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Miso Soup and Stomach Cancer

Japan’s National Cancer Center reported that people who eat miso soup daily are 33 percent less likely to contract stomach cancer and 19 percent less likely to contract cancer at other sites than those who never eat miso soup. The thirteen-year study, involving about 265,000 men and women over forty, also found that those who never ate miso soup had a 43 percent higher death rate from coronary heart disease than those who consumed miso soup daily. Those who abstained from miso also had 29 percent more fatal strokes, three and a half times more deaths resulting from high blood pressure, and higher mortality from all other causes.

Source: T. Hirayama, “Relationship of Soybean Paste Soup Intake to Gastric Cancer Risk,” Nutrition and Cancer 3:223-33, 1981.


Sea Vegetables and Sarcomas

Japanese scientists reported that several varieties of kombu and mojaban, common sea vegetables eaten in Asia and traditionally used as a decoction for cancer in Chinese herbal medicine, were effective in the treatment of tumors in laboratory experiments. In three of four samples tested, inhibition rates in mice with implanted sarcomas ranged from 89 to 95 percent. The researchers reported that “the tumor underwent complete regression in more than half of the mice of each treated group. ” Similar experiments on mice with leukemia showed promising results.

Source: I. Yamamoto et al., “Antitumor Effect of Seaweeds,” Japanese Journal of Experimental Medicine 44:543-46, 1974.


Shiitake and Sarcomas

Japanese scientists at the National Cancer Center Research Institute reported that shiitake mushrooms had a strong anti-tumor effect. In experiments with mice, polysaccharide preparations from various natural sources, including the shiitake mushroom commonly available in Tokyo markets, markedly inhibited the growth of induced sarcomas resulting in “almost complete regression of tumors . . . with no sign of toxicity.”

Source: G. Chihara et al., “Fractionation and Purification of the Polysaccharides with Marked Antitumor Activity, Especially Lentinan, from Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Sing. (An Edible Mushroom),” Cancer Research 30:2776-81, 1970.


Lymphoma and Diet

Persons who regularly eat cereal grains, pulses, vegetables, seeds, and nuts are less likely to get lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease than persons who do not usually eat these foods, according to a 1976 survey based on World Health Organization data.

Source: A. S. Cunningham, “Lymphomas and Animal-Protein Consumption,” Lancet 2:1184-86.


Fat and Lung Cancer

In a review of the relation of diet, lifestyle, and lung cancer, researchers found that calories from dietary fat were highly significantly associated with lung cancer mortality. For example, male lung cancer deaths are highest in West European countries where a high-fat diet is consumed, and lowest in Thailand, Philippines, Honduras, Guatemala, and Japan where a low-fat diet is eaten.
While noting that smoking is still the major causative factor of lung cancer, the scientists theorized that a high-fat diet might also trigger the process by which cigarette smoke is harmful to the lungs. It is conceivable that “tobacco smoke is readily oxidized to the ultimate carcinogen as a consequence of a high-fat diet.”

Source: Ernst L. Wynder, James R. Hebert, and Geoffrey Kabat, “Association of Dietary Fat and Lung Cancer,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 79:631-37, 1987.


Vegetables and Lung Cancer

A Chicago study found that regular consumption of foods containing beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, protected against lung cancer. Over a period of nineteen years, a group of 1,954 men at a Western Electric plant were monitored, and those who regularly consumed carrots, dark green lettuce, spinach, broccoli, kale, Chinese cabbage, peaches, apricots, and other carotene-rich foods had significantly lower lung cancer rates than controls.

Source: R. B. Shekelle et al., “Dietary Vitamin A and Risk of Cancer in the Western Electric Study,” Lancet 2:1185-90, 1981.


Diet and Leukemia in chickens

In 1972 a Japanese scientist reported that leukemia in chickens could be reversed by feeding them a mixture of whole grains and salt. The experiment was conducted by Keiichi Morishita, M.D., technical chief for the Tokyo Red Cross Blood Center and vice president of the New Blood Association.

Source: K. Morishita, M.D., The Hidden Truth of Cancer (San Francisco: George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, 1972).


Fiber and Esophageal Cancer

An epidemiological study found that populations with a low risk of esophageal cancer in Africa and Asia consume more millet, cassava, yams, peanuts, and other foods high in fiber or starch than high-risk groups.

Source: S. J. van Rensburg, “Epidemiologic and Dietary Evidence for a Specific Nutritional Predisposition to Esophageal Cancer,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 67:243-51, 1981.


Lentils and Esophageal Tumors

A study in the Caspian littoral of Iran, an area of high esophageal cancer, associated this disease with lower intake of lentils and other pulses, cooked green vegetables, and other whole foods.

Source: H. Hormozdiari et al., “Dietary Factors and Esophageal Cancer in the Caspian Littoral of Iran,” Cancer Research 35:3493-98, 1975.


Beans and Bile Acids

Beans lowered bile acid production by 30 percent in men with a tendency toward elevated bile acid. Bile acids are necessary for proper fat digestion but in excess have been associated with causing cancer, especially in the large intestine. Case-control studies showed that pinto and navy beans were effective in lowering bile acid production in men at high risk for this condition.

Source: J. Anderson, “Hypocholesterolemic Effects of Oat-Bran or Bean Intake for Hypercholesterolemic Men,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 40:1146-55, 1984.