CANCER – the balancing actcancer fighting
by Lynn Hinderliter CN, LDN

Every May, this article is updated with new information and links, in an attempt to bring together all the helpful information and advice I can find about this dreaded disease. Are we winning or losing the war on Cancer?Ironically, the 2005 edition of this article was just another intellectual exercise for me, but in September of 2005, a CT-scan found a large tumor in my abdomen.  My odyssey is detailed here.

This of course suggests that no matter what we do, there are no guarantees.  It has also made me look closely to see what went wrong with my daily regimen.  But it has in no way deterred me from my belief that we CAN influence our health destiny.

I feel that taking preventative measures is possibly the most important health step we can take, and  the strategies I am going to suggest have so much expert support that I will say this:

Taking control certainly beats sitting back and just waiting for Fate to get you.

In addition, all these suggestions lead to better overall health for the people who follow them, and that in and of itself is a major advance. Nine months after my diagnosis, having refused to follow the standard medical route, due to healthy heart, lungs and liver function, I am as well as ever, except for the undeniable presence of a large tumor.

You may remember that in 2005, the American Cancer Society issued a report (, which suggested that 62% of the over 563 thousand cancer deaths that we can expect this year are PREVENTABLE.  This statement did not receive much press – possibly because of the recommendations the ACS made for preventative measure only one involved the medical profession.

The point is that all the other preventative measures recommended were lifestyle changes – stopping smoking, improving diet, losing weight, exercising. Read on, as I outline a program to lower your cancer risk.

My position, put simply, is that one (or a combination) of these things must occur for cancer to develop:

  • either the immune system has become depressed
  • there are hormonal imbalances
  • toxins are present
  • the mechanisms which control the birth and death (apoptosis) of cells have been interfered with
  • chronic inflammation is present –
  • stress has wrought its havoc
  • or there is viral involvement –
  • or you have blood type A, and are at increased risk for developing cancer.

Whatever affects these things (and remember, stress affects the first 3!) affects one’s risk level. Keeping them under control is our lifelong balancing act.

The immune system is our first and most important line of defense: many major life situations and dietary choices can cause cancer to challenge it.  These are the warning choices:

  • Poor food selection (the latest studies show poor diet as the top cause of Cancer!)
  • Foods that promote high blood sugar and diabetes – cancer feeds on sugar
  • Poor digestions and absorption which can make even an adequate diet moot 
  • with consequent pH imbalances
  • and nutritional deficiencies.
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Obesity toxins and estrogen tend to be stored in fatty tissue. See also disturbing information about the role of plastics, RESOURCES. Also at right, details of a study showing that weight loss lowers certain cancer risks in women.
  • In 2006, new studies linked obesity with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Bowel irregularity and poor elimination, leading to the retention of toxins.
  • Poor liver function, inhibiting the elimination of toxins, and affecting sugar pathways.
  • Stress , which affects so many body functions that controlling it or compensating for it may be the second most important thing we can do to protect ourselves. Stress and inflammation are intimately connected.
  • No exercise, or exercise that is too extreme and causes stress..
  • Insufficient hydration
  • Not enough restful sleep
  • Not enough sunshine (or Vitamin D)
  • and of course, Smoking

This makes it simple to anticipate what the most important risk-lowering steps are:

  • control Stress – for suggestions and more detailed information, read my article
  • Regular exercise to make sure that your weight is under control, and that stores of fat are tapped to burn for energy. Parents, look to introduce physical exercise early into your children’s lives: while no one wants to affirm compulsions to be thin to an adolescent, there is much to be said for concepts of healthy moderation! Do not exercise when stressed: interesting research suggests a connection between poor sleep and vigorous exercise. (McClain J, et al, “Association between physical activity, sleep duration, and cancer risk among women in Washington County, MD: a prospective cohort study” AACR 2008 Abstract B145.)
  • adjust your diet – whole grains, fresh vegetables (particularly cruciferous) and fruits (particularly the  colorful ones like blueberries and raspberries)  are the best sources of cancer protective nutrition  …  don’t barbecue or deep-fry anything!  Avoid lunch meats. Select beneficial herbs and spices – like turmeric ( and oregano (
  • sensibly (rather than fanatically) watch your complex  carbs and carefully monitor blood sugar
  • identify allergens and intolerances and eliminate them..
  • add some of the superfoods, such as spirulina, pollen, chlorella, fermented soy. 
  • use whey protein.
    • Low levels of Glutathione have been found in healthy cells when cancer is present.

