Breast Cancer and Evening Primrose Oil

While genetic research on cancer has yielded almost nothing, this can be counted as a rare exception: women who carry the genetic variant known as Her-2/neu have a dramatically increased risk of breast cancer, estimated to be as high as 80%, although it only accounts for 10% of breast cancer cases in the US.

Recent research indicates that fatty acids found in Evening Primrose Oil reduce expression of the Her-2/neu protein, which is what causes the high risk of cancer. Taking this oil can therefore both reduce the risk of contracting the disease and help improve treatment outcomes. In addition, taking this supplement at the same time as Herceptin, a medication often prescribed for women with this genetic trait, improved the effectiveness of the drug by 30 to 40% (J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Nov 2; 97 (21): 1611-5).

Also read about this study at

News briefs and interesting links

Could it be that the very test used to screen for breast cancer “mammography” might increase your risk of getting the disease? This seems to be the conclusion reached in a recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that lists radiation exposure from medical screening tests as a risk factor.

Thermography, a radiation-free imaging procedure, seems to increasingly be a valid alternative as new technologies develop. Unfortunately it not endorsed by mainstream medicine but you can read about it at (This site requires nominal fee for subscription. If you are a patient ask to see the article when stopping by my office).

I have said it for years: Ritalin and other ADD drugs are another huge medical crisis waiting to happen. These drugs are classified as amphetamines, or are cocaine-like substances, and we know the harmful effects that both of these can have. Why would the ADD drugs be spared these same problems? Now, after identifying 51 deaths from these medications, the FDA is requiring a warning on these medications regarding possible cardiovascular effects. You can find detailed information at
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Vitamin D Update

Anyone who has been following this newsletter for a while will recognize that I am back to one of my favorite topics, vitamin D. The truth is that studies on the benefits of vitamin D never cease to amaze me.

Here I’ll cover two interesting studies. The first one (Nutr Cancer 2005; 51: 32-6) looked at 15 men previously treated for prostate cancer who experienced a recurrence. They were each given 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day for 10 months with no other treatment. Three of these patients experienced a drop in PSA – the blood marker used to monitor prostate cancer progression – while the others experienced an average 75% slowdown in its rate of growth. Quite an impressive finding!

While this is a small study and definitive conclusions cannot be drawn from it, to me it’s enough of an indication to include vitamin D, a completely non-toxic substance, in any type of
treatment strategy for prostate cancer. Not only will it not interfere with other treatments but with vitamin D you only get added benefits!

Considering all that we are learning about this vitamin and its health-enhancing and anticancer effects, I feel that maintaining an adequate status of vitamin D and correcting any possible deficiency is an essential step in maintaining health for everyone.

In the second study (Brain Res Bull. 2005 Mar 15; 65 (2): 141-8) Australian researchers discovered that maternal vitamin D deficiency permanently damages the brains of baby rats.

Unfortunately, supplementing vitamin D to the babies does not reverse the damage.

Although this is a rat study, its conclusions are very likely to apply to humans as well and the authors noted that vitamin D deficiency is very common in young women – an unfortunate consequence of modern society’s sun phobia. In addition, prenatal vitamins do not contain nearly enough vitamin D to correct possible deficiencies.

According to the authors, appropriate sun exposure or supplementation at effective doses could help prevent an as-yet-undetermined percentage of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders in children.

If you wish to learn more on vitamin D and its benefits, you can search my website for articles I have written in the past about it. You can also go to for extensive information on vitamin D and regular research updates. The fact is that, while excessive exposure to the sun has its dangers, it only takes a few minutes of daily sun exposure (without sun block) to provide all the vitamin D we need.

Diet is simply not an adequate source of this important vitamin, and most over-the-counter supplements have been designed with insufficient vitamin D because of old misconceptions concerning potential vitamin D toxicity. It seems now that supplementation in the range of 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day is a good starting point but several times this amount may be needed to correct a deficiency.

Humifulvate, nature’s key to healing and detoxification

Humifulvate (HF) as a healing supplement is the ultimate gift from nature and provides yet more evidence that the secrets to health and recovery are most often found in nature and not in a chemist’s laboratory.

Having said this, HF has gained the nickname around my office as the “dirt” supplement because it originates from humus, a layer of organic material that covers the ground of all
forests and open fields. However, HF is much more than just humus.

