Cancer Watch January 2011

2011 Research

To read an article just click on the title below.










Do newly-diagnosed prostate cancer patients need treatment?

It sounds like a question with an obvious answer. But not according to a more than slightly embarrassing piece of research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Swedish researchers have concluded that if none of the men diagnosed with early prostate cancer had any treatment at all, over 97 per cent would still survive ten years or more! This is grossly at odds with Eurocare-4 showing European 5-year survival figures for treated patients of 45 per cent to 83 per cent depending upon the country.

Back in 2002 CANCERactive led the way amongst UK charities in observing that the great majority of prostate cancers were slow growing and did not need treating. About 4 years later NICE, along with cancer centres from Sloan-Kettering to the Royal Marsden, took the same view.

This latest study goes even further. After comparing a group of low to mid-risk prostate patients having no treatment with a group having the usual surgery and hormone treatments, some eight years later the death rate amongst men in the no-treatment (active surveillance) group was exactly the same as the figure for the general population!! The researchers stated that after ten years only just over two per cent of men in the untreated group would have died from prostate cancer.

Ed: Unfortunately, in the UK there is little evidence that the NICE guidelines are heeded, especially if you are a private patient. As an anecdote, I have 6 friends diagnosed with early prostate cancer in 2009/10. All six were private patients, all six had their prostates removed within weeks of diagnosis three because it hadn’t spread and surgery would stop any spread (?); and three because it might have already spread! The contradictory science and lack of logic baffles me in both cases. If it hasn’t spread leave it alone! If it has, it is probably too late for surgery anyway.

Meanwhile I have one newly diagnosed friend in his sixties who has done nothing but change his diet, take supplements and exercise for six months. His PSA scores have all tumbled to the point where his GP has now told him he does not need an operation any more!

Newly diagnosed prostate patients should not rush in to any treatment just as we have been saying for eight years!

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Micronutrients can prevent mutation and cancer


A paper (J Nucleic Acids 2010 Sep 22; pii 725071, and pubmed) from the Nutrition and Metabolism Center at the Children’s Hospital, Oakland, California (Ames B N ) has summarised three of their research studies and concluded that optimising micronutrient intake will in turn optimise metabolism, decrease DNA damage and result in less cancer as well as other degenerative diseases associated with ageing.

The three studies looked at

  1. The delay of mitochondrial decay through ageing and free-radical damage could be minimised by supplementation with lipoic acid and acetyl carnitine.

  2. How even modest micronutrient deficiencies (common in much of the population) accelerate molecular aging, including DNA damage and mitochondrial decay. This work included an in-depth analysis of vitamin K that suggests the importance of achieving optimal micronutrient intake for longevity.

  3. The finding that a loss of enzyme function can result from protein deformation and loss of function due to an age-related decline in membrane fluidity or mutation. The loss of enzyme function can be compensated by a high dietary intake of any of the B vitamins.

Researchers concluded that ’optimising micronutrient intake could have a major effect on the prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases of ageing’.

Ed: I urge readers to be more aware of the loss of decent levels of  B vitamins in High Street supplements, the common deficiency in vitamin K levels (due to low consumption of ’greens’ and low levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut, and the EU mandated restriction of key trace minerals in mass market supplements. This non-sense by the EU and others flies in the face of the latest research as you can see for yourselves, and will only get worse. Readers who are already concerned may be supplementing with high quality B complex, vitamin K, multi-strain probiotics, and trace mineral pills or liquids. Those concerned may like to see what the Natural Selection shop has to offer, for example, by clicking these links.
Advanced B Complex:  
Multi-strain Probiotics:
Vitamin K:
Trace minerals: Supertrace:

Acetyl Carnitine


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Largest ever study shows fish oils help beat cancer

Anybody who has ever heard me speak will know that I always ask the audience to put their hands up if they took fish oil supplement that day. It is because I want the rest of the audience (usually two-thirds) to realise that fish oils are a true superfood. In Cancer Watch it seems that every month there is a study showing that omega-3 prevents cancer, or reduces polyps in colon cancer, reduces inflammation and so on.

In one of the largest ever studies (35,016 post-menopausal women between the ages of 50 and 76 who were taking part in the 10-year Vitamins and
Lifestyle (VITAL) study) researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle have found that regularly taking a fish oil supplement may lower the
risk of breast cancer by approximately a third.

"This study is one of the largest studies that have come out showing
that there may be a role for fish oil in the prevention of cancer,
specifically breast cancer,"
said Lorenzo Cohen, of the M.D. Anderson
Cancer Center at the University of Texas-Houston.

