The Starfish Project

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Archive for the ‘Organic Food’ Category

New Research Shows How Brocolli Beats Cancer

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There’s an abundance of scientific evidence today to suggest that fruits and vegetables can aid in cancer prevention. In the last decade, researchers uncovered one compound in particular that’s a potent anti-cancer agent. Sulforaphane is most highly concentrated in broccoli, as well as in other cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, animal studies to date have shown that sulforaphane can dramatically reduce the number of malignant tumors, reproduction, growth rate and size, as well as delay cancer onset. Some research findings suggest that sulforaphane might exert its anti-cancer effects by activating detoxifying proteins in the body known as ‘Phase 2 detoxifying enzymes’ [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1997 Sep 16;94(19): 10367-10372]. The role of these special enzymes appears to be scavenging for cancer-causing molecules.

Now a new study adds to these positive reports about sulforaphane by proposing that the compound may additionally play a more direct role in cancer prevention by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis [Cancer Res 2000 Mar 1;60(5):1426-1433]. After treating human colon cancer cells with sulforaphane, the researchers found a number of chemical and structural cellular changes that indicated cancer cells were being killed off by the compound. The study authors also go on to explain that broccoli contains a stable sulforaphane precursor (isothiocyanate), which causes broccoli to release its sulforaphane content when the vegetable is chewed or chopped.

Earlier research at Johns Hopkins University found that sulforaphane blocked the formation of mammary tumors in rodents treated with a potent carcinogen [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1994;91:3147-3150]. Results showed that the number of rats that developed tumors was reduced by 60%, the number of tumors they developed dropped by 80%, and tumor size decreased by 75%. Other research by the American Health Foundation showed that sulforaphane inhibited the appearance of premalignant lesions of colon cancer in rats [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2000;41:660]. And, almost a decade ago, scientists had found that sulforaphane boosted the activity of two detoxifying enzymes—quinone reductase and glutathione transferase—in experimental mice [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1992 Mar 15;89(6):2399-2403]. As a result, scientists speculated that sulforaphane may regulate the metabolism of carcinogens, possibly by helping to neutralize harmful molecules and minimizing the oxidative damage that predisposes cells to cancerous growth. Now the latest research adds another piece to the puzzle that explains how sulforaphane goes about subduing cancerous growth and development.

Source:  Life Extension Magazine

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Beating Colon Cancer Nature’s Way

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by Tony Jackson, January 4, 2004 in The Observer

Fresh Vegetable Juice

Fresh Vegetable Juice

The dull ache in my groin and the appearance of a small amount of blood should have sent me rushing to the doctor. But it didn’t. I hoped it would go away. The mind, that master of self-deception, invented an endless list of ridiculous possibilities. Diverticulitis, irritable bowel, ulcerative colitis, haemorrhoids, washing-up scourer. Anything but cancer. That happened to other people.

Eventually, cornered by unimaginable pain, I dragged myself to my GP who referred me for tests. Following a colonoscopy, I was informed that a tumour blocking my colon was so advanced it had prevented passage of the camera. My blood had also tested positive for hepatitis C. I was a mess. The doctors explained that an appointment had been made to arrange for urgent surgical intervention during which any further spread would be assessed.

 

‘You mean that you want to take out half of my colon without knowing the full extent of my condition,’ I gasped, visions of colostomy bags filling my mind’s eye. The pressure to conform was intense. I wanted six weeks to think about it, I told the doctors. ‘You probably don’t have that long to live,’ they said. ‘Immediate surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy is the only cure. Everything else is snake-oil quackery.’

One in two people in the West will be afflicted with cancer at some point despite the trillions of dollars spent on decades of research. I wanted better odds than those. I took my six weeks. In fact, in the end, I took three months.

Returning home, I decided to take time to go deep into myself mentally in order to make what was probably the most crucial decision of my life. Sitting back, I took a breath and let go.

When I’d left behind the chatter of a restless mind, something remarkable happened. I felt as though I was embraced by a vibrant stillness, a feeling that would stay with me for the next 20 months. In that very moment, I knew I had reached the heart of listening that lies at the core of the healing process and that whatever happened it was going to be OK.

A lifelong interest in holistic therapies meant that I could make informed choices. I’d read a book by a Dr Max Gerson about his successful use of nutrition in the cure of chronic metabolic diseases and advanced cancers. He recommends the use of copious, freshly made organic vegetable juices, detoxing coffee enemas and intense supplementation designed to help regenerate a compromised metabolism.

