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Excess Sugar Linked to Cancer

Sugars are needed to provide us with energy and in moderate amounts contribute to our well-being. Sustained high levels of sugars, as is found in diabetics, damages our cells and now is shown that can also increase our chance to get cancer:  The dose makes the poison as Paracelsus said. 

It is well known that obesity is a leading cause of diabetes, a disease where the body fails to control blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are characteristic in obesity and diabetes. What is less well known is that diabetes and obesity are also linked to an increase in cancer risk. That is, the diabetic population has up to double chances to suffer pancreatic or colon cancer among others, according to well sustained epidemiological studies. With obesity in British and Spanish children reaching 16%, the highest in Europe, this epidemic has major health implications. How obesity or diabetes increase cancer risk has been a major health issue. 

Scientists led by Dr. Custodia Garcia-Jimenez at the University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid have uncovered a key mechanism that links obesity and diabetes with cancer: high sugar levels, which increase activity of a gene widely implicated in cancer progression. 

Dr. Garcia Jimenez’s laboratory was studying how cells in the intestine respond to sugars and signal to the pancreas to release insulin, the key hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Sugars in the intestine trigger cells to release a hormone called GIP that enhances insulin release by the pancreas. 

In a study published in Molecular Cell, Dr Garcia Jimenez’s team showed that the ability of the intestinal cells to secrete GIP is controlled by a protein called β-catenin, and that the activity of β-catenin is strictly dependent on sugar levels. 

Increased activity of β-catenin is known to be a major factor in the development of many cancers and can make normal cells immortal, a key step in early stages of cancer progression. The study demonstrates that high (but not normal) sugar levels induce nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and leads to cell proliferation. The changes induced on β-catenin, the molecules involved and the diversity of cancer cells susceptible to these changes are identified. 

Dr. Custodia García said “We were surprised to realize that changes in our metabolism caused by dietary sugar impact on our cancer risk. We are now investigating what other dietary components may influence our cancer risk. Changing diet is one of easiest prevention strategies that can potentially save a lot of suffering and money.” 

Colin Goding, Professor of Oncology at the University of Oxford, UK said ‘Previously we were unsure about how increased blood sugar found in diabetes and obesity could increase cancer risk. This study identifies a key molecular mechanism through which high blood glucose would predispose to cancer. It opens the way for potential novel therapies aimed at reducing cancer risk in the obese and diabetic populations.’ 

Estimations published by the World Health Organization (WHO): Obesity predisposes to diabetes and its prevalence is doubling every 20 years worldwide. More than 1 in 10 adults worldwide (12%) are obese (BMI>30). 1 in 6 children in UK and Spain suffer obesity. 

Diabetes caused 4.6 million deaths in 2011, more than 2 deaths per hour in Spain, more in USA. Worldwide, 1 in 10 adults (10%) suffered from diabetes in 2010 and more than one-third of individuals with diabetes are unaware they suffer from the disease. The national cost of diabetes or cancer is in the order of billions of pounds or euros in Spain or England. 

More than half (63%) of premature deaths worldwide are due to non-communicable diseases (NCD) of which cancer and diabetes are among the 4 causes more frequent. At least 1 in 3 of the main cancers (27-39%) can be prevented by improving diet, physical activity and body composition. SOURCE: Science Daily – Madrimasd – February 1, 2013 

Spinach Extract Decreases Cravings and Aids Weight Loss

A spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids decreases hedonic hunger with up to 95% — and increases weight loss with 43%. This has been shown in a recently published long-term human study at Lund University in Sweden.  

Hedonic hunger is another term for the cravings many people experience for unhealthy foods such as sweets or fast food, a common cause of obesity and unhealthy eating habits. The study shows that taking thylakoids reinforces the body’s production of satiety hormones and suppresses hedonic hunger, which leads to better appetite control, healthier eating habits and increased weight loss. 

“Our analyses show that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast reduces cravings and keeps you feeling more satisfied all day,” says Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, Professor of Medicine and Physiological Chemistry at Lund University. 

The study involved 38 overweight women and ran for three months. Every morning before breakfast the participants had a green drink. Half of the women were given 5 grams of spinach extract and the other half, the control group, were given a placebo. The participants did not know which group they belonged to — the only instructions they received were to eat a balanced diet including three meals a day and not to go on any other diet. 

“In the study, the control group lost an average of 3.5 kg while the group that was given thylakoids lost 5 kg. The thylakoid group also found that it was easier to stick to three meals a day — and they did not experience any cravings,” said Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson. 

