ATTACKING CANCER WITH DIET AND NUTRIENTS

Cancer accounts for 10 percent of our national health costs. The cause of cancer and forms of cancer are multiple. All people are at risk because carcinogens, like nitrates, hydrogenated oils, cigarette smoke, radiation, saturated fat, caffeine, valium, estrogens (hormones), aflatoxin (peanut butter), food additives, air pollutants, and radon are so prevalent. One out of three Americans will develop cancer.

Data is overwhelmingly in favor of the benefits of diet and vitamins in cancer prevention. Not surprisingly, obesity and immune deficiency are risks for cancer. Evidence suggests that various nutrients can inhibit growth of tumors in man and in experimental animals, that a deficiency of these nutrients is a risk factor, that higher levels of these nutrients in the blood give protection against cancer, and that the nutrients can be used to treat cancer.

The nutrients that have been shown as especially protective are vitamin A, B-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, cysteine and selenium. These nutrients are found in pigmented vegetables (green, yellow or orange), vegetable oils, eggs, whole grains and cereals, fruits and vegetables, seafood, liver, and meat (selenium). Hence, a high-vegetable, high-whole grain diet with some fish and meat is the basic anti-cancer diet recommended.

Each cancer patient may need a unique diet, e.g., sarcoma patients generally need a high protein diet. Vegetables, because of the anti-cancer properties of fiber, plant sterol, and dithiolthiones (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) are usually the most important part of the diet. Whole grains, because of the fiber, are the next most important food group to protect against cancer.

Many other nutrients may have a role in cancer, particularly cysteine. Furthermore, some vitamins, especially cysteine and selenium, can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Several other nutrients may have a role in cancer prevention and treatment (e.g., calcium--colon cancer), arginine, folic acid, vitamin B-12, primrose oil, bioflavonoids, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, zinc, manganese, and molybdenum. Probably any nutrient missing for a long period of time can lead to a cell deficiency injury. This is well documented in cases of B-12 and folic acid deficiency where early cancers have occurred.
Natural Cancer Therapies

Much has been written about laetrile as a natural cancer therapy. The theory is that nitrilosides (laetrile) may have natural anti-cancer properties, and that once entering the body, the beta-glucosidase of cancer cells synthesizes hydrogen cyanide from nitriloside, while rhodanese from normal cells synthesizes nutritional agents, and the hydrogen cyanide actually destroys the cancer cell.

Below is a list of foods that contain this natural, potential anti-cancer property. One thing for certain is that these types of foods have been associated with lower rates of cancer because grains, berries, beans, seeds and fruits have other anti-cancer nutrients.

Exciting new blood tests can identify cancer much earlier. Nutrition may well play a decisive role in successfully treating these early cancers, as well as in preventing their reoccurrence.
NATURAL SOURCES OF NITRILOSIDES
KERNELS OR SEEDS OR FRUITS

Apple
Apricot
Cherry
Nectarine
Peach
Plum
Pear
Prune

BERRIES

Blackberry
Chokeberry
Christmas berry
Elderberry
Raspberry
Strawberry

NUTS

Bitter almond
Cashew
Macadamia

SEEDS

Chia
Flax
Rangoon
Sesame

BEANS

Broad
Burma
Chick peas
Lentils
Lima
Mung
Scarlet runner

MISCELLANEOUS

Bamboo shoots
Fuschia plants
Sorghum
Wild hydrangea
Yew tree (needles, fresh leaves)

GRASSES

Acacia
Alfalfa
Aquatic
Johnson
Milkweed
Sudan
Tunus
Velvet
Wheat grass
White clover

GRAINS

Barley
Brown rice
Buckwheat groats
Flax
Millet
Oat groats
Rye
Vetch
Wheat berry

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By Rabbi Eric Braverman, M.D.

Dr. Eric Braverman is director of a multi-specialty medical clinic and non-profit foundation in Princeton, N.J., and a contributing editor of Total Health magazine.

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