Can Diet Protect Against Kidney Cancer?

Can Diet Protect Against Kidney Cancer?
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Plant-based diets appear to protect against renal cell carcinoma both directly and indirectly.

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58,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney cancer every year, and 13,000 die. And the numbers have been going up. Approximately 4% of cases are hereditary, but what about the other 96%? The only accepted risk factor has been tobacco use, but cigarette smoking has been declining.

Nitrosamines are one of the most potent carcinogens in cigarette smoke. So much so there’s a concern that nonsmokers may be inadvertently exposed through so-called thirdhand smoke. See, the risks of tobacco exposure do not end when a cigarette is extinguished. Residual smoke particles can contaminate surfaces. About 80% of these nitrosamines in secondhand cigarette smoke stick to room surfaces and are not removed under normal ventilation conditions. That’s why it’s important to only stay in smoke-free rooms in hotels. The bottom line is that there is no way to safely smoke indoors, even if there’s no one else there. Nitrosamines are considered so toxic that carcinogens of this strength in any other consumer product designed for human consumption would be banned immediately. If that were the case, they’d have to ban meat.

One hot dog has as many nitrosamines and nitrosamides as five cigarettes. And these carcinogens are also found in fresh meat as well: beef, chicken, and pork. So even though smoking rates have dropped, perhaps the rise in kidney cancer over the last few decades may have something to do with meat consumption. But would it just be the processed meats, like bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and cold cuts that have nitrate and nitrite additives, or fresh meat as well? We didn’t know, until now.

The NIH-AARP study is the largest prospective study on diet and health ever, with over 4 million person-years of follow-up—about 500,000 followed for 9 years. In addition to examining nitrate and nitrite intake from processed meat, they also looked at intake from other sources such fresh meat, eggs, and dairy. There are nitrates in vegetables too; should we be worried about those? No. Nitrite from animal sources—not just processed meats—was associated with an increased risk of kidney cancer. Total intake of nitrate and nitrite from processed meat sources was also positively associated with RCC risk. We found no associations with nitrate or nitrite intake from plant sources. But nitrates from processed meat were associated with cancer. That’s when they advertise their bacon or lunch meat as “uncured,” with no nitrites or nitrates added, except for the celery juice they added, which is just a sneaky way to add nitrites. See, they ferment the nitrates in celery to nitrites, then add it to the meat, a practice even the industry admits may be viewed as incorrect at best, or deceptive at worst.

But that same fermentation of nitrates to nitrites can happen thanks to bacteria on our tongue when we eat vegetables. So why are nitrates and nitrites from vegetables on our tongue okay, but nitrates and nitrites from vegetables in meat linked to cancer? Because the actual carcinogens are not nitrites, but nitrosamines and nitrosamides. In our stomach, to turn nitrites into nitros-amines and nitros-amides, we need amines and amides, which are concentrated in animal products. And vitamin C and other antioxidants in plant foods block the formation of these carcinogens in our stomach. That’s why we can safely benefit from the nitrates in vegetables without the cancer risk. In fact, some of the highest nitrate vegetables like arugula, kale, and collards, are associated with decreased risk of kidney cancer. The more plants, it appears, the better.

Plant-based diets and fiber-rich diets are recommended to prevent cancer directly, as well as chronic conditions associated with kidney cancer, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, so a plant-based diet may help protect against kidney cancer directly or indirectly. It’s like sodium intake and kidney cancer. Sodium intake increases kidney disease risk, but is that just because it increases blood pressure? No, it appears the salt is associated with increased cancer risk even independently of hypertension. What about plant-based diets? Turns out the protective association remains even in people who aren’t obese, with normal blood pressure. So overall, plant-based and fiber-rich diets appear to do both, decreasing cancer risk both directly and indirectly.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Hey Paul Studios via Flickr and Elizabeth Tov.

58,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney cancer every year, and 13,000 die. And the numbers have been going up. Approximately 4% of cases are hereditary, but what about the other 96%? The only accepted risk factor has been tobacco use, but cigarette smoking has been declining.

Nitrosamines are one of the most potent carcinogens in cigarette smoke. So much so there’s a concern that nonsmokers may be inadvertently exposed through so-called thirdhand smoke. See, the risks of tobacco exposure do not end when a cigarette is extinguished. Residual smoke particles can contaminate surfaces. About 80% of these nitrosamines in secondhand cigarette smoke stick to room surfaces and are not removed under normal ventilation conditions. That’s why it’s important to only stay in smoke-free rooms in hotels. The bottom line is that there is no way to safely smoke indoors, even if there’s no one else there. Nitrosamines are considered so toxic that carcinogens of this strength in any other consumer product designed for human consumption would be banned immediately. If that were the case, they’d have to ban meat.

One hot dog has as many nitrosamines and nitrosamides as five cigarettes. And these carcinogens are also found in fresh meat as well: beef, chicken, and pork. So even though smoking rates have dropped, perhaps the rise in kidney cancer over the last few decades may have something to do with meat consumption. But would it just be the processed meats, like bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and cold cuts that have nitrate and nitrite additives, or fresh meat as well? We didn’t know, until now.

