This list shows foods / supplements which show benefit in cancer treatment, and are proposed as possibly beneficial in conjunction with traditional treatment. We should not expect too much from applying these ideas – there are certainly no guarantees of success, but the more that are used, consistently, in the context of a positive outlook and good conventional care, the better the chances of a successful outcome. Vitamins and minerals also protect healthy cells from damage caused by conventional treatments and speed recovery (whether surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy); they also reduce the likelihood of recurrence.
Within this list, vitamins A and D can lead to toxic symptoms after continued high doses. On the other hand, cancer itself is very serious. On balance, one can take highish doses for a limited period, preferably with careful monitoring by a compliant physician. These two are among the most powerful of those presented. Selenium, chromium and zinc are listed as being helpful in a more indirect way and particularly large doses are not required. Where amounts are indicated this is to serve as a guide only.
High dose antioxidants can help during radiotherapy as they protect healthy cells better than cancerous ones; however, more radiotherapy may be required in these circumstances so it is advisable to discuss this with your health professional.
Some of the items in this list will be of greater benefit for some cancer types than others. In truth, our knowledge is sketchy on this so I have largely not demarked which may work for which type of cancer as this risks the potential of someone avoiding what might in fact work.
Some of those dietary agents that are effective for cance prevention, will be so because they are able to directly, or indirectly via the immune system, stop cancers as soon as they begin. For this reason they may help in treatment too, possibly by limiting the spread od cancer.
Direct Effect on Cancer Cells – Causes either apoptosis (cell death) or differentiation (normalisation of cell)
Immune System Enhancer – The immune system does not only fight infections, but cancer cells too, perticularly precancerous cells or wandering cancer cells. One reason why cancer increases with age – though certainly not the only one – is that typically the immune system declines with age.
# : Top suggestions
* : Next best suggestions
CoEnzyme Q10 #
The ubiquinone Coenzyme Q10 is a component, along with a number of cytochromes, of the electron transport carrier system which shuttles electrons in a handshake fashion along the energy generating pathway of aerobic metabolism. CoQ10 strengthens the cardiovascular system, normalises blood pressure and augments the immune system. Cancer patients have greater deficiencies of CoQ10, presumably due to general nutritional deficiencies and particular shortage of vitamins required for its biosynthesis from the amino acid phenyalanine.
In Nov 1993, Knud Lockwood, Sven Moesgaard and Karl Folkers from Copenhagen Denmark and Austin Texas, USA reported to the Eighth International Symposium on the Biomedical Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, in Stockholm Sweden, the partial to complete tumour regression in six breast cancer patients supplemented with doses of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) ranging from 90 to 390 mg daily. This clinical data has been recently published.6 Of 32 “high-risk” patients supplemented with anti-oxidants, fatty acids and CoQ10, all survived after 2 years, and 6, aged from 48 to 82 years, had documented remissions of breast tumours. In addition, morphine dosage was reduced, metastases were not observed and clinical conditions were excellent.
In one case of 59 years, following 1 month's treatment of 390mg CoQ10, the (intraductal) tumor was no longer palpable, mammography confirming the absence of signs of tumor. A further case with intraductal cancer showed no evidence of tumor or distant metastases following 3 months' treatment with 300 mg CoQ10 daily. The breast cancer tumor regression may be the result of CoQ10's bioenergetic activity, expressed as the hematological and immunological activity of this vitamin. The author, who has treated about 200 breast cancer cases per year for 35 years, “has never seen a spontaneous complete regression of 1.5-2.0 cm breast tumor, and has never seen a comparable regression on any conventional anti-tumor therapy”.
There have been some subsequent reports with Q10 and other types of cancer.
Green tea #
One of the most exciting health developments of the nineties has been the discovery of the extraordinary anti-aging properties of green tea. Epidemiological observations have shown that people in green-tea consuming countries – mainly Japan and China – have very low rates of cancer. In Japan, the women who teach the tea ceremony, and thus drink more than the average amount of extra-strong green tea, are noted for their very low mortality rate and longevity; deaths from cancer are especially rare in this group.
The rates of breast, colon, skin, pancreatic, esophageal and stomach cancer have been found to be lower among drinkers of green tea. If those who consumed more than ten cups of green tea a day got cancer, it was at considerably older age, especially in women. Likewise, it has been noted that those Japanese smokers who consume a lot of green tea seem to enjoy protection against lung cancer. In fact, the Japanese have both the highest smoking rate and the lowest lung cancer rate in the industrialized world.
Western epidemiological studies have also tended to confirm that higher consumption of tea and coffee is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. On the basis of a number of such epidemiological studies, it could be tentatively asserted that the higher the consumption of tea in general, and perhaps of green tea in particular, the lower the incidence of breast, prostate and lung cancer. The same probably holds true for colon, stomach, pancreatic and skin cancer. In vitro or animal research indicates that green tea may be effective against an even wider variety of types of cancer, including leukemia and glioma.
Research aimed at finding the active compounds in green tea revealed that its protective effects are due chiefly to catechins. Powerful polyphenolic antioxidants, catechins are astringent, water-soluble compounds that can be easily oxidized. They are a subgroup of flavonoids, weak phytoestrogenic compounds widely available in vegetables, fruit, tea, coffee, chocolate and wine. The antioxidant potential of both green and black teas, as measured by the Phenol Antioxidant Index, was found to be significantly higher than that of grape juice and red wines.
Green tea is manufactured from fresh, unfermented tea leaves; the oxidation of catechins is minimal, and hence they are able to serve as antioxidants. While the fermentation of tea leaves needed for the production of black tea produces some unique antioxidants such as theaflavins, bisflavonols and thearubigens (polymers of simple polyphenols), such fermentation reduces the catechin content, especially the strongly bioactive catechin called epigallocatechin gallate. Epigallocatechin gallate has been singled out by many researchers as particularly important for cancer prevention.
So far, most research has been done on green tea and the activity of its various catechin components; the research on complex polymeric polyphenols found in black tea is still in an early stage.
Numerous recent studies continue to confirm that green tea polyphenols have powerful anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective, neuroprotective and antimicrobial actions. In the first of the two articles on green tea, let us take a closer look at the anticarcinogenic properties of green tea.
The latest good news about green tea comes from a study done at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. A team of researchers headed by Dr. Yihai Cao found that green tea can block angiogenesis – the development of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow and metastasize. The authors gave mice the equivalent of two-to-three cups of green tea a day. When lung cancer was induced, the mice supplemented with green tea showed significantly less tumor growth. The scientists found that green tea suppressed the development of new blood vessels and prevented metastasis. They hypothesize the epigallocatechin gallate is the compound responsible for the suppression of angiogenesis.
