Monday, September 14, 2009

Treating Uterine Fibroids Naturally

Research into the interrelationship of diet and fibroids is limited, but Italian investigators found that women with uterine myomas reported more frequent consumption of beef, other red meat, and ham and less frequent consumption of green vegetables, fruit, and fish. The study of 1,557 women found that eating more beef roughly doubled the risk of having fibroids, whereas eating more green vegetables cut the risk of fibroids in half.

No herb is more useful in treating fibroids than black cohosh. This widely used women’s herb contains chemicals that keep estrogen from stimulating the prolifer ation of cells, stopping the growth of fibroid tissue. Laboratory studies specifically confirm that black cohosh, unlike so many other hormone-related products, abso lutely does not stimulate the growth of cancerous cells. Unlike medications for uterine fibroids, black cohosh does not block the beneficial actions of estrogen.

Three classes of compounds in black cohosh bind to receptor sites in the reproductive tract, the brain, and other organs that otherwise would receive estrogen. This reduces overall estrogen activity when estrogen levels are high. Other compounds in black cohosh compounds block the formation of luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulates a surge of estrogen production in the first 14 days of the menstrual period. This stimulates estrogen production when estrogen levels are low. The dual action of the herb allows it to stabilize the body’s estrogen usage.

Taking more than 3,000 milligrams of black cohosh a day may cause abdominal pain, nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use black cohosh

What Are Uterine Fibroids?

A uterine fibroid, known in medicine as a leiomyoma or simply as a myoma, is a noncancerous growth of muscle and connective tissue in the uterus. The size of a fibroid ranges from the head of a pin to a large melon, individual tumors sometimes weighing as much as 20 pounds (9 kilograms). Uterine fibroids are the most common tumor of the female reproductive organs. Some studies estimate that up to 80 percent of women between the ages of 30 and 50 have uterine fibroids, although only 25 percent of women experience symptoms. In the United States, African-American women are especially likely to suffer fibroids, and they tend to have more numerous fibroids causing pain and anemia.

Uterine fibroids can do serious damage to fertility. Fibroids can block the cervix so that sperm cannot reach the uterus. They can block the fallopian tubes so that the egg cannot reach the uterus. They can distort the endometrium so that a fertilized egg cannot attach itself and begin growth. When pregnancy is achieved, small fibroids are enough to increase the risk of miscarriage. Fibroids pressing against the urinary canal elevate the risk of urinary tract infections, and any fibroid can cause pain.

The growth of fibroids is fueled by estrogen. Fibroids often first appear during pregnancy, when a woman’s body produces enormous quantities of estrogen, and disappear during menopause, when estrogen production is greatly decreased. The hormone progesterone also plays a role in the growth of fibroids. These two hormones together keep the fibroid alive and protect it from natural processes that would cause it to shrink and die.

The risk factors for fibroids are high estrogen levels, such as the use of high-estrogen oral contraceptives, use of estrogen replacement therapy, or overweight. Poor circulation does not accelerate the formation of fibroids, but it can make existing fibroids intensely painful. Women who have high blood pressure, especially women who begin taking high blood pressure medication before age 35, are especially likely to suffer painful fibroids. Other risk factors include history of pelvic inflammatory disease or chlamydia, infections caused by a poorly fitted IUD, and regular use of feminine hygiene products containing talcum powder.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fat in the Anticancer Diet

Protein and carbohydrate are only two of the three macronutrients everyone needs for good health. Fat is the third. Fat provides a lot of energy in a small package, and calories from fat can literally be life-saving in some situations.

Do cancer patients need to worry about lowering their fat intake and losing weight? Generally speaking, if you are suffering loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting during cancer treatment, you really don't need to worry about fat in your diet or weight control.

That doesn't mean that every kind of fat is healthy for you. All trans- fats are bad, but some trans- fats are worse. If you cannot avoid all foods with trans- fat, consider avoiding the very worst.

What Makes Trans- Fat Bad Fat. The bloodstream “throws” fat at cells much as an archer might shoot an arrow. A long, straight arrow enters the cell with ease. It causes minimal disruption to the flow of electrical charges across the surface of the cell. A lumpy, short arrow, or, even worse, a lumpy long arrow, sticks in the cell’s protective coat and interrupts the flow of information across its surface.

Some dietary fats are long and straight, others are short and lumpy, and still others are combinations in between. The “lumpiness” of a fatty acid depends on the way its carbon atoms are arranged, that is whether the carbon “shaft” of the arrow is cis- and. On an atomic level, fatty acids are made of parallel chains of carbon. Cis- fatty acids have lines of carbon neatly aligned in parallel.

C – C – C – C – C – C
C – C – C – C – C – C

The comparatively healthy cis- fatty acids slip neatly into the cell without disturbing the cell membrane. They are not as easy for cell to absorb because they are a "short arrow." But they do not disrupt the health of the cell.

Trans- fatty acids, on the other hand, contain carbon atoms at various points in their chains that “elbow” other molecules in the lining of the cell out of the way.

/ \
C – C – C - C – C
C – C – C - C – C
\ /

A short, bent arrow might do minimal damage to the cell but a long, bent arrow is devastating. Trans- fatty acids are made during the manufacturing of margarine, allowing to be stored and used in a solid form, during the process of frying vegetable oils, and by bacterial action in the stomachs of cows, sheep, and goats. Beef, lamb, and chevron (goat meat) contain much smaller quantities of trans- fatty acids than margarine or fried foods.

The Worst of the Bad Fats. Generally speaking, all trans- (“bent” or “lumpy”) fatty acids are bad, but some trans-fatty acids are worse. Trans-fatty acids with 16 carbons or fewer tend to slip into the cell without damaging the membrane. At least one study found that victims of sudden death were no more likely to have deposits of these so-called 16:1 fatty acids (the 1 refers to the number of double bonds between carbon atoms) than healthy individuals. A supposedly “good,” cis- fatty acid with 16 carbons, palmitic acid, the fatty acid found in palm oil, is in fact more likely to be associated with sudden death than any “bad” trans- fatty acid!

The 18:1 fatty acids, an 18-carbon long fatty acid with one “kink” in the carbon chain, are also found in abundance in the hearts of victims of sudden death. The foods that supply these dangerous fatty acids include:

▪ Bakery-made chocolate cookies made with cottonseed and/or soybean oil
▪ Chocolate cookies with crème fillings
▪ Commercial taco shells
▪ Glazed doughnuts
▪ Margarine
▪ Milk chocolate coated cookie bars made with caramel
▪ Popcorn made with soybean oil (although low-fat varieties contain 80 percent less 18: fatty acids)
▪ Potato chips fried in a mixture of oils (but not potato chips fried in just one kind of oil)
▪ Shortening, especially if it is made with soybean oil (28 times the 18:1 fatty acid content of lard)
▪ Snack crackers made with cottonseed oil, refined coconut oil, or soybean oil

By comparison, lard, pure butter, pork rinds, frankfurters, tortilla chips, pudding pops, and white bread, none of which is a health food (and none of which is recommended for your daily diet), are better for your heart.

Margarine is especially detrimental to heart health. Margarine made with soybean oil has 22 times the 18:1 content of pure lard. Margarine made with corn oil has 23 times the content of this dangerous fatty acid. Margarine made from cottonseed oil is even worse, containing 24 times the 18: 1 trans- fatty acid found in lard. A study of women with breast cancer by the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that women eating the most margarine and similar foods were from 17 to 129 per cent more likely to die at every stage of the disease.

There are fats that are even worse for general health. An 18-carbon fatty acid can also have two double bonds. These 18:2 fatty acids even more harmful to heart health as the fatty acids that have 18 carbons and one double bond, since they have two “kinks” that can get “caught” in the cell membrane. Trans- 18:2 fatty acids are found in pizza, fried chicken, and cookies.

These fatty acids are the most harmful to heart health—and at least one epidemiological study was able to predict risk of sudden death by consumption of pizza, fried chicken, and commercially prepared cookies alone. These fatty acids are also abundant in cottonseed and soybean oil margarine and shortening and in potato chips fried in cottonseed or soybean oil.

There are also some trans- fatty acids that are not quite so bad for you. Trans- 16: 1 fatty acids are almost as bad as the longer-chain 18:1 fatty acids, although they are less than 1/10 percent as abundant in food. Trans- 16:1 fatty acids are found in very small quantities in hamburger, sausage, and turkey used in luncheon meat. Because they are not as long as the 18: 1 fatty acids, they are less likely to get “stuck” in the lining of the cell and more likely to “bounce off.”

Supposedly healthy cis-16:1 fatty acids, with a straight chain, however, are much more likely to contribute to arrhythmia than their longer cousins that “slide” through the membrane. In fact, they are worse for heart health than the fatty acids found in doughnuts, chocolate chip cookies, and commercial popcorn. Cis 16:1 fatty acids occur in highest concentrations in chicken skin and visible fat in turkey, although these foods contain less than 1/5 the concentration of heart-harmful fatty acids as margarine, and in much lower concentrations in lard and beef bologna.

In summary, the dietary no-no’s for people with cancer are margarine, snack crackers, commercially prepared cookies, chips fried in soybean oil, doughnuts, and, to a much lesser extent, chicken skin, pizza, cold cuts, and any kind of ground poultry unless it is low-fat. (That is, don’t eat ground turkey that contains ground turkey skin.) Notice what is not on this list: Butter, most fried foods, most meats, dairy products, and desserts, eaten occasionally in moderation. Many people have other health reasons to avoid these foods, but getting over cancer is not one of them.

Can You Eat Meat on an Anti-Cancer Diet?

Can you really eat meat and recover from cancer? Assuming it's meat that has been prepared without excessive salt and has not been cooked on a charcoal grill, the general answer is yes. What is really important is not avoiding meat or eating meat, but achieving acid-alkaline balance.

Alkalis, as you probably know, are the opposite of and neutralize acids. And if there is any valid truism in nutrition for beating cancer, it's this: Acid is bad.
Acidity and alkalinity are measured in terms of pH. Alkalis have a high pH. Acids have a low pH. A pH below 7 is acidic, while a pH above 7 is alkaline. Maintaining the correct pH is critically important in every chemical process in every single cell in the body. Different cells operate at slightly different pH levels, but the overall acid-alkaline balance of the body is very tightly regulated by the kidneys.

The modern industrialized diet has almost all of us in a constant state of acidosis. We do not have the extreme symptoms that doctors would treat, but almost everyone eating a standard diet has a total body pH that runs just a little low. Even in healthy people, chronic acidosis can lead to:

▪ Higher levels of stress hormones, especially when there is a high-salt diet,
▪ Mild hypothyroidism and concomitant fatigue and weight gain, and
▪ Resistance to growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1, which help maintain muscle tissue.

