Smorgasbord Health Column – Food in the News – Organic produce and reduction in Cancer rates.


There has been a lot of controversial reports on the benefits of buying organic produce. The issues have mainly been around price and whether there was any health benefit to eating organically. Clearly mass producers of fruit and vegetables around the world have taken any opportunity to knock organic growers, particularly local producers who are classed as amateurs. But in a recent study in France, evidence does point towards a significant reduction in cancer rates in those who consume organic produce.

Pixabay.com

I love farmer’s markets, and will always buy organic produce where I can. I was brought up in the country and our fresh fruit and vegetables were picked or harvested and on the table within a matter of a couple of days. Today much of the fruit (especially out of season) can be months old. The same can be said for vegetables that have traveled thousands of miles before being packed in plastic on the supermarket shelves. Unfortunately, this also impacts their nutritional content. How fresh are your supermarket apples

At least today regulations demand that country of origin be displayed somewhere on the packaging, but good luck with finding the small print without a magnifying glass.

Some supermarkets will make it a strategy to use local produce and Tesco here in Ireland does source both fresh produce, dairy and meats where possible from Irish farmers.

Pixabay.com

In the largest study of its kind Daily Mail, 70,000 French men and women who answered a questionnaire indicating that they ate only organic produce, have been followed for 7 years. The results so far indicate that there is a significant reduction in overall cancer rates, although bowel cancer and prostate cancer do not appear to be reduced. This may be because there is a genetic or other lifestyle element that impacts the results.

“Eating only organic food could slash cancer risk, a new study claims.

The biggest impact was seen on non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk, which plummeted among those who only ate organic, according to the survey of nearly 70,000 French adults. Overall, their risks of breast cancer also dropped.

The finding comes amid a flurry of interest in the cancer risks of pesticides, spurred by this summer’s Monsanto trial, when a jury awarded a cancer-suffering groundsman $250 million after concluding that Roundup weedkiller caused his cancer.”

However, one cancer that plummeted according to the report was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which is understandable as it is a cancer of the immune system. Lymph nodes are clusters of the white blood cells lymphocytes (B cells and T cells) and are dotted around the body in the chest, abdomen and pelvis and they are linked by special vessels to form a closed system much like the bloodstream. This means that there is lymph tissue in several of the major organs of the body, particularly the spleen and bone marrow which are essential to our immune system function. Cancer in the form of lymphomas can form in any of these sites and be transported around the body in the lymphatic system.  With a compromised immune system it is impossible to fight off even the mildest of infections.

The other area of high risk is neurological and here is an abstract taken from a research study on the impact on our brains and nervous system. The full report can be read HERE

Poisoning by acute high-level exposure to certain pesticides has well-known neurotoxic effects, but whether chronic exposure to moderate levels of pesticides is also neurotoxic is more controversial. Most studies of moderate pesticide exposure have found increased prevalence of neurologic symptoms and changes in neurobehavioral performance, reflecting cognitive and psychomotor dysfunction. There is less evidence that moderate exposure is related to deficits in sensory or motor function or peripheral nerve conduction, but fewer studies have considered these outcomes. It is possible that the most sensitive manifestation of pesticide neurotoxicity is a general malaise lacking in specificity and related to mild cognitive dysfunction, similar to that described for Gulf War syndrome. Most studies have focused on organophosphate insecticides, but some found neuro-toxic effects from other pesticides, including fungicides, fumigants, and organochlorine and carbamate insecticides. Pesticide exposure may also be associated with increased risk of Parkinson disease; several classes of pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, have been implicated. Studies of other neurodegenerative diseases are limited and inconclusive. Future studies will need to improve assessment of pesticide exposure in individuals and consider the role of genetic susceptibility. More studies of pesticides other than organophosphates are needed. Major unresolved issues include the relative importance of acute and chronic exposure, the effect of moderate exposure in the absence of poisoning, and the relationship of pesticide-related neurotoxicity to neurodegenerative disease.

