Highlights from TED 2010, Wednesday: "We can eat to starve cancer"

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54 Responses to “Highlights from TED 2010, Wednesday: "We can eat to starve cancer"”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I find it more interesting that there are two viewpoints regarding the Antiangiogenesis presentation : pro diet diversity & anti-meat. The pro-diversity branch seems willing to embrace vegetariansim as a valid, although non-exclusive, component. The vegetarians, oddly enough, seem sooo very willing to “bare their teeth” to those who choose to be non-exclusive. Quite revealing.

  2. zootboing says:

    Meat in moderation (organic if you can afford it) is fine.
    Contrary to what a lot of folks believe, there IS no real “perfect” one-size-fits-all healthy diet.

    I have friends who eat mostly vegetarian, and look/feel great, while I tried eating vegetarian twice and both times ended up with my doctor telling me to give it up (my blood protein levels were in the basement).

    It’s all about what works for you!
    (And I am printing out this list and seeing if I can eat at least one of these per meal! :-)

  3. slowth says:

    Something’s missing from this list. Oh yeah, meat.

    I’m a carnivore, but the truth hurts.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Lavender can be substituted for rosemary in most recipes.

  5. Daedalus says:

    Meat is wonderful, you should just eat more other stuff, too. If yer eating bacon at every meal, yer doin’ it wrong.

    I’m also a fan of “happiness is being satisfied with being with people that we like.” Take that, grumpy people!

    Lookin’ forward to the interview with the current God of the Uke. Rockstar.

  6. Jenonymous says:

    Well, Anon, the health-food nuts sure don’t have a working drug pipeline, do they?

    If and when you develop a serious disease, you’ll be grateful that there’s something other than carrot juice and colloidal silver available.

    And yes I forced myself to watch it. Vacuous crap.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Eating meat in a gluttonous fashion as most American tend to do, is a cancer risk. Eating the appropriate portion of grass-fed beef or flax fed chicken is healthier (but still not necessary, OK to be vegan/vegetarian). These meats retain a healthy balance of 3-6-9 omegas that we have lost in recent years due to the corn diet of most of our meats. I really wish the government would stop subsidizing corn and start subsidizing organic farmers, ah dreams.

    Tuna and other foods high in omega 3′s are on the list to help balance out our over-consumption of omega 6′s in corn products and corn fed animals, etc. Consuming a proper balance of omegas is one of the best ways to keep angiogenisis in check.

    BTW – Dark chocolate is only good for you if it is at least 70% cacao. Any less ratio – such as in hershey special dark, Dove and other standard dark chocolate – and the harmful effects of sugars out-weigh the health effects of the cacao.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well the solution for meat eaters is to eat vegetarians. Sorted.

  9. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Cute boys with ukes FTW!

  10. Anonymous says:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=12064344&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
    “The overall effect of the 10-week period without dietary fruits and vegetables was a decrease in oxidative damage to DNA, blood proteins, and plasma lipids, concomitantly with marked changes in antioxidative defence.”

    “Among survivors of early stage breast cancer, adoption of a diet that was very high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber and low in fat did not reduce additional breast cancer events or mortality during a 7.3-year follow-up period.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17635889

    “This study failed to show any effect of a low-fat, high-fiber, high-fruit and -vegetable eating pattern on adenoma recurrence even with 8 years of follow-up.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17855692

    Sure, I’d eat some of those foods, but not the ones high in carbohydrates. I’d put my money on a high-fat, ketogenic diet, with plenty of saturated fat, omega-3 fats, and very low amounts of omega-6 fats. (Omega-6 encourages metastasis; omega-3 inhibits it.) Most cancer feeds on sugar, but our bodies do quite well on ketones and fatty acids. Plenty of pasture-raised, fatty meats and bone broths for me. Oh, and sun and vitamin D. Meat doesn’t cause cancer, but grain-fed, sun-starved, cooked in vegetable oil meat, washed down with sugar might.

    http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/search/label/Glucose%20lactate%20and%20cancer
    http://freetheanimal.com/2008/04/will-the-blogos.html
    http://freetheanimal.com/2008/12/vitamin-d-deficiency-and-all-cancer.html

  11. Jenonymous says:

    Thank you Anon #29.

    I work for a major pharmco, and my two main areas are oncology and AIDS.

    There is so much healthnut claptrappery around cancer that it makes me insane.

    Yes, eating too much of certain things can contribute to your risk profile to cancer. HOWEVER, that does NOT mean that eating lots and lots of the OPPOSITE of those bad things will CURE cancer or PREVENT it.

    Classic illustration: Thin girl drinking a POM outside my local Key Food on her break…while smoking a cigarette…and explaining to the other check-out girl that the POM “helps prevent cancer.”

