Ask the Expert: Breast Cancer, Diet and Exercise


Cancer Connect

CancerConnect partnered with Dana-Farber to engage with breast cancer expert, Jennifer A. Ligibel, MD, of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber. Dr. Ligibel guest-moderated a question-and-answer session on “Breast Cancer, Diet and Exercise.”

Dr. Ligibel has authored several papers on the role of lifestyle factors and breast cancer, including a recent study on the impact of exercise on reducing drug-related joint pain. She is also an assistant professor of medicine at Dana-Farber.

Join us in the Breast Cancer Community on CancerConnect to view the entire Ask the Expert session with Dr. Ligibel.

Question about lifestyle factors, breast cancer and depression: Are there any ‘lifestyle’ type of factors—diet/nutrition, that might help with anxiety, depression (I didn’t seem to have these issues until after my breast cancer diagnosis)?

Dr. Ligibel:There are many studies that show that exercise has a positive impact on anxiety and depression. Studies suggest that fairly modest amounts of exercise can improve mood. We generally recommend that women start slowly and check with their physicians before starting an exercise program, but research suggests that moderate physical activity, such as walking, is safe for most breast cancer survivors and can have many positive health effects.

Although information is more limited in cancer survivors, there is also evidence that weight loss can have a positive effect on depression in women.

Question about health benefits of green tea or tumeric: What do you think of the health benefits of green tea, specifically Matcha green tea? Also, what about tumeric?

Dr. Ligibel:There is a lot of interest in the health benefits of specific supplements, but not much evidence that these products have any benefits for cancer survivors. Green tea has been studied as a potential nausea-preventing intervention, but the results of these studies have been mixed. Some preliminary results from animal studies have suggested health benefits of turmeric, but it is too early to know whether either of these supplements will eventually be shown to be beneficial for cancer survivors.

It is important to note that green tea and turmeric are foods rather than medications, like most supplements. This means that they are not regulated by the FDA. Companies that produce them can make all kinds of health claims, as long as they include the statement that the claims are not supported by the FDA. This can be confusing for patients, as many of these products are marketed as “cancer-fighting”.

Question about Optimal Types of Fat: I’m a 9-year breast cancer survivor. I’ve seen studies which favor a low fat diet to reduce the risk of breast cancer and recurrence. These studies do not specify types of fat. Do they look at or compare trans fats, fat from meat, dairy and processed foods, fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, etc? I am mostly vegetarian and my diet is actually fairly high in fat since my protein comes from nuts, seeds and some eggs. What is your sense about high fat vs low fat and if the types of fats consumed contribute to higher or lower risk? I’d like to believe that healthy fats are not risk factors! Thank you.

Dr. Ligibel:The study that showed that eating a low fat diet reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence, called the Women’s Interventional Nutrition Study or “WINS”, was largely conducted in the 1990’s, when there was not as much of a focus on different types of fat. Thus there is unfortunately not a lot of evidence to provide an answer for your question about the impact of different types of fat on breast cancer recurrence rates. However, in the years since the WINS study was conducted, research in other disease such as heart disease, has shown that all fats are not equal in terms of the impact that they have on a person’s risk of developing different diseases. There is also evidence from population studies that suggest that individuals who consume healthy fats seem to be at lower risk of some kinds of cancers, although we can’t determine if there is a cause and effect relationship between the types of fats a person eats and their risk of cancer from this kind of study.

A number of on-going studies are looking at whether there is a “best” diet for breast cancer survivors, but evidence is not conclusive at this point. Some evidence suggests that keeping weight in a good range might be more important than specific dietary ingredients. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a group that prepares many of the recommendations about weight and diet for the US population, currently supports the use of a number of diets to maintain a healthy weight.

Thus there is no simple answer to your question, but if your diet is successful in keeping your weight in a good range, it is likely a reasonable plan for you to continuing following.

Question about Exercise and Health Benefits: I have a very physically demanding job where I move at a great clip outdoors for at least 3-4 hours each day. When I am done work I have no energy for formal exercise, especially since BC treatment and Tamoxifen, just stretching or a little Yoga. Is this enough?

Dr. Ligibel:Studies have shown that physical activity, no matter how it is achieved is linked to better outcomes in breast cancer. Sometimes it is hard to know how much activity a person is doing as part of a work day, so one way to make sure that you are doing enough exercise is to wear a pedometer to track the distance you walk each day as part of your job and during your leisure time. You should aim for 10,000 steps per day. If you are accomplishing this much walking during your average work day, you are likely achieving enough physical activity to provide health benefits.

Question about Weight Loss: I am taking Anastrozole. It is very difficult to lose weight. Do you have any suggestions as to offsetting the effects of this medication on weight loss? What should the majority of the diet include and what should be omitted in order to lose weight?

Dr. Ligibel:There are many reasons why woman with breast cancer gain weight or have difficulty in losing it after breast cancer diagnosis. Some women go through menopause as a result of chemotherapy or other cancer treatments. The average women who undergoes a “normal” menopausal (not due to cancer treatment) will gain 5-10 pounds in the years after her menstrual cycles stop. This weight gain can be even greater when it occurs suddenly as a result of breast cancer treatment. Many women also feel fatigued as a result of their breast cancer therapy and become less physical active. Studies have shown that weight gain is not increased in women taking tamoxifen or anastrozole, but it is harder to study the effects of these drugs on a woman’s ability to lose weight.

Regardless of the reasons for weight gain, weight loss requires calorie reduction. This can be accomplished in many ways. A diet that is low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables has been a standard for weight loss for many years, but low carbohydrate, vegetarian, low glycemic index and Mediterranean diets can also be used to lose weight. Many people find keeping a journal of what you eat and drink as a first step to understanding your eating patterns. You might be surprised by “hidden” calories you are consuming. Some people also find a structured meal plan to be helpful when starting a weight loss program. Commercial programs can also be useful to teach you how to recognize where your calories re coming from and create new eating patterns.

