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Nutrition update from Patrick Holford

Here is a synopsis of a recent email from Patrick Holford. You can sign up for his emails by going to and signing up. They are fairly useful - he is very keen you buy his books, but then they are pretty good books!

I had read this already, when I was researching for an article on healthy oils, but it is still amazing - a study published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology found that eating flaxseeds can reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by up to 40% This is due to the lignan content of flax. Lignans, a very important type of phytoestrogen, apparently kill off cancer cells and prevent secondary tumours by stopping the growth of new cells.

In the bowel, lignans are turned into enterolactone. The study looked at 1,140 postmenopausal women with breast cancer. Women with the highest blood levels of enterolactone had an approximately 40% lower mortality risk and a lower risk for disease progression. It was found that enterolactone protects against cancer growth, irrespective of oestroegen, by promoting cell death and inhibiting sprouting of new blood vessels. This is pretty amazing - and luckily eating flaxseeds is not expensive or unpleasant.

Holford says: 'We are losing the cancer war. The number of new cancer cases has increased by 20% in under a decade and now stands at 12 million a year, according to new figures from the World Cancer Research Fund. Conventional treatments are actually not that effective. A comprehensive meta-analysis of trials on chemotherapy concludes: "The contribution of chemotherapy to five-year survival in adults was 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA.” The scientists conducting this meta-analysis emphasized that these figures are an optimistic estimate. The 'holy grail' for targeting cancer is some kind of treatment that kills cancer cells, but not healthy cells. My three favourite alternatives to conventional chemotherapy are photodynamic therapy, mega-dose vitamin C and salvestrols. I explore these and other ways to make yourself cancer-proof in my book '">Say No To Cancer'.

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