Nutrition. Education. Transformation.

How Nutrition Can Prevent Cancer, or Encourage It

June 13, 2011

cancer
Cancer is now the number one cause of death in the country, having surpassed heart disease a few years ago. It is known as the “disease of modern civilization.” Cancer occurs when a certain type of cell—such as a those found in the blood, pancreas, brain, liver or connective tissue—begins to grow and divide in an uncontrolled and excessive way, to the detriment of other healthy cells.

A number of different staging systems are used to classify tumors. The TNM staging system assesses tumors in three ways: extent of the primary tumor (T), absence or presence of regional lymph node involvement (N), and absence or presence of distant metastases (M). Once the T, N, and M are determined, a stage of I, II, III, or IV is assigned, with stage I being early and stage IV being advanced disease.

Current research suggests that about one-third of the 571,950 cancer deaths expected to occur in 2011 will be related to obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition and thus could also be prevented.

type of cancer

TWO TYPES OF CANCER:

  1. BENIGN: Not cancerous and do not spread to other parts of the body. Surgically removed and usually do not come back.
  2. MALIGNANT: Cancerous. Mutated cells divide without control and they invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and enter bloodstream and lymphatic system, forming new tumors and other organs.

TWO RISK CATEGORIES:

  1. INHERITED accounts for 10-15 percent of all cancers
  2. ENVIRONMENTAL eighty-five percent comes from environment, diet, lifestyle and exposure
    to harmful substances

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of cancer will depend on the type and location of the cancer. Colon cancer often causes chronic constipation, diarrhea and blood in the stool, while lung cancer often causes chronic chest pain, coughing and shortness of breath. Some cancers may not have any symptoms at all. In certain cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, symptoms often do not start until the disease has reached an advanced stage.

COMMON CANCER CULPRITS

1.) FOOD:

  • For thousands of years, our ancestors ate wild meat and fish including the organs, some fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, seeds and some honey when we could steal it.
  • As we became farmers, roughly around 9,000 B.C., we began to cultivate the land and breed wild grain, fruits and vegetables and started to domesticate animals for food and raw dairy.
  • History has shown that societies where the transition from a primarily meat/vegetation diet to one high in cereals show a reduced lifespan and stature, increases in infant mortality and infectious disease, and higher nutritional deficiencies.
  • Fast-forward to the Industrial Revolution of the early 1900’s, when dramatic changes started taking place with our food supply and health in America. Heart disease, relatively unknown, began to rise. Tuberculosis, rickets and tooth decay became rampant. The Industrial Revolution changed the entire world, and introduced new chemical creations to our food supply that we had never consumed before.
  • According to Nutrition Journal, it has been estimated that 30–40 percent of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle and dietary measures alone. Obesity, nutrient sparse foods such as concentrated sugars and refined flour products that contribute to impaired glucose metabolism (which leads to diabetes), low fiber intake, consumption of red meat, and imbalance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats all contribute to excess cancer risk. Intake of flax seed, especially its lignan fraction, and abundant portions of fruits and vegetables will lower cancer risk.Allium and cruciferous vegetables are especially beneficial, with broccoli sprouts being the densest source of sulforophane. Protective elements in a cancer prevention diet include selenium, folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, chlorophyll, and antioxidants such as the carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin). Ascorbic acid has limited benefits orally, but could be very beneficial intravenously. Supplementary use of oral digestive enzymes and probiotics also has merit as anticancer dietary measures. When a diet is compiled according to the guidelines here it is likely that there would be at least a 60–70 percent decrease in breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers, and even a 40–50 percent decrease in lung cancer, along with similar reductions in cancers at other sites.

2.) SUGAR and REFINED CARBOHYDRATES 

  • Sugar is remarkably effective at lowering the immune system’s ability to work properly. As the average American consumes about five ounces (9 tablespoons) of sucrose (granular sugar found in processed foods) daily, the immune system of many people is chronically suppressed from dietary factors alone.In the last 20 years, we have increased sugar consumption in the U.S. from 26 pounds to 135 lbs. of sugar per person per year! Prior to the turn of this century (1887-1890), the average consumption was only 5 lbs. per person per year.
  • Cardiovascular disease and cancer was virtually unknown in the early 1900’s. The level of high fructose corn syrup consumption in the early 1970s has risen in tandem with the skyrocketing obesity rate.
  • Obesity from high levels of sugar and refined carbohydrates are associated with a 50 percent increase in colon cancer, and foods that spike blood sugar like doughnuts and sodas are associated with an 80 percent risk of colon cancer.
  • A study in the journal “Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention” shows that individuals who consume two or more servings of soda per week have an 87 percent higher chance of developing pancreatic cancer compared to individuals who do not consume soft drinks.