Research and fake news.

Whilst the increase in age related dementia, and an increase in cancers, can be attributed to better diagnosis and reporting, there is no doubt in my mind that lifestyle is the major factor and cause of these diseases. There is a genetic link to some neurological diseases and cancer, but our bodies are being exposed to many carcinogens created by modern mass farming methods, food production, packaging and additives including chemicals, hormones and antibiotics.

Most research into disease is commissioned by interested parties. Within the food industry there is billions spent on research programmes annually to prove or disprove links to health and to counteract fake news put out by competing parties. It is not helped when official guardians of our health are less that open about findings and they change their guidelines on carbohydrates, protein and fats at the drop of a hat!

Also the majority of the participants are not ideal test subjects. I am not convinced that they are screened to the fullest extent required to take part in the trial, since most people are not entirely honest about what they ingest or imbibe or about past lifestyle choices. This means that the results of their participation have to be skewed. This is why I rarely report on research that does not have substantive participation such as this French study of 70,000 over a decent interval of 7 years.

The other point is that some of the effects of pesticides and other chemicals may take many years to manifest themselves. Particularly in relation to neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia. We should be looking at 30 to 50 year research studies which would be more conclusive.

Also of concern is that we only have 5 year human trials for medication to counteract these diseases, which may well have their own long term side-effects, not apparent until we reach our 70s or 80s.

Summary.

My conclusion is that at whatever age you are, changing to organic produce such as vegetables and fruit, locally sourced and unpackaged is an important first step.

The second step which is equally important is to cook from scratch whenever possible using the 80/20 rule to limit exposure to manufactured food products.

Third step is to trust your gut… literally. If you react to certain foods then don’t eat them. D.G. Kaye contributed to the Health Column recently about her 20 years of managing her Crohn’s Disease. If you have been suffering from IBS or other intestinal problems then you will find this useful. Dietary restrictions, consequences and the eye rollers

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998- 2018

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2018/

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Food in the News – Thumbs up for Coffee


Smorgasbord Health 2017

I love my morning cup of coffee but I usually have at around 11.00 .. it is decaffeinated however.. otherwise I would be wired for the rest of the day.

Summary

Scientists have found that people who drink coffee appear to live longer. Drinking coffee was associated with lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. People who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12 percent less likely to die compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. This association was even stronger for those who drank two to three cups a day — 18 percent reduced chance of death.
An extract from the article published on https://www.sciencedaily.com

Here’s another reason to start the day with a cup of joe: Scientists have found that people who drink coffee appear to live longer.

Drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney disease for African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and whites.

People who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12 percent less likely to die compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. This association was even stronger for those who drank two to three cups a day — 18 percent reduced chance of death.

Lower mortality was present regardless of whether people drank regular or decaffeinated coffee, suggesting the association is not tied to caffeine, said Veronica W. Setiawan, lead author of the study and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

“We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association,” Setiawan said. “If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.”

The study, which was be published in the July 11 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, used data from the Multiethnic Cohort Study, a collaborative effort between the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and the Keck School of Medicine.

To read the rest of the article and the benefits identified: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170710172118.htm

 

Thanks for dropping by and look forward to your feedback.. Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Latest research -Vitamin C and Cancer


Smorgasbord Health 2017

I spend quite a bit of my time reading research articles on the nutrients that we need and this article caught my eye about Vitamin C.

Vitamin C breakthrough discovery: Low-cost nutrient halts growth of cancer stem cells… 1000% more effective than cancer drug… peer-reviewed science confirms powerful effects

(Natural News) An exciting medical breakthrough published in the science journal Oncotarget has discovered the astonishing ability of concentrated vitamin C to halt the growth of cancer tumor stem cells.