In an interview, Dr. Cao explained that all solid tumors depend on angiogenesis for their growth. If green tea polyphenols can prevent angiogenesis, then this would go a long way toward explaining why green tea is effective in preventing so many kinds of cancer. Dr. Cao stressed that it takes long-term consumption of green tea in order to obtain these chemopreventive benefits.
Green tea has also been shown to help prevent metastasis. Cancer cells secrete special enzymes called collagenases in order to penetrate and colonize various tissues. It is the metastatic process that is lethal, not the primary tumor. Hence finding substances that can prevent metastasis is of prime importance in fighting cancer. A study done at the University of Shizuoka in Japan found that epigallocatechin gallate does in fact inhibit the secretion of collagenases by tumor cells (in this study, highly metastatic lung cancer cells), thus arresting their ability to invade normal tissue. Black tea theaflavins were also effective. There is also additional evidence that green tea polyphenols help inhibit angiogenesis, or the growth of new blood vessels that nourish the tumor.
Two of the green tea polyphenols, epigallocatechin-3-gallate and epicatechin-3-gallate, have been found to be effective inhibitors of 5 alpha-reductase type I, reducing the synthesis of DHT, a potent form of testosterone implicated in causing prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. Epigallocatechin gallate has also been found to be the most potent catechin in inducing apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells when tested on various cell lines. Together with lycopene and selenium, green tea should be considered as a special prostate-protective agent.
One interesting recent study compared the effects of epigallocatechin gallate, curcumin (a powerful anticarcinogenic compound from the curry spice turmeric), and the combination of both on an in-vitro model of oral cancer. It was found that epigallocatechin gallate helped arrest tumor cell growth in a different cell-cycle stage than curcumin. When the two compounds were combined, growth inhibition was enhanced, suggesting a synergistic effect.
Green tea catechins are among the phenolic compounds known to suppress the formation of heterocyclic amines and nitrosamines, known to be potent carcinogens. Nitrosamines have been tentatively linked to brain cancer and leukemia. Drinking green tea with or after a meal containing meat cooked at a high temperature or treated with nitrites (a meat ‘preserver') seems to offer a degree of protection.
Many other carcinogens are likewise rendered less harmful thanks to the action of green tea polyphenols on inducing enzymes that detoxify various undesirable compounds, and inhibiting those enzymes that would make certain carcinogens bioactive. Glucuronization (conjugation with glucuronic acid) is another detoxifying mechanism that is enhanced by catechins.
It has been also postulated that green tea catechins inhibit the activation of protein kinase C, and interfere with the binding of growth factors to their receptors. (In the case of breast cancer, catechins were in fact shown to interfere with the binding of estrogen to estrogen receptors.) Catechins were also found to inhibit the release of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), a highly inflammatory cytokine, and of nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme necessary for the production of nitric oxide (nitric oxide plays an important role in inflammation and carcinogenesis).
A particularly exciting study, done at the Cancer Chemotherapy Center in Tokyo, Japan, and using leukemia and colon cancer cell cultures, demonstrated that “epigallocatechin gallate strongly and directly inhibits telomerase.” Telomerase is the enzyme that “immortalizes” cancer cells by maintaining the end portions of the tumor cell chromosomes. Even in the presence of non-toxic concentrations of epigallocatechin gallate, cancer cells exhibited telomere shortening and senescence. Thus, inhibition of telomerase could be one of the main anticarcinogenic mechanisms of catechins.
Obviously, the anti-cancer mechanisms of green tea polyphenols are complex, and not yet completely understood. Research at the level of molecular genetics is particularly promising. We already do know enough to state with certainty that green tea is an effective chemopreventive agent. And we also know that it is best to use several anti-cancer agents (including all the major antioxidants) for synergistic prevention along all the possible pathways. Green tea works along so many pathways that it is simply an indispensable part of any serious cancer-prevention program.
Turmeric (spice) / Curcumin #
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant extract from the spice turmeric that has a wide range of health benefits with specific anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering effects. Cancer researchers are developing agents that induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) as potent anti-cancer drugs. In common with many of the nutrients in the Cancer Treatment Protocol such as selenium, vitamin A, green tea and vitamin D3, curcumin induces cancer cell apoptosis.
In a wide range of cancer cells, curcumin has been shown to induce cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation, and DNA fragmentation, and to block cellular signal transduction. All of these are characteristic of apoptosis-inducing agents according to an article published in the journal ‘Nutrition and Cancer' (USA) (26/1/1996). May be particularly beneficial for lymphoma.
The spice turmeric may be added to rice, soups, salad dips, vegetable ‘smoothie' drinks … If possible, take curcumin capsules; suggested dose 2 – 4 g (2,000 – 4,000 mg) / day in divided doses with food.
Vitamin D (D3) – combine with magnesium #
Vitamin D3 is cholecalciferol, one of the vitamin D family.
Vitamin D3 is necessary for the ultilization of Calcium and Phosphorus, and for the assimilation of Vitamin A. It also has a strong immune enhancing effect.
Recently, it was found that around 40 – 50% of the American population is Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is produced in the skin by exposure to sunlight and is added to milk and other dairy products.
In the tropics, where sunshine makes Vitamin D deficiency rare, osteoporosis, cataracts, colon and prostate cancer are far less common.
Vitamin D3 appears to be more closely related to a hormone than a vitamin because of the many cellular functions it performs. Among its actions is the regulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation.
Vitamin D3 works synergistically with Vitamin A to control cancer by inducing certain cancer cells to differentiate into normal cells and to stop multiplying uncontrollably. This effect is so pronounced that drug companies are working on patentable analogs for cancer therapy.
Among the cancers that Vitamin D3 has been shown to be effective against are colorectal, breast, prostate, ovarian, and several kinds of leukemia and lymphoma.
Vitamin D3 and its metabolites are currently being studied by researchers worldwide for cancer prevention and treatment. The anticancer mechanisms of D3 are different from the antioxidant and antimutagenic effects of other nutrients that may prevent cancer.
Vitamin D3 induces certain types of cancer cells to differentiate into normal cells. What does cell “differentiation” mean? Normal cells go through cell cycle growth processes that enable them to mature into functional cells (differentiate), and then naturally die (undergo apoptosis) after so many cell divisions have occurred. Cancer cells, on the other hand, often fail to differentiate, which means they divide rapidly without turning into the kind of specialized cells needed to support the body. Instead of differentiating into normal functioning cells, cancer cells divide forever until they overwhelm the host with nonfunctional cancer cells.
Vitamin D3 induces cells to differentiate throughout the body, but its intake must be limited because of its potential toxicity. Too much vitamin D3 can lead to hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood), which can cause sudden death, or can induce calcification to accelerate the aging process. Calcification causes cells to “clog up” and stop functioning. The safest and simplest calcium channel-blocking method is to make sure you have plenty of magnesium in your bloodstream to inhibit excess calcium infiltration into your cells. For example, 500mg of magnesium citrate.
