Saturday, February 23, 2008

Avoiding Soya May Aid Fertility


More articles not related to BBC News

Avoiding soya 'may aid fertility'
By Michelle Roberts

BBC News health reporter in Copenhagen

Women should avoid eating too much soya if they are trying for a baby, a UK fertility expert believes.

A study in humans has shown a compound in soya called genistein sabotages the sperm as it swims towards the egg.

Professor Lynn Fraser, from King's College London, said even tiny doses in the female tract could burn sperm out.

She told a European fertility conference that avoiding soya around women's most fertile days of the month might aid conception.

Long swim

Genistein is present in all soya-containing products such as soya milk and many vegetarian foods, as well as some pre-packed meals and pizzas.

It is also present in vegetables such as peas and beans, but the researchers say it is not yet clear if levels if the compound in these foods are significant.

Avoiding soya products for a few days a month is worth a try
Vegetarian Society

Professor Fraser tested what happened to human sperm exposed to the compound in a dish in the lab.

The compound kick-started a reaction in a large proportion of the sperm that gives them the ability to fertilise an egg.

In real life, this does not usually happen until the sperm have been inside the female for some hours and are close to completing their long swim towards the egg.

Therefore, if women have genistein in and around the womb this could hamper conception by making sperm peak too soon, believes Professor Fraser.

This could mean they would not be able to fertilise the egg, she told the annual meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Low concentrations

In mice she found it took higher doses of genistein to cause the reaction, but in humans very small doses were enough.

"We were really surprised. Human sperm proved to be even more responsive than mouse sperm to genistein, responding to very low concentrations - well within the amounts that have been measured in people's blood."

She said it was not yet known how much soya might be a safe amount to avoid this effect.

"It's not a question of completely stopping eating products containing soya.

"But it might be best for a woman to avoid them for a few days around the time she is ovulating."

'Early days'

Professor Fraser's previous work in mice showed that compounds similar to genistein - one found in hop-based products like beer - affect sperm in the same way.

These compounds are all weak oestrogens, but Professor Fraser does not believe that their action on sperm is the same as the female sex hormone.

Instead, genistein seems to trigger the production of a signalling molecule in sperm called cyclic AMP.

Dr Allan Pacey, Senior Lecturer in Andrology at Sheffield University and Secretary of the British Fertility Society said: "It's early days, but clearly if what happens in the laboratory also occurs in the woman's fallopian tube as the sperm make their way to the egg, then there would be the potential for fertilisation to fail."

A spokeswoman from the Vegetarian Society said: "For anyone struggling to become pregnant, avoiding soya products for a few days a month is worth a try if there is even a slim chance that it will help increase fertility.

"Obviously many vegetarians and vegans use soya in their diet, however as there are lots of vegetarian and vegan alternatives to dairy, milk and meat on the market, it shouldn't pose a problem."
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/06/21 23:01:16 GMT


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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Colorectal Cancer - Prevention Tips and Treatment Methods

Colorectal Cancer - Prevention Tips and Treatment Met
Colorectal Cancer - Prevention Tips and Treatment Methods

Author: Juliet Cohen

Colorectal cancer, also called colon cancer. In the United States, it is the fourth most common cancer in men and women. The colon is the part of the digestive system where the waste material is stored. The rectum is the end of the colon adjacent to the anus. Colorectal cancer causes 655,000 deaths worldwide per year. Many colorectal cancers are thought to arise from adenomatous polyps in the colon. Colon cancer often causes no symptoms until it has reached a relatively advanced stage. Cancer of the colon and rectum is the third leading cause of cancer in males and the fourth leading cause of cancer in females. The frequency of colorectal cancer varies around the world.

In most cases, colorectal cancers develop slowly over a period of several years. It is common in the Western world and is rare in Asia and Africa. Colorectal cancer is potentially a very serious condition and can be life-threatening. Symptoms can include blood in the stool, narrower stools, a change in bowel habits and general stomach discomfort. Crohn's disease of the colon, approximately 30% after 25 years if the entire colon is involved. S Crohn's disease of the colon, approximately 30% after 25 years if the entire colon is involved. These polyps may follow a bout of ulcerative colitis. Some inflammatory polyps may become cancerous, so having ulcerative colitis increases your overall risk of colon cancer.

Treatments of colorectal cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination. Aspirin should not be taken routinely to prevent colorectal cancer, even in people with a family history of the disease. Chemotherapy can be used to destroy cancer cells after surgery, to control tumor growth or to relieve symptoms of colon cancer. In some cases, chemotherapy is used along with radiation the Some larger polyps may be removed using laparoscopic surgery. Radiation therapy, which also stops tumour cells from dividing and growing, may also be used as this has been shown to be beneficial to some patients.The drugs bevacizumab (Avastin), cetuximab (Erbitux) and panitumumab (Vectibix) can be administered along with chemotherapy drugs or alone.

