Monday, July 23, 2012

How To Avoid Cancer Part II

One of the cancers that may be most easily prevented with diet and lifestyle changes is colorectal cancer—cancer of the large intestine and rectum.
This is the fifth most common type of cancer and the third leading cause of death in the United States.

When you consider the number of people who are constipated, and the Frankenstein foods that people eat, this may not be so surprising.

Cancer is a systemic disease, which means that the whole system is over-burdened and toxic to the point that rogue cells take hold and develop their own “entity” within the body. Your food and your blood are hijacked to feed the new entity or tumor. Of course, the host eventually dies, and so does the new colony. It is one of the oddities of nature, considering that survival is the usual operating modality.

Unburdening your toxic load is one of your best defenses against this, and any other type of cancer. Studies indicate that eliminating highly processed meats, refined sugars and refined (white) grains such as wheat, white rice, and soy may lower risk. Maintaining a healthy weight is a factor, and eliminating refined starches and sugars would help with weight control.

In recent years red meat has been considered a risk factor, but a review of the history of human health and nutrition did not correlate, since humans have eaten higher meat diets in the past, with little historical evidence of cancer. Studies show that it is the preparation of meat that is a factor. Meat that is heavily browned on the surface and over-cooked increases risk. When meat is over-cooked the proteins and amino acids are broken down and can no longer be utilized in the body for repair and nutrition.

High protein intake overall was not associated with risk, but even seemed protective in some studies. Consumption of fish and poultry as alternatives to red meat showed some protection. Fish Oil supplementation seemed to decrease risk in women, but also decreased inflammation in both sexes, and therefore may be generally helpful.

Intake of fiber from fresh vegetables and whole fruits appear to be protective of other gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and diverticulitis. However, the high fiber supplementation theory for cancer protection has not borne out. Diets high in fruits and vegetables were associated with slightly lowered risk of colorectal cancer. Since certain vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, kale and brussel sprouts have sulfur compounds, which are necessary for PhaseII liver detoxification, these vegetables may have potential in cancer prevention for all types of cancer.

Inflammation appears to be an issue and intake of B vitamins that decrease inflammation, such as folate, are associated with lower risk. Naturally occurring folate is not the same as synthetic folic acid, and folate is what was found to lower cancer risk. Eggs are a good source, as well as dark green veggies such as kale, spinach and broccoli. Look for unfortified Brewer’s Yeast too. Brewers Yeast is also a good source of selenium, which was associated with a 50% reduction in colon cancer in one study.

Note that red meat contains B vitamins, and particularly the organ meat of the animal. The fact that we no longer consume the most nutritious parts of the animal may be one reason we see more colon cancer now than we did in past times when people did not waste any part of the animal. Organ meat was even considered a delicacy!

Alcohol is a risk, but the amount is not determined. High consumption definitely raises one’s risk, and alcohol metabolism will burn folate and other B vitamins. Whether two or less drinks per day are a risk is undetermined.

Evidence suggests that a high level of physical activity lowers risk, even when weight is not managed in normal ranges.

So, we can conclude that lifestyle and dietary changes can lower the risk of developing colon and rectal cancer, and may lower it significantly. Basic and common sense changes towards organic whole foods bring about generally improved health and vitality. The same smart choices are the key to colon health.

If your colon is not functioning well, see your health practitioner. A colonoscopy may check for risks, but it is not enough to prevent problems that could develop into cancer. 

Dr. Anne Dunev
PhD, Naturopath (Practitioner of Natural Medicine), 
Certified Nutritionist, and Certified Health Educator

Monday, July 16, 2012

How To Avoid Cancer Part I

We tend to know something about blood, but what do you know about your lymph system? The average 150 pound person has 11.2 liters of lymphatic fluid in the body.

The lymph network transfers minerals and carbohydrates that have broken down into simple sugars, to the cells for energy and nutrition. The lymphatic system also transports waste materials from cellular metabolism, away from the cells. Individual cells convert nutrients to energy in a process called “Cellular Respiration.”  Each cell is a tiny engine that requires many small steps to make fuel needed to perform the function of that type of cell.

When there is a build-up of waste material or excess sugar, fermentation occurs. Cancer cells love sugar. So, you can begin to see that keeping the cells healthy and nourished via the lymph system could be improve function and be cancer-preventative.

The primary culprits for sugar excess and mineral deficiencies are processed foods made of white flour, white sugar and chemical flavorings or other additives. Whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products and proteins, all contain minerals. Plants draw minerals up from the soil and convert them into minerals that are bio-available to humans, which makes them easily utilized.

Cancer is a systemic disease, which means there is a back up in your waste-disposal department. Waiting until there is a diagnosis means that the situation has progressed much too far. So, the time to take action to unclog your filters is now.  Ideally you should do a cleanse of your major organs every six months or yearly.

