Wow, have I got a mad on. Last week a slew of articles made the online rounds, and after reading them and the reader comments, my blood is boiling.  I want to talk first about an article which was posted on many news organization sites and other websites. The title perked me up: “Could Half of All Breast Cancers Be Prevented?”  The premise of the piece was that half of breast cancers might be due to lifestyle choices. I’m willing to accept that there are certain things you can do to lessen your risk of breast cancer, but, as someone who was the epitome of health upon diagnosis, my jaw clenches when the “You can prevent breast cancer” tagline gets thrown around.  The only thing that might have made my BCS (before cancer self) healthier is BCS me living in a remote, stress-free monastery practicing martial arts, yoga and meditation all day long, drinking pure spring water, sucking in unpolluted fresh air, and growing my very own sustenance in the form of an all-organic garden. Hey, I now live in Manhattan, so I can dream, right??  It sounds pretty awesome, but pretty unrealistic. At 37, I wasn’t ready to make that kind of leap, and two years later, I’m still not ready to make that leap.  I want to live IN this world, not be apart from it.  (And after that intro paragraph, I guarantee some readers are poised to type a reactive response, perhaps questioning if I was really healthy and really did everything to be healthier… I ask those readers to wait, and to read the rest of this before giving in to that response.)

What people are readily grasping onto is the HALF aspect…. Half of all breast cancers could be preventable.  Half is not an insubstantial number and if we could wipe out half of all future breast cancer diagnoses by lifestyle choices, yes, yes, yes, let’s do everything we can to make it happen!!  However, I think many choose to ignore the obvious counterpart of that figure… HALF are not preventable.  And considering the number of breast cancers diagnosed each year, that half is still a staggering number.  As a smoothie-chugging, juice-hogging, veggie lover with a serious craving for fitness adrenalin, I am stung when I hear the lifestyle argument as the reason for getting breast cancer.  But it also stings because as a young survivor, I am connected to a host of other young survivors of many different forms of cancers. The lifestyle choice argument doesn’t hold much water when you see women developing breast cancer in their 20s and 30s and sometimes even in their teens.  How can your lifestyle choices cause your cancer when your life as an adult has only just begun at age 24?  When we start slinging around the “breast cancer can be preventable if you make wise choices” slogan, we run the risk of blaming people for their illnesses. And, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that none of the young sisters I am honored to know were diagnosed with cancer because they made bad lifestyle choices.

I devoured the reader comments of this article and was left shaking my head (and my little tiny fist of fury at some points).  More than a few readers left exactly these types of blaming comments, along with other such helpful gems as “All cancers are preventable,” “Drink more green juice” and “Did you get immunizations? That must be the reason for your cancer.” Yeah, very unhelpful and personally offensive.  But what really fired me up was a separate article, written perhaps in response to the first, titled “I Did Everything Right and I Still Got Breast Cancer.”  The author is a doctor who is very honest about her response to her diagnosis at 47 and her treatment journey. And guess what? I know many of you may find this utterly shocking and it may challenge your world views (Sarcasm!), but her lifestyle choices were the “correct” ones and she still got cancer!  OMG!

I was pleased to see the support the author received from readers, mostly from other survivors who totally got it, but about half the responses were people questioning if she really did everything right. Is she really a vegetarian?  Did she wear make-up? Use personal bath products excessively? Use deodorant? Wear constricting bras?  Sleep uninterrupted?  Sniff glue as a child? Pull the toenails off of puppy dogs? It was a torrent of ugly “blame the victim” rhetoric. Never mind that millions of people worldwide do ALL these things daily (well, maybe not the glue sniffing and puppy maiming) and never develop cancer.  And never mind that the judgmental people who wrote these questions probably have zero experience with cancer.

So many  things are wrong with this all-too-common blame the victim response, and sadly, this response isn’t just on trendy health web sites (like the one this article appeared on) where people tend to be judgmental and overzealous.  It’s all over the media that you can “prevent cancer.” Eat more vegetables! Take Vitamin Z!  Burn your bras!  Meditate 5 hours a day!  Cut out all toxins!  I’m poking gentle fun here, because I do believe many things can help overall wellness and health before cancer or after cancer, but seriously, if I had eaten any more vegetables in the decade leading up to my diagnosis, I’d have needed to be put out to pasture with the rest of the herbivores.