The study, conducted at the University of Salford in Manchester — (see full text of the study at this link) — tested the impact on cancer stem cell metabolism for seven substances:

Three natural substances, including vitamin C
Three experimental pharmaceuticals
One clinical drug currently in widespread use

The study’s astonishing results reveal “the first evidence that Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can be used to target and kill cancer stem cells (CSCs), the cells responsible for fuelling fatal tumours,” reports the flagship science publisher Alpha Galileo.

Find out more about the research into how Vitamin C found to work up to 10 times better than a cancer pharmaceutical: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-22-vitamin-c-breakthrough-discovery-low-cost-nutrient-halts-growth-of-cancer-stem-cells-1000-more-effective-than-cancer-drug-peer-reviewed-science-confirms.html

For more information about the essential nutrients we need you will find my posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/nutrient-directory-a-brief-overview-of-the-nutrients-we-need-and-the-foods-that-supply-them/

Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Nobel Prize winning research into sugar and how it creates cancer discarded!


Smorgasbord Health 2017This following excerpt from an article was shared on Facebook by author Brigid Gallagher ( https://www.amazon.com/Watching-Daisies-Brigid-P-Gallagher-ebook/dp/B01N3M9VJ0) and it reinforces my own message about not only industrialised foods but also a diet high in industrialised sugars.  I am not advocating that we never eat ice-cream, chocolate or the occasional piece of white baked goods, but it should be a small part of an all natural diet.

It also fits nicely into the current series on Digestive health and Candida Albicans which also feeds on sugar and flourishes.

Sugar Doesn’t Just Feed Cancer Cells it May Even CREATE Them by PAUL FASSA

First realize that even without being diagnosed with cancer, we all have at least a few cancerous cells floating around in our “inner terrain”. A decent immune system residing in a slightly alkaline or neutral pH inner terrain is able to fend them off and keep them from colonizing into tumorous masses.

On the other hand, those who indulge primarily in the SAD (Standard American Diet), which includes lots of factory farmed meat and junk foods saturated with refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which processed foods use even with their non-sweet products to keep you addicted, along with all those refined carbs in refined grain baked products, are adding fuel (literally) to the fire of cancer.

Mainstream oncology ignores this 1930s Nobel Prize discovery by Otto Warburg, aka the “Warburg Effect”: When normal cells begin to lack oxygen respiration to utilize glucose and nutrients metabolically for cellular energy, they depend on fermenting sugar to thrive without oxygen and become cancerous.

getting chemo

Yum … ice cream with my chemo!

Instead oncologists administer chemo IV therapies while giving their patients ice cream and cookies as the poison is injected into them. Big profits from the treatment and selling those toxic drugs at a profit also. “Cancer cells consume sugar about 19x faster than healthy cells.” – Dr. Murray Susser, MD

Read the rest of this very important article on sugars: http://realfarmacy.com/sugar-create-cancer/

Clearly the medical profession are more impressed by the lyrics of the song “A Spoonful of Sugar helps the Medicine go down” than scientific research

Here are some of my own posts on the subject of sugar

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/sugars-here-there-and-everywhere-in-our-modern-diet/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/the-answer-to-sugars-in-our-diet-the-more-complex-the-better/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/sugar-extra-fizzy-drinks-they-cannot-be-really-be-harmful-for-us-can-they-125billion-per-year-says-of-course-not/

Men’s Health Week Revisited – Some statistics and the posts to come.


men's health

An estimated 56 million people die each year worldwide.Tragically, 6 million children die before the age of five years old and of the remaining 50 million, more men than women will die at certain life stages. Particularly during the years 18 to 24. After that it will converge.

However, assuming that there is a more or less an even division, it is estimated that 25 million men will die in the next twelve months. It is even more disturbing that 65% to 75% of those men, depending on the report, will die from noncommunicable diseases.

Noncommunicable includes the top four diseases – Cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. Diseases that are usually lifestyle related.

That means that in the next twelve months 16.25 million to 18.75 million men will die from mainly preventable diseases. Or diseases that if detected early enough can be cured.

