Tag Archives: colon cancer

An apple a day might keep obesity away

Turns out the old saw was right. An apple a day can keep the doctor away.

Scientists at Washington State University have concluded that nondigestible compounds in apples – specifically, Granny Smith apples – may help prevent disorders associated with obesity. The study, thought to be the first to assess these compounds in apple cultivars grown in the Pacific Northwest, appears in the print edition of the journal Food Chemistry.

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“We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties,” said food scientist Giuliana Noratto, the study’s lead researcher. “Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.”

The tart green Granny Smith apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon due to their high content of non-digestible compounds, including dietary fiber and polyphenols, and low content of available carbohydrates. Despite being subjected to chewing, stomach acid and digestive enzymes, these compounds remain intact when they reach the colon. Once there, they are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which benefits the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.

The study showed that Granny Smith apples surpass Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious in the amount of nondigestible compounds they contain.

“The nondigestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice,” Noratto said.

The discovery could help prevent some of the disorders associated with obesity such as low-grade, chronic inflammation that can lead to diabetes. The balance of bacterial communities in the colon of obese people is disturbed. This results in microbial byproducts that lead to inflammation and influence metabolic disorders associated with obesity, Noratto said.

“What determines the balance of bacteria in our colon is the food we consume,” she said.

Re-establishing a healthy balance of bacteria in the colon stabilizes metabolic processes that influence inflammation and the sensation of feeling satisfied, or satiety, she said.

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Study shows Vitamin E and Selenium don’t cut colon cancer risk

As one of the former big proponents of Vitamin E, I was disappointed to learn that it does not have all of the healthy impacts I had heard. I just ran across this information that came out a few days ago.

Eight years ago, results from a landmark cancer prevention trial run by SWOG, a National Cancer Institute supported organization, showed that a daily dose of vitamin E and selenium did not prevent prostate cancer. In fact, the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) showed that vitamin E supplementation increased the risk of prostate cancer in healthy men.

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Nuts and avocados are natural sources of Vitamin E

Now, a SWOG review of ancillary SELECT results definitively shows that these two antioxidants also don’t prevent colorectal adenomas – polyps that are the premalignant precursors to most colorectal cancers. Results are published in Cancer Prevention Research.

“The message to the public is this: Vitamin E and selenium will not prevent colorectal adenomas, which are surrogates for colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Peter Lance, lead author of the journal article and deputy director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center. “We have no evidence that these supplements work to prevent cancer.”

Despite the billions spent in the United States each year on vitamin supplements, there is scant evidence they prevent cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, which funds SWOG through its National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) and NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), results from nine randomized trials did not provide evidence that antioxidant supplements are beneficial in primary cancer prevention. An in-depth review conducted for the United States Preventive Services Task Force likewise found no clear evidence of benefit. Continue reading

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Alcohol Causes 7 Kinds of Cancer, Study Concludes

I thought it only fair to send this as my previous post mentioned alcohol (in small amounts) as a treat.

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Tony

Our Better Health

Alcohol researcher Jennie Connor says the link is a causal one and that no alcohol is considered safe and risk does go up as you drink.

Alcohol is a direct cause of seven forms of cancer. Tough words to swallow, but those are the conclusions of researchers from New Zealand, who say they found that no matter how much you drink, alcohol will increase your risk of cancer.

“There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites in the body and probably others,” the authors write in the latest issue of the journal Addiction.

Those seven cancer sites are:

  • liver
  • colon
  • rectum
  • female breast
  • larynx, (the throat organ commonly called the voice box)
  • orolarynx (the middle part of the pharynx) behind the mouth
  • esophagus (commonly the “food pipe”)

The researchers from the University of Otago reviewed previous studies and meta-analyses, analyzing all the major studies done over the…

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Ways to Cut Your Colon Cancer Risk

Every day, eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber from fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans or whole-grain breads and cereals. It’s also important to eat a low-fat diet, because colorectal cancer has been linked to diets high in saturated fat. You should also include foods with folate, such as leafy green vegetables.

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Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, but there are ways of reducing your risk.

“Colorectal cancer is largely preventable with early screening and detection,” Dr. Anne Lin, assistant professor of general surgery for the University of California, Los Angeles, Health System and David Geffen School of Medicine, said in a UCLA news release.

