Fried oil enhances appearance of carcinogens, concludes study


Frequently consuming fried foods such as potatoes or chicken is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to a study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, USA.

Previous studies have suggested that eating foods prepared with cooking methods that use high temperatures could increase the risk of prostate cancer, however, this is the first to examine the addition of frying.

Specifically, lead author Janet L. Stanford and his team analyzed data from 1,549 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about diet and regular intake of foods including fried foods.

They found that men who ate potatoes, fried chicken, fish and donuts, among other foods, at least once a week had a higher risk of prostate cancer compared to those who only ate at least once a month. So, those who ate one or more of the items above per week had a higher risk of prostate cancer — 30 to 37 %.

Weekly consumption of these foods was also associated with a slightly increased risk of developing prostate cancer of the more aggressive type. “The relationship between prostate cancer and fried foods seemed limited to the highest level of consumption — defined in the study, as more than once a week, which suggests that regular consumption of fried foods creates a particular risk to develop prostate cancer, “said Stanford.

His hypothesis is that when the oil is heated, potentially carcinogenic compounds, such as acrylamide, heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, aldehyde and acrolein are created. The presence of these toxic compounds increases with oil reuse, which is something done at virtually every single fast-food restaurant in the world.

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Vitamine D is Key in Preventing Bladder Cancer


Having high levels of vitamin D protects against cancer of the bladder. This is the conclusion reached by molecular biologists and epidemiologists from the National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Spain after taking blood samples from more than 2,000 people from 18 Spanish hospitals — where half of the samples belonged to healthy people and half were from patients with cancer. The researchers then compared their biological material. The results of the study are published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).

“We have seen that subjects with higher levels of 25 (OH) D3, a stable form of vitamin D in the blood, are those with a lower risk for bladder cancer, and, conversely, that low levels are linked to an increased risk of developing it,” says Nuria Malats, group head of genetics and molecular epidemiology at CNIO.

The relationship between the presence of certain amounts of vitamin D and cancer processes is not casual, said the researchers. “We have shown by molecular analyzes that vitamin D acts by enhancing the expression of a protein [called FGFR3] that slows the aggressiveness of this neoplasm as it inhibits the differentiation of malignant cells and tumor proliferation,” adds the researcher. The protective effect of vitamin lies in this property, which also manifests more intensely against more aggressive tumors, “which is very important and has never been described,” said Malats.

The protective power of vitamin D against other tumors, such as colon or breast has been known for a while, but not in detail. Studies conducted on vitamin D’s power to fight other kinds of cancer have been done in small groups, and the results of that research pointed in the same direction that the bladder studies go. But none had proven so conclusive nor had described in such detail how this molecule prevents cancer, highlight researchers. “We found that high levels of vitamin D decreased mainly, the risk of developing invasive bladder tumors, which are more likely to metastasize” says André Amaral, first author of the study.

Malats says that levels above 30 nanograms per millilitre of blood is considered adequate vitamin D rates to take preventive effect against bladder cancer. The results of the study population by CNIO researchers suggest that the Spanish people are, on average, well below this amount. “Of the 1,000 people chosen as a control population, only 74, less than 10%, were above levels considered preventive,” says the researcher.

You would think that the results should be higher. The most important aid in producing vitamin D is sun light, although this compound is also present in foods such as nuts or fish. Therefore, it would be normal in a country with so many hours of sunshine as people enjoy in Spain, that the population had high levels of vitamin D. And yet, in the United States or in the countries of northern Europe, the levels are higher.

Several reasons explain this apparent paradox, says Malats. On one hand, people with light skin tones are more efficient synthesizing vitamin D, enough so that they spend less time in the sun to generate the molecule. This explains the highest rates in the Nordic countries. On the other hand, in countries like the U.S., is often added to foods (such as milk) vitamin supplements, raising the levels of these substances in the population.

The researchers suggest that increased vitamin D intake, either through diet or supplements, or through an increase controlled sun exposure, can be beneficial in terms of prevention of bladder cancer. A new study by the same team of the CNIO is considering whether, besides preventive effects, vitamin D can also be useful as a treatment in patients who have already developed tumors.

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common among men, after prostate, lung and colorectal. Each year there are 11,200 new cases, of which 30% are highly aggressive and can endanger the patient’s life.

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Chip Detects Cancer Cells in Trial Blood Tests

Study to follow men to see if cancer comes back.  Test may also assess efficacy of targeted drugs


Researchers have found a way to test blood for the cells that spread cancer and said they might be able to use the method to predict whose cancer will come back after treatment.

The team at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital used a grant from a non-profit group to develop the test, which they tried out on samples from 20 men with prostate cancer.

They found circulating tumor cells in patients with tumors that had not spread, low-grade cancers and in patients who had their prostate glands taken out three months before.

“These are patient groups in whom we would normally not expect to see circulating tumor cells, so it gives us a tremendous amount of information about their risk,” said Harvard’s Sunitha Nagrath, who led the study.

“Are these patients more prone to come back with recurring disease?” she asked a news conference at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. She said her team would follow the patients to see if the tumors came back in patients who had the circulating cancer cells.

Such a test may also some day serve as a blood test for prostate cancer in addition to PSA or prostate specific antigen tests, which look for a protein made only by prostate cells and which can indicate cancer.

Nagrath said her team’s test can detect 200 circulating tumor cells from a teaspoon of blood taken from a cancer patient.

Prostate cancer is the leading cancer killer of men after lung cancer. But it is often a slow-growing disease and doctors are unsure which men have the most deadly types and which men are most likely to have their cancer spread or come back.

The researchers looked for the circulating tumor cells in the blood one day and nine days after the men had their prostates removed, and then again more than three months later.

They found cells in 42 percent of the patients, and in 64 percent of those with advanced prostate cancer.

The cells could not be found right after surgery but reappeared in some of the patients.

Nagrath said it will be important to follow the men to see how well they do and whether those with more of the circulating cells do more poorly.

She also said the test may be useful for monitoring patients on so-called targeted therapies, which affect cancer cells with certain specific genetic mutations.

“With blood tests you can sample the patients every day to see whether the genotype is changing,” she said.

The charity Stand Up To Cancer paid for the trial.  Among some of the founders of the charity are: GlaxoSmithKline, the Annenberg Foundation, Amgen, the Milken Family Foundation, corporations like Mastercard, Phillips, almost 20 television networks, a long list of publishers as well as corporate internet giants.