One of the elements of food that’s most misunderstood when it comes to cancer prevention and treatment is sugar. In fact, there are times when you can benefit from adding sugar to your diet.
Long-time readers of this newsletter are probably picking themselves up off the floor at this point, because I’ve been crusading against sugar for years. As far as I know, I was the first person to point out that it’s addictive and to call it the “cocaine of foods.”
And I’ve been a leader in raising awareness of how cancer cells feed on sugar, and how a high-glycemic (basically, high-carb) diet and high blood sugar are among the main causes of cancer. And I was among the first to point out that the ketogenic or low-carb approach is a major breakthrough in cancer treatment.
So how can sugar ever be good for you? Read on and I’ll explain. . .
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“Sugar” is a catchall phrase for multiple different substances. Understanding which ones are good and which are bad for you could make a significant difference in keeping you disease- and cancer-free.
What is sugar, anyway?
Ask a baker about the different types of sugar out there and you’ll hear all about white sugars, brown sugars, and liquid sugars. Ask a chemist about sugar and you’ll get a lesson on short-chain, soluble carbohydrates.
If we’re talking about the types of sugar you add to foods, there are roughly 25 different kinds. It’s best to think of these as sweeteners—after all, they’re added to foods in order to sweeten the flavor.
Now, a hundred years ago, the only kinds of sweeteners on the market were cane sugar, sorghum, honey, and maple syrup. Back then, Americans consumed less than two pounds a year of sugar, total.
But these days, Americans eat over 70 pounds of sugar a year – and I’ve seen estimates of up to a 150 pounds a year, average. The sources of this vast mountain of sugar are soda, snacks, cereal, pasta, bread, desserts, and packaged foods like catchup and salad dressing that are loaded with hidden sweeteners.
The list of sweeteners now includes white table sugar, brown sugar, evaporated cane juice, raw sugar (turbinado), palm sugar, corn syrup, molasses, maple syrup, xylitol, erythritol… and the list goes on.
From a chemical perspective, sugar is known as sucrose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, or glucose (basically anything ending in –ose). Here’s a simple breakdown:
- Sucrose comes mainly from sugar beets and sugar cane
- Maltose is most often found in cooked, starchy foods like potatoes or corn
- Dextrose is made from corn and is often found in processed foods and corn syrup
- Glucose circulates in the blood as blood sugar
- Fructose is found in both fruit and sweeteners, most notably high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
But when it comes to fructose, there’s a vast difference between consuming fruit and consuming sweeteners like HFCS. The difference is the presence of other nutrients in fruits. Fruits contain things like fiber and antioxidants, whereas sweets like ice cream and candy have a total dearth of nutrients.
In other words, the nutrients in fruit are able to balance absorption of fructose within the body, creating no excess and a minimal rise in blood sugar. The fiber in fruit, for example, moderates the rate of absorption. The sugar isn’t dumped into your blood all at once.
The nutrient-free fructose in sweeteners gets absorbed at an accelerated rate, spiking blood sugar and inflicting serious damage on the body even if you don’t have cancer. And if you do have cancer, it feasts on high levels of sugar in the bloodstream.
Can you eat too much fruit?
It’s one thing to avoid sugar on the grounds that it’s the preferred food of cancer cells. It’s another thing to completely cut sugar out of your diet—because not all sugars are bad.
In the past 12 years my team and I have spoken with almost every major alternative cancer doctor in North America and Europe, and we’ve read the work of a great many others. Opinions vary considerably on the “right” way to eat. We’ve been through the Paleo, Atkins, ketogenic and Gerson mills – and many other food theories – until our heads spin.
The following is settled science, or darn close to it: All of us should eat a low carbohydrate diet. Cancer patients should consume as close to a no-carb diet as they can tolerate. The carbs they do eat should be fruit (organic, of course).
If you’re healthy, a few carbs are fine, but moderate your intake as much as you’re able. Personally, I think it’s possible to be healthy without being a fanatic. Avoid the so-called “white foods” completely – wheat products, rice, potatoes, sugar.
