CANCER - Alternative medical therapies

Content
  • Introduction
  • Modern vs. alternative medicine
  • Nature of cancer
  • Iron overload and Cancer
  • Intermittent fasting as a cancer treatment
  • Vitamin C
  • Amygdalin - Laetrile - Vitamin B17
  • Mistletoe therapy
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
  • Oxygen - Aerobic Treatments - Hyperbaric Chamber
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mercury and Cancer
  • Fluoride and Cancer
  • Aluminum and Cancer
  • Zinc deficiency and Cancer

Introduction. The purpose of this article is to present an overview of the many alternative medicine treatments for cancer. Because of the complex nature of the disease, it is unlikely that there will ever be a one-size-fits-all type of treatment for cancer. Rather, a complement of therapies ought to be considered. What makes the treatment of cancer complex is the following:

Why an alternate approach is needed? The modern medical protocols of "slash-poison-burn" (i.e. surgery, chemo and radiation) for the treatment of cancer has changed very little in the last several decades and will probably change very little in the future. The problems with this approach are listed below.

Follow the money. Sadly, the profit motive is what has largely kept the "cancer industrial complex" from finding the cause and providing a prevention program for this disease. If you follow the money, you will find that cancer treatment is big business. As someone has said, "cancer is not too profitable to cure." In the cancer drugs alone, it is far and above the biggest revenue generator for Big Pharma (see The Drugs That Bring in the Most Pharma Revenue). And then you add the revenue generated from hospitalization, surgery, post-operative treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy, and you are looking at an industry that has little incentive to stop to find a cure or preventative measures.

Modern vs. alternative medicine

Modern medicine. The approach modern (allopathic) medicine uses to treat cancer includes primary, adjuvant, and palliative treatments. Primary treatment for cancer involves surgery to remove or destroy the tumor. Adjuvant treatment may also be prescribed depending on the stage of cancer (usually stages 3 and above). These include radiation and/or chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Palliative treatments are used to relieve symptoms such as pain. Other therapies include immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy and experimental (or clinical trial) therapies. See Mayo Clinic: Cancer treatment.

Alternative medicine. Other names for alternative medicine is functional, complementary, holistic, naturopathic, orthomolecular and integrative medicine. The general approach of alternative medicine when treating cancer involves two ideas: (1) restore the body's health (homeostasis) so that it can elicit a proper immune response and (2) provide nutrients that have cytotoxic (cancer cell killing) potential.

Alternative medicine as complementary. One should be aware that many, if not most, alternative medicine treatments for cancer are unlikely to cause harm and won't interfere with modern medicine treatments. In other words, it does not have to be an either/or proposition. In fact, alternate medicine can serve a complementary role. Given the complexity of cancer, alternative treatment approaches may in fact deal with aspects of the disease that traditional medicine does not or cannot address.

Determine the cause. The first goal of a medical practioner (beyond dealing with immediate, life-threatening situations) is to determine the cause of a disease. Understanding the cause will help in finding the solution. Inherent in finding the cause are the precepts:

  1. The body is designed to be healthy. A person maintains a healthy body through proper living.
  2. The body is designed to heal itself. It has many mechanisms to repair and restore damaged cells and to fight off infection.
  3. The body is systems-oriented. The body’s organs interrelate and affect each other – no organ works in a vacuum.

The body has an incredible capacity to heal itself. If you are injured or become ill your body should quickly and efficiently deal with the problem and restore itself to health. It is only when the body is overwhelmed with stressors that disease may occur. Stressors specific to the cause of cancer may include (see Causes of cancer):

Cellular definition and cause of cancer. Cancer is caused by changes (mutations) to the DNA within cells. These mutations tend to affect three main types of genes—proto-oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, and DNA repair genes. This is the textbook definition. What underlies this change in the cells DNA is believed by many to be a chronic inflammatory environment around these cells (see NIH: Chronic Inflammation and Inflammation and Cancer). The five cardinal signs of inflammation are heat, pain, redness, swelling, and loss of function (see Inflammation). Another belief is in the disruption of oxidative homeostasis in the body called oxidative stress (see NIH: Correlation between Oxidative Stress, Nutrition, and Cancer Initiation and Oxidative Stress in Cancer Cell Metabolism).

Nature of cancer

Normal cell metabolism. All cells use glucose (a simple sugar) as a source of energy. Normal cells use internal "organelles" called mitochondria to convert glucose into units of energy (ATP). Normal cells, under normal conditions, will use oxygen to metabolize the glucose (aerobic respiration) and produce 32 ATP molecules per glucose, with carbon dioxide as a waste byproduct. When there isn’t enough oxygen, cells switch to a different mechanism called anaerobic respiration. In this case, only 2 ATP molecules are produced per glucose, with lactic acid as a waste byproduct. Anaerobic respiration is also called lactic acid fermentation or fermentative glycolysis or anaerobic glycolysis—i.e. anaerobic glycolysis followed by anaerobic fermentation to make the 2 ATP molecules per glucose.

