Did you know acidosis (high acid) within the body influences molecular activities at the cellular level to promote cancer growth, while alkalinity (high pH), a diet high in alkaline foods like fruits and vegetables, will raise blood pH levels and create an environment in the body that discourages cancer growth?

Arachidonic acid is an inflammation-promoting compound found mostly in chicken and eggs.  Researchers found arachidonic acid has the potential for impairing mood by causing inflammation in the brain. They report, the pro-inflammatory compound arachidonic acid found in animal protein can “adversely impact mental health via a cascade of neuro-inflammation.”

When arachidonic acid enters the body, it is metabolized into a wide assortment of inflammatory chemicals. Interestingly, that’s how anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin work to reduce pain and swelling; they block the conversion of arachidonic acid into these inflammatory end products. 

The human body already manufactures all the arachidonic acid it needs, so it does not require additional quantities from food sources. When we add excessive amounts, it may disrupt the system’s delicate internal balance and emotional state. Data suggests people with higher levels of arachidonic acid in their blood, may end up at a significantly higher risk of suicide and episodes of severe depression. 

The top five sources of arachidonic acid in the diet for Americans include: chicken, eggs, beef, pork, and fish; with chicken and eggs contributing more than the other three sources combined. Omnivores (those who eat meat and plants) appear to consume about nine times more arachidonic acid than those eating plant-based diets. 

In another study to show cause and effect, researchers took men and women who ate meat at least once a day, and took away all animal meat products to see what would happen to their moods. Within as little as two weeks, the study subjects experienced a significant improvement in measures of their mood states. The researchers stated, “Perhaps eating less meat can help protect mood in omnivores, particularly important in those susceptible to affective disorders [such as depression].”

Higher consumption of vegetables may cut the odds of developing depression by as much as 62%. An article in the journal of Nutritional Neuroscience states, in general eating lots of fruits and veggies may present “a non-invasive, natural and inexpensive therapeutic means to support a healthy brain.”

Anti-oxidants

Free radicals, the highly unstable molecules which cause tissue damage and contribute to aging, may play a critical role in the development of various psychiatric disorders, including depression. Autopsy studies showing a shrinkage of specific emotion centers in the brains of depressed patients, has been confirmed by modern imaging techniques. Researcher report, this shrinkage may be due to the death of nerve cells caused by free radicals. 

This resulting shrinkage may help explain why those who eat more fruits and vegetables, which are rich in anti-oxidants, thereby reducing free radical damage, appear protected against depression. A study of nearly 300,000 people from Canada found greater fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with lower risk of depression, psychological distress, anxiety and mood disorders, and perceived poor mental health. Researchers stated eating anti-oxidant rich plant foods “may dampen the detrimental effects of oxidative stress on mental health.”

Lycopene

A similar study in the U.S. measured the level of carotenoid phytonutrients in the blood stream of the participants. The phytonutrients include some of the yellow, orange, and red pigments found naturally in sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables.  Amazingly, not only did the people with higher levels of nutrients in their bloodstreams have a lower risk of depression symptoms, but there was also a corresponding dose-related relationship; the higher the level of phytonutrients, the better people reported feeling.

Additional evidence from lycopene-containing tomatoes. A study of 1000 elderly men and women found those who ate tomatoes or tomato products daily, had just half the odds of depression when compared to people who ate them once a week or less. And it is worth noting, the same cannot be said for supplements of lycopene. Only food sources, not supplement sources, appear to be protective.  Whole food sources provide synergistic benefits, where the interaction and cooperation of two or more nutrients produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate benefits. Truly, the form and delivery of antioxidants consumed are critical to ensure maximum benefit. Proving once again, whole-food sources are best.

Folate

Low levels of Folate, a B vitamin found in beans and greens, has been associated with an increased risk of severe depression. Recent studies following people over time indicate low folate levels may increase the risk of depression as much as three times. Supplements of folic acid do not appear to have the same benefit as plant-based sources of folate. Another example where whole-food sources are best.

Animal Protein And Cancer.  

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease, and accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths. 600,920 people are expected to die this year (2017) from cancer.   

Only 5% of cancer can be attributed to heredity or DNA. According to the following studies: Kling 2003, Jones 2001, Seppa 2000, and Baylin 1997; The malignancies in a significant number of cancer patients are derived from environmentally-induced alterations and not defective genes.      

Even though most people believe cancer is not preventable nor curable, that really is not the case. As we learn more and more each week about how the environment affects cells, numerous studies have revealed cancer growth can be dramatically increased, slowed, and even stopped depending upon the environmental conditions in which the cells live. 

For example, Bruce Lipton’s work in cell biology, has clearly demonstrated the three basic cellular responses to environmental stimuli: growth, protection or neutral. Cells gravitate towards life sustaining signals such as nutrients and happy hormones, and provide a life-sustaining growth response; or move away from threatening signals such as toxins, stress hormones, and provide protective response; or in some cases the stimuli is neutral and no response occurs, neither growth (life promoting) or protection (basic survival) is activated. 

Additionally, Bruce notes, “It turns out that the mechanisms that support growth and protection cannot operate optimally at the same time. In other words, cells cannot simultaneously more forward (towards growth and life) and backwards (towards protection and survival).

In a healthy “growth” environment, cells grow, multiply and create new cells to sustain optimal life. An open exchange occurs between the human body and its environment. Food is brought in and wastes are removed. The energy created and used facilitates growth to support the ongoing functions of life. 

However, in protection mode, the energy reserves normally used for growth and repair are halted and shifted to fuel the protection response, which results in curtailing any growth and repair. The system closes down to create a border and separate itself from the threat. This is the fight or flight survival mechanism at work in its most basic form at the cellular level. To provide a real life example, it would be as if, in an attempt to save your life, you are running away from a bear; using every ounce of energy, muscle power, and adrenaline hormones to escape the dangerous situation. In the midst of this example, in using all available resources, no energy would be available to digest food or repair damaged cells.

Emotions and moods impact the cellular environment for cancer as well. Anger and stress act as emotional toxin stimuli, releasing stress hormones and creating a protection environment, thereby increasing the rate at which cancer cells grow, because the energy normally used for growth and repair has been re-directed to serve the protection mode and no energy remains for the immune system to fight the cancer cells. In contrast, a healthy and peaceful emotional environment provides ample energy to the immune system to fight cancer cells so they recede, stop growing and be destroyed.

Health and the prevention of cancer is much more than just the food we eat or don’t eat. Our approach must be holistic (treat the body as a whole) because the environment in which we live, our moods and emotions, anything that alters the state of our cells environment, greatly impact how cells respond; for maintaining optimal healthy life or not.