Most of us non-smokers feel we’ve got little to worry about when it comes to lung cancer. After all, isn’t it the disease of smokers? According to recent studies in the British Medical Journal, people who have never smoked before as well as ex-smokers, are all at risk of developing the disease. In fact, about 50,000 deaths per year can be attributed to second hand smoke and toxic fumes. Lung cancer does not limit itself to smokers.
Although rarely discussed, exposure to toxic fumes in the workplace or environmental toxins in the air contribute to a significant number of deaths from lung cancer. For example, occupational exposure to diesel motor emissions, asbestos, and paint was found to be significantly correlated with an increased risk of lung cancer.
In addition, a study on smokers from Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention showed that the fumes from frying oil, meat, or barbecuing have been found to also significantly increase the risk of lung cancer. This means working in a kitchen can put you at higher risk too. These carcinogenic fumes are toxic, and daily or weekly exposure to them causes oxidative damage in the lungs as well as to our DNA.
Another surprising finding is that if your parents smoked in the house during your childhood and adolescence, your risk of lung cancer is double as an adult even if you yourself don’t smoke. Parents, think again lighting up your next cigarette! This year, lung cancer will kill about 163,500 Americans and remains the number one cause of cancer deaths taking more lives than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
What can we do to protect ourselves?
If you are a smoker, you must make quitting a priority in your life as well as follow a nutritional and supplement program to protect your lungs. For those of you who are non-smokers or who may have smoked at some point, protecting your lungs is also very important. There are some simple things you can do to decrease your risks:
1) Eat your broccoli and arugula
Over 125 published scientific papers have shown the exceptional protective effect of the Brassica vegetables on lung cancer and other cancers. These Brassica veggies including watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli sprouts, Brussels Sprouts, arugula, and kale, have been shown to fight cancer by inhibiting carcinogenesis, excreting carcinogens via liver detoxification, inducing death of cancer cells, and inhibiting tumors! Consuming 500 grams per day (about 4 cups) can cut your risk of various cancers by up to 50%. This is exceptionally valuable research should make the NY Times front page news and be implemented as first line defense in every doctor’s office. There is nothing more powerful you can do to protect yourself against cancer than to eat your broccoli every day.
A number of other impressive studies show that green tea inhibits the growth of the human lung cancer cell line. Green tea of all flavors is known for its ability to reduce angiogenesis or blood flow to the tumor. So, making that switch from coffee to green tea may save your life.
For those of you who can’t imagine washing down your 4 cups of Brassica veggies each day with your green tea, there is a nutritional supplement named Indole Plus by Rx Vitamins containing Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C), the active ingredient within these veggies which has the cancer protective effects. Take it first thing each morning, before you are exposed to toxins and carcinogens. The active ingredient within green tea is also available by the name of EGCG Green Tea Extract.
2) Get your zinc, selenium, and vitamin C each day
Mineral tests on lung cancer patients show that they have lower levels of selenium and zinc, two critically important and protective antioxidants found in foods including Brazil Nuts, almonds, and seafood. These powerful minerals can also be obtained in a good antioxidant supplement such as Three A Day Antioxidant by DFH, which contains other lung cancer protective ingredients including EGCG green tea extract, vitamin C, and N-Acetyl Cysteine.
3) Avoid exposure to smoke or fumes in the air
If you live in a polluted city, jog near cars, work around motor emissions, or fry oils regularly, wear a protective mask. If your job requires you to be exposed to chemicals such as those found in printing companies, nail salons, dry cleaners, or paint supplies, you should also take a protective antioxidant supplement containing I3C and a mixture of fat soluble antioxidants such as those found in Ultimate Antioxidant LS by DFH.
Although we don’t know our individual genetic risk for developing lung cancer, and we can’t readily quit our toxic jobs or turn back the clock on our exposure to cigarette smoke, we can take some very effective and simple steps to protect ourselves and dramatically reduce our risk for lung cancer, the number one cause of cancer deaths. www.RockwellNutrition.com
Annika is a Certified Nutritionist, who owns and operates http://www.ROckwellNutrition.com
She completed her B. A. at Swarthmore College, PA, in a Psychology Pre-Medical curriculum. She later attained her Nutrition Certification (CN®) through American Health Sciences University, CO. Since 1995, she has been working in the nutrition industry and as a nutritionist.