Health And Green Leafy Vegetables

 

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific food.

 

1. Heart
Soo Yeon Kim, Sun Yoon, Soo Mi Kwon, Kye Sook Park, Yang Cha Lee-Kim. Kale juice improves coronary artery disease risk factors in hypercholesterolemia men. Biomed Environ Sci. 2008 Apr;21(2):91-7. 
In this study 32 men with high cholesterol consumed 150 ml of kale juice per day for 12 weeks.  After this time, there was an increase in HDL, the good cholesterol while there was a decrease in LDL, the bad cholesterol.  Apart from this, there was also a significant increase in enzymes which supports immunity (glutathione peroxidase and selenium).  These results were not as great among smokers than non- smokers. 
 
Pollock, RL. The Effect of Green Leafy and Cruciferous Vegetable Intake on the Incidence of Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis. JRSM Cardiovasc Dis 5(2048004016661435. PMC4973479
This was a meta analysis of eight studies.  It investigated the relationship between the incidences of total cardiovascular disease with the intake of green leafy vegetables.  It showed a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease correlated with the consumption of the greens. 
 
 
2. Bladder cancer
Chang Xu, Xian-Tao Zeng, Tong-Zu Liu, Chao Zhang, Zhong-Hua Yang, Sheng Li, Xiao-Yan Chen. Fruits and Vegetables Intake and Risk of Bladder Cancer: A PRISMACompliant Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 May ;94(17):e759
This study looked at 17 studies including 9447 case studies to show the effect of the consumption of fruit and vegetables on the development of bladder cancer.  It was shown that the higher the consumption of green leafy vegetables, the smaller
the risk was in the development of the disease.  Consequently it was concluded that green leafy vegetables might even help prevent bladder cancer. 
 
 
3.  Type II diabetes
Ping-Yu Wang, Jun-Chao Fang, Zong-Hua Gao, Can Zhang, Shu-Yang Xie. Higher intake of fruits, vegetables or their fiber reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes: A metaanalysis. J Diabetes Investig. 2016 Jan ;7(1):56-69. Epub 2015 Jun 22
Twenty three articles were used to carry out a meta-analysis between the intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.   
It was found that a higher intake of fruit, especially berries, and green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables, cruciferous vegetables or their fiber is associated with a lower risk of development of type 2 diabetes. 
 
 
4.  Appetite control
C J Rebello, C E O'Neil, F L Greenway. Gut fat signaling and appetite control with special emphasis on the effect of thylakoids from spinach on eating behavior. Int J Obes (Lond). 2015 Jul 31. Epub 2015 Jul 31. 
This study found that consuming spinach with fat, it delays the fat metabolism.  As a consequence the body senses satiety for a longer period of time after consuming a meal.  This plays a positive role in apetite control, one of the problems in the obesity crisis.   
 
 
5.  Anti-aging
Jae H Kang, Alberto Ascherio, Francine Grodstein. Fruit and vegetable consumption and cognitive decline in aging women. Ann Neurol. 2005 May ;57(5):713-20. 
In this prospective study, done from 1976 to 2001, women were studied for fruit and vegetable intake and their decline of cognitive function.  It was found that total vegetable intake was associated with less decline.  Spicifically green  leafy vegetables and crucifirous vegetables were associated with higher cognitive function.  As consumption of these vegetables were increased, there was less decline in function.   
 
 
6.  Blood purification
 
PATEK AJ Jr.  Chlorophyll and regeneration of the blood. Effect of administration of chlorophyll derivatives to patients with chronic hypochromic anemia. Archives of Internal Medicine 1936 Vol. 57 pp. 73-84  ISSN: 0003-9926
 
In this study it was shown that intake of chlorrophyl derivatives (dark green vegetables such as green leafy and sea vegetables) by anemic patients increased their hemoglobin independently from iron intake.    
 
 
7. Liver detoxifier
Rose, P, Ong, CN, et al. Protective Effects of Asian Green Vegetables against Oxidant Induced Cytotoxicity. World J Gastroenterol 11(48)7607-14. PMC4727240
This article showed that green leaf vegetables are potential sources of antioxidants and phase II detoxification enzyme inducers. It is likely that consumption of such vegetables is a major source of beneficial phytochemical factors that may protect against colonic damage. 
 