Taking the following measures can help you lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to UCLA experts.

If you have a normal level of risk, you should get regular screenings beginning at age 50. If you’re at high risk — with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, other cancers or inflammatory bowel disease — you should talk to your doctor about beginning screenings before age 50.

Every day, eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber from fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans or whole-grain breads and cereals. It’s also important to eat…

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Does Lunch Meat Cause Cancer?

It doesn’t help. WebMD says, “People who eat a lot of processed meats, such as hot dogs and lunch meat, are more likely to get colon cancer. The link isn’t completely clear, but it might be because of nitrites. Those are chemicals added to food to stop bacteria and preserve color.

“Red meat also is linked to colon cancer. In general, limit the amount of red meat you eat. Instead choose other sources of protein, such as chicken, fish, or beans.”

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You can take a very useful WebMD quiz at the link above that will fill you in on a number of cancers and cancer myths. Continue reading

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Cold Facts About Hot Dogs From the Mayo Clinic

“A typical 2-ounce, all beef frank contains 14 to 16 grams (g) of fat, between 150 and 180 calories, 25 to 40 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol, and over 500 mg of sodium, according to Robert D. Sheeler, M.D., Medical Editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

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He suggests that if you must consume them as a summertime treat, don’t overdo it and consider a hot dog that is:

Fat-free or has less than 2 g of fat — Made of beef, turkey or a mixture of meats, these can deliver a decent-tasting hot dog for 50 calories or less. They have little or no fat and 10 to 15 mg of cholesterol. Still, they typically have well over 400 mg of sodium.

Reduced fat — Made of beef, chicken or turkey, these contain between 7 and 10 g of fat, about 100 to 120 calories, 25 to 55 mg of cholesterol, and typically over 400 mg of sodium. Their taste isn’t necessarily better than that of very low-fat hot dogs. All-poultry hot dogs allow you to avoid red meat, which has been linked to colon cancer when eaten in large quantities.

Meatless — These typically are soy based with between 0 and 6 g of fat, no cholesterol, and 200 to 400 mg of sodium. Taste is subjective, but condiments may be needed to liven up their flavor.

Dr. Sheeler recommends boiling or microwaving your hot dogs as “grilling can cause charring and other changes that have been linked to cancer.”

The Mayo Clinic Store has the latest products from the Mayo Clinic doctors, specialists and editorial staff.

Buon Appetito!

Tony

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Filed under eating, fast food, fat, healthy eating, healthy living, hot dog, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Health Letter, Weight

How to Handle Arthritis Through Natural Healing

Regular readers know that I have been doing home study from The Great Courses since I retired over 12 years ago. So far, I have studied, nutrition, neuroscience, the brain and increasing longevity to name a few. Also, I have shared what I learned on the blog. So, I am pleased to announce that I have just commenced with The Science of Natural Healing.

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At this point I have listened to several of the lectures and am very impressed with Dr. Guarneri’s expertise. She came from regular medicine where she was surgically implanting over 700 stents a year in patient’s arteries. Through natural healing Dr. Guarneri has found what she considers to be a better way to prevent heart disease as well as myriad other diseases.

In lecture six, she talks about inflammation, nature’s way of protecting our bodies and how it is the root of many of our health problems. Inflammation is our body’s normal response to injury, infection, stress, foreign substances and irritations. Inflammation in our body presents itself in swelling, warmth, redness, pain. That is the body’s defense mechanism going to work so that healing can take place. However, in a situation where our body is under chronic attack, inflammation becomes damaging. Continue reading

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Harvard on Healthy Alcohol Use

With New Year’s Eve looming and the prospect of drinking alcohol as an integral part of our celebration, the Harvard School of Public Health has some suggestions on the healthy use of alcohol.

“While moderate drinking can increase the risk of colon and breast cancer, these risks are trumped by the boost in cardiovascular health—especially in middle age, when heart disease begins to account for an increasingly large share of disease and deaths.”

A visual guide to moderate drinking

A visual guide to moderate drinking

Moderate drinking amounts to one drink a day for women, for men whose bodies on average are larger, it’s up to two drinks a day. As the illustration shows: one drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1-1/2 ounces of hard liquor.

