Cancer Fighters, Cancer Risks & Food Voodoo | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Cancer Fighters, Cancer Risks & Food Voodoo


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
The American Cancer Society has found that only a few consumables are either as cancer risks or cancer fighters. The key to understanding food and cancer is balance. There are no miracle foods that prevent cancer. There are no demon foods that cause cancer.

Remember that there are many types of cancer. No one type of diet can prevent all of types of cancer. Foods that may be a risk for one type of breast cancer may have no connection to a different type of breast cancer.

Many foods and supplements on this list are part of a balanced/healthy diet; however they are not cancer-fighters (e.g., broccoli, garlic or olive oil).

Some foods and supplements can be risks for other health conditions (such as salt for high blood pressure or sugar for diabetes) but they do not increase your risk for cancer.

Some foods and supplements, promoted as cancer-fighters by the media, can be cancer risks for some types of cancer. These include:
  1. Beta-carotenes found in yellow vegetables, a possible risk for smokers and former smokers;
  2. Calcium, a risk for prostate cancer;
  3. Soy products which can increase cancer risks for estrogen-sensitive breast and uterine cancer; or
  4. Vitamins A and E, taken as supplements, which may raise cancer risks for smokers and former smokers.

Some foods in excess contribute to obesity. Obesity is a risk factor for some cancers. A balanced diet and exercise are key to preventing obesity and lower risks for some types of cancer, including breast cancer, kidney cancer and cancers of the digestive system.

There are a few foods that promote a healthy diet and also lower cancer risks for some cancers. These include most fruits and vegetables, leafy green vegetables, fish oils and lycopene found in tomatoes.

Now let's cut out the voodoo.

  • Alcohol --- Alcohol been statistically linked to the risk of breast, colon, esophagus, larynx, liver, mouth, pharynx and rectum cancer.
  • Antioxidants –There is no evidence that antioxidants (as found in broccoli and other vegetables) prevent cancer.
  • Aspartame – There is no evidence that aspartame increases your risk of cancer.
  • Beta-carotene (found in yellow vegetables, as well as some green vegetables) - There is no evidence that beta-carotene in natural or supplement form reduces risks for cancer. Consuming high quantities of beta-carotene can however pose possible risks for smokers. High does supplements were found to increase the risk of lung cancer in former smokers.
  • Bioengineered foods – There is no evidence that these foods increase risks for any kind of cancer.
  • Calcium- Calcium increases the risk of prostate cancer, especially more aggressive types of prostate cancer.
  • Cholesterol – A high-cholesterol diet and obesity are correlated; obesity has been linked to various forms of cancer including breast cancer. The connection between cholesterol and cancer is not clear at this time. However, recent research points at cholesterol risks for a small percentage of breast cancers.
  • Coffee –There is no evidence that coffee increases cancer risks.
  • Fat - There is no direct evidence that fat increases cancer risks. However high-fat diets may be indirectly linked to obesity, which is a risk for some cancers.
  • Fiber – There is no evidence that fiber increases cancer risks; nor is there evidence that it is an effective cancer-fighting nutrient.
  • Fish—There is no evidence that fish increases cancer risks, or that it is a cancer-fighter. Animal studies have shown fish to slow or suppress the growth of cancer cells
  • Omega 3 found in fish oils—There is no evidence that omega 3s are effective in cancer prevention.
  • Fluorides- There is no evidence that fluorides (found in treated drinking water) increase cancer risks.
  • Folate, a form of vitamin B found in leafy green vegetables and beans -- Too little folate may increase the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, and breast, especially in people who drink alcoholic beverages. The evidence is limited.
  • Food additives –There is no evidence that food additives increase cancer risks.
  • Garlic—There is no evidence that garlic fights cancer.
  • Lycopene ---Lycopene is found in tomatoes. There is some limited evidence that eating tomatoes lowers cancer risks for some cancers.
  • Processed meats such as cold-cuts, hot dogs, smoked meat, preserved meat --- There is some limited evidence that eating processed meats may increase risks for colorectal cancers.
  • Meat when fried, broiled, grilled—There is some limited evidence, based only on animal studies, that frying, broiling or grilling meat at very high temperatures forms chemicals that increase cancer risks. The cooking process forms chemicals that damage DNA in animals. The connection with humans is not clear.
  • Olive oil –There is no evidence that olive oil prevents cancer or lowers cancer risks.
  • Organic foods –There is no evidence that organic foods prevent cancer or lower cancer risks.
  • Pesticides and herbicides – The connection between pesticides and herbicides and cancer risk is worrisome but unclear. Pesticides and herbicides may cause damage to DNA, which then leads to risks for some cancers.
  • Saccharin – There is no evidence that saccharin increases cancer risks.
  • Salt- There is no evidence that salt increases cancer risks.
  • Salt as part of pickling or processing --- There is a limited risk for people who consume large amounts of pickled foods for stomach, naso-pharyngeal and throat cancer.
  • Selenium – There is no evidence that selenium is an effective cancer fighter. High doses of selenium are in fact poisonous.
  • Soy products – There is no evidence that soy products are effective cancer fighters. There is however limited evidence that some breast and uterine cancer risks increase when the cancer is estrogen sensitive. Soy increases estrogen levels.
  • Sugar- Sugar may be indirectly linked to some cancers because of its link to obesity. Otherwise sugar is not considered a cancer risk.
  • Tea (green or otherwise)—There is no evidence that tea lowers cancer risks.
  • Trans-saturated fats –There is no evidence that trans-saturated fats increase cancer risks.
  • Vegetables and fruits — Consumption of vegetables and fruits lowers risks for colon, esophageal, lung, mouth and stomach cancer.
  • Vitamin A --- Vitamin A can actually raise the risk of lung cancer for smokers and former-smokers. There is no evidence that Vitamin A is a cancer-fighter.
  • Vitamin C — The jury is out. There are many contradictory studies.
  • Vitamin D — Recent studies suggest that Vitamin D may lower the risk of colon, prostate and breast cancer.
  • Vitamin E –- Vitamin E may raise the risk of cancer for smokers and former-smokers. No benefits as a cancer-fighter can be demonstrated.