All of the women lived in Washington state and had no history of
breast cancer. After an average of six years, the researchers found that women who regularly took a fish oil supplement were 32 percent less likely to
develop invasive ductal breast cancer than women who did not take the

ED: We have regularly commented on ductal breast cancer after a UCLA Professor stood up at the American Breast Cancer Conference and said that DCIS was, most usually not breast cancer but calcium deposits in the breast ducts and in 80 per cent of cases never led to breast cancer! We opined then (5 years ago) that this could be why fish oils and vitamin D could be so effective in preventing breast cancer they both have a significant effect on reducing excessive blood calcium levels (cows’ dairy consumption increases them and is known to increase breast cancer risk). Magnesium, deficient in at least 40 per cent of the population, will also take calcium from the blood stream into the bones.

Long-chain Omega-3 is known to play a role in reducing inflammatory localised hormones around cells, by reducing the Cox-2 enzyme levels. Fish oils may also contain vitamin A and vitamin D both of which have a cancer preventative ability, according to research.

Interestingly, the consumption of oily fish did not prompt the same research effects, possibly because fish oil supplements are of a much higher concentration.

One of the biggest issues with fish oils is possible contamination, for example with heavy metals like Mercury. Natural Selection seeks Mercury free sources.

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Manage Stress, before it manages you

Top US Cancer Center MD Anderson has posted this on its blog from Dr Lorenzo Cohen PhD.

Stress begins in the brain with a cascade of neuropeptides and stress hormones that flood the body. These changes dis-regulate the immune system, negatively affect intracellular functioning of all cells in our body and can directly affect gene expression. For example, chronic stress has been found to shorten telomeres (which are on the ends of our chromosomes), which are intricately involved in the process of aging.

Yes, unmanaged chronic stress will speed the aging process. And that’s not all. Chronic stress increases your risk for heart disease, sleep difficulties, digestive problems and depression. It also makes you more likely to forego healthy eating and exercise habits that help prevent cancer and other diseases.

At MD Anderson we’re often asked if stress can influence risk of cancer and progression of disease once you have cancer. While short-term or acute stress is adaptive in our lives, chronic stress can result in adverse effects on health.

Although most patients believe stress had a role in causing their cancer, the evidence doesn’t support a direct link. This may in part be because of the difficulty in conducting this kind of research, but also due to the multitude of factors that influence cancer growth. However, research has found a stronger association between chronic stress and the progression and spread of existing cancer.

Recent studies using animal models have shown that in addition to contributing to a weakened immune system, stress hormones can directly impact the tumour micro-environment and speed the progression of disease. More research is needed to further understand the biology of this effect in humans, as well as therapeutic strategies that may help combat the deleterious effects of chronic stress.

There are many ways to help reduce the stress we feel in our everyday lives. Some factors that cause stress cannot be controlled. But for the things you can control, it’s important to find ways to avoid them or balance them with stress-reducing activities. For the stressors in your life you can’t control, you have to focus on yourself, make time to do things you enjoy and engage in regular stress management.

Try these strategies for stress management:

  1. Practice yoga or seated meditation.
    Movement-based mind-body activities like yoga are very helpful forms of stress management. Yoga’s focus on gentle movements, breathing and meditation helps relax both the mind and body. Yoga’s benefits include improved sleep, mood and quality of life. Any kind of mind-body practice can also get the job done. This includes practices from the Chinese tradition, such as T’ai Chi or Qigong, or practices from Tibetan traditions that focus on meditation and quieting the mind. In fact, meditation has been found to influence gene expression. 

  2. Sign up for art or music therapy.
    People have been making music and art for thousands of years to heal -- and express -- themselves. Today, many people are working with art and music therapists to curb stress and improve self-esteem and communication. Best of all, you don’t need to be a talented artist or musician to reap the benefits.

  3. Take a hike.
    Ward off the stress of urban crowds, noise and traffic by putting on your tennis shoes and taking a hike. People who spend time walking through the forest experience far less stress and have a lower heart rate, pulse rate and blood pressure than those stuck in the city, according to a recent study. Regular physical activity is, of course, important for overall health and it also reduces stress.

  4. Get a massage.
    By stroking, kneading or stretching different muscle groups, a masseuse can relax areas that have tensed up. Plus, research shows that massage can reduce pain and anxiety. Massage won’t eliminate stress in the long run, but it can help reduce short-term tension. 

