Hoda’s Hints for Health – H1

I have decided to start a series of Healthy Hints that will help develop a keen realization of the small things that have a huge impact on your overall health.  Many of these tips can be passed on to children, when they help us shop, cook or clean.

We’ve all been well-trained to trust that the food we buy in jars and bags and boxes is actually safe and hopefully good for us.  In this series I aim to re-establish the conscious awareness we must live in to maintain good health …especially when it comes to what we are feeding the living cells that make up this body we live in.

Here is the first hint –  presented in a format you can print.


Triple Negative Breast Cancer Treatment

Complete Response in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Treatment

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents a distinct form of breast cancer that does not express estrogen receptors (ER), progesterone receptors (PR) or the Her2/neu protein, hence triple negative.

These cancers are aggressive, disseminate rapidly and do not always respond to standard chemotherapy. Some are associated with BRCA gene mutations. TNBC tends to occur in younger women with a predisposition for African-Americans. Some TNBCs reveal exquisite sensitivity to Platinum-based treatments.

In October 2015, I consulted with a 50-year-old patient with a very large left-sided triple negative breast cancer. The MRI and PET/CT scans confirmed the disease to be localized with no evidence of distant spread. The patient was familiar with our work and expressed interest in having a tissue sample sent to our laboratory for functional profiling.

As the patient’s HMO did not contract with our office, I referred her to a colleague who participated in her insurance plan so he could obtain tissue for our analysis. After she met with the HMO physician, he recommended against our analysis. Once the patient got over her surprise, as it was I who had referred her to this physician in the first place, she declined follow-up with that office, opting instead to pay out-of-pocket at our institution for the biopsy and her first cycle of treatment, while she set about changing her insurance.

With the biopsy performed, my expectation, based upon my original work with triple negative breast cancer (J Clin Oncol 2000) was that Carboplatin plus Gemcitabine would be the most effective. Many investigators consider this to be a gold standard in triple negative breast cancer treatment and I was fully prepared to administer this combination if our laboratory analyses were not available.

Results of the functional profile provided an interesting and very instructive lesson.

Despite my belief in and use of Carboplatin plus Gemcitabine in triple negative breast cancer treatment, this particular patient was much more sensitive to Carboplatin plus Taxotere. Contrary to my expectations, the assay results proved my assumptions wrong.

Based upon our findings she began treatment with Carboplatin and Taxotere. In a single cycle the tumor virtually disappeared. By the second cycle neither the patient nor I could feel the previously large mass. By the fourth cycle there was nothing to be found and with six cycles, restaging revealed only the gold bead placed at the time of initial biopsy. Surgery confirmed a pathologic complete remission with the lymph nodes, tumor and the resected breast all free of disease.

There are a number of lessons from this case.

The first is the exquisite sensitivity of triple negative breast cancer to the right treatment. The second is that functional analyses beat clinical experience, published literature and personal assumptions every time. The third lesson is that patients know best. This patient insisted that we give her the best treatment based upon the functional profile and no opinion, recommendation or outside advice would sway her from that position.

No amount of clinical experience, literature support or big data can replace the predictive validity of human tissue analyses.

This case is an example of cell biology superseding other considerations, as her cancer behaved exactly as the EVA/PCD analysis.


Dr. Robert Nagourney has been a leading expert in personalized cancer testing and research for over 20 years. He is author of the book Outliving Cancer, blogger, practicing oncologist, and clinical professor at the University of California, Irvine. He has been featured on national and local television such as CNN, ABC World News Tonight, CNBC and major newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal.

He has also served as a reviewer and on the editorial boards of several journals including Clinical Cancer Research, British Journal of Cancer, Gynecologic Oncology, Cancer Research and the Journal of Medicinal Food. He is founder and director of Rational Therapeutics, a testing lab in Long Beach, personalizing cancer patient’s treatments from all over the world.



Simply The BEST VEGAN Tuna Salad You’ll Make

Did you know those tiny seeds we snack on are a POWER-House of nutrition?IMG_9381

Not the toasted, roasted, salted, manipulated ones..
but the shelled, raw or sprouted variety. 

Sunflowers are a native plant to North America. The seeds have become a staple to cultures worldwide.  Despite their small size, sunflower seeds are a dense source of vitamins and minerals and essential oils. They contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that help raise HDL (the good type of cholesterol), while lowering LDL ( unhealthy cholesterol).