For people struggling with cancer, the effects of acidosis are even more insidious. The kidneys neutralize acids with two nutrients, calcium and glutamine. Acidity in effect "leaches" calcium out of bone so it can be sent to the kidneys to form alkalis. Weaker bones are more susceptible to metastases.

The kidneys use the amino acid glutamine to neutralize the acids formed by the breakdown of protein. The skeletal muscles are the body's biggest store of glutamine. Their proteins are broken down when too much protein is consumed in an acidifying diet—canceling out the benefits of the protein in the meal!

How do we become acidic? Digestion breaks down much of the food we eat into its chemical components. Each of those chemicals eventually travels to the kidneys, where it stimulates the production of acids (low pH) or alkalis (high pH). At the end of a meal (if there is only one meal per day) or at the end of a day, all the chemicals together have a net effect that is either acidic or alkaline. The effect on pH involves both how intensely acid-forming or alkali-forming the food compound is, and how much of the compound is consumed.

Acid-alkali balance is mostly a result of how the body processes the mineral content of food:

▪ If a food chemical contains chlorides, sulfates, phosphorous, or organic acids, it stimulates the formation of acids.
▪ If a food chemical contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, or sodium, it stimulates the formation of alkalis.

The foods that stimulate the most acid production are aged cheeses (especially low-fat cheeses), egg yolk, canned meat products, lunch meat, and, surprisingly, brown rice and oats. The foods that stimulate the most alkali production are dried fruits (especially raisins), leafy greens, fruit, and vegetables.

The advice used to be that if it formed alkali, eat it, and if it formed acid, don't eat it. The problem with this sweeping advice is that all the whole grains and most protein foods are acid-forming. Protein is absolutely essential for overcoming cancer. Fortunately, it is possible to eat some acid-forming foods and still have a net alkaline diet. You simply need to know the acid-forming power and alkali-forming power of the foods to eat them in the right balance.

At the end of this article I have included a table of 110 common foods adapted from the work of two German scientists named Manz and Remer. For each food, you will see a + or – score. A + score means it adds acidity. A – score means the food is alkalizing, that it takes away acidity.

As you can see in the chart, some foods are much more acid-forming or alkali-forming than others. That means, for instance, a one ounce serving of spinach, for example, will more than cancel out the acid-forming potential of a one ounce serving of beef, chicken, brown rice, or even salami (not that you should take this fact as a recommendation to eat salami). You can safely eat high-protein and acid-forming foods, even some treats, as long as you keep your overall acid-base balance negative.
You can use this table to make acid-alkali computations, but you don't have to worry about doing math with this table. Simply balance items that are higher on the list with items that are lower on the list, and then add still more vegetables to be sure you have a net alkalizing meal.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU CANNOT EAT VEGETABLES AND FRUIT (or if you just plain don't want to). If you know you are going to eat a meal with a lot of meat or cheese and cannot eat enough vegetables to balance out the acid formation, then take supplemental glutamine. (Or if you simply cannot afford the supplement, try to eat cooked cabbage and beets, which are rich in the amino acid.) This amino acid counteracts acidosis.

Take only 1,000-2,000 mg at first to make sure you don't have any digestive upset. Then gradually increase your dosage until you have taken a total of at least 25,000 mg. At this point, your body has enough glutamine for up to 3 days. Then repeat the process.

Several precautions about taking glutamine supplements are in order. If you are sensitive to MSG, don't take glutamine, since they can interconvert. If you take medications for bipolar disorder or seizures, don't take MSG, since it can stimulate production of glutamates in the brain. And if you have diabetes, take no more than 5,000 mg of supplemental glutamine a day, since the body may not completely metabolize it.

Food or Food Group PRAL Score

Parmesan Cheese 34.2
Velveeta and Other Processed Cheeses 28.7
Low-Fat Cheddar Cheese 26.4
Average for Hard and High-Protein Cheeses 23.6
Egg Yolks 23.4
Hard Cheese 19.2
Gouda Cheese 18.6
Corned Beef (Canned) 13.2
Brown Rice 12.5
Liverwurst 11.6
Salami 11.6
Trout 10.8
Oatmeal 10.7
Lunch Meat 10.2
Veal 9.9
Average for All Meats 9.5
Turkey 9.0
Rump Steak 8.8
Chicken 8.7
Cottage Cheese 8.7
Peanuts 8.3
Whole Eggs 8.2
Average for Soft, Low-Protein Cheeses 8.0
Lean Pork 7.9
Average for All Fish 7.9
Lean Beef 7.8
Whole Grain Spaghetti 7.3
Cod 7.1
Herring 7.0
Haddock 6.8
Walnuts 6.8
Hot Dogs (without Bun) 6.7
Average for All Noodles 6.7
White Spaghetti 6.5
Egg Noodles 6.4
Cornflakes 6.0
Average for All Desserts 4.3
Mixed Grain Rye Bread 4.1
Rye Bread 4.0
Cake 3.7
Mixed Grain Wheat Bread 3.7
White Bread 3.7
Average for All Breads 3.5
Lentils 3.5
Rye Crackers 3.3
Milk Chocolate 2.4
Wheat Bread 1.8
Whole Milk Yogurt with Fruit 1.7
White Rice 1.7
Whole Milk Yogurt, Plain 1.5
Sour Cream 1.2
Average for Beans and Legumes 1.2
Peas 1.2
Egg Whites 1.1
Raw Whole Milk 1.1
Average for All Dairy Products except Cheese 1.0
Pale Beer 0.9
Pasteurized Whole Milk 0.7
Ice Cream 0.6
Butter 0.6
Buttermilk 0.5
Coca Cola 0.4
Average for All Fats and Oils 0
Olive Oil 0
Sunflower Oil 0
White Sugar -0.1
Stout Beer -0.1
Draft Beer -0.2
Honey -0.3
Tea -0.3
Asparagus -0.4
Hot Cocoa -0.4
Margarine -0.5
Cucumber -0.8
Grape Juice -1.0
Broccoli -1.2
White Wine -1.2
Mushrooms -1.4
Peppers -1.4
Coffee -1.4
Marmalade -1.5
Onions -1.5
Average for All Beverages -1.7
Leeks -1.8
Mineral Water -1.8
Watermelon -1.9
Endive and Radicchio -2.0
Apple Juice -2.2
Apples -2.2
Strawberries -2.2
Red Wine -2.4
Lettuce -2.5
Lemon Juice -2.5
Zucchini -2.6
Pineapple -2.7
Average for All Vegetables -2.8
Tomato Juice -2.8
Hazelnuts -2.8
Orange Juice -2.9
Pears -2.9
Tomatoes -3.1
Average for All Fruits and Nuts -3.1
Green Beans -3.1
Eggplant -3.4
Cherries -3.6
Radishes -3.7
Cauliflower -4.0
Potatoes -4.0
Kiwis -4.1
Apricots -4.8
Carrots -4.9
Celery -5.2
Bananas -5.5
Black Currants -6.5
Spinach, Kale, Collards, and Other Leafy Greens -14.0
Raisins -21.0

Is Organic Food Essential for Beating Cancer?

Natural, organic, whole foods are the best choice for fighting cancer, but this is not an obvious conclusion from scientific research. Scientists can ethically gather a great deal of information about how various foods and food additives increase or decrease the risk of developing cancer. It is very rare to get scientific information about how foods and food additives help the body defeat cancer.

That is because there are so many variables in treating people who already have cancer that the benefits of an organic diet cannot be identified separately from the positive effects of medical treatment and the simple benefit of getting regular, healthy, tasty, home-cooked meals. Still, it is a reasonable assumption that natural foods are better. Here is why.

During recovery from cancer, the liver has to work overtime. The liver is not just a detoxifying organ. The liver is also a pretoxifying organ. Each one of these diets enhances some chemical pathways and inhibits others, but all in the same way that fights cancer, sometimes by freeing up liver enzymes, sometimes by using them. The liver has a limited supply of detoxification compounds, and the detoxification of chemicals in conventionally grown fruits and vegetables competes with the detoxification of drugs, hormones, and the toxins released as tumors break down.

Cancer patients often report that their liver enzymes (the enzymes assessed in blood tests to measure liver tissue destruction, ALT and AST) go up during chemotherapy but go down when they eat organic food. The detoxifying CYP450 enzymes are especially susceptible to nitrates in food, either from lettuce and other salad greens grown with a heavy dose of chemical fertilizer, or to similar compounds in cured meats and the "char" on grilled steaks and burgers and barbecue. The dizzying array of other food additives and contaminants are not good for anyone, but none have the impact of the nitrates for people seeking to recover from cancer.

The meals that heal cancer are high in potassium and magnesium and low in salt. Antioxidant content is helpful, but you need vastly less antioxidants from food sources than from supplements for the same benefit to your health. Simply make sure you avoid salty foods and eat nine servings of fruits and/or vegetables every day, and you have accomplished the most important step in making your diet an important part of your cancer cure.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Water and Healing Cancer: Everybody Needs Water, and People Who Have Cancer Need More

Of course, not just people who have cancer need water. On average, water comprises about two-thirds of the human body. Every one of the trillions of cells in the body contains water and needs water to live. Some tissues are mostly water, such as blood and lymph. The brain, heart, liver, and lungs are 65 to 85 per cent water, and even the bones are approximately 30 per cent water. The muscles "bulk up" by incorporating water with protein. Fat cells, on the other hand, contain relatively little water.

Water forms the bulk of the blood and plasma that transport oxygen and nutrients. It controls blood pressure and heart rate. It lubricates the joints, regulates body temperature, removes toxins and wastes, and forms saliva. It performs as shock absorber for the spinal cord, eyes, and brain.

Many nutrients are water-soluble. Without adequate hydration, they cannot be absorbed from the digestive tract. Many toxins are likewise soluble in water. Without enough water, they cannot be flushed out of the body through urine and stool. Lack of water can lead to bladder infections, unexplained fevers and chills, electrolyte imbalances, irregular heart rhythms, and painful muscle spasms.

PEOPLE WHO HAVE CANCER NEED ADDITIONAL WATER. Most healthy adults require about 1500 ml (6 cups) of water every day from beverages, and get another 1000 ml (4 cups) of water from food, including both the water in food and the water released during the metabolism of food. We do not just drink water, we literally eat water. People who cannot eat, of course, do not get the 40 per cent of their daily water supplied by food.

