Scrolling through social media, reading your favorite magazine, or visiting popular websites exposes you to endless information about nutrition and health — most of which is incorrect. Even qualified health professionals, including doctors and dietitians, are to blame for spreading misinformation about nutrition to the public, adding to the confusion.
Here are 20 of the biggest myths related to nutrition, and why these antiquated beliefs need to be put to rest.
Though creating a calorie deficit by burning more energy than you take in is the most important factor when it comes to weight loss, it’s not the only thing that matters. Relying solely on calorie intake doesn’t account for the large number of variables that may prevent someone from losing weight, even when on a very low calorie diet. This concept also fails to emphasize the importance of sustainability and diet quality for weight loss.This can lead to choosing low calorie, nutrient-poor foods like rice cakes and egg whites over higher calorie, nutrient-dense foods like avocados and whole eggs, which isn’t the best for overall health.
Millie- Meeting your calorie needs (1800 to 2000 calories a day) from healthy foods that truly meet your nutrient needs is the ONLY way to lose weight. Exercise or caloric restriction does not work
Though this antiquated and incorrect theory is slowly being put to rest, many people still fear high fat foods and follow low fat diets in the hopes that cutting their fat intake will benefit their overall health.
Dietary fat is essential for optimal health. Plus, low fat diets have been linked to a greater risk of health issues, including metabolic syndrome, and may lead to an increase in insulin resistance and triglyceride levels, which are known risk factors for heart disease.
What’s more, diets that are higher in fat have been proven just as effective — or even more so — than low fat diets when it comes to encouraging weight loss.
Of course, extremes in either direction, whether it be a very low fat or very high fat diet, may harm your health, especially when diet quality is poor.
Millie- I completely disagree with what they say about this. It takes 3 balanced meals a day to meet your nutrient needs.
Eating frequent meals throughout the day is not the best way to promote weight loss. Research shows that a regular meal pattern may be best for health.
The rising interest in low calorie, low carb, sugar-free foods has led to an increase in products that contain non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS). While it’s clear that a diet high in added sugar significantly increases disease risk, intake of NNS can also lead to negative health outcomes.
For example, NNS intake may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by leading to negative shifts in gut bacteria and promoting blood sugar dysregulation. What’s more, regular NNS intake is associated with overall unhealthy lifestyle patterns (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
Although macro coaches may lead you to believe that the ratio of macronutrients in your diet is all that matters when it comes to weight loss and overall health, this narrow-minded take on nutrition is missing the bigger picture.
While tweaking macro ratios can benefit health in many ways, the most important factor in any diet is the quality of the foods you eat.
Though it may be possible to lose weight by eating nothing but highly processed foods and protein shakes, focusing solely on macronutrients discounts how eating certain foods can either increase or decrease metabolic health, disease risk, lifespan, and vitality.
Millie- Your diet needs to be totally made of of real food, not products. If it needs a label or comes in a box, don’t eat it. Only real food, healthy fats, high quality animal proteins and lots of vegetables and salads should be included every day.
Often labeled as “unhealthy” by those in the nutrition world, white potatoes are restricted by many people wanting to lose weight or improve their overall health. While eating too much of any food — including white potatoes — can lead to weight gain, these starchy tubers are highly nutritious and can be included as part of a healthy diet. White potatoes are an excellent source of many nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
Plus, they’re more filling than other carb sources like rice and pasta (which are empty calories and contain almost no nutrition and are very hard to digest), and can help you feel more satisfied after meals. Just remember to enjoy potatoes baked or roasted, not fried ( not true- potatoes fried in vegetable oils are horrible for you, because heated vegetable oils are highly toxic and inflammatory) . Fry occasionally in duck or beef fat, they taste amazing!!
Take a trip to your local grocery store and you’ll find a variety of products labeled “diet,” “light,” “low fat,” and “fat-free.” While these products are tempting to those wanting to shed excess body fat, they’re typically an unhealthy choice.
Research has shown that many low fat and diet items contain much more added sugar and salt than their regular-fat counterparts. It’s best to forgo these products and instead enjoy ghee daily, and nut butters. Low fat and diet foods are typically high in sugar and salt. Unaltered higher fat alternatives are often a healthier choice.
While focusing on consuming a nutrient-dense, well-rounded diet is the most essential component of health, supplements — when used correctly and in the right form — can be beneficial in many ways.
For many, especially those with health conditions like type 2 diabetes, as well as those who take common medications like statins, proton pump inhibitors, birth control, and antidiabetic medications, taking specific supplements can significantly affect their health. For example, supplementing with magnesium and B vitamins has been shown to benefit those with type 2 diabetes by enhancing blood sugar and reducing heart disease risk factors and diabetes-related complications.