Accordingly, I put myself under the guidance of a holistic physician who favoured a modified model of the Gerson therapy that took into account the increased toxicity of contemporary life. He included cutting-edge, high-dose supplements and enzymes uniquely geared to fighting cancer, a sweeping detoxification programme and a total revision of diet and lifestyle.

The key was to boost and nurture the immune system so that the conditions of cells are transformed, no longer providing a toxic ground for cancer to flourish. Although case histories show it to be effective in the treatment of even late-stage cancers, it should be understood that pursuing such a course is rigorous, lengthy and expensive, requiring the discipline of a monk.

After three months of this therapy combined with a six-week fast, during which I sustained myself on organic vegetable juice, my immune system was boosted to help protect my cells against metastasis during surgery.

Sue Rose, my partner, and I were lucky enough to find a surgeon, who although she didn’t profess to understand my methods, was sympathetic, agreeing to remove the minimum amount of malignant tissue, for I needed as much of my colon as possible for the enemas. Her major concern was that given the amount of time I had left it there was a real danger of the cancer having spread into the liver, in which case it would be inoperable. A CT scan showed that it hadn’t. For this I thank my regime.

After surgery, the biopsy showed the cancer had spread into the lymph, hardly surprising given the amount of time I had been in denial. This didn’t concern the holistic physician I was under, who was completely confident of being able to deal with it. Not wishing to have chemotherapy, I was discharged.

I was deeply moved by the devotion of nurses and doctors working to save lives within an overwhelmed National Health Service and grateful for their understanding which allowed me to combine conventional and holistic treatment. In my view, if holistic, nutritional medicine, instead of being so unfairly and short-sightedly vilified, got the smallest crumb of research funding, compared to the astronomical sums allotted to pharmaceutical cartels, many patients would benefit.

My day would begin around 6am when I drank the morning mid-stream of my own urine (urea helps to protect the liver), took my first juice, followed by the first of three daily coffee enemas. I grew my own wheatgrass, which formed part of a daily requirement of 10 freshly prepared juices. Three times a day I ate a porridge bowl full of pills and capsules, knocked back with a witch’s brew of liquid supplements administered under the guidance of the physician, who understood the importance of not disturbing the balance of electrolytes when using high-dose supplements.

Every moment was taken up with preparing the next fresh juice, washing equipment, preparing and taking enemas, pills and potions along with daily saunas and hyperthermic baths which help the process of detoxification. Sacks of organic vegetables and fruit were organised in industrial quantities. A water purifier was installed. Supplements were ordered from around the world.

Friends came and went, filling the place with fresh flowers, making sure I wanted for nothing. ‘If anyone can do it, you can,’ they enthused. Often, they arrived at enema time, which with the help of a blanket and a half-open bathroom door I was able to perform discreetly while holding court, much to their amusement. But in the face of death, trivialities such as modesty are hardly a serious consideration.

One of the demands of a diagnosis of cancer is that everything must change. All activities inessential to survival stopped. Some days, overwhelmed, I crawled around the floor sobbing. At the same time, my monthly blood tests showed a steady improvement, as my cancer markers dropped.

One night, nauseated by a blinding headache, the process reached a crisis. Becoming progressively weaker, I lay down like a dying animal. Gaunt and hollow-eyed, I lost muscle mass rapidly. Physical anguish penetrated deep into my bones with every attempted movement, preventing me from sleeping, even though I was exhausted.

For the first time, I acknowledged the possibility of death. Yet deep down, I understood this heavy torpor to be nature’s way of imposing the long healing rest that was needed. In the end, I surrendered, trusting the process.

By December 2002, my legs had swollen and my belly grotesquely bloated with fluid pressed painfully up under my diaphragm, making it hard to breathe. My haemoglobin count had halved. Catching myself naked in the mirror I gasped in horror at the pestilential image that stared back, unrecognisable with its big belly, protruding ribs and skeletal limbs. Friends sat around, whispering in hushed tones.

Just when it seemed as if death had me checkmated, a miracle turned the tables and I began to recover. Before Christmas, I went to hospital, and a barrage of painful, scary, intrusive cameras, needles and probes explored every orifice. Then we waited for the results. No gift could have been more wonderful than the morning of Christmas Eve when the doctors telephoned to tell me that there was not a sign of cancer anywhere.