People in recovery from cancer actually require more water than healthy people, even though they are likely to drink (and eat) less. As the immune system, chemotherapy, and/or radiation successfully break down tumors, their toxic byproducts have to be excreted. There needs to be increased urination, in most cases, to rid the body of toxins. Many cancer patients need at least another 500 ml (2 cups) of water as their bodies break up tumors.

That's why, for most people who have cancer, drinking water is second in importance only to breathing. Most people require 2500 ml (10 cups) of water a day, but people with cancer really need about 3000 ml (12 cups) from eating and drinking. So is there anything special about the best water for cancer patients?

WHAT KIND OF WATER TO DRINK. There actually is a lower limit for water quality for people seeking to recover from cancer, but it's not especially difficult or expensive. It's essential to remember that water is essential for human life, but it is also essential for the life of disease-causing microbes. Cancer patients simply cannot afford to drink any kind of water that is possibly contaminated. This means water from streams, rivers, lakes, and most rainwater collection systems is not to be used without antimicrobial treatment or filtration.

Tap water is not ideal, but in most of the developed world, it is not especially harmful. Better choices are purified or filtered bottled water, preferably in glass water. The chlorine and fluorides in most municipal water are in fact detrimental to health, but their effects are usually very long term. If you are managing going to chemo and keeping your job and maintaining your household and paying your bills, you do not need fear that you are endangering your health by drinking the same water you typically drink.

It's actually more beneficial to go with tap water rather distilled. Distilled water lacks the electrolytes your body needs for normal nerve and muscle function, and needs the addition of a tiny amount of salt and, yes, sugar to be well absorbed. Seltzer water and products like Nestlé Aquarel, Pure Life, and Vida do not require addition of sugar and salt. They are good choices because they contain some of the minerals your body especially needs to maintain an alkaline, cancer-fighting environment.

CONSUME WATER THROUGHOUT THE DAY. Just as you breathe throughout the day, you should drink throughout the day. Drinking small amounts of fluids throughout the day rather than several glasses of water with a meal leaves more room for food. It's also important to avoid drinking too much fluid too quickly. The net result of drinking too much fluid at one time can be vomiting or diarrhea leading to further dehydration.

Soups, stews, steamed vegetables, and fresh fruit are excellent sources of water. They are easier to digest, and easier to store and reheat when you suffer fatigue.
And the best way to avoid dehydration? Juicing! Hundreds of thousands of people with cancer around the world report that fresh fruit and vegetables juices are the easiest way to stay hydrated and get essential electrolytes, healthy sugars, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals throughout the day.

Although I personally use a manual juicer, most people dealing with cancer will prefer the convenience of an electrical appliance. Slaton makes the Juiceman models that retail from US $39 to $169. These models are noisy, they don't take rinds from pineapple or melons (which you should not be juicing, anyway, because they harbor bacteria) and they are not the easiest to clean. They are, however, relatively inexpensive and seldom break down. As you become more and more familiar with juicing, you could try the more expensive juicers make by Breville, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Jack LaLanne, Oster, and other manufacturers.

Pineapple juice assists in the digestion of protein foods. It is a good base for juices made with bitter vegetables such as kale and spinach. You can make an anthocyanidin-rich smoothie by combining pineapple with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, or even lingonberry jam. Carrot juice is sweet and also masks the flavor of bitter vegetables. Apple juice is good mask for the sharp, pungent taste of ginger.

Water for Healing Cancer: The Mystery and the Physics

But does drinking water have anything to do with recovering from cancer? Water seems to have almost mystical healing properties, but they also can be explained in very down to earth, traditional science. Let's take a look at the mystical aspects of water first.

The Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto, author of The Healing Power of Water, has become famous for his belief that that human energies record themselves in water. He believes, and his photographs document, that words and thoughts, ideas and music, affect the molecular configuration of water. Water, Emoto maintains, is the very source of life, and its quality and integrity affect the quality and integrity of the living beings whose bodies contain it.

Emoto's ideas have been subjected to scientific scrutiny by Dean Radin, author of The Conscious Universe and Entangled Minds as well as a senior research scientist at The Institute of Noetic Sciences. His experiment tested the hypothesis that water exposed to distant intentions affects the aesthetic rating of ice crystals formed from that water. As he noted in his blog, "Over three days, 1,900 people in Austria and Germany focused their intentions towards water samples located inside an electromagnetically shielded room in California. Water samples located near the target water, but unknown to the people providing intentions, acted as "proximal" controls. Other samples located outside the shielded room acted as distant controls. "
Radin noted the results:

"Results suggested that crystal images in the intentionally treated condition were rated as aesthetically more beautiful than proximal control crystals (p = 0.03, one-tailed). This outcome replicates the results of an earlier (double blind) pilot test."

In other words, his two experiments give evidence for an interaction between the human mind and the crystalline structure of water.

Human thought seems to create or destroy the molecular structure of water.
Fortunately for people fighting cancer, pure thoughts are not necessary to maintain healthy structures in intercellular water. Healthy hydration sometimes depends on avoiding excesses of salt and sugar. That's because water heals cells as it forms something termed in physical chemistry as a clathrate cage.

THE CANCER-CATCHING CLATHRATE CAGE. Everyone knows water is H2O, or H-O-H, hydrogen-oxygen-hydrogen. The atoms of hydrogen bond to the atom of oxygen at a 104.5° angle. If you were to look down on the oxygen atom of a water molecule, you would seem the outline of a tetrahedral pyramid. Instead of lining up in a row, the atoms the make up water form a “wing” with an uneven distribution of charge, positive charges found on the hydrogen and negative charges on the oxygen.

As the opposite charges of oxygen and hydrogen attract, molecules of water can line up positive and negative charges in ways that form various kinds of lattice. If you could observe these coordinated molecules of water from a microscopic distance, you would see crystal-like patterns in the water in the cytosol, the fluid, of a cell. These “crystals” are the mark of health of the cell, and nearly thirty percent of the energy the body expends (what nutritionists refer to as “resting metabolism”) is used just to move charges in and out of the cell to maintain this structure.

The asymmetric distribution of charge in the water molecule makes it “polar.” The polar molecules of water can bond to each other without forming a new compound. The concentration of positive charge on the hydrogen of one molecule of water can be linked to the concentration of negative on the oxygen of another molecule of water. Other positively charged particles (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, for example) and negative charged particles (amino acids and sugars) surrounding the water affect the distance between the water molecules and influence the shape of the lattice work.

Each water molecule can form up to four hydrogen bonds: Each hydrogen atom can serve as a donor, and the oxygen (with two sets of unpaired electrons) can participate as a hydrogen bond acceptor in two such interactions. As a result of this ability, and the tetrahedral arrangement of donor/acceptor groups, water can potentially form an extensive “crystal” of water held together by hydrogen bonds.

The most obvious example of crystalline water is ice. Pure water cooled to a temperature of 32° F (0° C) has stable hydrogen bonds that allow water to maintain a crystalline form. When ice melts, increasing heat has energized the molecules of water that their kinetic energy, their energy of moving around, is greater than their static energy, the electrical bonds holding the molecules of water in place in the crystal of ice. A living human body is always warmer than the freezing point of water, so how can there by crystal lattices of water in living tissue?

The answer is that water can be held in the previously mentioned clathrate cages. In this structure, 19 to 24 water molecules congregate around a heat-stable, negatively charged molecule such as an amino acid. Chains of amino acids strung together make proteins. The amino acids in a protein are all negatively charged, and since likes repel, the protein does not naturally stay together. When a protein is surrounded by water, however, the positive charges on water’s hydrogen atoms bind the negative charges on the protein “tight.” Water in the cell helps all the structures that make up the cell remain functional and in place.

At a molecular level, moving all the components of the latticework of a cell, the amino acids, the lipids, the carbohydrates, and water, into the right place, requires a great deal of energy. Keeping all the components of a cell “glued” together also requires energy, because anytime a new substance with an electrical charge enters the cell, the structure of the cell naturally tends to fall apart. Or, as you were probably taught in some science class, entropy increases. Energy has to be in constant supply to fight entropy in the cell.

The human cell, of course, has many devices to keep its energy requirements low. You have almost certainly heard of the double helix, the twining helical strands of nucleic acids that make up DNA. In terms of the thermodynamics of a cell, the more water and small charged particles known as ions (such as sodium and potassium) are disordered, the more the important structure of DNA can be ordered and stable.

Water and Cancer Prevention

If American reporters read the French medical literature, in the late 1990's the new services would have led with headlines blazing "Bacon Prevents Cancer!"

At the Laboratoire Sécurité des Aliments in Toulouse, France, professors Géraldine Parnaud, Ginette Peiffer, Sylviane Taché, and Denis E. Corpet wanted to test their hypothesis that white meat, such as chicken, would be less likely to cause colon cancer than red meat, such as beef. They designed an experiment in which they gave ten sets of lab rats ten different diets and allowed them to eat all they wanted. The diets were based on (1) lard and milk protein, 2) olive oil and milk protein, (3) beef, (4) chicken with skin, or (5) bacon.

The scientists expected that the lab rats that ate chicken would be less likely to develop the kinds of polyps that lead to colon cancer than the lab rats who ate beef. A diet of red meat or bacon, they supposed, would lead to the most precancerous changes. At the end of the study, however, the French nutritionists were in for a surprise.

The beef diet did not cause more precancerous changes than the chicken diet. The lowest number of cases of precancerous colon polyps, however, was found in the animals that were fed all the bacon they could eat. The rats that ate bacon even had fewer polyps than some control animals on a low-fat diet.
How could that possibly be? Does bacon prevent colon polyps? Had the French scientists stumbled on a tasty cancer cure?

The answer turned out to be that bacon does not prevent cancer, but it is salty and stimulates thirst. As the scientists continued their analysis, they noticed that the animals that ate the salty bacon drank 30 per cent more water. The additional water was not only to flush away the presumed detrimental nitrates and nitrites in the bacon, but to give the animals added protection against cancer that the lower-water diets did not afford.

Similar benefits from drinking water (although not from eating bacon) have been found in human studies. For prevention, most studies find a definite benefit in drinking at least five or six glasses of water a day and a definite risk in drinking less than one or two glasses of water a day. And in treating cancer, good hydration is absolutely essential.

Oxygen, Sodium, and Cancer

The pronouncements of Nobel laureates are sometimes completely misunderstood. In 1931the German physiologist Otto Heinrich Warburg was awarded the Nobel Prize for his explanation of how normal cells become cancerous cells. His famous Warburg hypothesis stated that cancer has many secondary causes, but its primary cause is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.

