Cabbage May Reduce Cancer Risk

Many people only think about cabbage around St. Patrick’s Day, when it’s traditionally cooked with corned beef and potatoes. But we hope that after reading about the healthy benefits it offers, it will make its way to your plate year-round.

Cabbage is in the same genus of vegetables as broccoli and kale, known as cruciferous vegetables.

Members of this group of plant foods have been the subject of a significant amount of research over the past several decades, particularly concerning their cancer-protective effects.

Cabbage May Help Prevent Colon Cancer

Cabbage is a great source of fiber, which is necessary for various aspects of health like digestion and cardiovascular function. The fiber content of cabbage may be one of several reasons why it has such a protective effect against colorectal cancer.

Interestingly, a study assessing factors that play a role in the lower disease risk seen in the Japanese population identified a higher intake of cabbage compared to other populations.1 In another study, greater intake of cabbage was associated with a 29% lower risk of colon cancer.2

Cabbage Leads the Way for Cancer Risk Reduction

Additional research has conveyed the ability of cabbage to significantly reduce the risk of other cancers such as stomach, kidney, bladder, gallbladder, breast, and pancreatic.3,4,5,6,7,8

When cabbage’s effects were being analyzed for pancreatic cancer, among several subgroups of fruits and vegetables, it was the only food evaluated that was associated with a significantly lower risk of this disease.

How Cabbage Fights Against Cancer

Cabbage increases the rate at which the body metabolizes and gets rid of carcinogens. It also protects DNA against radiation exposure.8

Chopping or chewing cruciferous vegetables like cabbage elicits a process that generates indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which forms byproducts that improve carcinogen metabolism, thereby helping to protect against cancer.9

Cruciferous vegetables increase the ratio of 2-hydroxyestrone to 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone, which is associated with greater protection against breast cancer.7

Recent research involving breast cancer cell lines has shown that cabbage alters the expression of enzymes involved in estrogen metabolism, leading the researchers involved in the study to conclude that these results partly explain cabbage's chemo-preventive activity.11

Sulforaphane, which, like I3C is formed from glucosinolates when cabbage is chewed, has been studied for possible use in cancer and other disorders. The products of glucosinolate breakdown play a role in the healthy cell signaling pathways and apoptosis.12

What About Fermented Cabbage?

Kimchi is a fermented Korean cabbage dish that is purported to be a factor in good health and longevity. Kimchi is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.13

Research indicates that kimchi can reduce the growth of foodborne pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus.14

Longer fermentation, which can be more than two years, significantly increases its antioxidant activity. Kimchi has been shown to have protective effects against asthma and cancer, to help digestion and immune function, and to benefit many other aspects of health.15,16

The Bottom Line

Cabbage is available in several varieties, including white, Chinese, and red. For cabbage to retain its beneficial properties, light cooking is preferable to longer cooking times.17

Extracts of cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are also available as encapsulated formulas for those who don't always have time to cook.


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  2. Steinmetz KA et al. Int J Cancer. 1993 Mar 12;53(5):711-9.
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  13. Cheigh HS et al. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1994;34(2):175-203.
  14. Kim YS et al. J Food Prot. 2008 Feb;71(2):325-32.
  15. Kim H et al. J Med Food. 2014 Jan;17(1):172-8.
  16. Park KY et al. J Med Food. 2014 Jan;17(1):6-20.
  17. Fuller Z et al. Br J Nutr. 2007 Aug;98(2):364-72.


5 Supplements to Supercharge Your Health

Marie Parks

Are you interested in taking your supplement regimen to the next level? If so, this post will help.

Whether you already have a regimen or you’re just starting out, the five supplements we'll cover below will help to optimize your health.

And while you can take these supplements by themselves, it’s a good idea to have a foundational regimen containing at least a multivitamin, fish oil (or other omega-3 source), vitamin D, and CoQ10.

Here are our top five picks for lesser-known supplements that can supercharge your health. Enjoy!

Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ)

PQQ plays a large role in energy production, as it supports the “powerhouses” of your cells, the mitochondria. Since the energy produced by your mitochondria is particularly important for your heart and brain, PQQ plays a supportive role in these aspects of health.1-5

Many of the health issues we experience as we age are the result of a decrease in the number of mitochondria. Fortunately, not only does PQQ’s antioxidant potency act to defend the mitochondria from damage,6 but it also stimulates the production of new mitochondria!7

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is necessary for heart and bone health due to its role in calcium absorption. Sufficient levels of vitamin K are required for getting calcium into your bone while keeping it out of your blood vessels, where it can lead to “calcification” and “hardening of the arteries” which can result in cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and even mortality.8-11

R-Lipoic Acid

R-Lipoic acid is an all-encompassing antioxidant as it protects your cellular energy producing mitochondria and helps to guard the body against the damaging consequences of various health issues like diabetes and obesity.

In particular, R-lipoic acid has research exhibiting its ability to ease discomfort caused by diabetic neuropathy as well as helping to keep glucose and insulin levels under control.12-16 R-lipoic acid also has beneficial effects on a number of factors in metabolic syndrome such as cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as appetite control and weight management.17-19

S-Adenosyl-Methionine (SAMe)

SAMe supports health aspects across the board, and is known primarily for its supportive effects for mood, liver, and joints.

The main mechanisms that SAMe works by is helping to produce serotonin and dopamine (our feel-good neurotransmitters) via the process of methylation and aiding in liver detoxification by producing glutathione (your body’s most important antioxidant).20-22

Research has shown that SAMe also can aid in joint comfort by stimulating the production of cartilage.23

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)

NAC is a broad-spectrum amino acid that exerts powerful benefits on many aspects of health by replenishing cellular levels of glutathione, modulating gene function, and regulating inflammation.24,25

Particular areas of health that NAC has shown to be helpful for are lung disease management,26,27 guarding against viruses and bacteria (like those associated with the flu and stomach ulcers),28-30 as well as protecting against certain cancers (such as lung and colon).31-33

The Bottom Line

There’s an infinite amount of information telling you about different supplements, which can make it overwhelming when you’re trying to figure out what you should take. Hopefully we’re helping you hone in on what makes the most sense for you.

If you would like more help deciding what supplements you should take, feel free to call our Health Advisors for free at 1-800-226-2370 - they’ll always be happy to assist you.


1. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2004 Nov;18(6):421-31.
2. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Jun;11(2):119-28.
3. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Nov 16;363(2):257-62.
4. J Clin Biochem Nutr.2008 Jan;42:29-34.
5. Adv Exp Med Biol.2016;876:319-25.
6. Altern Med Rev. 2009 Sep;14(3):268-77.
7. J Biol Chem. 2010 Jan 1;285(1):142-52.
8. Ann Med. 2012 Jun;44 Suppl 1:S85-92.
9. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging.2012 Sep;5(9):874-80.
10. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Jan 16;39(2):225-30.
11. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2000 Oct;36(4):1253-60.
12. Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 Oct;167(4):465-71.
13. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2010 May;298(5):R1343-50.
14. Saudi Med J.2011 Jun;32(6):584-8.
15. J Diabetes Complications. 2011 Jan-Feb;25(1):31-8.
16. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2012 Oct;44(5):579-86.
17. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2007 Mar;16(3):291-302.
18. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Mar;52(2):779-87.
19. Nat Med. 2004 Jul;10(7):727-33.
20. Science. 2011 Apr 29;332(6029):604-7.
21. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;76(5):1148S-50S.
22. Neuroreport. 2001 Dec 21;12(18):3939-42.
23. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2008 May;48(5):458-63.
24. Eur Respir J. 2003 Mar;21(3):394-400.
25. Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Oct 1;29(7):674-83.
26. Respirology. 2009 Apr;14(3):354-9
27. Eur Respir J. 1994 Mar;7(3):431-6.
28. Biochem Pharmacol. Feb 1;79(3):413-20.
29. Dig Dis Sci. 2004 Nov-Dec;49(11-12):1853-61
30. South Med J. 2005 Nov;98(11):1095-7.
31. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 Feb;11(2):167-75.
32. Gastroenterol Suppl. 1997;222:72-5.
33. Cancer Lett. 1999 Dec 1;147(1-2):109-14.