In January, the liver doctors diagnosed advanced cirrhosis due to long-term hepatitis C. Thinking of Muhammad Ali on the ropes during ‘the rumble in the jungle’, I continued with my regime. Sue Rose did everything. Carried sacks of carrots and apples up the stairs, prepared the juices, attended to every need. In many ways, it was harder for her than it was for me. She could only watch and help as best she could and while she put on a brave face in my company she spent much time crying when she was on her own. Nevertheless, she had complete faith in me, and only in rare moments did she doubt that I would make it.

There is no evidence to date of the return of cancer and my liver tests are normal. Happier than I have been for years, I cycle around London while friends tell me I look 10 years younger than I did before all this started. When it was obvious that I really was on the mend, Sue Rose collapsed, having held things together for so long.

There are other equally important factors in the process. I spend hours tending my garden, running my fingers through the soil. Watching its transformation has become a metaphor for my own recovery. Sitting down to play music, I soar with inspiration as my fingers run over the piano keys, the Bach Fugue, my early morning prayer of gratitude. I’m thankful for every God-given moment. Life is exhilarating and precious.

There is an irony in my recovery, however. Last year, in spite of opposition from 200 MPs and a million-strong petition, the Government passed the European Union Food Supplement Directive into UK law. This will effectively remove some 5,000 vitamin and mineral products from this country’s health-store shelves from August 2005. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour MP, says he ‘sees the hand of the pharmaceutical industry at work’. For millions of us who choose to take supplements to maintain our health in the face of chemically drenched food crops, this is catastrophic.

For myself, having survived cancer through nutritional methods, it is a life-threatening disaster.

Tony Jackson lives in London where he works as a jazz musician and craniosacral practitioner.

Source:  Healing Cancer Naturally

Written by Tracey

October 1, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Maitake D-fraction: Healing and Preventive Potential for Cancer

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by Hiroaki Nanba, Ph.D.

I have been studying medicinal mushrooms for the last 15 years and have reported that of all mushrooms studied, Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa) has the strongest activity in tumor growth inhibition.   In this report, Maitake extract D-fraction was investigated to determine its effectiveness not only on the inhibition against tumors already growing, but also on the inhibition of formation of the secondary focus due to metastasis of tumor cells in lymph and/or blood.  In the tests of cancer inhibition rates on mice bearing MM46 (breast cancer), they were bred for one month with foods containing 20% edible mushroom powder.  The result was that Maitake outperformed all other mushrooms.  Through the 31 day oral administration, total remission of the tumor was visibly confirmed on four out of ten Maitake fed mice.  The remaining six rodents also indicated almost 90% suppression rate compared to untreated (control) mice.  Most other mushroom extracts are reported ineffective when given orally.

The results of human studies on Maitake D-fraction is reported which indicated strong potential of Maitake D-fraction for cancer treatment.

Introduction
Maitake (Pron. “my-tah-key”) is indigenous to the northern part of Japan.  The basketball-sized mushroom, weighing sometimes over 50 pounds, grows on the foot of old Japanese oak trees.  For hundreds of years, this rare and tasty mushroom has been prized in traditional Japanese herbology. Maitake literally means “Dancing Mushroom”.

People who found the mushroom in deep mountain valleys started dancing with joy since they knew its delicious taste and the health benefits.  Also, in the feudal era, it could be exchanged with the same weight of silver.  Maitake was, and still is, one of the most valuable and expensive mushrooms.

This legendary giant mushroom has been available by cultivation since the mid 1980s which gave opportunities for mycologists and pharmacologists to study the various medicinal properties on the mushroom as claimed in anecdotes and folklore.  In addition to its antitumor effect, anti-hypertension, anti-diabetes, anti-obesity and anti-hepatitis activities have been found in Maitake.  Its anti-HIV activity was also confirmed by both Japan National Institute of Health and U.S. National Cancer Institute in early 1992.

Maitake D-fraction
Among the various fractions in the process of standardization of the mushroom extraction, it is known that Maitake D-fraction is most potent in enhancing the immune system, demonstrating highest cancer inhibition in oral administration.  Maitake D-fraction has strong ability to potentiate and activate the cellular immune system. 

Clinical Results
A number of animal tests have confirmed Maitake’s strong ability in cancer inhibition, but human trials had not been conducted until recently.  A non-randomized clinical study using D-fraction was conducted to see if it is effective against advanced cancer patients as it is against animals.

A total of 165 cancer patients in stage III-IV, from 25-69 years old, participated in the study and the data was collected under the cooperation of their medical doctors with major university hospitals and cancer treatment clinics in the western part of Japan.

Tumor regression or significant symptom improvements was observed in 11 out of 15 breast cancer patients, 12 out of 18 lung cancer patients and 7 out of 15 liver cancer patients.