Cancer cell physiology. Cancer cells, unlike normal cells, bypass the role of the mitochondria to produce energy—i.e. cancer cells do not use aerobic respiration. They rely on the less efficient process of lactic acid fermentation. This anaerobic mechanism works even in the presence of adequate amounts of oxygen. It is called aerobic glycolysis or the Warburg effect (named after the one who discovered it) even though it is an anaerobic process. What is unique about cancer cells is that they consume more than 20 times the amount of glucose and can produce ATP almost 100 times faster than normal cells. Additionally, cancer cells can produce many intermediate biosynthetic precursors when undergoing aerobic glycolysis. These molecules are used as building blocks for the production of proteins, lipids and DNA required by the rapidly dividing cancer cells. The aerobic glycolysis process in cancer cells produces large quantities of lactic acid as a waste byproduct. The cancer cell deals with this excess lactic acid by overexpressing the transporter, MCT, to secrete the lactic acid out of the cell and into the extracellular fluid. The surrounding microenvironment then turns acidic. This acidic state then activates vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) among other factors and further induces tumor angiogenesis (new blood vessel development). The acidic microenvironment also markedly weakens the anti-cancer immune response of T lymphocytes.

Cancer cell energy sources. Cancer cells are highly reliant on glucose, although glucose is not the only energy source. Other energy sources include lactic acid (re-use), acetate, aspartate, and glutamine (an amino acid). Cancer cells will overexpress glucose uptake transporters (GLUTs) on the surface of the cell in order to intake (i.e. "uptake") as much glucose as possible.

Survivorship. Generally speaking, people have a two-in-three chance (i.e. 67%) of surviving 5-years or more when looking at the average (see Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2016-2017). Of course, survivorship depends largely on the type of cancer. For example, prostate and breast (female) cancers have a 99% and 89% survival rate respectively, while pancreas and lung cancers have a 7% and 17% survival rate respectively.

Iron overload and Cancer

Iron overload implicated in cancer. As important as iron is for human health, too much iron is a problem. There is a dark side to too much iron, one of which is cancer. Excess iron intake has been implicated in a whole host of cancer types, including lung cancer, breast cancer, renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular cancer, oesophageal, stomach, aerodigestive and gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, haematological cancers (leukaemias, lymphomas and myeloma), melanoma, pancreatic cancer and bladder cancer. See NIH: Iron and cancer: more ore to be mined. What makes this problem worse is that iron supplementation is forced on us through the foods we eat. Just look at the ingredients of the next packaged product you buy in the grocery store and see how much iron is added. What compounds the problem is that our bodies are ill-equipped to get rid of the excess iron and so, it tends to accumulate in the body.

Cancer's affinity for iron. Cancer cells will accumulate large amounts of iron. For example, a leukemia cell may have as much as 1,000 times more iron in it, and a breast cancer cell may have 15 times more iron than its neighboring healthy cells. Paradoxically, you can turn this iron sequestration as a positive, by using a nutrient that acts like an iron smart bomb. See Artemisinin: A Cancer Smart Bomb by Len Saputo, MD (duration 6:36).

Artemisinin, artesunate and artemether. Cancer cells need iron to enable them to grow aggressively, hence cancer cells typically absorb a significantly larger amount of iron than normal, healthy cells. When Artemisinin comes in contact with the iron in the cancer cells, it triggers a chemical reaction and forms charged atoms that chemists call "free radicals". (The artemisinin compound contains two oxygen atoms hooked together in what is termed an endoperoxide linkage. In the presence of free iron this linkage breaks down, forming very reactive free radicals.) The free radicals attack the cancer cell membranes, breaking them apart and killing them. This is why Artemisinin is highly toxic to cancer cells. Tests have been conducted to show that Artemisinin causes rapid and extensive damage and death in cancer cells and yet has relatively low toxicity to normal cells.

Artemisinin usage. Take 200-500 mg a day orally, 4 consecutive days a week (4 days on, 3 days off). The period of rest is so that the body (i.e. gut) does not build a resistance to absorption. See Artemisinin Part 2: How to Use It (duration 10:35).

Iron chelation. If a simple blood test (i.e. serum ferritin test) reveals you have too much iron, then you should look for ways to lower it. An ideal range is between 40 and 60 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter). Levels over 300 ng/ml is toxic and will eventually cause serious damage. The safest, most effective and inexpensive remedy is to donate blood, 2-3 times a year. If the blood center will not accept your blood for donation, obtain a prescription for therapeutic phlebotomy. Other iron chelating therapies include deferoxamine in combination with vitamin C (see next paragraph) and curcumin.

Iron and vitamin C. Vitamin C has an effect on both absorption and excretion of iron. Vitamin C boosts iron absorption in digestion (see Interaction of vitamin C and iron). However, once absorbed in the body, vitamin C can have chelating properties. For example, vitamin C is considered as standard adjuvant therapy in iron chelation therapy (in thalassaemia and other iron loaded conditions) for increasing iron excretion, especially in combination with deferoxamine. There are observational studies suggesting that iron losses, including urinary iron excretion, are substantially reduced in iron-deficient individuals, and are substantially increased in iron loaded patients in comparison to normal individuals (see Trying to Solve the Puzzle of the Interaction of Ascorbic Acid and Iron: Redox, Chelation and Therapeutic Implications).

