Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer

Image Credit: Ton Rulkens / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Colon Cancer Prevention: Is it the Fiber or the Phytates?

Dietary factors are considered the most important environmental risk factors for cancer. Within recent years, a large number of naturally occurring health-enhancing substances of plant origin known as phytonutrients have been recognized to have beneficial effects on certain cancers. Beans, chickpeas, split peas and lentils are packed with all sorts of wonderful nutrients, but the reason they may protect against several degenerative diseases may be due to non-nutritive compounds, or even so-called “antinutrient” compounds like phytates.

Phytates have a somewhat negative reputation for binding to certain minerals (like iron, zinc and manganese) and slowing their absorption. But they have also been found to offer anti-inflammatory health benefits. “The reputation of phytate has had a roller coaster ride ever since its discovery; it has undergone alternate eminence and infamy.” (I previously explored the surprising new science about phytates in my video Phytates for the Prevention of Osteoporosis). Could they play a potential role in preventing colon cancer?

In the U.S., colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, but some parts of the world have had just a tiny fraction of our rates, with the highest rates reported in Connecticut, and the lowest in Kampala, Uganda. The famous surgeon Denis Burkitt spent 24 years in Uganda and most of the hospitals he contacted there had never seen a case of colon cancer. Noting they live off diets centered on whole plant foods, he figured that maybe it was the fiber that was so protective.

Some studies have called that interpretation into question. Danes appear to have more colon cancer than Finns, yet Danes consume almost twice the dietary fiber. What else, then, could explain the low cancer rates among plant-based populations? Well, fiber isn’t the only thing found in whole plant foods, but missing from processed and animal foods. Maybe it’s the phytate.

Dietary phytate, rather than fiber per se, may be the most important variable governing the frequency of colon cancer, as phytate is known to be a powerful inhibitor of the iron-mediated production of hydroxyl radicals, a particularly dangerous type of free radical. So the standard American diet may be a double whammy, the heme iron in muscle meat plus the lack of phytate in refined plant foods to extinguish the iron radicals.

This may account for what researchers found in the Adventist study, highlighted in my video, Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer. They found excess risk of cancer for higher intakes of both red meat and white meat, suggesting all meats contribute to colon cancer formation — about twice the risk for red meat eaters, and three times the risk for those eating chicken and fish.

Those who eat meat could reduce their risk in two ways: by cutting down on meat or by eating more beans, an excellent source of phytates.

So it’s not just how much meat we eat, but our meat to vegetables ratio. Between the two extremes (high-vegetable and low-meat diets versus high-meat and low-vegetable diets) a risk ratio of about eight appears to exist, sufficient to explain a substantial part of the international variation in the incidence of colorectal cancer. Those with the worst of both worlds, high meat and low vegetable, were at eight times the risk.

More on colon cancer in Stool Size Matters.

Here are a few of my latest videos on the latest wonders of the musical fruit:

What about that music, though? See my blog Beans and Gas: Clearing the air.

What about soybeans and cancer? See Breast Cancer Survival and Soy and BRCA Breast Cancer Genes and Soy.

Other ways to mediate the effects of meat intake can be found in my video Reducing Cancer Risk in Meateaters.

For more about how phytates may play a role in both cancer prevention and treatment see Phytates for Rehabilitating Cancer Cells and Phytates for the Treatment of Cancer.

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 – 2015 presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


65 responses to “Colon Cancer Prevention: Is it the Fiber or the Phytates?

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  1. Beans, Beans, Beans! Maybe the single most important food to include in your daily diet? Thanks for all the hard work Dr. Greger and staff!

  2. B12 supplements issues with me. Anyone else here have issues?

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/355766-vitamin-b12-supplement-dangers/

    “Vitamin B12 supplements may cause blood clots and heart failure. Patients with a history of cardiovascular problems should avoid B12 supplements. Blood clots develop in the lower extremities and may dislodge and travel to the heart and brain, causing heart attack and stroke. B12 supplements may cause the heart to stop functioning normally, leading to decreased transport of oxygenated blood to body organs. Patients with heart failure often experience problems breathing due to accumulation of fluids in the lungs, sudden weight gain, edema, fatigue and shortness of breath.”

    1. It is important to discuss any supplements and medications with your doctor. B12 is commonly prescribed (especially for those over 50 years old), according to the Institute of Medicine. I have not seen these kind of issues the link addresses, and not sure what studies the article is referencing. B12 is super important. Adults needs roughly 2.4 micrograms per day. In supplement form it comes in higher doses. Cheapest source of B12. Here is more on B12 and Dr. Greger’s Optimal Nutrition Recommendations. if interested. Thanks.