Changing lifestyle and eating habits may not only save your life, but give you a better quality of life. The snacks, breads, sweets, diet foods, alcohol and medications you may be using to get you through your day are a very temporary fix. Your mood, stress level and ability to cope are undermined by the bio-chemical changes that occur when you ingest substances that require nutrients to metabolize them. In other words, refined and processed foods do not nourish your body or your cells, and they also require additional nutrients so that your body can break down and eliminate them. The benefit to your tongue may be a detriment to your over-all physical and mental health.

Whole foods fill your nutrient bank. You have billions of cells in your body that each require raw materials to function. One billion cells are replaced every hour and the new cells are made from minerals, proteins, fatty acids and vitamins from food. Snacks, breads, sweets, alcohol, excessive coffee, cigarettes, recreational and pharmaceutical drugs, artificial and chemical foods, all deplete your nutrient bank. That means that you are running on empty. If you don’t eat the foods needed for cells to function, and to replicate and form healthy new cells, mutant cells may start to grow.

Chances are your mirror will tell you when you need to make changes. Bloating, weight gain, rashes and blemishes, indigestion, constipation, menstrual irregularities, cravings for alcohol, drugs or sugar, fatigue, sleep issues, fogginess, allergies and asthma, depression and anxiety are all signs of a toxic overload.

Your medical doctor is not trained in prevention. Getting laboratory tests is not prevention. By the time your blood work indicates a problem, a disease state may have already set in.

Stay ahead of the game by changing your game plan. It is not easy to break the habit of snacking and grazing on crap-ohydrates and chemical foods. It starts with a decision to not only get healthier, but to look and feel better, too. If your body is crying out for better nutrition, don’t feed it chocolate until it shuts up!

Waste products from chemicals, toxic metals and synthetic foods are hard for the body to eliminate and they clog your lymph system. This creates a feeding ground for bacteria and fungus organisms. When the immune system is over-loaded disease conditions may be produced.

In Europe and Asia lymphatic massage is far more common than in the U.S. The lymphatic fluid can be moved and stagnation decreased with massage and with moving the body. Rebounding (light jumping on a mini-trampoline) has been demonstrated to be useful for moving lymph. Walking, stretching and movement in general may be helpful. The human body was not designed to sit in a chair staring at a screen or fighting traffic. Get up and move. Drink the purest water you can find (and not distilled—remember you need minerals).

Good health can be yours, with a few simple decisions. The follow-through may be a challenge, so set realistic goals. In a short while you may be surprised to find that you ever had cravings for junk foods. Or you may find that you enjoy your favorite treat more when you only have it once in awhile. Your lymph is in your hands.  

Dr. Anne Dunev
PhD, Naturopath (Practitioner of Natural Medicine), 
Certified Nutritionist, and Certified Health Educator

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is Butter a Health Food?

100 years ago, when people flocked to cities to work in factories, they often became sick from lack of fresh food, clean water and sunshine. The cure was a stint in the country, nourished on farm foods and breathing the country air.  With Farmer’s Markets we now try to bring the farm to the city because live whole foods, grown and eaten seasonally, are still our best defense against disease. The development of chemical additives and dead, factory-made foods may turn out to be a greater health hazard than cigarettes. Consider the changes in the environment and the food supply just in the last 60 years since World War II.

But, let's go back to a new discovery in the 1880's that brought about a dramatic change in a staple food and how that is affecting us today and may even be contributing to cancer. Emperor Louis Napolean III offered a prize for anyone who could invent a substitute for butter, to be used by the lower classes and armed forces. French chemist Mege-Mouries took up the challenge and invented oleomargarine in the laboratory. Since it was white in color, and the addition of yellow coloring was banned in many countries, including the U.S., for almost 100 years, margarine did not intially threaten the dairy industry or the use of real butter in the marketplace. For example, it was not legal to sell colored margarine in Australia until the 1960's.

In the mid 1880's, margarine was taxed at 2 cents a pound in the United States, and in several states with big Dairy interests, legislators passed laws demanding the addition of pink coloring to make margarine unpalatable to consumers. 

In the 20th century, bootleg colored margarine became common and yellow coloring was sold separately so that people could make their own white margarine appear yellow. What happens when you ban a product? Human nature seems to demand that it become desirable.  So, despite added taxes, margarine did sell.

World War I brought strict rationing of dairy products, and margarine consumption increased enormously, both in the U.S. and Europe.

Originally margarine was made from beef fat, until hydrogenation of plant matter was developed. This makes the melting point of plant oils higher, so that you get a solid spread at room temperature and not a pool of oil for your toast. And herein lies the problem with margarine. Hydrogenation is a process that takes place in a chamber so that heat and pressure can be applied to the oil, along with a metal catalyst of nickel or palladium, to force hydrogen into the chains of fatty acids. This creates trans fats, which have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Newer methods of manufacturing have attempted to limit the risk of hydrogenation, but all spreads and margarines are still laboratory made, not natural foods. 
 My advice is always to stick to the nature-made when it comes to food. Real butter is a fat that also contains Vitamins A and D, Vitamins E and K, anti-oxidants, selenium, conjugated linoleic acid for lean muscles, iodine, and other factors essential for human health. 