Iron and curcumin. Curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) acts as a potent chelator of iron and can be a useful supplement. However, curcumin should be taken in small quantities as higher doses has a number of side effects including nausea, diarrhea, and may pose a risk of ulcers. Also, curcumin could interact with various medicines such as blood pressure medicines (e.g. statins), blood thinners and painkillers.

References on excess iron

Intermittent fasting as a cancer treatment

The purpose of intermittent fasting is to naturally: (1) restore the insulin/glucagon hormonal balance of the body, (2) reduce excess body fat, and (3) enable ketosis over a portion of each day. All of these have significant benefits in the treatment of cancer.

The risk of excess body fat. Excess body fat is convincingly linked to a greater risk of these 12 types of cancer:

Reduce body fat and rebalance insulin/glucagon. The simplest method for weight reduction is to practice intermittent fasting. It is a simple and permanent solution to obesity (and diabetes). Obesity (and diabetes) should be viewed as a hormonal imbalance which can only be solved by restoring that imbalance (homeostasis). Obesity (and diabetes) involves the overproduction and mal-regulation of insulin and the underproduction of glucagon (insulin's counter-regulatory hormone). By simply changing one's eating schedule, a person can restore this hormonal imbalance. It is not what you eat but when you eat it that matters.

Intermittent fasting schedule. Simply stated: If you limit the "eating window" (i.e. the hours when you eat), then you are on your way to solving the obesity and diabetes problem. Adopting a narrow eating window and fasting (i.e. not consuming anything but water) outside of that eating window is what restores the balance between insulin and glucagon. Typically, you will begin by reducing your eating window to about 8 hours (e.g. 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM), then gradually reducing it to 6 and then 4 hours per day. Some reduce it all the way down to one hour per day—i.e. they only eat one-meal-a-day (OMAD). The rest of the day, nothing, absolutely nothing goes into your mouth, other than water.

Intermittent fasting as caloric restriction strategy. Calorie restriction targets major cancer hallmarks: (1) anti-angiogenic (reduction in the production of blood vessels around the tumor); (2) anti-inflammatory; (3) pro-apoptotic (causing the cancer cells to die).

Intermittent fasting activates ketosis. Ketosis is a condition where the body does not have enough glucose for fuel and uses its stored fat for its fuel instead. Fat is mobilized from fat cells (adipocytes) by a metabolic pathway called lipolysis. Lipolysis occurs in the cytoplasm of fat cells to convert fat (triglycerides) into glycerol and three fatty acids. These are then released into the bloodstream. Glycerol is absorbed in the liver and kidneys while the fatty acids are used by the cells throughout the body for fuel. Fatty acids can only be broken down in the mitochondria of the cells. Fatty acids cannot be used by the brain, however. A different mechanism is provided by the liver to fuel the brain.

Ketosis when fasting. Ketone bodies are always present in the bloodstream at low levels and will increase in low glucose availability (i.e. during periods of fasting). For example, after an overnight fast, 2-6% of energy comes from ketones and this increases to 30-40% (25% for the brain alone) after a 3-day fast. Ketone bodies have a characteristic smell, which can easily be detected in the breath of a person in ketosis. It is often described as fruity or like nail polish remover.

Ketosis and the brain. Although brain cells have mitochondria, the brain is not able to use fatty acids, because the blood-brain barrier of the central nervous system does not allow them to enter. Instead, the brain must rely on ketone bodies (or ketones) as an alternate source of fuel. These ketone bodies are produced from fatty acids by the liver (ketogenesis) then released into the bloodstream where it reaches the brain. Not only can the brain use these ketone bodies as an energy source but they can also be used by the skeletal muscles, heart, and kidneys. The brain gets a portion of its fuel requirements from ketone bodies when glucose is less available than normal. Current research suggests that the brain seems to always require some level of glucose. In low glucose conditions, the liver will produce the needed glucose for the brain. During the initial stages of ketosis, the brain does not burn ketones. However, after a three-day fast, the brain is getting up to 25% of its energy from ketone bodies. After about 24 days of fasting, ketone bodies become the major fuel of the brain, making up to two-thirds of brain fuel consumption.

Ketosis and the heart. The heart preferentially uses fatty acids as fuel under normal physiologic conditions. However, under ketotic conditions, the heart can effectively use ketone bodies for this purpose.

Ketosis and the intestines. Researchers at MIT have discovered, in a mouse model, that high levels of ketone bodies help the intestine to maintain a large pool of adult stem cells. These stem cells contribute to keeping the lining of the intestine healthy. See Ketone Bodies Help Maintain a Large Pool of Adult Intestinal Stem Cells .

Ketosis and cancer cells. Ketone bodies, like glucose, are processed through the mitochondria of normal cells. Cancer cells, however, cannot process ketone bodies because of their non-functioning mitochondria. During ketosis the amount of glucose in the body is greatly reduced, therefore causing cancer cells to be starved of glucose, their principal source of energy. However, ketosis alone will not eliminate cancer cells because, in the absence of glucose, cancer cells will seek out its alternate fuel sources, chiefly glutamine. Nevertheless, it has been found that in a state of ketosis, the growth of tumors is greatly reduced.