Food sources : Cod liver oil, fish, dairy products, egg yolk; also: made by the body when exposed to sunlight.
A standard dose for a healthy person would be around 300 IU of vitamin D3 daily.
1,000 IU for up to several months should present no problems for most people.
For cancer patients, it would be possible to raise this to 3,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day. However, when taking more than 1300 IU of vitamin D3 daily, periodic blood tests should be done to make sure too much calcium is not being absorbed and that kidney function is not being affected.
Vitamin D3 is most effectively utilized when taken in divided doses with fat-containing, low fiber meals.
Anyone taking more than 1500 IU's per day should have periodic blood tests performed to be sure that not too much Calcium is being absorbed, and that kidney and liver function is not adversely affected. It is recommended to take a magnesium supplement to counter any excessive calcium absorption. Underlying kidney disease is a contraindication. High doses should be taken under the supervision of a physician.
Vitamin A (or Carotenes – i.e. Mixed Carotenes or Beta Carotene) #
Vitamin A (retinol) is a yellow, fat-soluble solid terpene alcohol obtained from some carotenoids by conversion in the liver where it is stored. While carotenoids are widely distributed in such foods as green and yellow vegetables, retinol is not found in any vegetable sources, but is concentrated in egg yolks and the livers of many animals. Vitamin A, either from animal sources or synthesized in our own liver, is essential for growth and protection from various diseases. Vitamin A and its analogs have shown the ability to help inhibit cancer cell proliferation and help in returning to normal growth patterns. Its inhibitory effects are especially potent against leukemia and certain head and neck cancers.
Beta-carotene is the most potent precursor to vitamin A, but its conversion to vitamin A in the body is limited by a feedback system. Beta-carotene is also an important antioxidant in its own right.
Vitamin A and related carotenoid compounds have a sterling role in cancer prevention and are of crucial importance to health, in their capacities as potent antioxidants and immune modulators. Despite this, there hasn't been the massive public awareness, publicity and sex appeal that has surrounded other nutrients such as Vitamin C. Advice abounds about eating your carrots (to see better in the dark) or your greens (for antioxidant and cancer protection). The cartoon character Popeye grew muscles from quaffing his spinach, that green veggie singularly detested by children and prized by gourmands for florentine dishes.
Vitamin A deficiencies are widespread throughout many parts of the developing world, and some 50,000 people go blind each year through lack of Vitamin A.
Good food sources : Cod liver oil, carrots, watercress, spinach, broccoli.
In fact, while Vitamin A in excessive levels is toxic, most of us should be more concerned about obtaining as much of Vitamin A and carotene anti-oxidant activity in our diet. The medical research community and the pharmaceutical industry have done extensive clinical research with Vitamin A and carotene-derived substances, as evidenced by the publication record in numerous scholarly journals, resulting in numerous diverse health care products, ranging from acne medication (Retin A) to anti-cancer compounds.
Fat-soluble Vitamin A compounds include retinol, retinal and retinoic acid. This vitamin group is vital to eye and retina function (whence its name retinol is derived), protects the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat and lungs from damage, and reduces risk of infection (immune enhancer) and cancer. Low Vitamin A levels are correlated with increased incidence of several cancers, most notably those of the lung, larynx, esophagus, mouth, stomach, colon, prostate and cervix. Vitamin A is found in animal and fish liver, eggs, milk and butter; levels above 20,000 IU per day may be toxic.
Carotenoids such as beta carotene, sometimes called pro-vitamin A, are water-soluble precursors which are made into Vitamin A by the body. While you can overdose on fat-soluble Vitamin A, large doses of water-soluble beta carotene, found in carrots, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, orange and yellow fruits, are non-toxic and constitute an extremely potent source of antioxidant activity.
A considerable wealth of research data has been accumulated regarding the efficacy of various Vitamin A/Carotene compounds in prevention, treatment and adjuvant treatment of cancers (combined with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy).
Studies demonstrate that Vitamin A and carotenoids are of considerable importance to the prevention and treatment of many diverse cancers in a variety of ways: attack and destroy cancer cells; prevent the appearance or proliferation of tumours, and actually reverse precancerous lesions. The mechanisms of this anti-cancer activity, still being researched, are attributed to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Vitamin A and carotenoids. In addition to the above anti-cancer properties of Vitamin A and carotene lies their potential in potentiating and mitigating against some of the more toxic effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Vitamin A has many beneficial properties: it induces cell differentiation, stimulates immunity, is antiviral, is an antioxidant, and is needed for the formation of bone, protein and growth hormone. A daily dose of 5,000 – 10,000 IU is sufficient for the maintenance of epithelial tissue and eyesight.
Most people with cancer are deficient in Vitamin A. There exists a direct relationship between Vitamin A levels and cancer. Vitamin A protects the epithelial tissues and encourages cell differentiation (maturity). For example, Vitamin A cures and prevents leukoplakia, a precancerous condition in the mouth. Many, if not most, cancers arise in the epithelial areas (adenocarcinoma.)
Vitamin A works with Vitamin C and Vitamin E to synergize their protective effects. In one study it was found that this combination could correct cellular abnormalities in the colon that would eventually progress to cancer.
It is also known that in laboratory animals deficient in Vitamin A, cancer is easily started but animals high in Vitamin A are nearly impossible to induce cancer in. The protective effect of Vitamin A is so strong that researchers found that Norwegian sailors who have smoked since childhood, had a very low incidence to lung cancer. The reason was traced to the consumption of fish livers, high in Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Dutch researchers found that Vitamin A could not only slow the growth of a tumor but in some cases cause it to become benign. Its effect is most powerful on epithelial derived tumors (especially of the head and neck) leukemia and transitional cell tumors. Vitamin A analogues have been used successfully in mouth cancer, leukemia, and pancreatic cancer.
Large doses are required to achieve a potent anticancer effect, which may be limited by toxicity. Then it was observed that infants who received large doses of Vitamin A in breast milk did not suffer toxic effects. The reason is apparently that when Vitamin A is emulsified (as it is in milk), it is absorbed into the lymphatic system without going through the liver. Based upon this Mucos corporation (makers of Wobenzyme N) arrived at the following dosages of emulsified Vitamin A:
100,000 to 300,000 units per day is a potent immune stimulator
500,000 to 1,000,000 units per day has powerful antitumor effects
Dosages may be given in divided doses and worked up over time. You can also alternate with 2 weeks on and 1 week off. Blurred vision and a soapy feeling in the mouth are signs of too much Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is also critical to the immune system and is an immune system stimulant. Its stimulating effects are not simply due to a reversal of a deficiency state. Vitamin A prevents immune suppression from adrenal hormones, severe burns or surgery.
