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Cancer-Fighting Foods: Facts and Fiction

The countless books and news articles about cancer-fighting foods might lead you to think you can ward off this dreaded disease simply by eating better.

Alas, it’s not that simple. Anytime you see a headline stating “Cure cancer naturally,” you should run. Running, in fact, will be more beneficial to your health than whatever that news article is pushing.

There are foods associated with a lower risk of getting cancer. While that’s positive news, remember that this is based merely on what goes on in Petri dishes and in mice and in human epidemiology studies revealing, largely in retrospect, that people who ate A, B and C for “x” years had a y-percent reduction in a cancer risk compared with a bunch of slackers who did nothing to stay healthy.

So, there are no guarantees. Consider that among the leading proponents of the macrobiotic diet — the grain- and vegetable-based diet purported to cure cancer — Aveline Kushi and her daughter Lilly died of cancer, Michio Kushi had a tumor removed from his intestine, and founder George Ohsawa died at the relatively young age of 73, likely of a heart attack.

Many causes of cancer are environmental, largely from tobacco, excessive sun exposure and workplace hazards such as chemical solvents and fumes. Avoidance is the best prevention strategy here.

Aside from that, if you want the odds on your side, the foods in this list do seem to carry some cancer-protection properties.

–Christopher Wanjek, LiveScience’s Bad Medicine Columnist


September 27, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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