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Why Aromatase Inhibitors Fail Women

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on November 13, 2017 at 5:27 am

Aromatase inhibitors fail when tumors outsmart them.  Researchers have long been studying how resistance to aromatase inhibitors (AIs) happens so that they can find a solution. The resistance effectively makes these drugs powerless, causing the cancer to return. One in every four or five women relapse within ten years of AI treatment and develop metastatic cancer. [i]

Estrogen plays an important role in the development of hormone-dependent breast carcinomas, or at least some estrogens do. While ovarian estrogen synthesis ceases at menopause, peripheral and local tissue’s aromatization of androgens to estrogens continues and becomes the main source of estradiol (the more cancer-promoting estrogen). What this means is that while your ovaries are no longer producing estrogen after menopause, and your adrenals are producing only a small amount, breast cancer cells may actually have a way to produce their own food supply.

Theoretically, the aromatase inhibitor could be reducing circulating estrogen to dangerously low levels, while estrogen in the breast, axillary, and belly could still be dangerously high. Hence, AIs fail the patient, who then suffers the ill-effects of the drugs with no benefit.

The Research

Until recently, scientists assumed the tumors developed resistance in some way, but didn’t know how. Scientists have now discovered why AIs may stop working in some patients. Research done at the Imperial College London and the European Institute of Oncology in Milan has found that some breast tumors evolve to make their own estrogen, rendering AIs ineffective. While the ovaries cease to produce estrogen after menopause, the hormone is still made in other tissues via the enzyme aromatase.[ii] The team, led by Dr Luca Magnani, found that in one in four patients taking AIs, the tumors had increased production of aromatase in the cancer cells. They found that the tumors were able to increase the number of aromatase genes via a process known as amplification.

So, while AIs work by cutting off the tumor’s fuel supply (estrogen), the cancer adapts by making its own –an efficient survival mechanism. The research points to a particular gene (CYP19A1).  When more copies of this gene are produced, it triggers the increased production of aromatase, the very enzyme the drugs are trying to block. This allows cancer cells to make their own estrogen and thus reproduce and spread.[iii] It seems to be a bit of a survival mechanism-the AI cuts off the food supply so the tumor outsmarts it by making its own.

We found that 21.5% of AI-treated, relapsed patients had acquired CYP19A1 (encoding aromatase) amplification (CYP19A1amp)…CYP19A1 amplification caused increased aromatase activity and estrogen-independent ERα binding to target genes, resulting in CYP19A1amp cells showing decreased sensitivity to AI treatment. These data suggest that AI treatment itself selects for acquired CYP19A1amp and promotes local autocrine estrogen signaling in AI-resistant metastatic patients.[iv]

When an aromatase inhibitor stops working, most oncologists will try another type of AI.  The problem is that if the cancer cells have started making their own aromatase, the second (or third) drug will be useless. Identifying the over-expression of the CYP19A1 may help doctors determine which women are not good candidates for AI therapy or who might be candidates for alternative therapies. The aforementioned researchers are now working on a test to identify whether a patient’s tumor has started to increase aromatase production, and make its own estrogen.

Dr. Magnani also suggested that when cancer returns, a biopsy should be done to see how the cancer has evolved, which may help guide treatment decisions. Often this can be helpful, but just as often, it fails to offer much information. This is a decision you need to make in consultation with your oncologist or other qualified professional.

Obesity Plays a Role

Excess body weight has been linked to an increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, and research also suggests that obesity is associated with poor prognosis in women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. Fat tissue contains the enzyme aromatase that converts hormones called androgens to estrogens. Human abdominal, breast, and axillary fat have the ability to convert androgens into estrogens.

So, heavier women end up with higher blood estrogen levels as well as enhanced local production of estrogen than leaner women. Elevated serum estrogen levels as well as enhanced local production of estrogen have been considered primary mediators of how increased body weight promotes breast cancer development in postmenopausal women.

On the Horizon

I have long been pointing out that most of have seriously declining levels of estrogen as we age –which has been found to compromise overall health. For this reason, AIs are quite dangerous as they block essential estrogen.

However, it has recently been reported that plasma estrogen levels do not necessarily reflect tissue estrogen concentrations. Several studies have found that tissue estrogen levels may be ten- to 20-fold higher compared to plasma levels in postmenopausal women. Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated that a large proportion (close to 100%) of the biologically active estrogen is considered to be produced locally in the breast carcinoma after menopause.[v] Therefore, likely a more effective method would be to inhibit estrogen of breast tissue than that of systemic circulation. More studies need to be done on this.

At this point, studies are being conducted in China to see if a locally-applied aromatase-inhibiting patch using letrozole would be effective and offer a less toxic solution to the standard drug AIs.

As reported in AAPS PharmSCiTech (a Journal of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists), a mouse study revealed that compared with oral administration, transdermal administration could produce high local drug concentrations and low circulating drug concentrations. This could reduce systemic side effects. Therefore, it might be a new option for breast cancer therapy to inhibit aromatase activity via transdermal patches for site-specific delivery of letrozole.

But again, more studies need to be done to determine if a local patch would be effective for cells outside the breast area, and independent studies should also be done (ones not paid for by a pharmaceutical company).

So, should women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer take inhibitors of estrogens? The decision of whether or not to use estrogen blockers is a complex one that each woman can only make if fully informed. The potential negative effects on the brain, heart, and overall quality and quantity of life, as well as treatment failure, should be weighed against the immediate risk of recurrence.

However, in making a treatment decision, it is most important to speak with an oncologist who is fully aware of the limitations and potential negative effects of these drugs and who is prepared to discuss alternative options. It is equally important to educate yourself on natural alternatives as typically these options are not discussed by medical doctors.

Important is to realize that in the presence of adequate progesterone, estrogen cannot easily fuel breast cancer tumors.[vi] Perhaps for now, a better solution is to make every effort to reduce aromatase activity and to increase production of progesterone.

Progesterone may also be the answer to why AIs seem to work for some.  I could postulate that the answer again might be progesterone, especially for those patients who are PR + as well as ER+, but that is just one possibility.

