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June 2009

Sunlight, Vitamin D and Cancer

Recently, I was in Ontario where the weather was very hot, humid and sunny.  Now, I like the sunlight; but, having had cancer twice now, am concerned about how much exposure I should get.  I have read so much about how our bodies need Vitamin D, especially when we get older, and the best way to get it is from the sun.  Therefore, I found the following article by Dr. Gabe Mirkin very informative. 

"Try to expose a small amount of bare skin to sunlight for a few minutes every day.  Wear a shirt and a hat.  Put sunscreen on your face, top of the ears, neck, arms and back of the hands. If you are blond or blue eyed, do not form pigment well, or have evidence of sun damaged skin, you should apply sunscreen to your legs also.

• Non-melanoma skin cancer risk (basal and squamous cell skin cancers) is increased by cumulative sun exposure over a lifetime.

• Recent data show that a single sunburn may cause a melanoma.

• It appears that blond and blue-eyed people need less sun exposure to make vitamin D. People with dark skin, or those who become very dark when they tan need far more sun exposure to make vitamin D.

• Being overweight or past 60 markedly increases your need for vitamin D.

• Only UVB causes the skin to make vitamin D. UVA does not cause your skin to make vitamin D. Most suncscreens on the market almost completely block UVB. Window glass and clothes also block UVB.

• Frequent bathing reduces vitamin D. Your sebaceous (oil) glands make vitamin D and secrete it onto your skin; it is then absorbed through your skin. Frequent bathing may wash away vitamin D before it can be absorbed.

• The following changes in your skin predict skin cancer: first a mottling of pigment with lighter and darker spots, then the appearance of scaly areas. When the scaly areas start to feel rough like sandpaper, the damage is passing from the superficial skin down into the deeper skin and may become cancerous. Check with a dermatologist; these pre-cancers are very easy to treat."

You can find more articles by Dr. Mirkin at

I personally do not use sunscreen regularly, for the very reason that most sunscreens completely block UVB, which our skin needs to make vitamin D.  I make sure that I am covered; ie:  shirt and hat.  In addition, I do not spend long periods of time in the sun between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  I also never let myself get a sunburn.

Topical Drugs

Do topical drugs really work?  I came across this information and was surprised by what I read.

"Topical drugs are being used to treat all manner of muscle and joint pain and are gaining in popularity. But unlike most pharmaceuticals, it's an almost universally accepted truth among the medical community that most of these creams and ointments don't do anything.

Dr. Robert Sallis, a past president of the American College of Sports Medicine said, "Do topical analgesics help heal the injury or get an athlete back to activity any quicker? The answer is no... there's no evidence to support that topical analgesics actually work."

Then why are they so popular?  It's because of a simple trick your mind plays on you, called the placebo effect. Based on their popularity, it seems to be quite a strong effect indeed.

However, there is a problem in that many of these analgesics contain harmful chemicals. Not long  ago, there was a story of a 17-year-old cross- country runner from New York who died because of methyl salicylate poisoning. Methyl salicylate is the key ingredient in many of the most popular sports creams such as Icy Hot, Ben Gay, and others.

Experts cautioned that the young girl's death was caused by excessive exertion and bodily heat that contributed to her body's absorption of the chemical. Is that supposed to make anyone feel any better? These are sports creams, after all, so most people apply them before or after periods of intense exertion, which can cause a spike in body heat.

It would seem that this young girl's death was out of the ordinary.  But it is frustrating that there is an entire family of "medicinal" products out there that have zero clinical evidence or research studies to back up their product claims and that have killed at least one person who used them as directed. Yet, the FDA sits idly by, doing nothing; except, denouncing natural cures and remedies."


Today I want to talk about the asparagus and cancer article I wrote a few days ago.  My brother has been taking  it and to his amazement he passed a kidney stone that he has not been able to do before.  He has had trouble with kidney stones in the past and has always had to see a urologist for them.  The last time, he was told that there was still a kidney stone and since it wasn't doing any harm to not worry about it.  After just 4 days on the asparagus, he passed it on his own, with no problem.
I have been taking it as well and while I can't say that I've passed a kidney stone, I can say that I feel great.  With all the vitamins and minerals in it, as well as glutathione, I am certainly strengthening my immune system.

