Prevent and repair DNA mistakes that lead to cancer

Cancer is the result of DNA mutations

These mutations (mistakes) initiate cancer because even a tiny error in DNA can make cells multiply out of control.

When a cell divides, it copies its DNA, so that each new cell has its own version of your genetic material. But each time this copying occurs, it creates an opportunity for a mistake to occur.

In some cases, these mistakes can lead to cancer. Considering you make about 25 MILLION new cells a second – that’s a lot of opportunity for mistakes.

Damaged DNA

The reasons for DNA mistakes

A recent study from the Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University confirms that mistakes can be caused by:

  1. Environmental factors like pollution and solar damage
  2. Lifestyle factors – like poor diet and inactivity
  3. Inherited mutations (genetic disorders)

Or the mistakes simply occur randomly.

Random mistakes account for up to 50% of some cancers

The good news was that only about 5% of cancers are due to inherited mutations.

A further 45% are due to environmental and lifestyle factors. You can significantly cut the risk of them through a largely plant-based diet plus regular servings of oily fish – the combination providing you with the anti-oxidants that help prevent the free radical damage that triggers DNA mutation.

What’s new from the Johns Hopkins study is that they calculated that random mistakes may account for as much as 50% of cancer-causing DNA damage – which explains why a passionate vegetarian like Linda McCartney might still succumb to breast cancer.

Other cancers where random mistakes are a major cause are prostate cancer and brain cancer.

What can you do against cancer?

So, when statistically 50% of us will have to cope with a cancer, is it all largely chance – and are you therefore vulnerable whatever you do?

NO! There’s a lot you can do.

You can support your body’s own natural DNA repair mechanism through your diet.

And you can also give a boost to your immune system, which can ‘tag’ rogue cancer cells at an early stage and eliminate them.

NUTRIENTS THAT SUPPORT DNA REPAIR

Humans have extensive DNA repair mechanisms, but these begin to weaken with age, so that DNA damage can accumulate in more and more cells. This not only accelerates ageing, but increases the risk of cancers and, for instance, the irreversible eye disease AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration).

Cooked tomatoes are high in lycopene, as in Simply Red Soup from the Health Defence Cookbook.

The carotenoids lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to assist DNA repair and reduce damage, as have the minerals selenium and zinc.

Lycopene especially appears to have protective ability against both prostate and breast cancer.

Grapeseed extract – rich in plant polyphenols called anthocyanins – has also been shown to block breast cancer cell DNA damage.

Oxidation or excess free radical action is a known factor in DNA damage and vitamin Cvitamin E and CoQ10 are all powerful antioxidants at the right level.

NUTRIENTS THAT SUPPORT IMMUNE FUNCTION

Your immune system not only defends you against outside pathogen invaders like viruses and dangerous bacteria, but against internal ‘rogue’ cells that become cancer.

Foods that support the immune system include mushrooms (especially shiitake and maitake), dark berry fruits (which are high in polyphenols), leafy green vegetables, green tea and garlic.

Supplement nutrients that support the immune system include vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin D, vitamin E, curcumin, green tea extract, selenium, zinc and lycopene.

There is also a purified natural ingredient called 1-3,1-6 beta glucans derived from the cell walls of yeast that is proven to boost your immune system – see www.immunoshield.com

Cancer protection from fruits and vegetables

The American Cancer Society has for some time recommended NINE portions of fruits and vegetables a day – and that was recently echoed in a London University report that called for TEN portions a day.

The reason for these high recommended levels is not just that fruits and vegetables contain plenty of anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, E and minerals selenium and zinc.

Fruits and vegetables also contain highly protective plant compounds called flavonoids and polyphenols. These are both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory (which is also heart-protective).  In some cases they trigger beneficial  ‘gene expression’ – turning off genes that predispose you to cancer and turning on genes that help repair DNA.

So boost your daily intake of dark coloured berry fruits (dark red, blue and black ones like blueberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, loganberries, bilberries, blackberries, chokeberries) and leafy green and cruciferous vegetables. These include kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and spinach.

Cancer protection from plant-extract supplements

Consider, too, a supplement that includes the carotenoids lutein and lycopene and powerful polyphenols like curcumin, green tea extract, bilberry and grapeseed extract.

A supplement doesn’t, of course, replace fresh fruits and vegetables – but the right, comprehensive product is a realistic way to increase your daily intake of polyphenols and carotenoids as well as an optimum intake of vitamins and minerals.

Dr Paul Clayton, former Chair of the Forum on Health at the Royal Society of Medicine, has advised on the formulation of a supplement called NutriShield – www.nutrishield.com that includes these elements.


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Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthbutton-2 supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


Dr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from most good bookstores.

See the website www.healthdefence.com for excerpts and links to buy direct from the publisher.


See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. Combined 3 courses strip


References:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1008857521992

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15894655

newsatjama.jama.com/2012/12/06/study-finds-lycopene-most-effective-carotenoid-in-reducing-breast-cancer-risk-2/

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/81ed/1787751c25a6f7866ddf7a01529eddf0bc9e.pdf


A natural way to help SAD

SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder

I’m looking out of the window and it’s a grey, cold, overcast day. Just the sort of day that encourages Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

SAD is associated with a lack of energy and depression. In some 8% of people it’s serious enough to need treatment, but in some degree it affects at least a quarter of us. And almost all of us feel less upbeat after a spell of gloomy weather.

