June 2008

CANCER WATCH JUNE 2008


LATEST WORLD CANCER NEWS


SPECIAL REPORT 1 - The Rainbow Diet


LATEST LIFESTYLE AND NUTRITION FINDINGS


Chemical World


Special Report 2 GM Foods


LATEST WORLD CANCER NEWS


Breast Cancer Patients increase survival with vitamin D


We have frequently covered research showing the benefits of vitamin D if you have cancer, along with its benefits as a preventative agent. Now, in a new study, led by Pamela Goodwin, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, research concluded that women with vitamin D deficiency at the time of breast cancer diagnosis were 94 per cent more likely to experience cancer spread and 73 per cent more likely to die over the next 10 years compared to women with adequate vitamin D levels.

(Ed: Thanks to various UK ‘Health Bodies‘ and Cancer Charities telling people to keep out of the sun, vitamin D deficiency has been increasing - even in sunny climates like Australia. A week in the sun can give you 40,000 to 70,000 International Units of this vitamin that acts like a hormone. Cancer cells have been found to have higher numbers of vitamin D receptor sites.  Yet the maximum ‘safe’ limit according to Governments is around 2,000 IU’s per day with 400 IU’s the usual recommended levels. If you cannot get 30 minutes in the sun every day, take 1,000 IU’s, twice this if you have cancer.)


Breast cancer subtypes originate differently; are different diseases


Some research evidence for the theory we have used in icon over the last 5 years has emerged from Cancer Research UK. Namely that there may be many ways to develop a cancer and that your cancer may well be as individual as you are. The CRUK study shows that there is a biological distinction between breast cancers that depend on hormones and those that do not. Apparently, (unlike the icon view), CRUK scientists previously thought that hormone dependent breast cancers, which usually require treatment with surgery and anti-hormone drugs, originated from the same biological pathway as hormone independent breast cancers, which are treated with surgery and chemotherapy.

The new discovery provides the strongest evidence yet that the subtypes originate from separate pathways and could guide future research into prevention and treatments for the cancer types as different diseases.

Cancer Research UK’s Dr Paul Pharoah, lead author based at the University of Cambridge, said: “We looked at five genetic variants associated with breast cancer to see if they were more likely to be found in hormone dependent or independent breast cancers.

“One common genetic variant, FGFR2, was strongly associated with hormone dependent breast cancer, but weakly associated with hormone independent cancer. This shows that they have distinct genetic origins, and are different diseases”.

(Ed: Yet more evidence that one size won’t fit all when it comes to cancer ‘cures‘- be they drugs or natural therapies. This research refers to breast cancer, but could easily apply to all cancers)


Breast cancer drug combination produces better results


Women with an advanced and aggressive form of breast cancer may have a little more hope following a 66 person multi-country clinical trial, an audience at the American Society of Clinical Oncology heard in May 2008. All the women tested had advanced breast cancer that had spread to other organs.

 The new drug works with women who have HER-2 positive breast cancer. This accounts for between 20 and 30 per cent of all cases. HER-2 protein sticks to the surface of cells making them very hard to treat and encouraging the spread of the cancer. The new drug, pertuzumab, stops the HER-2 protein binding to cells.

The women in the test had all been shown to be HER-2 positive and had been previously treated with Herceptin, but it had failed to slow the disease. In trials, the administration of the new drug halted the progression in half the cases, and in half of those it even shrunk the tumour.

The combination of Herceptin and pertuzumab is not currently licensed in the UK. ’Experts’ are saying that it could even be given as a preventative combination to women who don’t yet have the disease but test HER-2 positive.
(Ed: Having read the press release a few times, I have to wonder if Herceptin is the ‘wonder drug’ everybody claimed in the first place. This release implies that it stops working unless you have pertuzumab. Can this really be the case?)


Biotech firm clones special dogs to sniff out cancer


A South Korean firm has successfully cloned four dogs capable of sniffing out human cancers. The four black retrievers were born last month and cloned from a dog, called Marine, trained in Japan to sniff out cancers. Professor Lee Byeong-Chun of the Seoul National University did the deed.

Marine is owned by Yuji Satoh, a head trainer at St Sugar Cancer Sniffing Training Centre, in Shiba, Japan.

Drug sniffing dogs have already been cloned for customs services.

Look out for breast cancer sniffing dogs in shopping centre car parks like those of Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s in the coming years. They could be a lot cheaper, take up a lot less space than the mobile mammogram screening units and potentially deal with more types of cancer. But just imagine the technique!


NICE approves Cetuximab for treatment of Head and Neck Cancer


The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) today issued a Final Appraisal Determination (FAD) recommending the use of Erbitux® (cetuximab) in combination with radiotherapy for the treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancer in patients that are contraindicated to all forms of platinum based chemo/radiotherapy.
 
This will be fully implemented across the NHS within three months.

‘Cetuximab is the only targeted therapy to be approved for the treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancer in combination with radiation therapy and is one of the first new treatments in over 40 years that significantly prolongs patient’s survival and control of the disease‘ claim the manufacturers.


Five-in-one ‘Superdrug’ to fight heart disease


Yes I know this is not a cancer story, but you really need to know about this.
Various eminent UK Professors - including Professor Roger Boyle - want to reduce the number of UK deaths due to cardio-vascular disease by giving everyone, over 50 years of age, a daily ‘polypill‘. Cardio-vascular disease kills more than all the cancers put together apparently. Presumably if I refuse to swallow mine I won’t be treated when I don’t get heart disease.