The NIH-AARP study is the largest prospective study on diet and health ever, with over 4 million person-years of follow-up—about 500,000 followed for 9 years. In addition to examining nitrate and nitrite intake from processed meat, they also looked at intake from other sources such fresh meat, eggs, and dairy. There are nitrates in vegetables too; should we be worried about those? No. Nitrite from animal sources—not just processed meats—was associated with an increased risk of kidney cancer. Total intake of nitrate and nitrite from processed meat sources was also positively associated with RCC risk. We found no associations with nitrate or nitrite intake from plant sources. But nitrates from processed meat were associated with cancer. That’s when they advertise their bacon or lunch meat as “uncured,” with no nitrites or nitrates added, except for the celery juice they added, which is just a sneaky way to add nitrites. See, they ferment the nitrates in celery to nitrites, then add it to the meat, a practice even the industry admits may be viewed as incorrect at best, or deceptive at worst.

But that same fermentation of nitrates to nitrites can happen thanks to bacteria on our tongue when we eat vegetables. So why are nitrates and nitrites from vegetables on our tongue okay, but nitrates and nitrites from vegetables in meat linked to cancer? Because the actual carcinogens are not nitrites, but nitrosamines and nitrosamides. In our stomach, to turn nitrites into nitros-amines and nitros-amides, we need amines and amides, which are concentrated in animal products. And vitamin C and other antioxidants in plant foods block the formation of these carcinogens in our stomach. That’s why we can safely benefit from the nitrates in vegetables without the cancer risk. In fact, some of the highest nitrate vegetables like arugula, kale, and collards, are associated with decreased risk of kidney cancer. The more plants, it appears, the better.

Plant-based diets and fiber-rich diets are recommended to prevent cancer directly, as well as chronic conditions associated with kidney cancer, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, so a plant-based diet may help protect against kidney cancer directly or indirectly. It’s like sodium intake and kidney cancer. Sodium intake increases kidney disease risk, but is that just because it increases blood pressure? No, it appears the salt is associated with increased cancer risk even independently of hypertension. What about plant-based diets? Turns out the protective association remains even in people who aren’t obese, with normal blood pressure. So overall, plant-based and fiber-rich diets appear to do both, decreasing cancer risk both directly and indirectly.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Hey Paul Studios via Flickr and Elizabeth Tov.

Doctor's Note

I briefly address kidney health in Preventing Kidney Failure Through Diet and Treating Kidney Failure Through Diet, but have a whole series of more in-depth videos like this one dealing with various kidney issues.

More on the fascinating nitrate/nitrite story in my 17-part series about improving athletic performance with nitrate-rich vegetables such as beets and arugula. Here are a few short highlights:

More on carcinogens caused by cooking meat in videos like:

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

94 responses to “Can Diet Protect Against Kidney Cancer?

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      1. People smoking these electronic devices with drugs other than nicotine these days. Scary. You’d think you were (somewhat) safe, that it was just nicotine second-hand vapor, but they are able to smoke hardcore-drugs now in these electronic devices. Avoid places that allow (or can’t prevent) indoor electronic smoking devices so we don’t have to breath in this second-hand vapor.




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        1. Most of the vaporizers for pot combust the actual herb, and are very different than regular e-cigs, which vaporize liquid. I’d imagine by now though they probably have a work around!




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    1. Considering that drinking the liquid from an e-cig can be lethal, especially for children, nicotine being an unquestioned poison…

      http://pix11.com/2014/12/11/ny-toddler-dies-after-ingesting-liquid-nicotine-for-e-cigarette/

      …e-cigs should not be considered merely harmless alternatives to conventional cigarettes, but perhaps less harmful. They are still addictive in and of themselves, and they’re candy-coated youth oriented marketing is disturbing.

      Meanwhile, nobody knows what’s in the stupid things besides nicotine, so until studies are done, or until some intrepid investigative journalist (a vanishing breed) digs up some internal documentation, we can only say we don’t know what we don’t know.




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      1. Yes, drinking liquid from an e-cig could be lethal for a child, but so could pulling a boiling pan of veg off a cooker. I don’t think that warrants treating cooked veg as harmful. Harms from intended use are a different category to secondary unintended consequences.




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        1. If e-cigarettes effectively get smokers to quit smoking conventional cigarettes, and then they are able to quit the e-cigarettes, then that’s a good thing.

          If eCigs become a permanent nicotine addiction instead of a transitional step, that’s harmful.

          If non-smoking, non-nicotine-addicted kids start vaping ecigs instead of cigarettes bcz they come in bubblegum and cherry flavorings and are being marketed with the claim or implied perception that they’re healthier than real cigarettes, producing a fresh crop of nicotine addicts, that’s harmful.




