Try This Diet Plan To Shrink Cancerous Tumors

Shrink Breast Cancer Tumors With Vegan DietProbably about a third of common cancers can be prevented by eating a healthy, plant-based diet, being physically active, and maintaining a healthy weight. One of the ways plants may help is by cutting off the supply lines to cancerous tumors.

A tumor cannot grow without a blood supply. Currently, it is believed that a tumor mass cannot exist in a volume greater than about size of the ball at the tip of a ballpoint pen without a proper blood supply, which indicates that angiogenesis—angio means vessel, so the genesis—the creation of new blood vessels is critical to tumor growth. Each one of us has cancer cells in us right now. By age 70, microscopic cancers are detected in the thyroid glands of virtually everyone, for example. Most of these tumors never cause problems, never become clinically significant, leading to the concept of “cancer without disease” as a normal state during aging. Cancer cells are commonly present in the body, but they can’t grow into tumors any bigger than that tiny dot size, no more than 10 million cancer cells before needing to get hooked up to a blood supply. So tumors diabolically release angiogenic factors, chemicals that cause new blood vessels to sprout into the tumor. The most important one is called VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor. But we can suppress VEGF with Ve-ggies.

Many of the phytonutrients we know and love in tea and spices and fruit and berries and broccoli and beans can block cancer’s stimulation of new blood vessels. They’re ideal for prophylactic long-term use against breast cancer because of their reliability, availability, safety, and affordable price. Dietary agents used to suppress angiogenesis may be an important step in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer, and in fact all types of tumors. The review concludes that we now have convincing evidence that dietary plant constituents possess the unique ability to affect tumor angiogenesis, which may be deemed advantageous in the prevention and treatment of human breast cancer.

Most of these studies have only been done in a petri dish, though. You stimulate human blood vessel cells and they start forming these tubular structures trying to make new capillaries to feed the tumor, but if you add plant flavones like apigen or luteolin, found thoughout the plant kigdom—like in citrus, celery, and peppers, you can see they help block the tube formation. Here’s the effect of fisitin, a phytonutrient found in strawberries and other fruits and veggies. It just shrinks the beginnings of new blood vessel formation right down.

Where do researchers get their hands on human blood vessels? Human umbilical vein endothelial cells. They get them from discarded umbilical cords, or, more controversially, from the eyes of aborted fetuses. But either way you can stimulate blood vessel formation with the tumor compound VEGF and then abolish that effect with plant compounds, in this case from purple rice. Therefore, the daily consumption of natural foods containing adequate flavonoids could be beneficial for the prevention of cancer metastasis or could improve cancer prognosis.

Given the power of plants, one might speculate that the foundation of an anti-angiogenic approach to cancer might be a whole food vegan diet.

Doctor’s Note

The cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1 is another angiogenic factor, helping tumors turn on the gravy train. This may be another reason plant-based diets protect against cancer, since as few as two weeks on a healthy diet can lower IGF-1 levels. See my series on the elegant experiments that discovered this:

One way cancer turns on the tap is silencing certain tumor suppressor genes. How do you turn them back on? See, for example, Apple Skin: Peeling Back Cancer.

How else can strawberries smack on the cancer kibosh? See Strawberries versus Esophageal Cancer and Cancer Fighting Berries.

Because we all likely have cancer cells inside us, Cancer Prevention and Treatment May Be the Same Thing. To die with cancer rather than from cancer, we need to slow down cancer doubling time. Check out one of my oldie-but-goodie video Slowing the Growth of Cancer.

For more context, check out my associated blog post: Flax and Breast Cancer Survival and Starving Tumors of Their Blood Supply.

Featured Photo:HealthAPTA.com

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United

Never Too Late to Start Eating Healthier

Never Too Late To Start Eating HealthierBy: Dr. Michael Greger, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

A hundred years ago the New York Times reported on a rather sophisticated study for the time, 4,600 cases of cancer studied over 7 years, suggesting that the increased consumption of animal foods was to blame. A century later, the latest review on the subjects concluded that mortality from all causes put together, ischemic heart disease, and circulatory and cerebrovascular diseases was significantly lower in those eating meat-free diets, in addition to less cancer and diabetes.

I’m surprised they found such significant results given that people in these studies typically didn’t stop eating meat until late in life. For example, in the largest study done up until that time, up to a third ate vegetarian for less than 5 years, yet they still ended up with lower rates of heart disease whether they were young or old—under 60, or over 60, whether they were normal weight or overweight, whether they used to smoke or never smoked, those that had stopped eating meat had lower risk, suggesting that decades of higher risk dietary behavior could be reversed within just years of eating healthier.