Harvard offered 5 Quick Tips on Staying Healthy with Alcohol

1. If you don’t drink, there’s no need to start. For some people—especially pregnant women, people recovering from alcohol addiction, people with a family history of alcoholism, people with liver disease, and people taking one or more medications that interact with alcohol—the risks of drinking outweigh the benefits.

There are other ways to boost your heart health and lower your risk of diabetes, such as getting more active, staying at a healthy weight, or eating healthy fats and whole grains.

2. If you do drink, drink in moderation—and choose whatever drink you like. Wine, beer, or spirits—each seems to have the same health benefits as long as moderation’s the word (no more than one drink per day for women, and no more than two drinks per day for men).

3. Take a multivitamin with folic acid. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin that may help lower the risk of heart disease and cancers of the colon and breast. Those who drink may benefit the most from getting extra folate, since alcohol moderately depletes our body’s stores. The amount in a standard multivitamin—400 micrograms—is enough, when combined with a healthy diet.

4. Ask your doctor about your drinking habits.  If you (or your friends) think you may have a problem with drinking, talk to a doctor or other health professional about it. He or she can help.

5. Pick a designated driver. Alcohol and driving do not mix. If you’ve been out drinking cocktails and it’s time to head home, hand your car keys to someone who’s been sipping seltzer all night.

Harvard offered a full article on alcohol here.

Tony

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New Breath Test for Colon Cancer

It’s exactly a month ago that I wrote What Should I Know About Colon Cancer?

Although your lifetime risk of coming down with it is around five percent, the mortality rates are approximately 50 percent.

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Now comes news that Italian doctors have developed a simple breath analysis tool that has the potential for the screening and diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

Alexandra Sifferlin wrote in Time Magazine that in a small study of 80 participants, “researchers from the the University Aldo Moro of Bari in Italy found a profile of breath-based chemicals that are linked to colorectal cancer. The scientists collected exhaled breath from 37 patients with colorectal cancer and 41 healthy control participants, and evaluated them for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that could be red flags for cancer. According to the researchers, cancer tissues operate differently compared to non-cancerous cells and may release a distinct chemical signature.”

The good news for us regular folks is that this simple low cost technique could provide an alternative to colonoscopies that deter many people.

“The technique of breath sampling is very easy and non-invasive, although the method is still in the early phase of development,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Donato F. Altomare in a statement. “Our study’s findings provide further support for the value of breath testing as a screening tool,” Time reported.

The American Cancer Society’s Dr. Ted Gansler told CNN. “The main goals of current screening tests are not just to find any colorectal cancer, but rather to find early–curable–cancers and precancerous polyps that can be removed to prevent cancer from developing.” According to Gansler, about only half of Americans ages 50 and older are currently getting tested for colon cancer.”

Although these are early times, if these tests work out many more people may get diagnosed early. Colon cancer is a slow growing disease, so early diagnosis saves lives.

Tony

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What Should I Know About Colon Cancer?

Some 143,460 new cases of colorectal cancer are found each year. Your lifetime risk of coming down with it is around five percent as one in 18 Americans gets it. The mortality rates are approximately 50 percent for all cases. The outcome is very much related to the stage of the disease at diagnosis. So, detection of early stage tumors should improve prognosis. Carcinomas generally begin as polyps so their removal should reduce cancer incidence. So says Dr. Barbara Jung, Associate Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Colon cancer remains common and deadly. Effective screening measures are available. Any test is better than no test. Finally, family history is important.

She said that the guidelines for screening are that a person 50 years or older should have a colonoscopy every 10 years, or a CT colonography every five years, or a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years. As colon cancer is a slow growing cancer these apparently long periods are sufficient for protection.

Dr. Jung was speaking before the Northwestern Memorial Healthy Transitions Program®. Despite some of the bleak aspects of her subject, she concluded with something very positive. She said that exercise and a good diet have been shown to reduce colon cancer. Vegetarians are found to have less colon cancer. She said there were good studies to document the effectiveness of exercise in protecting against colon cancer.

The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health said in a report, “What is the relationship between physical activity and colon cancer risk?
Continue reading

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