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Apr 30, 2010

Vitamin D Linked to Diabetes, Cancer, Depression, and More

Care2 article, posted by Michelle Schoffro Cook Apr 29, 2010
New evidence shows that people with higher levels of vitamin D experienced a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University just released its study linking low levels of vitamin D to diabetes in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors of the study concluded that maintaining optimal vitamin D levels in the blood may be a type 2 diabetes prevention strategy.
Other recent research found that vitamin D plays a critical role in activating the body’s immune system against infectious diseases like the flu. Researchers noted that a deficiency in this important vitamin, which actually acts more like a hormone in your body, may result in a greater risk of contracting flu viruses. Additional research has linked low amounts of vitamin D to autoimmune disorders, cancer, depression, diabetes, and heart disease.
Vitamin D also plays essential roles in supporting our energy and balancing our moods. It also helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the health of the thyroid gland-a butterfly gland in the throat that helps maintain a healthy weight, balanced metabolism, and energy levels.
While moderate sunlight exposure is the best source of vitamin D, many people incorrectly think that a small amount of sunshine exposure daily is sufficient to meet their vitamin D requirements.
However, after your skin is exposed to sunlight, it takes about 48 hours to convert it into vitamin D. During that time, the sunlight-initiated precursors to vitamin D can be washed off with soap and water. So, if you scrub your skin with soap in the shower, your body will not convert most of your skin’s sun exposure to vitamin D. I’m not suggesting that you avoid showering after sun exposure rather that you primarily soap the areas that don’t usually see the light of day and wash the newly tanned ones exclusively with water. Avoid excessive sun exposure since there are no health benefits of sunburn.
Some vitamin D deficiency symptoms include: bow legs or “knock knees,” burning in mouth or throat, constipation, dental cavities or cracked teeth, insomnia, joint pains or bone pains, muscle cramps, nearsightedness (myopia-can’t see distances), nervousness, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, frequent colds or flu, and poor bone development.
Vitamin D is also found in fish and fish oils, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and many types of sprouts. People with low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) tend to have difficulty with vitamin D absorption and as a result, may have higher needs for this nutrient.
Many health experts recommend supplementation of 2000 to 4000 IU daily. However, you should always consult a qualified health professional before supplementing with vitamin D since excessive amounts can build up in the body creating a potential risk for toxicity and is contraindicated for some health conditions.
A complete list of references is published in The Phytozyme Cure.
Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. Learn more at: 

Mar 5, 2010

From Soft Drinks & Cancer, Chocolate & Strokes | Care2 Healthy & Green Living:

Do soft drinks cause pancreatic cancer? Does chocolate prevent stroke? Two nutrition studies just swept across the newspapers and airwaves. Did you see them?
1. Soda pop causes pancreatic cancer.
2. Chocolate prevents stroke.
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Posted: Mar 5, 2010 9:33am
Dec 14, 2009

 Spices halt growth of breast stem cells, study finds - Care2 News Network:

Science & Tech  (tags: science, Breast cancer, turmeric, pepper, Stem Cells )
A new study finds that compounds derived from the spices turmeric and pepper could help prevent breast cancer by limiting the growth of stem cells... they decreased the number of stem cells while having no effect on normal differentiated cells


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Posted: Dec 14, 2009 7:53pm
Sep 13, 2009

