Category Archives: Cancer

New cancer risk related to high sugar consumption

Sugar, sugar everywhere … FoodFacts.com is always seeking awareness and education about the problems related to our high levels of sugar consumption. Sugar, in a variety of forms, is added to almost every processed food and beverage product available on our grocery shelves. We’re experiencing soaring levels of obesity and diabetes, and it hasn’t altered the sugar content of our food supply.

Today we read about the results of a new study coming out of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland that has linked high sugar and fat diets with an increased risk of bowel cancer. It appears that colorectal (bowel) cancer can be positively associated with the consumption of sugary beverages, cakes, cookies, snacks and desserts.

Conducted last year using data from the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Study, the study included 2,063 patients suffering from bowel cancer and 2,776 control participants from Scotland.

The study builds on previous research analyzing links between diet and bowel cancer, which identified two distinct eating patterns. One was a diet high in healthy foods, such as fruit and vegetables, and the other diet was high in meat, fat and sugar.

The research team analyzed over 170 foods, including fruits, vegetables, fish and meat, as well as chocolate, nuts, chips and fruit drinks. They also looked at links between some established risks of bowel cancer, such as family history of cancer, physical activity and smoking.

Results revealed that the healthy diet was associated with a decreased risk of bowel cancer, while the high fat and sugar diet is associated with an increased risk.

While it was noted that some of the main predictors of colorectal cancer include family history and genetic risk factors, diet can actually play a very important role in its development. Previous research did link the disease with high consumption of processed links, but this new information shows a link with sugary snacks and drinks. Researchers acknowledge that the study does not show a cause and effect relationship between this type of cancer and sugar consumption, but the suggestion is certainly strong enough to indicate the need for larger studies in the future.

FoodFacts.com understands that added sugar is an unnecessary component of thousands of food products. We’re already aware of the role of added sugars in contributing to the worldwide obesity crisis and we’ve already been made aware of the unprecedented climb in instances of diabetes across the globe. Now, researchers are acknowledging a possible link between sugary foods and colorectal cancer. The majority of the sugar consumed by our population doesn’t come from our sugar bowls, it comes from products we purchase every day. While nothing may ever actually get added sugar out of our food supply, we can cut down on the sugar we consume ourselves, by preparing fresh, whole foods in our own kitchens where we can make sure our own diets our as healthy as we can make them.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263392.php

Questions about the safety of sucralose

FoodFacts.com has never been a fan of artificial sweeteners. Most are controversial, have undergone insufficient safety testing and have been linked everything from gastrointestinal disturbances to cancer. We advocate for the avoidance of artificial sweeteners and the products in which they are contained, like diet soft drinks and low-fat, reduced-calorie food products.

Splenda (the brand name for sucralose) is now joining the list of artificial sweeteners with questionable health effects. While sucralose has been deemed “safe” by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for years, they are now downgrading it to “caution” after the release of an Italian animal study linking sucralose to a higher risk of leukemia. CSPI says it is waiting for the review of the study before deciding on the long-term safety grade it will finally assign for sucralose in its Chemical Cuisine guide to food additives.

The study that has called the safety of sucralose into question comes from the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy. Here, researchers fed 843 laboratory mice varying doses of sucralose daily from when they were fetuses until they died. Post-mortem examinations on the mice showed an association between the development of leukemia and lifetime sucralose consumption. The more sucralose the mice consumed, the higher their risk of leukemia.

Researchers noted that previous studies involving rats showed increases in liver and lung tumors in male animals consuming aspartame. These studies increased the health concerns regarding aspartame and have led consumers to switch from aspartame sweeteners to sucralose (Splenda). Splenda has been widely promoted as a safer alternative. Researchers believe that with this new link between sucralose consumption and leukemia, further study is urgently needed in order to assess cancer risk in humans.

The rise in rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes worldwide has led to an increase in the consumption of reduced-calorie food products and diet beverages. All of these products contain some type of artificial sweetener. They can even be found in over the counter medications. In addition, people are adding Splenda to their coffee, tea or homemade beverages like lemonade. It is often used in cooking and baking as well. The Center for Science in the Public Interest points out that while sucralose may prove to be safer than saccharin, aspartame and acesulfame potassium, this new study warrants careful scrutiny before we can be confident that the sweetener is safe for use in foods and beverages.

