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Science: Blueberries Demonstrated To Increase Effectiveness Of Cervical Cancer Therapy

Science - Blueberries Demonstrated To Increase Effectiveness Of Cervical Cancer Therapy
image © medicine.missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. (Jan. 16, 2018) ― According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. One of the most common treatments for cervical cancer is radiation. While radiation therapy destroys cancer cells, it also destroys nearby healthy cells. University of Missouri School of Medicine researchers studied in vitro human cancer cells to show that combining blueberry extract with radiation can increase the treatment’s effectiveness.

“Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays and other particles such as gamma rays to destroy cancer cells,” said Yujiang Fang, M.D., Ph.D., a visiting professor at the MU School of Medicine and lead author of the study. “For some cancers, such as late-stage cervical cancer, radiation is a good treatment option. However, collateral damage to healthy cells always occurs. Based on previous research, we studied blueberry extract to verify it could be used as a radiosensitizer.”

Radiosensitizers are non-toxic chemicals that make cancer cells more responsive to radiation therapy. In a previous study, Fang and his research team showed that resveratrol, a compound in red grapes, could be used as a radiosensitizer for treating prostate cancer. Blueberries also contain resveratrol.

Read Full Report From University of Missouri School of Medicine

The Shocking Story Of Transgenic Crops In Argentina

The Shocking Story Of Transgenic Crops In Argentina
Photo – Michael Fischer – pexels.com

In Argentina, both humans and livestock are suffering the consequences of herbicide exposure – in a serious and tragic scenario that has received too little press coverage. Genetic malformations and disease run rampant across the country; congenitally deformed children and rapidly dying livestock are the result of dangerous herbicides sprayed on genetically engineered crops in Argentina – despite claims made by manufacturers saying otherwise. [1]

According to the Library of Congress, Argentina is the “third largest grower of biotech crops in the world“, right next the United States and Brazil. The LOC reports that Argentina was one of the first countries in the world to use genetically modified crops, specifically in 1996 with the introduction of genetically modified soybean plants that didn’t die when sprayed with the herbicide, glyphosate. If glyphosate sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s currently being sold on the market as Roundup, a herbicide manufactured by Monsanto. [2]

Monsanto doesn’t have a squeaky clean image when it comes to safe agricultural products. In fact, if you’ve brushed up on your history, you will discover that Monsanto was one of the manufacturers of Agent Orange, a deadly herbicide used during the Vietnam War that has been discovered to cause various cancers such as: soft tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, lung cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myelomas, bladder cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, brain cancer, and breast cancer. The American Cancer Society reports links to these cancers and the dangerous dioxins found in Agent Orange, though not all results were seen in people exposed to the herbicide during the Vietnam War. [3]

Transgenic Wars, a French investigative film by Paul Moreira, exposes the reality of raising transgenic crops in Argentina. Not only has it affected the livelihood of Argentinian farmers (transgenic crops require a reduced amount of manpower to manage them, hence many Argentinians losing their jobs), it may also be costing them their lives. Moreira visited Avia Terai, a rural village smack-dab in the middle of fields of GE crops. The local doctors report numerous children are born with congenital diseases that they attribute to herbicide exposure. This was covered in a BBC news report in 2014, with a leading scientist in Argentina, Dr. Carrasco, reporting congenital deformities in an experimental study he conducted with Monsanto’s glyphosate and chicken and frog embryos. Dr. Carrasco notes that the congenital deformities were very similar to the congenital deformities in children born in places surrounded by GE crops. [4]

Livestock are likewise affected. Moreira’s film also reported the effects of GE soy products eaten by pigs in a Danish farm. Pig breeders reported an illness they called “the yellow death”, wherein piglets suffered from severe diarrhea and eventually died – 30 percent of the piglets born each year were affected. Pigs in the farm were being fed GE soy and once the farmer cut out the GE soy from his pigs’ diet, he noticed the sudden stop in diarrhea among his animals. The farmer, Ib Pedersen, reports that his GE soy came from Argentina and that moment he stopped feeding his livestock with it, “the yellow death” stopped.

