Pollution is a fact of life in an industrialized society. Pollution, by its very definition, can cause harm to people, animals, and plants. As far as humans are concerned, pollution contributes to a number of serious illnesses including obesity and increased mortality.
Pollutants in the Atmosphere
A major pollutant produced by combustion is NO, nitrogen oxide. This reacts with ozone to for NO2. Another pollutant is SO2 which is produced by burning sulphur-containing fossil fuels (primarily coal and heavy oils).
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are another class of atmospheric pollutants. These includes numberous chemicals or an organic nature such as benzene.
Most atmospheric pollutants affect the respiratory system, but some can get into the blood and cause other diseases such as cancer.
These chemicals last a long time in the environment and move though the food chain. These include pesticides, dioxins, and PCBs. Dioxins are formed by incomplete combustion and whenever plastics are burned. While dioxins are not dissolved by water, they enter the food chains by binding to lipids or fats. Continue reading →
Eat healthy foods. This means plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoid processed meats and, if you must drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
Avoid obesity. Maintain a healthy weight and get plenty of exercise.
Avoid overexposure to the sun. Skin cancer is a common form of cancer.
Avoid carcinogens. These include viruses, bacteria, and parasites as well as air, water and soil pollution.
Avoid a compromised immune system.
Some Cancer Prevention Research to Keep in Mind
Eat Your Veggies
One study published in the journal Epidemiology studied how fruits and vegetables affected rates of cancer of the colon, rectum, and breast. The authors indicated that carotenoids, flavonoids, phenols, isothiocynates, fiber, and vitamins C and E could have anti-carcinogenic effects.
They found that raw carrots were the only vegetable that lowered cancer risks by 20% or more for all three types of cancer. They also found that apples, pears, and kiwi were associated with at least a 5% risk reduction for all three cancer types.
Overall high intake of raw vegetables lowered risks by 20% for colon cancer, 18% for cancer of the rectum, and 15% for breast cancer.
Cooked vegetables also reduced risks by 28% for colon cancer, 20% for cancer of the rectum, and 4% for breast cancer.
Watch Out for Sugar
Cancer cells love glucose (blood sugar). They take in and metabolize glucose faster than normal cells.
This fact allows positron emission tomography (PET) scans to detect cancerous tumors without invasive operations. This is possible by giving the patient a glucose analogue of slightly radioactive FDG, The cancer cells suck this up and it accumulates in cancerous tumors and can easily be detected in a PET scan.
Another study published in the journal Cancer investigated various glucose transport mechanisms in human breast cancer.
Glucose transport across cell boundaries is performed with the help of various protein enzymes. They found that the so-called Glut-1, Glut-2 and Glut-4 protein enzymes were active in breast cancer, but Glut-3 and Glut-5 mechanisms were not as active. Glut-1 was the most actives means of taking glucose into breast cancer cells. Such studies can help identify ways to slow down or inhibit the sugar feeding of cancer cells.
Another study published in the British Journal of Cancer looked at breast cancer rates in various countries. The researchers found that the rate of breast cancer in older women (aged 65-69) were positively correlated with sugar and fat consumption.
Yet another study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined risks for pancreatic cancer and consumption of sugar sweetened foods. The study looked at 77,797 women and men.
This study found that those who consumed the most sugar were 1.95 times as likely to get pancreatic cancer as those consuming the least amount of sugar. Similarly for soft drinks, those who consumed most were 2.3 times as likely to get pancreatic cancer as those who consumed the fewest soft drinks.
The researchers thought that high levels of blood glucose created oxidative stress which resulted in free radical damage to the pancreatic cells. The idea is that the regions of the pancreas produce hormones have low concentrations of antioxidant enzymes. Thus, they are especially susceptible to glucose created free radicals.
Yet another study published in the British Medical Journal examined how the consumption of sugar and fat affected the risk of colorectal cancer.
They found that the overall calorie intake of those with large bowel cancer was 18% higher than their control group without cancer. Those with cancer consumed 21% more carbohydrates than those without cancer.