As can be seen, these results suggest that breast, lung and liver cancers were improved by Maitake, but it was less effective against bone and stomach cancers or leukemia.  The following are some of the typical cases which demonstrated improvements by taking Maitake D-fraction:

53 years old, female, Lung cancer (epidermoid carcinoma)
In November, 1993, she was diagnosed as stage III-A  and several courses of chemotherapy were administered.  However, she gave up taking these chemos in March, 1994, because of severe side effects.  Since then, she took 50 mg of D-fraction and 4 g of tablets. After 14 months, she improved to stage I.

44 years old male, Brain tumor (astrocytoma)
This is an example of an effective trial of D-fraction therapy against a brain tumor.  The patient has taken 100 mg of D-fraction and 6 g of Maitake tablets every day for 4 months without taking any other medication including chemotherapy or radiation.  In this case, the patient showed dramatic improvement. He had received chemotherapy (CCNU) in four cycles since February, 1994.  But he could not accept it because of severe side effects and received no treatment for four months before starting Maitake administration.  After 4 months since he started taking Maitake, a complete regression of an egg-sized tumor focus was confirmed.

Preventing Cancer Metastasis
Another interesting of investigation was whether metastasis of cancer cells could be inhibited.   In mice it was observed that the metastasis to the liver was prevented by 91.3% by the administration of D-fraction and by 81.3% by Maitake powder.  It is believed that tumor cells present in blood and/or lymph were destroyed by the activated cellular immune-competent cells.  The result of this animal test indicates that cancer metastases could be reduced to less than one tenth by the use of Maitake D-fraction daily.

Conclusion
Since the cultivation method of Maitake mushroom was established in mid 1980’s, this legendary and delicious mushroom has gained much popularity among Japanese people.  Anecdotes and folklore on its medicinal values have also been elucidated by a number of mycologists and pharmacologists and its strong anti-tumor activity has attracted many researchers.

It should be noted that, unlike many other mushroom extracts that have to be injected intravenously, Maitake D-fraction has a strong ability to inhibit tumor growth when given orally as well.  In this context, various tests were conducted focusing on inhibition of growth and metastasis of cancer after surgery, by oral administration of Maitake.

Even though this was a limited and non-controlled trial, the clinical study indicated that Maitake D-fraction is effective against such cancers of the breast, lung, liver, prostate and brain.  Though the data is preliminary, the results of animal (and limited clinical ) studies based on Maitake D-fraction suggest significant healing and preventing potential for cancers and other immune-related health disorders. 

It is important to note that even among Maitake Mushrooms ( Grifola-frondosa), there are many strains and some contain very little Beta-glucan, the active ingredient to stimulate the immune system.  From such strains of Maitake, D-fraction may not be obtained.

Source:  Orthomolecular Medicine 

Maitake D Fraction can be purchased through Vitacost.com online  <<here >>  for $13.56 per bottle.

Written by Tracey

September 10, 2008 at 10:28 pm

Bountiful Baskets – Organic Produce

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Organic Apples

Organic Apples

I found out information about the organic food baskets.  The next buy-in deadline is 9/9/08 for the 9/13/08 distribution.  The baskets are offered every other week.  They offer a basket of organic produce (50% fruit, 50% veggies) for $27 for first time customers, and $25 for each basket after.

Their website says the baskets are sufficient for a family of four for two weeks.  However, with juicing and eating vegetarian, you might find that you need two baskets.  But, even if you have to do that, $25 a week for all your fresh, organic produce isn’t bad at all!!

Here’s the link to order:

http://organicaz.bountifulbaskets.org/

The closest location to us would probably be the Freestone pick-up location at Guadalupe and Lindsay.  Marc said he’ll do the running for it.  They would need to be picked up at 7:00 AM on 9/13/08 (and every two weeks thereafter).

I went ahead and ordered a basket for pickup on 9/13/08.  It came out to $28.50 with their $1.50 handling charge.  If you’re going to order, make sure you select the ORGANIC selection and choose the pickup at FREESTONE and Marc can pick it up for you when he picks up ours.  Let us know.

I went to their forum to see if I could find out any more info.  Here’s what I saw in one of the organic baskets from a few months ago:  2 bunches of Swiss Chard, 1 bunch of spinach, 2 heads of lettuce, roma tomatoes, strawberries, grapes, mangoes, canteloupe, and bananas.  Some people also said they received carrots and grapefruit (in addition to the other things).

Written by Tracey

September 5, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Posted in Healing Foods, Organic Food

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