    • One of the best ways to increase Glutathione levels is to use a good whey protein: in animal studies, whey protein concentrate consistently raised glutathione levels beyond those of any other protein studied. (Bounous G. and Gold P., Clin. Invest. Med. 1991).

    • A study has shown that whey protein selectively interferes with the levels of glutathione in cancer cells, while increasing levels in normal cells. (Baruchel S. and Vaiu G., Anti Cancer Research 1996).

  •  If you know you tend consistently to under-eat fruits and vegetables, consider the list of available powdered supplements below.
  • Select your fats carefully  –  eliminate animal trans fats. Remember, however, that fatty acids from the Omega 3 and 6 families are essential to health. 
  • Keep your pH regulated.  In an unbalanced system, nutrients do not enter cells effectively, nor can cells clear themselves of toxins,
  • Drink plenty of pure water.  Cut back on or eliminate caffeine and alcohol. Eliminate pop. Drink Green Tea.
  • Take occasional fasts and combine with a cleansing program to support and tone your colon. Make sure you have the proper balance of friendly bacteria in your system. Consider a heavy metal cleanse periodically to make sure the most harmful toxins are evacuated.
  • Support your Liver – consider regular cleanses specific to that important organ and supplemental support. (see RESOURCES for my article on  liver health)
  • Control Viruses – many viruses have been connected with cancer.
  • If you are blood type A, Dr. d’Adamo suggests adding soy to your diet.
  • Limit toxins. Consider once again the benefits of organic foods. (See RESOURCES)   Remember, authentic organic foods confer benefits on the producer, the environment, any creatures involved and the consumer. It is not just another word attached to nutritionally inferior food to entice you to buy!

I do not want to get into the whole subject of factory farming here, but will only say that in my opinion the health risks we discuss here from the chemicals are only a fraction of the many adverse social effects.

Social commentary:

The Meatrix -a riveting presentation –
Details for the Strong of Stomach –

There are additional risks we are just becoming aware of in commercial fertilizers, too.  Did you know that when toxic wastes are added to fertilizer, they become an unregulated “product”??

If you think you are avoiding heavy metals, look at this information. and think again!!  I recommend a book called Fateful Harvest by Duff Wilson, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize.  It will make you aware of a problem we should all be working to overcome.  See RESOURCE.

  • Be aware of the potential for toxicity in your cosmetics and personal care items.  Some experts are now investigating the possibility that this partly explains the difference in cancer levels between women and men – women use the make-up, shampoos, lotions etc. and hair dye more frequently!  Read this report on Phthalates in cosmetic and hair products.
  • Take care to ensure that your cells are getting the targeted nutrients needed to maintain healthy defenses.
  • Control inflammation.

I am indebted for this information to the Life Extension Foundation.  They use it as part of a letter for Cancer patients to send to their Doctors, asking for the addition of Cox-2 inhibiting drugs to  their medications.  You can access the letter here. include it here to indicate the importance of controlling inflammation, and have listed two natural Cox 2 affecting supplements at right since I am not enamoured of the use of drugs!.According to a study in the British Journal of Cancer (1997;75 (8), human prostate cancer cells sustain their growth by stimulating themselves to up-regulate their production of COX-2, which facilitates cell proliferation via several mechanisms. However, COX-2 inhibition results in a decrease in cell replication and a reduction in the synthesis of COX-2 and its metabolites, such as the dangerous prostaglandin E2. The authors of this study concluded that COX-2 is involved in the maintenance of growth and homeostasis of human prostate cancer cells.