If you look at countries that switched from eating traditional, more plant-based diets, to more Westernized diets, it may take 20 years for cancer rates to shoot up. It takes decades for most tumors to grow. For example if you look in Asia, their dietary shift was accompanied by a remarkable increase in mortality rates of breast, colon, and prostate cancers. For example death from breast cancer in Japan or from prostate cancer, the line just goes straight up, but again it can take years of a cancer promoting diet and lifestyle. Same thing shown with migration studies. Men moving from rural China to the U.S. experience a dramatic increase in cancer risk, but tumors take time to grow.

So it’s remarkable to me that after most of a lifetime eating the standard western diet, one can turn it around, reverse chronic disease risk with a healthier diet, even late in the game.

So, should we all start eating vegetarian? This was the editorial that accompanied the results from the largest study ever published on Americans eating plant-based diets that found vegetarian diets associated with lower all-cause mortality, meaning those who started eating vegetarian live, on average, longer lives. Now this analysis included so-called semi-vegetarians, who ate meat at least once a month (but no more than once a week), so it’s not yet clear how bad eating meat a few times a month is. What we can all agree on, though, is that we should limit our intake of junk food and animal fat, and eat more fruits and vegetables. Most authorities will also agree that diets should include whole grains, beans, and nuts. Instead of fighting over who’s diet’s the best, it’s time to acknowledge these common features of diets associated with less disease and instead focus our attention on helping patients avoid the intense commercial pressures to eat otherwise.

Doctor’s Note

How amazing the human body is if we just treat it right! This reminds me of videos like Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease or How Many Meet the Simple Seven? where simple changes can lead to tremendous differences in health outcomes. So please don’t allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good. Any movement we can make towards improving our diet can help. Though the earlier the better: See Heart Disease Starts in Childhood and Back in Circulation: Sciatica and Cholesterol.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Video Sources

M J Orlich, P N Singh, J Sabate, K Jaceldo-Siegl, J Fan, S Knutsen, W L Beeson, G E Fraser. Vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality in Adventist Health Study 2. JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jul 8;173(13):1230-8

D Li. Effect of the vegetarian diet on non-communicable diseases. J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Jan 30;94(2):169-73.

T Huang, B Yang, J Zheng, G Li, M L Wahlgvist, D Li. Cardiovascular disease mortality and cancer incidence in vegetarians: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;60(4):233-40.

F L Growe, P N Appleby, R C Travis, T J Key. Risk of hospitalization or death from ischemic heart disease among British vegetarians and nonvegetarians: results from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Mar;97(3):597-603.

W B Grant. A Multicountry Ecological Study of Cancer Incidence Rates in 2008 with Respect to Various Risk-Modifying Factors. Nutrients. Jan 2014; 6(1): 163–189.

Cancer increasing among meat eaters. New York Times 1907.

J Zhang, I B Dhakal, Z Zhao, L Li. Trends in mortality from cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, esophagus, and stomach in East Asia: role of nutrition transition. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2012 Sep;21(5):480-9.

P C Walsh. Re: Trends in mortality from cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, esophagus, and stomach in East Asia: role of nutrition transition. J Urol. 2012 Jul;188(1):112-3.

Vegan Bacon Cheddar Mini-Quiches

By: Kelli Roberts – Skilled Vegan Chef, Certified Health & Nutrition Counselor.

This morning, one of the first things I saw was a link to this post about the effect of processed meat on cancer. It gives the results of a review of 7,000 studies by the World Cancer Research Fund. Their conclusion: processed meat is too dangerous for human consumption.

No kidding, right? How long have we heard it ~ that no one really knows what goes into a hot dog…. that everything left over is what creates a sausage. But yet, Oscar Mayer is still in business, and different varieties of gourmet sausages are still high on the list of (non-vegan) food writers. What is it going to take?

Vegan Bacon Cheddar Mini Quiches

But there are alternatives for those of us who will not eat an animal product, and for those who will hopefully get a clue and stop eating them: like these vegan bacon cheddar mini-quiches!

These bite-sized quiches feature Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon, a crispy smoky vegan bacon substitute. I chose to use some inside the quiches (so these didn’t stay crunchy, but added a nice smoky, salty flavor) and the pieces on top added the crunch!

I also wanted to make these a quick & easy appetizer or mini-meal, so I used tortillas for the crust, which worked out nicely.

