Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Myths about Cancer

2 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Reader,

Today, I've decided to be a bit lazy in the writing department. But it's only because in doing my research I came across this article on emedecinehealth.com that I thought was perfect.
The original article is actually part of a Cancer file where you can found amazing information on about anything you've always wondered about cancer. Here it is:

Cancer Myths and Reality 

Myth #1
Progress for people with advanced cancer has been so slow because there is a conspiracy between the American Medical Association and drug companies. Some people with cancer and their families think doctors are keeping the cure for cancer under wraps so that money can be made from cancer treatments.

Reality #1
Does any reasonable person think that a cure for cancer would remain secret for long? Obviously not.
  • Now, let's think about this for a moment. Nurses get cancer. Pharmacists get cancer. Physicians get cancer, as do family members of these professionals. With the Internet and high-speed modems, it is inconceivable that some scientist laboring in isolation in a bunker someplace will have a cure for this problem.
  • The World Wide Web can be your best source for sound information (but also at times a repository for some of the worst). A cure for cancer does not exist in cyberspace, or in a clinic in Mexico, or with a healer in the Philippines.
Myth #2
We can put a man on the moon. We can send a rocket around Jupiter. Why can't we cure cancer?

Reality #2 
This question underscores a common misbelief that cancer is one disease. In fact, cancer is a group of hundreds of diseases. Each disease has a unique biological record, and each of which may be caused by very different circumstances. One "magic bullet" will not eradicate all types of cancers.
  • A major study from the University of Chicago stated that the survival from cancer is no different now compared with 30 years ago. This is an extreme view because, in fact, people with cancer are living longer and clearly have a better quality of life than they did a generation ago. Today, 2 of every 3 of those diagnosed with cancer are alive more than 5 years following their diagnosis. In 1970, this was only true for about 1 in 3.
  • We know this because some cancers are indeed curable, even in the far advanced stages as with testicular cancer, Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkins lymphomas, acute leukemia in both children and adults, and in a few other types of cancer.
Myth #3
If we can only hold on for a few more months, a cure will be on the horizon and all will be well.

Reality #3 
Although there have been spectacular advances in the treatment of cancer and although people are living far longer today than in any time in history, it is not reasonable to expect that, within the next years, there will be a "heat-seeking missile" or some magical vaccine to annihilate cancer. Progress against this dreaded group of diseases has been agonizingly slow, but it is moving forward in the right direction.
  • Clinical trials and conventional therapies hold promise, but cure is not possible for most people with advanced cancer.
  • But what is possible is a better quality of life because we now have far better treatments for pain, nausea, and vomiting than we did just a few years ago.
Of course, there are many more myths surrounding the complexities of cancer. If you are interested, feel free to leave me a comment with the myth or the info you may have heard and are not sure if it's true.

See you Soon for more Sexy Science,
This article originally appears here:
Cancer: What you need to know

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

What are superfoods?

0 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Readers,

Thank you all for the amazing feedback I got from you on the different social networks about my latest article "What's a gluten-free diet?".

Right after the holiday season, we all love a good detox program to purify our body and soul from all our Christmas sins. Some of us take the plunge and go for the latest fad diet. Whereas others feel they got the whole Healthy Diet with particular attention to superfoods.

But what are those Superfoods everyone seem to talk about these days? And most importantly is there any truth, medical or theoretical evidence that these foods are Super?

What are Superfoods?

Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods that are considered to be especially beneficial for our health and well-being.
Superfood Berries

However the name 'Superfood' has been disputed by many saying that it is a non-medical term used in marketing with little scientific evidence for it. The term itself has been prohibited in the European Union since 2007 unless it is accompanied by a medical notice approved by an medically and scientifically accredited name or organisation.

What are these superfoods?

Berries, nuts and seeds in general, dark green vegetables (such as spinach, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli), citrus fruits, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, vegetables with bright, dark, or intense colors (such as beets and their greens, and sweet potatoes), many legumes (peanuts, lentils, beans, raw cocoa), and whole grains as a group.

