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Chris Woolmams / Catherine Woollams
July 2009

CANCER WATCH JULY 2009

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STAR STORIES

YOUR CANCER

NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLE

CHEMICAL WORLD

STAR STORIES

Insulin resistence/intolerance found to increase cancer risk

A while ago, at CANCERactive we told you all about Insulin Resistance. ‘Do you have trouble losing weight?’ This is a common sign, as are low levels of HDL, high triglycerides, high blood glucose levels and more. And while you are not a true diabetic, the principles seem the same for an estimate of up to 70 per cent of the population, who (frankly) just eat badly. We have also given you a number of research studies showing glucose drives cancer.

Not surprisingly, insulin resistance is a step along the road to diabetes and heart disease. Now it has been shown to be a step along the road to cancer too.

New research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, concluded that ‘there is a strong link between insulin resistance and the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer.’ Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York have concluded that the elevated insulin levels linked to insulin resistance result in post-menopausal women having a higher risk of breast cancer.

The researchers also found that elevated blood glucose and triglyceride levels raised the risk of breast cancer by 1.7 times. Increased diastolic blood pressure (the second number when you have your blood pressure measured ) raised the risk of breast cancer 2.4 times.

Two factors are important here:

  1. Although this research was conducted looking at breast cancer, you can bet this is true for many cancers, male and female.
  2. Yet again it highlights the point we consistently make about the daft sugar-laden diets given to cancer patients in UK Hospitals.

We have complained that the NHS booklet on ‘a diet for chemotherapy’ shows little drawings of cheese burgers, milk shakes and sticky doughnuts on every page. My daughter was given ice cream and Ribena endlessly in her oncology unit.

Of course the good news for everyone – preventers and people with cancer - is that insulin resistance and blood sugar levels are controllable and reverse-able. Just change your diet!!!

I will list here for everyone’s benefit some of the tips from my book ‘The Rainbow Diet – and how it can help you beat cancer’: 

Eat six small meals a day, not one or two big ones

  • Eat whole foods and whole grains (never refined, processed or fast foods)
  • Avoid alcohol, fizzy soft drinks, sweets, cakes, white bread, white pasta, biscuits, chocolate. Diet drinks are especially bad! As are smoothies and purchased fruit juices; even many so-called health drinks..
  • Eat raw most days, on an empty stomach if possible
  • Eat your fruit first thing in the morning on an empty stomach
  • Eat steamed or grilled – never fried
  • Avoid Dairy (lactose is a sugar)
  • Take probiotics in several strains
  • Ensure you have no yeast excesses in your body (take cinnamon, oregano, Pau D’Arco and wormwood). And eat fresh raw garlic.

Remember, research from North Western shows that if you lose excess weight you reduce risk and even improve survival times.

The book contains far more detailed advice.

Caroteinoids help beat breast cancer

Two new studies, one from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York and the other from Harvard show that eating those colourful red, yellow and orange vegetables not only reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, they can help prevent it returning.

In both cases the groups studied almost halved their risk. (International Journal of Cancer, 2009 Jun 15; 124(12):2929-37. Cancer Epidemiology; Biomarkers and Prevention. 2009 Feb; 18(2):486-94).

Carotenoids are widespread in nature and a fundamental part of The Rainbow Diet. You should eat more red and yellow peppers, watermelon, apricots, sweet potatoes, spinach and cabbage. There is much more on our CANCERactive web site – look up both ‘vitamin A’ and ‘beta-carotene’.

Pesticide link to multiple myeloma shown

We have reported before that farmers using pesticides have a higher risk of developing cancers like multiple myeloma. Even children in homes using garden or indoor pesticides have higher rates of connective tissue or brain cancers. Hitherto it was largely an issue of statistics.

Now the top American cancer body, the National Cancer Institute, has published a report seeking to explain the connection. The study (published in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Haematology), showed that pesticides double the risk of developing an abnormal blood condition MGUS (Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance).

And it is known that MGUS is a precursor to cancers like multiple myeloma.

The 5 year research study monitored farmers of various ages all using pesticides, but not the same ones. Controls were applied such as lifestyle, the use of protective clothing and family history of cancer. The study lasted 5 years.