Those on restrictive diets, people with genetic mutations like methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), people over the age of 50, and pregnant or breastfeeding women are other examples of populations that may benefit from taking specific supplements.
While reducing calorie intake can indeed boost weight loss, cutting calories too low can lead to metabolic adaptations and long-term health consequences. Going on a very low calorie diet leads to a reduction in metabolic rate, increased feelings of hunger, and alterations in fullness hormones. This makes long-term weight maintenance difficult. This is why studies have shown that low calorie dieters rarely succeed in keeping excess weight off in the long term.
Obesity is associated with many health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, certain cancers, and even early death. Still, reducing your disease risk does not mean you have to be skinny. What’s most important is consuming a nutritious diet and maintaining an active lifestyle, as these behaviors often improve your body weight and body fat percentage.
Many people are told to pop calcium supplements to keep their skeletal system healthy. However, current research has shown that supplementing with calcium may do more harm than good. For example, some studies have linked calcium supplements to an increased risk of heart disease. Additionally, research shows that they don’t reduce the risk of fracture or osteoporosis.
If you’re concerned about your calcium intake, it’s best to focus on dietary sources of calcium like full fat salmon, sardines, green leafy vegetables, and seeds..especially sesame seeds.
Millie – Although medical professionals commonly prescribe calcium supplements, current research shows that these supplements may do more harm than good. Taking more calcium causes you to leach it from the bones.
Many people struggle with getting adequate dietary fiber, which is why fiber supplements are so popular. But dry fiber can harm the colon. High fiber whole foods like vegetables and fruit contain nutrients and plant compounds that work synergistically to promote your health, and they can’t be replaced by fiber supplements.
Certain juices and smoothies are highly nutritious. For example, a nutrient-dense smoothie or freshly made juice composed primarily of non-starchy vegetables can be a great way to increase your vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant intake.
Yet, it’s important to know that most juices and smoothies sold at stores are loaded with sugar and calories. When consumed in excess, they can promote weight gain and other health issues like tooth decay and blood sugar dysregulation
Probiotics are amongst the most popular dietary supplements on the market. However, practitioners generally overprescribed them, and research has demonstrated that some people may not benefit from probiotics like others do.
Not only are some people’s digestive systems resistant to probiotic colonization, but introducing probiotics through supplements may lead to negative changes in their gut bacteria.
Plus, bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine related to probiotic use can lead to bloating, gas, and other adverse side effects.
Additionally, some studies show that probiotic treatment following a course of antibiotics may delay the natural reconstitution of normal gut bacteria.
Millie- eating healthy foods, plenty of fruits and vegetables, help your gut grow and maintain health gut flora.
There’s no need to obsess over your calorie intake and track every morsel of food that passes your lips to lose weight.
Although food tracking can be a useful tool when trying to lose excess body fat, it’s not right for everyone.
What’s more, being overly preoccupied with food by tracking calories has been associated with an increased risk of disordered eating tendencies. Although tracking calories may help some people lose weight, it’s not necessary for everyone and may lead to disordered eating tendencies.
Cholesterol-rich foods have gotten a bad rap thanks to misconceptions about how dietary cholesterol affects heart health.
While some people are more sensitive to dietary cholesterol than others, overall, nutrient-dense, cholesterol-rich foods can be included in a healthy diet. In fact, including cholesterol-rich, nutritious foods like eggs in your diet boosts health by enhancing feelings of fullness and providing important nutrients that other foods lack.
Just as fat has been blamed for promoting weight gain and heart disease, carbs have been shunned by many people over fears that consuming this macronutrient will cause obesity, diabetes, and other adverse health effects. In reality, eating a moderate amount of nutritious carbs that are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals like starchy root vegetables, ancient grains, and legumes will likely benefit your health — not harm it.
For example, dietary patterns that contain a balanced mix of high fiber carbs mainly from produce, healthy fats, and proteins, such as the Mediterranean diet, have been associated with a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease.
Millie- Fruits and vegetables are calorically 95% carbs. BUT, they are not empty carbs. It’s the processed carbs that are bad for you, cookies, pasta, cakes, sugars.
The bottom line – The nutrition world is rife with misinformation, leading to public confusion, mistrust of health professionals, and poor dietary choices.
This, coupled with the fact that nutrition science is constantly changing, makes it no wonder that most people have a warped view of what constitutes a healthy diet.
Although these nutrition myths are likely here to stay, educating yourself by separating fact from fiction when it comes to nutrition can help you feel more empowered to develop a nutritious and sustainable dietary pattern that works for your individual needs.
FYI_ Coffee has the same properties, is high in antioxidants and is a great antidepressant!!
