According to Pharmaceutical Research, only 5% of all cancers have a genetic link in their etiology—cause.
95% of the causes of cancer are rooted in our lifestyle; our habits and rituals—one being what we eat and don’t eat.
Jumping into the topic, all disease—yes, all disease—has a nutrient component. Basically, disease, including cancer, can be created by nutrient deficiency or food toxicity. Food toxicity means that some food-borne chemical or compound that causes damage to the body.
You may be familiar with gluten (in grain), casein (in dairy), refined white sugar, aspartame (nutrasweet), preservatives in processed meats, fluorescent food coloring, and alcohol. These are all toxins that we ingest.
Did you know movie popcorn can destroy your lungs? Yes, a flavoring compound called diacetyl gives movie popcorn the smell and taste of butter. Diacetyl can cause popcorn lung—a condition of chronic scarring and severe narrowing of the bronchiole airways in the lungs. No joke! Popcorn has a disease named after it.
Nutrient deficiency is also a major cause of disease. In cancer, a nutrient-deprived diet mimics radiation in the damage it causes to the cells’ DNA.
Dr. Bruce Ames, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of California, Berkeley, found that deficiencies of the micronutrients folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and zinc cause DNA damage that will contribute to the formation of cancer.
This may explain why those who don’t eat enough nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables have a much higher cancer rate.
Deficiencies of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 were found to cause breaks in certain parts of chromosomes in the same manner that radiation causes damage. Basically, like radiation, nutrient deficiencies can cause breaks in the genetic hardware of the cell. If the cell doesn’t repair itself, it can and will cause abnormal cell growth, eventually becoming a malignant cancer.
Deficiencies of vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc have also been linked to the development of cancer. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant. Oxidative stress—free-radical damage—is a major reason for the development of cancer. According to Reviews, vitamin C supplementation was shown to prevent DNA and chromosomal damage in lymphocytes (white blood cells).
Zinc is an element crucial to the stability of DNA. A zinc deficiency was found to disrupt repair of damaged DNA and the enzymes responsible for that DNA repair.
A deficiency of vitamin D is also linked to the development of cancer. In fact, getting one’s blood level of vitamin D to 60-80ng/ml would prevent 58,000 cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year.
Countless studies in the scientific literature show that vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other bio-active compounds from fruits and vegetables reduce the incidence of all cancers. Taking actionable steps to prevent cancer, and to prevent a recurrence if you have had treatment for cancer, includes:
- Eliminate bread (gluten), dairy (casein), and white refined sugars;
- Eliminate processed foods, food dyes, and any artificial chemicals;
- Eat nutrient-dense foods throughout the day, including plant-based foods, wild-caught seafood, grass-fed meats, healthful oils and fats, including olive and avocado oils;
- Consider supplementing with vitamins and minerals from a reputable research-based nutraceutical company.
By taking these simple steps, you will have a much better chance at protecting your DNA and preventing the development of cancer.
Anand P, Kunnumakara, AB, Sundaram C, et al. Cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes. Pharmaceutical Research, Vol. 25, No.9, September 2008
Ames BN and Wakimoto P. Are vitamin and mineral deficiencies a major cancer risk? Reviews Volume 2 Sept. 2002
Garland C, Gorham E, Mohr S, et al., Vitamin D for Cancer Prevention: Global Perspective. Annals of Epidemiology, July 2009; 19; 7:468–483.