Good Nutrition Advice

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Tag: Prostate cancer

Carrots may help prevent cancer

carrots may help prevent cancer

Carrots really may help to prevent cancer

EVERY year in the UK around 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 10,000 die of the disease. But the good news is that humble carrots may help prevent cancer. 

Studies by Professor Norman Maitland at the University of York have found a diet rich in vitamin A could be key in beating the disease by making it more treatable. The researchers discovered that carrots may help prevent cancer because they contain retinoic acid, a chemical made from Vitamin A which is found in foods including carrots, sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables, and can reduce the ability of the cancer to invade surrounding tissue.

Prof Maitland said: “If the cancer is confined to the prostate it’s much more treatable with conventional medicine. This is about prevention rather than cure, but it can stop the spread of cancer. It has been known for many years that low vitamin A in samples of men’s blood is associated with prostate cancer, but nobody knew the mechanisms involved. This is an exciting new development which links an element from our diet to prostate cancer stem cells. Carrots may help prevent cancer.”

Raw carrots and carrot juice have been used in complementary medicine as a ‘cure’ for cancer for quite while now. So, maybe there is now some scientific evidence behind this alternative practice after all. Carrots contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant and pre-cursor used to make vitamin A in your body, along with carotenoid derivates such as zeaxanthin and lutein. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, such as beta carotene and falcarinol, may help prevent cancer by stopping damage to the healthy cells in your body.

Falcarinol is a natural substance found in raw carrots, which according to research, can significantly reduce your risk of cancer. Studies have shown that falcarinol slows the growth of cancer cells, making it less likely to invade the body. Laboratory rats fed a diet of raw carrots or isolated falcarinol were a third less likely to develop full-scale, chemically-induced tumors than those in the control group.

A study by researchers from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England and Denmark and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found falcarinol, a natural pesticide that protects the roots of carrots from fungal disease, reduced cancer risk. The researchers found that it actually had a more powerful effect than beta carotene. So, yes, eating carrots may help prevent cancer.

Source: www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/10357737.University_of_York_scientists_in_prostate_cancer_treatment_breakthrough/

Fizzy soft drinks linked to prostate cancer

English: idealized curves of human blood gluco...

English: idealized curves of human blood glucose and insulin concentrations during the course of a day containing three meals; in addition, effect of sugar-rich meal is highlighted; (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

RESEARCH suggests that just one fizzy soft drink per day could increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer by 40%.

A 15-year study at Lund University in Sweden and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tracked the health of 8,000 men aged between 45-73 and found that men who drink at least 300ml of a sugary soft drink per day were at greater risk of prostate cancer. Those who ate large amounts of cakes, biscuits and sugary breakfast cereals were linked with a less serious form of the disease.

Prostate cancer is the most common men’s cancer with about 36,000 cases diagnosed in the UK each year (most aged 70 or over). Fizzy drinks are also linked to teenage aggression, as well as stroke, liver damage and premature aging.

The sugar in fizzy drinks and other sweet things is believed to release insulin, which may feed tumours. Excess sugar promotes extreme swings in your blood sugar levels that often feel like an energy ‘boost’ followed by a ‘crash’. To even out your blood sugar levels, it’s best to eat little and often, and to eat high fibre, unrefined, ‘slow release’ foods such as whole grains and vegetables.

It’s far healthier to snack on carrot and celery sticks (which taste surprisingly sweet), a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts and seeds, and to drink pure water, fruit and vegetable juices and herbal teas. And don’t switch to diet fizzy drinks to avoid the added sugar, as the artificial sweeteners are just as unhealthy as the sugar.

That way, you won’t crave unhealthy stimulants to give you an energy boost.

Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Soft drinks, aspartame, and the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease Am J Clin Nutr 2012 96: 6 1249-1251; First published online November 7, 2012.

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