Tea consumption is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature death in general, with each additional cup of green tea a day associated with a 4-percent lower mortality risk. So, perhaps “drinking several cups of tea daily can keep the doctor away,” as well as the mortician—but what about cancer?
As I discuss in my video Can Green Tea Help Prevent Cancer, there is “growing evidence from laboratory, epidemiologic [population], and human intervention studies that tea can exert beneficial disease-preventive effects” and, further, may actually “slow cancer progression.” Let’s review some of that evidence.
Not only do those who drink a lot of tea appear to live longer than those who drink less, as you can see at 0:49 in my video, drinking lots of tea may also delay the onset of cancer. At 0:56 in my video, you can see a table titled “Average age at cancer onset and daily green tea consumption.” The green tea intake is measured in Japanese tea cups, which only contain a half a cup, so the highest category in the table is actually greater than or equal to five full cups of tea, not ten as it appears in the table. Women who did get cancer appeared to get it seven years later if they had been drinking lots of tea compared to those who had consumed less. Men, however, had a three-year delay in cancer onset if they had consumed more than five full cups of green tea daily, the difference potentially “due to higher tobacco consumption by males.”
Green tea may be able to interfere with each of the stages of cancer formation: the initiation of the first cancer cell, promotion into a tumor, and then subsequent progression and spread, as you can see at 1:24 in my video. Cancer is often initiated when a free radical oxidizes our DNA, causing a mutation, but, as you can see at 1:44 in my video, we can get a nice “spike of antioxidant power” of our bloodstream within 40 minutes of drinking green tea. “This increase may, in turn, lower oxidative damage to DNA and so decrease risk of cancer.”
Furthermore, in terms of genoprotective effects—that is, protecting our genes—pre-existing oxidation-induced DNA damage was lower after drinking green tea, suggesting consumption can boost DNA repair as well. We didn’t know for certain, however…until now.
There is a DNA-repair enzyme in our body called OGG1. As you can see at 2:15 in my video, within one hour of drinking a single cup of green tea, we can boost OGG1’s activity, and after a week of tea drinking, we can boost it even higher. So, “regular intake of green tea has additional benefits in the prevention and/or repair of DNA damage.” In fact, tea is so DNA-protective it can be used for sperm storage for fresh samples until they can be properly refrigerated.
What’s more, tea is so anti-inflammatory it can be used for pain control as a mouthwash after wisdom tooth surgery, as you can see at 2:41 in my video. In terms of controlling cancer growth, at a dose of green tea compounds that would make it into our organs after drinking six cups of tea, it can cause cancer cells to commit suicide—apoptosis (programmed cell death)—while leaving normal cells alone. There are a number of chemotherapy agents that can kill cancer through brute force, but that can make normal cells vulnerable, too. So, “[g]reen tea appears to be potentially an ideal agent for [cancer] prevention”: little or no adverse side-effects, efficacious for multiple cancers at achievable dose levels, and able to be taken orally. We have a sense of how it works—how it stops cancer cells from growing and causing them to kill off themselves—and it’s cheap and has a history of safe, acceptable use. But, all of this was based on in-vitro studies in a test tube. “It needs to be evaluated in human trials,” concluded the researchers. Indeed, what happens when we give green tea to people with cancer? Does it help?
Tea consumption may reduce the risk of getting oral cancer. Not only may the consumption of tea boost the antioxidant power of our bloodstream within minutes and decrease the amount of free-radical DNA damage throughout our systems over time, but it can also increase the antioxidant power of our saliva and decrease the DNA damage within the inner cheek cells of smokers, though not as much as stopping smoking all together. You can see several graphs and tables showing these findings in the first 35 seconds of my video Can Green Tea Help Treat Cancer?.
Might this help precancerous oral lesions from turning into cancerous oral lesions? More than 100,000 people develop oral cancer annually worldwide, with a five-year overall survival rate of less than the flip of a coin. Oral cancer frequently arises from precancerous lesions in the mouth, each having a few percent chance of turning cancerous every year. Can green tea help?
Fifty-nine patients with precancerous oral lesions were randomized into either a tea group, in which capsules of powdered tea extract were given and their lesions were painted with green tea powder, or a control group, who essentially got sugar pills and their lesions painted with nothing but glycerin. As you can see at 1:23 in my video, within six months, lesions in 11 out of the 29 in the tea group shrunk, compared to only 3 of 30 in the placebo group. “The results indicate that tea treatment can improve the clinical manifestations of the oral lesions.”
The most important question, though, is whether the tea treatment prevented the lesions from turning cancerous. Because the trial only lasted a few months, the researchers couldn’t tell. When they scraped some cells off of the lesions, however, there was a significant drop in DNA-damaged cells within three months in the treatment groups, suggesting that things were going in the right direction, as you can see at 1:46 in my video. Ideally, we’d have a longer study to see if they ended up with less cancer and one that just used swallowed tea components, since most people don’t finger-paint with tea in their mouths. And, we got just that.