Glutamine drug inhibitors. Together with diminished glucose levels via ketosis, if the uptake of glutamine, the other principal source of energy for cancer cells, were to be inhibited, cancer cells would have no primary fuel sources and would therefore die. Much research has been done these last 10 years or so, with many drug candidates, but no FDA approved drug has yet been made available in the United States. Search for glutamine inhibitors (on Google).

References on intermittent fasting and ketosis

References on glutamine. Treatments using glutamine inhibitor therapy remains experimental. No FDA approved drug is yet available.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is much more than the “anti-scurvy factor.” It is the master controller of electron distribution and flow in our bodies. It is needed in over 10,000 biochemical reactions including but not limited to collagen synthesis, carnitine synthesis, norepinephrine and serotonin synthesis, essential in the function of several enzymes, important in the immune system, and a powerful antioxidant. Most animals are able to synthesize their own vitamin C in the liver. Humans, unlike most mammalian species, are unable to synthesize vitamin C, hence it is an essential dietary component obtainable from fruits and vegetables. Apparently, sometime in the distant past, humans lost the ability to produce vitamin C due to a mutation in one of the enzymes (the L-gulonolactone oxidase enzyme) needed for the production of vitamin C.

Vitamin C absorption in the cell. Vitamin C and glucose have very similar molecular structures. They use the same cell membrane receptors (GLUT1 and GLUT3) when the oxidized form of vitamin C, dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA), is present. The reduced form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid (AA), is absorbed via another set of transporters (SVCT1 and SVCT2). SVCTs appear to be the predominant system for the absorption of vitamin C. Specifically, SVCT2 might be implicated in the ascorbate induced cancer cell death phenomena (discussed below). Vitamin C concentrations will vary within the cells in the body, but will generally have higher concentrations than what is found in blood plasma. High levels are found in the pituitary, adrenals, leucocytes, eye lens and brain. White blood cells have a marked ability to concentrate vitamin C; mononuclear leucocytes achieve 80-fold concentrations, platelets 40-fold and granulocytes 25-fold compared with plasma concentrations.

Vitamin C lowers blood glucose levels. Vitamin C is able to lower blood glucose levels. In one study, doses of 1000 mg per day were effective at lowering the blood glucose levels of subjects with type 2 diabetes. However, a dose of 500 mg per day was not effective.

Vitamin C and cancer cell death. Cancer cells soak up vitamin C more readily than normal cells. Cancer cells are found to have unusually high concentrations of iron and other metals. Much of this iron in cancer cells is in the +3 oxidation state and when reduced to +2 state by vitamin C donating an electron a reaction is triggered that results in production of hydrogen peroxide and other reactive oxygen species. In high concentrations, the hydrogen peroxide will damage the DNA and mitochondria by raising free radicals and also inactivates an enzyme needed to metabolize glucose, therefore depriving the cancer cell of energy and creating cell lysis or cell death.

Vitamin C and collagen synthesis. Vitamin C has an important role in the synthesis of collagen. Prolonged exposure of cultures of human connective-tissue cells to ascorbate (Vitamin C) induced an eight-fold increase in the synthesis of collagen with no increase in the rate of synthesis of other proteins (see Collagen under Synthesis and Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts).

Cancer cells disintegrate collagen. Collagen up about 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Cells are surrounded by collagen and connective tissue. In order to grow and expand, healthy cells need to break down the extracellular barrier that confines them. This process is essential for life, and for this reason, cells produce and secrete various enzymes that digest connective tissue components, including collagen and elastin. In cancer, the excessive production of digestive enzymes and the disintegration of collagen and connective tissue by cancer cells are the dangerous mechanisms by which these cells invade and spread to other organs. Approximately 90% of all cancer fatalities result from metastasis, the invasion of cancer cells into other organs and tissues.

Vitamin C blocks cancer cell disintegration of collagen. Dr. Rath's research (see CancerResearch) determined that the following ingredients (note the use of Vitamin C) were effective to stop cancer cells from disintegrating collagen and, thus, can help block the invasion of cancer cells. (Dr. Rath worked under Dr. Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel Prize winner, and is considered his protégé. Dr. Rath furthered the work Dr. Pauling did on Vitamin C and its benefits to heart disease as well as cancer.) Dr. Rath proposes the use of a combination of four nutrients formulated below. Dr. Rath's research determined that over 90% of colon cancer cells and 100% of both breast and melanoma cancer cells were blocked from invading a collagen matrix using the following ingredients:

Vitamin C synergy with ionizing radiation therapy. Vitamin C has been shown to potentiate the cytotoxic effect of ionizing radiation in various pancreatic cancer cell lines. See Pharmacological Ascorbate Radiosensitizes Pancreatic Cancer.

