Kilmer McCully, M.D., presented his groundbreaking findings at a medical meeting more than 40 years ago.
And yet, he later recalled, “…after my talk I was met by stony silence.”
Worse was to come as other scientists who offered to collaborate with him published a deceitful if not downright fraudulent study that put his theory into question. It set back research in this area for some time. Which is what they intended.
The treatment they were trying to spike may be the easiest, most effective way on earth to reduce your risk of getting cancer. Keep reading. . .
Oliver was doomed to die from
But then he found out what to do. . .
Oliver had reached the end of the road in his seven-year fight against cancer. His doctors didn’t think this 32-year-old man would live through the night.
But when I talked to Oliver six years later, he was the picture of health! He got rid of his cancer completely.
Yes, Oliver found the answer — his own cancer miracle.
I sat down with him and his doctor and they told me an incredible story. . . a story that could help save you or someone you love from this dreaded disease.
If you’d like to hear it, click here now.
Dr. McCully said he “felt totally betrayed by this episode…I was too naive to think they would pull a trick like that.”
That is what so often happens to those who challenge conventional wisdom in the field of medicine, especially with a cheap, non-patentable alternative to existing therapies, which is what Dr. McCully was presenting.
His research, which in the early days focused on heart disease, is now being investigated by large numbers of researchers around the world investigating a whole host of diseases including cancer.
Dr. McCully’s work centered on homocysteine.
Optimum nutrition lowers homocysteine
Homocysteine is an amino acid, a normal constituent of our body chemistry, made from the essential amino acid methionine which is derived from eating protein.
Homocysteine should appear in the blood in low amounts, ideally at around 7 µmol/L. However nine people out of ten have higher levels than that, putting them at a greater risk not only of cardiovascular disease, a condition where even mainstream doctors have accepted that elevated homocysteine levels are a risk factor, but also for cancer and many other health problems.
If the body is functioning well, homocysteine will be converted to either glutathione or s-adenosyl methionine (SAMe).
Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant, important for maintaining strong immunity, protecting against inflammation, playing a key role in liver function and detoxification.
SAMe plays a role in immunity, contributes to a large number of biochemical pathways, and builds neurotransmitters as well as hormones. It relieves both depression and pain – in a safe, natural way.
When the body fails to efficiently convert homocysteine to glutathione or SAMe, it’s usually because several enzymes are needed in the process and certain nutrients are lacking.
The enzymes needed to turn homocysteine into glutathione require vitamins B2, B6 and zinc. To convert homocysteine into SAMe, the enzyme methyl-transferase depends on vitamins B2, B12, folate and zinc. A second enzyme, methylene-tetra-hydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) requires B12 and trimethylglycine (TMG).
Without optimum levels of these nutrients, homocysteine will accumulate in the blood and you won’t realize the full health benefits of glutathione and SAMe.
Methylation keeps your body working efficiently
The body makes homocysteine for reasons connected to a biochemical process on which all life depends. That process is called methylation.
Huge numbers of chemical reactions take place in the body every second. A convenient means of facilitating these reactions is by using a common group of chemicals called methyl groups, made up of one carbon and three hydrogen atoms.
Methyl groups can be added to or taken away from molecules to make many of the compounds the body needs.
A methyl group is taken from methionine to make homocysteine. Methyl groups are added to homocysteine to make SAMe, which itself becomes a methyl donor, giving up its own methyl group to create other molecules. TMG is also a methyl donor as are choline, folate and B12.
Methyl groups are also added to and removed from DNA. If not enough methylation is taking place (or, in rare situations, if there is too much), then DNA is not able to fully repair itself, and there is an increased risk of a cell growing abnormally.
According to Dr Adrian Bird, professor of genetics at Edinburgh University, Scotland, “One in three mutations that cause human diseases can be attributed to methyl groups on our genes.”
Animal research suggests that changes in the methylation of genes alone can trigger cancer.
Homocysteine predicts how long you will live
A comprehensive research study published in 2001 demonstrates the importance of keeping homocysteine levels low (and methylation high).
4,766 men and women aged 65 to 67 were recruited in 1992. There were 259 deaths over the next 5 years.
For every 5 µmol/L increase in the plasma homocysteine level there was a 50% increased risk of cardiovascular death. This was not so unexpected. The link between this type of disease and high homocysteine levels was already suspected.