Moreira’s film raises many questions about the safety of herbicides used on crops sold in America and all over the world each year. While there isn’t a definite answer regarding the role of herbicides in disease-stricken Argentina, we can’t be sure that it isn’t the cause either; not yet. With Argentinian farmers adding more chemicals and mixing together different herbicides to fend off weeds that are resistant to glyphosate, it is becoming harder and harder to pinpoint what exactly is causing Argentinian children to become sick. The real question now is, how do we stop it?

Here’s the trailer from the documentary film:

Further Reading:

Liver Cancer Deaths Are Skyrocketing As Food Becomes Increasingly TOXIC Due To Pesticides And Herbicides

Fears As 93% Of Americans Tested Positive For Glyphosate And Children Found To Have The Highest Levels

California’s Decision To List Glyphosate As Cancer-Causing Upheld By Courts

Pay Up! Monsanto Found Guilty of Chemical Poisoning In France

Monsanto Is Suing California For Stating That Roundup Causes Cancer

References:

[1] Premiers Lignes Television. Transgenic Wars.http://www.pltv.fr/en/transgenic-wars/

[2] Library of Congress. Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms: Argentina. https://www.loc.gov/law/help/restrictions-on-gmos/argentina.php

[3] The American Cancer Society. Agent Orange and Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/agent-orange-and-cancer.html

[4] Pressly, L. (2014). Are pesticides linked to health problems in Argentina? http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27373134

13 Vegetarian Foods That Have More Iron Than Meat

13 Vegetarian Foods That Have More Iron Than Meat
Infographic – herbsandhealth.net Photo sources – see foot of article

Iron is one of the essential minerals that are critical for many of the body’s functions. Our body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from our lungs to the tissues. Iron also produces another protein called myoglobin which helps supply oxygen to our muscles.

For lifelong vegetarians or those who are transitioning to a non-meat diet, their most common concern is how to maintain iron consumption – because much of the iron in the average diet comes from from pork, beef, and chicken. With the meat out of the equation, is it possible to have non-meat options that offer the same amount of iron or more than meat? Fortunately, there are many delicious options that are both rich in iron and vegetarian-friendly:

1. Tofu

This food is made from soybeans, which, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition are a good source of nutritional iron. [1] Tofu’s iron content remains stable even after heat treatment, according to another study reported by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. [2]

2. Quinoa

This seed contains more iron than common cereals. Roasting quinoa does not affect its mineral content, as found out by a study first reported in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Quinoa is also rich in calcium and zinc. [3]

3. Dark Chocolate

According to a study reported in the journal Nature, dark chocolate is rich in minerals like iron and calcium and offers consumers health benefits that milk chocolate cannot match. Consumption of this food was associated by the study to increased epicatechin content of blood plasma. [4] Epicatechin is a strong antioxidant, which together with iron, promote muscle growth.

4. Dried Fruits

Dried peach halves, prunes, apricot halves, and raisins are somewhat unexpected sources of dietary iron. An article reported in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition showed that dried apricots have the highest iron content among some dried fruit samples from Turkey. [5]

5. Spirulina

This superfood is a type of blue-green algae that is rich in iron, calcium, and magnesium. A study published in Plant Foods and Human Nutrition confirmed the effectiveness of spirulina in improving the iron status of rats during pregnancy and lactation. [6]

6. Legumes

Beans provide essential nutrients for the body including protein and iron. One cup of kidney beans will give you 3.93 mg of iron, according to a database from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. [7]

7. Brussel Sprouts

These veggies are an excellent source of iron as well as antioxidants, vitamins, folate, and fiber. Brussels sprouts are one of the foods recommended by a Spanish study as part of a diet for patients with deficiency anemia. This diet also includes beetroot, asparagus, romaine lettuce, and oranges. [8]

8. Pumpkin Seeds

You can eat pumpkin seeds raw, which provides the most benefit. However, pumpkin seeds also pack an iron punch when roasted for no more than twenty minutes. A study published in the journal BioFactors recommended the consumption of pumpkin seed kernels as sources of dietary iron for women at reproductive ages. [9]

9. Nuts

Which nuts contain the most iron? Cashews are on top, with 8.22 mg, followed by almonds, macadamias, and pistachios. Nuts top the list of foods that have particularly high amounts of iron, according to a report from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. [10]