Bacon-Cheddar-Mini-Quiches-3

These are so easy to make, not more than a half hour from start to finish, and are a great appetizer or addition to your meal. With a creamy, salty, smoky taste, they have all the flavors to please everyone. For those concerned about soy, the mini quiches would still have a nice flavor if the tofu is substituted with some mashed sweet potato, or pureed cauliflower….

Vegan Bacon Cheddar Mini-Quiches

  • 8″ tortillas, quartered (these made the perfect size but you could also use larger ones and cut them into smaller pieces
  • Coconut oil to grease the pan (or non-stick pan)
  • 1/2 package firm tofu (I used sprouted tofu)
  • 1/4 of a red onion, minced (you can optionally saute it for a different flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • replacer for 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon, plus extra for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Quarter the tortillas. Lightly coat the inside of a mini-muffin tin with coconut oil and fit the tortillas inside, being careful not to tear them. Prebake the tortillas for 5 minutes.

Crumble the tofu into a medium bowl. Add the onion and seasonings and stir well. Stir in the Daiya cheese and the coconut bacon, and add the egg replacer last. Mix well.

Spoon the filling into the shells and bake for 12 minutes. Top with extra coconut bacon for garnish and bake for a few minutes longer.

This amount will make between 2-3 dozen appetizers.

Bacon-Cheddar-Mini-Quiches-4

Bacon-Cheddar-Mini-Quiches-1

Kelli RobertsKelli Roberts is a skilled Vegan Chef with a plant-based diet certificate from Cornell University, and is a certified health & nutrition counselor from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has been vegetarian for nearly 20 years and vegan for 11, and is a Level 3-certified TriYoga teacher. Kelli teaches vegan cooking classes and programs to transition to a plant-based diet (online and in person), leads vegan yoga retreats, and offers individualized nutrition and lifestyle counseling. http://www.kellisvegankitchen.com 

Relieving Yourself of Excess Estrogen – Dietary Habits For Breast Cancer Prevention

Vegetarian Diet Helps Prevent Breast Cancer By: Michael Greger, M.D., a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker.

Earlier this year a study was published comparing the hormonal levels of women with and without breast cancer. If estrogen makes most breast cancers grow, then one would expect that the levels of both estrogen would be higher in women who have breast cancer compared to women who don’t, or at least who don’t yet.

And indeed, no surprise, that’s what they found, significantly more estradiol freely circulating through their bloodstream of those with breast cancer. But the study also looked at diets and hormonal levels. These were all omnivores. The women eating vegetarian did even better.

This may help explain why, in a study of the “relative risks for breast cancer by levels of animal product consumption”, there appears to be a trend between lower breast cancer risk the more vegetarian someone eats. And it was researchers at my medical alma mater Tufts that figured out why, in a landmark article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

See, the way your body gets rid of excess cholesterol is to dump it into the digestive tract knowing full well that there will be lots of fiber in there to grab it, hold onto it, and flush it out the body. (hopefully you chew a little better than that).

We did, after all, evolve quite a long time before Twinkies and Wonder Bread, and royal institutions such as Burger King and Dairy queen. So our body just expects it. It just assumes our intestines are going to be packed with fiber all day long—7 times more than we’re getting now. We certainly did evolve eating some meat, but plants don’t tend to run as fast and so the bulk of our diets was made up, of a lot of bulk.

And that’s how our body gets rid of excess estrogen. Vegetarian women have increased fiber input, which leads to “vegetarian women having an increase fecal output, which leads to increased excretion of estrogen and a decreased blood concentration of estrogen.”

And this just wasn’t in theory, they measured it. “Subjects were provided with plastic bags and insulated boxes filled with dry ice for thee 24 hour fecal collections.” You’ve hear of popsicles, well they had them make more like, poopsicles.

And here you go: In any one 24 hour period, the vegetarians were fecally excreting more than twice as much estrogen as the omnivores.

And, measuring the estrogen excretion versus the size of the fecal output, you can see, the bigger the better. See heavyweight V’s versus the welterweight Os? No wonder vegetarian women in the United States have been found to have such lower rates of breast cancer.

It’s great that many women stopped HRT, stopped taking extra estrogens. Well, another way to rid yourself of excess estrogens is in the way nature intended.

Video Sources

Mills PK, Beeson WL, Phillips RL, Fraser GE. Dietary habits and breast cancer incidence among Seventh-day Adventists. Cancer. 1989 Aug 1;64(3):582-90.

Goldin BR, Adlercreutz H, Gorbach SL, Warram JH, Dwyer JT, Swenson L, Woods MN. Estrogen excretion patterns and plasma levels in vegetarian and omnivorous women. N Engl J Med. 1982 Dec 16;307(25):1542-7.