Do not use very high doses of Vitamin A without a physician's supervision. Signs of toxicity include headache, dizziness, fatigue, emotional instability, blurred vision, muscle and joint pain, chapped lips and dry skin. Elevated liver enzymes are another indication of possible toxicity.
Vitamin E can help to counteract any toxic effects of Vitamin A and should always be taken with it.
Pregnant women and those likely to become pregnant should never take Vitamin A as too much can cause birth defects.
Thyroid cancer patients or those with severe thyroid deficiency should also avoid this product.
Cod Liver Oil #
An excellent source of vitamins A and D (see above sections).
Take with vitamin E to offset possible vitamin A toxicity and magnesium to counter excessive calcium absorption.
1g (1000mg) of cod liver oil contains :
Vitamin A 1600 micro-g (200% RDA) 10,000 IU
Vitamin D 10 micro-g (200% RDA) 800 IU
Suggested amount : 1 teaspoon of oil, twice a day. Or 5 x 500mg capsules, twice a day.
Consult your health care practitioner if you have liver or thyroid disease.
Selenium is a trace element that's been shown to be a very potent anti-carcinogen and anti-mutagen.
The best source is seafood as it is fast disappearing from intensively farmed soils. It is toxic in extremely high doses (2.5-3 g/day! – i.e. at levels some 1000 times greater than any reasonable supplement level); however, normal supplement levels (200 micro grams/day) are considered perfectly safe. As part of a cancer treatment diet, 500 micro-grams – 1 mg can be suggested.
A potent antioxidant, selenium is an integral part of the body natural antioxidant glutathione peroxidase system and, at times in partnership with Vitamin E, protects against cancer and prevents lipid peroxidation. Selenium is an effective detoxifier of heavy metals, its antioxidant properties protect against environmental and chemical sensitivities, and its immune functions enhance the body's antibacterial and antiviral defenses. Selenium is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Perhaps the most potent anti-disease effects of selenium are its ability to prevent and treat cancer. Selenium has prevented and reversed spontaneous, chemically-induced, and transplanted tumors in a wide variety of animal studies. Large epidemiological studies have confirmed the activity of selenium in the field of cancer prevention, and several clinical trials have produced highly encouraging results.
In China, a trial of selenium as a means of preventing viral hepatitis B associated with liver cancer, significantly reduced the incidence of both these diseases. The addition of very small amounts of selenium to kitchen salt led to the reduced incidence of several forms of cancer. Selenium at a dose of several hundred micrograms a day is now being used as an adjuvant to breast cancer therapy and shows promise as a treatment for immuno-deficiency diseases.
Some of the mechanisms suggested for this anti-cancer activity include changes in prostaglandin synthesis and selenium's antioxidant and glutathione peroxidase properties.
Increases alkilinity within cells which hinders cancers.
Widely found in fruit, vegetables, nuts and fish. Especially high in avocado, which is also a rich source of glutathione.
Suggested supplement dose : 300 mg / day in divided doses with low-fiber meals.
Echinacea (herb) #
A powerful immune system booster.
Use in high doses. Echinacea is thought to work best if cycled by taking it 10 to 14 days on and 4 to 7 days off.
If you have an immune system cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma, you may not want to take melatonin until more is known about its effects on these types of cancer.
Vitamin C &
Bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables. Work synergistically with vitamin C. Flavonoids can also attach themselves to proteins, modulating the action of enzymes, including the kinase enzymes necessary for cell proliferation. In this way they are a very useful compliment to cancer therapy. When high doses of flavonoids are take, all cell proliferation is inhibited; but this does not harm normal cells which can simply ‘rest' – however, cancer cells cannot survive in the resting state.
Flavonoids also lower blood sugar levels, can restrict angiogenesis, help to keep nitric oxide within a healthy range, and raise the body's level of the endogenous antioxidant glutathione.
Based on the research evidence, Vitamin C should by now have achieved medical respectability both in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Hundreds of research studies published during the past decade alone attest to the monumental research effort mobilized to document the role of Vitamin C in Cancer prevention and treatment. Numerous books each replete with hundreds of references, have been published over the years, documenting the vital role played by Vitamin C in every body system function. For Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, immune modulator, integral to countless metabolic, endocrine and neurological functions, and an absolute requirement for the synthesis of collagen, vital for skin, bone, muscle and connective tissue.
Vitamin C's anti-cancer properties are brought about by a number of modalities of this versatile nutrient:
- Scavenges cancer-causing free radicals such as hydrogen peroxide to prevent lipid peroxidation and destruction of cells;
- Neutralizes carcinogenic chemicals such as nitrosamine and nitrites;
- Regenerates active vitamin E (another potent antioxidant) in lipid membranes;
- Enhancement of lymphocyte function and rapid mobilization of phagocytes;
- Potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial activity;
- Enhancement of IgA, IgG and IgM antibody levels;
- Modulation of interferon synthesis;
- Increases synthesis of prostaglandin PGE1 (anti-inflammatory); inhibits PGE2 (inflammatory);
Vitamin C (preferably with biolfavanoids) : 2 – 20 g / day, in divided doses, with meals.
Berries (especially blueberries / bilberries) *
Extremely rich in a wide range of powerful antioxidant flavonoids (phenolic compounds). Blueberries / bilberries have more anthocyanins than any other food – 3 times more than the second richest source, green tea. They are also high in quercetin and ellagic acid – two other powerful flavonoids.
Flavonoids can also attach themselves to proteins, modulating the action of enzymes, including the kinase enzymes necessary for cell proliferation. In this way they are a very useful compliment to cancer therapy. When high doses of flavonoids are take, all cell proliferation is inhibited; but this does not harm normal cells which can simply ‘rest' – however, cancer cells cannot survive in the resting state.
Flavonoids also lower blood sugar levels, can restrict angiogenesis, help to keep nitric oxide within a healthy range, and raise the body's level of the endogenous antioxidant glutathione.
Berries are also rich in vitamin C.
Soy (Genistein and Isoflavones) – e.g. soy sprouts *
The Japanese, who have low rates of breast and prostate cancer, consume daily 20-80 mg of genistein, a phytochemical almost entirely derived from soybeans. But in the United States, the daily dietary intake of genistein is only 1 to 5 mg.
When Japanese women move to the United States and consume the standard American diet, their risk of breast cancer increases dramatically. Previously, doctors thought that this was because of the high fat content of the western diet, but new studies fail to show a significant link between dietary fat and breast cancer risk. Some researchers now think that the increase in breast cancer results from a diet that is deficient in soy isoflavones.
Genistein and other soy components provide anticancer protection by the following mechanisms:
Blocking the cell mutating actions of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other pollutants by preventing their binding to estrogen-testosterone cell receptor sites in the breast and prostate.
- Inhibition of the activity of tyrosine kinase, an enzyme required for most tumor cell proliferation.
- Inhibition of new blood vessel growth required to feed tumors.
- Inhibition of cancer cell protein synthesis.