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          1. I can only reply for myself, but being an ex-smoker who turned to e-cigs hoping for a better alternative and possibly a way to quit, I can say unequivocally it is a better option! Though it took me a while to make the switch totally, when I did there were a lot of physical improvements: I could take a deep breath again, my lung capacity increased, the coughing ceased, I quit getting colds regularly, wasn’t out of breath, etc. Since it was also more cost efficient to create my own fluid, I also know exactly what goes into that: flavoring, such those used in cooking; glycerin, a sweetish, colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations; and/or propylene glycol, an ingredient used in asthma inhalers and air filtration systems (and not the supposed toxin used in older antifreeze, ethylene glycol); and finally, nicotine, (which in itself is not as gratifying as all the whole tobacco alkaloids, but possibly less toxic as nicotine is similar to caffeine and even used for some medical applications). Whether you make the fluid yourself or buy it ready made (much costlier) those are the basic ingredients, and you can also determine the strength of nicotine to use depending on what and how much you smoked. For example, coming from a nearly 2 pack a day habit, I started at 24mg. of nic. and have gradually reduced it to 6mg, with the eventual goal of zero. I think vaping (vapor as opposed to smoke) has been a wonderful option to have access to, as I had tried to quit smoking unsuccessfully so many times by various means, including cold turkey and nicotine patches and lozenges, which use the same nicotine we utilize in vaping. I belong to ECF, the biggest electronic cigarette forum with millions of members, so I know my story and success has been echoed by multitudes of people who faced similar frustrations previously. It makes me sad that they are grouped together with cigarettes because they really are just the opposite in that they rescue smokers from a vastly more dangerous habit to themselves and everyone near them. I don’t say they are completely harmless for sure, and I certainly wouldn’t want to see anyone start to use them who hadn’t been a smoker previously. But I know they work for what the original developer intended…a less toxic alternative to smoking, and a way to eliminate the addiction. Yes, people can also just switch habits and never truly quit, but I strongly feel vaping is a vast improvement over smoking…and it smells a whole lot better too! As for the “second hand” effect of vaping…our house was once literally foul with the residues from second hand smoke…and after years of vaping, there is really no issue at all, so I wouldn’t worry about being around vapers, especially in a social setting. Sitting around a campfire or grilling your meat is probably more lethal. Just my 2 cents!




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            1. Good luck with reaching your goal Charzie – I can’t say that I’m convinced that the vapour is less dangerous than smoke, it certainly appears to be to a layman like myself, but I’ll wait for the independant results, which will no doubt be followed by or pre-empted by the industry results, and totally contradict each others findings making me none the wiser. However, now I know of all the skuldugerry that industry contributes too, I’ll be sat in the independants camp – we’ll wait and see.

              As for the intentions of the original developer, (I don’t know of them) I would firstly have to make the assumption that they are in business to make a profit as their number one goal – I don’t believe their goal was to help smokers from quitting. If your intention is to develop a product to stop people from smoking, then you are reducing your market until eventually there is nobody buying your products and you are haemoragging profits. If I were a cynical person, I’d conclude that the developers identified a niche in the market (with smoking being banned in public places around the world) and moved in. They will obviously not market their product in this way, instead they spend millions of pounds/dollars on a marketing campaign that leads you to believe they are helping you – but going back to my original point, if that was there intention, they would eventually have no customers – yes it can be argued that they would have made a net profit by the time there are no more smokers, but the cynic in me tells me that’s not the case.

              I can not remember when the smoking bans started to come in, or when the Ecigs were developed, but if it was at roughly the same time, wouldn’t that be a coincidence!!!




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            1. It’s Not The Smoke, It’s The Nicotine: E-Cigarettes May Damage Arteries

              http://www.medicaldaily.com/its-not-smoke-its-nicotine-e-cigarettes-may-damage-arteries-265498

              Scientists are only finding out now that caffeine can kill in large enough doses, even the doses in energy drinks. Aside from its addictive properties, nicotine is poisonous enough to be used as an insecticide.

              This is a website about health. There’s no way Dr. Greger would suggest that long term consumption of an insecticide is health-promoting.




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              1. http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/medical-uses-of-nicotine-explored/
                http://www.columbia.edu/cu/21stC/issue-3.1/benowitz.html
                http://discovermagazine.com/2014/march/13-nicotine-fix

                The dose makes the poison.

                Would Dr Greger give the go ahead on garlic, onions, cayenne/chili pepper, citrus, peppermint or chrysanthemum tea, perhaps? They are all used as insecticides.
                Caffeine is also used medically, I have plenty of links for that too. This could be debated ad infinitum.
                Life can be addictive and poisonous too… and that’s why I come here!




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                1. With the exception of the chrysanthemum tea (pyrethin) which I’ve never heard of humans consuming, the other natural “insecticides” are actually used to deter insects, not to kill them. And no one gets addicted to onions or garlic. No comparison.

                  A more apt but not yet proven comparison may be foxglove and other poisonous plants which yield lifesaving medications. A non-addicting derivative of nicotine may just prove valuable in the future, but that is speculation at this point

                  E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012

                  1 in 5 middle school students who reported ever using e-cigarettes say they have never tried conventional cigarettes.

                  http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0905-ecigarette-use.html

                  You may find your grandkids doing what you do instead of what you say. Remember why the sale of “harmless” candy cigarettes was halted.

                  Instead of self-justification for continued use of a product which is now stalling your progress (partially because it feeds the behavioral aspects of cigarette addiction), pat yourself on the back for the wonderful progress you’ve made thus far and hurry on to your goal of nicotine freedom.

                  Congratulations!




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              2. Given that the article you pointed to stated that more work would need to be done before e-cigarettes could be determined to be harmful, it doesn’t exactly support your assertion that e-cigarettes are harmful.