I have worked with both men and women in my capacity as a health counsellor.  For weight management, but also pre-operative preparation and post-operative nutritional support. Men in particular will admit to only going to the doctor after several months of worrying symptoms or because they were nagged by their wives.

It is recognised that far too many men are being diagnosed with potentially fatal diseases too late.

There are a number of actually quite valid reasons for this. Some are personal, cultural and genetic! However, over the next few weeks as we revisit the posts from last year; I hope to convince all men to look at this from a different perspective.

If you have a partner and a family you owe it to them to be around for a very long time. If single you owe it to yourself to look after your greatest asset, which is your health. The reasons for not being checked are easily worked around and in my first post  I will show you strategies to do that. Ways to get checked for some of the key indicators to your health. Completely free or at a very reasonable cost, during hours that suit you, often with free expert advice and assistance thrown in.

During the the rest of the series I will post articles on the male reproductive system with symptoms you should be aware of. Prostate Cancer and how early diagnosis and targeted treatment can save your life.  Heart disease and symptoms to be keep an eye open for. Stress and how to manage to prevent your body developing many physical and mental lifestyle related health issues. Diabetes and how you, and the person buying and preparing your food, need to work together to reduce your risk. I also have a six week programme to reduce both Blood Pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.

I will be taking a look at some of the silent killers that we invite into our lives. One in particular would seem to be very innocuous.. and 11billion of them are eaten each year in the UK alone.

There are some guest posts lined up from men who have shared their health experiences and those of members of their families. Delighted that Geoff Le Pard, Kevin Cooper and John Maberry have contributed.

I hope that you will join me next Monday for the start of Men’s Health Week revisited and help spread the message to #Getchecked.

The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Artichoke Extract and as a food.


cropped 2

I used to find it very daunting when invited to dinner with friends to discover a wonderfully fresh and fragrant artichoke heart on a plate in front of me. It is one of those more fiddly  foods to eat and certainly it is a job for your fingers rather than your knife and fork. As a vegetable the artichoke is very nutritious and has been used since at least Roman times as a digestive aid. It was not however, until the 16th century that the therapeutic benefits for the liver and in particular jaundice were fully appreciated.

As doctors became more intrigued with the older herbal remedies they began to experiment with the bulb of the artichoke and other parts of plant that had not been eaten previously and used them to create extracts. The leaves of the artichoke were found to be particularly potent and they were prescribed for jaundice patients successfully. Since then the extract has been found to be effective for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels too.

It is understandable that today when we go to the doctor they are going to prescribe a pharmaceutical product rather than a bottle of herbal tincture… After all there are no patents available on plant medicine; you have to add a unique ingredient. However, most of our modern day medicines still use derivatives of plants for their manufacture and it is worth consulting a qualified herbalist to explore the original format as an option.

Artichoke is a phytopharmaceutical and has been the subject of quite extensive research with clinical effects being documented. It is recognised as an antioxidant that protects the liver, bile production and cholesterol lowering. It is entirely possible that the natural form of this plant may be just as or more effective than a synthesized product.

One of the main active components of the leaves has been identified as Cynarin and was the first to be extracted in the 1930s. It is only a trace element in the fresh leaves but undergoes significant changes as the leaves go through the drying and extraction process. The potency of the artichoke however, does not come from just one component and other elements such as chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant have been identified as being equally powerful.

The main use of the extract is to improve the digestive process and to enhance liver function and more recently as a natural way to lower high LDL cholesterol which is the more unhealthy type. Cholesterol has an important role to play in the body including hormone production and brain health but if our diet is unhealthy, the LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein becomes oxidised (usually from a high sugar diet) and its smaller particles attach to the walls of the arteries and form clumps that block blood flow. The dual effect of the artichoke extract is to not only act as an antioxidant preventing the oxidation by free radicals in the first place, but also to lower the level of the LDL.

