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Health

Three Fish Servings a Week May Protect You from Cancer

Do you want to significantly lower the chances of having bowel cancer? Science has good news for you: you should have three fish servings every week, according to major new research. 

The research was published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). It had almost half a million subjects. According to the data collected by the team, regularly eating fish, about three servings per week, lowers the risk of bowel cancer by 12%.

Eating oily fish like herring, mackerel, and salmon already had a positive reputation, health-wise. These fish protect heart health, but also protect your brain from degenerative conditions. This is all thanks to the anti-inflammation properties of omega-3 fatty acids found in them.

A few fish servings per week have a great impact

The new research is the first one conducted on a large scale that makes a connection between eating fish and having a lower risk of bowel cancer. Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer followed over 476,160 people hailing from all over Europe, during a time frame of 15 years.

But what kind of fish servings? It doesn’t matter that much. According to the study, both lean and fatty fish hit the sweet spot when it comes to lowering the risk of bowel cancer. But the same thing cannot be said for shellfish, FYI.

“This large study adds to the scientific evidence suggesting that consuming fish could reduce the risk of bowel cancer. The biological reasons by which fish consumption potentially lowers risk are not fully understood but one of the theories include specific fatty acids such as omega-3, found almost exclusively in fish, being responsible for this protective effect via their anti-inflammatory properties,” said Dr. Anna Diaz Font, Head of Research Funding at the World Cancer Research Fund, which funded the research.

If you want to have more raw fish in your life, then read up on how many servings you should be eating to stay healthy.


Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

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Health Sweets

New Study Suggests Consuming Sugary Drinks Linked to Cancer

Consuming sugary drinks could be worse for our health than we previously thought, according to the results of a new study, conducted over 10 years.

The research was done by a French team, who wanted to discover if there is a link between consuming sugary drinks and the risk of cancer. Mathilde Touvier the lead author of the studysays that in order to be healthy, it is essential that we limit the amount of sugary drinks we consume daily. And that the risk associated with these comes from the large amount of sugar they contain. Touvier is also the research director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team of the National Health and Medical Research Institute at the Paris 13 University.

“The results indicate statistically significant correlations between the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and risk of all cancers combined, and of breast cancer,” said Ian Johnson, nutrition researcher and emeritus fellow, Quadram Institute Bioscience, quoted by CNN. Johnson wasn’t involved in the research but validated the results to the Science Media Centre in the UK.

Consuming sugary drinks, how much is too much? 

“High sugary drinks consumption is a risk factor for obesity and weight gain,” she said. “Obesity is in itself a risk factor for cancer,” she added.

How many sugary drinks can we have and still feel safe? Touvier thinks the maximum should be one glass a day.

The research had 101,257 French subjects, all healthy adults, with an average age of 42. Of those, 79 percent are women and 21 percent are men. The participants filled out two questionnaires and were monitored over nine years. Their habits when it comes to consuming sugary drinks, but also their diet, were analyzed by the researchers.

2,193 cases of cancer were then reported by the study participants. The disease was diagnosed at an average age of 59 years. Of these, 693 were breast cancer cases, 291 prostate cancer cases, and 166 colorectal cancer cases.

It is important to note that not only processed beverages are bad for your health, but also the freshly squeezed juices you make at home.

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Food that Ages You: What Items to Replace to Preserve Your Youth


Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

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Alcohol Health

Study Says Avoiding Bacon And Alcohol Lower Your Risk Of Developing Cancer

Photo: So Delicious

Consuming less bacon and alcohol could reduce your risk of cancer by up to 40 percent, according to the results of a major new study.

The research is a product of the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and it studied the health of over 51 million people. The same report released recently says that being overweight will soon surpass smoking as the biggest risk factor when it comes to cancer. The experts from the WCRF say that, if you want to minimize that risk, you should be having just moderate amounts of red meat and not too much alcohol.

WCRF updated their guidelines for protecting yourself from cancer after a decade and has unveiled a 10-point plan to help combat the disease. Even small amounts of red or processed meat and alcohol increase the risk of cancer.

Less bacon and alcohol, sturdier health

The result of the research conducted over 51 million people around the world is that preventing obesity is a crucial first step in preventing cancer. The WCRF says that there is strong evidence that excessive weight is the cause of at least 12 types of cancer. That’s five more than the last recommendations of the organization, published in 2007.

The full findings will be presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Austria.

Until then, we know that according to prognosis, the number of new cancer cases will rise by 58 percent to 24 million globally by 2035, because more countries are adopting western lifestyles.

