The Whey Protein Way .. to Better Health

Whey Protein: We’ve known since 2003 that eating curds and whey may be good for more than just nursery rhyme characters. A study showed whey protein may play a role in prostate cancer prevention. Whey is a liquid byproduct of the cheese production process and is rich in protein. Researchers found that when they treated human prostate cells in the lab with whey protein, the levels of an antioxidant called glutathione rose dramatically. Antioxidants like glutathione are thought to fight cancer-causing free radicals.

According to NIH: Whey protein concentrate has been shown to represent an effective and safe cysteine donor for glutathione (GSH) replenishment during GSH depletion in immune deficiency states. Cysteine is the crucial limiting amino acid for intracellular GSH synthesis.

Animal experiments showed that the concentrates of whey proteins also exhibit anti-carcinogenesis and anti-cancer activity. They do this via their effect on increasing GSH concentration in relevant tissues, and may have anti-tumor effect on low volume of tumor via stimulation of immunity through the GSH pathway. It is considered that oxygen radical generation is frequently a critical step in carcinogenesis, hence the effect of GSH on free radicals as well as carcinogen detoxification, could be important in inhibiting carcinogenesis. Case reports are presented which strongly suggest an anti-tumor effect of a whey protein dietary supplement in some urogenital cancers.

Have one to two scoops of  a high quality, low sugar and additives, Whey protein in a Shake or mixed with filtered cool water 4 - 5 times a week.

Soybeans - Friend or Foe?

Soy is one of those "wonder foods" that used to be sold only in health food stores or Asian markets in western countries.

 

 

 

 

In the last several years, soy has been showing up regularly on the shelves of mainstream grocery stores, packaged in an amazing variety of products and flavors. At the same time, a controversy has been brewing – is soy healthy or risky for breast cancer patients and survivors? Do soy foods protect you from cancer, or do they hasten its development?

Soybeans are a great source of the anticancer compounds known as isoflavones.   These isoflavones have powerful antioxidant properties, and may be able to prevent cell damage (oxidation) caused by free radicals.

Soy isoflavones can act like weak estrogens, and may block estrogen receptors, similar to the way that tamoxifen works to prevent a recurrence of estrogen-sensitive breast cancer.

Sounds great, doesn't it?  But there may be a problem of "too much of a good thing."  Just as an excess of natural estrogen may fuel the growth of a breast tumor, too much of the soy isoflavone genistein, in concentrated form in many over-the-counter nutritional supplements, may set the stage for tumor development.

While moderate consumption of soy-based products is very reasonable, some supplements extremely high in phytoestrogens, especially soy-based isoflavone compounds and flaxseed based lignans, have been promoted as "natural" treatments for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Very well-designed clinical trials show these supplements are no more effective than placebo (sugar pills) at relieving these symptoms. There is good science to suggest these high dose supplements may have negative health effects.

The Bottom Line on Soy and Breast Cancer

You may get the most benefits from consuming soy isoflavones such as genistein, if the isoflavones come from food (sesame seeds, tofu, legumes)– not from nutritional supplements.

The American Cancer Society says that concentrated extracts of soy isoflavones may encourage tumor growth, and should be avoided. Women in the Japanese study who had the lowest rates of breast cancer had consumed soy from childhood, or at least from pre-puberty. Post-menopausal women should not overdo soy products, because the powerful isoflavones mimic natural estrogen, which fuels 80% of all cases of breast cancer.

References

  1. Barnes, S., et al.  "Soy Isoflavonoids and Cancer Prevention." Advances in Experimental Medicine & Biology  401.  (1996):  87-100.
  2. Barnes, Stephen.  "Anticancer Effects of Genistein."  The Journal of Nutrition  125  (1995):  777S-783S.
  3. Bergan, R., et al.  "Genistein-stimulated Adherence of Prostate Cancer Cells Is Associated with the Binding of Focal Adhesion Kinase to Beta-1-integrin."  Clinical & Experimental Mestastasis  14(4) (1996 Sept.):  389-398.
  4. Messina, M. J., et al.  "Soy Intake and Cancer Risk:  A Review of the In Vitro and in Vivo Data."  Nutrition & Cancer 21(2)  (1994):  113-131.

 

Breast Cancer Diet - Do's and Dont's

The following is a preview of the recommended diet for people who are currently overcoming breast cancer, or who are survivors and wish to stay cancer free.  This is based on the suggested diet I received from the integrative therapy professionals I discussed in 'My Journey Part I' post under “About”.
I feel it is important to think of our diet as a treatment, just as you would chemotherapy or any other therapy...don't tamper with foods on the No list, don't think it's OK to cheat for a day or two. Think of this as your long term cure.  So, give it respect and it may give you life!
That's my intuitive understanding of our mind-body work.  What you wholeheartedly believe, your mind will believe, and it will work to bring that belief into reality. If your mind-body feel you lack faith in what you're doing or thinking, you lose the majority of the beneficial effect, if not all.
After a couple of weeks it will become easier to stop thinking about missing this or that food. Think of cravings as your old ignorant cells talking.  If you have or had cancer treatments, your body is transforming.  Many cells that were part of your body have been shed, and you are creating fresh, un-programmed ones as you move towards new health.
I feel we are reinventing ourselves on more than one level during a healing process.  And wouldn't it be interesting if that's the role of cancer in our lives? By creating a fresh new cellular structure, it enables us to let go of old habits and beliefs that were programmed in them, and pushes us to new heights and depths of understanding...and challenge us to stay there!
I know my thinking has undergone a shift, and my body and the way I think of it sure have as well.
Below is a starter list of Yes and No foods for breast/prostate cancer.  If you'd like a comprehensive list with menu ideas, please write to me.

YES Foods:

  • All Vegetables except white potatoes: every color, raw or lightly cooked
  • Legumes/Beans: garbanzo, adzuki, black, lentil, kidney, lima beans, green beans...
  • Whole grains: barley, oats, rye, whole wheat...
  • Animal Protein: Omega 3 organic eggs, 4 oz. organic white meat chicken, 3 oz. grass-fed beef, all wild-caught cold water fish, very little organic butter (not heated)
  • Dairy substitutes: Almond or Rice milk, soy milk in moderation (especially if you have estrogen based cancer)
  • Spices: all of them
  • Nuts/Seeds: All except peanuts and cashews.  Make sure you only buy dry-roasted nuts

NO Foods:

  • All Dairy except Whey protein
  • Non organic vegetables and fruits
  • Processed foods
  • Sweeteners: Sugar, artificial sweeteners, honey, agave..
  • Simple carbs: white flour, rice flour, white potatoes, starchy food, rice, cornmeal (unless mixed with high fiber flour for baking), most boxed cereals (choose low sugar, high fiber)
  • Beverages: sweetened drinks, drinks with food coloring, caffeinated beverages (teas are an exception)
  • Fried foods
~ Get creative!