Question about Diet/Exercise Resources: Do you have any recommendations for books or resources that would be a good guide to helping with navigating the best things to do for nutrition/exercise after breast cancer?

Dr. Ligibel:The American Cancer Society has developed a set of diet and nutrition guidelines for cancer survivors that is available on its web site.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has also made Obesity and Cancer one of its primary initiatives this year and will be releasing a set of materials about weight, nutrition, and diet for cancer survivors in the next few weeks. This materials will be available in print and online through the Cancer.net website.

Question about Neuropathy: Can diet or exercise help neuropathy from chemo?

Dr. Ligibel:There is not a lot of evidence that diet or exercise can help neuropathy from chemotherapy. There are studies looking at glutamine, a supplement, but this product seems to work best while an individual is receiving chemotherapy treatments. On-going studies are looking at acupuncture as a potential treatment for chemotherapy-induced neuropathy.

Question about Prevention: What should we tell our daughters, sisters, mothers, wives, girlfriends about diet/exercise to help them prevent breast cancer?

Dr. Ligibel:There is a lot of evidence that a “healthy” lifestyle—keeping your weight in a healthy range, exercising regularly, and consuming a diet that is higher in fruits and vegetables and lower in fat—could reduce the risk of developing breast and other cancers. This doesn’t mean that these behaviors are 100% effective in preventing breast cancer or that people who don’t do any of these things will necessarily develop breast cancer, but the evidence does suggest that maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be part of a cancer prevention strategy.

General nutrition and physical activity recommendations from the American Cancer Society for Cancer Prevention include the following:

1. Stay Active: perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week, such as walking at a brisk pace

2. Consume a healthy diet that is low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables and fiber

3. Maintain your weight in a healthy range and attempt weight loss if you are overweight or obese

4. Limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men

Question about Immune System: My questions are three-fold: First- does boosting the immune system help prevent breast cancer? Second, Is there a diet that boosts the immune system (I am a vegetarian)? And, lastIy, I just read something about a study showing that a vegetarian diet is linked to poor health—what does this mean to me as a breast cancer survivor?

Dr. Ligibel:There is a lot that we do not know about the biology that links nutrition and exercise to breast cancer. Some scientists have hypothesized that the immune system may play a role in this connection, but there is little conclusive evidence. Similarly there is not much known about how specific foods or supplements affect the immune system, so I would not recommend a particular diet to enhance the immune system.

Finally, vegetarian diets can be very healthy, as long as they contain a good balance of essential nutrients. It can be hard to consume enough protein, for example, for individuals who maintain a vegetarian diet. As long as you ensure that you consume a balanced diet, there is no reason why a vegetarian diet would be unhealthy. If you have specific concerns regarding your diet, I would recommend meeting with an oncology nutrition specialist.

Question about Diet/Exercise to help with fatigue: I have metastatic breast cancer—been on multiple treatments for what seems like forever. I am grateful to be alive but am beginning to feel what I assume are the cumulative effects of all of my treatments. Are there any recommendations for food or exercise that might help with my fatigue?

Dr. Ligibel:There is unfortunately very little information about the role of diet and exercise in patients with advanced breast cancer. However, exercise has been shown to be an effective way to reduce fatigue in many studies performed in women with early-stage cancer undergoing chemotherapy. There have been a few small studies of moderate-intensity exercise in women with advanced cancer that suggest that exercise is safe and may have benefits. I would recommend asking your doctor about starting an exercise program. As long as he or she is supportive of this, I would recommend slowing starting to exercise. It is important to set reasonable goals, and begin slowly. If you have not been exercising at all, even just walking around the block once per day can be a good start. Build up the time that you spend exercise each week, and you will likely begin to see some benefits in terms of your energy level.

Question about Weight Loss: I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer last July at the age of 31. I am currently on maintenance treatment and need to lose about 40-50 pounds. I lost a lot of my strength during treatment and I am a pretty picker eater who hates to cook. The thought of having to lose that much weight is so overwhelming even though I know it will help to decrease recurrence. Can you tell me what 2 or 3 things (whether nutrition or exercise related or both) that I can start with?

Dr. Ligibel:It can be daunting to know where to figure out where to start when you would like to lose a lot of weight. We find that people are most successful when they start with an attainable goal. Studies have shown that smaller amount of weight loss, 5-10% of your starting body weight, can have many benefits, even if people can’t lose 50 pounds.

I would recommend that you start with keeping track of what you eat for a week. Look for “hidden” calories like soft drinks, alcoholic beverages or juices, which are high in calories and not filling. Processed foods and sweets are also very high in calories with less nutritional value. Try to limit the amount of these you consume.

Start slowly with exercise if you have not been active. Make a plan to start with walking at a moderate pace for 10-15 minutes three times per week and gradually increase to every day, and then for longer periods of time.

Joining a group program (like Weight Watchers) can also be helpful for some people, or working with a weight loss “buddy”, a person with whom you can explore low calorie recipes and exercise, works for some people.

Question about Maca: I am taking Femara for ER & PR + stage III breast cancer. Is it safe to take Maca to help manage side effects of the AI?

Dr. Ligibel:There is unfortunately no safety data for this supplement for women with breast cancer.

Question about Soy: My question concerns tamoxifen, nutrition and products that contain soy. I was diagnosed 1/19/12 with invasive ductal carcinoma PR+ ER+ HER2+ and received bilateral lumpectomies, No lymph node involvement either side, 16 taxol/herception weekly infusions, 33 radiation rounds, 4 A/C, and the year’s course of Herceptin. I have been taking tamoxifen for the last year and a half and have read conflicting information about soy products. Although my hot flashes have subsided a bit, they do keep wake me up at night. I realized that many protein rich yogurts and nutrition bars have traces of soy in them. I considered soy as a supplement initially but decided against it, since the research appeared to be “”out”” on the final word (soy mimics estrogen but does it tend to promote my type of estrogen-driven cancer?). What are your thoughts on how much soy is “”good”” or harmful in contributing to recurrence? I appreciate your opinion. ”

Dr. Ligibel:There is a lot that we do not know about the relationship between soy and estrogen-driven breast cancers. Early studies showed that high doses of soy led to breast cancer formation in lab experiments, but it is not clear whether this amount of soy was remotely similar to what a woman could consume through diet. A number of recent reports looking at diet patterns in women in Asia and the US suggested that the risk of breast cancer recurrence was not increased by soy intake. Although there are some difficulties in using this information to completely conclude that soy intake is “safe” for breast cancer survivors, most experts at this point feel fairly confident that some soy intake in the diet is unlikely to be dangerous for breast cancer survivors. This means that it is likely not necessary to be reading food labels to avoid products containing soy, but I would personally stop short of endorsing soy as a supplement for a breast cancer survivor.

