cruciferous vegetables

  1. Study finds Gardasil safe -- but don't believe it

    New study on HPV shots misses the point

    Here's an urgent warning for anyone with a daughter or granddaughter and a vaccine-happy doctor pushing HPV shots: DON'T!

    A new study claims the main vaccine used against HPV, Gardasil, is safe despite plenty of evidence to the contrary -- including years of reports of side effects that include everything from serious and permanent nerve disorders right up to death.

    But the main thing you need to know about the study isn't the results, which are questionable at best. It's who paid for it: Merck, the makers of Gardasil.

    Sounds like they got their money's worth.

    Gardasil, as I'm sure you've heard by now, is often called the "cervical cancer vaccine" despite the fact that it doesn't actually protect against cervical cancer.

    It only protects against some -- not all -- strains of HPV, the virus that causes the disease.

    In the new study, researchers claimed the only risks of the shot were skin infections and fainting. And if that were true, the shot might be worth it even though it offers only limited protection.

    But it's not true.

    There have been literally thousands of serious adverse side effects linked to the shot and reported to the FDA -- including paralysis, temporary and permanent nerve damage, blindness, seizures, and even dozens of deaths.

    Despite all those well-documented risks, there's been pressure on parents from every direction -- pressure from doctors, pressure from school districts, and even pressure from the government, all aimed at getting little girls vaccinated to "protect" them from HPV.

    But you don't need a dangerous shot for that. In most cases, you don't need anything at all. Here are the three most important things every parent and grandparent should know about HPV prevention and protection:

    1. You can't get HPV without sexual contact, so it's critical to teach teens the importance of abstinence. Some parents laugh when I tell them this is the best vaccine of all. They tell me it's not realistic. I remind them that there are a number of sexually transmitted diseases that cannot be vaccinated against -- including HIV, gonorrhea, and syphilis, which can be deadly. Their chuckling soon stops.
    2. If you do get HPV -- and many people do, eventually -- your own body will take care of it 90 percent of the time, and this is according to the CDC's own numbers. No vaccine can match that success rate.
    3. A diet rich in cruciferous vegetables and vitamin E can help the body to beat HPV infections and even reduce the risk of the cervical dysplasia that can turn into cancer.

    Finally, remember that even cervical cancer itself is detectable, treatable, and beatable. Pap smears may be uncomfortable, but they are safe and non-toxic -- unlike HPV shots.

  2. Vegetables with the power to beat cancer

    There's something about broccoli

    It has the power to stop breast tumors from growing... and you can find it in your local supermarket for less than $2 a pound.

    Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have long been recognized by science for their cancer-fighting powers, especially when it comes to breast cancers, but researchers have taken it to the next level by isolating the main compound believed to help put the brakes on tumors.

    It's called glucoraphanin, and on its own it doesn't do much.

    But when the vegetable is damaged -- like when you eat it -- it gets converted into a molecule called sulforaphane that can boost antioxidant levels in the body and even fight off the enzyme that allows tumors to grow.

    There's even evidence it can stimulate the production of other cancer-fighting enzymes in the body.

    Put it all together, and you can see why one recent study found that women who eat the most cruciferous vegetables are 62 percent less likely to die of breast cancer and 35 percent less likely to have a recurrence than those who eat the least.

    And that's also why there's a race to turn broccoli into a cancer-fighting "drug."

    In two promising clinical trials under way right now, researchers are giving different levels of sulforaphane to cancer patients, and you can bet I'll keep you posted on the progress of those studies.

    But in the meantime, you can get the same levels of this molecule -- and more -- without making too many changes to your diet. In fact, researchers say just three or four servings of cruciferous veggies a week should be enough to do the trick.

    The best sources of glucoraphanin are broccoli sprouts, especially young sprouts, but you'll also find it in regular broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Cooked right, they're also delicious.

    But if they can beat cancer, I'd say they're worth eating even if you don't love the taste.

  3. Broccoli beats breast cancer

    I recommend cruciferous vegetables for detoxification so often that I'm sure some of my patients think I own stock in a broccoli farm.
  4. Do women really need less of this life saving test?

    If there's any cancer screening that actually works -- one that saves lives without ruining any in the process -- it's the Pap smears used to detect cervical cancer in women.

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