Everyone in the FoodFacts.com community is aware of the potential health effects of artificial sweeteners. This new information calling into question the safety of sucralose places yet another sweetener into the questionable category. While it’s understandable that there are many in the worldwide population who seek sugar alternatives based on health and weight concerns, it is so important for all of us to remain aware of the potential risks involved in the consumption of artificial sweeteners. Processed foods and beverages contain too much added sugar. And for those that want to avoid sugar, manufacturers have replaced it with too much artificial sweetener. We can continue to do our best to avoid both by reading nutrition labels and ingredient lists and making our best effort to prepare healthy, whole foods in our own kitchens.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262475.php

AMA now classifies obesity as a disease in the U.S.

FoodFacts.com listened intently, along with the rest of the country today, as we learned that the American Medical Association formally voted to classify obesity a disease requiring a range of medical interventions in the United States.

More than 35 percent of U.S. adults and 17 percent of children and teenagers are now recognized as having the disease of obesity. While the move is certainly stirring up some controversy for a variety of reasons, the intent of the AMA seems to be directed at giving doctors a broader range of options for treatment. Without this status, doctors treating obesity must instead approach it as a lifestyle condition requiring modification. Because the AMA is committed to improving outcomes, and because obesity is so commonly linked to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, this new classification is something they feel will help to arm the medical community more effectively as they tackle the epidemic.

Obesity is technically defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Normal weight is defined by a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9. More than one in three adults in our country carries a BMI over 30.

As the FoodFacts.com community is aware, there are growing bodies of research that link serious disease to this all-too-common condition. Increased risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, liver disease, sleep apnea, breathing problems, osteoarthritis, infertility and multiple types of cancer including breast, pancreas, kidney, and colon, have all been associated with the expanding obesity problem.

It is also hoped that the new classification of obesity as a disease can also help more Americans realize that unhealthy food choices combined with lack of exercise is a real threat to their health. A recent survey showed that although 70% of the population understands that obesity is linked with heart disease and diabetes, only 7 percent realized that obesity is associated with cancer. Only another 5 percent knew that both asthma and sleep apnea could be helped with weight reduction.

Classifying obesity as an actual disease may also impact new laws and insurance practices. Lap-band procedures and gastric bypass surgeries aren’t always covered by insurers. The reclassification may help to change that. In addition, patients may become more comfortable with their doctor prescribing treatment for the disease of obesity. As an actual disease treatment may not be considered offensive or embarrassing, leaving the patient feeling poorly about unhealthy lifestyle choices.

While the new classification seems to be stirring up many emotions across the internet, FoodFacts.com can’t help but feel encouraged that this major move by the AMA can help doctors treat obesity before its effects set in. It could be especially beneficial in combating childhood obesity and giving the youngest in our population a better opportunity to live a life free from the multitude of problems linked with the epidemic. This may prove to be an incredibly valuable step towards eradicating a problem plaguing not only the United States, but the population of the rest of the word as well.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57590063/obesity-now-declared-disease-but-risk-for-chronic-illnesses-was-no-secret/

Anti-cancer compound identified in Mediterranean Diet

FoodFacts.com has been finding fascinating health benefits linked to the Mediterranean diet for the past several months. We’re always excited by the new findings because the traditional Mediterranean diet is such a flavorful, fresh way to eat that incorporating it into your lifestyle is an easy transition for most to make. Today we found more information we wanted to share with our community.

There’s new research out of Ohio State University that links a compound that is abundant in the Mediterranean diet to eliminating the power of cancer cells to escape cell death. It appears that this compound alters a specific step in gene regulation and turns the cancer cells into normal cells that will die.

One of the reasons that cancer is a difficult disease to cure is that cancer cells thrive by inhibiting the regular cell death process. The researchers from Ohio State discovered that a compound found in some plant-based foods, apigenin, could re-educate breast cancer cells, leaving them to live and die by the regular cell lifecycle.

Though finding that apigenin can influence cancer cell behavior was an important outcome of the work, the researchers noted the importance of their new biomedical research technique and its contribution to nutraceutical research. The technique was compared to “fishing” for human proteins in cells that interact with molecules available in the diet.

