Sunday, 22 February 2009

Dark Chocolates good for cancer

"As long as its more than 70% cocoa" says my friend who's enjoying her Godiva 85% dark from Dr. P and offering me a piece while I'm sitting right next to her searching the web for clinical trials in the United States (U.S.).

She was recently diagnosed of metastatic malignant melanoma in her small intestines. Her oncologist recommended to go to the U.S. for treatment options since the Philippines has no experience in treating melanoma. According to wiki, melanoma is one of the rarer types of skin cancer "due to uncontrolled growth of pigment cells, called melanocytes."

Melanoma is rare in dark-skinned people - like us, pinoys. Statistically in the U.S., more than 50,000 people are diagnosed each year. It is the sixth most common cancer in men and the seventh most common in women. The median age at diagnosis is between 35 and 45. Most malignant cases occur in people over 50. White Americans are 20 times more likely to develop melanoma than African Americans.

She's been reading David Servan-Screiber's book, " Anti Cancer a new way of life" which details the author's
research on lifestyle changes that would prevent a relapse. The author has undergone chemo and surgery for his brain cancer. He said that a poor diet, unhealthy habits (like smoking), some hormones, and environmental toxins increase risk. He recommends eating organic foods, avoiding red meat and processed food, and eliminating household chemicals as well as strongly advocates a positive, life-affirming attitude.

Specifically he said to avoid foods with high glycemic index such as Sugar (white or brown), honey, syrups (maples, fructose, dextrose), all white bleached flours, potatoes especially mashed potatoes, corn flakes, Rice Krispies, jams and jellies, fruit cooked in sugar, sweetened drinks (commercially fruit juices and sodas) alcohol (except during meals). And he recommends to replace with low glycemix index foods including chocolates as long as its over 70% cocoa.

Acutally the compound used in chocolates was discovered that it can stop the constant division of cancerous cells in laboratory trials. The study, published in the April issue of Molecular cancer Therapeutics, found that the compound pentameric procyanidin inhibits cancer's progression by targeting and deactivating the proteins involved in the proliferation of malignant cells.

Well with the earth's protective ozone layer thinning rapidly, white skin and/or brown are at risk of melanoma today. It is best to be familiar with your skin's moles, freckles and other "beauty marks" especially the size and change in color or shape. The most common site in women is on the legs. In men, the most common place is the back. Or maybe best is to eat more dark chocolates !!

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