Question: My daughter has had laser treatments to remove lumps from her vocal cords. She says it’s caused by a form of papilloma virus. I know that viruses are not easy to treat, however I am hoping that there may be some alternative worth trying. Can you help?
Dr. Wright: Possibly! In 2004, researchers reported results from a five-year follow-up of 33 individuals who had undergone surgery for respiratory papillomatosis were asked to take 200 milligrams of indole-3-carbinol (I-3-C), twice daily. After five years, 33 percent of the patients had no further occurrence of the problem, and another 30 percent had a significant reduction in papilloma growth resulting in less surgery than before.
These days, though, most practitioners skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural medicine have abandoned use of I-3-C in favor of di-indolymethane (DIM), the compound that the body converts I-3-C into naturally. I-3-C has been associated with some adverse effects, but none have been reported for DIM.
People with a papilloma virus may want to consider taking 200 to 300 milligrams of DIM twice a day. In addition, they can safely get even more of this natural compound directly from their original source–Brassica vegetables (also known as mustard family and cruciferous vegetables). These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, etc. Eating them approximately four times weekly may also help. (It’s probably wisest not to eat them more often, as there may be a small possibility of interfering with thyroid function with larger amounts.)
Since papillomas are a viral infection, it’s also helpful to improve immune system function in general by eliminating all sugar and refined carbohydrates, and testing for food allergies (and eliminating and/or desensitizing any that turn up). There are many supplemental items that can help boost immune function. Check with a practitioner skilled and knowledgeable in the areas of both allergy and nutritional medicine for advice specific to your daughter.
One other note about papilloma viruses: They can also cause cervical cancer. In 2000, researchers reported that eight of 17 women with biopsy-diagnosed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (a “precancerous” condition caused by the papilloma virus) had complete regression–disappearance!–of the precancerous condition after 12 weeks of either 200 or 400 milligrams of I-3-C daily. (The complete regressions were proven by biopsy.) In the placebo group, 0 of 10 had regression.
Although there’s no proof as yet, it’s very likely that some can dramatically reduce the papillomas they’ve had on their vocal cords–not to mention reduce their risk of cervical cancer–by eating Brassica vegetables, taking DIM (which it does all the same things as I-3-C without any of the risks) and following the other measures to keep their immune systems strong.
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