Archives for: February 2010
I am aware that you may not answer this question, but I will attempt because I am very confused. I understand the concept of eating for your blood type. But, as a cancer survivor and a Type A - I'm having trouble connecting the soy issue. I read an answer you wrote on your web site, but it was so medically scientific I couldn't understand.
Do you believe that soy is linked to cancer? If so, do you believe it is linked to Type A's? How do you justify putting someone on a high soy diet and not be concerned about cancer?
Thank you for your time.
Soy is not linked to cancer. Some cancers are estrogen sensitive and the theory is that since soy contains a form of plant estrogen, these plant estrogens might work to stimulate cancer, just as the biological forms of estrogen do.
However, soy estrogens are very weak estrogens (tamoxifen, by the way, is also a weak estrogen) so in most situations they block the estrogen receptor, more than stimulate it. Soy also has two other functions which make it desirable in cancer patients, particularly those who are type A. It contains a protein, soy bean agglutinin, which can target cancer cells directly and help to kill them.
The flavones in soy, in particular genistein help keep genes methylated, which tends to suppress any cancer tendencies. Finally soy is rich in saponin molecules which has independent ant-cancer mechanisms of their own. A 2008 Japanese study was published on soy consumption and rates of breast cancer. This study looked at 24,226 Japanese women aged 40 to 69. Women who had the most consistently high levels of genistein had the lowest rates of breast cancer.Historically, breast cancer rates in the United States have been 4-7 times those in Asia, whereas isoflavone intake in the United States is less than 1% that in Asian populations.
You will hear and read a lot of garbage about soy on the internet. If you were to take the advice of some of these sites and authorities, you might as well give up most nuts, fruits and vegetables since they contribute more phytoestrogens into the average American diet than do soy products. Yet Americans have higher breast cancer rates than cultures where soy is a bigger part of the diet. Finally, many of the anti-soy crusaders point to a potential for soy to block mineral absorption, as it contains chemicals phytates. This might be true if soy were consumed in astronomical doses, but better evidence suggests that phytate containing foods also appear to block the development of colon cancer as well.
Bear in mind it is not a perfect food in everyone. However if you look at the dynamics of the type A immune system, it would appear to be a very useful food in these people.
"Islands -- I don't get them.
Surrounded by water, poor things."
Patrizia, in Antonioni's L'Adventura
The quote above is from the delightful 'Waterfront' by Phillip Lopate. The book is literary tour around Manhattan island, from the perspective of a social historian. I am a sucker for architectural history, especially of my beloved borough of Brooklyn ('Fourth Largest City in America'). About a year ago, I embarked on a project to determine the exact whereabouts of original Dutch settlement of New Utrecht, a neighborhood of Brooklyn close to where I grew up, and probably most famous for supplying the high school shots at the opening of the iconic TV show 'Welcome Back Kotter.'
From old landholding maps found on the internet, I could superimpose the old street drawings of New Utrecht as layers in Photoshop over the Mapquest diagrams of the modern area. To my surprise, the town center of New Utrecht lay within the parking lot of a ramshackle discount store where as a child I would get my school supplies, and whose owner in 1969 once tried to convince several very skeptical kids that a chunk of sidewalk in the display case under the checkout counter was actually a moon rock from Apollo 11.
To understand the apparent lack of purpose for that interaction, you must read some of Arthur Miller's remembrances of his childhood in Brooklyn .
The Internet site The Edge asked a few hundred deep thinkers "What's your law?"? I liked Eberhard Zangger's two laws.
Zangger's First Law
Most scientific breakthroughs are nothing else than the discovery of the obvious.
Zangger's Second Law
Truly great science is always ahead of its time.
As examples, he gives:
The Hungarian surgeon Ignaz Semmelweiss in 1847 reduced the death rate in his hospital from twelve to two percent, simply by washing hands between operations -- a concept that today would be advocated by a four year old child. When Semmelweiss urged his colleagues to introduce hygiene to the operating rooms, they had him committed to a mental hospital where he eventually died.
The German meteorologist Alfred Wegener discovered in 1913 what every ten year old looking at a globe will notice immediately: That the Atlantic coasts of the African and South American continents have matching contours and thus may have been locked together some time ago. The experts needed sixty more years to comprehend the concept.
Heinrich Schliemann's excavation of Bronze Age Mycenae and Tiryns in Greece was considered by English archaeologists in The Times' as the remains of some obscure barbarian tribe' from the Byzantine period. In particular, the so-called prehistoric palace in Tiryns was labelled "the most remarkable hallucination of an unscientific enthusiast that has ever appeared in literature."
The theories of the Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud were called "a case for the police" during a neurologists' congress in Hamburg in 1910.