What does the WCRF advise you to do? Limit your consumption of soft drinks, to drink mostly water and unsweetened drinks, and also limit your consumption of processed foods. Other things to cut back on? Fast food, high-fat foods, starches, and sugars.

The 12 cancers linked to higher consumption of processed meat and alcohol are those affecting the prostate, stomach, mouth and throat, liver, ovary, join bowel, breast, gallbladder, kidney, esophagus, pancreas, and womb.

Related Links:


Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

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Drinks Health Science

Coffee Must Now Be Marked As Cancer-Causing In California Even Though It Fights It

Coffee is the lifeblood of our generation. It wakes us up in the morning, gets us past the 2 pm crash, and is the focal point of some of our social lives. According to a California judge, it now causes cancer too, despite doctors suggesting otherwise.

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NBC reports that the judge ruled in favor of The Council for Education and Research on Toxics in a major lawsuit regarding California’s Prop 65 and coffee. Under Prop 65, warning labels must be posted at establishments whose products contain potential cancer-causing compounds. In the case of coffee chains like Starbucks, that involves their bread and butter (aka the coffee), which contains a carcinogen called acrylamide.

Many coffee shops in California haven’t posted signs regarding their coffee based on the argument that coffee actually fights cancer and that acrylamide is present in low amounts. The judge, however, found that they couldn’t prove that coffee provides a benefit to human health, meaning that places like Starbucks could now be subject to fines for not having the signs up in the first place. That will be decided in a later phase of the trial.

Still, given recent scientific and medical findings around the cancer-causing potential around coffee, this ruling seemed a little bizarre. The World Health Organization (WHO) just took coffee off of their “possible carcinogen” list, and the American Institute for Cancer Research views coffee as a cancer-fighting food. This is partially due to the presence of antioxidants in coffee that, if you drank 4-6 cups of plain brew per day, could lower the risk of some cancers.

Sure, coffee has something that can cause cancer, but it’s also got compounds that fight it. That doesn’t mean they necessarily cancel each other out, but it does mean that if someone tells you coffee is dangerous, you can tell them otherwise.

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Culture Health News Products Technology

California Is Leading The Charge In Getting Monsanto’s ‘RoundUp’ Out of Our Crops

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If you’re anybody but Monsanto, you’ll be happy to hear this news.

For the first time ever, glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s signature herbicide RoundUp, will likely be required to carry a warning label that lists it as a potential carcinogen in the state of California. It’s a huge blow against the agricultural giant, as agricultural companies and farms across California will begin to reduce or eliminate their usage of the weed killer altogether, similar to what has begun to happen in Europe already. That decline in usage could spread across the United States as a result, significantly cutting the market of one of the world’s most notorious toxins.

This label requirement is likely to occur following the final ruling of a judge in a lawsuit filed by Monsanto against the state of California after the state announced its intent to add glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer under Proposition 65 in 2015. The preliminary ruling, which ruled in favor of the state being able to list the chemical, was released recently by the ruling judge.

Monsanto filed the lawsuit in the first place because the company felt that California’s listing of glyphosate under Prop 65 was unconstitutional since it was based on findings founded by a respected international agency (International Agency for Research on Cancer, or the IARC) that glyphosate is a “probable carcinogen.” By relying on an international body, Monsanto argues that California is “delegating its authority to an unelected body not accountable to the United States.”

However, the European Commission utilized the same report to reject a renewal of Monsanto’s license to use Roundup on crops in the EU, and may phase the herbicide out entirely within the next 18 months.

Glyphosate, of course, is the main ingredient of RoundUp, which Monsanto uses to spray all of its crops to kill weeds. It’s also well-known that glyphosate has many toxic effects in animals and humans. Considering Monsanto owns roughly 90 percent of the world’s soybean seed and supplies a ton of other agricultural products, chances are that you’ve probably consumed something sprayed by RoundUp recently.

By labeling RoundUp as a potential carcinogen, it could influence agricultural companies that use the herbicide to shift away from it, removing a possible cancer-causing agent from California’s food supply. California is the chief producer of over 66 different crops and accounts for about eleven percent of the nation’s agricultural supply, so removing glyphosate from those crops would be HUGE for the safety of our food supply.

This is a great first step by one of the nation’s leaders in agriculture, and it hopefully sets a precedent that the rest of the country will follow. It’ll be great to see glyphosate removed from our global food supply.

