What Are Parabens And Why Are They So Bad?

What Are Parabens And Why Are They So Bad?

For over 70 years parabens have been a key ingredient in beauty products. Parabens are preservatives that halt the growth of bacteria, fungus, and microbes in makeup and creams. Though you’ve probably never heard their names (such as propylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, isobutylparaben, and butylparaben), you’ve no doubt used beauty products that contain them. Mascara, lotions, shampoos, and foundations—they all contain parabens. It has not been until recent times that scientists have begun to question the safety of our routinely coming into contact with parabens.

One potential danger of parabens is their suspected link to breast cancer. Parabens can mildly mimic artificial estrogen, which is highly suspected of causing breast cancer, and breast cancer tumors have been found to contain parabens.

Philippa Darbre, lecturer and researcher at the University of Reading in England, is one of those concerned about these possible links between parabens and cancer. As part of her investigation into the effects of estrogen on breast cancer, Darbre’s team identified parabens in 18 of 20 biopsies of breast cancer tumors. It is the ability of parabens to mimic estrogens that makes them a possible cause for cancer. As parabens are absorbed into the skin they play havoc with our endocrine systems, possibly causing breast cancer both in males and females.

And parabens can be easily absorbed into the skin as evidenced by another study performed in Denmark. Here the urine and blood of young completely healthy males were examined after paraben-containing lotions were smeared into their skin. Alarmingly the blood and urine already contained parabens just hours after exposer to the lotions. This study highlights the ability of parabens to quickly be absorbed into the skin, taken into the bloodstream, and eventually discharged from the body. A widely used, potentially dangerous chemical with the ability to go through the human system so quickly should be a cause for alarm.

Health Canada and the U.S Food and Drug Administration have both decided that the level of current exposer to parabens is not a threat. However, other organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Working Group are warning that while once-off exposer may be minimal, repeated exposer over time does build up to a potentially harmful level. Their research shows that a typical adult may make use of up to nine personal care products every day.

While the evidence does not conclusively decide that parabens are harmful, the evidence does show that it is wise to avoid parabens until we have proof that they are not harmful. But if parabens are almost universally used, how can you find the products that avoid them? Most of these products will proudly display on their labels that they are “paraben-free.” The next time you are at the grocery store, check the labels for this designation.

Some manufacturers have committed to seek a preservative that can replace parabens for the long term. For example, the Canadian Jamieson Laboratories already has five paraben-free products and is looking to expand that number among the vitamins, supplements, and skin creams that it produces.

As of yet, it is still difficult to find a viable replacement for parabens. Various possible substitutes include thyme, goldenseal root, oregano, grapefruit seed extract, rosemary, and lavender oil. The best substitute is easily beeswax based beauty products. These naturally-based alternatives are more healthy in numerous ways. And while the cost of parabens is generally much less than the natural alternatives, beeswax is an important exception. The key to phasing out the use of parabens is consumer demand. The next time you are shopping for healthy products, be sure to shop for those that have that “paraben-free” label.

SweBee’s Bee Salve is a fantastic option if you are looking for a paraben free moisturizer.

Originally posted at SweBee.   Photo by @SNeG at twenty20.

Call for Vegan Recipes

Call for Vegan Recipes

So it is official. After 30+ years of being vegetarian, I am now on Day 2 of being vegan. I gave myself a day before I blurted out to the world because I was afraid I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to put it out there and then pull it back. Day 2, I’m still afraid I cannot do it! BUT!

I do know now that I *can* do it for one day.

And, that’s all I have to do today. So… easy, right?

But like everything else, it takes the support of a village. So, I ask of you, for your vegan recipes. Not the super fluffy fancy hosting soiree’s kind of vegan recipes… the ones that are fairly easy to cook, easy to serve to family, and of course: delicious. Even just simple tidbit tips or flavor pairings .. or anything, really. The best ones will go in the resources section here on cancerzen, so others can benefit, too.

Comment below, on Instagram or Facebook, or email cancerzenlife@gmail.com.



How Processed Food Is Different from “Real” Food (and why it matters)

How Processed Food Is Different from “Real” Food (and why it matters)

You’ve heard someone say they avoid “processed” foods, and maybe you’ve even said it yourself. But how do you know if you really are avoiding processed foods? What determines if a food product is considered processed or not?

Some people, like those who follow the teachings of Dr. Sebi, consider a very short list of foods (foods that exist today exactly as they existed hundreds of years ago) to be fit for consumption. Others follow the more relaxed guideline of shopping primarily from the perimeter of the grocery store, leaning heavily towards produce and refrigerated foods.

