Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy

Non-Traditional Approaches to
the Theories, Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

Cranberry

November 28, 2011

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 6:33 am

Cranberries are native to the swampy regions of both the temperate and arctic zones of North America and Europe. Because they grow on slender, curved stalks, suggesting the neck of a crane, they were named ”crane-berry,” or ”cranberry.”

Long before the first colonists arrived in this country the cranberry was in common use by the Indians. The Pilgrims found them in the low marshes near the shore on the Cape Cod peninsula, and the women preserved them as a delicacy and served them with wild turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts.

Cultivation of the cranberry began early in the nineteenth cen­tury. The earliest records show that the business was largely carried on by retired seamen. Howe and McFarlin were the names of two of these men, and important varieties of cranberries are named for them. By 1870, a flourishing business had developed. It was re­corded in 1832 that ”Captain Henry Hall of Barnstable, Massachu­setts, had then cultivated the cranberry for twenty years,” and that “Mr. F. A. Hayden of Lincoln, Massachusetts, gathered from his farm in 1830, 400 bushels of cranberries which brought him in the Boston market $600.”

It has been said that the old clipper ships out of Gloucester, New Bedford, and the “Down East” ports carried supplies of raw cranberries in casks so that the sailors could help themselves. They did this to prevent scurvy, just as the sailors of England and South­ern Europe used limes to prevent this disease.

Cranberries grow on low, thick vines in a bog. The bogs are built on peat swamps that have been cleared, drained, and leveled. Water must be available and arranged so that the bog can be drained or flooded at the appropriate time. The surface, usually sand, on top of a subsoil that will hold moisture, must be level so the bog can be covered with water to a uniform depth when neces­sary. A cranberry bog takes three to five years to come into full production.

There are only five states that produce the greater supply of cranberries for market. They are, in order of production: Massa­chusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Washington, and Oregon. The berries are marketed from September through March, and the peak months are October, November, and December.

The quality of the berry is determined by its roundness and size, and from its color, which varies from light to dark crimson, depending on the degree of maturity. Some varieties of cranberries are more olive-shaped or oblong. They have a fresh, plump appear­ance combined with a high luster and firmness. Avoid a shriveled, dull, soft-appearing berry.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Cranberries have a heavy acid content, and therefore should not be eaten too frequently. They increase the acidity of the urine. Be­ cause of their extremely tart taste, people drown them in sugar syrup, which makes them unfit for human consumption. They are best if cooked first; then add raisins and a little honey.

One of the finest therapeutic uses for cranberries is as a remedy for rectal disturbances, piles, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the rectal pouch.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 218

Protein: 1.8g

Fat: 3.18g

Carbohydrates: 51.4g

Calcium: 63.5mg

Phosphorus: 50mg

Iron: 2.7mg

Vitamin A: 182I.U.

Thiamine: .13mg

Riboflavin: .09mg

Niacin: 0.45mg

Ascorbic acid: 55mg

Sweet Potato

November 21, 2011

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — admin @ 6:56 am

The sweet potato should be thought of as a true root and not a tuber, as is commonly believed. It has been one of the most popular foods of tropical and subtropical countries for centuries. Columbus and his men were fed boiled roots by the natives of the West Indies, which these men described as ”not unlike chestnuts in flavor.” This new food was carried back to Spain, and from there it was introduced to European countries. De Soto found sweet potatoes grow­ing in the gardens of the Indians who lived in the territory that is now called Louisiana.

During the Civil War, troops short of rations found they could live indefinitely on sweet potatoes alone. The Japanese on Okinawa could not have held out as long as they did if they had not been able to raid sweet potato patches at night. In 1913 the supply of sweet potatoes was so large and the demand so small that Louisi­ana towns sold them for fifty cents a barrel.

There are two main types of sweet potatoes; those that are mealy when cooked, and those that are wet when cooked-popu­larly miscalled ”yams.” Actually, there are few yams grown in this country, and they are grown almost solely in Florida.

Decay in sweet potatoes spreads rapidly and may give the en­ tire potato a disagreeable flavor. This decay may appear in the form of dark, circular spots or as soft, wet rot, or dry, shriveled, discol­ored and sunken areas, usually at the ends of the root.