Humus becomes HF through the action of bacteria and other organisms that form the soil’s natural microflora. This is a very slow process whereby microorganisms digest or ferment
the organic material, turning it into peat, which then accumulates in vast underground deposits sometimes thousands of years old. We can think of peat as a type of yogurt, which
also comes from bacterial fermentation, except in this case of milk not humus. Once purified, peat has been shown to be a mineral-rich substance that contains humic and fulvic acids, hence the name humifulvate.

HF has a long history of use as a fertilizing agent, although it has been largely abandoned with the advent of synthetic farming practices. Today it is still used in organic farms, where
it has been documented to help produce sturdier, larger and more disease-resistant crops.

In addition to the minerals it already contains, HF has been shown to bind to other minerals in the ground, thus making them readily available for plants to absorb. These minerals are as critical to plant health as they are to human health.

In the old days HF was also added to animal feeds and historical evidence indicates that it helped improve livestock reproductive cycles, resistance to disease and growth rates.

With this type of history it was only a matter of time before someone wondered if it could help people, too. Today we may only have had testimonials to go by, if there hadn’t been a
systematic effort to research the role of HF in human health carried out in Hungary for the past 30 years. A referenced report on HF research is presented in a document entitled “Some Humifulvate Science” that can be found on various sites including:

HF has been found to help in various aspects of human health. One of these is mineral absorption and metabolism. For example, HF has been shown to correct anemia caused by
iron deficiency. While HF doesn’t contain meaningful amounts of iron, it improves absorption of this mineral from food when it is needed. Interestingly, HF has also been shown to help lower iron levels in people who have too much of it. This may seem contradictory but it is explained by the fact that HF works by normalizing the action of metalloproteins, a complex set of proteins found in the liver, and elsewhere in the body, that regulate mineral absorption, excretion and metabolism.

Because of its beneficial action on minerals, HF was also shown to help conditions associated with mineral deficiencies and imbalances. These include certain types of hair loss as well as eczema in children and adults.

In addition, HF has been shown to have beneficial actions in both hindering the absorption of toxic metals and promoting their excretion from the body. In a head to head comparison, HF was shown to perform as well as a prescription medication in removing lead from the body. In separate studies HF was also shown to effectively eliminate body stores of mercury and other toxic metals.

Finally, HF has been studied intensely for its benefits in cancer. In this context it was found to be a powerful antioxidant and to help reduce the risk of cancer developing or spreading by absorbing and promoting excretion of cancer-causing chemicals. It was also found to help reduce the side effects of cancer treatments, making them easier to tolerate while not interfering with their effectiveness. Finally, HF was shown to limit the anemia and drop in white blood cells associated with many cancer treatments.

It is important to note that all these studies were performed on Hungarian HF that comes from a 3,000 to 10,000-year-old peat deposit located in a remote spring-fed valley. This HF is tested for purity and consistent quality and has been available as a supplement in Europe for the past 10 years. Other types of HF may have contamination problems or may lack the consistent quality of the Hungarian product. I am not saying that there are no other good sources but that they should be screened carefully.

An aspirin a day causes breast cancer?

When it comes to drugs we think are safe, aspirin has to be at the top of the list. It’s been around forever and, yes, we all know it can cause ulcers if taken to excess, but no one thinks of it as dangerous. Can it actually cause cancer?

This is exactly what a recent study seems to imply. The study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (June 1, 2005, Vol. 97, No. 11: 805-12) evaluated data on some 114,000 women aged 22 to 85 who participated in the California Teachers Study.

Researchers concluded that women who took an aspirin a day for five years or longer suffered a dramatic increase in non-hormone-sensitive breast cancer. Not only that, the study concluded that women who took ibuprofen every day for the same period also experienced a rise in breast cancer rates, in this case of all types of breast cancer.

The first to be surprised were the researchers themselves, who had expected to discover another hidden benefit of these drugs. University of Southern California researcher Sarah Marshall stated: “We were expecting ibuprofen to reduce the risk, and the same for aspirin.” Although the American Cancer Society issued a statement suggesting the results of this study may be due to chance, this seems unlikely considering the very large size of the population analyzed.

