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Offline Last Active Apr 21 2014 05:37 PM

#3425482 Great Article On Why The "leaky Gut" Isn't Real

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 10 April 2014 - 05:20 PM

There's a lot of wrong stuff in that article.


First, it assumes that digestion is perfect. But let's roll with that. The article states that food is "almost totally digested by the time it leaves the duodenum". This leaves the entire stretch of the duodenum available for undigested food particles to cross. So this alone is no evidence against the so-called leaky gut theory.


Second, intestinal permeability is a very well known phenomenon, and has been extensively studied in athletes (vigorous exercise increases permeability). It has also been studied in cases of microbial enteritis - infection of the gut with pathogenic bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Endotoxins and exotoxins produced by infecting bacteria have been observed to cross from the intestines into the bloodstream, where they cause a variety of symptoms. These toxins are often full, undigested proteins.


The article neglects to realize that it doesn't matter that there are "several layers of cells" separating the intestinal lumen from the bloodstream. Proteins are tiny. The spaces between cells are larger than 1 protein. In fact, there are proteins called selectins, cadherins, and integrins that project into the intercellular spce and interact with other selectins, cadherins, and integrins to hold cells together. Depending on how many there are, the interactions between the cells can be tighter or looser, and thus permeability status can change, as is seen after a period of intense exercise.


Moreover, you don't even need a full protein to incite an immune response. You can have a protein fragment - say, 30 amino acids - that can induce a potent immune response. And since food is still undigested in the duodenum, there are plenty of opportunities for a 30AA fragment to cross into the bloodstream.


The authors of this article also seemed to forget that entire cells pass through blood vessel walls and the walls of the intestine depending on the composition of their surface proteins. How else would macrophages get around?


Antibody testing is a bit of a different story. IgG4 indicates downregulation of an overactive immune response - tolerance. Many food sensitivities look at IgG, and in particular IgG4. People get confused when they get their results back, and see high IgG for a whole bunch of foods that they didn't think caused them problems. And they're right - most of those foods don't cause problems, because a high IgG reading is indicative of tolerance, and not intolerance. However, there is another takeaway from the IgG tests. If you have high IgG antibodies to a certain food, that indicates that an immune response did happen, but is now being controlled. This can be indicative of a related problem. For example; if you come up sensitive to wheat and chocolate, the wheat could be causing damage, thus allowing other molecules to cross into the bloodstream and react. Your problem isn't chocolate, but rather the wheat, even though both come up as problems on the IgG test. It's also possible that a microbe is increasing permeability, and food isn't a problem at all; once the inflammation is dealt with, the problems go away. There are many of these scenarios that are possible, and it's extremely difficult to figure out which one if happening for you.


But what is NOT true is the idea that IgG antibody tests just don't matter. They matter. They give you information that is useful, and can indicate a problem. It is merely difficult to identify the root of the problem.


It's also important to note that the immune system interacts different with particles in the bloodstream as opposed to the lumen of the intestine. There's an interesting study somewhere that explained it nicely. I think you can find it on the wiki page for IgG if you're interested.

#3425467 Gap Between Finishing One Month And Starting Another?

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 10 April 2014 - 04:30 PM

I believe there was a study done where the experimental group took isotretinoin 20mg 2x a day for the first week of every month (and then 3 weeks without), while the control group took 20mg 1x a day. The results were similar, even though the experimental group took essentially half the dose of the control group (the experimental group had more recurrences after treatment and slightly less efficacy, but that was probably due to dose).


So it should be fine.

#3424038 This Website Sure Isn't What It Used To Be

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 03 April 2014 - 12:31 AM

I don't think anyone is arguing that we can turn our genes on and off "like a light switch" by making lifestyle changes.  I was simply stating that gene expression and environment are not independent.


You're a young girl - I'm assuming 21-22 based on your picture? you have yet still a lot to learn. What you're taught in those college classes are just purported theories most of the time and not always scientifically accurate. Canadian universities are unfortunately not the best either, which is not surprising as Canada is a very mediocre country.


