Nutrition that reduces Cancer.


What if a substance was found that normalizes out-of-control cell growth? The result could be a way to treat and prevent cancer. And a new study offers hope that discovery may have already been made. Scientists from the University of Chicago have just published groundbreaking research in the journal Cell which concludes a powerful compound exists that can restore a healthy balance to cell processes. It’s not a new chemotherapy agent or drug but one derived from nature — retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A.

According to the American Cancer Society, estrogen fuels the growth of two out of three breast cancers. The female hormone can spur on cancer by altering the expression of certain genes, resulting in breast cells that become malignant and proliferate. The University of Chicago study found that retinoic acid can also alter these same estrogen-sensitive genes. But instead of causing cells to grow without restraint, a hallmark of cancer, retinoic acid restored normal balance to the cells and inhibited their growth.

“This work reveals important insights on the interplay between vitamin A and estrogen action,” said Myles Brown, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, in a statement to the media. “These insights will hopefully lead to new approaches for the prevention and treatment of the most common form of breast cancer.”

Retinoic acid has already demonstrated cancer fighting effects in previous studies and it is currently used to treat a rare form of leukemia. In addition, earlier research has associated retinoic acid with the halting of breast cancer cell proliferation.

For the new study, Kevin White, PhD, professor of human genetics and director of the Institute for Genomics and System Biology at the University of Chicago, and colleagues focused on documenting cell receptors for the vitamin A derivative. They used a process dubbed ChIP-chip analysis that combines chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), which locates where the retinoic acid receptors are bound to the genome, with micro-array gene-chip analysis, which measures the expression levels of specific genes.

This merging of techniques allowed the scientists to map out the complete genetic effects of retinoic acid and its receptors in a cell line provided by patients who had estrogen-fueled breast cancers. The results showed that 39 percent of the genomic regions bound by the estrogen receptor known as alpha overlapped with the estrogen receptors bound by retinoic acid.What’s more, they discovered that estrogen and retinoic acids receptors often competed to activate or repress many of the same genes. For example, estrogen increased expression of the same 139 genes that retinoic repressed and retinoic acid activated 185 genes that estrogen repressed. For approximately140 genes, estrogen and retinoic acid had the same effect.

So what does all this mean? As the scientists explained in their press statement, they now have evidence that estrogen and retinoic acid carry on a kind of “cross talk”. So, although they can have opposite effects, certain estrogen and retinoic acid receptors on cells activate each other and normalize each other. That provides what the researchers call “an additional level of control for achieving a balanced regulation of expression.”

One of the most effective naturally occurring weapons against cancer is, like most healthy things, something many of us are not getting enough of. The mineral selenium has been shown in multiple studies to be an effective tool in warding off various types of cancer, including breast, esophageal, stomach, prostate, liver and bladder cancers. Not many people get the recommended dose of 200 micrograms a day. Most Americans only get between 60 and 100 micrograms of selenium daily from dietary sources, according to the Life Extension Foundation’s Disease Prevention and Treatment. That means daily supplements might be worth considering.

Today, research shows selenium, especially when used in conjunction with vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, works to block chemical reactions that create free radicals in the body (which can damage DNA and cause degenerative change in cells, leading to cancer). Selenium also helps stop damaged DNA molecules from reproducing. In other words, selenium acts to prevent tumors from developing. “It contributes towards the death of cancerous and pre-cancer cells. Their death appears to occur before they replicate, thus helping stop cancer before it gets started,” says Dr. James Howenstine in A Physician’s Guide to Natural Health Products That Work

Breast cancer rates are four to five times lower in China than in most Western countries, a fact widely attributed to a different lifestyle. Some foods commonly eaten as part of the traditional Chinese diet can reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer by as much as 90 percent, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Western Australia in Perth, and published in the International Journal of Cancer. Researchers compared consumption of mushrooms and green tea between two groups of Chinese women, one with breast cancer and one without. They found that women who ate at least 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of fresh mushrooms per day had a 64 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who did not eat as much. Those who also regularly drank green tea reduced their risk by a total of 90 percent. Dried mushrooms also reduced breast cancer risk, although they were not as effective as fresh ones.

Previous research has supported the cancer-fighting properties of both mushrooms and green tea. Mushrooms are believed to suppress tumor growth and boost the immune system, and may also block production of the hormone estrogen. Green tea contains polyphenols, which have been shown to remove free radicals from the blood and hamper breast tumor development. The protective benefit of mushrooms and green tea remained significant even after researchers adjusted for other breast cancer risk factors, including weight, exercise, smoking and education level.

be well

Dr Sundardas

http://www.naturaltherapies.com/cancer.htm

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Being Seduced by Shape.