How Lactoferrin Supports Weight Loss

Marie Parks

Lactoferrin, a peptide derived from whey, is normally used for health purposes related to its immune-boosting, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral effects.1,2,3,4,5

However, you may have heard about it recently as being suggested for losing weight. And while there are many reasons a person might have trouble losing weight, lactoferrin might very well offer some hope for those looking to get some extra support.

Research Supports Lactoferrin’s Weight Loss Efficacy

A study in which human subjects took 300 mg of lactoferrin each day for eight weeks showed a significant reduction in abdominal fat, body weight, body mass index (BMI), and hip circumference. The subjects taking lactoferrin lost an average of 1.73 inches from their waistline, while the non-supplemented group actually gained weight.6

One of the ways that lactoferrin helps manage weight is by reducing the amount of perilipin (a substance that coats fat droplets). This allows the fat droplets to flow out of fat cells to be burned for energy. Furthermore, research has also exhibited the ability of lactoferrin to block the accumulation of fat as well as to inhibit the formation of new fat cells.7,8

Lactoferrin Helps Protect Against Obesity

Lactoferrin also works by another mechanism. For it to make more sense, first we’ll explain what lipopolysaccharide is. Lipopolysaccharide is an endotoxin whose levels are increased in the body when you consume foods that are high fat and low in fiber (especially processed foods).

Increased levels of lipopolysaccharide result in “metabolic endotoxemia” which initiates insulin resistance, inflammation, and obesity. It also stimulates the formation of new fat cells, which is the opposite of what someone trying to lose weight wants to happen.9-15

Higher Lactoferrin Equals Lower Weight

Lactoferrin is found throughout the human body and is the second most important protein in colostrum (mother’s milk).16 Higher levels of circulating lactoferrin are related to lower BMIs, waist-to-hip ratio, and fasting blood sugar.9,17

Knowing this, it makes sense that children who are breastfed have been shown to be less likely to gain excessive weight as they age.18 Since we can’t change whether we were breastfed or not, fortunately lactoferrin is available in supplement form!

The Bottom Line

There’s a plethora of ingredients and products that have been said to help you lose weight. A common question people ask us is “but what really works?” The answer is simple - all of the ingredients (including lactoferrin) that we discuss have been shown to be effective in research,

However, due to the fact that we’re all biochemically unique, what works best for one person may be different than what works best for someone else. Also, keep in mind that weight management supplements are meant to be used in combination with a balanced diet and active lifestyle.

We understand that some people would like additional guidance in determining if lactoferrin is something they should try, which is why our knowledgeable health advisors are available for you to speak to by calling 1-800-226-2370!


1. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 1998;46(4):231-240.
2. Pediatr Res. Jan 2007;61(1):89-92.
3. Obesity (Silver Spring). Mar 2010;18(3):482-488.
4. Int Immunopharmacol. 2015 Sep;28(1):695-9.
5. J Infect Dis. Aug 1995;172(2):380-388.
6. Br J Nutr.2010 Dec;104(11):1688-95.
7. Int J Obes (Lond). Sep 2009;33(9):991-1000
8. J Oral Sci. Dec 2008;50(4):419-425.
9. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Oct;94(10):4036-44.
10. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Jan 10;10(1):6
11. Endocr Rev. 2010 Dec;31(6):817-44.
12. Biosci Rep. 2012 Nov 30;33(1):37-47.
13. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Dec;1812(12):1601-6.
14. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Dec;24(12):2227-36.
15. Mol Metab. 2013 Jul 4;2(3):281-91.
16. Biochimie. 2009 Jan;91(1):30-4.
17. Clin Chem. Feb 2008;54(2):301-309.
18. JAMA. 2001 May 16;285(19):2461-7.


