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Lack of Sleep Greatly Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Breast Cancer Statistics

Breast cancer is the most common cancer to hit women worldwide. In Japan, when age-standardized
to the world population, the incidence rate was 28.3 per 100,000 in 1991, and rose to 39.5 in 2001.
In the United States in 2004, the diseasehit more than 185,000 women and over 1,800 men, with
almost 41,000 women and 362 men dying from it that year. In that year, after non-melanoma skin
cancer, breast cancer was the next highest cancer killer of American women. It was also their fifth
highest killer overall. Next up, over to Canada, where, among the women, breast cancer is the most
common type of cancer to strike. According to Canadian Cancer Society estimates, about 22,400
.women will be diagnosed with the disease this year, with about 5,300 dying from it

With such grim statistics, every little thing which can be done to prevent and combat the disease
.becomes all the more critical

Details of Study

The Ohsaki National Health Insurance (NHI) Cohort Study started in 1994 and involved 28,515
women in northeastern Japan. The questionnaire used included information on sleep duration and
.other lifestyle habits

Participants who had withdrawn from the NHI study before follow-up, had a history of cancer, did not
provide information on their sleep duration, and who reported having slept for less than 4 hours or
more than 12 hours every night were omitted. This left the data for 23,995 women to be analyzed.
An 8-year period, from 1995 to 2003, was used, during which 143 women were hit with breast

Findings of Study

The women who slept 7 hours each night was used as the reference group. It was then found that
women who slept 6 hours or less each night had a 62% higher risk of getting breast cancer. On the
other hand, those who slept 9 hours or more every night had a 28% lower risk of getting the

It would follow, then, that those who slept 6 hours or less every night had 2.25 times the risk of
.getting breast cancer when compared to those who slept 9 hours or more each night

The results remained largely consistent even when participants who were diagnosed with breast
cancer within 3 years from the start of the study were excluded, or when the data was analyzed by
.age and menopausal status
Previous Studies

The findings of this study validates the findings of two previous prospective cohort studies relating
breast cancer and sleep duration (Verkasalo et al, 2005, Wu et al, 2008). Those two studies had also
.shown a significant decrease in breast cancer risk for those who slept the longest

It must be noted, though, that another such study (Pinheiro et al, 2006) did not find any such
association. The study team pointed out, however, that that study had looked at residential nurses,
who underwent rotating-shift work and had varying sleep timings. The findings of that study thus
.might not be applicable to the general population

Strengths and Limitations of Study

According to the study team, their research had a couple of strong points. Firstly, it used study
subjects from the general population, thus allowing for overall generalization of its findings. In
addition, it used the Miyagi Prefectural Cancer Registry, which the study team said is "one of the
."earliest and most accurate population-based cancer registries in Japan

There were also, however, several limitations. Firstly, self-reported sleep data was used, and
assessment was also only carried out once. In addition, and probably very significantly, no
information on sleep quality, sleep timing, use of sleep medication, or presence of sleep disorders
were available. These factors, of course, are very important as they can directly or indirectly affect
.cancer risk

Further, the researchers added that they had no information with regard to rotating-shift work or
night work, but they felt that would not have affected their findings greatly as more than half of the
.study subjects were housewives, farmers or retired

The Sleep Duration – Breast Cancer Link

Why is breast cancer risk linked to sleep duration? The answer could lie in melatonin, which is
secreted during night sleep. When a person sleeps fewer hours, less melatonin is secreted, and lower
.levels of the chemical had previously been associated with increased breast cancer risk

In addition, melatonin may possess an inhibitory effect on gonadal function, which includes
synthetizing and secreting sex hormones. It had also been found to have an antiproliferative effect
.on breast cancer cells

The Bottom Line

If the findings from this study are indeed accurate, then there is an immense difference in breast
cancer risk between sleeping 4 to 6 hours every night, and just sleeping 1 to 3 hours more each
night. In fact, it is more than likely that the protective effects of sufficient sleep also extend to other
.forms of cancer. 7 hours of sleep a night may thus be a good number to aim for

Hopefully, in time to come, further research will reveal more information relating sleep and disease
.risk, with sleep quality and sleep timing being two of the main possibilities

Main Source

Sleep duration and the risk of breast cancer: the Ohsaki Cohort Study

Fight Disease with Garlic

Potent Antioxidant

Garlic prevents free radical damage to protect against aging and disease. It fights against the
oxidative damage from the environment and cigarette smoke. Garlic contains allicin, which increases
blood levels of two powerful antioxidant enzymes: catalase and glutathione peroxides. Because of its
.free radical power, it prevents aging, keeping the body detoxified and youthful