10 Spices That Heal: Cancer, Diabetes, and More
[link to original article] 
Research consistently shows that many spices and herbs have medicinal qualities and can help prevent everything from cancer to the common cold. Two experts–Glen Aukerman, MD, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Ohio State University Medical Center, and Ruth Knill, PhD, LAc, a Chinese herbalist–have picked the spices and herbs that best improve overall health, plus easy ways to work them into your diet.
Cumin: to prevent Cancer
HOW IT WORKS: Cancer rates are lower in India, where cumin is a diet staple. Studies show that the curcumin in this spice inhibits the enzymes that help cancer cells invade healthy tissue and also keeps tumours from developing the new blood vessels that help them grow.
TRY TO GET: 6 teaspoons of seeds or 1/2 teaspoon of powder a day.
USE IT: Toss a bowl of root veggies, such as sweet potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, and turnips, with olive oil and 1 teaspoon cumin powder. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes or until tender, and add salt, pepper, and chopped cilantro to taste before serving.
Ginger: to calm Nausea
HOW IT WORKS: Chinese medicine texts from 4th century BC tout ginger’s antinausea properties, and modern clinical studies have proved this scientifically–a substance in ginger shuts down a nerve receptor in the body that triggers the vomiting reflex.
TRY TO GET: Juice from 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger or 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger four times a day.
USE IT: Add 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger and a few drops of toasted sesame oil to your usual tuna salad recipe for an Asian-style flavour.
Basil: to combat Colds
HOW IT WORKS: Basil is rich in antioxidants, which help boost immunity. It’s also an antimicrobial, which fights the germs that can cause colds.
TRY TO GET: 1 to 2 tablespoons a day.
USE IT: Toss 1 tablespoon chopped basil into a shrimp stir-fry during the last 3 to 5 minutes of cooking. Or slice strawberries, toss with honey, and set aside for 15 minutes until juicy. Then top with a few tablespoons of finely chopped basil.
Cinnamon: to fight Diabetes
HOW IT WORKS: People with type-2 diabetes have difficulty processing insulin, the hormone that tells cells to remove excess sugar from the bloodstream. But studies show that cinnamon contains a substance that can help cells respond to insulin, resulting in a reduction of blood sugar levels by about 20%.
TRY TO GET: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (or one stick) a day.
USE IT: Mix 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon into 2 tablespoons peanut butter, and spread over apple slices.
Rosemary: to improve Memory
HOW IT WORKS: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance,” Ophelia said to Hamlet. More than 400 years later, a variety of studies back up Ophelia’s claim. The ursolic acid in rosemary inhibits the breakdown of a neurotransmitter essential for memory.
TRY TO GET: 1 to 2 teaspoons a day.
USE IT: Make a rosemary-infused simple syrup by mixing 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 sprigs rosemary. Bring to a boil so sugar dissolves, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle over a fall fruit salad of chopped apples, pears, and red grapes. Use 1 cup syrup to 4 cups fruit.
Garlic: to reduce Cholesterol
HOW IT WORKS: A review of studies conducted by the Linus Pauling Institute found that people who took garlic for three months had a 6-11% reduction in total cholesterol. Because garlic is an antioxidant, it may prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the arteries.
TRY TO GET: 3 to 5 crushed cloves a day.
USE IT: Roast up to 5 garlic cloves, and add to homemade hummus before pureeing.
Nutmeg: to lower Blood Pressure
HOW IT WORKS: “Warming spices” like nutmeg can bring blood from the center of the body to the skin. This helps disperse the blood more evenly throughout the body, reducing overall pressure.
TRY TO GET: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day.
USE IT: Steam 1 head of broccoli and one potato until soft, and then puree with 1/4 cup butter and 4 to 5 gratings of fresh nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
Cloves: to relieve Arthritis Pain
HOW IT WORKS: According to Chinese medicine, cloves have hot and moving properties that relieve arthritis pain caused by cold and stagnation. Cloves contain a phytochemical that interrupts the pathways of a protein complex in the body that’s been linked to inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
TRY TO GET: 1/2 teaspoon a day.
USE IT: Saute 1 cup fresh parsley (finely chopped), 1 clove garlic (crushed), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon cloves in 1 tablespoon olive oil. After 3 minutes, add 4 cups shredded rhubarb chard, and fry until soft and tender, about 5 minutes. Serve hot with chicken or fish.
Turmeric: to curb Inflammation
HOW IT WORKS: An ancient spice that gives curry its deep golden-orange color, turmeric reduces the inflammation in the body that causes pain. Curcumin, a component in turmeric, inhibits cell enzymes that contribute to inflammation.
TRY TO GET: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day.
USE IT: Add a dash to organic canned soups, such as tomato, lentil, or black bean varieties.
Thyme: to ease Coughs
HOW IT WORKS: Thyme is an antispasmodic, which helps with bouts of nonstop coughing. Thyme’s antiseptic properties also make it very effective against inflammation of the throat, which can cause coughing.
TRY TO GET: 2 to 3 teaspoons a day.
USE IT: For a simple vinaigrette, whisk together 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves with 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
Recipe ideas from Dana Jacobi, author of The Essential Best Foods Cookbook (Rodale, 2008).
[link to original article]

