We Just Learned a Lot More about Pancreatic Cancer –
And There ARE Things You Can Do!
February 17th, 2016 by Holly Cornish
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive and lethal cancers we fight today.
It’s hard to detect, so it often goes undiagnosed until it’s grown to a late stage. Unfortunately, 80% of patients succumb in less than a year.
That’s why it’s so important to take every precaution against this devastating disease.
The good news? I’m glad you asked. Keep reading. . .
Continued below. . .
This MRI could save your life
I’ve never seen anything like this…
Experimental doctors treating a former gold medalist with terminal cancer got the shock of their lives when they held his MRI up to the light.
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The government has kept this rare footage quiet over the last 7 years for fear it will topple the billion dollar cancer industry… I can’t guarantee how long it will be available, so watch now!
New research shows that high levels of three specific trace minerals in your body can contribute to pancreatic cancer … while high levels of two other trace minerals can reduce your risk.
The role played by these toxic and beneficial minerals has led to a simple, painless test that can reveal your personal risk for pancreatic cancer.
This is where your pancreas gets into trouble
The pancreas is a large gland about six inches long, hidden behind your stomach. It’s split into two parts, each performing a specific function:
- The exocrine pancreas produces digestive juices that flow into the small intestine
- The endocrine pancreas produces insulin and other digestion-related hormones
The most common type of pancreatic cancer affects the cells lining the ducts of the exocrine pancreas. Symptoms include unexplained weight loss, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), and back and stomach pains.
While genetic predisposition accounts for a small percentage of cases, a study published in Current Opinion in Pharmacology concluded that about four out of ten cases are caused by systemic inflammation brought on by poor nutrition, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, obesity and exposure to chemicals.1
These lifestyle habits also expose you to the trace minerals you want to avoid to protect your pancreas.
Three trace metals to avoid
Regarding exposure, studies show high levels of cadmium, arsenic and lead in the body can contribute to the development of pancreatic cancer.
Cadmium is most often released into the environment from mining and smelting operations and through phosphate fertilizers. It is quickly absorbed into soils and water and then enters the food chain.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, crops such as tobacco, rice and potatoes can be cadmium-heavy because they take up the toxic metal from the soil and water.2
When absorbed into the human body, cadmium accumulates in the pancreas, causing cellular problems and eventually cancer if not discharged.
A study published in 2000 concluded cadmium is a “plausible pancreatic carcinogen.”3
To reduce your exposure to cadmium …
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco.
- Be aware of where your food is grown. Buy organic whenever you can, because chemical fertilizers are a source of this metal.
- Check and obey local advisories when fishing and eating seafood.
Arsenic is found in both organic and inorganic forms. Inorganic arsenic is the one to avoid.
According to a study published in Gut, the official journal of the British Society of Gastroenterology, high arsenic levels in the body correlate to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
In the study, participants with the highest levels of both arsenic and cadmium were between 2 and 3.5 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those with the lowest levels.4
Inorganic arsenic is released into the environment in similar ways as cadmium … but what’s more alarming is that chickens raised on factory farms between 1944 and 2011 were given arsenic-laced feed.
According to the FDA, the addition was used “for growth promotion, feed efficiency and improved pigmentation.” Basically, it was a cost-effective but toxic shortcut to increase profits and make chickens grow 50% faster.5
While the chicken feed ingredient (called roxarsone) was banned in 2011, other arsenic-based animal drugs are still used on factory farms and in other farm-raised animals. And experts estimate we are exposed to several thousand times more arsenic today than people were in preindustrial times.
Even worse, arsenic is notoriously difficult to detox from the body. Even with specially-designed natural supplements that mobilize the metal from the tissue, it takes up to two years to completely get rid of it.6
So, if you ate farm-raised chicken between the years 1944 and 2011 (as just about all of us did), you likely have some level of arsenic toxicity.
To reduce your exposure to arsenic in the future …
- Whenever possible, avoid meat raised on factory farms. Buy organic when you can.
- Drink filtered water if you live in an area with unusually high arsenic levels in the soil, which can affect your drinking water.
Lead is a heavy metal found in soil and water, but most harmful exposure comes from things like lead paint, gasoline, copper pipe soldering, plastics and household dust.
Nearly everybody knows that exposure to lead is harmful, but the Gut study reveals just how bad it is for the pancreas. The authors found people with high levels of lead in the body were six times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those with low levels.
To reduce your lead exposure …
- If renovating a home built before 1978, wear masks and keep children away from the site until complete. Lead-based particulates and dust may be released into the air.
- Wet-wipe surfaces in the home regularly to reduce dust.
- Have the soil in your yard tested for lead. If the level is high, do not plant a vegetable garden in the soil.
Two trace minerals to embrace
As you remember from earlier in this article, two trace elements are beneficial to your health. In the study published in Gut, high concentrations of nickel and selenium in the body were shown to reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
The patients with the highest levels of these two trace minerals were between 33% and 95% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those with the lowest levels. In short, you can eliminate a very large portion of your risk of pancreatic cancer if you take advantage of this finding.
Doctors and researchers have long known that antioxidants reduce oxidative stress (free radical damage) in cells. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to reduce free radicals and inflammation.
There’s more. In addition to the Gut study, a study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that increasing the dietary intake of selenium could help cut the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by two-thirds.
The participants in the study who had a weekly selenium intake in the top 25% had roughly half the risk of developing the disease when compared to those whose intake was in the bottom 25%.7
Good dietary sources of selenium include Brazil nuts (just two per day provides the recommended daily allowance), mushrooms, salmon, cod, and turkey.
Who knew about nickel?
Were you surprised to see nickel on the list?
I was, too.
It turns out, nickel is thought to help the body absorb iron more efficiently, which in turn supports the generation of red blood cells and healthy cellular activity.
Animal studies have shown nickel to be involved in the regulation of B12, folate and an important amino acid called methionine. A study published in Cancer Research suggests deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals contribute to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.8
Good food sources of nickel include lentils, oats, dry beans, and nuts.
The secret in your toenails
So how can you test the trace mineral levels in your body? Surprisingly, the answer lies in your toenails.
The researchers in the Gut study tested participants’ toenail clippings for 12 different trace minerals. And in a study performed at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, researchers found toenail clippings to be a viable biomarker for testing trace minerals.9
Human nails are largely composed of keratin-rich proteins, and the trace elements taken in through diet are stored in these proteins for a long time, giving researchers a more consistent reading than other methods.
Toenails are thought to be especially useful because of their slow rate of growth.
So see if the clinic in your area administers a toenail analysis. They are also available online.
If you have trouble finding toenail tests, there are many laboratories that can analyze hair for trace minerals as well. The best are Trace Elements Labs and Analytical Research Laboratories.
Once you know your levels, you can take the necessary steps to detox your body from cadmium, arsenic and lead. Chelation therapies and other natural supplements, like BioSil and PectaClear, are gentle, natural ways to detox from even tricky metals like arsenic.10
I recommend undergoing chelation only with a doctor’s supervision and after being tested for levels of the toxic metals you might want to remove. It’s also better to test for your levels of beneficial minerals like selenium before supplementing (although I realize few people do).
Remember, it can take up to two years to completely detox from trace metals … but your pancreas (and your loved ones) will thank you!