Wednesday, November 09, 2005 

Lose Weight, Avoid Cancer

Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, end stage renal disease, gout, birth defects, infertility, infections... etc. etc. etc... According to the American Obesity Association (AOA), these conditions have a higher chance of occuring in obese individuals.

From 1971-2000, the prevalence of obese individuals in the United States in both men and women aged 20 - 74 have doubled. It has become such a critical health condition that Medicare redefined obesity as an Illness in 2004 allowing Americans to make medical claims for weight-related treatment.

That's not the end of the bad news - a review of published studies and reports showed that about 10% of ALL cancers could be avoided (more than 100,000 cases a year) if overweight and obesity did not exist.
By applying the current US levels of overweight and obesity, Colditz from the Harvard School of Public Health estimated that 14 percent of colon cancers -- over 14,000 cases -- would be avoided if no one was overweight or obese.

Likewise, if no one was overweight or obese, "we would avoid 11 percent of breast cancer -- over 18,000 cases; 49 percent of endometrial cancer, almost 20,000 cases; 31 percent of kidney cancer, over 11,000 cases; 39 percent of esophageal cancer, 5,500 cases; 14 percent of pancreas cancers, 4,500 cases; 20 percent of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases, over 11,000 cases; and for multiple myeloma 17 percent of cases," Colditz told reporters.

Given the increasing prevalence of obesity in the US, these estimates are conservative, he said.

"We can clearly conclude that adult overweight and obesity cause cancer," Dr. Colditz said, "and increasing rates of obesity in the US are continuing to drive up the burden of these cancers." [Reuters, Nov. 2005]

Again, let me quote from Ellen G. White:
"Many are so devoted to intemperance that they will not change their course of indulging in gluttony under any considerations. They would sooner sacrifice health, and die prematurely, than to restrain their intemperate appetite. And there are many who are ignorant of the relation their eating and drinking has to health. Could such be enlightened, they might have moral courage to deny the appetite, and eat more sparingly, and of that food alone which was healthful, and by their own course of action save themselves a great amount of suffering." [Counsels on Diet & Foods p158]
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Wednesday, November 02, 2005 

Eat Your Vegetables

100 years ago, Ellen White wrote this paragraph in her book:

Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigour of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet. [Ellen White, Ministry of Healing p296 (1905)]

My mother told me a similar version, in simpler terms every meal time - "Eat your vegetables." Maybe they both had insight into the beneficial effects of vegetables. Well, science appears to be taking their side.

Broccoli sprouts, cabbage, ginkgo biloba and garlic appear to have a role in preventing a variety of cancers, researchers report.

  • In the first study, Akinori Yanaka and colleagues from the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that in 20 people, a diet rich in broccoli sprouts significantly reduced Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection. H. pylori, a bacterium, is a cause of gastritis -- inflammation of the stomach lining -- and is a major factor in peptic ulcer and stomach cancer

  • Another study with broccoli sprouts found that when an extract from the sprouts was applied to the skin of hairless mice, it counteracted carcinogenic responses to ultraviolet light exposure, a cause of skin cancer

  • Data collected from the U.S. component of the Polish Women's Health Study showed an association between eating cabbage and sauerkraut and a lower risk of breast cancer. The effect seemed to be highest among women who eat high amounts starting in adolescence and continue to do so throughout adulthood. The most protective effect appeared to come from raw or briefly cooked cabbage

  • In the fourth study, researchers from Brigham and Woman's Hospital in Boston found that ginkgo biloba appears to lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer

  • In the final study, researchers found that garlic may help ward off carcinogens produced by meat cooked at high temperatures. Cooking meats and eggs at high temperatures releases a chemical called PhIP, which may be a carcinogen.
    "Generous consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced cancer risk"

"An extensive body of epidemiologic evidence suggests consistently, if not decisively, that generous consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced cancer risk," said Dr. David L. Katz, an associate professor of public health and director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine. [A Shopping Cart of Cancer Fighters, Yahoo! News Oct. 31, 2005]

So now when kids refuse to eat their vegetables, all their moms have to do is to start up their web browsers and show today's Net savy kids the benefits of following their advice… Now, if only something could be done about the taste of vegetables...

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