For more information regarding consideration of natural alternatives, please read:

Natural Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer  

Why You May Want to Reconsider Estrogen-Blocking Aromatase Inhibitors and Tamoxifen 

* The CYP19A1 gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called aromatase. This enzyme converts a class of hormones called androgens, which are involved in male sexual development, to different forms of the female sex hormone estrogen. Mutations in this gene can result in either increased or decreased aromatase activity.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo anti-hormone therapy. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist and make your own decisions.  The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence. 

ej portrait 150resElyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

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[i] https://www.nature.com/articles/ng.3773   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5326683/

[ii]

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_23-1-2017-16-57-16

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2017-01-24-new-insights-into-why-breast-cancer-drugs-fail-for-some-women/

[iv] https://www.nature.com/articles/ng.3773

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2974128/

[vi]  http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/45/1/277.short

 

Why You May Want to Reconsider Estrogen-Blocking Aromatase Inhibitors and Tamoxifen

In Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors, Uncategorized on November 7, 2017 at 9:50 am

The current oncological recommendations for anti-hormone therapy (endocrine therapy) for postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer vary. Some oncologists recommend aromatase inhibitors for five years, with tamoxifen to follow and some the reverse, and some just one or the other. However, the recommendations rarely take into consideration risk of prior cardiovascular disease history, cardiovascular disease risk, or overall risk of death when choosing between the different therapeutic options. (For premenopausal women, the standard is usually tamoxifen, with little attention to risk factors for blood clots, stroke, and endometrial cancer.)  Importantly, while both therapies can prolong disease-free survival, they don’t necessarily increase overall survival.

In the discussion of adjuvant endocrine therapy, doctors downplay the fact that aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are associated with musculoskeletal symptoms, heart damage, osteoporosis, and increased risk of bone fracture. Estrogen protects against heart disease, and consistent research has suggested that the suppression of estrogen raises the risk of cardiovascular disease, among other life-challenging issues. AI treatment reduces nearly all circulating estrogen. Estrogen is essential to the health of all parts of your body, from your eyes to your heart to your brain to everywhere else.

Many doctors also fail to stress that tamoxifen is associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer, stroke, deep venous thrombosis (blood clots), and severe muscle pain. They also fail to inform their patients that while both therapies can prolong disease-free survival, they rarely increase overall survival—especially in the case of aromatase inhibitors. All this at a tremendous cost to quality of life.

Tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors have distinct toxicity profiles. However, individual studies have not shown a significant difference in overall toxicity between patients treated with these therapies. The lack of association between disease-free survival and overall survival prompted a 2011 meta-analysis published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study evaluated the toxicities of the two endocrine therapy options.

The Research:

The meta-analysis confirmed that an aromatase inhibitor (AI) may not the best therapy for all postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor positive, early-stage, breast cancer. The authors conducted the study to clarify why AIs, when compared with tamoxifen, increased disease-free survival but not overall survival. AI toxicities were suspected to counteract decreased recurrence rates.[i] However, as presented in the analysis, tamoxifen wasn’t necessarily safer than AIs, so the authors concluded that switching from tamoxifen to AIs would  balance the efficacy and toxicity of these treatments. What this means to you is that they are recommending that you ‘switch’ from one drug to another after a few years to reduce toxicity–but that also means you suffer the consequences of both drugs.

The authors noted that although several large randomized trials have examined the benefit of the aromatase inhibitors anastrozole, letrozole, and exemestane — as compared with 5 years of tamoxifen — the trials have failed to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in overall survival.

The Methods:

Relevant trials were identified through a search of the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases, a search of the American Society of Oncology Annual Meetings from 2000 through 2009, and a search of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Annual Meetings from 2000 through 2009. 377 relevant articles were identified, of which 7 randomized controlled phase-3 trials with 30,023 patients met inclusion criteria.

The analysis considered six adverse events: cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, venous thrombosis (DVT), bone fracture, endometrial cancer, and other secondary cancers.

The Highlights: (Noting that longer duration of one therapy implies a shorter duration of the other)

  • Longer duration of AI use was associated with higher odds of developing cardiovascular disease.
  • Longer duration of AIs was associated with a 66% reduction in the odds of developing endometrial cancer compared with tamoxifen use.
  • Both AIs and tamoxifen increase the risk of other second cancers, but switching from tamoxifen to aromatase inhibitors may decrease the odds of second cancers.
  • Longer durations of aromatase inhibitor use were associated with decreased odds of venous thrombosis compared with tamoxifen.
  • Longer durations of AIs were associated with increased odds of bone fractures compared with tamoxifen.
  • Longer durations of AI use was associated with a statistically significant increase in the risk of raised cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia. Shorter durations of AIs might reduce the odds of high cholesterol.
  • The relative harm of 2 to 3 years of tamoxifen was not reduced by switching to aromatase inhibitors.
  • Compared with those treated with 5 years of either tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors, those treated with a switching strategy had a statistically lower risk of death without breast cancer recurrence.
  • A retrospective cohort study of women diagnosed with breast cancer at age 66 or older between 1992 and 2000 found that more patients died of cardiovascular disease than of breast cancer.[ii] The researchers recommended that the age of the patient be taken into consideration when choosing between endocrine therapies (or in this author’s opinion, instead offering holistic alternatives).

While the study was performed to compare the two conventional treatment options, sadly they did not simultaneously compare the effectiveness of natural alternatives. Again, use of aromatase inhibitors vs tamoxifen is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, severe muscle and joint aches, and bone fractures. Use of tamoxifen vs aromatase inhibitors is associated with increased risk for venous thrombosis, stroke, and endometrial cancer. Clearly both of these toxic therapies cause harm, often more harm than good — even if one does switch from one therapy to the other.

