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Nutrition And Cancer: What Link?

By kathy Emiko
Cancer develops when changes to DNA, nucleic acids that are the basis of heredity and contain the genetic blue print, result in production of malignant cells that replicate but are not controlled or killed by natural defence mechanisms in the body. Cells are most vulnerable to intrusion and damage from cancer-causing agents when they divide normally and their DNA uncoils so that the gene information can be copied. Often, cancers are hereditary, meaning there is a predisposition to the disease but that they need to be triggered by such things as chemical toxins and certain fats in diets.
Cancer causes range from viruses, exposure to industrial pollutants and chemicals – including pesticides, herbicides, toxins in household products, food dyes and cigarette smoke, and as result of radiation exposure from, for example, x-rays, nuclear waste, electronic instruments and dental enamel caps.

No exposure is too small to initiate cellular damage. The cumulative effects from various sources of cancer–causing substances stress the immune system. It may take 5 to 30 years from the time of exposure to the carcinogen stage before cancer actually appears.

For women, breast and reproduction cancers could be caused by high levels of estrogen in the blood.

Estrogen stimulates cells production; contributing to estrogens in the body are birth control pills and hormone replacement at menopause. Meat, poultry and dairy foods may contain traces from animals that have been given the hormone for growth; and pesticides and industrial pollutants contain xenoestrogens for foreign estrogens.

CANCER FIGHTING:
Your diet is the place to begin with. Your diet is a major weapon against cancer. Foods can either promote or prevent the disease. Whole food nutrition allows the body to use its built-in restorative and repair abilities. Meats, high-fat foods, poly-unsaturated fatty acids, trans-fatty acids and excess alcohol are major cancer causers. Frying, grilling, broiling and barbecuing foods produce cancer–causing chemicals.
Even if your genetics and lifestyle expose you to cancer, your diet could still make a tremendous difference in cancer odds. For example, certain body chemicals must be “activated” before they can initiate cancer. Foods can block the activation process. Anti-oxidant foods can snuff out carcinogens, nip free radical cascades in the bud, and even repair some cellular damage.
Certain foods accelerate body detoxification and prevent the genetic ruin of cells; a prelude to cancer (one of the reasons I emphasise detoxification to halt tumour or carcinogen growth). Healthy food chemicals in cells can determine whether a cancer–causing virus or a cancer-promoter such as too much estrogen will make tissues cancerous. Even after cells have massed into structures that may grow into tumours, food compounds can intervene to stop mere growth. Some actually shrink the patches of pre-cancerous cells.
CANCER DEFYING HABITS:
A  Fruits and vegetables are the key: The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the less cancer risk you will have. Protect yourself by eating as many fruits and vegetables as you can everyday. Eating fruits twice a day instead of twice a week, can cut the risk of lung cancer by 75% even in smokers. Two fruits and three vegetable servings a day shows amazing anti-cancer results. They don’t stimulate the production of insulin and insulin–like growth factor of the breast, prostrate and colon.
A  Healthy fats: Another way of protecting yourself against cancer is to eat good fats. This involves high in-take of Omega 3 poly-unsaturated fat e.g. olive oil, fish oil, flaxseed oil and canola oils.
C Ditch the drink: If you want to stay free of cancer, your alcohol consumption must be no more than moderate. Heavy drinking increases the risk of breast cancer. The risk with colon cancer may be through inadequate folic acid which is thought to protect against colon cancer and which is destroyed by alcohol.
D Excel at exercise: Just 30 minutes a day, can make all the difference. Exercising 3 times a week can almost be considered a “cancer defence” in itself. Exercise acts as an anti-oxidant to enhance body oxygen use, altering the way body chemistry controls fat retention and accelerating passage of waste out of the body. Exercise may reduce breast cancer risk in older woman by reducing the amount of estrogen produced by fat cells and converting more fat into muscle. Exercise helps the muscles to mop up insulin so there is less around to stimulate cancer growth in breast or colon cells.


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