March 7, 2012
By Aurora Geib
“Who wouldn’t want to burn some belly fat? Here are some foods that can help you shed the pounds. If only donuts were on this list.” –KTRN
1. Apples – There is wisdom to the saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. In a Brazilian weight study, subjects who ate three apples a day while dieting lost more weight than those who didn’t. This fruit contains pectin, a compound that is known to inhibit colon cancer. Apples are packed with nutrients and are a rich source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, dietary fiber, phytosterol, flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
2. Watermelons – In a study conducted by the University of Kentucky, watermelon was found to have a significant effect on artery plaque deposition because it altered blood lipids and lowered the risk of developing belly fat. The researchers in the study observed that animal subjects in the experiment who had diet-induced high cholesterol were given a supplement of watermelon juice while another group was given a typical diet with water. Eight weeks later, the animals given watermelon juice had lower body weight than those who were just given water. It appeared that there was no decrease in muscle mass and the weight loss was due to abdominal fat loss.
3. Tomatoes – A large tomato contains only around 33 calories. Moreover, a recent study identified a compound extracted specifically from the fruit called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic (9-oxo-ODA) which was shown to influence the amount of blood lipids in circulation.
According to Dr. Teruo Kawada, the study leader, “finding a compound which helps the prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases in food stuff is a great advantage to tackling these diseases, and tomato allows people to manage the onset of dyslipedemia through their daily diet.” According to Wikipedia, Dyslipedemia is a condition where there is too much lipid in the blood. This normally caused by diet and lifestyle.
4. Bananas – This is a fruit you can enjoy as a nutritious snack without ever worrying about gaining weight. Like apples, it contains a fiber called pectin that is known to inhibit colon cancer. It also contains vitamin A, C, E, B6 as well as potassium, calcium and magnesium. Bananas, depending upon the size, contain calories between 75 calories to 135 calories only.
5. Seafood – Seafood, when included in the diet, could result in a slimmer waist and better health. For those enjoying excellent health and ideal body weight, having seafood on a regular basis may even prevent possible future poor health and weight gain. Studies have shown that seafood has been found to contain monounsaturated fat (MUFA). Studies have also shown that having a regular diet with foods containing MUFA can prevent belly fat.
February 8th, 2012
By John Phillip
Researchers publishing in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (CJPP) have found that a diet enhanced with vitamin and mineral supplementation can lower the risk of developing precancerous colon cancer lesions by up to 84%. Colon cancer is the second most common form of the disease affecting men and women in the US, with nearly 150,000 new diagnoses each year.
Nutrition experts and alternative practitioners understand that cancer is largely a disease caused by poor lifestyle behaviors including a diet lacking an optimal intake of vitamins and minerals. Chronic illnesses including colon cancer are the result of many years and decades of low nutritional status, as support for a healthy immune response is suppressed. Scientists now provide compelling evidence in support of whole-food based vitamin and mineral supplementation to dramatically lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
The study authors used rats that were fed a high fat diet (20% fat intake) for a period of 32 weeks. Rats are commonly used for this type of research because they develop colon cancer polyps and tumors in a manner parallel to humans. The rats were divided into six groups and were subsequently exposed to different combinations of carcinogens and nutritional supplements.
The researchers found that the animals fed a high-fat, low fiber diet and exposed to a carcinogen developed pre-cancerous lesions of the colon along a pathway similar to that found in humans. The group of animals that underwent a similar treatment and diet, but were supplemented with a daily vitamin and mineral supplement showed an 84% reduction in the formation of pre-cancerous lesions and did not develop tumors.
This study is key as it demonstrates the importance of building a solid nutrient base over time to saturate cells and tissues in order to prevent common diseases such as colon cancer. The research authors concluded “multivitamin and mineral supplements synergistically contribute to the cancer chemo-preventative potential, and hence, regular supplements of multivitamins and minerals could reduce the risk of colon cancer.”
Health-minded individuals know the importance of obtaining a full range of vitamins and minerals from fresh, raw or minimally cooked foods to promote health. Extensive research is now mounting to suggest that higher amounts of nutrients obtained from a whole food organic vitamin and mineral supplement may be necessary to achieve optimal health and convey maximum protection against colon cancer.
