The Cancer Prevention Deal: Nurturing Nature

Your genes are not your medical destiny.

Dr. David Katz

With relatively uncommon exception, that is the rule established by ground-breaking research published over recent years, and nicely illustrated by a 2008 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That rule could, and perhaps should, remake the way you play the game of life.

The illustrative trial was a pilot study of 30 men with early stage prostate cancer who were eligible to be observed carefully for disease progression without undergoing surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. These men were enrolled into a trial called GEMINAL, developed and implemented by my friend, Dr. Dean Ornish, and his colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco.

The study took advantage of often indolent prostate cancer to assess the effects of a lifestyle intervention, without the confounding influences of medical or surgical cancer treatments. The men participating in the GEMINAL study received a lifestyle intervention: low-fat, whole foods, plant-based nutrition; stress management techniques; moderate exercise; and participation in a psychosocial support group. The study lasted three months. Continue reading


Coffee One Way to Cut Endometrial Cancer Risk

Coffee lovers are likely enjoying a new study finding that coffee lowers risk for endometrial cancer, with the drink being almost the lone dietary factor linked to risk. The study was a large one and it’s coffee findings are similar to those of AICR’s report released last year.22007913_s

That’s certainly good news for coffee lovers, but whether you do or don’t enjoy coffee, the beverage is only one of several ways you can protect yourself against endometrial cancer.

The study, published in this month’s Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, looked at 84 foods and/or nutrients related to endometrial cancer risk. Study researchers first investigated the link among about 300,000 women participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Women had filled out questionnaires about what they ate and other lifestyle habits, and then they were tracked for endometrial diagnosis or death. This led to 10 factors linked to either increased or decreased risk, including coffee, total fat, butter, and cheese.

Then the researchers looked at how these factors linked to 155,000 women who were in two US studies, the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II. These women had also had answered questions about diet and other factors. Continue reading


Adding a Spicy Zing to Sweet Apple Cider

ginger-turmeric-ciderFor cold weather, a hot drink like our Ginger and Turmeric Hot Cider warms you up fast. Its combination of ginger and turmeric add cancer-preventive compounds to the cider’s phytochemicals for a naturally sweet drink that is at once spicy and soothing.

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry powder its yellow color. By itself, dried ground turmeric doesn’t taste very strong and has a slightly peppery, earthy quality. But its health-protective qualities that are similar to ginger’s. Both are roots that contain compounds found in research studies to have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that protect cells against damage linked to cancer.

The color of turmeric comes from the phytochemical curcumin. The spice was used as a yellowing dye since 600 BCE, according to archeological finds in Assyria. It was less expensive than saffron, and has traditionally been used in India to color the rice served at weddings, a cosmetic, a skin tonic and as a folk remedy for stomach and liver ailments.

If you can find fresh turmeric root at an Asian or health food market, try it in this recipe; if not, just use ¼ teaspoon of dried turmeric for each serving of cider. A dash of ground turmeric can also be added to brown rice while it cooks to make the color more appealing, as well as stirred into lentil, green pea or tomato soup to enhance flavor. Hummus dip, salad dressing and stir-fries are other tasty places for turmeric.

Ginger gives a spicy zing to winter dishes. It not only adds a kick to cider, but minced fresh ginger is a key ingredient for Asian-style stir-fries and garlic sauces and tastes great in baked fruit recipes like apple crisp or fruit compote. Most grocery stores carry fresh ginger root – a little bit gives you a lot of flavor, much more than dried ground ginger.

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