Like many of you I just read the article put out by Ms. Gina Kolata of the NY Times about diet and cancer prevention and here are my thoughts.
I also want to you to notice the response from our lead medical Nutrition Advisor Dr Fuhrman, and what he had to say about it.
First, about the author of this article: As a trainer I read Ms Kolata book, Ultimate Fitness: the truth about exercise and health; so I have gotten used to her writing style and the breadth and depth of her knowledge. It is vast, but like most people, not complete, so be very careful about what you adopt as a conclusion.
The many articles that she writes as fitness editor of the NY times, has her in a very influential position. And while I often quote her for some really smart things she has to say…, again, no one has all the answers, and her documentaries on health are clearly devoid of the more whole, truth people in the know understand.
She should stick to fitness, because this subject is far too big for her to take on especially in a weekly article. It reflects many personal, business and publishing biases that often result in a great sounding point, but result in a lack of substance like you see in Dr Furhman’s response.
That said, I wouldn’t expect Ms Kolata to have as much knowledge as Dr Fuhrman. Heck I wouldn’t expext most doctors to have as much insight as Dr Fuhrman. He is the Michael Jordan on this subject and Ms Kolata, should look get more insight before a conclusion like "there is little evidence to support a link between diet and cancer" can be reached. I think Dr Fuhrman clears this matter up.
Pure publishers, who are coming at this subject from the outside, can’t possibly have that insight; they are players in the business system of health and that system will always be unclear, provide weak conclusions, promote the need for more research and virtually always side with a conclusion that keeps the known causes in place, since the problem is what inspires the need for more research and more commentary about the problem. That’s business!
And if you want to really know the realities of how research is conducted in todays day and age, you need to read about The China Study, which even the NY times says is “the Grand Prix of all epidemiological studies” and “the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease”, They go on to say "…findings from the most comprehensive large study ever understaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease are challenging much of American dietary dogma".
The China Study is good research. Dr Fuhrman points out the studies represented in this article are not aggressive enough, are done too late in life, are too small, or are not comprehensive enough.
The way The China Study is challenging American dietary dogma is by doing good research based on whole lifestyle patterns, not reductionist studies that can’t see the forest from the trees, resulting in the blind leading the blind. Vitamin C alone will never cure cancer!
The reality is, come to conclusions slow, these days, because a quick conclusion may cost you your life. As is the case with this article. It brings up some good points, but nothing substantial and could cause someone to say, "ah, what am I eating all this good food for, there is no link between diet and cancer, I might as well just eat hot dogs".
Don’t get caught up in the confusion, designed to keep you confused, on purpose. You can’t go wrong eating Nutrient Rich food, that is whole, natural and free of the toxic influences that will cause your cells to go crazy. That’s cancer. No one in the world will debate the principles of Nutrient Density and win, without looking crazy themselves in the process.
I admire Ms Kolata in many, many ways, but I don’t always have to promote her works. This article does not promote a good consequence, only confusion. It leaves you hanging and is not looking under the hood far enough to see the realy inner workings of the problem.
Don’t wait for research to prove what we know now… each Nutrient Rich, health promoting foods, in great tasting ways and you’ll have a great chance of living cancer free for life.