Breast Cancer Prevention

  • By Marlene's Market & Deli
  • 01 Oct, 2017
by Mark Gignac, ND, FABNO

Each year in the United States, over 190,000 women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and 60,000 women are diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) was founded in October of 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries - now part of AstraZeneca. The aim of NBCAM from its inception, has been to promote mammography as “the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.” Many reasonable people, however, believe that prevention, rather than diagnosis and treatment, is the best weapon in the fight against breast cancer. Unfortunately, the majority of revenue generated from “pink ribbon fundraising” goes to pharmaceutical companies involved in research on treatments for breast cancer.

Even though we are taught that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” the primary focus of attention and fundraising continues to be directed toward drug development. This seems strange in light of research indicating that 90-95% of cancers are caused by factors associated with environment and lifestyle.1

Optimal sun exposure seems to be critical for good health on multiple levels. Since the late 1980s, we have known that women with vitamin D blood levels around 55 ng/ml are over 50% less likely to develop breast cancer than the majority of women with levels less than 40 ng/ ml. We now know that vitamin D blood levels are inversely correlated with breast cancer recurrence, and survival. If this is not surprising enough, recent studies indicate that low blood levels of vitamin D may enhance tumor growth and metastasis. Vitamin D is also critical for immune function and healthy bone calcification. Unfortunately, antiestrogen treatments compound this problem by causing significant loss of bone calcium that can lead to osteoporosis.

On the other side of the equation, nighttime darkness is also critically important for healing and repair. Circadian dysregulation and inadequate melatonin production are also highly correlated with breast cancer incidence, recurrence,  and survival. The Portnov study reported a significant association between light at night and breast cancer risk, showing that women living in areas with the greatest light at night had a 63% greater risk of breast cancer compared to women living in areas with the lowest light.2

Unfortunately, melatonin has been incorrectly stereotyped as a sleep-inducing supplement. Melatonin’s most interesting  properties involve immune and hormonal regulation. Additionally, melatonin is one of the most powerful endogenous antioxidants in the body, as it is both water and fat-soluble. Not surprisingly, it also has cancer suppressing properties.

Diet and food quality can also play a critical role in the prevention or initiation of breast cancer. We are exposed to numerous estrogen mimickers and carcinogenic compounds through our diet. Compounds such as BPA, plastics, antibiotics, hormones, glyphosate, etc., have been shown to be associated with increased breast cancer risk.

Additionally, compounds such as lectins, which are naturally present in some foods, can weaken immune function and compromise the gut microbiome and intestinal barrier. All of this havoc increases the risk of multiple health problems, including cancer. On the other hand, certain foods such as cruciferous vegetables have been shown to be associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer incidence. Sulforaphane is one of the most interesting compounds derived from cruciferous vegetables. It has been shown to suppress cancer stem cells.

Mark Gignac, ND, FABNO, has studied natural medicines for the past 35 years. He is a graduate of Bastyr University with a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Masters in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. After graduating, he developed the course curriculum and taught the History of Medicine and Naturopathic Philosophy to Bastyr medical students. Dr. Gignac has also served as Director of Medicine at Seattle Treatment and Wellness Center for 17 years and continues to give lectures locally and nationally. For more information, visit

1. Cancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes. Pharmaceutical Research, Vol. 25, No 9, September 2008.
2. Light at Night and Breast Cancer Incidence in Connecticut. Sci Total Environ. 2016 Dec 1; 572:1020-1024.

By Lynn Mikel, ND, Natural Health Clinic 01 Jan, 2018
Healthy digestion is the cornerstone to good health - “You are what you eat” and “You are what you don’t eliminate.” Digestion, absorption, and elimination are what make our bodies function, fuel our metabolism, and create and support our immune system.

Optimal digestion depends on adequate enzyme production in the stomach and small intestines, a healthy mucosal cell lining in the gastrointestinal tract, proper assimilation, and successful elimination. When digestion is inadequate, it robs the body of vital nutrient processes. We miss out on the protein and fats which build and maintain everything from our body tissues to our nervous system, on down to the protective coating of every cell.