                As for this:

                This is a website about health. There’s no way Dr. Greger would suggest
                that long term consumption of an insecticide is health-promoting.

                You appear to be setting up a false dichotomy between “harmful” and “health-promoting” to bolster your argument, when of course, something can be neutral.

                That aside, while I’ve no wish to join you in putting words into Dr. Greger’s mouth, I would point out that he does promote caffeine containing drinks on this site.

                A substance being harmful to insects tells us little about its potential harm to humans. Avocado is harmful to rabbits – would you argue that humans should therefore be avoiding consuming it?




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                1. Considering the harm that nicotine addiction has done in regards to tobacco use, I would say that the burden of proof rests on the nicotine pushers to prove addiction per se, of any substance in and of itself is harmless.




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          2. It’s the crack and meth and other street drugs that they are being able to smoke in vapor devices. These devices resemble an e-cigarette, and when someone smokes this electronic device that is full of crack or meth or whatever, innocent people will breath this second hand crack in. This is the main reason to ban electronic smoking devices.




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    2. All the research I’ve seen has found no significant level of nitrosamines in e-cigarette vapour. Personally, I’ve seen nothing to suggest that e-cigarette vapour should be any more a concern than the steam off a cup of coffee.




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          1. You mean “Consumer Advocates for Continued Nicotine Addiction via an Alternative Source”.

            My comment above stands. Getting off tobacco is a good thing. Staying on e-cigs for a protracted length of time or getting on them without a prior addiction is still a nicotine addiction. Candy-flavored marketing is meant for kid$. That’s just WRONG.

            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/can-diet-protect-against-kidney-cancer/#comment-1755383272

            You have my sympathies. Nicotine is the most addictive substance in the world. But you will not be your own master until you get 100% nicotine-free.




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            1. I don’t particularly want to be a “master” of anything, least of all righteousness. I’ve made a number of positive changes in recent years that I wish I had done much earlier, but should I flagellate myself for waiting so long?




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              1. By all means, feel good about quitting traditional cigarettes.

                Telling you that your journey to health is not complete without quitting nicotine entirely is not a judgment that has anything to do with “righteousness”.

                The fact that you’re still a slave of an addictive, poisonous substance used as an insecticide has to do with the inability to choose the freedom to be as healthy as possible. For example…

                In many cases, where finances are tight, some people feed their nicotine addiction instead of their children and themselves. I’ve seen it happen.

                Even where kids are not involved, look up at the name of this website. $$ spent on nicotine are better spent on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds.

                And as far as children go, it is also a fact that kids, adolescents and younger, ARE getting hooked on e-cigs in lieu of tobacco because they think they’re “safe”. No business is as altruistic as you seem to believe. They will make their profits wherever they can.

                As for myself, I took one puff of a cigarette when I was 4 years old. I was smart enough never to repeat the experience. I feel truly sorry for those less fortunate than me in that regard.




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                1. Thanks Mac, but seriously, if I wasn’t aware of the obvious, or didn’t care, would I be here or making the effort to change? Though I wasn’t as ‘smart’ as you, I’m trying! Please, I’m 62, but this horse isn’t dead yet, I don’t need to be beat! I get it!




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      1. Formaldehyde. E cigarettes are loaded with formaldehyde, and second-hand vapor emits considerable formaldehyde that innocent people then breath in.




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            1. Spoken like a true addict.

              As it happens, I’ve never used an e-cigarette, let alone become an addict, but, based on the rest of your comments, I suspect that kind of banal ad hominem is the best you have to offer.




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              1. Just stop, Pablo. I suspect the moderators are on vacation for the holidays. It’s a waste of my time to offer articles and PubMed references to someone who’s entrenched in a position for ideological issues.




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                1. All you have referenced are articles which state that we cannot say something for sure and pointed to them saying “see, we can be sure.” As for you reference to the moderators, given that the comments policy on the site advises against ad hominem, which is something you use liberally, you would be well advised to examine your own conduct before pointing the finger at others.




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                  1. I apologize for any unpleasantness. That’s not my usual modus operandi.

                    Addictions of a number of substances, all first initiated by nicotine as a gateway drug, have caused untold misery and death in my family.

                    I thank Toxins his dispassionate intervention. The linked study he provided is enlightening. (No pun intended.)




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    3. It probably depends upon the flavoring. Typically the liquid solution used in e-cigarettes contains propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, nicotine and flavorings. While a bewildering array of flavors, many innocuous, are available, many e-cigs use flavorings from tobacco smoke.




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  1. I never thought of kidney cancer as a separate entity, but I guess no organ in the body is exempt from cancer’s reach. There was a segment on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago about a self-funded researcher who is attempting to classify cancer I need genetic basis instead of on the basis of originating organ.

    Of course, I don’t think I heard the word prevention during the whole segment. It was




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  2. This site for cancer and cancer prevention recommends fruit like lemons, cranberries, (or cranberry lemonade), apples, nuts like pecans, walnuts, peanuts, vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, garlic, beets, kale, collards, spices like cloves, tumeric with pepper, rosemary, ginger, tea like chamomille, hibiscus, white tea with lemon, matcha, and dandelion tea. The NIH-AARP study specifically tested meat as a cause of cancer. I think eating some of these foods everyday would eliminate that risk. The benefit of quitting smoking is immediate and grows. Eating less meat also diminishes risk and grows throughout your life. The benefit of eating these foods does not diminish in your life, and grows with interest.