But fruit? Don’t worry about it. If every American gave up the white foods and replaced them with organic fruits, the improvement in national health would be so huge, doctors would be able to spend their afternoons playing solitaire.
Beware of bad – or fanatical – food advice
Because of the confusion over what sugar is and how it affects the body, there’s a lot of bad advice circulating on what and what not to eat. Take the example of a young man who exercises extensively, eats a healthy diet, and watches his weight. The young man consults a sports nutritionist who tells him to limit his fruit intake, and especially carrots, because of their high sugar content.
I think this advice is nutty. Yet there’s a large contingent of health professionals and media writers who don’t distinguish between sugar in its natural state (e.g., within a whole fruit or vegetable), versus sugar that’s been chemically altered from Mother Nature’s packaging.
The most important thing to know is how your body handles the different types of sugar. For example, if you’re in the habit of putting a spoonful of white, granulated sugar in your cereal every morning, your body will go on to create free radicals in the two hours following breakfast.
That meal can create so many, in fact, that your body will go into oxidative debt and the antioxidant level of your blood will drop to a level below where it started before your sugary breakfast.
Instead, let’s say you’re like me and sweeten your bowl of whole-grain, sugar-free, wheat-free cereal with half a cup of blueberries. Not only will your cereal taste sweeter, you’ll also end up with far more antioxidants in your blood stream than you had before breakfast. Including some of the most powerful nutrients known to science – anthocyanins and pterostilbene, for example. And healthy amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese to boot.
On top of all that, blueberries have a low-glycemic index. They do NOT spike your blood sugar.
The idea of some nutritionists is that you should forgo this nutritional treasure house because the berries have some sugar.
To challenge that idea, a study was published in Nutrition Journal1 where researchers set out to determine whether you can get too much sugar via fruit consumption.
In the study, a group of type 2 diabetics was told to eat a minimum of two pieces of fruit a day. A second group of type 2 diabetics was told to eat no more than two pieces of fruit a day. What happened? For the group that reduced their fruit intake, there were no positive effects or weight changes.
Why fruit sugars make you healthier
Here’s the easiest way to look at it: Refined sugars are bad for you. Sugars embedded in fruits are not. There’s no question that a diet high in refined sugar will lead to obesity and potentially diabetes, heart disease, dementia, macular degeneration, and tooth decay, not to mention increasing your risk of diseases like cancer.
In contrast, fructose from whole, natural foods improves the way the body controls blood sugar. And just to test the theory that there’s no such thing as too much fruit, a study published by the journal Metabolism2 demonstrated that subjects could consume 20 servings of fruit a day with no negative effect on weight, cholesterol, or blood pressure.
Eat the rainbow and enjoy it
The take-home lesson here is that a healthy person really can’t eat too many fruits and vegetables, regardless of their natural sugar levels. The anti-cancer properties of fruits and vegetables are unsurpassed by any other food, supplement, or treatment.
Not only are they loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, but fruits and vegetables are also the best way to take in cancer-fighting agents such as antioxidants and phytochemicals.
On top of that, fruits and vegetables protect you against disease by making it easier to maintain a healthy body weight. Keep in mind, no single type of fruit or vegetable is the magic bullet for cancer protection. Each type contains varying levels of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and other nutritional properties, which is why it’s so important to eat a large variety, aiming for as many different colored foods as you can (as the saying goes, “eat the rainbow”).
The next time you worry about your sugar consumption while contemplating eating an apple or a carrot, go ahead and enjoy the snack. Because not all sugar is bad, no matter what you may hear in “healthy” circles.
In our last issue, we revealed a new type of chemotherapy that’s free of side effects and – say its advocates – highly effective. If you missed the article, you can read it now just below.
Novel Technique Renders Chemotherapy
Safe and Effective
Developing a drug that targets cancer cells while avoiding healthy ones is the goal of many researchers around the world.
Up until now they’ve had little success.
But one scientist and doctor has adopted a rather different approach.