- Induction of cancer cells to differentiate into normal cells.
The following forms of cancer have been shown to respond favorably to soy adjuvant therapy:
- Prostate cancer
- Glioblastoma multiforme
- Bladder cancer
Soy extracts have become very popular in the last few years as an adjuvant (assisting) cancer therapy. Treating cancer, however, is not simple, and some cancer patients are less likely to benefit from soy. Those considering soy extract supplementation should remember that while it does have anticancer benefits that may work synergistically with other conventional and alternative cancer therapies, soy alone is not a cancer cure.
Genistein and other soy components provide specific anti-cancer protection that is not obtained through antioxidant supplements.
Soy may prevent and treat some cancers in the following ways:
- Pesticide residue binds to estrogen and testosterone cell receptor sites in the breast and prostate, thus causing abnormal cell proliferation that can lead to cancer. Soy has been shown to block the estrogen/testosterone cell receptor mutating actions of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other pollutants.
- Tyrosine kinase is an enzyme that is required for most tumor cell proliferation. Soy has been shown to inhibit tyrosine kinase activity safely, thus slowing down cancer cell growth.
- Tumors grow new blood vessels to support the rapidly growing number of cancer cells. Soy has been shown to have an angiogenesis inhibiting effect that prevents new blood vessel growth into tumors.
- Estrogen and testosterone promote cell growth throughout the body. These hormones may also cause breast and prostate cancer. Soy modulates the effects of estrogen and testosterone in a favorable way, thus reducing the risk of their inducing cancer.
- Cancer cells have very effective protein synthesis mechanisms that enables them to divide indefinitely. Soy inhibits protein synthesis in cancer cells, but does not affect protein synthesis in normal cells.
- Cancer cells fail to properly differentiate into normal cells, thus continuing to divide and eventually overwhelm healthy cells. Soy has been shown to induce cancer cells to differentiate into normal cells.
An article published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry (Suppl. 22 1995) stated that oriental populations who have low rates of breast and prostate cancer consume 20-80 mg a day of genistein, almost entirely derived from soy; whereas in the United States, the dietary intake of genistein is only 1-3 mg a day. Breast and prostate cancers are running at epidemic levels in the United States. Every year, more and more Americans are being diagnosed with these cancers.
A research team headed by Dr. C.H. Adlercreutz of Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland published a report in the Journal of Nutrition (15, 3 Suppl, 757S-770S, 1995) in which they found that:
Because many Western diseases are hormone dependent cancers, we have postulated that the Western diet, compared with a vegetarian or semi-vegetarian diet, may alter hormone production, metabolism or action at the cellular level. Recently, our interest has been focused on the cancer-protective role of the lignans and isoflavonoids [found in high concentrations in soy].
The plant lignan and isoflavonoid glycosides are converted by intestinal bacteria to hormone-like compounds with weak estrogenic and antioxidative activity; they have now been shown to influence not only sex hormone metabolism and biological activity, but also intracellular enzymes, protein synthesis, growth factor action, malignant cell proliferation, differentiation and angiogenesis, making them strong candidates for a role as natural cancer protective compounds.
Published papers are showing that soy extracts are effective in treating cancers of the colon, liver, lung, breast, prostate, and some forms of leukemia.
Cancer patients (and their doctors) may find the following information complicated, but they must understand it in order to use high concentrations of soy properly.
Cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy should not take soy supplements one week before, during, and one week after being treated. Soy inhibits protein kinase C activity in cancer cells. Since cancer cells use protein kinase C for energy production, inhibiting this enzyme is usually desirable. Radiation therapy, on the other hand, depends on protein kinase C to help generate free radicals that kill cancer cells. It's possible, therefore, that large amounts of genistein in cancer cells could protect them against radiation-induced free-radical-mediated destruction.
The Life Extension Foundation has obtained preliminary evidence about the types of cancer that soy extract may effectively combat and those it may not.
Here is a brief review of evidence showing that soy may be an effective adjuvant cancer therapy:
Genistein has produced significant inhibition of cell growth in many types of cancer. One study was conducted to examine the effects of genistein on cancer cell growth factors such as protein kinase C. Genistein suppresses protein kinase C activity and the subsequent growth-stimulating incorporation of thymidine into cancer cells. The scientists speculated that genistein has potential value in the prevention and treatment of some tumors in the body.
In other studies, genistein has shown anti-angiogenesis effects. Angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth) is a key step in tumor growth, invasion and metastasis. To date, a number of anti-angiogenic agents have been identified. In animal models, treatment with angiogenesis inhibitors has proven anti-tumor effects. Early clinical experience with angiogenic inhibitors indicates that optimal anti-angiogenic therapy will likely be based on the long-term administration of genistein to cancer patients as an adjunct to surgery and conventional chemotherapy. Genistein is one of the more potent nutritional anti-angiogenesis agents.
Genistein also has been shown to have cancer-cell adhesion inhibition properties, estrogen-receptor blocking properties and apoptosis-inducing (programmed cancer cell death inducing) effects.
An investigation into the effects of soy genistein on the growth and differentiation of human melanoma cells showed that genistein significantly inhibited cell growth. Some studies suggest that genistein also may enhance the benefits of certain chemotherapy regimens.
Yet another study showed that genistein inhibited the proliferation and expression of the in-vitro invasive capacity of prostate-cancer cells. Genistein proved to be toxic to a strand of prostate-cancer cells. The more aggressive the prostate cancer, the more genistein was effective in inhibiting both growth factors and the rate of cellular proliferation.
A study was conducted to determine if genistein can induce human-breast adenocarcinoma cell maturation and differentiation. Treating these cells with genistein resulted in growth inhibition accompanied by increased cell maturation. Optimal maturation was achieved after nine days of treatment with genistein. Both cancer cells with positive estrogen-receptors and those with negative estrogen-receptors differentiated in response to genistein, a crucial step in the induction of cancer cell apoptosis. Despite this study, we do not recommend that women with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer use soy genistein because of the following evidence.
The Foundation has made a preliminary determination that women with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer should not take soy supplements, including supplements with compounds such as genistein, until more is known about the effects of soy phytoestrogens on this type of cancer. We base this on evidence that the supplements could produce an estrogenic growth-effect in some forms of the cancer.
One study tested the effects of naturally occurring flavonoids on the proliferation of an estrogen-receptor positive human breast cancer cell line. Genistein inhibited cell proliferation, but this effect was reversed when estrogen was added. By contrast, the flavonoids hesperidin, naringenin and quercetin inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation even in the presence of high levels of estrogen, suggesting that the flavonoids apparently prevent such proliferation through different means.
Women with any type of breast cancer should test their serum estrogen levels to make sure that too much estrogen is not present if they are taking high doses of soy.