Through experimentation, the researchers established that apigenin has relationships with proteins that have specific functions. The most important was a protein called hnRNPA2. It appears that this protein influences the activity of messenger RNA, which contains the instructions to produce a specific protein. The production of messenger RNA results from splicing RNA. It is noted that abnormal splicing is the problem with about 80 percent of all cancers. It appears that in cancer cells, two types of splicing occur when only one takes place in a normal cell. It’s an integral part of how cancer cells stay alive and continue to reproduce instead of following the normal cell lifecycle.

When apigenin was introduced, the splicing that inhibited cell death was eliminated. The single-splice characteristic was restored to the cells, causing them to die in a natural manner.

Parsley, celery and chamomile tea are the most common sources of apigenin, but it is found in many fruits and vegetables. Since the Mediterranean Diet is rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables, the compound is most readily available through this particular style of eating.

FoodFacts.com is once again thrilled by the knowledge being uncovered about the powerful health benefits that come to us through pure, fresh foods. It’s exciting to imagine a future where nutraceuticals become the chosen treatments for the chronic and often fatal diseases that plague so many in our population. In the meantime, the Mediterranean Diet is rich in many health benefits. It’s easy to incorporate into your lifestyle and allows for an abundance of food options. You’ll enjoy your food. You won’t be bored with your diet. And you’ll be doing something positive for your health!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130520154303.htm

Soybeans discovered to have anti-cancer properties

FoodFacts.com is always a big fan of information pointing to foods as possible treatments for serious disease. Natural treatments for chronic, sometimes deadly conditions could help millions of people worldwide and save them from traditional, often painful and debilitating treatments that sometimes have limited results.

A recent study from University of Arkansas researchers points to the possibility that soybeans show potential as a treatment for cancer. It appears that proteins found in soybeans may have the ability to block the growth and development of lung, liver and colon cancer tumors. The peptides derived from soybean meal have shown to inhibit cancer cell growth.

Soybean meal is a bi-product from the oil extraction of soybean seeds. Proteins make up about 40 percent of the nutritional components of the seeds and can also contain high amounts of a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.

The researchers looked at the role soybeans could have in the prevention of cancer. They used a variety of soybean lines which were high in oleic acid and protein and monitored the activity between the peptides derived from the soybean meal and various types of human cancer.

The study showed that peptides derived from soybean meal inhibited cell growth by 73% for colon cancer, 70% for liver cancer and 68% for lung cancer cells using human cell lines. This suggests that certain soybean lines could have a potential nutraceutical affect in helping to reduce the growth of several types of cancer cells.

FoodFacts.com will follow this information and keep our community informed of other research done to further these results. These exciting new findings raise hope that those afflicted with these cancers can someday receive treatments that are not only more natural and kind to the body, but also more effective in fighting their disease.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320095033.htm

Sugar-sweetened beverages directly linked to deaths all over the world

FoodFacts.com has been keeping up to date on the subject of sugary beverages. The New York City ban on sugary drinks has been in the news consistently and has been responsible for shining a brighter spotlight on the subject. Today we found important new information that we wanted to make sure and share with our community.

New research has revealed that drinking sugary soft drinks is responsible for close to 180,000 deaths worldwide every year. The finding comes from research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.

We are already aware that sugary beverages are associated with increased body weight and obesity. These conditions can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Using data published in the 2010 Global Burden of Diabetes Study, researchers found an association between the consumption of sugary drinks and 180,000 deaths around the world. 133,000 of those deaths were related to diabetes, 44,000 to cardiovascular disease and 6,000 to cancer. In the United States, data showed that about 25,000 deaths were linked to sugary beverages in 2010.

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean had the highest number of diabetes deaths due to consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks with 38,000. Mexico had the highest rate of death due to sugary drink consumption at about 318 deaths per million.

Japan, the country that consumes the least amount of sugary drinks in the world only had 10 deaths per million linked to sugary beverage consumption.

Over the past 30 years, global consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has risen tremendously. The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and obesity has stated that sugary drinks are the number one source of calories for American Adolescents.

This study is quite a bit different than those we normally read regarding the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. And seeing a direct link between sugary drink intake and death certainly puts things in better perspective. FoodFacts.com hopes that this information receives the attention it deserves and serves as a catalyst for consumers to reconsider their beverage choices for the sake of their health and longevity.