10. Sugarcane Molasses

This “healthy sugar” contains iron, sulfur, fructose, and copper, making it a potential dietary supplement for iron deficiency anemia, as per a study first published online by the Journal of Dietary Supplements. [11]

11. Sesame Butter / “Tahini”

Also known as tahini, sesame butter is an excellent addition if you are already eating iron-rich fruits and vegetables. Tahini is often associated with hummus which may help improve the nutrient profiles of meals. [12]

12. Tomato Paste

When consumed raw, tomatoes only offer 0.5mg of iron per cup. Dried or concentrated tomatoes offer a greater amount of iron than fresh ones. Tomatoes also provide vitamin C which helps increase iron absorption, based on a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. [13]

13. Potatoes

The iron content of potatoes is mostly concentrated in the skin. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition discovered that there is much greater solubilization of iron from potato than from other foods. The tubers also provide vitamin C which enhances iron absorption. [14]

References:

[1] Murray-Kolb LE et al. January 2003. Women with low iron stores absorb iron from soybeans. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499339

[2] Masuda T. October 14, 2015. Soybean Ferritin Forms an Iron-Containing Oligomer in Tofu Even after Heat Treatment. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26390371

[3] Repo-Carrasco-Valencia RA et al. September 2010. Effects of roasting and boiling of quinoa, kiwicha and kañiwa on composition and availability of minerals in vitro. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20582934

[4] Serafini M et al. August 28, 2003. Plasma antioxidants from chocolate. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v424/n6952/full/4241013a.html?foxtrotcallback=true

[5] Duran A et al. November-December 2008. Trace element levels in some dried fruit samples from Turkey. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18991103

[6] Kapoor R and Mehta U. 1998. Supplementary effect of spirulina on hematological status of rats during pregnancy and lactation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10426118

[7] U.S. Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4643?fg=&man=&lfacet=&format=Abridged&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=&qlookup=kidney+beans

[8] Santoyo-Sanchez A et al. 2015. Revista Médica del Hospital General de México Dietary recommendations in patients with deficiency anaemia. http://www.elsevier.es/en-revista-revista-medica-del-hospital-general-325-articulo-dietary-recommendations-in-patients-with-S0185106315000463

[9] Naghii MR and Mofid M. 2007. Impact of daily consumption of iron fortified ready-to-eat cereal and pumpkin seed kernels (Cucurbita pepo) on serum iron in adult women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18198398

[10] PubMed Health. March 20, 2014. How can I get enough iron? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072802/

[11] Jain R and Venkatasubramanian. January 6, 2017. Sugarcane Molasses – A Potential Dietary Supplement in the Management of Iron Deficiency Anemia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28125303

[12] Wallace TC et al. December 2016. The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5188421

[13] Stahl W et al. May 2001. Dietary tomato paste protects against ultraviolet light-induced erythema in humans. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11340098

[14] Fairweather-Tait SJ. July 1983. Studies on the availability of iron in potatoes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6882727

Infographic photo sources:

Tofu – https://pixabay.com/en/slice-the-tofu-cut-a-part-conveyance-597229/
Quinoa – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Quinoa-gepufft.jpg
Dark chocolate – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Schokolade-schwarz.jpg
Dried fruits – https://pixabay.com/en/raisins-dried-golden-grapes-fruit-88532/
Spirulina – https://pixabay.com/en/spirulina-alga-vegetable-proteins-1829077/
Legumes – https://pixabay.com/en/chickpeas-grains-eating-2240388/
Brussels sprouts – https://pixabay.com/en/brussels-sprouts-vegetables-463378/
Pumpkin seeds – https://pixabay.com/en/pumpkin-seeds-kernels-green-1489510/
Nuts – https://www.pexels.com/photo/almonds-pistachios-cashews-dried-nuts-86649/
Sugarcane molasses – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blackstrapmolasses.JPG
Sesame butter – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sesame-butter.jpg
Tomato paste – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tomato_passata.jpg
Potatoes – https://pixabay.com/en/potatoes-vegetables-erdfrucht-bio-1585075/