The Kathmandu Post
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Preventing cancer through vegetable & fruit diets By DR TEK RAJ JOSHI ancer is probably the most feared disease that affects the human beings. It is believed to be the second most common cause of death, the first being cardiovascular disease. However, cancer is preventable. To fight this formidable disease, we should be well informed about its prevention. An approximate seventy-five billion dollars is annually spent on cancer research in the United States alone. However, there has been no significant breakthrough as yet. In fact, a fraction of the above fund should be directed to raising awareness about cancer prevention, which is possible through a greater consumption of fruit and vegetables, avoiding tobacco and alcohol and avoiding excessive intake of fat. Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of human cells, a rapid outgrowth that begins when one cell multiplies in a disorderly and uncontrolled manner. The cancer cells not only grow in number, but they also penetrate the adjoining tissues which results in an indiscriminate growth known as cancer. They spread inside the human body in all directions just like the roots of a tree. The detached cancer cells spread over to distant organs when they are carried via blood and gets lodged in lungs, liver, bones, brain and skin. Cancer either spreads very fast or remains latent in the body for as long as 5 to 40 years. Fortunately, food compounds can stop further growth of cancerous cells or actually shrink the patches of precancerous cells. Diet, though far less powerful at later stages of cancer growth, may still influence the spread of cancer (metastasis). Even after cancer is diagnosed, the right combination of vegetable and fruit diet may help prolong one's life. In his best selling book, "Recalled by Life,"Anthony J Sattilarm, a doctor diagnosed with prostate cancer talks of how he adopted a low fat, vegetarian diet and outlived the disease. It is a proven fact that nutrition plays a major role in cancer control. 60 percent of cancer in women and 40 percent in men are caused due to improper diet. Also, consumption of tobacco results in 30 percent of cancer in human beings. Cancers that are directly correlated with dietary factors are cancers
of the stomach, small intestine, mouth, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, liver, ovary, thyroid and bladder. Numerous research studies have shown that cancer is much more common in countries where diets rich in fatty food is consumed and much less in places where diet rich in vegetables, fruit and whole grains is taken. One reason for this is that foods affect the action of hormones in the body. They also affect the strength of the immune system. Cancer can be prevented to a greater extent if one avoids high fat diet and go for a diet rich in fibres, consume greater servings of fruit and leafly vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), whole grain cereals and exercise regularly, at least for 30 minutes a day. Similarly, there are certain symptoms that should be taken care of to avoid a potential cancer. Such symptoms are of different kinds depending upon the body where it occurs. It includes formation of breast lumps, change in the size of a mole/wart, a sore that does not heal, an unusual change in bladder or bowel habit, persistent cough, constant indigestion, a lump in the lower front of the neck, coughing up of blood, blood in the stool etc. There are over one hundred and fifty dif-
Diet, though far less powerful at later stages of cancer growth, may still influence the spread of cancer (metastasis). Even after cancer is diagnosed, the right combination of vegetable and fruit diet may help prolong one's life. ferent types of cancers, but all cancers have a common characteristic - uncontrolled cell growth. Medically, cancer is generally treated through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of two or all of these. But, what is important is how to prevent or reduce the risk of cancer and live a cancer free life. Proper nutrition could play a significant role in lowering the overall incidence of cancer in the world. In fact, some of the major cancer research agencies in the United
Ayurveda- 'the life science' By RUPENDRA PURI yurveda is the science of life. Its origin is closely related to the cultural development that has taken place over the centuries and it continues to be influenced by them.