Coconut Oil and Chemotherapy

The study below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

Kim Sooi Law, Nizuwan Azman, Eshaifol Azam Omar, Muhammad Yusri Musa, Narazah Mohd Yusoff, Siti Amrah Sulaiman, Nik Hazlina Nik Hussain. The effects of virgin coconut oil (VCO) as supplementation on quality of life (QOL) among breast cancer patients.  Lipids Health Dis. 2014;13:139. Epub 2014 Aug 27

This was a prospective study of 60 breast cancer patients in Malaysia. The sample consisted of 60 patients undergoing chemo therapy. Two groups were randomly formed and one group received virgin coconut oil as part of the treatment regime. It was found that the group who received coconut oil had higher quality of life, and less side effects of the chemotherapy treatment. These included fatigue, digestive problems, sleep difficulties, and loss of appetite compared to the control group.

Essential oils and Cancer

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

 

Mark Barton Frank, Qing Yang, Jeanette Osban, Joseph T Azzarello, Marcia R Saban, Ricardo Saban, Richard A Ashley, Jan C Welter, Kar-Ming Fung, Hsueh-Kung Lin. Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009 ;9:6. Epub 2009 Mar 18

Mahmoud M Suhail, Weijuan Wu, Amy Cao, Fadee G Mondalek, Kar-Ming Fung, Pin-Tsen Shih, Yu-Ting Fang, Cole Woolley, Gary Young, Hsueh-Kung Lin. Boswellia sacra essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 ;11:129. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

 

Both these studies were done in a laboratory setting outside the human body.   It was consistently showed that the essential oil from the Boswellia plant suppressed the development of bladder cancer and breast cancer cells respectively.  It was even showed to be effective in advanced breast cancer.  Future pre-clinical and clinical studies are urgently needed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Boswellia sacra essential oil as a therapeutic agent for treating breast and bladder cancer in humans.

 

 

Yong Seok Park, Joung H Lee, Judy Bondar, Jyoti A Harwalkar, Hasan Safayhi, Mladen Golubic.Cytotoxic action of acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) on meningioma cells.Planta Med. 2002 May;68(5):397-401.

Yong Seok Park, Joung H Lee, Jyoti A Harwalkar, Judy Bondar, Hasan Safayhi, Mladen Golubic.Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) is cytotoxic for meningioma cells and inhibits phosphorylation of the extracellular-signal regulated kinase 1 and 2. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2002;507:387-93.

 

Both the studies looked at the effect of frankincense, an essential oil from the Boswellia plant, on the development of tumors of the brain meninges.  It was found that it interrupted the signaling for the development of these tumors on cellular level.   Frankincense could thus play a role in the prevention of these tumors, even after the initial formation.

Wake up to the Power of Coffee

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

 

Susanna C Larsson, Alicja Wolk. Coffee consumption and risk of liver cancer: a meta-analysis. Gastroenterology. 2007 May ;132(5):1740-5. Epub 2007 Mar 24.

This study analyzed the findings of 9 studies done from 1966 to 2007 to see what the link is between coffee consumption and liver cancer.  The researchers found that increasing your coffee consumption with two cups of coffee per day might reduce your risk of liver cancer. 

 

Ming Ding, Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, Mu ChenRob M. van Dam and Frank B. Hu. Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and a Dose-Response Meta-analysis.  Diabetes Care. 2014 Feb; 37(2): 569–586.

Published online 2014 Jan 11. doi:  10.2337/dc13-1203

This study re-analyzed the findings of 28 controlled studies to see what the effect of coffee consumption is on the development of type 2 diabetes.  The researchers found that the consumption of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee seems to protect against the development of type 2 diabetes. The level of protection was even higher if more than one cup of coffee was consumed

 

Brendan J. Guercio, Kaori Sato, Donna Niedzwiecki, Xing Ye, Leonard B. Saltz, Robert J. Mayer, Rex B. Mowat, Renaud Whittom, Alexander Hantel, Al Benson, Daniel Atienza, Michael Messino, Hedy Kindler, Alan Venook, Frank B. Hu, Shuji Ogino, Kana Wu, Walter C. Willett, Edward L. Giovannucci, Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, and Charles S. Fuchs. Coffee Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality in Stage III Colon Cancer: Results From CALGB 89803 (Alliance)   J Clin Oncol 33.