As you can see at 2:15 in my video, there were the same extraordinary clinical results with some precancerous lesions shrinking away. What’s more, the study lasted long enough to see if fewer people actually got cancer. The answer? There was just as much new cancer in the green tea group as the placebo group. So, the tea treatment resulted in a higher response rate, as the lesions looked better, but there was no improvement in cancer-free survival.
These studies were done on mostly smokers and former smokers. What about lung cancer? As you can see at 2:46 in my video, population studies suggest tea may be protective, but let’s put it to the test. Seventeen patients with advanced lung cancer were given up to the equivalent of 30 cups of green tea a day, but “[n]o objective responses were seen.” In a study of 49 cancer patients, 21 of whom had lung cancer, the subjects received between 4 and 25 cups worth of green tea compounds a day. Once again, no benefits were found. The only benefit green tea may be able to offer lung cancer patients is to help lessen the burns from the radiation treatments when applied on the skin. Indeed, green tea compresses may be able to shorten the duration of the burns, as you can see at 3:21 in my video.
The protective effects of green tea applied topically were also seen in precancerous cervical lesions, where the twice-a-day direct application of a green tea ointment showed a beneficial response in nearly three-quarters of the patients, compared to only about 10 percent in the untreated control group, which is consistent with the benefits of green tea compounds on cervical cancer cells in a petri dish. When women were given green tea extract pills to take, however, they didn’t seem to help.
I talked about the potential benefit of green tea wraps for skin cancer in Treating Gorlin Syndrome with Green Tea, but is there any other cancer where green tea can come into direct contact? Yes. Colon cancer, which grows from the inner surface of the colon that comes into contact with food and drink. As you can see at 4:13 in my video, in the colon, tea compounds are fermented by our good gut bacteria into compounds like 3,4DHPA, which appears to wipe out colon cancer cells, while leaving normal colon cells relatively intact in vitro. So one hundred thirty-six patients with a history of polyps were randomized to get green tea extract pills or not. Now, this study was done in Japan, where drinking green tea is commonplace, so, effectively, this was comparing those who drank three cups of green tea a day to subjects who drank four daily cups. A year later on colonoscopy, the added-green tea group had only half the polyp recurrence and the polyps that did grow were 25 percent smaller. With such exciting findings, why hasn’t a larger follow-up study been done? Perhaps due to the difficulty “in raising funds” for the study, “because green tea is a beverage but not a pharmaceutical.”
There is good news. Thanks to a major cancer charity in Germany, researchers are currently recruiting for the largest green tea cancer trial to date, in which more than 2,000 patients will be randomized. I look forward to presenting the results to you when they come in.
The novel coronavirus strain COVID-19 has been spreading quickly and infecting people so rapidly, that it is now formally a world-wide pandemic. Like other virus strains, it causes ailments ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndrome.
The goal shared by billions of people across the globe is to limit the infections. At the societal level, reducing physical interaction in normally busy hubs reduces transmission between people. Additionally, there is a lot you can do to protect yourself – by boosting your immunity.
The immune system
The immune system is the body’s defense complex, protecting against disease. It is comprised of a multi-level biological infrastructure designed to detect a broad range of pathogens, such as viruses, distinguishing them from the body’s healthy tissue. Once identified, the immune system works to neutralize these pathogens.
Building and sustaining a strong immune system is an ongoing endeavor; there is no silver bullet. Here are suggestions for boosting your immunity.
Foods rich in nutrients
Unsurprisingly, the same foods that will help you lose weight, feel healthy, and look great, are the ones that will help your body against toxic pathogens.
There is no single food or diet that has been shown to cure or prevent disease, but malnutrition can impair your ability to fight off illness and infection. By malnutrition, we are referring to a lack of vitamins, minerals, and micro-nutrients.
The best thing you can do to boost your immune system is to regularly consume copious amounts of produce. Fruits and vegetables contain hundreds of phytochemicals that are extremely beneficial in disease prevention.
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of carotenoids that boost the activity of the white blood cells called lymphocytes. If you can’t find fresh produce, opt for frozen, and even canned. In any case, make dark leafy greens a priority.
A word about garlic. As any food lover can test, garlic is tasty and healthy. Additionally, it possesses antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown that garlic can inhibit some flu viruses. however, there is no evidence right now that garlic can help prevent the coronavirus.
Food with zinc
Zinc is a mineral with anti-viral properties. A laboratory study demonstrated its ability to inhibit the replication of coronaviruses such as COVID-19 in cells.
