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Fewer Omega-6's May Reduce Cancer Risk

Researchers at UCLA show that reducing intake of corn oils helps to prevent prostate cancer in mice (Cancer Research, April 15, 2008). Corn oil and other vegetable oils are extremely rich sources of omega-6 fatty acids.

Fats are classified by their chemical structure into omega-3s, omega-6s, and omega-9s. Omega-6s cause your body to produce prostaglandins that turn on your immunity to cause inflammation, while omega-3s turn down your immunity to reduce inflammation.

Your immunity is supposed to be good for you. When a germ enters your body, your immunity produces white blood cells and proteins called antibodies that attack and kill the germ. After that germ is gone, your immunity is supposed to stop making so many immune cells and proteins. If it remains active, your immunity attacks your own body to damage tissue and increase risk for heart attacks, certain cancers, and diabetes; it can also worsen existing diseases such as some types of dementia, asthma or psoriasis.

For more than 2 million years, humans have eaten diets that have a ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s of about two to one. However, over the last 100 years, humans have added extracted vegetable oils to other foods that they eat and increased the ratio to 12 to one and perhaps as high as 20 to one. This increase in the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s is a cause of inflammation. The increase in omega-6's has come primarily from vegetable oils that are added to baked, fried and other prepared foods. Omega-3s oils are relatively unstable so they are not found in most prepared foods.

Good food sources of omega-3's include seafood and beans, whole grains, nuts and other seeds. We do not know if changing the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s will help to prevent cancers in humans, but several studies show that they appear to both prevent and slow cancers in animals.
More on omega-3s and omega-6s


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Tingling, itching or burning with no visible cause
Systolic/diastolic numbers


Dear Dr. Mirkin: I'm often sore for several days after a workout. What am I doing wrong?

Hard exercise is supposed to damage muscles and cause stiffness and pain. However, you should not start hard workouts until you have done adequate background work. Do your sport at a very low intensity until you feel discomfort. Stop immediately and then come back the next day also for an easy workout. If you are stiff, you worked too hard; use less intensity and stop earlier.

When you can exercise every day for at least an hour and feel no soreness whatever, you are ready to start adding harder workouts. It may take you several months to reach this stage. Then you can start "stressing and recovering." If it takes more than three days for you to recover from a workout, you went too hard and have to learn to stop earlier in your hard workout. Eventually you should be able to take one hard workout followed by two or three easy ones. You should be able to follow this program forever.


Dear Dr. Mirkin: What's the current treatment for burning in the stomach?

You may have an infection in your stomach and upper intestines caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter. It is readily curable just by taking a short course of two antibiotics and a third medication to shut of your stomach acid. For the past 20 years, doctors have given all three drugs together for one to two weeks. A recent report shows that giving one antibiotic for one week and then the second antibiotic for the next week is more effective than taking both together (Annals of Internal Medicine, June 2008).

Most gastroenterologists will not treat you until they have put a tube down your stomach and cut out many small pieces of your stomach to look for the bacteria. However, when they do not find the germ on the biopsy, they usually refuse to give you an antibiotic. They are failing to cure a lot of people infected with Helicobacter because not finding the germ does not rule out an infection. In my opinion, anyone who has belching and burning in their stomachs should get the "triple therapy" treatment of two antibiotics and one ulcer medication. More


Recipe of the Week
Diana's latest tabbouleh variation, and a new way to use quinoa, one of her favorite whole grains:

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Also try . . .
Traditional Tabbouleh
Lentil Tabbouleh

You'll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in The Good Food Book - it's FREE

June 25th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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