Archive for the Category »Nutrition «

@ Heart disease, Diabetes and Cancer ….

Heart disease, Diabetes and Cancer have common links

Diabetes and Cancer Link (1)

Eating to Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer (2)

High-fat Dairy May Increase Risk of Breast Cancer Death (3)

From American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)
(1) A strong body of evidence now suggests that people with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of developing several cancers.
(2) * Same diet that reduces the risk of cancer also prevents heart disease
Cutting cancer risk with heart health
(3) High-fat dairy may increase risk of breast cancer death

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@ Reducing dairy eliminated constipation

Feedback from a mother who works in my daughter’s medical office (2). She explains how her child’s chronic constipation was  eliminated by drastically reducing the consumption of dairy products.

“I am the mother of a ten year old little girl that suffered from constipation from the time she was two years of age. She was very fond of cheese and used to eat about 6 slices of cheese every day, in addition to the usual milk suggested by her doctor.

We took her to her doctor and she suggested for her to drink more water and to add some prune juice into her diet. After about three months, we could tell she wasn’t having any problems going to the bathroom, but she had the opposite effect – she had diarrhea. So we stopped the prune juice and started using laxative once in a while to help when it got really bad.

So there I was six years later, still trying to figure out why this poor girl was constipated. She ate very well and her doctor couldn’t find out anything wrong with her. The poor girl was suffering a lot whenever she passed stool and for that fear she used to even hold it as along as she could which was not good.

I spoke about this problem to my office manager C S (Suryanarayana Chennapragada) one day. He reads up on a lot of different topics. He asked me what was in my daughter’s diet (1). I explained to him how much she loved dairy products, cheese mostly and she also drank a lot of milk.

He suggested discontinuing all dairy for about a week to see what would happen. So we did. Within three days of stopping all dairy, specially the huge quantities of cheese she was fond of eating, she reported an improvement in passing stool. Since last one year, she has been constipation free. She can still have her dairy but we have limited the amount that she has.

Thanks to C S for suggesting the dairy reduction solution because neither we nor her doctor thought that was the cause of her constipation.”

(1) What prompted me to ask that question was the book that I just then read “What’s Eating Your Child?: The Hidden Connection Between Food and Childhood Ailments” by Kelly Dorfman M.S, L.N.D who calls herself a nutrition detective.
(2) Padma Sripada M.D

Related posts
Burping and itchy skin cleared by quitting daily milk
Nutrition – Books and Journals

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@ American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) – Useful Links

AICR (1) is a  cancer charity that fosters research on diet and cancer prevention, interprets the evidence and educates the public about the results. It is part of the World Cancer Research Fund global network.

Study: Cutting Premature Death with AICR Recommendations

Cancer infographics

Cancer – Facts vs Fears

Ten ways to reduce cancer risk

Eat well for life

Move more for life

Cancer resource 48 page on-line booklet for Cancer Survivors

The facts about – Cancer: Facts vs Fears

Top Eight Findings in Cancer Prevention

(1) AICR

Related links
Search for – World Cancer Research Fund

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* Risk factors for death from ‘Cancer’

Many of us are aware of the risk of ‘Heart disease’, know its risk factors like smoking, cholesterol, LDL, stress etc. and take them seriously. But the risk for ‘Cancer’? Not so serious? Wait!

You may be surprised from the US Government data for 2009. According to Center for Disease Control (1), Cancer is the second highest cause of death in the USA, very closely following heart disease. In 2009 heart disease caused 599413 deaths as #1 and Cancer was a close 567628 as #2. Cancer deaths are 95% of heart disease deaths, in spite of all the advances in screening and treatment! How less likely is death from cancer compared with death from heart disease? Hardly any difference.

If cancer is almost as likely to cause death as heart disease, do we know its risk factors? Can we do anything about the risk factors, rather than wait for it to be detected too late, as a death sentence?

I found from my personal experience that these are the popular beliefs and practices

  • Most cancers are genetically influenced and can’t be prevented. Exceptions are caused by smoking, exposure to asbestos and some chemicals.
  • Screening can’t detect all cancers. In some cases, by the time it is detected, it may be too late and it may not be possible to save life, only prolong it by a few years.
  • When it strikes, the treatment options are surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. After successful treatment, its recurrence is very likely and is a life long threat.
  • During and after treatment, hardly any self care prescriptions are given about what a patient can do, to reduce the risk factors and try to prevent its recurrence.

