Anti-Cancer Strategies: Another Reason to Avoid Milk?

Dr. Joe Schwarcz, McGill University

Drinking milk may raise your risk of breast cancer, says Montreal science writer Dr. Joe Schwarcz, pointing to a recent study from California’s Loma Linda University. While the evidence thus far on the breast cancer link has been conflicting, Loma Linda’s study  “does ring some alarm bells,” Schwarcz says, in a column published today in the Montreal Gazette. Continue reading

Are You Among the Walking Wounded?

Dr. Andrew Dannenberg

Weill Cornell’s Dr. Andrew Dannenberg is concerned about us postmenopausal women.

Postmenopausal?
Normal BMI?
Too much friggin’ trunk fat? Continue reading

Eat Meat? Really?

Marion Nestle

Read more thoughtful reactions to the new study on author Marion Nestle’s Food Politics blog.

Food writer Marion Nestle “would love to know the back story” behind why university researchers chose to do the recent study on eating meat and chose to interpret the results as they did.

I’ve got a hunch.

Continue reading

#AICR19 Takeaway: Change Your Metabolism

Dr. Edward Giovannucci

Just a little weight loss can go a long way in improving metabolic health, says Harvard’s Dr. Ed Giovannucci.

The evidence is clear, says the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR), the team of scientists who’ve been studying nutrition’s role in cancer for more than three decades.   

Excess body fat, particularly the kind that accumulates around the belly, increases the risk of at least a dozen cancers  pancreatic, colorectal, advanced prostate and breast cancer in us older women.  If you already have cancer, it can worsen the prognosis.

So what can you do about it?   Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Strategies: Inhibit Glutamine

anti-cancer peppers

For an overview of cancer as a metabolic disease, start here.

Cancer cells thrive on certain fuels–including glucose and glutamine, two key elements that you must inhibit in your anti-cancer diet. We’ve talked ad nauseum about glucose. But what about glutamine, an amino acid, a building block of protein?  Continue reading

Your Anti-Cancer Mother’s Day Gift: Myricetin

walnuts public domainMyricetin may not yet grace your doctor’s anti-cancer tool kit, but put it on your prescription pad. Among all the phytonutrients, it’s what I call “plantastic”– blessed with a chemical structure that works some anti-cancer wonder.  

Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Strategies: How to Stock Your Plantastic Kitchen

anti-cancer dillToday, on World Cancer Day, go out and buy some cancer-fighting plants. Here are some musts for your anti-cancer kitchen: Continue reading

Ring Around the Belly: 5 Keys to Ringing out the Old

Is it my imagination or has Pillsbury’s Dough Boy shed a bit of belly fat?

Wonder what he’s been eating for lupper? Continue reading

Anti-Cancer News: The New York Times on Feeding Cancer

anti-cancer dill

2018 update: For an update on Dr. Thomas Seyfried’s suggestions for treating cancer as a metabolic disease, read his article here or my piece summarizing that article.  

Talk with your oncologist about using this approach and ask your oncologist to reach out to Dr. Seyfried at thomas.seyfried@bc.edu.

This week’s New York Times magazine features a story on a theme familiar to all of you readers of this anti-cancer blog : the metabolic approach to starving, or feeding, disease. It singles out insulin and a related hormone, Insulin Growth Factor-1, which we’ve talked about often.  And if glucose, glutamine and certain fatty acids drive cancer growth, as the metabolic scientists quoted in the article suggest, then what could be more important than phytonutrients that keep cancer cells from utilizing those fuels? That’s another theme we’ve been addressing.  Remember singing the praises of dill?  Continue reading

Part 2: What’s on and Off your Anti-Cancer Platter? Legumes for Long Life!

anti-cancer beans

How are legumes like sperm? They contain the same anti-cancer and anti-aging elixir.

July 2016 update: A new study in mice and 19 men by longevity researcher Luigi Fontana found that restricting daily protein to 7 to 9 percent of calories improved their metabolic health.  

Legumes–beans, peas and lentils — are the #1 key to longevity, says Dan Buettner, the bestselling author who’s been studying the world’s Blue Zones, those pockets of the world  (Mediterranean, Japan, California, Costa Rica) where people eating plant-based diets with legumes as their main source of protein are outliving us all. 

How might legumes fuel longevity? Could some be more “nutritarian” than others? How much protein should you be eating anyway? And must it be all plants all the time? Continue reading

2016: What’s on and off your Anti-Cancer Platter?

anti-cancer dietary strategies

Chicken’s off the platter if your New Year’s resolutions include restricting methionine–a promising new strategy to fight cancer and forestall aging.

What’s the latest advice that scientists are dishing out for your anti-cancer diet?

  • off the platter: suspect proteins
  • on the platter: plant proteins, but which ones and how much?
  • on the platter: flavonoids

Read the backstory first to enhance tonight’s exchanges with loved ones.  Continue reading

Anti-Cancer News: AICR says Soy and Fiber Important for Breast Cancer Survivors

anti-cancer tempeh wraps

Tempeh-Mushroom Wraps with Red Curry Sauce

Dear readers: Over the coming weeks, I will attempt to get reaction from various researchers on the soy findings. Stay tuned, talk with your doctor and do what feels right for you. Nobody needs anxiety

Soy?  Did they say soy should be included in an anti-cancer diet? Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Strategies: Does Diet Really Matter?

anti-cancer dietsWhen it comes to anti-cancer strategies, does diet really matter? To what degree? Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Diets and the Pitfalls of Plants: Copper and Zinc

anti-cancer strategies: the copper trap

Update: The same researchers who’ve found that onions and garlic can increase the bioavailability of zinc in plants have found that the following foods also help: beta-carotene rich vegetables (such as carrots). lime,  ginger, red and black pepper.