Vitamin C synergy with chemotherapeutic drugs. A phase I metastatic colorectal and gastric cancer study in 36 patients applying high-dose vitamin C in combination with mFOLFOX6 or FOLFIRI (chemotherapy protocols), showed potential clinical efficacy in these patients. See Phase I study of high-dose ascorbic acid with mFOLFOX6 or FOLFIRI in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer or gastric cancer

Intravenous vitamin C therapy is impractical. The major drawback to IVC (intravenous vitamin C) therapy is the frequency and length of treatment. Vitamin C infusions should ideally be given every few days for months and evey years, because vitamin C seems to take that long to kill cancer cells. And with few clinics in the United States, utilizing intravenous vitamin C, it is very difficult for people to continue the therapy.

Oral administration limitations. Oral administration of vitamin C is limited by the intestinal barrier, no matter what the dose. It will reach only in the micromolar range of concentration, typically well below 300 micromolars per liter concentrations. To achieve “pharmacological” or therapeutic plasmatic concentrations (>1,000 micromolars) intravenous administration is required. The effect that vitamin C has on tumor cells will depend on the dose. While physiological (oral) doses do not induce cell death, pharmacological (intravenous) doses are able to specifically kill cancer cells. The Riordan Clinic has IV (intravenous) vitamin C protocols where they can infuse up to 50 grams of vitamin C per session. Even at lower levels of IV administration, higher plasma levels of vitamin C can be achieved. For example, the intake of 1,250 mg of oral vitamin C can initially produce 135 micromoles per liter in blood plasma, while the same dosage administered intravenously can produce 885 micromoles per liter. One of the reasons for the huge discrepancy is that as much as half of the oral intake is not absorbed by the intestines, while none of the vitamin C administered intravenous is lost. With oral administration, to achieve plasma levels of 120 to 220 micromolars and maintain it through the day, one would need to dose every 3 to 4 hours with well over 12 grams of oral vitamin C per day.

Vitamin C in electrolyte water. The following is a suggested electrolyte water formulation you can use when taking vitamin C orally. First, the base formulation:

Then, assume your goal is to consume 13,200 mg of vitamin C per day (the equivalent of 1 Tablespoon of sodium ascorbate powder), and you want to consume no more than four (4) cups (i.e. one quart) of the above electrolyte water a day. Simply add 4 Tablespoons to the one gallon of the above electrolyte water and consume a quart of that water throughout the day. For example, you can drink one cup in the morning, 1 cup at lunch, 1 cup in the late afternoon and, finally, 1 cup in the evening (a couple of hours before bedtime). You can boost your intake of vitamin C by adding the liposomal form of vitamin C, which is better absorbed and easier on the stomach, but more expensive.

Amazon products

References on vitamin C

Amygdalin - Laetrile - Vitamin B17

Amygdalin. A naturally occurring chemical compound found most notably in the seeds (kernels) of apricots, bitter almonds, apples, peaches, cherries and plums. Amygdalin is classified as a cyanogenic glycoside because each amygdalin molecule includes a nitrile group, which can be released as the toxic cyanide anion by the action of a beta-glucosidase (β-glucosidase). Eating amygdalin-containing kernels will cause it to release cyanide in the human body, and may lead to cyanide poisoning when eaten in very large quantities.

Laetrile and vitamin B-17. Laetrile (patented 1961) is a simpler semisynthetic derivative of amygdalin. Laetrile is synthesized from amygdalin by hydrolysis. The usual preferred commercial source is from apricot kernels (Prunus armeniaca). On vitamin B-17, it was originally claimed that this was a missing and essential vitamin. However, it is not officially recognized as such by the powers that be.

How it works against cancer. The hypothesis is that cancer cells contain large amounts of beta-glucosidases which release the hydrogen cyanide (HCN) portion of the amygdalin compound which then kills the cancer cell. Normal cells are believed to be unaffected because they contain lower concentrations of beta-glucosidases and higher concentrations of rhodanese which inactivates the cyanide molecule.

Conflicting claims. Modern medicine denies the claims made regarding the activity of beta-glucosidase in cancer cells, and instead claim that both normal and cancer cells contain similar amounts of beta-glucosidases and rhodanese. So, effectively, amygdalin is equally toxic to both normal and cancer cells. Laetrile is not approved for use in the United States. In fact, the FDA will investigate and prosecute any inappropriate advertisement of Laetrile as a cancer treatment.

However, the following Korean study reaffirms the original claim. See Inhibition of cell growth and down-regulation of telomerase activity by amygdalin in human cancer cell lines (also in PDF). The study found that beta-glucosidase activity in several cancer cell lines (A-549, MDA-MB-231, MCD-7 and U87-MG) was significantly (P < .05) higher than in normal (MRC-5) fibroblasts. When amygdalin in various concentrations was applied to all the cell lines, senescence (i.e. cell deterioration) was more evident in the cancer cells.

"Our results show that cancer cell lines exhibit higher β-glucosidase activity than that of normal MRC-5 fibroblasts because of release of cyanide compound from amygdalin. Moreover, senescence-associated-β-galactosidase activity was found higher along with morphological changes in cancer cell lines. The telomerase activity and expression of related genes were also down-regulated in cancer cell lines without exerting any deleterious effects on normal MRC-5 fibroblasts. The differential cytotoxic effects of amygdalin should be correlated by the high level of β-glucosidase activity in cancer cell lines than that of normal somatic cells." —Ibid., under "Discussion" section.