What is not broken down and absorbed must be eliminated from the G.I. tract, and what is not eliminated or efficiently absorbed becomes a source of toxic waste for the body to deal with. Food may sit in the digestive tract too long when enzyme production is inadequate, absorption is inadequate, and transit time is too slow. As a result, the rotting food gradually becomes a source of irritation to the cells lining the digestive system.

A weak intestinal lining due to inflammation has a much harder time keeping large molecules from entering the blood stream; this is known as “leaky gut syndrome.” As large food molecules gradually make their way into the blood stream, the immune system becomes stressed by trying to clean up and break down the “foreign” molecules, thus stimulating the production of antibodies. An overproduction of antibodies is hypothesized to be linked to food allergies, intolerances, and autoimmune diseases, which may also lead to autoimmune reactions.

These abnormally large molecules also induce stress to the liver which detoxifies your blood, breaking down and eliminating anything that is not supposed to be there. As the liver already has a big job protecting us from toxic exposure in the air, water, and foods we eat, undigested food proteins become a burden that often over-saturates its capacity. Toxins that cannot be eliminated end up stored in fat cells. Weight gain is not always the result of eating the wrong food or even too much food, but often of an ineffective digestive system.

Poor digestive function and overwhelmed liver function can cause a cascade of problems to other systems in the body, such as stress to your adrenal and thyroid glands, hormones, and blood sugar levels. An overactive immune system and excess proteins in the bloodstream can create acidity which contributes to inflammation everywhere, ultimately contributing to problems like arthritis and heart disease. Foods that frequently begin this cascade of maldigestion, organ stress and inflammation are: wheat, cow dairy, sugar, soy, eggs; and in that order of most frequent and most stressful.

Conditions that indicate the digestive system is impaired include: heartburn or reflux, ulcers, irritable bowel, constipation, and diarrhea, but also can be associated with other problems like inflammatory joint disease and allergies. Working on improving digestion, healing and strengthening the mucosal cells lining the digestive tract, and eating a diet that promotes good digestion and metabolism are some of the treatment goals for almost any digestive complaint or condition. Optimizing digestive function and health will also prevent the chronic progression of many other disease processes. Digestive enzymes are a good place to begin when looking to improve digestive function and health!

Dr. Mikel’s experience and education help her formulate individualized treatment approaches, including diet assessment and education for your specific symptoms and underlying cause. For more information, visit
By Roman Krupa, ND, Puyallup Wellness Center 01 Jan, 2018
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions. In the beginning of the year, we feel renewed motivation to achieve our goals. Year after year, losing weight has been one of the most common resolutions. This begets the question, “Why is this so?” The obvious answer is because so many of us are overweight.

The U.S. is one of the most obese nations on the planet. As of 2014, a staggering 71% of adults are either obese or overweight.1 The rate of childhood obesity is skyrocketing, as well, with one in five kids being overweight or obese. This is a tragic situation as obesity is the one medical condition that increases our risk of virtually every other known disease including diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, heart disease and dementia.

How did we get this way? Our current busy, high-stress American lifestyle has a lot to do with it. The availability of convenience foods, fast food and the lack of widespread availability of what I call “Real Food” is not helping the situation, to say the least. These days I hear from parents on a daily basis about how busy and overwhelmed they are and how they just don’t have energy to cook when they get home from a long day of work and tending to their kids.

Unfortunately, the world of conventional medicine has little to offer. A prescription for a stimulant, which decreases feelings of hunger, or bariatric surgery is often all that is offered to patients who seek their physician’s help in losing weight.

So, what to do? The good news is that there is a lot we can do to lose weight and keep it off. A key to this is in understanding what the underlying causes of this modern day scourge are. Working with a holistic physician who can diagnose and treat the root causes can be very helpful.

