One of the biggest myths fostered by modern medicine is that genetics dictate our disease risk. And most people are happy to believe it. It easier to blame “heredity” than it is to take responsibility for your own health.
Heart disease is not your fault. It “runs in the family.” You’re not responsible for your diabetes. Your mother and your aunt both had it. You must have inherited a genetic weakness. And it can’t be your fault that you’re fat. After all, just about everybody in your family is overweight. You must have the same “slow metabolism.”
People who think this way are much more likely to pop a pill when something goes wrong. After all, what’s the use in trying to “prevent” something if you’re already destined for it? These people are also more likely to seek the assistance of doctors, rather than focus on prevention and taking responsibility for their own health.
And this is exactly how mainstream medicine and the pharmaceutical companies want you to think. After all, treating disease is enormously profitable. Preventing it is not.
But in the vast majority of cases, it is not our “genetics” that put us at risk of obesity, poor health and degenerative disease. It is our habits and our lifestyle. The only reason why heart disease “runs in the family” is because the same disease-causing habits run in the family.
Craig Venter is the scientist who led the effort to sequence the human genome. Here is what he recently said about the role of genetics as it relates to our risk for disease:
“Human biology is far more complicated than we imagine. Everybody talks about the genes that they received from their mother and father, for this trait or the other. But in reality, those genes have very little impact on life outcomes. Our biology is far too complicated for that and deals with hundreds of thousands of independent factors. Genes are absolutely not our fate.”
Thankfully, this enlightened view of disease risk and genetics is making its way into our understanding of cancer. For many years, medical schools taught future doctors that cancer is almost exclusively dictated by genetics. They held that only about 5 percent of cancers could be traced to factors like diet or chemical toxins.1
Today, we know that the exact opposite is true. In fact, a recent study showed that anywhere from 90 to 95 percent of all cancers are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors.2 That means that the vast majority of cancers could be prevented.
According to data compiled by the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 17 million Americans died from cancer between 1975 and 2006!3 That’s more than the population of New York… Chicago… Los Angeles… Denver… Miami… and Dallas… combined!
President Richard Nixon declared the “War on Cancer” 41 years ago. Since then, more than a trillion dollars has been spent on research and treatments. And yet the incidence rate, the mortality rate, and the probability of diagnosis have all gone up.
Today, nearly one out of every two Americans will be diagnosed with cancer.4 This disease will almost certainly touch your life in some way. The good news is that we know how to reduce your risk of cancer almost entirely. And here are five steps you must take if you wish to do so…
#1 – Avoid Chemicals and Hormones
Our ancient ancestors didn’t have to worry much about environmental toxins. And they certainly didn’t eat them intentionally.
Today, we are exposed to unavoidable pollution in the air. But we also willingly subject our bodies to cancer-causing chemicals on a daily basis. They are added to processed foods. They are sprayed on fruits and vegetables. They are found in meats and seafood. And if that’s not enough, we rub them into our skin in the form of lotions, sunscreen and cosmetics.
Some of these chemicals – including many pesticides and food additives – are directly carcinogenic. Others are known as hormone “mimics.” They function just like hormones in the body. But they can be hundreds of times more potent. Hormone-dependent cancers (like prostate, colon and breast cancer) rage in the presence of these chemicals.
If you wish to avoid cancer, you must avoid exposure to chemicals, hormones and heavy metals. Choose organic produce and organic, naturally-raised animal products. Choose wild fish and seafood, known to be very low in contaminants. Use a high quality water filter. And only select personal care products made from natural, plant-based ingredients.
#2 – Optimize Your Levels of the “Sunshine Hormone”
Our ancient ancestors exposed their bodies to sunlight on a daily basis. Today, we go from the house, to the car, to the office… and then back to the house again. Many people go for weeks or even months without any measurable exposure to sunlight. This is a recipe for cancer.
More than 70 years ago, Dr. Frank Apperly discovered an 85 percent higher cancer death rate in certain northern cities (compared to ones farther south). Then he selected cities at latitude that was even higher. The death rate from cancer was 150 percent higher in these countries.5
Decades of research have now proven the critical connection between sunlight, vitamin D and cancer. In fact, there is an inverse relationship between sun exposure and at least 17 different types of deadly internal cancer.