After taking blood samples the following was noted:

  • There were no cases of MGUS in those below 50
  • Above 50, 6.8 per cent were found to have MGUS
  • Compared with a control group of non-pesticide users, this represented a doubling of incidence

"Previously, inconclusive evidence has linked agricultural work to an increased multiple myeloma risk. Our study is the first to show an association between pesticide exposure and an excess prevalence of MGUS," said lead author and NCI scientist Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, in a statement to the media. "This finding is particularly important given that we recently found in a large prospective cancer screening study that virtually all multiple myeloma patients experienced a MGUS state prior to developing myeloma."

The NCI also looked at which pesticides appeared to increase MGUS the most: Of those used the worst were the insecticide dieldrin, the fumigant mixture of carbon tetrachloride and carbon disulfide, and the fungicide chlorothalonil. These pesticides increased the MGUS risk 5.6, 3.9, and 2.4 times, respectively.
The concerns are there, not just for the sprayers, but those eating the pesticides as well. For more information try www.hematology.org/media/06122009.cfm

Being overweight increases cancer risk – fact

Cancer Research UK have just researched 4,000 people and come up with the staggering fact that 97 per cent of people have no idea that being overweight is a significant cancer risk. Of course, had they read our report on the research we conducted 4 years ago they would have known that people haven’t much a clue what does cause cancer anyway. Indeed we went into all the key issues in our 2004 Cancer Prevention Conference, which was poorly attended by the ‘major’ charities.

As we have been telling people for seven years, it all depends which report you read, and how much overweight you are, but to be just 7 kgs overweight knocks over 5 years off your life expectancy, and a whopping 13 years if you smoke as well. .All this is well documented in my book, ‘Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’ – indeed it has been there since the first edition some 7 years ago.

All this comes in parallel with new Swedish research showing overweight women tend to be diagnosed with higher grade cancers than ladies who have restrained their weight.

One of the real issues is that many overweight people are in denial. We have had ladies write to us with breast cancer and they are 13 kgs over normal weight for their height. One described herself as ‘cuddly’, another as ‘being a bit chunky’.

In our original 2004 prevention research, people stated that giving up smoking was important, as was avoiding excess alcohol, and staying out of the sun. As we pointed out at the time, ‘Burning is bad, sunshine is sensible’. 4 years ago there was too much bad science coming from cancer charities suggesting sunshine was carcinogenic. In fact there is actually a great deal of research that suggests that a daily dose of sun shine promotes vitamin D synthesis in the body, and reduces cancer risk. A few people also knew that exercise was a risk reducer. But, in all, few people knew any information about preventing cancer (unlike Heart disease or AIDS) and blame for this lack of information can only be laid at the doors of the Government and the cancer charities. It was in response to this research finding that CANCERactive decided to adopt the Precautionary Principle (that where there is expert research expressing concern, we will pass on that research information so that the people of Britain can make more informed choices). As a result just compare the volume of Prevention Topics we cover against those listed on the major charities web sites. Pesticides? EMF’s? Melatonin? Toxic Chemicals, from dioxins to oestrogen mimics in plastic bottles and preservatives?

Anyone who is unsure of the factors that may increase cancer risk should go to the prevention part of our web site where they will find more information on more possible causes than on any other UK charity web site. As you will see, we have given some weight to the issue of cancer prevention!

YOUR CANCER

Drop in deaths from most common cancers

The death toll from three of the UK’s most common cancers has dropped to its lowest level for almost 40 years, according to new figures released by CRUK..

Mortality rates for breast, bowel, and male lung cancer are at their lowest since 1971 even though more than 100,000 people are now diagnosed with these kinds of cancers every year.

Breast cancer deaths peaked in 1989 with 15,625 women dying from the disease. The latest figures for 2007 show that figure has dropped to 11,990 which is equivalent to a drop in mortality rates of 36 per cent.

Bowel cancer deaths peaked in 1992 with 19,598 men and women dying from the disease. In 2007 16,007 died - equivalent to a drop in mortality rates of 31 per cent.

And the number of men dying from lung cancer peaked in 1979 at 30,391 but dropped to 19,637 in 2007 – a drop in mortality rates of 53 per cent.

According to the PR release, although more people are getting cancer because the population is living longer, Cancer Research UK believes that fewer are dying from the disease because new and better treatments and screening are making a real difference. And deaths from lung cancer have been falling as more people give up smoking. (Ed: So why are they getting lung cancer in the first place?)

CANCERactive adds that increased patient ‘self-help’ and knowledge (for example the use of the Internet by over half of cancer patients currently) must also be a significant factor in these figures. How many less women have died because they gave up HRT?