Blanket statements such as “You can prevent cancer” set up the logical conclusion that if you can prevent cancer… then anyone who gets cancer gets it because of something he or she did. A+B=C.  Person A   did/ate/thought certain activities/foods/negative images  which led directly to her cancer diagnosis.  If we take this to its linear conclusion, Person A practically deserves her diagnosis.

This ugly blame response is primarily a fear-based reaction to cancer. People need to think cancer is totally preventable and that people who get cancer did something wrong to get their cancer. To think otherwise opens up a vast chasm of fear and uncertainty.  To think otherwise opens up the possibility that illness can be random and nonsensical, and if that is the case, then anyone could get cancer. YOU could get cancer…. And that’s too damn scary to contemplate.  If my friend at age 37 got cancer because she has a family history, then, phew!, I don’t have to worry about that! Relief!  But if my friend didn’t have a family history and still got cancer, then OMG!!  I could also get cancer!  Scary stuff, no? It’s terrifying to contemplate the randomness of cancer and it is far, far easier to blame the victim, thus feeling safe and secure in delusion.

My heart aches for a fellow sister in the breast cancer fight.  It sucks, it’s horribly unfair, and very often it doesn’t make sense.  But my heart aches most for her because she lives in a society where she feels the need, the pressure, to defend herself because she got cancer. She’s fighting cancer!  Her fighting energy is needed for more important things.  The last thing she needs to do is fight fearful, judgmental people who think she got cancer because she didn’t get enough sleep.  It’s unwarranted, it’s ill informed, and it’s just plain selfish.  To all these people I say: It’s not about you. It’s not about you. It’s not about you. Keep your fear to yourself.

Jennifer Jaye is an editor, writer, actress, yogini, former karate instructor, and in her newest role, a cancer survivor. She lives, works, and plays in Manhattan as she attempts to navigate life as a young survivor of breast cancer.  

 

Posted in Cancer Support, Inspirational, Survivor Story | Tagged | 1 Comment

 

Unless you have the time and ability to prepare and eat large quantities of fresh produce every day I highly recommend you consider juicing or blending.

 

TERMINOLOGY:

 

Juicing involves grinding, pulverizing and squeezing the juices out of the produce while discarding most of the fiber. Juicing makes “juice.”

 

Blending finely chops up all the plant material in the container without extracting any of the fiber or cell walls that are typically discarded during juicing. Blending makes “smoothies.”

 

WHY AM I A FAN OF JUICING AND BLENDING?

 

Most of us simply do not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per day (2-3 cups of fruit, 3+ cups of vegetables) that are required to reduce our risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Drinking juice or smoothies can help you reach this goal. In a single 12-ounce glass of juice you are getting on average 2-3 pounds worth of plant nutrients.

 

Another important point to make is that even if you consume the recommended amount of produce each day, that produce is not nearly as nutrient-rich as the same produce grown 50 years ago. This is mainly due to: 1) soil nutrient depletion from over-farming, 2) nutrient degradation begins immediately after the produce is harvested; it takes most produce a few weeks to make their way to your grocery store. Juicing (more so than blending) can help you make up for this nutrient depletion simply by the fact you are consuming a larger quantity of nutrients in your juice than most people can consume in a day through eating or blending the same produce.

 

  • Many of these nutrients (also known as phytonutrients) have powerful anticancer activity! You want your body to be full of these compounds so you are literally making your tissues more hostile to any hiding cancer cells that may try to grow there.

 

Here’s a list of the main compounds you get when juicing or blending produce:

 

  • Water
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Enzymes
  • Phytochemicals (such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and many other anticancer compounds)
  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Fiber
  • Other Unknown Nutrients

 

Although this may look like all the nutrients your body needs, I do not recommend that you use juice or smoothies in place of your meals unless you are on a ‘physician/nutritionist/dietician-approved’ dietary plan or you are not able to get adequate nutrition consuming whole food (i.e. you have pain or other difficulty swallowing foods, gastrointestinal distress, poor appetite, etc.) I want to emphasize this because whole foods contain quantities of protein, fat, carbohydrates and fiber that are not always easily obtainable through juice or smoothies (unless you add additional nutrient supplement powders). Think of juices and smoothies as simply the ultimate anticancer supplement.