But what surprised the researchers was the strong relation between total homocysteine and deaths from other diseases.
There was a 26% increased risk of death from cancer, a 104% increased risk of death by diseases other than heart disease and cancer, and a 49% increased risk of death from all causes.
The researchers concluded that “plasma total homocysteine is strongly related to both noncardiovascular and cardiovascular mortality.”
Methylation is so fundamental to our biochemistry that some believe as many as 50 diseases could be linked to abnormalities in this process.
Homocysteine could be a marker for cancer
Homocysteine as a marker for cancer was considered preliminary in the above study because of the small numbers involved and the lack of essential information. However, another study suggests homocysteine levels could be a valid tumor marker.
Researchers from the University of Utah measured homocysteine levels in cancer patients. They found that when conventional tumor markers rose and fell, so did homocysteine.
The scientists observed that it was in fact more reliable and more accurate than the other markers at predicting whether conventional therapies were going to be successful, because “only the homocysteine concentration would decline in response to tumor cell death.”
Homocysteine increases the risk of
colon and cervical cancer
In a 1999 study, women with the highest homocysteine levels had a 70% increased risk of colon cancer compared to those with the lowest levels.
In a more recent study comparing 188 healthy people with 188 colorectal cancer patients, those with higher homocysteine concentrations had a significantly increased risk of cancer. The researchers concluded that, “Increased homocysteine was strongly associated with the risk of colorectal cancer.”
A study in 2000 found that elevated homocysteine increases the risk of cervical cancer, because higher levels were found in those with cervical dysplasia, a pre-cancerous condition, compared to healthy subjects. The researchers also found that amongst this group the presences of homocysteine also enhanced the effects of other cancer risk factors.
The following year, another study found that invasive cervical cancer risk was 2.4 to 3.2 times higher in women with levels above 6.31 µmol/L. The researchers concluded that “Serum homocysteine was strongly and significantly predictive of invasive cervical cancer risk.”
A study published in May, 2015 which pooled together research from 83 studies of over 15,000 cases of cancer and 20,000 control subjects concluded that elevated homocysteine together with low folic acid was associated with an increased overall risk of cancer.
How to lower your homocysteine level
and your risk of cancer
In spite of all the evidence accumulated over the last four decades, doctors still overlook the widespread health risks associated with elevated homocysteine. And don’t forget, those risks include not only cancer but also heart disease. Homocysteine is probably a more accurate gauge of heart risk than LDL cholesterol.
While eating a high quality diet with foods rich in folate and B vitamins is necessary, you will still need supplements if you want to reduce this amino acid to levels that lower your health risks as much as possible.
However, taking an everyday multivitamin and mineral might not be good enough. That’s because one in ten people have an inherited genetic mutation that prevents MTHFR from working properly. As mentioned earlier, MTHFR is one of the two enzymes essential to convert homocysteine to SAMe.
One study of 126 healthy people found those with the faulty gene had a homocysteine level of 14.5 compared to a level of 8.9 in those without the genetic defect.
In rare cases, some people may have too low a level — which poses health risks of its own.
The only way to be certain what action to take is to have your blood tested for homocysteine and work with a willing doctor to reduce it if necessary. This is one of the reasons – there are many – that it can be so valuable to work with an integrative doctor (one who uses both alternative and conventional medicine) or a naturopathic doctor – an N.D. And if you think an N.D. isn’t a “real” doctor, you should read Issue #348.
A plan to reduce a high homocysteine level will likely involve most of the nutrients I mentioned before. Those whose homocysteine remains stubbornly high may require more bioactive forms of folate and B vitamins, as well as TMG and SAMe in the form of supplements. Be sure the supplement you take is folate, the natural form… not folic acid, which is synthetic and may exacerbate deficiencies.
The optimum level is likely to be different depending on your major health concern. Research gives varying results. Some believe it should be below 6, others say it should be between 7 and 10.
Based on the available evidence, for most people, 6.3 – 7 would be a good range to aim for.
If you still need more motivation to take your B vitamins and other steps to avoid getting cancer, you should take a look at our last issue. It talked about one of the worst side effects of chemotherapy – and I don’t mean the nausea and hair loss everyone knows about. This one messes you up for the rest of your life.
If you missed the article, you can read it now just below this.