  • Promotes Cardiovascular Health
  • Promote Healthy Cholesterol Levels
  • Potent Source of Magnesium
  • Supports a Healthy Mood
  • Contains Selenium: a Powerful Antioxidant for Thyroid Health

Tuna Salad has been a go-to sandwich for many of us I’m sure.  Unfortunately, tuna is high in mercury (as are shellfish) and should only be enjoyed very occasionally.

“Exposure to mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems, and is a threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life.  Mercury may have toxic effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, and on lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes.  It is considered by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern. ” http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs361/en/

The Recipe

This recipe is so tasty and nutritious, you won’t believe it’s made from seeds, and you won’t miss your tuna ever again!  I like using sprouted seeds since they contain less carbs (the emerging sprout consumes some of the seed’s starches).


  • 3 c. raw or sprouted Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/3 c. filtered Water
  • 1/4 c. organic Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce or Bragg’s Amino Acid (opt.)IMG_0774
  • a pinch of Sea Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 Tbs. Vegenaise
  • 2 – 4 tsp. Dijon Mustard (to taste)

The Veggies:

  • 2 stalks Celery, finely diced
  • 1/3-1/2 c. diced Red or White Onion (to taste)
  • 1/4 c. chopped Parsley (opt.)

Soak the Sunflower Seeds in a shallow bowl or glass baking dish for 4 – 6 hours.  Rinse lightly.




Place all ingredients except for Vegenaise, mustard and vegetables in food processor.


Blend until almost smooth…try to keep a little texture.


Add the chopped veggies, Vegenaise and mustard.


Mix well and taste for seasoning.


Enjoy on high-fiber gluten-free bread or crackers, with sliced organic tomatoes and Romaine lettuce.

A ¼ cup serving of sunflower seeds provides: 

190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber

  •  82% of Vitamin E
  •  70% DV of copper
  •  43% Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  •  34% of manganese
  •  34% of selenium
  •  33% of phosphorus
  •  28% of magnesium
  •  28% of Vitamin B6
  •  20% of folate
  •  18% of Vitamin B3

~ In good health! 

‘Evolution of Organic’ – help fund this FILM!

‘Evolution of Organic’ brings us the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement.


A motley crew of back-to-the-landers, spiritual seekers and farmers’ sons and daughters rejected modern chemical farming and set out to invent organic alternatives. The movement grew from a small band of rebels to a cultural transformation in the way we grow and eat food. By now organic has mainstreamed, become both an industry oriented toward bringing organic to all people, and a movement that has realized a vision of sustainable agriculture.

The next generation are broadening organic; what lies “beyond organic”; and carbon farming and sequestration as a solution to climate change – maybe the best news on the planet.

Mark Kitchell — maker of Academy Award nominee Berkeley in the Sixties and A Fierce Green Fire, about environmental activism – is directing and producing. Organic insider Sibella Kraus is collaborating. Legendary editor Robert Dalva is slated for the fine-cut.

Evolution of Organic just made it to rough-cut – a giant first step.Organic Apples

First feedback is all positive. Six former funders and a generous grant from Gaia Fund got us this far. Now we’re raising funds to finish the film. Help us make it to the (Sun) dance on time!

Watch the TRAILER and become part of history!

What We Need and What You Get

  • $140,000+ has been raised so far. An estimated $160,000 is needed to finish:
  •  $25,000 for additional interviews and shooting B-roll
  •  $25,000 for graphics, animation and music
  •  $25,000 for mastering and licensing archival film and photos
  •  $25,000 for production staff and overhead
  •  $40,000 for editing the fine-cut
  •  $20,000 for finishing costs like sound mixing and onlining

The Impact

Imagine all the things a good film on the organic movement could do:

  1. — educate and inspire young and old to become part of organic and build the movement
  2. — recruit the next generation of organic growers
  3. — build organic from 4% of total food sales to 20% or even 80%
  4. — expand acreage in organic from 1% to 10%
  5. — appeal to the 70% of consumers who occasionally buy organic to become regular eaters
  6. — introduce ideas about carbon farming and sequestration as a solution to climate disaster. The world needs to know about this big breaking story.
  7. — explore what lies “beyond organic”: soil microbiology; nutrient value of food; sustainable agriculture; wildlife conservation; reforming the food system and justice issues; transforming agriculture…
  8. — diversifying organic to cross ethnic and class barriers
  9. — spreading organic internationally
  10. — grow the “brown revolution”

Our previous films have reached millions

They opened at prestigious festivals; had extensive theatrical and non-theatrical releases; grassroots outreach and engagement campaigns; sold to every school and library; became evergreen titles in home video; and reached all over the world.