  5. Resist sugar cravings.
    While sugar may cheer you up and give you a big energy boost, it’s very short-lived. When the sugar rush disappears, you end up feeling worse than before and in many cases, people end up feeling depressed or guilty for eating unhealthy, which just feeds their stress. If you really need your sugar fix, eat a piece of fruit. The fibre will keep you from crashing after your sugar high and keep you full longer. Plus, you won’t feel guilty about making unhealthy food choices and you’ll pack on cancer-fighting nutrients, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

  6. Accept help and support from others.
    Having a network of friends, family, neighbours and others in your life to rely on can provide you support and help you to manage stress. Several studies have found that cancer patients with the most social support had better quality of life and lived longer than those with the least amount of social support.

It is OK if these stress-reduction strategies don’t appeal to you. Different things work for different people. You can reduce stress just by doing your favourite hobby. The most important thing is to find what works for you and regularly make time for relaxation.

Many people think they do not have time to manage their stress. But five minutes a day is often enough, and the reality is we need to make time to take those five minutes.

Excerpts of this post originally appeared in Focused on Health, MD Anderson’s healthy living newsletter.

Ed: I find it fascinating that it has now become standard practice in many top American Cancer Centers to address subjects such as Mental state, Stress and Depression. 37 per cent of American Hospitals now include the words ’treating mind, body and soul’ as part of their mission statement. They know that increasingly there is expert research to support this work. MD Anderson even has a Department of Integrated Medicine.

But in the UK we simply remain in denial. Worse, self-styled ’quackbusters’ rush to criticise anybody who dares to offer cancer patients any view differing from orthodoxy.

At CANCERactive we have covered research on stress as a cause of cancer several times. Yet other charities - and even the WHO in its ’Causes of Cancer’ paper prepared by leading UK cancer ’experts’ - refrain from mentioning ’mental state’ at all.

To counter this ignorance, and to provide a fuller information service for CANCERactive supporters, we are working to prepare a new section on our web site called ’How your Mental State can heal you’. More articles will be added in due course all supported by expert research, of course.

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Aspirin found to reduce the risk of cancer (yet again!)

A small daily dose of aspirin, in this case just 75mg, substantially reduces death rates from a range of common cancers, according to new research lead by Oxford University. 

The study, published in the Lancet before Christmas 2010, covered approximately 25,000 patients and found that the small daily dose of aspirin cut overall cancer deaths by at least a fifth. Patients given aspirin had a 25 per cent lower risk of death from cancer during the trial and a 10 per cent reduction in death from any cause compared to patients who were not given aspirin. While the trial lasted for four to eight years, long term-follow-up of some 12,500 patients showed the protective effect continued for 20 years in both men and women.

Ed: Common aspirin is a synthetic copy of willow bark. Chewing willow bark was a common herbal remedy in the Middle Ages. In 1992 John Vane won a Nobel prize and a knighthood for his work that showed aspirin could reduce inflammatory cellular hormones called eicosanoids. Inflammation of cells is the precursor to diseases from arthritis to cancer. Further studies since that time have repeated the findings we covered the Mayo Clinic finding that small doses of aspirin could reduce cancer risk a couple of years ago. Other compounds can have the same inflammation-reducing effect; for example ginger, garlic, curcumin, resveratrol and long-chain omega 3 (fish oils).

The Oxford researchers concluded that the benefits of aspirin far outweighed any possible negative effects (such as causing bleeding in the stomach). Readers should note that the amount recommended by research is a quarter of the usual 300 mg tablet (some tablets are 500 mgs). Always take with food. For those who are concerned over the stomach side-effects, liquid aloe vera contains six such anti-inflammatories. You can sip a little first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Recently several studies have shown anti-cancer benefits for aloe vera linked to this same biochemical route. Readers should note the magnitude of the research findings: For individual cancers the reduction due to aspirin was about 60 per cent for oesophageal cancer, 40 per cent for bowel cancer, 30 per cent for lung cancer and 10 per cent for prostate cancer. A lack of women in the trials prevented accurate figures for cancers such as breast and ovarian.

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Smoking damages the body within minutes

Smoking damages the body in minutes rather than years, according to research funded by the US National Cancer Institute and published in the US journal Chemical Research in Toxicology. While the long-term effects of smoking are widely known, scientists on this, albeit small-scale study, warned that the damage begins just moments after the first cigarette is smoked. Looking at polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) which are known to produce by-products linked to increased cancer risk and DNA damage, scientists from the University of Minnesota were surprised to find that the whole process took about 30 minutes!

Anti-smoking charity Ash commented ’The chilling thing about this research is that it shows just how early the very first stages of that process begin - not in 30 years but within 30 minutes of a single cigarette for every subject in the study’.



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Cancer takes 10 to 20 years to grow

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have found that takes 11.7 years for one mutation in a pancreas cell to grow into a full blown pancreatic tumour. And it then takes another 6.8 years for that tumour to spread to other organs in the body.

