01/09 - 1 Cancer Prevention Latest Research

01/09 - 1 Cancer Prevention Latest Research

Below are a number of articles referring to cancer prevention through lifestyle, diet and nutrition that have appeared in CANCERactives icon magazine. Just click on the title to read the piece.

  • Shock News: MIT and Harvard show acupuncture does work in clinical trial!

  • Stress causes cancer and food fights it

  • Stevia makes its appearance at last

  • German research confirms selenium helpful with prostate cancer

  • Wine drinking it promotes omega 3 levels in the blood!

  • High fruit and Vegetable Diet and oesophageal cancer

  • Black Raspberries so many benefits!

  • New studies show significant benefits for chlorella

  • Want to sleep? Try Tai Chi

  • Now Parkinson’s disease is linked to lower levels of vitamin D

    Shock News: MIT and Harvard show acupuncture does work in clinical trial!

    To all those so called experts who write in the Daily Blurb about ’no evidence for complementary therapies’ we have some shocking news.

    The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to indentify changes in neural activity by measuring blood flow in the brain; and positron emission tomography (PET) in conjunction with direnorphine to measure opioid release; and thus examine the overall effects of acupuncture in relieving pain. Opioids have a morphine-like effect in the body.

    In China acupuncture has long been used for pain relief, and even to replace anaesthetic during operations, with the result that post surgery, the patients have much stronger immune systems, having needed no drugs.

    The randomised study of12 healthy "acupuncture-naive" subjects separated them into a real acupuncture group balanced by a placebo acupuncture group, using a validated sham acupuncture needle (Streitberger placebo) so that the sensation was as close to real acupuncture as possible. (Using a placebo is generally believed to eliminate any psychological effects, such as expectation or belief, which may corrupt a study).

    Pain was induced by varying levels of heat. By comparing the two treatments, the study concluded that "the reduction in pre- and post-treatment pain ratings was significantly greater in the acupuncture group when compared to the placebo group" (Dougherty, et. al).

    "We found more brain changes during true acupuncture than during placebo acupuncture," commented Darin D. Dougherty, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of Neurotherapeutics at Massachusetts General Hospital. "fMRI showed changes in the orbitofrontal cortex, insula, and pons during true acupuncture when compared to placebo acupuncture." The PET scans detected [11Cdiprenorphine binding changes during real acupuncture that were very different than the binding changes that occurred during placebo treatment

    The right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) was the only brain region that showed a common change in both types of scans. During real acupuncture, the right OFC demonstrated increased activity (as determined by fMRI) and increased opioid release (as determined by PET). There were no common fMRI and PET changes during placebo acupuncture.

    When asked whether acupuncture is more than a placebo effect, Dr. Dougherty responded, "Yes, the study does show more changes in the brain during active acupuncture than during placebo acupuncture. Therefore, acupuncture certainly entails more than placebo effect."

    This study was funded by The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). The NCCAM is the American Government’s lead agency for scientific research on Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAM). (Source: Natural Sciences)


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Stress causes cancer and food fights it

According to a study published in the International Journal of Oncology (August, 2008) stress induces precancerous changes via a hormone, Norepinephrine, which was shown to increase proliferation of pancreatic duct cancer cells. And norepinephrine was also shown to increase the interleukin-6 and vascular endothelial growth factor in the cells.
The researchers then looked to see if food consumption had any effect in negating this and the answer showed that sulforaphane reduced norepinephrine-mediated cell and inhibited a norepinephrine-mediated increase of the interleukin-6 levels of the cells. Sulforaphane is a natural compound typically found in cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, raddish and watercress.

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Stevia makes its appearance at last

Two recent events have paved the way for the wider usage of Stevia, a natural no-calorie sweetener, that seems to have no harmful side-effects, but also has anti-yeast and anti-microbe benefits. We have been arguing its case for 5 years now. Hitherto, powerful forces with financial interests in sugar and aspartame have kept Stevia at arms’ length but now the FDA is set to give the South American natural compound its blessing.