There is also a much greater awareness and usage of complementary therapies and new alternatives to standard chemotherapy nowadays. There is also increased availability and usage of specialist complementary centres. And what of the nurses? They now perform a strong informative and supporting role to back up their improved standards of care. In Cancer Watch we have covered several studies showing that improved standards of palliative care resulted in greater survival time than taking certain drugs!

Frankly, at CANCERactive we tire of the complacent and positively inaccurate view that these improvements are all down to ‘better drugs and more screening’. These PR releases simply ignore both the reality of the situation and the expertise and considerable input of nurses and complementary healthcare experts. Not to mention the patients’ own efforts and self-empowerment to beat their disease.

Men more likely to get cancer – the issue is why?

Men are almost 40 per cent more likely than women to die from cancer, reveals a report published by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN).

And they are 16 per cent more likely to develop the disease in the first place.

After excluding breast cancer and cancers specific to one or other sex from the analysis, the difference is even greater – with men being almost 70 per cent more likely to die from cancer and over 60 per cent more likely to develop the disease.

The researchers then looked at the figures, excluding lung cancer as well, because the disease and its main risk factor, smoking, is known to be more common in men.They expected to see that, across the broad range of remaining cancer types, men and women were just as likely as each other to die from and get the disease. But they found that for all of these cancers combined, men were still 70 per cent more likely than women to die from cancer and 60 per cent more likely to get cancer.

Experts suggest that a possible explanation for the differences seen for some types of cancer could be down to stereotypical male behaviour – like down-playing important early symptoms and having an unhealthy lifestyle.

Need to prevent thousands of older people dying from cancer, prematurely

As many as 15,000 people over 75 could be dying prematurely from cancer each year in the UK, according to research presented today at the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) conference.

These premature deaths could be prevented if cancer mortality rates in the UK dropped to match countries in Europe and America which have the lowest rates.

The researchers from the North West Cancer Intelligence Service (NWCIS) in Manchester compared cancer death rates in the UK with Europe and America.

They found that over the past decade the numbers of people dying from cancer in the under 75s has significantly dropped in the UK. But, little progress has been made in the over 75s and the gap in death rates with other countries is getting wider.

Dr Tony Moran, lead researcher from NWCIS, said “It’s worrying that so many older people die from cancer in the UK compared with other countries. But, it’s not clear why this is. Research is urgently needed to understand the reasons for the extra deaths so that steps can be taken to prevent them.

Even rogue cancer DNA repairs itself

CRUK scientists (Nature) have discovered a sensor which exists even in cancer cells. Some drugs try to damage cancer DNA. This sensor system is actually a family of proteins (alkyltransferase-like proteins or ATL’s) warns the cell and activates the DNA repair systems and so the drugs lose their effect.

New scientific study reveals flaws, even fraud, in Clinical Trials

Scientific study. Clinical Trial, Gold Standard. Non Sequetor. Well, at least according to Dr Daniele Fanelli at the University of Edinburgh. In a recent study Fanelli lists findings such as

  • Most clinical results are misleading
  • 5 per cent of scientists have admitted falsifying results
  • One third of scientists admitted observing such bad practice in others

Fanelli’s report states that the misconduct is more prevalent in
clinical, medical, and pharmaceutical research. So much for the ‘gold standard’; but then he goes on to refer to the high profits at stake where a few word changes can make all the difference, even if it’s not fraud but ‘presentation’.

He also comments on studies that criticise vitamins suggesting that all too often, doses used are too low to have an effect, or the where vitamin tested is known not to have an effect on a particular disease whereas another, untested one, is.

All this coincides with a USA FDA report that reports deficiencies and flaws in up to 20 per cent of US drug clinical trials.

Breast cancer – is the drug causing a problem?

A report presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology held recently in Orlando, Florida, by the Research on Adverse Drug Events and Reports (RADAR) ‘pharmacovigilance’ programme at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found there were 287 unique cases of hypersensitivity reactions submitted to the FDA´s Adverse Event Report System between 1997 and 2007 in patients who received Cremophor-based paclitaxel, a solvent-administered taxane chemotherapy. Of these, 38 percent or 109 individuals, died. Researchers warned that actual numbers could be even higher due to the specific recording system.