So they concluded that it takes about 20 years in total.

However, at the 11 year point, the tumour might still be too small for your medical team to see it - just as we covered with our story recently on mammograms that can only detect a breast tumour after 20 cell divisions, when 40 divisions would involve the death of the patient.

Other cancers were felt to take the same 10 - 20 year timescale. (Nature)

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Prostate cancer treatment hormones work better with radiotherapy

Researchers from Cardiff University have analysed data from over 1200 advanced prostate cases in the USA and Canada and shown that, where the patients had both radiotherapy and hormone treatment 90 per cent survived at least 7 years, whereas those on hormone therapy alone had a figure of 79 per cent. In the UK, the researchers said, few men had radiotherapy, but believed this could clearly improve outcomes.

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Can bone drugs cause cancer?

Researchers from Oxford University have produced some alarming findings on people taking bisphosphonate drugs, such as Actonel, Boniva and Fosamax. One in ten British women over 70 currently take bisphonates. In the research, 3,000 people between the ages of 60 and 79 who were taking bisphonates showed a doubling in their rate of oesophageal cancer after 5 years when compared to an identical people not taking the drugs. (British Medical Journal)

The researchers recorded that ’Those subjects who filled 10 or more prescriptions for oral biphosphonates had nearly twice the chance of contracting throat cancer than those who were not taking the drugs’.

Bisphosphonates, are commonly used to strengthen bones and icon has carried expert views that they may have a role in preventing the spread (metastasis) in breast cancer. Oncologists had argued that cancer cell can attack bones, and bones produce growth hormone to strengthen themselves and defeat the attack. However the primary cancer uses the growth hormone to its own ends, growing ever faster. However, bisphonates are known to irritate the oesophagus.

Oesophageal cancer has been growing in the UK at an alarming rate in recent years. Melbourne University Cancer Centre pointed a finger of concern at alcohol-based mouthwashes, noting 3 fold to 5 fold increases if people were drinkers or smokers. The ’bisphonates factor’ is something new.

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Intravenous Vitamin C source to be banned by the FDA in America

In an extremely controversial step, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has now decided to ban the preparation of a source of Intravenous vitamin C in America threatening the makers with court action. The use of vitamin C in this way has been steadily gaining popularity as a cancer treatment with important results, although full clinical trials have yet to be performed.

No reason has been given for the decision and critics have voiced concerns that the Drugs industry simply does not want a serious natural competitor increasingly used as a viable alternative. You can read about the use of Intravenous vitamin C as a cancer treatment on our web site.

The controversy is however not confined to the ’alternative cancer industry’. Intravenous vitamin C is increasingly proving effective in cases of severe burns and is now commonly used by burns units around the world. The American forces use IV vitamin C as part of their burns treatment programme.

So alarmed are some Congressmen that they are moving rapidly to restrict the powers of the FDA and make it more accountable to the state. Whilst passing some controversial drugs over the past few years, the FDA continues to criticise herbs and other natural remedies, despite receiving clinical trials on herbs like feverfew, showing they can actually out-perform the best drug currently available in cancer treatment. The FDA has never passed a herb for use as a cancer treatment in its history.


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Immune system boosted to beat kidney cancer

Christie Hospital, Manchester are now using ’a tough but pioneering advanced kidney cancer immunotherapy treatment which is showing promising results.
The hospital has released limited data on their research to date which involves using high doses of Interleukin-2, which they call an aggressive drug to boost the patients’ own immune systems

Professor Robert Hawkins of Christie said patients were carefully selected as not everyone can take the level of treatment. To date a quarter of all patients treated are now in remission, despite some being in very advanced states of cancer.


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Oesophagael and stomach cancer and meat eating (

According to the results of a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, there is a clear link between red meat consumption and both oesophageal and stomach cancers.

Previous studies have looked at both Heterocyclic amines and nitrosamine compounds formed by heating meats to high temperatures. Another dangerous product, acrylamide, is produced from other foods by baking at high temperatures.

The AJG research focused on a compound called DiMelQx, formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures.

The researchers from the National Cancer Institute in the USA followed 500,000 US Citizens between the ages of 50 and 70 for ten years. The group that ate the most meat was 79 per cent more likely to develop oesophageal cancer than the group that ate the least. Overall the researchers ’found positive associations between red meat intake and oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma and between DiMeIQx intake and gastric cardiac cancer’.

But Oregano oil shown to help fight cancer and beat the meat chemicals

We have told you before about oregano and its abilities to kill excess yeasts in the body. It is also known to have anti-parasite, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties.