He’s using the same standard chemotherapy that aggressively targets tumors, but in addition he employs an antidote that protects normal, healthy cells.
Early results indicate it works. And you won’t be surprised to learn the mainstream medical system tried to shoot it down. They don’t want a fast, easy cure for cancer.
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Dr. Kenneth Matsumara calls his method Side Effect-Free, Neutrophil-Potentiated Chemotherapy – SEF Chemo, for short. He pronounces the latter “safe chemo.”
Results in late stage cancers have been astounding so far.
One of America’s most promising medical researchers, Dr. Matsumara began his career in medical research in 1959 at the age of 13. That’s not a typo. Amazingly, he published a paper on a new skin-grafting technique two years later.
In 1962 he became the youngest person to be awarded a research grant from the American Lung Association. A renowned biologist at the University of California took the youngster under his wing while he was still attending high school.
Dr. Matsumara has been licensed to practice medicine since 1971 and is the director of a research facility – The Alin Foundation – at Berkeley, California.
His early promise was fulfilled with the invention of a bio-artificial liver to sustain patients suffering liver failure. This was named as one of Time magazine’s Inventions of the Year in 2001.
Other inventions include a bio-artificial pancreas that enables type 1 diabetics to maintain stable blood sugar without injecting insulin, and a wrist watch that sounds an alarm if the wearer is at high risk of an impending heart attack.
In what could turn out to be his greatest achievement to date, SEF Chemo is the result of over three decades of research.
Drugs companies and oncologists turn their back
Impressed with Dr. Matsumara’s credentials, as well as laboratory and animal research demonstrating cures of advanced cancers in a short period of time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved his first clinical trial in a record-breaking four days instead of the usual 12 months.
But his small research facility wasn’t equipped, nor did his group have the finance to push forward his findings speedily, so he approached large pharmaceutical corporations for help.
The enthusiasm and support he expected was not forthcoming. They were not interested in a treatment that works so well and so quickly.
“My naivety and trust in the world changed when I realized that a cancer cure is not good news for oncologists and hospitals because they financially depend on cancer treatment revenue.
“Imagine a cancer-free world in the eyes of someone who has dedicated their life — years of education, allocation of resources and funds — only to find your career obsolete.
“I have actually encountered oncologists who praised SEF Chemo and then suddenly reverse their support when the realization hit that their job, livelihood, and future could be challenged.”
To the everlasting shame of our dysfunctional medical system, lack of support has delayed the availability of SEF Chemo by more than two decades.
Real-life patients get results
It wasn’t until 2006 that the first small human trial began. Six late-stage cancer patients were enrolled. Results were reported in 2010. Of the six, four achieved total remission with no detectable cancer. These included a breast cancer patient with liver metastasis and others with lung cancer and leukemia.
For reasons that are not clear, Dr. Matsumara decided not to publish the results of this trial.
From all his work with patients he reports a response rate of almost 90% for stage 3 and early stage 4 cancers. These include colon cancer with extensive spread to the liver, and pancreatic cancer with liver metastasis.
Strong efficacy has been reported in non-small cell lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, cervical, melanoma and pancreatic cancer.
According to Dr. Matsumara, “The new therapy appears to be consistently reliable and far superior to anything else available today. Only time will tell if our long-term remissions will turn into cures.”
When such findings come from a single lab with nothing published, we need to be wary, especially as Dr. Matsumara is something of a maverick.
But there are strong reasons to believe his findings are authentic. That’s because he approached another cancer center located in Canada to adopt his therapy and witness the results for themselves.
SEF Chemo comes to Canada
Dr. Akbar Khan is the medical director of Medicor Cancer Centres, based in Ontario. They use a range of non-toxic and innovative “alternative” cancer therapies.
Reviewing the internal patient data of The Alin Foundation convinced Dr. Khan that SEF Chemo had merit, so it was introduced in 2013.
Response rate in the first 20 patients, most of them stage 4, was 80%. With adjustments to the protocol, today this has risen to 90%, up to five times higher than conventional chemotherapy. (Response generally means shrinkage of the tumor, not remission.)