Question about Foods to Avoid: Are there any specific foods we should stay away from specifically if you are positive to estrogen?

Dr. Ligibel:There is a lot of debate regarding the use of soy products in women with an estrogen-positive breast cancer (please refer to the prior question regarding soy). Other foods also contain phytoestrogens, which are plant-based substances that are similar in structure to hormonal estrogen but come from plant sources. There is not a lot of definitive evidence about the risks or benefits of any of these products in women with breast cancer, but as a general rule, the moderate amounts of most of these substances in foods are considered safe.

Therefore, I would not say that there is good evidence that any food needs to be avoided for women with breast cancer, but soy products, flax seed, and alcoholic beverages (which also increase estrogen in some situations) should be taken in moderation.

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The Dangers of the Artificial Sweetener Aspartame


Diet soda is falling out of favor due to the growing unpopularity of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose (Splenda). PepsiCo even replaced the aspartame in Diet Pepsi with Splenda in 2015 in an effort to win back customers who’ve become wary of aspartame’s health effects — but it clearly didn’t work.

Aspartame Effects

Story at-a-glance

  • PepsiCo replaced the aspartame in Diet Pepsi with Splenda in 2015 in an effort to win back customers wary of aspartame’s health effects
  • In the first quarter of 2016, Diet Pepsi sales declined by 10.6 percent
  • To save their slumping sales, and please customers who apparently disliked the taste of the aspartame-free Diet Pepsi, the company is reintroducing aspartame-sweetened Diet Pepsi to the market

At the time, PepsiCo said the No. 1 request by its customers was to remove aspartame from Diet Pepsi.1 Senior vice president of Pepsi’s flavors unit, Seth Kaufman, noted, “Diet cola drinkers in the U.S. told us they wanted aspartame-free Diet Pepsi.”2

However, annual per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in 2015 was 650 eight-ounce servings, the lowest rate since 1985, according to a report from industry-tracking group Beverage Digest.3

PepsiCo had the steepest decline — a 3.1 percent volume loss — and their Diet Pepsi product was particularly hit hard with a nearly 6 percent drop. In the first quarter of 2016, Diet Pepsi sales fell even more, declining 10.6 percent, according to Beverage Digest.4

To save their slumping sales, and please customers who apparently disliked the taste of the aspartame-free Diet Pepsi, the company is reintroducing “Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend” — i.e., Diet Pepsi sweetened with aspartame — to the market.

2 of 3 Diet Pepsi Varieties to Contain Aspartame

Classic Diet Pepsi is slated to come back to the market in September 2016, featuring a light blue can. In a silver can will be regular Diet Pepsi, sweetened with Splenda.

There’s also Pepsi MAX, which comes in a black can and is going to be reintroduced in the U.S. as Pepsi Zero Sugar. This, too, will contain aspartame.5 Crystal Pepsi, which first made its debut in the ‘90s, will also be making a comeback in 2016, at least temporarily.

The clear soda does not contain caffeine or phosphoric acid and is perceived to be healthier than typical dark-colored sodas. Its limited reintroduction, timed not coincidently amidst dropping sales, is likely an attempt to test the market to see if more health-conscious consumers will take the crystal-clear bait.6

Unfortunately, all of this relabeling and reintroducing is missing the point, which is not only that soda is detrimental to your health — no matter what shade, flavor or color — but also that diet soda by any name is likely even worse.

Aspartame May Lead to Glucose Intolerance and Diabetes

Many people who are overweight or obese also struggle with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, and consequently choose artificial sweeteners over sugar, believing the former to be a healthier choice.

Yet, studies have found that artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, may lead to weight gain7 and glucose intolerance by altering gut microbiota.8

Unbeknownst to many, aspartame has been found to increase hunger ratings compared to glucose or water and is associated with heightened motivation to eat (even more so than other artificial sweeteners like saccharin or acesulfame potassium).9

For a substance often used in “diet” products, the fact that aspartame may actually increase weight gain is incredibly misleading.

A recent study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism also found that consuming aspartame may be associated with greater glucose intolerance, particularly for people who are obese. According to the study:10

“This study provides evidence that consumption of aspartame may be associated with greater diabetes risk in individuals with higher adiposity. Aspartame is reported to be associated with changes in gut microbiota that are associated with impairments in insulin resistance in lean and obese rodents.

We observe that aspartame was related to significantly greater impairments in glucose tolerance for individuals with obesity … ”

It’s Not Only Aspartame That’s the Problem

This is far from the first time artificial sweeteners have been linked to metabolic problems. According to separate research published in PLOS ONE:11

“Regular consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks is associated with disorders of the metabolic syndrome, including abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and/or impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia and high blood pressure.

In particular, daily diet soda consumption (primarily sweetened with N-a-L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanine methyl ester, aspartame … ), is reported to increase the relative risk of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome by 67 percent and 36 percent respectively.”

Yet, it’s not only aspartame that’s linked to health problems, so if you’re thinking that sticking with PepsiCo’s Splenda-sweetened diet soda is smarter, you’re being misled. Like aspartame, Splenda affects your body’s insulin response.

When study participants drank a Splenda-sweetened beverage, their insulin levels rose about 20 percent higher than when they consumed only water prior to taking a glucose-challenge test.12

Blood sugar levels also peaked at a higher level, So the artificial sweetener was related to an enhanced blood insulin and glucose response,” researchers noted, adding:13

“Although we found that sucralose affects the glucose and insulin response to glucose ingestion, we don’t know the mechanism responsible. We have shown that sucralose is having an effect.