The key is the feeling of satiety and suppression of hedonic hunger, vs homeostatic hunger that deals with our basic energy needs. Modern processed food is broken down so quickly that the hormones in the intestines that send satiety signals to the brain and suppress cravings cannot keep up. The green leaf membranes slow down the digestion process, giving the intestinal hormones time to be released and communicate to the brain that we are satisfied. 

“It is about making use of the time it takes to digest our food. There is nothing wrong with our digestive system, but it doesn’t work well with the modern ‘pre-chewed’ food. The thylakoids extend digestion, producing a feeling of satiety. This means that we are able to stick to the diet we are meant for without snacks and unnecessary foods like sweets, crisps and such,” says Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson. SOURCE: Science Daily – Lund University – September 2, 2014 


Journal Reference: 

  1. Caroline Montelius, Daniel Erlandsson, Egzona Vitija, Eva-Lena Stenblom, Emil Egecioglu, Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson. Body weight loss, reduced urge for palatable food and increased release of GLP-1 through daily supplementation with green-plant membranes for three months in overweight womenAppetite, 2014; 81: 295 DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.06.101  


New Sugar Substitute Could be the Riskiest Ever

The same company that gave us the dangerous sweetener aspartame is back with one hell of an encore. 

It’s called neotame, and it’s like aspartame on steroids. It’s stronger, sweeter, more stable, and cheaper.

The only “-er” it’s missing is the biggest one of all — because it sure as heck isn’t safer. It has everything that’s helped link aspartame to more than 90 side effects, plus a frightening bonus: a chemical additive called 3,3-dimethylbutyl. 

How toxic? Don’t ask the feds — and don’t even waste your time asking the NutraSweet Company, makers of both aspartame and neotame. They got this junk approved for use in your food back in 2002 based on fluff instead of science. 

One of the main human studies lasted just 13 weeks, an utter joke when you consider that most people gobble artificial sweeteners day in and day out for decades at a time. 

It’s up to 60 times sweeter than aspartame and 12,000 times sweeter than sugar. In real numbers, that means a 12-ounce soda would need just .0002 of an ounce of neotame. 

Why am I pestering you with all these numbers? Not to show off my math skills — but to show you one of the craziest loopholes in the history of U.S. law: Those amounts are so incredibly small that the feds consider them to be “trace” ingredients. 

And trace ingredients don’t have to be listed on the label. 

So good luck trying to avoid this stuff. It could be in your food right now, and you won’t even know it. 

There’s just one way to avoid neotame, aspartame, and all the other tames out there, and that’s by sticking to a diet of real, fresh foods. SOURCE: Healthy Talk – Dr. William Campbell Douglass – July 19, 2015 

Cut your Cancer Risk

They’re called “trace” elements for a reason: Tiny amounts of the right stuff can boost your health and save your life… while even a drop of the wrong stuff can end it. 

Now, the latest research shows how these same trace elements can play a major role in your risk of getting or avoiding one of the deadliest forms of cancer on the planet — the pancreatic cancer that’s claimed Steve Jobs, Luciano Pavarotti and Patrick Swayze in recent years. 

Let’s start with the good stuff: selenium and nickel. 

Selenium is already a proven cancer-beater, and it can almost guarantee that you won’t get pancreatic cancer and other cancers: It can slash your risk by 95 percent, according to the study in Gut. 

The best source of selenium is Brazil nuts — but since it’s generally hard to get from diet alone, either take a supplement or make sure it’s included in your multivitamin. 

Nickel didn’t quite pack the same punch — but it still managed to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by a third, according to an analysis of toenail clippings in 518 people, including 118 who had pancreatic cancer. 

Yes, toenail clippings — and while that might sound a little bizarre, that’s actually one of the best ways to measure trace elements… including the ones you already know you should avoid. 

We all recognize how dangerous lead is, for example — but the new study finds yet another reason to steer clear: a 600 percent boost in pancreatic cancer risk. Cadmium, another heavy metal, boosted the odds by 350 percent, while arsenic doubled the risk of the disease. 

Now, you might not think those last three are worth worrying about. You’re avoiding them already, right? 

Don’t be so sure. 

All three, for example, can be found in cigarettes. In some areas, they’ve been found in the groundwater. And arsenic and lead have been turning up in apple juice, according to recent tests from Consumer Reports. 

Arsenic might even be in your chicken dinner. Until recently, it was considered perfectly acceptable to add arsenic to chickenfeed — in part because poisoning chickens gives their meat that “healthy” pink glow consumers love so much. 

The FDA recently issued a temporary ban on the main source of arsenic in chickenfeed — but the poultry industry has been aggressively lobbying for its return, and no one would be too surprised if they got their way on this.  Call it one more reason to go organic. SOURCE: Healthy Talk – July 7, 2015