You might say, 'Well, if these are good foods to begin with, foods that could be part of a healthy diet, what's wrong with naming them Superfoods?'

Tweet This - If these are good foods, part of a healthy diet, what's wrong with naming them Superfoods?

And in essence, there's nothing wrong with it if these are actually eaten as part of a healthy diet and not popped in your mouth in a pill form!!!

Green tea leaves from Chengdu
For example, green tea is well known for its superfood quality as it is a superoxidant and contains B vitamins, folate (naturally occurring folic acid), manganese, potassium, magnesium, and caffeine. Many weight loss supplements include green tea extracts but there is currently insufficient scientific evidence that consumption of green tea or its specific extract EGCG has any health benefit.  The FDA itself sent a warning letter in 2013 about false advertising and health claims concerning the effects of green tea consumption.

Why are they called Superfoods?

Many Superfoods contain natural chemicals that have been shown to have positive health effects in laboratory studies. These include antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

It’s certainly true that a healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes but it is unlikely that any single food will make a major difference on its own.  

Cancer Research UK note that Superfoods are often promoted as having an ability to prevent or cure diseases, including cancer; they caution, 'you shouldn’t rely on Superfoods to reduce the risk of cancer. They cannot substitute for a generally healthy and balanced diet'.

Fighting Cancer with Superfoods?

From HERE
There is some lab data that show that some of these ingredients can affect cancer cells in a laboratory setting, including killing them and stopping them from growing. But unfortunately jumping to the conclusion that eating those nutrient-rich foods can affect your cancer outcome is a biiiiiiig leap!

First of all, your body is a complex organism and the interactions between the food we eat and our bodies are much more complex than those between a purified chemical and cells in a tube.
Secondly, food is itself complex: An isolated chemical may behave very differently in a test tube than when it is eaten as part of food.
Last but not least, dose as always is of paramount importance. Even eating very large portions of a ‘superfood’ might not provide enough of a specific ingredient to a sufficient amount to have any effect on our health. For example, garlic contains a nutrient alleged to help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. But you'd have to eat up to 28 cloves a day to match the doses used in the lab!

Is it bad though?

As part of a healthy diet, the short answer is not at all. With everything though, dosing and pacing are essential. You won't get a quick fix by gorging yourself on Superfoods, you won't cure any disease and your disease risk may not be that much reduced if you are already on a healthy diet. If anything, an exclusive diet might put you at risk of deficiency of other essential nutrients.
Some foods when eaten in large quantities can put you at risk of toxicities - think fish and mercury - for example, some seaweeds contain natural toxins which are thought by some to increase risk of cancer and liver damage.

Do you like your Superfoods? Do you include them in your diet on purpose?

See you Soon for more Sexy Science,

References and further reading
Wikipedia
Cancer Research UK - Superfoods
NHS - Superfoods

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

What's a gluten-free diet?

13 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Readers,

First of all, I would like to wish you a fantastic New Year!!!!

A lot of people may feel that January is a good month to work on their New Year resolutions.

One of these may be to go gluten-free to help their body cope with the excess food they have accumulated during the holiday season.

Many of you will hopefully detect that the above sentence contains 3 non evidence-based facts*, but as I typed it, I felt strangely liberated like I could do something that would cancel out my overindulgence and Christmas sins!

I'm a greater believer though in knowing the truth and understanding our body (HERE), how it works (HERE and HERE) and how things we ingest (HERE, HERE or HERE) or slather on it do to us (HERE and HERE).

So if you'd like to know the scientific truth about gluten and gluten-free diets that supermarkets, unscrupulous nutritionists and restaurant owners purposefully don't share with you, please keep on reading... (Well, yes of course it's a new and very lucrative business...)

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Did you Know? #11- Neurotransmitters and hormones

0 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Readers,

Today a very short sexy story part of our Did you Know? series. I was writing about stress and how our body copes with it. There was obviously a lot of mention of hormones and neurotransmitters and I thought "Hang on, are we clear on what these are?" 

Sharing is Sexy