History of Laetrile. For a brief introduction to the history of Laetrile see Cure for Cancer Kept Secret - G. Edward Griffin discusses Laetrile and Cancer Cure (duration 10:27). This is taken from the longer 75-minute version here: The Science and Politics of Cancer, G. Edward Griffin (2005). You can get G. Edward Griffin's book on this subject from Amazon here: World Without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B17. See also his wife's book on Amazon: Laetrile Case Histories: The Richardson Cancer Clinic Experience. You should also see Griffin's RealityZone where he discusses other fascinating subjects.

Vitamin C augments Amygdalin. It is said that the effects of Amygdalin are augmented with high levels of oral vitamin C.

How to consume. The most practical (and legal) way to get Amygdalin is by consuming apricot kernels, which contain a high concentration of Amygdalin (as much as 20mg). You can purchase apricot kernel freely on Amazon. Besides eating them raw, consider using them in recipes. You will find many on the Internet.

How much to consume. The typical warning you will find on the Internet is to not consume more than a few kernels per day. However, the tolerance level is quite a bit higher than that. A single apricot kernel contains about 0.5 milligram of cyanide (Committee on Toxicity, 2006; there is variation, however; see Holzbecker, Moss and Ellenberger, 1984). Laetrile proponents claim that about 10 kernels per day (5 mg of cyanide) is considered to be sufficient to prevent cancer and as many as 50 kernels is recommended to combat an existing cancer (25 mg of cyanide). Are these doses dangerous? Not really.

Lethal doses of cyanide. According to the report of the Committee on Toxicity (2006), a lethal dose of cyanide is considered to be between 0.5 to 3.5 mg/kg of body weight. For a 175 pound man, this means 40 mg (80 apricot kernels) to 280 mg (560 apricot kernels) per day, and for a 140 pound woman, 32.5 mg (65 apricot kernels) to 227.5 mg per day (455 apricot kernels).

References on Amygdalin/Laetrile

Mistletoe therapy

Mistletoe therapy has a long track record of clinical use in Europe and several Asian countries. However, the FDA still categorizes it as an unproven biologic therapy. Therefore, it has yet to be fully adopted by Western medicine. Mistletoe therapy is an adjunct to traditional cancer therapy. Though traditional oncologists cannot currently offer Mistletoe therapy to cancer patients, Naturopathic Oncology practitioners, including The Riordan Clinic’s providers (see Mistletoe Therapy for Cancer Treatment), can administer this form of cancer care.

Mistletoe has been used for hundreds of years to treat medical conditions such as epilepsy, asthma, hypertension, headaches, menopausal symptoms, infertility, dermatitis, arthritis, and rheumatism. Mistletoe extracts are one of the most widely studied complementary and alternative medicine therapies for cancer. In Europe, mistletoe extracts are among the most prescribed therapies for cancer patients.

Studies on Mistletoe therapy ( NIH - National Cancer Institute)

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). Pioneering work by Burton Berkson, MD, PhD, where he used ALA + low-dose naltrexone (an opiate antagonist, decreasing the desire to take opiates) + hydroxycitrate (a supplement) to treat all forms of severe cancer cases including pancreatic cancer with miracle cures. See Alpha Lipoic Acid in the Care of Certain Cancers (duration 56:03). Dr. Burton Berkson gets into the cancer portion at about 25 minutes into the lecture.

References

Oxygen - Aerobic Treatments - Hyperbaric Chamber

Hyperbaric Oxygen, IVC, and Ketogenic Diet. Duration 1:13:01. The use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for the treatment of cancer. Hyperbaric oxygen is done when the patient is in ketosis, otherwise it will not be effective. Vitamin C is more effective with HBOT.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy By Cancer Type. Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses the power of the body's immune system to prevent, control, and eliminate cancer.

Mercury and Cancer

Mercury is genotoxic. Numerous experimental studies have shown mercury to have genotoxic potential, indicating that mercury causes DNA damage via multiple molecular mechanisms. For example, mercury binds tightly to DNA and causes single-strand breaks in DNA which are not repaired, it promotes the formation of reactive oxygen species that damage DNA either directly or via forming DNA reactive products, and it damages DNA repair enzymes, DNA polymerases, and microtubules.

Mercury is neurophilic. Mercury is highly neurophilic (strong affinity for nervous tissue) and highly lipophilic (binds tightly to fatty tissue). Mercury is initially distributed by the circulatory system and enters nerve endings and travels the central nervous system using a mechanism known as retrograde axonal transport leaving a path of destruction. See How Mercury Causes Brain Neuron Damage - University of Calgary (duration 5:00).

Mercury and cancer. Mercury has been implicated in a number of brain disorders including: multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and glial tumors (see reference). Mercury has also been implicated in pancreatic cancer (see reference), breast cancer (see reference), non-melanoma skin cancer (see reference), and thyroid cancer (see reference ).

Mercury and heart disease. Mercury toxicity is strongly correlated (even with low concentrations levels of mercury) with hypertension, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, carotid artery obstruction, cerebrovascular accident, and generalized atherosclerosis (see reference ).