Natural, Delicious Painkillers in Your Kitchen

Kristina Sampson

As a holistic health coach, one of the most common complaints I hear about is pain. Knee pain, back pain, migraines — you name it, Americans suffer from it.

When confronted with chronic pain, many doctors recommend over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®), or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen (Aleve®).

Another popular option for relieving pain is a particular class of NSAID called Cox-2 inhibitors (such as Celebrex®). In certain cases, doctors and patients may even turn to oxycodone, an opioid painkiller in the same class as morphine and heroin.

All of these drugs have their place in modern medicine and can be useful in the right situation. However, the side effects of these drugs — including the ones readily available at your local pharmacy — can be severe, even life-threatening.

Acetaminophen, commonly taken by adults and children, can cause liver damage severe enough to necessitate a transplant, or to cause death.1 Liver damage can even occur when taken at the maximum recommended daily dosage, which most people would assume is safe.2 In addition, NSAIDs can cause stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding,3 leading to thousands of deaths each year4 and have also been linked to major coronary events.5 Even selective NSAIDs like Cox-2 inhibitors – believed to be safer when first released in the 1990s — are linked to heart attack.6,7 Lastly, according to the CDC, in 2014 opioid poisoning took the lives of almost 19,000 Americans.8

Don't Risk Your Health for Minor Aches and Pains!

Your doctor probably won’t tell you this, but there are other options. In fact, spices you may have in your kitchen right now have been proven to be as effective against pain as some of the most commonly prescribed and used medications.

Two of my favorite pain-relieving spices are ginger and turmeric. Ginger is a potent anti-bacterial spice and one of the world’s oldest medicinal foods. It’s also one of your best defenses against pain due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. One study showed ginger works in a similar fashion as NSAIDs but also inhibits another enzyme that makes it more effective, and with fewer side effects, than NSAIDs.9

(However, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant soon, avoid ginger in high doses and speak with your doctor before using it.)10

Turmeric, a popular Indian spice, contains a compound called curcumin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory. A 2014 study showed curcumin extract is equally effective as ibuprofen against pain from knee osteoarthritis with fewer gastrointestinal issues.11

In addition to their pain-relieving properties, both ginger and turmeric have loads of other health benefits, including potentially preventing cancer. One study showed a compound in ginger known as [6]-gingerol inhibits cell adhesion, invasion and motility of certain types of breast cancer cells.12 Curcumin was shown by MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers to reduce the expression of a particular molecule in breast cancer cells that causes the disease to spread to other parts of the body.13

Try incorporating these two spices into your diet every day. This delicious India-meets-the-Middle East sweet and spicy hummus can help you do just that. It includes curry, a popular spice mix that contains ginger and turmeric, as well as a bit of extra ginger for an added kick.

Recipe: Sweet & Spicy Ginger Curry Hummus


  • 1 can organic chickpeas (I recommend Eden or Westbrae brand for their BPA-free can linings)
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Couple pinches of ground black pepper (increases the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000%)14

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place in food processor with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides of the food processor occasionally. Serve as a dip for whole grain or seeded crackers, raw vegetables, apple slices, or strawberries, or use as a spread in a sandwich or wrap!


  2. JAMA. 2006;296(1):87-93.
  3. Postgrad Med J 2001;77:82-88
  5. Lancet. 2013 Aug;382(9894):769-779.
  6. Dean L. Comparing NSAIDs. 2011 May 1.
  7. BMJ. 2005 Feb 26; 330(7489): 440.
  9. J Med Food. 2005 Summer;8(2):125-32.
  11. Clin Interv Aging. 2014 Mar 20;9:451-8.
  12. J Nutr Biochem. 2008 May;19(5):313-9
  13. Mol Pharmacol. 2006 Jan;69(1):195-206.
  14. Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):353-6.

