Writing Up, Cancer Markers Down

Remember the research based story about the helpless rats who were more vulnerable to cancer than the empowered ones?

https://staywellfireyourdoctor.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/helpless-rats-empowered-rats-and-cancer/

Well here is a true story about ‘Mary’ who had breast cancer – and was able to put up a better resistance to her condition, once she replaced her helplessness with a sense of purpose and capability.

The story is excerpted as usual from Anti-Cancer A New Way of Life.

 “At the University of Helsinki in Finland, Kirsi Lillberg, MD, PhD, has shown in a study of more than ten thousand women that the loss of an important emotional relationship doubles the risk of breast cancer. Breakups and painful divorces may even be more directly correlated with cancer than is the death of a spouse. The loss of love causes intense feelings of helplessness in many people, possibly by tapping into psychological wounds received in childhood through experiences of rejection or criticism.

“… For Mary, at the time when Paul leaves her, the traumatic memories of her father’s departure fifty years earlier and of her husband’s twenty years earlier once again become the stark reality of the moment. She believes that she doesn’t deserve to be loved, that she’s useless, destined to fail. She feels the same sadness and weeps the same tears, her body produces the same stomach cramps and goes so far as to assume the same position – that of a little girl hunched over, her arms around her knees.

[the emotional wound leads to the stress response] “….As publications in Nature Cancer Reviews and The Lancet have shown, these physiological stress mechanisms can contribute to the growth and spread of cancer.

“In Mary’s case, her doctor found a simple and direct way to rekindle her inner strength. Since she was a journalist and a published author, he encouraged her to write down the story of her passion and its devastating failure….As the story flowed through her fingers on the keyboard, she felt gradually restored to life. After her new book was published, she returned to see her doctor. Not only had she left behind her ideas of suicide, but her cancer markers had returned to a perfectly normal level. Having a focused, attainable goal had empowered Mary to let go of the illusion of helplessness and recover her desire to live.”

The lesson here is not that you should write to fight cancer. That works for writers. On an individual basis, cancer fighters need to choose an activity that is rich in meaning for them. For some that might be academic work, for others charity work for a cause dear to their hearts. For some it might mean carrying on with work and family life and cherishing every day, investing as much as possible in the joys and rewards of the moment.

We’ll come back God willing, to the concept of “activities rich in meaning,” in future. Why? Because for those of us who are well, having goals that we are working towards which are rich in meaning for us as individuals (and this has nothing to do with the expectations of others!), is associated with better mental health and resilience.

After all these inspiring excerpts, how many of you have bought yourself and your loved ones a copy and started to make meaningful lifestyle changes?

I don’t write merely to inform but to persistently prod, motivate and inspire! Do let me know if I’m making a difference!

 

 

 

Breast Cancer Support Groups Can Buy Time for Cancer Fighters

Psychiatrist Dr. Spiegel was surprised.

His research showed that his righteous indignation had been dead wrong.

Prior to his results, “He had been convinced that there was no link between a patient’s mental state and the development of cancer. He was furious with those who attributed cancer to psychological conflict. He felt that this argument gave patients the painful feeling that their cancer was in part their own fault.”

His research had been designed to improve breast cancer patients’ emotional state and he was able to do just that. He hadn’t bet on longer survival times for the women who participated though.

This is what the study entailed:

“…groups of eight to ten women met every week. They discussed their fear, their loneliness, and their anger, as well as their desires and their ways of dealing with the disease….For some of them, it was the first time in their lives they had experienced the reassuring peacefulness of such trust….These meetings were neither tragic nor pathetic, but tended to be filled with natural laughter and camaraderie…in accepting their own wounds, they had opened the way to positive emotions, to joy, to the desire to be alive, to the satisfaction of being together here and now.”

Of the sad times when group members died, “They yielded freely to their feelings of grief. These moments were very difficult, but everyone felt that the absent member would go on living in their hearts through these memories. Implicitly, they sensed that when their turn came, they too would be honoured by such recollections….”

The study lasted a mere year yet these were some of Spiegel’s remarkable findings:

Thanks to the support group intervention, support group members compared to those with the same diagnosis and treatments, felt less depression, anxiety and even less pain!

Ten years later as he did long term follow up the subjects, he observed that the support  group women had lived on average twice as long as the others! He had expected that his work would have proven his original position: that mental state could not impact breast cancer survival.