Note A: What is a risk factor? A risk factor shows an increase in incidence/number in the exposed group. A food that is a risk factor is not a cause of cancer. A risk factor food or vitamin simply shows a higher incidence in the exposed group. Example: "each daily alcoholic beverage increases the incidence of breast cancer by 11 cases per 1000 women.”

Note B: About 25 percent of all new cancers diagnosed each year are breast cancers. More than 1/3 of all new cancers are related to smoking. Therefore… higher numbers mean that statistical risks for breast cancer and smoking-related cancers will be more reliable than those for other cancers that are less common. Foods that may be risks for breast cancer may not be risks for a different cancer (e.g., lymphomas or skin cancer).


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Now here is a forum experiment we could share. If you could only pack 10 food items in your grocery cart, each trip to the market, for a year, what would they be?

The objective of the experiment is to reduce cancer risks using evidence not voodoo.

Rules and thoughts:

1. Vegan and vegetarian women can consider soy products as long as there is no family history of breast or uterine cancer.

2. You may count leafy green vegetables as a single food category. Otherwise you would have to count escarole or spinach as one item each. That would limit your choices.

3. You may count vegetables high in beta-carotene, such as broccoli, separately from "all vegetables." That gives you an extra food category choice.

4. The jury is out on many condiments and spices, like honey or parsley and basil. Also, evidence from sound scientific sources is absent. I would not waste one of my 10 choices there. But of course you are free to pick anything you want.

5. Foods like eggs, cheese, and milk are not cancer risks as far as medical science can now say.

6. Focus on what you would choose to reduce cancer risks. We are not at work on hyper-tension, high-cholesterol, cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, allergic conditions like celiac disease, or management of auto-immune diseases like Crohn's disease in this particular experiment. So don't go off topic and talk about things like attention deficit disorder and food. Thanks.

:happymunda: :whatzpointsing: :kudifacepalm: :singhsippingcoffee:

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