From the category archives:

cancer

Can Vitamin C Fight Colds?

by Ed

A recent review of research into the effects of vitamin C concludes that it is largely ineffective in preventing colds. See the article in the International Herald Tribune.

But read it carefully. They talk about people taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C. Everybody knows that if you want to fight off a cold you need several grams a day. I’m surprised they found 200 mg to be as useful as they did.

Next in the article they say that lycopene has no effect in preventing cancer. However they do not mention details of the study at all. Who knows what they were looking at.

All this is very interesting, considering the FDA is getting ready to shut down the supplement industry. They are raising safety standards above that of drugs. They even admit that most supplement companies will not be able to stay in business.

Look out America. Your health choices are going away. (And we call this democracy?)

Multivitamins increase risk for fatal prostate cancer

by Ed

If you’ve read most of my posts, you have probably figured out that I am not a fan of taking vitamins. I think we should get our nutrients from whole food. Now researchers into fatal prostate cancer agree with me. It seems that men who take multivitamins more than 7 times per week nearly double their risk of fatal prostate cancer.

See the whole story in the BBC News.

To see more on my views about why we should not generally take vitamins see this post.

Here are some other interesting tidbits:

Increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables decreases your risk for prostate cancer.

Countries where people eat more beans have a lower death rates from breast, colon, and prostate cancer.

Anabolic steroids probably increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Eating fish decreases your risk of prostate cancer.

Those tidbits are from the book, Avoiding Cancer One Day at a Time, which I reviewed here.

Book Review: Avoiding Cancer One Day At A Time

by Ed

“One out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will get cancer over the course of their lifetimes” That quote, taken from Avoiding Cancer One Day At A Time, is probably the reason the authors wrote the book. If you want to be among the ones who don’t get cancer, I suggest reading this book. They have thoroughly researched everything known to increase your risk of getting cancer, including the stuff that we aren’t 100% sure of, yet. They also discuss how to avoid those things and how to strengthen your resistance to cancer, in general. They say that they don’t want their readers to become fanatical about avoiding all of the risks, but with all of their statistics, it could be easy to get fanatical.

There are chapters on environmental factors, lifestyle, nutrition, and medicine. The chapter on medicines talks about medications that can cause cancer as well as medical conditions that raise your risk of cancer. There is also a chapter just about the infectious diseases that raise your risk. Each chapter talks about the risks and about what you can do to lower your risk. For instance, in the chapter on environmental risks, there is also a section on which house plants best clean the air of carcinogens like formaldehyde. The last chapter is full of great cancer preventing recipes.

They list many resources and references, and the appendices list all known carcinogens. I love statistics and this book has lots of those. For instance, did you know that 25% of cancer deaths, worldwide, are related to infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis? There are also many tables, making the information easy to find. This book is easy to read and thorough, everyone should read it.

To Buy in Canada, click here.

The Five Keys to Optimal Health

by Ed

Key #1 Nutrition

After spending billions of dollars, over the past thirty years, the American Cancer Society has begun to realize that searching for a cure may not be the answer. Now they are focusing more on prevention. And what is the best way to prevent cancer? Fruits and vegetables.

There has been a lot of controversy lately over the best diet: High protein? High carbohydrate? paleolithic? Mediterranean?

But one thing the experts agree on is that we need more fruits and vegetables in our diet. Dr. Bruce Ames, a leading cancer scientist has said that if you aren’t eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables, you might as well be standing in front of a low level X-ray machine, all day.

You may have seen the American Cancer Society’s ad campaign: “5 A DAY”. Actually, they recommend 9 servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables, but they think five a day is easier to sell to
the American public.

The Framingham study looked at Stroke risks. They found a direct correlation between 3 servings a day and a 22% reduction in strokes. 6 servings a day; 44% reduction in stroke. 9 servings a day, 66% reduction in stroke. Now that’s pretty remarkable.

Let’s face it, most of us are not big fruit and vegetable eaters. But we should be. Fruits and vegetables are full of disease preventing phytochemicals, including the now famous antioxidants. We have
discovered hundreds, so far, but there are still many we don’t know about. And that’s one reason that taking vitamins is not the answer for a poor diet. I could go on for pages about other reasons. If you want more information on the research, let me know and I will send it to you.

Key #2: ExerciseEveryone knows we need more exercise. So, what’s your excuse?
Not enough time? Not enough energy? too boring?