THE PROS AND CONS OF JUICING AND BLENDING:

Let’s go through some of them here:

Juicing Pros:

  • Without the fiber, your intestines don’t have to work as hard digesting and absorbing the nutrients in the plant material as they would if you ate the produce or blended it. If your intestines are sensitive or are irritated or inflamed from an illness or cancer treatment (i.e. chemotherapy or radiation therapy), I’d recommend juicing over blending.
  • You can pack many more servings of produce into your juice than you can a blended drink and you will absorb far more nutrients from each serving of juice than from a serving of a blended drink.

Juicing Cons:

  • Fiber is important in slowing down the absorption of the sugars from the produce. Without this fiber, the sugars are quickly absorbed into your bloodstream causing a sharp rise in your blood sugar. Not only can this lead to mood swings and energy loss (as your blood sugar levels eventually drop below their baseline levels), but spikes in blood sugar also cause the pancreas to secrete insulin and the the liver to produce IGF-1. We don’t like this since cancer’s #1 fuel is sugar and insulin and IGF-1 are cancer growth factors!
  • Another con is that fibers in the juice help keep you feeling full longer, so juices are not as filling as blended drinks.
  • Juicing is more expensive than blending. Juicers are more expensive than blenders (typical range: $60 to $600). You will use more produce for each serving of juice than a serving of a blended drink.
  • Juicing takes more time. You will spend more time making the juice and cleaning your juicer than you will with a blender.

Blending Pros:

  • Because the blended drink (“smoothie”) contains all of the plant fiber, the nutrients are more slowly absorbed than with juices, thereby avoiding blood sugar spikes.
  • The fiber in smoothies also helps you feel full longer.
  • Plant fiber is the main source of prebiotic material which is required for maintaining a healthy flora.
  • Faster preparation and clean up time.
  • Uses less produce in each drink than with juices.
  • Lower cost: Blenders tend to be less expensive than juicers and you use less produce in each drink.

Blending Cons:

  • Since the fibrous material takes up more volume, you will not consume as many cups of produce in a blended drink as you will in a similar serving size of juice. Therefore you will not absorb as many nutrients per serving in blended drinks.
  • Smoothies require your intestines to work harder than juices to digest and absorb. If your intestines are upset, irritated and inflamed juicing will be easier for you to consume.
  • Smoothies are more pungent in flavor and thicker in consistency than juices made from the same produce. This can be a ‘con’ for those who prefer the flavor profile and thinner consistency of juices.

DOC, WHAT DO YOU PREFER?

When my patients ask me what I prefer to do, I tell them that it depends on what ingredients I would like to consume (i.e. vegetables or fruits or both) and what my palate desires (i.e. am I very hungry, do I want thin or thicker consistency, etc.) In general, I prefer to juice vegetables and blend fruit. If I’m really hungry I’ll favor a thicker and more filling smoothie over a juice. If I’m planning to also eat a more filling meal shortly after drinking my juice or smoothie I will probably opt to have a juice.

WHICH JUICERS AND BLENDERS DO I RECOMMEND?

New units are coming out all the time, so it is important to do your research. You have to figure out what you can afford to spend as there is a wide range of prices and quality from which to pick. My suggestion is that if you intend to use your juicer or blender more than a couple of times per week invest in a higher quality unit. You’ll actually spend less money in the long run since you won’t have to replace or repair a cheap unit that breaks down too quickly. Additionally, higher quality units are much more efficient so you will get a larger yield of juice or smoothie from your produce. If you buy a good product expect it to last you for years.

Juicers:

There are many different types of juicers on the market (i.e. centrifugal, centrifugal ejection, masticating, manual press, single auger, dual stage single auger and twin gear press juicers.) As of 2014 the two types of juicing units I recommend are the following:

  • If you are looking for a juicer that can juice both vegetables and fruit equally well, make juice quickly and are the easiest juicers to clean get a vertical single auger juicer (such as the Omega VRT400HD, Tribest Slowstar SW-2000). Important caveat: these don’t juice leafy greens (i.e. wheatgrass) very efficiently.
  • Find Juicers Here:
  • http://goo.gl/JsoAQO
  • http://goo.gl/mSk82w
  • If you want to mainly juice vegetables and leafy greens (i.e. wheatgrass) get a horizontal single auger juicer (such as the Omega NC900) or double auger juicer (such as the Green Star GSE-5000) as they are more efficient in juicing these harder to juice produce than the vertical single auger types.
  • Find Juicers Here:
  • http://goo.gl/iqzjyT
  • http://goo.gl/3w62kj

Blenders: If you plan to use your blender more than a couple times per week I’d recommend you get a blender that is durable, easy to clean, BPA-free and has more power than most home blenders (which are rated about 350 watts).  The model most raw food experts recommend is the Vitamix 1732 Turboblend VS (1380 watts).