Based on my clinical experience, the top five causes of unwanted weight gain are:

1. A diet high in refined and processed foods. Eating convenience foods rather than whole foods will greatly lead to increased fat stores.
2. Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise. When we sit around too much and not use our bodies the way they were designed to, we add to our fat stores.
3. Chronic unmanaged stress and not enough sleep. Perpetually elevated cortisol, in some people, will make gaining fat easy and losing weight challenging.
4. Low or suboptimal thyroid function. If thyroid hormones are not in optimal ranges, losing weight will be a virtual impossibility. When we hear someone say, “I eat an orange and gain a pound,” you can bet that’s someone who has low or suboptimal thyroid function.
5. Environmental toxicity. We are exposed to chemicals on a daily basis that predispose us to gaining unwanted fat. This is why detoxification is a necessary component to any comprehensive weight loss plan.

We do have options and we can lose the weight we want! Whether you commit to losing weight at the New Year or in the middle of the summer, it’s important to remember that there is no single magic bullet that will make us shed 20 pounds overnight. However, with a few tools under your belt, some inspiration and determination you can take actions that will lead to a new and slimmer you.

Roman Krupa, ND, has a passion for empowering his patients to lose weight and achieve optimal health. He is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine and holds a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. He has helped over a thousand people lose weight and keep it off. Dr. Krupa has served as Medical Director of Puyallup Wellness Center for the past seven years. For more information, visit

By Marlene's Market & Deli 01 Jan, 2018
Hello, all you fine people!

Just as you prepare yourselves for the New Year, you can rest assured that our employees are all working hard to get you off to a proper start. We have so many wonderful products and foods to help you follow those resolutions. Well, let’s all try anyway!

This month is all about cleaning up and hitting the restart button. All those little holiday indulgences sure add up, don’t they? But you are in luck—we have some really informative articles and classes to support your journey. There’s information about foods and recipes to detoxify and boost immunity, an article and class about ketosis for weight loss, and even a class about using flower remedies to help with balancing the emotions that can pull us off track from our health goals.

So buckle down and start taking the steps to reach that next level of vitality in 2018. We’ll be here and cheering you on!

Wishing a peaceful and healthy year to all…

By Jeanne Logman, NT, Market Manager - Tacoma Marlene's 01 Jan, 2018
I’m fascinated with the idea of using medicinal herbs in food! Astragalus has been a favorite deep immune system-building tonic for centuries with Eastern and Western herbalists alike. The subtle, woody flavor complements the mushrooms and garlic beautifully. And the little punch of heat from the chili paste effectively delivers the nutrients and helps to warm sluggish circulation. Try this delicious bone broth-based soup! Every ingredient offers nourishing support for these wet, chilly months.

Makes 6-8 servings
2 (16 oz) boxes Kettle & Fire bone broth (I use mushroom chicken)
1 ½ cups thinly-sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 ½ cups sweet potato, diced
1 oz astragalus, dried
2 cups water
½ inch ginger, sliced
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 kale leaf, stem removed, sliced into thin strips
½ tsp chili paste (or 1 diced hot chili)
Himalayan salt, to taste

In a medium sauce pan, add water, astragalus, garlic, ginger and chili paste. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately reduce to low and cover, simmering about 15 minutes. Be careful to watch the temperature as the astragalus has a tendency to foam and boil over. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large sauce pan, add bone broth, sweet potato and shiitakes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to low and simmer about 15 minutes—until sweet potato pieces are fork-tender. Add astragalus mixture to bone broth by pouring through strainer.
Combine, mix and simmer a few more minutes before salting to taste and serving. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
By Roberta Bennett, Body Care Department Head - Tacoma Marlene's 01 Jan, 2018
It is so cold outside! If you are like me, you have the all the heaters on and you might even spend a few cozy evenings by the fireplace. As pleasant as all that is, it’s murder for your skin! If you haven’t had a chance to stop by and chat with me about keeping your skin as lovely as ever, even in these harsh winter months, I’d love to share a few of my winter skin care tips with you.
By Hannah Lima, MS, RDN, CDN 01 Jan, 2018
Detox diets are popular for many reasons, including weight loss and toxin elimination, but effective detoxification requires nutrients. Period. You can’t remove toxins from the body without providing your body with the tools it needs. Being nourished by the foods we eat is a way of protecting our body from toxins. There are many types of detox diets, but there are two things an effective detox requires: protein and plants. Before we look at how to detox, let’s glance at the “why” behind detoxing.