Dr. Khan reports strong responses in lung, breast, melanoma, pancreatic, ovarian, cervical, prostate, liposarcoma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It’s also been used successfully with glioblastoma.
In Dr. Khan’s opinion, “Complete remission is possible, especially for patients with low disease bulk (even if they are stage 4).
“For example, one of our early SEF patients with stage 4 cervical cancer spread to the abdomen and lungs achieved complete remission as determined by clear scans, normal tumor markers, and circulating tumor cell count of 0, performed three months after therapy completion.
“She received no conventional cancer therapy along with SEF.”
For those with greater disease bulk, combining SEF Chemo with other non-toxic therapies can produce near-remission with long-term cancer stability.
What makes SEF Chemo so special
The concept of a drug that mitigates the adverse side effects of chemo is not entirely new. There are FDA approved antidotes for many cancer drugs.
Under certain procedures, these can almost completely eliminate the side effects of chemotherapy while maintaining its efficacy. The use of such an antidote allows stronger doses of the cancer-killing medication to be used, with the hope of thoroughly eradicating the evil beast.
With conventional chemotherapy, a much smaller percentage of tumor cells are directly killed, leaving survivlng cells to repair, multiply and spread.
On top of this, conventional chemo destroys important immune cells in the bone marrow called neutrophils. These can no longer seek out and extinguish damaged cancer cells.
SEF Chemo protects neutrophils – meaning the immune system is less damaged — and thereby amplifies the therapy’s effectiveness.
With a much higher kill rate and improved immunity, this “chemo-immunotherapy” causes tumors to shrink in weeks rather than months as in conventional treatment.
The SEF protocol
In a straightforward case, the chemotherapy drug carboplatin is used at the same time as its antidote mesna. The doctor administers carboplatin at 80% of the usual dose, but up to twice as often.
It’s an exaggeration to say the treatment is side-effect-free, but feelings of mild nausea or fatigue are usually gone in three or four days. There may also be some discomfort due to inflammation around the area of the tumor.
In practice, other chemo and non-chemo drugs may be added to allow for a more effective therapy.
The standard schedule is four days of intravenous treatment given on a fortnightly cycle. Carboplatin is infused on one of these days for about three hours. The mesna infusions take five minutes each.
The patient’s progress is assessed after three cycles. Therapy is usually completed in eight to ten weeks, but ten to 15 cycles may be needed for remission of stage 3 or stage 4 cancers.
Often, patients are able to continue working almost full time.
In 2016, a new, more gentle protocol was introduced for patients who have low cell counts and whose bone marrow has already been compromised by traditional chemotherapy.
Taming the chemo beast
In the alternative medical community, there’s a strong antipathy to chemotherapy, and with good reason. It destroys the immune system, and the side effects are so dreadful, many patients decide after two or three rounds they’d rather die.
It doesn’t even work for the vast majority of late-stage cancer patients (about 98%, says one study), AND the treatment itself can cause cancer.
SEF Chemo, while not entirely free of side effects, combats the negatives of traditional chemotherapy. It turns a hazardous and dangerous drug into a treatment that may be effective for some patients.
Dr. Matsumara hopes to train more doctors so that a more pleasant and effective form of chemo becomes available in other medical centers around the world.
My take is that this sounds worth trying for cancer patients who are afraid to rely solely on alternative treatments and feel they MUST do chemo. Many cancer patients also find themselves under intense pressure from family members to just “do what the doctor say,” i.e. conventional chemo.
The Matsumara technique, combined with a regimen of supplements, healthy eating, detoxing, counseling, de-stressing and other alternative treatments, might be a good halfway house for these patients.
At this point, I don’t know of a place besides the Canadian clinic that offers it. Their contact information is:
Medicor Cancer Centres
4576 Yonge St, Suite 301,
Toronto, ON Canada M2N 6N4
tel (416) 227-0037 fax (416) 227-1915