06/14/2016: Fighting Cancer: Mushrooms, Fermented Wheat Germ, Noni


Caryn discusses research on Mushrooms, a Fermented Wheat Germ product and Noni for fighting cancer and supercharging the immune system.


Hello, everybody Caryn Hartglass here with It’s All About Food. Okay, we didn’t talk about food the first portion of the show so I am going to fill your bellies and your minds with more food talk in the second part of this show, ’cause it’s my favorite subject and as I mentioned something near and dear to my heart and that is food. And food can really nurture our hearts in so many ways, and the thing that I want to focus on today is how food nurtures our health. Specifically, you know I do private coaching and most of the time it’s for people who want to eat more plants and I do my best to come up with a plan for each individual that will fit their different lifestyles and needs and tastes and budget etc. From time to time I do talk to people who are in health crises specifically cancer, I was diagnosed with Advanced Pulmonary Cancer ten years ago and I can’t believe it’s been ten years, it’ll be ten years in October. And I’m still here I’m still here, and because I’m still here I’m happy to share with everyone what I know helped me. And share that with other people. And at the sometime I’ve always scouring the literature, reading information by my colleagues who are experts, doctors and nutritionists and dieticians to help put together new plans for people that are experiencing one thing or another and not every plan works for everyone in the lifestyle, and I thought because I’ve been focusing a bit on cancer for some particular clients these days I thought I might share some of the things I’m discovering. And its interesting because I am always looking for food, I believe that natural food, whole food sources are really the best way to support our immune system, boost our immune system, energize our immune system and reduce risk of disease. But even still even when healthy vegans, healthy plant their fears they are so many toxic things in the world, that can seep through and cause things to go out of balance when least expected. It happens, we’re human. We are vulnerable, and as I like to quote my dad from time to time, ‘Nobody gets out of this world alive’. So something is going to get us. But what I want to encourage and support is that we can live long, healthy, quality lives feeling good and then some point way later when we’re like 150 or something and we get a little slow, tired, and we just go to sleep. But in the meanwhile we got some work to do, right? So let’s talk about food, and how some of the research is showing which food in particular are really, really showing benefits. So the first thing I want to talk about are the phases in a trial. We’ve talked about how expensive research is, and of there are different phases that pharmaceutical companies or researchers have to go through in order to prove to everyone that what they found is safe, and different. And show some benefits. And it can take 12 to 18 years, to discover and develop a product before it passes all the necessary tests to be approved by our government. As safe and effective and some of the products that actually go through this long and expensive over billion dollar cost project, some of them in the end aren’t that safe and aren’t that effective. So it’s a really challenging process. You’ve heard of the different phases of clinical research, people have to come up with an idea. And go through some pre-clinical stage. And then there are actually five phases, Phase 0, Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4. And very often things kind of stop around Phase 2. The first few phases don’t use very many people, 10 people, 20 to 100 in phase 1, and 100 to 300 in phase 2, and then it starts to get really expensive in phase 3 when 1000 to 2000 people are required, and then it goes from there. So this tremendous cost, it’s very difficult, and whose going to pay for this, well, typically the pharmaceutical companies who want to know that they are going to make a profit ultimately, so they do a lot of investing. The other part that’s a challenge in research is when something is thought to be beneficial for one reason or another. Typically, what we do something that T. Collin Campbell often calls reductionism. We extract the beneficial ingredient either from the food or from a plant, and do tests typically in vitro in a lab environment to see what it does. With cancer and it’s fascinating, with cancer we have a handful of cell lines, these are cancer cells that were taken from a handful of humans, a number of them from the 1970s and they have been grown and are now being used in all kinds of experiments. It’s fascinating because many tests are done on the same kind of cell, so it’s an apple to apple, to apple comparison, but some people that these cancer cells were taken from who are now long gone they live on in research, and the other thing about research is in order to go through these phases they have to be tested on animals. And this is an unpleasant reality for us, for those of us who don’t believe animals should be involved in testing and non-human animals of course. I always like to make that clarification. And because what happens to a non-human animal does not guarantee it will happen to humans. Okay, so you can you get to what the foods you were you wanted to talk about Caryn? Yes, of course. Now I mentioned mushrooms before and I am going to talk a little bit about mushrooms now because they’re really wonderful. I like to call mushrooms, natural chemotherapy. And I had heard about the power of mushrooms ten years ago when I was going through my treatment, and I ended up, the many supplements that I purchased during my treatment, I took a concentrated Coriolus product. And there’s been a lot more research on the Coriolus product, which is also called Trametes versicolor. And some of the other mushroom products in the last ten years, and a lot of its fascinating and very positive, but very often you hear in the media that they say white button mushrooms will prevent breast cancer right, you’ve heard that, I’ve heard it, and I’ve said it, there are lots of filtered down almost watered down that we hear in the media to advertise something and I think it’s important to really understand and it’s hard to understand because you have to go to the original source which is the peer reviewed public research paper that presented it and read how they prepare the samples, who was involved, did they do in vitro study, did they extract materials, it’s complicated, and then you might have some understanding on what was meant, when