Mini-Medical School #3 Nutrition and Cancer
Stephanie Taylor MD PhD
August 2, 2014
“Eat as if your life mattered”-Rachel Naomi Remen MD
A definition of Cancer: A cell becomes a cancer when it shows unregulated cell growth and the ability to colonize other tissues.
Thinking about the causes of Cancer: Cancer risk increases in several general situations: inadequate nutrition, over nutrition, lack of activity and rust (oxidation).
Inadequate Nutrition: Nutrition is more than protein, carbs and fats. Vast numbers of compounds in plants prevent cancer. Your best insurance is to eat a predominantly plant based diet. Eat organic foods. They have to fend for themselves and have more phytonutrients. Pasture raised beef, dairy cows, chicken/eggs and wild fish have a more beneficial fatty acid profile.
Over Nutrition: Generally, obesity increases cancer risk. Increased adult height is also a risk factor for cancer, and this is probably related to pre-natal over nutrition.
Lack of Activity: Regular exercise is highly protective against cancer.
Rust: The cellular changes that predispose to cancer increase in frequency where there is DNA damage. This can be from radiation or an “unhealthy” environment.
|Breast Cancer||Lactation, Exercise decreases risk||Alcohol, tallness, large birth weight, obesity increase risk|
|Colon Cancer||Fiber, Exercise decrease risk||Red Meat, Processed Meat, Tallness and obesity increase risk|
|Endometrial Cancer||Coffee, Exercise decrease risk||Obesity, glycemic load increase risk|
|Ovarian Cancer||Maybe lactation decreases risk||Tallness, Obesity increase risk|
|Pancreatic Cancer||Childhood growth, Obesity increases risk|
Reference: American Institute for Cancer Research, www.aicr.org
Genetics and Cancer: There is abundant evidence that a plant based diet will influence gene expression. Genes are not destiny. They are guides to a healthier lifestyle.
Reference: The Disease Delusion by Dr. Jeffery Bland. Published by Harper, 2014.
Reference: The Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson, 2009.