Blog #12 Using Supplements to Save Your Life-Part 3-Healthy Oils and Fats (Fatty Acids)

March 22, 2011 on 6:35 am | In General Posts | Comments Off

As I mentioned in prior blogs, as a reminder about the EXTREME IMPORTANCE of using supplements if you have cancer (or want to limit your chances of developing cancer,) and as a disclaimer:
“No matter how much surgery you do to cut out cancer, or how much radiation you use to burn out cancer, or how much chemotherapy you use to poison cancer, if the patient’s immune system is not functioning properly, that patient will die from cancer.”

That statement, made by world-famous cancer expert Dr. Russell Blaylock in my book, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, really says it all.

After surgery cuts out most of the cancer, and chemotherapy kills most of the cancer, and radiation burns most of the cancer, what’s left to do destroy any remaining cancer cells? Absolutely nothing! Unless the patient continues therapy, using a combination of proper diet, mind-body medicine, and nutritional supplements, any cancer cells that have survived conventional therapy will, at some point, continue to grow, spread, and ultimately kill the patient.
Unfortunately, unless you are familiar with naturopathic medicine or are lucky enough to work with a naturopathic doctor, your conventional doctors will not tell you any of this. Despite the fact that Sandy has visited several outstanding conventional doctors, not one of them, NOT ONE, has ever talked about the use of diet or supplements to kill cancer or boost her immune system.

The sad news is that so many cancer patients will ultimately die after surviving conventional therapies because nothing is done to prevent the recurrence of cancer. Ever since Sandy’s diagnosis, it seems that not a day goes by that I don’t discover that someone else I know has been diagnosed with cancer (usually breast cancer.) Yet not one of these patients is doing anything “natural” to support her immune system or continue the fight against cancer once conventional therapies have finished. How sad and tragic to know that many people will needlessly die out of ignorance once their cancer returns.

The most important reason I’m writing these blogs is to educate current and future cancer patients about all of their options. Just because your conventional doctors don’t know about these options or don’t agree with these options doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them.

The questions are very simple: what are you doing now to make your conventional therapies more effective and reduce their side effects, and what will you do once your conventional therapies stop to prevent your cancer from coming back?
In this blog and the ones to follow, I will share with you the supplements that I have put together (with help from several naturopathic doctors) to help Sandy maximize the benefits from our conventional therapies, reduce their side effects, and remain cancer-free the rest of her life. While there are no guarantees, we believe this is a better approach than simply doing nothing and waiting to see what happens (in most cases, “what happens” is that the cancer returns and kills the patient.)

In my own veterinary practice, while I can never offer guarantees to my patients, I tell them that based upon my years of using natural therapies to help pets with cancer, I expect my patients to live one and a half to two times longer than their conventional doctors expect them to live IF they will use properly prescribed natural therapies.

Please note that I am NOT saying that the supplements we have chosen for Sandy are appropriate for you if you have cancer. You MUST work with your naturopathic doctors to find the right treatments for you, similar to working with your conventional doctors to find the right conventional therapies for you.

I’m also NOT saying that these supplements will guarantee that Sandy will never have cancer or any other illness again. I do know that using supplements to help her immune system stay strong enough to fight cancer is much better than doing nothing excepting waiting to see what happens in the future.

And since there are many out there (especially doctors!) who are skeptical about the effectiveness of natural supplements, I have included a description of why each supplement was chosen to help Sandy win the war against her cancer based upon volumes of research.

Sandy’s supplement regimen (which changes depending upon her circumstances and as new research becomes available):

Flax/Lignans

Flaxseed is the world’s richest source of lignans, providing up to 800 times more than any other plant, and alpha linolenic acid (ALA.) Lignans are both antioxidants ( compounds that protect cells from oxidative damage) and phytoestrogens (weak plant estrogens that inhibit the body’s own harmful estrogen and protect breast cells from developing cancer.) Lignans have been shown in scientific studies to inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer cells, possibly due to downreguation of insulin-like growth factor I and epidermal growth factor receptor expression. In one study of 1122 post menopausal women with primary breast cancer, higher intake of lignans significantly reduced all cause mortality and breast cancer mortality. Although the dietary intake of lignans did not have any effect on breast cancer survival in premenopausal women, postmenopausal women with a high intake of plant lignans were approximately 70% less likely to die from their breast cancer. While Sandy is premenopausal, she has decided to take flax anyway since….it can’t hurt, it certainly has health benefits, she will be menopausal within a few years, and possibly it will reduce the chances of new tumors developing while she is still menopausal. In general, nutritionists recommended women increase their intake of dietary beneficial phytoestrogens/lignans due to the health benefits.