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News Sweets

Here’s Why Nutella Won’t Change Its Recipe Despite Cancer Scares

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The world found out this week that Nutella uses a controversial ingredient in its spread called palm oil. A recent European study linked palm oil to cancer, if not produced properly, and it prompted Nutella lovers to freak out.

Stores around the world started pulling Nutella off shelves, and everyone’s favorite spread looked to be ready for a change.

Nutella isn’t changing a damn thing, though, and here’s why.

Palm oil is so integral to Nutella, that getting rid of it would probably change it for the worst, as they claim the ingredient provides the creamy texture, and “enhances” the taste we’ve grown to know and love.

“It is the best ingredient for giving Nutella the right smoothness, guaranteeing its special spreadability,” the brand said through its website.

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If you’re thinking that they should be concerned about the consumer’s health, Nutella addressed it, deeply defending itsuse of palm oil.

Nutella said:

“The vegetable oil used in Nutella is sustainable palm oil, 100% certified segregated RSPO. This means that the palm oil used in Nutella is kept separated from conventional palm oil along the whole supply chain. Ferrero’s achievement of the RSPO certification has also been praised by Richard Holland, Director of WWF’s Market Transformation Initiative.”

So Nutella believes their use of palm oil is perfectly healthy, and giving in to the study’s claims would basically ruin Nutella.

It’s also good to note that palm oil isn’t banned in the US, and is used in lots of products we use, including Pop-Tarts, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and even Girl Scout Cookies.

It’s up to Nutella lovers to decide whether they believe the hazelnut spread is fine, or if they’ll demand a change that would alter its appeal forever.

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Why You May Want To Take The Kale Kraze With A Grain Of Salt

Several years ago, the American Kale Association hired Oberon Sinclair, the founder of a boutique public relations agency, joining the ranks of brands like Hermes and Vivienne Westwood. Around the same time, I had finally tricked adult me into liking spinach. Suddenly, for me, and after extensive work by Sinclair and her team, kale started replacing spinach on menus. Needless to say, we had very different feelings about the matter.

Long before the trend reached the critical mass it currently holds, I tried a kale salad because everyone was doing it, and I didn’t pay attention to after-school specials. Fourteen years of chewing through the undeniable taste of dirt later, I finally finished that salad and was wildly unimpressed. I could not comprehend how this leafy vegetable went from diner garnish and Pizza Hut buffet decoration to glorified superfood.

No one’s tricking you; kale is great for your health.

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An average kale salad serves up at least twice your daily recommended intake of Vitamins A and C and nearly 10 times more Vitamin K1 than you need. If you want to live forever, medical journals are now crawling with evidence that kale’s your magical elixir. Those antioxidants will save your organs, memory and even write your history paper… as long as you don’t ask too many questions.

You’re probably eating more raw kale than your body can handle.

GUYS I’ve been eating kale in my Kale shirt. It’s going well. #kale #Yale #kaleshirt #ihavesomuchtoshare

A photo posted by Charlene (@charmolino) on


I’m not talking about a casual kale eater; this is for the committed juicers and punny Kale shirt owners who have a “kale guy” at a farmer’s market two towns over. If you eat kale every single day, especially raw, you’re doing as much harm as you are fighting cancer/obesity/a case of the Mondays.

I won’t scare you about oxalates causing kidney stones since most greens worth a damn carry about the same risk level. That overload of Vitamin K, however, can be detrimental to people taking blood thinners or similar medications due to its clotting properties. Raw kale messes with the body’s ability to absorb iodine, which can result in hyperthyroidism after extensive exposure. But, you know, goiters can be sexy, right?

Don’t throw out your kale, cook it.

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Look, stop rubbing your kale in oil for ten minutes to “release the flavors” and just throw it into a skillet. Though there’s been some fear mongering across the board, scientists and doctors can universally agree that no one should eat raw kale more than once a week. So, bake them, steam them, fry them—whatever you need to do to keep your withdrawal symptoms at bay.

More importantly, stop making kale your end-all, be-all salvation and round out your diet with chard, broccoli, and the ever-dependable spinach. Variety is the spice of life, especially when that variety does not taste like a compost pile.

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5 Foods Scientists Claimed Cause Cancer, But Don’t

These days, it seems like even smiling causes cancer. Fortunately, there’s no conclusive evidence on that, but so many of our favorite things have been linked to cancer in one way or another, it couldn’t hurt to be cautious.