        1. Sorry that is a well known old wives tail which, as it turns out is not true. There is some evidence that B12 in meat is not in a bioavailable form. or that the high stomach acid levels required for meat consumption destroy any B12 present. There is good evidence from studies such as the Framingham Offspring study that you are more likely to have sub normal levels of B12 if you do eat meat.

        2. When I was a meat eater, I needed b12 injections. I went vegan 3 years ago, and had my blood work done recently, everything was normal! B12 among everything else was fine. Also a side note, I have Crohn’s disease, that was getting worse until I changed my diet, a colonoscopy last year showed that it was healing. My incurable disease is healing! It’s so nice note to be in all that pain!

    2. I think you have misunderstood something. Truly I am interested if you can back it up with a pathophysiological explanation and some references to articles.
      If you have ever seen a young person with subacute combined degeneration caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, you will make sure to supplement with B12!
      This is important: If you are vegan you have to take a B12 supplement!

      1. B12 is stored in the body, correct? So will people who have recently become vegans have ample stores? Could you give those people any guidelines on how long they could go without supplementing? What would those guidelines depend on–on how long and how much meat they ate? on the quality of their intestinal bacteria? Does fermentable fiber increase your ability to use B12?

        1. Harriet,
          I am not an expert in the metabolism of B12, but in general I dont have a problem with supplementations, if you know what you are doing. I would recommend everybody to supplement with B12 as soon as they go plant based and also consider D-vitamin unless they live in a very sunny place.

    3. According to the links provided in the referenced article. what are being described are allergic reactions to Cyanocobalamin. Neither article says anything about Methylcobalamin, the natural form of B12. This is the first sentence from the Drug.com page referenced on the Livestrong page. ” When used in small doses, no COMMON side effects have been reported with this product”. The author of the article also states that “B12 is naturally present only in animal foods”. Since the writer does not even understand where B12 comes from. Clearly this article was either written out of ignorance, or possibly as an attempt to mislead people.

      1. B12 from methylcobalamin might work for some, but go ahead and read online some of the horror stories people have experienced after taking methyl B12. I am not going to post all these peoples’ comments, but I do not think they are lying. Something about the methylcobalamin form of B12 really changed their body for the worse. Yeah, I really doubt these people are making this up. And I am one of those people. Really screwed with my body. Maybe there is something bigger going on in people with bad reactions — — — maybe they have a “leak” somewhere in their body that allows substances into places where they do not belong. I do not know.

        1. I have no idea what your objective is. The posts you have made have taken things out of context. Both of the articles linked from the Livestrong post are about rare allergic reactions to Cyanocobalamin the synthetic version of B12. You can find the same list of adverse reactions for any vitamin. Here is the one for Vitamin C http://www.drugs.com/sfx/vitamin-c-side-effects.html . If you are trying to convince people that meat is the only safe place to get B12. You are going to have a tough time, people here are smarter than that.

          1. Not trying to convince people to eat meat. Letting people know that there are good meaning folks out there who are experience harmful reactions to B12 supplements. And not just the cyanocobalamin. Take the time to read people’s stories. B12 supplements in any form can be a scary experience for some us. This has nothing to do with trying to get people to eat meat. Today I am a vegan and hope to remain that way.

    4. Guest, if you are having these problems, try Methyl B12 and for the love of God get off the meat, dairy and fats so your body can begin to heal.

    5. GUEST: Really? Ok, I’ll bite…So what are these B12 supplement issues you are personally having? Can you please list them specifically so we can try to help? Or… possibly, that article was written to be misleading and a blatant unsubstantiated pot-shot at vegans who normally supplement with B12.

        1. Clearly you know nothing about B12, What is synthetic and what isn’t, or Even the source of B12. Certainly you could manage to find the B12 page on Wikipedia or lookup some of the many articles and videos about B12 on this site. You should learn about it so you aren’t posting things which mislead.