Like most things, rather than try to define an exact set of rules, I like to think of it as more of a sliding scale. Also as with most everything in health and nutrition, making a small shift towards “better” is better than changing nothing at all. So, naturally, I’d recommend sticking to food that is as close to its original form as possible.

An apple is a fruit, not a flavor.

What makes a food considered processed

There are many ways a food product can be processed and modified, ranging from removing nutritional benefits to adding potentially harmful chemicals and additives to the food.

For example, consider an apple. Just as nature made it, it is perfect, and best suited for consumption. With the skin on, adding fiber to help slow the sugar spike from the fructose. It has nutrients like vitamins, plus the phytonutrients that help protect from disease.

Next we can look at processing that removes nutrients and benefits of the original food, like applesauce, or worse, apple juice. Sure, they still provide basic elements like vitamins, but they’re lacking phytonutrients and, without its skin, the spike from the fruit sugar is steep and quick leaving you less satisfied long term. At this point (as long as it is organic) the food isn’t going to do harm, it just isn’t as nutritionally valuable.

Going even further… extreme processing. I’m talking to you, apple-stuff in a toaster strudel and apple flavored candy. Not only are these items void of any nutritional benefits from apples, they also have added sugars as well as potentially toxic chemicals. These only serve to cut costs for the producer but can cause serious concerns for your health.

>>> Don’t eat these, these aren’t food! Only eat food!

A professional’s opinion: Technical Differences Between Natural and Processed Foods

I recently came across an article about an editorial published in the JAMA Pediatrics Journal, written by Dr. Robert Lustig, a longtime childhood-obesity researcher, and author of New York Times bestseller Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. In the Journal, Dr. Lustig discusses common differences between natural and processed foods, and how the processed foods affect your body differently than actual food.

Dr. Lustig explains that processed foods are defined in terms of the food engineering that goes into making the products. To him, processed food meets many of the criteria below.

You can bet your food is processed if:

  • It’s mass-produced
  • It’s consistent from batch to batch
  • It has a long shelf life or freezer life
  • It stays emulsified (meaning its fat-based and water-based components stay mixed together, rather than separating),
  • It uses specialized ingredients (especially anything you’ve not heard of as being food: apples, cinnamon and sugar are food. Di-phosphate-mono-something-or-other is not!)

How processed foods affect your body differently than natural foods

⇒ Not enough fiber

Fiber is important to health because it plays a key role in how food is absorbed in the gut. In the intestines, fiber forms a gelatinous barrier that coats the intestinal walls. This barrier slows the absorption of glucose and fructose into the blood, which helps prevent blood sugar levels from spiking.

⇒ Not enough omega-3 fatty acids

The body converts these fatty acids, which are found in foods such as fish and nuts, into docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties.

⇒ Too many omega-6 fatty acids

Conversely, these fatty acids, though similar to omega-3s, are converted in the body to a proinflammatory compound called arachidonic acid. Lustig noted in the editorial that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the diet should ideally be one to one; however, the typical U.S. diet has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 25 to one, which favors a proinflammatory state. This inflammation can cause oxidative stress and damage to cells in the body.

⇒ Not enough micronutrients

Processed foods contain too few vitamins and minerals, known as micronutrients, many of which act as antioxidants, which help prevent cellular damage.

⇒ Too many trans fats

Trans fat molecules are structurally different from other types of fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Because of this difference — a double bond found in the molecule — the body is unable to break down trans fats, Lustig wrote. Instead, the trans fats end up in a person’s arteries and liver, where they generate damaging free radicals.

⇒ Too many branched-chain amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. The “branched-chain” in the name refers to the chemical structure of the amino acid. Several amino acids that the body needs, including valine, leucine and isoleucine, have branched chains, Lustig wrote.

And although branched-chain amino acids are needed for building muscle, when a person eats too many of them, the excess molecules go to the liver, where they are converted to fat, he wrote.

Main article and images by Susan Lawrence
Portions of the summary of Journal Editorial originally posted by Sara G. Miller, Staff Writer at livescience.com
Data based on content in the JAMA Pediatrics journal by Dr. Robert Lustig.

Butternut Squash Apple Leek Soup

Butternut Squash Apple Leek Soup

I will be the first to admit there was a time I would have refused to eat a soup if I knew it had squash in it. Or, really, any other vegetables. There is zero chance I would have tried a bite of your butternut squash, leek, and apple soup. No. Way.

