Has this deadly cancer met its nutrient match?
An estimated 250,000 souls--lose their lives to the deadly killer annually. In fact, pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of any tumor. But now there's some hope on the horizon to help with the risk of pancreatic cancer...and it doesn't come from a Big Pharma pill bottle or a mad scientist's laboratory. Instead this triple-punch breakthrough comes straight from nature.
Researchers at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom have revealed in a study published in the journal Gut, that three simple vitamins could potentially slash your risk of pancreatic cancer by up to an astounding 67 percent.
And we're not talking about some exotic nutrients you've never even heard of before either. No, according to the UK scientist's research it's common vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium--three antioxidants you can pick up at your local drug store, or your favorite trusted online source--that could so drastically reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer.
MICROnutrients make a HUGE difference
Researchers analyzed the medical histories of 23,658 people ages 40 to 74 that had taken part in a study called the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC) and compared them to a control group of 3,970 people.
At a 10-year follow up 49 people had developed pancreatic cancer and by the time the group reached a 17 year follow up 86 of them had developed the deadly disease.
The UK scientists wanted to determine whether vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, or zinc could lower the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. After a whole lot of number crunching--and data analyzing using regression modeling--they compared the lowest intake of the nutrients to the highest and determined that those folks who had more of all these micronutrients in their diet were 67 percent less likely to develop the deadly disease.
Now I should point out that the researchers in this study were using data gathered from a method that...well, let's just say isn't always my favorite form of research. I'm talking about the food diary.
The problem with food diaries is that people are not always good at keeping an accurate accounting and they don't always like to admit to what they ate. But in this case the data has a couple of things going for it that I think make it worthy of being taken seriously.
First of all each of the participants met with a nurse to fill out their first day of the diary. This would have helped eliminate any confusion over what to record and how to record it. And it may have even helped ease some participant's fears over being honest with their entries.
In addition, the diaries were very detailed asking participants to record food types, portion sizes, cooking methods, and even actual recipes for eight meal times a day.
And finally, the diary data was handled by trained nutritionists who entered it into a computer program specifically designed to analyze the food data. The software matched every single diary entry to one of 11,000 food items and 55,000 portion sizes to convert it into the nutrient data that the researchers were looking for.
In other words, this was likely the best darn food diary data you can possibly get. And in light of that, and the fact that the findings about the risk of developing pancreatic cancer were so significant, I think these are results we should be paying close attention too.
Reduce your risks with diet
OK so you ARE paying attention and now you want to know how to get more of these nutrients into your own diet, right?
Some good food sources for vitamin E are wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts. If you choose to take a vitamin E supplement just be sure that you choose an all-natural vitamin E with mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols.
This ensures that you're getting the complete spectrum of E vitamins in their natural form. I usually recommend 400 IU a day.
You can increase your vitamin C by eating more sweet red peppers, green peppers, grapefruit juice, kiwi fruit, and broccoli. And since most of us are woefully low in this important vitamin I generally recommend 1,000 mg of vitamin C twice a day for everyone.
Selenium can be found in Brazil nuts, wild-caught tuna and cod, and organic light meat turkey. With selenium I usually recommend sticking with food sources, but there are supplements available on the market. Just be sure to check with your own doctor about what's best for you.