 

 

This study was done on 953 patients with stage III colon cancer.  The researchers looked at the consumption of coffee, decaffeinated coffee and herbal tea on the recurrence of the cancer.  They found that the consumption of four or more cups of regular coffee significantly reduce cancer recurrence.  Patients who consumed herbal tea or decaffeinated coffee did not show this decrease in recurrence rate. 

From the three studies above it looks as if there is a definite link between the consumption of coffee and the prevention of cancer.  It is not shown in all studies though and therefore we also look at another study:

 

Maurice PA Zeegersa, Frans ES Tanb, R Alexandra Goldbohmc and Piet A van den BrandtaAre Coffee and Tea Consumption associated with urinary tract cancer risk?  A systematic review and meta-analysis. Int. J. Epidemiol. (2001) 30 (2):353-362.doi: 10.1093/ije/30.2.353

This was a review on 34 case control studies and three follow-up studies.  It found that the consumption of coffee is related to the development of urinary tract cancer while the consumption of tea did not have a similar effect.

This is a difficult call to make if there is evidence for and against the risk factors of a certain type of food.  As always, everyone should take responsibility for their own decision with as many facts on the table as possible. 

Flaxseed

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

 

Gillian Flower, Heidi Fritz, Lynda G Balneaves, Shailendra Verma, Becky Skidmore, Rochelle Fernandes, Deborah Kennedy, Kieran Cooley, Raimond Wong, Stephen Sagar, Dean Fergusson, Dugald See.  Flax and Breast Cancer: A systematic Review.  Integr Cancer Ther. 2013 Sept 8. Epub 2013 Sept 8. PMID: 24013641

 

Our interpretation:

This was a literature review study.  The researchers searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and AMED for scientific material on human interventional or observational data about the consumption of flaxseed and breast cancer. 

From the ten studies researchers chose to include, they concluded that evidence suggests that flax may be associated with decreased risk of developing breast cancer.   Flaxseed consumption also demonstrates suppression of tumor growth in breast tissue of women diagnosed with breast cancer, indicating support for cancer treatment.

 

Lilian U Thompson, Jian Min Chen, Tong Li, Kathrin Strasser-Weippl, Paul E Goss. Dietary flaxseed alters tumor biological markers in postmenopausal breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2005 May 15;11(10):3828-35. PMID: 15897583

The study was conducted on post-menopausal women all diagnosed with breast cancer.  It looked at the effect of flaxseed consumption on breast cancer markers (evidence in the body reelecting the presence of breast cancer) and the urinary excretion of lignans.  Lignans are present in flaxseedand offer protection against cancer in general and breast and ovarian cancer specifically.  Lignans in the urine provide us an idea of its presence in the body. 

The women in the study were designated to two groups.  One group had no dietary interventions while the other consumed one muffin containing 25 g of flaxseed on a daily basis for one month.  After this time, the biomarkers in the women who consumed the flaxseed were significantly lower than those who did not consume flaxseed.  This indicated that the cancer was less active.  Also, the women who consumed the flaxseed had more lignans in the urine which was indicative of more lignans in the body to protect them from cancer.

This study clearly indicates how only one month of flaxseed consumption could lower our risk for breast cancer and improve our chances of breast cancer survival.  Although this study was conducted on patients with breast cancer we also know that flaxseed protect us from other forms of cancer.  With no serious side effects and a few added side benefits, everyone should explore ways to incorporate flaxseed into their daily diets.

A study published in the journal ‘Nutrition and Cancer’ by Thompson et. al.  (Nutr Cancer. 1991;16(1):43-52) showed high amounts of lignan precursors in oilseeds, dried seaweeds, whole legumes, cereal brans, legume hulls, whole grain cereals, vegetables and fruits (84 +/- 22). Flaxseed flour and its defatted meal were the highest producers of lignans.