From a natural medicine point of view there has never been a need for daily aspirin or ibuprofen and, in fact, certain types of digestive enzymes taken between meals seem to do everything these medications do – except better. A detailed discussion of the benefits of enzymes can be found in the book The Aspirin Alternative, by Michael Loes, MD available from

But could enzymes also cause some kind of mischief with long-term use? The question is worth raising although the answer is most likely to be negative because in every direction we look enzymes seem to work by strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation, and promoting recovery from injury. A different, but related type of enzymes is being used as the critical component of a non-toxic cancer treatment program that has been validated by research. If you are interested in learning more about enzyme therapy in cancer I suggest you visit

Popular eczema creams shown to elevate cancer risk

In the January newsletter I wrote about airborne allergies resulting from poor intestinal health. You might accuse me of having a one-track mind (it’s happened before), but I could say the same thing about eczema. It’s on the skin, I agree, but it comes from the gut. I say this with confidence because I have seen it clear up time and time again with diet change and simple supplements to improve intestinal health.

So, you might ask, what’s the need for topical creams in the first place? I agree, but in today’s reality these creams not only exist, they’re also best sellers that are advertised over and over on TV. The ads say these creams are better because they’re not steroids. What they fail to point out is that, just like steroids, they work by suppressing the immune system.

New data from the FDA suggests that these creams, sold under the brand names Elidel and Protopic, may actually cause cancer. This new information is based on animal and laboratory research as well as reports from human users. According to the FDA spokesperson ‘the evidence raises serious safety concerns in children regarding the potential carcinogenicity in humans treated with these agents.’ For more on this go to

There are studies showing that a simple supplement containing lactobacillus – beneficial bacteria that help improve intestinal health – can reduce the severity of eczema (J Pediatr 2004 Nov; 145 (5): 612-6, J Allergy Clin Immunol 2003 Feb; 111 (2): 389-95).

PSA test not a predictor of prostate cancer

If, like me, you are a male past the age of 50 there’s a good chance you have a blood test called PSA (prostate-specific antigen) run once a year as an early warning for prostate cancer. But is this test of any value after all?

According to an article published in the Journal of Urology last October, serum PSA only reflects the size of the prostate, not the presence of cancer (J Urol 2004 Oct; 172 (4 Pt 1):

The article is discussed and explained in plain English in the online medical news service Medscape. Find it at (requires free registration).

It appears that studies performed 20 years ago showed a strong correlation between PSA and the presence of prostate cancer. However, newer studies have failed to confirm this finding. Lead investigator Dr. Stamey explains that the reasons for this change are not entirely clear, but the facts as they are understood today are that a PSA between 2 and 10 and, in many cases, between 2 and 20 is unrelated to the presence of cancer.’

Since the prostate is known to enlarge with age, many men will see their PSA levels climb over time. What makes things confusing is that when people with a high PSA go in for a biopsy most of the time they are diagnosed with cancer. So does high PSA mean you have cancer or not?

Dr. Stamey’s next statement clarifies this point: ‘If you biopsy men’s prostates, you’re going to find cancer, because we all have age-related prostate cancer. It begins in 8% of men in their 20’s, based on a study of men dying accidentally on the streets of Detroit. It rises to 70% of men in their 70’s.’

So here’s what seems to be happening: if you have an elevated PSA you will be referred for a biopsy and will probably be diagnosed with cancer. However, men of your same age with a normal PSA have the same likelihood of having prostate cancer.

Now isn’t prostate cancer something we want to have treated as soon as possible? Maybe not. According to Dr. Stamey’s research, while almost every man gets prostate cancer sooner or later only 226 per 100,000 over 65 die of this disease. That’s one quarter of 1 percent! It may be that this is a cancer we’re better off living with than treating. Let’s stay tuned.

Full-body scans and cancer risk

Some of the most health-conscious people I know elect to have full body scans as an early detection method for possible cancer and heart disease. But is it really a good idea? It now appears that these scans expose people to significant amounts of radiation, itself a cause of cancer.

According to a recent study published in the journal Radiology (Radiology, 2004; 232: 735-38),
a single full body scan is enough to increase a person’s lifetime risk of cancer slightly. When scans are repeated on an annual basis the risk increase becomes substantial.

David Brenner, Ph.D., lead author of the study, says “our research provides definitive evidence that radiation risk is associated with full-body CT scans” and “the radiation dose from a full-body CT scan is comparable to the doses received by some of the atomic-bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Flaxseed oil and prostate cancer

Many people have asked me why I rarely recommend flax oil. Although I consider freshly ground flaxseeds to be a highly nutritious superfood with significant immune-enhancing properties, flax oil presents problems. It is highly vulnerable to rancidity – even if refrigerated – and it is not immediately usable in the body because it depends on an enzymatic conversion that does not always take place.