Toxins are everywhere and, unfortunately, there’s no avoiding them. Xenobiotics are compounds that are “foreign” to our bodies (or at least they used to be), including heavy metals, advanced glycation end-products (foods exposed to dry and high temperatures), and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). While the FDA has deemed most of these compounds “safe,” recent research is showing they have toxic effects after both short and long-term exposure. The amount of these substances in our body builds up over time, leading to inflammation, free radicals, and damage to our cells and DNA. This toxic build-up has been linked to high blood pressure, glucose intolerance, cancer, and changes in liver, thyroid, and immune function. While it’s impossible to completely avoid these toxic compounds, we can harness the power of food to counter their effects.

Phytonutrients are the chemicals and ingredients naturally found in plants that play a key role in detoxification. These chemical compounds are a means of protection against insects, germs, fungi and other threats. The plant’s ability to protect itself and assist us with detoxification is not just related to one nutrient, but to the harmonious effects of multiple phytonutrients within. More than 25,000 phytonutrients are present in plant foods, and consuming a variety of plants helps us remove xenobiotics from our bodies.
By Deanna Minich, PhD, FACN, CNS, IFMCP 01 Jan, 2018
Color is more than just something beautiful to look at – it also inherently carries information for the healing of our body, emotions, and mind. As I discuss in my new book, The Rainbow Diet, there is a “color code” to foods and supplements and how they align to your inner rainbow for overall health and healing.

Here are some examples:

Red : Adrenal glands, immune system, DNA, bones, and skin

Red is the color of the ROOT. Red foods, such as red bell peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes, are rich in the vitamin C our bodies need to manufacture stress hormones. Red blood cells feed on ROOT foods’ iron, copper, and calcium. Proteins of all types, including animal and vegetable, assist in stabilizing our bodies’ energy by balancing blood sugar and supplying the necessary iron for the red blood cells to carry oxygen.

Orange : Ovaries/testes, reproduction, fertility, urinary system, and colon

Orange is the color of the FLOW. Orange foods, like carrots and sweet potatoes, get their color from carotenoids, such as betacarotene, which are associated with hormone levels and ovulation. I’ve noticed that a lack of orange-colored, carotenoid-rich foods seems to be linked to infertility. Citrus fruits contain bioflavonoids that keep our blood vessels open, preventing stagnation and allowing our blood to flow. Both carotenoids and bioflavonoids help to prevent unhealthy types of cell growth and reproduction.

Yellow : Digestive system, blood sugar, and energy production

Yellow is the color for FIRE, and it’s also the color of quick-burning refined carbohydrates. A balanced FIRE is fueled by slow-burning, low-glycemic, high-fiber carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains and legumes. The FIRE also requires a whole team of B vitamins, such as thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12), all of which are crucial for generating a healthy metabolism and extracting energy from our foods.

Green : Thymus, heart, blood vessels, and lungs

Green is the color of the LOVE. The color green represents healing and nourishment, so it’s no wonder that green foods are “heart-healthy.” All green foods contain chlorophyll, which acts as an antioxidant and blood purifier, promoting robust circulation. Green detox foods include spirulina, chlorella, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

Aquamarine : Thyroid gland, throat, mouth, ears, and nose

Aquamarine is the color of the TRUTH, and we nourish our mouth, throat, and thyroid with sea vegetables that come out of shining blue-green oceans. The iodine on which our thyroid depends comes from such sea plants as nori, dulse, arame, and kelp. These foods are also rich in selenium and zinc, deficiencies of which are a common cause of thyroid problems.

Indigo : Pituitary gland, brain, neurons/neurotransmitters, sleep

Indigo is the color of the INSIGHT, so we support this system of health with blue and purple foods: blueberries, blackberries, purple kale, purple asparagus, purple cauliflower, purple grapes. Berries and grapes in particular are good sources of resveratrol, the powerhouse antioxidant that
helps protect your brain and nerves. Blue and purple foods improve your brain’s ability to create new pathways, improving your cognition, learning, and memory.