3.) REFINED VEGETABLE OILS: (corn, safflower, sunflower, canola and soy)

  • These oils have shown a 20 percent increase in the development of breast cancer. Heating these oils to high temperatures increases the risk of lung cancer by 60 percent. They easily turn rancid when exposed to oxygen and produce large amounts of free radicals in the body.
  • Polyunsaturated oils increase the need for vitamin E in the body and cause unstable cell membranes, and increase calcification, which may explain why these oils accelerate aging, clotting, inflammation, cancer and weight gain.

4.) NITRITES AND NITRATES (cured and smoked meats such as ham, hot dogs, bacon and jerky)

  • These compounds keep food from spoiling but dramatically increase our risk for cancer. These chemicals react with amino acids in foods in the stomach to form highly carcinogenic compounds known as nitrosamines.
  • Children who eat three hotdogs per week have nearly ten times the risk of developing leukemia.

5.) FEEDLOT DAIRY: Women consuming one or more servings of pasteurized dairy a day have a 44% increase risk of ovarian cancer. Men who consumed 2.5 servings a day of pasteurized dairy had a 50 percent increased risk of prostate cancer. It should be noted that the sources of the dairy are not clarified. If the milk is coming from animals raised in feedlots and given hormones, chemical soy and corn, high omega-6 fatty acid levels and antibiotics, these findings may be quite different than milk coming from grass-fed cows.

6.) SMOKING: 30% of all cancer deaths are attributed to smoking, 90% of all lung cancers.

7.) EXCITOTOXINS (MSG, Nutrasweet/Splenda): These are substances, usually amino acids, that react with specialized receptors in the brain in a way that leads to destruction of certain kinds of brain cells. Glutamate is one of the more commonly known excitotoxins. MSG, a flavor enhancer, is the sodium salt of glutamate. This amino acid is a normal neurotransmitter in the brain. Glutamate, as a neurotransmitter, is used by the brain only in tiny concentrations – no more than 8 to 12ug. When the concentration of this transmitter rises above this level the neurons begin to fire in an abnormal way. At higher concentrations, such as that found in MSG and Aspartame, the cells undergo a specialized process of cell death.

MSG and Aspartame (Nutrasweet/Splenda) promote and mobilize cancer cells according to Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon, and author of several books on cancer, excitotoxins and health. “Excitotoxins have been found to dramatically promote cancer growth and metastasis. In fact, one aspartame researcher noticed that, when cancer cells were exposed to aspartame, they became more mobile, and you see the same effect with MSG. It also causes a cancer cell to become more mobile, and that enhances metastasis, or spread. These MSG-exposed cancer cells developed… and started moving through tissues, which is one of the earlier observations from cancer.”

Not only are MSG and Aspartame extremely dangerous in the development of cancers over a lifetime, but the FDA is allowing any food processor who dilutes the MSG by two percent to refer to it by many different names. Therefore, if the MSG they put in your frozen dinner is only 98% pure, there is a list of THIRTY different trade names that it can be listed under – such as Natural or Artificial Flavoring, Textured Protein, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, or Hydrolyzed Vegetable Oil.

ENVIRONMENTAL CULRITS

1. PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES. Over one billon pounds of pesticides and herbicides are sprayed on food crops each year. The toxicity of our air, soil and water has increased the need for vitamin C and E and products like DTX that have detoxifying agents like milk thistle, dandelion, artichoke and certain mushroom extracts.

2. HEAVY METALS. Mercury is a natural element found in the environment that can be poisonous to the body, causing damage to the brain, nervous system and kidneys. We have been using coal to generate electricity for over half of our country for many years. Most coal is loaded with mercury and when it is burned it pollutes the atmosphere and rains back into the waterways of the world and eventually even to both polar ice caps. Unfortunately our ocean is polluted with not only mercury, but PCBs, dioxins and many other chemicals that will disrupt your immune system. We recommend salmon from Alaska and small fish like herring, sardines, mackerel and anchovies because the amounts of mercury and pollutants will be smaller — and always choose wild fish over farmed.

3. ESTROGENIC COMPOUNDS. Breast cancer and prostate cancer has become extremely common over the last ten years and in younger populations. In our office at Swanson Health Center, we have seen an increase of women in their twenties with breast cancer. What many people don’t know is that we all have cancer cells in our body; the difference is if we give cancer cells an environment in which to grow. With breast and prostate cancer, we have to look at is the fact that both are hormone-related. What could be disrupting hormones and causing the cancer cells to thrive?

  • Phytoestrogens can mimic estrogen in the body. This has been a cause of concern for women with breast cancer or those who are concerned with getting breast cancer. Grains, beans, nuts, seeds, seed oils, berries, fruits and vegetables contain phytoestrogens. Natural phytoestrogens in food actually have been found to have anti-cancer properties.1
  • Xenoestrogens, a larger concern, are man-made and are used in food additives, plastic, cosmetics, and pesticides and herbicides. These also mimic estrogen, and the exposure and amount can be much greater than from phytoestrogens.
  • Birth control pills: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that while birth control pills may protect against some types of cancer, they cause a higher risk for others. Birth control pills had already been considered a possible liver cancer risk and have been linked to breast cancer.

