FEATURE: Confusing Research Findings About Diet And Cancer

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The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published an article online in which researchers reported that eating more servings of fruits and vegetables daily did not significantly reduce the risk of cancer.

Researchers obtained data on 478,478 men and women in ten European countries and then followed them for an average of 8.7 years. They assessed the association between cancer risk and fruit and vegetable consumption. The researchers concluded that “high intake of vegetables, and fruits and vegetables combined, was associated with a small reduction in overall cancer risk.”

I’m not surprised at these results, and I actually agree with the findings of the researchers. The problem is not that the conclusions are incorrect; the problem is that the interpretation and reporting of the results are very misleading.

The term “high intake” as applied to the fruit and vegetable consumption of the study participants might lead one to believe that the participants were eating a plant-based diet. But this was not the case.

Scientific American included this comment in its online article covering the study: “The researchers concluded that if the results of the analysis can be broadly applied, upping daily fruit and vegetable consumption by about 150 grams (equivalent to about one cup of cherry tomatoes or 1.5 medium bananas), from most dietary levels, could prevent about 2.5% of cancers in most populations.” This is true; an extra serving of vegetables or fruit daily is not enough to improve anyone’s health outcomes.

This study’s structure and conclusions are indicative of a major problem plaguing research studies that attempt to establish a relationship between diet and health. Scientists tend to structure studies that evaluate the effects of individual nutrients or foods, or small variations in less-than-optimal diets on health, instead of looking at the totality of the diet. This is a very important limiting factor.

Those of us who are recommending a well-structured plant-based diet as a means for preventing, stopping the progression of, and even reversing disease, are achieving spectacular results by teaching people to make sweeping changesin their diets, not by adding or restricting one food, or by making small changes in their eating patterns. These changes include the elimination of dairy products; reducing or eliminating the consumption of all other animal foods (the upper limit being 10% of calories); reducing fat and eliminating oils; and eating a diet comprised of high-fiber, nutrient-dense, whole plant foods. Studies have shown that such a diet is not only protective, but can actually stop the progression of and even reverse disease.

In this case, the researchers were attempting to isolate the protective effects of what turned out to be very small differences in the amounts of fruits and vegetables consumed on cancer incidence. Although they did factor in consumption of alcohol and smoking, they did not take into consideration other very important dietary factors. Animal protein has been proven to be a powerful cancer promoter. Dietary fat, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, is also a significant factor in cancer risk. And the consumption of dairy products has been linked to several forms of cancer, particularly prostate cancer. But these factors were not considered.

The dietary habits in this study were self-reported, and researchers acknowledge limitations in self-reported information. Without intentionally trying to mislead, subjects will often misrepresent their eating patterns. People often do not remember what they ate, and are sometimes hesitant to report consumption of desserts, large portions, second helpings, and other habits that they think are unhealthy. They will also tend to over-estimate consumption of foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

The unfortunate result of studies of this type is that they confuse people, perpetuating the idea that diseases like cancer are largely unpreventable and that their diets do not really matter. This turns people into helpless victims rather than empowering them to take control of their health.

A well-structured plant-based diet is effective in reducing the risk of common degenerative diseases, and has been proven to be a powerful tool in helping sick people to regain their health. Much research has already been conducted and published proving this relationship, and medical journals and the media need to report this information to the general public.


Boffeta, P, Couto, E, Wichman J, et al. “Fruit and Vegetables Intake and Overall Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.” JNCIpublished online April 6 2010; doi:10.1093/jnci/djq072

Esselstyn, CB. Ellis SG, Mendendorp SV et al. “A strategy to arrest and reverse coronary artery disease: a 5-year longitudinal study of a single physician’s practice.” J Family Practice41 (1995):560-568

Esselstyn CJ. “Introduction: more than coronary artery disease.” Am J Cardiol.83 (1998):5T-9T

Swank RL. “Effect of low saturated fat diet in early and late cases of multiple sclerosis.” Mancer336 (1990):91-103

Campbell, TCC, The China StudyBen Bella Books 2004 pp 51-67

Kenneth K Carroll “Dietary Fats and Cancer.” Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:1064S-7S

Chan JM and Giovannucci EL. “Dairy products, calcium and vitamin D and risk of prostate cancer.” Epidemiol.Revs. 23 (2001):87-92

Lee RD, Nieman DC. Nutrition Assessment, 2nd edition. St. Louis, MO Mosby 1996

Dr. Pam Popper is a naturopath, an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and health, and the Executive Director of The Wellness Forum. The company offers educational programs designed to assist individuals in changing their health outcomes through improved diet and lifestyle habits; to assist employers in reducing the costs of health insurance and medical care for employees; and to educate health care professionals about how to use diet and lifestyle for preventing, reversing, and stopping the progression of degenerative disease. Dr. Popper is the author of several books and several programs offered for continuing education credits for medical professionals. She is the Founder of The Wellness Forum Foundation, which offers programming in schools designed to improve children’s health through better nutrition.

