Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

fasting for better health

Extended fasting during the night fast may lower your risk of breast cancer or improve your prognosis. Fasting has also been shown to decrease the risk for other types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

In the first study of its kind, researchers analyzed 11 years of data from non-diabetic breast cancer patients, with surprising results.

The women who fasted less than 13 hours per night showed a 36 percent increase in breast cancer recurrence compared to those who fasted for 13 or more hours per night.

In other words, going at least 13 hours between between dinner and breakfast is associated with a lower risk of cancer.

The study looked at daily sleep and dietary habits, serum blood sugar and inflammation markers (hemoglobin A1c and C-reactive protein), and the recurrence of cancer and breast tumors.

Longer fasting for better sleep and less disease risk

The study showed that each two-hour increase in fasting time made for longer nights of sleep. This is important not only because it helps people feel better, but also because it points to a healthier sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm  An imbalanced circadian rhythm increases cancer risk, including breast cancer, along with numerous other chronic diseases.

Each two-hour increase in fasting time also reduced blood sugar and systemic inflammation, hence lowering the risk of diabetes and other diseases.

The longer nighttime fasters showed significantly lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein made in the liver that increases with inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to serious diseases, including heart disease, some forms of cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

Got low blood sugar or adrenal fatigue? Then a bedtime snack may be appropriate

While the new research makes a strong case for extended nighttime fasting, long fasts may be detrimental to those with low blood sugar or adrenal fatigue.

In these cases, allowing blood sugar to drop too low through fasting can cause a series of negative hormonal consequences that result in insomnia, mood issues, fatigue, and poor brain function.

If you wake up anxious at 3 or 4 a.m., you may be a victim of low blood sugar and need to eat a little protein to fall back asleep. Eating a little bit before bed can also help prevent those all-too-early wakeup calls. You also need to follow a diet during the day that stabilizes blood sugar.

Eating a healthy blood sugar diet over time may help you stabilize your blood sugar to the point that you can comfortably adopt the extended nighttime fast.

A simple, non-medical strategy for reducing cancer and disease risk

These findings suggest that simply extending the time between dinner and breakfast to at least 13 hours may be a simple, non-medical strategy to reduce the risk of breast cancer and chronic disease.

If you have questions or concerns about nighttime fasting, sleep habits, blood sugar balancing, or disease prevention, please contact my office.

Read Full Post »

cancer-prevention-autoimmune-diet

You never know when those chronic migraines, persistent hypothyroid symptoms, or that flaring arthritis pain might actually save your life. These are warning signals that your system is out of balance. By tending to your body’s health with nutritional and lifestyle interventions, you may prevent cancer as well.

Carrying the genes for cancer doesn’t make it a sure thing—a recent study found more than half of all cancers are preventable. In functional medicine, we have long known certain diet and lifestyle practices, as well as various nutritional and botanical compounds, can reduce the risk of cancer.

Not only can nutritional therapy help prevent cancer, but it also can aid in the management of chronic autoimmune and inflammatory disorders so common today.

Cancer risk factors also increase risks for common diseases today

Many of the same factors that raise the risk of cancer are also linked with many chronic immune disorders common today:

  • Neurological disorders—memory loss, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s
  • Autoimmune disease—Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Graves’ disease, vitiglio, type 1 diabetes
  • Mood disorders—Anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders
  • Other health issues—Chronic pain, migraines, fatigue, obesity, type 2 diabetes

People’s diet and lifestyle choices significantly influence their chance of getting cancer or one of the other immune disorders listed above. For instance, smoking alone is a responsible for 30 percent of cancers (and 75 percent of lung cancer) in the United States, and obesity for another 20 percent.

Cancer prevention falling on deaf ears

Although an enormous amount of data on the causes and preventability of cancer already exist, little of it has been put into practice on a larger scale, according to researchers. Instead, people, and their doctors, remain skeptical that cancer can be prevented.

Obstacles to more widespread cancer prevention cited by the researchers include:

  • The short-term focus of cancer research. The benefits of preventions take decades to be realized.
  • Intervening too late. It may be too late to implement preventive strategies after a lifetime of cancer-causing habits.
  • The focus of research on treatment instead of prevention. Research focuses on a single organ affected. Focusing on behavioral changes to prevent cancer might save more lives.
  • Societal factors that affect health. Many of the factors that increase the risk of cancer and other diseases, such as fast foods, high-carb diets, and addictions to sedentary forms of entertainment (television, video games, the Internet), are accepted as normal in our society.

Cancer education and awareness are still possible

It’s possible to change social norms and thus affect health, say the researchers. The anti-smoking campaigns have led to a decline in lung cancer rates. Media attention on the dangers of trans fats has led to more awareness and less use of hydrogenated oils in food processing and the restaurant industry.

In functional medicine, we often don’t see people willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes until the “pain of the problem is worse than the pain of the solution.” Adopting a healthier diet and incorporating herbal and nutritional supplements into daily life can be challenging at first, but such changes significantly ease symptoms, restore well-being, and reduce the risk of cancer for many people.

Read Full Post »