February 7, 2012
By John Phillip
“This does not mean you should start eating Hershey bars. It has to be REAL chocolate.” –KTRN
Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths annually, a statistic that remains constant despite increased awareness of the deadly disease. Researchers from the Science and Technology Institute of Food and Nutrition in Spain have published the result of a study in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research detailing the potent anti-carcinogenic effect of the natural chocolate compound, cocoa. Scientists determined for the first time that regular consumption of cocoa negates the inflammatory effect of digestive oxidative stress that results in intestinal complaints and is a precursor to the genesis of colon cancer. Cocoa is now considered a superfood as it has been shown to improve blood lipids and help prevent cardiovascular disease in past research. The result of this current study demonstrates that a daily dose of the compound can help prevent colon cancer progression.
Researchers studied rats that had been fed a cocoa-rich diet consisting of twelve percent cocoa, as compared to a control group that received the same diet with the chocolate compound enrichment. Both groups were exposed to a chemical known to induce colon cancer. Animals such as mice and rats have been used for decades to conduct this type of research because they exhibit a similar line of carcinogenesis that is comparable to humans.
The study leader, Dr. Maria Angeles Martin Arribas noted “Being exposed to different poisons in the diet like toxins, mutagens and pro-carcinogens, the intestinal mucus is very susceptible to pathologies…foods like cocoa, which is rich in polyphenols, seems to play an important role in protecting against disease.” After a period of eight weeks, the scientists were able to confirm the protective effect of cocoa polyphenols in protecting against this insidious form of digestive cancer.
The study results showed a marked decrease in the number of pre-malignant neoplastic crypts in the lining of the colon in the cocoa-treated group as compared to the control animals. Further, the researchers found a rise in antioxidant defenses in the supplemented rats and a decrease in oxidative stress biomarkers that are known to be protective against chemical exposure and the prevention of colorectal cancer.
November 4, 2011
By David W Freeman
Here’s bad news you might want to take standing up. An ominous new report ties a lack of physical activity – spending too much time sitting on your duff, essentially – to up to 43,000 cases of colon cancer and 49,000 cases of breast cancer each year.
The report – presented Thursday at an annual conference of the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. – has experts urging Americans to make more time for physical activity and to take a one- to two-minute break for every hour of sitting.
Something as simple as walking to a colleague’s office instead of sending an email or going to the kitchen to get a glass of water can make a critical difference, experts say. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking regular workouts can eliminate the cancer risk tied to inactivity.
“A person who gets up in the morning and makes time by spending 30 minutes on the treadmill probably feels pretty pleased with himself – and he should,” registered dietitian Alice Bender said in a written statement issued by the institute. But, she asked, “What happens during the other 15 hours and 30 minutes he spends awake? If he’s like most Americans, he sits – on his commute, at the office, and at home.”
Do the math, and that means such a person is physically active for just 3 percent of his time awake.
October 31, 2011
by: John Phillip
Since ancient times, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects. The result of a new body of research published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, demonstrates the specific anti-inflammatory action of the spice on the colon. Health-minded individuals will want to include ginger as part of their regular diet or include an organically harvested supplement to dramatically lower inflammatory risk markers for colon cancer.
Dr. Suzanna Zick, a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, and her team assembled 30 patient participants to conduct the study. Each was provided with two grams of ginger root supplements per day or a placebo for a period of 28 days. After the test timeframe, researchers measured standard levels of colon inflammation and found statistically significant reductions in most of these markers. They also found trends toward significant reductions in a number of other colon cancer biomarkers.
Ginger Root Supplementation Lowers Inflammatory Markers to Lower Colon Cancer Risk
A critical inflammation marker in the colon is known to be PGE2, a naturally occurring prostaglandin also called dinoprostone. PGE2 is the prostaglandin that ultimately induces fever, and is therefore an important marker researcher’s monitor to determine inflammatory levels in the body. Inflammation has been implicated in prior studies as a precursor to colon cancer, and ginger root supplementation effectively lowers blood levels of the prostaglandin to reduce colon cancer risk.
Dr. Zick is a Naturopathic Doctor developing plant and naturally occurring compounds that specifically promote health without the need for deadly pharmaceutical interventions. She noted on the research findings, “We need to apply the same rigor to the sorts of questions about the effect of ginger root that we apply to other clinical trial research.” Dr. Zick concluded, “Interest in this is only going to increase as people look for ways to prevent cancer that are nontoxic, and improve their quality of life in a cost-effective way.”