Follow Dr. Popper
www.wellnessforum.com

Dherbs Solutions:

2015-08-27T12:01:17+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I was diagnosed with breast cancer about 18 months ago and I've been treating the tumor wholistically with no chemo or radiation. The tumor has gradually gotten smaller but I'm concerned that the progress could be improved if my diet was better. I get conflicting information about eating fruits while trying to maintain a high alkaline diet. Should people healing cancer eat fruit?

    A:

    Fruits are predominantly alkaline but most warnings about fruit while having cancer stems from the sugars in fruit which cancer can thrive in which is why many healers recommend vegetables instead of fruits. All live foods are good for you when there is cancer because live foods have enzymes.

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    Q: I found this health article on the risk of getting cancer from working at night. I'm a night worker. have been for 16 yrs, and my sleeping and eating patterns haven?t been the same since. The article mentions taking melatonin...is that safe and effective? Also do you have any herbal cures for us night timers to reverse the effects of working the graveyard shift? I can sure use them?

    A:

    Cancer stems from a host of things, not just one thing like working at night. Disease results from negative thoughts/mindset, negative attitude, poor diet; insalubrious lifestyle, and insalubrious environment. You don't need to take melatonin. Your body (pineal gland) produces it. As a night worker, just make sure when you are sleeping in the day time your room is completely dark, just like how Dracula used to sleep in the darkness of his coffin during the daylight hours. This is why Dracula was a thousand years old but looked young. He slept during the day (which produces melatonin which is an anti-aging hormone) and he operated at night whereby he also produced melatonin. Dude never aged! You do the same, just don't suck on no necks to get blood though -- LOL!!!! And no! There are no herbs to reverse anything that comes from actions or behaviors that are unnatural. You reverse the effects of night-time work by doing the opposite. In your case, it's your job (which you don't want to quit unless you can find another one), so you just get some good sleep during the day in pitch darkness.

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    Q: I have read about your detox system on your site and others. Here is the product that I am thinking about purchasing: Full Body Detox I have some questions... 1) Is there a diet plan or eating plan that comes with this order? and 2) I have 100 pounds to lose and am thinking about going on the Medifast plan. That is a high (vegetable) protein diet with no fruit and not a lot of vegetables allowed. Would these supplements in the detox plan help my organs that might be taxed a bit on this diet with very little vegetables and no fruit? I am skeptical about #2...I think raw fruits and vegetables are so important inour diets, yet, I do need to drop weight fast. I look forward to any thoughts that you might have.

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    Yes, the Full Body Cleanse comes with a dietary regimen prescribing an all-raw foods diet (fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds). This means no meat, dairy, grains, or processed foods.

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    Q: On WebMD there is information stating that high fiber foods such as raw fruits, and vegetables can irritate or flare up Crohn's disease. But, your article on Chron's disease says to switch to a vegan diet after detoxing. Why would raw fruits and vegetables flare up Chron's disease? Why do your articles suggest to eat raw fruits and veggies when people say it can irritate the disease?

    A:

    We don't subscribe to that. We do our own homework at Dherbs.com. There is no confusion at Dherbs because we use logic, reason, common sense, intuition, wisdom, etc. So we are not confused in regards to food and health.

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    Q: The first time I had cancer it was uterine cancer where they did a hysterectomy. Now she has cancer in her liver, kidneys, on her stomach lining and spine. I am very concerned with my health so you may be correct. However, how do I deal with the sores that have manifested already? I am starting to meditate more to help me deal with my fears and emotions. What do you recommend?

    A:

    Purchase our NEW MENTAL SCIENCE MANUAL E-Book that helps you work on your mind, thoughts, and emotions - the root of healing! Read the article "SEA SALT SOAKS" and begin doing those. I would suggest you perform the TOTAL WOMAN CLEANSE. Your body is telling you that you need to deal with past sexual hang-ups or look more into your sexuality and be at peace with yourself. You may want to consider a consultation as well!

