Category Archives: Helpful Nutrition

Nutrition for smokers and those who quit smoking

Antioxidants May Protect Smokers from Lung Cancer

Healthnotes Newswire Article Reports

Smoking generates free radicals in the body, causing cell damage that can sometimes lead to cancer.

A study found that smokers might protect themselves from developing lung cancer by eating foods that are rich in antioxidants called flavonoids.

Quit Smoking Now — The Best Bet for Better Health

Smoking increases the risk for several cancers and heart disease, in addition to causing emphysema and other chronic airway diseases.

People who quit smoking lower their chances of developing these diseases and can actually repair some of the damage that smoking has caused.

If quitting smoking proves an insurmountable task, though, there are some things that smokers can do that may help protect them from the effects of cigarette smoke.

Flavonoids—Nature’s Cancer Fighters

Flavonoids are plant-derived compounds that are capable of scavenging free radicals in the body.

Studies have shown that flavonoids have anticancer properties, but most of these trials have used amounts of flavonoids much higher than those typically found in the diet.

The new study, published in the journal Cancer, aimed to determine if flavonoids could protect against lung cancer in smokers and nonsmokers, by comparing the amount and types of flavonoids eaten by 558 people with lung cancer and 837 healthy people.

Smokers who ate more of certain flavonoids called catechin, epicatechin, quercetin, and kaempferol, as well as more vegetables, tea, and wine were less likely to develop lung cancer than smokers who ate less of these flavonoids and foods.

Surprisingly, the protective effect of these foods and flavonoids was not seen among nonsmokers. “These results may reflect the finding that these flavonoid compounds are strong antioxidants against free radicals generated by tobacco smoking,” said the authors.

green teaDr. Lise Alschuler, author of Alternative Medicine Magazine’s Definitive Guide to Cancer, 2nd Edition: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing, commented, “These findings underscore the significant anticancer properties of flavonoids. Even a relatively small amount of dietary flavonoids exerted significant effects. This effect was most obvious in smokers likely due to the fact that smokers are typically severely depleted in antioxidants and have high exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.”

So where do you find lung-healthy flavonoids?

Benefits of Green and Black Tea

  • Epicatechin and catechin are plentiful in green and black teas, with lesser amounts in chocolate, grapes, and apricots. To boost the flavonoid power of tea, add lemon juice before drinking.
  • The main sources of quercetin and kaempferol are apples and red onions.

(Cancer 2008;112:2241–8)

Source:  Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, Healthnotes

Recent Smoking Study: Tropical Mushroom Extract Fights Cancer

An April press release from Cancer Research UK reports that an extract of the mushroom Phellinus linteus has been found to halt the growth of breast cancer cells in vitro.

Previous studies have also shown the species to be effective against prostate, skin, and lung cancer cells, but up until now nobody knew how it worked.

Researchers at Methodist Research Institute in Indianapolis appear to have shed some light on this problem.

With the conclusion of their latest study, a team led by Dr. Daniel Sliva found evidence that the extract augments the action of an enzyme known as AKT, which controls cell and blood vessel growth vital to the survival of cancer cells. The study was published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Phellinus linteus, which is commonly called Mesima in the West, has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and other ancient systems of medicine. This study is exciting because it finally brings us to an understanding of why the mushroom works — prerequisite knowledge in order to conduct clinical research in modern Western medicine.The study involved observing breast cancer cells exhibiting different levels of invasiveness as they interacted with different concentrations of the extract. The extract was found to suppress growth of the cells under all conditions. Greater concentrations of extract for longer periods of time yielded the best results, and less invasive cells were more easily suppressed.

Overall, the results were encouraging. “We saw a number of positive results from our investigation on aggressive human breast cancer cells, including a lower rate of uncontrolled growth of new cancer cells, suppression of their aggressive behaviour and the formation of fewer blood vessels that feed cancer cells essential nutrients,” explained Dr. Sliva.

Tropical Mushroom Treats Cancer SymptomsThe researchers believe that dietary supplements containing the extract could help ward off potential cancers, and the research could eventually lead to the development of new drugs. “…We’re excited that we can begin to explain how this ancient medicine works by acting on specific molecules. We hope our study will encourage more researchers to explore the use of medicinal mushrooms for the treatment of cancer,” Sliva said.

Both the research team and Cancer Research UK, which publishes the British Journal of Cancer, maintain that further research is needed on humans and animals before any definite conclusions can be drawn.

About the author: Adam Miller is a student of life who has dedicated literally thousands of hours of personal research on top of formal institutional training in Dietetics to learn the secrets of achieving vibrant health and extended lifespan. His passion and dedication is in bringing the best ideas for self-empowerment through nutrition and nutraceuticals as well as alternative therapies, technology, and information to the public through various means.


Small-Cell Lung Cancer and Green Tea

By Jeni Baker – Green tea data show promise in treating small-cell lung carcinoma: Ingredient brings about cell death by reducing activity of key enzyme

The statistics are sobering.

Small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC), which represents 15-20 percent of all lung cancer cases, is fatal within five years in more than 85 percent of the patients who develop it.

And because the disease typically becomes resistant to drug therapies, it is particularly insidious and difficult to treat.