Mercury sources. The two dominant sources of human exposure to mercury are food (chiefly, seafood) and dental amalgram. The other sources include the atmosphere (particularly urban areas), drinking water, occupationally (e.g. gold mines), and fungicides used in agriculture. Of the two dominant sources, the highest source is from dental amalgam vapor (gas), in the 3,000 to 17,000 ng daily intake (retention) range, and will depend on the number of amalgam fillings the person has. The seafood source averages around 2,400 ng daily intake. (See reference.)

Mercury via seafood. Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of (organic) methylmercury. However, larger fish that have lived longer have the highest levels of methylmercury because they've had more time to accumulate it. These large fish (swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish) pose the greatest risk.

Mercury via dental amalgam. Dental amalgam fillings (aka, "silver fillings") contain about 55% mercury, 44% silver and 1% of trace metals like zinc, copper and tin. The mercury used in dental amalgams is elemental (or inorganic) mercury. It is not the organic (methylated) methylmercury which is typically found in seafood. Elemental mercury is mainly absorbed by the lungs in the form of vapor (gas) while methylmercury is mainly absorbed through the digestive tract. It is estimated that over 100 million Americans have dental amalgams. While dental amalgams continue to be use in the United States, countries around the world such as in Europe and Russia have either restricted or banned their use. Removing dental amalgam fillings (and replacing them with composite) should only be done by a trained dentist in this procedure. Search at IAOMT for a qualified dentist in your area, or do a Google search (e.g. sample search).

Mercury vapor. Elemental mercury in the form of a vapor (gas) is released from amalgam-filled teeth whenever a person chews (see Smoking Teeth = Poison Gas). This vapor is subsequently inhaled into the lungs from which it enters the bloodstream.

Mercury bioaccumulation. Once inside the body, organic and inorganic mercury can transform into each other, making it difficult to dintinguish their potential health effects. Mercury is bioaccumulative, meaning that the ingested mercury builds up or steadily increases concentration in the body, including the brain and kidneys.

Mercury chelation therapies. Even though there are alternate medicine therapies for removing mercury from the body, your best bet is to use modern medical chelation procedures under a trained and experienced physician. This is because removing mercury from the body can have many unexpected side effects and a trained physician will know how to deal with each one. The most effective heavy metal chelator is EDTA which would include mercury. However, mercury is its own category because it does not respond well to EDTA chelation. Most chelating physicians use oral DMSA or IV DMPS for mercury. Both must be used very carefully as excessive use can pull out beneficial minerals. See reference. The following article covers mercury chelation extensively: Mercury and Parkinson's Disease (in PDF).

Heavy metal detox using ALA. Alpha Lipoic Acid (or ALA) may be used after chelation with other agents or in combination with other chelation agents. This is because ALA is the only one of the common chelator agents which crosses the blood-brain-barrier. You should not under any circumstances take ALA if you currently have amalgam filling still in your mouth, or had them removed within the last three months. If you do take ALA despite these instances, you may experience exaggerated symptoms of mercury toxicity. ALA must be taken in low dosages, 3-4 hours around the clock, because of the half-life. See: If You Take Alpha Lipoic Acid: You Need to Understand its Role in Mercury Chelation (duration 7:58).

References

Fluoride and Cancer

Fluoride is mitogenic. Fluoride is mitogenic to osteoblasts, directly stimulating cell division and bone growth in vivo and in vitro. The term mitogenic refers to the induction of mitosis in a cell. The term mitosis refers to cell division of body cells where a parent cell divides into two identical daughter cells. (See reference.)

Fluoride and thyroid function. Fluoride affects thyroid and parathyroid function in humans and animals, elevating thyroid stimulating hormone levels, altering levels of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, and increasing levels of parathyroid hormone and calcitonin. These changes can affect the rate of formation of bone tissue and the overall rate of bone growth.

Fluoride and immune response. Fluoride can either stimulate or inhibit cellular immune responses in humans, rats, and mice. Decreases in cellular immune response may lead to a reduction in the ability of the immune system to identify and remove cancerous cells (i.e., immune surveillance). Increases in cellular immune response may lead to inflammation, which may play a role in carcinogenesis.

Fluoride and bone cancer. Taken together, these multiple lines of evidence from mechanistic and other relevant data appear to support several plausible hypotheses: that fluoride is incorporated into bones (especially rapidly growing bones), where it can i) stimulate cell division of osteoblasts via direct mitogenicity and indirectly via effects on thyroid function and parathyroid function; ii) induce genetic changes; iii) induce other cellular changes leading to malignant transformation, and iv) alter cellular immune response, resulting in increased inflammation and/or reduced immune surveillance, thereby increasing the risk of development of osteosarcomas.

Findings are sketchy. The few human studies on the influence of fluoride in cancer are inconclusive. However, animal studies do show a significant increase in osteomas (benign) and osteosarcomas (malignant). Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone cancer in humans. It occurs more frequently in young males, with a mean age of 14 years old in new cases. A second peak in individuals occurs over the age of 50. Ninety percent of the osteosarcomas in humans occur in the long bones.