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    Q: Thank you for the cancer info...It is welcome and beyond informative, however, I take issue with your remark that "women would be wise to just accept the fact that they are female by nature and God made them to have (deliver) babies and they should stop trying to compete with and be like men." Part of me is not surprised--men make comments like this all the time. I chalk it up to ignorance, as men enjoy living their entire lives not having to endure periods, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and lord knows what else. So because a woman does not want to have children--at all, or at a particular time in her life--she wants to be a man?! That's an illogical conclusion you are making. So why are there pregnant women with cancer, some of which who have never taken BC pills? Are women entitled to making any sort of control over their reproductive health? What about women who are infertile, naturally? If they develop cancer, is it because they never gave birth to a child? Are you willing to support all of the children that will result from women not being on Birth Control, since many people cannot afford several children on their incomes? This line of reasoning makes some women think that men really need to get over themselves. I think you have been reading too much Freud. Some women, present company included, appreciate our femininity and everything that encompasses being a woman. At the same time, this is not the dark ages--and even then, women chose not to have children during different times in their lives. Surely you are aware that in non-Western countries women utilize natural herbs to control their reproduction or as abortifacients? I am not advocating abortion; my point is that if you are going to criticize women taking BC pills, you may as well extend this criticism to women naturally preventing pregnancy via alternative means.

    A:

    Birth control pills play a big role in female reproductive cancers. Women would be wise to just accept the fact that they are female by nature and God made them to have (deliver) babies and they should stop trying to compete with and be like men. In attempting to stop or prevent life (birth control), they are ending up losing their very own lives. And the birth control pills cause cancer in areas of the body that denote femininity (breasts, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, uterus and vagina). This is a form of language here. You have disease and female organ(s) which basically means your disease is specifically related to an issue of femaleness or femininity, that's why the disease manifests in these "female" organs. In attempting to be like and compete with males, females compromise their feminine integrity and goddess nature which "eats them up" (anger, frustration, sadness, etc.) inside. When the cancer appears in any female organ, it serves as a sign or sensor that the problem lies on a deeper metaphysical level pertaining to emotions, thoughts and attitude."

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    Q: I see also that you recommend a complete diet with these programs. I am guessing its a vegan diet right? I wanted to ask something on that is coconut milk and coconut oils ok for that? I personally had a very hard time trying to eat that many vegetables and many ph balance vegans seem to think fruits aren?t good either. I eat that many vegetables one it tears me up the next day and two I just cant consume enough calories that way. I can try and make up for it by eating things like almonds but I eat to many almonds I get the same problem the next day. Now coconut milk (unsweetened) and a digestive enzyme works for me for picking up extra calories.... but I hear very conflicting information about coconut and its saturated fat content. Is it ok to use daily as a part of the diet for cleansing? And your oxy-drops are those the same as the drop for ph balancing water?? Or is it something different? I am wanting to start lifting weights as I need to put on some muscle and I?m wondering if its something that would be beneficial in combating muscle soreness by increased oxygen in the body.

    A:

    The diet we recommend is vegan-based, and RAW FOODS. Fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds are ideal.

    Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil are excellent products to have in your diet. The healthy fats will keep you fuller.

    Oxy-Drops can help balance your electrolytes that need to be replenished after a workout in order to keep your body performing efficiently. 

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    Q: Hi Dherbs, I am a breast cancer survivor for 4 yrs now, my second time around with cancer. I have been taking a low dosage of chemo for the last 4 years, is there something I can use to make sure I am in good health from all the medications taken daily? Thanks for your time in this matter.

    A:

    Simply detox (FULL BODY DETOX) periodically, like every 4 months!

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    Q: I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer - I was advised that I should receive a therapy called HIUF High Intensity Ultrasound Frequency - There is a company in Germany that uses this treatment for Prostate Cancer - They have a 98.0% success rate with their method...Have you ever heard of such a treatment. - The one thing that interested me is that it is not chemo or radiation... There is another one called Proton Therapy... What do you know about these treatments?

    A:

    These therapies are new and better/safer than chemo and radiation but remember, no therapy can undo bad diet, unhealthy lifestyle, and unhealthy/negative thinking. If you undergo the therapies, don't forget that disease conveys a message to you to change your life to the better. You did something to harm your prostate and no therapy can undo this fact! We have an article "MALE PROSTATE HEALTH" you may find interesting. Herbally, you'd fare well from the FULL BODY DETOX followed by the TOTAL MALE CLEANSE.

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    Q: Hi Dherbs.com, I pray that this message finds you in good health and spirits. I have been working out my emotions and I still read your reply to the news of my tumor. I really appreciate your realness. I am recommending my son's daycare teacher to you. She is a one-year breast cancer survivor and I printed out your articles on Cancer and Why women are so sick. I warned her that you are very direct so she will not be surprised at what she reads. She is looking to detox and she wants to purchase supplements. Can you email you if she wants? I will not give her your email unless you say it is okay.