        2. No doubt that getting B12 from meat is the most dangerous way – B12 from meat is associated with heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and autoimmune disease

        3. Spirulina, nori, tempeh, and barley grass all forms or natural B12… natural B12 is made by bacteria in the soil having nothing to do with coming from an animal or not… I’m sorry but “Livestrong” is not an authority on nutrition but rather a pro-meat eater blog site where people like Ms. Sherry post misleading information about vegan topics like the wildly inaccurate B12 post you linked to above…

          It’s interesting that there have been a few recent “Guest” posts here linking to “Live Strong” vegan bashing articles lately. You and the blogger Ms. Sherry should probably read up more on B12 before you write/post another misleading article like the one you linked to above.

          great read here about B12 ~~> http://www.vibrancyuk.com/B12.html

          Quote from the article “Dr Michael Klaper argues that vitamin B12 is present in the mouth as well and intestines”

    6. B12 gives me very painful canker sores and they last for week or so. I am a Vegan but I don’t take B12 supplements, just try to do the best I can through diet.

      1. I looked up the causes of Canker Sores, according to the Mayo Clinic, Canker Sores are caused by:

        A minor injury to your mouth from dental work, overzealous brushing, sports mishaps or an accidental cheek bite

        Toothpastes and mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulfate

        Food sensitivities, particularly to chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, nuts, cheese, and spicy or acidic foods

        A diet lacking in vitamin B-12, zinc, folate (folic acid) or iron

        An allergic response to certain bacteria in your mouth

        Helicobacter pylori, the same bacteria that cause peptic ulcers

        Hormonal shifts during menstruation

        Emotional stress

        Notice that low B12 levels are associated with Canker Sores. You should be consulting with your doctor to figure out what is actually going on. Although you find correlation between B12 and your Canker Sores, it is quite possible that B12 itself is not causing your Canker Sores.

    7. I have to say I have never heard of B12 supplements causing heart attacks? The author has only had 5 yrs experience as a nurse, she says she’s been ‘published’ on a couple websites? I can’t believe she actually tries to pull that statement off on the masses. Very poor. I would have been embarrassed to have written such a statement. It shows she is a very young nurse giving her opinion on those non-meat eaters needing B12, they should just eat dead animals! NOT. My background and study in nutrition trumps her quite a bit as I’ve been a nurse for 38 yrs and have 2 masters under my belt, one as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is trying to draw in credibility by saying she is ‘published’, what she is trying to do is tickle the ears of people who don’t know what that means, off course now she can add Livestrong to her list of ‘websites’. To say you are published means in a peer review scientific journal, that is hard to do, not your girlfriend’s $29/mth website. I write things on my two websites all the time, but I would be laughed out of town if I tried to pass that off as being ‘published’.
      Her flare for the drama is seen in the bio, which the author themself is usually the one who writes, and it seems she has added some froth from the extra dairy fat and beef lard to that one, lol. The long arms of the beef/dairy industry are always around us.
      Now I will say, there are some people who have a genetic disorder with the MTHFR genes that will cause abnormalities in their processing of Folate and B12, the signs are close to what she says is for risk for ordinary folk taking B12 supplementation. That shows her lack of knowledge concerning the misinformation she is publishing. This gal has enough medical background to be dangerous.

      I also want to add, the only folk I have seen in need of B12 shots are meat eaters. Vegans usually take care of them selves far better than a run of the mill American SAD eater. Vegans usually try to buy organic, which means more B12 is being created on the surface, no Roundup or heavy Pesticides on organic foods to kill off the B12 producing bacteria and archaea. My B12 has always been above normal and I have been a veg-head for 28 years.

  3. Dr. Greger, does soaking the beans (and throwing out the water) have any impact on the amount of phytates contained in the cooked beans?

    1. Yes, soaking can reduce phytates, but not completely removed them. Brenda Davis RD discusses the impact of soaking and sprouting in her book, Becoming Raw. I found one study that showed soaking faba beans can lower phytates. Germinating the beans did even better.

      1. When you soak beans & thereby reduce the phytates, where do the phytates go? Do they go into the soaking water? Is it a good idea to use the soaking water for cooking the beans or is it better to discard it & use fresh water?

        1. What a great question I have no idea! Can anyone else help me here? Let me check Brenda Davis’s book on soaking and phytates she has ample references. My thought is soaking is still fine it can reduce fructooligosaccharides and phytates and that is okay. Eating them is most important no matter how you prepare beans.

          1. Here’s what I understand from talking with many food scientists as well as with Brenda Davis. If anybody has any corrections or additions, feel free to chime in.

            Plant seeds, including grains and legumes, store phosphorus for future growth as phytate (phytic acid). When you soak those seeds under the right conditions (warm water temperatures, appropriate ph), you activate their phytase enzyme, which then begins the process of breaking down phytate. As the seeds continue to soak, they start germinating–breaking down phytate and releasing phosphorus to support future growth.

