Tag Archives: cancer

4 Half-Truths about the Acid-Base Balance and the Alkaline Diet

4 Half-Truths about the Acid-Base Balance and the Alkaline Diet

The other day, during an unplanned visit in a raw food and detox smoothies store…

Alkaline water to restore body pH

What a wonderful premise for a comic about Evil Acid and the Mighty Alkaline Diet!

According to some people, our bodies are full of acid and constantly fight to preserve the acid-base balance, which wear us out and make us sick. It is said to cause illness, such as osteoporosis, eczema and even cancer.

Acid-base balance and blood pH do matter a great deal in medicine. There is also available research on how diet can impact those.

Unfortunately, we only hear half-truths on the matter. As an example, you can read online about a so-called “alkaline diet”, made out mostly of fruits and vegetables, which allegedly prevents multiple illnesses. Websites and books supporting that diet are full of claims like:

  • “Meat increases the levels of acid in the body!”
  • “Fruits and vegetables are alkalizing!”
  • “Acid excess is unhealthy! ”
  • “Cancer cells cannot grow in an alkaline body! ”

Those statements are more or less true… but more often than not, they’re part of a discourse which has no scientific ground, spread by people who don’t seem to understand how the human body works.

hippie meme acid-base balance

Let’s sort this out! This comic strip examines 4 half-truths regarding the acid-base balance… and adds the missing pieces of information that make up the whole picture.

Translated by Patricia Rainville; proofread by Stéphanie Alcaraz-Robinson.

 

4 Half-Truths about the Acid-Base Balance and the Alkaline Diet (header)

Some foods are acidic

 

Some foods are acidifying or alkalinizing

Too much body acid is unhealthy

 

The body fights to maintain the acid-base balance

 

Boring conclusion

 

Better conclusion

 

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The NO-PANIC Guide to the Birth Control Pill – Part II

The no-panic guide to the birth control pill part II (header)

Have you read Part 1 of my No-Panic Guide to the Birth Control Pill? If not, please do so before scrolling down.

I’ll continue in the same line of thought with the second (and last) part: my goal is to make you UNDERSTAND the risks associated with the Pill so that you can look at what you read and hear from a different angle.

I won’t tell you what to do: what I hope is to offer you a place to start and give you the necessary tools to promote enlightened reflection.

While deciding on what to incorporate, I took into account the myriad comments and suggestions I received after the publication of Part 1. Obviously, I couldn’t cover everything. I would’ve gladly added a section dedicated to cancer and depression, discussed the alternatives to hormonal contraception, provided more practical examples… but I decided to limit the scope of the last comic in order to keep everything “digestible”.

I don’t expect everyone to be engrossed by the topic, let alone read it in its entirety. Without doubt, it’s the longest comic I’ve produced so far and it’s quite stuffy… I tried to shorten it as much as possible, but under no circumstances would I cut corners on such a serious and complex topic. My goal was to give women the necessary information for them to do their own critical thinking (such as being wary of allegations made by the media) and encourage open discussion with their doctors in all matters concerning the contraceptive pill.

If you manage to read the entire thing, you automatically win a bag of 1000 gummy bears that you can claim if you ever meet me in person.

In order to make sure that my comic is accurate, I asked for the help of Lyne Massicotte, a clinical biochemist. Lyne, whose work I greatly admire, is the cofounder – with her partner Mathieu – of Nasci Biologie Médicale, a medical lab specializing in male fertility. Thanks Lyne!

Translated by Qian Li (Pharm.D. candidate), proofread by Stéphanie Alcaraz-Robinson.

 

Comic header

 

The car analogy

 

Scary headlines about the Pill

The risk-benefit ratio

Risks and benefits associated with the Pill

The Pill and DVT blood clots pulmonary embolism

Pill generations vary in estrogen and progestin

 

Practical examples

 

Conclusion

 

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5 sticky myths about sunscreen

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Who says “summer” says “sun.” And who says “sun” says “suntanning” … or “cancer“. 

I don’t think anyone should freak out over exposure to the sun. On the other hand, if you’re gonna use sunscreen, you might as well use it properly.

After all, this is not just about cancer: UVA rays cause premature aging of the skin, while UVB cause those infuriating sunburns.

At the pharmacy, people very seldom ask me for advice when it comes time to sunscreens. I wonder what determines their choice. A nice bottle with a cute doggy on it? Statements like “Ultimate Protection Apocalyptic 3000”? Low (or high) price tag?

Here’s the truth: choosing the best sunscreen is FAR from easy, even for me. It’s not easy to use it well either.

In this comic, I address 5 beliefs about sun exposure and sunscreen that I hear all the time.

In a second comic, I’ll address the issue of allegedly toxic ingredients in sunscreen (such as nanoparticles and endocrine disruptors), vitamin D deficiency and the belief that sunscreen is more carcinogenic than the sun itself.

P.S. There’s a joke that is a direct homage to the Simpsons. Who’s gonna find it first?