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Posted: Sep 13, 2009 2:33pm
Sep 10, 2009

Ovarian Cancer :
A group of cancers affecting women's ovaries. There are about 30 types. Most types (about 90%) are of the epithelial variety, which include serous, endometrioid, mucinous, and clear cell adenocarcinomas. Other groups of ovarian tumours are germ cell and sex cord-stromal tumours.
Ovarian Cancer's Early Warnings
The Whisperings of Ovarian Cancer -by Laura Dolson
A year after his wife, Gilda Radner, died of ovarian cancer, Gene Wilder appeared on TV to alert women about the early warning signs of the disease. Later, he received a letter from a woman who had been watching. She wrote, "as you described Gilda's symptoms, I felt a chill wash through my body, and I knew that I, too, had ovarian cancer".*
She went on to say that she did indeed have cancer, but that it was caught in the earliest stage when the prognosis is very good. Ovarian cancer has long been called "The Silent Killer", because it usually isn't discovered until its advanced stages. 70-75% of the time the cancer has spread to other parts of the abdomen before it is detected.
However, there is something that can be done, now, to improve these dismal statistics. The truth is that some substantial portion of the time, early-stage ovarian cancer does produce symptoms - and the new battlecry of ovarian cancer activists is "It Whispers - So Listen!".
Unfortunately, this cry is still rarely heard outside of the community of people who have already been affected by the disease. Even now, in medical textbooks and articles, the fact that ovarian cancer often causes early symptoms is rarely mentioned. No wonder that women, on the whole, don't know what symptoms to be alert for. Why should this be?
:- It is unknown what percentage of early-stage ovarian cancer produces symptoms. The vast majority of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer do experience symptoms. However, since most of these women are diagnosed in more advanced stages, it's impossible to tell how many of them had symptoms before the cancer started to spread. It IS known that 90% of women who are diagnosed in Stage I come to their doctors with symptoms before diagnosis, and also that far too many cases of ovarian cancer take months to diagnose - a recent study showed that almost half took more than three months, and 11% took longer than a year. So it seems logical to assume that some substantial percentage of women do have early symptoms.
:- The common symptoms are non-specific - usually caused by other things. The list below contains a number of possible symptoms of ovarian cancer. But these symptoms can also result from a wide variety of non-cancerous conditions. If a woman has trouble zipping up her jeans, she's more likely to blame middle-aged spread than ovarian cancer. Thankfully, a gas pain isn't ordinarily a dire signal. Still, if a woman suddenly starts experiencing any of the symptoms below, and they persist for more than a 2-3 weeks, she should get those symptoms checked out.
:- There is no one "marker symptom". Although abdominal swelling/bloating is the most often-mentioned first symptom, some studies show that even this is true only for a minority of ovarian cancer cases. Because each symptom will affect only some women, it is vital that women educate themselves about the whole constellation of symptoms associated with ovarian cancer.
:- Denial. Of course, no one wants to think about cancer. But think about this: The lifetime risk of women worldwide for ovarian cancer is 1 in 70. In the U.S. it is 1 in 55.
OVARIAN CANCER IS NOT RARE. Women MUST begin to educate themselves about this insidious disease. .
Contact your MD if you develop one or more of these symptoms and they persist for 2-3 weeks:
-Abdominal Swelling/Bloating/Clothes Too Tight
-Abdominal/Pelvic Pain or
  Pressure or Feeling "Full"
-Gastrointestinal Symptoms
  (such as gas, indigestion, nausea,
  or changes in bowel movements)
-Vaginal Bleeding or Discharge
-Urinary Problems
- Urgency, Burning, or Spasms
-Fatigue and/or Fever
-Pain During Intercourse
-Back Pain
-Difficulty Breathing

Most of the time these will not be due to cancer, but you owe it to yourself to get them checked out.
What to expect from your doctor
at your appointment?

-You should be tested for other causes besides ovarian cancer.
Three tests for ovarian cancer are:
- a pelvic examination, including the rectovaginal component. A prompt pelvic exam is one of the best predictors of timely diagnosis.
- a CA-125 blood test
- a transvaginal ultrasound.
These three tests together will alert the doctor to whether there is a danger of ovarian cancer.
* From the book Gilda's Disease, by Steven Piver, M.D. with Gene Wilder
For more information about ovarian cancer, check out:
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

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Posted: Sep 10, 2009 7:14am
Jul 23, 2009

"Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer."