But science is also quick to revise their analysis, if you take any solace in that. Studies are often conducted to achieve a certain result, or sponsored by someone with a biased agenda. For instance, if I owned Splenda, it would benefit me to sponsor a test on the effects of Nutrasweet — especially if I chose rats that were genetically predisposed to cancer.

As you’ll see examples like the one above aren’t rare… in fact, that’s one of the literal examples below. Including that example, here are six things that the greatest scientific minds (or sometimes, just the uninformed masses) assumed to cause cancer, which were later dispelled as hokum.

1. Aspartame

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You might know aspartame by a number of names: Nutrasweet, Equal, or simply just “that stuff that ruins my coffee.” But, according to an article written by JW Olney and published in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology in 1996, it was also the cause for the rising number of brain tumors between 1975 and 1992. Which is a funny coincidence, because aspartame only became a popular sweetener in diet colas and sugar-free gums starting in 1982.

In case you’re not a scientist or a mathematician, let me break it down for you: aspartame could not have caused tumors before it was commercially available. Also of note is that the rats in the study were exposed to the human equivalent of anywhere between 8 and 2,000 cans of soda daily. If that sounds like your diet, you might have bigger problems than cancer. Yet rumors have persisted, and the American Cancer Society even has a page dedicated to debunking the myth.

2. Genetically Modified Foods

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Photo Credit: Lindsay Eyink

“Genetically Modified” is a very loaded term for a lot of political groups. But, strictly speaking, all food is genetically modified in one way or another—be it through natural selection, horticulture, or the heavy duty gene splicing happening on the mysterious island of Dr. Moreau. But it’s the latter that usually rankles people the most, as genes are inserted into a developing plant to enhance certain traits, creating a Genetically Modified Organism. Which, by the way, I’m still waiting for my freaking dragon.

These GMOs are perceived as unnatural and therefore unhealthy, but so far any link between GMOs and cancer is inconclusive. Molecular biologist Gilles-Eric Séralini even used rats that were genetically predisposed to cancer to try and sway popular opinion before a public vote to include GMO labeling on all non-organic foods. The Séralini Affair, as it’s since been dubbed, is one of the most notorious cases of abused scientific data and poorly constructed research in recent memory.

3. Drinking Cold Water After Meals

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When it comes to linking things to cancer, the motto should be “the more innocuous, the better!” Even something as essential as water could turn into dreaded cancer. It’s like 80% of our cellular composition is out to get us. Fortunately, these people are incompetent boobs and the only time water can cause cancer is when you’re stirring it with a rod of Plutonium-239.

At any rate, this ode to pseudoscience began circulating on the internet in 2006, just in time to terrify your grandmother whose dialup modem you installed a week earlier. It still gets a little play now and then, its proponents arguing that cold water makes fats congeal in your intestines, which, you know, totally causes cancer somehow. Well, rest assured that your insides are better for drinking water at any temperature below scalding.

4. Fluoridated Water

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Water fluoridation is one of the few times that a social service actually did some real freaking, undeniable good for the greater population. By adding a little fluoride to our drinking water, we cut down on the number of cavities in the population by decreasing the wearing away of natural enamel—and all without changing the water’s flavor. But anytime you add anything to anything, people are sure that cancer is lurking just around the corner. Fears were confirmed with a study conducted by the National Toxicology Program in 1990, which found increased incidents of bone tumors in fluoridated rats. Since then, however, the test has been repeated over 50 times and found no link between cancer and fluoridated water. What caused the increase in 1990 study, then? Statistical anomaly. And the fact that the study was conducted in Chernobyl. (That last part is not true.)

5. Cooking with a Microwave

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I mean, if you can’t see it, it’s probably cancer… right? That’s the basic logic underlying this urban legend, either claiming that the microwaves give off excess radiation or add a little nuclear flavor to your microwave burritos. Scientist Hans Hertel tested the theory by locking a bunch of his buddies in a hotel room to eat nothing but vegetables and milk heated in a microwave. Two weeks later he popped his head out of that fart barrel and released the damning info: the men’s blood work exhibited signs of early cancer activity. But this study was done in an unsupervised manner, not published in a scholarly journal, and didn’t prove any conclusive link between their activity and cancer.

Other (respected, less flatulent) scientists maintain that the low-level, non-ionizing power emitted by microwaves just doesn’t have the power to alter anyone’s DNA. Again, the helpful folks at the American Cancer Society has an entire page dedicated to quelling your fears on this non-threatening appliance. The page also covers cell phones, radio waves and full-body security scanners, so crackpots beware.