That’s the bad news. The better news is that the active ingredient in green tea appears to arrest the disease’s progress at the cellular level, according to the results of a study* published in June.

What is it About Green Tea?

“Because no therapies work too well in treating SCLC, and this cancer tends to become drug-resistant fairly quickly, the prognosis for SCLC patients currently isn’t very good,” says primary investigator David Sadava, PhD, of the Claremont University Consortium’s Keck Science Center and the City of Hope Medical Center. “This study was about looking into other treatment options.”

Picture of TeaGreen tea was a natural choice. “There’s data that say it can prevent lung cancer, there are no side effects that I’m aware of, and it’s very widely consumed,” Sadava says. “And when you look at epidemiology and animal studies of many cancers, green tea is more effective than black tea in many ways.”

The active ingredients in green tea are antioxidants called catechins – and the most abundant type of catechin is epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG).

Interestingly, the way tea is prepared changes the catechin content, says Sadava. The preparation of black tea removes or destroys the catechin, while the ingredient is retained in the preparation of green tea.

Killing the (enzymatic) messenger

Eager to see what effect EGCG might have on human SCLC cells, Sadava’s team – in the first study of its kind – targeted telomerase, an enzyme that helps cell lines propagate by chemically instructing cells to reproduce. All cells contain the gene for telomerase, and it is expressed in very low levels in most tissues.

But telomerase is fully expressed when sperm and eggs are formed, which is very useful because it ensures that complete genetic information is sent to the cells that form them, Sadava explains. “In general, telomerase tells the cells to keep dividing and prevents programmed cell death,” or apoptosis.

This amazing process of cellular self-perpetuation is obviously not a good thing when it comes to cancer, however. More than 90 percent of SCLC cells express telomerase, a primary reason why this type of cancer can grow so aggressively.

To recap, by using the active ingredient in green tea to kill the molecular messengers telling SCLC cells to divide, the researchers theorized that they could halt the disease’s progress.

They appear to be on the right track.

“Less than 24 hours after introducing EGCG to the tumor cells, we saw a 50-60 percent reduction in telomerase activity,” says Sadava. “That reduction resulted in a number of the hallmarks of programmed cell death: the cancer cells’ DNA started breaking, the cells stopped dividing, and the production of an enzyme [caspase] that destroys cells’ nuclei was induced.”

This data is compelling not only because it indicates a possible cancer-slowing effect, but also because it could lead to drug resistance becoming a non-issue. The idea is to stop tumor growth early on.

While these results are encouraging for people at risk of developing small-cell lung carcinoma and the oncology community in general, Sadava says that much additional research is needed.

For the time being, speak with your doctor if you’re thinking of incorporating green tea into your diet. Because the half-life of the active ingredient in green tea is very short in humans, Sadava says, data indicates that people must drink several cups a day to have any effect on cancer.

Sadava, D et al., The Green Tea Polyphenol, Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Inhibits Telomerase and Induces Apoptosis in Drug-Resistant Lung Cancer Cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2007 Jun 14; [Epub ahead of print]

FDA Attacks Complementary and Alternative Health Care

Taken From: Learning Herbs

I just spent three days reading, re-reading, researching and discussing the proposed FDA guidelines for “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” with two FDA attorneys. You can download a copy of this proposal for yourself below.

When I first heard about this FDA attack on complementary and alternative health care, I considered it another “Chicken Little” rumor. On further study, I’m appalled at the speed with which the pharmaceutical companies are implementing Codex Alimentarius in the USA. If you don’t suspect the pharmaceutical companies control the FDA, you may want to research that further by visiting (

This insidious proposal is designed to redefine every complementary and alternative health care modality and product as “medicine.” This has direct implications on the services and products provided by every alternative health care professional. There is no facet of complementary and alternative health care that is not affected. If the FDA adopts this proposal, all natural health care would be illegal even for medical doctors.

Essential oils, herbs, herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, minerals, nutritional supplements, plant enzymes and vitamins are redefined in this proposal as “medicine.” Very simply, medicine is under the jurisdiction of the FDA and, by law, only licensed medical doctors may prescribe “medicines.” Anybody else who advises, advocates, counsels, distributes, markets, recommends or suggests anybody use “medicine” is practicing medicine without a license. This is a felony in the USA punishable by fines and incarceration.

Aromatherapy, auricular therapy, biofeedback, color therapy, homeopathy, hypnotism, naturopathy, neurotherapy, nutritional consulting, reflexology, sound therapy and wellness consulting are among the alternative health modalities being redefined as “Alternative Medicine.”

This subtle change of vocabulary from “alternative health care” to “alternative medicine” makes all of these industries subject to control by the FDA as medicine. Only medical doctors would be allowed to provide, prescribe and supervise the delivery of these services. Anybody else who provided any of these services would be practicing medicine without a license and subject to incarceration and fines.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is we have until April 30, 2007 to voice our opinion against this proposal to eliminate complementary and alternative health care in America. Almost 100,000 people have already filed their objection. According to Dr. Rima Laibow, medical director of the Natural Therapies Foundation, we need 50 times that many people to respond by the end of the month.

Peace, John Gilbert

You can read the actual FDA document here at the government regulations web site and Search for: Meetings: National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

You can go here to find out how to contact your Senator or Congress person to let them know what you think