In the Sept 7, 1999 issue of the Wall Street Journal, an investigative report revealed that scientists are actively investigating COX-2 inhibitors as drugs that would be effective in the prevention and treatment of many cancers. COX-2 inhibiting drugs, given to small numbers of patients with colon polyps (pre-cancerous lesions), caused the completely disappearance of the lesions. When a group of rats were given a potent carcinogen, there was a 90% reduction in those, who developed cancer if they were on COX-2 inhibition therapy. In the few rats that did develop the tumors while taking COX-2 inhibition therapy, the tumors were 80% smaller and less numerous than the group not on COX-2 inhibition therapy. The Wall Street Journal revealed that a handful of physicians, knowledgeable about COX-2 and cancer, are prescribing COX-2 inhibitors to their patients.

In a report published in JAMA (1999 Oct 6;282(13), a nearly 10 year epidemiological study showed that COX-2 expression in colorectal cancer was significantly related to survival. The doctors concluded that the data add to the growing epidemiological and experimental evidence that COX-2 may play a role in colorectal tumorigenesis”.

  • Maximize nutrient intake. Change your diet to contain only nutrient rich foods.

Some confusing studies have emerged on antioxidants and cancer recently, and here is what the A.P.John Institute for Cancer Research has to say:

“The controversy about whether to treat cancer with anti-oxidants is slowly resolving with the newer understanding of how they affect the activity of genes and enzymes in cancer cells. The prevailing data shows that the benefits, or lack of benefits, depend upon the oxidative state the cancer cells are in. Anti-oxidants taken when the cells are in a very high oxidative state may prevent them from entering apoptosis or from committing suicide. When oxidative stress in cancer cells is only slightly above normal, however, then anti-oxidants are expected to stop their growth and reproduction.”

In other words, if you HAVE cancer, use supplemental anti-oxidants under the care of a health professional only.  If you want to do all you can to avoid it – well, that’s another matter! Use them ad libitum.

Dr. Ralph Moss, of the Newsletter THE MOSS REPORT at writes a carefully structured last-word-on-the subject report.  He has a more detailed report available for purchase here: NEW STUDY CLARIFIES ROLE OF ANTIOXIDANTS  DURING RADIATION TREATMENTAn important paper on the interaction of antioxidants and radiation therapy was recently published in the International Journal of Cancer.  Interestingly, despite the significance of its findings, this study has received virtually zero attention from the scientific community or the media.

As background, in April 2005, Isabelle Bairati, MD, PhD, and her colleagues at the Hôtel-Dieu de Quebec Research Centre and the Universite Laval completed a ten-year study on the interaction of antioxidants and
radiation therapy. This was hailed as the first placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial assessing the effect of supplementation with antioxidant vitamins during radiation therapy. The study concluded that
supplements of synthetic beta-carotene (30 mg per day) or alpha tocopherol (400 IU per day) had a harmful effect on cancer patients. In particular, the authors claimed that the cancer recurrence rate was 40 percent higher among patients who had been randomly assigned to the supplementation arm of the trial. They therefore called on patients and physicians to exert caution in using antioxidants until new evidence could be provided by future trials.

Kedar Prasad, PhD, and other proponents of the concurrent use of antioxidants during cancer treatment criticized the Bairati paper. They were disappointed that Bairati and colleagues had used ordinary alpha tocopherol as their choice of vitamin E when Prasad’s previous work had shown that it was not just alpha tocopherol but alpha tocopherol succinate that had the anticancer efficacy. They also felt that natural forms of the vitamin were more effective than synthetic, drug store-type vitamins. But, by and large, the medical world accepted the Bairati trial as definitive proof that antioxidants interfered with radiation therapy. Word spread like wildfire in oncology circles, confirming a long-held belief that antioxidants interfered with standard cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. The take away message, as stated in a Universite Laval press release, was that “Supplements May Speed Up Development of Cancer.” Advocates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) were confounded by this large and impressive study.