Berkeley in the Sixties was nominated for an Academy Award, won the Sundance Audience Award and other top honors. It’s a well-loved classic, a defining film about the  movements that shook America in the 1960s.

 A Fierce Green Fire was broadcast nationally on PBS’s American Masters on Earth Day 2014. It too is becoming a defining film, educating new generations about environmental activism. Our hope is that Evolution of Organic will become a defining film as well.

Your donation is tax-deductible!!!

Is Folic Acid Helpful or Harmful?

FolicFolic acid may be problematic with people who are concerned about Cancer, because of its ability to affect methylation.  There has also been some negative research associated with the acid form.
For Cancer patients it may be wise to avoid folate in amounts higher than one would find in a multi-vitamin.  Dietary sources are not a problem –leafy greens being the best source.
Reviewing the literature on cancer and vitamin B12 (and folic acid), we see both positive and negative studies. Some research suggests these nutrients may help fight cancer, whereas a handful of studies show the opposite, with potential to foster tumor growth or progression.
One reason for the divergent findings may be that these B vitamins play a role in controlling gene expression. B vitamins are involved in “methylation,” a chemical process which is used to regulate the expression of genes. When a gene is methylated, it is silenced.
Conversely, a lack of methylation (associated with low levels of B12 and folic acid) can lead to up-regulation of gene expression.
A concern with supplementation of high dose vitamin B12 or folic acid is that we do not have control over which genes may be influenced. And there is a risk that helpful tumor suppressor genes could be silenced or oncogenes (genes that foster tumor growth) might potentially be up-regulated.
Until further research clarifies who might benefit vs who is at risk, our best suggestion at this time is to avoid high dose supplementation with vitamin B12 or folic acid (in amounts higher than found in a multiple vitamin)….UNLESS there is evidence of functional deficiency of these nutrients.


  1. Elevated Plasma Vitamin B12 Levels as a Marker for Cancer
  2. Folic Acid Supplementation and Cancer Risk
  3. Folate and cancer prevention: a closer look at a complex picture
Note: Consult with your Naturopathic Doctor before adding any supplement to you regimen.

Low Level of Melatonin Raises Cancer Risk and Speeds Aging

For the past 5 years, Melatonin has been part of my bedtime regimen.  I slowly went from 1 mg to 16 mg during treatment, and am now on a maintenance dose of 3 – 4 mg every night.file2181243304653

Within a few months of starting Melatonin, I noticed better energy and resilience, and the skin on my face and neck looked smoother.
I am sensitive to light, so I sleep in a very dark room, not even a light from an alarm clock or extension cord button.
I use blackout curtains on all windows.  As mentioned in the study, even the faintest light can disrupt our Circadian cycle and deplete Melatonin levels.

A LifeExtension Clinical Study highlights the critical role of Melatonin in many areas of health, most importantly Cancer Prevention and Management.

Below is an excerpt, for the full article CLICK HERE.

Melatonin’s Anti-Cancer Mechanisms

Melatonin can kill directly many different types of human tumor cells. It is a naturally produced cytotoxin, which can induce tumor cell death (apoptosis). In instances where the tumor has already established itself in the body, melatonin has been shown to inhibit the tumor’s growth rate.

Night Light, Melatonin, Meditation, and Cancer Incidence

Low levels of melatonin have been associated with breast cancer occurrence and development.
Women who work predominantly at night and are exposed to light, which inhibits melatonin production and alters the circadian rhythm, have an increased risk of breast cancer development.

In contrast, higher melatonin levels have been found in blind and visually impaired people, along with correspondingly lower incidences of cancer compared to those with normal vision, thus suggesting a role for melatonin in the reduction of cancer incidence.file0002026188522

Light at night, regardless of duration or intensity, inhibits melatonin secretion and phase-shifts the circadian clock, possibly altering the cell growth rate that is regulated by the circadian rhythm. Disruption of circadian rhythm is commonly observed among cancer patients and contributes to cancer development and tumor progression.

Cancer alters neuroendocrine system function in such a way that melatonin levels are lower in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. Indeed, the circadian rhythm of melatonin is also altered in advanced gastrointestinal malignancies, such as colorectal, gastric, and pancreatic cancer, with respect to healthy humans.

Deregulation of many circadian clock functions in the human body— including blood pressure, temperature, hormones, sleep-wake pattern, immune function, and digestive activity—has been used as an independent prognostic factor of survival time and tumor response for patients with certain metastatic cancers.

