Man bites dog, speaking cancerwise
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Do you think the foods you eat can help target and destroy cancer cells? This is the common view among experts on alternative health, but conventional oncologists go right on telling cancer patients, "Eat whatever you want, it makes no difference."
So it's front page "man bites dog" news when a member of the cancer establishment endorses good nutrition as a way to heal cancer. Dr. Dana Flavin-Koenig is one of the few such people.
She's president and founder of the Foundation for Collaborative Medicine and Research (FCMR). Her organization is committed to researching treatments from integrative, complementary and conventional medicine.
Dr. Flavin-Koenig is also an advisor to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the U.S. And in the late 1970s she served as chief toxicologist for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Since 1979, Dr. Flavin-Koenig has been researching the molecular biology of cancer. This has helped convince her that some foods contribute to the development of cancer—while other foods lessen the risk.
Her views won't surprise you if you've read a few of our books and reports on cancer, but I do get letters now and then from readers who complain we don't back up what we say, so maybe a word from someone like Dr. Flavin-Koenig will convince them.
Here's a snapshot of some of her cancer-fighting food recommendations listed in Bill Henderson's book Cancer Free:
|Organic chicken, turkey
|Seeds and nuts, esp. almonds
||Pork (esp. bacon, sausage)
|Oranges and lemons
||Organ meats (heart, liver, kidneys, etc.)
|Pineapple, grapes, and apples
||Unsaturated fatty acids
||Fried foods, fast foods
||Nitrates/nitrites (in processed foods)
||Potato chips, corn chips, etc.
|Green tea, black tea, nettle tea
||Soda, colas, and other sugary drinks
You might notice that red meats are a "no-no" for folks battling cancer. Research reveals these meats could put you at a higher cancer risk for a number of reasons.
For starters, high fat diets increase your excretion of bile acids—a feast for tumors!
And some processed meats contain nitrates, which can contribute to the development of colon cancer.
What's more, frequent meat eaters have different flora in their colons when compared to vegetarians. Nutritionists believe excess meat consumption may cause intestinal bacteria to change bile acids into carcinogens.
Adopting a diet to keep you cancer free might mean eliminating some tasty treats. But you'll hardly starve if you eat the foods she recommends!
Dr. Flavin-Koenig designed her food list to contain optimal levels of cancer-fighting nutrients. She bases her recommendations on nearly 30 years of treating cancer patients and on her observations of cancer cell activity in the laboratory. Let's take a closer look at what she saysÖ
When it comes to defeating cancer—it's
what's INSIDE your food that counts...
If you find it hard to eat enough healthy foods to help you clobber cancer—you'll be glad to know that many of the nutrients are available as supplements.
The book Natural Cancer Treatments That Work (out of print, unfortunately) lists several nutrients and substances Dr. Flavin-Koenig identifies as top cancer killers. This includes:
- Vitamin A: 1 gram from cod liver oil; according to the journal Endocrine—Related Cancer1, this nutrient promotes apoptosis—or programmed cell death-in tumors.
- Beta Carotene: 200 mg per day; beta carotene is vitamin A in plant form. Scientific studies suggest this nutrient helps suppress the 'bcl-2' gene that prevents cancer cells from dying2. Beta carotene also makes cells more responsive to immune system therapy as well as chemotherapy and hyperthermia. Dr. Flavin-Koenig calls beta carotene the most important treatment she recommends, next to stopping cigarettes.
- Soy Products: Studies suggest the isoflavones in soy products could be effective in treating prostate cancer3. Soy is controversial and I don't recommend it personally. It may be fine, but I don't think scientists know that for sure just yet.
- Fish Oil: Dr. Flavin-Koenig recommends 4 grams daily to suppress the 'Ras' gene that encourages tumors to grow. A defective form of this protein is found in nearly a third of all cancer cases.
- N-Acetylcysteine: Sometimes called NAC for short, the dose Dr. Flavin-Koenig recommends is 600 mg, 3 times a day. This antioxidant stops uncontrolled blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) which feeds tumors4. It also turns bcl-2 into the 'Bax' gene to encourage cancer cell death. NAC confers other, multiple benefits including a boost in your immune system's T-killer cells.