In obese people without diabetes, we have shown sucralose is more than just something sweet that you put into your mouth with no other consequences. What these all mean for daily life scenarios is still unknown, but our findings are stressing the need for more studies.”

Don’t Be Misled: Diet Soda Is Not a Healthy Choice

PepsiCo is desperately trying to grab a corner of the market it currently misses — health-conscious consumers. Reformulating its diet soda is just one of its plans toward this end.

Ironically, the company, which spent more than Monsanto to defeat legislation calling for mandatory state and federal labeling of products containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, even has plans to release a GMO-free line of its Tropicana juices.14

But make no mistake. In the case of Diet Pepsi, they can call it whatever they want and put it in any color can they can possibly imagine, but it won’t change the fact that it’s among the worst beverages you can consume for your health.

Aspartame May Cause Brain Damage and Other Health Effects

Ninety-two percent of independently funded studies found aspartame may cause adverse effects, including depression and headaches.15 A study also found the administration of aspartame to rats resulted in detectable methanol even after 24 hours, which might be responsible for inducing oxidative stress in the brain.15

Aspartame is made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. But the phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness.

That phenylalanine methyl bond, called a methyl ester, is very weak, which allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol.

When aspartame is in liquid form, it breaks down into methyl alcohol, or methanol, which is then converted into formaldehyde and represents the root of the problem with aspartame.

In short, both animals and humans have small structures called peroxisomes in each cell. There are a couple of hundred in every cell of your body, which are designed to detoxify a variety of chemicals.

Humans have the same number of peroxisomes in comparable cells as non-human animals, but human peroxisomes cannot convert the toxic formaldehyde into harmless formic acid. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and may cause birth defects.

Diet Soda May Make You Want to Eat More Junk Food

Diet soda is a scam of the worst kind, because those who drink it typically believe they’re doing their body a favor by cutting out some calories.

But research shows diet soda drinkers may later “compensate” for the calories they didn’t consume in their soda by eating more high-sugar, high-sodium and high-in-unhealthy-fats foods later in the day.17 They may also feel compelled to eat more junk food because the diet beverage didn’t satisfy their craving or desire for calories.

Obese adults were affected the most and had the highest incremental daily calorie intake from unhealthy foods associated with diet beverages, which again shows that the people most likely to consume artificial sweeteners are also among those most likely to be harmed by them.

Are You Ready to Ditch Aspartame and Other Artificial Sweeteners?

First, I highly recommend trying an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many “soda addicts” kick their habit, and it should work for any type of craving (including diet soda cravings) you may have. If you still have cravings after trying Turbo Tapping, you may need to make some changes to your diet. My free nutrition plan can help you do this in a step-by-step manner.

Your best, most cost-effective, choice of beverage is filtered tap water. I strongly recommend using a high-quality water filtration system unless you can verify the purity of your water. Seltzer or mineral water is another option, especially if you’re missing the fizz of soda.

Adding a squeeze of lemon or lime is one way to add some flavor and variety, and many soda drinkers find it easier to ditch soda when replacing it with some sparkling water. Unsweetened tea and coffee can also be healthy and can add some variety to your beverage choices without ruining your health.

Diet Soda’s Worst Fear Coming True: Massive Study links Aspartame to Major Problems.


As concerns about health epidemics plague the nation, demand and sales of diet soda have plunged as consumers try to make better choices. As we reported, aspartame (the main sweetener for diet soda) is one of the most dangerous ingredients used in our food supply, causing seizures and a host of other health issues.

In a new study done over ten years and sampling 60,000 women, it was shown that women who drink two or more diet drinks a day have much higher cardiovascular disease rates and are more likely to die from the disease.

30 percent more likely to have a heart problems…

Compared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event [heart attack or stroke] and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.

This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome, says Dr. Ankur Vyas, the lead investigator of the study.

The association persisted even after researchers adjusted the data to account for demographic characteristics and other cardiovascular risk factors, including body mass index, smoking, hormone therapy use, physical activity, energy intake, salt intake, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake.

On average, women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were younger, more likely to be smokers, and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and higher body mass index.

Soda sales slipping…

Thankfully this study comes on the heels of reports of already slipping sales of diet soda, one of the largest aspartame markets.

According to Time Magazine:

One reason for the decline could be a growing awareness of the obesity epidemic in the US and growing health concerns surrounding sugar-sweetened beverages. According to Reuters, industry experts say the beverage industry is shrinking under the scrutiny. Even diet-branded drinks have suffered a loss of sales with concerns over artificial sweeteners.Whatever the reason for the decline, this new study should only add fuel to the movement away from artificial sweeteners. There are plenty of natural sweeteners that people can choose that are much healthier than aspartame. Click here for a practical guide to natural sweeteners.

Another important note is that the overall sales of soda going down also means that less people are being exposed to (mostly GM) high fructose corn syrup which carries a whole host of health risks as well.

Massive 10-Year Study Has Linked Diet Soda To Heart Attacks And Stroke


So you’ve decided to take control of your diet and try and live a healthier life, but you just can’t resist soda. In your mind, you rationalize the decision and decide that you can keep drinking it as long as you switch to diet soda instead. It’s a choice that millions of people make every year, as the clever marketing departments of large soda companies convince us that switching to diet is a perfectly healthy alternative.

The reality is that these claims are simply untrue! Most soda manufacturers use an artificial sweetener, called aspartame, to replace sugar. A new study carried out by the University of Iowa, has shown that this chemical is linked to an increased likelihood of heart disease.

Dangers of Drinking Diet Soda

The study, headed up by Dr. Ankur Vyas, was one of the most comprehensive of its type with nearly 60,000 women participating over nine years. Known as the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, the research found that participants who drank two or more cans of diet soda a day were 30% more likely to have a cardiovascular event (e.g. heart attack) and 50% more likely to die of a heart-related disease than someone who drank none.

