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The New Link that Stomach Cancer & High Blood Pressure Share

Sodium and Stomach Cancer

Please look below for an update:

Not to ruin your day, but you might be interested in this new study by the World Cancer Research Fund. They found that 14 percent, (or in other words, one in seven) cases of stomach cancer could be prevented by watching sodium levels.

I don't know about you, but considering this new information and also sodium's impact on blood pressure numbers, I think it's worth the effort to start learning what foods have higher levels of sodium and how to keep those levels under control.

how sodium increases blood pressure  Do You Know What to Look for When Watching Your Sodium?

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, in the U.K. where the study was completed, 43% of people consume more than the recommended amount of sodium. 

That recommended amount has a little more lenient number of 2400 mg's when high blood pressure isn't in the picture. If you do happen to have high blood pressure, aim for 1500 mg.

Don't you think it would be a good idea to get into the habit of aiming for the lower number even if you don't have high blood pressure? That way it's easier to not go over the 2400 mg, and is just a good habit to form.

Low Sodium Diets

It is really easier than it sounds to keep your sodium levels down. Here are a few tips:
  • Keep packaged foods to a minimum. Three-quarters of our salt comes already included in packaged foods. FYI: Not a good thing!

  • Read and compare labels. The same food from a different brand could have more or less sodium than the other. For example: one low sodium chicken stock had more sodium than a regular product, and I found a well-known brand of soup that their low sodium tomato soup was the same as their regular product.
  • Cut back on deli-meats, red meat, & fermented foods such as pickles, beer, etc.
  • Learn to enjoy more fruits and vegetables - they are actually pretty good! 
  •  Drink enough water; one recommendation is half of your weight per day in ounces. A rule of thumb is when your urine is getting to be more of a clearer color than yellow color, you are either there or close. This helps wash some of the excess sodium out of your body. (An added benefit: if you have been constipated, you will probably have some relief!)
  • Using spices instead of salt can keep your meals delicious, with much less worry about sodium.
This may be harsh, but it is your choice whether you watch your sodium or not. But consider this:

Only about 15 percent of stomach cancer patients live more than five years because this particular disease isn't usually diagnosed early enough for treatments to bring better results.    

That coupled with the possible outcome of high blood pressure issues and medicinal side effects make dietary efforts soooo much easier to deal with.

Don't you think so, too? : )

Update on June 15, 2023

As I was looking for keywords to update this blog, I ran across an article that was very distressing regarding high blood pressure medicine relating to cancers... not just stomach cancer. 

This article talks about various cancers and what research has found linking certain blood pressure medicine to those cancers. 

In order to NOT misquote or misunderstand what was said, I am going to copy and paste a couple of paragraphs for you to read, and you can see if you interpret it the same as I do:

This is from the American Heart Association Journals with the subtitle, "Cancer and Hypertension...An Unresolved Issue."

I will place the link at the end of the quoted paragraphs.

"But how did it all get started? Actually, the first prospective type of study was reported by Dyer et al22 in 1975, from an analysis of the relationship of systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure at entry into the study and a 14-year mortality follow-up. Both SBP and DBP appeared to be significantly associated with subsequent mortality from lung, colon, and other cancers, even after appropriate adjustment for age, cholesterol, and smoking.22 It is relevant that this prospective study was antedated by three retrospective investigations,35373839 all relating the use of reserpine (the antihypertensive drug of choice in those days) with breast cancer. Careful analysis by Dyer et al22 helped to exclude reserpine and implicated hypertension as a culprit in cancer association."

"Since then, many retrospective cohorts, some simply based on questionnaires, others carefully related to records of patients in prepaid health plans, have linked the use of other antihypertensive agents with cancer. Most frequent associations have been reported between the use of thiazide diuretics and the incidence of renal cancer, but again, only in retrospective case/control studies.35404142434445 

Actually, half a dozen trials have reported the association from various parts of the globe, including large multinational efforts.42 It has to be mentioned that here most of the studies have recognized that it is difficult to disentangle the separate effects due to potential misclassification of highly correlated events,3540 ie, to exclude hypertension per se as a cause because the use of diuretics is highly correlative with it. 

Again, the duration (of diuretic use/hypertension) has been frequently noted.35 Other drugs, including β-blockers, have been reported to be a significant risk factor for kidney cancer.46 It is of interest that in a large cohort from the Glasgow Clinic, which helped to clear β-blockers from their association with kidney cancer, actually remained significantly more relevant among hypertensives independent of the medication used.47 It is also of interest that in studies demonstrating the danger of diuretics, other antihypertensive drugs are usually considered to be without risk.3541 Although the fact was largely unnoticed, even ACE inhibitors appeared to be related to increased death (38 gastrointestinal cancers in the enalapril group compared with 22 in the placebo group; odds ratio, 1.7) in a double-blind trial.48 The relevance of the above-mentioned studies will also have to be evaluated, keeping in mind the reality of competing risk of death phenomenon (cardiovascular versus cancer)49 ; yet let us mention that the increased relative risk of cancer death in hypertension was observed in both treated and untreated patients.22"

"With what we have discussed, it came as a surprise that in a recent retrospective case/control study by Pahor et al,50 none of the above was considered. There was no suggestion or reference to prospective investigations demonstrating hypertension as a risk factor for cancer, and no mention of all other drugs related in remote and recent history with the risk for cancer in the study or accompanying editorials.515152 What is most surprising is the discussed pathophysiological mechanism proposing an explanation for the association between use of calcium channel blockers and cancer, ie, their putative effects on apoptosis. The latter is a complex process, leading to DNA fragmentation via calcium-dependent as well as calcium-independent pathways, and so is DNA synthesis and repair.535455"

The link to the AHA Journals article where this information is found below:


I've never outright quoted paragraphs like this before. But if I'm understanding this correctly, hypertension medication seems to be the possible culprit in certain cancers.

Similar to what has been seen recently during another huge, worldwide illness, medication has been pushed on people with them not knowing the possible consequences. 

At the very least, choices should be given.

This has brought me to tears thinking of all the illnesses people might have suffered that these medications MAY have caused.

Just my opinion.