But now the other shoe has dropped.

In December 2007, Dr. Bairati and her Quebec colleagues published a major modification of their previous conclusions. Further analysis revealed, they said, that the danger of synthetic antioxidants was limited to one particular sub-population: cigarette smokers – specifically, those who continued to smoke during radiation treatment. The authors analyzed the outcome in 540 patients who had been given radiation for head and neck cancers. During the follow-up period, 119 patients had a recurrence of their disease and 179 died. Smokers were the group with the worst prognosis.  However, astonishingly, smoking in the period leading up to or following radiation therapy did not modify the effects of the two supplements. It was only smoking during the course of radiation therapy that led to a statistically significant increase in the risk of a recurrence. It was a large enough increase to skew the statistics for the group as a whole, leading to the erroneous conclusion that antioxidants interfered with radiotherapy in the general patient population.

Statistically, increased risk is generally expressed as a “hazard ratio” (abbreviated HR). In this study, current smokers had an HR of 2.41 for recurrence, in other words more than double the chance of a recurrence compared to the rest of the patient population. The HR for death from any cause was a similar 2.26. But the hazard ratio for dying of their initial head and neck cancer was a whopping 3.38 in patients who got radiation,
smoked and also received a single synthetic antioxidant.

“These results could best be explained by the hypothesis that the combined exposures reduced the efficacy of radiation therapy,” Bairati and her colleagues now say. “Particular attention should be devoted to prevent
patients from both smoking and taking antioxidant supplements during radiation therapy” (Meyer 2007).

According to the National Cancer Institute, 85 percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use. (Alcohol use further exacerbates this trend.) This has been widely known for years, and so it is shocking that
there are still people so hopelessly addicted to tobacco that they not only continue to smoke after they’ve been diagnosed with head and neck cancer but continue to smoke right through their radiation therapy. It was in this
subset of particularly unhealthy individuals that antioxidants were associated with an increased risk of disease progression. As Bairati and colleagues suggest, such individuals should definitely not compound their problems by then taking a synthetic antioxidant.

But the more important lesson for patients and practitioners is that antioxidants do NOT generally interfere with the effects of radiation therapy, as was previously suggested. They do NOT increase the risk of a recurrence, of death from head and neck cancer, or of overall mortality in the average patient. In this updated study, the harmful effect of synthetic antioxidants was entirely limited to those relatively few tobacco-addicted patients who continued to smoke during their radiation therapy. Thus, the major premise underpinning oncologists’ condemnation of antioxidants during radiation therapy has crumbled, although few seem to have noticed so far.

  • Regulate your exposure to electro-magnetic fields – more studies are coming out at least suggestive of a link here. Even the Cancer Institute, as conservative a group as you could find, has this to say.

The foundation of your preventative program should be a good Multi-vitamin.

Do not expect to get what you need in one pill a day.  Choose either a formula that suggests a number of pills daily, or a pack to take each day which contains many pills. 

 My recommendations:

It is difficult to find any nutrient that has not at some point been singled out and investigated for a connection to Cancer prevention:  selenium, folic acid, beta carotene, calcium – taking a really good multi is, in my view, Life Insurance.  Make it a your life insurance policy!

Case in point – Vitamin D

These days, we are all warned not to let the sun shine on our skin for an instant.  And it is true that the risk of skin cancer is real.  However, if you go to, you will be fascinated, as I was, to discover the extent that geography governs our cancer rates.

Death rates for breast, colon and ovarian cancer clearly diminish the further South one goes.  What is the significance of this? The founder of SunArc, Dr. William Grant,  argues that exposure to sunlight and Vitamin D account for the difference.  In effect, that regular, moderate exposure to sunshine helps protect our health.