How could phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens pose a serious risk? Overexposure to one or both in your daily routine. It is the overabundance of natural and chemical estrogens in Western women that is known to be one of the causes of the breast cancer epidemic. A daily diet that involves large amounts of soy milk, large amounts of tofu or a veggie burger, non-organic fruits and vegetables, non-organic meat and dairy from animals given hormones and antibiotics, water from a plastic bottles, the use of cosmetics and household cleaning supplies containing harmful compounds, and zero consumption of probiotic-rich food like yogurt, kefir, raw sauerkraut and kombucha could put you at risk.

HORMONE THERAPY- INCREASED CANCER RISK?

The Journal of the American Medical Association’s study says hormone replacement therapy greatly increases a patient’s chance of breast cancer! The Women’s Health Initiative, sponsored by the National Institute of Health, examined the relationship between traditional synthetic hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer, coronary heart disease, bone fractures, endometrial cancer, strokes and blood clots. The study was to last eight years, but was stopped prematurely because the women in the study on HRT had health risks that exceeded the benefits after only five years. Here were the results:

  • 41 percent increase in strokes
  • 29 percent increase in heart attacks
  • 100 percent increase in the rate of blood clots
  • 22 percent increase in total cardiovascular disease
  • 24 percent increase in breast cancer
  • 100 percent increase in the rate of Alzheimer’s Disease in women over 65

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MINIMIZE CANCER RISK

ORGANICS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables give needed vitamins and minerals, are essential to a healthy digestive system, and crucial for pH level (which is responsible for making sure your body doesn’t get too acidic); an acid body can lead to acid reflux and disease.

Different fruits and vegetables are given the “best” title at different times, however the truth is that the best ones are local and in season. As soon as it’s picked, its vitamin content and flavor is at its peak, and it goes down the longer it sits on the shelf. If it is shipped from halfway around the world or grown in a hot house out of season, its nutritional content is very low. This is why a tomato in the winter tastes dramatically different from one out of a garden in the summer. Another key component is organics.

Along with higher vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, a lesser known benefit of organic comes from the plant’s version of an immune system called “phytochemicals.” Dr. Donald Abrams, director of integrative oncology at UCSF medical center, explains: “If a vegetable is grown indoors or in a hothouse, it doesn’t need to protect itself from its environment. Whereas if you grow, say a tomato organically outdoors, it needs to protect itself from insects and other predators and from sunshine. So it produces chemicals to protect itself. And it turns out, for the most part, that those are the phytonutrients that are beneficial to people and protect against cancer.”

Eggs: Organic free range eggs from pastured chickens (which have a varied diet that includes insects) contain a 1:1 omega 6 to 3 ratio, while commercial eggs contain a 19:1 omega 6 to 3 ratio. Commercial eggs are not unhealthy due to the cholesterol, but rather their excessive omega 6 fats.

Fish: We have been using coal to generate electricity for over half of our country for many years. Most coal is loaded with mercury and when it is burned it pollutes the atmosphere and rains back into the waterways of the world. So the reality is nearly all fish are polluted with not only mercury, but PCBs, dioxins and many other chemicals that will disrupt the immune system. This is unfortunate, because without these poisons, fish would be a wonderfully healthy food, high in the Omega-3s that Americans are not getting enough of. We recommend wild-caught salmon from Alaska and small fish like herring, sardines, mackerel and anchovies because the amounts of mercury will be smaller.

Grains: Due to the accelerated rate of gluten intolerance and weight sensitivities due to excess carbohydrates, grains should be kept to a minimum. Choose buckwheat or oats for hot cereal, and brown rice, wild rice and millet for side dishes.

Water: It may seem obvious, but there are still many people that do not drink enough water. Due to contamination of chlorine, fluoride and other contaminants, it is best to drink filtered water.

EXERCISE TO COMBAT CANCER

In recent years, scientists have begun to connect the dots between regular sustained workouts and the prevention of several types of cancers, among them intestinal, endometrial, colon, breast and lung.

Constipation is a chronic condition for many people which is dangerous because toxins begin to re-circulate in the body. Physical activity may help lower the risk of colon cancer by improving bowel function.

Moderate activity also boosts your immune system. So what is the best type of exercise? Choose something you will do consistently, at least 3-5 times a week and will look forward to doing.

STRESS & MENTAL, EMOTIONAL HEALTH

Under emotional distress, the brain may signal the adrenal glands to produce chemicals called corticosteroids, hormones which weaken the immune response. Cancer-related processes are accelerated in the presence of these chemicals1 as well as other stress hormones like prolactin.2

Certain cancers have also been associated with distressing life events. In one study, the risk of developing breast cancer was five times higher if the woman had experienced a significant emotional loss in the six years prior to the discovery of the tumor.3

Much like keeping a food diary, keeping an emotional diary can help you keep track of how you are feeling the majority of the time. Certain nutrients and herbs can help dramatically when dealing with stressful times because the requirement becomes much higher than normal to keep a homeostasis in the body.