DR. LAWENDA’S JUICING TIPS:

Drink juices and smoothies on an empty stomach:

  • Drinking juice or smoothies on an empty stomach allows the vitamins and minerals in the drink to go straight to your bloodstream. Having fiber or a meal already in your stomach prevents your body from quickly absorbing the nutrients from the juice. A good general rule of thumb to follow is to wait at least 2 hours after a meal to drink your juice and wait 20 mins after drinking a juice or smoothie to consume a meal.

Don’t wait too long before you drink your juice or smoothie:

  • When your juice or smoothie is exposed to air its enzymes and nutrients oxidize and they begin to degrade, therefore decreasing the nutritional content. To make sure you are consuming the highest levels of nutrients and live enzymes I recommend always consuming your drink within 15 mins of making it.
  • If you want to drink your juice or smoothie later, make sure to store it in an airtight container (filled to the top with no air gap) and in a refrigerator for a maximum of 24 hours.

Do not use too many sweet fruits and vegetables in your juice:

  • Juicing produce with a high sugar content will cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar and an insulin spike since the fiber is removed in juicing (less of a problem with smoothies since the fiber is not removed and slows the absorption of sugar). As mentioned above, this is not a good combination.
  • I recommend keeping the sugary fruits and vegetables in your juice to a maximum of 1 per serving. Examples of sweet fruits and vegetables: like watermelon, apples, pears, carrots and beets.

Don’t always juice or blend the same produce:

  • Variety is important when juicing and blending so you get different nutrients while also reducing your risk of over-consuming some that can cause problems. For example, if you do not rotate the greens (kale, chard, spinach, mustard greens, collards, dandelion, arugula, etc.) in your juice or smoothies each week you run the risk of consuming to much oxalic acid (which can affect the thyroid gland).

Keep your drinks cold during juicing or blending:

Heat is generated when making juice or smoothies and this heat may decrease the nutritional value of the drink as heat breaks down many of the healthful compounds (primarily the natural enzymes). Most of the enzymes will not start to degrade until about 118 degrees Fahrenheit (this is much higher than your juice or smoothie will likely get to in usual circumstances.) Nevertheless I still recommend you take the following precautions to reduce the amount of heat generated during juicing or blending:

  • Use cold produce. Leave the produce in the fridge before juicing or blending.
  • Do not overload your juicer.  Feed in only a little produce at a time. Overloading causes the juicer to work harder which produces more heat.
  • Chop up your produce into smaller pieces so the juicer doesn’t have to work as hard.
  • While juicing, occasionally juice an ice cube, which will help to reduce the temperature of the blade/auger and the juice. It will also dilute the juice.
  • Replace dull blades or cutters since they generate excess heat due to friction.
  • Juice in small batches, rather than “juice marathons”.   The longer the juicer runs, the warmer things get.

Buy organic whenever possible:

  • Studies show that organic produce contains more nutrients than conventionally grown produce and has far fewer toxins.
  • If money is an issue, make sure to buy produce on the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list as organic. You can save your money and buy produce on the EWG’s “Clean 15″ list as conventionally grown.
  • Local Harvest.org can help you find local organic farms, farmers markets and other organic retailers in your area.

Supplementing Beyond Just The Produce:

If you don’t have time to juice every single day but you still want to massively increase your intake of cancer-fighting phytonutrients, I recommend you consume one “green drink” per day. These are highly concentrated green extract powders that contain tons of natural whole plant food ingredients, enzymes and pre- and pro-biotics.

You simply take a scoop of the green powder and mix it in a single 8 oz cup of water, stir and drink.

I wish I had time to juice or blend everyday but I don’t, so I drink one green drink every morning to boost my intake of these powerful anticancer compounds.

Here are the ones I recommend:

Additionally, if you are looking for some high quality complete protein powder supplements to add to your smoothies here are the ones I recommend:

 

By:  Brian D. Lawenda, M.D.