Other Reasons for Opting Out in Favor of Natural Alternatives:

  • A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2016, reported that women in their 40’s with chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea should avoid aromatase inhibitors. Many women who have ceased menstruating post-chemo later recover ovarian function. What the researchers found was that ovarian estrogen production will decrease the effectiveness of AI therapy and that the therapy could actually stimulate ovarian production of estrogen. Unfortunately, the researchers concluded that the way to prevent this would be to shut down ovarian function as well as to offer tamoxifen.  [iii]
  • A study reported at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in 2106 reported that endothelial dysfunction, a predictor of cardiac disease, is a significant side effect of AI therapy among postmenopausal women, posing the problem again — that while the therapy may inhibit recurrence, it does not improve overall survival time.[iv] Estradiol appears to be important for regulating healthy endothelial function.
  • Endogenous estrogen (the estrogen your body produces) is neuroprotective. The breadth of literature on the role of estrogen in cognitive function is vast. Many women will attest to the fact that peak cognitive function corresponds with cyclic changes in circulating estrogen during their menstrual cycle.
  • Estrogen has also been found to suppress the inflammatory processes that contribute to neurodegeneration as well as to improve stroke outcome.[v] It is well documented that women are ‘protected’ against stroke until menopause, when estrogen levels decline.
  • Numerous studies have shown that beyond the aforementioned complications, tamoxifen can increase the risk of developing liver cancer and raises overall inflammation of the body, a known precursor to cancer.
  • A study reported at the San Antonino Breast Cancer Symposium 2016 looked at endothelial dysfunction, a predictor of cardiac disease.  Interestingly, they determined that the vast majority of participants who had increased cardiac risk after taking AI therapy would not have been considered at risk pre-treatment. The study indicated that the cancer benefit may not be worth the cardiac risk, both for younger and older patients.
  • Also reported at the 2016 Symposium was that AIs, associated with reductions in endothelial function, could contribute to cardiovascular disease independent of the duration of therapy.

With a growing number of cancer survivors, it is very important that we look to understand the long-term complications of conventional cancer treatment. Most postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer are at greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than their breast cancer. Further, they are at greater risk of a significant reduction in quality and quantity of life from the other overwhelming effects of conventional treatments in general.  Even worse, most doctors don’t even bother to run hormone level tests–they simply prescribe the harmful drugs. Clearly, the current toxic anti-hormonal therapies cause harm, often more harm than good. The question to be asked is ‘is it worth it?”

But, my doctor says they work:

Research published in 2106 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology analyzed the information collected for the BIG 1-98 study that was designed to see whether AIs or tamoxifen was most effective. The study was rather useless—all it managed to say was that the treatments were so toxic that most women were either non-compliant or discontinued treatment due to the side effects. Sure can’t blame them. Again, while these treatments can prolong disease-free survival, they do not always prolong overall survival. This study made no mention of those who died without recurrence (meaning from treatment-induced effects). [vi] It also made no mention of safer alternatives, and likely instilled more unnecessary fear-based compliance out of those who read the study.

If your reason for reading this article was your desire for natural alternatives to anti-hormone therapy, please readNatural Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo anti-hormone therapy. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist and make your own decisions.  The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence. 

ej portrait 150resElyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Follow Elyn on Facebook

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[i] https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/756567

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21689398?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn ; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16944964

[iii] http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2015.62.2985?rss=1

[iv] http://www.pnas.org/content/108/47/18879

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9445346

http://www.pnas.org/content/108/47/18879.full.pdf

[vi] http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2015.63.8619

http://www.mdedge.com/oncologypractice/article/119926/breast-cancer/aromatase-inhibitor-effect-endothelial-function-may

 

 

 

 

Bone Broth: Elixir to Health

In Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Bone Health Cancer Treatments, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Uncategorized on November 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm

broth mastersThere are so many health benefits to bone broth. It is loaded with calcium, protein, potassium, collagen, and amino acids. But the benefits go beyond this.  Bone broth has been found to reduce inflammation as it is high in sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s) and glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which numerous studies have found help reduce inflammation (and pain) in the body.

All said, bone broth is powerful nutrition for anyone struggling with the side effects of conventional cancer treatment. Soothing to the throat and nourishing to the body.

The gelatin in bone broth supports healthy digestion. Importantly, bone broth helps repair the lining of your gut, which is something we hear about all of the time now.  Gut health=overall health. Leaky gut is the root cause of autoimmune disorders and many cancers.

You can make your own bone broth quite easily. Simply put the desired bones (chicken, beef, or a combination of both) into a pot; add some apple cider vinegar and let sit for about an hour. Add water to cover the bones, add a bunch of chopped vegetables and Celtic sea salt and boil. (You can google a plethora of recipes).  The problem for most of us is that you have to simmer this concoction for 24-72 hours, which can be an issue.

Hence, most of us resort to store-bought versions, which lack nutrients and taste. Some are down-right unhealthy, containing pesticides, fungicides, fluoride, and more.

This weekend I attended a wellness conference geared towards optimal health for all. I was gifted the opportunity to taste the best bone broth ever.  So, if you don’t have the time or desire to make your own, please know that Broth Masters broth is amazing. The combination of chicken and beef bones combined with the vegetables boosts the flavor.

I am not a fan of selling anything, but these folks are lovely—health conscious right down to the bone (pun intended).  However, right now if you use the code BROTH4LIFE you can receive $10 off your first order and if you buy a 20-pack, you get free shipping. Bon Appetit.

brothmasters photoOrder Broth Masters HERE.

Ingredients: Filtered water, grass fed beef bones, free range chicken bones, organic onions, organic carrots, organic celery, garlic, lemon juice, organic parsley and bay leaves.

Nutrition: (per cup, according to Broth Master independent studies)

  • 30% of your daily calcium requirement
  • 14 grams protein and only 80 calories
  • 290 mg potassium
  • 150 mg of sodium

 

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

 Follow Elyn on LinkedIn

 

Cauliflower Black Beluga Lentil Stew

In Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Uncategorized on November 5, 2017 at 6:58 pm

This cauliflower-black lentil stew is so delicious — please try it as it is loaded with health-promoting ingredients. It is so versatile. Today I did not have sweet potatoes or spinach on hand so I used carrots and watercress–but I did have both white and purple cauliflower, which was amazing. Other times I used the sweet potatoes and spinach. Always delicious.

cauliflower black lentilCauliflower-Black Lentil Stew:

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee

1 large onion, diced, or 4 shallots, sliced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, or 1 tsp dried

1-2 tablespoons curry powder or turmeric, to taste

1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

4 cups chicken bone broth or vegetable stock

1 cup black beluga lentils (red lentils may be substituted)

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

1 medium sweet potato, diced but not peeled (optional)

3 large carrots, sliced but not peeled,  3/4 inch thick (optional, but best to include either carrot or sweet potato or both)

3 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick (optional, but provides valuable anti-cancer apigenin)