ANTI-CANCER FOODS

According to Anticancer: A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, the strongest known anti-cancer foods reside in the onion family which include garlic, onions and leeks. On the farm and in the garden, garlic, onions and leeks are one of the few crops that pests and disease rarely affect.

This family is also the richest in sulfur, a warming element that purifies the body and helps remove heavy metals and parasites. These plants clean the arteries and retard the growth of viruses, yeasts, ferments and other pathogenic organisms that proliferate in an unbalanced diet.

Garlic: Promotes circulation and sweating; removes abdominal obstructions and stagnant food; inhibits the common cold virus as well as viruses, amoebae and other microorganisms associated with degenerative diseases such as cancer. Eliminates worms, unfavorable bacteria, and yeasts including Candida Albicans. In chronic conditions, garlic must be taken regularly for several weeks to initiate substantial improvement. Garlic eliminates toxins from the body (including poisonous metals such as lead and cadmium).

(Caution: Garlic is contraindicated in heat conditions and symptoms such as a red face and eyes, sensations of feeling too hot, aversion to heat, canker sores, dry mouth or night sweats)

Onions: Onions have strong antibacterial powers; onions are also helpful in breaking up mucus in the throat, lungs and nasal passages. Recent research indicates that onions can be useful in treating cancer. Onions also concentrate germanium, which acts as an oxygen transporter in the body and has been useful in cancer therapy.

(Caution: Onions may act as a stimulant to the adrenal glands, and those with weak adrenal glands should eat all foods in the onion family sparingly)

Leeks: Studies indicate several of the cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts) inhibit cancerous growth in the large intestine.

Cabbage: Cabbage contains iodine and is a rich source of vitamin C (more C than oranges); the outer leaves are concentrated in vitamin E and contain at least a third more calcium than the inner leaves. Cabbage in the form of raw sauerkraut is excellent for cleansing and rejuvenating the digestive tract, improving the intestinal flora, and treating difficult cases of constipation.

Broccoli and Broccoli sprouts: Contains abundant pantothenic acid and vitamin A which benefits rough skin. Has more vitamin C than citrus; a high natural source of sulfur, iron, and B vitamins. Contains indole 3 carbinol, an anti-carcinogen and hinders the growth of breast, prostate and cervical cancer while improving liver function.

(Caution: Broccoli has five goitrogenous chemicals which disrupt the body’s ability to use iodine; avoid in cases of thyroid deficiency and low iodine)

Brussels sprouts: Contains similar compounds and benefits as cabbage.

Carrots: One of the richest sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene which protects against cancer. Carrots are a traditional Western folk remedy for cancer.

Parsley, celery, apples, oranges and nuts: A study from the University of Missouri found that a flavonoid called apigenin found in the previous list of foods, appeared to block or decrease tumor formation.

Other Fruits:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Cherries
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines
  • Lemons
  • Grapefruit
  • Persimmons
  • Apricots
  • Pomegranate Juice

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a good source of germanium, an element that improves cellular oxygenation and enhances immunity.

Wild Chaga: Wild Chaga is known to have the highest levels of (SOD) super oxide dismutase and extremely high ORAC value (anti-oxidant properties). In studies, long-term administration of chaga significantly improved the general condition and objective state of patients with uncurable stage III – IV cancer, irrespective of the tumor location.19,20,21

Maitake: Maitake contains beta glucan (which is believed to stimulate the immune system and activate certain cells and proteins that attack cancer) including macrophages, T-cells, natural killer cells, and interleukin-1 and -2. In laboratory studies, it appears to slow the growth of cancer in some cell cultures and in mice.

Shiitake: Beneficial to the stomach and said to be a natural source of interferon, a protein which appears to induce an immune response against cancer and viral diseases. Used in the treatment of cancer, especially cancers of the stomach and cervix.

*For more on mushrooms see our Post-Therapy Cancer Prevention program.

Herbs and Spices

  • Turmeric
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Marjoram
  • Parsley
  • Shallots
  • Chives
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Curry

Sweeteners

  • Raw Honey (small amounts)

Drinks

  • Essiac Tea
  • Wild Chaga tea
  • Kombucha
  • Coconut water

DNA Health

See this diagram from Nutrition Genome to see how DNA damage occurs, how to prevent it, and how to repair it.

Vitamin D: Research scientists in the 1980s discovered that calcitriol (the most active form of Vitamin D) had profound anti-cancer effects, both in the test tube and in animals. It not only reduced the unregulated growth of cancer cells by promoting normal cell death (apoptosis), vitamin D also prevented new cells from becoming cancerous (promoted differentiation). It even helped prevent cancer cells from spreading and inhibited cancer cells from developing new blood supply.

