Vitamin D May Significantly Decrease Breast Cancer Risk

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A new research study suggests that breast cancer risk can be cut in half with adequate Vitamin D levels in the blood.



VITAMIN D MAY SIGNIFICANTLY DECREASE BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in detail in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, there is considerable research evidence linking low Vitamin D levels in the blood with a higher risk of some types of cancer, and colorectal cancer in particular.As I have discussed previously in this column, there is also some research evidence available to suggest that low levels of Vitamin D may, similarly, be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, as well as a possible increase in the risk of recurrence of prior breast cancers (although the results of still other studies have not supported these conclusions). Now, a new analysis of recent breast cancer prevention research studies suggests that higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood may indeedsignificantly decrease the risk of developing breast cancer.

Meta-analysis studies use powerful statistical formulas to combine the results of multiple smaller research studies into a single larger and more conclusive “meta-study.” This form of statistical analysis is especially useful for evaluating clinical research studies that have utilized different research methods to arrive at their final conclusions. A new meta-analysis of 11 previously published breast cancer risk research studies has just been published, and this new comprehensive meta-analysis appears in the current issue of the journal Anticancer Research.

Following meta-analysis of the results of 11 different breast cancer risk studies, this new study determined that high-normal levels of Vitamin D in the blood were associated with a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer when compared to low Vitamin D levels. Indeed, in this meta-analysis, a Vitamin D level of 47 ng/ml in the blood was associated with a whopping50 percent reduction in breast cancer risk, when compared to women who had very low blood levels of this hormone-like vitamin.(While there is no uniform agreement on “normal” blood levels of Vitamin D, most experts recommend that Vitamin D levels be maintained in the 30 to 50 ng/ml range.)

While increased Vitamin D intake has been repeatedly linked with a lower risk of some cancers, as well as a decreased risk of heart disease, excessive Vitamin D levels in the blood can cause serious illnesses, including kidney failure, calcium deposits throughout the body, gastrointestinal ulcers, and other serious health problems. Therefore, prior to beginning Vitamin D supplementation (or, indeed, before starting any new supplement or medication), please consult with your personal physician first!


For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, 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.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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, 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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Even 15 Minutes of Exercise Per Day Reduces Death Risk

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A new clinical study shows that as little as 15 minutes of exercise per day, or 90 minutes per week, can significantly reduce the risk of premature death.





EVEN 15 MINUTES OF EXERCISE PER DAY REDUCES DEATH RISK

As I discuss in detail in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, regular exercise not only decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, but cancer as well.  Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise per day, and for at least 5 days per week.  You might respond to this recommendation by saying that you are simply too busy to spend this much time exercising (although, in truth, almost all of us can meet this goal if we are truly committed to living a healthy life…), and so you might, instead, simply choose not to exercise at all.  Well, what if I told you, then, that even shorter periods of moderate exercise, when performed regularly, can still significantly reduce your chances of early death due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses?

An important new prospective public health study from Taiwan appears in the current issue of the prestigious journal, The Lancet. In this extremely large study, 416,175 volunteers (199,265 men and 216,910 women) were followed for an average duration of 8 years. Based upon the amount of weekly exercise claimed by each volunteer, these men and women were then divided into 5 different groups: inactive, low, medium, high, or very high levels of weekly physical activity. This huge cohort of clinical research volunteers were then closely observed during the course of this public health study.

In this study, the volunteers in the “low” exercise group, who exercised for an average of only 92 minutes per week, were 14 percent less likely to die of any cause when compared to the “inactive” group volunteers, and these “minimal exercisers,” on average, lived for 3 years longer than the non-exercisers! Moreover, for every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise above the minimum of 15 minutes per day, death from all causes was reduced by an additional 4 percent, and death due to cancer wasreduced by an additional 1 percent!

Importantly, the beneficial health effects of even modest-to-moderate levels of exercise were experienced by all of the volunteers in this clinical research study, irrespective of age or gender. (Even volunteers with cardiovascular disease experienced these same significant health benefits from modest levels of regular daily exercise.)

The results of this enormous prospective public health study make it clear that even as little as 15 minutes of moderate exercise per day, or 90 minutes per week, can yield impressive health benefits, including a significant decrease in the risk of death due to all causes (including cancer), and a significant increase in lifespan.  Therefore, although most of us really can set aside at least half an hour per day, 5 or 6 days per week, to engage in moderate exercise, even more modest levels of regular exercise are still very worthwhile.  So, for those of you who are avoiding exercise altogether because you feel like you are unable to put in at least 30 minutes per day, the results of this important research study will, hopefully, motivate you to get up off of that couch and go out for at least 15 or 20 minutes of daily exercise!


 

For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, 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.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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, 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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Soy (Isoflavones), Osteoporosis, and the Symptoms of Menopause


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A new placebo-controlled, double-blinded research study showed no benefit from soy supplements in reducing osteoporosis or the symptoms of menopause.