Read more here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257958.php

Vitamin E may help treat and prevent cancer

FoodFacts.com has always kept a close eye on the potential effects of vitamins and supplements on our health. Recently, we introduced our own line of vitamins and supplements that address the need for better-formulated products that are free from the controversial ingredients we are always addressing. You can find them at the FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals website.

Today we read some great information we wanted to share with our community about Vitamin E and its anti-cancer properties. It’s long been presumed that this vitamin could prevent cancer, in fact many animal studies have suggested the idea. However, human clinical trials that were conducted to follow up on those findings did not illustrate the same benefits.

A new study out of Ohio State University and Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center have now shown that Vitamin E can, in fact, have some benefit in cancer prevention and treatment. Researchers showed that in prostate cancer cells, one form of Vitamin E inhibits the activation of an enzyme (the Akt enzyme) that must be present in order for cancer cells to survive.

The study points out that a readily available Vitamin E supplement won’t do the trick. Affordable Vitamin E supplements are  based on a vitamin form that didn’t fight cancer as effectively in the study. In addition, the human body can’t absorb the high dose of a typical supplement that would be required to achieve the anti-cancer effect demonstrated.

The most commonly known form of Vitamin E is a variety called tocopherols. Researchers were able to show that a specific form of tocopherol is the most potent anti-cancer form of the vitamin. The scientists manipulated the structure of the Vitamin E molecule and found that the new substance created was able to reduce the size of prostate tumors in mice. Effectively it was able to shut off the Akt enzyme. Mice with prostate cancer who were injected with the agent created by the scientists experienced suppressed tumor growth when compared to those mice injected with a placebo which had no effect on tumor growth. Chemical analysis of the treated tumors showed that the Akt enzyme signal was suppressed. The animal study also suggested the experimental agent was not toxic.

These findings suggest that an agent based on the chemical structure of one form of vitamin E could help prevent and treat numerous types of cancer. It was noted that this is a new finding. While other benefits of Vitamin E have been known for years, no one knew about the specific anti-cancer benefits of this specific form of the vitamin. The researchers are continuing to work on the Vitamin E formulation that they have developed.

FoodFacts.com hopes to report further information in the future regarding the work of these researchers. We look forward to the day that Vitamin E may become a treatment for cancer that will present patients with non-toxic, more natural options in fighting their disease.

There’s more information here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/257741.php

Eat your asparagus … you might be preventing breast cancer!

FoodFacts.com is always thrilled to learn how natural foods can play an important role in the prevention and treatment of disease. Breast cancer affects so many – not only in our own country where over 200,000 women are diagnosed with the disease each year – but worldwide.

A study out of the Rajiv Gandhi University in Bangalore, Karnatak, India illustrates that compounds known as shatavarins found in the roots of asparagus show the potential for anticancer, particularly activity against human breast cancer cells.
The researchers involved prepared shatavrin IV, the ingredient found in asparagus that is active against cancer and isolated it in a preparation. The prepared shatavrin IV samples were tested in human breast cancer cell lines, colon adenocarcinoma cell lines and human kidney carcinoma cell lines to determine the different cells’ reactions.

The shatavarin IV preparations showed the potential to be effective in fighting cancer cells.

In addition to testing done in this manner, on oral administration of an extract of asparagus was also prepared. It was given in doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg body weight for 10 days. It was discovered that this led to a significant reduction in tumor volume and viable tumor cell count as well as an increase in the non-viable cell count. In addition to these results, the asparagus extracts also restored blood parameters to normal levels.
Based on these findings, researchers concluded that the asparagus preparations show noteworthy anticancer potential.

This promising study could lead to new and natural treatments for breast cancer and provide hope that there are less toxic treatments than the traditional medical approaches to the disease. While we know that such treatments are effective in many cases, they are also incredibly difficult for patients to endure. FoodFacts.com understands that for breast cancer patients and those who love them, a solution that may come from a simple vegetable would offer a far less traumatic path for patients worldwide.

And based on this research, perhaps we should be serving more asparagus with our meals and get used to telling our children “Eat your asparagus,” just as often as we’ve ever told them to eat their broccoli!