Margarine contains no nutrients and has the same calories as butter. All fats have about 100 calories per tablespoon. Altered, laboratory made, adulterated foods are a giant science experiment. We don't really know the effects of these foods. But we do know that we have far more heart disease and cancer, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes and the numbers keep growing. There appears to be an inverse relationship to the consumption of nature-made fats and heart disease. The more processed fats consumed the higher the rates of heart disease.

The first written reference to butter dates back to 4500, hammered on a limestone tablet that illustrated how butter was made. Humans have consumed butter as long as they have lived with domesticated animals, pre-dating farming and raising grains. There are many religious references to butter, both Biblical and Hindu. 

Taste test? No contest! Look for organic butter, as many synthetic hormones and petro-chemicals, such as might be in the feed of cattle, are fat-loving. Butter is truly a health food.
Should you worry about saturated fat? There is no proof that saturated fat (fat that is hard at room temperature) winds up in your arteries. Sugar is probably far more dangerous, because triglycerides are made from sugar, not fat. We really don’t know why some people have clogged arteries and others don’t. All the studies are inconclusive. We do know that some people who die from heart attacks have clear arteries on autopsy, while others, who die of other causes have completely clogged arteries but had no symptoms of heart disease. 

We also know that indigenous (native) people on local diets of animal or fish protein, fermented or raw dairy, natural fats and carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits had no Diabetes, Heart Disease or Cancer until they began eating the white man’s processed diet of white flour and white sugar. They also had no dental cavities or gum disease.

The French have one quarter the heart disease of Great Britain. With their low incidence of heart disease but high butter and cheese consumption, the French also enjoy great tasting food! 

By the way, ever wonder what shortening is? Often made from soybean or cottonseed oil, shortening is a hydrogenated fat that is used in baking because it is 100% fat. Butter and margarine are only 80% fat. It is called shortening because it “shortens” the gluten strands in bread, making the dough more elastic thus yielding a softer loaf. 

Nature-made fats are vital for human health and are referred to as “essential fatty acids”. Any nutrient that is vital for health is going to be cancer-protective, since human cells need the genuine, unprocessed fats for cellular metablolism, and they don’t need Frankenstein fats made in the laboratory.

In my next Health tip I will tell you more about food and lifestyle choices that may help protect you against cancer.

Dr. Anne Dunev
PhD, is a Naturopath (Practitioner of Natural Medicine), 
Certified Nutritionist, and Certified Health Educator

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Top 10 prescription drugs linked to violent and homicidal behavior (#1 may surprise you!)

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) recently published a study in the journal PLoS One naming these as the top 10…

10. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) An antidepressant which affects both serotonin and noradrenaline, this drug is 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.
9. Venlafaxine (Effexor) A drug related to Pristiq in the same class of antidepressants, both are also used to treat anxiety disorders. Effexor is 8.3 times more likely than other drugs to be related to violent behavior.
8. Fluvoxamine (Luvox) An antidepressant that affects serotonin (SSRI), Luvox is 8.4 times more likely than other medications to be linked with violence
7. Triazolam (Halcion) A benzodiazepine which can be addictive, used to treat insomnia. Halcion is 8.7 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs, according to the study.
6) Atomoxetine (Strattera) Used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Strattera affects the neurotransmitter noradrenaline and is 9 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to the average medication.
5) Mefoquine (Lariam) A treatment for malaria, Lariam has long been linked with reports of bizarre behavior. It is 9.5 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs.
4) Amphetamines: (Various) Amphetamines are used to treat ADHD and affect the brain’s dopamine and noradrenaline systems. They are 9.6 times more likely to be linked to violence, compared to other drugs.
3) Paroxetine (Paxil) An SSRI antidepressant, Paxil is also linked with more severe withdrawal symptoms and a greater risk of birth defects compared to other medications in that class. It is 10.3 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs.
2) Fluoxetine (Prozac) The first well-known SSRI antidepressant, Prozac is 10.9 times more likely to be linked with violence in comparison with other medications.
1) Varenicline (Chantix) The anti-smoking medication Chantix affects the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, which helps reduce craving for smoking. Unfortunately, it’s 18 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs — by comparison, that number for Xyban is 3.9 and just 1.9 for nicotine replacement.
Lisa Benest, MD

Dr. Lisa Benest is a medical and cosmetic dermatologist in Burbank, CA.  She and her staff provide comprehensive skin examinations as well as an array of non-invasive, cosmetic procedures and offer a full line of skin care products.  To learn more about how to take care of your skin as well as the most up-to-date treatments in skin care, schedule a Free Consultation with their cosmetic nurse.

Lisa Benest M.D.
1624 W. Olive #B
Burbank, CA