Kristina Sampson is a breast cancer survivor, Certified Health Coach, speaker, and author of Leave Cancer in the Dust: 50 Tips to Prevent Breast Cancer and Supercharge Your Health. 

She focuses on the effects of nutrition, exercise, environment, and mindfulness on the prevention of breast cancer and general health and wellness. Follow Kristina on Facebook or Twitter, or visit for more information.


Nutrition for Healthy Teeth

Our teeth get a lot of attention. Whether we’re having a conversation or smiling for a picture, most of us want our teeth to be strong, healthy, and sparkling white.

However, many of us overlook something essential. In addition to a healthy oral routine of brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, nutrition also plays a large role in the health of our teeth.

Teeth not only respond to our nutrition, but they also are an important determinant of our nutritional intake. Their importance is evident in elderly populations, among whom gum disease, ill-fitting dentures, and other painful dental conditions can limit the type of food eaten.

Dental Cavities and Decay

Dental cavities are among the earliest observed manifestations of poor dental health. Their presence is attributable to insufficient brushing and flossing, and high intake of sugary food and drinks.

Soda, with its high phosphoric acid content, is linked with tooth enamel erosion and, if the soda contains sugar, tooth decay. Even drinks considered to be “healthier” like pure fruit juice can wreak havoc.

Calcium is Key for Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is formed mainly from calcium phosphate. Our saliva contains calcium and phosphorous ions that continually remineralize enamel.

While most people have an adequate amount of phosphorous, the same cannot be said for calcium, leading to the importance of its supplementation.

Minerals Can Reduce Tooth Loss Risk

A three-year trial showed that supplementation with calcium and vitamin D resulted in a lower risk for losing teeth, particularly when calcium intake was 1,000 mg per day.1

Tooth Nutrition is Crucial for Pregnant Women

Children born from women who were supplementing with calcium during pregnancy have a lower risk of tooth decay and missing teeth.2 Similarly, pregnant women supplementing with vitamin D had less risk of having a child with a defect in dental enamel.3

Calcium and Periodontal Disease Risk

Calcium intake of at least 800 mg a day has shown to reduce risk of periodontal disease, which is associated with tooth loss.4

Selenium Supports Strong Teeth

It’s been thought that the mineral selenium may also be responsible for improved dental health. This makes sense, since one of the most important organic components in the tooth matrix is collagen, and it can be made stronger by selenium.5

The Power of Probiotics for Teeth

Probiotics have recently received recognition for their role in cavity prevention. When children supplemented with the strain Lactobacillus reuteri during their first year of life, they were more likely to remain cavity-free at age nine.6

Fluoride: Friend or Foe?

While fluoride has been shown to strengthen enamel, recent opinion holds that topical administration (via toothpastes, rinses, or fluoride treatments) may be more effective and safer than ingestion of fluoride (via water or pills).7

The Bottom Line

Teeth need and respond to the intake of certain nutrients. Additionally, a healthy diet that limits the intake of simple sugars can help protect the teeth from the outside.

Although it is not yet possible to regrow missing teeth or parts of intact teeth, such medical wonders are on the horizon. Currently, dental implants are impervious to decay. However, it is best to keep one's own natural teeth as long as possible and sound nutrition is one way to help make it happen.


  1. Krall EA at al. Am J Med. 2001 Oct 15;111(6):452-6.
  2. Bergel E et al. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2010 Nov;89(11):1396-402.
  3. Cockburn F et al. Br Med J. 1980 Jul 5;281(6232):11-4.
  4. Nishida M et al. J Periodontol. 2000 Jul;71(7):1057-66.
  5. Pärkö A. Proc Finn Dent Soc. 1992;88(1-2):57-9.
  6. Stensson M et al. Caries Res. 2014;48(2):111-7.
  7. Hellwig E et al. Caries Res. 2004 May-Jun;38(3):258-62.

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