October 19, 2011
By: Sherry Baker
Ginger has been used as a natural treatment for a host of illnesses — especially gastrointestinal problems — for thousands of years in ancient healing traditions including Ayurvedic medicine, ancient Chinese medicine and western folklore, too. In fact, countless grandmas have recommended ginger ale to kids with upset tummies and ginger tea to pregnant moms suffering from morning sickness. But evidence is accumulating that ginger’s ability to soothe and heal the digestive tract is anything but a myth.
Now there’s research showing ginger may help prevent colon cancer. Ginger supplements were found to reduce markers of colon inflammation in a group of research subjects , according to a study funded by a National Cancer Institute grant and recently published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, and her research team studied 30 volunteers, who were randomly assigned to take either two grams of ginger root supplements daily or placebo for 28 days. After four weeks, the scientists measured markers of standard levels of colon inflammation.
The results? The inflammation markers, which have been implicated in previous studies as a precursor to colon cancer, were significantly reduced in the people taking ginger. This is crucially important because these inflammation markers have been implicated in prior studies as a precursor to colon cancer.
Ginger may be a powerful cancer preventative
“We need to apply the same rigor to the sorts of questions about the effect of ginger root that we apply to other clinical trial research,” said Dr. Zick, a naturopathic doctor, in a statement to the media. “Interest in this is only going to increase as people look for ways to prevent cancer that are non-toxic, and improve their quality of life in a cost-effective way.”
Other investigators, who have studied the potential healing properties of ginger, have discovered it contains zingibain, a type of enzyme that possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties. This ability to dampen down inflammation may be one way ginger could help prevent colon cancer. It could also explain why some studies have found that ginger also helps arthritis sufferers by reducing the inflammation that causes their pain.
The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is currently studying the medicinal use of ginger, too. So far, NCCAM has concluded ginger may alleviate post-surgery nausea as well as nausea caused by chemotherapy, pregnancy and motion sickness.
October 4th, 2011
By: John Phillip
Health-minded individuals are well aware that a diet high in natural fruits and vegetables equate to vibrant health and dramatically lowered risk of many chronic diseases. The result of a new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association provides details on how specific fruit and vegetable consumption lowers the incidence of many types of colon cancer, the third most prevalent form of the disease. Foods such as apples, broccoli and cauliflower each lower the risk of cancer initiation in different parts of the colon while high sugar, fiber-void fruit juices are shown to increase risk of the illness. Nutrition scientists from Australia provide important documentation to confirm the importance of eating a colorful selection of fruits and vegetables to lower colon cancer risk.
Nutrition researchers have designed studies to examine the effect of healthy diet on colon cancer risk in the past, but the protective effect has been debatable as they do not provide specific results for different foods on the key regions or subsites of the colon. Professor Lin Fritschi, PhD, head of the Epidemiology Group at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, and her research team set out to investigate the link between fruit and vegetables and three cancers in different parts of the bowel: proximal colon cancer, distal colon cancer and rectal cancer.
Colon Cancer Risk Lowered by Eating a Wide Variety of Brightly Colored Fruits and Vegetables
The controlled study included 918 participants with a confirmed colon cancer diagnosis and compared them with 1021 individuals with no history of the digestive disease. All participants completed extensive nutritional and demographic questionnaires to account for potential conflicts such as socioeconomic status. Analysis of the data showed that specific fruit and vegetables from similar varietal families affect risk for colon cancer in different portions of the digestive tract.
With respect to different fruit and vegetable consumption, the researchers found a reduced rate of proximal colon cancer linked to eating brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. In addition, both total vegetable intake and total vegetable and fruit intake were linked to a lower risk of distal colon cancer. And finally a significant reduction in distal colon cancer risk was linked to dark yellow vegetables and apples.
There should be no doubt that natural fruits and vegetables consumed raw or minimally cooked to retain the active enzymes is a critical factor in digestive health that dramatically lowers the risk of colon cancer and other chronic conditions as well. This study conveys the important nature of eating a wide variety of different colored fruits and vegetables, high in phytonutrient content, to provide a protective shield at different colon subsites and throughout the body.