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    1. Your comment reminds me of the sad case of David Servan-Schreiber, M.D. who wrote a very personal book called Anti Cancer a New Way of Life” which became an international bestseller and went through two editions. In it, he describes how he discovered his cancer, how he changed his eating habits to veganism including many of those foods you mentioned, along with exercise, filtered water and certain supplements such as vitamin D and melatonin,resveratrol, avoidance of cell phones, household cleaning products and toiletries containing carcinogenic materials along with “positive thinking” and meditation. Even after this herculean effort, leaving no stone unturned, I read that he was able to keep his cancer in remission for most of the19 years he survived after his diagnosis. After that he lost his battle with it. Although he lived much longer than expected, I think his example teaches us to take steps now and live in a way that prevents rather than attempts to cure this horrible disease.




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      1. Thank you very much. This is a very sad story, very much like that of the boy described in the book “Death Be Not Proud,” by John Gunther. I hope death will not be proud. Over 40 percent of Americans will get cancer in their lifetime, and one quarter will attempt to treat the disease with diet when they get it, as Dr. Greger said. They have found that this is an effective path to improve survivorship. Broccoli in particular was healthful. Perhaps also beets and garlic would benefit, or the other listed foods. Even small amounts of lemon and cranberry were very harmful to cancer in the petri dish. Even very small amounts of berries were very harmful to vein creation in cancer cells in the perti dish. I hope my dietary choices now will help me prevent cancer. I hope these foods prevent cancer. I am glad his story is in two editions, he must have encouraged many of the Americans who get cancer to fight it like him, a strategy that adds whole life to real people. The tragedy of losing battles! Praise the doctor who would help others who have his problem!




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        1. Dr. David Servan-Schreiber had brain cancer; I don’t recall what type. I highly recommend his book to those who enjoys NF and especially to anyone with a cancer diagnosis. The book is in good alignment with Dr. Greger’s perspective.




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            1. They say rosehips are a treatment for brain cancer. Some herb teas have rose hips. There is a pure rosehip tea. This site calls rosehips dog rose, and says their benefits rival those of amla, the healthiest food discussed on this site. Dog rose is rose hips and can be found in many herbal teas. I would ask it Dr. Servan-Schreiber had tried rose hips. Dog rose or rose hips are the second healthiest food on this site and are considered to not be available. http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=23446#.VJjIlF4Bw




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              1. There are many types of brain cancer. If a person gets a diagnosis of any kind of cancer and wants nutritional consultation, probably the country’s top nutritional oncology consultant is Jeanne Wallace, Phd. Like Dr. Greger, she is well-versed in the current research findings in the broad field of cancer. She can be reached here:

                http://www.nutritional-solutions.net/index.php/about-us

                With cancer, it’s incredibly important to get expert advice (Wallace treats people around the world via phone, Skype etc.) and not just patch together treatments based on articles about rose hips, amla, etc.




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                1. Is your name a pun on plants? Thank you for providing the name of the expert oncology nutritionist in the country! Forgive me, I hoped to codify the advice on some of the best plants to use to treat cancer. Dr. Greger said that 25 percent of people who get cancer turn to diet to help themselves, in addition to medicine. He has found that this is particularly healthy and increases lifespan, but is not a cure. In some slow grow wait and see cancers, like prostate cancer, diet was a successful treatment and Dr. Greger recommends flax seed to all his breast cancer patients because of its health effects. Many patients do not stick to their treatment. Many treatments work by making patients sicker, specifically with regards to cancer. Cancer treatments hurt worse than the disease for many. Treatment is health science that many people do not stick to. Sharing information on diet for cancer is really valuable among survivors. Perhaps diet could in this regard could add lifespan to cancer patients. Perhaps if rose hips treat brain cancer in one study they prevent it for those who drink herbal tea, which is what I had hoped to demonstrate. Dr. Greger said it is important to pick the best foods for health effects, those being lemons, cranberries, apples, broccoli, garlic, beets, spinach, collards, carrots, pecan, walnuts, peanuts, dandelion tea, chamomile tea, hibiscus tea, white tea with lemon, matcha tea, cloves, ginger, rosemary, and tumeric with pepper. There are some super foods too, like large white button mushrooms, amla, flax seed, and others. The idea being if you stick with any treatment plan, that will be the treatment plan that will work for you. You can take Dr. Greger’s test on the best foods here. http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/11/06/the-best-foods-test-your-nutrition-knowledge/




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            2. Does anybody know which type of brain tumor Dr. David Servan-Schreiber had? I am asking because the prognosis vary a lot. Glioblastoma multiforme with a very poor prognosis (survival around 1 year), astrocytoma grade 2 (survival around 8 years) and tumors with even better prognosis.




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                1. Thanks! I am a neurologist and have seen to many with this terrible disease. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy probably only adds a few months to the patients survival. This could offer some hope (I know, this is just a case story, but very interesting).




