Autumn offers a cornucopia of cancer fighting foods and it's up to all of us to make them part of our daily eating. Stacy Kennedy, a senior nutritionist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, says many fruits and vegetables are at their peak in the fall and it’s a great time to enjoy them as part of a healthy diet.

A visit to a local market can be inspiring this time of year. Below the video, Kennedy shares her ABCs of healthy fall foods along with 5 nutritious and easy to prepare recipes.

1.“A” is for Apple

There may be something to the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Studies suggest that eating at least one apple a day can help prevent throat, mouth, colon, lung and possibly breast cancer. Besides being crisp, sweet, and juicy, apples contain quercetin a nutrient that protects the cell’s DNA from getting damaged that could lead to the development of cancer.

“The key is to eat them raw and with the skin on.” says Kennedy. “That’s where many of the nutrients are found.” She suggests skipping traditional apple pie that’s loaded with sugar and fat. For a healthy alternative, try this apple crisp recipe.

...continue reading "Tips and Recipes for Healthy, Delicious Fall Into Winter Holiday Eating"

Dark chocolate as a remedy for emotional stress receives new support from a clinical trial published online in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research: Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects. Men and women who ate just over an ounce and a quarter of dark chocolate a day for two weeks showed reduced levels of stress hormones in their bodies. Dark chocolate consumption also partially corrected other stress-related biochemical imbalances.

...continue reading "Dark Chocolate Reduces Emotional Stress, Study Finds"

Pomegranate
Pomegranate

Pomegranate juice may slow the progression of post-treatment prostate cancer recurrence, according to new long-term research results presented at the 104th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA), April 2009.

Researchers found that men who have undergone treatment for localized prostate cancer could benefit from drinking pomegranate juice by seeing a significant slowing of the rate of rising in their PSA (prostate specific antigen).
...continue reading "Pomegranate juice may benefit men treated for localized prostate cancer"

Grapes-photo-by-Hendo
This study used grape seeds

An extract from grape seeds forces laboratory leukemia cells to self destruct, or commit cell suicide, according to researchers from the University of Kentucky. Within 24 hours of exposure to the extract, three-quarters of leukemia cells die off.

The researchers say that this proves the value of natural compounds. In making their discovery, they teased apart the cell signaling pathway associated with use of grape seed extract that led to the cell-suicide. This self-destructive process, known as apoptosis, normally gets rid of damaged or aberrant cells.
...continue reading "Grape Seed Extract Kills Laboratory Leukemia Cells"

Karen Kaplan reports in the L.A. Times on the crushingly disappointing results from a series of clinical trials that have shown that daily doses of vitamins and minerals have no effect on preventing strokes, heart disease or other ailments and in some cases, even cause harm.

Laboratory tests and initial studies in people suggested that lowly vitamins could play a crucial role in preventing some of the most intractable illnesses, especially in an aging population. The National Institutes of Health gave them the same treatment as top-notch pharmaceutical drugs, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in elaborate clinical trials designed to quantify their disease-fighting abilities.

Now the results from those trials are rolling in, and nearly all of them fail to show any benefit from taking vitamin and mineral supplements.

This month, two long-term trials with more than 50,000 participants offered fresh evidence that vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium supplements don't reduce the risk of prostate, colorectal, lung, bladder or pancreatic cancer. Other recent studies have found that over-the-counter vitamins and minerals offer no help in fighting other cancers, stroke or cardiovascular disease.

Kaplan interviews Jeffrey Blumberg, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Antioxidants Research Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. His research, she notes, has been funded in part by supplement makers.

Blumberg says, "You really do need vitamin E. You really do need vitamin C. You really do need seleniun," adding, "Without them, you die."

This begs the question of whether taking them in supplement form fends off illnesses.

"Blumberg and others now believe." Kaplan writes, "that a combination of factors -- including the versions of vitamins that were tested and the populations they were tested in -- probably doomed the studies from the start."

Kaplan also interviews Dr. Mary L. Hardy, medical director of the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, "who focuses on the importance of diet and supplements for cancer patients."

"'You don't eat a food that just has beta carotene in it,'" Hardy tells Kaplan. "What's more, she said, vitamins manufactured into pills are not identical to vitamins that occur naturally in foods, so the clinical trials don't test the exact compounds that may have been key in earlier studies.

Full story from L. A. Times December 21, 2008

An anti-cancer compound in broccoli and cabbage, indole-3-carbinol, is undergoing clinical trials in men with prostate cancer and women with breast cancer because it was found to stop the growth of these cancers in mice.

Now scientists have discovered more about how it works. They've found that in breast cancer it lowers the activity of an enzyme associated with rapidly advancing cancer growth, according to a University of California, Berkeley, study appearing this week in the online early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new findings are claimed as the first to explain how indole-3-carbinol (I3C) stops cell growth. This new understanding is expected to speed designs for improved versions of the chemical that would be more effective as a drug and could work against a broader range of breast as well as prostate tumors. ...continue reading "Broccoli compound targets key enzyme in late-stage cancers"