  • Enzymes

Taking systemic enzymes on an empty stomach is a recognized alternative cancer therapy.  Adding a digestive enzyme to mealtimes as an aid to absorption is something I recommend to anyone who has experienced any form of digestive distress because irregularity, gas, bloating, heartburn – whatever the symptom, they are suggestive of a problem with the uptake of nutrients and the elimination of wastes. Keeping the body clean of toxins and supported with nutrition is key to health.

There are many supplements that are suggested for support and defense of the immune system, but I do not propose to go in to all of them here.

The fact that I don’t mention them doesn’t mean they are not effective:  I have simply chosen the ones that I have found most successful and that have the most compelling science behind them.  I want to say again, however, that diet, exercise, water, acid/alkaline balance and proper digestion/elimination are essential first steps: merely adding supplements to an unhealthy lifestyle is a little like standing on the brake and the accelerator at the same time:  you probably won’t go anywhere at all.

  • Colostrum 

When a female mammal gives birth, before the production of the nutritious milk comes the valuable food known as Colostrum.  Where breast milk is a source of protein (among other nutrients), colostrum is a source of immunity.  Farmers habitually remove a calf from its mother in order to appropriate the cow’s milk production for their own use:  but they soon discovered that if they remove the calf before it has a chance to suckle for a few days, not only does its health suffer long term, but it is more susceptible to infection and disease as a baby.  

Now that we have identified the components of Colostrum, this comes as absolutely no surprise.  Among other things, it contains:

  • An enzyme which attacks bacteria in the body  by releasing lysins (dissolving agents)  that weaken the cell walls of the bacteria until they collapse.  Swiss studies show it to be effective even  against E. Coli, a major childhood threat. (Wild et al., Reevaluation of the effect of lysozyme ….. Microsc. Res. Tech, 1991; 39(3):297-304) . 

  • Lactoferrin – a protein which captures iron molecules and makes them unavailable to bacteria and viruses, which need it for growth.

  • Immunoglobulins, to include IgG which attacks and attaches to bacteria, thereby making them vulnerable to attack by the body’s immune system.

  • Glycoproteins – natural protease inhibitors.

  • Interferon – which supports the immune system, and fights viruses.

  • Oligosaccharides – which support and encourage the growth of probiotic bacteria,

  • IGF1 & 2, and other growth factors important for all growth of muscle and tissue.

  • and more ……..  See Beth Ley-Jacobs book in RESOURCES.

It tops my list. I may add that it is invaluable for many pet health problems, too.


This is an excellent source of the molecules the cells need to stay healthy, the building blocks of our RNA/DNA.  There are many choices of whey protein that are simply that:  a protein.  Then there are others that are concentrates of the biologically active proteins  that play a major role in the repair of RNA and DNA, antioxidant production (Glutathione precursors), improved liver function and red blood cell production, the binding and safe removal of heavy metals, wound healing, growth of new muscle and the support of various immune functions. I highly recommend the Undenatured Whey Protein Concentrate you will find in the RESOURCES, because it is a precursor (required for the production) of Glutathione (GSH). It contains exceptionally high amounts of undenatured Cysteine and Glutamine, the amino acids required for intracellular GSH production.

  • Resveratrol

A group of FFH Program scientists led by Dr. John Pezzuto in the College of Pharmacy at the UIC campus have recently shown that Resveratrol is one of a group of compounds (called phytoalexins) that are produced in plants during times of environmental stress such as adverse weather or insect, animal or pathogenic attack. Resveratrol has been identified in more than 70 species of plants, including mulberries and peanuts. Grapes, however are particularly good sources. Resveratrol is found in the skin (not flesh) of grapes. Fresh grape skin contains about 50 to 100 micrograms of Resveratrol per gram, while red wine concentrations range from 1.5 to 3 milligrams per liter. This compound is also thought to be responsible, in part, for the cholesterol-lowering effects of red wine and may also explain why those consuming a Mediterranean-type diet (of which red wine consumption is characteristic) may have a reduced risk of heart disease.

