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Can a dentist perform ground-breaking works in the field of oncology? Who is Richard R Vensal anyway?

An email article circulating since 2008, attributed to a biochemist offering medical case histories for the cure of cancer using asparagus is unsubstantiated.   The testimonials, collected with the help of alleged cancer expert “Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S.”, purported to prove that eating asparagus may prevent and/or cure cancer.

According to UrbanLegends website, the name “Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S.” doesn’t appear anywhere in print except in connection with this one online article.   What his qualifications are as a cancer and nutrition expert are and who he is arouses a lot of questions about the validity of these testimonial claims.   Additionally, it isn’t clear what the “D.D.S.” stands for — that abbreviation is typically the short form for “Doctor of Dental Surgery” or “Doctor of Dental Science”, degrees one would not think would position their holders to perform ground-breaking work in the field of oncology.

However, asparagus might indeed have certain anti-cancer properties.   In addition to this vegetable’s many other nutritional benefits (only 25 calories per stalk, high in folic acid, plus a good source of vitamins A, B6 and C, calcium, iron, thiamin, potassium and fiber), it is high in the micronutrient glutathione, an antioxidant.   Glutathione is said to defend the body against viruses, certain types of cancer, and boosts immune cells.   Antioxidants have long been touted as one of the keys to preventing cancer, but eating large amounts of certain vegetables with the hopes that you will be cured of an existing cancer have never been substantiated.

Always check with Snopes.com or UrbanLegends.about.com websites to validate any medical claims for cure that are circulating in emails before passing them on.

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Filed under: Kerry's Rants & RamblingsWords of Wisdom

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