            Some grains have quite a bit of phytase enzyme–rye, barley and wheat do, for example. Oats generally don’t because they’re usually heat-treated, which destroys the enzyme. Legumes vary, but in general don’t have as much phytase enzyme as rye, barley and wheat.

            One scientist I spoke with suggested you could soak some cracked rye berries with some cracked legumes in warm water, and the phytase in the rye would help break down the phytic acid in the legumes–but that’s a lot of work, especially when the phytic acid is health-promoting.

            Phytic acid is sometimes called the dilemma of human nutrition. The main problem is that it binds certain minerals–including calcium, iron and zinc. The solution for us vegans (and for those in third world countries) may be to avoid eating major sources of those minerals along with foods rich in phytate and to consume foods that enhance absorption of those minerals. Quercetin and tannic acid may enhance zinc uptake, for example. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20546406) And Dr. Greger talks about onions (Their outer layers are rich in quercetin) somewhere on this site

            As for the oligosaccharides, the fermentable carbs that cause gas, yes, soaking will help reduce them. But they get into the soaking water, says Davis, so cook beans in fresh water. For those who have not yet digested Davis’ terrific book, “Becoming Vegan,” here are her suggestions for cooking beans. http://zesterdaily.com/cooking/healthy-way-good-fortune-new-years/

  4. In Denmark people eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, but the problem is that the the meals are centered around the meat, and vegetables are a small side dish. Lunch are often rye bread (lots of fiber), but on top different kinds of meat – eg “leverpostej” (chopped liver and blubber – I dont know if it exist in other countries), sausage, ham and so on. Barbecuing is almost a sport in the summer. Regarding alcohol we are probably too liberal. Legumes are only eaten by very few. Most men in Denmark thinks that a real man eats meat, but as dr. Greger has illustrated several times – real men eats plants!

  5. This is not meant to be argumentative but I’m confused about something Dr. Greger says in the article. He says, “[d]ietary phytate, rather than fiber per se, may be the most important variable governing the frequency of colon cancer, as phytate is known to be a powerful inhibitor of the iron-mediated production of hydroxyl radicals, a particularly dangerous type of free radical. So the standard American diet may be a double whammy, the heme iron in muscle meat plus the lack of phytate in refined plant foods to extinguish the iron radicals.” If [one of] the big issue[s] is with iron, why would the rates of colon cancer only double for red meat eaters, but triple for those eating chicken and fish? Seems like that should be the exact opposite given the above quote about hydroxyl radicals.

    1. Hey vmnc. Good thoughts thanks for your comment. I think Dr. Greger was just referencing this article in regards to the quote about phytates being possibly more important than fiber. I am not sure that is the whole story. He still has hundreds of video on fiber showing its benefit.

  6. With a history of pre-cancerous polyps, I changed my diet in August 2013 to include many servings of beans each week as well as a high daily intake of fresh vegetables. I avoid processed food as best as possible.
    I dropped 30 pounds. My last colonoscopy in Jan 2015 was clear.
    I do soak my beans overnight for ease of cooking. Maybe I should be ccoking them in the soaking water instead of draining first?

    1. Great work, Lance! Thanks for sharing. Soaking is fine. I don’t think you can remove “all” of the phytates. There are still benefits to soaking and sprouting.

      1. Does tofu from spouted soy have fewer phytates, and would it be easier to digest? I have found some extra firm tofu hard to digest and am thinking sprouted tofu might be a better alternative.

        1. I would think so. I have not seen a study on sprouted tofu, but the fact sprouting can have a role in decreasing phytates would make sprouted soybeans a good choice.

    2. When I cook dry beans I use the pressure cooker. I cook a pound of beans in about 6 cups of water or veggie broth without soaking first. Depending on the type of bean it takes about 35-40 minutes to go from dry to completely cooked. No worry about throwing out the nutrients in the soaking water and it’s quicker too.

  7. For convenience I prefer to eat canned black beans (Eden and others). In order to remove as much BPA and BPS as possible before consuming I rinse off the black goo canned beans come packed in.

    Am I losing any significant bean nutrition this way? The beans themselves remain intact after cold water washing, ready to cook and eat.

    1. Just a thought: if you’re putting the beans on/in a salad, maybe you could pour the liquid into a container to save for soup. I keep a container in my freezer into which I pour liquid from cooking veggies, etc., and later I use same as soup stock since store-bought stock leaves something to be desired for me.

    2. No I do not think you are losing any nutrients. I recommend rinsing the beans to remove excess salt anyway :-)

      1. I soak dried beans and then cook them. What do you recommend – soaking at room temperature for 12-24 hours or in the refrigerator?