In the current study, Pezzuto and colleagues were able to show that Resveratrol was effective during all three phases of the cancer process: initiation, promotion and progression. Resveratrol was found to have antioxidant and antimutagenic activity and also increased levels of the phase II drug-metabolizing enzyme quinone reductase, an enzyme capable of metabolically detoxifying carcinogens, thereby ridding them from the body. All three of these physiological effects are indicative of Resveratrol preventing cancer initiation–the initial, irreversible stage of the cancer process. Resveratrol also demonstrated antiinflammatory effects and inhibited the activity of the cyclooxygenase and hydroperoxidase enzymes (suggestive of antipromotion activity) in addition to causing the differentiation of human promyelocytic leukemia cells, indicating that this compound may also depress the progression phase of cancer. Finally, Resveratrol inhibited the development of preneoplastic lesions in mouse mammary glands treated with a carcinogen in culture and inhibited tumor formation in mice. No toxic effects were observed.

So, a glass of good red wine a day, and/or a Resveratrol supplement is my next recommendation.

Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries all contain powerful phytochemicals that fight cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol and more.

  • Moducare

The immune response has two ways of dealing with foreign pathogens. The B-lymphocytes synthesize specific antibodies called immunoglobulins. This is known as humoral immunity. The other system involves T-lymphocytes, which regulate the synthesis of antibodies as well as direct killer cell activity and the inflammatory response of delayed type hypersensitivity. This system is known as cell-mediated immunity. Like everything else in the body, these systems need to be in homeostasis – too much of one, and we have immune related disorders, too little, and we are open to inflammatory and viral diseases, as well as disregulation of cells.  Moducare has been demonstrated to balance the two branches of the immune system which is why it appears to be effective in widely differing situations.  It is my next choice. For more information, click here.

The next section of this article will look at what causes cells to run amuck in our bodies, and what we can do to protect ourselves.

First, of course, is to implement all the strategies mentioned in the sections on immunity, diet exercise, cleansing, water etc.

If you want to live longer  limit your carbohydrate intake, choose any carbs you eat from those high on the Glycemic Index scale (sugars which enter the blood slowly, usually because they are accompanied by protein, fiber or fatty acids), and select supplements which will help you balance your sugars.

For example,  AGEBlock, specifically designed to address this situation. It contains Goat’s Rue, the herbal prototype to the antidiabetic drug, Metformin.  see RESOURCES.

My articles on Diabetes and Insulin Resistance address this subject in detail.

Next in line is IP6.  This supplement is derived from rice, which may partially explain why a macrobiotic diet sometimes has such an effect on cancer.

IP-6 is found in highest concentrations in the bran part of rice, and is found also in corn, sesame seeds and in all unprocessed grains and legumes. However, it is not possible to get a therapeutic dose this way. While ensuring that one’s diet is a good source of it makes excellent sense, since it leads to eating healthy foods,  eating enough of the source foods to get a significant supply of IP-6 also involves large amounts of calories, carbohydrates and (gasp! did you ever think to hear me say) too MUCH fiber. 

Dr. Shamsuddin, who did the original research on IP6 and cancer, says it plays a role in communicating to the cell what its reaction should be to stimuli:  it may regulate either the manner in which the signal is transmitted, or even act as a censor for unacceptable messages.

Be that as it may, the results of his studies show unequivocally that IP-6 brings about reduction in the size of all the tumors he monitored in rats, colon, mammary glands, lung, liver, skin – you name it. As he says, if the mode of operation of IP-6 is as outlined above, then it will be effective against all forms of cancer. Cancer is the uncontrolled division of cells bringing about uncontrolled growth: a nutrient that can cancel out the message to the cells that causes this rogue reaction would (in Dr. Shamsuddin’s words) “reduce this abnormal growth rate of cells down to the normal growth level.” Dr. S’s work found that combining IP6 with Inositol was more effective than IP6 alone, and that is the combination  he has patented.