September 29, 2011
People with diabetes have a somewhat increased risk of colon cancer, an international study said — but the reasons for the connection, and what should be done about it, remain unclear.
Researchers headed by Hiroki Yuhara, at the University of California, Berkeley, combined the results of 14 international studies and found that, overall, people with diabetes were 38 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer than those who were diabetes-free.
There was also a 20 percent increase in the risk of rectal cancer, though that appeared to be confined to men, according to the findings, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
“These data suggest that diabetes mellitus is an independent risk factor for colon and rectal cancer,” Yuhara and his colleagues wrote.
The findings do not prove that diabetes directly contributes to colon cancer in some people.
The results come from observational studies in which people with diabetes were found to have a higher risk of colon cancer than those without diabetes. In most of the studies, the researchers adjusted for at least some factors that might explain the link — like older age, obesity and smoking — and the diabetes-cancer connection remained.
“I think we can make the statement that diabetes is consistently associated with colorectal cancer,” said Edward Giovannucci of the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study.
“The cause-and-effect aspect is a bit difficult to consider since diabetes is such a complex disease,” he told Reuters Health in an email.
He said it seems likely that some aspect of diabetes contributes to colon cancer, but it’s not certain what.
One theory is that hormones are involved.
People with diabetes tend to have high levels of the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin, as well as related hormones called insulin-like growth factors. Those hormones cause cells to grow and spread, and that may include cancer cells.
If diabetes does contribute to colon cancer, it’s not clear what the implications would be.
People with diabetes are not advised to get colon cancer screening any more often, or at a younger age, than people without diabetes, said Yuhara.
It’s also not clear if that advice will change at any time in the future. Experts recommend that most people start colon cancer screening at the age of 50.
People with certain risk factors for colon cancer, such as a strong family history of the cancer, are told to start screening earlier. Diabetes is not currently considered one of those risk factors.
And there’s evidence the link between diabetes and colon cancer risk may be weakening.
A study published last year by researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS), and not included in the current analysis, found that among the 184,000 older U.S. residents followed for 15 years, men with type 2 diabetes were about one-quarter more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer than diabetes-free men were.
But that increase in risk was modest, and smaller than past studies had suggested. In addition, there was no similar increase seen among women with type 2 diabetes.
The ACS researchers speculated that the findings might reflect better diabetes control among U.S. residents — and women in particular — in recent years. In theory, better blood control would mean lower insulin levels, which might affect colon cancer risk.
For now, Giovannucci recommended that people focus on maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise.
The analysis included studies published from the 1990s through 2009, from the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.
September 20th, 2011
By: John Phillip
Just in case you needed more proof that low blood levels of vitamin D represent a significant health concern, researchers publishing in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrate that small increases in the sunshine vitamin can add precious years to your life. For nearly a decade scientific evidence has been mounting to show that the vast majorities of adults (and many children) are grossly deficient in circulating blood levels of vitamin D. Further proof is documented in the PLoS One journal to show the precise cellular mechanism that helps vitamin D dramatically lower the risk of colon cancer. The bottom line is simple: check your vitamin D blood saturation with an inexpensive test and make the necessary adjustments to live a healthier and longer life.
Using epidemiologic studies, Dr. W.B. Grant of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco found that doubling the serum blood concentration of vitamin D could increase average life expectancy by two years. Dr. Grant and his team identified the major diseases that responded to increased levels of vitamin D. They then compared mortality rates to six identified regions around the country, and contrasted serum blood levels of the sunshine vitamin with disease occurrence.
After compiling all the data, the researchers found that conditions and diseases responsive to vitamin D that account for over half of the world’s mortality include cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, tuberculosis and respiratory diseases and infections. It was determined that doubling the circulating level of vitamin D would lower the mortality rates of diseases that are sensitive to vitamin D by approximately 20 percent. Dr. Grant concluded: “several ways to raise serum vitamin D include food fortification, supplementation and increased ultraviolet B exposure.”
Researchers have known for some time that low vitamin D levels are associated with a significant increase in colon cancer cases, but they have not understood the specific mechanism responsible. Now, scientists have discovered how a lack of vitamin D promotes DNA damage and colon cancer risk. Specifically, low vitamin D status instigates the development and progression of this devastating form of cancer.