1 cup baby spinach, arugula, or other green leafy vegetable, chopped if large leaves

1 teaspoon fine-grain Celtic sea salt (or Real Salt)

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 avocado, optional, skin and seed removed, diced, or 1 tsp olive oil

Serves 4

Serve with Super Seed Bread or Flax Seed Muffins

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil or ghee over low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 6-7 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté 1 more minute
  2. Stir in the spices and sauté for 2 more minutes
  3. Add the broth and lentils and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes
  4. Add the cauliflower, sweet potato and/or carrot, and celery. Cover and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Add the greens of choice and cook 3-5 minutes more, depending on the toughness of the greens
  6. Stir in cilantro; divide into 4 bowls
  7. Drizzle with olive or or top with diced avocado, if desired (the healthy fat will boost absorption of nutrients)

 

Why You Should Eat This: (beyond tempting your taste buds):

Cauliflower contains a variety of antioxidants that protect and repair DNA. It also exhibits strong anti-inflammatory activity that help detoxify the body of harmful toxins.

Onions and shallots have many anticancer benefits, offering potent antioxidant and anti-proliferation apoptotic abilities.

Garlic protects organs from heavy metal toxicity and contains the anticancer powerhouse B6.

Carrots reduce cancer growth and lower inflammation

Celery is rich in apigenin, which induces apoptosis through the p53 pathway

Sweet potatoes have many anticancer properties that dramatically lower one’s risk for breast and other cancers.

Ceylon cinnamon has cytotoxic properties (toxic to cancer cells) and helps regulate blood sugar

Curcumin (turmeric) is a powerful anti-inflammatory, anticancer spice that cuts off many pathways for cancer

Cumin is rich in antioxidants and is a natural immunity booster

Black beluga lentils are a rich source of plant protein and have high concentration of cancer-fighting anthocyanins

Spinach gives cancer the one-two punch. It protects DNA and inhibits cancer cell and tumor growth.

Cilantro is a strong detoxifier of heavy metals such a mercury

Avocado and olive oil offer significant anti-cancer, health-boosting nutrients

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Vitamin D Better than Aromatase Inhibitors

In Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Uncategorized on October 1, 2017 at 9:49 am

Pretty much every medical journal has posted research associating high vitamin D levels with a reduced risk of many cancers. Recent research, however, takes things a step further by showing that vitamin D actually reduces circulating estrogen levels, which has been found to reduce breast cancer risk and the progression of the dis-ease.  Excitingly, this may offer women an safer alternative to aromatase inhibitors.

Research done in 2016 at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that those with the greatest increase in vitamin D blood levels had the greatest reductions in blood estrogens. The randomized, controlled, clinical trial involved over 200 women who had insufficient D levels.  At the end of the year-long study, those whose D levels rose the highest had a corresponding reduction in estrogen levels. This study suggests that vitamin D supplementation may be a practical alternative to estrogen-lowering drugs, such as aromatase inhibitors.

Studies also show that natural progesterone offsets the effects of estrogen, and in doing so, reduces cancer risk. This is because progesterone hinders the growth of cancer cells, sort of putting the brakes on estrogen. However, it has been found that a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone.

Importantly, both progesterone and vitamin D regulate gene expression, and both have a positive fundamental effect on cell differentiation and growth, with anti-oxidative and autoimmune anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Therefore, it is important to maintain adequate levels of both progesterone and vitamin D.

Unfortunately, while natural progesterone has an anticancer effect, synthetic progesterone (found in birth control pills and hormone replacement supplements) does not. This is because unlike natural progesterone, synthetic versions do not stimulate activation of the P53 gene [i] (which is the tumor-suppressor gene involved that protects cells from becoming cancerous and orders damaged cells to self-destruct)), and as such, have not been found to inhibit cancer development.

If present, synthetic progesterone will occupy the progesterone receptors, preventing natural progesterone from occupying those receptors. In order for natural progesterone to facilitate the production of P53, it must attach itself to progesterone receptors. If synthetic progesterone (again, which does not stimulate the production of P53) is present on the receptors, natural progesterone will not be able to occupy the receptors. For more information on P53, please click HERE. For a deeper understanding of progesterone, please read my article The Truth About Progesterone and Breast Cancer.

Recent research shows (and this author believes) that blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml  and not the 30ng/ml most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose required may well be 5000iu’s per day, although the latest research indicates it could be more like 10,000iu’s per day (I personally require even more than that).

Some doctors warn of toxicity risk but studies have found that even an intake of up to 40,000iu’s vitamin D per day is unlikely to result in vitamin D toxicity. [ii]  Just be sure to drink plenty of clean water and consume a healthy diet, which I recommend anyway. Despite the fact that more people are now taking vitamin D supplements, it’s rare to find someone with very high blood levels of this vitamin.

Cholesterol’s Role

Both progesterone and vitamin D3 are manufactured from cholesterol. Progesterone is primarily produced by the adrenals and ovaries. Vitamin D3 is made by the action of UVB sunlight as it strikes the cholesterol covering our skin—assuming you have not doused yourself with chemical or even non-chemical sunscreen. The moral of the story, as they say, is not to be so aggressive in reducing healthy cholesterol, and you might consider leaving the sunscreen home.

While vitamin D shows promise in the efforts to lower estrogen, please know that there are many natural substances that can be employed. It would be my recommendation not to rely solely on vitamin D, but rather to devise a comprehensive plan.  This is especially true as many people don’t actually have high estrogen levels, but rather are deficient in progesterone (and therefore are still estrogen dominant). For more information on natural approaches to anti-hormone therapy, please click HERE.

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

ej portrait 150resElyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Follow Elyn on Facebook

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[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21378345

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882298/

Cancer-Busting Sweet Potato Salad

In Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Uncategorized on September 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Sweet potatoes are delicious, satisfying, and easy to prepare.  Looking for a great tail-gate recipe? Try this cancer-fighting dish that will be sure to wow your taste buds and your friends.

Ingredients

3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 or 4 medium), peeled and cut into ½- 3/4

inch chunks

3 Tablespoons organic red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind zest (a microplane grater works well for this)

1 scallion, sliced on a diagonal

Course Celtic sea salt

¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

1 scallion, dark part only, sliced diagonally or 3 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish

Preparation

  • Bring a large pot of filtered water to a boil; add potatoes. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain.
  • Whisk vinegar, zest, juice, scallion and ¾ tsp salt. Slowly add and whisk in oil.  Season with pepper.  Toss and chill. Garnish with sliced scallions or chopped chives.