‘This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome,’ said Vyas. Given the scale of the study and the fact that approximately one in five people in the United States consume diet drinks on a daily basis, the results could prove to be hugely significant to overall public health.

The 59,614 participants were split into four groups by the research team: two or more diet drinks a day, five to seven diet drinks per week, one to four diet drinks per week, and zero to three diet drinks per month.

After nearly nine years the health records of each woman was analyzed and the results were that coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack, coronary revascularization procedure, ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiovascular death, occurred in 8.5% of the women consuming two or more diet drinks a day compared to 6.9% in the five-to-seven diet drinks per week group; 6.8% in the one-to-four drinks per week group; and 7.2% in the zero-to-three per month group.

The results, on the surface, didn’t appear to fit the hypothesis that aspartame was one of the leading causes of heart disease. However, the records showed that alongside the slightly higher rate of heart-related health issues, the women in the two or more a day group were, on average, significantly younger than the women in the other groups, meaning the diet sodas were causing health issues at an accelerated rate. The women in this group also had the highest average BMIs, the rate of diabetes and highest average blood pressure.

Despite the scale of the study, no official conclusion can be drawn but the initial signs are worrying. ‘Based on these and other findings we have a responsibility to do more research to see what is going on and further define the relationship,’ Vyas explained. ‘This could have major public health implications.’

Several more research projects have been commissioned since the publication of the University of Iowa’s results, in order to deduce the scale of the issues that aspartame can cause. However, the advice in the meantime is to cut out soda drinks from your daily life and even if you do occasionally indulge; regular soda is actually better for you than the diet variety.

The money pumped into making diet soda appear as a healthy alternative is further proof that many large companies are far more concerned with lining their pockets than benefitting their consumers. When it comes to the things you eat and drink, make sure you know exactly what you are putting into your body.

Diet Soda, Aspartame Linked To Premature Deaths In Women


A decade-long study of 60,000 women has confirmed that drinking diet soda sweetened with aspartame is linked with a 30 percent increase in heart attack risk and a 50 percent increase in death risk. The findings, presented at the American College of Cardiology (1), have already been partially swept under the rug with the false explanation that diet drinks don’t necessarily cause these risks but are instead merely correlated with them. “Women who toss back too many diet sodas may be trying to make up for unhealthy habits,” claims an article on CNBC (2), while citing no evidence whatsoever to support the claim.

Keep in mind that any time a synthetic vitamin is correlated with increased mortality, the entire scientific community immediately describes those synthetic vitamins as “causing” death. Correlation is causation only when industry-funded scientists say it is. Aspartame is a neurotoxin What scientists refuse to explore — even when the data clearly show a strong death risk association — is that aspartame is a neurotoxin. The reason why women who drink diet soda have a 50 percent increased death risk is, of course, far more likely to be caused by what’s in the diet soda rather than some lifestyle choice. Aspartame, after all, is made from the feces of genetically engineered bacteria. It is not a natural sugar but rather a chemical compound created in an industrial lab. Used in diet sodas, it breaks down into a number of chemical compounds including formaldehyde and methanol. During digestion, the formaldehyde is oxidized into formic acid, a chemical known to cause toxicity in mammalian biology. Formic acid is also secreted by ants as part of their “chemical weapons” arsenal. Aspartame linked to

The reason why women who drink diet soda have a 50 percent increased death risk is, of course, far more likely to be caused by what’s in the diet soda rather than some lifestyle choice. Aspartame, after all, is made from the feces of genetically engineered bacteria. It is not a natural sugar but rather a chemical compound created in an industrial lab. Used in diet sodas, it breaks down into a number of chemical compounds including formaldehyde and methanol. During digestion, the formaldehyde is oxidized into formic acid, a chemical known to cause toxicity in mammalian biology. Formic acid is also secreted by ants as part of their “chemical weapons” arsenal. Aspartame linked to

Keep in mind that any time a synthetic vitamin is correlated with increased mortality, the entire scientific community immediately describes those synthetic vitamins as “causing” death. Correlation is causation only when industry-funded scientists say it is. Aspartame is a neurotoxin What scientists refuse to explore — even when the data clearly show a strong death risk association — is that aspartame is a neurotoxin. The reason why women who drink diet soda have a 50 percent increased death risk is, of course, far more likely to be caused by what’s in the diet soda rather than some lifestyle choice. Aspartame, after all, is made from the feces of genetically engineered bacteria. It is not a natural sugar but rather a chemical compound created in an industrial lab. Used in diet sodas, it breaks down into a number of chemical compounds including formaldehyde and methanol. During digestion, the formaldehyde is oxidized into formic acid, a chemical known to cause toxicity in mammalian biology. Formic acid is also secreted by ants as part of their “chemical weapons” arsenal. Aspartame linked to

Aspartame, after all, is made from the feces of genetically engineered bacteria. It is not a natural sugar but rather a chemical compound created in an industrial lab. Used in diet sodas, it breaks down into a number of chemical compounds including formaldehyde and methanol. During digestion, the formaldehyde is oxidized into formic acid, a chemical known to cause toxicity in mammalian biology. Formic acid is also secreted by ants as part of their “chemical weapons” arsenal. Aspartame linked to long list of neurological problems Aspartame denialists try to pretend that all this formaldehyde, methanol and formic acid has no effect on human health. Their argument is identical to that of GMO denialists: “GMOs are harmless!”