        1. I don’t soak. Perhaps I should. I need a personal chef! I use a crock pot when I make my own, but mostly eat canned or Grandma’s beans if I am lucky enough to see her. I am human and get quite busy with work ;-) My stomach handles them well never had a problem. Other swear by soaking and I do not disagree with them.

      2. He mentioned using Eden’s–no salt beans…. Wouldn’t it be good to save the liquid for soups? Or is there a reason we should not?

        1. Yes. That is even better! Sure, you could save the liquid if it adds to your dishes. Some people like the garbanzo bean juice for their home-made hummus. Totally up to you!

  8. Beans, beans, the American fruit. The more you eat the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel. So let’s have beans at every meal. LOL!

  9. The endocrine disrupting BPA/BPS would have leeched into the liquid from the can lining.
    Save it? That’s why I discard it.

  10. I’m so glad that I found a person like Dr Michael Greger! I’m a paramedic who used to work in polish medical system. I was astonish how ignorant medical doctors and my colegues was – in terms of food-influence knlowdge. We were perfectly trained in performing resuscytation and other methods of sustaining life at the edge – but none of us were trained in prevention of theese dieseases which caused those states we were struggling with our bare hands as an outcome…
    I’ve sent myself hundrets of people after cardiac intervention to hospitals and later on – to homes – and that was a death sentence for this patients, and I truly regret that I didn’t had the knowledge to help and support them in terms of dietetics after cardiac indicents – back then, when I was a part of the medical system. I have some blood on my hands…
    Thank you, mr. Greger – and thanks for your whole team. Great work you’re doing. I truly respect you for that.

  11. In another Video, Dr. Greger said that each 20 gram serving of beans reduces our risk of death by 8 percent. In another video, he shows that the best bean is black beans.

    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-best-bean-2/

    It is clear that beans may be the most important dietary factor in life extension, more so than nuts by a slim margin. There is a bean nut, the peanut, and a bean tea, red tea or green red tea. Beans can add profoundly to life and improve the lifes of people who eat them down the road.

    Beans should be eaten daily to promote health.

  12. I have a concern regarding hospital food. My general comment is that they give people the food that in most cases put them here in the first place. Specifically, my son has been here at Johns Hopkins Hospital in rehab from surgery for a tumor. The wound from the surgery is healing “too slowly” which is an issue because he can not due chemotherapy until the wound heals. So, they sent around a nutritionist and he said simply, “as many calories as you can eat, and you need a lot of protein to heal.” He gave us no menu. At this point, let me state my prejudice: Like Dr. Greger’s grandma, I found Nathan Pritikin, after having a chest pain. I did not go to the clinic but I read his book. That was 40 years ago. I am now 71 and take no medications and run five miles every day (slowly). I don’t eat meat and hardly ever eat any animal products and until recently (after watching Dr. Gerger’s video regarding vitamin B12). I eat brown rice and beans and tofu almost every night. I am, obviously, not dead. Okay, here is the problem: I have been ordering my son veggie burgers, tofu and rice (they do not offer beans!), oatmeal, and, to hedge my bets, salmon, which has been available about every third day. We have been here for six weeks. The staff has put a lot of pressure on me and I have caved somewhat, ordering chicken and turkey and low cholesterol eggs. I do not know why more protein has to mean more meat. Also, I just read, Dr. Servan -Schreiber’s book “Anti-cancer” and he offers tons of data suggesting that meat stimulate the growth of a tumor. My son’s tumor could not be completely excised, and it could come back, and has come back once already. JHH is arguably one of the greatest hospitals in the world. I know that I am right, and I have the science, but I do not want to risk my son’s life because of my experience prejudicing my choices for his meals. And, by the way, patients at Adventist Hospital with a veggie diet must heal, no? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    1. Your options must be very limited, and you have done a great job with what you have available.
      The most anti-cancer foods according to this site include:
      nuts: walnuts, pecans, and peanuts
      veggies: beets, kale, garlic, broccoli. carrots
      fruit: cranberries, lemons, apples
      spices: tumeric, rosemary, ginger
      tea: hibiscus, white with lemon, and matcha
      berries: blueberry, barberry, goji berry, and strawberry
      nori, white button mushrooms, flax seed, and amla are also recommended.

      Dr. Hoffer has followed several doctors in finding that large doses of vitamins can greatly improve cancer outcomes.
      He recommends Vitamin C, Niacin, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, Essential Fatty Acids, Selenium, and Zinc.

