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Do you think paleo eating and lifestyle will ward off the ravages of cancer?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 08, 2011 at 3:12 AM

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Dr K posted a link on facebook to the following facts regarding the incidence of cancer. He asks, Is it time to get serious about the levees?

Is paleo enough as a path to avoid many of the causes that lead to cancer? Is there anything else we can do?

Dr K, in his Levees, has #9 AGEs leading to epithelial cancer. #13 Defective signalling among cells leading to cancer. #16 Oncogenesis. Focus on cells and not on the cancer to beat back cancer. #20 Loss of control of the master gene P53 results in cells turning to cancer. #23 Medical errors such as x-rays to detect breast cancer causing breast cancer.

Do we know that a paleo diet is the very best prophalatic for avoidance of cancer?

Finally, I have a friend that hauls gasoline in tanker trucks and he was saying he has to get out of the business because all his friends are dieing of cancer of the liver and lungs. Probably from breathing the fume vapors from the gas.

alt text

http://holykaw.alltop.com/all-the-facts-about-cancer-infographic

SINCE POSTING THIS, I WAS SENT TO A RECENT GARY TAUBES LECTURE REGARDING AVOIDANCE OF PROCESSED CARBS AND SUGARS...TO AVOID GETTING CANCER. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDtiYahxr5I&NR=1

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:40 AM

I think you can overlay Gary Taubes' and Dr. Lustig's graph correlating per capita sugar consumption with obesity. Correlation will be very high, with some lag time allowed for cancer development. That's my hunch.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:52 AM

How about the carcinogenic properties of the mother's diet...ie SAD...being passed along? Lack of Vit D3 in the cells of the mother....ie no immunity in the mother to be passed down to the baby. Formula feed triggering cell deterioration? The mother's cellular environment was compromised and was passed along to the baby? See Levee 16 Oncogenesis of The Quilt.

3c49f67b3c8c0b580e89fdba0b95a8e8

(211)

on June 08, 2011
at 09:37 PM

I agree too, but just wondering...

3c49f67b3c8c0b580e89fdba0b95a8e8

(211)

on June 08, 2011
at 09:36 PM

What about cancers found in very young babies? What would the reasoning behind this be?

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 08, 2011
at 05:05 PM

Kamal- Thank you, I will have to dig up the newer meta-analysis to see if it effected outcomes when things are less on fire here :) I can understand it improving mental status, anything that reduces the whirlwind of suck around a serious illness would be a boost. I am skeptical of it making physical improvements, but willing to be convinced!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:24 PM

Vrimj- I know very little about this, but there is a newer meta-analysis than the one you listed. It, however, also does not include recurrence as an outcome. The likely reason is that few randomized trials exist for the topic in general, and I highly doubt that many (if any) look at recurrence as an outcome.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:12 PM

Kamal- Thank you, that sounded off, to me. Is there any support for it in reduction or remission? The only thing I could find that seemed to address it at all was this http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1400/abstract

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 08, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Sorry Dexter, the editor/proofreader in me doesn't go to sleep. No one likes her at parties either. ;)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 08, 2011
at 02:30 PM

Ummm...no. Most of the trial research was done here in Boston at MGH, UMass, and Beth Israel. Neither meta-analyses nor individual trials show a 56% reduction. During the summer that I interned at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, no one (not even the venerable Dr. Benson) threw around those numbers. I'd ask you to cite your sources, but that does not appear to be your modus operandi. Maybe you're going off of cohort data, which does not show causation? In any case, mindfulness remains amazing, but you appear to wield an inflated effect size estimate.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on June 08, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Go uggla!!!!!!!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on June 08, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Mindfulness has shown 56% reduction in cancer recurrence. Show me one drug that even comes close to that number?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on June 08, 2011
at 05:33 AM

anything that increases cortisol and insulin chronically causes cancer. Another shocking one.....anything that lowers cholesterol also causes cancer.......and paleo helps prevent this. Soon to be revealed.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 08, 2011
at 05:20 AM

You have talked about how homo sapiens can change ones DNA just by how one thinks. How much does thinking of being free of cancer have to do with protecting the cells? And how does that work?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on June 08, 2011
at 05:11 AM

cancer deaths have not changed one bit in the last hundred years. The incidence is growing. Detecting it allows treatment earlier but confers no survival benefit. Prevention is the best cure. And there is copious data out there on this. You protect your cells you don't get cancer.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on June 08, 2011
at 05:08 AM

but i believe 100% of cancer is preventible.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on June 08, 2011
at 05:08 AM

obviously I agree with this.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:16 AM

Thanks Karen for ravaging me!! with the correct spelling. Corrected.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 08, 2011
at 03:54 AM

And inflammation. So absolutely it would help prevent it. I don't know about cure it.