Anyway the wonder pill contains statins, a beta blocker (which reduces the effect of adrenaline), an ACE inhibitor (which lowers levels of an enzyme that is involved in raising blood pressure); a diuretic (as more frequent urination means more harmful salt will be excreted from the body) and folic acid which helps prevent strokes and heart disease. Oh, plus three drugs to help reduce blood pressure.

Apart from the fact that this looks like 8 ‘drugs’ to me, and I am fed up with being told vitamins are useless, only to be told that as synthetic drugs they are good for me, the idea of taking 8 drugs everyday for the rest of my life fills me with abject horror.

How much would it cost? (Ed: I must buy shares in a statin manufacturing company). And what if you get a side-effect? Which ’drug caused it? (Ed: probably that dodgy vitamin pill!) And so how do you correct - another 8 drugs to reduce the side-effects of each ingredient? The world has gone mad again. 

Don‘t eat salt, don‘t touch dairy. Do take probiotics daily, do eat only whole foods, and do take exercise and natural compounds like garlic, fish oils and olive oil. And steer clear of cocktails of drugs - they lead to a disease which is the second largest cause of hospitalisation in the USA - it‘s called ‘polypharmacy’ and is 28 per cent of all admissions. Deaths from taking prescribed drug cocktails have trebled in the last 5 years.

The idea of taking 8 drugs every day is madness. Why not start to tackle the real problem - and put all this money into prevention - education at schools and so on? (When CANCERactive applied for a Government Section 64 grant to develop lessons on prevention in schools we were - incredibly - told that such lessons already existed! Where?) It’s enough to give you heart failure.


Child Leukaemia - three quarters are cured


Around three-quarters of children diagnosed with leukaemia today will be cured of their disease, according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer.
Scientists have developed a formal method for estimating the number of children diagnosed with leukaemia in the UK who are cured – meaning they have no greater risk of dying prematurely than children who never had leukaemia, rather than using the almost meaningless 5-year survival approach.

The cure rate has increased from 25 per cent in the early 1970s to 68 per cent in the early 1990s – and this figure is predicted to rise to 73 per cent for children diagnosed more recently.  The success of leukaemia treatment has previously been judged on five-year survival rates, which increased from 33 per cent to 79 per cent during 1971-2000. For some types of leukaemia, five-year survival is as high as 83 per cent.

The team examined how survival has changed over the years and they defined ‘cure’ as the point when the life expectancy of children diagnosed with leukaemia returned to normal for their age and sex.
 
First author Dr Anjali Shah, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, whose study was funded by charity ‘CHILDREN with LEUKAEMIA’ said: “It’s great that children diagnosed with leukaemia can be told that the numbers cured of this terrible disease are increasing.


Child Leukaemia - interaction with other children reduces risk


UCLA Berkeley have reported on their findings that attendance at a play group reduces child leukaemia risk (of the ‘variety’ ALL) by as much as 33 per cent. The researchers reviewed 14 worldwide studies and concluded that infection from other children is a necessary part of developing the immune system early in life. And a strong immune system affords more protection against leukaemia.

ALL accounts for about 80 per cent of child leukaemia and typically appears in the 2 to 5 age group, said the American team.

In some of the studies, the figure was as high as 40 per cent.


Cancer drugs - a worrying new side effect


Researchers have now discovered that cancer drugs seem to attack brain cells and damage the central nervous system. Mark Noble and his team at the University of Rochester in New York have discovered chemotherapy can cause delayed brain degeneration, and even short-term use of the chemotherapy drug fluorouracil causes acute injury to the central nervous system. (Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2008; 299: 2494).

Some patients have previously noticed that they have become more forgetful or lose concentration soon after starting chemotherapy – but doctors have always denied any link, as officially they didn’t believe the drugs could cross the blood-brain barrier.

This latest research reveals that they do, and that the damage is very real. Apparently, researchers found that doctors have been quietly documenting the cases for years. There is even a fear now that chemotherapy may be more toxic to brain cells than it is to cancer cells.


Drugs - What Doctors don’t tell you


According to the US Health Online and the publication ‘What Doctors don’t tell you’, research shows there are 8 prescription drugs that doctors will not themselves use. For information these are:

  • Advair, the asthma drug. It contains the long-acting beta-agonist salmeterol, and studies suggest this alone may be killing 5,000 asthma sufferers in the USA every year. (US names used)


  • Avandia, the diabetes drug. Studies have demonstrated it increases the risk of heart attack by 109 per cent and heart attack by 42 per cent. It can increase fluid retention and increase LDL cholesterol, which can clog arteries.


  • Celebrex, the pain-reliever. Like many NSAIDs, it can cause stomach bleeding, kidney and liver damage. However this ‘super aspirin’, as it’s been dubbed, can cause serious heart problems, and can double your chances of dying from cardiovascular disease if you take 200 g twice a day, and you triple the risk if you take double that dose.


  • Ketek, the antibiotic. It’s traditionally given to people with respiratory-tract infections, but it carries a higher risk of severe liver damage than similar antibiotics. Although its use has now been restricted to treating pneumonia, doctors still regular prescribe it for a range of infections.


  • Prilosec, the acid-reflux remedy. This heartburn concoction is suspected of causing heart attacks; what’s certain is that it stops stomach acid production so effectively that it increases your risks for pneumonia.