When most of us think of the fermentation of sugar, we envision of bowl of sugar and water mixed with yeast, bubbling and growing, causing bread to wine or changing fruit or grain into alcohol. The esteemed Dr. Warburg, however, was referring to something quite different. The "fermentation" of which he spoke was the process now more commonly termed anaerobic respiration, a natural adaptation of healthy cells and cancerous cells alike when they are under stress.

Dr. Warburg's "fermentation" is the same thing as the "burn" you feel when you exercise with great intensity. The ability to "ferment" glucose is a mark of physical fitness. So what did Dr. Warburg mean when he said that cancer is caused by a fermentation of sugar?

Both healthy cells and cancerous cells use sugar. A healthy cell at rest uses glucose and oxygen to store energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. This is the energy storage molecule better known as ATP. Glucose and oxygen are in effect the "slow food" of a healthy cell.

When a healthy cell needs to make a lot of energy fast, it does so without oxygen, by "fermenting" glucose. Sugar without oxygen is the "fast" food of a healthy food. Provided there is enough glucose in the bloodstream and also enough insulin, the cell can make the energy it needs in a crisis through a process that does not require oxygen.

This "fast food" for a healthy cell, however, comes at a huge metabolic cost. Anaerobic or, as Warburg termed it, fermentative respiration requires 19 times as much glucose to make the same amount of energy as the cell can make when it uses oxygen. And it is not just the enormous consumption of sugar that becomes a problem for a healthy cell under stress.

Consuming "fast food" changes the electrolyte balance of the cell. Every time the cell takes in a single molecule of glucose from the bloodstream, it expels two positively charged potassium ions. At the same time, it absorbs three positively charged sodium ions. The membrane lining the cell normally has a slightly negative charge so that it can attract positively charged amino acids and hormones.

When the cell makes energy through the relatively slow process requiring sugar and oxygen, it has time to get rid of the excess sodium, pump potassium back into the cell, and keep its membrane negatively charged. With oxygen-free energy production, however, the cell cannot keep up with sodium. The negative charge natural to the cell membrane is offset by the positive charge of the rapidly accumulating sodium.

Sodium does not build up so much that the cell membrane takes on a positive charge that it repels nutrients, but there is enough positively charged sodium inside the cell that it cannot take up essential nutrients as easily. The cell has to create new transporter molecules that are uniquely associated with cancer cells. It has to burn more and more sugar just to take in other forms of nourishment.

"Fast food" becomes the only kind of food the cell can use. The continual burning of sugar combined with the absorption of sodium makes a healthy cell sick. Moreover, the sodium in the sick cell has to be diluted with water. By the time a cell becomes so run down that it "catches" cancer, it is deluged with salty fluid.

There is a mythology that evil cancer cells lurk in hidden places in the body, stealthily surviving in low-oxygen conditions while they organize their attack on other tissues. This is not at all what Dr. Warburg meant.

Cancer cells bloat because they absorb sodium, which the diet provides mostly in the form of sodium chloride, or table salt. The more sodium they contain, the more water they absorb to dilute it. As Nobel Laureate Otto Warburg discovered, the way cancer cells get their sodium is by burning glucose without oxygen. Every time they burn one molecule of glucose this way, they have to take in two sodium ions and expel three potassium ions.

But the anaerobic process requires 19 times as much glucose to make the same amount of energy. This means the cell takes in 38 times as much sodium as a cell operating in an oxygen-rich environment, and it loses 57 times as much potassium. The cell can expend even more energy to get its electrolytes back in balance, but in cancer, the deficiency of potassium and the toxic surplus of sodium distort the shape and architecture of the cell.

Just how out of balance can a cell become? In any healthy cell, there is more potassium inside and more sodium outside. In a sick cell, there is more sodium inside and more potassium outside. When a cell is healthy, it contains seventeen times as much potassium as sodium. When it becomes cancerous, it accumulates four times as much sodium as potassium. When sodium content increases, water pours into the cell.

And as more and more sodium accumulates in the cell, all its microstructures substances lose their normal shape. They stop functioning normally. Although there are many more processes at work, as the cell bloats with sodium and water, it becomes cancerous. The longer the newly cancerous cell operates in low-oxygen conditions, the more sodium it accumulates, the more water it absorbs, and the easier it is for it to metastasize and form new tumors.

More Lymphedema Tips

Here are some other considerations for getting lymphedema under control:

If you notice a blister, rash, redness, or inflammation on a part of a limb between the place the node was removed and the fingers or toes, contact your doctor immediately. This can be the first sign of an aggressive bacterial infection causing cellulitis or lymphangitis.

Avoid cuts, scrapes, scratches, and cat bites on affected limbs. Always wear gloves or socks when you do outdoor work. Use an electric razor, not a straight-edge razor or safety razor, to remove hair on affected limbs, and also avoid waxing and hair removal creams.

Avoid exposure to extreme cold. Swelling can rebound when the limb warms back up.

When you bathe, use an alkaline, unscented soap (such as Dove). Do not use body wash, which may cause skin irritation.

Avoid hot baths and showers. Hot water can dry out the skin. After you dry off, put Eucerin or Nivea on the skin to prevent chapping, drying, and infection. If do choose to use a hot tub or sauna, limit your exposure to no more than 15 minutes.

Compression bandages and stockings often relieve swelling, although they should be worn if there is poor blood circulation in the limb or if there is an open wound in the skin. If itching is a problem, try moisturizing the skin before putting the bandage or stocking on.

Compression bandages and stockings do not prevent sunburn, and skin on a limb affected by lymphedema is more susceptible to skin cancer. Use an SPF-30 sun block on the skin underneath the compression garment before spending long periods of time in bright sunlight.

Avoid wearing rings or tight-fitting watch bands, anklets, or bracelets over affected tissues.

If you contact poison ivy, poison oak, or sumac, avoid putting tight bandages over the affected areas. Apply ointments to affected skin only if you wear gloves.

Acupuncture may relieve lymphedema, but the needles should never be placed in the affected limb, only in other locations on the body.

Air travel can trigger lymphedema even if you have not suffered it before. Put on compression stockings or use compression bandages before you get on the plane.

Avoid over-the-shoulder bags and backpacks that put stress on affected limbs.

In a clinical study in Japan, 6 out of 10 patients with lymphedema of the legs had a complete response to a combination of moist heat (such as from a water bottle), compression stockings, and magnet therapy. These magnets would be the inexpensive disk magnets offered by many sellers of natural health products. Pulsating magnetic therapy, such as lying on a magnetic mattress, would be more effective but is not necessary.

A Brazilian study found that gentle massage with rollers, rather than with the hands, gets better results in relieving swelling. Remember to push away from the heart, not toward it.

If you exercise, build up gradually to a vigorous workout. Exercising too hard too soon can cause additional accumulation of fluid in the limbs. Taking the supplement creatine will also aggravate swelling. It's also a good idea to take brief breaks during exercise to make sure your limbs are not swelling.

Read about Lymphedema and Weight Loss.

Lymphedema and Weight Loss

Doctors have long recognized that women who weigh less tend to have fewer problems after breast cancer surgery, but a clinical study of the effects of moderate weight loss on lymphedema was only conducted recently.

Researchers at the Royal Marsden National Health Service Foundation Trust in London, England conducted a study of reduced-calorie diets and weight loss with 21 women. Every woman volunteering for the study had had a mastectomy from breast cancer and one arm with 15 per cent excess volume compared to the healthy arm. Every woman in the study had a body mass index (BMI) of at least 25. That is, they all were considered overweight or obese in terms of the BMI tables.

Half of the women were assigned to an intervention group. These women were given a customized calorie-reduced diet for weight loss. The other half of the women, the comparison group, were given just a booklet on healthy eating. All the women received lymphedema treatments, such as compression bandages.

The women in the intervention group had been consuming an average of 1852 calories a day. Their diets prescribed from 1000 to 1200 calories a day, and their actual intake on the diet averaged 1452 calories a day. At the end of three months:
Women on the calorie-restricted diets lost an average of seven pounds. The women in the comparison group neither lost nor gained weight.

Among the women who lost weight, average excess arm volume fell from 24 per cent to 15 per cent. The diet did not cure lymphedema, but it significantly relieved it. Women who maintained steady weight did not experience any worsening or relief of symptoms.

The more weight women lost, the more the swelling went down. The lymphedema-free arm also became smaller, but only an average of 121 ml (an almost unnoticeable amount).
Most of the women in the intervention group were advised to consume between 1000 and 1200 kcal per day. Their actual intake by the end of the study was 1452 kcal per day (down from an average of 1865 kcal per day at the start of the study).

The researchers concluded that "weight loss achieved by dietary advice to reduce energy intake can reduce cancer-related lymphedema significantly." They also advised women on a weight-reduction diet for lymphedema to make sure their compression sleeves continue to fit as they lose weight.

What to Do About Lymphedema after Cancer Surgery

Lymphedema is a condition of swelling resulting from the accumulation of fluid. Lymph canals, just like blood vessels, run all through the body. When a lymph node is removed in cancer surgery, the flow of lymph can be interrupted. Lymph, proteins, and other substances can build up where they can no longer flow.

It's natural to wonder if cancer causes lymphedema. Actually, it's surgery for cancer that's the cause. Any surgery for cancer involving dissection of the lymph nodes can result in the chronic swelling of the arms or legs. Radiation of the lymph nodes can also result in the condition. When a lymph node is removed, circulation is interrupted. Lymph can leak out into surrounding tissues and cause them to become bloated.

Surgery for cervical, pancreatic, or uterine cancer or melanoma can result in swelling in the legs. Surgery for prostate cancer can also cause swelling in the legs, or the massive enlargement of the scrotum known as hydrocele. And 2 out of 5 mastectomies for breast cancer cause lymphedema in the arm nearest the breast that was removed. It is not unusual for the affected arm to swell to several times its normal size. The onset lymphedema can occur immediately after surgery, or up to 30 years later.

How can you recognize the onset of lymphedema? Here are some common symptoms:

  • A feeling of heaviness or fullness in the arm, leg, or, in men, the scrotum

  • Tightness under rings, watch bands, socks, stockings, or underwear

  • Visible swelling, redness, or inflammation

Until about 1975, doctors used to recommend "vitamins" as a treatment for lymphedema. At that time, the common recommendation was for the mysterious "vitamin P," which is no longer referenced in the scientific literature. This vitamin, however, turns out to be a combination of the rutin, flavones, flavols, and asculetin found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Any treatment plan for lymphedema benefits from the addition of 5 or more servings of plant foods to the daily diet.

By far, the best nutritional intervention for lymphedema is enzymes. Studies at a cancer clinic in Austria have found that a majority of women taking a combination product called Wobenzym begin to experience relief from swelling in about 2 months.