It’s even the same argument as mercury denialists: “Mercury is harmless!” Why, then, is aspartame so frequently linked to blurred vision, headaches and neurological problems when repeatedly consumed in the form of diet drinks? In fact, there are over 90 side effects linked to aspartame consumption, including headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, rashes, depression, irritability, insomnia, hearing loss, vision problems, loss of taste vertigo and memory loss. Soda companies and misinformed doctors all try to pretend none of these side effects are real — that people are all imagining headaches, blurred vision, numbness, insomnia and so on. That’s how unethical the soda industry is: they poison their own customers with a neurotoxic chemical, then call them delusional when they suffer neurological side effects. If you drink diet soda, you are murdering yourself The bottom line in all this? If you drink diet soda, you are essentially murdering yourself. Call it “slow suicide.” There are a thousand beverages healthier than diet sodas: tea, fruit juice, mineral water, raw almond milk… even non-diet sodas are better for you than diet sodas! (And diet sodas have been conclusively proven to have no effect whatsoever on weight loss. So drinking them is a useless diet

In fact, there are over 90 side effects linked to aspartame consumption, including headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, rashes, depression, irritability, insomnia, hearing loss, vision problems, loss of taste vertigo and memory loss. Soda companies and misinformed doctors all try to pretend none of these side effects are real — that people are all imagining headaches, blurred vision, numbness, insomnia and so on. That’s how unethical the soda industry is: they poison their own customers with a neurotoxic chemical, then call them delusional when they suffer neurological side effects. If you drink diet soda, you are murdering yourself The bottom line in all this? If you drink diet soda, you are essentially murdering yourself. Call it “slow suicide.” There are a thousand beverages healthier than diet sodas: tea, fruit juice, mineral water, raw almond milk… even non-diet sodas are better for you than diet sodas! (And diet sodas have been conclusively proven to have no effect whatsoever on weight loss. So drinking them is a useless diet

There are a thousand beverages healthier than diet sodas: tea, fruit juice, mineral water, raw almond milk… even non-diet sodas are better for you than diet sodas! (And diet sodas have been conclusively proven to have no effect whatsoever on weight loss. So drinking them is a useless diet gesture to begin with.) If for some reason you are still drinking diet soda, find a healthier beverage and stop poisoning yourself to death. From the American College of Cardiology website: [A] study led by Ankur Vyas, MD, of the University of Iowa found that postmenopausal women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were 30 percent more likely to experience a cardiovascular event and 50 percent more likely to die from related cardiovascular disease than women who never, or only rarely, consumed diet drinks. The analysis of 59,614 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, who had an average age of 62.8 and no history of cardiovascular disease, saw that after an average follow-up of 8.7 years, the primary cardiovascular outcome occurred in 8.5 percent of the women consuming two or more diet drinks per day compared to 6.9 percent in the five-to-seven drinks per week group; 6.8 percent in the one-to-four drinks per week group; and 7.2 percent in the zero-to-three per month group. The difference persisted when researchers adjusted for other cardiovascular risk factors and co-morbidities. The association between diet drinks and cardiovascular disease warrants further study to define the relationship, Vyas said.

From the American College of Cardiology website: [A] study led by Ankur Vyas, MD, of the University of Iowa found that postmenopausal women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were 30 percent more likely to experience a cardiovascular event and 50 percent more likely to die from related cardiovascular disease than women who never, or only rarely, consumed diet drinks.

The analysis of 59,614 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, who had an average age of 62.8 and no history of cardiovascular disease, saw that after an average follow-up of 8.7 years, the primary cardiovascular outcome occurred in 8.5 percent of the women consuming two or more diet drinks per day compared to 6.9 percent in the five-to-seven drinks per week group; 6.8 percent in the one-to-four drinks per week group; and 7.2 percent in the zero-to-three per month group. The difference persisted when researchers adjusted for other cardiovascular risk factors and co-morbidities. The association between diet drinks and cardiovascular disease warrants further study to define the relationship, Vyas said.

Diet Soda’s Worst Fear Coming True: Massive Study links Aspartame to Major Problems


diet soda

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/TB6L9S_jc5E

Popular “Diet” Ingredient Now Linked to Leukemia and Lymphoma in New Landmark Study on Humans


As few as one diet soda daily may increase the risk for leukemia in men and women, and for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men, according to new results from the longest-ever running study on aspartame as a carcinogen in humans. Importantly, this is the most comprehensive, long-term study ever completed on this topic, so it holds more weight than other past studies which appeared to show no risk. And disturbingly, it may also open the door for further similar findings on other cancers in future studies.

aspartameee

 The most thorough study yet on aspartame – Over two million person-years

For this study, researchers prospectively analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study for a 22-year period. A total of 77,218 women and 47,810 men were included in the analysis, for a total of 2,278,396 person-years of data. Apart from sheer size, what makes this study superior to other past studies is the thoroughness with which aspartame intake was assessed. Every two years, participants were given a detailed dietary questionnaire, and their diets were reassessed every four years. Previous studies which found no link to cancer only ever assessed participants’ aspartame intake at one point in time, which could be a major weakness affecting their accuracy.

 

One diet soda a day increases leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas

The combined results of this new study showed that just one 12-fl oz. can (355 ml) of diet soda daily leads to:

– 42 percent higher leukemia risk in men and women (pooled analysis)
– 102 percent higher multiple myeloma risk (in men only)
– 31 percent higher non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk (in men only)

These results were based on multi-variable relative risk models, all in comparison to participants who drank no diet soda. It is unknown why only men drinking higher amounts of diet soda showed increased risk for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Note that diet soda is the largest dietary source of aspartame (by far) in the U.S. Every year, Americans consume about 5,250 tons of aspartame in total, of which about 86 percent (4,500 tons) is found in diet sodas.

Confirmation of previous high quality research on animals

This new study shows the importance of the quality of research. Most of the past studies showing no link between aspartame and cancer have been criticized for being too short in duration and too inaccurate in assessing long-term aspartame intake. This new study solves both of those issues. The fact that it also shows a positive link to cancer should come as no surprise, because a previous best-in-class research study done on animals (900 rats over their entire natural lifetimes) showed strikingly similar results back in 2006: aspartame significantly increased the risk for lymphomas and leukemia in both males and females. More worrying is the follow on mega-study, which started aspartame exposure of the rats at the fetal stage. Increased lymphoma and leukemia risks were confirmed, and this time the female rats also showed significantly increased breast (mammary) cancer rates. This raises a critical question: will future, high-quality studies uncover links to the other cancers in which aspartame has been implicated (brain, breast, prostate, etc.)?