But one of the amazing women who cooked for me while I was sick is such a phenomenal cook, that when she served it to our family at dinner I knew I had to give it a taste. I have never, ever, been so pleasantly surprised. What a delicious soup!

I asked my friend for the recipe, which led to my second good fortune of stumbling upon this super amazing healthy living blog called My New Roots. The author Sarah B. says she started the blog “because I wanted to share the incredible knowledge I had received through my education in Holistic Nutrition. I discovered so many things that I believed needed to be public information, not just for those who can go to school to study in this field. I wanted to set up a non-biased space for people to come and learn about how to take better care of themselves through diet and lifestyle, as I have seen immense changes in myself since making little, positive changes every day.”


As you can see I skipped the croutons, but doubled up on the pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and some green onions on top

So the recipe… can be found on this sweet holistic nutrition blog. I have made this 3 times in the last month alone. I cannot get enough. It is so satisfying, it just hits every note and I cannot believe *I* made it. And it’s not even that hard! I usually take two nights to make it, but that’s not necessary at all. For me, it’s convenient to chop and roast the vegetables while I am cooking dinner one night, and put them in the fridge overnight. The next night I can just blend it all up and heat it through and get right to eating!

Final thoughts:
  • This recipe is crammed full of nutrients your body will LOVE you for eating
  • This is also a perfect meal to bring to someone going thru cancer treatments right now. Don’t bring a big mac. Bring something nourishing, made with love, and delicious.
  • You will have leftovers. Easy lunch for a couple of days or dinner the next night.
  • The flavor is unbelievable. So fresh, and rich, and just perfect. Don’t skip the apple cider vinegar, or the seasonings. I couldn’t find my anise, so I used some extra cracked pepper. You can substitute somewhat and adjust the ratios, but don’t skip them entirely or else you will just have funky squash-applesauce.
  • If you try it out, comment below. Did you change anything? How did the family like it? Will you make it again?
The Antitumor Activity of Plant-Derived Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids.

The Antitumor Activity of Plant-Derived Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids.

As a therapeutic agent, most people are familiar with the palliative effects of the primary psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa (CS), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a molecule active at both the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor subtypes. Through the activation primarily of CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, THC can reduce nausea, emesis and pain in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. During the last decade, however, several studies have now shown that CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists can act as direct antitumor agents in a variety of aggressive cancers. In addition to THC, there are many other cannabinoids found in CS, and a majority produces little to no psychoactivity due to the inability to activate cannabinoid receptors. For example, the second most abundant cannabinoid in CS is the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD). Using animal models, CBD has been shown to inhibit the progression of many types of cancer including glioblastoma (GBM), breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer. This review will center on mechanisms by which CBD, and other plant-derived cannabinoids inefficient at activating cannabinoid receptors, inhibit tumor cell viability, invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis, and the stem-like potential of cancer cells. We will also discuss the ability of non-psychoactive cannabinoids to induce autophagy and apoptotic-mediated cancer cell death, and enhance the activity of first-line agents commonly used in cancer treatment.

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Full Article Here

WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

A syringe loaded with a dose of CBD oil is shown in a research laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. (Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A syringe loaded with a dose of CBD oil is shown in a research laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. (Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A World Health Organization (WHO) report has found no adverse health outcomes but rather several medical applications for cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD, despite U.S. federal policy on this cannabinoid chemical.

According to a preliminary WHO report published last month, naturally occurring CBD is safe and well tolerated in humans (and animals), and is not associated with any negative public health effects [PDF].

Experts further stated that CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, does not induce physical dependence and is “not associated with abuse potential.” The WHO also wrote that, unlike THC, people aren’t getting high off of CBD, either.

“To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD,” they wrote. In fact, evidence suggests that CBD mitigates the effects of THC (whether joyous or panicky), according to this and other reports.

The authors pointed out that research has officially confirmed some positive effects of the chemical, however.

The WHO team determined that CBD has “been demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy” in adults, children, and even animals, and that there’s “preliminary evidence” that CBD could be useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psychosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious conditions.

In acknowledgement of these kinds of discoveries in recent years, the report continued, “Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.”

But the U.S., the report noted, isn’t one of them. As a cannabis component, CBD remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has a “high potential for abuse” in the federal government’s view. Nevertheless, the “unsanctioned medical use” of CBD is fairly common, experts found.

For many CBD users in the U.S., the substance’s mostly unsanctioned and illegal state creates problems, especially as a wave of online (mostly hemp) and store-bought CBD oils and extracts have allowed patients to take the treatment process–and the risks involved in buying unregulated medicine–into their own hands and homes.