    A:

    Greetings Beloved! Good to hear from you! YES! You may give out the e-mail (at asktheherbalist@dherbs.com ) address. No permission needed. We are unofficial public servants, so it's okay. Thank you for the referral. Peace and Love be into you!

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    Q: I am having an occult test to check for colon cancer and I am freaking out. They include a pamphlet that says if positive the next phase is surgery and then maybe chemo I would not want either of these things can diet help or with colon cancer is surgery almost always needed?

    A:

    Surgery is always optional! You can heal colon cancer by change of diet and herbs such as our FULL BODY DETOXand 10-DAY SUPREME COLON CLEANSE.

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    Q: My husband has prostate cancer and is currently being treated with injections of Zoladex and was previously on Casodex also. He was taken off of Casodex and was given a second injection of Zoladex. Now he is feeling very sick; he lost is appetite; is continuing to lose weight; and just seem to be feeling bad. He also had radiation because cancer had spread more to the spine; The Dr. is concerned it would cause spinal compression. His PSA has gone up from 4 to 13. Want can I do to help my husband.

    A:

    The drugs are no good for him! They are feeding the cancer. His body is not made up of drugs! Radiation is a monster! Cooks the human flesh! I recommend he detox a.s.a.p (FULL BODY DETOX) and then follow the FULL BODY DETOXup with the TOTAL MALE CLEANSE. After these cleanses, put him on PROSTATE FORMULA , MALE HORMONAL FORMULA, and ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD. Have him drink DETOX TEA daily.

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    Q: I have a friend who has been said to have cancer. First diagnosed in the breast, now in the lungs back and bones. I told her about the full body cleanse and the dietary regimen. I was wondering if this is something that you think would benefit her at this stage. If so what other things do you think she could look into?

    A:

    The Full Body Cleanse is best! This cleanse can detoxify the body and help remove the toxicity that your friend's body is suffering from.

    She should drink 2-4 cups of the Full Body Cleanse Tea too to give her body an extra boost!

    After detoxing, I would have her take 5 capsules of Electric Greens every 2-3 hours every day in addition to drinking raw vegetable juice every day. This can further help eliminate toxicity in her body once she completes the cleanse.

    She should avoid eating any cooked foods, just raw foods!

    She should bathe daily in moderately hot water, sea salt and 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide. More tips and pointers can be found in the Full Body Detox Companion (available on-line).

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    Q: I was most impressed by your website. The information to support your products and your obvious interest in informing the public caught and kept my attention. As I searched further into Black Seed Tea, the reason for my visit, I noticed your product ALCOHOL BUSTER. The comment of "on the metaphysical level, alcohol consumption also impairs the human aura" although very non clinical, is very much my way of thinking, it got my attention. I read as far as the disclaimer, "the formula does not have the power to prevent consumption of alcohol as only will power and a made up mind can do this." Here's where I step out of character and find myself writing this e-mail. It has been my experience while working with people from all walks of life, who are members of any 12 step program, that a reference to will power as a prevention of anything is a two edged sword. While I agree will power is important in abstention, I believe the person is benefited by using their personal will power to seek help, to commit to recovery, to take care of the physical, mental and emotional bodies. I don't believe "human" will power is the power that prevents consumption. The suggestion that "will power and a made up mind can prevent consumption of alcohol" to a person with an addiction could become a deadly idea. This of course is my opinion, do with it what you feel is appropriate.

    A:

    I feel you in where you're coming from, but I truly believe and know human willpower plays a role in prevention and healing of all disease. The strongest thing humans have is a will. Will meshes with desire in many cases. Both are strong in humans. Now, you're dealing with a person with addiction in regards to your last statement and I can totally understand where you are coming from but the sick person is not exempt from any laws of healing. There is no real or true healing absent willpower to do a thing, a beneficial thing. The addicted person must be first dealt with on the physical and psychological levels and then the spiritual and energetic (getting to the root of the addiction: perhaps a 2nd chakra problem or something hanging over from a past life). All addiction points to spiritual void and therefore the only ultimate healing here is mental or spiritual via mental. As you know, it's mind-body-spirit and all must be dealt with for healing. Will is important in abstention but we don't won't people to focus on abstaining which is usually converted into "can't have" by the addicted person. We want people to only focus on the good, the healthy, what they need and require, not what they don't want or can't have because their subconscious mind will create the situations and circumstances by which these people end up consuming the thing that is insalubrious for them. It never fails. I grew up with an alcoholic mother and plenty of other alcoholics. We want people to have and use willpower to GO FOR the best things for them, will in DOING the right and healthy things for themselves. All healing is ultimately within self. As a man thicket so is he! Peace be unto you fellow metaphysician!

