Could Food Sensitivities Increase Your Risk Of Cancer?
A new study in the journal, Science (August 16, 2012)1, has found that intestinal inflammation can alter your gut flora and promote cancer.
What does this have to do with food sensitivities?
Food sensitivities are an immune response. Eighty percent of your immune system is in your intestinal tract. The health of your intestinal tract depends on the proper balance of micro flora present in your gut.
An imbalance in your intestinal flora can be caused by antibiotics and other drugs as well as poor diet. This can lead to a leaky gut where partially digested foods pass from your gut into your bloodstream. Your immune system doesn’t recognize them as food. It sees them as foreign invaders, like bacteria or viruses, and attacks them. This causes inflammation to occur in your body. As long as you keep eating foods to which you are sensitive, you will continue to develop more and more inflammation.
Digestive symptoms are commonly a result of food sensitivities.
Norma was always bloated and had indigestion so bad it kept her awake at night.
Deborah had constant digestive problems – bloating, alternating constipation and diarrhea and just feeling awful every time she ate, even though she was eating only healthy food.
Carolyn had chronic heartburn for three years.
Glenn had major gastrointestinal issues, including leaky gut syndrome.
Celia had stomach discomfort, bloating and gas.
Corrin had stomach aches daily and irritable bowel syndrome regularly.
Gayle had acid reflux and constipation.
All these people had their digestive problems resolve after eliminating foods to which they were sensitive.
In addition, Alice was amazed at the improvement in her digestive problems by omitting her sensitive foods.
Carlos finally got his IBS under control after eliminating foods to which he was sensitive.
Carolyn F was on medication for a hiatal hernia and acid reflux before learning about the foods to which she was sensitive. After eliminating them, she went off her medication and had no more heart burn.
So what does this have to do with cancer? None of these people had cancer.
My dad was a “health food nut” for as long as I could remember. I used to think he was weird when I was a kid because he ate differently than the rest of us in the family. My mother did the cooking and she was not into healthy foods.
We didn’t eat a lot of junk food because my dad bought the groceries and had a large garden in the back yard. But he did compromise on some things for my mother and we ate white bread while my dad ate wheat. We had goodies when my mother baked with white flour and white sugar.
My dad was always meticulous about the food he ate. He read books, encyclopedias and magazines to keep up on the latest news about how to stay healthy. Back in those days computers didn’t exist and the information wasn’t as readily available as it is today. But he was always on top of it.
That’s why I was dumbstruck when I received a phone call in December 1990 telling me that my dad had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Everything about his lifestyle pointed to him being optimally healthy. He ate only healthy foods. He exercised regularly. Being healthy was of utmost importance to him. He did not fit the profile of a person I would expect to get cancer.
Was my dad’s cancer related to food sensitivities?
I had never heard of food sensitivities at that time and I’m sure my dad hadn’t either. So, I’ll never know. He left this earth in January 1992. But if I had to venture a guess, I’d say there was probably a strong possibility that he had food sensitivities and inflammation in his colon.
He was doing everything right when it comes to eating healthy foods. And you can be sensitive to healthy foods. In fact some of the healthy foods I ate day in and day out from the time I was a child, healthy foods that my dad grew in his garden, are foods to which I have been sensitive. And if you eat healthy foods to which you are sensitive, day in and day out, you will cause inflammation in your body.
Now that science has shown a link between intestinal inflammation and cancer, and since food sensitivities cause inflammation, wouldn’t it be wise to find out if your digestive issues may be related to food sensitivities?
Food for thought.
Note: This is not a substitute for medical advice. If you have health problems, consult your physician.
1 Science. 2012 Aug 16. [Epub ahead of print], “Intestinal Inflammation Targets Cancer-Inducing Activity of the Microbiota.”