There is now more reason than ever to completely avoid aspartame in our daily diet. For those who are tempted to go back to sugary sodas as a “healthy” alternative, this study had a surprise finding: men consuming one or more sugar-sweetened sodas daily saw a 66 percent increase in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (even worse than for diet soda). Perhaps the healthiest soda is no soda at all.

Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women


A decade-long study of 60,000 women has confirmed that drinking diet soda sweetened with aspartame is linked with a 30 percent increase in heart attack risk and a 50 percent increase in death risk.

The findings, presented at the American College of Cardiology(1), have already been partially swept under the rug with the false explanation that diet drinks don’t necessarily cause these risks but are instead merely correlated with them. “Women who toss back too many diet sodas may be trying to make up for unhealthy habits,” claims an article on CNBC,(2) while citing no evidence whatsoever to support the claim. Keep in mind that any time a synthetic vitamin is correlated with increased mortality, the entire scientific community immediately describes those synthetic vitamins as “causing” death. Correlation is causation only when industry-funded scientists say it is.

Aspartame is a neurotoxin

What scientists refuse to explore — even when the data clearly show a strong death risk association — is that aspartame is a neurotoxin. The reason why women who drink diet soda have a 50 percent increased death risk is, of course, far more likely to be caused by what’s in the diet soda rather than some lifestyle choice.

Aspartame, after all, is made from the feces of genetically engineered bacteria. It is not a natural sugar but rather a chemical compound created in an industrial lab. Used in diet sodas, it breaks down into a number of chemical compounds including formaldehyde and methanol. During digestion, the formaldehyde is oxidized into formic acid, a chemical known to cause toxicity in mammalian biology. Formic acid is also secreted by ants as part of their “chemical weapons” arsenal.

Aspartame linked to long list of neurological problems

Aspartame denialists try to pretend that all this formaldehyde, methanol and formic acid has no effect on human health. Their argument is identical to that of GMO denialists: “GMOs are harmless!” It’s even the same argument as mercury denialists: “Mercury is harmless!”

Why, then, is aspartame so frequently linked to blurred vision, headaches and neurological problems when repeatedly consumed in the form of diet drinks? In fact, there are over 90 side effects linked to aspartame consumption, including headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, rashes, depression, irritability, insomnia, hearing loss, vision problems, loss of taste vertigo and memory loss.

Soda companies and misinformed doctors all try to pretend none of these side effects are real — that people are all imagining headaches, blurred vision, numbness, insomnia and so on. That’s how unethical the soda industry is: they poison their own customers with a neurotoxic chemical, then call them delusional when they suffer neurological side effects.

If you drink diet soda, you are murdering yourself

The bottom line in all this? If you drink diet soda, you are essentially murdering yourself. Call it “slow suicide.”

There are a thousand beverages healthier than diet sodas: tea, fruit juice, mineral water, raw almond milk… even non-diet sodas are better for you than diet sodas! (And diet sodas have been conclusively proven to have no effect whatsoever on weight loss. So drinking them is a useless diet gesture to begin with.)

If for some reason you are still drinking diet soda, find a healthier beverage and stop poisoning yourself to death.

From the American College of Cardiology website:

[A] study led by Ankur Vyas, MD, of the University of Iowa found that postmenopausal women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were 30 percent more likely to experience a cardiovascular event and 50 percent more likely to die from related cardiovascular disease than women who never, or only rarely, consumed diet drinks. The analysis of 59,614 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, who had an average age of 62.8 and no history of cardiovascular disease, saw that after an average follow-up of 8.7 years, the primary cardiovascular outcome occurred in 8.5 percent of the women consuming two or more diet drinks per day compared to 6.9 percent in the five-to-seven drinks per week group; 6.8 percent in the one-to-four drinks per week group; and 7.2 percent in the zero-to-three per month group. The difference persisted when researchers adjusted for other cardiovascular risk factors and co-morbidities. The association between diet drinks and cardiovascular disease warrants further study to define the relationship, Vyas said.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/044510_diet_soda_aspartame_death_risk.html#ixzz3w6vOxcDM

Which causes cancer more quickly: cigarettes, diet soda or GMOs?


Some people believe that regularly smoking the 7,000 chemicals in commercial cigarettes is the quickest way to get cancer in the world. Other folks believe that artificial sweeteners, because they taste so sweet, trick the body into ingesting them and are the “Trojan horses” of the food industry, causing breast cancer and prostate cancer faster than any other food, drink or consumable chemical-laced product on the market. But then again, there’s GMOs. Genetically modified organisms contain pesticides that can kill nearly any living thing that consumes them, including insects, rats and, yes, humans. Pesticide is the umbrella name for herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, algaecides and even fertilizers meant to kill “pests” — hence the name.

Cancer

There is really NO MEASUREMENT right now for how many GMOs are in foods, drinks and even cigarettes. Scientists who modify organism through gene insertion are apt to promote the corresponding pesticides, no matter whether humans are dying from them or not. Cigarettes, diet soda and GMOs — are you guilty of “consuming” all three daily? Then your clock is ticking!

Most foods labeled “diet,” “light” or “zero” are toxic to humans. They are carcinogenic and cause free radicals to warp your good cells, strangulating mitochondria and multiplying uncontrollably. Eventually, cancerous cells find damaged tissue or an organ to suffocate. This is when most doctors and oncologists in America first “discover” cancer, after it is fully manifested, and for many, it’s too late. More than 50 percent of people who getcancer die from it, and one-third of all Americans get cancer at some point in life. Who gets it first and who gets it the worst — the diet soda drinkers, the pesticide-laden GMO food eaters or the smokers?

Smoking commercial cigarettes – a “compound” problem!

