The month of June was full of
amazing headlines in holistic health, functional medicine, nutrition, and
wellness. My top reads for June 2014 on my website include:
- how inactivity increases
- how stress triggers microbes
to form plaques in your blood vessels
- how emotions are linked to
lung disease outcomes
- how more exposure to
allergens early in life leads to less allergies
- the crackdown on weight loss
- a look at breakfast as the
most important meal
- how sleep helps symptoms of
- brain health focus: how to
revive brain function with diet, supplements, and herbs?
- which seeds and
fruit/vegetable promotes heart health
- how vitamin D and magnesium
- drug and medication updates
on aspirin, acne products, drug-nutrient interactions, and so much more..
This week, on saratoga.com, I
highlight the top reads of June regarding the special topic of natural
approaches to reducing cancer risk.
Lights (Not) Out Linked to Cancer
New data from several studies
are showing higher cancer and obesity rates in people exposed to bright,
artificial lights at night. According to lead researcher Professor Abraham Haim,
the issue is with chronodisruption or the disruption of one’s body clock. This
disturbance is linked to depleting the brain’s output of the hormone melatonin.
(Warning: Bright light at night may cause
cancer. PhilStar. May 20, 2014)
Healthy way to modulate cancer risk #1:
Start turning off electronics and dimming lights at dusk. You may also want to
consider purchasing red lights to turn on at night and blue lights to turn on
in the morning. This shift in light is a cheap way to use color changes to
stimulate natural melatonin production output. I do this by changing the light
on my essential oil diffusor. (Harvard.
Blue light has a dark side. May 2012. www.health.harvard.edu)
Breast Cancer and Leptin
Leptin, a hormone made by fat
cells (adipose tissue) acts to regulate appetite and satiety in the brain.
Leptin also is related to inflammatory signaling.
A less recognized role of
leptin is its relationship to reproductive hormones. Specifically, it plays a
role in stimulating gonadotropin-releasing hormone and is linked to higher
levels of estrogen in the body. Breast cancer cells have been found to have
high levels of leptin receptors and this can promote proliferation of cancer
cell tumors. Furthermore, leptin increases
estrogen by stimulating estrogen signaling in the cell and turning on aromatase
Healthy way to modulate cancer risk #2:
If a woman gains more weight,
more leptin is produced and this leads to more stimulation of estrogen. Furthermore,
blood sugar and insulin are linked to leptin levels. Therefore, balance blood
sugar levels by eating a diet of unprocessed, wholesome, organic foods. At each
meal eat mostly vegetables, healthy fats, and clean sources of proteins (like
beans, legumes, and organic meats). Only
eat a small amount of carbohydrates and fruits if your blood sugar is a concern.
You can aim to reduce fat
storage through decreasing stress levels, lowering total toxic load from
environmental exposure, movement, proper supplementation for individualized
needs and system support (relating to any imbalances in the digestive,
reproductive, nervous, or immune system), and modulating blood sugar as noted
Tieman, J. Breast Cancer and Leptin: How to Be More
Proactive. Greenmedinfo.com. May 28, 2014.
Hum Reprod Update. Mar-Apr 2014;20(2):153-74. Epub
2013 Oct 30. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmt033
Correlation between estrogens and serum
adipocytokines in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2007
The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278, 28668-28676.
August 1, 2003. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M301695200
European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and
Reproductive Biology. 170(1): 198-201, September 2013.
Fasting May Help Chemo Side Effects
Dr. Valter Longo, of the
University of Southern California, and his colleagues recently tested whether
fasting could have protective effects for immune cells such as white blood
cells during chemotherapy. According to
Dr. Longo, prolonged fasting periods initially causes a reduction in white
blood cell counts than an increase with re-feeding. This process is able to
switch stem cells to a mode able to regenerate immune cells and reverse the
immunosuppression caused by chemotherapy, while at the same time rejuvenating
the immune system of old mice.
The researchers also found
that protection against white blood cell loss occurred in humans as part 1
phase of a clinical trial. This was following a single fast over a 72-hour period prior to platinum-based
chemotherapy . (Fasting may help protect
against immune-related effects of chemotherapy and aging. Eurekalert.com. June
Healthy way to modulate cancer risk #3:
Know that the effect of what
and when you eat modulates your immune system. Discuss these studies with your
Viagra May Increase Risk of Melanoma
Viagra use was linked to nearly
twice the risk of melanoma compared to men who have never used the drug. (Viagra Frisky Might Be Melanoma Risky.
Mercola.com. June 25, 2014)
Healthy way to modulate cancer risk #4:
natural means to improve sex drive such as looking for any underlying causes of
hormonal, blood sugar, and emotional imbalances. Your functional medicine
doctor can also support you with an individualized supplement plan such as
circulatory and blood sugar supporting herbals, essential oils, and mind-body
practices for stress release such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).