Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

Absolutely Breath Taking: Cancer Breakthrough

bees cancerCancer is Detectable in Breath

A hand-blown glass device housing a small team of honey bees may be able to detect cancer and other diseases, thanks to the acute sense of smell of the bees. Their extraordinary sense of smell can detect particles in the air in the parts per trillion range, naturally used for searching for pollen in flowers. By training the bees to recognize smells associated with certain diseases and cancers, the bees can determine the presence of the disease or not, based solely on the breath of a patient.

The device was revealed at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, by Portuguese designer Susana Soares. There were multiple distinct structures presented by the designer, but the function relies on two main chambers. The first chamber is a diagnosis area, into which the user exhales. The honey bees are kept in the outer larger chamber, but fly into the smaller chamber if they detect any aroma they were previously trained to recognize.

By training different groups of bees to recognize different odors, doctors can accurately determine the presence of lung, skin, and pancreatic cancers, as well as tuberculosis. “Trained bees only rush into the smaller chamber if they can detect the odour on the patient’s breath that they have been trained to target,” explains Soares.

The bees can be trained in only 10 minutes using Pavlov’s reflex, connecting a certain odor with a food reward. Mentally wired to constantly search food for the hive, the bees will remember the odor for the entire six week duration of their lives. The bees are especially sensitive to pheromes from apocrine glands, which excrete information about a persons health.

~Courtesy of Healthy Living Magazine

Canned Foods + BPA = Heart Disease

If you have high levels of the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) in your urine, you may be at an increased risk of heart disease, according to new data from a long-running British health survey.

People who developed heart disease also tended to have higher urinary concentrations of BPA, a somber finding that, while not proof that BPA causes heart disease, raises serious questions about why the chemical is still being so widely used across the globe.

Does BPA Exposure Cause Heart Disease?

Much of the research on BPA — the ubiquitous toxic chemical used in plastics, canned goods, dental sealants, paper money and more — has involved animals, leading skeptics (usually those in the chemical industry) to say the effects may not necessarily be the same in humans.

Well this latest study involved humans, and the results still indicated that exposure to BPA may be correlated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Researchers noted the findings mirrored those found in other large health surveys:

“Associations between higher BPA exposure (reflected in higher urinary concentrations) and incident CAD [coronary artery disease] … over ten years of follow-up showed similar trends to previously reported cross-sectional findings in the more highly exposed NHANES respondents.”

In the NHANES study, published in 2010, U.S. adults with the highest levels of BPA in their urine were more than twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease as those with the lowest levels.Those researchers noted:

“Higher BPA exposure, reflected in higher urinary concentrations of BPA, is consistently associated with reported heart disease in the general adult population of the USA.”

BPA is so pervasive that scientists have found that 95 percent of people tested have potentially dangerous levels of BPA in their bodies … and heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States. BPA is clearly not the only factor involved in heart disease, but given its widespread use – and the fact that it is even commonly found in the umbilical cords of babies in utero — any negative impact it makes on human health could prove disastrous.

BPA Also Linked to Obesity, Insulin Resistance, Reproductive Problems …

BPA is an endocrine disrupter, which means it mimics or interferes with your body’s hormones and “disrupts” your endocrine system. The glands of your endocrine system and the hormones they release are instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes.

Some of the greatest concern surrounds early-life, in utero exposure to BPA, which can lead to chromosomal errors in your developing fetus, causing spontaneous miscarriages and genetic damage. But evidence is also very strong showing these chemicals are influencing adults and children, too, and leading to decreased sperm quality, early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles and ovarian dysfunction, cancer and heart disease, among numerous other health problems.

For instance, research has found that “higher BPA exposure is associated with general and central obesity in the general adult population of the United States,” while another study found that BPA is associated not only with generalized and abdominal obesity, but also with insulin resistance, which is an underlying factor in many chronic diseases.

Plastics are NOT the Only Route of Exposure to BPA …

Many people have stopped carrying plastic water bottles and using plastic utensils and food containers in order to avoid BPA. As public knowledge of BPA in plastics has grown, a slew of BPA-free plastics  have also hit the market, making it easier to choose products that do not contain this toxin.

However, wise as it may be to limit your use of plastic products, this will not be enough to protect you from BPA’s dangerous effects. BPA is found in the lining of nearly all canned foods and beverages, and it turns out this source of exposure could be increasing your BPA levels alarmingly. In one study, eating canned soup for five days increased study participants’ urinary concentrations of BPA by more than 1,000% compared to eating freshly made soup.

The researchers believe canned goods may be an even more concerning source of exposure to BPA than plastics, and if the above finding that increased urinary levels of BPA are linked to heart disease are confirmed, it’s logical to assume that eating canned goods could increase your risk of heart disease significantly because of the exposure to BPA!

As one of the world’s highest production volume chemicals, BPA is incredibly common in food and drinks packaging, as well as in other places you probably wouldn’t expect, like receipts. A study in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry found that of 13 thermal printing papers (the type often used for receipts) analyzed, 11 contained BPA.Holding the paper for just 5 seconds was enough to transfer BPA onto a person’s skin, and the amount of BPA transferred increased by about 10 times if the fingers were wet or greasy.