Why eat it? Check out what it has to offer you….

Sweet potatoes have many health benefits. They are high in various B vitamins as well as vitamins A, C, and D. They also offer potassium and magnesium. Sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids, powerful antioxidants which protect our eyes and boost immunity.

Notably, despite being “sweet”, sweet potatoes do not cause blood sugar spikes. Their natural sugars are slowly released into the blood stream.

Orange zest –the oils from orange zest are anti-fungal, immune boosting, antibacterial, and offer many anticancer properties.  Numerous studies have found that the d-limonene in orange oil inhibits the growth of cancerous cells.

Scallions are loaded with vitamin A and contain flavonoids that act as antioxidants (such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and carotenes) which work together to protect the body against various cancers.

Chives—compounds in chives reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body.  Such molecules are involved in the onset of various cancers. Studies have shown that regular consumption of chives (a member of the allium family) reduces risk of stomach, breast, prostate and many other cancers.

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

ej portrait 150resElyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

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Health Benefits of Aronia Berries

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, colon cancer, Uncategorized on July 11, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Aronia berries, also known as chokeberries, have numerous healing abilities. Notably, they have a higher concentration of antioxidants than any other fruit, beating out cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, pomegranate, and others. Antioxidants protect your cells from the damaging effects of oxidation, boosting health and helping to protect against cancer. Certain agents in aronia, such as caffeic acid, cyanidin-3-galactoside, delphinidin, epicatechin, and malvidin have been studied for their health-promoting properties.  Combined, these agents are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antidiabetic. But, there is so much more to these dark pigmented berries.

Here are just some of the amazing health benefits of aronia Berries:

  • Promote good urinary tract health, which means less urinary tract infections (UTIs);
  • Lower cardiovascular risk as they improve blood circulation and make blood vessels stronger. They improve elasticity of blood vessels and prevent their clogging, fight the formation of arterial plaque, and lower cholesterol;
  • Help balance blood pressure;
  • Help prevent and treat diabetes as they have been found to lower blood sugar levels and improve the body’s own natural production of insulin;
  • Help with gut issues, including gastric ulcers and diarrhea
  • Help reduce weight and body fat;
  • And, last but not least, aronia berries are anti-cancer.

Several of the compounds in aronia are natural cancer fighters, especially against cancer of the breast, bladder, stomach, colon, lungs, ovaries, and skin. One study even found that when paired with curcumin, aronia could kill brain cancer cells. Researchers have found that these amazing berries slow the growth of cancer cells. Some studies also show that not only was growth slowed, but cancer cells were killed.[i]

The phenols in aronia berries (particularly proanthocyanins and anthocyanins) also disinfect the bloodstream and remove toxic substances from the body. Aronia has been found to help with herpes, and thus could be effective against the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) as well. EBV is known to be connected to the development of various cancers.

In one study, Caco-2 colon cells exposed to chokeberry resulted in a dramatic reduction in proliferation (30-40%) and viability was inhibited by around 20%.  A positive change in gene expression was also noted. The genes that changed were found to be ones related to cell proliferation, tumor migration, and colon carcinogenesis. [ii] Another study also found that aronia can up-regulate tumor suppressor genes for colon cancer.[iii]

Unfortunately, aronia berries do not taste very good.  They are sour and taste a bit like cranberries. But, the good news is that aronia is naturally pest-resistant and therefore, does not require the use of agricultural toxins.  What that means to you is you may not need to worry about unhealthy chemicals in the fruit. The berries themselves are more powerful than just the juice, so it is best to choose fresh or dried berries if you can find them. You can buy them in powder and supplement form as well.

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

ej portrait 150resElyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

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[i] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6954696.stm

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2474921/

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=16860979

 

 

Is it Safe to Drink Alcohol if You Have Cancer?

In Breast Cancer, Cancer, Uncategorized on March 28, 2017 at 4:15 pm

We all know that chronic, excessive alcohol consumption can dramatically raise one’s risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases. Cancer patients typically make some major lifestyle changes to increase their survival—and often this includes cutting back on (or eliminating) alcohol consumption. For many, this is very difficult, just as smoking and/or sweets are hard for others to eliminate.

But, all too often I find myself wondering if my clients are trying too hard to be healthy. I talk and talk about healthy habits, food choices, vitamins, and nutritional supplements. Eat this, not that, drink this, not that, etc. However, sometimes I feel like I forget to stress hard enough the need to enjoy life.
Healing from cancer can be hard; staying healthy can be even harder, as our motivation wanes. So just to be very clear — eat the cake; drink the wine; go on the trip; buy the dress—wear the dress. Life is too short to put happiness on hold.

While I really do not advise making a daily trip to the bakery, an occasional piece of birthday cake just isn’t going to matter. In fact, it will bring essential joy as you celebrate your or a loved one’s birthday. We know that sugar feeds cancer, but these days, so does everything else, so it seems — so an occasional treat is not all that bad.

As for alcohol consumption, we know that drinking in moderation is good for the heart—and can be good for the soul. Studies show that light to moderate drinkers are more social, which has a positive effect on longevity.

But what about alcohol and cancer?

When alcohol breaks down, it is converted into acetaldehyde, a toxin which damages DNA and hinders the cell mechanisms that would ordinarily repair it. Acetaldehyde also produces harmful free radicals that increase inflammation—cancer’s friend.

wine 3Thankfully, there are ways to help alleviate the potential harm. Therefore, while excessive consumption of alcohol undeniably damages the body, you don’t have to give it up completely. If you enjoy the pleasures of social or moderate drinking, you can help neutralize alcohol’s toxic effects by consuming certain nutrients and phytonutrients.

Further, should your preference be wine, it is good to know that red wine (and to some extent, white) contains some powerful anticancer nutrients, making it actually somewhat protective against cancer!

