Posts Tagged ‘Cancer’
When considering an integrative approach to cancer treatment, oncologists and patients must take into account potential interactions between chemotherapy and dietary supplements. Unlike “mind-body” practices, supplements can directly affect how medications are processed by the body. In some instances, they potentiate the activity of a drug. Other times, they speed the clearance of a given medication, thereby making it less effective. And, finally, there are certain circumstances in which supplements may actually work alongside chemotherapy in such a way as to diminish side effects and improve treatment outcomes.
Tags: Cancer, Fish Oil, Immune
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;
The topic of conventional chemotherapy is quite controversial in the natural health community. And, there’s certainly a time and place for people of goodwill to debate the pros and cons of this prevalent form of cancer treatment. However, once the decision has been made to utilize chemotherapy, the goal should then shift to finding safe ways of improving the efficacy and tolerability of this widely used procedure.
Tags: Cancer, Chemotherapy, Yoga
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | No Comments;
In previous columns I’ve reported on the myriad of health benefits associated with turmeric extracts. Turmeric is probably best known as a component of curry, the traditional spice mix. However, among scientists, turmeric has been at the center of a love-hate relationship. In animal and in vitro studies, curcuminoids, antioxidant chemicals found in turmeric, have yielded very encouraging results in conditions ranging from autoimmune disease to dementia. Conversely, human trials have been far less consistent. Poor bioavailability is suspected as the primary culprit for the mixed findings in the human studies.
Tags: Cancer, Curcumin, Eyes
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 8 Comments
One of my favorite condiments is organic Dijon mustard. I slather it on most of my sandwiches – peanut butter and jelly not withstanding. As with most of my other culinary and dietary choices, my decision to use this ingredient is based on the fact that I enjoy the flavor, while hopeful that it will impart certain benefits. If you’ve never thought of mustard as a health promoting ingredient, then please read on.
Tags: Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Health
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 6 Comments
For the next few moments, I’d like you to conjure up an image of what you think caffeine does to the brain. Did you come up with negative or positive imagery? When I think of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, hot cocoa or tea, I associate them with the promotion of brain health. I know this goes against the common stereotype of caffeine as overly stimulating. However, modern science is starting to show a consistently positive trend in trials investigating the role of caffeine consumption and neuroprotection.
Tags: Cancer, Coffee, Depression, Tea
Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Mental Health | 12 Comments
On a recent flight from London to Los Angeles, I was asked a question that comes up rather frequently in my line of work: Should coffee be avoided because it’s acidic and, therefore, promotes cancer? The basis for this inquiry is almost always sensational information found in select books, magazines or websites advancing the theory that good health depends on a proper balance of acid and alkaline forming foods in one’s diet. In most instances, the proponents of this hypothesis claim that an overly acidic diet contributes to lower systemic oxygen levels which, in turn, provides a fertile breeding ground for cancerous cells.
Tags: Cancer, Coffee, Tea
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 2 Comments
Increased risk of birth defects, cancer and cardiovascular disease are not typically associated with the consumption of “wholesome” foods such as fruit juice and rice. After all, these menu options are 100% natural and frequently recommended as part of a healthy, low fat meal plan for adults and children alike. However, even if you set aside the high glycemic (ie blood sugar elevating) nature of these foods, you should still consider the possibility that they may be contaminated with the heavy metal arsenic.
Tags: Cancer, Heart Health, Juice, Rice
Posted in Detoxification, Food and Drink, Women's Health | 5 Comments
Wheatgrass juice (Triticum aestivum) is one of the more popular “super greens” included in dietary supplements and offered in juice and smoothie bars throughout the world. What’s more, if you browse the Internet you’ll find countless sites dedicated to extolling the virtues of daily wheatgrass therapy. But, anecdotal testimonials and brisk sales aren’t exactly a solid basis for making an informed decision about any given food or supplement. Fortunately, there is also a growing body of scientific research that can assist anyone interested in seriously evaluating wheatgrass.
Tags: Anemia, Cancer, Iron
Posted in Detoxification, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;
When I search for new topics in medical databases and journals, I frequently stumble upon a promising item or more about black, green or white tea. This is the latest batch of gems I’ve discovered about Camellia sinensis. In July 2011, a study was published in the journal Experimental Dermatology that offers hope for the millions of men concerned about male pattern baldness. The experiment describes how the topical application of EGCG, a component of green tea, counteracts testosterone-induced death of hair follicles. Direct contact with green tea can also protect your teeth. Just last month, researchers from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil discovered that the addition of green tea to conventional soda limits the extent of erosion caused to dentine. In Japan, an evaluation of 2,050 elementary school students determined that drinking 3 to 5 cups of green tea daily resulted in a 38% to 46% lower likelihood of influenza infection as compared to drinking <1 cup/day. In addition, the track record of green tea vs. cancer was recently bolstered by a Chinese study involving over 60,000 middle aged to senior men. In the examination, consuming green tea at least three times a week afforded significant protection against colorectal cancer (-46%). The authors of the trial explained that a 12% decline in risk was found for every cup of tea consumed by non-smokers.
