Jul 12, 2005 - 2:29 pm
Vitamin D . Vitamin D, which you get from exposure to sunshine (around 10 to 15 minutes a day) and from vitamin D-fortified milk and other foods, has anticancer properties. It suppresses angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that nourish the growth of tumors. The rates of breast, prostate, and colon cancer are lower in climates that have the most sunshine. Low levels of vitamin D have been found in some people with colon cancer. Women whose diets are high in vitamin D have a lower risk of breast cancer.
Selenium. This overlooked mineral is a potent antioxidant or scavenger of carcinogenic free radicals. Studies have shown a lower incidence of colon cancer in people taking selenium supplements in the range of 100 to 200 mcg a day. Studies have shown that persons who have lower levels of selenium in their blood are more likely to have colon polyps, and those with higher levels of selenium have much less of a chance of getting cancer. Selenium is most effective when taken along with foods or supplements that are high in vitamin E. Consider taking 100 mcg of selenium a day as a supplement. Best sources of selenium in food are fish (especially red snapper) lobster, shrimp, whole grains, and vegetables, depending on the selenium content of the soil they're grown in. Other sources include: brown rice, cottage cheese, lambchops, chicken (white meat), sunflower seeds, and garlic.
Acidophilus. These intestinal-friendly bacteria have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. They promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon and reduce the conversion of bile acids into carcinogens. Studies have shown that consuming dietary supplements of lactobacillus acidophilus greatly diminishes the level of colon enzymes that produce carcinogenic decomposition products from food. In studies on experimental animals, 75 percent of the animals tested showed slower tumor growth when fed yogurt containing live bacterial cultures.
Populations such as the Finns who have a diet relatively high in fat but who also eat a lot of fiber and a lot of yogurt, have a relatively low incidence of colon cancer. In an experiment in which carcinogens were given to rats, the animals that were fed large amounts of lactobacillus acidophilus developed less colon cancer compared with those who were not given doses of these health-promoting bacteria. Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of live lactobacillus daily, the one that is in the refrigerated section of the nutrition store. This can be added to a smoothie or a shake. Or, eat yogurt with the L.A.C. (live active cultures) seal.
Garlic. Whether or not garlic has health-promoting and anticancer properties is still controversial, but it's possible that garlic may have some anticancer benefits. The Kyolic brand of garlic supplements seems to be the most thoroughly tested and the one that is often used in research studies.
Green tea. Green tea has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, possibly because of a phytochemical it contains called "catechins."
THE TOP ANTI-CANCER FOODS
THE 10-STEP ANTI-CANCER PROGRAM
1. Reduce stress.
* Vitamin C, 500 mg.
With trillions of cell duplications occurring inside you every day, it stands to reason that a few of those cells will become out of control renegades. If your body's immune system is strong enough to search out and destroy these cells, you don't "get cancer." If the cells win the battle with your body, you do get cancer. Good nutrition is one of many ways you can help your body fight this daily battle. If you think of phytonutrients in plant foods as chemo-prevention, you may someday spare yourself chemotherapy. Enjoy your food and your health!
EXAMINING THE LINK BETWEEN DIET AND CANCER
Cancer is a preventable disease. In fact, the Harvard Report on Cancer Prevention lists the relative risk factors as the following:
CANCER RISK FACTORS PERCENT OF CANCER DEATHS
Since one-third of cancers are diet related, change your diet and you drastically decrease your chances of getting cancer. Each year the United States spends billions of dollars on cancer research, and our country excels in the treatment of cancer. We have some of the best cancer specialists and cancer treatment centers in the world. Yet, the United States is pitifully inadequate when it comes to cancer prevention. After battling and surviving colon cancer, my main concern was how to keep from getting cancer again. As part of my treatment program, I consulted top cancer specialists and visited one of the top cancer centers in the world. When asked what I could do nutritionally to lower my chances of having, shall we say, a "return visit," the oncologist glibly said, "Don't eat too many hamburgers." Such was the extent of nutritional counseling for cancer prevention. That's when I realized that a cancer survivor is more motivated than even the top cancer specialists to do his homework on preventive medicine.