Lymphedema in the legs may be relieved by sweet clover ointments. Be sure to test just a dab of the cream on a very small area of skin first to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction to it, and never apply to inflamed, infected, or injured skin. Sweet clover is typically applied only to the legs to be absolutely sure it does not interfere with normal clotting factors. These are not, of course, the only products that relieve lymphedema.

If you simply cannot afford another supplement right now, then you can get some relief from regular servings of pineapple and papaya. These two fruits offer bromelain and papain, two of the enzymes often used to treat cancer complications. The fruit must be eaten raw, not cooked, and it's important that you not any part of the peel of the papaya to avoid mouth irritation from the white latex. Do not eat these fruits if you are allergic to them.

All people with lymphedema should avoid foods with long-chain triglycerides, any kind of fat that remains solid at room temperature, such as lard, butter, or shortening. And it is also important to avoid extreme low-protein diets (which are never a good idea for cancer recovery). The swelling in lymphedema is caused by proteins blocking the normal flow of fluid in the limbs, but a low-protein diet will increase, not decrease, overall swelling and pain.

Enhance Cancer Recovery by Exercising Just Fifteen Minutes a Week

When people are first dealing with a diagnosis of cancer, exercise usually falls far down their list of priorities. Just a little exercise, as little as fifteen minutes a week, however, can make a crucial difference in preventing permanent disability, especially among people with cancer who are over the age of 65.

Researchers at the Texas Medical Center in Houston studied 641 volunteers who had cancer in the RENEW (Reach-out to ENhancE Wellness) trial. All were 65 or older, had been diagnosed with breast, prostate or colorectal cancer at least five years prior with no evidence of recurrence, were overweight or obese, and had no medical conditions prohibiting moderate exercise.

The doctors tried to get volunteers in the test group to exercise 30 minutes a day. They actually persuaded the volunteers in the test group to get just 15 minutes more exercise each week, increasing their average from 29 minutes to 44 minutes-just 2 minutes a day. That 2 minutes a day, or 15 minutes a week, however, was enough to increase lower-body strength. Stronger leg muscles, of course, make falls and broken bones far less likely, even when bones are weakened by cancer.

Lead researcher Dr. Wendy Demark-Wahnefried said that these findings are important because cancer survivors who exercised had much better ability to stand up, walk, and function on their own. They were more independent and had a much higher quality of life. Just a few minutes of exercise each day may make the difference between living in assisted care and living independently.

How to Follow the Sodi-Pallares Diet for Pancreatic Cancer

Dr. Sodi's diet for treating cancer is conceptually quite simple. Salt is severely restricted, potassium-rich vegetables and fruits (raw or cooked) or required, and everything else is permitted in moderation. To make sure you don't get too much sodium, it's typically easier completely to avoid high-sodium foods, with no exceptions.

Dr. Sodi's diet forbids:

All over the counter drugs containing sodium, such as Alka-Seltzer and aspirin. Anchovies, smoked fish, dried fish, and canned salmon or tuna (although fresh salmon and tuna are OK).
Any “fizzy” drink not specifically labeled as low-sodium.
Any meat prepared in a brine.
Anything "instant" available in dried form, such as mashed potato flakes, soup mixes
Bacon, ham, sausages, and all cured meats, pork or otherwise.
Beer (wine and liquor are permitted, although not encouraged)
Barbecue and all salted grilled meats.
Barbecue sauce.
Beets, carrots, celery, and spinach.
Bread, biscuits, pancakes, pie crust, taco shells, and waffles.
Charcoal-grilled meats, even if prepared without salt.
Cheeses and other processed dairy products, although low-sodium cheeses are acceptable in servings of up to 3-1/2 oz (100 g) a day.
Bottled salad dressings.
Bottled mustard or mayonnaise.
Carbonated beverages sweetened with Nutrasweet (sodium aspartate).
Dried fruit and nuts.
Egg whites. Egg yolks are permissible.
Peanuts, whether salted or not. P
Fish and oyster sauce.
Any food that is preserved with BHA, BHT, or sodium benzoate.

Unlike most other cardiologists, Dr. Sodi encouraged his patients to eat egg yolks but not egg whites. Egg whites are not allowed because their sodium content is about 2 milligrams per gram, whereas egg yolks have a sodium content of about 0.3 milligrams per gram. Nuts, peanuts, and dried fruits are forbidden because they tend to have high sodium content even when they are packed without salt. Prepared foods typically contain sodium benzoate as a preservative.

Dr. Sodi-Pallares recommended that his patients consume fresh fruit and fresh fruit juices as desired, and rice, raw vegetables (except beets, celery, and spinach) served in salads with oil, vinegar, and pepper, artichokes, avocados, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, lentils, lettuce and field greens, potatoes, radishes and turnips in any amounts that do not cause indigestion. He permitted eating 1 egg yolk and 5 ounces (140 g) of fresh beef, chicken, lamb, veal, red snapper, sea bass, or white fish daily.

The doctor recommended stewed prunes as a rich source of potassium, but forbade packaged prunes that have not been washed to remove sodium benzoate. Wine was encouraged because it is low in sodium and high in potassium. Dr. Sodi-Pallares also recommended drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day.

In my interactions with Dr. Sodi-Pallares, he revealed himself to be a realist. Not every patient stayed on his diet, even when there were serious consequences, such as a return of cancer. That is why he came up with a simple way of finding out if the diet was working. Once patients achieved remission from cancer, success on the diet could be measured by blood tests for sodium and potassium. Sodium levels of 136–137 mEq and potassium levels of 4.8–5.0 mEq indicate adherence to the diet. Any sodium level above 140 mEq is a sign that further sodium restriction is necessary.

How the Diet for Pancreatic Cancer Works

The Sodi-Pallares Diet, used to treat pancreatic cancer, is rich in potassium and low in sodium. Dr. Sodi was so insistent that his patients avoid sodium that his Mexican colleagues often said of him that "él odio al sodio," he hates sodium.

Sodi's theoretical foundation for the success of his diet was the observation that cancer cell have weak electrical charges. A healthy muscle cell typically carries a charge of –90 millivolts, for instance, while a myosarcoma (muscle cancer) cell has a charge of only –10 millivolts. While Sodi did not call sodium buildup the “cause” of cancer, cancer cells typically contain many times the normal level of sodium, every sodium ion carrying a positive charge.

Cancer cells cannot attract the nutrients they need to function normally. The high positive charge within the cell encourages the separation of strands of DNA, uncouples the DNA from the “watchdog” genes p26 and p53, and encourages multiplication of sick cells. Restricting salt (sodium chloride) in the diet lowers sodium and encourages apoptosis as the p26 and p53 genes do their work.

Although Sodi was adamant about excluding salt, he was not terribly concerned about sugar. He often gave his patients who were able to receive IVs a slow drip of glucose (dextrose) and potassium with insulin. This increased their blood sugar and insulin levels, but the addition of potassium also made sure the that the blood sugar left the bloodstream and nourished the cells that needed it. Some recent research suggests that managing glucose, insulin, and potassium in this way protects the body from the toxic effects of white blood cells attacking cancer cells and tumors releasing toxins as they break down. This additional glucose and insulin kept cancer cells from competing with healthy cells for glucose. It helped them relieve their "bloat." It did not turn them back into healthy cells, but it allowed them to die a normal death as the watchdog genes were reactivated.

Dr. Sodi took a common food that is associated with poor outcomes in cancer, sugar, and a hormone associated with poor outcomes in cancer, insulin, and turned into powerful tools for healing cancer, just by making sure the body receives enough potassium. Getting potassium from fruits and vegetables, or from an intravenous solution, makes the crucial difference in the success of this sugar-permissive diet.

Potassium is abundant in fruits and vegetables. Sodi took the view of "the more, the better" with regard to plant foods, even if they contained a lot of natural sugar. He allowed protein foods and fats, however, for complete nutrition with carbohydrates, protein, and fat, just not too much protein and fat.

Of all diets for treating cancer that get verifiable results, the Sodi-Pallares diet allows the greatest selection of foods. It is rich in plant foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. It is "natural," shunning highly processed foods. It allows for complete nutrition with carbohydrates, protein, and fat, and it is, as we shall see later in this chapter, an alkalizing diet, maintaining a favorable acid-base ratio. Most people, however, are more familiar with a vegetarian diet for curing cancer.

A Diet for Pancreatic (As Well as Other Forms of) Cancer

A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is often taken as a death sentence, but January of 2001, I was introduced to living proof it need not be. At the Mexico City clinic of the late world-renowned cardiologist, Dr. Demetrio Sodi-Pallares (who preferred to be called “Dr. Sodi”), I met Constanza Gracias.

Constanza had been Dr. Sodi's patient for eleven years. It had been twelve years since she had been told she had pancreatic cancer of stage T3 (tumor spread to stomach, spleen, colon, and adjacent blood vessels). The doctors at the social security hospital in Mexico City had told her that her case was hopeless, but she was determined to live. She consulted Dr. Sodi at his free clinic.

For most of his 67 years as a physician, Demetrio Sodi-Pallares, who lived from 1913 to 2003, had been a leader in mainstream medicine. One of the first cardiologists to master the use of electrocardiography (EKG), he had been a professor of medicine at UCLA, the University of Michigan, and Baylor. He authored 13 books and over 300 papers. He pioneered a method of treating heart attacks that, after 52 years of objections by the American Heart Association, finally became an accepted method even in the USA (after it had been used to save tens of thousands of lives in other countries). In fact, it was his success in the simple treatment of heart attacks that led to his interest in cancer.

At Baylor Medical School in Houston, Dr. Sodi practiced in the same clinic as the famed Dr. Michael DeBakey. In the 1960's, Sodi perfected a way to treat heart attacks with a method a little like chelation therapy for about $25. In the same decade, DeBakey perfected a way to treat heart attacks with bypass surgery for about $25,000. There was little doubt which eminent cardiologist would bring the most revenues to the medical school. There also was little doubt which eminent cardiologist would be invited to retire. When Dr. Sodi reached the age of 65, he was encouraged to retire to his native Mexico City.

Back in Mexico, Sodi resolved he would devote the rest of his life to treating "hopeless" cases without charge. Over his wife's considerable objections, he built a clinic over his swimming pool, just a few steps from his living room. Since he had already spent 42 years practicing cardiology, Sodi opened his doors to heart patients and used his technique successfully when others had failed. No patient was ever charged, and the doctor spent many hours with each of them.