Ground flax seed (but not flax oil) provides a healthy dose of lignans. The most efficient way of consuming fresh flax seed with other cancer-fighting phytochemicals is to consume two to five tablespoons a day of freshly ground flax seeds (grind the seeds every few days and keep them refrigerated to prevent oxidation of the flax oil.)

Research indicates that higher blood levels of enterolactone— the primary lignan derived by the body from flaxseed—are associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. Conversely, the researchers noted, “values of serum enterolactone were significantly lower in women who subsequently developed breast cancer,” leading them to conclude that the phytoestrogen enterolactone “had a strong protective effect on breast cancer risk.”

Lignans may also protect against endometrial cancer, a condition associated with prolonged exposure to unopposed estrogens. Flax lignans may offer protection through an anti-estrogenic effect in the body. Researchers in California assessed lignan intake and cancer status among nearly 1,000 women in the San Francisco area and determined that women with the highest dietary lignan intake experienced the lowest risk of developing this carcinoma of the uterine lining.

It is suggested that there are several ways that lignans may reduce breast cancer:decreased estrogen production (by blocking the aromatase enzyme;) by blocking the estrogen receptors in the breast from stronger cancer-stimulating estrogens in a similar way to the drug Tamoxifen; by preferentially creating more “good” estrogen (the 2-OH estrone;) by making breast tissue more resistant to the damaging effects of environmental toxins by increasing well-differentiated breast tissue which is more resistant to damage; by inhibiting the growth of both breast (and colon) cancer cells; by decreasing the incidence of metastasis; by decreasing levels of VEGF (which reduces blood vessel growth to the cancer cells;) and by lengthening the menstrual cycle (the more menstrual cycles a woman has the greater the risk of breast cancer.

Flaxseeds contain over 300,000 mcg lignans/100 grams. In one study, the lowest risk of dying was seen in women consuming >318 mcg per day; in another study, those women in the highest quartile of total lignan intake (>1395 μg/day) had a reduced risk of breast cancer. High dietary intakes of plant lignans and high exposure to enterolignans were associated with reduced risks of ER- and PR-positive postmenopausal breast cancer in a Western population that does not consume a diet rich in soy. In addition to flax seed, lignans can be consumed in other food products including:curly kale (2321 mcg/100 grams,) broccoli (1325 mcg,) white cabbage (787 mcg,) brussels sprouts (747 mcg,) sauerkraut (316 mcg,) red cabbage (276 mcg,) cauliflower (185 mcg,) garlic (536 mcg,) apricots (450 mcg,) strawberries (334 mcg,) peaches (293 mcg,) pears (193 mcg,) nectarines (190 mcg,) raisins, white (181 mcg,) raisins, blue (144 mcg,) grapefruit, pink (152 mcg,) cherries (147 mcg,) kiwi (129 mcg.)

Fish Oil

While some cases of breast cancer arise from genetic factors, but most are linked to diet, lifestyle, and exposure to environmental triggers. Studies suggest that chronic activation of a pro-inflammatory gene switch (transcription factor) called Nf-KappaB or NFKB is key to cancer cell survival. NFKB has also been found to play important roles in all stages of breast cancer development, from initiation to promotion. A study in isolated female breast cells shows that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil suppress activation of NFKB.

Fish oil in the diet was also found to significantly increase the level of PTEN protein in the breast tumors. PTEN is a tumor suppressor gene which has been shown to be important in the inhibition of the development of cancer.
Additionally fiish oil reduces the PI 3 kinase and Akt kinase activity in breast tumors (leading to significant inhibition of NFκB activation) and prevent the expression of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL in the breast tumors (with attendant increase in caspase 3 activity.)