Stevia has been used in South America for centuries and even in countries such as Japan. Now Cargill, which makes a Stevia-based sweetener called Truvia, and Merisant, which makes another named Pure Via, both said their products are safe and are applying for FDA approval. International scientists associated with the World Health Organization agreed that these forms of Stevia sweeteners are safe (ABC News 2008 December 2nd).

Stevia is currently available in the United States but only as a nutritional supplement. However, the second event will surpass this all very quickly. Apparently, the mighty Coca Cola company has already made its first Stevia sweetened drinks!

You can find out more about Stevia by clicking here  and you can also buy a tincture by clicking here.  

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German research confirms selenium helpful with prostate cancer

Two recent studies, both on AIDS, (one from UCLA, and another from Penn State, Journal of Biological Chemistry) have confirmed what we have told you before. That Astragalus is better than the anti-viral drugs, without the side effects; and selenium also stops viral replication through the action of selenoproteins. HIV actually targets these special proteins, but taking selenium protects them. Many substances bind to proteins but selenium actually bonds within the protein structure in selenoproteins.

Now German scientists from St. Josefs-Hospital in Wiesbaden have stated their research findings on the role of selenium in preventing prostate enlargement and prostate cancer in the Swedish medical publication Acta Oncologica.

The scientists found that whole blood selenium levels were significantly lower in all men tested who had benign prostate hypertrophy or prostate cancer. In a second study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, experts suggest selenoproteins have powerful anti-oxidative and  anti-inflammatory effects that could make them important in preventing prostate and colorectal cancers.
Supplementation up to a level of 200 micrograms per day is recommended. Greater amounts can lead to toxicity. Natural sources include whole Brazil nuts in their shell (banned for sale by the EU), whole brown rice, whole grains, organic eggs and nuts like walnuts.

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Wine drinking it promotes omega 3 levels in the blood!

A major new European study, IMMIDIET, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jan 2009 concludes that wine drinking seems to bring out the best in omega 3. Several studies have shown that moderate wine consumption reduces heart and cancer risk. This new study shows that it raises the levels of omega 3 in plasma and red blood cells, independent of the level of fish consumption! The study was led by Romina di Giuseppe of the Research Laboratories at Catholic University of Campobasso, Italy.

The benefits of the wine could come from the polyphenols such as resveratrol and others. However a smaller benefit was found with beer drinkers so the reasons could simply be due to the presence of alcohol. One glass of wine for women per day, and two for men seemed to give the maximum benefit.

Only recently we covered a major study on the benefits to humans of Resveratrol from Harvard and 6 other worldwide medical centres in icon. Our web site, and my book The Rainbow Diet both cover many beneficial natural compounds.

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High fruit and Vegetable Diet and oesophageal cancer

According to a study conducted by researchers from Kaiser Permanente Northern California and published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, a diet high in fruit and vegetables may greatly reduce oesophageal cancer risk.
A precursor to oesophageal cancer is usually Acid Reflux, and this most commonly results in Barrett’s Oesophagus.

Over 900 people participated in the study, which used a food diary to measure antioxidant intake. Those with the highest intake of vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E had a 52 per cent, 44 per cent and 75 per cent respectively lower risk of developing the disease.

And, as we repeatedly tell you, these natural compounds performed better than simply taking the synthetic equivalents.

Unfortunately, the research showed that taking these high levels of fruit and vegetables had little effect on those people who had already developed a cancer.

Acid Reflux is usually caused by the excess presence of the parasite Helicobacter pylori in the stomach. Goldenseal, wormwood, aloe vera and Neway’s Parafree can significantly help this condition. Or you can take a three drug cocktail. People with acid reflux should avoid taking ant-acids as acid kills off the parasite, and this is a part of the body’s defence system. (Source: www.foodnavigator-usa.com.)

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Black Raspberries so many benefits!

Black raspberries provide a powerful mix of cancer-inhibiting compounds according to new research from the Ohio State University Cancer Center.

Rats injected with oesophageal cancer inducing factors were divided into two groups. The group eating black raspberries after two weeks had 60 per cent less cancers and the researchers concluded that the berries protected the genome from damage.