An interesting new study (Am J Clin Nutr 2004 Jul; 80 (1): 204-16) focused on intakes of different fatty acids in roughly 48,000 men over 14 years in relation to the occurrence of prostate cancer. It found that higher consumption of fats found in meat or butter had no effect on the rate of prostate cancer, while fish oil was protective and those who consumed more of it enjoyed a lower rate of prostate cancer. Intake of ALA (alpha linolenic acid), the primary fat in flaxseed oil, was neutral in terms of overall cancer rates, but those who consumed more of this oil had a higher occurrence of advanced prostate cancer.

Although more research might be needed to confirm this finding it is hard to think it was coincidental, given the large size of the study. It would therefore seem that while ALA does not cause prostate cancer it promotes its growth.

We don’t know exactly what causes prostate cancer, and probably multiple factors are at work, but highly unsaturated oils with a strong tendency to become rancid ‘such as flaxseed oil’ might provide a perfect medium to help this cancer grow.

Soy protein linked to breast cancer growth

If you’re loading up on soy thinking you’re improving your health, it’s becoming increasingly clear you’re the victim of unscrupulous advertising. There’s no better way to sell a product than to convince people it’s healthy!

It is true that this study (Cancer Res 2001; 61 (13): 5045-50) was performed on mice, not people, but its conclusions are nonetheless disturbing. Researchers found that “soy protein diets increased estrogen-dependent tumor growth in a dose-dependent manner.” In other words the more soy the mice ate, the faster their tumors grew. It should also be noted that these were human tumor strains sensitive to human estrogen even though they happened to be in mice. Of course the study refers to already existing tumors and doesn’t imply that soy causes breast cancer in healthy people, but it also doesn’t seem like the type of thing I’d consume in large amounts.

Possible link between daily aspirin and pancreatic cancer

This study is an interesting one because it raises a question no one would have thought of asking. It also shows how chemicals can have unpredictable long-term effects in the human body.

The study (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, vol. 96, No. 1, 22-28, January 7, 2004) analyzed previously collected data from a huge project known as the “Nurses’ Health Study” that followed more than 88,000 women for a period of 18 years. While only 161 cases of pancreatic cancer were reported, I am sure no one would put him/herself willingly at risk for this terrible disease.

The investigators concluded that the risk of pancreatic cancer was significantly correlated with long-term aspirin intake. Women who reported taking aspirin every day for more than 20 years had the highest relative risk.

Antibiotics and Cancer

A recent study on antibiotics was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (“Antibiotic use in relation to the risk of breast cancer” (JAMA, 2004; 291: 827-835).

The study concludes that antibiotic use is associated with an increased rate of breast cancer, although researchers could not identify a specific mechanism through which cancer might be caused.

It is interesting to note that this study relates to all antibiotics and not to a specific type. Considering the huge differences in chemical makeup between different classes of antibiotics, it is likely that cancer is a result of something all antibiotics do to the body, and not of a specific chemical they contain. In addition, it would seem odd that antibiotics cause breast cancer, a hormone-related cancer, and not other types of cancer.

This study especially captured my attention because of information contained in the book “The Circadian Prescription” by Sidney Baker, MD. Dr. Baker is a respected authority on integrative medicine and founder of Defeat Autism Now! (DAN) and his book, published in the early 1990s, offers a precise explanation of how antibiotics can lead to breast cancer and in Dr. Baker’s opinion prostate cancer as well.

To understand Dr. Baker’s explanation it is important to know that all of us were “designed” to host a dense population of bacteria often referred to as “healthy flora” or more simply “good bugs” in our digestive tract. The numbers of these inhabitants of our digestive system are astounding. We used to hear estimates of billions, or hundreds of billions, but then it was trillions and hundreds of trillions. Apparently, the latest consensus is that they number in the quadrillions! Considering that our entire bodies are made up of one hundred or so trillion cells, there are clearly more bacteria in us than human cells.

These bugs are not just casual residents in our bodies; they play important roles and contribute in a very significant way to our overall health. We rely on them to produce certain
vitamins and other nutrients that we need but which are not contained in sufficient amounts in our food.

It’s a perfect relationship: the bugs live on fiber and other parts of our food that we cannot digest and, in turn, they produce fatty acids and vitamins (such as biotin) that are essential
to our health. Some of these bacterial substances also help regulate our hormone chemistry and thereby protect us from hormone-related cancers.