One patient, however, presented both a heart attack and lung cancer. Not knowing how to treat the lung cancer without radiation or chemotherapy, Dr. Sodi applied his standard treatment and his standard dietary orders: No added salt, no processed foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and up to one egg and 5 ounces (140 grams) of meat a day--but absolutely no added salt!

The patient recovered normal heart function. Previously unable to walk across a room, he resumed playing tennis. Even more amazingly, this man he went into remission from cancer. Dr. Sodi soon realized that simply lowering sodium and raising potassium in the diet could give the body's natural defenses exactly the boost it needed to beat cancer.

But before Constanza Gracia, he had never had a patient come in with one of most deadly forms of cancer, a pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
On her first visit, Constanza was too weak to sit on the edge of Dr. Sodi’s examination table. She became unbearably fatigued just from being moved into position for x-rays. Her veins had been punctured too many times for her to receive the intravenous drip of the glucose, insulin, and potassium the doctor gave his heart patients.

Constanza could, however, still take nourishment by mouth, so Dr. Sodi decided the low-salt diet was her only hope. Sodi prescribed the same strict low-salt, high-potassium diet he recommended for his heart patients. He got out a thimble and told Constanza to use it as a measure for all the salt she could consume in a day. There were to be no processed foods of any kind, no baked goods made with salt, nothing with sodium-laden preservatives, no canned meats or cured meats, no pickles, not even raw vegetables that are particularly high in sodium such as beets, carrots, and celery.

On the other hand, Constanza was ordered eat at least nine servings of low-sodium vegetables and fruit every day. She could also consume up to 150 g (about 5 oz) of meat, an egg, and two tablespoons of vegetable oil or unsalted butter in any given day. She also could drink two glasses of milk or eat yogurt, but cheese was forbidden. Constanza was to come back in two weeks.

This was the first time the doctor had sent a "terminal" patient off on her own to treat herself with diet. He was hoping for the best, but he could not imagine survival, much less recovery, without medical intervention. That is why everyone in the clinic, especially Dr. Sodi, was joyfully astonished when Constanza came back two weeks later, greatly improved.

Dr. Sodi never prescribed any intervention in this case of pancreatic cancer other than strict diet. Over the next year, Constanza continued to recover. Notably, her physical symptoms improved faster than the lingering depression she suffered after first learning her diagnosis. Although Constanza was a brave and determined patient, her recovery was not an obvious case of mind over matter.

After twenty-one months, Constanza’s x-rays and CT scans showed no sign of cancer--so much that her original oncologist offered the opinion that her original diagnosis had to have been a mistake. But it was not. Dr. Sodi’s own x-rays had shown a definite mass. It appeared the diet had cured pancreatic cancer.

When I met Constanza in 2001, I asked this exceptional cancer survivor how she stayed on a strict low-sodium diet for eleven years. She smiled, and said, "I don't have any problem staying on my diet. The slightest taste of salt to me is like electricity. Constanza had become so “charged” by the diet that her taste for salt completely changed. And she remains in good health decades after her diagnosis with terminal cancer of one of the most deadly sorts.

Dr. Sodi said that the common conception of cancer is that it is a mass of aggressive cells invading healthy tissues. It is possible to base an effective nutritional program for treating cancer, he said, on a very different view. The doctor believed that an appropriate metaphor for cancer cells is that they are too tired to cling to their proper place in tissues.

Every time a cell, cancerous or healthy, takes in a molecule of sugar for fuel it has to expel two potassium ions and accept three sodium ions. All these ions are positively charged. If the cell cannot pump the excess sodium out through a specialized molecular channel, conventional science confirms, the cell loses more and more of the negative charge across its outer membrane. As the cellular battery runs down, it is less and less able to pull in amino acids and respond to regulators, and the cell is more likely to become cancerous. Or, as I would describe the situation, it becomes too "tired" to continue as a normal cell.

Even Dr. Sodi believed in conventional medicine. What he learned in 25 years of treating "hopeless" cancer patients for free was that changes in sodium-potassium balance can give your body and your medications a chance to cure cancer. He found in dozens of cases that lowering sodium and raising potassium is the boost natural defenses, with or without chemotherapy, need to succeed.

The people Dr. Sodi helped sometimes indulged in foods like fried chicken and ice cream and spaghetti and meatballs, as long as they were prepared without salt. They could share meals with their families, as long as they avoided salt. They were not consigned to a perpetual diet of sprouts or brown rice or tofu. They did not need to chop twenty pounds of vegetables a day to make juice. Dr. Sodi's anti-cancer diet took the principles of other successful anti-cancer diets, but found their healthy limits.

And what were the limits to Dr. Sodi's diet?

Demetrio Sodi-Pallares observed that the responsiveness of cancer to diet depended on the action potential of the membrane of the cell. What is an action potential? Every cell in the human body is surrounded by a thin membrane. Various ions, which are small, charged atoms or molecules, move across the membrane through channels.

These channels are molecular pathways that are just the right size to allow them to pass through. Channels are gated open or shut by various levels of electrostatic charge to keep specific kinds of ions in or out or to change their concentration in the cell.

Specific permeability allows a concentration gradient to be established across the cellular membrane. Since ions carry an electrical charge, an electrical gradient is established across the cell membrane. This is in effect transforms each cell into a tiny battery. This imbalance in electrical charge caused by differing concentrations of ions on opposite sides of the cell membrane creates the membrane potential.

Every cell in the body is slightly more negative inside than outside. That is, every cell has a negative resting potential. In some tissues, such as the pancreas and the bone, the resting potential is extremely low, about -4mV (4 thousandths of a volt). Cells in tissue that are extremely active have stronger electrostatic potential. The electrostatic potential of a healthy heart cell, also known as a myocyte, is about -90 mV (90 thousandths of a volt).

That is why bone and pancreatic cancers are quickly responsive to low-sodium, high-potassium diets and cancers of the heart and muscles are only slowly responsive to changes in diet.

Dr. Sodi's diet was just one of the natural anti-cancer diets that really work. As you will read on this blog, there are macrobiotic diets that seem to reverse some cancers that include salt. To contact the physician who has taken over the practice of the late Dr. Sodi, go to UNIMED.

Macrobiotic Diet Against Cancer

Elaine Nussbaum, author of Recovery from Cancer: The Remarkable Story of One Woman's Struggle with Cancer and What She Did to Beat the Odds, now in remission from an especially aggressive form of uterine cancer for 30 years, chronicled her story of defeating cancer with a macrobiotic diet.

The macrobiotic diet was popularized by Michio and Aveline Kushi, who also founded Erewhon Natural Foods. Their approach to healing emphasizes the eating of plant foods in season. The bulk of the diet should be whole grains, beans, and vegetables. Food should be thoroughly chewed, and no one should eat unless hungry.

Macrobiotic meals combine foods according to the principles of yang and yin. Yang substances energize the body and mind. A standard, industrialized diet is so full of yang foods that it creates a state of constant overstimulation. Among the everyday yang substances are:

▪ Alcoholic beverages
▪ Chemicals and preservatives
▪ Chocolate
▪ Coffee
▪ Commercial pasteurized milk, soft cheeses, and yogurt
▪ Drugs
▪ Honey
▪ Poor quality vegetable oils
▪ Refined flour products
▪ Sugar
▪ Very hot spices

Yin substances, as they are identified in macrobiotics, are concentrated, dense, and heavy. They are strengthening, but can cause or aggravate stagnation if they are consumed in excess. These yin substances "clog" not just the circulation of blood and immune cells but also the normal clearance of emotions. The yin substances in everyday life include:

▪ Eggs
▪ Meat
▪ Poultry
▪ Refined salt

Even these foods can play a role in correcting imbalances, but maintaining balance is easiest through the regular consumption of locally grown whole grains, chewed thoroughly, beans and peas, vegetables, fermented soy products such as miso, nuts, seeds, and fruit. It permits a small amount of fish weekly and allows for eating meat when there is a severe yin deficit, that is, such as the wasting that often follows cancer. Beverages are water and a caffeine-free bancha twig tea.

The macrobiotic diet also follows the seasons. The best winter foods are concentrated sources of nutrition. They are round, succulent, and a little more salty than the foods for other seasons. The winter macrobiotic diet emphasizes root vegetables, pickles, and heavier grains such as buckwheat, fried rice, and millet.

The macrobiotic diet in spring is lighter. This is the time to add wild greens to the menu, especially dandelion and purslane. It is the time for herbal tonics. It is the time to use lightly fermented foods and lighter cooking methods, such as steaming instead of frying.

The summer macrobiotic diet is a time for more raw foods and some naturally sweet foods, such as sweet corn and pumpkin. It is the time to eat larger-leaf greens, such as Mirabar "spinach" and chard. Summer meals feature lighter grains such as barley, bulgur, and couscous.

Autumn is a time for heavier grains such as millet, mochi, and sweet rice. It is the perfect time for winter squashes and a variety of root vegetables. As the weather gets colder and the root vegetables naturally dry, their nutritional content becomes more and more concentrated, preparing the body for the rigors of winter.

There is no shortage of testimonials for the curative power of macrobiotic diet in cancer. Actor and author (Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy, Square One Publishers, 2005) Dirk Benedict tells the story of how he cured himself of prostate cancer without any chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, solely through the power of macrobiotic diet. His adoptive mother, actress Gloria Swanson, was also cured of cancer with the diet in lieu of medical intervention.

Phiya Kushi, son of Michio Kushi, even commented that the macrobiotic diet seems to offset the damage that might have been caused by the elder Kushi's decades of smoking. The elder Kushi had maintained for many years that "that dairy food and other fatty, mucous-producing, and sticky foods are the primary cause of lung cancer and other smoke-related problems, trapping tar and other tobacco particulates in the lungs and other organs."

Michio's son Phiya commented in 2004 about his then 78-year-old father's "lungs were like those of a 20-year-old," his doctors commented. The younger Kushi pointed out that the ancient Ayurvedic medical text, the Caraka Samhita, even recommended smoking as a cure for lung ailments (a medical practice that persisted in the United States until about 1920). Kushi's point was not that smoking cigarettes might really be good for health, or that the massive evidence on the dangers of smoking was wrong, but that a variety of outcomes may be possible with basic good health practices. As this post is being written in 2009, Kushi is now 83 years old and currently cancer-free.

To give a balanced review of macrobiotics, however, it is necessary to note that some its most prominent practitioners have died of cancer. Aveline Kushi, wife of Michio, succumbed to cervical cancer in 2000 at the age of 78. Anthony Sattilaro, author of Recalled by Life, died of cancer, as did macrobiotics teacher Cecile Levin. What critics of macrobiotics overlook, however, is that these macrobiotic experts all lived a decade or more beyond the life expectancies they were originally given. Macrobiotics does not ensure immortality, but in many cases it appears to extend life.