Vitamin D takes at least two pathways in the body. One path, called the endocrine function, produces calcitriol in the kidney to help maintain blood calcium levels. The second pathway produces calcitriol in the tissues. The tissue pathway is more important than the endocrine function as far as cancer is concerned. The easiest way to raise tissue calcitriol levels is to raise blood calcidiol levels. Furthermore, the easiest way to raise blood calcidiol levels is to go into the sun, use a sunlamp, or take the correct amount of vitamin D by supplementation.  Optimizing your vitamin D levels can help you to prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers. And vitamin D can cut your cancer risk by as much as 60 percent!

Medicinal Mushrooms: Wild Chaga, Reishi, Maitake, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail and Agricarius Blazei all have studies confirming immune boosting compounds that protect against cancer.

Chemical free cleaning line: Extremely important for eliminating daily exposure to cancer causing toxins found in many cleaning agents.

FISH OIL AND COLON CANCER

The presence of benign polyps (adenomas) is a significant risk factor for full-blown colon or rectal cancer. Animal studies have shown that the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) inhibit the development of colon cancer and epidemiological studies have shown that fish consumption is inversely proportional with the incidence of colon cancer. Encouraged by these findings, researchers at the Catholic University of Rome set out to determine if fish oil supplementation would inhibit the development of benign polyps, the precursors of colon cancer.

Their study involved 34 men and 26 women who had just undergone surgery to remove benign polyps from their colon. The patients were divided into 4 groups. Group 1 was supplemented with 1.4 grams of EPA and 1.1 grams of DHA per day, group 2 with 2.7 grams of EPA and 2.4 grams of DHA, group 3 with 4.1 grams of EPA and 3.6 grams of DHA while group 4 received placebo capsules containing mainly olive oil. Biopsy samples from the lower part of the colon lining and blood samples were taken and analyzed at the start of the trial and 30 days later at the end of the supplementation period. Overall, patients in the fish oil groups experienced a significant decline in the number of abnormal cells in their colon lining as compared to members of the placebo group. Further analysis showed that the reduction in the number of abnormal cells was limited to patients who had a large number of abnormal cells at the beginning of the trial. The researchers also noted a very significant increase in EPA and DHA levels and a significant drop in arachidonic acid level in the biopsy samples from the fish oil supplemented patients.

A separate 6-month trial involving 15 patients taking 1.4 grams per day of EPA and 1.1 grams per day of DHA also showed a significant drop in the number of abnormal colon lining cells. The researchers conclude that low-dose supplementation with fish oils inhibit the proliferation of abnormal cells (a precursor to polyps) in patients at risk for colon cancer and that this effect can be maintained with long- term treatment. They caution that it may be advisable to increase vitamin E intake during fish oil administration.

LIVER CANCER

House cleanse of toxins: Swap plastic with glass, chemically grown food with organic, natural cleaning products, laundry, deodorants, lotions and shampoos. Pesticides and herbicides on food need to be avoided when possible. The less work you liver has to do detoxifying, the faster it will heal itself. The liver is a remarkable organ for it’s ability to regenerate.

No alcohol, trans-fats or vegetable oils including soy, corn, canola, sunflower or safflower. Use olive oil, ghee or coconut oil only.

Anti-cancer vegetables daily including broccoli and broccoli sprouts, artichoke, cabbage, sauerkruat, Brussels, sprouts, cauliflower and kale. Garlic, onions and leeks should be served daily.

Fruits including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, cranberries, cherries, oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit, persimmons, apricots and pomegranates or pomegranate juice.

Avoid frying methods for meat. Cook meat by braising in liquid or by baking at a low temperature.

Avoid modern wheat.

Avoid aflatoxins like those found in non-organic peanut butter

Curcumin and Resveratrol: The most recent study published in February 2013 shows that the combination of curcumin and resveratrol proved to inhibit the proliferation of liver cancer cells, as well as the apoptosis of current liver cells. Very exciting new research and promising natural approach.

Maitake: Research has shown that maitake enhance natural killer cells and prevent cancer progression. One study found that cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58.3 percent of liver cancer patients, 68.8 percent of breast cancer patients, and 62.5 percent of lung cancer patients. Furthermore, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, immune-competent cell activities were enhanced 1.2-1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.

Vitamin K2: Vitamin K2 has been shown to safely suppress growth and invasion of human hepatocellualr carcinoma, a common form of liver cancer. In several different types of lung cancer including small cell, squamous cell and adenocarcinomas – as well as bladder cancer – vitamin K induces apoptosis through activation of a “suicide protein.” It has also been found to induce certain types of human leukemia cells to differentiate, or turn into normal white blood cells.

Vitamin D: Optimal levels are between 35ng/ml and 50ng/ml.

PROSTATE CANCER

Several test tube (in vitro) and animal experiments have clearly shown that the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the main components of fish oil, help inhibit the promotion and progression of cancer. Their beneficial effect is particularly pronounced in hormone-dependent cancers such as breast and prostate cancer.