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9 Answers

7
8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on June 08, 2011
at 07:14 AM

Being that I am in remission now for 10 years (this month makes it my 10th year). My doctors say that I am the best health wise I have ever been. Natural healthy living through a Paleo lifestyle has changed my life. I am only getting better. So I say hogwash to all the anti-paleo hype when I am living proof of a paleo improved cancer survivor success story.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on June 08, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Go uggla!!!!!!!

4
76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on June 08, 2011
at 02:18 PM

Gonna ruffle a few feathers here, but I get annoyed by the people who say "we are surrounded by all sorts of chemicals everyday, therefore cancer is inevitable". Such defeatism. Sure, we are hit by all kinds of carcinogens everyday, and cells turn "cancerous" everyday even in a healthy body. But the human body has a mechanism for noticing these damaged cells and dealing with them. A healthier body can most definitely deal with these cells easier.

I am a strong believer that diet, specifically a paleo diet, plays an absolutely crucial role in the prevention of cancer. In the presence of high inflammation, chronically raised insulin and blood sugar (aka cancer food), unbalanced hormones and nutrient deficiencies, the body will have a harder time dealing with cancerous cells before they multiply to a point where the person has "cancer". From what I've researched, a paleo-esque diet corrects all of these issues.

Two people very close to me had cancer. The first passed away because of it. The second, upon being diagnosed with metastatic cancer, immediately went on a high-fat, low-carb, nutrient-rich paleo diet. Almost a year later, and they haven't been able to find the primary, and the metastatic site is now cancer free. Correlation does not equal causation, obviously. But still, pretty cool!

Now, there's the issue of the effects protein consumption has on the mTor pathway, which has been said to be a factor in cancer development. Hopefully Dr. K writes about this.

Sorry for the rant!

3
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 08, 2011
at 04:27 AM

Does it matter what anyone here or elsewhere "thinks" might happen? The reality is that we live in a chemical soup regardelss of food, with vinyl flooring, polyurthane coatings, BPA in food cans, cash register receipts and nearly every thing else, polluted air (even polar bears have PCBs in their blood), heavy metals in fish, etc., etc., etc., so regardless of diet, we have carcinogens and who knows what else at every turn.

There is no silver bullet. In the end, we're each just dirt, sooner or later. Dirt.

I'm only concerned about quality of life at this point, and feeling good, and being able to function highly enough to take care of myself and do the things I enjoy like gardening, cooking, learning and a bunch of other things.

I heard something on an NPR program over the last few days about cancer... they had a Dr. on who has done a lot of research, etc. on cancer. What stood out was when he said that when he has a breast cancer patient come to him and say "but I did everything right - I didn't smoke, I ate all the right foods, I did A, B, C, and I still got breast cancer" and he said that it isn't much help to those patients to tell them "Well, at least you reduced your risk."

My approach is to live a healthy lifestyle and not worry about things like cancer, because Sh** happens and it might be you or it might be me, and I might live through it or not, and you might live through it or not, but getting cancer or not getting cancer is no longer what defines living or dying, as it did even just 20 years ago.

And living is fragile and we're all headed for the dirt nap eventually. Or tomorrow.

That said, I'm not going to live in such a way that invites cancer, but I'm not going to worry about it, either. If my number comes up to have it, then I'll deal with it. If I live through it, I'm still going to eventually die.

We all die.

Does it really matter if it's cancer or getting hit by a bus or dying ion a car crash? Aren't those scenarios about the same, anyway, in terms of chance of survival?

Live. Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving (hint: that quote has nothing to do with food).

3
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 08, 2011
at 03:51 AM

Do I hope it helps the "ravishes"? No. Do I hope it helps the ravages of cancer? Yes.

In seriousness, I think the links between sugar/chronic high levels of insulin and tumors is compelling.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 08, 2011
at 03:54 AM

And inflammation. So absolutely it would help prevent it. I don't know about cure it.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:16 AM

Thanks Karen for ravaging me!! with the correct spelling. Corrected.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 08, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Sorry Dexter, the editor/proofreader in me doesn't go to sleep. No one likes her at parties either. ;)

1
7fe08b47d7d073a906802a4170ae24bf

(350)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Funny how the poster depicts cancer as something that can happen to anyone. And implicitly implies that cancer is primarily caused by outside sources (not food), even though there's no evident to support that cities with higher level of air pollution have higher rates of cancer versus cities with less pollution.