I'm intrigued by the number of people that seem to think that we know everything about the world. But this is demonstrably false, because science exists. There are still things we don't know. And because there are always things we won't know, we need to understand that science is just a means to approximate truth. Sometimes we like to distort the meaning of science, and we forget that double blinded, perfectly controlled studies are not the only source of information - rather, they are the best source of information. Yet other sources of information still have value. Anecdotes can sometimes see things that epidemiological studies miss on the basis of significance. Moreover, scientists are human too (I should know, I am one). Not only do scientists make mistakes, but we also need to compete for funding. This intense competition provides an incentive to overstate results, or shuffle away side effects because they fell under the threshold of significance.


When it comes to acne, we are just now beginning to break the long-held paradigm of a disease with hormonal causation. It's taken decades for us to realize that acne isn't caused by sebum, but rather by immunological events that precede bacterial colonization. This pattern of paradigm destruction and reconstruction is widespread throughout the sciences, especially within biology - we're constantly finding new pieces to the puzzles that change how we view health and states of disease. Do you really want to bet everything on the flawed and mercurial theories of biology? We use a bottom-up approach to health that's akin to building a house without looking at the blueprint.  Do you think there will be no missteps? This kind of arrogance, which I'm also guilty of, has led to so much suffering. Just look at heart disease. Saturated fat intake, it's been reported, doesn't correlate with heart disease. Imagine that. All this advice from doctors and scientists for decades, and we had it wrong all along. In fact, we had it so wrong that the opposite was true. It now appears that our advice to 'eat low-fat' caused more heart disease, along with a plethora of other problems. I wonder how many people died early, and had our arrogant science to thank.


But that's not really the issue here. The issue is this: you started this thread to complain about a change in the mindset of this website's population from something you agree with, to something you disagree with. You're certainly right, too; this thread, and my response, are testament to that. But you're wrong to say that this change is inherently bad. Progress does not come from stagnation. Debates need to be had and evidence both scientific and anecdotal needs to be presented for solutions to be explored and discovered, hopefully in a reasonable manner (which doesn't always happen). I think most people would do well with a more open mind in this regard.


Still, you need to understand that those who support a more holistic solution are (usually) just trying to help. Some do it more elegantly than others. Sometimes, advice can be taken as a critique, and critique can be taken as an attack, which can devolve into accusations of scientific illiteracy or fallacy. But let me ask you this: what if these people are wrong? What if diet has no connection to acne at all, a waste of time for not just you or me, but for everyone? What if people clean up their diet, start exercising, sleep 8 hours a night, and get some sunshine, all for naught? What if, in this ridiculous example, people were able to grow and explore the realm of health a little bit for themselves, instead of just popping a few pills?


Is there really a tragedy here?

#3424031 Epiduo For 6 Weeks

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 02 April 2014 - 11:18 PM

Retinoids are great for non-inflammatory acne. Cysts take much longer to stop. Sometimes they won't stop at all.


You should stay on the retinoid (even for non-inflammatory acne, results take ~3 months), but while doing so I would suggest dietary modification. Something like the paleo diet could work very well for you. Try it strictly for a couple of weeks and see what happens. And get off the minocycline, that stuff can ruin you down the raod even if you feel fine on it now. Several new studies have come out very recently delineating permanent flora changes after antibiotic use.

#3415432 A Desperate Plea For Help My Son Has Severe Acne

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 20 February 2014 - 10:59 AM

Have you considered food sensitivity testing?


These tests are unproven, and thus must be ordered through a naturopath; however, based on my experience with these tests, they have been very helpful in identifying the problem. They are about $100, and test many, many foods as well as common allergens. You can also get a vitamin/mineral test, which I would also recommend. The tests I did were the IgG Food Antibody Assessment by Genova Diagnostics, and the NutrEval test also by Genova Diagnostics. When I first took these tests about 2 years ago, my acne looked similar to your son's, though a little less inflamed, and more on the forehead. Serum levels of a large number of vitamins and minerals were low; I had high sensitivities to wheat, soy, peanuts, and a few other things; my gut flora was out of whack (I did a stool test as well). The naturopath I was seeing put me on a restricted diet and gave me some herbs and probiotics to help with gut flora.


ow at the time, I thought the whole process was silly; there was really no evidence for any of her 'treatments' in scientific literature, and, being a scientist, I had more faith in the literature than in a quack naturopath. I didn't think acne had anything to do with diet. In fact, I dismissed the naturopath's claims outright at first, and while I took the herbs and probiotics, I didn't really change my diet.