Furthermore, zinc can ameliorate symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections including the common cold.
The recommended daily intake of zinc is 11mg for men, and 8mg for women (12mg if pregnant).
Food sources of zinc include:
- Meat – beef, pork (30-40% of the daily value (DV)
- Chicken (20% DV)
- Shellfish – oysters (200% DV) , crab (60%), mussels and shrimp (10-15%)
- Eggs (5% per egg)
- Milk (9% per cup) and cheese
- Potatoes (9% for a large potato)
- Cashews (15% per 1-ounce serving)
- Seeds – hemp (30%), pumpkin, and sesame seeds
- Legumes (12% )
- Avocado (12% per medium avocado)
What about supplements?
Supplements are being promoted like crazy by marketers hoping to make a quick buck from panicked consumers. When people are afraid, they they can easily be convinced that supplements prevent or treat disease.
When it comes to coronavirus (COVID-19) and other flu-like diseases, there is no proof that supplements actually work.
That being said, some supplement may have a limited benefit:
- Vitamin C
- Zinc lozenges (see above)
- Vitamin D
- Elderberry extract
- Garlic supplements
Vitamin C protects the immune system and helps to fight off infections. Vitamin C is most bioavailable when consumed from whole foods such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, kiwi, etc.
Zinc lozenges can reduce the severity and duration of colds caused by viruses. This means that even if you have contracted a virus such as COVID-19, there can be a mitigating effect on the respiratory disease that develops in the upper airway.
Vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of a respiratory infection from flu-like viruses in people who start out deficient. There is no study pertaining to coronavirus, but if you are low on vitamin D levels despite eating foods with vitamin D, consider supplementing.
Hydrate with water
Drinking water throughout the day may help boost your immunity. Staying hydrated helps the body eliminate toxins naturally through urination. It helps the cells take in nutrients and remove waste.
Avoid alcohol and smoking
Consumption of alcohol reduces the bioavailability of certain nutrients. Alcohol disrupts immune pathways thus impairing the body’s ability to defend against infection.
Excessive alcohol consumption leads to adverse immune-related health effects such as increased susceptibility to pneumonia and acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS).
Smoking slowly kills your lungs. Need we add more?
Regular exercise, even mild, has been shown to boost the immune system. You don’t need to do much more than take a 30-minute walk. A study conducted on elderly people who regularly exercised found that they had immune systems comparable to people decades younger than them
Sleep deprivation has a detrimental effect on the immune system. Our modern lifestyle has led to a decrease in quality sleep time, and it has been taking its toll on society. The exact mechanisms are an area of active investigation.
If you can add just one extra hour of sleep a night, your body will be better prepared to handle whatever is thrown at it the next day.
Pro tip: leave your phone and tablet devices out of the bedroom.
Find ways to de-stress
Just like sleep-deprivation, stress has become a hallmark of modern living. Stress compromises the effectiveness of the immune system. The negative emotional response to perceived stress leads to hormonal and other changes that weaken immune function.
While easier said than done, there are several things you can do to reduce stress. Some were mentioned above. Getting a good night’s sleep is extremely beneficial. So is exercise. Walking counts. If you can get out to a park or a place with green and trees, even better.
Hygiene is critical
We are all familiar with standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection:
- regularly wash your hands. Do this with intention, spending at least 30 seconds fully lathering your digits and all the way up to your wrists.
- Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing.
- Clean off dirty surfaces.
Social distancing and the need for human connections
If you don’t want to get infected, stay awy from infected people. This is hard to do when the incubation time of the coronavirus is up to 2 weeks. This means people don’t know they are carrying the virus, they are out in public, and infecting others.
This is why so many events have been canceled, why schools are closing, and why many people have started working from home.
While social distancing makes sense, it sure is great that we have digital social networks that help us feel close. Make sure to stay connected with friends, family, and loved ones. We humans are social animals.
Boosting immunity with the Fooducate app
In your Fooducate app settings, turn the “Boost my immune system” option on. Foods that you look up will include information about their contribution to improving immunity.