The women died from a severe allergic reaction. Sadly, the researchers found some of the dead women had already been treated for early stage breast cancer and had every expectation of cure. "The deaths of women with early-stage breast cancer are particularly disturbing because without the adverse reaction, they could have likely had 40 years of life ahead of them," study leader Charles Bennett, M.D., RADAR program coordinator and a professor of haematology/oncology at Northwestern´s Feinberg School, stated in a media release. (http://www.oncolink.com/treatment/a).

Breast cancer survival – check your lymph nodes

Checking lymph nodes during surgery and assessing the hormone status of tumours could help improve breast cancer survival in the UK, according to research published in Annals of Oncology. In a study of over 9,000 breast cancer patients at 10 hospitals in the East of England, researchers found that hospitals with a better average survival were those where surgeons checked lymph nodes during surgery in more than 90 per cent of patients.

Professor Stephen Duffy, Cancer Research UK professor of screening and study author, said: “We found that the proportion of women under 70 who had lymph node checks as recommended by NICE ranged from 81 per cent to 94 per cent with the hospitals with higher percentages having better survival.”

The study also found that, for women over 70, having surgery to remove their tumour and checking the hormone type were the two main factors which explained survival differences between hospitals. The hospitals showing better survival in the over 70s were those which assessed the hormone receptor status in more of their patients.(Ed: Do some hospitals really not check hormone status of breast cancer patients in this day and age?)


Brain tumours and ovarian cancer first - Anti-cancer, super highway drug on the way

Scientists have developed a drug that reduces the growth of glioblastoma - the most common form of brain tumour - in mice by 98 per cent and decreased the growth of ovarian tumours in mice by 80 per cent. In further separate investigations, scientists also found the drug worked against a number of cell lines derived from other human cancers (Molecular Cancer Therapeutics).
 
A team from Cancer Research UK´s Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at The Institute of Cancer Research ICR), with the biotechnology company Piramed - now owned by Roche used markers to show how the drug works by targeting the PI3 kinase pathway, which is known to be linked to the growth and spread of many cancers. The drug (GDC-0941) works by blocking this pathway which is often ´hijacked´ in human cancers - enabling them to grow and spread. It corrects faulty genetic signals that cause unrestricted cancer progression, as well as preventing the function of cells in the body that support the tumour by increasing its essential blood supply - a process called angiogenesis.

Lead author of the article describing the pre-clinical lab studies, Professor Paul Workman, director of the Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at the ICR said: "We know the PI3 kinase super-highway is hijacked in many cancers. We show here that the drug works in the way it was designed to, inhibiting the PI3 kinase pathway and blocking tumour growth."

Our hope is that that we have created a potent anti-cancer weapon that directly targets the processes which feed the cancer cells while sparing most of the healthy cells. But it´s early days and we still have a lot to learn about the potential of this drug. The next step is to see if the drug targets human cancers as effectively."

Ovarian cancer: 15 per cent of women at higher risk

Scientists have located a region of DNA which – when altered – can increase the risk of ovarian cancer according to research published in Nature. 2 August 2009. (Honglin Song et al.)

An international research group led by scientists based at the Cancer Research UK Genetic Epidemiology Unit, at the University of Cambridge and University College London searched through the genomes of 1,810 women with ovarian cancer and 2,535 women without the disease from across the UK.

The scientists identified the genetic ‘letters’- called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - which when spelt slightly differently increase ovarian cancer risk in some women. This is the first time scientists have found a SNP linked uniquely to risk of ovarian cancer and is the result of eight years of investigations

The region of risk DNA is located on chromosome nine – there are 23 pairs of each chromosome in humans, one of each pair inherited from each parent. The scientists estimate that there is a 40 per cent increase in lifetime risk for women carrying the DNA variation on both copies of chromosome nine compared with someone who doesn’t carry it on either chromosome.

Approximately 15 per cent of women in the UK population carry two copies of the variant DNA. Approximately 40 per cent of women in the UK carry one copy.

Detecting ovarian cancer - Ultrasound outperforms symptom analysis

‘The silent killer’ may have a new enemy. Ultrasound. Doctors at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center-Markey Cancer Center compared symptom analysis to ultrasound in predicting ovarian cancer amongst 31,748 women. Ultrasound outperformed symptom analysis for cancer, but the results were reversed if the problem was benign. The researchers added that informative symptoms were absent in 80 percent of ovarian malignancies, hence the ‘Silent killer’ term given.

Increases in Thyroid cancer cannot be attributed solely to better screening

Thyroid cancer has seen a steady increase since the late 70’s. Cancer bodies claim this is due to better screening techniques.

