Saturated Fat, Trans-Fats, and Premature Death in Breast Cancer Survivors

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



SATURATED FAT, TRANS-FATS, AND

PREMATURE DEATH IN BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS

As I discuss in detail in my new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” obesity and increased dietary fat intake have both been linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer and other types of cancer.  Moreover, obesity and lack of exercise have also been clearly associated with an increased risk of recurrent breast cancer, and death due to breast cancer, among women who have previously been diagnosed with this common form of cancer.  However, the impact of diet, alone, on the risk of premature death among women previously diagnosed with breast cancer, has not been well studied.

However, a newly published clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the journal Breast Cancer Research & Treatment, strongly suggests that unhealthy dietary habits may significantly increase the risk of death in women who have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer.

In this prospectively conducted study, 4,441 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1987 and 1999 were followed for an average of 7 years, and were evaluated using a previously validated 126-item food frequency questionnaire that was administered immediately following the diagnosis of breast cancer.  The clinical outcomes of these 4,441 women were then adjusted for other known risk factors for breast cancer recurrence, including age at breast cancer diagnosis, menopausal status, smoking history, stage of breast cancer at diagnosis, alcohol intake history, prior use of hormone replacement therapy, obesity, and exercise history.  After these other known breast cancer recurrence factors were adjusted for, the impact of diet on death due to breast cancer recurrence, as well as death due to any cause, was then calculated.

When compared to women with the lowest average dietary intake of saturated fat, breast cancer survivors with the highest levels of intake of these unhealthy fats were 41 percent more likely to die from any cause during the course of this study.  Similarly, a high level of trans-fat intake was associated with a whopping 78 percent increase in the risk of death from any cause.  (While it failed to reach statistical significance in this relatively small prospective clinical study, an increased risk of death due to breast cancer recurrence was also associated with increasing levels of saturated fat and trans-fat intake, as well.)

 

In summary, this study of more than 4,000 breast cancer survivors revealed a striking increase in the risk of premature death among women who consumed large amounts of saturated fat and trans-fats in their diet.  Importantly, this increased risk of premature death was not limited to death caused by breast cancer recurrence, alone, but from multiple different causes of death.  Regarding the link between the intake of unhealthy fats and death due specifically to breast cancer recurrence, the same disturbing trend was observed, although this particular association did not quite reach accepted standards of statistical significance.  (A larger version of this study will, therefore, be necessary to tease out the relationship between unhealthy dietary fats and death due to breast cancer recurrence, specifically; although the findings of this relatively small prospective clinical study are suggestive that such a link likely exists.)

 

For a complete discussion of the impact of diet, including dietary fats, on cancer risk, and the role of diet and healthy fats in cancer prevention, as well as other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

 

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books!  On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list! 



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:   Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





 

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Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Obesity and Weight Loss

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID, OBESITY AND WEIGHT LOSS

Alpha-lipoic acid plays a very important role in the energy production centers of our cells (mitochondria).  In recent years, clinical research has suggested that alpha-lipoic acid supplements may have a variety of potential health benefits, including a possible reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Recent laboratory research has also shown that alpha-lipoic acid supplements markedly reduce the incidence of obesity in obesity-prone rats.  However, it has not been clear whether or not alpha-lipoic acid has any clinically significant anti-obesity effects in humans.  Now, a newly published prospective, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical research study suggests that alpha-lipoic acid supplementation may indeed improve weight loss in obese humans.

In this study, which appears in the current issue of The American Journal of Medicine, 360 obese patient volunteers were randomized to receive either alpha-lipoic acid supplements or identical-appearing placebo pills.  Patients who were assigned to receive alpha-lipoic acid supplements received either 1,200 milligrams of alpha-lipoic acid per day or 1,800 milligrams per day.  After 20 weeks, all patient volunteers were weighed once again.

After 20 weeks, the group of patients that had received 1,800 milligrams of alpha-lipoic acid per day experienced a modest but significant reduction in weight (2.1 percent of body weight) when compared the patient volunteers who had received the placebo pills.

While a 2 percent weight loss may sound trivial, it must be emphasized that obesity is an illness that has been shown to be refractory to almost every medical treatment (other than surgery), including the handful of very expensive prescription medications that have been approved by the FDA to treat obesity.  Certainly, alpha-lipoic acid, by itself, is not likely to reverse the epidemic of obesity that has spread throughout the world.  However, if the findings of this small prospective, randomized, controlled clinical study can be confirmed by larger studies, then alpha-lipoic acid may find use as an adjunct to other weight-loss strategies (including, of course, dieting and exercise).

Finally, as always, I remind readers not to begin new diets, exercise programs, or nutritional supplements (including alpha-lipoic acid) without first discussing such lifestyle changes with their doctors.

 

For a complete discussion of the impact of obesity on cancer risk, and the role of diet and nutritional supplements in cancer prevention, as well as other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

 

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books!  On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list! 