Grape Seed Extract and Cancer

Here is some more interesting reading regarding grape seed extract from an e-mail newsletter entitled Natural News.  
Grape seed extract comes from the seed of grapes. Studies have shown that grape seed extract is high in antioxidants that are able to counteract cell damage in the body that is caused by free radicals. Free radicals are active molecules that can cause cell damage as they roam about and multiply in the body. A new study has recently shown that over three-quarters of leukemia cells in a laboratory setting died within 24 hours of being exposed to grape seeds. In fact, they actually killed themselves and other healthy cells were left unharmed. These study results are currently appearing in the January 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

The recent study focusing on grape seed extract and leukemia cells was performed at the University of Kentucky. Researchers report that the extract activates JNK, which is a protein that regulates the cell-signaling pathway that leads to the death of cells (apoptosis).

These results mean that grape seed extract may be effective in both the prevention and treatment of hematological malignancies and other cancers as well. These study results also support previous studies that have shown that diets high in fruits and vegetables can help prevent the development of many cancers.

The leukemia cells were exposed to a commercially-available grape seed extract in varying amounts. The higher amounts caused more leukemia cells to die and did not affect normal, healthy cells in the same setting.

This is exciting news! 

Also, on tonight's Chek News, it was reported that we all need to be careful about the number of scans we allow ourselves to have.  One CT scan is equal to 500 chest x-rays.  The radiation is accumulative and is proving to be a factor in developing cancer later in life.    

Give Me The Butter!

I love butter!   - always have, butter on my toast, butter on my vegetables, corn, baked potatoes, etc.  Over the years, I, like probably many of you, have been programmed to believe that butter is not good for you.  There are all kinds of alternatives, margarines, olive oil spreads available, that are much better for you.  Yuck!  (in my opinion)

When I first began learning how to eat and prepare food in a healthy way, I was told to avoid fried foods.  However, if I did need to fry something, it was best to use butter; because it does not become rancid at very high temperatures.  Just use it sparingly.  I was pleased about that.  Since that day, I have been using butter regularly; but being very careful to not use too much. After all, I must protect my arteries, my heart and of course my waistline.

Well, today, I am excited to say that no longer will I deprive myself of my beloved butter.  As a matter of fact, I am doing a good thing for my body by consuming butter daily. 

Read on to find out why:

"There seems to be a lot of question about which healthy spreads should be used to replace butter. Since the word is finally spreading about the harmful nature of trans fat, margarine has been officially declared as a substance which should be avoided. Of course, in its place have rushed countless other butter alternatives which do not contain hydrogenated fats. But now that refined vegetable oils, additives and preservatives are coming under fire, it leaves the question what in the world can we spread on our toast? The answer is simple and natural: go back to butter.

Of course, most people balk at the suggestion of eating real butter. After all, won't butter cause heart disease and all kinds of other frightening health conditions? Although the claim that butter is harmful has been a popular one in the last 70 years, it's an assumption with no foundation. In fact, statistics show the rate of heart disease has increased as butter consumption has decreased.

Butter is filled with essential vitamins and antioxidants in their most natural and absorbable state. Butter is actually a better source of vitamin A than carrots, especially for people who have trouble converting the beta-carotene in carrots into vitamin A. You can also find vitamin E and selenium in butter. These along with vitamin A actually protect the heart from free-radical damage, which is a factor in weakened arteries. On the other hand, fabricated spreads are filled with rancid and refined vegetables oils that cause free-radical damage.

The vitamin A in butter is a vital nutrient which strongly impacts growth in children. Deficiencies can affect the development of teeth, bones, and vision. Low-fat diets are often recommended for children even though these diets have been linked to a failure to thrive as published in Pediatrics in March of 1994. Low-fat diets which remove butter from children's lives may be cutting out their only source of absorbable vitamin A.

Another common misconception propagated by modern industry is that the fat in butter is bad for us. Butter is comprised of mostly short and medium chain fatty acids. These fatty acids can protect against cancer and boost immunity. They are also antifungal. Short and medium chain fatty acids are also more easily broken down for energy, which means its actually less likely that the fat in butter will be stored in the body.