      Are you allowed to bring in your own food? You could bring in some trail mix made with these ingredients. Dr. Greger on this site said that the effect of tumeric on cancer was limited to how much you could take.

      Dr. Hoffer wrote a small book, User’s Guide to Natural Therapies for Cancer Prevention and Control where he outlined many people who did quite well using vitamins in addition to their regular chemotherapy, he cites 40 percent survival after ten years. With nutrition and orthomolecular vitamin therapy, you should be in the best shape possible. Could you bring in your own vitamins? Do doctors there object?

      You should like you are picking the best foods from the menu. Is your son allowed to sit near a window? Vitamin D3, made from sunlight, is very powerful against some cancers.

      Good luck.

    2. Hello again Cleo1943. There are almost 500 studies going on right now to see if high D3 (50,000 IU or so in some) are good for cancer, to see if it could be a treatment and a cure. The companies sponsoring this research are reasonably sure it is a good treatment. D3 can’t be regulated by the federal government, so you can be in the study yourself without reporting.

      You can read about this here

      http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/06/why-we-dont-have-a-cure-for-cancer-yet-or-do-we.aspx

      Or see the clinical trials here.

      https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=vitamin+D+cancer&recr=&rslt=&type=&cond=&intr=&titles=&outc=&spons=&lead=&id=&state1=&cntry1=&state2=&cntry2=&state3=&cntry3=&locn=&gndr=&rcv_s=&rcv_e=&lup_s=&lup_e=

      Why would pharmaceutical companies spend billions on drug treatments to study one that is available for free? I imagine if you are frustrated with big pharma, the results of these studies will not be published and a treatment for cancer will be hushed up.

      Good luck. D3 takes some getting used to. It can shift your whole heart around and rearrange all the elements in your body. I like to use it concurrently with a magnet over my heart, brain, and body.

      My prayers.

    3. HI Cleo. My sympathies during this hard time. I used to work at MD Anderson Cancer Center and my boss actually used the book, AntiCancer, to design our breast cancer intervention trial. I would simply tell the dietitian you work with that you’d like to explore a more plant-based menu, based off this book and some of the research you’ve read. Any RD in the cancer field should be able to meet your requests even if they do not believe in the book 100%. They are trained to find options for their clients and I am positive if you kindly address these issues you have they can offer solutions. What do you mean by they are “pressuring you” to add more animal foods? Is it that he is not meeting protein needs? I cannot imagine receiving more pressure in an already pressured (understatement of the year) situation. Often our hands are tied when it comes to “hospital food” so consider options for bringing in food or making sure fresh fruits and veggies are available. I can bet the hospital has a salad bar and for good heavens let’s write a letter to John Hopkins so they can stock kidney beans in the salad bar! Let me know if I can be of more help.

      Warm wishes,
      Joseph

  13. “Phytates have a somewhat negative reputation
    for binding to certain minerals (like iron, zinc and manganese) and
    slowing their absorption. But they have also been found to offer
    anti-inflammatory health benefits.”

    The rule on phytates is do not mix phytates in a gut load of food you wish to extract nutrients from. Phytates may be used in a gut load being used for other than nutrient purposes, for example some sort of systemic detoxification.

    http://healthyprotocols.com/phytic.htm

    As to Colon Cancer it is one of the easiest to PREVENT and treat.

    “Twenty-three studies with 63 reports were included in our meta-analysis. These groups included 4,324,462 participants (27,231 colon cancer cases and 13,813 rectal cancer cases). Sedentary behavior was significantly
    associated with colon cancer (relative risk Sedentary behavior is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. Subgroup analyses suggest a positive association between sedentary behavior and risk of rectal cancer in cohort studies. Reducing sedentary behavior is potentially important for the prevention
    of colorectal cancer.” Association of sedentary behavior with colon and rectal cancer:

    IMO colon cancer formation is rather simple. Toxins often chemical toxins are ingested in too large an amount in the SAD. The low amount of antioxidants and other anti-toxins in the diet allows the full power of the toxins to affect the colon.

    The average American eats only about 10 grams of fiber/day; 50 grams/day will IMO help prevent colon cancer, this promotes a SLOW movement of the processed food and toxins in the colon. A low enzyme intake also promotes a SLOW movement of the processed food and toxins in the colon. The result is the toxins remain TOO LONG in a near stationary position in the colon. This cannot be good. Colon cancer may result.

    http://healthyprotocols.com/colon_cancer.htm

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