Handling paper currency is another likely route of exposure, as in a study published in Environmental Science and Technology, researchers analyzed paper currencies from 21 countries for the presence of BPA, and the chemical was detected in every sample.They also measured the transfer of BPA from thermal receipt paper to currency by placing the two together in a wallet for 24 hours. This dramatically increased the concentrations of BPA on the money, which again suggests that receipts are highly contaminated.

Is it Possible to Avoid Having Your Health Damaged by BPA?

BPA is all around us, that’s true, but steps are slowly being made to phase out its use. BPA has been banned in baby bottles in Europe and the United States, for instance, and in response to consumer demand, some companies are also following suit.

It’s important to make an effort to support the companies that have already removed BPA from their products, or those that offer products that never contained it (such as baby toys made from natural fabrics instead of plastic). If enough people refuse to buy BPA-containing goods, companies will have no choice but to get this toxin out of their products.

For information on companies that are making efforts to explore BPA-free packaging or have already begun phasing BPA out of their products altogether, see the report Seeking Safer Packaging: Ranking Packaged Food Companies on BPA by the environmentally oriented investment firm Green Century and As You Sow, a non-profit working toward increasing corporate social responsibility. Of course, it’s also important to boycott the common sources of BPA that are still in production, such as:

  • Canned foods and soda cans
  • All BPA-containing plastics
  • Certain tooth sealants
  • Certain BPA-free plastics (which can contain similar endocrine-disrupting chemicals)
  • Receipts and currency (while you can’t “boycott” these, seek to limit or avoid carrying receipts in your wallet or purse, as it appears the chemical is transferring onto other surfaces it touches. It would also be wise to wash your hands after handling receipts and currency, and avoid handling them particularly if      you’ve just put lotion or have any other greasy substance on your hands,      as this may increase your exposure)

One final tip: certain “friendly bacteria” have the ability to break down BPA, as well as reduce your intestinal absorption of it.  So one way to help protect yourself from the adverse effects of inevitable BPA exposure is by eating traditionally fermented foods, such as raw grass-fed organic kefir, organic fermented veggies, like sauerkraut or Kimchi, or taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.

~ Source: Dr. Mercola

Passionate About Pears ~ Natural Wonders

Pears are the wonder fruit.

Who knew that pears had so much to offer?

The world’s oldest oldest cultivated plant offers a variety of health benefits and is delicious and beautiful to boot!

Calms Digestion

The pectin and fiber in pears can help stop diarrhea and the cooling tannins can calm an irritated digestive tract.

Keeps You Hydrated

Pears are a watery food and when you add in the A and C vitamins and rich mineral content, they can help rehydrate you and keep you hydrated.

Improves ADHD

Because of there high fiber content, pears can slow down the sugar excitability that often accompanies ADHD. However they should be eaten in moderation because they do contain natural sugars themselves.

Helps Lower Cholesterol

Pears are high in pectin (higher than apples) which reduces cholesterol levels by bonding with dietary fat and cholesterol and removing them from the body through the intestine before they are absorbed through the bloodstream.

Boosts Immune System

Pears contain a good amount of vitamins A, K, C, B2, B3, B6 and minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper so eating them is great for your immune system.

Hypoallergenic Fruit

Pears are a hypoallergenic fruit. So if you have issues with food sensitivities, you usually can eat pears with no adverse side effects. This also makes them a great fruit to introduce to infants.

Prevents Cancer

The hydroxycinnamic acid found in pears has been associated with preventing stomach and lung cancer.

Fights Alzheimer’s

The antioxidant quercetin found in the skin has been shown by a recent study at Cornell University to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. So don’t’ peel your pears!

Prevents Osteoporosis

Pears contain boron which our bodies need so we can retain calcium so they have been linked to osteoporosis prevention.

Source: MedClient

New Berry in Town – Lingonberry the Disease Fighter

The benefits of the berry are starting to seem endless. Blueberries have been shown to be helpful with protecting blood vessels in diabetics. Cranberries have been used for years to effectively treat urinary tract infections. And raspberries have eye-protective antioxidants called lutein. Eating berries in general may also help ward off certain types of cancers.

Berries are an amazing group of fruits. The berry came up with an amazing assortment of plant chemicals called polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants, to help neutralize the sun’s radiation to avoid damage to its tender flesh. A type of polyphenol called flavonoids give berries their dark coloring and confer health benefits on uswhen we eat them.

One of new berries on the block that science is seriously looking into is the lingonberry; it appears to have higher concentrations of plant polyphenols and may confer even greater health benefits. Well known in Scandinavia, the lingonberry’s Latin name is vaccinium vitis-idaea, and is also known as the cowberry. As a member of the vaccinium species, it is related to the cranberry, bilberry and blueberry. Today, scientists are showing its value in both human and animal studies that are proving to have positive results.