 

Posted in Daily Matters, Nutrition | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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Enoki mushrooms, a tasty variety commonly sold in grocery stores, were one of the first mushrooms studied for preventing cancer. Credit for discovering this medical benefit goes in large part to Dr. Tetsuro Ikekawa, a former epidemiologist at the Research Institute of the National Cancer Center in Tokyo, Japan. He wondered why the cancer rates in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan were abnormally low from 1972-1986, compared to surrounding provinces. Ikekawa found it was the center of enoki mushroom cultivation. A cluster within the population of Nagano died less frequently from cancer: enoki mushroom growers and their families. Since many enoki farmers gave their employees the bruised or blemished mushrooms that were deemed unattractive to shoppers, these Nagano citizens ate far more enoki mushrooms than their neighbors. Dr. Ikekawa surmised that their higher rate of enoki mushroom consumption correlated with the lower cancer death rate in Nagano Prefecture.

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At the time of the research, the average cancer death rate in the Nagano prefecture was 160 per 100,000. This rate dropped to 97 per 100,000, comparatively, in families of enoki growers (Ikekawa, et al,,1989, 2003). Men’s cancer deaths decreased by 36.6 percent, and women in this cluster benefited from a 42.7 percent decrease in mortality from cancer. The population base in this study was around 175,000 people and was age-adjusted. By contrast, the United States currently records 173 deaths from cancer per 100,000 as of 2009 (The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation).

While there are no clusters of enoki growers and enoki eaters to study in the U.S. like there are in Nagano, this Japanese study could inspire epidemiologists to study the effect of higher mushroom consumption. Such research could support the widespread theory held by many mycologists and physicians that increased mushroom consumption can lower cancer fatality rates.

Dr. Ikekawa’s 1989 epidemiological study published by the Nagano Prefectural Research Institute of Rural Industry corroborated years of lab-scale research by Dr. Ikekawa and others. In a flurry of medical research — sparked in part by Ikekawa’s1969 article in Cancer Research on the cancer-fighting properties of many gourmet mushrooms — Japanese researchers sought to isolate, purify, and identify the constituents in enoki mushrooms that provided the anti-cancer effects. Their research focused on two classes of protein-bound polysaccharides: FVP (as in Flammulina velutipes polysaccharides, such as EA6), and FVE (for Flammulina velutipes extracts). As a result of this research, two new compounds — flammulin and proflamin — were isolated. Proflamin is a glycoprotein, containing more than 90 percent protein and less than 10 percent carbohydrate with a molecular weight between 13,000-17,000 Da. Notably, this molecule is orders of magnitude lighter than the heavy beta glucan polysaccharides. Comparative tests of proflamin showed better immune mitigated, cancer-fighting activity against melanoma and other cancers than the well-known PSK isolated from turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) mushrooms. (Ikekawa, et al., 1985).

In 2009, the journal Immunology published a study showing that ingesting enoki extracts containing these substances significantly improved survival rates of mice infected with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a leading cause of cervical cancer. Two sets of mice were infected with the HPV oncovirus, and one set was given an extract of enoki mushrooms.

Tumor protection assays showed that 60 percent of mice co-immunized with HPV-16 E7 plus Fve, as compared with 20 percent of those immunized only with HPV-16 E7, remained tumour-free for up to 167 days after challenge with the tumour cells.

The positive immune reactions were augmented from expansion of HPV specific interferon (IFN)-gamma-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes cells (Ding et. al., 2009). In a later study by Yin et al. (2010), Chinese researchers found that three unique beta glucans found in enoki mushrooms (beta-linked glucose, galactose, mannose and fucose sugars) induced a significant increase in cellular nitric oxide expression from murine peritoneal macrophages. Nitric oxide production by immune cells is one of the key mechanisms that our bodies use to destroy diseased cells. Enhancement of these types of immune responses is seen consistently with many medicinal mushrooms that have been tested by cancer researchers.

 

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Nutritional Properties
Enoki mushrooms are a rich source of important nutrients (Stamets, 2005). Our analysis showed that for every 100 grams (dry weight), enoki offers:

  • 346 calories
  • 53 percent carbohydrates (31 percent complex carbohydrates, 22 percent other sugars)
  • 26 percent protein
  • 26 percent dietary fiber
  • 3 percent fat (1.0 gram polyunsaturated, 1.2 grams total unsaturated, 0.23 grams saturated)
  • Significant quantities of many vitamins and minerals: 0.35 mg thiamine, 10.9 mg pantothenic acid (B5), 61 mg niacin, 1.69 mg riboflavin, 14 mg calcium, 0.61 mg copper, 8.3 mg iron, 3,100 mg potassium, 54 µg selenium, and 19 mg sodium.

