Friday, October 31, 2008

Decrease in oxygen and increase of sugar encourages cancer….Tell me more Otto..

After writing the last post about Otto Warburg’s theories about cancer growth, I was pondering the current predicament of the prevalence of cancer and the way we live in the United States. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 40.35% or 1 out of every 2 people will develop some type of cancer in their lifetime. Wow! Those are devastating statistics. Think about it – if you are sitting in a roomful of people – at a café, office, movie theater – almost half of the people you see will develop some form of cancer at some time.

If there is truth to Otto Warburg’s theories about what encourages cancers, then it is no small wonder that the NCI U.S. cancer statistics are so high. As a country we suffer from an epidemic of a decrease of oxygen coupled with a gross intake of sugar.

Between plain old sugar and high fructose corn syrup (have you watched the film King Corn yet?) the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that each person in America consumes 92 lbs!! of sugar-substances (sugar, corn syrup, honey) annually. That is almost my weight in sweeteners a year!

And barring the recent spike in the price of gasoline, which made people less eager to hop in their cars, Americans tend not to walk or bike, but rather drive, drive, drive. Our whole shopping culture is built around the automobile, intrinsically less healthy for our bodies, our communities and our planet.

So unlike our counterparts in other cultures that tend to walk and bicycle for their daily transport, we decrease our oxygen intake by driving, while increasing our sugar intake. Sounds like Otto’s cancer recipe to me.

I consider myself to be health conscious, and am a health practitioner educated about nutrition and health issues, yet I spend inordinate amounts of time in my car, not only generating greenhouse gases, but drastically limiting my personal O2 intake by being IN the car and not physically moving! While I clock between 25,000 to 30,000 miles a year on my car living in “healthy” Vermont, my friends in Germany commute via bike to work riding a comparable 33,000 miles a year each on their bicycles and putting only 750 miles! annually on their shared car. If I translate my driving miles into hours I come to somewhere in the vicinity of 750 HOURS a year - that's like driving 7.5 hours a day for 100 days. No wonder I get cranky.

So even if we don’t consider all the other factors that contribute to cancer and other disease – toxins, smoking, heavy metals, to name a few – if we could increase our oxygen and decrease our sugar intake significantly we would be somewhat ahead of the game as it were. Hmmm….sounds to me like an argument for bike and foot paths.

No comments: