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What are Telomeres?

Telomeres Tell of Cancer

Posted on July 14, 2015, 6 a.m. in Cancer Diagnostics

 

Rapid telomere shortening, followed by stabilization 3-4 years before diagnosis, may be a telltale pattern for cancer.

 

 

Telomeres are the end caps of chromosomes, protecting the DNA complexes from deterioration during cell division. Telomere shortening is considered a marker of cellular aging, and prematurely shortened telomeres have been linked to increased risk of cancers, heart disease, dementia and death.  Lifang Hou, from Northwestern University (Illinois, USA), and colleagues took multiple measurements of telomeres over a 13-year period in 792 persons, 135 of whom were eventually diagnosed with different types of cancer, including prostate, skin, lung, leukemia and others.  The team found that initially, telomeres aged much faster (indicated by a more rapid loss of length) in individuals who were developing but not yet diagnosed with cancer: telomeres in persons developing cancer looked as much as 15 years chronologically older than those of people who were not developing the disease. Then the researchers observed that the accelerated aging process stopped three to four years before the cancer diagnosis. The lead investigator comments that: “this pattern of telomere growth may mean it can be a predictive biomarker for cancer.”

 

If you are interested in having your telomeres tested, I can now offer this service along with a myriad of other functional nutrition testing.  Telomere length can be modified through diet, exercise and proper supplementation. You just need to know what to do. I can help with that.

 

 

 

Sulforaphane Benefits to Help Protect Against Certain Cancers

At the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia last week, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) along with UPMC Cancer Center announced that broccoli sprout extract helps protects against oral cancer in mice and also proved to be tolerable in a small group of healthy human volunteers. These encouraging results will be examined further in a human clinical trial as the researchers will recruit participants at high risk for head and neck cancer recurrence later this year. People who are survivors of head and neck cancer are still at a very high risk for a second cancer in their mouth or throat. Unfortunately, these second cancers are frequently fatal.

The researchers at Pitt and the UPCI Head and Neck Cancer Program tested sulforaphane, the health-promoting compound in broccoli sprouts, by giving it to mice predisposed to oral cancer. The result was a significant reduction in the incidence of the cancer as well as in the amount of tumors that formed.

For the human portion of the research, ten healthy volunteers were treated with a sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract. The protective changes were detected in the lining of their mouths. Due to these results, another study will be conducted that will consist of forty volunteers who have already been successfully treated and cured from head and neck cancer. They will be given broccoli seed supplementation and the researchers will seek to determine the impact on the participants’ oral lining in regards to potential cancer prevention.

Looking at sulforaphane

Earlier studies have demonstrated that cruciferous vegetables with a high concentration of sulforaphane help reduce the effects of environmental carcinogens. Sulforaphane targets several biological pathways that modulate Phase I enzymes and elevate Phase II enzymes that are present in all cells.

Once inside the cells, sulforaphane sends a signal to individual cellular enzymes that turns on the natural cellular defenses in these cells. Sulforaphane is capable of restoring the gene’s activity towards normal cell progression. Cells are naturally equipped with their own internal defense system. Much of the cell’s ability to defend itself is due to two main factors: sulforaphane’s ability to produce the antioxidants that quench harmful free radicals and detoxification enzymes to break down toxins.

One serving of Vegan Elite has 300mg Broccoli Seed Extract and Sulforaphane. Fantastic as your daily protein smoothies!

 

featured-total-vegan-chocolate

 

Sources

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. “Broccoli sprout extract promising for head and neck cancer prevention” 

Oral Oncol. 2015 Apr 10. pii: S1368-8375(15)00144-X. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.02.101. [Epub ahead of print].Chemoprevention targets for tobacco-related head and neck cancer: Past lessons and future directions. Sheth SH, Johnson DE, Kensler TW, Bauman JE

Ketogenic Cereal (high fiber)

Ingredients:

  • Cereal, Fiber One – General Mills (1/2 cup)
  • Macadamia nuts, dry roasted with salt – chopped (1/3 oz.)
  • Pecans – chopped (1/3 oz.)
  • Coconut – dried, shredded – unsweetened (2 Tbsp)
  • Almond Breeze, unsweetened – Blue Diamond (8 oz.)
  • Heavy Cream (1 oz.)
  • MCT Oil (1 Tbsp)

 

Directions:

Chop nuts, then weigh.

In a small bowl, mix together chopped nuts, coconut and Fiber One.

Stir Almond Breeze beverage and MCT Oil into cream. Pour some or all over cereal. Drink remaining cream.

Macadamia Nut Cookie (GF/CF/SCD Friendly)

4  cups Almond Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 Egg

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

1 cup Honey

1⁄2 cup Macadamia – chopped roughly

1 cup Dates – chopped roughly

1 cup Shredded Coconut

½ tsp Salt

 

– Preheat the oven to 300°F.  Line a baking tray with baking paper.

– Combine the almond flour with the baking soda.

– In another bowl, whisk the egg with the vanilla essence and honey.

– Combine with the almond flour and add the macadamias, dates, and coconut.

– With moist hands shape the dough into ping-pong sized balls and flatten when placing onto the lined baking tray, leaving enough room for expansion.

– Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes until the cookies have turned a golden brown color. Ideally turn off the oven after 15 minutes and turn the cookies over and leave until the oven has cooled down. This will make them extra crunchy. Cool and store in an airtight jar.