  • Nexium, another avid-reflux remedy, and ditto for Prilosec.


  • Visine Original, drops to combat red eyes. These work by shrinking the blood vessels in the eye, but overuse can lead to almost continuous red eye that can’t be treated.


  • Pseudoephedrine, the decongestant. This drug can raise your blood pressure and heart rate, and has been linked to heart attack and stroke.



Statins reduce lymphoma risk


Statin use - especially in people who have taken them for more than 10 years (Ed: have they really been around that long?) - is reported to decrease risk of lymphoma, especially diffuse B-lymphoma. 30 per cent of the control group took statins. Only 21 per cent of those with lymphoma took them. (Rochester, USA - American Soc of Haematology Ann. Meeting).


Obese Children? Let them take statins


Incredibly, the wonder drug is now being recommended by the American Society of Paediatrics for obese children, starting from age 8.Apparently being obese at that age means statistically you are more likely to die of an obesity related illness in mid life. Only recently in the USA approvals were given for statins to be used in children.
(Ed: This development is more than a little concerning. Why can’t Governments direct funds into child/parent education on eating, on why your children should not be allowed to become overweight, have lessons in schools, increase sports and so on? We have already covered research in icon that shows that the effects of taking statins even for a short while are long lasting, so what long scale research has taken place if 8 year olds start taking them? What happens at age 40? And where do you draw the line? Will kids need cholesterol readings? Who knows accurately what a ‘proper‘ level of cholesterol is - remember that low levels of cholesterol mean lower levels of vitamin D, more Alzheimer’s and greater cancer risk)


Radiation for lung cancer metastasis


Research from Amsterdam University Medical Centre (N Engl J Med. 2007, 357. 664) shows that 286 patients with advanced small-cell lung cancer benefit from prophylactic radiation to prevent metastasis to the brain. After 1 year only 14.6 per cent of the group who had Prophylactic cranial radiation had developed a brain tumour, whereas the non-irradiated group saw a 40.4 per cent level of brain tumours. Next step is to balance this with levels of brain damage caused.
15 per cent of all lung cancers are small-cell, most patients develop metastases, with 18 per cent developing in the brain.


CT scans promote cancer - Government report


A new British government report by the Committee on the Medical Aspects of Radiation has stated that full CT scans can expose patients to almost 100 times the levels of radiation from a standard X-ray, and that such exposure can increase risks of developing cancer. The report says that out of every 2,000 people having a full-body CT scan; one will develop cancer as a result.

The conclusion however is somewhat bizarre. The report calls for regulation of Private Clinics that offer the scans to people who fear they have a problem and are prepared to pay to find out. The report also stated that these private scans often lead to false alarms and emotional distress for patients.

No conclusions are drawn about how CT scanning might be made safer, or how it might be limited or even replaced in NHS Hospitals.


Body’s own baking soda used to diagnose cancer early


 A chemical commonly called baking soda which is found naturally in the body could be used to detect cancer with magnetic resonance imaging, reveals a Cancer Research UK study published in Nature. Traditionally magnetic resonance imaging – or MRI – detects water and fat in the human body. By boosting MRI sensitivity more than 20,000 times, using a scanning technique developed by GE Healthcare, researchers can now image the molecules that cancer cells use to make energy and to grow.

This level of precision could be used to detect tumours and to find out if cancer treatments are working effectively at an earlier stage.

Almost all cancers have a lower pH than the surrounding tissue. Normally, the human body has a system of balancing chemicals with a low pH, acids, and chemicals with a high pH, alkalis, to maintain a constant, healthy pH level. In cancer, this balancing system is disturbed, and the tissue becomes more acidic.

Currently, there is no way to safely measure differences in pH in patients, but spotting these areas of acidity could be used to find cancers when they are very small.

Working with mice, the team found a new way to measure pH levels using this very sensitive MRI technique with a tagged form of bicarbonate. Bicarbonate, or baking soda, occurs naturally in the body, where it is involved in the acid-alkali balancing system.

Lead researcher Professor Kevin Brindle, from Cancer Research UK’s Cambridge Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, said: “This technique could be used as a highly-sensitive early warning system for the signs of cancer”.


New Dendritic Cell vaccine


CANCER Research UK scientists have identified an important new protein target which could be used to produce highly focused vaccine therapies for cancer – according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Scientists have pinpointed a protein unique to dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are responsible for triggering the body’s defence system to guard our bodies from pathogens – live organisms that cause disease. Scientists have been searching for such proteins – or “tags” – for over 30 years but have found very few. It is hoped that new vaccines will be able to home in on the “tag” and direct the body’s immune system to specifically attack cancer cells and other pathogens, including HIV or malaria.

Lead author, Dr Caetano Reis e Sousa, said: “Vaccines work by triggering an army of immune cells, called T cells, to attack potentially dangerous foreign molecules, like those found on pathogens. Dendritic cells are the messengers, telling the T cells who to attack.

“We have now found a tag on dendritic cells – called DNGR-1 – which can be targeted by vaccines. Vaccines will carry a sample of the offending molecule and deliver it to DNGR-1 on the dendritic cells. The dendritic cell in turn will present the molecule to the armies of T cells and instruct them to attack.”

Since the discovery of dendritic cells in 1973, scientists have been searching for unique tags that could be used to deliver vaccines to those cells, but have only found ones that also exist on other types of cells. Delivering the message to many types of cells is not effective because it could give out contradictory instructions on which molecules to attack, or dilute the message altogether. This is why finding a unique tag on dendritic cells was such an important quest.

