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Preventative measures against cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While cancer strikes fear in the hearts of most people, there are preventative measures that can decrease the possibility of contracting cancer, sometimes quite dramatically. Consider the following studies:- A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Dec. 25, 1996, indicated that 200 micrograms of selenium (l-selenomethionine) administered daily reduced the incidence of esophageal cancer by 67 percent, prostate cancer by 63 percent, colorectal cancer by 58 percent, lung cancer by 46 percent and total carcinomas by 45 percent.- A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in January 1996, demonstrated that a high calcium diet could reduce the incidence of colon cancer by 35 percent.- A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, published in 1998, showed 33 percent reduction in the incidence of prostate cancer and a 41percent reduction in the death rate from prostate cancer in men who took only 50 IU (International Units) of alpha-tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) daily over a five- to eight-year period.- A study published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2004 indicated that post-menopausal women who consumed one and one-half to three ounces of fish and shellfish daily were 30 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those who consumed less than one ounce. – An analysis of 567 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1982 and 1995 and 764 cancer-free men from the Physicians Health Study showed that selenium, vitamin E and lycopene (a phyto-nutrient antioxidant) was responsible for a reduction in the rate of prostate cancer and a reduction in the severity of those with prostate cancer.In most studies, researchers used nutritional supplements, since it is very difficult to know the nutrient dosage in food. Certain vegetables are purported to contain more selenium. This is true only if the vegetable was grown in selenium rich soil. Plants cannot manufacture minerals – they can only take them out of the ground and convert them to bio-available particles in their tissue. Plants can, however, manufacture vitamins, amino acids and essential fatty acids. If selenium is not in the soil, there is no selenium in the plant.According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer survival rates have increased 10 percent in men and 20 percent in children. Despite these statistics, cancer prevention should be the main focus. With the link between diet and cancer now well established, every food, herb or supplement that shows promise should to become part of everyone’s diet. To help prevent cancer, the naturopathic protocol would include the avoidance of foods that rob antioxidants (deep fried foods and other trans fats), elimination of caffeine and carbonated beverages, and supplementation with adequate dosages of the minerals and anti-oxidants that repeatedly show tremendous benefits. As always, contact a naturopath who can assist you with the proper forms and dosages of the nutrients. Health Matters!The Post Independent will run a “Health Matters” column once a month. Have a health matters question for R.J.? E-mail all questions to healthmatters382@hotmail.com.


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