The essential nutrients found in butter are not commonly found in other foods that are considered palatable in American society, which makes butter all the more necessary to our health. So many of our foods are manufactured fabrications that can't possibly offer the same health benefits as their natural counterparts. It's time to start choosing the real thing. It's time to bring butter back to the table."

The above is an article from Mike Adams, the health ranger at

Sleep and Cancer

Having had cancer, I am always interested when an article even mentions the word.  Just recently I was reading about the health problems associated with not getting enough sleep.  To my surprise, it listed cancer as a possible health problem.  As I read through the article, I soon realized how it could very well be true, especially if we are burning the candle at both ends.

Says Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Pharmacology: 

“Your circadian rhythms and metabolism are closely partnered to ensure that cells function properly and remain healthy. When the balance between these two vital processes is upset, normal cellular function can be disrupted, and this can lead to illness and disease. The findings suggest that proper sleep and diet may help maintain or rebuild this balance.”

Based on the implications of this latest study, it’s easy to see how a compromised circadian system -- caused by unhealthy sleep patterns -- can lead to so many different kinds of disease, as proper cellular function and metabolism is essential for optimal overall health.

I used to be one of those people, a workaholic.  I would work through the day teaching and in the evenings and often in the middle of the night work on the computer developing unit plans, and thinking of new ways to make teaching enjoyable and fun for the children.  I would do this often because I couldn't sleep and it just felt like a waste of time to lie in bed awake for what seemed to be hours.  

Further in the article he discusses the risk of cancer:

"Disruption of your circadian clock may influence cancer progression through changes in hormones like melatonin, which your brain makes during sleep, and which is known to suppress tumor development.

Melatonin is an antioxidant that helps to suppress harmful free radicals in your body and slows the production of estrogen, which can activate cancer. When your circadian rhythm is disrupted, your body may produce less melatonin and therefore may have less ability to fight cancer."

The article also discussed the importance of getting enough sleep to protect and maintain the efficiency of your adrenal glands.  I specifically remember one naturopath telling me that my adrenals were shot.

Recently, I have become so busy that I have fallen into the same old trap of staying up very late at night.  I have noticed that I have become sluggish and am craving the wrong kinds of food.  Perhaps it's because I am not exercising very much; but at the same time I could be a little kinder to my body and get the proper amount of rest.  Now what is the proper amount?

If you wish to read the whole article that I read you can find it at

Asparagus and Cancer

This information was sent to me by a very close friend.  I cannot verify the source; however, it is a very good read and I feel important enough to include here.  Here it is in its entirety.

Asparagus and Cancer 

I am asking you to read it to the end. My Mom had been taking the full-stalk canned style asparagus that she pureed and she took 4 tablespoons in the morning and 4 tablespoons later in the day. She did this for over a month. She is on chemo pills for Stage 3 lung cancer in the pleural area and her cancer cell count went from 386 down to 125 as of this past week. Her oncologist said she does not need to see him for 3 months.


Several years ago, I had a man seeking asparagus for a friend who had cancer. He gave me a photocopied copy of an article entitled `Asparagus for Cancer' printed in Cancer News Journal, December 1979. I will share it here, just as It was shared with me.

I am a biochemist and have specialized in the relation of diet to health for over 50 years. Several years ago, I learned of the discovery of Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S. that asparagus might cure cancer. Since then, I have worked with him on his project. We have accummulated a number of favorable case histories. Here are a few examples:

Case No. 1 A man with an almost hopeless case of Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymph glands) who was completely incapacitated. Within 1 year of starting the asparagus therapy, his doctors were unable to detect any signs of cancer and he was back on a schedule of strenuous exercise.

Case No. 2 A successful businessman 68 years old who suffered from cancer of the bladder for 16 years. After years of medical treatments, including radiation without improvement, he went on asparagus. Within 3 months, examinations revealed that his bladder tumor had disappeared and that his kidneys were normal.

Case No. 3 A man who had lung cancer. On March 5th, 1971, he was put on the operating table where they found lung cancer so widely spread that it was inoperable. The surgeon sewed him up and declared his case hopeless. On April 5th he heard about the asparagus therapy and immediately started taking it. By August, x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had disappeared.. He is back at his regular business routine.