    There isn’t a single compound on that list of foods that hasn’t been extracted, isolated, tested, researched, etc.

    And, fwiw, antiangiogenesis drugs are not the only operative method for cancer drugs. Also recall that totally healthy people who have spartan diets still get whackadoodle cancers out of the blue (IIRC, Fred Rogers ie Mr. Rogers died of pancreatic cancer, and he was a vegetarian who swam for a few hours every single day of his life. He also didn’t smoke or drink). Granted, the plural of anecdote is NOT evidence. However, if just diet alone could prevent ALL cancers, the number of “Jesus H. Christ, how did THAT health nut get CANCER” cases would be headline news rather than an unfortunate sad story that you hear a few times a year around the water cooler.

    Then again, my respect for TED went down the toilet after they asked on Jaimie Oliver. Celebuchef=jumping the shark unless he also discovered a new star system or found a cure for the common cold or somesuch.

  12. emg72 says:

    All of this awesomeness in one post, and I’m blinded to it by one simple phrase:

    “the not-so-good movie, Total Recall”

    Have you gone mad, sir?

    Quato’s gonna getcha.

  13. 404pagenotfound says:

    epic post. love TED. hate meat. if only meat eaters could see what they are doing to themselves (being #1) and the planet, a distant second.

    • Ignatz says:

      We’re providing a diversely flavored and well-marbled all-meat meal for the small life-forms that will eventually eat us. We eat, and we are eaten.

  14. Anonymous says:

    As a cancer survivor, i have learned how important diets are. A few good books to read if you care to delve more deeply are: Never by Sick Again which dicusses the root of all disease (cellular dysfunction) and the toxins to avoid and the nutrients to eat; and Anticancer which offers cancer specific food tips. Let’s learn how to prevent as well as treat this awful disease!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I heard “others” are delicious.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is why I love boing boing…

  17. Anonymous says:

    I think preventing or treating cancer would involve more than diet as a magic bullet. It seems that eliminating a toxic lifestyle, reducing toxic substances,and striving to live in a clean environment are as important. Reducing stress and working towards emotional wellbeing also come to mind. Life in greater balance-but what do I know?

  18. tyciol says:

    You yaoi guys are so insensitive, my dog has cancer.

  19. Anonymous says:

    If you go tonight can you please write about Andrew Bird’s performance? I’m interested in the crowds reactions, if he spoke about his philosophy, and what song he performed. Thank you.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I just lost my brother, age 57, and my father in 1988 to colon cancer. You bet I’ll be ‘scoped this month. One thing seems to be true in both of their situations: a stressful life event seemed to devastate their immune systems…my brother had lost his job 2 years ago…and my mother died in 1983, dad was diagnosed in 1986. Okay, so your immune system from what I’ve read is also greatly affected by what you eat…you KNOW I’ve been eating from the list of Dr. Li’s actually for years now due to my dad’s doctor’s warning to us to eat.vegetables.and.lots.of.them. It’s easy to eat from this list…heck, add a handful of parsley to every salad you eat…drink green tea with each meal…etc. etc.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone here ever heard of the anthropic principle ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle

    It applies directly to this conversation. Basically, if there was some combination of common fruits and vegetables, or some handful of common foods that dramatically increased your health, you’d already know about it.

    It would not be secret or controversial. If eating blueberries and broccoli cured cancer and increased your lifespan 2x, you’d know about it. We would have known about it 10k years ago.

    Should you eat this entire list ? Yes. Is there a benefit ? Yes. But beyond the general health effects of eating fresh fruits and veggies and getting plenty of exercise, these items will have very marginal effects on your overall health.

  22. help i cant comfirm my username themelonbread says:

    Paleo-tards will have a fit upon seeing soy included in that list. “But the phytoestrogens, they are vile poison! They are responsible for all your health woes! Human nutrition went downhill with the advent of agriculture!!!111″

  23. apoxia says:

    People eat lavender? How does that work? I know lavender honey exists. Is that it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Apoxia,

      Lavender is pretty frequently used as a culinary herb. It is often but not always one of the herbs in the mixtures with names like ‘herbs of Provence’, etc. Try googling that and similar expressions, in both English and French.

      I used to get some kind of lavender-flavored candies pretty easily, but I’ve forgotten the name. They were white and one sucked on them, and were sometimes served instead of after-dinner mints in overpriced restaurants.

      I have a recipe for chicken in lavender sauce on my recipe site, but I gather that I’m not allowed to post it here. If you want it, post a throw-away email address here.

      Where to buy lavender leaves? I buy dried lavender at the local health food store, but I think that many people grow it, even outside of Provence.

      Good luck.
      David.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      People eat lavender?

      Herbes de Provence

    • retchdog says:

      That, and herbal tea. Lavender is a minor component of herbes de Provence although apparently it is a modern marketing addition, and not traditional. I had a lavender-rubbed steak once, and I wouldn’t recommend it.