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    Q: My sister was diagnosis with breast cancer and also bones cancer. After chemotherapy and radiation treatment she is telling me she feels very tired, she lives in Argentina how can I help her with your advice, I did not know about your herbs when she became sick, I mentioned dherbs to her and she ask me to help.

    A:

    She needs to detoxify her body. She's now dealing with toxicity from chemotherapy and radiation on top of cancerous cells so now she must heal twice: from the drugs/radiation and the cancer. I would have her start on the FULL BODY DETOX; have her drink DETOX TEA and RAINFOREST TONIC TEA for starters. The radiation and chemotherapy are harming her. Her diet should be all raw foods and herbs.

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    Q: My husband has been told he has prostate Cancer he has since then stop smoking and has two more days on his Detoxing pills, once he finish this process what should he do in regards to his condition? Is there anything he can take he is in stage 2 and it has not spread to his bones or other parts of his body.

    A:

    He should first perform the FULL BODY DETOX followed by the TOTAL MALE CLEANSE. Have him read our article "MALE PROSTATE HEALTH" on our site under ARTICLES

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    Q: Contained in one of the articles featured on this website is a statement that consumption of dairy products produces fibroid tumors in African American women. My question is; by eliminating all dairy products from one's diet, will that cause the tumors to shrink? No ... it will only keep the tumors from enlarging! This will keep the tumors at bay! Contained in one of the articles featured on this website is a statement that consumption of dairy products produces fibroid tumors in African American women. My question is; by eliminating all dairy products from one's diet, will that cause the tumors to shrink?

    A:

    No ... it will only keep the tumors from enlarging! This will keep the tumors at bay!

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    Q: I am a breast cancer survivor, before cancer I was healthy, active, my mind was clear, I never second guessed myself, my weight was good. Now I am overweight, my mind runs constantly, I get getters, I can't remember things, I can't sleep or I'm tired. My hair want grow back, I can't lose weight, and my visit keep changing. I spend more money at the doctors' than I can afford. I developed lymphademia on my right side, I can't find the glove and sleeve I need for relief. My husband and I was stationed overseas when I developed BC. We've relocated to Atlanta and I heard your advertisement on 9.75. I am open to suggestions. Thank you for your time. God Bless

    A:

    Beloved, there is relief for you! I suggest you perform the FULL BODY DETOX Cleanse followed by the Electric Greens Cell Food Cleanse, and lastly, the Total Woman Cleanse. To help get the mind on track, I would suggest our "Mental Science Manual" which can read during your healing (each cleanse, re-read the book). You also may be interested in our Breast Oil. I will be in Atlanta next month for a health lecture!

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    Q: Nothing is stopping me except the lack of a workable plan of action, which I am in the process of putting on paper. There is a question that I've wanted to ask you for a while. Do you have or can you put together a sample daily menu of food choices based on what you eat, or what your research has shown to be good? I do have a couple of conditions I want to cure.... I have arthritis in my neck and upper back caused by a whip lash, and I have high blood pressure that I take medication to control. I read the article about controlling disease, and I am interested in curing these conditions. I have started an exercise regimen, and need a diet plan to go along with it. I want to lose weight as part of my healing.

    A: You may want to start with the Full Body Cleanse to begin your healing. In regards to a dietplan, check out the Alternative Diet and Lifestyle Manual. This manual has a lot of suggesstions and recommendations for a vegan-based, raw foods diet that you will want to accompany your cleanse. When performing the cleanse, following the guidelines of this diet is integral in achieving the results you desire.

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    Q: I just purchased the Pancreas Kit for children, for my 4 year old who was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I have been feeding her a raw diet of just vegetables. The diet includes no dairy, no grains, and fruit for a week. I also started the Pancreas kit last week too. I was wondering if there is any reason why her blood sugar levels would go up? All she is eating is veggies, and her sugar levels are at 300 most of the time. Even if she doesn't eat anything, it still goes up to 300. I also know it says you cannot tell us not to give, or not to give her insulin, or not. I am still currently giving it to her. Does the pancreas kit work just as well if the are receiving insulin or not? Or does it hinder the process?. I would really appreciate other advise you would offer. Thanks so much!

    A:

    Drugs and herbs don't mix! They cancel each other out. The blood sugar will go up and down due to the body attempting to regulate, and normalize the blood sugar levels. Perfectly normal! It's called "healing crisis. Whatever you guys choose to do, simply keep monitoring the person. Ask the person how he/she feels (very important).

    Article:
    Healing Crisis