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A problem with the “Pinking” of America

Healthy by Nature radio show this week: Pharmacist, Dr Ross Pelton, discusses the keys to healthy aging. I’ll ask Harvard nutritionist and epidemiologist Eric Ding, Ph.D. for some good Harvard advice on what to eat and what is right with chocolate. Click here to find podcasts, show archives and ways to listen nationwide. Call with questions at 1-800-281-8255.
 
Pink, Pink, Pink and more Pink
It used to be that in October the leaves turned red, orange and yellow but other stuff stayed its normal color. Pepto-Bismol, Mary Kay award cars and little girls’ rooms were pink. However, at some point, everything including NFL uniforms began to turn pink in October as a result of what may be the most brilliant marketing campaign in all of modern history. Now, a zillion things from kitchen mixers to tool boxes have become pink all year long. It is all about breast cancer awareness. What could possibly be wrong with that?

I’ve seen editorials complaining that there isn’t equal attention given to prostate cancer which kills nearly as many men. Or for that matter attention to colon cancer which kills more women than breast cancer. Those critics have a point, but that’s not what I want to talk about.

We can only hope that companies are really making significant contributions, not just riding the wave for their own benefit. Then we can hope that the mega-millions raised go to either (1) directly support needy cancer patients or (2) to fund research that will make a positive impact on prevention or find a real cure. Too often it seems that research just creates another chemo drug that only buys patients an additional month or two of what has become a miserable life. But even all that isn’t what I want to talk about. My beef is that aren’t we using all this massive attention to do accomplish more than raising money. I’m frustrated that the pinkness isn’t more often used to remind women of what they can do right now to prevent breast cancer-things like this:

Eat a lower glycemic diet. That means eating fewer sweet and starchy foods. LINK

Lose weight and do not smoke. (Hmm, eating a lower glycemic diet also leads to weight loss so there is a double benefit.) LINK

Vitamin D. This article covers Vitamin D and other diet and lifestyle factors that have been shown to be protective against breast cancer. LINK. The research goes on. LINK

Vitamin A. Don’t you think they could put a pink ribbon on something that lowers breast cancer risk 17%? LINK

Antioxidant nutrients and zinc. This study looked at multivitamin, carotenes, vitamin C and zinc. LINK

Avoid BPA. That’s one of the plasticizers used in plastic bottles and the linings of food cans. Those toxins act like hormones. LINK

Include substances like green tea, genistein from soybean, isothiocyanates from plant foods, curcumin from the spice turmeric, resveratrol from grapes, and sulforaphane from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. Those substances help our genes behave the way we want them to when presented with a cancer threat. LINK

I could go on with B vitamins, omega 3 fats, CoQ10, fiber and more, but you probably get the idea. None of these has proven yet to be the absolute preventer or cure, but they are a help. Also, happily many of them also seem to prevent other types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression and so on. If we can get busy spreading the good word about disease prevention and get everyone healthy, then maybe we won’t end up with every month being a disease color. Lower medical costs would be good for the economy and we could also go back to the old plan-where every month is signified by a color that must boost retail sales (e.g. black and orange for October, brown and orange for November, red and green for December, etc.)

Go Texas Rangers!

Please help spread the good word-forward this newsletter to friends and family.

My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book: Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

The information contained in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Copyright 2011 Martie Whittekin, CCN

 



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