Remarkably, enoki mushrooms have no cholesterol, vitamin A, nor vitamin C.

Enoki is also a rich source of antioxidants, particularly ergothioneines. These hydrophilic antioxidants are even richer in the mycelium substrate than the harvested mushrooms (Bao et al., 2010).

The Double Morphology of Enoki Mushrooms

Known colloquially as “winter,” “golden needle,” and “velvet foot” mushrooms, enoki mushrooms grow across much of the world, inhabiting dead conifer trees and stumps, and generally appearing throughout the late fall and winter months. Although common both in nature and in cultivation, enoki mushrooms (Flammulina velutipesFlammulina populicola) can look very different depending on where they grow. In the wild, an enoki mushroom is often squat-looking and its stem is rarely more than twice as long as the cap is wide.When they are grown by farmers and hobbyists, however, their stems elongate, the caps are smaller, and a forest of golden colored needle-like mushrooms shoot up all at once. At their bases, stems are adorned with dark brown fur-like fuzz, hence the name “velvet foot.”

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Japanese mycologists figured out that if the mushroom mycelium was grown in bottles, in low light, something remarkable happens. The pooling of higher carbon dioxide (the mycelium exhales carbon dioxide as it digests the wood) make the stems grow longer. This is likely a response by the mushroom to elevate its cap above the surface of the ground so that its spores can fly free. If the light levels are also reduced, however, the cap remains small and produces few spores. Both conditions allow for simple harvesting and longer shelf-life in stores. If exposed to a lot of light, as in nature, the caps broaden, the gills release spores, and soon thereafter the mushrooms quickly rot. This dance between light and carbon dioxide is a common feature in the art of mushroom cultivation. While all mushrooms respond to these changes to some degree, enoki cultivators have perfected this atmospheric interplay to guide a wild mushroom into its present uniquely Japanese aesthetic.

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Enoki mushrooms deserve more research to understand how increasing consumption might decrease cancer death rates. Ikekawa’s epidemiological data and the isolation of immunomodulating molecules from enoki by other researchers makes me want to explore the properties of enoki mushrooms beyond their obvious culinary appeal.

Reprinted from : Huffington Post

Author: Paul Stamets


Financial Disclosure: Paul Stamets, author of Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms and educator of mushroom cultivators world-wide, is also the Founder of Fungi Perfecti, LLC — a company that supplies mushroom related products including whole, encapsulated powders, and extracts of mushrooms.

References

Bao, H.N., Ochiai, Y., Ohshima, T., 2010. “Antioxidative activities of hydrophilic extracts prepared from the fruiting body and spent culture medium of Flammulina velutipes.” Bioresour Technol. Aug; 101(15):6248-55. Epub 2010 Mar 25.

Ding, Y., Seow, S.V., Huang, C.H., Liew, L.M., Lim, Y.C., Kuo, I.C., Chua, K.Y., 2009.
“Coadministration of the fungal immunomodulatory protein FIP-Fve and a tumour-associated antigen enhanced antitumour immunity.” Immunology. Sept; 128 (1 Suppl):e881-94. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

Ikekawa, T., Uehara, N., Maeda, Y., Nakanishi, M., Fukuoka, F., 1969. “Antitumor activity of aqueous extracts of edible mushrooms.” Cancer Research 29: 734-735.

Ikekawa, T., Maruyama, H., Miyano, T., Okura, A., Sawaskai, Y., Naito, K., Kawamura, K., Shiratori, K., 1985. “Proflamin, a new antitumor agent: preparation, physicochemical properties and antitumor activity.” Japanese Journal of Cancer Research 76: 142-148.

Ikekawa, T., et. al., eds. 1989. “Twenty-years of Studies on Antitumor Activities of Mushrooms,” Nagano Prefectural Research Institute of Rural Industry.

Ikekawa, T. 1995. “Enokitake, Flammulina velutipes: Host-mediated antitumor
polysaccharides.” Food Review International 11, 203-206.

Ikekawa, T., 2001. “Beneficial effects of edible and medicinal mushrooms on health care.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 3: 291-298.

Ikekawa T. 2003. “Beneficial Effects of Mushrooms, Edible and Medicinal, on Health Care in Japan,” Proceedings of the Global Holistic Health Summit, Bangalore, India. January 2003.

