As I share my story and the reasoning for the choice of ingredients in CaveChick cookies I always hope that someone picks up on the importance food choice plays in personal health. Sometimes others share their stories of overcoming illness when they used food choice to nourish their bodies, which in turn, boosts their immune system. Recently, I met a man who's story shocked me. The conversation began with him letting me know he was getting back into the work force, after a brief retirement, since learning of his wife's recent diagnosis with breast cancer. I inquired if his wife was on a diary free and plant based diet. He assured me that she was plus, eating a plant strong and an alkaline promoting diet. As we ended our conversation I asked again if she was truly on a dairy free diet. Again he said, “Yes”.
About 10 minutes later the man reappeared. He was curious that twice I had mentioned a dairy free diet and wanted to talk more as his wife was still consuming some dairy, mostly yoghurt.
Did you know approximately seventy percent of the breast cancers experienced are estrogen based? (1) Our breasts, male and female, are hormone sensitive organs. Facts be, our bodies are overloaded with estrogen from toxins in our environment, personal care products, household cleaners and furnishings and from food we choose to eat. The two sources of added estrogen that are easiest to control vs say, air pollution, are our personal and household product choices and food choices. Let's concentrate on diet or more appropriately, what we choose to eat. We can control our diet. That is, we are in direct control of what we choose to consume to nourish our body.
I explained to the gentleman that, if consumed, diary products and animal fats are huge sources of added estrogen to our body's load. When you focus on dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, byproducts) and how much is consumed on a daily basis, you can begin to understand that dietary change is critical in reducing the estrogen load on a body system. Ganmaa Davaasambuu, physician (Mongolia), Ph.D. in environmental health (Japan), fellow (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study), and working scientist (Harvard School of Public Health) says dairy product consumption accounts for 60 to 80 percent of ingested estrogen plus added growth hormones. (2) The man looked at me a little perplexed. “The doctor just removed my wife's ovaries to reduce estrogen in her system,” he said.
Prophlactic oophorectomy is the removal of the ovaries to "prevent cancer". According to the Mayo clinic website, mayoclinic.com, "removing the ovaries greatly reduces the amount of the hormones estrogen and progesterone circulating in the body. This can halt or slow breast cancers that need these hormones to grow." Although oophorectomy is generally used to prevent ovarian cancer it is used to prevent breast cancer. The caveat to consider, according to the Mayo clinic, is the "lingering risk of cancer" as it doesn't "completely eliminate your risk of breast cancer or ovarian cancer." It's curious that such a drastic measure 'to prevent' doesn't prevent! Removing the ovaries does nothing to strengthen an immune system either.
While modern Western medicine recognizes estrogen as a carcinogen (3) it routinely points total blame to the estrogen that is produced within our own bodies. Hence, I believe, the reason for the woman's surgical procedure. Does Western medicine really view our body as something that has defects needing to be fixed? I like to believe our body is smart and strong but sometimes succumbs to outside sources placing challenges on it. So why was such a drastic procedure used? Why weren't dietary changes implemented immediately in estrogen reduction? The ovaries perform an important role in the balance of our body systems. Once removed they are gone forever along with all their benefits. (Think about it. Removal could cause one to be dependent on pharmaceuticals for any future hormone needs. The doctor could have a life long customer.)
Yes, cancer is a frightening diagnosis. We want immediate action. Surgery is immediate action. It is also profitable for the doctor and medical industry. Illness is big business. Think of all the jobs created by an ill society! It's important to remember the doctors and the pharmaceutical industry are products. They have goods and services to sell. I believe as wise consumers, it is up to us to educate ourselves to all product choices whether we are buying a car, house, choosing college, food or medical services.