Use the sweet potato baked, steamed, or roasted, in puddings or pies. Whenever possible, they should be cooked in their jackets, to conserve the nutrients. If you wish to discard the skin, this vegetable is much easier to peel when cooked. When combining the sweet potato with other foods, remember that it is a little more difficult to digest than the white potato.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

The sweet potato is good for the eliminative system, but is a little more difficult to digest than the white potato. It contains a great deal of vitamin A and is a good source of niacin.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 419

Protein: 6.2 g

Fat: 1.5 g

Carbohydrates: 96.6 g

Calcium: 117 mg

Phosphorus: 173 mg

Iron: 2.7 mg

Vitamin A: 30,0301 U.

Thiamine: 0.37 mg

Riboflavin: 0.23 mg

Niacin: 2.8 mg

Ascorbic acid: 77 mg

Rethinking Cancer Newsletter #24

November 16, 2011

Filed under: Rethinking Cancer Newsletters — ggrieser @ 6:51 pm

With this Newsletter, we’re taking the liberty of wishing ourselves a Happy Two Year Anniversary!

It was October 2009 when the newsletter and our website, RethinkingCancer.org, were born, though the gestation period began 4 decades earlier, in 1971 when F.A.C.T. was established. Our work with clinicians and patients worldwide has enabled us to amass the knowledge that you find on the site, so now seems as good a time as any to talk about what exactly is the point of it all? (See article below.)

To your health,
Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (F.A.C.T.)

P.S. Thank you for your donations and support! Please join us on Twitter and Facebook!

What Is the Point of RethinkingCancer.org?

We get many emails from people seeking individual medical help, but, as stated in our disclaimer, as a nonprofit, educational organization, F.A.C.T. cannot dispense specific medical advice. Moreover, our global presence now on the web renders individual phone contact impossible. In our “brick and mortar” days, we could handle quite a number of calls, but, in this digital incarnation, we simply do not have the facilities to manage the large volume. So how should someone, perhaps in the throes of a cancer diagnosis, take advantage of all that’s here? Read More

Dangers of Long-Term Supplement Use

There’s been a media flurry lately about two new studies revealing dangers associated with long-term use of food supplements. As reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, The Iowa Women’s Health Study found that older women (age 62 plus), who had routinely taken a variety of vitamin/mineral supplements over 20 years or more, had an increased mortality risk, compared to nonusers. An international team, funded by National Cancer Institute (NCI) concluded that men using Vitamin E and selenium supplements had a slightly higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

Without getting into the minutiae of these studies, F.A.C.T.’s position has always been that supplements should be used very selectively and only of the highest quality. Today, too many people are popping pills promiscuously, that is, without evidence of a particular deficiency or attention to quality, misguidedly thinking, perhaps, that this “kitchen sink” approach might have some disease preventing effect down the line. The opposite may be true. Read More

Spice of the Month: Mustard

Originally, mustard was just the name for the pungent sauce made by grinding the seeds of the senvy plant into a paste and mixing it with “must” (unfermented wine). The condiment was so popular that, inevitably, it just became easier to call the whole thing “mustard” – seeds and all! The English name, mustard, comes from the Latin mustum ardens meaning burning must.

The mustard plant is a crucifer, the cancer-fighting plant family that includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, arugula, kale, cabbage. The seeds contain concentrated amounts of the same anti-cancer compounds found in those greens. When the seed is broken or soaked, it releases an oily, fiery compound, allyl isothiocyanates (AITC) that gives mustard its distinctive bite and a lot of its healing power. Read More

Basic Mustard and Beyond

3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup cold water, or more
2 tablespoons raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon seasalt (opt.)

  1. Whirl the mustard seeds in a blender to a coarse powder.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and add the cold water to release the “bite.” Be sure to add enough water to completely cover and saturate the powdered seeds. Mix well and let stand for no more than 10 minutes to preserve peak of flavor.
  3. Add the vinegar and stir well. You may need to add more water to make a slightly soupy consistency; the liquid will be absorbed and the mix will thicken considerably as it sits. If desired, add seasalt, which acts as a preservative, as well as seasoning. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge. Wait at least 24 hours before using. Mustard made this way will last several months in the fridge. Makes about 3/4 cup.

Now, the “beyond” part! Try substituting grape juice, cider, a good dark beer or wine in place of water. Before storing for 24 hours, stir in a little raw honey, minced onion, ground almonds or pine nuts (as the ancient Romans did), allspice, turmeric, or whatever. To make vinaigrette: add a teaspoon or more of prepared mustard to a mix of olive oil, fresh herbs, lemon juice. If you need more “hot” in your mustard, use fewer yellow seeds and more brown, even black – and watch out! Be brave, be bold! Have fun!

