World Cancer Day – Nutrition for Cancer Prevention

Cancer Prevention
Firstly for cancer prevention, let us all be aware that our dietary habits can promote cancer or protect against it. Having said that, working together as one is a great way forward. By joining forces, we help to strengthen efforts that stimulate powerful advocacy, action and accountability at every level.

Preventing cancer

According to, over a third of all cancers can be prevented by reducing your exposure to risk factors such as tobacco, obesity, physical inactivity, infections, alcohol, environmental pollution, occupational carcinogens and radiation. The keyword above to consider carefully amongst other factors is overnutrition leading to OBESITY plus a physical INACTIVITY.
Nutritionally, a diet high in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein may prevent cancer. Conversely, processed meats, refined carbs, salt and alcohol may increase your risk. Though no diet has been proven to cure cancer, plant-based and keto diets may lower your risk or benefit treatment as reported by
cancer prevention

Taking supplements for cancer prevention

MedicalNewsToday reported that vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants may help reduce cancer risk, but people should consume whole foods, not supplements.

Studies have not found that taking vitamins and other supplements help reduce the risk of cancer. In fact, some studies showed an adverse effect when people took certain supplements.

The World Cancer Research Fund state that high dose beta carotene supplements may increase the risk of lung cancerOther research suggests that high doses of vitamin E may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Please consult a nutritionist/dietitian or a doctor for guidance and best choice of nutrition supplements.

Dietary modification towards preventing cancer;

Processed and red meat

This is any meat that has been smoked or fermented or includes added salt and nitrites to enhance flavour.


Antioxidants no doubt are important for cancer prevention, as they help neutralize free radicals that can damage cells. But the larger question is whether taking more through your diet or supplements further reduces your risk.

Glycemic index

Carbohydrates can be good or bad depending on the source. Glycemic index (GI), a measure of how fast carbohydrates turn into sugar in the blood. This helps us tell the good from the bad. High-GI items include sugar-sweetened soft drinks, fruit juices, and processed foods like pizza.

On the flip side, eating lower-GI foods like legumes (beans, lentils, and peas) was linked with a 32% lower risk of both prostate and colorectal cancers. See the full list here


Researchers believe calcium binds to bile acids and fatty acids in the gastrointestinal tract. This acts as a shield to protect cells from the damaging stomach acids.

However, other research has shown that extra calcium—2,000 milligrams (mg) or more per day—may be linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer.

We advise keeping your daily calcium intake to 500 mg to 1,000 mg per day, either from food like dairy products or supplements.

Weight gain and cancer

Experts say body fat produces hormones and inflammatory proteins that can promote tumour cell growth. Modifying your diet can help keep your weight gain and loss under control. Speak with our consultants today for help with that.

Cancer prevention is often a matter of lifestyle

Harvard Medical School confirms that while diet and weight loss are central for cancer prevention, combining a good diet with other healthy habits can further lower your risk, according to a study in the May 2016 issue of JAMA Oncology.
Harvard researchers examined four main lifestyle areas that are associated with health status: smoking, drinking, weight, and exercise. They looked at 46,000 men over 26 years and classified about 12,000 as a low-risk group because they engaged in defined healthy behaviour in all four areas—they did not smoke, drank moderate amounts of alcohol (no more than two servings per day), had a body mass index of 18.5 to 27.5, and engaged in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

When they compared these men with others who did not meet these standards, the researchers discovered that men could avert or delay 67% of cancer deaths and prevent 63% of new malignancies each year. In terms of specific cancers, men could reduce the incidence of bladder cancer by 62%, prostate cancer by 40%, and kidney cancer by 36%.

The clarion call for cancer prevention

So, we are calling health enthusiasts, organisations and the government to join us this 4th February for #WorldCancerDay.

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