Case No. 4 A woman who was troubled for a number of years with skin cancer. She finally developed different skin cancers which were diagnosed by asking specialist as advanced.. Within 3 months after starting on asparagus, her skin specialist said that her skin looked fine and no more skin lesions. This woman reported that the asparagus therapy also cure her kidney disease, which started in 1949. She had over 10 operations for kidney stones and was receiving government disability payments for an inoperable, terminal kidney condition. She attributes the cure of this kidney trouble entirely to the asparagus.

I was not surprised at this result, as `The elements of material medica', edited in 1854 by a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, stated that asparagus was used as a popular Remedy for kidney stones. He even referred to experiments, in 1739, on the power of asparagus in dissolving stones. We would have other case histories but the Medical establishment has interfered with our obtaining some of the records. I am therefore appealing to readers to spread this news and help us to gather a large number of case histories that will overwhelm the medical skeptics about this unbelievably simple and natural remedy.

For the treatment, asparagus should be cooked before using and, therefore, canned asparagus is just as good as fresh. I have corresponded with the two leading canners of asparagus, Giant and Stokely, and I am satisfied that these Brands contain no pesticides or preservatives.

Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree, and store in the refrigerator. Give the patient 4 full tablespoons twice daily, morning and evening. Patients usually show some improvement in from 2-4 weeks. It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink. This suggested dosage is based on present experience but certainly larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases.

As a biochemist, I am convinced of the old saying that `what cures can prevent'. Based on this theory, my wife and I have been using asparagus puree as a beverage with our meals. We take 2 tablespoons diluted in water to suit our taste with breakfast and with dinner. I take mine hot and my wife prefers hers cold. For years we have made it a practice to have blood surveys taken as part of our regular checkups. The last blood survey, taken by a medical doctor who specializes in the nutritional approach to health, showed substantial improvements in all categories over the last one, and we can attribute these improvements to nothing but the asparagus drink.

As a biochemist, I have made an extensive study of all aspects of cancer and all of the proposed cures. As a result, I am convinced that asparagus fits in better with the latest theories about cancer. Asparagus contains a good supply of protein called histones,which are believed to be active in controlling cell growth. For that reason, I believe asparagus can be said to contain a substance that I call cell growth normalizer. That accounts for its action on cancer and in acting as a general body tonic.

In any event, regardless of theory, asparagus used as we suggest, is a harmless substance. The FDA cannot prevent you from using it and it may do you much good.. It has been reported by the US National Cancer Institute that asparagus is the highest tested food containing glutathione which is considered one of the body's most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants. Please spread the news.... the most unselfish act one can ever do is paying forward all the kindness one has received even to the most undeserved person.

Catching Up

Wow!  Where has the time gone?  I can't believe it has been two months since I have posted anything on my blog.  I must say I have been very busy.  I work Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the preschool and for the last 2 months have been babysitting all day Tuesday and Thursday for Tricia.  Wynn and I have been driving the grandchildren to piano lessons (Tyler) and ballet lessons (Tava).  As well I prepare family meals on Tuesday and Thursday.  Is it no wonder that I have not been on my blog.

Anyway, retirement is coming up very soon for me, the end of June.  Wynn called it quits the end of April.  He has been doing a lot of work around the yard.  He put in 4 fruit trees, only to have one snapped off by a stray dog yesterday.  We have 1 apple, 1 plum and 1 (used to be 2) pear tree.  He has also planted a full garden; plus we have our raspberry and blueberry bushes and a grape vine.  I'm still trying to figure out where to put a strawberry patch. Wynn power washed the fence around our yard and I have been busy staining it.  He is also painting our front door a deep burgundy colour.  When the door is finished, he is going to put tile at the entrance.  We also have plans to put a cement pathway to our sheds in the back yard.

We are looking forward to this summer; it should be very interesting.  To begin with, we bought a double seated kayak and plan to see more of the beauty of Vancouver Island this way.  As well, Wynn plans to go fishing in it.  We also bought a side car for the motorcycle to haul the kayak around, all 14 feet of it.

Our plans include coming to Ontario for the month of August on the motorcyle with kayak in tow.  The last time we rode across the country on our motorcycle, we tented and we plan to do the same this time.  The only difference will be that we will be able to bring a little more, like a lawn chair.  How I missed not having a chair to sit on at the campsites.