Colorectal Cancer - Prevention and Treatment Tips

1. Surgery (colectomy) is the main treatment for colorectal cancer.

2. Radiotherapy is not used routinely in colon cancer, as it could lead to radiation enteritis.

3. Aspirin should not be taken routinely to prevent colorectal cancer.

4. Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells.

5. Some larger polyps may be removed using laparoscopic surgery.

6. Survival is directly related to detection and the type of cancer involved.

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Juliet Cohen writes articles for women diseases and health tips. She also writes articles for hair styles.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Going Green to Prevent Cancer: the Protective Effects of Green Tea

Going Green to Prevent Cancer: the Protective Effects of Green Tea

Author: Tara Berman

Adapted from

Everywhere you turn these days, you can easily find yourself bombarded with campaigns advising you to “Go Green.” Go green to save the environment, to conserve energy… but to stop cancer? Yes, that’s right. Now, you can go green (in terms of your tea selection) to save, well… yourself!

Green tea stands apart from other teas due to its possession of a special ingredient: EGCG, or Epigallocatechin-3-gallate. This biologically-active constituent of green tea imparts numerous health benefits to its drinkers, such as alleviating rheumatoid arthritis, improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol, preventing cardiovascular disease and infection, and improving impaired immune function.[i] However, the most compelling evidence of the powers of EGCG becomes evident when examining its effects on various types of cancers.

A powerful antioxidant, EGCG has been shown to inhibit growth of ovarian cancer cells and sensitize them to certain anticancer drugs.[ii] In the laboratory where I work at Columbia University, studies have recently been published examining the mechanism by which EGCG inhibits colon cancer cell lines in vitro.[iii] Moreover, our laboratory was the first to propose a novel mechanism by which EGCG exerts anticancer effects in various experimental systems. EGCG has been proposed to target multiple components in cancer cell membranes, thereby disrupting several aspects of membrane organization and function.[iv] Myriad other laboratory studies demonstrate the natural anti-cancer effect of EGCG in the inhibition of the growth and development of tumors in a vast array of human cancers.

Overall, the results of EGCG's anticancer effects look promising. However, Dr. I Bernard Weinstein, Director Emeritus of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Research Center (ICRC) and head of an ICRC oncology laboratory, advises that before we can go around telling people to drink tea, more studies are needed on smaller doses. "The doses our laboratory works with are very high; the amount of EGCG we use would be the equivalent of about 8-10 cups of tea." While we cannot be sure that the benefits of EGCG hold true for lower doses, the live-saving potential of EGCG certainly exists.

Not a fan of drinking tea? You can still get your fix of EGCG without the brew!

Here's how:

Kashi Heart to Heart Toasted Oat Cereal

I've been eating Kashi's tasty Heart to Heart Toasted Oat Cereal for years, but I have only recently discovered the "green tea extract" hidden amongst the other heart-healthy ingredients on the nutrition panel. Eat your EGCG daily with this crunchy, honey-sweetened breakfast. Bonus: Heart to Heart also includes the anti-oxidants beta-carotene, grapeseed extract, lycopene, and vitamin E. Approximately $3.75/box.

T Bar

Made by the Tze The company, this nutrition bar boasts 130 mg of EGCG and 4 g of fiber, with a Rice Krispy Treat-esque consistency. Three grams of green tea leaves combined with brown rice and other whole grains give an earthy, but sweet, taste to this healthy treat. Approx. $18/dozen.

Luna Tea Cakes

With 130 calories and 1.5 g of fat and described as a "cross between a cookie and an energy bar," Luna Tea Cakes are baked with green tea. The vanilla-macadamia variety has over 80 mg of EGCG, as well as about 3 g each of protein and fiber. Approx. $16/dozen.

And finally, a company called Neuchatel produces Green Tea Chocolates, containing EGCG extract from Green Tea. However, Neuchatel has informed me that their chocolates, which come in varieties such as Dark Swiss Chocolate and Sugar-Free Milk Chocolate are created especially for people with cancer. These chocolates contain very high EGCG concentrations and are not recommended for the general public.

In the wise words of an ancient Chinese proverb: “Better to go three days without food than one without tea.” Go green!



[ii] Chan MM, Soprano KJ, Weinstein K, Fong D. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate delivers hydrogen peroxide to induce death of ovarian cancer cells and enhances their cisplatin susceptibility. J Cell Physiol. 2006 May;207(2):389-96.

[iii], [iv] Adachi S, et al. The inhibitory effect of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate on activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor is associated with altered lipid order in HT29 colon cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2007 Jul 1;67(13):6493-501.

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