- Sodium Selenite: She urges 400 micrograms a day of this liquid form of selenium. I would hope everyone reading this already supplements with selenium. This antioxidant helps stabilize destructive free radical cells. News to me: she says it's best to take this at least 30 minutes before or two hours after taking vitamin C.
- Vitamin C: 3 to 5 grams daily spread throughout the day. Johns Hopkins scientists showed that vitamin C deprives tumor cells of the HIF-1 protein they use to survive5. Dr. Flavin-Koenig also recommends 5 to 7 grams two times a week administered intravenously (by IV).
- Lactoferrin: 1 gram dissolved slowly in the mouth at bedtime helps prevent angiogenesis; studies show lactoferrin helps decrease tumors and is also effective at suppressing growth of human pancreatic cancer cells6. I wrote about lactoferrin at length in Issue #16. You can look at previous issues at www.cancerdefeatednewsletter.com.
- Bromelain: 1 capsule 4 times a day also helps prevent angiogenesis, the uncontrolled blood vessel growth mentioned above. Researchers believe this enzyme found in the fruit and stem of pineapples could block growth of a broad range of tumor cells, including breast, lung, colon, ovarian and melanoma. I wrote about bromelain in Issue #6 and in my Special Report on enzymes, The Missing Ingredient. Australian research recently confirmed the value of this natural treatment (which alternative cancer doctors have known about for decades).
- Wobe Mugos: An enzyme mixture made from an extract of the calf thymus gland, papaya plant enzymes, and the pancreas of cows and pigs7. Wobe Mugos is used in Europe to treat a variety of cancers, enhance the immune system and help block tumor growth, especially in colon cancer. You can now buy Wobenzym, a consumer enzyme formula made by the same company, in American health food stores. If you don't know about enzymes, you're missing one of the most important pieces of information in alternative health. That's why I called my report The Missing Ingredient. Enzymes are just about the most underrated supplement around.
- Indomethacin: This one may require a prescription. It blocks two body chemicals that play a role in angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis (the spread of cancer beyond its original site).
- Devil's Claw: Take 3 times a day as a substitute for Indomethacin. It's somewhat less effective, according to Dr. Flavin-Koenig.
- Thuja: This is an anti-viral plant available as a tincture for cervical cancer8.
Many of these nutrients are superstar cancer assassins when taken alone. So just imagine how effectively some might work together to wipe out cancer.
Because of her encyclopedic knowledge, Dr. Flavin-Koenig often consults with colleagues in hospitals all over Europe and in the United States. In terms of mainstream medicine, it seems to me she has a very high level of credibility.
This isn't intended to be a full presentation of her ideas or an all-out endorsement to go do everything she says. For example, she recommends that patients avoid zinc, B vitamins and certain other nutrients, and that seems odd to me. But she's a rigorous scientist and no doubt has good reasons.
Improving your diet is just one of many ways to help your body fight cancer. And for many folks—it might be one of the safest, easiest anti-cancer plans available!
1 Zhang, X-K. Vitamin A and apoptosis in prostate cancer. Endocrine-Related Cancer (2002) 9 87-102
2Chaudhary, K.S., Abel, P.D. and Lalani, E.N. Role of the Bcl-2 gene family in prostate cancer progression and its implications for therapeutic intervention. Environmental Health Perspectives. 1999 February; 107(Suppl 1): 49-57
3Jacobsen BK, Knutsen SF, Fraser GE. Does high soy milk intake reduce prostate cancer incidence? The Adventist Health Study (United States). Cancer Causes Controls. 1998 Dec;9(6):553-7.
4Agarwal, A. et al. N-Acetyl-Cysteine Promotes Angiostatin Production and Vascular Collapse in an Orthotopic Model of Breast Cancer. American Journal of Pathology. 2004 May; 164(5): 1683-1696.
5Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (2007, September 12). How Vitamin C Stops Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2007/09/070910132848.htm
6Sakamoto N. Antitumor effect of human lactoferrin against newly established human pancreatic cancer cell line SPA. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1998 Aug;25(10):1557-63.
7National Cancer Institute. 2010. Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Wobe Mugos. Retrieved July 19, 2010 from
8Raktim, B. et al. (2010, May 10). Thujone-rich Fraction of Thuja occidentalis Demonstrates Major Anti-cancer Potentials: Evidences from In vitro Studies on A375 Cells. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Retireved July 19, 2010 from http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/neq042v1.
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