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs

Ask yourself what makes
you come alive
And then go and do that
Because what the
World needs
Is people who have come
alive.

- Harold Thurman Whitman

With love and thanks to Steve Jobs (1955-2011), Apple co-founder and visionary, who came alive doing the things he loved and, along the way, helped make this world a better place. The world could use more of that…

Spice of the Month: Turmeric

November 14, 2011

Filed under: Spice of the Month — ggrieser @ 6:54 pm

TurmericTurmeric (Curcuma domestica) is a spice superstar! Used for nearly 4,000 years in India, first as a dye, then a kitchen staple, the colorful root has been revealing its many medicinal properties over the centuries and now, under intense scientific scrutiny, it’s emerging as one of nature’s most powerful healers.

The spice owes it’s preventive and curative powers to its active ingredient: curcumin, a compound so diverse and powerfully rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that it has been shown to protect and improve virtually every organ of the body. Currently, studies are focusing on its potential to lower the incidence and severity of chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, etc., though over 50 healing actions – from pain relief to improved circulation – have been noted.

Preparation and Storage

Turmeric is a tropical perennial, the rhizome, or root, of a ginger-like plant. The name derives from the Latin terra merita meaning “meritorious earth,” referring to the color which, when ground, resembles a mineral pigment. In many cultures it’s simply called “yellow root.”
The spice is used most effectively in powder form. It’s very tough to grind, so you’ll usually find it available as a bright yellow, fine powder. The powder will maintain its coloring properties indefinitely though the flavor will diminish over time, so buy in moderation. Store in airtight containers, out of sunlight.
When cooked, turmeric has a mild fragrance, similar to ginger and orange with a slight peppery taste. To test for freshness: heat a little oil in a pan and sprinkle with turmeric, stirring so it won’t burn. In seconds you should enjoy a delicious aromatic perfume. If not, it’s past it’s prime.

Medicinal Properties

  • Cancer: Research has shown that the lowest cancer rates are in countries with the highest dietary intake of turmeric. The active ingredient, curcumin, fights cancer on many levels, slowing progression (e.g., breast, prostate, skin, pancreatic), preventing and delaying onset (colon), protecting against tobacco-induced lung cancer, etc. Studies have demonstrated that eating foods spiced with turmeric protects against environmental carcinogens: reducing risk of childhood leukemia, inhibiting damage from ionizing radiation, such as from the sun, x-rays, other medical tests, preventing formation of cancer-causing compounds in processed or cured foods.
  • Alzheimer’s: In the last 25 years, the incidence of Alzheimer’s has doubled in the U.S. and increasing around world with the exception of India, where it affects only 1 percent. Researchers suspect that turmeric may explain the difference. Curcumin has been shown to helps break down amyloid-A plaques in the brain, as well as reduce toxic metal levels in the brain that contribute to Alzheimer’s. Regular turmeric intake also protects the brain from decline in memory and enhances overall function. Among non-Alzheimer’s patients, studies have found that those who consumed the most turmeric-rich foods scored higher on standard mental tests than those who didn’t
  • Parkinson’s: Curcumin in turmeric appears to protect brain cell degeneration and the brain in general.
  • Arthritis: – Curcumin, taken as a supplement, has proven to be as effective easing inflammation as NSAID drugs (such as Celebrex, Naproxen), avoiding dangerous side effects. It’s found to be more effective than over-the-counter aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Heart Disease: Turmeric, eaten regularly, can help prevent clogged arteries, reduce size of blood clots and lower cholesterol.
  • Protects liver: Turmeric promotes production of enzymes that detoxify and rejuvenate the liver and stimulate bile flow.
  • Skin problems: Turmeric (curcumin) enhances skin vibrancy and is a common ingredient in cosmetics. In India, women apply a paste of the powdered spice as a daily mask to prevent wrinkles and blemishes and to impart a golden glow to the complexion. Topically, turmeric also has been effective for treating acne, itching, rashes, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, scleroderma.
  • Other conditions: Studies have shown that turmeric helps fight Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Chrohn’s and colitis), cystic fibrosis, depression, Type 2 diabetes, eye diseases (turmeric extract), gallbladder disease, (20 mg/day supplemental curcumin), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), pain (reduces inflammation).