That's the label that a vegan advocacy group wants added to hot dog packages.
The nonprofit Cancer Project filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking that the companies be compelled to place cancer-risk warning labels on hot dog packages sold in New Jersey.
"Just as tobacco causes lung cancer, processed meats are linked to colon cancer," said Neal Barnard, president of the Cancer Project and an adjunct professor at the George Washington University medical school in Washington, D.C. "Companies that sell hot dogs are well aware of the danger, and their customers deserve the same information."
What the "Man In The Street" thinks of this: 
"Crazy." said Josh Urdang, 27, as he stood in line to buy two franks at a hot dog stand. "It wouldn't change how many hot dogs I eat."
His friend Joe Di Lauro, 31, called such a move "overpolicing. . . . At what point do you stop breaking things down? Unless we're going to put a warning label on every single food and say what's bad in it."
Another consumer said, "Vegans complaining about hot dogs is like the Amish complaining about gas prices." 
Nutrition experts say that the science is far more complicated and that slapping warning labels on the staple of baseball games and picnics would not have much effect on public health.
The industry is dead set against such warning labels. "These proposals are unfounded. Hot dogs have been enjoyed by consumers for more than 100 years," said a Kraft spokeswoman.
The Cancer Project is a branch of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group that lobbies against animal research and pitches the adoption of meat-free diets.

In the lawsuit, the Cancer Project cites the role of nitrites, preservatives used in cured and processed meats such as hot dogs, in the development of cancer-forming agents. During digestion, nitrites break down into nitrosamines and other N-nitroso compounds that are considered carcinogens.
It is true that medical studies have linked red and processed meats to cancer risk, but it's not clear whether it is because of the nitrites or other factors such as high fat content.
An American Institute for Cancer Research report cited in the lawsuit notes that one 50-gram serving of processed meat -- about the amount in one hot dog -- consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer 21% on average.
Colorectal cancer kills about 50,000 Americans annually.
C2NN article posted by Terry
Original article:,0,1642891.story

Mar 27, 2009

From Alcohol-induced Flushing Is Risk Factor For Esophageal Cancer From Alcohol Consumption:

There is growing evidence that people who experience facial flushing after drinking alcohol are at much higher risk of esophageal cancer from alcohol consumption than those who do not.

About a third of East Asians (Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans) show a characteristic physiological response to drinking alcohol that includes facial flushing, nausea, and an increased heart rate. This so-called "alcohol flushing response" is predominantly due to an inherited deficiency in an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). Although clinicians and the East Asian public generally know about the alcohol flushing response, few are aware of the accumulating evidence that ALDH2-deficient individuals are at much higher risk of esophageal cancer (specifically squamous cell carcinoma) from alcohol consumption than individuals with fully active ALDH2.

Esophageal cancer is one of the deadliest cancers worldwide, with five-year survival rates of 15.6% in the United States, 12.3% in Europe, and 31.6% in Japan.

Researchers said: "Our goal in writing this article is to inform doctors firstly that their ALDH2- deficient patients have an increased risk for esophageal cancer if they drink moderate amounts of alcohol, and secondly that the alcohol flushing response is a biomarker for ALDH2 deficiency."

In view of the approximately 540 million ALDH2-deficient individuals in the world, many of whom now live in Western societies, even a small percent reduction in esophageal cancers due to a reduction in alcohol drinking would translate into a substantial number of lives saved.

Humphrey Bogart had Esophageal Cancer

Humphrey Bogart was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 1956. He was notorious for his heavy drinking and smoking, two things known to contribute to esophageal cancer. The cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. His treatment included a nine hour surgery to remove the tumor, two lymph nodes, and a rib. The surgery was followed by a course of chemotherapy. At first, Bogart seemed to respond to the treatments but after 6 months the cancer recurred and he underwent radiation therapy. Unfortunately, Bogart could not fight the cancer and he fell into a coma and died at home on January 14, 1957 at the age of 57.

His last words: "I never should have switched from scotch to martinis.”

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Posted: Mar 27, 2009 4:34am


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Jenny Dooley
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