SOY (ISOFLAVONES), OSTEOPOROSIS, AND THE SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE

As I discuss in detail in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, combination hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for the symptoms of menopause have been clearly linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.  (This important topic is also the subject of my next book, which will be published in 2012.)  Since the preliminary findings of the landmark Women’s Health Initiative study were released in 2002, proving the link between HRT and breast cancer, many women and their physicians have been searching for safer alternatives to HRT in an effort to relieve the symptoms of menopause, and to reduce the risk of thinning of the bones (osteoporosis).

There have been several public health research studies that have suggested a role for soy foods in the prevention of both osteoporosis (“thin bones”) and menopausal symptoms. Indeed, the findings of these studies make scientific sense, as soy isoflavones, which are present in many soy food products (and especially in tofu), act as a weak form of estrogen. (It is the loss of estrogen production in the ovaries, after menopause, that leads to both osteoporosis and the unpleasant symptoms of menopause in postmenopausal women.) However, as with the vast majority of disease prevention research in general, the available research data linking soy isoflavones to improvements in bone density and menopausal symptoms has been in the form of survey-based studies, and other relatively unreliable types of research studies. Now, a newly published prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, doubled-blinded clinical research study takes a closer (and more accurate) look at the impact of soy isoflavone supplements on osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms. This clinical research study appears in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

In this study, 122 postmenopausal women were randomized to receive a daily soy isoflavone supplement pill (200 mg), while 126 postmenopausal women were randomized to receive a placebo (sugar) pill that was identical in appearance to the soy isoflavone pills. Neither the research study volunteers nor the research staff knew which patient volunteers received the soy isoflavone tablets and which volunteers received the placebo pills until the research study was completed. These patient volunteers were all followed for an average of 2 years. Bone density measurements were performed at the beginning of the study, and then again 2 years later. Common menopausal symptoms were also tracked throughout the duration of this study.

After 2 years of observation, there was no significant difference in bone density measurements between the two groups of women who participated in this clinical research study (in both groups of women, there was an average bone density loss of about 2 percent over the 2-year period of this study). Moreover, the women in the soy isoflavone group actually reported ahigher incidence of hot flashes and constipation than the women in the placebo group.

In this well-controlled prospective, randomized, doubled-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical research study, a daily supplement of 200 mg of soy isoflavones neither improved postmenopausal bone density loss nor improved the most troublesome symptoms of menopause.  (Whether or not higher doses of soy isoflavones, or natural soy foods instead of soy isoflavone supplements, might have shown some beneficial effect on bone density loss or menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women cannot be answered by this study.)  Therefore, this study convincingly shows that even relatively large daily doses of purified soy isoflavones have no beneficial effect on either bone density loss or menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.  Based upon the results of this study, if you are currently taking soy isoflavone supplements in an effort to reduce your risk of osteoporosis, or the symptoms of menopause, this high-level clinical research study indicates that you are probably wasting your time and money on such supplements.  (However, as I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, soy foods may actually reduce a woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, particularly if consumed during early adolescence and early adulthood, and soy products may also decrease a man’s lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer.)

 

For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, 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.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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, 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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Aspirin May Prevent Pancreatic Cancer

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


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



 

ASPIRIN MAY PREVENT PANCREATIC CANCER

Pancreatic cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer (fewer than two percent of adults in the United States will ever be diagnosed with this form of cancer). However, although rare, pancreatic cancer is an extremely lethal type of cancer, with an average 5-year survival rate of only 5 to 8 percent, overall. Therefore, as I discuss extensively in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, any cancer prevention strategy that even modestly decreases the risk of this terrible form of cancer should be carefully considered.

Aspirin belongs to a class of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Aspirin, like other NSAIDs, blocks a key enzyme that leads to inflammation in our bodies. This enzyme, cyclooxygenase, is also known to play an important role in the development of several types of cancer, and so aspirin, and other NSAIDs, have been extensively studied as potential cancer prevention drugs.

A new pancreatic cancer prevention study from the prestigious Mayo Clinic appears in the current issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research. In this clinical study, 904 patients with known pancreatic cancer were compared with 1,224 healthy “control” patients with the same age and sex distribution as the group of patients with pancreatic cancer. The frequency and dose of aspirin intake was then evaluated for both groups of patients.

In this clinical research study, the use of aspirin one or more days per month was associated with 26 percent decrease in the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Among patients who took low-dose aspirin each day to prevent heart disease, the protective effect against pancreatic cancer appeared to be even greater, with an observed 33 percent decrease in the risk of developing pancreatic cancer in this sub-group of patients.

While a randomized, placebo-controlled, prospective clinical research trial will be necessary to confirm the encouraging findings of this clinical research study, the findings of this “case control” study are, nonetheless, very compelling. Moreover, the findings of this retrospective study are very similar to the findings of both retrospective and prospective clinical research studies that have previously identified a similar reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer with aspirin and other NSAIDs.

As aspirin can cause significant adverse health effects, including GI tract ulcers, GI tract bleeding, and kidney damage, aspirin therapy should only started with the approval of your physician.

 

For my previous columns on aspirin as a cancer prevention drug, please click the following links:

Low Dose Aspirin Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk

Aspirin & Breast Cancer Survival

Aspirin & Colorectal Cancer Prevention; Fish Oil & Respiratory Infections in Children

 


For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, 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.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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, 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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