The Truth About Grapefruit and Breast Cancer

grapefruitA recent chain e-mail has made some people concerned about eating grapefruit. According to the messages, a 2007 study in The British Journal of Cancer found an increased risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women who ate large amounts of grapefruit.

The study is real; it looked at more than 46,000 women, and those who ate half a grapefruit every other day had a 30 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to those who ate none.

However, a more recent report, which followed more than 77,000 women over the course of many years, found no rise in breast cancer related to either grapefruit or grapefruit juice.

Experts at the American Cancer Society said that there was insufficient evidence to raise alarm, but that women with concerns could cut back on grapefruit.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Should you “cut back on grapefruit,” as the American Cancer Society suggests, if you are worried about getting breast cancer? Well, there are numerous reasons why you may want to limit your grapefruit intake, but a link to cancer would not be a top one in my opinion.

Grapefruit, when eaten in its whole, fresh form, actually contains many beneficial bioflavanoids and nutrients. For instance, grapefruit contains:
  • Enzymes that impact the way your body deals with sugar making it less likely to be laid down as fat. This may be helpful in preventing obesity and diabetes.
  • The flavonoid naringin, which is metabolized into naringenin, an antioxidant reported to help lower cholesterol levels and fight hepatitis C.
  • Lots of vitamin C, which promotes healing, lessens damage caused by free radical molecules, and may help reduce gum disease.
  • Compounds that boost the activity of liver detoxification enzymes, which help to clear cancer-causing toxins from your body.
Why You Might Want to Skip Grapefruit

If you love grapefruit and do not have any signs of elevated insulin levels (such as obesity, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol), then eating some of this fresh fruit is reasonable.

However, even though it tastes sour, grapefruit is loaded with fruit sugar, which means that it will cause your insulin levels to increase. You want to avoid spikes in your insulin levels, as this can lead to insulin resistance and its associated problems, like diabetes and premature aging.

This is the main reason why I suggest you limit your fruit intake altogether. You can get many of the same beneficial properties from eating veggies -- without having to worry about increasing your blood sugar and insulin levels.

There is one group of people who can safely add some fruit to their diets, however, and that is people who are carb nutritional types. Carb types normally feel best when most of their food is carbohydrate (mostly from veggies, but also from some fruit). However, if you are a protein nutritional type, grapefruit would be one of the last things you should be eating, as its high sugar content would be too much for your system (which actually requires a low-carb, high-protein and high-fat diet).

So I highly suggest that you find out your nutritional type if you love to eat fruit like grapefruit, as this will tell you whether the fruit is something that will push your body into, or out of, balance.

Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Most cancer, including breast cancer, is caused by a combination of environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and emotional conflicts.

According to Dr. Geerd Hamer, who re-discovered the natural laws of what he now calls the German New Medicine, for instance, certain breast cancers can occur after traumatic events related to the potential, or actual, loss of a child. Your body responds to the acute emotional crisis by increasing cell proliferation in your milk ducts, because your biological solution to saving your child’s life is to make sure you have plenty of milk to nurse your child back to health, and in so doing resolve the emotional crisis, which is “my child is hurt, or dying.”

Depending on the emotional trauma, different parts of your brain are affected, which in turn determines which part of your body may start proliferating cells (conventional medicine calls this cancer).

So, you see, preventing cancer cannot possibly be as simple as “cutting back on grapefruit” or doing any other ONE thing. It has to be a multi-level approach that involves shifting your lifestyle to one that promotes your self-healing abilities.

Fortunately, an “anti-cancer lifestyle” is well within your reach. It involves these 12 key steps:

  1. Reduce your processed food, sugar and grain carbohydrate intake. Yes, this is even true for whole unprocessed organic grains as they tend to rapidly break down and drive your insulin and leptin levels up, which is the last thing you need to have happening if you are seeking to resolve a cancer.

   2. Control your fasting insulin and leptin levels. This is the end result, and can be easily monitored with the use of simple and relatively inexpensive blood tests.

   3. Normalize your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats by taking a high-quality krill oil or fish oil and reducing your intake of most processed vegetable oils.

   4. Get regular exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.

   5. Normalize your vitamin D levels by getting plenty of sunlight exposure, and consider careful supplementation when this is not possible. If you take oral vitamin D and have a cancer it would be very prudent to monitor your vitamin D blood levels regularly.

   6. Get a good night's sleep.

   7. Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much underappreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.

   8. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution.

   9. Limit your exposure and provide protection for yourself from information-carrying radio waves produced by cell phone towers, base stations, phones and WiFi stations.

  10. Avoid frying or charbroiling your food. Boil, poach or steam your foods instead.

  11. Have a tool to permanently reprogram the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. Energy psychology seems to be one of the best approaches and my particular favorite tool, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). German New Medicine is another powerful tool.

  12. Use broccoli sprouts as an adjunct to everything above unless you simply do not like broccoli.

+ Sources and References