The California Breast Research Foundation, The University of California, states that “ a recent text on breast cancer estimates the relapse rate for patients diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer to be 20– 30 percent, for Stage II 40–60 percent, and for Stage III, greater than 90 percent. About 75 percent of recurrences will occur within five years of diagnosis; however, more recent figures indicate that widespread adjuvant therapy has pushed back the time of relapse for those who do recur.”(4) An adjuvant therapy is a pharmacological or immunological agent that modifies the effect of other agents, such as a drug or vaccine. (Note that adjuvant is not diet or lifestyle changes.) The medical community uses a 5-7 year marker of cancer free success. A little insight into this will shed light on the importance of dietary and lifestyle choices. Our cells turn over constantly, all at different rates. It is estimated that every 5-7 years we are literally a new person. (5) If you believe that diet and lifestyle are the leading indicator/cause of health or disease you can assume that something in how we lead our life allowed the 'disease' to take hold. If the correct changes to diet and lifestyle aren't addressed when your cells rejuvenate your system would not have the ability to make the necessary changes for cellular health. This would mean you most probably have the 'disease' again. If an organ or tissue had been removed from your body, disease will settle in the next weakest spot. Invading armies are smart!
As Dr. Frank Oski, Don't Drink Your Milk!, and Robert Cohen, Milk the Deadly Poison, write, there are other factors in dairy products that are contradictory to good health and your body's ability to fight invasions. Let's start by saying dairy products are a very common allergen and intolerance. Even my doggies are dairy free! Dairy products are also highly bacterial. These traits could cause your immune system to be preoccupied thus unavailable to defend against rogue cell mutations and germ warfare. (Note: I haven't been sick or in need of antibiotics since I stopped consuming dairy in 1995. Coincidence?) Dairy products are mucous producing and inflammatory. Dairy products put your system into an acidic state. This causes a release of calcium from bones to neutralize. Are you thinking osteoporosis? Dairy also lacks the necessary partner vitamins that facilitate proper calcium absorption, such as magnesium. Bovine dairy products also have the unique match to human growth hormones. Just think that every time you eat Bovine dairy products you are boosting cell growth within your body. Cancer cells included!
One thing to remember is that eating is an action designed to nourish our body! It's interesting how far away we have come from this idea. Far too many people believe eating is just a 'fill up your stomach' activity. What else can this type of eating be considered when what's eaten are void of nutrients? White bread, white pasta, french fries, potato chips, corn chips, manufactured breakfast cereals, ice cream, milk, cheese, burgers and hot dogs have no nutrients to offer. This is sad and the items listed are part of the SAD diet, Standard American Diet. (6) This reality of eating to nourishing is so far removed and I say very reflective of our state of health. We are a society of over fed and undernourished people. Our health is totally reflective of this. I believe that many think wellness comes from a pill. I believe the unspoken mantra of society is, 'Eat what you want, get nutrients from a vitamin pill and get wellness from a pharmaceutical pill.' This is so wrong! All living species were designed to get our health from the foods consumed. Surprisingly, humans purposely consume foods void of nutrients. It is crazy but how many of you know people that joke about only eating the unhealthiest foods? It is logical to conclude that disease and weakening of the species will occur due to lack of necessary vital nutrients from whole foods. The basis of a strong immune system is a plant strong diet. Dr Mercola states, “Plant chemicals called phytochemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens while others regulate the rate at which cells reproduce, get rid of old cells and maintain DNA.” (7) So I say the more veggies the better!
The health of our bodies is important to all of us. Let's really consider food choices and medical services options. From a personal perspective I am able to say that food choice does improve health. By removing dairy products from my family's diet in 1995 we have had no need for antibiotics or over the counter medications. I have first hand experience to say that ear & sinus infections, 'colds & flu, asthma, bronchitis, skin conditions, acne, bacterial infections, carpel tunnel, Ebstiens-Barr, candida, chronic fatigue and blood leukemia markers were addressed or eliminated with dairy removal. It's important to remember to cultivate a strong immune system. Why? Because it is our line of defense against invasion. A wise diet also builds a strong immune system that is better able to defend against rouge cells and external viruses and bacteria. If your immune system is so busy trying to combat the toxins that are purposefully consumed how will it have the strength to combat illness or disease? Listen to your body when choosing what to eat.
From CaveChick's point of view it is important to seriously consider major dietary and lifestyle changes to combat any disease or general health improvement plan.
Sources for this article include:
Cohen, Robert, MILK The Deadly Poison, Argus Publishing, inc., 1998.
Oski, M.D., Frank, Don't Drink Your MILK!, Teach Services, Inc., 2010.