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    2. There are some super cancer preventers and maybe fighters too, things like black beans, nori sheets, mushrooms, matcha tea or green tea, black raspberry jam, flax seed, whole grains like oatmeal or brown rice, these have not been tested in the same way as nuts, fruits, vegetables, spices, and tea. What is the best berry for cancer prevention? What is the best seaweed? What is the best bean? What is the best grain for cancer prevention? White cap mushrooms are the second best for cancer prevention, the other might not be immediately available. What are the best seeds for cancer prevention? I can’t wait for that literature to express this as cancer fighters not just in a petri dish but in a person with real recommendations for prevention and maybe treatment. Strawberries were so much more effective for esphogial cancer perhaps their dose should be standardized for that purpose. Beans, nuts, green tea, berries, whole grain, fresh fruits and vegetables are good for long health. Soon we’ll now the best of all these things.




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  3. One of my best friends died of kidney cancer. It was a long, horrible process to witness. The sad part is, even if he’d known about the risk of eating meat (which he loved), I’m not sure he would have changed his behavior to save his life. Sigh.




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    1. Antioxidants reduce the risk, and one reference suggests vit c. Strongly prefer whole plant sources.

      Reduce your blood amine levels by not eating animal foods.




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    2. Hi Dommy, there is a previous video that addresses your question: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-nitrates-pollutants-or-nutrients/

      “[…] nitrosamines preform in the meat before it even make it into our mouths. It’s not so much that we’re eating the nitrites added to the meat, but the nitrosamines formed in the meat when they added the nitrites in the first place. Nitrites in the absence of plants turn into carcinogenic nitrosamines.”

      The whole video series is quite fascinating:

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-bacon-good-or-is-spinach-bad/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-nitrates-pollutants-or-nutrients/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/vitamin-c-enriched-bacon/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/so-should-we-drink-beet-juice-or-not/




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  4. Analgesics are the most commonly used over-the-counter drugs worldwide and some data suggest that acetaminophen and non-aspirin NSAIDs are associated with a significant risk of developing kidney cancer.




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    1. I hope you will consider treating autism with diet. Beans, nuts, green tea or matcha, whole grains, berries, vegetables, and fruit could be effective treatments. The plant based diet might help the autistic. TIckling, laughter, love, encouragement for troublesome behaviors, acceptance, rewards, and nostalgia have been life patterns that let parents be themselves again. Autistic children are so honest, so free from the worry of judgement! Many are quiet and silent, and some choose to put their expression someplace else. All are often so gifted. They have strong left brains and connect easily to webs that make sense to their parent’s purpose. They are always so dedicated. Yes, a mother going through detox could help her child, as could the diet of beans, nuts, matcha or green tea, whole grains, berries, fresh fruit and vegetables. Dr. Greger recommends pregnant women eat garlic, one snack box of raisins a month, and the March of Dimes recommends beans and orange juice or Folate, Dr. Greger also recommends an alga based Omega 3 supplement (like DHA or ECG) from a Nori sheet. Pregnant women eating these foods could stop some autism in their children. Walnuts, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, could also help.




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      1. Nicely put and please don’t take this the wrong way but referring to a person with autism as “the autistic” is a little offensive. Small changes in our vocabulary have a ripple effect on public perception.




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        1. Please accept my humble apologies. Will you accept this as a correction: “The plant based diet might help people with autism”? Thank you very much. I am truly sorry. They are human beings, not a diagnosis, and they are not a logical grouping of people in any way. They are not a type of people, and there are no common characteristics among them. People with autism are perhaps one of the most neglected, under served, over competent groups of people in the world. People with autism also suffer terribly, and have been so horribly thrown away. People with autism now, in particular, with the federal funds rate so low, are invisible to society and have made such a difference and suffer so constantly in silence. People with autism are always all around me, they are some of the most successful people I know, they are the stars of sports and Hollywood, and I love people with autism dearly.




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          1. Wow…”humble” is an understatement. Thank you Matthew.
            If you want the real insight on what people with autism that have a hard time verbally communicating are thinking, please take a look at “The Reason I Jump.” By Naoki Higashida.
            The best book I have read on autism in the 21 years I have been trying to really understand my youngest son. Mind blowing to say the least.
            Enjoy.




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      2. Can you provide sources for your claims other than broccoli?

        Great advice for expectant mothers to help prevented the condition! … Much better than reducing symptoms after the fact.




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        1. I hope these references are of use.

          “This is not even negotiable for all pregnant and breastfeeding women. Just within the last year, mothers given DHA supplements had infants with significantly better vision at two months, significantly better problem solving at 9 months, and were significantly smarter at 4 years old—it bumped their IQ as well.”

          http://nutritionfacts.org/video/algae-based-dha-vs-flax-2/

          “which means your water breaking prematurely, before 37 weeks.And it didn’t seem to take much. The so-called “high” garlic intake associated with the lowest risk was just about one clove a week or more, and “high” raisin intake was defined as just like one of those mini snack boxes of raisins a month.”

          http://nutritionfacts.org/video/garlic-and-raisins-to-prevent-premature-birth/

          Folic Acid or Folate in Natural foods is recommended by the March of Dimes. This is their food recommendation:

          Beans, like lentils, pinto beans and black beans
          Leafy green vegetables, like spinach and Romaine lettuce
          Asparagus
          Broccoli
          Peanuts (But don’t eat them if you have a peanut allergy)
          Citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruit
          Orange juice (From concentrate is best)

          http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/take-folic-acid-before-youre-pregnant.aspx

          I am unable to find a recommendation that the vegan diet or less meat can help with childhood autism. This site here says they are smarter, though.