The Liver

Our liver is the largest waste organ inside our body and as such comes under enormous pressure if we have a poor diet. We as humans are built to deal with many toxins. In the early part of human evolution we ate a lot of foods that were contaminated or possibly toxic; our livers are very proficient in removing these dangerous additives as quickly as possible. The digestive system is designed so that the stomach acid dissolves the food and as you will know if you have ever suffered from food poisoning there is usually a very quick response to contaminated food!

However, some of the toxin might still get through as far as the liver and it needs to be excreted from the body as effectively as possible. This is where bile enters the formula. It is manufactured in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. You may be surprised to learn that the liver produces around about 2 pints of bile per day and this is secreted into the small intestine where it processes the fats we have consumed and ensures that fat soluble vitamins are absorbed effectively. Bile is also essential for detoxing the liver as it carries the toxins away into the intestine to be eliminated from the body.

There are a number of clinical studies ongoing into the benefits of artichoke extract and it will be interesting to see the results of these in coming years.

In a nutshell.

Artichoke extract can be used to stimulate bile flow from the liver which may help reduce the symptoms of heartburn, protect the LDL cholesterol from oxidation and lower levels, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), improve kidney function, fluid retention, bladder infections and improve liver function.

Gallstones and gallbladder disease is not uncommon especially as we get older and have not had the best diet. It can also be a familial condition and we have it in our family. Artichoke may prevent the formation of gallstones and improve bile flow which is very important for the removal of toxins and long-term health.

Some cultures also use artichoke extract for lowering blood pressure and blood sugar or as a tonic.

As a food Artichokes contain many essential nutrients.

FOLATE: FOLIC ACID; Folic acid is a B vitamin essential for cell replication and growth. It helps form the building blocks of DNA the body’s genetic information which is why it is recommended prior to conception and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to ensure the rapidly growing and replicating cells of the foetus are normal. This helps prevent low birth weight and abnormalities such as Heart defects or lip and palate malformations. It also helps prevent complications during pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia

It is essential for transporting co-enzymes needed for amino acid metabolism in the body and is necessary for a functioning nervous system.

VITAMIN C: ASCORBIC ACID; An antioxidant that protects LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) from oxidative damage, leading to hardening of the arteries. May also protect against heart disease reducing the hardening of arteries and the tendency of platelets to clump together blocking them. Vitamin C is necessary to form collagen, which acts like glue strengthening parts of the body such as muscles and blood vessels. It aids with healing and is a natural anti-histamine.

It is essential for the action of the Immune system and plays a part in the actions of the white blood cells and anti-bodies. It protects other antioxidants A and E from free radical damage and is involved in the production of some adrenal hormones

VITAMIN K: PHYLLOQUINONE; Necessary for proper bone formation and blood clotting, preventing calcification in our blood vessels and maintaining a healthy neurological system including in the brain.

MANGANESE: Needed for healthy skin, bone and cartilage formation as well as glucose tolerance. Also forms part of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase, which helps prevent free radical damage. It is also needed for the efficient metabolism of cholesterol, amino acids and fatty acids. It may aid in weight loss as our body more efficiently processes the foods that we eat.

POTASSIUM: This is the main cation (positively charged electrolyte). It reacts with sodium and chloride to maintain a perfect working environment in and around each cell. It allows the transmission of nerve impulses and helps maintain the correct fluid balance in the body. It also regulates levels of acidity and alkalinity in the body. It is also required for carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It is connected to normal heart rhythms and to keep Blood Pressure within a healthy range.

So as you can see plenty of great reasons to eat artichokes at least once a week and if like me you find the preparation and eating of this nutritious vegetable a bit of a problem then here is a ‘How To’ from Youtube.

Thanks to Shadow of Juniper Hill

©sallygeorginacronin Just Food For Health 2009

You will find other posts in this series here.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/medicine-womans-treasure-chest-herbs-and-spices/

Thanks for dropping by and I am always delighted with your feedback and please feel free to share the information.