Aubertin-Leheudre M, Hamalainen E, Adlercreutz H. Diets and hormonal levels in postmenopausal women with or without breast cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2011 May;63(4):514-24.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Related Article:

Estrogen Dominance and Xenoestrogens

10 Ways to Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

Estrogenic Cooked Meat Carcinogens

Broccoli, Potato and Leek Soup Recipe For Breast Cancer

Broccoli, Potato and Leek Soup Recipe For Breast Cancer

By Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.
Leeks are in the same family as garlic and onions and have been shown to improve immune function and reported to have anti-cancer effects. Broccoli tops the list as one of the best natural cancer fighters around. Thatʼs because compounds in this cruciferous vegetable called isothiocyanates may actually halt the growth of cancer cells, according to several studies.

Ingredients:
8 cups water
8 tsp vegetable base
4 cups broccoli, bite-size florets (about 1/2 lb)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sweet onion, small diced
1 tbsp garlic, fresh and finely chopped, (about 6
cloves)
3/4 pound leeks, white part only, washed and medium diced (about 2 cups chopped) 1 1/2 pounds yukon or Idaho potatoes, peeled and large diced
2 lbs broccoli, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

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Directions
In cook pot, add 8 cups water and vegetable base, mix and bring to a simmer. Add 4 cups broccoli florets and blanch until just tender, remove from stock, set aside and save. In cook pot, sauté onions on medium heat in olive oil until transparent, add garlic without browning, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add diced leeks and sauté 4 minutes. Add saved vegetable stock, increase heat, bring to a simmer, add potatoes, bring to a boil and simmer four minutes. Then add 2 pounds chopped broccoli and simmer on medium heat until potatoes are fully cooked. Turn off heat and blend with a vertical stick blender until completely pureed. Garnish with blanched broccoli florets and serve.

Note: For an oil free cancer diet omit sauteing vegetables and add directly to vegetable base.

A balanced breast cancer diet includes 5 or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables along with foods from a variety of other plant sources such as nuts, seeds, whole grain cereals, and beans.

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange: Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Vegan Creamy Corn Chowder Recipe For A Cancer Free Lifestyle Diet

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By: Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.

I know what most of you are thinking: Corn is a starch – how could it possibly help with cancer prevention? Well, I was just as surprised to hear that corn has it’s right to sit at the table. There is a recent research study at Cornell University which indicated that cooking corn unleashes beneficial nutrients including carotenoids (plant version of vitamin A) that can substantially reduce the chance of heart disease and cancer. Plus cooked corn retains its anti-oxidant activity even after the loss of vitamin C. In fact, cooking increases the anti-oxidants in corn by approximately 53 per cent. Isn’t this a good thing to find out. I love corn. Always use organic ingredients when possible.

Ingredient

4 cups vegetable stock
1 to 2 cups of non-dairy option (soy, almond, coconut or soy)
4 Yukon potatoes diced in cubes
1 cup of diced celery
1 cup of carrots sliced in 1/2 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion (large)
2 lbs frozen corn
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon pink salt
pepper

———————————————————————————————————–

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a 4 quart pot over medium heat. Stir in onions and celery; cook until just slightly golden 3 minutes. Stir in carrots, celery, garlic and red pepper flakes; cook until slightly golden 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil. Stir in bouillon to 4 cups of water. When bouillon cubes have dissolved, add water, corn and potatoes to pot. Cook until vegetables are tender. Stir in cumin, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Add water, if necessary.
  3. Reduce heat to low for 10 to 20 minutes.
  4. Using a blender put 1 cup of soup in blender with 1 cup of non dairy choice and blend for 30 seconds. Here you have a choice of blending the entire soup or adding half blended and half unblended soup together. This makes the soup a bit chunky. If the soup is still steaming hot, make sure to either keep the opening on top of your food processor open, or lift the lid often for steam to escape. If steam builds up in a close container it can explode the lid off.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross: E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Pumpkin Chili Recipe For A Cancer Free Lifestyle

Vegan Pumpkin Chili

By: Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.

Autumn is the time of year pumpkins decorate our front steps, eventually carved for Halloween jack-o-lanterns, and gracing the table as pumpkin pie usually once a year for Thanksgiving. After November this healthy anti-cancer food is often ignored, disappearing from our diet for another 11 months. Breast Cancer Authority Blog presents a pumpkin recipe that helps fight breast cancer, and is delicious too!

