Author Archives: ifuhaji

Strawberries: A Potential to Prevent Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is a booming cancer diagnosis in the United states in the past 20 years. It is usually discovered at late stages thus has a very low survival rate.

In the U.S. somebody dies every 36minutes of this disease. Believe it or not, it is usually caused by persistent heartburn or acid reflux disease.

April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness month. Esophageal Cancer action Network (ECAN) has launched a nationwide public awareness campaign.

Here is a short clip of what Esophageal cancer is and its causes and symptoms.YouTube Preview Image

Yesterday i came across a couple articles from Medindia, Time, The wall street

straberries @ flickr

journal and WebMD, that talked about strawberries having a potential to prevent esophageal cancer based on a preliminary research  by Tong Chen. (a cancer researcher at Ohio State  Comprehensive Cancer Center).

Based on the results from her animal study showing that strawberries had anti-cancer effects, Chen decided to study strawberries as a cancer preventive in humans.  Her study involved a total of 38 participants all from China who were about 55 years old suffering from a mild to moderate dysplasia in the esophagus. 36 participants completed the study and biopsies of the esophagus were taken before and after the study.

These participants were instructed to consume 30 grams of freeze-dried strawberries (powder) in a glass of water twice daily for six months. Out of the 36 participants, 29 of them showed a decreased level of precancerous lesions.

So, Strawberries may be an alternative to prevent esophageal cancer. But this does not mean that we could gulp down pounds and pounds of strawberries to prevent or fight cancer. This research is still at its preliminary stage. There is more research and scrutiny that needs to be done for these findings to be valid.

What to trust in making decisions; Cognitive thinking or Sientific methods?

We have all evolved to associate one thing to the other. We associate by thinking; finding and looking for meaningful patterns in our surroundings. Another reliable way to associate one thing to the other is by the use of scientific methods. The problem over  here is what to trust in  making a decision, our cognitive thinking or the scientific method?

In recent years, there has been a seeming connection between autism and MMR-vaccines. The parents of the children diagnosed of Autism, are trying to look for a causal link between this complex developmental disability and vaccines that the children had received.

In 1998, a British surgeon, Andrew Wakefield, published a paper claiming that the MMR-vaccine had a causal link to Autism. He proposed that the measles virus traveled to the children’s intestines causing intestinal damage. This damage then allowed brain damaging proteins to enter their blood stream. Dr.Wakefield used stories of 8 children who had developed symptoms of autism within a month of receiving the vaccines.

Here is the article from Wall street Journal that i came across Junk Science Isn\’t a Victimless Crime.

These findings fueled the debate over vaccine safety and lead many people to a general distrust in vaccines.

This type of study has been replicated many times around the world and each time no causal  link has been found. The following two articles from New Scientist proves that MMR-vaccine has no causal link to Autism; Autism rises Despite MMR Ban in Japan and MMR and Autism not linked, finds giant study.

I do not think Dr. Wakefield’s paper was statistically right. He based his conclusion on a very small sample size (about 12 children). He should have used  a way larger sample size as in the other two studies disproving the existence of a causal link (more than 30,000 or half a million children).

Overall, What do we believe; Is there a causal link between MMR-vaccine and Autism? In spite of knowing that the research linking MMR-vaccine to Autism has some discrepancies, we still feel that there is a link. Do not forget we have the ability to overcome our feelings in a situation and replace them with a logical and scientific reasoning that would serve us better and help us advance in life.

If further interested, here is part 1 of 10 of Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s interview on his MMR study by Dr. Mercola.

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