To enhance my work as a clinician, I spend an average of two hours every day researching and compiling data in the fields of health, nutrition, botanical medicine, dietary supplements, and conventional medicine. This includes evaluating studies on innovative pharmaceutical drug therapies, particularly in the realm of oncology.
From time to time, I’ll be sharing a few of the week’s highlights with you. I hope you will find these interesting, and perhaps the information will be beneficial for you or someone you know.
• Cancer Risks Double When Two Carcinogens Are Combined
I’ve long suspected (as have many others) that the carcinogens that our government has deemed “safe” at low levels may not be safe at all when they are combined with other carcinogenic substances. Although little research has been done in this arena, a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal The Prostate confirms the dangers of combined carcinogens. Scientists at Texas Tech University evaluated estrogen and arsenic at levels that are considered “safe” amounts of each for human consumption. But they found that even low doses of these chemicals together could trigger the development of prostate cancer. In fact, the combination of the two chemicals was almost twice as likely to cause prostate cancer.
(J. Treas, et al. Chronic exposure to arsenic, estrogen, and their combination causes increased growth and transformation in human prostate epithelial cells potentially by hypermethylation-mediated silencing of MLH1. The Prostate, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/pros.22701.)
The role of genetics in cancer is making headlines; especially with the recent choice of Angelina Jolie to undergo a double mastectomy after learning that she has a BRAC mutation, which is associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. However, it’s important to understand that only about 5-10 percent of cancers are genetically based. The majority of cancers are caused by environmental influences; even those associated with genetic mutations such as the BRAC 1 and 2 are influenced positively or negatively by diet and lifestyle.
I recommend doing everything possible to avoid exposure to carcinogens. However, we cannot avoid them completely. Therefore, in addition to eating a healthful, balanced, clean diet (see https://www.donnieyance.com/can-a-ketogenic-diet-cure-cancer/), I recommend protective dietary supplements that include isothiocyanates together with phenolic compounds, which act as potent inducers of carcinogen-detoxifying enzymes in the liver and kidneys.
(Nutr Cancer. 2006;54(2):223-31; Curr Drug Metab. 2004 Apr;5(2):193-201; Forum Nutr. 2009;61:170-81. doi: 10.1159/000212749. Epub 2009 Apr 7.)
• Specific Fish Oils May Protect Against Breast Cancer
I’m convinced of the many health benefits of omega-3 fish oils; for that reason, I frequently eat wild-caught salmon, sardines, and other cold-water fish and I take a dietary supplement that contains the highest-quality fish oil, combined with super concentrated Siberian sea buckthorn oil and Siberian pine seed oil. (My wife Jen does the same.) This formula not only provides an abundance of EPA (>1000 mg,) and DHA (>750 mg), but Omega 7’s and 9’s, pinolenic acid; some unique omega 3 fatty acids, an array of phytonutrients including carotenoids, tocopherols, tocotrienols and sterols. In a recent analysis of 21 studies encompassing more than 800,000 participants from Asia, Europe, and the U.S., researchers determined that people who consume higher levels of dietary marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have a 14% lower risk for breast cancer than those who consume less. The authors noted that fish (especially salmon, tuna, and sardines) are the most abundant source of marine n-3 PUFAs; fish oil supplements were also considered as sources of these marine fatty acids. In their study, the researchers cite various lab studies suggesting that n-3 PUFAs are the most promising subtypes of dietary fat “to inhibit or curtail carcinogenesis and reduce risk.” It’s important to note that the researchers also determined that alpha linoleic acid (the plant-based source of omega-3 PUFAs) does not provide the same protection
(Zheng, et al. Intake of fish and marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of breast cancer: meta-analysis of data from 21 independent prospective cohort studies; BMJ 2013;346:f3706.)
• Nicotine Is Not The Sole Contributor To Smoking-Induced Lung Cancer
I don’t think anyone questions that smoking tobacco is a primary cause of lung cancer. But while most people believe that nicotine in tobacco is the only (or primary) carcinogen, the truth is that tobacco smoke contains more than 5000 chemical compounds. Of these, at least 60 are known to have carcinogenic potential, including toxic substances such as arsenic, benzene, cadmium, and vinyl chloride. In addition to the known carcinogens, the metabolites formed from smoking (including N-nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) significantly contribute to activating multiple pathways in which lung cells are transformed and cancer is initiated.
(Tonini G, et al. New molecular insights in tobacco-induced lung cancer; Future Oncology (London; England) 9 (5), 649-55 May 2013.)
• The FDA’s Fast-Track Approval Of Merck’s HPV Vaccine Gardasil —Doing More Harm Than Good
In 2006, the drug company Merck received Fast Track approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Gardasil, their vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV). But their aggressive marketing campaign, along with divided public opinion as to the necessity and safety of vaccines, has drawn a backlash of criticism.
The numbers speak to the problems inherent in this vaccine: As of September 2012, more than 21,000 adverse reactions had been reported, including 78 deaths and more than 600 cases of permanent disability. Compared with all other vaccines, Gardasil was associated with more than 60 percent of all serious adverse reactions in females younger than 30 years old.
I find this reprehensible. Gardasil has not been demonstrated to be safer or more effective than Pap screenings combined with (when necessary) accepted treatments for abnormal cervical tissue such as loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP). Pap screenings have greatly reduced mortality from cervical cancer in developed countries such as the U.S., and it is highly doubtful that Gardasil provides any further benefit.
To further reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, our focus should be on targeting other risk factors of the disease, such as smoking; use of oral contraceptives; multiple sexual partners; suboptimal hygiene, nutrition, and health status; and genetic mutations (MTHFR SNP’s, etc.). The use of a modest botanical and nutritional supplement program can also help immensely, including protective compounds such as isothiocyanates and DIM (diindolylmethane); Naturized “GROW” B vitamins, selenium, and zinc; carotenoids; and phenolic compounds including ellagic acid, resveratrol, curcuminoids (turmeric), and catechins (green tea).
“Vaccine mandates supported solely by vaccine manufacturer’s data do little to instill public confidence in vaccination programs. Physicians and other medical authorities need to adopt a more rigorous evidence-based medicine approach in order to give a balanced and objective evaluation of vaccine risks and benefits to their patients,” (Lucija Tomljenovic and Christopher A. Shaw, Too Fast or Not Too Fast:
The FDA’s Approval of Merck’s HPV Vaccine Gardasil, Conflicts of interest in the practice of medicine, Fall 2012).
*Image courtesy of Laurel and Eric at http://www.ravenandchickadee.com/