Cancer vaccines targeting DNGR-1 will consist of two parts. The first will contain a copy of a unique cancer molecule. This will be the message of “who” to attack. The second part will be a chemical called an adjuvant. This will tell the dendritic cell that the cancer molecule is not safe and that it should command the T cell armies to attack it.


Cancer Research launches a blog to ‘bust cancer myths’


Cancer research has launched a blog using ’top science bloggers’ to ‘dispel the misinformation and confusion that often hovers around health and science stories‘. (Ed: Of course, that is exactly our role and mission with CANCERactive and icon)

Their ’blog’ is now live after a six month trial run at the charity. It is already full of posts on subjects like whether mobile phones are linked to cancer, and if hypnosis can help people with the disease. Cancer Research UK hopes it will be a valuable interactive resource for the public, the health community and the media.

The charity’s health and science web manager, Henry Scowcroft, and one of the bloggers, said: "There’s a bewildering amount of media noise about cancer, some of it based on sound science, some of it widely misunderstood. By writing this blog and putting cancer stories in context, we hope to help people separate the good from the bad‘.

(Ed: We have 2,000 pages on our web site dispelling the myths and separating the good from the bad. I have a sneaking feeling that Cancer Research’s cancer myths might be very different from ours. For example, they tend to ignore toxins in toiletries and the dangers of drugs. If readers would like to comment on their blog - please feel free to use any of our material - you can go to http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org and tell them the Whole Truth. Why not give it a try?)


Cancer Patient’s toolkit from MacMillan


Cancer patients will receive financial information as well as medical advice from Macmillan health professionals thanks to a new toolkit designed by Macmillan Cancer Support and funded by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) as part of its National Strategy for Financial Capability.

The toolkit will equip frontline health professionals and social care staff such as Macmillan nurses, GPs, and information specialists with the financial information they need to advise cancer patients, their families and carers on financial issues following a cancer diagnosis.

The toolkit includes the latest information on financial matters including saving & borrowing, pension rights, fuel poverty, prescription charges, hospital travel costs and insurance as well as welfare benefits advice.

Commenting on the new toolkit, Ayesha Owusu-Barnaby, Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs at Macmillan Cancer Support says: "We know that most cancer patients suffer a loss of income and increased costs as a direct result of cancer and this can be a significant cause of stress. This toolkit will mean health professionals will be able to help patients deal with financial issues following a cancer diagnosis and hopefully empower people affected by cancer to manage their financial affairs with confidence." 


Macmillan merges with Cancer Backup


The two cancer charities announced their imminent merger in May 2008. The new charity will be called McBackup - no, that’s a joke.

The new charity will be called Macmillan Cancer Backup.

The £75 million Macmillan will undoubtedly take over the £5 million Cancer Backup. Macmillan has a wonderful reputation for care and concern with cancer patients, particularly through its famous Macmillan nurses. Cancer Backup provides information historically confined to orthodox therapies. All that may well now change - Macmillan nurses have long understood complementary therapies and their benefits to patients, and the Trustee numbers of the new charity seem to favour Macmillan. The Times did run an expose of funding for Cancer Backup some 18 months ago asking how objective charities could be in recommending treatments when they had significant funding from Pharmaceutical companies.

Only time will tell how the new charity will approach the issue of complementary and alternative therapies, and new non-drug treatments from other parts of the world.


Special Report 1


Major Harvard Research supports the launch of Chris Woollams’ new book: ‘The Rainbow Diet’.


On the very day my new book went to print, the British Journal of Cancer reported a new Harvard Medical School study with the headline ‘MEDITERRANEAN DIET CUTS CANCER RISK’. Not that my book is simply about the Mediterranean diet. It is an attempt to look at the facts on food and all sorts of diets to help people build a diet that can help prevent, and also correct if they already have the disease. Its full title is ‘The Rainbow Diet - and how it can help you beat cancer’. It is launched on July 14th (Bastille Day!!)

Five years of study and all the research that has crossed my desk has gone into The Rainbow Diet. In the book I look at the research available on various cancer prevention diets, and then I look into their relevance if you already have cancer.


Many people are using diets that just won’t deliver


I explore which foods and natural compounds have what benefits and, in doing so. I explode a number of common beliefs. For example, many people with cancer are using just bits of supposed prevention diets and frankly wasting their time!

However, I also look into claims from top Professors that changing your diet makes not a jot of difference once you have cancer and show that, not only are they at odds with the UK Cancer Plan, but there is good research on disciplined and thorough ‘Diet Therapies’ including ones with clear Clinical Trials on their success. The issue is how do normal cancer patients replicate this discipline and thoroughness?

I explore the Truth behind foods and diets, and how officialdom in the West - including Governments and Doctors - actually misleads us through a mixture of ignorance, vested interest and handed-down mythology. I review the research into everything you ingest from organic food to tap water and from good fats to the need for sunshine.


Does your diet do this?


And then I rebuild it all giving you the discipline and thoroughness - explaining that cancer is a multi-step process and how certain foods act on the different steps in the process. If you want a Diet to help you beat cancer you need to build a complete, disciplined diet that offers a range of benefits across a range of foods. It is exactly what Boik at MD Anderson argues, and successful Doctors like Gonzalez and Pfeifer put into practice. So, for example, do you know which natural compounds
 - can help kill a rogue cell?
 - can help stop a blood supply forming?
 - can help lower aggressive oestrogen levels?
 - can boost your immune system best
 - can actually improve the success of radiotherapy and chemotherapy?
 - can help stop cancers spreading?