The circadian rhythm alone is a statistically significant predictor of survival time for breast cancer patients.110 Several studies have shown that the circadian clock is involved in tumor suppression at the systemic, cellular, and molecular levels, and that cancer should no longer be treated as a local disorder. For instance, the circadian clock regulates the immune response.

Disruption of cirbraincadian rhythms could therefore lead to immunosuppression, which could disrupt cancer cell immunosurveillance and promote tumor development; however, melatonin as a circadian mediator can target the endogenous clock, and has been shown to inhibit immunosuppression.


Melatonin Dosage for Cancer Patients

While the optimal dose of melatonin for treating different types of cancer has not yet been established, the many clinical studies by Lissoni and colleagues have shown that doses of 10-50 mg of melatonin nightly are beneficial to cancer patients. Those recently diagnosed with slow-growing or early-stage cancer may wish to consider supplementing with 3 to 6 mg melatonin nightly; the latter dose may be reserved for early-stage cancer patients who suffer from disturbed sleep patterns.

Melatonin should probably be taken 30 minutes to one hour before sleeping. Slow-release melatonin preparations may benefit those with various types of insomnia, as the oral bioavailability of melatonin is approximately 15%. Exposure to light at night, however, regardless of the duration or intensity of the light, can fully suppress or decrease melatonin levels.

Because most clinical studies have shown that patients with late-stage, advanced, or untreatable cancer, or those with cancer metastasis, benefit from supplementation with 20 mg of melatonin, such patients may wish to consider supplementing with between 6 and 50 mg of melatonin nightly, depending on plasma melatonin levels.

The phenomenon of light at night regulating melatonin levels may explain the spontaneous tumor regression reported to occur through meditation alone in cancer patients (when the eyes are closed and detect no light). The regular practice of meditation is associated with increased physiological levels of melatonin.

Thus, cancer patients with endogenously depressed melatonin levels may benefit from both meditation and substitutional melatonin therapy, to improve quality of life while potentially inhibiting tumor growth and spread.

The Magic of Myrrh

Myrrh’s scientific name is Commiphora Myrrha and is native to Egypt. While the resin was frequently used in incense and perfumes in ancient Egypt, and the oil obtained from it was used for healing wounds in ancient Greece.

It may be easy to understand gold being a precious gift, but in truth, frankincense and myrrh’s value far outweighs that of gold. These plants are healing on an emotional, physical and spiritual level and more than simply symbols of the Christmas season.

Myrrh Benefitsmyrrh

Anti-septic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-microbial and anti-viral, astringent, expectorant, stimulant, carminative, stomachic, anti catarrhal, diaphoretic, vulnerary, anti-spasmodic, immune booster, improves circulation, body tonic.

Antioxidant benefits

A study published in the prestigious journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that myrrh (Commiphora molmol) emulsion was able to protect against lead (PbAc)-induced hepatotoxicity.

The authors of the study concluded that myrrh emulsion is a “powerful antioxidant” that can “protect against PbAc-induced hepatic oxidative damage and immunotoxicity by reducing lipid peroxidation and enhancing the antioxidant and immune defense mechanisms.”

  • protects against coughs and colds (viral infections), provides relief from mucus and phlegm, eases congestion, breathing trouble, etc.
  • boosts and activates the immune system, prevents/aids microbial infections (cough, cold, fever, food poisoning, measles, chicken poxs etc.)
  • works as a fungicide

Possible anticancer properties

A group of Chinese researchers revealed that extracts and compounds from Commiphora myrrha resin may be effective against human gynecologic cancer cells.2 Their findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research.

A 2011 study found that myrrh essential oil was effective in fighting cancer cells and did shrink tumor size. It’s been shown to be effective against skin cancer.

Mood Improvement

If you’re struggling with stress or anxiety or you just want to improve your overall mood and outlook on life, myrrh oil is one of the best essential oils to use.  Use in a diffuser for best results.

Skin Health

Myrrh oil is great for skin.  It’s effective against reducing wrinkles or age and sunspots as well.

  • heals wounds (essentially those of a ‘weeping’ nature), protects against infection and promotes healing
  • relieves skin diseases (eczema, ringworm, etc.)
  • soothes cracked and chapped skin
  • used in gum and mouth (ulcer) preparations

People are advised not to consume high amounts of myrrh as it can potentially cause severe heart irregularities, according to a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research

Caution: Women who are pregnant should avoid taking myrrh by mouth as it may be a cause of miscarriage.