you heard the line that approximately one button mushroom a day has been linked to 64% decrease in the risk of breast cancer. That particular study, they were actually looking at the white button mushroom impact on inhibiting aromatase activity. And on breast cancer cells proliferation, it was actually from about 15 years ago. And they can’t actually prove that giving women one button mushroom a day is going to prevent cancer. But they can prove that an activity that has been shown to cause breast cancer cells to grow can be reduced or inhibited and then they can make these very broad statements. But the bottom line is I think we’re very well convinced that mushroom have very positive health promoting properties. But here’s another thing that they do in the research. In the research they don’t have humans just chopping on mushrooms and they watch to see if they get cancer or not, that takes forever, that’s expensive, and it won’t even guarantee that it’s the mushrooms doing the trick. No what they have to do is in a short period of time, study the particular ingredient, and in the mushroom case they do extraction. So they extract from the mushroom, the ingredients that they think are going to have the benefit in reducing cancer risk, either for supporting the immune system so the immune system can work in fighting the cancer or by causing apoptosis, which is causing cancer cells to die. It’s hard, and there are mushrooms for example, there are water-based extractions and then there are alcohol-based extractions. So, the reason why I am bringing this up is when you eat a mushroom my understanding now is the best way to do it is to cook your mushrooms in water, for at least 30 minutes, and this will enable the valuable things in the mushrooms that are going to be useful to you to be accessible to digestion. You want to be able to get through those tough cell walls in the mushrooms and boiling them for 30 minutes will do it. And there are places that make these mushroom extractions and what they do is that they will sometimes they will boil the mushroom first and then they take the product and then soak it in alcohol for like a month, and then they have to do some filtering processes, and they sell tinctures that you can buy that have a concentrated mushroom product that has been extracted through hot water or alcohol. It’s complicated. And I personally want to believe that the whole food is best. It’s fascinating to learn these things and maybe indeed we will ultimately get the ultimate goal which is a pill that people can take that can contain all the valuable things that we are discovering about mushrooms and other foods. But I want to believe that the body knows best, and nature has created things for us. With a very complicated array of things that work in harmony together, and that’s why I believe it’s so important to eat whole foods and whole mushrooms. But mushrooms do need to be cooked and I am now at a point where I am not just quickly stir frying my mushrooms anymore, I’m letting them cooked boil for 30 minutes before I use them, and I use dried mushrooms very often, and fresh mushrooms as well, so you can prepare a large amount of mushrooms cooking them in water. Makes a week’s worth, or freeze some of it and have that to add to your soups, your stews, just sip on it as it is, but this is a very valuable healthy food, so I hope that you take advantage of the power of mushrooms. Now if you don’t like mushrooms, you can either cross your big fingers and hope you never need them and eat all the other healthy foods that are out there. Or you might learn to like them or at least learn how to eat them where you don’t have the texture that you might feel is unpleasant, and you can do that by using mushroom powders or mushroom broths. Let’s see what else have we got here regarding marvelous, marvelous mushrooms. Right, so the other side of mushrooms is that I think they’re delicious and especially when we’re being vegan and we want to not eat meat products, mushrooms are often called meat or explained that they have a meaty texture, and some of the ones that we’re starting to see in farmer’s markets that have not been as popular before like maitakes, very meaty, very chewy, very, very flavorful, just yummy. And I was wondering since I was mentioning about water extractions and alcohol extractions, I don’t know this, but I’m thinking that cooking the mushrooms in wine may actually be therapeutic, it’s never been tested, but wine does have alcohol in it and I’m thinking that it can bring out some of the good things and make them more absorbable and more accessible. And now I just want to share before I get on to the next bunch of foods and products that I want to talk about. Here I am in California and we do love visiting a certain number of restaurants while we’re here, while I am on the subject of mushrooms we went to Herbivore a few days ago, and that’s a restaurant up in San Francisco it’s all vegan, and Herbivore’s one of those wonderful restaurants it’s been around for a while where the food is very clean. They have great big salads and soups you can have some decadent things there as well, but it’s very easy to make a very sensible, nutritious choice there and enjoy it. So I like to get big salads there, I love there green juice, they add mint to their green juice which always tickles my tongue like ‘Oh gotcha’ and I fresh taste that I don’t always get in my daily green juice, but I got they have this big bowl of soup and you may know that I am a fan of big soups. And but they’ve since modified the recipe since I’ve been there since more of these meat analogs are out. And I don’t always go for the meat analogs but I went for the ginger broth with veggie beef and what I love in it were the mushrooms. There were these really wonderful mushrooms that were beefy. It wasn’t even the I think they were actually the oyster mushrooms maybe that were in there, but they were just so good. Hmm, thinking about it right now is really getting me hungry, but I just had a big bowl and had plenty of mushrooms in it, so I am not really hungry. The other place that we’ve been going to probably a little more than we should is Veggie Grill it’s near where we’re staying and it’s fun and it’s just very convenient and there too I try to make the most sensible choice. Now Veggie Grill is a fast food vegan restaurant. It’s here in California and I’m sure they’ll be spreading around to other places and they have a really fun menu, but they are catering to a American palate, a standard American diet kind of palate, which is loaded with salt and sugar and oil they may be cleaner than some other places but I just found that some of