Translation by Olivier Bernard, proofreading by Lauren Knight.

 

Title

Sunburns and skin phototype

 

 

Shade and UV rays

 

 

About sun protection factor SPF

 

 

Amount and frequency for applying sunscreen

 

 

Bad marketing about sunscreens

How to choose a sunscreen

 

 

Conclusion and radioactive white

 

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How to make your milk NONTOXIC

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You’re probably aware that milk is a disgusting, toxic, white poison filled with blood and pus, threatening mankind every day.  I read that online.

If you drink milk, you will have cancer, osteoporosis, divorce and your credit card debts will increase significantly. You’ll also die one day because of dairy.

Chances are that you’re lactose intolerant too, because everyone is. So if you give milk to your kids, you’re basically a criminal.

But fortunately, I’ve found a way to make milk slightly better for you. Here’s how.

Translation by Olivier Bernard, proofreading by Lauren Knight.

 

How to make your milk nontoxic

Milk is white poison according to the Internet

I share my findings about milk on Facebook

Lactose intolerance mammals and the milk industry

You are lactose intolerant and also an idiot

Adding lemon juice to milk makes it less poisonous

Curdled milk with lemon kicks ass

The ultimate testimony about sour milk

 

A note from the author (me):

You think that the arguments brought forward in this comic are too good to be true, overly simplified and unproven? Well done! You should do the same with most of what you read on the Internet.

I created this comic in order to provide something more entertaining than all the propaganda articles found on the web about milk. Really, I believe it’s better to read the above-written crap than anything found elsewhere, because at least my crap doesn’t take itself seriously.

A few things to consider about milk:

  • Milk is not unhealthy. But you don’t “need” to drink milk to be healthy. Dairy is an excellent source of protein, calcium and vitamin D, but if you can find those nutrients elsewhere, go for it.
  • Milk does not have positive, negative or otherworldly properties. It’s a food… and you shouldn’t choose foods according to whether they allegedly have special benefits (because they don’t).
  • Milk does not make your bones weaker. What studies actually say is that milk is not enough to prevent fractures, which comes to no surprise.
  • No, there is no pus, blood or bacteria in milk… if it’s pasteurized. As for antibiotics, the industry is (fortunately) under a lot of public pressure to stop using them routinely in livestock.
  • 9 to 23% of Caucasians are lactose intolerant, compared to 60 to 100% of African-Americans and Asians, so we’re very far from the “epidemic” that some people speak about; it has more to do with genetics. Also, lactose intolerant people can still consume dairy moderately.
  • Some large-scale, well-built studies suggest that people who drink a lot of milk have a higher mortality rate and a higher risk of developing some types of cancer, but these studies cannot conclude that milk is the cause. People who drink more drink may have other risk factors, such as having more sugar or fat in their diet. People who consume a moderate amount of dairy don’t seem affected by this.

In the end, my impression is that the anti-milk panic exploding online right now comes from activists trying to stop the exploitation of livestock. I am 100% with them regarding the need for ethical treatment of animals, but if this requires demonizing milk, telling outright lies and making me feel guilty to drink it… no thanks.

 

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Cancer, chemo, radiation and … dandelions

Cancer chemo radiation and dandelions (header)

My initial idea was to write a cartoon titled “5 toxic beliefs about chemotherapy”. The goal was to take 5 myths about chemo and deconstruct them. In doing this, I wanted to challenge the false notions about chemotherapy that are perpetuated over the internet.

However, along the way something became obvious: it’s absolutely pointless to attack false beliefs on chemo… when the majority of people do not know what cancer really is.

Then, by pure chance, two oncologists appeared out of nowhere and proposed to help me make a comic on cancer! It’s great how things work out.

After reading this comic, you will have a better understanding of cancer, surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. And you will never see dandelions the same way.

Author’s notes:

I want to thank my two great collaborators for authoring this comic! They proposed to me the dandelion analogy, and told me they didn’t know where it came from (in short, we don’t really know where it comes from)… An ENORMOUS THANK YOU to you two for your massive help in the creation, preparation and improvements on this comic!

– Marc-Émile Plourde, MD, FRCPC (Radiation Oncology)

Marc-Émile is a radiation oncologist, meaning his specialty is radiotherapy. He is also the author of the blog radiotherapie.ca (in French) and he develops medical apps for mobile devices.

– Vincent Éthier, MD, FRCPC (Hematology Oncology)

Vincent is a hematologist and oncologist, meaning his specialty is chemotherapy.

– And the two generous doctors who translated this cartoon to English : Pierre-Yves McLaughlin, MD with the help of Martin Korzeniowski, MD.

 

* Note: This comic explains what cancer is, and how it is treated. I do not address prevention, not because it’s not important (to the contrary), but simply because it’s a very vast subject that I indirectly bring up all the time when I promote healthy living habits on this website.

 

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cancer03_EN cancer04_EN_01 cancer05_EN cancer06_EN cancer07_EN_01 cancer08_EN_01 cancer09_EN cancer10_EN

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