This book gives you the answers - and much, much more


Eat-to-beat cancer


We’ve all heard that this vitamin can help beat cancer, and that mineral helps too. But then there is always a piece of research that muddies the water - sometimes with good reason. The Rainbow Diet tells you the truth about this. It also tells you that research has moved on significantly. For the last 8 years or so many natural compounds have been studied and their benefits in fighting cancer have truly surprised the researchers. There are herbs that seem to stop certain cancers better than the drugs on offer, natural compounds that are better than the breast cancer drugs on offer, others that prevent HPV infection turning into cervical cancer, others that stop liver cancers, others that fight brain tumours, and many more.

All these findings are pulled together in a series of ’eat-to-beat’ chapters - for example on oestrogen, insulin, inflammation, yeasts and microbes; or eat-to-boost your immune system, or eat-to-oxygenate your cells, or eat-to-improve your radiotherapy or chemotherapy result. Oh, and lots more!


The French Connection


Importantly, I look at all the various diets that people turn to when they want to ‘beat cancer’. For example, the South East Asian Diet, macrobiotics, or the Vegetarian Diet. And I tell you why many, many people are completely wasting their time, and even increasing their risks.

I also explore the French Paradox: That the French eat more fat and drink more alcohol than anyone else in Europe, yet have less heart attacks and less cancer; a fact that has sat uneasily with Western Government recommendations to cut fat and alcohol if you want to avoid those diseases.

Again I go into the research: That their diets from olive oil, to honey, fish, figs and aubergines, from natural berries, to garlic, red wine, and sunshine, organic local, often self-grown foods - each and all of these produce natural compounds that PROTECT you. These French folk may well be making ‘rogue’ cells and even creating daily illnesses, but their diets include natural compounds that correct and protect, making prevention - and even cure - a reality. And I use research to explain why. (In fact the area around Gascony has the very highest consumption of fats - and the very lowest levels of cancer and heart disease - the geographers amongst you will immediately know that Gascony is not actually on the Mediterranean). Did you also know, for example that low cholesterol is associated with HIGHER rates of cancer?

And I review all the research on the Mediterranean diet - and explain which foods do what. But how they cannot ‘do it all’ and there are other ‘factors’ you need to add to complete the picture and ensure your ‘home-made Diet Therapy’ really does deliver.


Stop confusing ‘nourishment’ with ‘eating’


The increasing problem in the UK is that we fill our supermarket shelves with refined pap, sugar and salt is hidden in all manner of packaged foods, fruit and vegetables may come from the other side of the world picked unripe to improve ‘shelf life‘, many have pesticide levels that exceed the limits set (according to the FSA), we pooh-pooh organic food preferring to acclaim the new dawn of hydroponic salad vegetables - grown all year round in liquids not soil, with hardly a mineral in sight. Our fields are depleted of minerals, now crop rotation has been forgotten, and even the fertilisers (not just the pesticides) reduce the levels of crucial natural compounds in our foods. Meanwhile, our Government (which could put a stop to the rot immediately), simply says getting cancer is your fault because you eat too much, smoke and take no exercise.

The sad fact is people confuse ‘nourishment’ with ‘eating’; and quality with quantity. We have become little more than scavengers - the human equivalent of rats.

The UK Diet - ‘eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and beware of the sun‘.
The French Diet - ‘nourish your body with wonderful foods and go in the sun‘.

I look into the research behind ‘organic foods’ - there can no longer be any debate that they do deliver more nourishment. But. I also tell you how you still might be losing out on nourishment even though you are spending a fortune on eating and juicing organic foods - for example, by understanding the importance of beneficial bacteria, often killed off as soon as you start your orthodox treatment programme.


Natural Compounds - the research is there 


The latest research from Harvard, merely backs up the studies I cover in the book. (And I have covered so many times in icon, as regular readers will know). In this case it was a study, as part of the European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), of 26,000 Greeks.

My book, The Rainbow Diet, concludes that there are a number of natural compounds (for which most of the research has occurred since 2000) like Resveratrol from grape skins, polyphenols in olive oil, allicin in garlic, ellagic acid in berries, quercitin in onions and apples, vitamin K and indole-3-carbinol released by beneficial bacteria from ‘greens’ and broccoli, anthocyanins from deep purple foods like beetroot and figs and so many, many more, that when combined by eating different ones across a few days can make a significant contribution to defeating the process that is called cancer.


Natural Compounds: The more you eat, the bigger the effect


Cancer is not a single step; it is not an event; it is not a cockroach to be trodden on - and I doubt that there will ever be a single drug, vitamin, herb or natural compound that will kill all the parts of the process in a human’s body. There could be up to 20 stages - from rogue cells, to full cancer cells, to forming a tumour, developing a blood supply, or sending out cells to form secondaries.

And what does the new Harvard study say?  Lead author Dr Dimitrios Trichopoulos, professor of cancer prevention and epidemiology at Harvard University, said: “Our results show just how important diet is in cancer risk. Of the 26,000 people we studied, those who closely followed a traditional Mediterranean diet were overall less likely to develop cancer.

