Wednesday, April 23, 2014

aspirin can lower your risk of colon cancer by 50 percent. metformin, tumeric, and curcumin lower risk as well

Aspirin's Ability to Prevent Colon Cancer May Depend on Your Genes

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin seems to halve the risk of colon cancer in people with high levels of a genetic enzyme found in the colon, a new study says.
Many questions remain, however, regarding who should take aspirin to potentially ward off colon cancer. The research isn't definitive, there's no easy test for patients to take to assess potential benefits, and aspirin can cause serious side effects.
"There is very strong evidence that aspirin reduces the risk of colon cancer, but we're not yet at the point where we're recommending that treatment," said study co-author Dr. Andrew Chan, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and gastroenterologist atMassachusetts General Hospital.
Still, the new study "provides proof that we may be able to go beyond traditional risk factors to try to determine if someone can benefit from aspirin therapy," he said.
According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of colon cancer is 1 in 20. While regular colonoscopies that search for signs of cancer are now recommended for people over 50, about 50,000 people will die in the United States of colon cancer this year, the cancer society estimates.
Scientists have tried for years to determine whether aspirin's benefits as a colon-cancer prevention tool outweigh the potential for side effects such as bleeding in the stomach. On the bright side, aspirin is one of the most inexpensive drugs available, costing as little as a penny a pill.
While research suggests that aspirin has benefits, Chan said, it's still not clear exactly how it may keep colon cancer at bay. Chan's team launched the new study to see if people with colon cancer had higher or lower levels of a genetic enzyme known as 15-PGDH that's found in the mucous membranes of the colon.
The enzyme plays a role in removing proteins known as prostaglandins that have been linked to colon cancer, Chan said. "If people are lacking this enzyme, aspirin may not cooperate as well with that person's body to get rid of prostaglandins," he said.
Most people appear to have the enzyme, Chan said, but it's not clear how many have levels that would allow aspirin to boost their chances of avoiding colon cancer.
In the study, researchers looked at tissue samples from 270 colon cancer patients. These patients were among nearly 127,900 people whose medical histories were tracked over many years.
The participants were followed in the 1980s and 1990s when daily aspirin therapy was less common than it is today. The study defined aspirin users as those who took at least two 325-milligram (mg.) aspirins a week. While two 325-mg. aspirins a week amounts to more than a daily dose of 81 mg. of "baby" aspirin, which people often take as part of heart therapy, Chan said the difference is negligible.
Those who had higher levels of the enzyme and took aspirin regularly had a 51 percent lower risk of colon cancer than those who didn't take aspirin. But those who had lower levels of the enzyme only had a 10 percent lower risk of colon cancer if they took aspirin regularly, the study found.
The findings were published in the April 23 issue of Science Translational Medicine.
A test could be developed to detect the enzyme levels to see if certain people should take aspirin to prevent colon cancer, Chan said. Such a screening would require colon tissue that could be obtained during a colonoscopy. It would be safe, Chan said, but the cost is unknown.
Chris Paraskeva, a colon cancer specialist and head of the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol in England, said the study appears to be valid and is "potentially very useful."
However, he added, "I would not recommend the general healthy public take aspirin without consulting their doctor first."
More information
For more about colon cancer, see the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Andrew Chan, M.D., MPH, associate professor, department of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and associate professor of medicine, gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Chris Paraskeva, BSc., DPhil, head of school, School of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol, U.K.; April 23, 2014, Science Translational Medicine


Monday, April 21, 2014

healthy desert.

Dark Chocolate & Oat Clusters

dark-chocolate-oat-clusters RecipeJim Bathie


  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats


1. Heat peanut butter, milk, and chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat 3 minutes or until chips melt.
2. Stir in oats. Remove from heat.
3. With a spoon, small ice cream scoop, or melon baller, drop 8 ball-shaped portions on a wax paper−lined baking sheet. Let set in fridge 10 minutes.
    • Prep Time: 
    • Cook Time: 
    • Total Time: 
    • Yield: 4 servings

    Nutritional Information

    Calories per serving:160
    Fat per serving:8g
    Saturated fat per serving:3g
    Monounsaturated fat per serving:3.5g
    Polyunsaturated fat per serving:1.5g
    Protein per serving:5g
    Carbohydrates per serving:19g
    Fiber per serving:3g
    Cholesterol per serving:0mg
    Sodium per serving:40mg
    Rs per serving:1.7g

    Good to Know

    What’s not to love about chocolate and peanut butter, especially when both are high in MUFAs? As a bonus, the oats provide resistant starch.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    pain and chocolate and other suggestions

    Question: I have chronic pain and take ibuprofen daily plus hydrocodone and celecoxib. I’m willing to do anything right now that could help. The craziest thing is that nothing happened to me, I just developed pain over the years, no accidents, no trauma. Can you help me? D.W., Boca Raton, Florida.
    Answer: Pain is a symptom not a disease itself. It’s your clue that something is out of balance in your system. Without knowing more details it’s hard to hit the nail on the head so I will give you (and other readers who are suffering in pain) some general information. My goal today is to teach you about two different pain chemicals that your body releases in response to something. What that “something” is could be different for everyone.
    Sometimes pain is triggered by foods like gluten or nightshade vegetables, sometimes it is from a nutrient deficiency (like magnesium or CoQ10), and sometimes it is from poor elimination. If you are constipated and toxins back up in your gut, or in your blood, then this triggers a physiological response in your body that causes cells to release pain-causing chemicals called “cytokines.”
    Two cytokines implicated in pain include the leukotrienes and the prostaglandins. Those are such big names for little substances but too much of these will make you hurt. Your goal as a pain sufferer is to reduce levels of those.
    First up leukotrienes. These are a subclass of “eicosanoids” pronounced “I-koss-anoids” which when you say that out loud, the last syllable sounds like the word “annoyed” and that’s exactly what they do. They are very annoying and irritating. Leukotrienes spark production of other compounds involved in allergies, food sensitivities, autoimmune disorders and anaphylactic reactions. Leukotrienes tend to increase if you eat food coloring, like yellow dye number five, tartrazine, and other artificial substances.
    If you have pain, then non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (referred to as “NSAIDs”), such as ibuprofen or naproxen (Advil, and Aleve respectively) can help you. These are sold over-the-counter at pharmacies nationwide. The prescription drug Celebrex(celecoxib) can also help. Interestingly, researchers have found that some natural compounds like boswelia and quercetin can reduce those annoying eicosanoids. Since about 2001, the medical literature has shown that dark chocolate can reduce eiconanoids too. Other natural rescue remedies include omega three fatty acids, flax seed, perilla seed oil, curcumin and glycyrrhiza. The prescription medications Accolateand Singulair may help too, especially if your problems are primarily allergies.
    Next up prostaglandins. Excessive amounts of this cytokine occur with arthritis, heavy menstrual cycles, premenstrual syndrome, migraines, multiple sclerosis, chronic lyme disease, as well as colon and breast cancer. What substances reduce prostaglandins? Fish oils, white willow bark (salix alba), ecklonia cava (a brown algae), meadowsweet (don’t take if you’re allergic to salicylates like aspirin), turmeric, skullcap, ginger root and passionflower. Medications to consider include aspirin, celecoxib, and the NSAID class including ibuprofen and naproxen.
    Ask your doctor if any of these are right for you.
    Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Always consult your physician. Visit