their salad dressings a little too sweet with me with sugar and a guava so I am trying to be really careful when I order there. They have this one sandwich called Papa’s Portobello, and I had it once with bread and then I realized that they had a bread free, kale style option where they serve it on kale and then you have to eat with a fork and knife, but I thought that was a really great option, and I appreciated them having it and it was just so yummy. There lots of wonderful mushrooms out there and they’re all good. The study that I mentioned before from 2001 that frequently gets a lot of press because of the power of the button mushroom and it’s inhibiting our most aroma taste activity and breast cancer cell proliferation they tested a number of vegetables and mushrooms in that same study, they tested wood ear, creminis, oyster mushrooms, Italian brown, enoki, and baby button mushrooms, and stuffing mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms, my favorite chanterelle which is the most delicious mushrooms I think on the planet and portobello, and you can look for that study online, it’s called ‘White Button Mushroom Biochemical Inhibit Aroma Activity and Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation’ it’s on the ncbi.nlm.nih.gov website. But the white button mushroom wasn’t the top in terms of this particular activity that they were looking for, the other mushrooms had some activity but they did not fare as well. So it’s not necessarily the most exotic or the most wild or the most expensive mushroom that’s going to give you benefits. I think they all we get benefits and they probably will get different kinds of benefits which is why you want to mix them up because variety is not only the spice of life, but it’s a healthy part of life. I want to talk about two other items, so when I was going through my treatment back in 2006-2007 and I was advised by the Block Center, Keith Block in Illinois about all these different supplements they recommended I take and then I also had a consultation with Dr. Ralph Moss who is a specialist in conventional and alternative cancer treatments and you can go to his website what is it I’ll have to look that up, but you can purchase from him his reports that come out every year on cancer or a consultation with him and it’s expensive, but it can be very helpful because he is right there, with his fingertip on all the latest research that’s going on and it can save a life. His website’s cancerdecisions.com and he talks about different foods that are helpful in cancer treatment as well and then of course, I consulted back then with Dr. Fuhrman, he was very helpful, and it was funny because my mom at the time was getting different pieces in the mail recommending different vitamins and supplements very often companies will target seniors to get them to buy different products and most of the time there just a waste of money. But she had gotten some literature on a product called Avé and I ended up buying the product and using it’s from the Harmony company, and I can’t say that was part of my healing or not but I did use it and they have since worked on this product quite a bit, it’s from fermented wheat germ, it’s an extract from cemented wheat germ and in a number of different studies over the last ten years I’ve used it has shown some really positive benefits, anti-proliferative affects. Again, still bearing cancer cell lines and other kinds of cancer. It is a pricey product maybe not as expensive as chemotherapy and it is natural and doesn’t have those toxic side effects. So it is definitely something to look into if you know people that are going through a cancer experience. Afua from the Harmony company a fermented wheat germ extract, and I just have like oh I wish I had enough time, the other thing I want to talk very briefly about is Noni, you’ve heard about Noni juice and there’s are research studies that have been going on for awhile on the Morinda citrifolia which is Noni and the study on the fruit, the seeds, the leaves, you can Google it and find all kinds of interesting things. Again, the studies that have been going on have been showing some really positive results, most of them are on mouth cancer cells, in vitro, so we’re not talking about things that have been given to humans and shown positive effects that’s like too hard and too possible to do, but there were some very positive results recently on lung cancer using the Noni products and that’s definitely worth Googling and looking into. Morinda citrifolia so there are also positive things out there on the horizon and you know if you are looking for some information and confused about some information I’m always here. You can email me at info@realmeals.org and I will try and make sense of whatever it is you’ve found or the questions you may have. The last thing I want to mention back talking about mushrooms ‘cause I have just like a couple of minutes, is I forgot to mention this, is there are different parts of the mushroom and if you are getting a concentrated mushroom supplement you want to look and see where the mushroom came from what part of the mushroom they’re using. Are they using actually fruit, which is part of the mushroom you see above ground, or are they using a cheaper mycelium product which is like the root fibers in the dirt and unfortunately the mycelium is part of the mushroom and is said it is a cheaper product and it’s not as effective. So you want to make sure if you’re buying a mushroom supplement to find out what part of the mushroom is actually being used. We just have like a minute or so left, and I hope you’re been visiting my blog, What Vegans Eat because I put it there for you, and only you, to help you along the way and give you ideas this is what I was just eating I referred to before it’s just incredible I just put the recipe up at responsibleeatingandliving.com it is a tricolored carrot and red lentil soup I put it together in like seconds and it’s incredibly delicious and I used purple, yellow, and orange carrots, they seemed to be out in different markets from time to time, and each color has different nutritional benefits and they’re all sweet and lovely and red lentils cook up super fast of course, the mushrooms are in there, I cooked them all for 30 minutes, some onions and I think that is just about it. It’s just an amazing delicious soup. So I hope you go to responsibleeatingandliving.com and try that. So, all right then send me an email at info@realmeals.org with your comments and questions and we’ll talk next week, shall we? In the meantime, have a delicious week.

Transcribed By: Alexis K. Ellis

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