          “First let me share a little background. We’ve known for nearly 30 years that vegetarian children test smarter than omnivorous kids. First shown in a 1980 study at Tufts University, the IQ of vegetarian children is found to be about 16 points above average. And their “mental age” was a year ahead of the rest of their classmates. Of all the veg kids, the vegan kids appear the smartest. The pediatricians, psychologists knew the veg kids were bright but the researcher noted that they were puzzled that they were so much superior.”

          http://nutritionfacts.org/video/iq-of-vegetarian-children-2/

          Less meat is recommended here for most conditions. A woman was recently threatened with imprisonment for feeding her baby a vegan diet. Her child was malnourished. I think less meat might help children with autism, but that is mere extrapolation, no meat would probably be cruel to an unwilling and un-sick child.




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          1. Thank you.
            Women not eating high on the food chain…toxins in animal products…should be expected to help reduce the chance of the having an autistic child. Unfortunately research wise, that is opinion. I wish there were lots of whole plant eaters to facilitate studies!




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      3. Do nori sheets actually have significant and considerable amounts of DHA and EPA?
        I do not see any reputable sources online showing specific amounts.




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        1. Hello, Leslie, only using this stie, Dr. Greger does not recommend fish for pregnant women because of the mercury but does strongly recommend the DHA fish contains. He has a video showing that fish are unhealthy because of mercury but DHA algae supplements are very good. The answer to this problem is algae or seaweed or yeast derived DHA including supplements. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/algae-based-dha-vs-flax-2/ Just holding onto one Nori sheet it is physically greasy with sea omega 3s. Perhaps this site does not recommend Nori for DHA specifically, they recommend algae supplementation. I believe Nori, or another seaweed of your choice does have DHA and are another option for your consideration, because they are also recommended for reduction in breast cancer risk.




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    1. It makes perfect sense. It is a medical term – you follow 1 patient for 4,000,000 years (duh!), or you follow 4,000,000 patients for 1 year or (more achievable) you follow 400,000 patients for 10 years.




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  5. I live in Canada and I am from Spain-Canary Islands and my theory is that the majority of north Americans here in Vancouver Canada drink colas and like we European drink wine ! I think coca colas consumptions it so big here in Canada and when I go shopping Most people carry frozen junk food , pizza and can macaroni in their shopping basket ? Why people in north America are lazy to cook decent meal ? why they eat mostly factory man made food ? people becoming a lazy to cook ! the farm animal in my village back home eat healthier than north American people . Also every one puts stupid chemicals all over their skin , sun lotion …How they get vitamin D ? the average old person in my village lives to 95 and no no one has wheel chair . In Vancouver Canada I see every old people in wheel chairs ? why ? The people they pop stupid vitamin pills like candy and they’re so unhealthy !! in my village no one pops vitamin pills ! and live a healthy old age .




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  6. This might be off track, but I’ve got more than a few friends on this site and It is now Christmas eve here and I’m moved to wish everyone of you the very best holiday and good health. Regardless of whether we agree or agree to disagree we are learning together and that is all I require of life. Sincere thanks for helping make this place so fine. Peas on Earth, heh.




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  7. I think someone else has suggested this before (please chime in for due credit, whoever it was), but I wanted to put it out there again – If NF were to offer a t-shirt with some form of “we didn’t know… [perhaps on the front], with “…until now” [on the back], I would definitely want one. Love that phrase! NF logo, maybe some visually intriguing educational schematic. Not sure if t-shirts are worth it in terms of profit margin for fundraising purposes, but I think it would certainly be a conversation starter, and I’d wear one.




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      1. re: NutritionFacts original t-shirt.

        I remember this conversation from before. I forwarded this/b00mer’s latest post to Tommasina. Tommasina thinks it is a great idea. I don’t know how soon we could actually get something like this going, but I’m sure the staff are going to talk about it and give it a try if it is at all possible at some point.

        Thanks to everyone for chiming in. I would guess that that kind of enthusiasm will have an impact on what happens.




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  8. I’ve been smoking for the past 45 years. For the past two months I have been vaping. Started when I was 16 bases on the advice of an adult who said smoking was good for weight control. Which is wrong. I exercise and obviously erudite regarding nutrition, or I wouldn’t be here. My transportation mod of choice until my mid 20’s was riding a bike. For six years my commute was 40 miles a day. I smoked a pack a day and more when performing intellectually challenging tasks. Nicotine increases concentration, memory, fine motor skills and…….. opps highly addictive. No kidding. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine

    The first time I tried to quit I was 19 years old. In fact I cannot think of time since then when I haven’t been in some stage of trying to quit smoking. The prescription pills, lozenges and patches ( which made my addiction worse btw) didn’t help. There is no pleasure in smoking, other than quenching addiction craving. It takes a psychological toll when 25 times a day one pauses, to think, “I have to stop doing this. It’s going to kill me.”