It is beyond the scope of this article, but there are at least seven distinct ways that vitamin D fights and prevents cancer. We document these in detail in the book we published with Dr. Al Sears, Your Best Health Under the Sun.
Optimize your vitamin D levels to reduce your risk of deadly internal cancers. Do this by exposing your body to sunlight frequently (without burning). During the winter months, most people should supplement with at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
#3 – Optimize Your Omega-3 to Omega-6 Ratio
For thousands of years, humans consumed roughly equal amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, the advent of food processing brought an abundance of vegetable and seed oils to our diet. Today, most people consume 20 to 50 times more omega-6 fats than omega-3s.
Excessive consumption of these fats leads to inflammation – a big risk factor for cancer. These fats are also highly unstable. That means they are prone to oxidation and the formation of free radicals. Ultimately, this leads to DNA damage and cell mutation.
In a study published in Cancer Research, scientists showed that the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, inhibited the exponential growth of cancer cells. This study noted that omega-6 fatty acids stimulate cancer. These findings were shown over a range of human cancers. And numerous studies confirm the results.
Optimize your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio by avoiding vegetable and seed oils, processed foods, fast food and conventionally-raised meats. For omega-3s, eat wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, pastured eggs, wild game and grass-fed beef. And consider taking a fish oil supplement if you do not already.
#4 – Keep Your Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels Low
In 1931, German scientist Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for his discovery that cancer cells have a much faster metabolism than healthy cells. They need far more energy to support their rapid cell division. Like normal cells, they get this energy glucose. But Warburg showed that cancer cells can utilize glucose at a rate 10 to 50 times faster.
This enormous consumption of glucose is what fuels the explosive growth of cancer. In other words, sugar feeds cancer and a high-glycemic diet is like throwing fuel on the fire!
The Women’s Health Study showed that a high-glycemic diet significantly increases the risk of colon cancer in women. Other studies have also shown that chronically high insulin levels are linked to a broad range of cancers.
Keep your insulin and blood sugar levels stable by consuming a low-glycemic diet. Base your meals around protein and healthy fats. Avoid sweets and grains (including whole grains). Eat lots of vegetables and leafy green. Eat whole fruits, but avoid fruit juices.
#5 – Oxygenate Your Cells with an Alkaline Diet
An increased demand for glucose is not the only metabolic difference between cancer and healthy cells. Cancer thrives in an oxygen-starved environment. Healthy cells thrive in one that is oxygen-rich. Cancer also likes acidity. Healthy cells function best in a slightly alkaline environment.
The great news is that a diet that makes your body more alkaline will also make it more oxygen rich. The way to do this is to eat an abundance of raw vegetables, fruits, berries, superfood powders and other living foods. It can be a time-consuming task to eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day. But the right juicer can make it fast and easy.
We recommend a Vita-Mix blender. It saves time because you don’t have to cut everything into small pieces. Just toss in the ingredients and turn it on. And because it doesn’t just extract the juice, you’ll get all the fiber and other solid nutrition.
By following the healthy habits listed above, you will create an environment in your body where cancer simply cannot exist. Your powerful immune system will rapidly eliminate abnormal cells. Abundant antioxidants will extinguish free radicals as they form. And healthy cells will proliferate.
But what if you already have cancer?
Or what if you need some extra protection to overcome years of poor habits?
In the August issue of Natural Health Dossier, we uncover three powerful nutritional supplements that can be your best defense against this dreaded disease. And while most people have never heard of these powerful natural medicines, they are supported by hundreds of studies.
One of these remedies comes from the peel of citrus fruits. It has been shown to stop the spread of cancer in its tracks. Another is an ancient “tonic” that can send your immunity soaring. And you will also learn about a “dietary food for medical purposes” that is deadly to cancer… and yet safer than a piece of toast.
4National Cancer Institute. Surveillance Epidemiology End Results (SEER) Cancer Statistics Review: http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2006/results_merged/sect_02_all_sites.pdf
– 90 to 95% of all cancers are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors. Click to Tweet
– 85% higher cancer death rate in certain northern cities (compared to ones farther south). Click to Tweet
– Today, nearly one out of every two Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. Click to Tweet
– Most people consume 20 to 50 times more omega-6 fats than omega-3s. Click to Tweet