How does Diet Affect Cancer?

Cancer and the Animal-to-Plant Protein Ratio

July 24, 2014 by Michael Greger M.D. in News

It is now eight years since the famous Ornish study was published, suggesting that 12 months on a strictly plant-based diet could reverse the progression of prostate cancer. For those unfamiliar with that landmark Ornish study, see Cancer Reversal Through Diet?, which the Pritikin Foundation followed up on with Ex Vivo Cancer Proliferation Bioassay.

Wait a second. How were they able to get a group of older men to go vegan for a year? They home delivered prepared meals to their doors, I guess figuring men are so lazy they’ll just eat whatever is put in front of them.

But what about out in the real world? Realizing that we can’t even get most men with cancer to eat a measly five servings of fruits and veggies, in a study profiled in my video, Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio, researchers settled on just trying to change their A to V ratio—the ratio of animal to vegetable proteins—and indeed were successful in cutting this ratio by at least half, from about two to one animal to plant, to kind of half vegan, one to one.

How’d the men do? Their cancer appeared to slow down. The average PSA doubling time (an estimate of how fast the tumor may be doubling in size) in the “half vegan” group slowed from 21 months to 58 months. So the cancer kept growing, but with a part-time plant-based diet they were able to slow down the tumor’s expansion. What Ornish got, though, was an apparent reversal in cancer growth—the PSA didn’t just rise slower, it trended down, which could be an indication of tumor shrinkage. So the ideal A to V ratio may be closer to zero.

If there’s just no way grandpa’s going vegan, and we just have half-measures, which might be the worst A and the best V? Eggs and poultry may be the worst, respectively doubling and potentially quadrupling the risk of cancer progression in a study out of Harvard. Twice the risk eating less than a single egg a day and up to quadruple the risk eating less than a single daily serving of chicken or turkey.

And if we could only add one thing to our diet, what would it be? Cruciferous vegetables. Less than a single serving a day of either broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, or kale may cut the risk of cancer progression (defined as the cancer coming back, spreading to the bone, or death) by more than half.

The animal to plant ratio might be useful for cancer prevention as well. For example, in the largest study ever performed on diet and bladder cancer, just a 3% increase in the consumption of animal protein was associated with a 15% higher risk of bladder cancer, whereas a 2% increase in plant protein intake was associated with a 23%lower risk. Even little changes in our diets can have significant effects.

What else might help men with prostate cancer? See Flaxseed vs. Prostate Cancerand Saturated Fat & Cancer Progression. What about preventing it in the first place? See:

Poultry and eggs may be related to cancer risk in a variety of ways:

Crucifers may also help with other cancers. See:

Breast cancer is highlighted in my video Breast Cancer Survival Vegetable.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death and More Than an Apple a Day.

Gatorade and Yogurt are discussed

People almost always pick Gatorade and Yogurt as two healthy things they are consuming.  Gatorade provides your body with electrolytes….right?  Well, only 2 really with sodium being one, and not one which most Americans need any help getting enough of.  The other is yogurt….protein and calcium you say!  How much sugar is in that again?

(Was supposed to be to you by July 4th but had some technical issues) Anyway, happy belated 4th of July! Use your Freedom and vote with your Dollar for companies that use ingredients that are in YOUR best interest!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4sSMyXcLyk

 

 

Zucchini and Squash “Pasta”

For those of you gluten-free or just trying to eat more real foods, here is a tasty recipe for veggie “pasta”:

Slice or shred 1 zucchini and 1 summer squash.  Dice 1 garlic scape (or 1 clove garlic).  Add into large wok on low-medium heat, no oil needed.  Add chopped tomatoes with basil and parsley for flavor.  Tomato sauce optional.  Cook until tender and serve!

Which Mascaras to Avoid!

http://foodbabe.com/2013/07/27/how-to-find-the-best-natural-mascara-that-actually-works/

How To Find The Best Natural Mascara That Actually Works

By Food Babe http://foodbabe.com/2013/07/27/how-to-find-the-best-natural-mascara-that-actually-works/

YOUR EYEBALLS.