Now, researchers at the University of Arizona have found that it can even prevent cancer, possibly due to these properties. Caracole is the natural compound that has the important properties.


In the research, scientists showed that oregano oil, taken daily, could cut the dangerous chemicals formed when heating and cooking meats to high temperatures by 78 per cent.  (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)


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Child cancer survivors future health risks

We’ve covered it before, but researchers from Birmingham University (Journal of the American Medical Association) have now analysed the data from almost 18,000 young people (below 15 years) who had cancer between 1940 and 1991 and survived.

Chemotherapy and treatment may have improved since those times. We have previously reported on higher rates of depression, higher rates of suicide and higher rates of contracting a new different cancer, all thought to be attributable to the original chemotherapy treatment.

In the Birmingham research, where survivors were followed through to 2006, the rate of death was 11 times higher than normal, although that fell the longer a patient survived after the 5 year point. However, even 45 years later, the risk of death was 45 times normal. This is consistent with other reports we have covered where only 7 per cent died from the same cancer. Causes of death were not just limited to cancer but a higher risk of both brain and heart related ailments. (

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MD Anderson opens a Beauty/Barber shop

Oh that more UK cancer hospitals were like MD Anderson who have opened a new shop, has been designed like a salon with five styling stations, two shampoo bowls, two stationary hair dryers and plenty of display room for wigs, scarves, turbans and other accessories. The shop is open and airy with windows looking out toward Reliant Stadium and the Texas Medical Center, and the wood panelling, pendant lights and rain-beaded glass add to a spa-like atmosphere.

The Beauty/Barber Shop is staffed by two certified cosmetologists who have worked at MD Anderson for many years and every day witness the lift that a shampoo or styling can bring a patient. Volunteers -- many who are survivors -- also work in the shop, helping patients with their choice of scarves or wigs.

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Curcumin plays a part in a healthy liver


Curcumin is known to stop inflammation, a precursor to cancer. And it has been shown to play a part in glucose metabolism high blood glucose is linked to cancer risk.

Now researchers from Saint Louis University have concluded that curcumin can help fight liver fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver by switching off a protein called Leptin. This can help prevent liver disease. Curcumin has also been shown to help detoxify the liver, and so is a useful helper in integrative cancer treatment programmes.


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Vitamin K as a cancer fighter

We have been telling you about the importance of vitamin K for a number of years. Originally known, at minute doses, to help blood clotting, it was found to also be crucial in preventing secondary cancer formation in the liver, but at much higher levels. Research studies from Washington and Tokyo showed that these high doses of vitamin K could stop liver cancers.

Typically vitamin K is derived from green vegetables, but the action of beneficial bacteria in the gut is essential for its release. Unfortunately, most orthodox cancer treatments and antibiotics severely reduce this vitamin K release.

The fact is that less and less people, especially the young, eat a daily helping of greens, and so vitamin K deficiency is on the increase.

New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that people with the highest intake of vitamin K had the lowest risk of developing cancer and a 30 per cent reduction in cancer mortality.

Interestingly, there is research (Bolton-Smith, University of Dundee, 2007) that suggests vitamin K enhances the effects of vitamin D in boosting bone health.


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Will Cancer Research admit it was wrong?

At CANCERactive we have been telling you of the benefits of sunshine for nearly 8 years. (See Vitamin D: Are you getting enough?)

Other cancer charities are now catching up. First a draft statement, acquired by The Independent Newspaper talked of a change of stance at Cancer Research UK. Now we appear to have a changed ’Sunsmart’ campaign that just talks about avoiding burning. The draft statement included the following:


Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign encourages people to enjoy the sun safely and avoid exposures that lead to sunburn. However, for most people, sunlight is also the most important source of vitamin D, which is essential for good bone health. (Ed: And, err, beating cancer!!)


Vitamin D is synthesised by the body upon exposure to sunlight. It plays an important role in not only bone health, but also in regulating the immune system and preventing cancer. But with increasing sedentism and an emphasis on preventing skin cancer by wearing protective clothing and sunscreen, rates of deficiency are on the rise across the First World.

The time required to make sufficient vitamin D is typically short and less than the amount of time needed for skin to redden and burn. (Ed. Actually you need about 20-30 minutes for either).

