Monday, April 18, 2005

Trade Your Butt for a Red Delicious

If you sprinkled grass seed on the same soil for 10 years, would you be surprised to see grass growing there?

It's not the best analogy, because a lung tumor isn't comprised of tobacco. But the planting and nurturing parallels stand. It's a tragedy when someone discovers a malignant tumor in their lung, yet spent the greater part of their life avoiding tobacco smoke - the number one cause of lung cancer. That's a tragedy. But how can there not be an element of expectation from the discovery of the same malignancy in a smoker?

No one smokes to reap that harvest. If you're a smoker, consider:

1. Your risk for lung cancer starts to decline the moment you stop smoking.

2. Apples have been associated with improved lung function1, and a reduced risk of lung cancer2,3 among smokers. That benefit is attributed to the flavonoids, namely quercetin found abundantly in the skin of red apples. (If apples aren't high on your food preference list, onions are also a good quercetin source.)

1 Butland BK, Fehily AM, Peter C Elwood PC. Diet, lung function, and lung function decline in a cohort of 2512 middle aged men. Thorax:2000,55;102-108.

2 Kubik A, Zatloukal P, Tomasek L, Pauk N, Petruzelka L, Plesko I. Lung cancer risk among nonsmoking women in relation to diet and physical activity. Neoplasma:2004,51(2);136-43.

3 Le Marchand L, Murphy SP, Hankin JH, Wilkens LR, Kolonel LN. Intake of flavonoids and lung cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute: 2000,92(2);154-160.

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