- Carr, et al – Vitamin C and Immune Function. – Nutrients, 2013
- Thomas, et al – Vitamin C and immunity: an assessment of the evidence. – Clin Exp Immunol. 1978
- Sharma, et al – Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview – Indian J Clin Biochem., 2013
- Velthuis, et al – Zn(2+) inhibits coronavirus and arterivirus RNA polymerase activity in vitro and zinc ionophores block the replication of these viruses in cell culture. – PLoS Pathog. 2010
- Aranow – Vitamin D and the immune system. – J Investig Med. 2011
- Wintergerst, et al – Immune-Enhancing Role of Vitamin C and Zinc and Effect on Clinical Conditions – Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2006
- Bnaventura, et a – Zinc and its role in immunity and inflammation – Autoimmunity Reviews, 2015
- Ried – Garlic Lowers Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Individuals, Regulates Serum Cholesterol, and Stimulates Immunity: An Updated Meta-analysis and Review – The Journal of Nutrition, 2016
- Tsai , et al – Antiviral properties of garlic: in vitro effects on influenza B, herpes simplex and coxsackie viruses – Planta Med 1985
- Sarkar, et al – Alcohol and the Immune System – Alcohol Research: Current Reviews (ARCR) , 2015
- Fernanded et al – Exercise, immunity, and aging – Aging Clinical and Experimental Research – Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 2014
- Bollinger, et al – Sleep, Immunity, and Circadian Clocks: A Mechanistic Model – Gerontology, 2010
- Cohen – Psychological Stress, Immunity, and Upper Respiratory Infections – Current Directions in Psychological Science – 1996
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Sugar molecules on the surface of cells change their characteristics during development of cancer. Normal cells, as shown on the left, typically have long chains of sugar molecules (illustrated by circles filled with different colours and with the protein, that the chains are attached to, illustrated as a black line) that end in our blod type antigen like ABO. Cancer cells, on the contrary, often have truncated, immature chains of sugar molecules, as shown on the right.
Credit: University of Copenhagen
In co-operation with a research group from Singapore, scientists at University of Copenhagen have shown that immature sugar molecules in the form of truncated O-glycans aid growth properties of cancer cells. Previously, scientists have not been able to decode the significance of these truncated O-glycans, and therefore, the results, which were recently published in the journal PNAS, represent an important contribution to understanding the growth of cancer cells as well as the work towards developing a cure that can limit or stop the growth.
Catharina Steentoft, PhD student at Copenhagen Center for Glycomics and one of the scientists behind the results, stresses that this is basic science and there is still a long way from the results to actually developing a treatment or using them for diagnostic purposes. The results are still a cause for optimism, though.
“This is part of how we will proceed in the battle against cancer. When you know a certain process is important for the development of cancer you can start to consider ways to affect this process in a way that stops the cancer cell from taking advantage of it,” explains Catharina Steentoft.
Sugar molecules affect proteins
Sugar molecules play an important role in almost all of the processes taking place in the body. One of the ways in which sugar molecules affect us is through glycosylation, a process where sugar molecules are attached to proteins. The proteins are basically the building bricks of the body, whilst sugar molecules affect the proteins, and therefore play a significant role in the human organism. A flaw in a chain of sugar molecules can lead to protein malfunctioning and disease.
As early as 1982, scientists around the world realised the importance of sugar molecules for cancer. The American doctor and scientist Georg F. Springer discovered that a certain type of sugar molecules, the truncated O-glycans, were particularly prominent in cancer cells. The discovery of Catharina Steentoft and colleagues builds on the foundation of this knowledge.
Pinpointing ways to proceed
For 30 years, scientists all over the world have worked on using the truncated O-glycans as biomarkers for diagnostics and outcome-prediction, but now the group of researchers from Singapore and Copenhagen has finally pinpointed the significance of these sugar molecules — that they actually cause the cancer cells to grow and the cancer to spread more aggressively.
“We have now taken the first step towards understanding how cancer cells can change their glycosylation and produce these truncated O-glycans. It is a rather big step forward since it gives us an entirely new understanding of something we have worked many years to grasp. It guides our entire field of research towards new ways to proceed in the battle against cancer,” Catharina Steentoft says.
- D. J. Gill, K. M. Tham, J. Chia, S. C. Wang, C. Steentoft, H. Clausen, E. A. Bard-Chapeau, F. A. Bard. Initiation of GalNAc-type O-glycosylation in the endoplasmic reticulum promotes cancer cell invasiveness.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; 110 (34): E3152 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1305269110
First realize that even without being diagnosed with cancer, we all have at least a few cancerous cells floating around in our “inner terrain”. A decent immune system residing in a slightly alkaline or neutral pH inner terrain is able to fend them off and keep them from colonizing into tumorous masses.
On the other hand, those who indulge primarily in the SAD (Standard American Diet), which includes lots of factory farmed meat and junk foods saturated with refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which processed foods use even with their non-sweet products to keep you addicted, along with all those refined carbs in refined grain baked products, are adding fuel (literally) to the fire of cancer.
Mainstream oncology ignores this 1930s Nobel Prize discovery by Otto Warburg, aka the “Warburg Effect”: When normal cells begin to lack oxygen respiration to utilize glucose and nutrients metabolically for cellular energy, they depend on fermenting sugar to thrive without oxygen and become cancerous.
Instead oncologists administer chemo IV therapies while giving their patients ice cream and cookies as the poison is injected into them. Big profits from the treatment and selling those toxic drugs at a profit also. “Cancer cells consume sugar about 19x faster than healthy cells.” – Dr. Murray Susser, MD
Mainstream medicine refuses to look into diet as a function of potential metabolic dysfunction that helps promote and maintain cancer while asserting genetic disposition as a primary cause of cancer.
Their hubris and incredible profits thrive from toxic interventions such as chemotherapy and radiation. The first concern with preventing or eliminating cancer should be what you put into your body. That gives you control over cancer.
It’s a no-brainer when it comes to avoiding sodas, juices with added sugars, pastries, candies, and processed foods that use processed grains and even add sugar or HFCS to foods that are not even sweet. That’s to keep you addicted even if you can’t taste it. Refined sugar is actually addictive, some claim it’s even as addictive as cocaine.
A Recent Study That Makes Sugar Carcinogenic
But now it’s even worse. Green Med Info has uncovered a study that seems to be hidden from the public eye and is certainly not welcome within our orthodox oncology system. It would cramp the food and soda business’s profits if refined sugar is seen as carcinogenic.
The study, “Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways” was published in the 2013-2014 Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI). Because it is a free access journal, you can access the full text, not just the abstract, here.
I wonder how come this study hasn’t made much of a stir in our sick-care system since it is so accessible. Instead it was dug up by a research scout for Green Med Info.
It is of course full of biochemical details, which is what medical people are supposed to be familiar with. So for now, let’s be content with a layman’s summary report of their study, which was an in vitro (cultures, petri dishes, and test tubes) study as opposed to an in vivo (animal or human) study. This way they could really play around with and analyze the results with total control.
Here’s the bottom line of this study: Increased glucose uptake leads to early phases of cancer cell creation while curbing glucose intake reversed cancerous cells into normal cells. In other words, sugar is carcinogenic as well as fodder for already existing cancer cells.
For more info-
Serving Size : 4
1/2 heads organic cauliflower
1 whole onion — diced
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic granules
1/2 tablespoon thyme
salt and pepper
Sauté onion in butter until golden.
Place florets in bowl of food processor in batches. Process until evenly chopped but not completely pulverized.
Remove rice to a large bowl and continue processing florets in batches until all florets are “riced”.
Heat butter in pan over medium high heat and add cauliflower rice. Fry it, with onions, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper for about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring gently, often to keep it from sticking.
Everything in moderation—it seems like such a good idea. It “feels” right because it promotes the idea of a balanced approach to nutrition in a nice, neat, simple saying. But does it help us or hurt us?
Let’s look at the term moderation, which is defined as: restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance. Is this really how most people act out moderation with nutrition?
For many people, moderation looks like this:
- Day 1: A doughnut at the office
- Day 2: A low-fat pastry with their “coffee” (meaning a couple shots of espresso in a heated milkshake of ingredients)
- Day 3: Pizza night
- Day 4: Cupcakes at the birthday party at the office
- Day 5: A handful of chocolates from the candy dish
- Day 6: A couple glasses of wine at a wine and cheese party
- Day 7: Hot wings and a couple beers watching the game with friends
It’s been more than a week since this person had that doughnut, so those wings and beers a week later “feels” like moderation. But it isn’t. When you are eating something from the same category of non-health foods once day, it’s not a treat—it’s a habit. And your body is built on your habits. Having any type of junk food once a day isn’t moderation, it’s a lifestyle.
Superfoods and Supervillians
There’s this relatively modern concept of “superfoods,” but there’s really no such thing. For most of human history, food was just food. There have been no newly discovered foods that act like nutritional superheroes in our bodies. Yes, kale is healthy, but it is healthy in the standard ways our bodies expect and it’s always been healthy. It hasn’t become “Kale the Superfood” in the last decade. Healthy food should be our normal. It’s not super; it is what is expected.
In contrast, on the junk-food side of things, there are countless new and sometimes very distorted freaky foods that act like “supervillains” in our bodies. There are no superheroes in the world of food—just a lot of very good but ordinary people, along with a number of supervillains. It takes a lot of work and time by a lot of good, ordinary people to fight the destruction caused by just a few supervillains. While everything in the ”healthy” category is normal, in the ”unhealthy” category, most foods have significant, powerful, deleterious effects that are not solved simply by eating healthy food at the next meal.
The major problem is that there are all kinds of weird “food” products (they might be edible, but they aren’t really food) with harmful chemicals, sugars, and fats that can disrupt your physiology. And the resulting dietary imbalances rapidly generate inflammation and a kind of hormonal static that can take weeks or months to clear.
If you eat healthfully most of the day, but have a treat each day, you’re actually creating an imbalance. And this leads to another problem.
I’ve Been Good, Now I Can Be Bad
When you feel like a saint, the idea of self-indulgence doesn’t feel wrong. It feels right—like you earned it. “Moral licensing” is a dangerous phenomenon. When you do something good, you feel good about yourself. This means you’re more likely to trust your impulses, which often means giving yourself permission to do something bad. If you tell yourself that you’re “good” when you eat healthfully and “bad” when you don’t, then you’re more likely to eat junk tomorrow if you ate good food today.
We need to stop self-judging our morals based on our food choices—it destroys our ability to have a healthy relationship with food. If you eat a healthful food, you are getting more healthful—you are neither a good nor bad person.
It’s Not Just You
I have learned too much about how the brain and body work, and coached too many people over the years, to accept “everything in moderation” as a workable concept. Like any overly simplistic attempt to reduce a complex aspect of human physiology to a simple rule, it just does not work for the majority of people.
And the continued belief in outdated, ill-conceived concepts like this one results in massive psychological damage to people struggling to find health: If it’s so simple, yet elusive for you, there must be something wrong with you. The lack of progress can get internalized as a personal flaw when it is really a conceptual flaw arising from simplifying something that just isn’t that simple.
What it all boils down to: We need copious amounts of healthy food and a small amount of food with little to no value. Moderation as it is commonly used will result in moderately unhealthy people instead of thriving people.
Each day we walk through a world that presents us with dozens or even hundreds of temptations and visual triggers for junk foods. We can’t escape seeing it and the constant visual stimuli can weaken our resolve. If we only eat an unhealthy food once instead of the other 99 times we’ve come across it every day, it may “feel” like moderation, but your physiology works the way it works. Consuming junk food daily—which is not moderate, by definition—erodes health and counteracts many of the other healthy choices (like exercising) you may be making on a regular basis.
This post is a guest post written by Jonathan Ross that originally appeared on ACEFitness.org. Named the 2010 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, Ross serves as ACE senior consultant for personal training.
I posted this week about the nutritional benefits of microgreens. They contain 4 to 10 times the nutrition as sprouts or their full grown versions.
Many people suggest that you use them in salads or to cook with. I think the best way of using them are in smoothies. You can eat more of them and you are not exposing them to heat. They are easy to grow yourself in the kitchen window or for families, under grow lights.
I will begin selling trays of these microgreens soon by making them available for delivery on the Meal Delivery Service. Look for the addition to the weekly menu in your email.
Every eggplant recipe I’ve ever encountered has instructed me to salt the big purple fruit before cooking to “draw out bitter compounds,” but it turns out that’s not really necessary.
According to Epicurious, this thinking is leftover from a time when eggplants were much more bitter than what you’ll find in the store today; the bitterness has been bred out of them.
Full disclosure: I’ve only ever salted eggplant once before I’ve cooked it, the first time I cooked it. I had never tasted a difference between salted and not, but it’s nice to have my sloth validated.
By Jessica DeCostole, RDN
First came the popular trend of baby spinach and kale, and now the world is turning its attention to even younger seeds called microgreens—the first shoots of leafy plants that are less than 14 days old. You may have spotted them at your local farmers market or caught a celebrity chef garnishing a meal with them on the Food Network.
These tiny plants are packed with BIG nutrition. In fact, a recent study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that microgreens from 25 nutritious vegetables (such as cilantro, celery, red cabbage, green basil and arugula) contained higher concentrations of disease-fighting Vitamins E and K and carotenoids than fully mature varieties.
So how do these infant greens develop become so nutrient-dense in such a short period of time? Microgreens are planted in soil and absorb its minerals as they grow which increases their nutritional content (unlike sprouts, for example, which are grown only using water). Here are three easy ways to start working these tiny but mighty greens into your diet. They’ll not only add flavor to your meals, but tons of vitamins too!
Play with garnishes
These greens look beautiful atop a caprese salad of mozzarella and tomatoes, or served with a piece of chicken or fish. It just adds a touch of color as well as a very strong and concentrated taste of the original vegetable. And as the fall approaches, don’t forget to add microgreens to complete a creamy soup like butternut squash.
Make a windowsill garden
While microgreens are starting to be sold in large supermarkets, you may still need to head to your local farmers market to get them—or you can grow your own! Check out this six step how-to guide. Since microgreens are cut as soon as the seeds sprout, you will see the fruits or ‘greens’ of your labor quickly and be able to enjoy what you grow.
Switch up your lunch
While it would be hard to make a whole salad base with microgreens, you can easily mix some in with your baby spinach or romaine lettuce base to add unexpected flavors to your lunch. The tiny leaves and stems also make a great extra topping on all types of sandwiches and add a nice crunch.