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to remind you of the perils of drinking alcohol and to educate you on ways to minimize the risks of alcohol consumption so that you can still enjoy it without so much guilt. After all, we know that stress and deprivation are not good for anyone — certainly not someone who has beaten cancer only to end up depressed. A glass or two of red wine now and then can be a very nice social experience and can be quite enjoyable–and healthful–just don’t over-do it.

The Skinny on the Vinnie…

Wine is good for the heart and may actually inhibit the development of certain cancers, including breast cancer. Interestingly, red wine is a good source of folate, biotin, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, magnesium, and other important anticancer nutrients, so in itself, it is part of the solution.

The resveratrol in red wine has potent antioxidant and anti-cancer effects, suppressing the production of inflammatory cytokines as it protects, and even repairs damaged DNA – healing the injury before it can result in cancerous changes. Resveratrol also provides cardiovascular benefits by reducing LDL cholesterol and decreasing the stickiness of blood platelets.

Some studies have credited resveratrol with blocking the development of cancer at multiple stages – from tumor initiation through promotion and progression. Of course, in my humble opinion, you would have to overindulge to get enough resveratrol to effectively block cancer, and clearly that is not a good idea. Still, it is comforting to know that you will get some benefits from the resveratrol.

The quercetin in red wine also protects DNA in cells because it collects around the nucleus of cells offering powerful anti-oxidant protection. It prevents tumor cell growth and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It also stimulates liver function to detoxify estrogen and other carcinogenic agents, helping to remove them from the body.

Quercetin also binds to excess iron in your body. It removes it from tissues, and prevents its absorption. This process is called chelation. This is critical as iron can be a key ingredient in cancer cell growth. Quercetin has the ability to steal the iron from cancer cells which can stop their growth and induce cell death.

In summary, red wine is loaded with polyphenols, which can do a body good. That said, please limit consumption and be sure to consume adequate helper nutrients, which will be discussed below. Also, while the focus on this article is wine, the nutrients below will help protect you should wine not be your cocktail of choice.
Lastly, given that you would never eat conventional grapes laden with pesticides, please consider organic wines and spirits. Likely too you have seen some of the resent research indicating that organic wines from California are laced with pesticides. While this is true, this is also true of most organic crops from California and Mexico. Local organic is better, and wine from small vineyards that do not require pesticide use and which are irrigated with clean water are also a good option.

Anti-Alcohol Substances:
In general, protective components are carotene (think carrots), folate (B9), niacin (B3), vitamins B6, B1, C, D, E, and a few others in smaller amounts. A diet that includes foods rich in the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene can promote a healthy inflammatory response in the body. In addition, lycopene, ursolic acid, lutein, and other phytochemicals in plant foods can provide protection. Herbs and spices including turmeric and ginger are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

I also recommend eating Brazil nuts or taking supplemental selenium as selenium levels tend to be reduced in people who drink alcohol regularly. Importantly, a deficiency of selenium can significantly increase your risk for cancer. Having a high-fiber snack with your cocktail is also a good idea.

Highlighting B Vitamins:

Acetaldehyde depletes cells of vitamin B-6 – a nutrient needed to prevent dangerous oxidation. Again, the body converts alcohol into DNA-destroying acetaldehyde, a carcinogen in the same family as formaldehyde. Acetaldehyde also interferes with the actions of folic acid and can lead to folate deficiency in heavy drinkers. Folate deficiency can impair the body’s ability to suppress cancer genes called proto-oncogenes.

A note on folic acid—research indicates that women who drink alcohol in moderation and have a high folate intake may not be at any higher risk of some breast cancers than those who abstain from alcohol. But when it comes to folic acid, go for the real thing– you can find it in abundance in citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans, and peas, and yes, red wine—all in the form of natural folate, which is much safer than synthetic folic acid (please don’t depend on the folate in wine…you need much more). If you take a supplement, be sure it is folate, not folic acid.

Acetaldehyde also robs the cells of Vitamin B-1, or thiamine. Experts say it is often thiamine deficiency – rather than the toxic metabolites of alcohol – that causes the brain degeneration associated with alcoholics.

Vitamin C is key in preventing oxidative damage caused by alcohol:

Alcohol depletes vitamin C, a vitamin that helps defend the body from alcohol damage. This potent antioxidant protects brain cells against the toxic effects of alcohol, and helps control brain levels of pro-inflammatory substances which are increased by alcohol and its toxic metabolites. Vitamin C also helps to regenerate vitamin E, which helps protect the brain and liver from the aging process. Therefore, supplemental C can be very helpful.

Antioxidants are called free radical scavengers because they neutralize free radicals in the body. An antioxidant such a vitamin C can donate electrons to the free radical, thus stopping the free radical from stealing another electron. To explain, antioxidants prevent oxidation damage by donating electrons to replace those lost to oxidation. This process of providing electrons is the reverse of oxidation and is called reduction. Our tissues maintain a controlled balance of reduction and oxidation, known as the ‘redox state’. Cells produce antioxidants and antioxidant electrons continuously in order to prevent oxidation damage.

Glutathione

Acetaldehyde from alcohol also depletes necessary glutathione, causing dramatic reductions in the body’s natural defense systems. Glutathione is the body’s ‘master antioxidant’. It binds to toxins and promotes their excretion via the bile and urine. N-acetylcysteine, or NAC, binds acetaldehyde, neutralizing its damaging effects, and replenishes glutathione levels in tissues.

NAC is also used for preventing alcohol- related liver damage and to combat toxicity from Tylenol use. It does this so effectively that it is used in conventional medicine – along with vitamin C – to treat acetaminophen overdoses.

NAC is most helpful when taken immediately before alcohol ingestion – but it can also be used after indulging as well.

Love your liver…

Alcohol is tough on the liver, and you depend on your liver to remove toxins from the body. Green tea and silymarin (milk thistle) prevent damage to the liver by acting as an antioxidant and enhancing the detoxification process. Grape seed extract and barley grasses are also helpful.

Milk thistle, in particular, is a natural remedy for liver regeneration that is backed by considerable modern research. Long used by natural healers to support liver health and function, milk thistle helps promote the elimination of toxins –including those related to alcohol consumption. Studies have shown that milk thistle’s active constituent, silymarin, can enhance the immune system, fight inflammation, protect DNA, and help to alleviate alcohol-induced liver disease.