Researchers at the American Cancer Society analysed thyroid cancer incidence between 1988 and 2005 using the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) dataset. They found incidence rates increased for all sizes of tumours, suggesting that screening is not the only explanation for the rise. They suggested that other explanations, including environmental influences and molecular pathways, should be investigated. (CANCER; Published Online: July 13, 2009 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24416).

Cervical Cancer - US report links HPV vaccine linked to more adverse events

A US federal report has concluded that the HPV vaccine Gardasil has a 400 percent higher rate of adverse effects than another comparable vaccine, the Menactra anti-meningitis shot.

The two vaccines are given to similar target groups, yet the study concluded that Gardasil was associated with twice as many emergency room visits, four times as many deaths, four times as many heart attacks, seven times as many "disabled" reports and 15 times as many strokes. All reported cases of blood clots and heart attacks associated with Gardasil occurred when the vaccine was given alone, not in conjunction with other drugs.

"It is unusual for there to be such a big discrepancy between two vaccines used in similar populations involving serious and relatively rare life threatening adverse events and autoimmune disorders," the researchers from the federal Vaccine Events Reporting System wrote. (Natural News)

Bowel screening ‘not acceptable’ to everyone

At least one person in ten, particularly those from South Asian backgrounds, has a negative attitude to bowel cancer screening, says research published in the British Journal of Cancer..

Researchers from the University of Birmingham told study participants about three bowel screening tests: faecal occult blood testing (FOBT), colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy. Participants were then asked: ‘Screening using the above procedures can be used to look for evidence of early bowel cancer and conditions that may progress to bowel cancer in people who have symptoms. Do you think this is a good idea?’ Some 14 per cent of respondents replied either ‘No’ or ‘Not sure’. Twenty three per cent found the follow up colonoscopy test, either very unacceptable or unacceptable and 22 per cent held these views for flexible sigmoidoscopy,  another test to diagnose bowel cancer.

Men, older people and those with a South Asian ethnic background were most likely to have a negative attitude to being screened,

NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLE

Organic foods are better – ignore the UK Food Standards Agency

All over the UK papers comes news of the ‘ruling’ from the FSA that ‘organic food is no more nutritious than other foods’. According to that well known medical journal, the Daily Mail, ‘watchdogs’ have declared this to be true.

Claiming to be the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’ trawled through more than 50,000 studies on the value of foods since 1958.’ The results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dr Alan Dangour (a public health nutritionist, no less) who was the lead researcher stated that, ‘Currently there is no research to support the selection of organically produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority’.

Spokesperson Gill Fine from the FSA burbled on about, ‘Ensuring people had accurate information’ and ‘no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic foods’.

What staggers us at CANCERactive is that in order to resolve this very same question the EU has just spent £12 million of tax payers’ money conducting as near as can be, the definitive Clinical Trial, growing fields of organic food in parallel with normal pesticide and fertiliser-grown crops and then employing top scientists to give us the results. The FSA, which is after all a Government funded unit, ought to know this and use the data. And be clear, Gill: The ‘accurate information’ is that there is a considerable difference. And this is just from early assessments. The project will continue for a few more years yet, as that is how long it takes to be sure. Professor Carlo Leifert, one of the CANCERactive patrons, is a lead member of the team.We covered the early conclusions in this very magazine.

The Daily Mail falls into the usual ‘bad science’ trap too, meandering on about 50 years of research and 50,000 studies. But, the researchers didn’t use 50,000 studies, they used, sorry selected, 55 that ‘met their criteria’, whatever they were. So one concludes therefore they left out a mere 49,945 studies from their conclusions. Perhaps one was the definitive EU study?

Then there is Dr Alan ‘no evidence to support nutritional superiority’ Dangour. I quote about 10 - 15 such studies in my book ‘The Rainbow Diet – and how it can help you beat cancer’. Leifert and his team have a hundred more! What planet do these people live on? Al, old chap, there is rather a lot of scientific evidence actually; I cannot believe you think there is none..

But for the last word we will return to Gill ‘no additional health benefit’ Fine. All I can conclude is that she finds pesticides tasty and of absolutely harmless. Of course that view would put her directly at odds with the EU, which recently concluded that there were ‘deep concerns’ and cited health hazards including cancer as a need for more regulation. It is puzzling that Gill ‘ensuring people have accurate information’ Fine does not seem to be telling you all about  research studies showing that farmers using pesticides develop more multiple myeloma, and another that this is due to the pesticide making pre-cancerous MGUS proteins in the blood*, or (for example) that some third world suppliers to British retailers still use the banned pesticides of DDT and Lindane, each linked to higher rates of Breast Cancer. (If she is unsure, she could always trawl through back issues of Cancer Watch for more ‘accurate information’.)

For the record, there is concern that organic foods grown on depleted soils offer little in additional mineral content over mass-farmed foods. How could they? On basic vitamins there is quite a lot of evidence that organic food is superior, but sometimes not by much. The real advantage seems to come in the area of complex natural compounds (like resveratrol, quercitin, omega 3 or polyphenols) where organic foods score much more highly. For example, the use of fungicide negates the need for grapes to produce fungus fighting resveratrol of their own – several studies have measured this. And even 10 years ago researchers didn’t know too much about these compounds or their health benefits, and so did not research for them. How many such studies were in the ‘selected’ group?

Personally I don’t think everybody should rush off and buy everything organic – we have told you which foods research studies show are more likely to hold their pesticides, and which do not. So in a number of cases there is not a lot to worry about. But red fruits like strawberries and greens like broccoli do need extra caution before using the sprayed versions.

It is all very sad really. I think that the people, and especially the patients who want to beat cancer deserve better than this. But then, that’s why we set up CANCERactive.

* See Star Story - the research study from the NCI into MGUS and multiple myeloma

Green tea seems to aid leukaemia patients

We have covered this same issue several times before in icon, but this time it involves clinical trials and the Mayo Clinic in the USA. Their researchers have found that a compound in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) may have beneficial effects in patients with chonic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

In the Phase I clinical trial, 33 adults with CLL received eight different doses of Polyphenon E, a substance made from decaffeinated green tea that contains EGCG. Participants received 400-2,000 milligrams of Polyphenon E twice daily for one month.

According to the results, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the supplement was well tolerated, and high doses helped decrease the white blood cells counts in one-third of patients with CLL, indicating cancer regression. Additionally, most people who had enlarged lymph nodes at the start of the study experienced at least a 50 percent reduction in lymph node size.

The research is now undergoing a second phase of clinical testing in which CLL patients will each receive 2,000 milligrams of Polyphenon E twice daily.

If you think your water tastes sweet, you may be right!

Researchers from the Water Technology Centre in Karlsruhe, Germany have examined water levels of seven common sweeteners - acesulfame, saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, cyclamate (currently banned in the US and Canada),  neotame and NHDC - using a new method that enables detection of the substances simultaneously. The results showed that up to 80% of sucralose and 59% of acesulfame remained along with several hundred nanograms of saccharin and cyclamate despite treatment and advanced filtration.
There are no studies on the possible effects of the potential metabolites of the sweetener pollutants.

Aspartame in focus again

A new report in May 2009 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute raises questions about aspartame again. Over 900 studies have been published on aspartame, including this recent one, which looked at the link between formaldehyde (a by product of aspartame breakdown in the body) and lymph cancer. .

Formaldehyde has been listed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 1987 as a probable human carcinogen. Aspartame has USA and European Government safety approval. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed)

Two foods help reduce risk of Breast-cancer by 90 per cent

According to a study from the University of Western Australia in Perth, two 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 (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 ‘medicinal’ mushrooms per day had a 64 percent lower risk of developing the disease than those who did not eat as much. Those who also regularly drank green tea reduced their risk by a total of 90 percent.

This is not the first study supporting the effects of these foods. Medicinal Mushrooms are known to boost the immune system and restrict tumour growth, whilst the polyphenols in green tea will also boost the immune system and reduce free radical levels.

Broccoli can fight stomach cancer

Heliobacter pylori is a bacterium known to be behind stomach ulcers and stomach cancer – we have covered it many times in Cancer Watch. Now researchers from Johns Hopkins University have found that eating just a few ounces of broccoli or broccoli sprouts ieach day may significantly reduce a person´s risk of ulcers and stomach cancer by restricting the bacterium’s effects.(Cancer Prevention Research)

The research tested the controlled effects of human consumption broccoli sprouts alfalfa sprouts each day for two months.

Broccoli, and especially its seed sprouts, contains high levels of the phytochemical sulforaphane. Alfalfa however contains none.