Additional thoughts on fish oil:

A case control study examining levels of fatty acids in breast adipose tissue of breast cancer patients has shown that total omega-6 PUFAs may be contributing to the high risk of breast cancer in the United States and that omega-3 PUFAs, derived from fish oil, may have a protective effect.

A higher omega-3:omega-6 ratio ((n-3)):(n-6) ratio) may reduce the risk of breast cancer, especially in premenopausal women.

Omega-3 fatty acids (primarily eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaneoic acid (DHA)) have been shown to retard the growth of breast cancer in vitro and in animal experiments, and inhibit tumor development and metastasis.

Fish oils have antiproliferative effects at high doses, reducing the growth of cancer cells.

Diet-Olive Oil

Oleuropein from olive fruit has additional biological properties including enhancement of cellular antioxidant mechanisms. Diets high in monosaturated oils such as olive oil are also less inflammatory as these diets contain less proinflammatory fats (omega 6 fatty acids, partially hydrogenated oils, etc.)

Those afflicted with certain inherited genetic mutations are predisposed to contracting disorders related to defects in cell replication. A gene of particular concern to some women is HER2. When evaluating various olive polyphenols on HER2 expression, oleuropein most effectively down-regulated HER2 expression. The scientists who conducted this study remarked that their findings help explain why those who consume a Mediterranean diet have such marked reductions in disorders such as breast cancer related to excess expression of the HER2 gene.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)

CLA has direct breast cancer cell inhibitory effects. CLA has been shown both in vitro and in animal models to have strong anti-tumor activity. One study examined the effect of dietary CLA on the growth of human breast adenocarcinoma cells in mice. Dietary CLA inhibited local tumor growth by 73% and 30% at nine and 14 weeks post-inoculation, respectively. Moreover, CLA completely abrogated the spread of breast cancer cells to lungs, peripheral blood, and bone marrow. This indicates the ability of dietary CLA to block the local growth and systemic spread of human breast cancer. A suggested dose is 3000-5000 mg/day. CLA inhibits the proliferation of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7), induced by estradiol and insulin (but not EGF.)

Blog #11 Using Supplements to Save Your Life-Part 2

March 3, 2011 on 7:29 am | In General Posts | Comments Off

As I mentioned last week (and will do so each time I post an ongoing addition to the topic of using supplements) as a reminder about the EXTREME IMPORTANCE of using supplements if you have cancer (or want to limit your chances of developing cancer,) and as a disclaimer:

“No matter how much surgery you do to cut out cancer, or how much radiation you use to burn out cancer, or how much chemotherapy you use to poison cancer, if the patient’s immune system is not functioning properly, that patient will die from cancer.”

That statement, made by world-famous cancer expert Dr. Russell Blaylock in my book, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, really says it all.

After surgery cuts out most of the cancer, and chemotherapy kills most of the cancer, and radiation burns most of the cancer, what’s left to do destroy any remaining cancer cells? Absolutely nothing! Unless the patient continues therapy, using a combination of proper diet, mind-body medicine, and nutritional supplements, any cancer cells that have survived conventional therapy will, at some point, continue to grow, spread, and ultimately kill the patient.

Unfortunately, unless you are familiar with naturopathic medicine or are lucky enough to work with a naturopathic doctor, your conventional doctors will not tell you any of this. Despite the fact that Sandy has visited several outstanding conventional doctors, not one of them, NOT ONE, has ever talked about the use of diet or supplements to kill cancer or boost her immune system.

The sad news is that so many cancer patients will ultimately die after surviving conventional therapies because nothing is done to prevent the recurrence of cancer. Ever since Sandy’s diagnosis, it seems that not a day goes by that I don’t discover that someone else I know has been diagnosed with cancer (usually breast cancer.) Yet not one of these patients is doing anything “natural” to support her immune system or continue the fight against cancer once conventional therapies have finished. How sad and tragic to know that many people will needlessly die out of ignorance once their cancer returns.