Estrogen can combine with the phytoestrogen genistein to cause some breast cancer cells to grow faster. Other studies show that genistein blocks certain types of estrogen-receptor sites, thus inhibiting the proliferation of these types of breast cancer cells. Cancer patients who carry a mutated form of the tumor suppressor gene product p53 are far more likely to benefit from soy extract supplementation. Only a pathology examination of the actual cancer cells can determine p53 status. An immunohistochemistry test can help to determine the p53 status of tumor cells. The following laboratory can perform this new test:
1010 Third Avenue, Suite 203
New York, NY 10021
If the test is positive, the patient has mutant p53 and is more likely to benefit from soy extracts. A negative test indicates the patient has functional p53 and is less likely to benefit from soy extracts.
The Foundation realizes that many cancer patients seeking to use soy supplements may find it difficult to have an immunohistochemistry test performed to ascertain p53 status. Nevertheless, since all cancer therapies produce individual responses, the Foundation reiterates its recommendation that all cancer patients have monthly blood tumor-marker tests to determine whether their therapies are working. If, for instance, tumor-markers were to continue to elevate 30 to 60 days after beginning supplementation with soy extract, the patient must discontinue its use and seek another therapy immediately. In order to find out if you have p53, please contact your oncologist and ask him to request this test from IMPATH. IMPATH is unable to provide information about the likelihood of p53 expression on an individual basis without samples and test requests from your treating oncologist.
The Foundation is working on the implementation of a more convenient blood test for p53.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of monthly blood testing for all cancer patients. Because every patient responds differently to both conventional and alternative cancer therapies, the results of blood tests provide critically important data to evaluate the effectiveness of these therapies. Some of the blood tests often used by doctors to evaluate different types of cancers are below.
The published literature suggests that cancer patients should take five 700-mg capsules, four times a day, of soy isoflavones. This dosage provides the optimal daily amount of approximately 2,800 mg of standardized genistein.
Because genistein is rapidly metabolized within the body, cancer patients need to take soy isoflavones in four divided doses spaced evenly throughout the day.
Packed with antioxidants (at least 12, including selenium), garlic also has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and anti-viral activity. Garlic also boosts the antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase.
Some studies have shown that garlic can restrict the growth of many types of cancer cells. Garlic also boosts the immune system.
Red/yellow Onion / Quercetin *
These onions are especially high in Quercetin, a bioflavonoid. Bioflavonoids are water-soluble compounds present in citrus fruits, rosehips and other plants. In humans, bio-flavonoids maintain resistance of capillary walls to permeation and change of pressure, and have synergistic antioxidant effects with vitamin C.
Quercetin, besides inactivating cancer-causing agents, inhibits enzymes that spur cancer growth. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activity.
Quercetin is a powerful anticancer substance by several mechanisms. It is cytotoxic (kills cancer cells) by inhibiting the transport of lactate out of anaerobic cancer cells. This causes the cancer cell to become more acidic and die (apoptosis.)
Cancers generate consume large amounts of glucose, starving the body. From this glucose they generate lactic acid which poisons the body. The liver combats this by converting the lactic acid back into glucose which feeds the tumor again in a kind of snowballing effect. Quercetin helps prevent the tumor from releasing lactate in the first place.
Among other antitumor effects are (technical!): Arrest of cell progression at the G1/S and G2/M interphase, suppression of glycolysis and ATP production, interference with ion pump systems, interference with various signal transduction pathways, and inhibition of DNA polymerase B and I.
It was also found that Quercetin blocks androgen (male hormone) receptors and in a study caused a dramatic reduction in two androgen-regulated tumor markers, including PSA, the marker for prostate cancer. The author, Dr. Xing said that it could be “a chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agent for prostate cancer.”
Watercress, a plant rich in A, C and B vitamins, may also may help fight cancer.
Two groups of compounds called phenylethyl isothiocyanates (PEITC) and methylsulphinylalkyl worked in tandem to attack cancer cells, inhibit activation of cancer triggers, and induce the body's cells to resist cancer mopping up toxins.
The findings were originally published in the journal ‘Carcinogenesis' in November last year.
The researchers concluded that watercress was “an exceptionally rich dietary source” of cancer-fighting compounds.
Broccoli and other dark green leafy veg
/ Indole 3 Carbinol *
Packed with antioxidants. Particularly strong is one called sulforaphane that is known to protect against cancer and boost detoxification enzymes, and Indole 3 Carbinol. Broccoli also contains the antioxidants vitamin C, beta carotene, quercetin, indoles, glutathione and lutein. It is also one of the richest food sources of the essential trace mineral chromium. In women, reduces the harmful cancer-provoking type of estrogen.
Indole 3 Carbinol (I3C) is a phytochemical isolated from cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, kale, green cabbage, mustard, bok choy, etc.)
Cruciferous vegetables are famous for their cancer fighting and prevention properties. Among the most powerful anti-cancer substances in these vegetables is Indole 3 Carbinol. Getting therapeutic quantities of this indole would require eating enormous amounts of vegetables and eating them raw since cooking tends to destroy these phytochemicals.
In a study of 90 anti-cancer chemicals and vitamins, Indole 3 Carbinol ranked as second most effective (among the eight most effective in all six assays were Vitamins C and E, and Folate. Retinoids (vitamin A-like substances) were also quite powerful.)
Among other differences between Indole 3 Carbinol and Tamoxifen, research found the following:
- They are equally effective in inhibiting tyrosine kinase (promotes tumors.)
- Tamoxifen was more effective against ornithine decarboxylase (another one.)
- Tamoxifen was slightly better at inducing Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant.
- They are equally effective as antioxidants and both quite powerful.
- They inhibit PADPR equally well which is an indicator of DNA damage.
- I3C strongly inhibits carcinogen binding to DNA. Tamoxifen does not at all.
- I3C works much more powerfully in estrogen-negative cancer cells.
- Both interrupt the cell division cycle of cancer cells.
- Tamoxifen inhibits PKC growth signals to cancer cells. I3C probably does too. Curcumin does this well.
- I3C increases the conversion of the estrogen estradiol to the much healthier estriol by 50% in one week (study in 12 healthy people.)
- I3C inhibits chemically activated cancer. Tamoxifen does not.
- I3C restores the tumor suppressor p21 gene. Tamoxifen does not.
- Tamoxifen causes mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene. I3C does not.
In studies, Indole 3 Carbinol stopped human cancer cells from growing by from 54 to 61%, and induced natural cell death (apoptosis.) It inhibited MCF7 human breast cancer cells from growing by 90% in culture. It reduced DNA damage in breast cells by 91%. It eliminated any DNA damage and cancer when animals were exposed to carcinogens. Finally, it prevented chemically induced breast cancer in rodents by 70 to 96%. It also prevented other kinds of cancer such as leukemia, colon and aflatoxin-induced liver cancer.