Instead, “A difference could even be observed between those who had attended the group regularly and those who had participated sporadically. The more regularly a woman had attended the longer she had lived….Thanks to this study, the link between mental state and the development of disease suddenly went from being a slightly harebrained “new age” concept to being a perfectly acceptable scientific hypothesis.”

Excerpted from Anti-Cancer, A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber.

The Rosary, The Mantra, Your Breath and Your Health

Luciano Bernardi MD, PhD of the University of Pavia in Italy had demonstrated the effect working out stressful Math problems or reading aloud would have on variations in heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow to the brain and breathing.

He used the Catholic Rosary* for the control group to recite as they could recite it without thought or effort.

Now, Bernandi’s research showed that the slightest stress from mental activity affected the body’s rhythms immediately.

To his surprise though, the control group yielded a pattern more interesting than a baseline! It was a pattern worthy of study in itself. The different body rhythms weren’t just affected by the recitation but were affected in synchrony, lining up to create a pattern described as ‘resonance’.

This was Bernandi’s conclusion as described in Anti-Cancer A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber:

“In Italy the congregation recites the rosary taking turns with the priest. Each recitation occurs in a single exhalation. The inhalation that follows takes place during the priest’s turn. The subjects had quite naturally adopted this rhythm …during the experiment… (adjusting) mechanically – and subconsciously – to a frequency of six breaths a minute which happens to be the natural rhythm of fluctuations in the other biological functions Dr. Bernandi was measuring….the rhythm of each function resonated with the others, mutually reinforcing each other….”

Could other religious practices have a similar effect? Bernandi followed his curiousity by having subjects who had never practised an Eastern discipline recite the Om Mani Padme Hum**, the best known mantra in Bhuddism.

The subjects’ breathing, harmonized to six breaths a minute in coherence with the rhythms of other autonomous physiological functions.

Generally, the more distracted and agitated we are mentally the more our heart rate and other body patterns have a random chaotic pattern.

Hmmm.

In 2006, a review of studies on the amplitude and variations of our body’s rhythms showed that everything that can lead to the patterns created by the recitations and chantings in Bernandi’s experiments, is associated with better functioning of the immune system, reduced inflammation and better regulation of the blood sugar levels.

A quick scroll through staywellfireyourdoctor’s blog will reveal quickly that managing these three factors are key elements in managing your cancer risk.

What for those of us who feel uncomfortable with Eastern or religious meditative practice?

Mere mindfulness meditation as taught in a programme by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, former MIT biologist, in hospitals all around the world, makes a tremendous difference.

Mindfulness meditation is so simple and benign that I will describe it in next day’s post, so you can put it into your schedule the same day!

In the meantime here are some results of complete beginners, executives from a large biotechnology firm trying “mindfulness meditation” for the first time.

“After a scant eight weeks, among those who had made a short period of meditation part of their everyday habits, significant changes had taken place in the electric activity of their brains….Regions associated with distinctive mood and optimism ….were distinctly more active compared to their earlier state or to that of the control group….”

The study they participated in was published in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2003.

Other case and group studies of cancer patients have found that with this meditation programme, clients feel better, sleep better and have better immune system profiles, Natural Killer Cells included. (NKCs are major players in the body’s battle against cancer cells).

Several markers of inflammation, including cortisol, also go down.

Even the HIV client, whose immune system is perpetually at war with a relentless virus, has been shown to benefit from meditation.

CD4 counts refer to counts of the white blood cell which is the key target of the HIV virus. The lower the CD4 count, the poorer the immune system of the patient.

 After just 8 weeks, CD4 cells in the half of subjects who meditated for 30-45 minutes daily had not fallen.

For the the control group, the half of subjects who did not meditate, CD4 counts fell.

You might agree with me: don’t wait for every detail to be explained to add meditation to your daily schedule.

 

Details summarized and quoted from Anti-Cancer A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber.

 

*The choice of the Catholic Rosary was quite a natural one as his research subjects came from a deeply Catholic region in Italy.

 

** As a Muslim I was curious. What does Om Mani Padme Hum mean? I consulted Wikipedia. Here is one summary:

 

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s definition

“The mantra Om Mani Päme Hum is easy to say yet quite powerful, because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. When you say the first syllable Om it is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the practice of generosity, Ma helps perfect the practice of pure ethics, and Ni helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and patience. Pä, the fourth syllable, helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, and the final sixth syllable Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom.

“So in this way recitation of the mantra helps achieve perfection in the six practices from generosity to wisdom. The path of these six perfections is the path walked by all the Buddhas of the three times. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?”