Fluoride and brittle bones. Fluoride indeed increases bone mineral density, up to a point—but high doses makes bones more brittle. While increased exposure to fluoride has led to a decline in dental caries, the prevalence of white speckling or mottling of the permanent teeth, known as dental fluorosis, has increased. Bone tissue homeostasis may also be affected by excess fluoride intake. Fluoride exposure through community water fluoridation (<3.4mg/day) has no benefit in the prevention of osteoporosis and fracture. Fluoride supplementation is not approved for use in the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis. Various studies, mostly with animals, have provided evidence of adverse impacts of fluoride (F-) on bone density, collagen and microstructure, yet its effects on overall bone quality (strength) has not been clearly or extensively characterized in human populations.

Fluoride and aluminum. Fluoride increased the levels of aluminum in blood plasma as much as citrate whereas aluminum decreased the absorption of fluoride. Fluoride combines with aluminum to form aluminum fluoride, which is then absorbed by the body where it eventually combines with oxygen to form aluminum oxide or alumina. Alumina is the compound of aluminum that is found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease. See reference.

Fluoride chelation. Iodine flushes fluoride. Iodine is a halogen, alongside fluoride and bromide. In numerous studies, iodine supplementation was found to significantly increase urinary detoxification of both fluoride and bromide. In one study, only one day after supplementing with 50mg of iodine, urinary excretion of bromide increased by nearly 50% and fluoride excretions increased by 78%. This is a significant toxic load off the thyroid and pineal gland. In another study, when fluoride levels were high in drinking water, there was a significant reduction in thyroid function, and the effect was worsened when there was an iodine deficiency. In fact, when iodine levels were normal, there was minimal effect from fluoridated water.

References

Aluminum and Cancer

Aluminum and aluminium. They are the same thing. Americans spell it "aluminum" while the British spell it "aluminium."

Aluminum and disease. Aluminum toxicity has been linked to a number of disease including: Alzheimer’s, autism, diabetes, neuropathy, and cancer.

Aluminum and breast cancer. While some studies in the past have said there is no link between aluminium used in deodorants and breast cancer, two new publications have confirmed the toxic effects of aluminium salts present in deodorants and their carcinogenic potential on breast cells. The researchers did a series of tests on hamster cells and demonstrated that mammalian cells, including those in the mammary gland (located in women’s breasts), when exposed in vitro to aluminium salts “rapidly incorporated this metal”. e studies showed that within 24 hours of exposure, genomic instability appeared in these cells as an altercation in the structure and number of chromosomes. The studies said this is known to occur during malignant transformation caused by proven carcinogens and therefore “confirms the carcinogenic potential” of aluminium on breast cells. See reference and reference.

Aluminum exposure. An average adult in the United States eats about 7–9 mg of aluminum per day in their food. People are also exposed to aluminum in some cosmetics, antiperspirants, and pharmaceuticals such as antacids and buffered aspirin. Antacids have 300–600 mg aluminum hydroxide (approximately 104–208 mg of aluminum) per tablet, capsule, or 5 milliliter (mL) liquid dose. Buffered aspirin may contain 10–20 mg of aluminum per tablet. See reference. Here are the many products containing aluminum.

Aluminum chelation. Silica has been found to reduce aluminum levels drastically in the body. It does this by binding with its molecules and extracting them out of brain cells and ultimately out of the body principally through the urine. Ground-breaking research done by Dr. Exley found that water high in silicic acid (oxygenated silica) had a positive effect on autistic children. Exley has found that aluminum levels were lower in the children by 50 to 70 percent who drank this kind of water. He then did the same study with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients. After 13 weeks of drinking high-silica water, the same results were achieved. In the AD patients, eight out of fifteen no longer showed neurological deterioration and three showed “substantial cognitive increase.” See How to Get Aluminum out of your body (duration 4:30). Another source of silica is food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Dissolve 1 Tablesppon in water and drink the water. You want to consume the silica that dilutes in the water. Drink twice a day. Dump the residue in your garden since it's just silica (earth).

References

Zinc deficiency and Cancer

Zinc deficiency. There is strong evidence to support the fact that zinc, a key constituent or cofactor of over 300 mammalian proteins, may be of particular importance in host defense against the initiation and progression of cancer. Remarkably, 10% of the U.S. population consumes less than half the recommended dietary allowance for zinc and are at increased risk for zinc deficiency. Zinc is known to be an essential component of DNA-binding proteins with zinc fingers, as well as copper/zinc superoxide dismutase and several proteins involved in DNA repair. Thus, zinc plays an important role in transcription factor function, antioxidant defense and DNA repair. Dietary deficiencies in zinc can contribute to single- and double-strand DNA breaks and oxidative modifications to DNA that increase risk for cancer development.

Zinc and cancer. Zinc deficiency is implicated in esophageal tumors and prostate cancer. Dosages in the 15 mg/day for 10 years was found to decrease risk of advanced prostate cancer. However, too much zinc (i.e. greater than 100 mg/day for several years) was also linked to prostate cancer. Mega dosing zinc has other side effects such as copper deficiency, depressed immune function, fever and fatigue.

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