While CBD itself is safe and found to be helpful for many users, industry experts have warned that not all cannabis extracts are created equally, purely, or with the same methods of extraction.

And while reports of negative reactions to pure CBD are very few and far between, researchers are able to say that the cannabinoid wouldn’t be to blame alone. “Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications,” they noted.

As the cannabis reform nonprofit NORML reported, the WHO is currently considering changing CBD’s place in its own drug scheduling code. In September, NORML submitted written testimony to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opposing the enactment of international restrictions on access to CBD.

The FDA, which has repeatedly declined to update its position on cannabis products despite a large and ever-growing body of evidence on the subject, is one of a number of agencies that will be advising the WHO in its final review of CBD.

Perhaps this time around the FDA will listen, and learn something.

The report was presented by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, and drafted under the responsibility of the WHO Secretariat, Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products, Teams of Innovation, Access and Use and Policy, Governance and Knowledge.

Full Article Here

Download PDF Report from the 2017 Geneva meeting of the WHO

Cannabidiol (CBD) induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells

Cannabidiol (CBD) induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells

Cannabidiol induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy.


Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women in the United States (1). Conventional treatment options are often limited by toxicity or acquired resistance, and novel agents are needed. We analyzed the effects of the Cannabis sativa constituent, cannabidiol (CBD), a potent, natural compound with reported activity in breast cancer cell lines, and elucidated its effects on key neoplastic pathways.

CBD belongs to the cannabinoid family, a group of pharmacologically active compounds that bind to specific G-protein–coupled receptors (2). Phytocannabinoids are plant-derived products from Cannabis sativa; endogenous cannabinoids are made in animal and human tissues; and synthetic cannabinoids are laboratory produced. The G-protein–coupled receptor CB1 is found mainly in the brain and nervous system, whereas CB2 is expressed predominantly by immune cells (3). Recent data suggest that some cannabinoids also signal through the vallinoid receptor (4), whereas others may function in a receptor-independent manner (3). Cannabinoids can modulate signaling pathways central to the growth and spread of cancer. They inhibit cell-cycle progression and chemotaxis, and block angiogenesis (5). Recent studies have shown that cannabinoids also induce autophagic cell death (6). Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the best-characterized cannabinoids; however, its therapeutic applications are limited by its psychoactive effects. We focused our work on CBD, a phytocannabinoid devoid of these properties (3).

Although CBD is reportedly effective against various tumors, its molecular mechanism of action is not fully characterized. CBD is cytotoxic to gliomas and inhibits tumor cell migration in vitro (7–9). In addition, CBD induces apoptosis in human leukemia cell lines by activating classical caspase pathways, and enhancing NOX4 and p22 (PHOX) function (10). A recent study reports that CBD inhibits breast cancer growth (11) and downregulates ID1, a regulator of metastasis in breast cancer cell lines (12). Furthermore, CBD, in conjunction with THC, induces programmed cell death (PCD) in glioma cells (13).

PCD, a cell suicide program critical to development and tissue homeostasis, can be classified according to the morphology of a dying cell. Apoptosis is a type I PCD involving caspase activation, phosphotidyl serine inversion and DNA fragmentation (14). More recently, autophagy, a process traditionally considered a survival mechanism, was also implicated as a mode of PCD, when excess de novo–synthesized, double membrane-enclosed vesicles engulf and degrade cellular components (15). The relationship between apoptotic and autophagic death is controversial (16). They may cooperate, coexist, or antagonize each other to balance death versus survival signaling (16). We found that CBD induced both apoptosis and autophagy in breast cancer cells, and evaluated further the effects of CBD on the complex interplay between these 2 types of PCD in breast cancer cell lines. Characterizing more precisely the manner by which CBD kills breast cancer cells will help define the optimal applications of CBD as a cancer therapeutic.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychoactive constituent of cannabis, is considered an antineoplastic agent on the basis of its in vitro and in vivo activity against tumor cells. However, the exact molecular mechanism through which CBD mediates this activity is yet to be elucidated. Here, we have shown CBD-induced cell death of breast cancer cells, independent of cannabinoid and vallinoid receptor activation. Electron microscopy revealed morphologies consistent with the coexistence of autophagy and apoptosis. Western blot analysis confirmed these findings. We showed that CBD induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and, subsequently, inhibits AKT and mTOR signaling as shown by decreased levels of phosphorylated mTOR and 4EBP1, and cyclin D1. Analyzing further the cross-talk between the autophagic and apoptotic signaling pathways, we found that beclin1 plays a central role in the induction of CBD-mediated apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Although CBD enhances the interaction between beclin1 and Vps34, it inhibits the association between beclin1 and Bcl-2. In addition, we showed that CBD reduces mitochondrial membrane potential, triggers the translocation of BID to the mitochondria, the release of cytochrome c to the cytosol, and, ultimately, the activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway in breast cancer cells. CBD increased the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and ROS inhibition blocked the induction of apoptosis and autophagy. Our study revealed an intricate interplay between apoptosis and autophagy in CBD-treated breast cancer cells and highlighted the value of continued investigation into the potential use of CBD as an antineoplastic agent.