Researchers at Sweden’s famous Karolinska Institutet have just published a comprehensive review of the current knowledge regarding the role of PUFAs in carcinogenesis. They conclude that omega-3 PUFAs are protective against cancer progression, while omega-6 PUFAs, notably arachidonic acid and its derivatives, help promote the growth of cancer. They believe the n-3 PUFAs exert their beneficial effects in several different ways:

  • They suppress the synthesis of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids from arachidonic acid and thus produce an overall anti-inflammatory effect.
  • They positively affect gene expression or the activities of signal transduction molecules involved in the control of cell growth, differentiation apoptosis, angiogenesis and metastasis.
  • They suppress excessive production of nitrogen oxide (NO) during chronic inflammation and thereby help prevent DNA damage and impaired DNA repair.
  • They decrease estrogen production and thus reduce the estrogen-stimulated growth of hormone- dependent cancer cells.
  • Fish oils improve insulin sensitivity and cell membrane fluidity and may help prevent metastasis through these effects.

A German study performed on men with prostate cancer found a significant inverse relationship between vitamin K2 consumption and advanced prostate cancer.17

Meat, Dairy, Grains and Lymphoma

Studies are conflicting regarding meat consumption and the development of lymphoma. One study in 1999 found that meat consumption appears to increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), a cancer of white blood cells. Data collected from 88,410 women in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study over a 14-year period showed that those eating beef, pork, or lamb daily were more than twice as likely to develop NHL, compared with those who consumed these products less often or not at all. Meats contain carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that form from creatine, amino acids, and sugars found in animal muscle tissues.

In another study from the International Journal of Cancer in 2010, the consumption of foods of animal origin was not associated with an increased risk of NHLS or HL, but the associations with specific subgroups of NHL entities were noted. Associations among 411,097 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition were analyzed. During a median follow-up of 8.5 years, 1,334 lymphomas (1,267 non- Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and 67 Hodgkin lymphomas) were identified.

A high intake of processed meat was associated with an increased risk of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, but a decreased risk of follicular lymphomas, while a high intake of poultry was related to an increased risk of B-cell lymphomas. In conclusion, no consistent associations between red and processed meat consumption and lymphoma risk were observed, but we found that the consumption of poultry was related to an increased risk of B-cell lymphomas. Chance is a plausible explanation of the observed associations, which need to be confirmed in further studies.

Our stance is that these studies continue to neglect the source of the animal foods, processing methods and cooking methods, all of which influence the health status of the food dramatically. Congugated linolenic acid is found in lamb, beef and  dairy and is up to 500 percent higher in grass-fed meat and dairy than grain-fed. CLA helps glucose get into muscle cells effectively, increasing energy levels for physical activity and lowering fat. CLA is also the only natural fatty acids accepted by the National Academy of Sciences of USA as exhibiting consistent anti-tumor properties. A high intake of processed meats have continually been found to be connected to certain cancers, possibly due to the chemicals and high salt intake used to preserve the meats. Cooking methods including frying or barbecuing without the use of marinades and herbs like garlic and rosemary increase the dangers of heterocyclic amines, which are linked to cancer. Slow cooking methods in broth or using marinades are the best way to eliminate carcinogenic compounds. For more on this, read this article on PaleoEdge.

Grains

The increased incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Celiac Disease has been well established in studies. Enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma in particular has been estimated to occur 50 times more in symptomatic Celiac Disease than in the general population. Following a strict gluten free diet for a minimum of 5 consecutive years has been shown to protect against the development of lymphoma (Holmes et al.). For grains we recommend gluten free grains like brown rice, wild rice, millet and quinoa. Other associations include:

  • Blood transfusions and organ transplantation
  • Diabetes
  • Hepatitis C
  • Epstein Barr virus
  • Gastric ulcers (Helicobacter pylori)
  • HIV
  • HTLV (human T-lymphotropic virus)
  • Herpes

Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas is an integral part of the digestive system and also has hormonal functions. The pancreas is an elongated, tapered organ located across the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach. It is made up of two types of glands:

  • exocrine: secretes digestive enzymes. The enzymes secreted by the exocrine gland in the pancreas help break down carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and acids in the duodenum.
  • endocrine: consists of the islets of Langerhans, which secretes hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones secreted by the endocrine gland in the pancreas are insulin and glucagon (which regulate the level of glucose in the blood), and somatostatin (which prevents the release of the other two hormones)

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. It has no known cure, and surgical treatments are often ineffective.

