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Dr. Carney’s Presentation to the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii

I watched a presentation called, “Food, Mood, and Women’s (& Men's) Health: What’s the Connection?” by Linda Carney, MD.

She mentioned a few associations (links) for disease. An association is not causation. A great deal of research is needed to turn associations into causations. For example, smoking cigarettes causes cancer. In 1912, Dr. Adler first noted that cigarette smoking was associated with cancer. Causation was finally reported in 1964 by the U.S. Surgeon General - 52 years later. My approach is to err on the side of caution because of the difficulty in proving associations.

One association Dr. Carney reported was that excess estrogen is linked to breast cancer. One study showed that diets low in fat (10-12%) reduced estrogen made by the body. The extra estrogen that is made from dietary fat is a type of bio-identical estrogen.

Two solutions exist to mitigate the risk of excessive estrogen. One is to decrease the ingestion of estrogen. Reducing fat in your diet is one solution. The other is to avoid chemicals, like plastic, that have estrogenic effects. The chemicals that we ingest or apply to the body can have estrogen-mimicking properties. Please click here for my previous blog about the hazards of plastics.

Some of these plastics are unavoidable. This is where the second mitigation solution is used. A way to defend against excess estrogen is to eat more fiber. I liked how Dr. Carney mentioned that fiber is like a sponge. The fiber can absorb the excess estrogen that gets dumped into the intestine to get rid of this excess.

If you are increasing your dietary fiber, please do so slowly. Your microbiome will have to adjust. If you go too fast, you may have bloating and gas. You will also need to drink more water. Thank you for reading! #lifestylemedicine #seniors #olderadults

Photo by Iñigo De la Maza on Unsplash

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