Anyway, here I am two years later. The transition to a paleo-esque diet has been hard, and it took a long time to get used to. It's really only been the last few months that I've been very serious about avoiding the foods I tested to be sensitive to. Last week I took the food sensitivity and vitamin tests again. Everything has improved drastically. I have almost no reaction to wheat, peanuts, and soy; my serum vitamins are within the norm. Most importantly, though, my acne is about 90% better. Not gone - but much, much better. It doesn't look like I have acne any more, unless you get up close.


I've tried a lot of things. I've probably tried just about everything short of accutane. Some things helped, other things didn't. What I can say for sure is that my acne did not improve because of topicals. In fact, my topical regimen is extremely limited - I only wash my skin once a day with a salicylic acid scrub (this I have found to help, which is why I am continuing it) and I do not apply any medications or moisturizers (I occasionally moisturize, but maybe only once a week).


The real turning point came just a few weeks ago. Up until then, I would get spots on my chest after eating something that I was sensitive to. I went to Minnesota last weekend, and was unable to adhere to my diet; I ate soy, I ate wheat, I ate everything and anything, muffins, donuts, pasta, ice cream etc. Not a single spot. It seems as though my gut has healed enough to prevent some larger food antigens from entering my blood. I began consuming bone broths via soup about a month ago, and I think this is how I healed.


Of course, this was in combination with a safe diet. And it took me two years (though I didn't have all the tools at my disposal that I do now for the majority of that time).


I would really recommend getting testing done. It's easier to solve a problem if you know what needs to be fixed. And you'll probably save money in the long run. Until then, though, paleo diet (rice is okay though) with a strong emphasis on bone broths (use hamhocks and beef bones with some vegetables and spices, get the joints and tendons too, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, let it simmer for 18-24 hours) will probably be immensely helpful. Vegetable juice would also be good (carrots, kale, celery, cucumber, a little green apple, broccoli, etc). A perfect meal would be a chicken, vegetable (cherry tomato, onion, celery, cauliflower, carrot, spinach), and rice soup in bone broth with a glass of vegetable juice.


I think it's important to note that probiotics could make the situation worse if your son has a compromised gut barrier. Gut microbes are often behind forehead acne, so it might be good to stop those for now. If you want to cover all the bases, order a stool test from the naturopath as well. If there's an overgrowth of a particular bacteria, removing it could drastically improve your son's acne.



Now that I've written all that, I noticed that you mentioned itchy skin. This can be two things. The first is an IgE reaction to food antigens - so, leaky gut. In this case I would recommend testing for food sensitivities, and all the other stuff I mentioned above to heal a leaky gut.


The second is fungal folliculitis. It's possible that this is a topical infection - NOT acne. You can test this by washing with an anti-dandruff shampoo; I would use head and shoulders with zinc pyrithione; apply in a layer in the shower, leave it on for ~3 minutes, wash off - make sure it all comes off, otherwise you could get lots of irritation. If it's fungal, it will respond within a couple days, and be drastically improved within a week or two. Note that zinc pyrithione is also antibacterial, so it will improve normal acne as well - just not as much, and not as quickly, and not as completely. Using a shampoo on the face can be quite irritating, so it would be good to moisturize afterward. Like I said, I tried everything :)


My bet is still that it's the first option, though, so if you want to test the head and shoulders shampoo, I would do it in combination with bone broth/restrictive paleo+rice diet in addition to getting the three tests mentioned - food antibody and vitamins (which are both blood tests), and stool.

#3413818 Great Article On Acne-Diet Connection By Nutrition Professional

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 12 February 2014 - 07:02 PM

Robertitoo: Considering that many, many meat eating societies have no acne at all, I think you're wrong. People in developed countries used to eat fewer processed grains and more meat overall, and, as you pointed out, more and more people seem to be getting acne. Don't get me wrong, though - plenty of fruits and vegetables is always a good thing. Your demonization of meat, however, is unwarranted, unbased, and potentially harmful.


Our bodies are designed to eat meat. They are also designed to eat fruits and vegetables, but likely to a lesser degree.


Here's a long Scientific American article on humans and meat consumption that you will likely ignore or deny, despite the high quality of the source and recency of publication: 





But even all this evidence aside, there are many nutrients in animal products that are highly beneficial for us. And, as the eskimos have shown us, humans are able to survive on meat alone, while we cannot survive on plants alone. Veganism has not one leg to stand on.

