More than 10 million American women use birth control pills. They are the go-to contraceptive not only for pregnancy prevention, but also for PMS symptoms, heavy periods, and acne. Previous studies have suggested that birth control pills increase breast cancer risk, and the most recent research strengthens this relationship.
Birth Control Pills: A Known Carcinogen
Birth control pills join tobacco, asbestos, plutonium, and diesel exhaust as a group 1 carcinogen according to the World Health Organization. This means birth control pills are “a known and probable cancer-causing agent to humans.”
The latest study published in the August 2014 edition of the journal Cancer Research confirms the finding of past birth control/cancer studies. Researchers studied 1,102 women with breast cancer, along with 21,952 controls, and found that recent oral contraceptive use—particularly high-dose estrogen birth control pills—increased breast cancer risk by more than 50%. Birth control pills with ethynodiol diacetate (a type of progestin) also raised breast cancer risk by more than double, while triphasic birth control pills (pills that deliver different hormone doses over three stages of the monthly cycle) more than tripled breast cancer risk! Not all birth control pills fared so badly, however. Low-dose estrogen birth control pills did not seem to increase breast cancer risk.
Birth control pills block pregnancy by delivering a mix of estrogen and progestin hormones to your body. But these same hormones also over-stimulate breast cancer cells, which increases breast cancer risk. Dr. Angela Lanfranchi writes in her booklet on Breast Cancer Risks and Prevention:
“Estrogen can cause cancers in two ways. First, estrogen acts as a “mitogen.” Estrogen stimulates your breast tissue to increase cell divisions (mitoses). This sometimes results in cancers due to errors in cell division (mutations). Second, certain metabolites of estrogen also act as carcinogen or genotoxins, by directly damaging DNA, thereby causing cancer cells to form.”
Your risk for breast cancer further increases if you have a strong family history of breast cancer, you or a family member have had a biopsy that showed abnormal cells, or you carry an abnormal breast cancer gene.
If you are currently taking birth control pills, consider a safer method of contraception, such as the use of a diaphragm and/or condom. If you insist on taking birth control pills, then make sure you are on a low-dose estrogen pill.
The American Society for Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery estimates that 90% of women have cellulite, but we’d venture to guess that every woman grapples with unwanted dimples at some point in her life. It doesn’t matter if you’re curvy or skinny, short or tall… the fact that you’re a woman is enough of a reason for cellulite to strike. You may be more susceptible due to genetics, poor circulation, toxin buildup and inflammation. When fat cells grow larger and push through your fibrous bands of tissue, the cottage cheese look crops up on thighs, bellies and arms.
We aren’t sitting idly by. Cellulite is big business. American women spend upwards of $12 million annually on expensive anti-cellulite lotions. Cellulite cures, both natural and surgical, attempt to melt away the fat that has accumulated in your tissues, while encouraging collagen and elastin growth. (Collagen and elastin are the main components of connective tissue; the stronger your collagen, the less your cellulite.) Before you spend any more money on creams that temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite, let’s take a look at some dietary changes you can implement that may actually help eradicate cellulite for good.
The Anti-Cellulite Diet
If heart disease and insulin resistance aren’t enough to get you to cut back on your salt and sugar intake, then perhaps cellulite will convince you. You may eat a low-fat diet, but if you eat too much sugar you’re still exacerbating the growth of fat cells. Excess sugar gets trapped in fat cells, causing them to swell into unsightly cellulite. Likewise, too much salt promotes fluid retention, which shines a spotlight on your cottage cheese. In order to minimize the appearance of cellulite, limit sugar consumption to six teaspoons per day, and don’t eat foods with more than 200 mg of sodium.
You can also help banish cellulite with the flaxseed trick. Flaxseed maintains estrogen levels and encourages collagen production. Add two tablespoons to cereal, yogurt or oatmeal each day.
Supplement with seaweed. Kelp contains a chlorophyll compound called fucoxanthin that revs up the body’s fat-burning engines. Studies have found that supplementing with kelp can trigger a loss in body weight of 5-10% and directly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Add dry kelp to soup, or sprinkle it on stir-fries and salads. If supplementing in tablet form, look for a concentration of 300 mg.
Gotu kola extract has also been clinically shown to reduce cellulite by improving skin elasticity and thickness.
If you’re looking for a quick fix to help mask cellulite, look for a cream containing the organic compound aminophylline, which helps break down trapped fat. Vitamin C is another superstar ingredient known for its collagen-boosting effects. Retinol cream is an effective cellulite solution that defends against the free radicals that damage collagen. Look for 100% retinol cream with added vitamins A, C and E.
New research reveals that women who consume foods containing flavonols and flavanones (two forms of dietary flavonoids) cut their risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer. This is amazingly good news for women, because ovarian cancer is currently the 5th leading cause of cancer death among women. About 20,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year.
An Extremely Deadly Cancer
Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest of all cancers affecting women. One of the reasons this type of cancer is so terribly dangerous is that it is nearly impossible to detect early. Only about 19% of ovarian cancer is diagnosed before the cancer has spread, after which point treatment is usually not effective.
Making matters worse is the fact that the ovaries are tiny organs located deep within the abdominal cavity. This makes it extremely difficult to pinpoint symptoms specific to the ovaries. Sadly, such symptoms are all too often mistaken for other far less serious health issues until it is simply too late.
The good news is that there are choices you or your loved ones can make to lower ovarian cancer risk. Most recently, scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) discovered that tea and citrus fruits and juices can lower ovarian cancer risk.
How Tea and Citrus Prevent Ovarian Cancer
The UEA study followed the dietary habits of 171,940 women between the ages of 25 and 55 for more than three decades. The research team found that those who consumed food and drinks high in flavonols were less likely to develop ovarian cancer.
Flavonols are found in…
- Red wine
Consumption of flavanones was also associated with lower incidence of ovarian cancer.
Flavanones are found in …
- Citrus fruits
- Citrus juices
|Two Cups A Day
The consumption of just two cups of black tea every day was associated with a whopping 31% reduction in ovarian cancer risk. Black tea also slashes your risk of diabetes. A study of elderly people living in the Mediterranean islands showed that people who consumed 1-2 cups of black tea a day had a 70% lower chance of having or developing Type 2 diabetes.
A Groundbreaking Study
The UEA study was the first large-scale study to examine how the substances in black tea and citrus fruits and juices affect the risk of ovarian cancer. The study’s authors concluded that very simple and inexpensive changes in food intake could have a drastic effect on reducing ovarian cancer risk.