They are so important. We must protect them. Letting makeup filled with coal tar and petroleum that’s contaminated with carcinogens, parabens that promote aging and sagging skin, and acne causing ingredients found in airplane deicing liquid drip into your eyeballs is not the answer!

I have to be honest though, I LOVE the way my eyes look when I have makeup on, but I hate the act of putting on makeup, so I do it, grudgingly… And once I found out all the crazy toxic ingredients the makeup industry uses in many conventional products my entire perspective changed. I go days without a lot of makeup on my face unless I’m on camera or have an event. Don’t get me wrong, being on camera has its perks and its disadvantages. It allows me to spread the message of organic, real and non-GMO food living to so many more people, but it also requires heavier makeup at times – those camera lights can be harsh let me tell ya!

When I’m behind the scenes blogging or living my day to day life I wear the least amount of makeup possible – maybe a little blush and lipstain and that’s it. But when I go on camera – it’s eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara. Mascara was the first makeup product I changed out of my makeup bag, but it took me a long time to figure it out which brands actually work.

Avoid these:

 

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First, let’s talk about the ingredients in mascara you want to avoid:

  • PARABENS - Used as a preservative and is an endocrine disrupter that messes with your hormones. (Top Offenders: L’Oreal, Cover Girl, Avon, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Maybelline, Neutrogena, Revlon, Chanel, Lancome)

  • PARFUM (a.k.a. fragrance) - Why do you need parfum on your eyes – that’s crazy. Oh it’s to cover up the smell of coal tar! This is even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies, asthma and acne, linked to cancer and neurotoxicity, and are harmful to fish and other wildlife.  (Top Offenders: Neutrogena, Lavera, Milani)

  • ALUMINUM POWDER - Considered a neurotoxin and linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other cancers. (Top Offenders: Cover Girl, Estee Lauder)

  • BHA and BHT: Used as a preservatives and is an endocrine disruptor and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife. (Top Offenders: Maybelline, Rimmel)

  • PROPYLENE GLYCOL:  Linked to acne, eczema, and other skin allergies. (Top Offenders: L’Oreal, Mineral Fusion, Rimmel, Avon, Maybelline)

  • COAL TAR DYES: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number. The U.S. colour name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1″ or “Blue 1″). Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain. (Top Offender: Maybelline)

  • FORMALDEHYDE RELEASING PRESERVATIVES -  Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer. (Top Offender: Almay)

  • RETINYL ACETATE (VITAMIN A ACETATE) - Biochemical or cellular level changes, Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive) (Top Offenders: Elizabeth Arden, Almay, Revlon)

    *Ingredient research provided by The Environmental Working Group and David Suzuki Foundation*

I am a firm believer that if I eat the way I do, I can avoid the impact of most of the chemicals in my surroundings, but I also want to vote with my dollars and I refuse to buy products from companies that continue to pollute the environment and our bodies with loads of toxic substances. I also don’t like the idea that something I put on my eyes can potentially cause cancer over time, cause acne, aging or disrupt my hormonal balance. That’s why I went on a search to find a clean mascara – here are the ones that make the cut that I’ve personally tried… I know there may be some other ones available, but these actually work based on my experience:

 

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Food Babe Approved Mascaras

  • Tarte “Lights Camera Lashes” Natural Mascara (Available for $14.99 at Amazon) - This is my absolute favorite mascara, it doesn’t clump or flake over time and it’s easy to wash off with any kind of facial cleanser – especially coconut oil. They also make a waterproof version called “Lights Camera Splashes” (Available for $19.00 at Amazon).

  • Josie Maran (Available for $22.00 at Sephora) - This one feels very luxurious with big volume, especially if you add another coat. 

  • Physicians Formula Organic Wear (Available for $11.60 on Amazon) - I like this one because it is available at most drug stores. One time I forgot my makeup bag while I was traveling and found this one at Walgreens – it totally did the trick considering all the other toxic alternatives that were available.

