Two U.S. researchers say a diet rich in omega-3s fatty acids and phytonutrients can reduce the risk of getting cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
David Katz, M.D., and Keith Block, M.D., say a high-fat, empty calorie diet can set the stage for an inflammatory response that actually fuels a cancer patient's disease and undermines treatment.
"The heavy consumption of fats, refined flours and sugars found in the traditional American diet can increase this inflammation, contributing to a lack of appetite, more debilitating weight loss, and actually promote the very disease the patient is trying to fight," Block, head of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Evanston, Ill., said in a release.
Block and Katz, an associate Professor of Public Health and director of the Yale Prevention Research Centers, said in many cases it's not cancer that kills patients.
"Cancer may kill, in part, by causing starvation and conventional therapies may actually exacerbate this aspect of the disease," said Katz.
The National Cancer Institute says some 20 percent to 40 percent of cancer patients die from complications of malnutrition.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Chemical contaminants in foods—health risks and public perception