When you’re diagnosed with cancer, your options can seem both frightening and very limited.
Most conventional doctors rely on just three treatments:
- or radiation.
And while all of these treatments have their place in treating cancer, supplementing with certain nutrients can boost the effectiveness of traditional treatment.
More importantly, they can help reduce side effects.
The problem is most oncologists tell their patients to avoid supplements. You see they mistakenly believe that antioxidants will interfere with the way radiation and most chemotherapy drugs work.
Yet, a growing number of studies show taking high-dose antioxidants and vitamin supplements can actually give cancer patients an edge by enhancing immunity, reducing tumor size and preventing the spread of cancer cells.1
Build a barrier against cancer with these 5 supplements
Here’s a rundown of 5 of the best supplements that can complement conventional cancer care:
This potent curry spice affects the gene that causes cancer cells to commit suicide.
That process is called apoptosis. And researchers from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center have reported curcumin supplements also have modest benefits in the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest types of cancer.2
2. Fish Oil:
Weight loss after cancer surgery is common and can cause problems during recovery. One study at Ohio State University found that the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in fish oil helped cancer patients maintain their weight after surgery.3
Three other studies show fish oil can also boost immunity, prevent cancer’s spread and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
Found in tomatoes, this antioxidant has been proven to prevent prostate cancer and may even help men who already have the disease.
Among a group of 26 men scheduled for prostate cancer surgery, those who took 30 mg of lycopene daily for just 3 weeks showed signs that their tumors were shrinking. The men also had an average 18% drop in their PSA score.4
This powerful antioxidant from the French maritime pine tree is a great addition to both chemotherapy and radiation.
In a trial of 80 cancer patients who had surgery followed by either chemo or radiation, those given a daily dose of 150 mg of Pycnogenol had less nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea than those taking the placebo.
5. Vitamin E:
Cisplatin is a frequently used chemo drug that causes nerve damage (neuropathy) in about 90% of people. But when Italian researchers gave 68 cancer patients 400 IU of vitamin E daily, only one developed neuropathy.
Better yet, the vitamin E didn’t interfere with their chemotherapy.5
If you’re facing treatment for cancer, talk with an integrative medicine doctor about taking these supplemental nutritional therapies. Combined with conventional cancer care, they just might help you become a survivor instead of a victim.
1. Simone C. Antioxidants and Other Nutrients Do Not Interfere With Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy and Can Increase Kill and Increase Survival, Parts 1 & 2. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2007; 13:22-28/40-47.
2. Dhillon N. Phase II trial of curcumin in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Clinical Cancer Research. 2008;14:4491-4499.
3. Weed HG. Lean body mass gain in patients with head and neck squamous cell cancer treated perioperatively with a protein- and energy-dense nutritional supplement containing eicosapentaenoic acid. Head & Neck. 2010 Oct 21. [Epub ahead of print]
4. Kucuk O. Effects of lycopene supplementation in patients with localized prostate cancer. Experimental Biology and Medicine (Maywood) . 2002;227:881-885.
5. Pace A. Vitamin E neuroprotection for cisplatin neuropathy: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Neurology. 2010;74:762-766.
Dr. David J. Blyweiss began his medical career as a clinical pharmacist in South Florida prior to earning his medical degree from St. George's University School of Medicine in 1982.
His dual background allowed him to appreciate the relevance of conventional pharmaceutical/surgical based treatments in acute medical conditions, and recognize where these approaches fell short in treating the majority of patients who suffered from the chronic degenerative diseases of "western civilization origin."
Over the last twenty years, with the nutritional medical knowledge base expanding in the fields of nutrigenomics, protemics, and other related "orthomolecular" disciplines directed towards patients' biochemical individuality, Dr. Blyweiss became an early adherent and experienced practitioner of what would become known as "functional medicine." This knowledge allows him to effectively manage and alleviate the symptoms related to the most "difficult-to-treat" conditions by addressing the underlying causes, allowing the body to heal itself.
Dr. Blyweiss was one of the initial researchers doing the early work on chlorhexidine (Phisohex) while earning his first post graduate degree at Temple University School of Pharmacy. During medical school he worked with the WHO (World Health Organization) in vaccinating children in the islands of the Carribbean. He has traveled much of the world, most recently to Belize, Central America, Gabon, Africa, and Zagreb, Croatia working closely with teams of specialists to identify new plant life and natural products for possible human benefit as well as researchers and their stem cell transplantation teams. He has consulted for and created state-of-the-art nutritional supplements for multiple nutritional companies since 1999. He is currently in private practice in South Florida where he resides with his family.
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