     
AND don’t forget to add Arbonne’s latest, “It’s a Long Story Mascara” to this list as they also avoid the dangerous chemicals listed above!

CNN: 4 Surprising Benefits of Vegetables

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/19/health/benefits-of-vegetables/index.html?hpt=hp_bn13

(CNN) – You’ve seen Meatless Mondays, vegan restaurants and green drinks become all the rage. You know that vegetables can help you lose weight and fend off chronic diseases. Yet if you’re like most Americans, you probably still aren’t eating enough of them.

If you need a little motivation to get your share, here are four surprising reasons to increase your vegetable intake:

1. They fight bloat

Although you may associate vegetables with creating a bloated belly, most vegetables actually do the opposite. Vegetables are rich in fiber, which flushes out waste and gastric irritants and prevents constipation by keeping the digestive tract moving.

Vegetables can also help you look leaner by counteracting bloat caused by salt. Most American adults get nearly twice the recommended sodium limit. Eating a bacon and egg biscuit, a typical restaurant meal, or instant soup means consuming nearly an entire day’s sodium allotment. Vegetables are rich in both potassium and water, which help flush excess sodium out of the body while restoring the body’s normal fluid balance.

To ease that full feeling in your stomach, try eating fennel, cucumbers, summer squash, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce or tomatoes.

If you experience gas when you start to add more fiber and vegetables to your diet, choose steamed vegetables rather than raw ones. The heat from cooking breaks down some of the fiber and will keep gastric distress to a minimum as your body adjusts to consuming the fiber you need.

2. They create a youthful glow

Want younger-looking skin? Vegetables prevent unwanted signs of aging and keep skin young and supple thanks to phytonutrients, vitamin C and high water content.

Many vegetables are 85% to 95% water, which helps hydrate the skin and reduce wrinkles. And phytonutrients, found in all vegetables, can guard against premature aging by preventing cell damage from stress, the sun, pollution and other environmental toxins. Vitamin C aids in collagen formation, according to studies.

Choose brightly colored red and orange vegetables and you’ll get an added boost of beta carotene, which can give you a healthy glow as it protects skin from sun damage. Similarly, lycopene, found in red vegetables such as tomatoes, also has been shown to act as a natural sunscreen.

Eat vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli and potatoes for vitamin C, and carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and other orange produce for beta carotene.

3. They reduce stress

Stress can make you tired and moody, hindering your ability to make healthy nutrition choices. The result is emotional overeating and binges. 

Meanwhile, nutrients like magnesium and vitamin C are quickly depleted during stressful times. Luckily, many vegetables contain these very nutrients, as well as tension-reducing omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins that fight anxiety and depression.

The potassium and magnesium found in some vegetables can also calm you on the inside as they relax blood vessels and keep your blood pressure down, according to research. And fiber keeps blood sugar levels stable, preventing dips in energy and the associated mood swings.

To reduce stress, eat any vegetable. Mushrooms, leafy greens, squash, potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, bok choy, fennel, string beans and edamame are especially good sources of several vitamins and minerals.

For a no-fuss way to consume more vegetables and combat stress, add leafy greens, mushrooms and peppers to your sandwiches, wraps, soups, pizza, tomato sauce and omelets.

4. They protect your bones

Most people think of dairy foods as the bone protectors, thanks to their high calcium and vitamin D content. But some vegetables also have these same nutrients in addition to bone-building vitamin K, magnesium, potassium and prebiotic fiber.

Tomatoes in particular have recently been connected to bone health.A study found that when you remove lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes from the diet, women are at increased risk of osteoporosis.

Eat strong-spined, dark leafy greens like collard greens, turnip greens, kale, spinach (cooked for more calcium!), broccoli and green peas for calcium and vitamin K. Mushrooms contain vitamin D while asparagus, chard, kale, artichokes, onions, garlic and leeks are full of prebiotic fiber.

Watch this video