Although eating more of one food group alone didn’t significantly change a person’s risk of cancer, adjusting one’s overall dietary habits towards the traditional Mediterranean pattern had an important effect. Consuming more good fats – like those found in olive oil – than bad fats – like those found in chips, biscuits and cakes – had the greatest effect, reducing cancer risk by nine per cent. It also showed that making any two changes to your diet, such as eating more peas, beans and lentils and less meat could cut cancer risk by 12 per cent. And the more changes made, the bigger the effect”.

I rest my case.


No difference - Prevention or Correction - Foods deliver


One of the biggest myths I explore is the view that ‘Diet might work in prevention, to reduce the risk - but it can’t work in correction and cure’. I study how we are actually developing illnesses all the time, every day of our lives - and that is exactly how good nourishment works - to correct the ‘faults’ as they start to appear - so you never really notice them. A ‘Good Diet’ is like having your personal mechanic on site 24/7 to ensure you never breakdown. A crazy theory?

Only recently another Harvard Professor was talking about how we develop illnesses all the time - almost without knowing it - but providing we have the right nutrients in our bodies we corrected the problem.

And that, in a nutshell, is the basis of The Rainbow Diet: A package of differently pigmented and colourful foods that can each do a different job at correcting your illnesses. Interestingly, the research studies I found suggested a dose-dependent relationship - the more you ate, the more effect.


Pharmaceutical Companies know I’m right


And before the Quack Brigade rush to attack me - let me add that I even list the natural compounds that beat drugs in side by side tests, and talk about the current plans of big Pharmaceutical companies to concentrate and patent them. From vitamin D to indole-3-carbinol, from feverfew to Resveratrol.


The research is there - your Doctor doesn’t know it yet


In the USA, so worried are the Medical Directors that Doctors know little or nothing about food, natural compounds, good diet and so on, that each is to receive a 900 page booklet on the subject. And in future it will be included in the Medical Course. What of Britain?

In the Press release on the new research, Cancer Research UK’s director of health information (CRUK own BJC but appear to have had nothing to do with the study) said: “This is an important study that helps us to understand more about the simple changes a person can make to their diet to reduce their risk of cancer and improve overall health. Although we know that unhealthy diets generally and being overweight are important risk factors for a number of cancers – the link between individual foods or food types and cancer has been less clear.

It’s just not true - all you have to do is read the hundreds of studies produced in the last few years. And that’s exactly what I did for The Rainbow Diet - and how it can help you beat cancer.

The research is there, natural compounds when combined in a disciplined and thorough approach can increase your odds of beating cancer - I am absolutely convinced.

 


LATEST LIFESTYLE AND NUTRITION FINDINGS


Common herb kills leukaemia cells better than drug


For centuries Feverfew - which has small daisy-like flowers - has been used as a tea for treating ailments like arthritis and migraine. Now researchers from Rochester University in New York have shown that in higher concentrations parthenolide, the active ingredient, kills leukaemia stem cells whilst leaving healthy cells intact. When the researchers compared it to the chemotherapy drug cytarabine they found in turn that the drug showed only ‘modest toxicity’ to the leukaemia stem cells, but relatively high toxicity to the healthy cells.

The US Government has put parthenolide onto its ’Rapid Access programme’, which is a fast track designed to take experimental drugs quickly into clinical trials.
 
Meanwhile the scientists are saying that leukaemia patients should not take feverfew (or any other herbal supplement ) without consulting a doctor first. Lead scientist Dr Craig Jordan says that, anyway, a patient would not be able to take enough of it to produce an effect.

(Ed: fascinating. Here clearly is a herb that works: Naturally toxic to a rogue cell but, as we have lived with it for thousands of years, it doesn’t harm healthy cells. Next the researchers ‘pan’ the current drug. Is it to be withdrawn? Then they  suggest that leukaemia patients could only get enough of the herb active ingredient in a new drug as yet unmade drug - haven’t they heard of tinctures? And finally you shouldn’t take a herb without consulting your Doctor. Considering he knows less than nothing about nutrition (according to the US Government - they are in the process of giving out 900 page nutrition books to doctors for this very reason) and therefore supplements, how is he going to advise you on a herb? For your information - herbs are not medicines in the USA. And, unlike Europe, no health claims can be made for them.)


Scientists discover a second fatness gene


Apparently more than a third of the population carries a rogue gene which can make it hard to lose weight. It works in conjunction with a second gene discovered last year. The latest study involved analysing 90,000 individuals across six countries. One in 17 Brits may carry the double flaw - but before you use it as a total excuse for your excesses - research shows that the excess weight as a result averages just three and a half pounds.


Karolinska gives its approval for golf


Mark Twain may have thought it ’a good walk spoiled’, but researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have now shown that golf can improve longevity, by 5 years on average.

The study was based on a review of 300,000 of the country‘s golfers. Researchers found that golfers had a 40 per cent increased life expectancy when compared to no golfers of the same sex and age. ‘It is a low intensity, 7 km walk in the fresh air‘, said a spokesperson. They could have added that by swinging your arms you move your lymph significantly, helping to clear toxins away from your tissues.

Interestingly, players with the lowest handicaps (I.e. Better players) have the lowest rates of mortality. 


MRSA and Clostridium difficile at new danger levels


According to data recently released by the NHS, 8,000 people have been recorded as dying from ‘Superbugs’ actually caught whilst spending time in a UK hospital. This figure far exceeds the death rate from road accidents. Worse, it is very likely that not all cases are recorded. Clostridium difficile alone has 55,000 cases recorded a year.

