Dr. Donald Abrams learned to respect the power of herbs in medicine while doing research on use of marijuana in AIDS. He is an Integrative Oncologist who spends much of his time telling cancer patients about how alternative medicine can help in cancer treatment. He makes the following recommendations:
1. Eat more plant foods, including whole grains, deeply-pigmented fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous.
2. Reduce animal fats and eliminate red meat and dairy. Poultry should be organic. Increase marine omega-3’s.
3. Reduce refined carbohydrates, especially white flour, white rice and sugars.
4. Eat more phytoestrogen foods, such as soy.
5. Season food with garlic, ginger, onions and turmeric.
6. Drink green tea and red wine.
There are some very important lifestyle influences cancer risk and cancer deaths. Smoking causes 25-40% of cancer and about 94% of people knew of tobacco’s risks. Ultraviolet light causes about 2-4% of all cancers and 87% of all people know about the risk of UV light in causing cancer. Although diet accounts for 30-35% of avoidable cancers, only 50% of people know about this risk.
Sixty percent of Americans are currently obese. Colorado has the lowest rates of obesity. The American Cancer Society and the World Cancer Research Fund: American Institute for Cancer Research make regular reports on diet and cancer. The percent of individual cancers that are related to obesity are as follows: endometrial (49%), esophagus (35%), pancreas (28%), kidney (24%), gall bladder (21%), breast (17%) and colorectal (9%).
Advice regarding the current epidemic of obesity is that we should “be as lean as possible without being underweight.” The combined cancer diet guidance is that people should avoid sugary drinks, limit consumption of energy dense foods and avoid processed foods that are high in sugar, low in fiber and high in fats. Sugars come by many different names, such as cane juice and fructose. We should get 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables, daily.
A 2008 study by Barone in JAMA said “Patients diagnosed with cancer who have preexisting diabetes are at increased risk for long-term, all-cause mortality compared with those without diabetes.”
Body fat is inflammatory. Excess fat contributes to insulin resistance. Increased insulin resistance is associated with increased cancer rates. The increased insulin levels in insulin resistance increased a protein called IGF-1. Blocking this protein is now believed to be a possible treatment for cancer.
Chemicals in turmeric have been found to make it difficult for cells to divide at different stages in their life cycles. The absorption of turmeric is enhanced by piperine in black pepper.
Mushrooms are beneficial in cancer. In a Chinese study, women who consumed the most mushrooms had the lowest rates of breast cancer. Dr. Abrams says that mushrooms should always be cooked before they are eaten. “DON’T EAT UNCOOKED MUSHROOMS.”
The current ratios of omega-6/omega-3 use are quite high, partly caused by the industrialization of dairy, pork, chicken and eggs. Especially, chicken and eggs are very high in inflammatory arachidonic acids. Omega-6 is inflammatory. Cooked red meat produces amines which have estrogen activity. Higher rates of breast cancer are found in women who eat well-done red meat at higher rates.
Many cancers are related to vitamin D deficiency. There are up to one billion people worldwide who are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is produced in the skin on exposure to the sun. Seniors need more vitamin D since aging skin may not produce enough.
It is becoming apparent that, while our diets do alter our risk of acquiring cancer, epigenetic studies show that even the foods our mothers ate before we were born will influence our disease risk.
CONCLUSION: “Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food,” is quoted from Hippocrates.
NOTE: Read about the influence of intestinal bacteria and food on the prevention of cancer.
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the link to the author’s title of the article above.