Dr. Budwig's Anti-Cancer Diet

Dr. Johanna Budwig, who died in 2003 at the age of 92, was a practicing physician in Germany for over 60 years. In the 1950's she noticed that people with cancer whose diets were rich in foods containing more linoleic and linolenic acids lived longer and were more likely to go into remission. Linoleic and linolenic acids are found in many nuts and seeds, notably flaxseed.

Dr. Budwig did not label fatty acids as "good" and "bad." She noted that the omega-6 fatty acids that abundant in a diet of prepared foods were just as necessary to cellular health as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nuts, and plankton, and in less amounts in many other foods. Both omega-3's and omega-6's are essential to repairing the oxygen transport system in the linings of cells. The objective of her diet was simply to ensure that both kinds of essential fatty acids were provided in the diet.

Getting the right mix of essential fatty acids is simple and inexpensive. Consuming up to 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of cold-pressed flaxseed oil with 1/3 cup (75 g) of low-fat cottage cheese daily provides the right balance of essential fatty acids as well as a full range of amino acids and the body's daily supply of calcium. The mixture could be made into a smoothie with fruit, and can be eaten all at once or in small servings throughout the day. Dr. Budwig prescribed only very small doses of this mixture, starting with just one tablespoon a day for her very sickest patients. She increased the dosage up to at most 8 tablespoons (half a cup) for maintenance.
Cancer patients are often advised to make Dr. Budwig's mixture with raw milk. I have nothing against raw milk, but I would caution to be very sure about the source. The last thing anyone with cancer needs is a food-borne infection.

As you can read in Cancer--The Problem and the Solution, Dr. Budwig reported that this simple addition to diet contributed to remission from many kinds of cancer, especially cancers of the breast and prostate, although she cautioned that consuming the flaxseed oil without the appropriate protein from cottage cheese could actually be harmful. Dr. Budwig was also one of the earliest advocates of juicing, especially juicing carrots, and supplementing with resveratrol. Most of her patients were so advanced in their cancers that they had trouble taking even the small amount of cottage cheese and oil she prescribed, so her diet did not emphasize prohibitions of meat, eggs, and processed foods.

Dr. Budwig's diet is often incorrectly termed a "vegan" diet. Her diet is neither vegan nor vegetarian, since it requires dairy products. Nor it is not a single-food cancer-treatment plan. One successful anti-cancer diet, however, even encourages the moderate consumption of meat, milk, and eggs.

Super Foods for Cancer?

An astonishing number of foods are purported to cure cancer. Authors write books about them and then ask you to pay a fee to learn about their previously undiscovered cure for all cancers, including yours. A typical advertisement for one of these supposed cancer cures might read something like this:

"At long last here's the reason you can take minerals, vitamins, and herbs by the handful and not recover your health. Even if you take the supplements you need to make up for the nutrients needed in our modern depleted soils, there is one super-food that you need to cure you cancer. Even most doctors specializing in alternative medicine don't know about it."

"One grandmother in Hoboken, New Jersey said eating this food made her 35-year problem with migraine disappear instantly. Women who eat this food never develop breast cancer, breast tumors, or hot flashes. Men who eat this food every day never develop prostate cancer and maintain their sexual stamina well past age 80. And a man with liver cancer, given just days to live, went into remission and is still alive 25 years later after a single serving of this unknown supplemental food!"

"Your doctor does not know about this food because the original studies were published in Sanskrit written backwards and never translated. But if you will just send me $159.95 I will send you three 15-minute DVDs telling you everything you need to know about this remarkable food…"

Although this might seem like a parody of a sales pitch for a supplement or a health food, unfortunately, it's not. It's paraphrased from an actual advertisement for an actual product (which advised buyers they could cure their cancer by eating pineapple). Unscrupulous alternative health "experts" regularly play on the hopes and fears of the desperate to sell products that may not be worthless, but certainly are not the best option for everyone who has cancer.

Super-foods are almost never super. Even highly principled true medical experts can make this mistake. In Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber describes a number of super-foods that stop 100 per cent of the growth of cancer cells. For instance, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, leeks, Savoy cabbage, scallions, and spinach stop 100 per cent of the growth of brain cancer cells. The same group of vegetables plus asparagus and fiddlehead fern stop 100 of the growth of colon cancer cells.

Brussels sprouts, garlic, leeks, and scallions stop 100 per cent of the growth of lung cancer cells, and breast and prostate cancers also are stopped in their tracks with these foods. So isn't it true that all we really need to stop the growth of cancer is to get enough of these super-foods?

Absolutely, positively not. These foods were tested for anti-cancer activity by a Dr. Richard Béliveau. He applied extracts of these foods to cultures of cancer cells and found that the cancer, in a test tube, stopped growing. While these foods may in fact be useful in the diet of people with certain brain, breast, colon, lung, or prostate cancers, the test did not even prove they stop the growth of cancer in real people.

Dr. Béliveau's tests used extracts. People consume foods, not food extracts. The tests applied the extracts directly to the foods. People do not apply extracts directly to cancers inside their bodies (and would risk death if they were to try). There are genetic differences in how people respond to the cancer-fighting chemicals in various foods.
Let's look at a common example.

The isothiocyanates, also known as ITCs, are the anti-cancer compounds in vegetables in the Brassica family. They are found in the crucifers such as bok choi, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kai-lan, kale, kohlrabi, komatsuna, mustard, rapini, rutabagas, and turnips. The same sulfur-laden compounds that make most of these vegetables smelly when they are cooked become potent cancer-fighters when they are digested in the human body.

The ITCs do their work in the liver. They help the liver's Phase I enzymes add a highly reactive atom of oxygen to many common toxins, such as the carcinogens in tobacco smoke and charcoal-grilled meat. This addition of "reactivity" in the toxin makes it more susceptible to further processing by the liver's Phase II enzymes, which actually neutralize the dangerous chemical.

The cancer-fighting chemicals from cabbage and similar vegetables, however, do not act independently. They interact with a complex series of proteins the liver itself makes. These proteins are coded in not just one gene, but at least two different genes known as GSTM1 and GSTT1. Fifty percent of people do not have a GSTM1 gene. Forty percent of people do not have a GSTT1 gene. This means that for fifty to ninety percent of all humans on earth, ITCs are of limited value. Eating these vegetables simply does not do them a whole lot of good. For at least 10 per cent of the human population, however, vegetables in the cabbage family are truly cancer-protective.

Genetics also determines the body's response to other healing foods and supplements. There are genetic variations in the body's cancer-curative responses to foods and supplements providing alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, vitamin A, folic acid, and vitamin D. Nutrients that seem to assist recovery for one kind of cancer can actually cause the proliferation of another form of cancer.

No single food and no single supplement ever is going to be everybody's cancer cure. Scientists believe that at least 70 per cent of the differences in how the body responds to healing nutrients in food is determined by genetics. Just 30 per cent of the variation in how the body responds to healing nutrients in food is determined by the food itself.

That 30 per cent, however, can make the critical difference in getting well. If your body does not respond to one nutrient, it certainly responds to others. The objective of anti-cancer nutrition is to make sure your body gets all the nutrients that are potentially helpful. That's why cancer-fighting diets are more important than cancer-fighting foods.

No single diet cures every kind of cancer or everyone who has cancer. Patterns of food choices, however, involving dozens of foods, are far more likely to be helpful than focusing on a single food. Just like you'd never buy shoes at a shoe store that advertised with the slogan "One Size Fits All," you should never limit yourself to someone else's cancer-fighting program unless you have discovered that that is the program that works for you.

Green Tea and Cancer

One of the great things about writing about cancer and natural health and especially supplements like green tea is that your readers help you do your fact finding. Over the years I have received a number of reader comments like these:

"Hi, Robert. You really need to mention green tea as a treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I was diagnosed with NHL in 2001. Even after with six months of chemo, my white count stayed at 57,000 or higher. When my white count reached 160,000 in 2006, my doctor urged me to take chemo again, but I decided to try green tea instead. I started taking 6 capsules and 2 lozenges every day, and in six months my white count was down to 12,000."

"I was diagnosed with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) in 2004. At the time, my white count was 24,000, so I decided to try changing my diet before resorting to chemotherapy. I stopped drinking six cups of coffee a day and started drinking 6 cups of green tea. I started eating lots of blueberries and dark-green leafy vegetables. My dessert after every meal is applesauce followed by a glass of blackberry wine. At the end of 2005 my white blood count (WBC) was down to 19,000, and at my checkup in March 2009 my WBC was a healthy 8850. Shouldn't everybody with NHL be doing this?"

These two readers are a great example of how ordinary people can make their own discoveries that precede the announcements of mainstream science. In June 2009, researchers at the Mayo Clinic announced research found that the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in this ubiquitous beverage had beneficial effects in study volunteers who had chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

CLL typically occurs in adults 50 and older, and progresses much more slowly than other kinds of leukemia. In the Mayo Clinic Study, 33 adults with CLL received eight doses of a proprietary formulation of EGCGs called Polyphenon E. The volunteers took from 400 to 2,000 mg of Polyphenon E twice a day for a month. These doses correspond to drinking 8 cups of tea a day up to drinking 40 cups of tea a day.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, noted that the higher doses helped decrease white blood counts in one-third of those studied. Taking the supplement also seemed to reduce swelling in the lymph nodes. The study is continuing with all volunteers now receiving 4,000 mg of EGCGs every day.

The benefits of EGCGs have been studied for many other forms of cancer. The Mayo Clinic researchers began their study of green tea with four patients who had B-cell lymphoma. Three of these patients experienced significant improvement. Also in June 2009, James A. Cardelli, director of basic and translational research in the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center at LSU University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, announced that Polyphenon E product produced slower progression of prostate cancer. Men taking 600 mg of the product every day for 30 days had up to 30 per lower levels of the cancer markers PSA (prostate specific antigen), HGF (hepatocyte growth factor), and VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor).

Scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles report that green tea EGCGs seem to have the capacity prevent the spread of lung cancer. In their laboratory studies, the scientists found that the green tea compounds make tumor cells "stickier" so they cannot escape into the bloodstream. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research have found that green tea EGCGs stop the proliferation of cervical cancer cells. Laboratory studies also find that the green tea compounds inhibit the formation of metastatic tumors in the liver and reduces the growth of breast cancers.

As wonderful as these findings are, they are not absolute proof that green tea cures any kind of cancer. Green tea seems to work with good diet, other nutritional supplements, and conventional medical care to make them work better. Green tea EGCGs do not interfere with conventional treatments, however, and side effects are extremely rare.