Cleanliness and hygiene are key issues, as is the tendency for these ‘Superbugs‘ to now evade chemical toxins previously thought to kill them.

Interestingly, hospitals are turning to ’Alternative’ medicine to solve the problem. Certain Hospitals are experimenting with Bee Propolis and Manuka Honey, or beneficial bacteria (in the form of acidophilus probiotics) and garlic, all known to be able to attack and break down such bacteria.


Whole foods shown to protect against Pancreatic Cancer


 According to UCLA, San Francisco (American Journal of Epidemiology)  eating a diet high in whole grains can significantly reduce the risk of Pancreatic Cancer. Lead researcher June Chan said that their research had shown benefits in heart disease, diabetes and now pancreatic cancer. Researchers analysed the diet habits of 2233 people, 532 of whom had developed pancreatic cancer. Fibre intake, whole grains and not smoking were significant preventative factors.

The pancreas is the source of insulin, produced in response to excess blood sugar levels. Both sugar (from any source, including refined grains) and Insulin have been linked to higher cancer rates, as has diabetes. Cancer cells have more insulin receptor sites than normal healthy cells, as cancer cells demand more of their favourite food, glucose.

Pancreatic cancer is a difficult cancer to beat and also pancreatic enzymes are thought to be important in cancer cell regulation.


Another study supports calorie restriction for a longer life


In recent issues we have told you about Harvard Medical School and their work on sirtuins - hormones that are produced in response to calorie restricted diets, and have an effect of increasing life expectancy.

We have also told you how resveratrol - a natural compound particularly high in organic red grape skins - can stimulate these sirtuins.

Now a new study (Journal of Proteome Research) comes from Imperial College, London. Working with Nestlé, scientist took identical Labrador dogs and gave one group 20 per cent less food than the other group. The calorie restricted dogs lived 1.8 years longer on average, and had less diseases like diabetes, heart problems and arthritis.


Chemical World


Mobile phones - dangers again


Firstly, Bruce Armstrong, the head Interphone researcher in Australia, believes that there may indeed be a brain tumour risk among those who have used a mobile phone for ten years or more. More information may be obtained at http://www.microwavenews.com

Then you can see a news article with regards to another cancer cluster that demonstrates an 8.23% increase in cancer around a 10 year old phone mast, the study is by Professor Dr Sdlina Suleiman. (http://www.radiationresearch.org)

Finally, ‘Mobile phones pose a high risk for children’s health‘ Who says this? None other than Professor Yury Grigoriev, Chairman of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, RNCNIRP. He and his committee have warned of ‘very serious dangers‘.


Mercury declared toxic by the FDA


In France a lorry containing mercury needs a police escort, but still dentists put mercury amalgam into cavities. A year ago we covered a petition you could sign in the UK, which was to be presented in Downing Street. No such gentlemanly conduct occurs in the USA.

Two consumer groups - ‘Moms against Mercury‘, and ‘Consumers for Dental Choice’ - sued the head of the FDA, commissioner von Eschenbach.

The lawsuit ended recently when the FDA agreed to change their web site (mercury is no longer harmless), and reclassify mercury within a year. But why couldn’t they do it immediately? Clearly they hope to stall the changes. But why? All that will happen is more dentists will risk their health putting the fillings in, more children and adults will risk mercury poisoning from their teeth fillings.

It is also important to note that while the FDA has agreed that mercury is not ‘harmless’, they have not actually agreed that mercury fillings should be banned - another lawsuit against the American Dental association will follow. Frankly, this is no way to responsibly safeguard the health of the population.

Apparently, the next target for a lawsuit will be mercury-based vaccines - watch this space! Mercury from fillings is the largest source of mercury in the air where there are no ‘mercury-based’ factories, and the largest source of mercury in water everywhere in the USA. Mercury has links to cancer - beneficial bacteria, selenium and chlorella have been used successfully to detoxify the system of this heavy metal.

Meanwhile you could always ask your UK or Euro MP, or even your dentist what his view of the new FDA agreement is!


Effects of pesticides may last many generations


Male offspring of rats where the mothers had been injected with a common fungicide often found on fruits and even in wine, have been noted to develop reproductive problems such as sperm deficiencies, kidney disease and even tumours later in life.

The pesticide in question is vinclozolin, a known oestrogen mimic and endocrine disrupter. Now two researchers David Crews and Andrea Gore from the University of Texas have looked at descendents some four generations down the line. Their findings include the conclusion that certain chemicals such as this pesticide, may not actually damage DNA structurally, but more disrupt the messaging from the genetic code. And that this is potentially longer lasting, as genetic changes can be bred out in future generations, but that a toxin which silences messaging processes may not.


Warning to pregnant women, who use mobile phones


Women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioural problems, according to authoritative research.

The study, which surveyed more than 13,000 children, found that using the handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age. And it adds that the likelihood is even greater if the children themselves used the phones before the age of seven.

The results of the study, the first of its kind, have taken the top scientists who conducted it by surprise. But they follow warnings against both pregnant women and children using mobiles by the official Russian radiation watchdog body, which believes that the peril they pose "is not much lower than the risk to children’s health from tobacco or alcohol".

The research – at the universities of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Aarhus, Denmark – is to be published in the July 2008 issue of the journal Epidemiology and will carry particular weight because one of its authors has been sceptical that mobile phones pose a risk to health.