The cancer patients consumed 41% more sugars with little or no fiber and 19% less natural sugars with fiber. They found that the third of the study group consuming the most refined sugars (with high energy to fiber ratios) had an 8 times greater risk of contracting large bowel cancer than those in the lower third of refined sugar consumption.
If you’re not convinced already, another study published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control looked at the medical history of 98,030 women aged 55 to 69 years in Iowa. These women were mailed a questionnaire on known and suspected cancer risk-factors.
They found that BMI was related directly to cancer risk. Cancer risk for 60% of the women with the highest BMIs was from 40 to 70 percent higher than for those in the lowest 40% of BMIs. There was also double the risk of colon cancer in women consuming the most sucrose-containing foods.
You Can Stop Cancer Before it Starts
Research tells us not only the causes of cancer, but how to prevent many cancers types.
Cancer prevention strategies include consuming healthy fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed sugars that are depleted of fiber.
Unfortunately, this requires some effort on your part. You’ll need to about most of the manufactured foods that contain lots of added sugars. And, you’ll need to eat more raw fruits and vegetables.
Turmeric is an inexpensive, tasty, yellow spice used extensively in Asian food. It is also used as a dye for saris and Buddhist monk’s robes. Turmeric is a perennial plant that is native to South and Southeast Asia. It requires warm temperatures (68-86 degrees Fahrenheit) and a rainy environment.
It has a long history of use spanning thousands of years in both India and China as a cure for many ailments. Turmeric has played a part in Ayurveda, Siddha medicine, Unani, and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. More recently western researchers have investigated turmeric and have discovered evidence of many health benefits. One active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has shown its power for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. More than a billion people regularly consume curcumin in their diet.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
One key to health involves preventing free radical damage throughout your body. Free radicals are atoms or molecules with unpaired electrons that cause chemical reactions (oxidative damage) with cells in your body. They can damage lipids, proteins, DNA, or cell membranes. Free radical damage prevents the body from functioning normally and often causes inflammation or even cell death.
Unfortunately, there are many things in our environment that can create free radicals. Free radicals can be generated by the foods we eat, various drugs and medicines, air and water pollutants, pesticides and exercise to name a few. Oxidative damage caused by free radicals has been associated with various chronic diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases as well as aging.
To the rescue come antioxidants. These free radical scavengers either prevent free radicals from forming or react with existing free radicals to neutralize them and make them safe. By reducing damage, any inflammation to aid in repairing cell damage is less necessary.
Curcumin has a “potent anti-inflammatory property” that helps keep free radical contained. It’s antioxidant property is 5 to 10 times stronger than vitamins C and E.
But, you should not consider curcumin as a medicine to be taken when you become ill. It is best used daily to help contain free radicals and reduce inflammation. It is a key nutrient that you should take every day.
What Free Radical Damage Diseases Can Turmeric and Curcumin Help Prevent?
Some promising effects have been observed in patients with various pro-inflammatory diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, uveitis, ulcerative proctitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease, tropical pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, gastric ulcer, idiopathic orbital inflammatory pseudotumor, oral lichen planus, gastric inflammation, vitiligo, psoriasis, acute coronary syndrome, atherosclerosis, diabetes, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic microangiopathy, lupus nephritis, renal conditions, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, β-thalassemia, biliary dyskinesia, Dejerine-Sottas disease, cholecystitis, and chronic bacterial prostatitis.
Clinical trials of turmeric and curcumin are ongoing. Some clinical trials are looking various types of cancers (breast, prostate, pancreatic, lung and colorectal), type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, dermatitis, cognitive impairments and depression.
Clinical trials show that when consumed, the bioavailability of curcumin is relatively low. The liver rapidly clenses the bloodstream of curcumin, quickly making it ineffective.
Several studies has shown that both black pepper and fats greatly help the absorption and retention of curcumin. So, it’s best not to take curcumin on an empty stomach, but rather with a meal including some fats and black pepper.
How to get the most of Curcumin. Should you take pills or whole turmeric? How do you increase the bioavailabilty of curcumin? What other foods should you eat with turmeric? These questions and much more are answered in this video! Video Rating: / 5