Indeed, the researchers described the results as ’astonishing’. Having measured the gene activity in the rats, while 50 per cent altered due to the cancer induction in the normal group, 20 per cent less were altered in the group taking the berries.

Lead researcher Gary Stoner felt that these results must derive from a number of benefits, not merely one. From a second study and genetic analysis he concluded, ’What’s emerging from studies in cancer chemoprevention is that using single compounds alone is not enough’. The berries seem to provide several benefits. He advocates eating yet more known beneficial foods at the same time, such as grapes, medicinal mushrooms, broccoli and cruciferous vegetables and flaxseed. Just as I do in my new book The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer.

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New studies show significant benefits for chlorella

At CANCERactive we are great fans of the Japanese algae/food product Chlorella, especially when combined with beneficial bacteria supplementation.

Researchers in Kyoto (Journal of Medicinal Food, Sept 2008) gave chlorella over a 16 week period to 17 people at high-risk for lifestyle-related diseases and 17 healthy subjects. They conducted blood biochemical tests and gene profile expression analysis before and after the consumption period and concluded that chlorella significantly controlled gene expression and that this varied with consumption level. Specific results showed that chlorella:

  • Increased levels of white cells

  • Boosted various aspects of cellular signalling and reception

  • Reduced body fat

  • Reduced serum cholesterol

  • Reduced blood sugar levels, and glucose uptake through insulin pathway promotion

In the same magazine, is another study where rats given cadmium had lower levels of liver damage if also given chlorella, indicating its ability to chelate to/bind to heavy metals and eliminate them from the body. Beneficial bacteria supplementation is a benefit here.

In a third study (European Journal of Dermatology; May.June 2008) chlorella was shown to inhibit collagen degradation, mRNA and kinase formation as a result of ultraviolet light exposure.
Readers may recall that we covered another study in icon (Journal of Medicinal Food; March 2007) where researchers in Japan had concluded that pregnant women taking chlorella had reduced levels of dioxin and IGF-1 in their breast milk. Now, in the June 2008 edition of Food Chemistry Toxicology comes a study showing chlorella binds to and removes lead from the body.

You can find out more by clicking here, and buy what we believe to be the best source of this green algae developed originally to feed the Japanese after the war by clicking here. It is our ’Product of Choice’ and full of vitamins, enzymes, essential amino acids and minerals.

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Want to sleep? Try Tai Chi

According to research conducted by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, elderly adults who practice tai chi sleep better than those who do not.
Researchers took 112 healthy adults who had disturbed sleep and made half practice Tai Chi, while the others went on more orthodox sleeping routes. People in the Tai Chi group showed significant improvement in sleep quality, duration and disturbances in comparison with the control group.
Lead researcher Michael Irwin said, ’Poor sleeping constitutes one of the most common difficulties facing older adults. Yet in 85 percent of these cases, the problem goes untreated. Those who do receive treatment are usually given sedative drugs, which can have dangerous side effects’. Tai Chi is a form of exercise particularly suited to older people. We have more here  on the web site under complementary therapies.

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Now Parkinson’s disease is linked to lower levels of vitamin D

We’ve told you repeatedly about vitamin D’s anti-cancer and anti-ageing benefits. Now research by Emory University in the Archives of Neurology shows that people with Parkinson’s have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood. Get out in the sunshine, or supplement!

At the National Neuroscience conference 2008 in Washington, researchers from John Hopkin’s presented their findings that curcumin can protect brain tissues from all damage including Parkinsons and possibly even cancer.


And finally, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, (2008; doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn297) concludes that living near a power line can increase your risk of Alzheimers and senile dementia.

People who live within 54 yards, or 50m, of a power line more than double their risk of a neuro-degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s compared with people who live at least 600 m from a line.

The time you live near a power line also determines the risk level. Living within close proximity of a line for 15 years or longer doubles your risk compared with someone who has lived close to a power line for less than five years.

These findings are based on a study of 4.7 m people living in Switzerland. (Source: What Doctors don’t tell you)

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