SAD – or the ‘winter blues’ – is caused by insufficient sunlight. The result is a general lethargy and, in some people, sleep problems, lower libido and an urge to overeat. There’s even a charity devoted to helping victims of SAD.

The connection with mood is because light passes through the eye to the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls the production of many of your hormones – including oxytocin, the ‘love’ hormone.

Lack of sunlight in winter months leads to insufficient vitamin D

Lack of sunlight is responsible for even more serious conditions than a general feeling of malaise.

If you are like the majority of people in our modern world, you work indoors almost all the time. Then you go home, cook and relax by reading or watching TV – so you continue to be indoors.

The result is that you don’t get enough sunlight and therefore you don’t get enough vitamin D. Yet we are evolved to absorb sunlight and when we do not get enough, our bodies don’t function well.

Vitamin D plays a major role in maintaining overall health. It regulates over 1,000 different genes – upregulating health-promoting genes and downregulating health-threatening genes.

Vitamin D and cancer

Research shows that sub-optimal levels of vitamin D3 in the blood are linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, possibly multiple sclerosis and an increased risk of various forms of cancer, including breast, colon and prostate cancer.

Significantly, researchers have tracked mortality rates from breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon, and ovarian cancer and found them lower in the sunnier states of the USA.

Cells in your body have vitamin D “receptors”, and the presence of these specific receptors mean vitamin D is actually a hormone, rather than a vitamin.

 We know that vitamin D plays an important role in how cells develop. So it is perhaps not surprising that when vitamin D is directly applied to ‘D receptors’ in the laboratory, cancer cells stop growing and multiplying, according to research published by the National Cancer Institute in America.

Although all males who lack adequate levels of vitamin D are more vulnerable to prostate problems, males originally of African origin are especially at risk of prostate cancer.

Optimum vitamin D lowers risk of dementia and heart disease

Sub-optimal levels of vitamin D can be injurious to health generally and they are also linked to dementia. In fact, a 7 year study published in the US National Library of Medicine shows that low levels of vitamin D increase the risk of dementia almost 20 times!

Vitamin D deficiency is also very common in people with cardiovascular disease. A 2010 survey showed that almost all people with heart failure have reduced D levels. So much so that low vitamin D status is now acknowledged as an independent predictor for arterial diseases, including heart attacks and strokes.

There are dozens of studies that show you need vitamin D to maintain your cardiovascular health. But in the winter it’s virtually impossible to get the level you need from sunlight. And few foods can provide enough to make up the difference.

Take a vitamin D3 supplement

A supplement of vitamin D3 – the natural version that is created by sunlight – is the answer.

But it’s important to make sure you’re taking the proper dose. Studies of cardiovascular patients who take only an average of 500 IU a day generally show little benefit, whereas those taking 2,000 IU do.

Vitamin D and diabetes

People with diabetes have lower levels of vitamin D than the general population. A vitamin D deficiency makes you almost twice as likely to progress to insulin resistance, the pre-cursor of diabetes or ‘pre-diabetes’. And more than doubles your risk for progressing to type II diabetes (see references).

On the other hand, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a supplement level of vitamin D3 at 2,000 IU a day slows the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes.

When overweight, non-diabetic adults supplemented with 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D or a placebo for 16 weeks, the vitamin D group had significantly improved insulin secretion and glucose clearance from their blood. The control subjects saw a worsening of these markers.


Ensuring that you have an optimum intake of vitamin D is essential to combat SAD and protect against cancer, heart disease, dementia and diabetes.

One a day vitamin pills with just the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA/RNI) are sub-optimal, as the RDA/RNI in the UK and EU is inadequate, particularly for winter.

You can get a free report by Dr Paul Clayton and Colin Rose on the case for optimum vitamin D and advice from this link. http://www.nutrishield.com/the-products/vitamin-d/

 


If you enjoyed this article, please share it with family and friends. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily headline health tweets.

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Youtube

CTA Register NewsletterRegister now for a free monthly e-newsletter on the latest in nutrition and health research.


Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthbutton-2 supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


Dr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from booksellers.

Read it here online or see the website www.healthdefence.com for excerpts and links to buy direct from the publisher.


See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. Combined 3 courses strip


References:

Serum vitamin D deficiency as a predictor of incident non-Alzheimer dementias: a 7-year longitudinal study. Annweiler C, Rolland Y, Schott AM, Blain H, Vellas B, Beauchet O. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2011;32(4):273-8.

Vitamin D deficiency and myocardial diseases. Pilz S, Tomaschitz A, Drechsler C, Dekker JM, Marz W Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Aug;54(8):1103-13

Vitamin D status and peripheral arterial disease: evidence so far. Chua GT, Chan YC, Cheng SW.. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2011;7:671-5.

Recruitment and results of a pilot trial of vitamin D supplementation in the general population of Australia. Tran B, Armstrong BK, Carlin JB, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Dec;97(12):4473-80.

Lipoprotein lipase links vitamin D, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes: a cross-sectional epidemiological study. Huang Y, Li X, Wang M, et al. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2013;12:17.

Effects of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on pancreatic beta cell function, insulin sensitivity, and glycemia in adults at high risk of diabetes: the Calcium and Vitamin D for Diabetes Mellitus (CaDDM) randomized controlled trial. Mitri J, Dawson-Hughes B, Hu FB, Pittas AG.. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug;94(2):486-94.