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones

 

Chemotherapy or Meditation? The Story of Ian Gawler’s Successful Battle Against Osteosarcoma.

Young vet Ian Gawler was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, before the age of 25.

Between 1974 and 1977 he underwent treatments including amputation and chemotherapy.

By February 1976 he was given just a few weeks to live yet today he remains alive and actively engaged in Australia, helping cancer patients include meditation and other  lifestyle changes in their daily battles.

The survival rate for victims of osteosarcoma is all of 60-70% thanks to chemotherapy. However the survival rate was 20% before chemotherapy regimens were successfully developed for the condition.

Gawler was fortunate to be able to try what was then experimental chemotherapy in 1976, having outlasted the expectations of his doctors by many months.

In 1978 he was declared free of osteosarcoma.

He believes his survival was in great part due to the aggressive meditation he pursued and the inner calm that resulted. He began his meditation in December 1975, a few months before being determined incurable. His physician Dr. Meares  believed that meditation could potentially alter the course of cancer.*

 

His case was documented by psychiatrist Dr. A. Meares in the Medical Journal of Australia in a 1978 article, “Regression of Osteogenic Sarcoma Metastases Associated With Intensive Meditation.”

The story is told in Anti-Cancer A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan- Schreiber.

“Amputation, followed by a year of conventional treatments, was unsuccessful in halting tumour growth. It spread to his hip and thorax where it created visible deformities. His oncologist expected him to live no more than a few weeks, perhaps less than a month. With nothing to lose and with his wife’s full support, Ian threw himself into an intensive practice of meditation. He wanted to enjoy in his remaining days the calm he had discovered practicing yoga…. (His physician) was particularly impressed by the calm his young patient succeeded in experiencing. He attributed it to the characteristic serenity of the dying in their final days. But after a few weeks on this regimen, to the astonishment of all, Ian seemed to be getting better. After several months of intensive meditation (an hour three times a day!), along with a strict diet, Ian recovered his strength. The hideous bone deformities that had marked his chest started to dissolve. A few months later they had completely vanished.”

Well perhaps they vanished due to the chemotherapy, a possibility which is not considered in Schreiber’s account.

I must say I found this to be one of the most incredible stories ever as Ian wasn’t in the early stages of illness when he experienced this remarkable turnaround! After all, his cancer had already spread and he had been declared terminally ill.

Yet one of the most critical things I’ve come to accept about health and wellness is that we are each a fully integrated organism. There are few absolutes and few things that are black and white.

Could deep meditation have given Ian an edge? After all he did live several months beyond expectation before being given chemotherapy. Earlier in that very year, given that he had been labelled incurable he wouldn’t have been offered chemo. Also his remission began, according to the sources quoted above, weeks after starting deep meditation and several months before taking chemotherapy.

He tells his story in more detail in You Can Conquer Cancer.

If you remain skeptical that’s understandable but the good news is that there have been objective measures of the relationship between meditation and improved wellness.

As for me, my personal haatha** yoga practice is full of distractions and I frequently fall into a very calm sleep in the Corpse position. But though my meditation is weak, simple yoga movements have helped me over the years to relieve back pain, reduce headache intensity, reduce neck and shoulder tension and reduce stiffness in times of little exercise. I suspect too, that they helped me to tighten my abs after my first child, since a few yoga movements were all the exercise I had during my first year as a mum.

 

Was it Gawler’s chemotherapy or meditation? Could it have been both?

We may never know but if you were diagnosed with cancer (and may God forbid that!) would you use meditation as one of the tools in your arsenal?

Deep meditation lowers cortisol levels and thus reduces inflammation. Higher levels of inflammation do promote cancer as we established in Anti-Cancer, Blocking the Roads and Fuel Supply of the Enemy:

https://staywellfireyourdoctor.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/anti-cancer-blocking-the-roads-and-fuel-supply-of-the-enemy/

Deep relaxation also promotes healing as we’ve shared before:

https://staywellfireyourdoctor.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/the-vagus-and-your-mother/

Next: objective measurements of meditation.

*Source: Wikepedia

** a physical form of yoga limited to physical movement with focus on breathing throughout.

 

The late Dr. David Servan-Schreiber; his Anti-Cancer battle story and mission summarized in this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfddD6keYq0&feature=player_embedded

“I don’t need to do anything….that was just plain wrong.”

Dr. Schreiber learned the hard way after his relapse and through his own research, that there is a lot you can do about cancer!

Obituary of Dr. David Servan-Schreiber.