In the kitchen

Turmeric is probably best known as the ingredient that gives curry it’s bright yellow-orange color. However, there’s not a whole lot of it in curry, so you’ll get more of the benefits by using the spice separately. In Middle Eastern dishes the powder is sprinkled into many meat and vegetable dishes, while the Japanese add it to teas, vinegars, noodles, even dog food! In Malaysia and Thailand it’s found in the ever popular piccalilli (pickled chutney-like vegetable dish). In England, it’s in cough drops, as well as in soaps, lotions, creams, and in the U.S. it’s the yellow in your everyday “ball park” mustard.

Turmeric can enhance so many dishes that you might want to keep a shaker handy on your kitchen counter. Toss it into vegetables – steamed, stir-fried or baked. Douse on sliced apples, or season meats with it before sautéing or searing. Add to sautéed onions, soft-boiled or poached eggs, dips, salad dressings and marinades. Using black pepper and turmeric together enhances curcumin absorption, as does olive oil. Turmeric is not recommended for dishes calling for dairy, which masks its delicate flavor.

Caveat: in ancient times turmeric was used as a potent fabric dye, so be careful about spilling it – it can be tough to get the stain out of clothing or a kitchen counter!

How much?

The safest and simplest way to get the benefits of turmeric is to eat a lot of it on a daily basis. In India, the average daily dose is 1 teaspoon over 3 meals. If this is not practical, there are turmeric supplements. Look for capsules with 100% certified organic turmeric extract with at least 95% curcuminoids. The formula should be free of fillers, additives and excipients (a substance added as a processing or stability aid). There are some caveats so be sure to read the contraindications on the label.

For general health, a capsule with 400-600 mg can be taken, but check with your medical advisor about larger amounts, especially over long periods of time. This is best taken on an empty stomach about an hour before eating. To improve absorption take it with grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, pepperine (supplemental form of black pepper).

Sources:
The Epicentre: Encyclopedia of Spices
Healing Spices by Bharat Aggarwal, PhD (Sterling Publishing)
University of Maryland Medical Center: Turmeric
“Cancer Growth in Head and Neck Suppressed by Turmeric” – Medical News Today

Corn

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — admin @ 7:30 am

Corn is first recorded as having been found in North America in 1006, by Karlsefne, at a place called Hop, in the vicinity of the Taunton River. Indian corn was known to be cultivated in both North and South America, from Canada to Patagonia, long before Columbus discovered America. In 1492, he described corn as ”a kind of grain called maize of which was made a very well-tasting flour.” In the 1540 invasion by DeSoto, corn was found in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. According to research by Dr. Edgar Anderson, vast quantities of corn were found in excavations in southern Peru and northern Chile. Jars of kernels were found, as well as tassels, stalks, and leaves. In southern Mexico, water bowls and funerary urns used by the prehistoric Zapotecs were found decorated with ears of corn evidently cast from the original ears.

The Incas of Peru, the Mayans of Central America, and the Aztecs of Mexico used maize not only as a food, but as currency, fuel, smoking silk, jewelry, and building material. It was an impor­tant contribution to art in decorating temples, homes, ceramics, and toys. There are probably as many Indian legends based upon corn as there are Indian tribes. It played an important part in their festive and religious ceremonies. Quinche, a variety of corn still grown today, is said to have originated as an Incan corn from the Andean highlands, and was handed down for centuries both as a food for human consumption and for cattle feeding. Indian corn, or maize, was spread throughout the Orient by the early Spanish and Portuguese travelers and may have crossed the Pacific in pre­-Colombian times.

Sweet corn probably originated with the North American Indi­ans. The first written description of it is dated 1801. It is described as ”having a white, shriveled grain when ripe, as yielding richer juice in the stalks than common corn.” After sweet corn was intro­duced to Plymouth, it gradually became known as a common gar­den vegetable, and some thirty varieties were listed in the early seed catalogs of 1880.

In 1940, a vast number of varieties of sweet corn were being grown for the fresh market. This was because new hybrids suitable for cultivation in the southern and the western United States were being developed.

The most important varieties of sweet corn grown commercially are the yellow hybrids. They are more desirable for their high quality and superior food value than the white hybrids.

In the last three or four years the market season for sweet corn has developed to year-round output. Florida and California, partic­ularly, supply the winter market. The peak months, however, are still July through September. The frozen market has also increased the winter supply.

