Food as Medicine Speaker Suggests Surrounding Homes with Edible Landscapes and Promotes Healthy Internal Landscapes to Fight Cancer: Jeanne M. Wallace, PhD.
PhD students in the Saybrook College of MBM attend the Food as Medicine training program, as part of their Nutrition and Health class. The Food as Medicine program, sponsored by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, was held this June in Bethesda, MD. One of the highlights of this year’s program was Jeanne M. Wallace, PhD, an innovative nutritionists who spoke twice: first on creating an "edible landscape," using healthy foods and herbs in landscape and garden to surround oneself with healthy food options, and second on creating a healthy environment within the body, to inhibit cancer cell growth using nutrition. Jeanne Wallace heads the “Nutritional Solutions Consulting Group,” which provides consulting to cancer patients throughout the US and abroad. Wallace is the author of “Holistic Oncology Update.”
In her presentation on “Integrative Nutrition to Complement Cancer Care,” Wallace emphasized that cancer cells do not grow in isolation. They are influenced by factors in their environment, the internal milieu of the body. Wallace suggested a number of elements in the internal environment that can be influenced by nutritional choices, to discourage cancer cell growth.
Her first example was the use of nutrition to down-regulate gene expression. She identified several factors that trigger cancer gene expression, including carcinogens, oxidation, viral infection, inflammation, radiation, chemotherapy, and stress. Conversely there are two nutritional pathways for discouraging cancer gene expression: 1) Methylation, which serves to “zip” the DNA strands and block expression, and 2) Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, which “wrap” the DNA strand.
Practically speaking, Wallace advocated identifying and increasing the use of foods which impede cancer gene expression. She identified a “Top Ten” list of such foods: 1) spices (curry, chai), 2) broccoli sprouts (sulforaphane), 3) brassica veggies (sulforaphane), 4) Dark leafy greens (folate), 5) garlic, onions, leeks, chives, shallots, 6) parsley, celery, red pepper (luteolin), 7) peanuts/boiled, red grapes/wine (resveratrol), 8) red onions and capers (quercetin), 9) green tea (theophylline, EGCG), and 10) fish, eggs, cheese, sunflower seeds, asparagus, almonds (B vitamins).
Wallace went on to discuss the metabolic syndrome and its relevance to cancer, the role of inflammation in accelerating cancer cell proliferation, the role of angiogenesis in providing blood supply for tumor growth, and the role of vitamin D deficiencis in cancer cell growth. For each of these dimensions, Wallace suggested specific strategies for using nutrition to restore an internal environment less conducive to cancer growth. Finally, she suggested the need to customize a nutritional plan for each individual.
She ended her talk by advocating an anti-cancer diet and an anti-cancer lifestyle. Her anti-cancer diet emphasizes low glycemic content, high nutrient density, a full spectrum of phytonutrients to modulate cancer gene expression (the rainbow diet), ample spices, improved omega 3:6 ratio, and avoiding high copper foods. Her anti-cancer lifestyle emphasizes exercise movement, and strength training, adequate sleep in a dark room, laughter and the cultivation of positive emotional states, coping skills and stress reduction, time in natural settings, social supports, and achieving a sense of meaning and purpose in life.
Readers can find more discussion of Jeanne Wallace’s approach to enhancing health through nutrition on her website at: http://www.nutritional-solutions.net/