The researchers then analysed participant stool samples for a chemical called HpSA, known to be a reliable marker of infection with the bacterium. Helicobacter pylori, which is known to cause chronic stomach inflammation.

The researchers found that in those participants who ate the broccoli sprouts, HpSA levels decreased 40 percent by the end of the experiment. Consumption of alfalfa had no effect on HpSA levels. When participants stopped eating the broccoli, their marker levels returned to normal after 2 months.

"The evidence is all pointing toward broccoli or broccoli sprouts being able to prevent cancer in humans," said the lead researcher. Sulforaphane is known to act as an antibiotic, and also reduces levels of a number of known ‘bad enzymes’ that can cause inflammation leading to stomach, heart disease and even skin cancer.

Heavy, daily drinking increases the risk of high-grade prostate cancer

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco, have examined the associations of total alcohol, type of alcoholic beverage, and drinking pattern with risks of total, low- and high-grade prostate cancer. They used data from more than 10,000 men participating in the US Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT). They found participants who reported heavy alcohol consumption (over 50 g alcohol/day) and regular heavy drinking (over 4 drinks/day on 5 or more days per week) were twice as likely or more to be diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer (RR: 2.01, and 2.17, respectively). Less heavy drinking was not associated with risk. They also compared drinking patterns with treatment outcome among men enrolled on this placebo-controlled trial of the drug finasteride. They found finasteride’s ability to lower prostate cancer risk was blocked in men drinking more than 50g alcohol per day. (CANCER; Published Online: July 13, 2009 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24423)

US pig and beef imports - beware the ractopamine

Banned in 160 countries, including the EU and China, ractopamine (the active ingredient trading as Paylean and Optaflexx in the USA), is given to pigs and cattle to ‘lean‘ them up immediately prior to slaughter. No safe levels have been established and the compound is not for human consumption as it speeds heart rate and metabolism, with even the threat of cancer. As yet, no research is available on the consumption of meat from animals treated with ractopamine by high heart-risk humans, even though animals have been known to fall down dead of heart attacks. You have been warned.

CHEMICAL WORLD

Mandatory injections coming your way?!

On July 13th the Advisory group to the World Health Organization recommended mandatory H1N1 vaccination of everyone in all 194 countries that belong to the WHO. Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny of WHO announced that "vaccines will be needed in all countries." Executives from Baxter, Novartis, Glaxo-Smith Kline, and Sanofi Pasteur all have seats at this advisory group.

According to WHO documents, vaccines "such as those that are formulated with oil-in-water adjuvants and live attenuated influenza vaccines are important." Health workers, pregnant women, healthy young adults of 15 to 49 years, and healthy children will be the targeted groups of the world wide vaccine effort.

"All countries should immunize their health-care workers as a first priority to protect the essential health infrastructure. As vaccines available initially will not be sufficient, a step-wise approach to vaccinate particular groups may be considered," according to Paule-Kieny (Natural News)

Sunbeds are bad for you – official

Just as we have been telling you for six years under our Precautionary Principal Programme for cancer prevention, the World Health Organisation has now reported that sun beds are as great a risk to developing cancer as asbestos, or smoking. A 20 minute session is equivalent to a whole day on the beach.

Nanoparticles made from tea could be cancer-fighters

Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing area of science. Nanoparticles are minute particles so small they can pass through cell membranes designed to keep foreign particles out. Supporters claim they can thus deliver beneficial compounds from anti-aging elixirs to anti-cancer compounds to the heart of the cell. Detractors say scientists are messing in areas they don’t fully understand. Judge for yourself:

Scientists recently claim to have discovered a way to create cancer-fighting nanoparticles using nothing but gold salts and a cup of Darjeeling tea, according to a paper published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry.

Researcher Kattesh Katti at the University of Missouri-Columbia said. "Our discovery has provided a practical way to deliver cancer-fighting phytochemicals directly to tumour cells through gold nanoparticles".

While most nanoparticles are made in intensive industrial processes often involving toxic compounds, these researchers originally discovered a process for producing nanoparticles by adding gold salts to a soybean-water mixture.  They then switched the soyabeans for tea. Both times they developed stable gold nanoparticles, with no toxic by-products, plus potential cancer-fighting phytochemicals stuck to the gold.

"This means that the microscopic particles could be injected into tumour cells, carrying cancer-fighting tea compounds directly to where they could provide the most benefit,” said Katti.

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