Cancer Prevention

Research shows that the antioxidant allicin is anti cancerous. When the garlic is eaten, a chemical
reaction occurs which can kill tumors. Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
analyzed 18 studies looking at garlic eaters and revealed that high people who ate a high amount of
raw or cooked garlic had a decreased risk of colorectal cancer of 10% to nearly 50%. It also showed
.that the risk of developing stomach cancer halved for those who consumed the most garlic

Slashes the Risk of Heart Disease

According to scientists at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, the compounds in
garlic may play a significant role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Garlic lowers LDL
“bad” cholesterol and blood pressure. A study published in the Journal of the Royal College of
Physicians reviewed data on cholesterol and found that after just four weeks there was a 12 per cent
reduction in cholesterol levels in the research groups that had taken garlic. And a study in the
Journal of Hypertension showed that taking garlic tablets cut volunteers' blood pressure by between
one and five per cent. It is also a natural blood thinner, which means that it can reduce the incidence
.of blood clots, leading to stroke and thrombosis

Fights Colds, the Flu and Parasites

Garlic is one of nature’s antibiotics because it fights against bacteria, virus, and protozoa (a type of
parasite) in the body. Yet there are no nasty side effects as there are with taking antibiotics so there
.is not risk of wiping out good bacteria, lowering the immune system or building up a resistance
A recent study found that the daily intake of garlic reduced the risk of volunteers catching a cold by
half. The researchers also discovered that even when those who did catch the cold got over it quicker
.than the subjects who did not take garlic

Anti Fungal
this potent super food also contains anti-fungal properties which can be great for yeast infection.
.Some women have even had success using garlic as a pessary when they get thrush

An Ordinary Apple Holds Many Secrets

Natural News) Apples are an important source of phytonutrients. These plant-derived chemical
compounds are associated with positive health effects. Many of the phytonutrients found in apples
are strong antioxidants, fighting free radicals. When people in the United States consume fruits, 22%
of antioxidant compounds (also called phenols) come from apples. This makes apples the greatest
.source of phenols in the American diet
You have heard the old saying: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." The original version of that
is actually: "An apple before going to bed makes the doctor beg his bread." In our day with out-of-
control health 'care' costs, the picture this saying evokes is an attractive one (not that we wish
.)anyone ill
Apples have many benefits. They are not hearty suppliers of many of the well known nutrients, like
vitamin C or folic acid. However, they are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. In fact
many old herbalists recommended apple cider vinegar precisely for the benefits of its potassium
They are an excellent source of antioxidants (phenols). Compared to many other commonly
consumed fruits in the United States, they have the second highest level of antioxidant activity.
Perhaps more importantly, they have the highest ratio of free phenols. Free phenols are not bound to
other compounds in the fruit. That allows them to be more available for absorption into the
Whole apples, especially with their peels, have been found to have a number of powerful antioxidant
effects. The total antioxidant activity of 100 grams of whole apple is equivalent to the antioxidant
effect of about 1500 mg of vitamin C. However, 100 g of apples has only about 5.7 mg of vitamin C.
Clearly, the antioxidant activity of apples comes from other nutrients like quercetin, catechin,
.phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid
:Studies have found numerous health benefits related to the consumption of apples
Apple's two types of fiber help regulate the movement of the bowels – in both directions. Both ★
insoluble fiber and soluble fiber (pectin, found primarily in the skins) help relieve constipation. The
insoluble fiber works like roughage, sweeping debris from the digestive tract. Pectin acts as a stool
softener, drawing water into the stool, increasing stool bulk, and making it easier to pass. On the
.other hand, because pectin firms up an excessively loose stool, it's also used to treat diarrhea
Both soluble and insoluble fibers in apples have cancer-protective activity since they relieve ★
constipation and send potentially toxic substances out with the stools. Pectin grabs toxins (heavy
.metals like lead and mercury), and flushes them out of the body
Researchers found a positive relationship between apple consumption and lung functioning, ★
showing lower incidence of asthma and reduced risk of smokers developing chronic obstructive
.)pulmonary disease (COPD

Quercetin (a flavinoid or pigment which gives apples their color) from apples has shown in studies ★
.to inhibit growth of cancer cells in the lungs, breast, prostate, liver, and colon

British researchers found that ½ to 1 liter of apple, grapefruit, or orange juice daily, increased ★
urinary pH value and citric acid excretion. These factor significantly decrease the risk of forming
.calcium oxalate kidney stones

Finnish epidemiologists (scientists who study the effects of substances on large populations) ★
concluded that high consumption of flavonoids and fiber from apples, tea, onions, and broccoli were
directly associated with the lowest risk for coronary disease mortality and thrombic stroke. Again,
.apples were featured as the most closely associated with these benefits

Animal studies show that apples lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol. At the same time, they raise ★
beneficial HDL cholesterol. The laboratory animals studied produced less cholesterol. They also
excreted more cholesterol in their feces when fed apples, pears and peaches. Apples, however, had
.the greatest cholesterol-lowering effect