The researchers found that mothers who did use the handsets were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioural problems and that the likelihood increased with the amount of potential exposure to the radiation. And when the children also later used the phones they were, overall, 80 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties with behaviour. They were 25 per cent more at risk from emotional
problems, 34 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers, 35 per cent more likely to be hyperactive, and 49 per cent more prone to problems with
conduct.

Professor Sam Milham, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and the University of Washington School of Public Health – one of the pioneers of research in the field – said last week that he had no doubt that the results were real. He pointed out that recent Canadian research on pregnant rats exposed to similar radiation had found structural changes in their offspring’s brains.

The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection says that use of the phones by both pregnant women and children should be "limited". It concludes that children who talk on the handsets are likely to suffer from "disruption of memory, decline of attention, diminishing learning and cognitive abilities, increased irritability" in the short term, and that longer-term hazards include "depressive syndrome" and "degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain". (The Independent)


Special Report 2 GM Foods


GM Foods - the whole truth?


A lot has been written about GM Foods. Now a full review article from the Institute for Responsible Technology can be viewed by going to http://www.seedsofdeception.com/DocumentFiles/145.pdf. It makes disturbing reading.

This review states that in the late 90‘s, and quite unusually, the FDA labelled the seeds ‘Generally Recognised as Safe‘ (GRAS). Normally to obtain a GRAS rating, detailed peer-approved studies have to be completed - in the case of GM foods none was. In fact, the FDA ruled that the seeds are GRAS as long as the manufacturers say they are, and has even removed references to scientific tests from reports! The US National Academy of Sciences has stated that this system is seriously flawed, as have similar institutions in Europe and Canada.

The fast track self-regulatory approval was heralded by none less than Dan Quayle, vice-President of the USA. Furthermore, prior to this, seeds were not allowed patents, being life forms. With the allowance to self-regulate went the unilateral US decision to allow the food companies to patent the seeds. Unsurprisingly, GM seeds are expected to be a major worldwide revenue earner for the US economy.

Whatever the original claims, about 99 per cent of the seed now used is herbicide resistant (80 per cent) or pesticide-producing (20 per cent). In both cases the farmers sign a deal that each year they will purchase new seed, and using the herbicide resistant seed also involves an agreement to use the manufacturer’s herbicide. Farmers using seed have to sign a contract agreeing to purchase new seed every year. Should they keep seed back, they will no longer be supplied. This is potentially big business.

The Responsible Technology review covers the way such seeds are produced and the errors, and toxins that can occur. Even the FDA prepared a report on the fear that Antibiotic Resistant Marker genes (ARM) could transfer into the beneficial bacteria of the intestine. One FDA report actually wrote in capital letters that ARM would be a SERIOUS HEALTH HAZARD as they could create a new breed of bacteria immune to antibiotics.

Already statistics are showing that, despite original claims to the contrary, herbicide usage is increasing, as are herbicide resistant weeds.

A number of studies using potatoes, corn, soy and canola have shown liver damage in the GM food fed animals, while others have shown GM fed animals had impaired gene expression, greater mortality and more organ damage overall. Smaller babies are also observed. In other cases (for example with GM Soy) higher incidence of allergies is noted.

Perhaps most alarming is an observation by Judy Carman an Epidemiologist and GM expert  when reviewing Food Safety Australia New Zealand conclusions about the safety of GM foods, that they overlooked potential problems including birth defects, cancer and long-term nutritional deficiencies. ‘A review of 12 feeding trials includes none with people, and one where the seed was not even tested with animals‘. Tests usually only monitored effects after 7 to 14 days and then only looked for any effects from the planned genetic change and not for any side effects or unplanned effects. Some experiments only tested the foods with five or six animals.

Often the ‘studies’ at the manufacturers are kept confidential because of ‘Business Interests‘. This has already been condemned by the Royal Society of Canada. Dr Dean Metcalf in one Government panel review said that were he reviewing the GM food for a journal it would be rejected, such was the lack of research provided.

Of course, there have been independent studies. One showed that GM soy had 12-14 per cent less cancer fighting phytoestrogens. However these are often countered by other studies from the seed firms and the research waters are most usually muddied.

Back in 1996, Dr Arpad Pusztai was commissioned by the UK Government to lead a 20 member consortium to develop a set of our own rigorous standards to test these GM foods. His defined protocols have never been adopted.

Two research studies did cause GM Foods to be rejected: (V E Prescott, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry 2005; and Ewan, Pusztai 1999 Lancet). In one, rats fed GM potatoes had pre-cancerous cell growth in the intestines, underdeveloped brains and organs and weakened immune systems. In the other, GM peas promoted an allergic reaction in mice, suggesting a possibility of anaphylactic shock in humans. In both cases the approval research team used advanced research techniques, none of which has ever been used with GM foods already on the market! So who knows what might turn up if similarly advanced techniques were used with the other GM foods?

One estimate is that 75 per cent of US supermarket food is now GM.

The report is fully referenced (127 detailed references) and any independently minded person with concern for their family’s health would send a copy to their MP (and EMP) immediately with a demand for a detailed explanation as to why there are no proper controls in place before GM seeds are grown, and why GM foods are sold in your country without adequate testing. In the UK there must be an added question over why the Pusztai protocols have never been adopted. What benefit can the British population possibly derive from allowing improperly tested foods onto our market and quite possibly into the genetic fibre of our children? It is extremely worrying.

 

 

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