After all, cancer centers and cancer specialists make their living on treatment, not prevention. While there is no lack of money for cancer research in America, research money is targeted primarily at developing new understandings and treatment of cancer with a pitifully small proportion of government research funds directed toward prevention. Cancer research is a glaring example of funding the wrong end - too much money spent on treatment, too little spent on prevention.
No one in the world is more motivated to seek out an anti-cancer regimen than a cancer survivor who wants to be sure he remains a survivor. I was also motivated by concern for my children. There is a strong hereditary tendency within our family for cancer. Both Martha's mother and my father died of colon cancer. Some people have genes that give cells an increased chance of mutating, meaning becoming malignant. These are called oncogenes, meaning cancer risk genes. The influence of these genes does not become apparent unless they're activated by certain carcinogens. If you inherit oncogenes for a particular cancer, there are three ways to lower your risk of getting that cancer:
1. Decrease your exposure to carcinogens - cancer-causing irritants, pollutants, or substances in your diet.
While there is ongoing debate in many fields of preventive medicine, the diet-cancer link is no longer controversial, thanks to a monumental six-year study called the "China Project," conducted by universities in America, China, and Great Britain. This study concluded that the standard American diet contributes greatly to the high incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The most influential studies linking cancer and diet showed the following significant correlations:
* A plant-based diet instead of an animal-based diet lowers the rate of breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
During my recovery from surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy for colon cancer, I thoroughly researched many claims about diet and lifestyle in relation to cancer risk. The anticancer regimen on this site is based on solid scientific information.
You don't all of a sudden "get cancer." Chances are great that you, and even your children, have a few cancer cells lurking in your body. This is why we emphasize beginning the anticancer regimen, especially the anticancer diet, in early childhood, since cancer cells develop very slowly over decades and may not be detected until decades later.
HOW EXERCISE FIGHTS CANCER
Moving your body moves your bowels, which reduces the risk of colon cancer. Many scientific studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have a much lower incidence of cancer than people who don't exercise much. A study that tracked 17,000 Harvard alumni for 25 years showed that the group of men who were highly active (burning at least 2,500 calories in exercise each week, the equivalent of 45 minutes a day) had half the incidence of colon cancer when compared with their sedentary peers. Another study showed that men who had sedentary jobs had a 1.6 higher risk of developing colon cancer than their more active colleagues. Cancer researchers believe that a high-fat diet (especially a diet high in saturated fats) and inactivity accounts for as much as 60 percent of all colorectal cancers in men and 40 percent in women.
* Exercise moves waste products through the intestines more quickly, thereby reducing the time that the intestinal walls are exposed to carcinogens.
* Exercise promotes insulin efficiency, which decreases the risk of all diseases, thus accounting for a common theme among cancer researchers:
"If you have no time for exercise, you better reserve a lot of time for disease."
* Exercise boosts your immune system by increasing the amounts of lymphocytes, interleukin, neutrophils, and other immune substances circulating in your body. One study showed that exercise more than tripled the circulating level of killer T-cells.
* Exercise also raises the level of high density lipoproteins, the good cholesterol that sweeps excess cholesterol off the walls of your arteries.
* When you build muscle mass through exercise, the muscle itself burns more fat and therefore helps the body maintain its leanness. Once you're lean it's easier to stay lean. Increasing your muscle mass actually enables you to consume more calories without increasing your body fat. A study of 13,000 men and women followed for fifteen years by aerobic expert, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, showed that the incidence of all forms of cancer closely correlated with a lack of physical fitness and that the combination of a high-fat diet and inactivity accounted for as much as 60 percent of all colorectal cancers in men and 40 percent in women. Unfit men and women were 300 percent more likely to develop cancer. The study concluded that a half-hour of exercise several days a week can dramatically lower your risk of cancer. In another study of 8,000 men over 21 years, those with the lowest resting heart rate had the lowest risk of colorectal cancer.
A link between diet and cancer is difficult to study because of the many factors that contribute to the development of disease. For example, persons with healthier diets tend to have healthier overall lifestyles. Researchers use various statistical methods to factor in their variables when drawing diet-cancer correlations.