Good quality sweet corn has cobs that are well filled with plump, milky, bright kernels just firm enough to resist a slight finger pressure. The kernels should be filled with a thick white liquid if rich-bodied flavor is desired. If the kernels are only semi­ solid or doughlike, there is little sweetness and the kernel skins will be tough. The husks should be fresh and green. Yellowed husks indicate age or damage. Quality can best be determined by pulling back the husks and examining the kernels. Note, when buying, whether the corn is sweet corn or the green field corn variety. Choose the fresh, yellow corn for greater nutrition.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Corn is considered one of the easiest foods to digest. It is very high in roughage, so if you are following a soft diet, you should avoid it.

Corn is rated among brown rice and barley as one of the best balanced starches. For those who want to avoid weight gain, corn should be used sparingly, because it is rich in carbohydrates.

Yellow corn is the best corn to use, as it is very high in magnesium, which is a wonderful bowel regulator and one of the chemical elements we need so much. Southern yellow corn is a greater bone and muscle builder than northern white corn. Yellow corn is higher in phosphorus than white corn, which makes it an excellent food for the brain and nervous system.

A yellow corn broth, or gruel, is quite soothing to the intestinal tract and, mixed with barley or brown rice, has a wonderful flavor. Yellow corn, or yellow corn meal, should be used at least once a week in a balanced diet.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 297

Protein: 11.9g

Iron: 1.6mg

Vitamin A: 1,260I.U.

Fat: 3.9g

Thiamine: 0.48mg

Carbohydrates: 66.0g

Riboflavin: 0.37mg

Calcium: 29mg

Niacin: 5.4mg

Phosphorus: 386mg

Ascorbic acid: 30mg

Squash

November 7, 2011

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — admin @ 6:28 am

Squash is native to the Western Hemisphere and was known to the Indians centuries before the arrival of the white man. It is a member of the cucurbit family, which includes pumpkins and gourds as well as cucumbers, and muskmelons and watermelons. Squash as we know it today is vastly different from the kind of Narragansett Indians dubbed “askutasquas”, meaning “Green-raw-unripe” – which, incidentally, was the way they ate it. We still follow their example and eat summer squash while tender and unripe, though it is usually cooked.

Squash is best when steamed or baked; some people even use it in soup. The Hubbard Squash, due to its hard shell, is usually baked in the shell. Squash maybe used to add variety to the menu. Summer squash is boiled or steamed and served as a vegetable with drawn butter or cream sauce, or it may be served mashed. The delicate flavor of summer squash is lost by boiling it in large quantities of water and, of course, nutrients are lost when the cooking water is thrown away.

Squash may be grouped in five general types; Hubbard, Banana, Turban, Mammoth, and Summer. The latter are actually pumpkins. However, they are listed as squashes because that is what they are called in the market.

Summer Squash should be fresh, fairly heavy for its size, and free from blemish. The rind should be so tender that it can be punctured very easily. Hard-rind summer squash is undesirable because the flesh is likely to be stringy and the seeds and rind have to be discarded. Winter squash should have a hard rind. Soft-rind winter squash is usually immature, and the flesh may be thin and watery when cooked, and lack flavor.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Winter Squash contains more Vitamin A than summer squash. Both are low in carbohydrates and can be used in all diets. Squash is a high potassium and sodium food that leaves an alkaline ash in the body. It is very good for the eliminative system.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (summer squash)

Calories: 83

Protein: 4.8 g

Fat: 1.0 g

Carbohydrates: 18.5 g

Calcium: 123 mg

Phosphorus: 128 mg

Iron: 1.8 mg

Vitamin A: 1800 I.U.

Thiamine: .23 mg

Riboflavin: .38 mg

Niacin: 4.5 mg

Ascorbic acid: 75 mg

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (winter squash)

Calories: 161

Protein: 5.0 g

Fat: 1.0 g

Carbohydrates: 39.9 g

Calcium: 71 mg

Phosphorus: 122 mg

Iron: 2.0 mg

Vitamin A: 11,920 I.U.

Thiamine: .16 mg

Riboflavin: .35 mg

Niacin: 1.9 mg

Ascorbic acid: 43 mg

Watch Online

Watch on Amazon Video Watch on iTunes

Watch on DVD

Get the Book

Rethinking Cancer, by Ruth Sackman, is an excellent companion book to the film. Learn More

Newsletter signup

Bookmark and Share