  

Yes, a plant-based diet is great for fighting cancer because plants contain all sorts of anti-cancer compounds, but heed the traps: Too much copper and too little zinc, often a result of plant-only diets, can fuel cancer—as well as make you tiredContinue reading

Anti-Cancer Diet: Which Foods Target Cancer Stem Cells?

anti-cancer foods. anti-cancer diet Here’s your 2014 New Year’s bounty: a heads up on what I’m betting will become one of the hottest topics in anti-cancer research– foods and dietary components that can alter cancer stem cells.   Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Strategies: Bring on the Leftover Carbs!

Leek and turnip soup

Want to sneak a few satisfying starches into your anti-cancer diet– say some hot, mushy sweet potatoes 

Here’s how:

 

Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Strategies: What Foods help Lower your Blood Sugar?

anti-cancer blueberriesCan you name 10 foods that help lower your blood sugar and thus belong in your anti-cancer diet? Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Strategies: Fats and Fasting, a Revolutionary Weapon for an Aggressive Enemy

anti-cancer strategies: ketogenic diets

Could coconut fat help turn the tide in the anti-cancer battle?

Update: Ketogenic diets may not offer the solution that scientists hoped for, but looking at how cancer cells burn fuel for energy is for sure generating insight into how cancer grows and spread. Since this article was published, some scientists have found that cancers can switch to feeding on ketones, which are generated by fat. They’ve also added some fatty acids to the list of nutrients that cancer cells may feed on. Palmitic acid, which is in coconut, may feed cancer, especially in  people with certain genetic profiles. The good news is that scientists have also identified phytonutrients that keep cancer cells from using fatty acids as fuels. Among them, luteolin–present in radicchio, thyme, sage, parsley, celery flakes and seeds–is key. 

Is the war on cancer now witnessing its own D-Day, a turning point in the anti-cancer fight that will change the world for good?

With the recent settlement of a major lawsuit among scientists over who owns the rights to new revolutionary approaches to managing cancer, all the experts in the field are presumably now free to talk openly—and what they’re talking about is a radical new view of the disease.

Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Recipes: No Sugar, Lots of Spice and other Zesty Thoughts

Note: Writer-Producer Harriet Sugar Miller has been a health journalist and cancer survivor for almost two decades. In her past life (before children), she practiced law in NYC. 

Although Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month wraps today, the disease remains– and will always be the beast that roused this anti-cancer blog.

In the words of McGill University’s Dr. Gerald Wiviott, we all need a trigger to help us get off our bums (Canadian for “butts”) and make changes:  Inspiration, Motivation, Provocation and Support.   Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Recipes: What’s for Breakfast?

anti cancer mung bean soupHey, guys. It might be a bit difficult at first to wrap your new anti-cancer brain around this one, but you’ll get used to it: Continue reading

How to Eat Out on an Anti-Cancer Diet

anti cancer Eat out Thai currySure, we’re trying to stick to an anti-cancer diet, but we still have to enjoy ourselves, right? And that means eating in restaurants every so often, indulging in some Kaeng Red (Red Thai curry, pictured here), but hold the chicken, lots of broccoli, please. Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Strategies: Squelching Inflammation!

anti cancer ginger on fire

Ginger root seems to help smoulder inflammation associated with cancer.

Inflammation “contributes to tumor proliferation,  angiogenesis, metastasis and resistance to hormonal and chemotherapy.”—cancer researchers, 2009

Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Dietary Strategies: The Basics, Part 2

anti cancer green tea in garden

Epigallocatechin gallates (EGCGs) from green tea were one of the first dietary components identified as protective against angiogenesis, the process by which cancer cells develop blood vessels in order to grow and spread. Today researchers have found many more compounds that affect angiogenesis.

Exactly how do foods impact our ability to fight cancer? We started talking about that in Part I of The Basics. I owe you a better explanation.    Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Dietary Strategies: The Basics, Part 1

anti cancer dietary strategies part 1 dandelions

We all have cancer cells dormant inside our bodies; the key is to keep them from growing and spreading.

Picture your lawn in the springtime—at the beginning, a few precocious dandelions, then an army of weeds invades your space. We slay them with herbicides, we patiently dig out their roots, yet they continue to multiply.  

But what if we changed the soil they grow in? What if we made that soil inhospitable to uncontrolled growth and spread? Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Strategies: Countering Radiation

Dahl soup with mung beans

Taking CT scans or radiation treatments? Confused about what to eat in the wake of  Japan’s quake?

● For starters, try miso soup, prescribed by Japanese doctors for radiation poisoning after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Miso is made by fermenting barley, soybeans and/or brown rice with salt and a fungus loaded with enzymes and probiotics. According to Japanese researchers, it helps protect the body from absorbing radiation. Continue reading

Anti-Cancer Strategies: Meet the Experts

Who are among the world’s top experts on nutrition and cancer?

With all the blather out there in the information universe, we all know that you’re only as good as your sources. As a journalist, I’ll tap into the world’s foremost experts on cancer and nutrition, digest their thoughts and then deliver their advice atop platters of inviting recipes. I’ll tell you where the experts differ in opinion—some say no alcohol; others tout red wine, for example (Don’t believe them)– and declare my philosophical bias at the outset: If you’re fighting cancer, follow the opinion that’s the least risky. Continue reading