      • apoxia says:

        Thanks for the info, and Antinous and anon also. Lavender always smells like fried onions to me. I don’t think I’ll be eating it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hey apoxia, I’ve used lavender as a spice. It can be a constituent of Ras el hanout, for example.

  25. Anonymous says:

    yes, I always eat others,
    they are delicious.

  26. mkultra says:

    This is pretty much in line with what I was reading in Linda Page’s book Healthy Healing, which I think is on the 12th edition now, but she was writing about this stuff back in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

    It’s kind of cool that what was folk wisdom and and fairly controversial stuff back in the day is sort of going mainstream now.

  27. Beren87 says:

    Red Wine and Dark Chocolate?

    I WILL LIVE FOREVER.

  28. Anonymous says:

    The test witnessed by the NYT reporter didn’t address the general’s fundamental misconception, namely, people cannot fool themselves.

    Have his policemen do the test again, but put fake explosives on the left, and real explosives hidden inside books or such on the right. Wonder what would happen…

    Even more fun, put vases on the left and grocery bags on the right, hahaha.

    Just a thought.

  29. Malic says:

    That food list is something to whip out whenever a “wet blanket” says “Everything good tasting causes cancer (unspoken subtext: so why bother changing your habits?)”.

    Tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, red wine – heck, add a little bread to that and I’d call that “supper” some nights!

  30. Jack says:

    Yay! I already eat most of that already!

  31. Anonymous says:

    @Jenonymous #32 — have you even seen the Jamie Oliver TED talk?

    Do you know what he talked about?

    I reckon he said things more important than a new star system because we might not be around to explore that if we all die of heart disease.

    Not sure working at a big pharma is anything to be proud of these days.

  32. boomer0127 says:

    The common denominator with most of those foods are FLAVONOIDS. I’m not quite sure why tuna is in there (fatty acids, vitamin E maybe?) but otherwise the positive effects of flavonoids on health have been widely cited – just search for Dietary Flavonoids at PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez) and peruse some of the thousands of scientific papers.

    We really need to get back to eating our vegetables!

  33. Anonymous says:

    There are too many factors that influence cancer to suggest that one approach will ensure your health. Genetics, stress, immune system suppression, environmental factors, etc, all play some part.

    However, diet is certainly a major factor and one we have the most individual control over. I don’t think it’s so much a matter of eating certain foods to fight cancer, as not eating those that promote cancer. Animal protein is designed to grow animals. For example, breast milk is meant to grow the species from which it comes. As we do not need this in adulthood, and certainly not from another species, ingesting this excessive animal protein may cause the growth of cancerous cells, taking them from a tiny benign state to a dangerous invading tumor. This, in addition to leaching calcium from our bones and other harmful effects, is detailed in the landmark research found in The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, amongst other sources.

    Plant protein provides all we need for cellular repair and maintenance. Thus, limiting our animal protein consumption, particularly dairy, may help to restrict the growth of cancerous cells started by other factors.

    http://www.amazon.com/China-Study-Comprehensive-Nutrition-Implications/dp/1932100660

  34. 7yler says:

    This is not about foods curing cancer, this is about a renewed understanding of how disease comes to infect the body. We are what we eat. It was the first lesson I learned as a child. That’s why my mother wouldn’t let me stuff myself with empty calories before dinner. Why she made me take a muli-vitamin every morning. Because she understood that it’s not necessarily what these foods have in common, but what they are. They are all part of a balanced diet. I can’t help but wonder if there’s any link between this research and the research surrounding calorie restricted diets suggesting lower incidents of disease and longer life expectancy.

    • Anonymous says:

      A long term study found that people who take multivitamins actually have a higher mortality rate. So I guess the idea of taking vitamins that has been stuffed down our throat for years is not such a good idea afterall.

  35. turn_self_off says:

    not sure why, but i find the “happiness” topic more interesting.

    it shows that we can be very happy with few belongings, as long as we enjoy the people we are surrounded by.

    this flies in the face of consumerism, the message that big corps have been pushing since at least the 1930s. Heck they have managed to make people more likely to talk about themselves as consumers then as workers or anything similar.

  36. Keneke says:

    Screw you booktards, Total Recall was awesome in its own way.

    TWOOOOO WEEEEEEKS

  37. hibob42 says:

    I believe the take home message on antiangiogenesis agents is that they work well on curing tumors implanted in rodents, but do f*#$-all when it comes to treating tumors in actual humans. Thank you to Anon (#29) and Jenonymous (#32) for the doses of sanity.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Blasphemy!
    Total Recall was awesome!

    “Give these people air”

  39. Anonymous says:

    maybe i overlooked it, but can’t i watch the videos of these speeches somewhere?

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