  • Animal studies have shown how the lingonberry can lower inflammatory molecules, block oxidants from destroying tissue, and also help the body replace important antioxidants, like glutathione, which is a master antioxidant in our body.
  •  Lingonberry has also been shown to increase red blood cell and liver enzymes needed for antioxidant protection. We need antioxidants to protect vessels and nerve tissue, and also to help decrease the damage from inflammation
  • Native Americans in North America have a history of using this berry to help those suffering with diabetes and cardiovascular illness
  •  A  2010 Canadian study with First Nation Cree subjects found that the lingonberry was able to reduce the effect of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). AGEs are the byproduct of sugars and heated protein molecules in the body that accumulate in patients with high blood sugar. These AGEs contribute to the damage in a diabetic’s vessels. This damage is a major contributor to kidney disease, eye disease and circulation problems that can lead to skin sores and amputation.
  • Naturopathic treatments for diabetes include exercise, eating low glycemic index foods (low sugar content) that are cooked at low temperatures and are minimally processed, and blood-sugar-balancing herbs like gymnema and cinnamon. Now, it seems we can add lingonberry to this list.

Although not well known in the United States, lingonberries are available in juice form in some health food stores. They can also be found in jams, and the berries can be bought frozen or in powdered form online. Those with diabetes, blood pressure challenges, and inflammatory concerns, here is a quick recipe (make sure to consult with your physician first) a tablespoon or two of the frozen berries and adding them to one cup of non-sweetened almond milk with a three-quarter cup of ice; blend for a healthy flavonoid-rich treat!

Breast Cancer Awareness For Our Four Legged Friends

While breast cancer awareness month for people has just kicked off this month, it’s important to realize that we humans aren’t the only ones affected by the disease.  Here are some great facts about breast cancer in dogs and cats.

BREAST CANCER IN PETS FACT SHEET

Many people don’t realize that pets can also suffer from breast cancer. Mammary gland tumors are common in dogs and cats, especially those that aren’t spayed or were spayed late in age.

Mammary exams for pets are important and early detection is key. Once your dog or cat is five years old, perform a mammary exam monthly. Gently feel the tissue under and around each nipple, “rolling” the tissue between your fingers. If you feel even a tiny lump, bring your pet to the veterinarian.

Dogs are particularly prone to breast cancers. Their bodies are not designed to cycle continuously without nursing pups. With every heat cycle their bodies go through a sixty day hormonal pregnancy regardless of whether they breed or not. This hormonal cycle continuously stimulates the mammary tissue for at least four months of each year. The constant stimulation leads to very high rates of cancer. Fortunately, 99% of  canine breast cancer can be prevented by spaying young dogs.

Dogs:
• 25% (1 in 4) of un-spayed female dogs will get mammary cancer
• Most common in older female dogs
• Less than 50 percent of canine mammary tumors are malignant
• Spaying a dog before their first heat will reduce the chance of breast cancer to almost zero.
• Most “at-risk” breeds: poodle, Brittany spaniel, English setter, pointer, fox terrier, cocker spaniel, Boston terrier
• Diagnosis: affected area will be red, swollen, feverish, and painful to the touch
• Early detection/prompt treatment can successfully treat even serious tumors. Look for small, firm pea-sized lumps in the breast tissue.
• Surgical removal is the first treatment method and chemo is sometimes a secondary treatment, depending on the severity of the tumor

While breast cancer is less common in cats, it does occur. Like in dogs, the risk is also drastically reduced when cats are spayed. Just like in people, reproduction and nursing reduces the risk of breast cancer in intact dogs and cats.

Cats:
• Less common in cats than dogs, 1/4000 will have mammary cancer
• Early spaying is the best prevention and also if a cat has had kittens they’re less likely to get it
• Around 90 percent of feline mammary tumors are malignant
• Siamese cats and cats over the age of 10 are the most prone to mammary cancer
• Diagnosis: affected area will be painful to the touch, swollen, infected, and the cat may have a fever
• Surgical removal of the tumor and aggressive chemo is the recommended treatment, however mammary cancer is usually fatal in cats

Great strides have been made in the treatment of cancer in pets. Many pets can be cured completely. All pets should see their veterinarian twice a year for a thorough physical examination and any new lump should be checked as soon as it is noticed. A simple needle aspirate can frequently differentiate between harmless masses and those that should be removed. Just like in people, cancers that are detected and removed early have the best chance of being cured.

Raising money for cancer research has the potential to benefit both pets and people. Many types of cancers occur in multiple species. Frequently, promising treatments and medications are used to treat cancer in animals long before they get formal approval for use in people. Treatment of pets in a clinical setting allows veterinary oncologists to report adjustments that improve outcomes or quality of life. The adjusted protocols can be used by human oncologists to benefit people with cancer.

So throughout all the marathons this month make sure you’re marching for all survivors and patients whether they have two legs or one. Happy Breast Awareness Month!

~ Special Thanks to PurinaCare & ClevengersCorner.com

 

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