Unlike ayurveda, allopathic medicine has its foundation in Greek culture. Hippocrates and Galen were scientists and physician as well as philosophers. They considered philosophy and medicine two sides of the same coin. It was only with the emergence of natural sciences such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology that medicine got separated from philosophy. Modern medicine has become a somatological science; it is based more upon experiments. Every treatment methods is subjected to clinical trials and rejected if proven ineffective. This leads to an exaggerated emphasis on somatological and physiological processes, which have become the criteria by which pathological manifestations of an illness or its symptoms are evaluated. Extensive research has produced many new healing methods and hundreds of medications for the treatment of human illnesses. The result has been the development of enormously successful treatment for acute infections. On the other hand, in spite of these improvements in modern allopathic medicine, the treatment of various (chronic and psychosomatic) illnesses remains unsatisfactory. Patient with such illnesses who are treated according to modern
States-the National Academy of Science, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society-have reported that nutritional factors are linked to certain cancers. For instance, the Bantu tribes of rural Africa have an extremely low incidence of cancer compared to industrialized nations. They consume a low fat and very high fiber diet. Dietary animal fat weakens the immune system by decreasing antibody production and impairing the function of T cells and phagocytes. Meanwhile, a high fiber diet protects against colon, rectal, and breast cancer. The major categories of foods that provide dietary fibers include vegetables, fruit, and whole grain. Fibers probably due to its binding nature helps in proper removal of bile acids, cholesterol, lipids, poisons, and carcinogens (cancer causing). It also increases the weight and amount of stool,which in effect, dilutes carcinogens. And it also decreases the gastro intestinal transit time so that the carcinogens are excreted more quickly from the gut. The National Cancer Institute ,USA, doing studies at over 30 studies have shown that people ,who consume foods with high amount of carotene (Vitamin A) have a low risk of developing cancer. Likewise, indole found in cabbage family can destroy estrogen known to initiate new cancers especially breast cancer while isoflavons found in legumes destroys certain cancer producing enzymes. Protease mainly found in soybean has been shown to inhibit development of colon cancer, lung cancer, mouth cancer, and liver cancer in animals while sterols
allopathic medical methods often suffer more from the side-effects of long term medication than from the illnesses itself. Ayurveda was developed over centuries as a holistic medical system. The Ayurvedic method of treatment was practiced from about 1500 BC to 500 AD. The different branches of Ayurveda are comparable to those of modern allopathic medicine of the last 100 years. The major subdivisions includes the following: Kaya chikitsaa (Internal Medicine), Salya Chikitsaa (Surgery), Kaumarbhritya (Pediatrics), Bhutavidya (Psychiatry), Salakyatrantra (ENT and Ophthalmology), Agadtantra (Toxicology), Rasayana (Geriatrics) and Vajikarana (Sexology). Unlike modern medicine, which primarily developed along therapeutic concepts, Ayurveda addresses the basic needs of a human being on the three levels. Ayurveda focuses first upon prevention of the disease, second on awareness of the origin of life, and third upon the systemic approach for establishing the diagnosis of an illness and treatment in accordance with a medical protocol. Treatment is a practical use of medications or therapeutic measures to cure an illness. Its goal is to correct disrupted bio-energies and to preserve the balance between the three bioenergies- vata, pitta and kapha. Ayurvedic treatment is prophylactic as well as therapeutic, because Ayurveda is primarily a science of health prevention and only secondarily a science of medicine. The basic idea is to prevent illnesses from developing in the first place. The chances of cure are much stronger when an illness is treated in the early stages. To restore a patient to the original state of health becomes much more difficult and takes much longer, if the treatment is delayed. The three bio-energies cannot be seen as totally separate entities; they stand in clear and definite relation to each other. When a person is healthy, his bio-energies are in balance. In such a state, they perform and control all physiological functions and are called dhatu (substances that support the body). If the balance is disturbed, all physiological functions are scrambled, which means the onset of illness. The aims of Ayurveda is to promote health on three levels: Physically, mentally and spiritually. Since Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine, it not only treats diseases but maintains health and restores it when inflicted with a disease.
mainly found in cucumbers especially in the skin of cucumber, have been found to control colon-rectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate and cancer of uterus. The National Cancer Institute, USA and Loma Linda University have reported that sulphur from garlic inhibit carcinogens and inhibit the enzymes that allow cancer to spread. Also, terpens, mainly found in citrus fruit, is found to increase enzymes known to break down carcinogens. Dark green yellow fruit and vegetables contain beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A helps protect against certain types of cancers. To neutralize the effects of the free radicals (highly unstable molecules from metabolized oxygen which may promote the development of cancer), anti oxidants such as beta-carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C and Vitamin E should be consumed in a greater quantity. Anti oxidants reduce the number of free radicals, prevent tissue damage and cancer. Carrots, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, mango, papaya, pumpkin, tomatoes, peaches contain beta-carotene, which neutralizes free radicals in our body systems. Also, broccoli, lemon, grape fruit, cauliflowers, cherries, potatoes, asparagus, cabbage, tomatoes, spinach are efficient killers of free radicals Consuming food rich in vitamin E helps prevent cancers of stomach, cervix, pancreases and urinary tracts. Nuts, soybean, sunflower, peanut, olive oil, sunflower seeds, green leafy vegetables, dried beans are all rich in vitamin E. Also, taking high level of folic acid (found in green vegetables) and lycopen (a tomato compound) makes one less vulnerable to all cancers, particularly of the lungs, cervix, and pancreas. Citrus fruit possess 58 known anti-cancer chemicals. Wide use of citrus fruit is reported to control the rate of stomach cancer while soybean compounds block formation of the world's most deadly carcinogens -nitrosamine, which can lead to liver cancer. To sum up, consuming 5 to 7 servings of fruit and vegetables every day is the best way to live free of cancer.
