Blog #13 Using Supplements to Save Your Life-Part 3-Coenzyme Q-10, Vitamin D3 and MCP

April 3, 2011 on 10:19 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):

Coenzyme Q-10

Blood levels of coenzyme Q10 are frequently reduced in cancer patients. In several small short studies, positive results were seen in patients taking anywhere from 90 mg per day up to 300-400 mg per day. In some of the patients, complete regression of their residual breast tumors occurred. All breast cancer patients who supplemented with CoQ10 experienced decreased use of painkillers, improved quality of life, and an absence of weight loss.
Coenzyme Q10 may be useful in treating cancer because it boosts the immune system. Also, studies suggest that CoQ10 may prevent the growth of cancer cells directly. As an antioxidant, coenzyme Q10 may help prevent cancer from developing.

Data suggests that CoQ10 may also help fight cancer by significantly reducing expression of the bcl-2 gene family, which is responsible for conferring resistance to cell death. CoQ10 modulates bcl-2 in a manner that allows the cancer cells to kill themselves without adversely affecting normal cells.

Vitamin D3

Research shows that most people are severely deficient in Vitamin D, even those who receive sunlight exposure. It is recommended that vitamin D3 should be a supplement most people taken for its numerous health benefits, including cancer prevention.

Vitamin D kills cancer by promoting cell differentiation and supporting apoptosis (normal programmed cell death), as well as helping to prevent metastases and angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation needed for cancer to grow and spread.)
Mammographic density is considered a strong risk factor for breast cancer. Women who had a combined daily intake of 100 IU or more of Vitamin D combined with 750 mg or more of calcium demonstrated decreased breast density compared to women with lower intakes of the two nutrients, suggesting that adequate consumption of Vitamin D and calcium may reduce breast cancer risk by reducing breast density.

Vitamin D3 works synergistically with tamoxifen to inhibit breast cancer cell proliferation.

Compared with sun-deprived women, women from lower, sunnier latitudes had lower rates of breast cancer. Additionally, the women from sunny places who consumed the most dietary vitamin D (from foods and supplements) enjoyed a greater breast-risk reduction than the women who consumed less dietary vitamin D. In other words, a combination of ample sun exposure and ample vitamin D intake was associated with the greatest risk reduction, compared with getting vitamin D from either sunlight or diet alone.

The Food & Nutrition Board of the U.S. Institute of Medicine just tripled the recommended daily allowances for vitamin D3 from 200IU for adults to 600IU. However, most naturopathic physicians recommend at least 1000 IU per day (Sandy is taking 7000 IU per day; the ideal amount should be based upon blood testing for vitamin D levels.) For cancer patients, a target goal for Vitamin D3 blood levels should be at least 60-80 ng/ml (most people have levels less than 35, with 35 being a minimum level for health.) New research shows that even higher daily doses of oral vitamin D3 (10,000-50,000 IU/day are unlikely to be associated with toxicity (defined as blood levels above 200 ng/ml.) However, the best dose for each person to reach a target range of 60-80 ng/ml is best determined by blood testing due to individual response to supplemental vitamin D3.

Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP)

Research indicates that MCP significantly increases the urinary excretion of toxic heavy metals like aluminum and mercury and inhibits tumor growth and metastasis.

MCP’s cancer-fighting potential appears to arise from its ability to interact with specialized proteins called galectins. MCP may help fight certain cancers by binding with galectin-3 to help decrease cancer cell aggregation, adhesion, and metastasis.

Galactose-binding lectins (galectins) are carbohydrate-binding proteins detected within some cancer cells (especially breast and colon cancer cells) that help the cells clump or cluster together more easily and attach to the inner linings of blood vessels. The adherence of circulating tumor cells (CTC) to the blood vessel walls is an essential step for the process of metastasis. This may facilitate the growth and spread of certain types of cancer. Galectin-3 may be particularly important in numerous processes involved in cancer, such as cancer adhesion, migration, progression, and metastasis.

Increased levels of galectin-3 in the blood or tissue are associated with more frequent cancer metastasis or an increased stage of tumor progression. Other findings suggest that intracellular galectin-3 exerts an anti-apoptotic effect, protecting cancer cells against programmed cell death by affecting mitochondrial function.

Taking MCP prior to, at the time of, and immediately following surgery can help reduce the spread of cancer cells that consistently occurs when tumors are manipulated.

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