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:   Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.






 

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Beer May Prevent Heart and Arterial Disease (Atherosclerosis)

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


BEER MAY PREVENT HEART AND

ARTERIAL DISEASE (ATHEROSCLEROSIS)

 

Dietary polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants, are thought to have a wide range of potential health benefits, including a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.  Polyphenols are found in many plant-based foods that we eat, including that age-old beverage, beer.

A newly published research study, which appears in the current issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, has drawn some very important conclusions about the potential health benefits of alcohol-free beer.

As we age, the inner lining of our arteries often becomes progressively more diseased.  As our arteries age, complex “plaques” can form on the inner surfaces of our arteries (a process known as atherosclerosis), which may then result in a critical narrowing of important arteries, including the arteries that nourish our heart, kidneys, brain, legs and feet, and other important sites in our bodies.  When these atherosclerotic plaques bleed or rupture, the blood supply to our vital organs can then become compromised, resulting in heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, and the potential loss of toes, feet, and legs.

In this interesting laboratory study, mice with a genetic predisposition towards atherosclerosis were fed either alcohol-free lager beer or alcohol-free dark beer for 20 weeks.  (Mice within a third group, the control group, did not receive any alcohol-free beer.)  The results of this study were striking.  The mice that received alcohol-free lager (“light”) beer experienced 44 percent less atherosclerosis within the main artery in their bodies (the aorta), while the mice that consumed the more polyphenol-rich alcohol-free dark beer were noted to have 51 percent less atherosclerosis in their aortas (versus the control group mice).

Additional results from this animal study indicated that the consumption of alcohol-free beer significantly also reduced the presence of substances that cause the lining of arteries (endothelium) to become “sticky,” such that inflammatory white blood cells, muscle cells, and fat cells begin to “stick” to the interior of these arteries, causing arterial atherosclerosis.

While I always caution that the findings of laboratory animal research studies are very often not validated in subsequent human studies, this particular animal study is exciting in that not only was a significant reduction in atherosclerosis observed among the mice that received alcohol-free beer supplements, but also the actual biochemical mechanisms linked to the development of atherosclerosis, in both mice and men (with apologies to Steinbeck…), were also shown to be inhibited by alcohol-free beer supplementation.

The findings of this study raise the possibility that beer polyphenols may be able to significantly reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, particularly in people with an increased predisposition towards premature atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.  (I must stress that the frequent consumption of beer, or other beverages that contain alcohol, is associated with a variety of potentially serious health problems, including liver disease, GI tract bleeding, pancreatitis, cancers of the breast and GI tract, and other life-threatening illnesses.  However, fortunately, based upon the results of this laboratory animal study, alcohol-free beer appears to retain the potential health benefits of traditional beer, but without the harmful health effects associated with beer that contains alcohol.)

 

For a complete discussion of the role of dietary polyphenols in cancer prevention, and other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!   

 

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books!  On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!  

 



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 
Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.






 

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Dietary Salt (Sodium) Increases Stomach Cancer Risk

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


DIETARY SALT (SODIUM) INCREASES STOMACH CANCER RISK

 

Cancer of the stomach occurs only about half as commonly today in the United States as it did 30 years ago, but it remains one of the “bad actor” cancers that are associated with a high likelihood of death.  On a global scale, stomach cancer remains the #2 cause of cancer-associated death, while in the United States, gastric cancer is currently the #7 cause of cancer-associated death.

Known risk factors for stomach cancer include chronic infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacterium (and other causes of chronic gastric inflammation), smoking, obesity, decreased acid secretion within the stomach, stomach ulcers, pernicious anemia, a family history of stomach cancer, certain inherited cancer syndromes, and other less common risk factors.  As with other GI tract cancers, diet also appears to play an important role in gastric cancer risk.  For example, gastric cancer is more common among people who eat a lot of processed meat and red meat, smoked foods, and salt-cured or pickled foods.  On the other hand, stomach cancer is less common among people who consume a large amount of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The role of salt in gastric cancer risk has been a subject of some debate, as clinical research studies have come to varying and contradictory conclusions regarding this issue.  However, a newly published public health study, which appears in the current issue of the British Journal of Cancer, appears to strongly link excess salt consumption with an increased risk of developing stomach cancer.  In this case-control study, 442 patients with stomach cancer, and 649 healthy patients without any clinical evidence of cancer, were evaluated.  Multiple previously validated dietary questionnaires were administered to all of the study volunteers, with particular attention to dietary salt intake. 

The results of this public health study indicated that the risk of stomach cancer was twice as common among patients who regularly consumed the highest amounts of salt, when compared to patients with the smallest amount of regular salt intake.  After adjusting for other risk factors known to be associated with gastric cancer risk (including Helicobacter pylori status, smoking history, and other known gastric cancer risk factors), increased salt intake was still associated with a doubling of gastric cancer risk. 