In cell studies, silymarin has been found to inhibit the conversion of ethanol to acetaldehyde, reduces liver cancer cell proliferation, stops the growth of blood vessels that nourish tumors, and promotes the regeneration of normal liver cells.

How much is too much? Most experts would say 1-2 drinks daily is okay. Don’t think because you abstain all week that you can have seven glasses of wine on Saturday night. Also, remember that the body needs time to metabolize each drink, so allow some time between that first and second cocktail. A good rule of thumb for alcohol consumption might be to avoid amounts that produce a hangover – for which acetaldehydes are primarily to blame.

Enjoy your wine if it brings you pleasure, but limit consumption and load up on the protective nutrients that may eliminate or reduce risk of cancers associated with drinking alcohol. Again, and this is very important– while there are clearly health benefits to drinking alcohol, moderation is imperative. The following is a great article that defines the pros and cons, especially the discussion on ethanol and methanol: Moderate Drinkers Live Longer than Non-Drinkers, Study Finds.

It is not my recommendation for you to use this information as a justification to start or continue drinking alcohol. There are many non-alcoholic sources of the anticancer nutrients mentioned above. Of course, it is good to know that there are certain nutrients and supplements that can help neutralize the damaging effects of alcohol should you choose to imbibe. My goal is simply to suggest that you not sweat everything, and that you spend time living, not just avoiding death.

Cheers!
Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

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Yes, You Can Give Up Gluten and Have Your Pizza Too!

In Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Uncategorized on March 14, 2017 at 9:20 am

These days, it seems the vast majority of Americans have some sort of intolerance to gluten, whether or not they have any obvious symptoms.  But you have cancer, I strongly suggest you consider giving it up.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains. While it has long been a mainstay in American diets, it could spell trouble for you if you have cancer or an otherwise compromised immune system.  In fact, it could be problematic even if you don’t, as it has been found to significantly hinder the availability of nutrients from food.

Plus, often it isn’t actually the gluten itself that is the problem. There are other compounds in wheat as well that provide fuel for pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, which in turn gives rise to all sorts of symptoms. For example, grains often bear the blame for chronic inflammation.  However, often it is not the grain itself that is the problem, but rather the mycotoxins (toxic substances produced by fungi that can infect grain crops) on the grains that is the problem, especially if you have an autoimmune disorder.  What is really happening is that people with autoimmune disorders have viruses and or other pathogens in their bodies, and those bugs feed on the mycotoxins, in the process creating neurotoxins that cause inflammation.

Of course, if you know that you’re free of pathogens, then it might be fine to eat wheat — but I would not take the chance if you have cancer or an autoimmune disorder.

Besides, most wheat is now GMO, and even when not, it is important to know that wheat fields in the United States are sprayed with Roundup a few days before harvesting in order to maximize the harvest.

You don’t have to give up good food….

pizza with mustard greens and arugulaAs a native New Yorker, I love pizza.  But having gone gluten-free a few years ago, I had to give it up, or so I thought. For months, I considered some of the gluten-free crusts I read about in cooking and health magazines.  None seems to replicate my beloved pizza, but then again, I was too stubborn to give them a try. If you read my article Food Fatigue, you will see that I finally took the plunge and actually found a recipe that worked for me.  (Note: Miss you lots Tami, so grateful we had that evening together).

There are a lot of gluten-free pizza recipes out there, but I am sharing some of my favorites. (For more recipes and healthy reasons to enjoy pizza, visit the link above).

Awesome Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

1 generous cup riced or grated cauliflower

1 pastured organic egg

Generous pinch of Celtic sea salt (about ¼ tsp)

Flaxseed: freshly ground and up to 4 Tbsp

Dried oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary*

pinch cayenne, if desired

1 cup tapioca or garbanzo bean flour

¼ cup olive oil

Reserved cooking water

Toppings of choice

Recipe:Pizza slice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Cauliflower rice: you will need about one cup

In a small covered saucepan, steam the cauliflower over low heat in a very small amount of water (less than ¼ cup).

Drain, reserving about 1-2 Tbsp water. Spoon cauliflower onto a clean dishtowel and press out the remaining water. (While recommended, you can skip this step,  but be sure to drain completely)

Mix the egg with the cauliflower, salt, and ground flax. Add 1 Tbsp each dried basil, oregano, and thyme. Grind between fingers a tsp of dried rosemary. (While fresh is an option for the herbs, dried works best in order to keep the crust flaky and crisp). Add the tapioca flour, mixing it until thoroughly incorporated.  Add the olive oil and 1 Tbsp of the reserved water (save the rest in case you need it).  Mix just a bit with a spoon, then mix by hand to create a dough; shape into a ball.  The dough can be made ahead of time to be used in up to two days.

Place the dough directly onto a floured pizza stone or on a piece of parchment paper or in-between two pieces of parchment paper.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out either into a circle or rectangle, to the thickness of ¼”.  You can do this directly on the stone or on the paper—if directly on the stone, rub some extra flour onto the rolling pin to prevent sticking.  If using parchment on both sides, peel off one side and turn onto stone.  Peel off remaining piece of paper.

Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and place on stove-top.

Top with your choice of sauce, cheese, vegetables, and fresh herbs. Bake until cheese is bubbling and the crust is lightly brown.

(If you wish, you can chop small kale leaves or baby greens such as micro mustard greens and toss them with a bit of olive oil or melted ghee (which can handle high heat). Add this on top of the sauce, as I did this time, before the cheese.)

Remove from the oven and let sit a few minutes.  Top with broccoli or watercress sprouts and/or baby arugula.  Cut into eights with a pizza cutter or knife.  Enjoy!

*I use 1 Tbsp each dried oregano and basil, and 1 tsp each dried thyme and rosemary, crumbled.

If you prefer a lighter crust, you can omit the flaxseed, but if you have breast cancer or are looking to avoid it, it might be best to include it. For more information on this, please click HERE and HERE. You may also prefer to swap the tapioca flour with garbanzo bean flour as while gluten-free, tapioca flour (starch) can still raise glucose levels.

