Health News: Lung Cancer and Myo-inositol

I was am a smoker.   I will always be a smoker.   I started smoking when I was in my early teens.  Over the last 40 or so years, I have smoked as much as not; and I have quit more times than I can count.   My longest quit was for eleven years.  My shortest quit, excluding the quits where I started up again within a day or two, was one year.   I am currently quit again and going on three plus years this time.  If I added all of my quits together, I would guess that I have not smoked 15 – 20 of the last 40 years.  If I was diagnosed with a terminal disease and told I have only a short time left to live, I would run to the store to buy cigarettes.  

Tobacco’s physical addiction is a cake walk to kick.  A nicotine patch for a few weeks clears the way for the grudge match I have to wage with myself while I try to kick my psychological additions to the habit.  Yes, I get that smoking is bad for my health.   Yes, I know stale smoke and butts smell really bad.  Yes, second hand smoke is bad for others; and yes, they have a right not to smell or breath smoke.  Cigarettes are also outrageously expensive, and there is no place left on the planet to smoke in peace except at home.  I know. I know.  I know.      Yet, cigarettes are my best friend; my entertainment when bored or restless. They help me think, and they make my mouth and hands particularly happy.  

So, you can imagine how interested I was in this piece from Reuters.  It explores why some smokers get lung cancer and others don’t.

(Reuters) – Researchers have identified a group of genes that are especially active in lung cancer patients — even in healthy tissue — and said they may be used to predict which smokers will eventually develop lung cancer.

And, they said, a natural supplement derived from food that is being tested to prevent lung cancer appears to halt the precancerous changes.

“Even in normal cells or premalignant cells prior to cancer development we see this pathway being turned on,” said Andrea Bild of the University of Utah, who worked on the study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.


Myo-inositol is also found in fruits, beans, grains and nuts, although Bild said the finding does not necessarily explain why people who eat more of these foods have a lower risk of cancer in general.

I’ll be sure to save this tidbit right next to my copy of Final Exit.

Smoke is smoke.  


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    • dkmich on April 10, 2010 at 14:58

    Will be gone all day again.  Spent the whole day yesterday sewing with my daughter, and we have session two on tap for today.  According to the McCalls patterns, what we did yesterday for almost 12 hours was a two hour project.  Since we are making version two today, hopefully, it will only take six.  I can sew, but I can’t tailor/fit.  You have no clue how frustrating it all is.

    Have a good day.  I’ll say hi when I get back.  

    • RiaD on April 10, 2010 at 17:36

    logically i know how bad it is for me.


    like you say it’s my best friend.

    interestingly i do better quitting if i don’t have herbal substitutes.

    years ago when i quit i substituted. can’t do that now. herb is my gateway drug to tobacco. 🙁

    i’ve been quit this time since jan. 9…

    i slipped last week and had a couple drags…after a friend i hadn’t seen in ages stopped by with a happy surprise

    they say it’s a harder habit to quit than heroin.

    thank you for this!


  1. Interesting…. I measure myo-inositol in brain tumors as part of my research work…

    Thanks for the info – I am a smoker too…. I’ll check it out.

    • Edger on April 12, 2010 at 04:47

    Capsaicin, the spicy active ingredient in chili peppers, apparently triggers the same mitochondrial re-activation effect on cancer cells that DCA does:

    The tests on cultures of human lung and pancreatic cancers revealed that the family of molecules to which capsaicin belongs, the vanilloids, bind to proteins in the cancer cell mitochondria causing apoptosis (cell death) without harming surrounding healthy cells.

    The Nottingham University breakthrough study raises hopes that the innate vulnerability of all cancers has been discovered and that drugs could now be developed to attack mitochondria in a similar way to capsaicin.

    Another useful compound is curcumin, the yellow component of the spice turmeric:

    A Report on Curcumin’s Anti-Cancer Effects

    January 2005

    Imagine a natural substance so smart it can tell the difference between a cancer cell and a normal cell; so powerful it can stop chemicals in their tracks; and so strong it can enable DNA to walk away from lethal doses of radiation virtually unscathed. Curcumin has powers against cancer so beneficial that drug companies are rushing to make drug versions. Curcumin is all this and more.

    Curcuma longa is a ginger-like plant that grows in tropical regions. The roots contain a bright yellow substance (turmeric) that contains curcumin and other curcuminoids. Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries. But it’s only within the past few years that the extraordinary actions of curcumin against cancer have been scientifically documented. Among its many benefits, curcumin has at least a dozen separate ways of interfering with cancer.

    Curcumin blocks estrogen mimicking chemicals

    One of the things that sets curcumin apart from most other anti-cancer supplements (I3C being an exception), is that this phenolic can actually block chemicals from getting inside cells. Importantly, curcumin can interfere with pesticides that mimic estrogen. These include DDT and dioxin, two extremely toxic chemicals that contaminate America’s water and food. (Dioxin is so toxic that a few ounces of it could wipe out the entire population of New York City). Curcumin has the unique ability to fit through a cellular doorway known as the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. This is a feat it shares with estrogen and estrogen-mimicking chemicals. Because it can compete for the same doorway, curcumin has the power to block access to the cell and protect against estrogen mimickers.

    Like estrogen, estrogen-mimicking chemicals promote the growth of breast cancer. In a study on human breast cancer cells, curcumin reversed growth caused by 17b-estradiol by 98%. DDT’s growth-enhancing effects on breast cancer were blocked about 75% by curcumin.

    And, if you don’t mind smiling a lot while you get better, there are other possibilities as well. It was discovered back in 1974 that the primary constituent of cannabis, THC, killed brain cancer cells in mice: Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids (hat tip to SeeEmmDee)

    • dkmich on April 12, 2010 at 11:22

    I’ve heard of that one before.  Noory on Coast to Coast is a believer in Tumeric.  However, he also believes Obama might have been born in Kenya.  

    I’m afraid I know next to nothing about supplements.  I don’t even take a multi vitamin.    

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