There are two basic types of pancreatic cancer. The most aggressive form is adenocarcinoma, which develops in the cells that produce pancreatic enzymes (these enzymes help digest proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and eliminate toxins from your body). “About 95 percent of pancreatic cancers develop in the enzyme-producing cells that synthesize the main digestive enzymes of the intestinal tract,” explains Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, a highly esteemed physician who has been in private practice in New York City since 1987, treating patients diagnosed with cancer and other serious degenerative illnesses. His nutritional research has received substantial financial support from the National Cancer Institute and other organizations. Results from a pilot study published in 1999 described the most positive data in the medical literature for pancreatic cancer.22

“About five percent are developed in the endocrine component of the pancreas- this is islet cell carcinoma, the technical term for cancer of the hormone producing cells of the pancreas. The pancreas not only produces enzymes, but also produces hormones like insulin and glucagon,” says Gonzales. “Cancer can develop in the insulin or other hormone-producing cells, but it’s much less common.”23

Dietary Suggestions for risk reduction/therapy support

We support the belief (as outlined by Dr. Gonzalez) that individual’s respond to therapeutic nutritional support based on their metabolic makeup. Dr. Gonzales makes reference to the autonomic nervous system: the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system. The job of the sympathetic nervous system is to help your body deal with stress. It diverts energy away from the digestive system (the parasympathetic) to divert blood to the brain and muscles. The parasympathetic system is in charge of rebuilding body systems, of increasing the efficiency of digestion, absorption of nutrients and repair of damaged tissues. According to Dr. William Kelley — who pioneered the concept of metabolic typing in the 1960s after healing himself of metastasized pancreatic cancer — some people have a strong sympathetic (fight or flight) and a weak parasympathetic (digestive) and others are the opposite. Those with a strong sympathetic (too acidic) nervous system are more prone to solid tumors of the breast, pancreas, lungs, stomach, colon, liver, uterus and ovaries. Those with a strong parasympathetic nervous system (too alkaline) have a digestive system working overtime and a passed-out stress response system, and are more vulnerable to immunological cancers such as myeloma, leukemia, sarcomas and lymphoma. The goal of nutritional support is to help balance the two systems.24

Thus, we see pancreatic cancer as a possible symptom of an overactive sympathetic nervous system. We encourage an organic, plant based diet with smaller portions of animal foods for those undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Risk Reduction

An eight-year long multi-ethnic study from the German Institute of Human Nutrition indicates that a diet rich in flavonols may slash your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by about 25 percent.  For smokers, your risk reduction is even more pronounced, lowering your risk by more than 59 percent. The researchers also stated that this is the first study to examine specific classes of flavonols and their impact on pancreatic cancer risk reduction. The three types of flavonols:

  • Quercetin: organic apples, onions
  • Kaempferol: spinach, cabbage
  • Myricetin: red onions, berries

Of the three individual flavonols, kaempferol provided the largest amount of risk reduction – 22 percent – across all participants.

Nutrients Needed:

Reserveratrol: In a 2010 laboratory trial at the University of Rochester Medical Center, investigators discovered that resveratrol may help combat pancreatic cancer. They added 50 mg of the supplement to one group of human pancreatic cancer cells and nothing to the other and found that the cancer cells treated with resveratrol responded more positively to chemotherapy. Other research suggests that resveratrol guards against cancers of the skin, breast, liver, lung and colon.

B-Complex: Important co-factor for many chemical reactions

Vitamin D: A study examining data from two large, long-term health surveys has found that taking the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin D in tablet form (400 IU per day) can cut the risk of pancreatic cancer almost in half.

Those who took the U.S. RDA of vitamin D reduced their risk of pancreatic cancer by 43 percent. In contrast, those who took less than 150 IUs per day experienced only a 22 percent reduction in their cancer risk. The surveys examined more than 45,000 men between the ages of 40 and 75 and more than 75,000 women between the ages of 38 and 65. Of the survey participants, 365 developed pancreatic cancer.5

Vitamin C: Key antioxidant

GLA: The results of a study reported by Mayo Clinic pathologist Ruth Lupu, PhD at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2012 revealed that GLA has a protective effect against the growth of one type of pancreatic cancer. When GLA was tested in cells with high fatty acid synthase levels, 85 percent of cancer cell growth was inhibited, which is a significant improvement over gemcitabine, the standard chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer which provides only a modest benefit. When the two compounds were combined, the researchers observed complete inhibition of pancreatic cancer cell growth.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Flaxseed oil, chia or hemp seed, which contains alpha linoleic acid (ALA)

Pancreatic enzymes: Over 100 years ago, an embryologist at the University of Edinburgh, Dr. John Beard, first proposed that pancreatic proteolytic enzymes are the main defense against cancer in the body and are useful as a cancer treatment. When treating cancer, Gonzalez says, it’s important to take the right ratio of active and inactive enzymes. The inactive precursors are particularly active against cancer. He utilizes a proprietary enzyme formula manufactured by NutriCology.

Milk thistle, artichoke, turmeric, dandelion, reishi and shizandra: Very important for detoxification.

 

Sources:

1. Schleifer, S.J., S.E. Keller and M. Stein. “Central Nervous System Mechanisms and Immunity: Implications for Tumor Response.” Cited in: Levy, S.M.BehaviorandCancer (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985), 130-133. See also: Borysenko, M., and J. Borysenko. “Stress, Behavior and Immunity.” General Hospital Psychiatry 4 (1985), 59-67.