Makes 30 cookies

 

Calories Carbs Fat Protein Fiber Sugar
196 18 13 4 1 15

 

Taken from Healing Foods Cookbook

Vegan Elite Protein Powder Benefits

Look at this great new research further supporting the use of sulforophane in the diet. Vegan Elite Protein Powder not only is a great tasting protein choice, but it contains therapeutic doses of sulforophane with each smoothie.

 

featured-total-vegan-chocolate

At the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia last week, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) along with UPMC Cancer Center announced that broccoli sprout extract helps protects against oral cancer in mice and also proved to be tolerable in a small group of healthy human volunteers. These encouraging results will be examined further in a human clinical trial as the researchers will recruit participants at high risk for head and neck cancer recurrence later this year. People who are survivors of head and neck cancer are still at a very high risk for a second cancer in their mouth or throat. Unfortunately, these second cancers are frequently fatal.

The researchers at Pitt and the UPCI Head and Neck Cancer Program tested sulforaphane, the health-promoting compound in broccoli sprouts, by giving it to mice predisposed to oral cancer. The result was a significant reduction in the incidence of the cancer as well as in the amount of tumors that formed.

For the human portion of the research, ten healthy volunteers were treated with a sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract. The protective changes were detected in the lining of their mouths. Due to these results, another study will be conducted that will consist of forty volunteers who have already been successfully treated and cured from head and neck cancer. They will be given broccoli seed supplementation and the researchers will seek to determine the impact on the participants’ oral lining in regards to potential cancer prevention.

Looking at sulforaphane

Earlier studies have demonstrated that cruciferous vegetables with a high concentration of sulforaphane help reduce the effects of environmental carcinogens. Sulforaphane targets several biological pathways that modulate Phase I enzymes and elevate Phase II enzymes that are present in all cells.

Once inside the cells, sulforaphane sends a signal to individual cellular enzymes that turns on the natural cellular defenses in these cells. Sulforaphane is capable of restoring the gene’s activity towards normal cell progression. Cells are naturally equipped with their own internal defense system. Much of the cell’s ability to defend itself is due to two main factors: sulforaphane’s ability to produce the antioxidants that quench harmful free radicals and detoxification enzymes to break down toxins.

 

Sources

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. “Broccoli sprout extract promising for head and neck cancer prevention” 

Oral Oncol. 2015 Apr 10. pii: S1368-8375(15)00144-X. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.02.101. [Epub ahead of print].Chemoprevention targets for tobacco-related head and neck cancer: Past lessons and future directions. Sheth SH, Johnson DE, Kensler TW, Bauman JE

 

 

If you had to choose one thing

When people ask me the single most important thing they can do to start improving their health, nine times out of ten I will tell them to cut out refined sugar. Just start with that.

Not as easy as it might seem at first thought. This means take out all processed sugar, foods that contain high fructose corn syrup and any processed food product that has the word sugar in the ingredient list. And sometimes “sugar” can be tricky to identify in all products as more and more “Frankenfoods” are being added to our food supply and labels.

The easiest way to eliminate refined sugar from your food plan? Eat only a whole foods based diet. This means eating foods that do not come in a package. Eat vegetables, protein, avocado, nuts, seeds and yes, fruit. While fruit DOES contain sugar, this is natural sugar. If you are starting out with a new health plan and feeling overwhelmed, my recommendation is to keep in the fruit. Now I would not have more than 2-3 servings per day, but if you are having a sweet craving, having an apple is MUCH preferred over having a handful of jellybeans.

And, DON’T start substituting nasty artificial sweeteners for your sugar in food. Keep it simple. Eat real food. This will help to reduce your cravings while improving your health considerably.

No Grain Pumpkin Muffin (Paleo Friendly) (GFCF)

Servings per recipe: 10

 ½ cup Pumpkin Puree

½ cup Almond Butter

1 Large Egg or EnerG Egg Replacer

1 scoop Fit Food Vegan Protein Powder (brown rice and pea protein powder with stevia)

½ tsp Vanilla Extract

¼ tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients into food processor. Blend until well mixed.
  3. Pour batter into greased muffin tin. You can use mini muffin tins too.
  4. Add additional toppings of your choice. (Calories listed do not account for mix-ins).
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.

 

 

Calories: 100

Fat: 8 grams

Carbohydrates: 6 grams

Fiber: 2 grams

Protein: 5 grams

Gluten Free Tortilla

I love this brand of gluten free products…and the tortillas are also dairy and yeast free. So many people go “gluten free” without realizing that yeast can still be a big issue for them in terms of digestion, Candida, etc.

If you are going gluten free, you may want to consider yeast free too. This wrap would be a nice addition to a meal.

Food-For-Life-Brown-Rice-Tortilla

Asthma and Low Antioxidant Intake with Children

In October 2012, a new study reported that intake of vitamins C and E is associated with a reduced prevalence of asthma. The number of individuals with asthma is increasing, and the disease affects approximately 25 million Americans, which equals about one in 12 adults and one in 10 children.

The subjects included 452 children between three and six years of age. The parents of the children completed questionnaires regarding lifestyle, demographics and asthma symptoms. The parents also completed a three-day diet history for the children.
The investigators showed that the children with the highest intake of vitamin C had a 65 percent decrease in the likelihood of asthma compared to the children with the lowest intake. Similarly, the children with the highest vitamin E intake had a 68 percent decrease in the likelihood of asthma compared to the children with the lowest intake.

Higher fruit intake was associated with a lower risk of asthma, although this finding was not statistically significant. The researchers stated, “These data suggest that children with high intakes of vitamins C and E may be associated with a reduced prevalence of asthma.”

Reference:
Nakamura K, et al. Public Health Nutr. 2012 Oct 1:1-6.