While case-control studies, such as this one, do not offer high-level clinical research evidence (unlike the “gold standard” prospective, randomized, blinded clinical research trials that provide “Level 1” clinical research data), the findings of this observational study nonetheless add to an increasing volume of data linking increased salt intake with gastric cancer risk.

Excessive salt intake has also been clearly linked to a significant increase in the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.  Most hypertension experts are currently recommending that we lower our average daily intake of sodium, from the current 3,500 to 4,000 milligram (mg) per day level in the United States, to somewhere around 1,500 mg per day.  At this level of sodium intake reduction, significant improvements in high blood pressure, and in the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, have been demonstrated by multiple high-quality clinical research studies.  (An excellent pamphlet on the topic of dietary sodium reduction, as part of a heart-healthy diet, has been published online by the National Institutes of Health.)    

As with many other dietary and lifestyle factors that have been shown to reduce cancer risk, reducing sodium intake, by reducing your dietary salt consumption, can pay big health dividends not only in terms of cancer risk reduction, but also in terms of reducing those other great global killers of mankind, cardiovascular disease and stroke!

 

 

For a complete discussion of the role of diet in cancer prevention, and other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, now!  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!   

 

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books!  On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list! 



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity




Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author




For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





Click the following link to join Dr. Wascher on Facebook

 

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Obesity, Diabetes and Breast Cancer Recurrence Risk

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


OBESITY, DIABETES AND BREAST CANCER RECURRENCE RISK

 

Obesity and diabetes have both been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer (including breast cancer), as discussed in detail in my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  (The single greatest risk factor for adult-onset diabetes is obesity.)

Not only have obesity and diabetes been strongly linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, but these two chronic illnesses, which have become epidemic in our modern culture, also appear to increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence, and death due to recurrent breast cancer.  Two newly published clinical research studies, which appear in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reveal just how strongly obesity and diabetes impact the incidence of breast cancer recurrence, and death due to breast cancer, among women who have previously been diagnosed with this common form of cancer.

In the first study, the impact of obesity on breast cancer recurrence, and the risk of death due to breast cancer, was assessed among 18,967 women with a previous diagnosis of breast cancer in Denmark.   Using body mass index (BMI) scores, which indicate whether a person is obese or not, the findings of this study were quite concerning.  (A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 indicates a healthy weight, while a BMI of 25 to 29.9 indicates that a person is overweight, and a BMI of 30 or more indicates obesity.)

In this very large public health study with long-term follow-up, female breast cancer survivors with a BMI of 30 or more (when compared to women with a BMI below 25) were, stage-for-stage, 46 percent more likely to be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer within 10 years of their original diagnosis, and 38 percent more likely to die of metastatic breast cancer within 30 years of their original breast cancer diagnosis.

In the second study, 604 women with a prior diagnosis of breast cancer were evaluated with a blood test that measures insulin secretion levels (serum C-peptide).  Fasting C-peptide levels were measured in these breast cancer survivors 3 years after their initial cancer diagnosis, and this group of research volunteers was then followed for about a decade.  In this study, a 1nanogram per milliliter (ng/mL) increase in serum C-peptide levels, even among women without diabetes, was associated with a 31 percent increase in the risk of death from any cause over the duration of this study.  This same miniscule 1 ng/mL increase in C-peptide blood levels was also associated with a 35 percent increase in the risk of death specifically due to breast cancer.  (The increased risk of death associated with rising C-peptide levels among women with diabetes was even higher.)  Thus, this study is one of the first ever to show that rising levels of insulin secretion in women either with or without diabetes is associated with a significantly higher risk of death due to recurrent breast cancer.

Taken together, the findings of these two very important clinical studies add to the findings of previous studies that have linked both obesity and diabetes with an increased likelihood of breast cancer recurrence and death due to recurrent breast cancer.  These, and other, clinical studies also continue to show that the chemotherapy and hormonal therapy that is routinely given following the diagnosis of breast cancer appears to be less effective in obese women and in diabetic women, when compared to women without either of these chronic illnesses.  The findings of these studies also mirror cancer risk and cancer prevention studies that have linked breast cancer risk with both obesity and diabetes.

If you have a history of breast cancer, and you are significantly overweight, then it is essential that you discuss a prudent weight loss program with your doctor, including a healthy diet and a regimen of regular aerobic exercise (as discussed in my new book).  Likewise, if you have diabetes, both weight loss interventions and tight control of your diabetes are essential for reducing your risk of breast cancer recurrence, and your overall risk of premature death from cancer and other serious illnesses associated with diabetes.

 

For a complete discussion of the role of obesity, diabetes, diet, and exercise in cancer prevention, and other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, now!  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

 

GIVE  THE  GIFT  OF  HEALTH  THIS  HOLIDAY  SEASON!  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores! 

 

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.comTop 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books!  On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people had logged onto Weekly Health Update in 2010!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.




Click the following link to join Dr. Wascher on Facebook





 

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Post to Twitter

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