It was also found to kill 100% of several lines of Ovarian cancer cells.
Pregnant women should avoid this product. I3C is activated by stomach acid so make sure that you have sufficient stomach acid (a problem in the elderly – Betaine supplements can help overcome this problem) and avoid antacids at the same time.
The benefits of whey protein include:
- Boosting immune function
- Inhibiting cancer cell proliferation
- Increasing the efficacy of cancer chemotherapy drugs
- Protecting against free radicals and boosting cellular glutathione levels
- Extending life span in laboratory animals
Athletes were the first to use whey protein as an anti-catabolic supplement to build lean muscle mass. Cancer and AIDS patients now use whey protein to protect against lethal catabolic wasting syndrome.
Zinc is vital for the metabolism of Vitamin A and has important roles in many of the body's systems, including its immune functions, maintaining the integrity of sense organs, reproduction, mental function and wound healing. People with cancer may have an increased need for zinc, and anorexics may not receive adequate dietary sources of zinc. Zinc supplementation may reduce copper absorption, while various foods interfere with zinc absorption, including soya, cow's milk, iron supplements, wholewheat bread and bran. A dosage of 25-50 mg elemental zinc is totally safe for people with cancer. Zinc should be taken separately from other supplements and not with the above mentioned foods.
Studies indicate that zinc may play an important role in prevention, treatment and adjuvant (in combination with chemo- or radiotherapy) cancer treatment, and that zinc deficiency may be contributory factor to cancer development.
Borage seed oil or Evening Primrose seed oil &
Fish (or fish oil) (but not shell fish)
Fats and fatty acids, which have entered everyday parlance with respect to heart disease. The role of essential fatty acids in cancer prevention and treatment, most notably the omega-3 and omega-6 species, has also been the subject of extensive research.
The entire area of fatty acid metabolism research covers a broad swathe of health topics, including cancer, heart disease, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and psoriasis, to name but a few. Fats are broadly divided into saturated and polyunsaturated classes; within the polyunsaturated category, are two families of essential fatty acids (EFA), essential because the body needs them but cannot manufacture them from other sources in the diet or from other fats.
These EFAs are:
- the omega-6 linoleic acid and its derivative, gamma-linolenic acid (present in Borage Oil, Blackcurrant Oil and Evening Primrose Oil); and
- the omega-3 alpha linolenic acid family (present in Fish Oil and Flax / Linseed Oil).
Depending on the type of dietary fat eaten, one of several different pathways result, leading to the synthesis of either prostaglandin or leukotriene families of molecules called eicosanoids, resulting in immune-enhancing, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-clotting properties, or, alternatively, inflammatory action, involving leukotriene synthesis. Both prostaglandins and leukotrienes are synthesised from arachidonic acid.
Prostaglandins are involved in a broad range of biological activities, including:
- smooth muscle contraction
- blood flow
- platelet function
- nerve impulse transmission
- fat metabolism
- immune responses
They also have roles in:
- neoplasia (cancer)
- promoting fever
- intensifying pain
Studies demonstrate the ability of essential fatty acids to prevent the formation, inhibit the progression, or directly kill cancer cells from a number of organs, including lung, breast, colon and UV-induced cancer. The anti-cancer activity appears to be mediated by one or more of several mechanisms:
- Direct tumoricidal action of EFA due to an increase in the generation of free radicals in tumour cells;
- The ability of omega-3 fatty acids to inhibit UV carcinogenesis, although not during the post-initiation stage;
- Reduction of tumour prostaglandin E2 levels (PGE2) by omega-3 fatty acids;
- Ability to suppress peroxide formation from unsaturated fatty acids;
- Ability to inhibit tumour-induced lipolysis (anticachexia);
- Reduction of linoleic and arachidonic acid and tumour lipids.
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid, has promising anti-cancer effects. The effect of CLA is more powerful than any other fatty acid in modulating tumor development.
Numerous studies had already been published on CLA’s powerful anti-cancer effects. Even more significant is the fact that only relatively small amounts of CLA are required to achieve its wonderful effects. The studies showed that to produce healthful benefits, only 3 to 4 grams of CLA daily are required.
Studies show CLA may help protect against many diseases including atherosclerosis and cancer. In a paper in the ‘Journal of Nutrition' (1999 December), evidence of significant cancer prevention was shown when CLA was added to the diet. This study revealed CLA to be a “potent cancer preventative agent in animal models.” Specifically, it was determined that feeding CLA to female rats while they were young and still developing conferred life-long protection against breast cancer. This astounding preventative action was achieved by adding CLA at the dose of 0.8% of the animal’s total diet. This corresponds to 3-4 g for a human (1% of diet).
Suggested dose : 2 – 6 g / day. Most effectively utilized when taken in divided doses with low fiber meals.
Lipoic acid can regenerate vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10, and glutathione; this is one reason it is considered to be so valuable.
This vitamin-like substance is probably the most versatile and powerful of the antioxidants. It is also able to get into brain cells. It also boosts levels of glutathione in cells. And it can chelate (bind for removal) excess damaging transition metals such as iron.
Lipoic acid is an amazingly broad-spectrum antioxidant, mopping up a wide range of free radicals. Moreover, it is effective in both the aqueous (watery) portion of cells, as well as in the lipid (fatty) parts, which is very rare among antioxidants. Thus, it is active in nearly all tissues of the body.
For all the above reasons, some researchers have called it an “ideal” antioxidant.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
N-Acetyl Cysteine is an easily absorbed and better used form of the antioxidant amino acid L-Cysteine. L-cysteine is a conditionally essential amino acid, one of only three sulfur-containing amino acids, the others being taurine (which can be produced from L-cysteine) and L-methionine from which L-cysteine can be produced in the body by a multi-step process.
Together with lipoic acid, N-Acetyl Cysteine boosts intercellular levels of glutathione, one of your body's most important natural antioxidants. Glutathione is arguably the most important neuroprotector, being not only our primary antioxidant defense, but also an effective suppressor of chronic inflammation, known to be a significant factor in all the major diseases related to aging. Low blood levels of the antioxidant glutathione predict disease and premature death; levels decline dramatically around age 40. Glutathione is the body's main detoxifier of toxins, which is critical to survival. It also turns off inflammation and restores declining immune functions. Unfortunately, a glutathione supplement does not boost levels in the body significantly as it is mostly broken down by digestive enzymes before it gets into the blood.
Massive free radical damage occurs in the cells’ energy power plants (the mitochondria), which can overwhelm the cells’ antioxidant defense systems. Mitochondrial damage due to aging is a serious health problem in elderly people, whose energy levels decline precipitously even when they remain disease-free. N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) has been shown to stimulate glutathione production for the purpose of providing protection against free radicals that are continuously being generated in mitochondria. In addition to protecting against mitochondrial free radical damage, NAC has been shown to reduce the effect of intracellular hydrogen peroxide by 93%.