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Dr. Brynzynski Offers Cure for Cancer; Meets with FDA

Dr. Brynzynski Offers Cure for Cancer; Meets with FDA

The FDA meets Dr Burzynski from Burzynski Cancer CURE Center.

This is a must see clip from the film on how cancer is completely cured with no radiation therapy or TOXIC potions from big Pharmaceutical industries at all. 100% success rate, and the lengths the FDA have gone to to try to put Dr Burzynski in jail

Watch Full Movie Here

Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski received much deserved publicity with the release of the 2011 film, Burzynski—The Movie. Eric Merola’s award-winning documentary showcased Dr. Burzynski’s remarkable cancer discovery for all the world to see, and explained how he won the largest and possibly the most convoluted and intriguing legal battles against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in American history.

Dr. Burzynski’s story now continues in the compelling follow-up film: Burzynski—Cancer Is Serious Business, Part II. This second film details his continued struggles and victories, and explores the current status of Antineoplastons’ clinical testing—now (finally) sanctioned by the FDA.

Dr. Burzynski’s Cancer Treatment

By Dr. Mercola 
Dr. Burzynski, trained as both a biochemist and a physician, has spent the last 35+ years developing and successfully treating cancer patients suffering with some of the most lethal forms of cancer at his clinic in Houston, Texas. The treatment he developed involves a gene-targeted approach using non-toxic peptides and amino acids, known as Antineoplastons.

I personally interviewed Dr. Burzynski about his treatment in the summer of 2011. He coined the term “antineoplastons” and defines them as peptides and derivatives of amino acids that act as molecular switches. However, as genome research blossomed and science progressed, Dr. Burzynski discovered that antineoplastons also work as genetic switches. They actually turn off the genes that cause cancer (oncogenes), and turn on or activate tumor suppressor genes—genes that fight cancer.

His treatment strategy, which he refers to as “Personalized Gene Targeted Cancer Therapy,” includes mapping the patient’s entire cancer genome. This involves analyzing some 24,000 genes in order to identify the abnormal genes. Once they’ve determined which genes are involved in the cancer, drugs and supplements are identified to target those specific genes. Antineoplastons work on approximately 100 cancer-causing genes, but traditional oncology agents (including chemotherapy) may also be used, typically in combination with antineoplastons. This expanded direction of “personalized gene-targeted treatment” has permitted people who would otherwise be denied access to the still-unapproved antineoplastons to benefit from his treatment.

The War on Cancer Cures
So the FDA backs Monsanto and big pharmaceutical that is poisoning our people our children and this doctor that is trying to save people’s lives he gets punished? What’s your take? Comment below.

Cancer Pathology Reports Deciphered


Breast Cancer: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

Tumor Size:

1.4 cm (spoiler alert: we’ll later learn it is really over 11 cm large!)

Nottingham Score:

Grade II

Nottingham Tubule Formation Score = 3

On a score of 1 to 3, this measures how mean and nasty the cells are, 3 being worst. My cells are really gnarly and f’ed up. Not good news.

Nottingham Nuclear Pleomorphism Score = 2

Again on a score of 1 to 3, so this result, although I don’t fully understand what it means, is average. So, it really doesn’t indicate anything, right?

Nottingham Mitotic Count Score = 1

On a score of 1 to 3, measures how quickly the cells are dividing and reproducing, 1 being best/slowest. My cancer cells are nasty, but not dividing and reproducing very quickly. Good news here.

ER and PR Positive

This means the cancer is receptive to hormones so it might be able to be controlled w/ hormone treatment should I opt to go that route.

HER2/neu Negative

I also believe this is good.

Lymph Node Involvement

15 Lymph Nodes Removed, 10 of them cancerous.

Cancer has begun a journey outside of my breast and into the rest of my body. Now I can only hope it didn’t get past the lymph nodes and settled into my bones or lungs or blood or anything else I can’t “cut off”.