J.D. Moyer

beat maker, sci-fi writer, self-experimenter

Tag: folate

Can You Greatly Reduce Your Risk of Cancer with Lifestyle Changes?

Collage of mixed fruits and vegetables, MRI, by Wellcome Images.

Collage of mixed fruits and vegetables, MRI, by Wellcome Images.

Cancer. It’s one of the few diseases with a personality. The F*ck Cancer meme is much stronger than the F*ck Heart Disease meme, even though both kill a similar number of human beings. While both diseases can develop with no obvious warning signs, cancer is perceived as a sneakier, meaner disease.

Maybe that’s because cancer is mysterious. There are more than 200 different types, and risk factors and causes are multitudinous: genetics, chemical exposure, radiation exposure (including sunlight), age, certain viruses, smoking, alcohol abuse, lack of exercise … the list goes on.

But cancer isn’t a death sentence. As several of the older members of my family have experienced in the past few years, cancer can be successfully treated. Though my family members used both conventional treatments and lifestyle changes, sometimes cancer goes away with lifestyle changes alone.

About half of people in developed countries will be diagnosed with some kind of cancer in the course of their lives. 100% of middle-aged or older people will have small pockets of abnormal cell growth — microcancers — most of which will be either too slow-growing to ever cause a problem, or will be eliminated by the immune system. And if you get cancer and beat it, the only way you know for sure you are “cured” is when you die of something else.

Nobody is totally safe from cancer, but there are things we can do to improve our chances of not developing the disease in the first place. While genetic risk factors play a significant role, so do environmental (lifestyle) factors. The clinical research is there to prove it. We can prevent cancer (or at least improve our odds) in at least seven ways:

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40 Days Without Booze

Make mine a virgin.

Make mine a virgin.

Recently, as a “kick-in-the-butt” motivator, I promised myself that I would abstain from alcoholic beverages until I finished the first draft of a novel I’ve been working on. I had set a target date for completing the project (June 30th), with the idea that if I didn’t finish by that date, I’d stop drinking booze until I was done. I didn’t think of it as “punishment” so much; rather a modest motivational booster to propel me towards my goal. I enjoy drinking — especially wine — and I knew that going without would help me stay focused.

Well, June 30th came and went with no completed first draft in sight. No problem — it would only take a few more days to finish — soon I would be popping a cork and savoring my first glass.

I did finally finish the first draft of my sci-fi novel … on August 10th. Forty days with no booze. Here’s what it felt like:

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B-Vitamins, Mood, and Methylation — It’s Complicated

B-vitamins, building blocks of mental health?  Or B.S.?

There’s a great deal of misinformation on the internet regarding B-vitamins and health.  I know this because I’ve read most of it.  During the 5 years or so when I was researching how to cure my own asthma, I devoured every text I could find regarding the physiological effects of specific vitamins and minerals — especially the B-vitamins.  Large doses of B-complex or individual B-vitamins are recommended to improve mood, reduce PMS, reduce asthma symptoms, reduce the risk of various cancers, reduce the risk of heart disease, fight yeast infections, ward off mosquitoes, and prevent or cure numerous other ailments.

Which of these claims are based on reputable clinical research, and which are bullshit?

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