Vegetarians Live Longer

If you’re not vegetarian yet, this may change your mind: vegetarians live longer than meat eaters. A plant-focused diet is fantastic at helping people with all sorts of ailments from diabetes to heart disease. This is great news for all of us as a vegetarian diet puts very little pressure on the environment whereas modern meat production is absolutely destructive.

More than 20 years ago, Dr. Dean Ornish showed that heart disease could not just be stopped but actually reversed with a vegan diet, arteries opened up without drugs or surgery. Since this lifestyle cure was discovered, hundreds of thousands have died unnecessary deaths. What more does one have to know about a diet that reverses our deadliest disease?

Cancer is killer number two. Ah, the dreaded “C” word — but look at this hopeful science. According to the largest forward-looking study on diet and cancer so far performed, “the incidence of all cancers combined is lower among vegetarians.” The link between meat and cancer is such that even a paper published in the journal Meat Science recently asked, “Should we become vegetarians, or can we make meat safer?” There are a bunch of additives under investigation to suppress the toxic effects the blood-based “heme” iron, for example, which could provide what they called an “acceptable” way to prevent cancer. Why not just reduce meat consumption? The meat science researchers noted that if such public health guidance were adhered to, “Cancer incidence may be reduced, but farmers and [the] meat industry would suffer important economical problems…” Hmmm, so Big Ag chooses profit over health; what a surprise.

Diabetes is next on the kick-the-bucket list. Plant-based diets help prevent, treat, and even reverse Type 2 diabetes. Since vegans are, on average, about 30 pounds skinnier than meat-eaters, this comes as no surprise; but researchers found that vegans appear to have just a fraction of the diabetes risk, even after controlling for their slimmer figures.

Read more at The Huffington Post.

Thanks to Kathryn!

World’s Largest Bra is up for Auction

Today is Wear it Pink Day in the UK, which is a fundraising initiative to fund breast cancer research, and to make this year unique the organizers are auctioning off the world’s largest bra. Anyone can bid on the bra which is available for bidding on eBay, the bra it’s currently at £2051.00 (approximately US $3,287.55). There are only two days left to bid so you should act fast!

It’s a fun way to get attention for raising money for cancer research. Just imagine all the fun things you can do with a massive bra!

Find out more at World Record Bra and bid on it here.

India to Produce 97% Cheaper Anti-Cancer Drugs

India has announced that they will be using a specialized law to produce generic anti-cancer drugs. This will lower the price of these drugs by 97% and increase the efficiency of health care delivery in the country. It’ll also make the poor better able to survive certain cancers because treatment will be more affordable.

In the first-ever case of compulsory licencing approval, the Indian Patent Office on Monday cleared the application of Hyderabad’s Natco Pharma to sell generic drug Nexavar, used for renal and liver cancer, at Rs 8,880 (around $175) for a 120-capsule pack for a month’s therapy. Bayer offers it for over Rs 2.8 lakh (roughly $5,500) per 120 capsule. The order provides hope for patients who cannot afford these drugs.

The approval paves the way for the launch of Natco’s drug in the market, a company official told TOI, adding that it will pay a 6% royalty on net sales every quarter to Bayer. The licence will be valid till such time the drug’s patent is valid, i.e. 2020. As per the CL (compulsory licence) order, Natco is also committed to donating free supplies of the medicines to 600 patients each year.

Read more at the Times of India.

Weed to Fight Cancer

Medical marijuana is nothing new, in fact it is legal in many places already. What is new is that the active ingredient in marijuana that gets people high has been shown to attack cancer cells that modern science cannot eliminate!

Investigators at Complutense University in Spain assessed the anti-tumor activity of the cannabinoids THC and CBD (cannabidiol) in glioma xenografts (tissue grafts).

Authors reported that the administration of THC in combination with TMZ (the benchmark agent for the management of glioblastoma) “enhanced autophagy” (programmed cell death) in malignant tissue. The combined administration of THC, CBD, and TMZ “remarkably reduce[d] the growth of glioma xenografts … [and] produced a strong antitumoral action in both TMZ-sensitive and TMZ-resistant tumors.”

They concluded, “Altogether, our findings support that the combined administration of TMZ and cannabinoids could be therapeutically exploited for the management of GBM (gliobastoma multiforme).”

A 2006 pilot study published in the British Journal of Cancer reported that the intratumoral administration of THC was associated with reduced tumor cell proliferation in two of nine human subjects with GBM, which is highly resistant to conventional anti-cancer treatments.

Read more here.

Two Cancer Codes Cracked

Here’s some good news from the fine people trying to uncover the mysteries behind all sorts of cancers.

Researchers have mapped the DNA mutations in skin and lung cancer — findings that one researcher says will change how cancer is viewed.

For lung cancer, the British team found almost 23,000 mutations — one mutation for every 15 cigarettes smoked.

“This is a fundamental moment in cancer research,” said Prof. Michael Stratton from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge. “From here on in we will think about cancers in a very different way.”

Scientists knew that smoking causes genetic mutations than can start tumours. But they didn’t expect to see evidence of the genome bearing scars of every cigarette smoked. When they catalogued the mutations, they saw how cancer-causing agents in tobacco repeatedly bombard the DNA.

Keep reading the article at the CBC.

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