#3413603 A Desperate Plea For Help My Son Has Severe Acne

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 11 February 2014 - 08:33 PM

Sorry Flaxen, but the link between diet and acne has come under more scrutiny recently and some correlations have been identified, specifically between acne and high GI foods. The research is in its infancy, but I have no doubt that more correlations will be uncovered. Suggesting accutane before dietary changes is almost offensive, given the individual in question's past experiences with this particular chemotherapy. The list of side effects is extensive, and some of them are permanent and severe. On top of that, it doesn't work in a good deal of people, and in many for whom it does work, the acne returns. There is a time and place for accutane, but it's really only after all other options are exhausted - especially dietary changes, which should be thoroughly investigated before even considering accutane.


Eating a healthy diet - and by healthy I mean a pseudo-paleo diet - is something that has worked for a lot of people. And really, we should all be doing it anyway.

#3412714 A Desperate Plea For Help My Son Has Severe Acne

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 06 February 2014 - 10:38 PM

ACV = apple cider vinegar, the good stuff (Bragg's brand), should be opaque

#3412699 A Desperate Plea For Help My Son Has Severe Acne

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 06 February 2014 - 08:57 PM

Remove wheat and dairy. Add fish and beef liver (liver, onions, and bacon is a nice simple recipe). For topical treatment, you could try a mild salicylic acid wash. There's a possibility this could be folliculitis, so you could try using head and shoulders shampoo on the face instead. It's harsh, but you're supposed to apply it in a layer and leave it on for 3-5 minutes, then wash off very thoroughly. Alternatively, you could buy a bar of soap that contains zinc pyrithione. I would also recommend a moisturizer - the best I've found is CeraVe moisturizing cream.

#3411263 My Story, My Changed Life And My Clear Skin

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 30 January 2014 - 08:25 AM

Why would there be antibodies to sugar?


Sugar exerts its detrimental effects via routes other than allergy/sensitivity.


...Oh right I forgot you think that every human condition in existence is caused by food intolerance :/

#3410773 What Does It Really Look Like?

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 27 January 2014 - 10:33 PM

I've learned not to bother looking in mirrors. You're totally right that every mirror makes you look different. Some of them make it look like I have a long face, others are by windows and illuminate the little bumps and scars with white light, others make me look very attractive. It's silly. I've just stopped paying attention to most of them...I use the dimmest lights possible, too, so I can't see anything even if I did look.  I still do this, even though my skin is actually really good right now...

#3409666 First Post Here :) Bloodwork/food Allergy Tests?

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 22 January 2014 - 09:43 AM

You could try finding a naturopath. But as alternativista said, be sure that the test includes IgG (and maybe IgA).

Here's a little what various institutes around the world has to say about those IgG tests.


From the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology & American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:

IgG and IgG subclass antibody tests for food allergy do not have clinical relevance, are not validated, lack sufficient quality control, and should not be performed.


From Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA):

There is no credible evidence that measuring IgG antibodies is useful for diagnosing food allergy or intolerance, nor that IgG antibodies cause symptoms.


From the Allergy Society of South Africa, Position Statement: ALCAT and IgG Allergy & Intolerance Tests:

the IgG food antibody test is being used to diagnose food intolerance in the absence of stringent scientific evidence. We urge general practitioners, pharmacists and charities not to endorse the use of these products until conclusive proof of their efficacy has been established.


From the Food Allergy Initiative:

IgG antibodies are found in both allergic and non-allergic people. Experts believe that the production of IgG antibodies is a normal response to eating food and that this test is not helpful in diagnosing a food allergy.


So as you can see, if you take those tests you are going to become a really paranoid person, just like 95% of the people in the diet and holistic health section of the forum. It's the same thing with religion, when someone is really desperate like gets sentenced life to prison or in death row, they usually starts to believe in god. But we all have to make that choice in our own little heads.


Yeah I've seen most of those dissents. Lacking controls and evidence does not mean that there is in fact no benefit to taking the tests. As the Allergy Society of South Africa states, more research is required before we can know for certain whether or not these tests are useful. Until then, it could go either way.


