Cancer increase in US children

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released new statistics showing increasing rates of brain, renal, hepatic (liver) and thyroid cancer in people under the age of 20 between 2001-2014. The highest incidence rates were for leukaemia, brain tumours and lymphoma. The conclusion of its abstract from the 2018 American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Conference in May of this year particularly highlighted the increase in rates of brain and hepatic cancer. Potential reasons for these increases were not discussed, but further steps in addressing biological factors and environmental exposures were suggested.

What is dietary diversity?

Followers of ANH-Intl will know that we are all for dietary diversity. Eating a wide variety of foods when it comes as part of a diet rich in whole, natural foods make up the cornerstone of our cutting edge Food4Health guidelines. However, for some, an ‘everything in moderation’ approach - including ultra-processed foods - is thought to be enough. A new science advisory from the American Heart Association (AHA) has cautioned against the inclusion of “processed foods, refined grains, sugar-sweetened beverages” as part of a ‘diverse diet’, because these foods promote weight gain and obesity in adult populations. Despite a step in the right direction, the AHA’s emphasis on the inclusion of low-fat dairy and vegetable oils plus a reduction of red meat consumption somewhat misses the mark once again. Stating there is “insufficient data to inform recommendations on specific aspects of dietary diversity”, we beg to differ. All the information you need on adopting a diverse nutrient rich diet can be found in our Food4Health guidelines.

Labour inducing

All women are unique in the length of time it takes for their baby to be ready to be born. In the majority of pregnancies labour tends to start naturally between 37 and 42 weeks. However, if there is a perceived risk to either the baby or mother’s health, labour can be artificially induced before full term. However, inductions bring with them an increased risk of complication and a greater need for further medical interventions during the birth process. Despite these risks, a recent study concluded that inducing labour at 39 weeks to “low-risk women” is “…at least as safe as spontaneous labour giving doctors more opportunity to further streamline the birth process”. Women have been giving birth since time immemorial and preferring drug-induced, artificial induction over a well-honed natural process seems like medical intervention for the medics’ sake and not the mother or baby.

What’s in your food?

Despite the restrictions on genetically modified (GM) crops in the EU, the European Commission has oddly authorised the use of yet more GM crops in food and animal feed. This decision comes despite strong opposition to such a move amongst EU citizens and scientists alike. Perhaps it’s because animals can’t yet read what’s on the labels of their feed. Yet another good reason to know where your food has come from and choose organic or locally grown food where the provenance is clear.

Can artificial sweeteners reduce the risk of cancer recurrence?

An astounding new study claims patients with stage III colon cancer who drink artificially sweetened drinks may have a reduced risk of cancer recurrence and death when compared to similar patients who didn’t consume such drinks. In a separate video researcher Charles Fuchs MD MPH, used more cautionary language: “Do I think (artificial sweeteners like) Nutrasweet or Stevia actually have an anti-cancer effect? I do not”. In actual fact, consumption of artificial sweeteners have long been associated with an increased risk of cancer. In keeping with past messages, ANH still recommends you avoid artificial sweeteners and stick to whole, natural foods. For those still seeking the occasional sweet treat, natural sugars like palm and coconut sugar, honey and maple syrup, alongside protein and healthy fats to lessen the sugar spike are preferred alternatives.

Glyphosate suspension in Brazil

In another blow for 'Baysanto’ a judge in Brazil has ordered the suspension of products containing glyphosate pending re-evaluation of their toxicity. Monsanto have reportedly continued to uphold the safety of the products, despite previous leaks of internal emails suggesting otherwise. It would seem the writing is on the wall for these products, particularly after Bayer stock dropped more than 10% following the recent landmark ruling against Monsanto that their product causes cancer.

Study challenges safety of GM crop

In a further blow to the agro-chemical industry a new study has raised doubts around the claims GM Bt toxin is safe for human consumption. Tested in mice, the toxin was found to provoke immunogenic and allergenic reactions, although the Bt toxin form tested was not the same as that found in Bt crops due to post-translational modifications that occur. These modifications can lead to even more immunogenic toxins in the crops that humans might then consume. Given the recent ruling against Monsanto regarding the safety of glyphosate, how much longer will it be before the ‘safety’ of all GM crops is properly – and purposefully - scrutinised?