In this context, the book “The Cancer Survivor’s Guide – Foods that help you fight back” (2) by Neal Barnard M.D (3) may deserve your attention. The author cautions that you should involve your doctor in making any dietary changes. Other experts focus on the role of Smoking cessation, Environmental toxins, Exercise, Stress management and Social support in preventing and fighting cancer. Some links are at (4).

I also recommend the guide on “Prostate cancer prevention – Nutrition and Exercise” published by the Prostate cancer foundation (5).

Diet related suggestions from many sources are following. Diet is one of the key factors. Other equally important factors from other sources are exercise, relaxation and social support.

  • Enhance Fiber and cut down Fat: Diets high in fiber and low in fat, reduce the amount of estrogens (female sex hormones) circulating in the bloodstream, reducing the likelihood that cancer cells will multiply or spread. Fiber prevents colon cancer. It strengthens the immune system.
  • Avoid Dairy Products: Typical dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, and so forth) are high in fat and cholesterol. Dairy products appear to play an important role in cancer risk. The Physicians’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study found that men who frequently consume dairy products had a higher prostate cancer risk.
  • Avoid Meat: Many research studies have shown that cancer is more common in populations consuming diets rich in fatty foods, particularly meat, and much less common in countries with diets rich in grains, vegetables, and fruits. This is partly due to the high-fat and fiber-free characteristics of meat compared to plant foods. When meats are cooked, cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic amines form within the meat.
  • Increase Antioxidants: They are powerful cancer fighters mainly found in vegetables and fruits. They assist in halting free radical damage, which can otherwise lead to cancer development.
  • Immune system’s role in fighting cancer: Beta-carotene, vitamin C, and zinc can help the immune system recognize and destroy cancer cells. Foods rich in fat and cholesterol can interfere with immunity. Studies show that vegetarians have approximately double the natural killer cell activity (natural killer cells engulf and destroy cancer cells) compared to non-vegetarians.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Healthy weight control is essential for warding off a variety of chronic diseases, and studies have shown that slimmer people are less likely to develop cancer. In addition, trimming excess weight may also improve survival after cancer has been diagnosed.

(1) CDC
(2) The Cancer Survivor’s Guide – Foods that help you fight back
(3) Neal Barnard
(4)  American Institute for Cancer Research
(5) Prostate cancer prevention – Nutrition and Exercise (Full text)   Abstract of key points

Related Pages

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* Burping and itchy skin cleared by quitting dairy milk

I am sharing my dairy milk experience.  I am  a vegetarian as are my family members.  All my life, my diet was  white rice,  vegetables, lentils, home made yogurt and fruits, two half cups of black tea with sugar and milk and occasional sweets, a typical Asian Indian diet.

While in India for 60 years, I consumed about 2 table spoons dairy milk added to black tea brew, twice a day (less than 60 ml). After settling down in the USA, my daily breakfast was a big bowl of milk (250 ml) with cereal, an increase of 300 %.  Moreover, in India I was not eating any cheese. Here I was eating cheese in Pizza and many other foods regularly, though not daily. My physical activity also was drastically reduced.

After being in the USA for some time, I had severe burping. I had several large dark patches on my lower legs, which itched badly and I had to scratch them compulsively. I ruled out stress as a cause for both of these non threatening problems. I was not inclined to take any medications. On a hunch, as an experiment, I stopped all dairy milk consumption since one year. In its place I consumed soy milk.

I experienced remarkable results:
No more burping. The itching is reduced by 99%. The colored scaly patches on my legs gradually cleared up, showing smooth normal skin.

My subsequent reading of some books (1) confirmed the adverse impact of dairy milk on some people.

Did excess milk cause my prostrate cancer (2), which is seen very rarely in India? Probably. Read the web page at (3).

(1) Nutrition – Books and Journals
Cancer – managing with, control and prevention – Books
What’s Eating Your Child?: The Hidden Connection Between Food and Childhood Ailments
(2) At age 66, I was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. I was in good health overall, not having any of the common problems at this age – Heart disease, Hypertension and Diabetes. I was also not on any medications.  I had cryosurgery to destroy the prostrate gland using ultra low temperature. Due to rising PSA (Indicator of likely prostrate cancer  growth) within two years, I had Radiation therapy to totally destroy the cancer cells. None of the three  doctors who treated me over many years told me that my diet had any impact on my cancer recurrence, even when I asked them. That was when I started taking interest in the field of nutrition.
(3)  ‘Milk consumption and prostrate cancer’ by Neal Barnard M.D

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