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Micronutrient Deficiency Responsible for Cancer and other Diseases, Proclaims Scientist

Deficiencies in micronutrients arising from a high-calorie, nutrient-poor diet may be responsible for many modern health problems from cancer to obesity, a health researcher has proclaimed.The specific effects of many vitamin deficiencies are well known, and have led governments to advise supplements for certain high-risk populations, including calcium for older women, vitamin D for dark-skinned people at risk of bone diseases, and folic acid for women whose children would otherwise be at risk of neural tube birth defects. But Bruce Ames of the University of California at Berkeley and the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute has suggested that nutrient deficiency may also lead to more general health deficiency.Ames told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that a diet rich in junk food, which has lots of calories but few vitamins and minerals, forces to body to enter a "crisis mode," designed to keep the body alive over the short term. The problem is that this leads the body to neglect its own long-term survival, including tasks such as repairing regular DNA damage and maintaining a healthy immune system."DNA damage increases deficiency of each of the 15 micronutrients that have been examined in humans, primary human cells in culture or in rodents," Ames said. "These deficiencies are associated with cancer."Ames said that most people in the United States are deficient in at least one of the 40 micronutrients required for proper bodily function. He cited studies showing that 56 percent of the population fails to meet the recommended magnesium intake guidelines, and that 93 percent fail to consume enough vitamin E.Ames is the inventor of the "Ames test," which is used to determine the mutation- and cancer-causing potential of chemicals. He sits on the scientific advisory board of the nutrient company Juvenon.

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