Tags: Cancer, Flu, Green Tea
Posted in Children's Health, Food and Drink, Men's Health | 8 Comments
According to an alarming report in the September issue of the journal Lancet Oncology, the number of new cases of cancer worldwide is expected to reach 27,000,000/year by the year 2030. The authors of the paper call for a comprehensive effort to better manage cost and human suffering by emphasizing “real value from new technologies”. One of the “new” technologies that’s being examined is the use of bitter melon (Momordica charantia) in prevalent malignancies such as prostate cancer. In June of 2010, a scientific review described this tart, functional food as having “anti-tumor activity” and “no-to-low side effects in animals, as well as in humans”. Later in 2010 and onward into 2011, preliminary evidence emerged showing that bitter melon extract (BME) successfully interfered with prostate cancer progression in animal models and in vitro. But, why get so excited about a handful of trials that weren’t even conducted in humans? The reason for my optimism stems from seemingly unrelated studies that have explored the potential of bitter melon in managing diabetes in animals and humans alike. For instance, a publication appearing in the March 2011 issue of the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that a daily dosage of 2,000 mg of BME effectively lowered blood sugar and fructosamine levels in a group of type 2 diabetics. Meanwhile, a study from August 2011 involving diabetic rats likewise discovered that BME “powerfully lowered (blood) glucose levels”. In fact, the excitement surrounding bitter melon is so great that nutritional experts are desperately trying to find ways to make it more palatable in order to promote greater consumption in the population at large. Here’s hoping they succeed in their objective and that more research continues to be published supporting the use of bitter melon in the fight against cancer and beyond.
Tags: Cancer, Diabetes, Prostate
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Men's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments
A few of my favorite “herbs”, Zingiber officinale (ginger) and Camellia sinesis (green tea), have recently received positive attention in the medical literature with regard to cancer. For starters, two studies published in 2011 have confirmed the efficacy of ginger root in minimizing chemotherapy-induced nausea. A third, and much more surprising trial, reports that “whole ginger extract” possesses potent prostate cancer (PC) fighting activity. This intriguing discovery is based on an in vitro and in vivo experiment conducted in an animal model of PC. Arguably, green tea has an even more impressive track record as a proposed natural chemopreventive agent. Some of the research has examined green tea as a stand alone remedy. Other inquires have tested it in combination with various natural substances such as curcumin and the trace mineral selenium. Now, a population study involving 60,567 Chinese men reveals that those who drank green tea regularly (more than 3 times/week) demonstrated a 46% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer. In fact, the researchers determined that there was a 12% decline in colorectal cancer risk for every cup of green tea consumed daily. However, it’s important to note that the observed protection only applied to non-smokers. These promising findings are part of the reason why a new, 3 year study will evaluate whether taking a concentrated green tea extract can prevent colon polyps in a large group of active seniors. To be clear, nobody is claiming that ginger and green tea present a cure for cancer, but they’re certainly a couple of herbal ingredients worth keeping an eye on.
Tags: Cancer, Ginger, Green Tea
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 7 Comments
What we choose to focus on, whether consciously or subconsciously, has a dramatic influence on our perceived quality of life. I’m frequently reminded of this truism when discussing diet and lifestyle considerations with clients, family and friends. From an evidence-based standpoint, certain activities and foods tend to promote health while others detract from it. In order to help someone achieve greater wellness, items need to be added to the “health promoting” column and subtracted from the “health risk” side. When I explain this straightforward concept, some view my recommended changes as difficult or restrictive. Others see the upside of my proposition: they can eat many foods they previously thought of as forbidden and they’ll feel much better for it. The information I share and the suggestions I make are the same. However, the way they’re interpreted makes all the difference in the world. Read more »
Tags: Bone and Joint Health, Cancer
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 8 Comments
Walking down the miles of aisles of nutritional supplements in any given health food store is enough to intimidate almost anyone. Which brand do you choose? How much should you take? Do you ask for advice from the on-site “supplement expert” or “go with your gut”? The best rule of thumb is to never shop for something of importance without first preparing. Nutritional supplements, when used in an informed and judicious manner, have the potential to impact your health in a decidedly positive manner. But if you don’t do your homework ahead of time then you’re essentially gambling with your health. This often means wasting time and money. And, worse, it could even mean that you’re inadvertently endangering your health. Read more »
Tags: Astaxanthin, Cancer, Cinnamon
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 8 Comments
In the vast majority of cases, cancer doesn’t develop quickly. A tumor doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. Rather, it forms through a complex set of circumstances that are affected by aberrant cellular changes, growth factors, hormonal influences, increased blood flow and inflammation. Technically speaking, carcinogenesis is “largely comprised of three phases: initiation, promotion and progression”. Medical researchers are keenly interested in understanding the process behind the formation of malignancies because it’s far more preferable to interfere with the genesis of cancer than to try and destroy it once it’s fully formed.
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Tags: Cancer, Curcumin, Green Tea, Selenium
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments
A prerequisite for using natural medicine to its greatest advantage is to maintain a healthy reservoir of common sense. This is sometimes difficult to do when you or someone you love is diagnosed with a life threatening illness. In these vulnerable times, one has the tendency to trust otherwise unbelievable claims out of a desperate need for finding a cure. Regrettably, too many opportunistic authors and questionable healers in the alternative health community use this circumstance to sell books, devices and services. As you can imagine, the end result, can be disastrous and heartbreaking.
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Tags: Antioxidants, Cancer, Fish Oil
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments
Being an informed consumer almost always results in greater satisfaction. This applies when you’re shopping for a car, electronics, a new home and, without a doubt, medical care. In the realm of modern health care if you simply accept all of the information presented by so-called experts, you’ll often miss out on opportunities that you won’t even know exist. Two herbs that are frequently criticized in the popular press are Ginkgo biloba and Silybum marianum or milk thistle. On many occasions they’re described as ineffective and/or unproven at best and potentially dangerous at worst. However, what’s often left out of the picture is the actual data that supports their use and offers clues about their relative safety.
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Tags: Cancer, Ginkgo Biloba, Milk Thistle
Posted in Memory, Men's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments