This is madness, as it’s the converse of a diet that will lead to optimal health. As an example, you’ve probably seen the whole grain label, which is certified by the American Heart Association3 of all things. Do whole grains support heart health? Hardly. The following outtake from the transcript addresses this head on:
“Flatow: …there’s something that came out yesterday released from Harvard… and it talks about one of the most widely used industry standards, the wholegrain stamp. [It] actually identified grain products [bearing the stamp] were higher in both sugars and calories than products without the stamp.
Lustig: Absolutely. And to be honest with you, wholegrain doesn’t mean much… Basically what it means is you start with a whole grain; that is the starch on the inside, the kernel, or the husk or the bran on the outside, and then whatever you want to do with it is perfectly fine. It’s still a whole grain. So if you pulverize it and add sugar to it, hey it’s still a whole grain because that’s what you started with. But you know what? All the benefits you get from whole grain are gone as soon as you pulverize it. So…. what it means is irrelevant because the definition is not helpful.”
Other Lifestyle Factors that Influence Your Cancer Risk
Other lifestyle factors that have been found to have an impact on chronic disease and cancer include:
- Vitamin D: There’s overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that vitamin D deficiency plays a crucial role in cancer development. You can decrease your risk of cancer by more than half simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure or a safe tanning bed. And, if you are being treated for cancer, it is likely that higher blood levels – probably around 80-90 ng/ml – would be beneficial. Do not!, go out and start taking vitamin D without talking to your healthcare provider or give us a call first.
- Getting proper sleep: both in terms of getting enough sleep, and sleeping between certain hours. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the ideal hours for sleep are between 10 pm and 6 am. Modern research has confirmed the value of this recommendation as certain hormonal fluctuations occur throughout the day and night, and if you engage in the appropriate activities during those times, you’re ‘riding the wave’ so to speak, and are able to get the optimal levels. Working against your biology by staying awake when you should ideally be sleeping or vice versa, interferes with these hormonal fluctuations.
There’s a spike of melatonin that occurs between midnight and 1am that you don’t want to miss because the consequences are absolutely spectacular. Melatonin is not only a sleep hormone, but it also is a very powerful antioxidant. It decreases the amount of estrogen your body produces, and boosts your immune system. It also interacts with other hormones. So, if you go to bed after 10, it can significantly increase your risk of breast cancer.
- Effectively addressing your stress: The research shows that if you experience a traumatic or highly stressful event, such as a death in the family, your risk of breast cancer is 12 times higher in the ensuing five years. I believe energy psychology tools are ideal to address stressors in your life. My favorite is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), but there are many others available as well.
- Exercise: If you are like most people, when you think of reducing your risk of cancer, exercise doesn’t immediately come to mind. However, there is some fairly compelling evidence that exercise can slash your risk of cancer.
One of the primary ways exercise lowers your risk for cancer is by reducing elevated insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells. Additionally, exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. Your immune system is your first line of defense against everything from minor illnesses like a cold right up to devastating, life-threatening diseases like cancer.
The trick about exercise, though, is understanding how to use it as a precise tool. This ensures you are getting enough to achieve the benefit, not too much to cause injury, and the right variety to balance your entire physical structure and maintain strength and flexibility, and aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. This is why it is helpful to view exercise like a drug that needs to be carefully prescribed to achieve its maximum benefit. For detailed instructions, please see this previous article.
Additionally it is likely that integrating exercise with intermittent fasting will greatly catalyze the potential of exercise to reduce your risk of cancer and stimulate widespread healing and rejuvenation.
You CAN Beat ‘the System’…
Cancer is the second most lethal disease in the US after heart disease (not counting iatrogenic mortality, aka “death by medicine”). We all know that the war on cancer has been a dismal failure. Tragically, conventional wisdom is blind when it comes to cancer prevention and treatment and hundreds of thousands die prematurely every year as a result. They have little to no appreciation of the concepts discussed in this article. But you don’t have to fall into that trap as you know better and can take control of your health and ability to treat cancer in your own hands.
The ketogenic diet, which can be summarized as a high-fat, moderate-protein, no-grain-carb diet, has brought many back to health, even after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer, and given no hope of survival. Hopefully, research by the likes of Dr. D’Agostino will become more widely known. Until then, do your own research and take control of your own health, and that of your family.