Daily consumption of quercetin from apples and cloudy apple juice may help reduce the damage ★
caused by the "bad" type of cholesterol and protect against heart disease by slowing the oxidation
.process involved in the build-up of arterial plaque

The two types of fiber in apples provide a double whammy on cholesterol. Insoluble fiber latches ★
onto LDL cholesterol in the digestive tract, sweeping it out of the body. Its soluble fiber (pectin)
.reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol produced in the liver

Apples' antioxidants protect VLDL and LDL ("bad") cholesterol from oxidation. Adding just one ★
large apple (about 2/3 of a pound) to the daily diet has been shown to decrease serum cholesterol 8-
!11%. Eating 2 large apples a day has lowered cholesterol levels by up to 16%

Apples derive most of their natural sweetness from fructose (not the same as in high fructose corn ★
sweetener). Natural fructose is a simple sugar, but one which is broken down slowly. This property,
especially when combined with apples' hefty dose of fiber, helps to keep blood sugar levels stable for
.type 2 diabetics

Phenols in the skin of certain cultivars of apples (Braeburns fared better than Granny Smiths) may ★
.provide a hefty dose of UV-B protection
Choose organically grown apples whenever possible. Most of the apple's fiber is contained in its skin.
The skin also stores the majority of its quercitin. Unfortunately, conventionally grown apples contain
pesticide residues which accumulate in apple skin. Petroleum-based waxes, used to keep the apples
looking fresh, also add toxic residues. Peeling apples results in the loss of flavonoids and most of its
valuable fiber. Purchasing organic apples allows you to eat the whole apple without throwing away a
.major portion of its nutrition
Eat the whole fruit instead of simply drinking apple juice, eating peel-free applesauce or taking fiber
supplements. Single nutrients are not found in whole, natural foods. There is a beneficial synergy
between the many healthful compounds found in apples. They act in together for your greater
benefit. The complete system, designed by God, is the source of their effectiveness in promoting

When researchers put together a mixture containing only the currently identified bioactive ★
compounds in apple juice (chemicals like proanthocyanidins and quercetin). The chemical mixture
.was ineffective in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells

Quercitin, one of the most important antioxidant flavonoids in apples, was tested by itself in ★
.laboratory animals. It had no protective effect

Apple flesh and apple juice were tested separately. They provided less than a tenth the benefit of ★
.the whole apple

A combination of apple pectin and apple phenols lowered cholesterol and triglycerides to a much ★
.greater extent than either apple pectin or phenols alone in recent studies
A review study looks at the results of many other studies. One such study published in Nutrition
Journal analyzed 85 studies. Apples appeared most consistently linked to reduced risk of cancer,
heart disease, asthma, and type 2 diabetes as compared to other fruits and vegetables. Eating
.apples was also associated with increased lung function and increased weight loss
Apples' protective effects against free radical damage to cholesterol reach their peak at three hours
following apple consumption and drop off after 24 hours, providing yet another good reason to eat a
whole fresh apple a day. In many studies, apples worked in a dose-dependent manner: the more
.apples eaten, the more protection
.So add an apple (or two, or even three) to your daily regimen and reap the benefits

Fragranced Products Emit Toxic Chemicals

NaturalNews) Commonly used fragranced products emit a wide variety of chemicals into the air,
some of which are federally regulated as toxic or hazardous substances, according to a study
conducted by researcher Anne C. Steinemann of the University of Washington-Seattle and published
.in the journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review
.I didn't find a brand that didn't emit at least one toxic chemical," Steinemann said"

Steinemann became concerned about the contents of fragranced products after receiving more than
.200 complaints from consumers about side effects

.I actually witnessed someone having a seizure when exposed to an air freshener," she said"

Steinemann put six different fragranced products - dryer sheets, a fabric softener, a laundry
detergent, and three different air fresheners (one solid, one spray and one oil) - into an isolated,
room-temperature enclosure and used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify any
volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that they emitted. She found that together, the products emitted
.almost 100 different VOCs, every one at levels higher than 300 micrograms per cubic meter

.This concentration is considered high enough to pose a risk in the case of toxic substances

Ten of the detected chemicals are federally regulated as toxic or hazardous, including three
.)considered hazardous air pollutants (acetaldehyde, chloromethane, and 1,4 dioxane

Steinemann noted that one of the air fresheners is used in commercial airline bathrooms and another
is regularly used in schools and medical facilities. Yet federal law does not require manufacturers
disclose any of the ingredients used to make fragrances, let alone other chemicals that might be
.emitted during use

If an ingredient is hazardous, they still don't need to list it," she said. "They can just put on a"
".]'warning label [such as 'don't inhale

Steinemann recommended that consumers use unscented laundry products and avoid synthetic air

.Use baking soda, open a window, cut open an orange, or use spearmint leaves," she advised"