Cancer and autoimmune disease: two of the most hideous diseases embedded in my family’s history. After struggling with the idea that more of my family members could develop these diseases, I decided to do further research. It couldn’t hurt. I came across loads of information, but the most intriguing material I found was how disease can be treated and prevented with quality food and lifestyle changes…even these diseases, despite their gloomy reputations.
Of course, there are many different foods, supplements, and lifestyle alterations that promote a disease-free existence. Many of the at-home strategies that I read about were similar, but are far from the average American diet and lifestyle. But, it’s still no surprise that nobody can benefit⏤sick or healthy⏤from neglecting exercise, eating processed and chemical-laden “food,” or eating out of boredom instead of need. Random fact: did you know that fasting has a plethora of benefits, including killing off cancer cells and even increasing the efficacy of cancer therapy  ? Cool, right?
Anyway, a lot of conversation happening in the realm of disease prevention and treatment is heavily concentrated on the debate between vegans and omnivores. In my past and recent research, I’ve found both sides of this food debate to be compelling; however, it’s much more complex than simply “to eat animals products or not to eat animal products.” Actually, the answer seems to lie in between the quality of food (e.g. organic vs not organic) and the type of food (e.g. soaked rice vs unsoaked rice) rather than the source of the food (e.g. animals vs plants). With all that in mind, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) caught my attention. So, what is CLA and why is it beneficial?
CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is produced in the rumen (the first compartment of a four-compartment stomach), and thus is present in dairy products and ruminant meat . A few examples of ruminant animals are deer, cattle, sheep, and goats . Though CLA is found in all ruminants, “grass-fed ruminant species have been shown to produce 2 to 3 times more CLA than ruminants fed in confinement on high grain diets.” Interestingly, this is “largely due to a more favorable rumen pH”    .
CLA has been shown to have many positive biological effects, such as :
- Prevention of muscle wasting 
- Inhibition of fat formation/reduction of body fat   
- Improvement of insulin sensitivity 
- Inhibition or prevention of various cancers, including breast and prostate    
- Modulating the immune system  
- Lowering of cholesterol 
CLA is even available as a dietary supplement. But, because there is a lot of discrepancy in research findings about the different isomer forms (chemical structures) of CLA in supplements , it is wise to get it in its most natural form to avoid unwanted complications . That’s the rule my family and I stick to. Plus, there are plenty of other benefits of eating high quality meats and dairy, besides being loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants like CLA. 🙂
It’s more than just a pleasurable experience to enjoy a cold glass of raw milk, an herbed beef rib roast in red wine sauce, or even some homemade granola over fresh raw yogurt. You’re also feeding your body everything it needs to function at peak performance and stay disease-free. Even if you have the pains of cancer and autoimmune disease fighting against you, there are ways to not only prevent progression of these diseases, but put them into remission. And you can do this while enjoying what you eat and how you live. Cheers to health through delicious food!
If you’re interested in finding out more information about natural cancer prevention and treatment and/or treatment of autoimmune disease (specifically, Hashimoto’s disease), here are two excellent sources:
Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for informational purposes only. I am not a licensed medical professional. Please discuss any dietary changes, supplements, or medical questions with your doctor.
Diane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.