White : Pineal gland, electromagnetic fields, and circadian rhythms

White foods help cleanse and clarify. When it comes to the SPIRIT, it refers to foods that embody the ultimate healing properties for multiple organs: cauliflower for the liver; coconut products offer an accessible energy source for the intestines; onions and garlic purify the blood and liver; cabbage supports the liver and, when fermented, is excellent for the gut; and white beans provide fiber.

Deanna Minich, PhD, FACN, CNS, IFMCP, is a health educator, researcher, and author with more than twenty years of experience in nutrition, mindbody health, and functional medicine. Her passion is bringing forth a colorful whole-self approach to nourishment and bridging the gaps between science, soul, and art in medicine. For more information, visit her website, or her Facebook page.
By Dallin Peterson, ND, Tacoma Health 01 Jan, 2018
Do you know someone with cancer, heart disease, or diabetes? What about autoimmune disease, neurological disease, hormone disorders, or children with behavioral disorders? The answer is more than likely a big YES! As the rates for these disorders are increasing around the world, especially among our children, it begs the question….Why?

The deficient nutritional intake from fast food and the Standard American Diet have become the biggest detriments to our health. If high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health conditions are caused by poor eating habits, then the treatment should focus on using foods to reverse those conditions.

Consuming the proper foods and supplements can put your body in a detox state which can have profound effects, even reversing the effects of hypertension and diabetes. In my clinical practice it is very common to see blood pressures drop 20-30 systolic points following a detox and dietary regime.

These values will remain at healthy levels as long as healthy lifestyles are practiced. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well, can drop considerably. Lowering blood pressure and blood lipids through cleansing takes the two most common risk factors for heart disease out of the equation and promotes drug-free wellness. Non-insulin dependent diabetics also see significant changes because the detox makes insulin more sensitive to the tissues. This means blood sugars normalize and the deadly long term effects of high blood sugar are avoided.

Patients that are diagnosed as hypertensive, hyperlipidemic, and insulin resistant (diabetic) before a detox commonly find that afterwards, with dietary modifications, their lab values are within normal range. They are no longer classified by the medical society with the previously diagnosed condition. Miracle? Not really, just the body’s response to the Laws of Nature.

Some simple ways to put your body in a detox state properly are with intermittent fasting, water fasting, and high amounts of vegetable intake while eliminating all other foods. There of course, a right and wrong way to cleanse the body, especially for people who have hypertension and diabetes. Always consult a health professional before beginning a detox program.

Join me on Thursday, January 4 for an in depth discussion about the importance of regular detox, what is going on in the body when you detox, how to properly detox the body, how to know if you need to detox, and the benefits of detoxifying the body, such as lowering blood pressure and reversing diabetes.

Dr. Dallin LeGrand Peterson received his medical degree from Bastyr University where he focused on effective treatments for ADHD and Autism. Today, he practices medicine at Tacoma Health. There he specializes in using fasting protocols to heal as well as treating athletes with chronic and acute muscle and skeletal issues. Learn more and contact him through
By Marlene's Market & Deli 01 Jan, 2018
Traditional detox teas in Ayurvedic practices usually differ from western ideas about tea. The blends are made of what we would consider herbs and spices. The Ayurvedic approach encourages the body to release toxins and increase digestive power through 6 specific flavors—all encompassed in the following blends.

In the daytime mix, green tea is a fantastic addition for those who are fasting or attempting to utilize fat for energy. For those who are sensitive to caffeine, there is holy basil, also known as Tulsi tea. Tulsi has stress relieving and immune supporting properties that complement the detox blend brilliantly.

The bedtime mix cools and soothes the digestive system and encourages the release of heat from inflamed areas of the body. This blend allows for the process of detoxification to gently continue while the body renews and restores overnight.

Ayurvedic Detox Tea for Daytime

Makes one day of tea, about 5 cups

1 Tbsp whole coriander seed
1 Tbsp whole cumin seed
1 Tbsp whole fennel seed
1 Tbsp cinnamon chips
¼ C loose leaf green tea or Tulsi tea

Place in a jar and shake to mix. To prepare, place 1 level Tbsp of mix and 5 cups of water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 more minutes. Strain tea into thermos (or refrigerate) and sip throughout the day.
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