I'm more concerned, though, with the fact that these dissents address allergy and food intolerances. Allergy involves IgE, which isn't being disputed here, and food intolerances are usually considered by the conventional medical community to be limited to gluten and lactose. When they aren't, they are hard to identify and diagnose because they are often less severe, chronic, and delayed from time of ingestion of the food in question. This makes me question the wisdom of these critiques in assuming the "healthy subjects with raised IgG for several foods" were actually healthy. Not all inflammation is readily visible, or can even be felt by the subject.


The fact that IgG antibodies are found in allergic and non-allergic people has little relevance when it comes to intolerance, which is distinct from allergy. Again I'm concerned with how often allergy and intolerance are conflated.


Suggesting that raised IgG is a normal response to eating food seems a bit strange. Why don't we all have raised IgG to all the foods we eat? Why is it instead just a few? There is a distinction here that is not being made, and should be made, because clearly our bodies react differently to some foods, and raised IgG to some foods by definition is an example of that differential in reaction. Whether or not it is causing damage due to this IgG interaction can be questioned, but it isn't valid to assume that there is no damage being done just because there is not yet any evidence of damage being done, especially considering the low-grade chronic nature of food intolerances (as well as a wide range of symptoms that also vary in severity).


All that being said, I doubt that IgG testing is perfectly accurate. However, I do think that IgG levels correlate with food sensitivities in some cases - it's possible that raised IgG is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for developing a low-grade immune response. That is to say, if you have raised IgG for peanuts, wheat, and milk, and raised [X] for just wheat, then you will only develop symptoms to wheat; the IgG test therefore informs you of all of the things you *could* be sensitive to, and thus still gives you a modicum of information that can be used to your benefit ([X] is just some other downstream factor that could interact with IgG in some manner). The point is that we don't know enough about IgG and food intolerances to assert that IgG testing is invalid. On the other hand, we have some reason to believe that it works: IgG increases in response to food antigens, and IgG is involved in the elimination of antigens.


Most tests use IgG4. I think this little gem describes what we know about it best, and itself addresses many of the critiques of using IgG4 testing:


"Finally, if antigen persists, high affinity IgG4 is produced, which dampens down inflammation by helping to curtail FcR-mediated processes." (wikipedia IgG page)


Of interest, conventional medicine has proclaimed, because of the above, that raised IgG4 means that the immune system tolerates the antigen - IgG4 is a marker of tolerance, after all, when it comes to pathogens, and you can see from that quote that it achieves this tolerance by inhibiting FcR-mediated processes. However:


"The skin and digestive tract of humans and many other organisms is colonized with an ecosystem of microorganisms that is referred to as the microbiome. Though in mammals a number of defenses exist to keep the microbiota at a safe distance, including a constant sampling and presentation of microbial antigens by local DCs, most organisms do not react against commensal microorganisms and tolerate their presence. Reactions are mounted, however, to pathogenic microbes and microbes that breach physiological barriers." (wikipedia immune tolerance page)


So if you were to eat a food, you might get increased IgG4, and tolerance would happen. But if antigens cross into the bloodstream, you would get an immune response in addition to having elevated IgG4. The [X] factor I was talking about before could well be the translocation of a food antigen across the intestinal wall, which could be increased if the intestine is damaged by pathogens, pharmaceuticals, or certain types of other foods (gluten) that interact with cells lining the intestinal lumen.


I can say that my personal experiences somewhat align with this theory. If I eat wheat, I'll get (almost) flat red spots on my chest, and they will sometimes itch. If I keep eating wheat, these spots turn into pustules that look exactly like acne. The same thing happens if I eat chocolate. If I stop eating these foods (and a couple others - soy being one of them), the skin on my chest heals and becomes flawless. On the IgG test I took, I was sensitive to wheat, soy, peanuts, shellfish, and a few others (can't remember if chocolate was on the test). I break out from most of the things I tested sensitive for, with the notable exception of peanuts (though to be fair, I haven't tested peanut extensively as I don't really eat them). I think it's likely that antibiotic use (as a child for ear infections, and then later for acne; microbes are basically a barrier to antigens that cover your intestine) as well as poor diet led to damage, which allowed food antigens to cross more frequently and thus altered my immune response to certain foods that I was likely tolerating (that is, foods for which I had raised IgG4).