There are an increasing number of teenagers suffering from eating disorder, especially females. I continue to be increasingly concerned by this obsession with body shape and weight. Quite often I get these slim young women who come in and tell me, “Doctor, I need to lose weight”. More often than not I have stopped being polite and I tell these women to have a life.

However we could wonder about the factors that influence individuals to refuse to maintain a minimally normal body weight, harbor an intense fear of gaining weight, exhibit significant distortion in the perception of the ideal shape or size of their bodies, as well as feel dissatisfaction with their body shape and size

A brief look at the history of attractive/desirable body types reveals that these trends were always influenced by public perception. The lower classes always looked towards the higher classes for their model of the desirable body types.

Various strategies are sometimes employed to temporarily or permanently alter the shape of a body. The most common included dieting and exercise. At times artificial devices were used or surgery was employed. Breast size could be artificially increased or decreased. Falsies, breast prostheses or padded bras may have been used to increase the apparent size of a woman’s breasts, while minimiser bras may have been used to reduce the apparent size. Breasts could be surgically enlarged using breast implants or reduced by the systematic removal of parts of the breasts.

Historically, the greatest efforts have been made to reduce a woman’s waistline. Boned corsets were used for several centuries, but during the twentieth century these were mostly replaced with more flexible foundation garments. Where corsets are used for waist reduction, it may been for temporary reduction by occasional use or permanent reduction by people who were often referred to as tightlacers. Liposuction is the common current surgical method of reducing the waist size.

Each society develops a general perception of what an ideal female body shape would be like. These ideals are generally reflected in the art produced by or for a society. The ideal or preferred female body size and shape has varied over time and continues to vary between cultures; but a preference for a small waist has remained fairly constant throughout history. A low waist-hip ratio has often been seen as a sign of good health and reproductive potential.

A low waist-hip ratio has also often been regarded as an indicator of attractiveness of a woman, but recent research suggests that attractiveness is more correlated to body mass index than waist-hip ratio, contrary to previous belief. Historically, according to Devendra Singh, there was a trend for slightly larger women in the 17th and 18th centuries, as typified by the paintings of Rubens, but that in general there has been a preference for a slimmer waist in Western culture. She notes that “The finding that the writers describe a small waist as beautiful suggests instead that this body part – a known marker of health and fertility – is a core feature of feminine beauty that transcends ethnic differences and cultures.”

New research suggests that apple shape women have the highest risk of developing heart disease while hourglass shape women have the lowest. The waist-hip ratio (WHR) is a person’s waist measurement divided by the hip measurement. Notwithstanding wide cultural differences in preferences for female build, scientists have discovered that the waist-hip ratio of any build is very strongly correlated to attractiveness across all cultures. Women with a 0.7 WHR (waist circumference that is 70% of the hip circumference) are usually rated as more attractive by men from European cultures. Such diverse beauty icons as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and the Venus de Milo all have ratios around 0.7.

In other cultures, preferences vary, ranging from 0.6 in China, to 0.8 or 0.9 in parts of South America and Africa, and divergent preferences based on ethnicity, rather than nationality, have also been noted. WHR has been found to be a more efficient predictor of mortality in older people than waist circumference or body mass index (BMI). In the early days (18th Century) it was both class consciousness and the works of great artists like Botticelli and Michelangelo influenced public perception.

With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the growth of the printed media ( ie newspapers, television and the media), the popular perception of what looked good became what was fashionable. So the media has always influenced public perception. However what is happening now is that the divisions that existed between the different cultures and societies is dissolving (ie East and West, Indian and Chinese etc). We are witnessing the melding of different models of desired shapes.

Advertising in teen magazines and on television typically glamorizes skinny models who do not resemble the average woman. In fact, today’s models generally weight 23% less then the average woman. Considering the average person in the United States sees approximately 3,000 ads in magazines, billboards, and television every day, your teenager is getting the wrong message about body image much too often. Media targeting teenage girls are emphasizing the ideal of thinness as beauty. When you stop and think about the fact that the average height and weight for a model is 5’10” and 110 lbs, and the height and weight for the average woman is 5’4″ and 145 lbs, it’s easy to see why this creates a tremendous health risk for young girls.

This leads to starving young skinny women who have difficulty getting pregnant because their BMI is too low for healthy hormonal balance. If they do become pregnant, they often give birth to children who have subtle deficiencies that impact their physical and emotional health. These young women eventually develop osteoporosis in their later years because of their early dieting (See Blog on “Osteoporosis). “Oh what a tangled web we weave”. The media has a lot to answer for.

Be well
Dr Sundardas

Protecting Yourself against HINI


In an effort to censor any online text that might inform consumers of the ability of natural products to protect consumers from H1N1 influenza A, the FDA has been sending out a round of warning letters, threatening to “take enforcement action… such as seizure or injunction for violations of the FFDC Act without further notice.”