    True story, two months ago I was on my way to get my two week supply of smokes from a native reserve in the Province where I live. No tax. So instead of $10.00 a pack it’s $3.00. Yeah I know….. On this particular day, I made three stops on the way. Never seen a vapour device and bumped into a person at each stop using one. They told their stories with religious conviction.
    I had to give it a try.

    In the past two months I’ve gone from 25mg to 18mg. With drawl symptoms about nothing. I sleep through the night now for the first time in a zillion years. When I weight lift monster sets, my breathing is deeper, heart rate lower and recovery to normal in an amazingly short time compared to before. I lift more a result. ( fyi, how ended up here. Wasn’t sure my weight lifter diet was all that good, six eggs a day, litre of chocolate milk after a work out and uno at least 4 chicken breasts a day. After all that I was feeling a bit weepy. Must have been all the estrogen :-) After three weeks going plant based feeling better. Though getting enough protein is a concern. Was using a soya protein supplement for 150 grams of protein per day. After the last video on how much soya is too much concerned. Any body builders using a plant based diet I’d appreciate your advice.

    I did some research on vaping and asked my GP. GP said, “Anything is better than smoking tar and smoke are killers” I also researched harm to those around me for vapour. I found nothing other than indignation of the pious. I am grateful to the innovators like Charzie and pablo for having the fortitude to set the record straight. Banning nicotine vapour devices is short sighted.




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  9. This looks like an interesting site, it came with solid references. I am saddened to see it seems to come with it’s own mc troll, that appears to have done a fine job of sidetracking what would otherwise be a neat exchange.




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    1. Click sources cited and the studies are available for your viewing. Dr. Greger simply synthesizes the evidence, if you don’t like what he has to say, see the studies and you can come to your own conclusions.




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  10. Have you ever noticed how the produce in the grocery store practically screams at you to choose them for whatever ails you?
    Kidney beans shaped like our kidneys are good for our kidneys. Celery looks like our femur and the minerals within the celery help strengthen our bones. A tomato has 4 chambers just like our heart and the lycopine the the tomatoes is great for our heart. A walnut looks just like our brain and the omega 3 fats in walnuts are fantastic nutrients for our brain. Just saying.




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  11. I am 56 years old and In May 2016 I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. In Sept. 2016 my oldest son,37, was diagnosed with kidney cancer. I had partial nephrectomy, my son total nephrectomy. Both of us stage 3 but different subtypes.
    As of today I can say I am cancer free. My son has yet to follow up with his scans and blood work to be sure he is in the clear. He’s a young father of two boys and loves his work (lawyer) getting him to be proactive in after care is a bit of a struggle for a busy guy.
    We are doing genetic testing and as of yet there is no known genetic link. I have adopted the whole plant based eating. i have yet to convince my son to do the same. Good news is that he is part of a research study with MD Anderson about meat and cancer. My question is that I want to do everything I can to stay cancer free. Could you address the plant based eating for people who’ve had cancer and are hoping to stay cancer free.
    I didn’t have to do any chemo or radiation but I do have MRI’s every 3 months for one more year and then every 6 months thereafter until 5 years. I’m concerned about the radiation and the contrast that they give me. I’ve told my doctor so he orders MRI’s not CT”s so it will lower my radiaton exposure. But….there still is radiation. I have a naturopathic doctor who just orders supplements for me but because O’m concerned formy kidney function I don’t like to supplemnt.
    Please any advice would be greatly appreciated




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    1. Nanarose: I think there are lots of tidbits you could pick up by going through this site. There are a ton of videos on the topic of cancer. And even if a video does not mention the particular cancer you had, you can learn something from the video. For example, if a food helps stop or even reverse throat cancer, that food type might be good in general for preventing other types of cancer. (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/strawberries-versus-esophageal-cancer/ )

      While I do recommend spending time enjoying this site, I think someone with your particular interest would best benefit from going through Dr. Greger’s new book, How Not To Die. There are several chapters about cancer in that book. It would give you the information in an organized way. And then the whole second part of the book is about putting all of that information into practical practice. If you are interested, here is the book that I’m talking about: https://www.amazon.com/How-Not-Die-Discover-Scientifically/dp/1250066115/ref=sr_1_1_twi_har_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469557562&sr=8-1&keywords=how+not+to+die

      Good luck to both you and your son. I’m happy to hear that your cancer is gone. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to help yourself. Good for you.




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    2. Nanarose, I hope you and your son are both doing well, and that you’ve been thriving on a WFPB diet, inspiring your son to make the important change as well. I share your concerns about CT scans, especially since you’d be faced with such frequent ones, so wanted to pass this along in case it’s helpful: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=urography#benefits-risks
      Bringing your attention in particular to this: MRI is a noninvasive imaging technique that does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation.
      Should a CT scan (or xray) ever be necessary or unavoidable, you may find the info in this, as well as in “How Not To Die” helpful: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/reducing-radiation-damage-with-ginger-and-lemon-balm/
      Wishing you the very best!




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