Canned pumpkin (not the same as pumpkin pie filling!) has many of the same benefits of fresh pumpkin, but as with most processed foods, not all the benefits, so use fresh if you can. When available use organic ingredients.

1 – bag of meat-free crumbles (such as Boca Ground Crumbles)**
1 – medium onion, chopped
1 – cup canned pumpkin (or squash)
1 – 28 oz. can diced stewed tomatoes
1- 15 oz. can kidney or black beans, drained & rinsed
1 – 12 oz. bottle of chili sauce
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

In a crock pot, combine all ingredients and slow cook on low for 3-4 hours.
On the stove in a soup pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer and for 1 hour.

Serve with your favorite chili toppings!

* if you like spicy chili, consider adding a touch of Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or cayenne pepper.
** You can substitute lentils, bulgur wheat, or more beans for the crumbles.

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Juicing For Breast Cancer Prevention

Juicing for Breast Cancer PreventionBy Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.

Juicing Vegetables for Breast Cancer Protection
The vegan juicing diet as a complementary therapy for cancer offers lots of nutrition into the body, quickly. Loads of green veg rammed with antioxidants and enzymes help keep you healthy. If you want to assist your body to fight off infection and disease then juicing is a great way to do it. Try it, you’ll love it! You can always juice fruit too which is a little easier going, certainly to start with.

Ingredients

  • Beats
  • Beat Greens
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Ginger

Juicing In Moderation
If you do begin juicing, beware that there is such a thing as “too much juicing”. Risks of overuse of juicing include diarrhea and too much sugar consumption for diabetics. As in all things, it is important to do this in moderation. Juicing is best when paired with an overall healthy diet and should not be used in place of professional medical care.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross: E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

How Do Plant- Based Diets Fight Cancer?

By Michael Greger M.D.

Plant-Based Diets Fight Cancer

Why do centenarians—those who live to be over a hundred years old—escape cancer? As you can see in my 3-min. video IGF-1 as One-Stop Cancer Shop, as we get older our risk of getting and dying from cancer grows year by year until we hit about 85 or 90, and then cancer risk starts to drop. It seems that centenarians are endowed with a particular resistance to cancer. So what’s their secret?

Every day, 50 billion of our cells die, and every day, 50 billion new ones are born. There’s a balance. Otherwise your body would shrink or get too crowded. Sometimes we need grow, like when we’re a baby or for that growth spurt around puberty. Our cells don’t get larger when we grow up; they increase in number. A child’s hand may only be made up of about 50 billion cells and may have to add half trillion or so while growing up.

Once we’re all grown up, though, we don’t want a lot of extra cells hanging around. We still need our cells to grow and divide, but out with the old and in with the new. We don’t want to be making more cells than we’re putting out to pasture. When you’re a kid, extra growth can be good; when you’re an adult, extra growth can mean a tumor.

How do our cells know when to tip the scale in favor of more dividing with less dying and when to come back into balance? A key signal is IGF-1, a growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor number one. IGF-1 levels go up when you’re a kid so you grow and then come back down when you’re done growing. Should your levels stay a bit too high as an adult, though, there’s a constant message sent to your cells to grow, grow, grow, divide, don’t die, keep going, keep growing. Not surprisingly, the more IGF-1 we have in our bloodstream, the higher our risk for many types of cancer.

When you’re a kid, growth is good, but too much growth when we’re all grown up can mean cancer. In my 90-second video, Cancer-Proofing Mutation, I describe Laron Syndrome, a type of dwarfism caused by congenital IGF-1 deficiency. Those affected don’t have that IGF-1 spurt in childhood so they grow up short-statured, but not having an excess of IGF-1 in their systems as an adult makes them nearly cancer-proof. This raises the question of whether one can achieve the best of both worlds by ensuring adequate IGF-1 levels during childhood and then suppressing excess growth promotion in adulthood. This can be done with a plant-based diet as I described in my last blog posts Cancer-Proofing Your Body and Treating an Enlarged Prostate With Diet, as well as in my 4-min. video The Answer to the Pritikin Puzzle.

Who is Pritikin? See Engineering a Cure. What’s the puzzle? See Ex Vivo Cancer Proliferation Bioassay. The binding protein findings I describe in the video may explain the findings in Is It the Diet, the Exercise, or Both?

For more on IGF-1, I’ve touched on it before in Dairy Hormonal Interference and Meat Hormones & Female Infertility.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my 2012 year-in-review presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: The Birkes / Flickr

Tagged cancer, centenarians, dwarfism, IGF-1, insulin, Nathan Pritikin, tumor

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