What the China Study Really Said About Cancer and Vitamins

If you were to walk into a natural products store and ask the manager which supplements you need to treat and beat cancer, the answer might be "All of them." The fact is, however, people who have cancer should emphasize different supplements at different stages of disease and recovery, and different people may need different supplements at the same stage of disease and recovery. But don't nutritional supplements always help?

I learned the answer to this question from the famous China Study. Two days after Christmas 1994 I was drinking coffee in the cozy office of German food chemist, nutritionist, and author Udo Pollmer. We did not spend a lot of time on small talk, because Udo said he had something I simply had to see. My host was excited to bring my attention to the huge stack of computer printouts sitting on a very large work table.

"These printouts," Udo said, "are the China Study." In 1994, almost no one outside of China, and not working for the British pharmaceutical firms organizing the research, had ever heard of the China Study. Eighteen years earlier the government of the People's Republic of China had ordered nearly every one of its then 760,000,000 citizens to submit to interviews with trained nutritionists who then correlated hundreds of nutritional variables with health outcomes. Millions of Chinese citizens chosen at random also submitted blood and urine samples in addition to the food diaries everyone had to prepare. Even yak herders in the western province of Xinxiang were tracked down by government nutritionists and invited to fill out food diaries, although they were given extra time to get their booklets back to the inspectors.

We spent hours and hours going through data. We looked at over 20,000 pairings of over 300 variables. And of all these thousands of correlations of nutrition and health, one finding was especially significant. Chinese people who took vitamin C supplements were hundreds of times more likely than the average to die of cancer. There could be very little doubt of the finding. The way statistics work, there is always the possibility a finding is just plain wrong. In this case, it would not have to be a one in a million fluke. It would be closer to a one in a trillion chance error.

But, as statisticians will tell you, correlation is not the same as causation. My German friend thought that maybe vitamin supplements cause cancer. I disagreed, speculating that since any kind of nutritional supplement was a rarity in China during the years just after Mao's death, perhaps the only people who were given vitamins were those already near death. But the most exhaustive study of nutrition and disease in the history of the world certainly did not prove that nutritional supplements prevent or treat cancer. It just showed that it is always a good idea to look at any "scientific" findings very closely.

This evidence of the China Study, often misquoted by people who have not seen the actual data, flies in the face of the truth that that your body fights cancer with the help of vitamins and antioxidants. Nearly everyone supposes that well-known elements of nutrition are essential to getting well. Or are they? If vitamins are so important to fighting cancer, why doesn't everybody who takes a lot of some helpful supplement go into remission?

The answer is the body becomes a little schizophrenic in its nutritional requirements during cancer, especially if treatment or the cancer itself interferes with normal eating habits. There is no reason to doubt that the body needs vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids as it fights cancer. When the diet does not provide enough of these essential nutrients, however, the body allocates more of the nutrients to some organs and less to others. It ensures short-term survival at the expense of long-term survival.

That means nutrients go to the adrenal glands, brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs before they go to the bladder, bones, breast, colon, liver, lymphatic system, prostate, or skin. In cancer, you can have both nutritional excesses and nutritional deficiencies at the same time. If cancer causes a localized nutritional surplus, you may need antioxidants and enzymes to help your body deal with metabolic excesses. If cancer causes a localized nutritional deficiency, you may need a combination of nutrients to help the affected organs function optimally. To treat and beat cancer, you need the right "cocktail," or combination of exactly the nutrients the individual tissues need. And you need the right nutrients to fight your kind of cancer.

Doesn't Vitamin C Cure Cancer?

In the 1970's. Nobel laureate Linus Pauling conducted some very widely publicized studies of high-dose vitamin C as a method of extending the life of terminally ill cancer patients. In his study of 2000 people with terminal cancer, those who received 10 grams of vitamin C daily lived 5 to 20 times as long as those who did not. That is, most of the study volunteers taking vitamin C lived an average of 120 days, rather than 42 days, and 10 per cent of those taking vitamin C lived as long as 2-1/2 years. The vitamin C was administered by intravenous drip for the first 10 days and then the volunteers took it in tablet form.

This study did not find that vitamin C cured cancer. It did find that vitamin C extended the very end of life in almost all cases. Follow-up research, unfortunately, found no benefit in increasing the dose to more than 10 grams a day, nor did patients live as long as they did in Dr. Pauling's trial. But that was not the end of the story.

Thirty years later, Canadian doctors tried administering all the vitamin C intravenously. They found that 25 times more vitamin C reached cancer cells when the supplement was administered by IV compared to giving the vitamin by mouth. In the scientists' own words,

"Recent evidence shows that oral administration of the maximum tolerated dose of vitamin C (18 g/d) produces peak plasma concentrations of only 220 μmol/L, whereas intravenous administration of the same dose produces plasma concentrations about 25-fold higher. Larger doses (50–100 g) given intravenously may result in plasma concentrations of about 14,000 μmol/L. At concentrations above 1000 μmol/L, vitamin C is toxic to some cancer cells but not to normal cells in vitro."

In other words, you simply can't get enough vitamin C to fight cancer into your body (assuming vitamin C is the only treatment you are taking) if you take the vitamin by mouth. You have get it intravenously. When vitamin C is given intravenously, however, at least in the cases of advanced kidney cancer, advanced lung cancer, and advanced bladder cancer the Canadian doctors treated, remission occurred and lasted four, nine, and ten years after a terminal diagnosis, even though vitamin C was the only treatment they took.

If you are interested in reading more about the Pauling study and the later followup, MedLine offers full text:

Cameron E, Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: Prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1976 Oct;73(10):3685-9.

Padayatty SJ, Riordan HD, Hewitt SM, Katz A, Hoffer LJ, Levine M. Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases. CMAJ. 2006 Mar 28;174(7):937-42.

Why This Blog?

Conventional medical treatment of cancer almost always works--for a short time. For most of the beneficiaries of modern medicine, the heavy artillery of surgery, chemo, radiation, and biological therapies can subdue and almost eliminate cancer. The problem with modern medicine against cancer is that when the smoke clears and the battlefield--which is your health--is assessed, very little may be left standing. Winning the battle against cancer and achieving lasting remission and health requires doing more than mainstream medicine offers.

No oncologist (cancer specialist) should be faulted for not using the methods of natural healing. That is not really the oncologist's job. The science of cancer is such a vast subject that it is very difficult for doctors to maintain their proficiencies in all the techniques even in their particular specialty. It is a full-time occupation just to keep up with the scientific literature of the broader field of natural health. And it is a reasonable expectation that any treatment for cancer should have a scientific basis.

That is why dedicated and skilled physicians often do not offer their patients the many well-documented therapies of complementary medicine. Even doctors who are well versed in the healing potential of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and supplements do not have enough time to explain all the possibilities of unconventional treatments to patients, their families and caregivers, and the insurance companies. After all, what the doctor is trying to do is to give the cancer that first knock-out blow. This is where modern medicine excels.

The problem with mainstream medical treatments for cancer is that they are usually tested on "hopeless" patients. Double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials are designed to with the objective of providing overwhelming evidence that a particular drug has a clear benefit in cancer. The cancer sufferers recruited for clinical trials, however, are those who have no hope from any other kind of treatment. This is because it would be unethical to deprive anyone of a treatment that has any proven possibility of working.

The result of modern scientific method is that a pharmaceutical treatment for cancer is really only scientifically tested as a last-ditch measure. Dosages have to be large enough to get results in the very sickest patients. If the test drug at the high dosage is found to extend life a few weeks or a few months in the very sickest patients, then these same high dosages are routinely prescribed to patients at earlier stages of the disease.

As a result of the way pharmaceutical studies are done, both the expense of the treatment and the severity of the side effects are maximized. This is the cost the patient pays "good science." More often than not, doctors ignore the more onerous restrictions of pharmaceutical science as it is (entirely legitimately, because of the need to avoid harm to patients recruited for clinical trials) practiced by the huge corporations that make anti-cancer drugs. They give their patients what they believe from their experience will work. Doctors also find creative ways to meet the expectations of their peers while minimizing the cost and side effects of mainstream cancer treatment.

What doctors usually don't do is to offer the kinder, gentler, natural treatments that also can make a difference. Most people who have some knowledge of natural medicine and avail themselves of every complementary treatment they can take. Not every treatment, just because it's natural, is something needed at a particular time. Not every combination of nutritional supplements works synergistically. This book describes the most potent combinations of anti-cancer supplements that are called cocktails.

Cancer is an ongoing process, not a single event. Every part of the process of cancer has to be treated. Combinations of treatments are more effective than single treatments. Doctors recognize this reality when they offer cocktails of anti-cancer drugs. You can find cancer on multiple fronts with combinations of natural agents.

This blog is all about taking the right cocktail at the right time. You can use every supplement used in this book, or just one of them. You will get your best results from these well-documented anti-cancer cocktails. These natural medicines are not a magic bullet that kills cancer, but in many cases they are the best complement to your doctor's efforts.

These anti-cancer cocktails are chosen not to interfere with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or radiation. In many instances the cocktails reverse the side effects of medical treatments and extend life far beyond doctors' expectations. They help their users obtain the maximum benefits of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation, and surgery. They are inexpensive, often costing less than $1 a day, safe, simple, and effective. They are 50 of the very best natural remedies for helping you overcome cancer.

Every fact on this blog is a fact you can share with your doctor. In the United States, the overwhelming majority of people who have cancer take vitamins, minerals, herbs, and nutritional supplements. Very few cancer patients, however, tell their doctors what they are doing. This is usually a mistake.

You can use this book to work with your doctors, not against them. Your doctor is one your side. You want to beat cancer without paying an unbearable price. Your doctor wants to help you become free of cancer without causing you harm. These natural anti-cancer cocktails help both of you achieve your objectives.

It is not unusual for cancer patients to come into their doctors' offices with sheaths of studies downloaded from the Internet. This blog may add a few more pages to the stack. I hope, however, that many of you will share your experiences, insights, comments, and questions so that all of us can do better. And while I was (and still am) hesitant to put advertising on the site, the fact is, "context sensitive" advertising just might provide the link to something helpful I can't provide. What I cannot do is vouch for any content other than what is on this site.

Complementary therapies are primarily about supporting your general health and secondarily about fighting disease. They are about enabling you to survive day by day as your body and your medicines do the hard work of conquering cancer. But as you will read over and over again on the blog, with just a little help, your innate immune defenses make seemingly miraculous recovery and remission from the many manifestations of this dreadful disease. The first step, however, is taking the right cancer cocktail at the right time. And before that, it's necessary to know the ingredients.