The most important reason I’m writing these blogs is to educate current and future cancer patients about all of their options. Just because your conventional doctors don’t know about these options or don’t agree with these options doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them.
The questions are very simple: what are you doing now to make your conventional therapies more effective and reduce their side effects, and what will you do once your conventional therapies stop to prevent your cancer from coming back?

In this blog and the ones to follow, I will share with you the supplements that I have put together (with help from several naturopathic doctors) to help Sandy maximize the benefits from our conventional therapies, reduce their side effects, and remain cancer-free the rest of her life. While there are no guarantees, we believe this is a better approach than simply doing nothing and waiting to see what happens (in most cases, “what happens” is that the cancer returns and kills the patient.)

In my own veterinary practice, while I can never offer guarantees to my patients, I tell them that based upon my years of using natural therapies to help pets with cancer, I expect my patients to live one and a half to two times longer than their conventional doctors expect them to live IF they will use properly prescribed natural therapies.
Please note that I am NOT saying that the supplements we have chosen for Sandy are appropriate for you if you have cancer. You MUST work with your naturopathic doctors to find the right treatments for you, similar to working with your conventional doctors to find the right conventional therapies for you.

I’m also NOT saying that these supplements will guarantee that Sandy will never have cancer or any other illness again. I do know that using supplements to help her immune system stay strong enough to fight cancer is much better than doing nothing excepting waiting to see what happens in the future.

And since there are many out there (especially doctors!) who are skeptical about the effectiveness of natural supplements, I have included a description of why each supplement was chosen to help Sandy win the war against her cancer based upon volumes of research.

Sandy’s supplement regimen (which changes depending upon her circumstances and as new research becomes available):

Curcumin (Turmeric)

Curcumin significantly lowers the expression of the MDR1 gene, thus inhibiting the P-glycoprotein pump which can increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that is best known for its use during radiation therapy where it increases the effectiveness of radiation as well as reduces side effects of radiation therapy. Curcumin (like the drug tamoxifen) also blocks access of estrogen to cells and protects against chemicals that mimic estrogen (like estrogen, estrogen-mimicking chemicals promote the growth of breast cancer.) In a study on human breast cancer cells, curcumin reversed growth caused by 17b-estradiol by 98%. The toxic chemical DDT’s growth-enhancing effects on breast cancer were blocked about 75% by curcumin.

Curcumin also inhibits multiple kinase enzymes that are necessary for cancer cell growth and spread. Curcumin known for its anti-inflammatory action, inhibits cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX), two enzymes that promote inflammation. Inflammation plays significant and diverse roles in the initiation and promotion of cancer.
Curcumin arrests the growth of cancer cells in the G2 stage and induces apoptosis (death) of cancer cells. EGCG in green tea arrests cancer cell growth at the G1 phase. Combining EGCG with curcumin increases the odds of killing more cells.
Curcumin blocks AP-1, thereby decreasing angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth needed for tumors to grow and spread.)
Curcumin’s effects are a dose dependent response, and a standardized product is essential. The recommended dose is four 900-mg capsules 3 times per day, preferably with food.

Sandy is taking a specialized type of curcumin called Super BioCurcumin by Life Extension. This product allows a lower dose to be taken (fewer capsules per day) yet achieves the same bioavailability as “regular” curcumin.

Quercetin

Quercetin, another powerful antioxidant, suppresses cell proliferation, promotes programmed cell death (apoptosis,)and protects DNA. Quercetin, especially when combined with curcumin (another antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and tumor-blocking potential,) minimizes damage in tissues exposed to radiation (mammography) while increasing the cancer killing ability of radiation (such as radiation received with breast cancer radiation treatment.)

Resveratrol

Resveratrol exhibits many anti-cancer properties, including suppression of tumor growth by increasing or decreasing the production of various enzymes and molecules that regulate cellular reproduction and blood supply to the tumor. Through these mechanisms, resveratrol may enhance the anti-cancer effects of chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation. With its potent antioxidant capabilities, resveratrol may even protect healthy tissues from damage induced by chemotherapy.

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