Saturday, May 28, 2011
Every summer, we hear lots of advice to use sunscreen and wear hats and so on to help us avoid skin cancer. No one ever bothers to tell us that eating a low-fat, plant-based diet also helps to prevent skin cancer.
This article, which was published in 1994 in the New England Journal of Medicine, studied the effect of a dietary change (a switch to a lower-fat diet) on people who had had at least one non-melanoma skin cancer. The people who switched to a lower-fat diet were less likely to get new precancerous lesions. A follow-up study published in 1998 showed that they were also less likely to get skin cancers.
A proper diet might also help reduce the risk of melanoma, which is the most deadly form of skin cancer. Eating too much polyunsaturated fat increases the risk of cancer in general and melanoma in particular. People who drink too much alcohol and don't eat enough vegetables are also at higher risk for melanoma.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
If you do an Internet search on varicose veins, you'll probably find lots of articles that claim that the cause of this condition is complicated or mysterious. Pregnancy is usually cited as a risk factor. Yet Denis Parsons Burkitt found that varicose veins were practically nonexistent in Uganda, even though many of the women in Uganda had borne many children.
The people in Uganda, like many other populations in the Third World, were eating an extremely high-fiber diet based on unrefined starches and vegetables. As a result, they produced large, soft stools that were easy to pass. In contrast, Europeans and Americans tend to eat a low-fiber diet with a lot of processed foods and dairy products. As a result, their stools were small, hard, and difficult to pass. The pressure that is generated within the body when people try to pass these hard pellets can cause serious damage, including diverticulosis, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, hiatal hernia, and uterine prolapse.
In other words, your varicose veins spell out "I've been constipated" in swollen purple letters. How embarrassing!