Obituary of Dr. David Servan Schreiber, may he rest in peace.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11208/1163253-122-0.stm?cmpid=healthscience.xml

 

How Your Attitude Influences Your Natural Killer Cells

You might have heard that Emotional Intelligence needs to be taught in schools, since it impacts your success more than your IQ.

You might listen to news, local, regional and international and be in utter despair that either your EQ or your IQ can save even your little portion of the world!

You might be sick of hearing that tired cliché from the Think Positive Gurus, “Your attitude determines your altitude.”

Yet your very feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are like the last nails on a coffin.

After all, what we have most control over is what we think, say and do. Ironically our thoughts and attitudes impact not only the entire course of our lives but heavily influence our health.

Now if you usually fill your mind with frustrated, dejected and despairing thoughts then I guess that last statement was just depressing wasn’t it?

Obviously, both our lives and our health are subject also to external forces but since we know we can’t control the external forces, why do we pay so little attention to the one locus we can control?

A long term prospective study of healthy subjects in Finland yielded data highlighting the relationship between helplessness and health.

In this study, these simple questions were used as a measure of the sense of helplessness:

1. ‘I feel that it is impossible to reach the goals I would like to strive for.’

2. ‘The future seems to me to be hopeless, and I can’t believe that things are going to change for the better.’

Six years later and all other factors being equal, the persons who had rated both statements as “true” had a mortality rate (from all causes combined) that was three times higher than that of persons characterized by the lowest level of helplessness (who didn’t think either statement applied to them). They also developed 160% more fatal cancers.”

How could this be so?

Well if you are suspecting cortisol to be the culprit you are on the pulse!

“ When people have the feeling that their life is no longer manageable, or that it leads to more suffering than joy….the neurological response to this stress is the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol….White blood cells have receptors on their surface that detect the presence of stress hormones and react accordingly….some respond by releasing inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Natural killer cells are blocked by noradrenaline and cortisol, remaining passively glued to the walls of blood vessels rather than attacking viruses or abnormal precursor cancer cells.” *

Remember we learned about Natural Killer Cells (NKCs) in a previous article where we saw their critical role in fighting cancer.

https://staywellfireyourdoctor.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/the-mighty-mouse-who-defiantly-resisted-cancer-and-what-it-means-for-us/

But making all this relevant, could you be paralyzing your NKCs with your thoughts?

Do you have patterns of thinking that leave you believing that your hands are tied and you are living a life controlled by relatives, co-workers or selfish, greedy, unjust social norms?

If so, could therapy help you? Do you need professional help?

And do you want help or would you prefer to continue to live under the burden of quiet but common despair?

Nutrition, exercise, supplements, rest and relaxation are light and easy subjects compared to the workings of the inner self where hope, fear, pain, abandonment, love, yearning and dreams all reside.

Negative patterns of thinking when heavily ingrained are not often reversed by a moment of enlightenment. To change a pattern of thinking requires undaunted,  conscious effort, immune to your inevitable faltering on the way to change.

Some of us need the professional support of psychologists and psychiatrists. Some of us can get our heads above ground by other means.

Staying Sane by Dr. Raj Persaud is the best book on understanding and maintaining mental health that I could recommend.

After reading this book though, you will be convinced that changing your thinking patterns is possible! The conviction that it is not is a very real barrier to change.

Regular therapy is expensive, but meaningful community work with positive people in an NGO of your choice, or volunteer work with a local school or religious/social organization are both free and priceless as such activity helps to add meaning to life.

Every journey begins with a single step.

*Excerpts taken from Anti-Cancer, A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber.

Helpless Rats, Empowered Rats and Cancer

You might have heard of the Type A personality whose aggression and tendency to be not only competitive but hostile, leads to an increased heart attack risk. This is not surprising as the human organism is a completely integrated entity.

Our thoughts influence our moods. Our moods influence our neuro-hormonal response. Our hormones influence our mood. Our mood influences our thoughts. Our thoughts influence our choices and actions – and hence our lives.

The very least we could do then is take control of our thoughts!

The Type C personality is not as well known, perhaps because the evidence for linking cancer to personal disposition is not as robust.

What’s more, the Type A personality is also one we are happy to knock as his or her attitude can be downright annoying or even distressing to those of us who are easy going and peace loving.

By contrast, the Type C personality is one we’d rather not blame for inducing his or her cancer. After all, the Type C persona is definitely Mr. Nice Guy or Ms. Sweet Gal. These are the really precious saintly types who sacrifice their own needs, deny  and suppress their own feelings of anger, resentment or abandonment, to the point where they and certainly everyone else, might just believe that they’ve never harboured such feelings at all.