As Phenix stated, even a healthy body can develop cancer. But it's VERY hard for cancer to survive in a low sugar environment (i.e. a low-carb/paleo diet), because cancer needs glucose to survive.

Another thing that's interesting, as the poster states, cancer has gone up 44% since 1950 and cancer will be the leading cause of death in 5 years.

How did Americans eat in 1950 versus today? It was a meat and potatoes diet. People were not cooking with PUFAs, eating whole grains, eating high carb, eating as much processed foods as they are today.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:40 AM

I think you can overlay Gary Taubes' and Dr. Lustig's graph correlating per capita sugar consumption with obesity. Correlation will be very high, with some lag time allowed for cancer development. That's my hunch.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on June 08, 2011
at 04:29 PM

There is some evidence that cancer is linked to inflammation, and the Paleo diet is all about reducing and trying to eliminate internal inflammation. Based on this I think it is a good diet to help prevent cancer.

I think that being generally happy, content and feeling good is also a great way to fight cancer. You don't hear about this in the medical journals because "happiness" is hard to quantify. But that doesn't mean it isn't important. If the Paleo diet gives you energy, confidence, and allows you to do the things in your life that you want to do, I think that is also a huge benefit.

I have a lot of cancer in my family, both parents died of it, several aunts and uncles, and even some in-laws. In almost all cases it was smoking-related, which in a way makes it hard to know what I should watch out for (besides not smoking obviously). But having most of my elder generation die of cancer in the space of about 5 years certainly heightened my awareness.

1
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 08, 2011
at 03:41 AM

When I don't know of any studies giving me a reason to think so? No.

I do choose to opt for screening as often as I can because early detection is something that I do expect to bee helpful.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 08, 2011
at 02:30 PM

Ummm...no. Most of the trial research was done here in Boston at MGH, UMass, and Beth Israel. Neither meta-analyses nor individual trials show a 56% reduction. During the summer that I interned at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, no one (not even the venerable Dr. Benson) threw around those numbers. I'd ask you to cite your sources, but that does not appear to be your modus operandi. Maybe you're going off of cohort data, which does not show causation? In any case, mindfulness remains amazing, but you appear to wield an inflated effect size estimate.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 08, 2011
at 05:05 PM

Kamal- Thank you, I will have to dig up the newer meta-analysis to see if it effected outcomes when things are less on fire here :) I can understand it improving mental status, anything that reduces the whirlwind of suck around a serious illness would be a boost. I am skeptical of it making physical improvements, but willing to be convinced!

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:12 PM

Kamal- Thank you, that sounded off, to me. Is there any support for it in reduction or remission? The only thing I could find that seemed to address it at all was this http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1400/abstract

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on June 08, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Mindfulness has shown 56% reduction in cancer recurrence. Show me one drug that even comes close to that number?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on June 08, 2011
at 05:11 AM

cancer deaths have not changed one bit in the last hundred years. The incidence is growing. Detecting it allows treatment earlier but confers no survival benefit. Prevention is the best cure. And there is copious data out there on this. You protect your cells you don't get cancer.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:24 PM

Vrimj- I know very little about this, but there is a newer meta-analysis than the one you listed. It, however, also does not include recurrence as an outcome. The likely reason is that few randomized trials exist for the topic in general, and I highly doubt that many (if any) look at recurrence as an outcome.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 08, 2011
at 05:20 AM

You have talked about how homo sapiens can change ones DNA just by how one thinks. How much does thinking of being free of cancer have to do with protecting the cells? And how does that work?

0
75598b9cce8cf07b29adc2949fe98093

on June 09, 2011
at 07:33 AM

Cancers do feed on sugars, so if you starve a cancer cell, that is a good thing. I knew a lot of people in the Raw Vegan community--many fighting cancer. Many opted for a very low sugar diet (almost no fruits). Almost entirely vegetable (and veg juices), such as with the Gerson method.

Being Paleo, and eating nutrient-rich foods and lots of anti-oxidants is also helpful in strengthening the immune system and overall health. Keeping inflammation down is also a benefit.

Paleo is definitely a better option compared to the mainstream modern-day diet.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 09, 2011
at 05:26 AM

I like to get information from a lot of sources. Here is an interview Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez on Cancer. Part of the information comes from a dentist named Kelly who cured cancer by diet. I just post this in case it helps someone. One idea is that the pancreas helps prevent cancer if we do not over eat protein...

It is in 7 parts. If someone needs help finding the other six I would be happy to chase them down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWTHbGu8JSY

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