The “Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement” or “MSA” was entered in November of 1998 between the four largest US tobacco companies, which include Philip Morris Inc., Brown & Williamson, R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard. Tobacco-related healthcare costs (detriment) were settled (covered), and Big Tobacco agreed to “curtail” marketing practices (were told not to market to kids so much). Plus, they were adding ammonia to the manufacturing process and got busted red-handed by a whistleblower in court. This is how “crack” nicotine was discovered by the general public, via a settlement made for marketing restrictions. So what’s really in a commercial cigarette? Can you mix ammonia, bleach and pesticide? Doesn’t that create a form of mustard gas? How can this be a legal form of “recreation”?

Hazards of consuming toxic “diet” sweeteners – aspartame, sucralose and sorbitol

We are decades into diet soda frenzy and addiction, and nothing has changed! At least one of the evil “fake sugars” can be found in every popular diet soda across the nation — they’re the Trojan horses of the cancerous conventional food and beverage industry. The sweet tastes fools your body into ingesting it, trying to use it, and THAT is how your cells mutate and cancer begins to “take root.” Do you have IBS, general anxiety, muscle pain for “no reason,” arthritis “flare ups,” ringing in the ears, daily fatigue or, even worse, fibromyalgia? Cut out all artificial sweeteners for ONE WEEK and see how you feel. Guess what caused most of the “Gulf War Syndrome” — artificial sweeteners.

Did you know that aspartame alone accounts for 75 percent of all complaints to the FDA about side effects from food toxins? Also watch out for acesulfame potassium (more FDA-approved “cancer” sweetener) found in many protein shake mixes and sugar-free gums. It’s just a cousin of the evil aspartame!

Cancer’s HOV lane: eating GMO!

Shocking new research reveals that a GM corn approved in Europe for use in food and (animal) feed, and Roundup (weed killer) used with it, can cause increased tumors, premature death and organ damage at levels previously claimed by EU regulatory authorities to be perfectly safe. This information was not made public. Want to get in the high occupancy lane for cancer and drive really fast? It’s dangerous. Don’t mess with your health. Don’t flirt with disaster.

Conclusion: Don’t eat cancer. Don’t drink it and don’t smoke it! The carcinogens can only win the battle if you feed them their necessary fuel — more carcinogens. Try to NEVER drink soda or diet soda or eat GMOs. If you smoke, you can quit starting today using the natural method called 14AndOut, recommended by Health Ranger Mike Adams.

10 reasons to ditch the diet soda and artificially sweetened gum


First of all, artificial sweeteners are linked to diabetes, so let’s not even go there. According to a new study, reaching for “fake” sugars means trading calories for type 2 diabetes — no thanks! A better choice would be to eat organic honey and exercise, but doctors don’t tell you that. So we turn to research for validation. In the journal Nature, they’ve been debating the risks of artificial sweeteners for decades, but the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel figured out that diet sodas ruin your gut microbes, thus ruining immunity. Since artificial sweeteners cannot be digested, and phosphoric acid is brutal on the flora to begin with, the combination is leading to diabetes, and microbes seem to provide the missing link as to “why.” Most of the discussions in the past involved confusion about something that wasn’t being digested leading to diabetes, but this study conducted with 400 human test subjects is groundbreaking.
diet soda

Aspartame, sucralose and saccharine put under the “diabetes microscope”

“In a series of experiments in mice and people, the researchers examined the interaction between gut microbes and consumption of the sweeteners aspartame, sucralose and saccharine. Depending on the types of microbes they had in their intestines, some people and mice saw a two- to fourfold increase in blood sugars after consuming the artificial sweeteners for a short time. Over time, high blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes,” said Eran Segal, a study co-author who is a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute.

“The magnitude of the differences were not just a few percentages. These were actually very dramatic differences we saw both in the mice and in the human settings.”

The study also revealed that those who consumed the most artificial sweeteners were more likely to have problems controlling blood sugar.

Here are the TOP TEN reasons to ditch diet soda today and forever:

1. Increased risk of stroke or heart attack from more than one diet soda per day (even though Diet Coke promotes heart health in their advertising).

2. More likely to suffer from depression

3. One-third higher risk of metabolic syndrome when you drink diet soda regularly (check your excess belly fat). This was proven way back in 2008 by a study done at the University of Minnesota that included 10,000 participants.

4. Two-third higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

5. Kidney decline risk doubles (Harvard study). So much for detoxifying your blood while you try to “control” calorie intake.

6. Who wants dental erosion? The phosphoric acid does a number on your teeth!

7. Diet soda hinders your ability to lose weight (though it is sold boldly on the reverse claim).

8. Chemicals in the body promote obesity by disrupting your hormone balance.

9. Artificial sweeteners initiate sugar cravings and overeating.

10. Synthetic, lab-made sweeteners are heavily linked to cancer. The body interprets the sweet taste of food and tries to ingest it, mutating your cells and causing them to multiply out of control.

Also, aspartame creates an excess of neurotransmitters (chemicals) that pass messages between your neurons. Dr. Russell Blaylock explains this well. This overload disrupts the calcium balance in brain cells, causing a rush of free radicals, killing off brain cells. You can kill two-thirds of your brain in a particular area before any clinical symptoms of lowered brain function even show up in testing by doctors.

Take the “die” out of your diet

Appreciate this metaphor and you will have a clear understanding of the best cancer prevention plan on the planet: If you were a general in the army and you were going to battle with a worthy adversary, your most important strategy for short- and long-term advantage would be to cut off the other army’s supplies, including their fuel and ammunition. If you do that, the enemy will be so weak that you are sure to win that battle and probably never have to fight a war. Cut off cancer’s fuel. Cancer feeds off an acidic body loaded with pesticides, synthetic “food” stuff, fluoridated water and genetically modified organisms. Once you stop eating cancer, the cells that are mutated inside your body now will die off. It’s time to apply common sense ALL the time. Ditch diet soda and the “fake sugar” chewing gum now and forever, and tell your friends and family the same.

Sources:

http://www.grassfedgirl.com

http://www.usatoday.com

http://www.kidneydoctorbradenton.org

http://www.health.harvard.edu

http://www.naturalnews.com

https://donteatcancer.wordpress.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/048296_artificial_sweeteners_diet_soda_cancer.html#ixzz3PHLtVgCz