While the link between the Type C personality and cancer is not scientifically sound, one element of the Type C persona has been identified as playing a role in the onset and progress of cancer: helplessness.

What’s the link?

Here’s the rough summary: the very good, obedient child who grows up without love or emotional security, may learn to live his or her life to please others, fearful of rejection and hoping for love. This continues through life, till one day, the foundation of this behavior is shaken. Despite his or her best efforts there is a divorce, a demotion or joblessness, or maybe an ungrateful adult child who leaves the nest and doesn’t looks back. Here is where the process of desperately seeking security crumbles into helplessness and as the Type C person gives up emotionally so does their immune system.

Move out hope. Move in cancer.

It sounds too simple to be true. After all, cancer becomes established when the sum total of cancer promoters outweighs the sum total of preventers. Everything we’ve written about in this series indicates that the factors: both the promoters and preventers are several – and we are still counting. So it is never simple.

Clearly, positive, optimistic, self-assured individuals with no history of emotional childhood trauma also face the diagnosis of cancer.

Could our mental outlook really be an independent risk factor?

Our first excerpt on this subject is not meant to convince you, though it should make you go, “hmmmmm.”

“At the University of Pennsylvania…rats were grafted with the exact quantity of cancer cells known to induce a fatal tumour in 50 percent of them…the rats were divided into three groups…In the first group, the control group, the animals received the graft but were then left to live their lives as usual ….in the second group the rats were given small, random electric shocks which they had no control over. The animals in the third group were given the same random shocks but were provided with a lever that they quickly learned to press to avoid getting extra shocks.

Pessimism and helplessness go together

“The results, published in Science, were very clear. One month after the graft, 54 percent of rats had successfully rejected their tumour. The rats subjected to shocks with no means of escape had become despondent. They would not fight against intrusions into their cage, and lost their appetite for food and sexual partners. Only 23 percent of these rats managed to overcome their cancer. The most interesting group was the third one. Though they were submitted to the intense stress of the same number of frequent electric shocks, having learned that they could avoid extra shocks by pressing a lever, these animals did not become despondent. They remained feisty when intruded upon, ate well, and copulated as frequently as rats do in a normal environment. And in that group, 63 percent successfully rejected the tumour, more than the rats left alone. It seems that the helplessness was capable of hastening the tumour’s spread, not the shocks themselves.” *

This was published in Science in 1982. Other studies demonstrating the relationship between the progress of cancer and unmanageable stress, leading to helplessness have since followed.

As we’ll see from future excerpts  the human experience does resemble that of the rats.

* excerpt taken from Anti-Cancer A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber

 

 

 

Safe Toxin Levels, Tadpoles and Cocktails Effects.

Your intuition and common sense might have told you – as mine told me, that the real issues of environmental toxins has to be the unknown factors and the cumulative effects. The quotes that follow confirm my intuition.

I love to write but yet again I reserve my enthusiasm for using my own words in favour of raw excerpts from Anti-Cancer A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber.

Why? Because I’m hoping you will be motivated to get your own copy and change your life. Step-by-step. (I still have to replace my No.5 plastic bottles with metal alternatives so you have company walking the obstacle course). And no! Dr. Schreiber does not give me a commission!

In the past 30 years the IARC (the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer) has tested just 900 potential culprits. Of these “…only one has been recognized as noncarcinogenic. Ninety-five have been identified as “known carcinogens” (meaning there have been enough epidemiological studies and research on animals to establish cause and effect). Three hundred and seven are “probable” or “possible” carcinogens (meaning studies on animals are convincing, but there has been no research on humans, or else not enough to prove toxicity). Four hundred and ninety-seven remain “unclassified”(which doesn’t mean they are safe, merely that their effects have not been sufficiently studied, often for lack of funding).

“In many cases, these substances continue to be widely used. This is true of benzene, a known carcinogen found in gasoline, certain plastics, resins and glues, certain lubricants, dyes, detergents and pesticides. Industrialists defend this by arguing that the level consumers are usually exposed to is one hundredth of the toxic dose for animals. Sandra Steingraber, PhD, a biologist specializing in environmental questions, has pointed out that with a little arithmetic this argument becomes less convincing: In 1995 the National Toxicology program carried out animal trials with four hundred chemicals. This was considered a “representative sample” of seventy-five thousand substances on the market at that time. The researchers’ conclusion: 5 percent to 10 percent of the substances tested should be considered carcinogenic for humans. Five percent to 10 percent of the total number means we are regularly exposed to 3,750 to 7,500 carcinogens – so it is not exactly reassuring when we are told that each one may correspond to one hundredth of a toxic dose. Combined, their total toxicity comes to thirty-seven to seventy-five times the dose considered toxic in animals.”