Researchers have focused on a protein in intestinal epithelial cells called beta-catechin that normally helps epithelial cells bond together with other cells to form a protective barrier between the contents in your gut and the physical structure of your digestive tract. They found that when vitamin D is lacking, DNA synthesis is disrupted and beta-catechin builds up in cells, dramatically increasing the risk of colon cancer initiation.
There should be no doubt remaining that one of the most critical foundations to vibrant health is maintaining proper vitamin D blood saturation levels. Prevention is worth a pound of cure. So have your family physician run the simple and inexpensive 25 (OH)D blood test (alternatively, mail-in home testing is now a viable option), and be certain your level runs between 50 and 70 ng/mL to add years to your life and dramatically lower colon cancer and chronic disease risk.
April 12th, 2011
By: S.L. Baker
Hopefully, this will never happen to you, but consider this scene: you’ve been diagnosed with a life threatening condition like colon cancer. So you sit down in your doctor’s office to discuss your medical options with your physician and it turns out there are a couple of treatments.
“What would you do, doctor, if you were in my position?” would be a logical question to ask.
And, most likely, you’d expect an honest answer. The trouble is, you might very well not be told the truth.
In fact, according to a survey study published in the April 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, what doctors consider the best choices in treatment for themselves is often not what they tell their patients is best for them.
Here’s how Peter A. Ubel, M.D., of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and his colleagues came up with their findings. They surveyed two samples of U.S. primary care physicians. Each group of doctors was presented with one of two clinical treatment possibilities.
For the first scenario, 500 doctors were asked about what sort of treatment they’d recommend if they or one of their patients received a diagnosis of colon cancer. They were given two choices to pick from — both were surgeries they could cure the colon malignancy in 80 percent of patients.
But there was a catch.
One operation had a higher death rate. However, it also had far fewer adverse side effects. On the other hand, the second type of surgery had a lower death rate but a small percentage of patients would be left with serious health problems including chronic diarrhea, intermittent bowel obstruction , a wound infection and/or the need for a colostomy (a surgical procedure that brings one end of the large intestine out through the abdominal wall where stools drain into a bag attached to the abdomen).
Almost half the doctors returned the colon cancer questionnaire and 37.8 percent of them stated that if they had received the cancer diagnosis, they would personally opt for the surgical procedure with a higher rate of death but a lower rate of the serious adverse effects listed above.
On the other hand, the majority of these doctors would have told their patients the operation with a lower death rate but a host of potentially very serious adverse effects was best for them.
The second hypothetical scenario polled 1,600 physicians about how they’d treat patients or themselves if faced with a new strain of avian flu infecting people in the U.S. One group of doctors was asked to imagine they had been infected; the other group was asked to imagine that a patient was infected with this serious influenza.
A single therapy was available for this strain of avian flu — an immunoglobulin treatment. In people with the avian flu who weren’t given immunoglobulin, there would be a 10 percent death rate and a 30 percent hospitalization rate with an average stay of a week. The treatment would reduce the rate of adverse events by half. However, in this scenario, the immunoglobulin therapy would also cause death in one percent of patients and permanent neurological paralysis in four percent of patients.
The avian influenza scenario survey was returned by 698 doctors and a whopping 62.9 percent of them said they’d personally refuse the immunoglobulin treatment when imagining they had been infected, in order to avoid its adverse effects.
But what decision did the docs make when imagining that a patient had been infected with the avian flu? The vast majority stated they’d recommend the immunoglobulin shots.
“Patients facing difficult decisions often ask physicians for recommendations,” the authors stated as background information in the study. “However, little is known regarding the ways that physicians’ decisions are influenced by the act of making a recommendation.”
“In some circumstances, making recommendations could reduce the quality of medical decisions. In at least some circumstances, however, such as when emotions interfere with optimal decision making, this change in thinking could lead to more optimal decisions,” the researchers concluded in their paper.
Curiously, Dr. Ubell and his research team think physicians probably different treatment recommendations for their patients than they would for themselves because of this: “…the very act of making a recommendation changes the way physicians weigh medical alternatives.”
Another common sense alternative explanation could be that doctors are also considering legal ramifications — for example, if they recommend a procedure with a slightly higher mortality rate and the patient dies, a family member might sue.
Whatever the explanation is, one thing is clear. This study is another example of why people should educate themselves about risks and possible benefits of medical treatments and take charge of their own health decisions whenever possible.