But what happens if the “good bugs” are somehow turned into “bad bugs?” Now we may harbor bacteria and also possibly yeast that, instead of working for us work against us, waging chemical warfare on our bodies and even our brains. Instead of producing vitamins for us they produce poisons. Instead of helping regulate our hormones they harm them, introducing hormone-like substances in our bodies that can wreak havoc with our own hormones and increase our risk of cancer, including breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.

In a nutshell, antibiotics are the prime cause of damage to our intestinal flora. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, but in addition to killing their intended targets, they also kill the
bacteria that contribute to our health, thus enabling opportunistic “bad bugs” or yeast cells to take their place.

According to Dr. Baker, just a single dose of antibiotics can damage our flora to such an extent that it could take months or years to recover, even if we are taking specific action to
promote such recovery.

We all know that antibiotics can be lifesaving if used appropriately, but knowing their darker side helps us understand why they should be used only when strictly necessary. When they must be used, Dr. Baker recommends consuming plenty of fiber to limit the damage by feeding the good bugs, plus yogurt containing live “healthy” bacteria. If damage is thought to be extensive due to long-term or frequent use of antibiotics over the course of many years, more drastic corrective measures may be needed and it would be advisable to work with a doctor or a nutritionist experienced in this area.

More News on Vitamin D

Although I have written about the importance of vitamin D before, new information on this vitamin continues to surface. The more we learn about vitamin D, the more we find how many critical roles it plays in the body.

A “Vitamin D Council” was set up as a cooperative effort by a group of research scientists and recently launched a new website that can be found at

Members of this council include Robert Heaney, MD, Professor of Medicine at John A. Creighton University. Dr. Heaney is considered the world’s leading expert on vitamin D, having published over three hundred original papers on this topic.

According to Dr. Heaney, the current government vitamin D recommendations are so low they ensure deficiency for anyone who adheres to them and also avoids the sun. Oddly enough, Dr. Heaney participated in setting up those very recommendations, but later discovered that humans need 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day, not the recommended 400.
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Protein Consumption, Breast Cancer and Heart Disease

For years we have heard about the presumed dangers of eating too much protein: those who are not vegetarians eat far too much protein and this is the cause of every modern ailment from cancer to heart disease, osteoporosis and so on. However, evidence supporting this view was always scant, and many of the studies quoted in support of these theories were deeply flawed.

A new large-population study that followed more than 88,000 women over a period of 18 years could find no association between intake of animal protein and risk of breast cancer (“Meat, fish and egg intake and risk of breast cancer” Int J Cancer 2003; 104(2): 221-7).

Another large study looked for a link between animal protein and heart disease and actually found that higher consumption of protein led to decreases in risk for certain types of heart disease. This led researchers to conclude that: “replacing carbohydrates with protein may be associated with a lower risk of ischemic heart disease” (Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 70(2):221-7 and Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71(3): 848-51 “Dietary protein and risk of ischemic heart disease in women”). It seems that the more we learn about diet, the more we find that it is sugar and starches that are the real problem.

Can a Single Blood Test Detect Every Cancer?

This seems unreal. Could a simple and inexpensive blood test detect any cancer anywhere in the body, and do so long before any other diagnostic procedure can find it?

It seems that the answer to this question is, quite possibly, yes. The test in question is known as the AMAS test and you can read about it at

It was developed and extensively researched in the 1990’s and has recently been approved by the FDA. As a result, it should be covered by insurance and can be ordered by any doctor anywhere in the country.

According to the literature, this test has a very low rate of false positives and false negatives, and is so sensitive that it can detect the presence of cancer even a year or longer before it can be identified by any other diagnostic means.

However, there is one major limitation. The AMAS test does not look for a protein that is indicative of a certain cancer, but rather for an antibody that is not specific to any type of cancer but is evidence that the body is fighting against some form of cancer. As cancers grow, they inhibit the immune system from fighting against them and, as a result, this test becomes unreliable in advanced cancers and recurrences. Since many cancers are first detected in advanced stages, this test cannot be used as a replacement for other diagnostic approaches and can only be seen as an additional early warning.

So why haven’t you heard more about this test? Maybe because it’s very new and new ideas take a while to receive widespread acceptance.

Alcohol Consumption, Breast Cancer and Estrogen Ratios

All we seem to hear about on the news is that moderate alcohol consumption is good for the heart. I often wonder who sponsors these studies and how they manage to get reported so regularly. The flaw of all these studies is that they only look at the relationship between alcohol consumption and heart disease, disregarding other aspects of health.