Anyways, sorry for writing a book, but I've seen conventional medicine fail many more times than it's succeeded. Medical practitioners, and even the scientists doing the basic research, are far too eager to fulfill their own hypotheses with ambiguous data. 

#3409480 5 Months Post-Accutane... Digestive Problems?

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 21 January 2014 - 12:48 PM

Sounds like you killed too many of your intestinal stem cells. Accutane is a cancer chemotherapy, after all. I'm not entirely sure what can be done. Perhaps the diarrhea a result of malabsorption. Sugars and ions hold onto water as they pass through your system, and so if they are not absorbed, they can make stools watery, as seen in lactose intolerance (lactose is a sugar). That's probably why your doctor thought it was lactose intolerance, but this is clearly more widespread since it didn't respond to reduced lactose intake, and likely applies to sugars and ions in general.


You'd have to try to stimulate regrowth. Avoid sugars (including starches), and try to eat more fats. There's a chance that you could have fat malabsorption as well, but that's less likely, and if you do, you'd probably be able to see it in your stools (you would be able to see the fat that wasn't absorbed). Also eat proteins, of course, but more fats.


I would suggest making bone broths to aid in healing; the gelatin, proteins, and host of other nutrients have been historically good for fixing GI issues. I would also suggest increasing fiber intake in the form of leafy greens; this should help to stabilize your flora, because the cellulose isn't meant to be by your body absorbed anyway.


Now, if you have Crohn's, it's a whole new story. I believe you would be in much pain, though, if that were the case.


Oh, and malabsorption can lead to nutritional deficiencies down the road and a whole host of other problems. You really need to dedicate yourself to fixing your body right now, otherwise it will be harder later on. Start with strict paleo - bone broth soups made correctly (if you have the resources to do so; just google paleo bone broth recipes), leafy green salads, a few of the less sweet fruits (you need to avoid sugars; go for small granny smith apples, raspberries, blackberries, pumpkin, all in moderation). Cook with butter and coconut oil. Use coconut cream to thicken things. If you don't know how to cook, a wealth of information is available online. There are many paleo websites you can draw information from about what you should and shouldn't eat. The transition is hard, but I'm afraid conventional medicine doesn't offer many cures for GI afflictions.

#3406864 My Journey And Determination To Cure Acne/perioral Dermatitis Or Whatever The...

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 09 January 2014 - 11:07 PM

Change your toothpaste. Buy something without fluoride, all-natural, etc. Perioral dermatitis is usually caused by an external antigen. I'm very sorry to hear that you went through all those topicals and antibiotics, because they were likely not necessary and could have made other problems for you.


If you're really determined, in addition to changing toothpaste (and making sure that you're not putting anything on or around the area, including acne medications, cosmetics, etc), you could try changing your diet. Strict paleo + toothpaste change and I would be very surprised if you still have a problem by the end of a month (unless you have digestive issues, which could take time to resolve).

#3406788 The Evolutionary Biology Behind Acne

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 09 January 2014 - 06:34 PM

gahhhhhh....cancer is a result of a mutation in your DNA that causes your cells to grow and divide at rapid rates.
For example, certain types of skin cancer happen when UV rays change three nucleotides to three thymines in a row. This causes a break in the "ladder" of your DNA, and you can't create the proteins needed for normal cell growth. This is not an allergic reaction, and is also not caused by the unhealthy consumption of macromolecules. In fact, bacteria can get this mutation from UV rays...but I don't see them getting obese-- excessive nutrients are NOT the reason behind cancer.


Anyway...I believe we are getting WAAAY off topic from the original post.


There are more ways than UV radiation to cause mutations in DNA. In fact, radiation is one of the less common causes of cancer, and is primarily restricted to skin cancer. Many more cancers arise from free radical reactions (a chain reaction in which an atom with a single unpaired electron can replace an atom with a full set of electrons, thus generating another radical). Free radicals are generated in a number of ways including smoking, radiation, and pollution, but they are primarily generated by our own metabolism (a side effect of the last step of the electron transport chain in which O2 becomes H2O). This is why our body makes a number of antioxidants, and why antioxidants are said to have cancer-preventative activities.


Even in conventional medicine, it has been clear for some time now that obesity and diabetes are correlated with increased cancer risk, as are smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.