Regularly going outside for a matter of minutes around the middle of the day without sunscreen should be enough. When it comes to sun exposure, little and often is best. However, people should get to know their own skin to understand how long they can spend outside before risking sunburn under different conditions.(

In the end seven charities (Cancer Research UK, National Osteoporosis Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society, British Association of Dermatologists, Diabetes UK, National Heart Forum and the Primary Care Dermatology Society) agreed a statement which has confirmed people should go in the sun, without using sunscreen, to gain the benefits of vitamin D


Ed: As regular readers of icon will know, we have told you for 8 years to ’Practice Safe Sun’. Sunshine is essential to your health a day in the sun will produce about 10,000 IUs of vitamin D, shown in a great many studies to be a significant cancer preventative agent. Other research has shown that as soon as the immune system recognizes a rogue cell, it looks for a vitamin D molecule to activate the immune cell. Another major study showed that vitamin D could regulate cancer cells and the cancer process and restore healthy cellular systems.

When it comes to skin cancer, we have also been a lone voice in highlighting research that shows factors such as taking the contraceptive pill and using sunscreens containing oestrogen mimic chemicals and even retinyl palmitate, may pre-sensitise the skin and lead to a heightened risk of skin cancer and melanoma. See our ’Safe Sun’ campaign for the full picture.

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Sulphoraphanes shown to beat cancer yet again

This time it was at team of researchers at the Institute of Food Technology in Norwich, who looked at people with a fault in the PTEN gene. PTEN produces a protein known to block tumour growth and spread.  However, in conditions where it was faulty, in mice and human cell lines, sulphorophanes (typically from broccoli and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and kale) were shown to block the growth and spread of the prostate tumours, even causing cancer cell death. 

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Spanish confirm Olive oil benefits

Yet another study, this time from researchers at the Universitat Autnoma de

Barcelona, Spain has shown that long-term consumption of olive oil protects DNA from free-radical damage, lowering the risk of cancer. It was also shown to deactivate certain proteins involved in the breast cancer process. (Carcinogenesis).


Ed: It is important for readers to note that this important ingredient of the Rainbow Diet, should be consumed in an organic, extra virgin form. It should be cold pressed mechanically. Increasingly, olive oil is being sold in a heated, refined and denatured form. We want you to derive the true benefits of this important cancer protector and corrector.

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Milk to be cut for school children over IGF-1 concerns?

It seems that the British Press is now agreeing with our stance on cows’ dairy in schools. I once wrote that one of the best things Margaret Thatcher did was get rid of school milk.

However, it is still provided for the under 5’s and Andrew Marszal, of The Telegraph, wants that cut too. Even junior health minister Anne Milton thinks the free milk programme should end.

Just as I have written in the past, cows’ dairy provides no nourishment which you cannot get in other areas of the diet, yet hormones in it like IGF-1, excessive calcium and fat levels and links to diseases from diabetes to osteoporosis to increased risk of cancers (including breast, prostate and ovarian) have all been researched and covered in icon.

You just do not need to drink a product designed to make a calf grow to a full sized cow in ten months. Eat a helping of greens for your calcium; and we have long argued that, far from reducing levels of osteoporosis, cows’ milk actually makes matters worse exercise, vitamin D and magnesium help.

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Pomegranate juice may stop metastases in prostate cancer

We have covered several studies in the past which showed how drinking pomegranate juice could lower PSA levels and even reverse prostate cancer. Other studies (for example in Cancer Prevention Research, Jan 2010) have showed that phytochemicals called ellagitannins could prevent the development of hormone-dependent breast cancer and halt the growth of oestrogen-driven tumours. Now researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) have shown that it contains natural compounds that can block metastases.

At the American Society for Cell Biology’s 50th Annual Meeting the researchers found that  phenylpropanoids, hydrobenzoic acids, flavones and conjugated fatty acids in the fruit had the potential to stop cancer cells developing, to prevent metastases to nearby bone cells and even to kill prostate cancer cells. The pomegranate juice increased cell adhesion and thus decreased cell migration to other tissues.

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Exercise prolongs life of prostate cancer patients

According to a recent study by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the University of California, exercise may help reduce the risk of death in patients with prostate cancer.

Researchers (Kenfield SA, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, et al) analysed data from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study where 2,705 men had been diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer over an 18-year period.


Any exercise seems good for you! Men who walked at least 90 minutes per week at a normal-to-brisk pace were 46 percent less likely to die, while men who undertook vigorous exercise like tennis or jogging or bike riding for at least three hours per week had a 49 percent lower risk of death from any cause when compared to men who exercised for shorter periods at an easy pace. (J Clin Oncol. 2011 Jan 4)


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Chinese herb found to reduce side-effects of chemotherapy

Researchers from Yale University (Science Translational Medicine) have shown that an ancient Chinese herbal remedy for upset stomachs may boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy while reducing its side effects. The remedy called Huang Qin Tang, is a combination of peony and skullcap flowers, licorice root and buckthorn fruit.