A very large British study (Br J Cancer, 2002 Nov 18; 87 (11): 1195-6) that looked at the relationship between alcohol consumption and breast cancer reached a different conclusion. It found that for every alcoholic drink consumed on a daily basis the risk of breast cancer goes up by 6%. Although 6% may not sound like much, it is cumulative and may come on top of other risk factors. It should also be noted that this study only looked at breast cancer, but there is no reason to believe that other cancers might not behave similarly.

If you are concerned about your risk of breast cancer, there is a new simple and inexpensive urine test that looks at the ratio between two estrogens: 2 and 16 hydroxy estrogen.

While every woman and man has both of these estrogens, research has shown that an overabundance of the 16 in relation to the 2 hydroxy estrogen leads to an increased risk of breast cancer and other hormone sensitive cancers (possibly including prostate cancer in men). The reason for this increased risk is that the 16 estrogen is aggressive whereas the 2 has a protective action, and when they are properly balanced the risk of cancer is greatly reduced.

Cancer Rates: Is the Problem Getting Better or Worse?

Most people I know have an intuitive sense that cancer rates are going up. This point, however, has been charged with controversy, with medical authorities holding that any apparent increase is due to earlier and improved diagnostic procedures. In fact, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has said for years that cancer rates are declining in the United States, but a large-scale new study published in the NCI’s own journal (J Natl Cancer Inst 2002 Oct 16;94(20):1537-45) reveals that a series of reporting delays and errors hid the fact that rates are, in reality, rising. For example, the study found that, once corrections are made for a series of statistical inaccuracies, the rate of breast cancer in white women has been going up by 0.6 percent each year since 1987. Melanoma has been going up by 4.1 percent per year and prostate cancer in men by 2.2 percent.

Studies Find Sun Exposure, Vitamin D Protect Against Cancer

The journal Cancer (March 15, 2002;94(6):1-9) published a study analyzing patterns of sun exposure and cancer rates in a large segment of the U.S. population over a 24-year period spanning 1970 to 1994. The study confirmed prior research showing that moderate exposure to the sun protects from several deadly cancers. These include cancer of the breast, colon, ovary, prostate, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Dietary differences among population subgroups were minimal and could not account for the difference in cancer rates.

It is believed that ultraviolet radiation from the sun – the same type of radiation linked to skin cancer – protects from other cancers by promoting vitamin D synthesis in the body.

Researchers concluded that: “many lives could be extended through careful exposure to solar UV-B radiation, and vitamin D3 supplementation, especially in the non-summer months.”

Another study also confirmed that vitamin D protects against cancer. Looking at individuals with a prior diagnosis of adenomas who were consequently at increased risk for colorectal cancer, it concluded that vitamin D supplementation has a strong protective effect. In fact, for every 10 ng/ml increase in blood levels of vitamin D within the normal range, the risk of contracting cancer was reduced by 26% (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, Dec 2001;10:1267-1274). It should be noted that vitamin D from sources other than the sun can be toxic, and supplementation beyond a typical multi-vitamin dosage requires professional supervision.

In addition to its cancer-protecting benefits, vitamin D also plays important roles in preventing osteoporosis and preserving muscle function. A recent study showed that elderly people taking vitamin D supplements have a lower occurrence of falls and hip fractures (Am J Clin Nutr, 2002;75:611-615).

Major campaign focuses on children’s health catastrophe

The Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, founded by a group of physicians and scientists from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York City), recently began running full-page ads in The New York Times addressing the current crisis in children’s mental and physical health and its possible underlying causes. Ad themes and related information, including lengthy scientific papers on which the ads are based, can be found on the authors’ website at

The authors and sponsors of the ads, all listed on the website, belong to conventional medical and research communities and have the highest credentials. Every statement contained in the ads is supported by extensive scientific data, although this information is generally not reported in the media and most of us are not aware of it.
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Folic acid consumption and breast cancer

This large study, conducted in Shanghai, China (Cancer Res, 2001;61:7136-7141) looked at 1,321 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer and compared them with 1,382 healthy subjects between the ages of 25 and 64. The study found a direct inverse relationship between the amount of folic acid women consumed and the incidence of breast cancer.

Folic acid is a B vitamin found mainly in liver, wheat germ and green leafy vegetables. Researchers found an even more pronounced inverse relationship when considering women who consumed folic acid in addition to other nutrients that work synergistically with this vitamin. These nutrients include the amino acid methionine, and the vitamins B12 and B6.