Monday, December 12, 2011

Food: better than supplements

There is a proven formula for health and well-being, you might say a cure even, for the many common diseases that plague modern man — and the answer is not supplements. It is not advertised; is sold without claims; does not come in attractive packaging; is cheap, natural and effective; and it’s 100% safe as it’s been tried and tested since prehistoric times. The wonder cure: Wholesome natural foods.

Food, in its original unprocessed state, or plant foods — the way nature has provided — is far superior to any vitamin and dietary pill on the shelf where health and healing are concerned. Many plant foods have amazing disease-fighting properties that cannot be replicated in pill form.

Fruits, vegetables, grains (and healthy fats) — protective foods eaten in large amounts by our earliest ancestors — are the timeless secret to health and longevity. Unfortunately, half of the Malaysian population is not making use of this powerful weapon to protect themselves from disease. According to a recent survey, one in two Malaysians takes dietary supplements.

If you’re one of the 12.5 million pill-poppers out there, here’s the sobering truth: Natural food, according to science, is superior to supplements where health, disease and well-being are concerned.

If you want to be healthy or are looking for an antidote for your health problems, don’t turn to the vitamin promoter, turn to Mother Nature. Vitamins and mineral supplements are no cure-all against disease. Nature’s wholesome foods will protect you better.

Supplements can be unsafe & unhealthy. In the 1980s and 1990s, food supplements were believed to be some of the most promising medicines in the fight against cancer, heart disease, stroke and other ailments. Today experts are warning that supplements can end up shortening your life.

Many supplements have been found to be ineffective in protecting against the various health problems they are supposed to help with. Vitamin C did not prevent colds in several studies. Vitamin D and calcium did not prevent bone fractures in a study. Vitamin E showed no benefit for heart or cancer. Vitamin A helps the eyes but did nothing for cancer.

In the past, modern medicine viewed the medicine in everyday foods as folklore, today doctors and scientists strongly believe in food’s enormous potential for influencing disease.

According to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times (24.12.08), some doctors now advise their patients not to bother with the pills, and to rely instead on a healthy diet to provide needed vitamins and minerals.

“These things are ineffective, and in high doses they can cause harm,” said Dr Edgar R. Miller, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, US.

“People are unhappy with their diets, they’re stressed out, and they think it (the pills) will help. It’s just wishful thinking.”

Most scientists today agree that extra vitamins in pills, tablets or powders add little, if anything, to a well-balanced diet that adheres to current nutritional guidelines.

Vitamins and minerals should ideally come from food, and not designer supplements, experts now advise.

Food has disease-fighting powers. Food is now validated by science as being the best medicine.

Many prestigious research institutions have investigated, and now acknowledge that a proper diet is much healthier, and safer, than supplements; and that the right diet can reduce the risk of many serious diseases.

And medical, health and nutritional experts everywhere have now declared food as the passport to good health. So eat your way to better health — and a longer life.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sugar and Cancer

Sugar feeds cancer. The affinity of cancerous tissue for sugar (glucose) is well known.

A study that monitored the diets of 80,000 healthy women and men from 1997 to 2005, found that the risk of developing pancreatic cancer is related to the amount of sugar in the diet. 131 people in the study eventually developed cancer of the pancreas. Most at risk were those who drank high quantities of fizzy or syrup-based (squash) drinks.

The group who said that they drank such products twice a day or more ran a 90% higher risk than those who never drank them.
People who added sugar to food or drinks (eg: coffee) at least 5 times a day ran a 70% greater risk than those who did not.

People who ate creamed fruit (a product resembling runny jam) at least once a day also ran a higher risk — they developed the disease 50% more often than those who never ate creamed fruit.

A Swedish study in the March 2007 edition of Diabetes Care, shows that women with high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) may be more likely to develop cancer, even if they don’t have diabetes. The study, by researchers from Sweden’s Umea University Hospital, also found that both men and women with the highest blood sugar levels were more likely to have pancreatic cancer, urinary tract cancer, and malignant melanoma (the most deadly type of skin cancer) than those with the lowest blood sugar levels.

Women with the highest blood sugar levels upon joining the study were more likely to be diagnosed with cancer before its end.
Cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer) was more common in women with the highest blood sugar levels.
Breast cancer was more common for women younger than 49 with high blood sugar levels.

How many affected:

According to the American Cancer Society’s projections, more than 12 million new cases of cancer would have been diagnosed around the world in 2007 and 20,000 people a day, or 7.6 million people, would have died from the disease.

Its report, “Global Cancer Facts and Figures”, says that some 5.4 million cancer cases and 2.9 million deaths would have occurred in industrialised countries. In developing nations, some 6.7 million cancer cases and 4.7 million deaths would have taken place, with lung, stomach and liver cancer being most prevalent in men, and women suffering most from breast, uterine and stomach cancer.

In Malaysia, every year at least 40,000 people get cancer, and this is only a conservative figure (NST, 22.11.05). 1 in 4 Malaysians can be expected to get cancer in his or her lifetime (Malaysian National Cancer Registry, 2002).
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