Can what we eat affect the rate of cancer growth or even stop it all together? How I wish I knew. The Internet is full of claims about how certain foods promote or inhibit the growth of cancer, but public health bodies and national cancer charities stop short of specific food recommendations. Their advice is to eat more fruit and vegetables and less red and processed meat. No S**t Sherlock!
The issue is that the headline-grabbing claims about how scientists are able to kill cancer using turmeric, ginger or any other food compound are predominantly based on results achieved ex-vivo (outside a living organism) or in mice. Whilst the results can be encouraging and provide guidance, scientists warn against drawing conclusions about the effect that these compounds will have on the growth of cancer within a human body. The difficulties are due to factors such as isolation (the ability to attribute the effect to a particular compound in isolation to other dietary or lifestyle factors) and bioavailability (the body's ability to absorb the active compounds).
So there is little, if any, conclusive proof that the consumption or elimination of a certain food can promote or inhibit the growth of cancer within our bodies. You might be surprised to learn therefore that I have chosen to follow a mainly plant-based diet. I intend to write more about the complex reasons behind my decision in future blogs, but in summary, I believe that the more calories I consume from fruit, vegetables and grains, the more nutritional value I'll be getting and the less likely I am to consume potentially harmful substances.
As a result of my decision to consume the majority of calories from plants, this section of the website will have that bias.