Read more about this fascinating study here: http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Phytochemicals/asparagus_breast_cancer_1228120409.html

Middle-aged men might benefit from multivitamins for cancer prevention

FoodFacts.com is always trying to stay up to date with the latest information regarding how vitamins and supplements benefit our healthy lifestyles. With the launch of our latest brand extension, FoodFacts Tri Nutritionals, we staying more vigilant than ever on keeping our community updated on the latest information regarding vitamins and our health.

A study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School has been completed focusing on the long-term effects of multivitamins in the prevention of chronic diseases.

The main disease focused on in the study was total cancer, but excluded nonmelanoma skin cancer. Among the other cancers included were prostate, colorectal and other site-focused cancers. The mid-point for follow-up was 11.2 years. After this time, 2,669 men had developed cancer. This included over 1300 cases of prostate cancer and over 200 cases of colorectal cancer.

Among the men who took a daily multivitamin, there was a significant reduction in the development of any tye of cancer. In the multivitamin group, only 17 events per 1,000 person-years occurred among the multivitamin group vs. 18.3 events per 1,000 person-years among those not taking multivitamins.

This was a large-scale randomized study involving over 14,000 middle-aged and older men. It illustrated that a daily multivitamin supplement did reduce the risk of cancer over an 11 year period. While the reason most consumers rely on multivitamin supplements is to prevent nutritional deficiencies, the study does show promise for the use of these supplements in the prevention of cancer in middle-aged and older men.

FoodFacts.com knows that our community members look for the most current information to help them make the healthiest choices for their own lives and the lives of their families. This important news for men makes your choice of multivitamin even more important. FoodFactsTri Nutritionals offers a high-quality Men’s Formula that might be worth your consideration. Whatever your choice in multivitamin, we hope that you incorporate this important information into your healthy lifestyle.

http://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/cancer-prevention/news/online/%7B31D944E2-1044-4375-8AA4-1E5E9E7D5BC0%7D/Multivitamins-show-promise-in-cancer-prevention-in-middle-aged-men

Can consuming processed meats increase your chances of developing thyroid cancer?

FoodFacts.com has always maintained the position that the consumption of processed meats is not the best choice to make while trying to maintain a healthy diet. We know that most in our community feel the same way and try to avoid processed meats as much as possible.

We recently read about some new research published in the International Journal of Cancer that links nitrites used in processed meats to a increased risk of cancer. The study comes out of the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago and focused on participants with higher and lower intakes of nitrites.

Over 73,000 females up to the age of 70 were followed through a food frequency questionnaire. They were followed for an 11 year period. During that follow-up period, 164 cases of thyroid cancer developed within this population. While there was no general association made between nitrate intake and risk for thyroid cancer in most of the studied population, that in the highest range of nitrite intake had a 100% increased risk of developing thyroid cancer when compared with those who had the lowest range of nitrite consumption. You read that right – a 100% increased risk!

While the study is suggesting a link, that link may be quite factual because nitrites can be converted into cancer causing N-nitroso compounds. These compounds have already been discovered to cause other types of cancers.

Nitrites are common ingredients in products such as hot dogs, processed deli meats, ham, bacon, sausage, and many boxed or canned products where preservatives are found. FoodFacts.com cannot stress the importance of reading ingredient labels strongly enough. There are times when a consumer picks up a product in which they would never expect to find nitrites and the ingredient is listed clearly on the product.

In addition to the possibility of picked up a processed food product where you wouldn’t expect to find nitrites as an ingredient, FoodFacts.com is also aware that there are many folks who do have a difficult time completely giving up foods like bacon and sausage. For these folks, the research suggests that taking a high dose of a Vitamin C supplement, or drinking a high Vitamin C fruit juice can help prevent the conversion of nitrites into N-nitroso compounds. The study also points out that while a juice product may be labeled as high in Vitamin C, it is a more reliable option to take Vitamin C supplements regularly because you can be sure of the content of the supplement more readily than that of the juice.

When looking for a healthy Vitamin C supplement, keep in mind that FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals offer you pure, natural, real ingredients that are free from most items you may be actively avoiding in your supplements, like sugar, salt, gluten and corn. FoodFacts.com would, of course as always, be an advocate of eliminating nitrites from your diet completely. It’s one of the best, healthiest decisions you can make for your body.

We invite you to read more about this fascinating study:  http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Food/processed_meat_linked_to_thyroid_cancer_1222120314.html