Lead researcher Yung-Chi Cheng was interested in studying the remedy because chemotherapy is known to upset the lining of the gastro-intestinal tract and cause sickness and vomiting. Researchers used an extract of Qin Tang called PHY-906 and based on the traditional formula.

"PHY-906 has multiple biologically active compounds which can act on multiple sources of discomfort," Cheng said. In controlled research with mice damaged intestinal linings quickly healed, tumours shrank more and they  lost less weight than mice who had not been given PHY-906.

Cheng has now founded a company to provide PHY-906 to cancer patients.

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Sloan-Kettering starts phase II Clinical trials on Maitake Mushrooms

The press release says that maitake mushroom extracts can stop cancer in animals, not directly, but through immune system stimulation.

In people with myelodysplastic syndrome, the bone marrow does not work normally. As a result, they may have abnormally low levels of functioning blood cells (such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets). The Clinical Trial aims to see if maitake mushroom extracts can sort this out. The extract will be in the form of a liquid.

Myeloid leukaemia (AML) would be one disease where patients might benefit, if the Trial is successful.

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T’ai Chi relieves pain

Research from the University of North Carolina involving 354 individuals has shown that T’ai Chi significantly reduces pain, while increasing energy. (American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting 2010)

The researchers divided the participants into two groups, one a control, the other following T’ai Chi twice per week.  Although this research was specifically conducted for arthritis sufferers, the researchers felt the improvement in both mental and physical well-being would be applicable to patients with other illnesses too. T’ai Chi is a gentle form of exercise and, although linked to martial arts, uses graceful and slow movements to improve fitness and energy levels.

Previous research studies have shown other, similar benefits (e.g. 2009, Hong Kong Polytechnic University - T’ai Chi helps stroke victims regain the ability to maintain balance while moving or shifting weight;  2008, UCLA -  Tai Chi helps people to sleep better. )

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Green Tea helps cancer and Alzheimer’s prevention

Researchers from Newcastle University have been looking into what happens to green tea once digested to see if the by-products really are healthy (Phytomedicine). It is all very well talking about the chemicals in your cup, but what happens to them once digested.


Dr. Ed Okello and his team of researchers showed that the bacteria and enzymes in the gut helped break down the chemicals from green tea, which were then absorbed and used in the body. Indeed, they found that the digested chemicals were actually more effective that the undigested ones existing in the green tea in the cup and that the newly produced phytochemical by-products had significant anti-cancer and anti-Alzheimer’s properties.
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Exercise improves clinical depression but keep it up

According to a review of 13 studies on Clinical Depression (Krogh J, Nordentoft M, Sterne JA, et al. The effect of exercise in clinically depressed adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Clin Psychiatry. 2010 Oct 19), exercise can improve mental state, but as soon as the exercise programme stops there is no lasting effect.

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Food wrapper toxic dangers identified

Research from the University of Toronto has shown that food wrappers can be one of the major sources of dangerous, toxic perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs), which can pollute your blood and lymph systems, damage your immune system, and are also hormone disruptors linked to thyroid problems and even cancer.


Grease-proofing agents called PAPs may be used on paper food packaging including fast food wrappers and microwave packs. The research showed that they were a major source of PCFA exposure. The research involved rats, who built up a slow and steady blood levels of the chemicals over the three week trial. (Ed: That’ll teach the rats to avoid the burger restaurants).

Other forms of exposure include non-stick cooking utensils, and chemical treatments for sheets, pillowcases, clothes and carpets.

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BPA now officially a toxic substance in Canada

Over a year ago Canada led the world in banning Bisphenol A (BPA). California have banned it in children’s toys for the under 3’s.

BPA is commonly found in the white lining inside cans, as a by-product of plasticisers used in plastic bottles, including babies bottles, and plastic ’dummies’ and toys. It was even found in 16 of 17 soft drink canned products in Canadian research, and US research showed it present in 90 per cent of babies under 1 year of age..

Canada has now become the first country in the world to declare BPA to be a toxic substance that poses risks to human health and the environment.

BPA is known to be an oestrogen mimic once inside the human body, causing the disruption of the endocrine (hormone) system and leading to a heightened risk of cancer.

Why not write to your MP and ask why it is not banned in your country. Despite intense lobbying and propaganda from the packaging, food and drink industries Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, stated that "Our science indicated that Bisphenol A may be harmful to both human health and the environment adding that this view was taken based "robust and relevant scientific evidence".