 

Turmeric - a wonder food

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

Yanyan Li, Tao Zhang.  Targeting Cancer Stem Cells by Curcumin and Clinical Applications.  Cancer Lett. 2014 Jan 23. Epub 2014 Jan 23. PMID: 24463298  

Our interpretation:

This is a composite article reviewing all the articles published regarding the ability of curcumin, an ingredient in turmeric, to protect against cancer.  It deals specifically with targeting cancer stem cells which now is believed to not only initiate cancer but also play a role in drug resistant cancers and recurrence of cancer.  Although much research is still needed, this article acknowledges the potential of curcumin to control the renewal of cancer stem cells, and thus the development of cancer as well as recurrence and response to treatment.  Studies were done to test the efficacy of this agent independently as well with traditional cancer therapies.  Numerous studies have shown both turmeric and curcumin to be tolerated very well as food and supplement.  Although only a small portion of ingested curcumin is absorbed, it could be improved multiple times with the simultaneous ingestion of pepper. 

So what does this mean to the nutritionist?  Although not guaranteed to protect from all cancers it could be beneficial to add this spice to your food and drinks.  Turmeric is not an overwhelming spice and blends very well with all curry dishes, tomato and pumpkin based soups and stews.  It also makes a flavorful drink for bedtime when it is mixed into warm milk (of any kind) with honey and ginger. Remember to always add pepper to enhance the absorption of curcumin. 

 

R Thomas, M Williams, H Sharma, A Chaudry, P Bellamy.  A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial evaluating the effect of a polyphenol-rich whole food supplement on PSA progression in men with prostate cancer-the UK NCRN Pomi-T study.  Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2014 Mar 11. Epub 2014 Mar 11. PMID: 24614693

This was a study with very exciting results showing the benefit of consumption of a supplement of nutrients by men with localized prostate cancer.  In this case the supplement included pomegranate, green tea, broccoli and turmeric. None of these men received active medical treatment and they were divided into two groups. One of the groups took a supplement containing the above mentioned nutrients while the other group received an identical placebo.  The efficacy of the experimental supplement was measured in the increase of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels from baseline.  PSA is elevated in men with prostate cancer and an increase is thus a measurement of the progression of the disease. 

The amazing results showed an increase of 14.7% PSA in the men on the experimental supplement while the increase in the other group was 78.5%!  The supplement was well tolerated and because the study ran for only six months, the investigators will only claim short term effects.  As a nutritionist, this is only reinforcement of the belief that nutrient rich food will not only have benefits for general health, but will specifically help in the enormous task today to protect against, stop or at least hinder the progression of cancer.

 

 

Honey, Ginger and Colon Cancer

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

 

Analhuda Abdullah Tahir, Nur Fathiah Abdul Sani, Noor Azian Murad, Suzana Makpol, Wan Zurinah Wan Ngah and Yasmin Anum Mohd Yusof Combined ginger extract & Gelam honey modulate Ras/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathway genes in colon cancer HT29 cells.  Nutrition Journal 2015 14:31.  DOI: 10.1186/s12937-015-0015-2

Hakim L, Alias E, Makpol S, Ngah WZ, Morad NA, Yusof YA.  Gelam honey and ginger potentiate the anti-cancer effect of 5-FU against HCT 116 colorectal cancer cells.  Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: APJCP [2014, 15(11):4651-7.  (PMID:24969899)

 

Our interpretation:

These studies on the effect of honey and ginger on colon cancer cells were done in a petri dish.  Although I do not eagerly jump to conclusions from petri dishes to human bodies – I did think that this was promising enough to post here.

Two studies reported the same results when the efficacy of ginger and or honey was tested on cancerous colon cells.  In both the studies it was found that both honey and ginger on their own lead to the death of colon cancer cells.  However, when these two foods were combined the effect of on the cancer cells was even greater.

Honey and ginger are not only anti-cancer foods; both also possess powerful anti-inflammatory action.  Inflammation is now widely recognized as a risk factor in the development of cancer and other auto-immune diseases.  Although the ways differ in which dry and fresh ginger works in the body, the effect is very much the same.  

I think it is safe enough to at least try using both honey and ginger if you have colon cancer or may be at risk to develop it in your life.  The article published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention (mentioned above) claims that this will also be supportive of chemotherapy.

Two ways to get this power combination into your body are steeping a tea from ginger root sweetened with honey or simply mixing dried ginger with honey.  If the taste of the honey and dry ginger mix is not appealing, stir it into probiotic Greek yogurt.

Choose the darkest honey possible as it contains extra anti-oxidants to provide you even more benefit.  Alternate it with raw honey which is lighter in colour but have enzymes which have extra health benefits.