This has been described as a “cocktail effect”, in a harshly critical report  presented to the European Parliament, authored by the head of the Centre for Toxicology at the University of London. This report “drew attention to the overwhelming role played by synthetic products…in the galloping epidemic of breast cancers. He noted that environmental factors have a greater causal impact than genetic predisposition and detailed the pseudoestrogen effect of pesticides and herbicides present in our food, as well as in certain cosmetics…”

(See our previous post on Bisphenol-A: https://staywellfireyourdoctor.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/bpa-urban-legend-exaggeration-or-real-risk/)

“Rick Relyea, a biologist from Pittsburgh University, recently provided confirmation of the harmfulness of this cocktail effect. Relyea was surprised that researchers tasked with analyzing the toxicity of thousands of substances released into the environment almost always focus on each substance separately. He set up a protocol that mimicked real-life conditions: an aquatic environment where several species of plankton and tadpoles were exposed to a mixture of various pesticides. The result was devastating…taken in isolation and at its maximum permitted strength, each pesticide did not have any impact. But even at ‘acceptable’ doses, when ten pesticides were combined they caused the death of 99 percent of tadpoles.”

My two cents:

I know you are not a tadpole but you get the picture. We are casual and ignorant about the chemical soups we live in and worse yet, eagerly embracing of new chemicals in all their forms. We don’t ask questions. We don’t demand answers.

Break that cycle even we find ourselves putting another nail in the coffin of another modern rider, Consumerism.

I Switched to Coconut Oil and I’m Switching to Butter. It’s Gradual but it’s happening.

Today I will merely quote from Anti-Cancer, A New Way of Life.

After all, we have repeated ad nauseum the link between high omega-6 in the diet and inflammation and the link between chronic inflammation and cancer.

“The last factor that has changed for the worse since the sixties is the emergence of margarine and “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” trans fats….these margarines are usually based on sunflower oil (which has seventy times more omega-6s than omega-3s), soybean oil (with seven times more) and canola oil (the least unbalanced, with only three times more omega-6’s than omega-3’s).”

Note that the newer soft-spread margarines despite their claims of being heart healthy are often made from the same oils above. Even if they are hydrogenated less, and softer, their omega 6 content is still sky-high.

If they are hydrogenated “fully” and claim “no trans fats” they still are not improving your cholesterol profile. To improve your cholesterol profile they would have to raise your good cholesterol or lower your bad cholesterol without lowering the good one as well.

What you are paying for instead is a “Zero-trans-fat” food that behaves like saturated fat. I’d rather have butter.

(In Israel) “…cooking techniques rely heavily on vegetable margarine…An ‘Israeli paradox’ – distinct from the ‘American paradox’- has emerged: Israel is marked by one of the lowest cholesterol levels in Western countries, combined with one of the highest rates of myocardial infarction and obesity.

“In its 2004 report, Holland’s Ministry of Health estimated that consumption of trans fats leads to over a thousand deaths per year. In comparison, 880 people died in Holland in 2004 in motor vehicle accidents. Hydrogenated oils are thus more deadly than car accidents….

“….study of almost twenty-five thousand European women by the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research confirmed the risk of breast cancer almost doubles in women who have high levels of trans fats in their blood…

“We finally have an explanation for the simultaneous epidemics of cancer and obesity. Changes in our diets over the last half century point to the culprit: a dietary imbalance in the ratio of essential fatty acids leading to the incredible overconsumption of omega-6’s, together with the rise in insulin levels due to the higher and higher glycaemic index of the modern Western diet. These imbalances are precisely the factors associated with certain cancers, or their dissemination as metastases* as Professor Bougnoux’s team in France has shown.”

*Dissemination as metastases = spread of primary cancer to other parts of the body.

The “inexplicable statistics” that doom us to be one of the 1 in 3 or 1 in 10 that the health prophets tell us are the statistics of cancer victims, are explicable.

Not by one factor, but by the sum of factors that add up to the modern environment and lifestyle.

Could someone please tell the Chinese that it’s not something to aspire to?

 

 

Quotes above from Anti-Cancer, A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber

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