2. Pettingale, K.W. “Towards a Psychobiological Model of Cancer: Biological Considerations.” Social Science & Medicine 20 (1985), 179-187. See also: Lippman, M.E. “Psychosocial Factors and the Hormonal Regulation of Tumor Growth:”BehaviorandCancer, edited by Levy, S.M. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985), 134-147.

3. Forsen, A. “Psychosocial Stress as a Risk for Breast Cancer.” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 55 (1991), 176-185.

4. Anticancer: A new way of life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber

5.Benford Mafuvadze,Indira Benakanakere,Franklin Lopez,Cynthia L Besch-Williford,Mark Ellersieck, and Salman M Hyder. Apigenin prevents development of medroxyprogesterone acetate-accelerated 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-induced mammary tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats. Cancer Prevention Research, 2011.

6.  http://www.newstarget.com/020550.html:

7. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/03/24/Does-Sun-Exposure-Really-Cause-Melanoma.aspx

8. Larsson, SC, et al. Dietary long-chain n-3 fatty acids for the prevention of cancer: a review of potential mechanisms. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, June 2004, pp. 935-45

9. Anti, Marcello, et al. Effects of different doses of fish oil on rectal cell proliferation in patients with sporadic colonic adenomas. Gastroenterology, Vol. 107, December 1994, pp. 1709-18

10. http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/researchCancer.shtml

11. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/03/24/Does-Sun-Exposure-Really-Cause-Melanoma.aspx

12. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/08/25/fish-oil-cancer-part-two.aspx

13. Mehta, SP, et al. Effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on Barrett’s epithelium in the human lower esophagus. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, 2008, pp. 949-56

14. Anti, Marcello, et al. Effects of different doses of fish oil on rectal cell proliferation in patients with sporadic colonic adenomas. Gastroenterology, Vol. 107, December 1994, pp. 1709-18

15.http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/DietandNutrition/maitake-mushrooms

16. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-029771.pdf

17. Nimptsch K, Rohrmann S, Linseisen J (April 2008). “Dietary intake of vitamin K and risk of prostate cancer in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. (EPIC-Heidelberg)”. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 87 (4): 985–92. PMID 18400723.

18. Mannello F, Tonti GA, Medda V, Simone P, Darbre PD. Analysis of aluminium content and iron homeostasis in nipple aspirate fluids from healthy women and breast cancer-affected patients. J Appl Toxicol. 2011 Apr;31(3):262-9. doi: 10.1002/jat.1641. Epub 2011 Feb 21.

19. P. K. Bulatov, M. P. Berezina, and P. A. Yakimov, Chaga and Its Use for the Treatment of Stage IV Cancer [in Russian], Medgiz, Leningrad (1959), pp. 261 – 312.

20. P. K. Bulatov and E. Ya. Martynova, Complex Investigation of Physiologically Active Substances of Lower Plants [in Russian],Acad. Sci. USSR, Moscow – Leningrad (1961), pp. 247 – 253.

21. S. Pyaskovskii and S. Rikhter, Complex Investigation of Physiologically Active Substances of Lower Plants [in Russian], Acad. Sci. USSR, Moscow – Leningrad (1961), pp. 258 – 263.

22. www.drgonzalez.com

23. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/23/dr-nicholas-gonzalez-on-alternative-cancer-treatments.aspx

24.  Knockout, Suzanne Sommers, Three Rivers Press, 2009, p. 99, interview with Dr. Nicholas Gonzales

25. American Journal of Epidemiology October 15, 2007; 166(8):924-31

26.  Science Daily, September 12, 2006

27. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/23/dr-nicholas-gonzalez-on-alternative-cancer-treatments.aspx

28. Bristol JB et al. Colorectal cancer and diet:  A case-control study with special reference to dietary fibre and sugar.  Proc. A.m Assoc. of Cancer Res.  26:206, March, 1985)

29. Bristol JB Sugar, fat and the risk of colorectal cancer.  Brit. Med. J. 291:1457, 1985).

30. S, Horrobin DF.  Diet and breast cancer: The possible connection with sugar consumption.  Med. Hypo.  11(3):319-27, 1983).

31. Hoehn SK, Carroll KK.  Effects of dietary carbohydrate on the incidence of mammary tumors induced in rats by 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)-anthrancene.  Nutri. Cancer, 1((3):27-30, Spring, 1979).

32. Breast Cancer Research. American Journal of Epidemiology 2010, 12:R82.

33. http://www.lef.org/newsletter/2012/0406_Mayo-Clinic-Study-Finds-GLA-Inhibits-Pancreatic-Cancer-Cell-Growth.htm utm_source=eNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Article&utm_content=Header&utm_campaign=2012Wk15-1&l=0#article

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