In fact, once you get on a simple exercise program you create a spiral of success. More time, more energy, more joy in every area of your life

So how to start? Well, you need at least a little energy to get started. It may be that you need to improve your nutrition to get that energy. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less fat, especially saturated
and trans fat.

Ok, back to exercise: You should aim for an hour of exercise, almost every day. However, you can break it up into 6 ten minute chunks, throughout the day. During coffee break take a ten minute walk or
climb ten flights of stairs.

Buy one of those six foot rubber bands designed for exercising. They are great for mini work outs. Buy several. Keep one in your desk, one in the car and one or more at home. Buy a brand that comes with a video so you can learn the exercises. Then buy some cheaper ones for different places. Any time you have five to ten minutes pull it out. Learn a few different short routines and alternate them. One for strengthening the arms and upper back, one for the abs and lower back, and one for the legs. Plus one or two good stretching routines.

Once you start feeling healthier, you can sleep thirty minutes less and use that extra thirty minutes for a good aerobic workout, three days a week. On the other four days, you can meditate or read a good book
or enjoy a sunrise.

Obesity is becoming an American epidemic. One that leads to hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. The only healthy way to maintain a healthy weight is sensible eating and exercise.

Exercise improves our mood, our immune system, our stamina, our bone mass, and our ability to assimilate the nutrients from our food. So get up and have some fun.

Play with your kids.
Join a team.
Walk your dog.
Have fun!

Key #3 OxygenAre you breathing? Many people seem to barely breathe when under stress, sitting at a computer, and other times. Some people seem to barely breathe, all the time. Abundant oxygen is vital to our wellbeing. It is even more important today, than it was 30 years ago. Besides all of the toxins in our water, food and air, and our stress levels, all of which require more oxygen to healthfully process, we have a lot less oxygen in the air we breathe. You have heard about greenhouse gases and global warming, by now. Did you ever stop to think what all those greenhouse gases are replacing? Oxygen. Oxygen levels are getting dangerously low, about three percent lower than they were a few decades ago. Levels are within a couple of percent of being unable to sustain our lives, especially in cities with high smog levels.

We need to be breathing more deeply just to maintain normal levels of oxygen, let alone levels necessary to help us combat pollution and stress. Get more aerobic exercise and take several deep breathing breaks, throughout your day.
Key #4 CleansingIn the 21st Century it is impossible to escape toxicity. Our air, food
and water are all polluted. Not to mention all of the toxic ingredients
they put in our personal care products and packaged foods.
Regular internal cleansing has become essential to maintain good
health.

The two main areas that require cleansing are the digestive tract
and the Liver/ Gall Bladder. For most people, I recommend an
intestinal cleanse and a Liver cleanse, as well as a Gall Bladder
flush, every Spring. Many people with allergies, for instance, find
that a regular Spring cleaning brings a lot of relief, through out the
year.

Because cleansing can release toxins into the body, it is important
to be careful. I always recommend a gentle cleansing. Eating lightly
with an even greater emphasis on fruits and vegetables
(I suggest 5 servings of each during non cleansing times),
is always a great way to reduce our toxic burden and begin a
cleanse.

It’s important to cleanse your digestive tract gently so as not to shock your system or release excess toxins into the body. An herbal fiber supplement makes a great colon cleanse because herbal fiber can work slowly to thoroughly sweep the colon clear of impacted waste and toxins without disrupting daily life. When combined with herbs to soothe and stimulate the digestive tract, a fiber supplement can make a great spring cleanse. 

Click here to see my other posts on cleansing.

Key #5 State of mindCheck out my many posts on the importance of our state of mind, particularly this one. Positive states of mind keep our immune systems robust, and help us ward of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. A positive state of mind makes it easier to maintain the other four keys. See this post for tips on staying happy.

Stress: Good for Cancer Cells, Bad for Us

by Ed

A recent study published here, suggests that the stress hormone, epinephrine, may cause changes in prostate and breast cancer cells that makes them more resistant to cell death.

Stress reduction will not only improve your chances of recovering from cancer it will probably decrease your chances of getting it in the first place. Exercise, relaxation, and behavioral changes are the most important ways to reduce your stress. I recommend a combination of aerobic and relaxing forms of exercise. By relaxing forms, I mean exercise like hatha yoga and tai chi. Both relaxation and behavioral changes can be achieved by self-hypnosis and certain kinds of meditation.