Maruyama, H. and T. Ikekawa, 2005. “Combination Therapy of Transplanted Meth-A Fibrosarcoma in BALB/c Mice with Polysaccharide EA6 Isolated from Enokitake Mushroom Flammulina velutipes (W.Curt.:Fr.) Singer and Surgical Excision” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms Volume 7 / Numbers 1-2.

Stamets, P., 2000. Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA.

Stamets, P., 2005. “Notes on nutritional properties of culinary-medicinal mushrooms.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, vol. 7, p. 109-116.

Yin, H., Wang, Y., Wang, Y., Chen, T., Tang, H., Wang, M., 2010.”Purification, characterization and immuno-modulating properties opolysaccharides isolated from Flammulina velutipes mycelium.” Am J Chin Med. 38(1):191-204. China Pharmaceutical University, China.

Posted in Nutrition, Risk Reduction | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I advise avoiding Genetically Modified Foods (GMO’s).  GMO foods are already linked to immune, inflammatory and even nervous system and brain conditions. Time will reveal to us the true cost of altering nature’s design.  I am certain that over time many more illnesses and perhaps some cancers will eventually be linked to ingestion of engineered food.  If you avoid these foods and their by products, you will be going a long way to remove GMO’s from your Diet.  Unless these foods are labelled NON-GMO, you can be certain the are to be avoided.  Do your best to eat REAL FOOD, organic, fresh, whole, unprocessed and non GMO.  Even Cheerios is going non- GMO. Somebody is listening.

  • Soy and Soy Products (soy milk, tofu, soy protein, soy lecithin, edamame, soy sauce, tamari, miso, natto) That eliminates Asian restaurants right away.
  • Corn and Corn Products (corn oil, high fructose corn syrup, cornmeal, cornstarch, corn tortillas)
  • Sugar Made from Sugar Beets (not the same as table beets that we eat as a vegetable)  Look for sugar from sugarcane if you must use sugar, which is really a drug not a food. Sugar contributes to creating an environment that fosters cancer growth. I really think it should be off limits.  Remember most packaged foods contain hidden sugar. And you don’t know the origin. What if we all gave up eating anything with sugar in it?  We would eradicate much of the diabetes and obesity and heart disease in America in a short period of time.
  • Modern Hybridized Wheat and Wheat Products  It’s not only the gluten in wheat that’s the problem, it’s the engineered genes that create foreign proteins that send faulty signals to our digestive tract, immune system and brain.   That’s why so many people have problems with modern wheat. It’s just not the ancient grain our digestive tracts recognize.  Wheat hides in all kinds of foods as a thickener to sauces, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, some beers, all pastas, gravies, malt extract, malt syrup, texturized vegetable protein, seitan, caramel coloring, bulgur, tabouli, couscous, udon wheat noodles to name a few.

Over 60 countries (not including the US) require labeling on GMO foods due to concerns about safety, thus giving consumers a choice.  After all, we do vote with our dollars and euros. You can find non GMO soy products today.  They are proudly labelled as such.  Until there are clear labeling laws for our foods, best to stay away from products that contain altered genetic material.  Remember, your food IS talking to your genes. That is why it matters what you eat.  The most powerful thing you can do to impact your  health is to eat nourishing, safe, fresh, non GMO food every single day.

Know the source of your supplements. You will find soy lecithin in many health food products and supplements, both in powders and capsules. Buy from companies that are committed to using only non GMO sourced ingredients and you won’t have to worry about it.  Read labels!  I do!  I also research companies to find those that meet my high standards!

CHALLENGE:  Remove at least one GMO food from your diet every time you go shopping.

By Dr Nalini Chilkov

Posted in Environmental Factors, Nutrition | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

If you have ever sat silently for an extended period of time, you know how challenging a simple meditation exercise can be. If you lack motivation or never saw the reason to indulge in silence, you need to read this. A study from last year shows that regular meditation can improve mental health. It can also increase telomerase activity. Telomerase is, according to Science Daily, “an enzyme which has a kind of rejuvenating effect on normal cell aging.” If those aren’t reasons enough for you to look into meditation, keep scrolling. The rest of us will be reading this article
Meditation Increases Telomerase Activity and Improves Mental Health
By Tina Kaczor

Posted in Breast Cancer | Leave a comment