Severely limiting sugar/fructose, processed foods of all kinds, sweetened beverages (as well as diet versions), and replacing carbs with healthy fats and high quality protein can do what no medicine can – it can prevent disease from setting in, and may even be the U-turn you’re looking for if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or other chronic disease. Add to that appropriate sun exposure, sleep, effective stress management, and regular exercise, and you’ll be well ahead of the rest of the population.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr A Sullivan
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:
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.
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.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr A Sullivan
Can Food Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?
To help minimize your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, an Anti-Inflammatory Diet. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants – both of which can help address inflammation, which experts now consider a primary contributor to many diseases, including Alzheimer’s. You can get started by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as omega-3 rich foods such as walnuts, wild Alaskan salmon, and freshly ground flaxseed.
There was also a recent study at UCLA showing that a gluten-free diet was part of a lifestyle program that reverse the symptoms of early Alzheimer’s. This may not be necessary for everyone, but many of our integrative medicine fellows see patients improve their brain fog symptoms on a gluten-free diet. It may be worth a three- to four-week trial to see for yourself.
Supplements are important too. Please ask your healthcare provider to go over a supplement regiment just for you. If they say take a one-a-day, then run away!
Call us to give you a personalized healthcare plan.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P Carrothers
Dir. Of Personalized Healthcare and Preventative Medicine
Foods to Get More Vitamin D in Your Diet
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s essential for proper absorption of calcium in your digestive tract, and it helps maintain blood levels of calcium and phosphate. So, getting enough vitamin D is necessary for bone health throughout your life — vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets in kids and osteoporosis in adults.
The thing is, people don’t get much vitamin D from the diet. Your body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun. It only takes a few minutes of sun exposure every day to get your vitamin D, but if you live in a place where it gets colder in the winter, there’s a good chance you won’t get enough sun exposure for several months out of each year.
Most experts recommend a daily intake of 600 International Units. You won’t find many foods that are high in vitamin D, but there are some. Flip through this slideshow to learn more about these foods.
Maitake mushrooms, or “hen in the woods” mushrooms, are a delicious and low-calorie source of vitamin D, as well as potassium and several B-complex vitamins. One cup of diced maitake mushrooms has more than 700 International Units of vitamin D. Maitake mushrooms might also have health benefits beyond being nutritious.
Halibut is a good source of vitamin D, with about 200 International Units in a 3-ounce serving of fish. Halibut is also a good source of protein, B-complex vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Eating halibut also provides you with essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Regular portabella mushrooms have a small amount of vitamin D, but portabellas grown with extra exposure to ultraviolet light have much more. One whole UV-exposed portabella mushroom has about 375 International Units of vitamin D. Portabellas are also an excellent source of selenium, potassium, and several B-complex vitamins.
Fish oils contain vitamin D so it makes sense that fatty fish like salmon are good for getting vitamin D. Three ounces of fresh pink salmon have 370 International Units and three ounces of canned sockeye salmon has almost 800 International Units of vitamin D. Salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and an antioxidant called astaxanthin. And don’t let the idea that salmon is a ‘fatty fish’ scare you off — a six-ounce piece of salmon only has about 200 calories.
Trout is another good source of vitamin D, and since it’s a white fish, it has a milder flavor than oilier fish like salmon and tuna. Three ounces of rainbow trout has about 650 International Units of vitamin D. Trout is also an excellent source of protein, B-complex vitamins, and minerals.
Vitamin D is found in the yolks, so eating whole eggs is a good way to get some vitamin D in your diet. Each egg yolk has about 40 International Units of vitamin D so eating two eggs contributes 80 International Units to your daily intake. Eggs are also an excellent source of protein and lutein. One egg has about 70 calories.
Chanterelle mushrooms are another good plant-based source of vitamin D. One cup of chanterelles has more than 100 International Units of vitamin D. These mushrooms are also an excellent source of potassium and low in calories — that one cup of chanterelles has only 20 calories.
Canned tuna has about 40 International Units of vitamin D in a three-ounce serving so each can has about 80 International Units). Canned tuna is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, selenium and zinc. It’s convenient too — keep canned tuna on hand for sandwiches, salads and for using in recipes.
Vitamin D is also available as a dietary supplement, either alone or combined with other nutrients. Calcium supplements usually contain vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements are generally safe but follow label directions and keep them away from young kids — vitamin D in large amounts can become toxic over time. And you should also speak with your healthcare provider before taking vitamin D supplements if you have any health conditions.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P Carrothers