My memorable interview By SALIK SHAH had left my job for the last few months. All this time, I was writing, editing and blogging into my website, and to the editors of the english dailies. The past six months have been a period of tremulous success, a sort of an eye-opener and a richly varied experience. And a few days ago, I happened to ogle this advertisement for the post of reporters, editors and so on. I decided to apply despite the fact that I've no academic qualification in the respective field till date. But I have been writing, and I didn't even give a single bit of attention to these otherwise major issues. For sure, that confidence is the key but I wonder if I'd been subconsciously ignorant. I've always been very fond of writing resumes. I labor hard to experiment with styles, and colors and with my ever changing taste. As I was typing that application, a kind of optimism eased the challenge of presenting myself as a brand. I was writing since the fifth standard. And from TKP to THT, and from these broadsheet dailies, I've moved on to several Indian broadsheet dailies. I am a vivid reader, and I really wanted to showcase my vividness. I'm writing a book, and all this helped the flickering flame of hopefulness resist the devils of fear and inferiority. As I'd expected, I got a response in my desktop the same day. This man, who introduced himself as the manager of the media was someone I was going to work with. He sounded much younger than I'd anticipated. Obviously, I didn't feel nervous while inquiring over the venue and time for the 'battle-field'. And there I was, sporting myself in a number of clothes for that 'first and last' sort of impres-
sion. When I'd finally arrived at the venue in Sifal Chaur, you would have confused me with a man in black. Slightly nervous, as a 'dai' asked me to be seated in a room next to the room where my would-be bosses were interviewing other candidates. "Your turn kid…" Perhaps, he would have said this, but to have an intriguing ji associated with my first name gave solace to my restless heart. As I entered the room, I was greeted by these three men I had long wondered about. I'd a
room in my mind, as we happen to see in so many masala movies, where these people would ask you questions in turn. Then a phone would ring, even if you have already impressed them, they would be unable to provide you this job. And you would try to smile hard to tell them that 'it's all right'. Phew ! See, I got knack for passing my time this way? "Your resume is very impressive…" The first comment boosted my last bits of esteem. "Thank you" and the interview had already begun. It was a very nice meeting, and I hate to call such opportunities as 'interviews'. Forget about the job, just think about presenting yourself with utmost care. I did what I'm good at, I wasn't pretending to
be what I was not. And towards the end of our wonderful discussion, I was pretty sure that they were really interested in me. Warm handshakes were never as relieving as I felt that day. They had called altogether seven candidates that day, and I was able to make into the list of the 'short-listed' ones. After the interview, I headed towards my teachers' offices; they also work for much respected media houses in Nepal. But I was able to meet none of them. The phone rang that evening as it used to, but the joy it offered to me would be not dismissed even after displaying my thulo moblie, the pet name of my UTL phone-set, after 1000 years in a museum in Louvre or in other places ! "Congratulations, you've been selected…" the voice over the other end of the phone expressed his happiness for my deja vu. In return, I congratulated him for this as well. But what is this thing called contract? Oh Jesus! I can't stop wondering about it.They have asked me to come on Sunday to sign on the papers ! Again, so many masala movies are queuing up into my mind. "You can't marry for another five years..." Okay, I wouldn't even if you force hard to marry me with as mysterious and illusive creature as women! "No girlfriends…" Ah! That would be troublesome. "You have to work here for the next ten years !" Voila! I got a job for next ten years so early. I wonder what amount of advance I would receive. I really want to buy that leather jacket in that shop in New Road, and that Arnold's picture showing him in his underwear so that his muscles are well admired ! Yeah, yeah, I know that its time I stopped watching those movies. But what about the contract? I still can't stop wondering about it.