“Firms that fail to take correction action,” the FDA warns, “may also be referred to the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations for possible criminal prosecution for violations of the FFDC Act and other federal laws.”

The message is crystal clear: No product may be described as protecting against or preventing H1N1 infections unless it is approved by the FDA. And which products has the FDA approved? Tamiflu (the anti-viral drug that most people will never have access to), and soon the new H1N1 vaccine that’s being manufactured at a cost of one billion dollars (paid to Big Pharma by the taxpayers). This vaccine, of course, will be utterly useless because H1N1 will undoubtedly mutate between now and the time the vaccine is ready, rendering the vaccine useless.

In other words, according to the tyrants at the FDA, the only products that may be marketed alongside the term “H1N1” are those products that either don’t work or aren’t available to most people. Anything that really works to prevent influenza infections — such as natural anti-virals, medicinal herbs, etc. — is banned from even mentioning H1N1 without the threat of being criminally prosecuted.

! As the defender of Big Pharma, the FDA is also the destroyer of knowledge that seeks to remove educational statements from the internet. Truth has nothing to do with it — it is verifiably true that anti-viral herbs, probiotics and other natural products help protect consumers from influenza — but the FDA cannot allow such statements to remain online for the simple fact that people might become informed. And that, it seems, would be a dangerous precedent.

If people were informed about the healing and protective powers of herbs, they would no longer remain enslaved by the medical establishment. Profits would be lost. Power would evaporate. This is why people can never be allowed to attain any real knowledge about herbs, superfoods or nutritional supplements. And the FDA will threaten people with imprisonment just to make sure they don’t dare publish knowledge that the FDA does not want the people to see. The fact that nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults are clinically obese is worrisome for a whole new reason: Evidence emerging from a hospital in Michigan (and published by the CDC) appears to indicate that obese patients may be very easily killed by swine flu.

In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report on death and disease, researchers documented the case of ten swine flu patients at a Michigan hospital who became so ill they were put on ventilators. Three of the patients ultimately died from the infection. The kicker? Nine of the ten were obese, and two of the three who died were severely obese.

As reported by Reuters, CDC virologist Dr. Tim Uyeki said, “What this suggests is that there can be severe complications associated with this virus infection, especially in severely obese patients.”

Notably, five of the patients showed evidence of blood clots in their lungs, indicating severe cellular trauma in the lungs. Nine of the patients suffered from multiple organ failure, and six experienced kidney failure.
These findings are especially worrisome because nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults are now clinically obese. Combined with widespread vitamin D deficiency, nutritional deficiencies and pharmaceutically-induced immune suppression, the U.S. population is more vulnerable to a pandemic right now than any other population in the history of the world.

The people of the first world countries who have adopted a lifestyle similar to the Americans, in other words, are primed for a pandemic. Most of the deaths in Singapore from H1N1 are from people who have a history of health conditions that create free radicals and cytokines from inflammatory conditions ie diabetes, epilepsy, allergies or infections. Shockingly, most Asians may still be thinking that excess body fat is normal and that obese babies are just “chubby.” Should the circulating swine flu combine with seasonal flu this fall, it could devastate the immunologically vulnerable Asian population, potentially killing millions.
The number of patients reviewed in this study is quite small (only ten), but even so, this could be a warning sign of more deaths to come from infected, obese patients. Of course, there’s really no mystery why obesity may cause extreme vulnerability to swine flu infections: The virus kills through an inflammatory process, and obesity is, itself, a highly-inflammatory condition that only exacerbates the deadliness of the H1N1 virus.

Patients who have made themselves obese — for whatever reason — have also unleashed a storm of inflammatory cytokines in their blood, and these cytokines are precisely what get over-excited during the body’s response to a swine flu infection, leading to organ damage and death. This is precisely why people wishing to survive the coming pandemic must make a special effort to attain a high level of physical and nutritional health before such a pandemic arrives.

Being obese compromises your body’s immune system, liver, heart, lungs and kidneys. This puts a serious additional burden on your body, leaving few spare resources for fighting off infections. That’s probably why nine out of ten swine flu victims documented in the Michigan hospital were obese.

The bottom line in this study is quite clear: Don’t be obese during the next pandemic. If you are obese now, let this bit of knowledge provide whatever extra motivation you need to drop some excess body fat and reduce the inflammatory burden on your body’s organs. Obesity is, after all, readily reversed through simple changes in diet and exercise habits.

Be well

Dr Sundardas

Listed below are nutrients that will improve your immune system against viral infections.
Protecting Yourself against the Swine Flu. on June 15, 2009