NAC protects against many cancers, inhibits invasion of surrounding tissue, and reduced the number of metastases by 80% in one study.
Melatonin (sleep hormone – take at night)
This hormone of the pineal gland helps to regulate our day/night cycle; indeed it works well as a sleep inducer, and good sleep itself has many health benefits. Melatonin is also an effective antioxidant. The evidence of the anti-cancer effects of melatonin continues to be published at a rapid rate. It is particularly effective for breast cancer.
Melatonin boosts the production of immune system cells throughout the body. This is extremely important for people over age 40 who will suffer a progressive decline in immune function as they age. If you have an immune system cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma, you may not want to take melatonin until more is known about its effects on these types of cancer.
Suggested dose : 3 – 30 mg / day, taken about 1 hour before sleep.
Vitamin B Complex &
Folate – a B vitamin
The B vitamins are a group of water-soluble essential micronutrients which are closely interrelated in their functions, which span a huge range of vital bodily processes. The main components of the B vitamins are: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinic acid and nicotinamide), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cyanocobalamin), folate, biotin, choline and inositol. B vitamins should preferably be taken in the form of a B complex. Obtaining adequate Vitamin B12 is especially important for vegetarians, since B12 is found only in animal foods and bacteria/ yeast.
The B Vitamins are involved in many body system functions. Research studies emphasise the interaction of these nutrients either in preventing cancer or in alleviating the toxic effects of conventional cancer treatment.
Studies have shown the role of B vitamins, including folate and vitamins B6 and B12 (cobalamin) in the:
- modification of genetic damage leading to cervical and breast cancer;
- inhibition of tumour cells in mice;
- treatment of diarrhoea caused by pelvic radiotherapy;
- deficiencies caused by chemotherapy and the treatment of esophagitis;
Suggested dose : a ‘100' size multi-B (i.e. one with about 100mg of B6), plus separate 4 mg Folate / day. Repeat between 1 and 3 times per day, with meals.
Vitamin E, yet another potent antioxidant, which, in addition to its anti-cancer activity, has also been the subject of substantial clinical trials for its protective effects against cardiovascular disease (see below). In its natural food state, Vitamin E is actually a family of seven different tocopherols, alpha, beta, gamma, epsilon and so on, although the form in which it is usually sold for supplements, and the form used for most medical treatment is only the alpha-tocopherol form. In fact, one of the up and coming forms which health food stores and companies are starting to introduce, is the food state or food complexed form of various nutritional supplements.
Originally isolated from wheatgerm oil, Vitamin E has a unique and particular antioxidant role with respect to cell membranes since being fat-soluble, it can straddle both the fat-soluble and the water-soluble parts of the cell membrane. There is evidence that Vitamin E works in partnership with other anti-oxidants includingVitamin C and interacts with Vitamin A, B-complex vitamins and selenium. Vitamin E prevents lipid peroxidation of cell membranes and thus plays a vital role in maintaining the cell's integrity and use of oxygen within the energy-generating mitochondria. Vitamin E is also an immune-enhancer and protects against pollution-derived lung damage.
Vitamin E's anticancer activity is thought to be via its antioxidant action (inhibition of lipid peroxidation by free radicals) and immune enhancement function (antiviral, T-cells, macrophages).
Research has shown Vitamin E's anti-cancer prevention and treatment abilities in a wide diversity of cancers in both animals and humans.
Suggested dose : 400 – 1200 mg / day, in divided doses with food.
Useful for impriving insulin sensitivity and thereby reducing excessive blood glucose levels. Since cancer feeds on glucose, this should be helpful.
The reason chromium is so important is that it has a profound effect on the insulin in your body. Insulin is a hormone that your body secretes after you eat. Insulin then transports glucose through your blood stream to the cells in your body.
Suggested dose : 200 – 500 micro-g / day. Take with low-fibre meal.
MSM is Methylsulfonylmethane or Dimethylsulfone, a source of beneficial biological sulfur. It is the oxidized form of the better known DMSO, (DMSO2) but does not share its malodorous qualities and is completely nontoxic.
The human body needs sulfur for skin, hair, collagen, immune functions, and many other purposes. In fact, other than basic carbohydrates, sulfur is one of the commonest and most basic elements in the body. Unfortunately, quality sulfur is deficient in our diets and that leads to a host of problems which this miraculous substance addresses.
MSM has a vitamin-like modulating or normalizing influence on body functions. There appears to be a relationship between abnormal physiological symptoms and low MSM blood levels which decline with age. MSM seems to normalize body functions in people suffering from symptoms of stress-related illness. The body seems to be able to convert MSM into other needed sulfur compounds.
The amazing number and variety of conditions that MSM has been found effective for is testament to how much the body needs sulfur and just how little we typically get. MSM also helps address the ‘methylation deficit'.
In studies with animals it was found that MSM delayed the onset of cancer by a human equivalent of 10 years when the animals were dosed with carcinogens. In animals with tumors, it shrank the tumors.
Native North Americans considered it one of their most sacred herbs and add it to many herbal formulas to make them more potent. The roots can live for over 100 years. Tribal messengers frequently chewed on ginseng root while running between villages to help minimize fatigue and increase endurance. The Chinese believed that American ginseng balanced the yen and the yang, the two opposing forces of the body. For years American ginseng has been used to restore memory, and enhance concentration. Some feel that usage of ginseng reduces the effects of stress, improves performance, and stimulates the immune system. Some believed that diabetes, colds, chest problems, and insomnia can be relieved by American ginseng.
It remains uncertain how useful ginsemg may be in cancer treatment. American ginseng contains vitamins A, B-6, and the mineral Zinc. The main ingredients are the more than 25 saponin triperpenoid glycosides called “ginsenosides.” These ingredients provide the properties that enables ginseng to balance and counter stress. Studies done in China showed that “ginsenosides” also increase protein synthesis and activity of neurotransmitters in the brain.
May work by boosting the immune sytem.
Cox-2 causes excess production of prostaglandin E2 in the body. Prostaglandin E2 can promote cancer cell growth and induce abnormal blood-clotting.
Cancer patients should take a baby aspirin (or 1/4 – 1 normal aspirin) with their heavy meal each day to inhibit Cox-2.
Other Cox-2 inhibitors include :
- 2g (2,000 mg) of ginger extract
- 6g (6,000 mg) a day of garlic
- Turmeric spice or the curcumin extract
Foods to Avoid :
- Sugars and refined grains, including white flour
- Salt (and salty foods – e.g. soy sauce)
- Corn oil and most common cooking oils (use olive oil)
- Margarine and other products containing hyrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
Readers are also invited to consult the LEF Cancer Protocols.
The information for this page has been gathered from a wide variety of sources. The selection and editing of material was carried out with the independent discretion of ‘Healthy Life'.