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BPA linked to lower sperm count in China

Research on 218 male workers exposed to high levels of BPA in a factory in China found that those with detectable levels of BPA in their blood had sperm counts 2-4 times lower than normal. (Li DK, Zhou Z, Miao M, et al. Urine bisphenol-A (BPA) level in relation to semen quality. Fertil Steril. 2010 Oct 26)

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Acrylamides linked to breast cancer

We have covered acrylamides on a number of occasions. Typically they are produced when food is cooked to high temperatures. The WHO says that the safe level is zero, and when problems first started to emerge, they called 20 or more top scientists together for an urgent meeting over Easter about 6 years ago. Little was subsequently resolved however. Acrylamides can be found in crisps, chips, fried foods, and hi-baked products like some biscuits. Originally, they had been thought to come from the surrounding packaging. Smoking is also a source of acrylamide in the body. Research has shown that acrylamides cause increases in inflammation in the body and in dangerous oxidised low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.

Now a research study in the British Journal of Cancer has shown that acrylamide is associated with a 20 per cent increased risk of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women.

A previous study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment found that women with the highest intake of acrylamide were 31 percent more likely to develop ER+ breast cancer, 47 percent more likely to develop PR+ breast cancer, and 43 percent more likely to develop ER+PR+ breast cancer, compared to women who consumed the least or no acrylamide. (

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Don’t put laptops on your lap!

Research in the November edition of Fertility and Sterility warns that men working with a laptop on their laps can raise the temperature of their testes by 2.5 degrees. Just 1 degree rise is enough to lower sperm counts. Cooking starts after just 10-15 minutes.

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German Dioxin contamination serious

Germany has closed 934 more poultry and pig farms over fears of contamination by dioxin in animal feed. The scandal began after high levels of dioxin, known to cause cancer, were found in eggs and pork.

Farms were closed in Lower Saxony as well as in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Brandenburg. And South Korea and China banned imports of German pork and poultry. By the time you read this the matter should be hopefully resolved.
A quarter of American children on drugs for chronic illnesses..

The Wall Street Journal of all people has covered a story that not content with prescribing drugs to kids for ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and asthma, kids are now being prescribed everything from diabetes drugs to statins and from blood pressure drugs to sleeping pills. All this despite the fact that such drugs are tested in clinical trials on adults.

Big Pharma and American GP’s may have a lot to answer for in years to come.

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. but let’s ban Complementary Treatments which are dangerous to kids

Making the front page of the British Medical Journal’s Archives of Disease in Childhood, no less, is an Australian study which records that between 2001 and 2003 of all the children who took complementary medicines (CAM) in Australia, a whopping 46 instances of adverse reactions (ranging from mouth ulcers to 4 supposed deaths) were recorded. Moreover, these were ’associated’ or ’related’ but actually unproven reactions to CAM.

Time to ban CAM’s from child use, then. No mention is made of how many children develop adverse reactions to vaccines and penicillin in the report. But then we all know it is more than 46 and certainly more than 4 deaths.
With science of this standard, our futures are doomed.

Meanwhile a survey in the USA has shown an alarming increase in drug recalls due to sub-standard and dangerous products. Recalls jumped from 426 in 2008 to 1,742 in 2009. I wonder what it is in the UK.

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WikiLeaks now exposes US Government threats over GM foods

Wikileaks has now exposed cables revealing the words of Craig Stapleton, the American Ambassador to France who, worried that France was about to pass environmental laws that would restrict the growth of GM seeds and foods, registered the following:
’Europe is moving backwards not forwards on this issue with France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy and even the [European Commission... Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voice.’
Note the word ’retaliation’! It gets worse:

’Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory...’

So the American Government, if countries didn’t want GM, were going to ’cause some pain across the EU’ that must be ’sustainable over the long term’.
What lovely people.

Only recently over a million people in Europe signed a petition to keep Europe GM free. The EU’s new ’constitution’ contains a section called the "European citizen’s initiative" allowing Europeans to influence decisions made by the EU Commission through petitions signed by more than one million people. John Dalli, the EU commissioner responsible for GMO policy has said that he will consider keeping this GM free stance.


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Cancer, a modern disease of pollution, diet and lifestyle

A team of researchers from Manchester University has reviewed 3000 years of data, looking at remains of over 1,000 individuals from Ancient Egypt and Greece.

They found cancer in just one mummy and their conclusions were much the same as the American study we covered five years ago on 7,000 years of individuals in Croatia: Cancer is a modern disease.

Professor Rosalie David, research leader said: "In ancient times, it (cancer) was extremely rare. There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer. So it has to be a man-made disease, down to pollution and changes to our diet and lifestyle"

Researchers found that cancer only began to emerge in the eighteenth century, but has accelerated enormously in the last century.

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2011 Research
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