You can also make pizza without any flour at all:

 Cauliflower Minis:

Mix together the following:

1 head cauliflower, riced

2 large eggs

¼ cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup tapioca flour (or substitute grated mozzarella cheese)

3 Tbsp fine chopped basil or 1 Tbsp dried

1 Tbsp dried oregano

Dash cayenne pepper

Generous pinch coarse Celtic sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

Top minis with:

Marinara sauce

Cheese (raw cow or goat cheese is fine; no commercial cheese or soy cheeses; soy cheese is a highly processed, toxic ‘non-food’ and should be avoided.)

Other toppings of choice, chopped small

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add egg, cheese, flour, spices, salt and peppers.

Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake until golden, 20 min.

Top each ‘pizza’ with a thin layer of sauce, mozzarella or other cheese and bake until cheese melts, about 5 or 6 minutes.

Garnish with additional chopped basil, chopped broccoli or watercress sprouts, or crushed red pepper flakes

Enjoy!

For more Pizza recipes, please click HERE:

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

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Broccoli and Watercress Sprouts Fight Cancer

In Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Cancer, Uncategorized on February 27, 2017 at 9:43 am

It is well known that cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and watercress contain powerful anticancer compounds. But did you know that eating their respective sprouts can supercharge the health benefits? In sprout form these little three to four day old plants contain almost 100 times the level of cancer-fighting sulforaphane than the mature plants. The phytonutrients in these sprouts upregulate antioxidant enzymes and detoxification processes which clear toxic compounds from the body. And, that is just the beginning—read on to find out how sprouts knock the socks off cancer.

 What’s in a Sprout

Isothiocyanates (ITCs), such as sulforaphane, are sulfur-containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables. They support matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity which reduces the breakdown of connective tissue within a cell that impede the expansion of existing tumors. Matrix MMP-9 plays important roles in tumor invasion and angiogenesis. Secretion of MMP-9 has been reported in various cancer types including lung, colon, and breast cancer.

ITCs also kill off cancer cells, including cancer stem cells, which is essential for combating cancer metastases. Isothiocyanates restrain certain pro-inflammatory compounds that are associated with chronic inflammation and cancer.

The ITC sulforaphane helps support the anti-inflammatory Nrf2 pathway which protects cells against oxidative and free radical activity. It supports the detoxification process by inducing Phase 2 detoxification enzymes, inhibiting the activation of pro-carcinogens, and  by boosting cellular glutathione levels.  Sulforaphane promotes cancer cell death and inhibits cancer cell proliferation. It also supports the immune system and in particular, increases Natural Killer Cell activity.

Sulforaphane also inhibits Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that increases one’s risk of stomach and colorectal cancer.  It is also anti-viral and has been found effective against the Epstein Barr Virus.

Quercetin, another potent antioxidant highly concentrated in sprouts, is a strong anti-inflammatory and prevents tumor cell growth.  It also aids in the removal of excess estrogen from the body — it stimulates liver function to detoxify estrogen and other carcinogenic agents.

Lutein is another powerful antioxidant that neutralizes cancer-causing free radicals (it is also essential for many things, including eye health, protecting against macular degeneration, and for maintaining strong eye tissue). Lutein (and zeaxanthin) may be beneficial to cardio health by preventing hardening of the arteries.

Glutathione has been labeled the ‘mother of all antioxidants” due to its incredible ability to disarm free radicals, detoxify the body, and boost the immune system.

Broccoli Sprouts

broccoli-sproutsBroccoli sprouts are extremely high in cancer fighting activity, particularly against lung, colon, and breast cancers. Compounds in broccoli speed up the removal of estrogen from the body, helping to suppress breast cancer. They also target cancer stem cells, the cells responsible for metastasis.

Broccoli sprouts contain a high amount of the cancer-busting and immune boosting substance sulforaphane. They are also abundant in quercetin, glutathione, beta carotene, indoles, vitamin C, lutein, glucarate, and the metabolic substance DIM, which is a natural aromatase inhibitor.

Broccoli sprouts are rich in cholesterol reducing fiber and have anti-viral and anti-ulcer activity. They are also a super source of chromium that helps regulate insulin and blood sugar.

 

Watercress Sproutswatercress-sprouts

Sometimes called peppergrass, watercress is delicious and pungent. It is also one of the most nutrient-dense foods known. It is rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids, including lutein. Watercress also offers significant quercetin, EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate), flavanols such a kaempferol, lycopene, idole-3 carbinol (13C), sulforaphane, as well as DIM. It is a good source of riboflavin, vitamin C, A and K, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, and contains trace amounts of omega 3’s. Watercress is one of the best food sources of iodine for vegans.

Watercress also contains a high amount of PEITC (phenylethylisothiocyanate) which has been shown to protect DNA from damage. PEITC reduces the growth of breast cancer cells, triggers apoptosis (cancer cell death), and decreases angiogenesis. It inhibits the growth of HER2 expression as well as cancer metastasis.

PEITC (also found in some other cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli) deactivates mutant p53 in tumor cells but leaves normal p53 alone. P53 regulates cell division by keeping cells from growing and dividing too fast or in an uncontrolled way. A mutation in p53 is a permanent change in the nucleotide sequence of DNA. Loss of p53 function can be deleterious, and about 50% of all human cancers have a mutated p53 gene.

Watercress has antioxidant, antigenotoxic (the process by which chemical agents damage genetic information within a cell causing mutations), and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies show that a regular intake of watercress has been associated with protection against breast, colon, and other cancers.

Watercress and broccoli affect all stages of cancer: initiation, proliferation, and metastasis. So, what’s not to love about these sprouts? Plus, it is a lot easier to consume a handful of sprouts than it is to down a pound and a half of broccoli or an enormous plate of watercress– which, for example,  is the amount it would take to get an equivalent amount of sulforaphane.

Add sprouts to your smoothies; use on sandwiches, on top of pizza, in salads, and as a garnish for soups. I make wonderful gluten-free pizza crusts using cauliflower or garbanzo bean flour, and pile the pizza high with arugula and sprouts just before serving.  Yum!

Just a reminder that while  eating cruciferous vegetables is a important for optimal health, it is necessary to have sufficient iodine in the diet when consuming high quantities  (including DIM).

Can’t find sprouts locally?  Grow your own–Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 days

Found this article helpful? Please let the elves know:

Thanks!

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

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carl-o-helvie-lung-cancer-book

You Can Beat Lung Cancer: Using Alternative Interventions

#1 Best Seller on Amazon for Lung Cancer Books