More information about IP6

Fats are essential to the health of our cells. Restated, the PROPER fats are essential to the health of our cells.  The fats most prevalent in our diets, however, are predominantly Omega 6, which are pro-inflammatory.  Corn and safflower oils, which are in practically everything in the way of prepared foods, are Omega 6. What we need is to redress the balance to a prevalence of Omega 3 fatty acids. 

Sources of  Omega 3 are walnuts,  flax and fish.  When you consider that an enzyme (deficient in many people, and especially in disease conditions) is needed to convert flax to the anti-inflammatory form we need, and that Flax also contains Omega 6, the clear winner is fish, with a supplemental form being both convenient and pure.

Answering the Fish or Flax  Question –

The two fatty acids present in high amounts in Fish Oil are EPA and DHA, both precursors to important ANTI-inflammatory substances in the body, and both connected in studies to a lowered risk of cancer.

Additionally, a 2003 study at the University of Edinburgh determined that Omega 3s can halt and reverse the weight loss and lack of appetite (Cachexia) experienced by some cancer patients. See RESOURCES for the study report.

  • Selenium and Colon Cancer

Evidence continues to mount that Selenium is intimately connected with rates of colon cancer.  I have one link in Resources to a study suggesting that, and now an analysis of 3 studies comprising more than 1500 patients showed that those with the highest blood levels of selenium had the least risk of recurrence of colon cancer.

The researchers were clear: “higher selenium status may be related to decreased risk of colorectal cancer,” write the researchers in the Nov. 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. (J Natl Cancer Inst 2004;96:1645-1647,1669-1675.)

  • And Finally, Apoptosis 

Apoptosis can be defined as “gene-directed cellular self-destruction” or programmed cell death. Direct from the Roche site (thank you!) I have taken the following definition: “Apoptosis plays an important role in the homeostasis and development of all tissues within an organism. In contrast to necrosis (cell death by accident), apoptosis is a well regulated physiological process. Any disturbance of the balance between cell proliferation and cell death maintained by apoptosis can result in serious disease, in particular cancer.

Some of the most recent research in 2004 has to do with methods of turning on apoptosis for cancer cell, since in the words of one of the researchers:“Cancer has an amazing ability to shake off the shackles of ageing and death, which is one of the reasons why it can be so hard to treat,” comments Dr Madalena Tarsounas, who heads the study at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute. “Understanding how cancer cells remain eternally young has been a key focus of research for more than a decade, so it’s particularly exciting to have made such a striking discovery ….. evidence of a completely new mechanism for stopping the clock on a cancer cell’s timer and preventing its lifespan from ticking down. It raises the possibility of starting the clock again and making cancer cells susceptible to death once more.”

Bearing this in mind, I feel I can hardly do better than to reproduce this press release from January 2000, which will make it easy for you to guess what my final recommendation is!

Strong Apoptosis-Inducing Activity Found in Grifron Maitake D-fraction®

A research group of the Dept. of Urology, at the New York Medical College presented the results of their “apoptosis” study using a Maitake mushroom extract, “Grifron Pro D-fraction® (GD)“, on human prostatic cancer cells (PC-3) at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) Conference held on December 11-13, 1999 in Las Vegas.

The study demonstrated a significant cytotoxic effect via oxidative membrane damage on prostatic cancer when treated with GD, resulting in apoptotic cell death. This cytotoxic activity was even more potentiated when combined with Vitamin C. Moreover, some strong synergistic effect was seen between GD and a chemotherapeutic agent such as carmustine (BCNU) which is used in the treatment of brain tumors. The research group had also tested several other natural extracts (other mushroom extracts and seaweed extracts that were already known to have some apoptosis-inducing activity) and has confirmed that the Maitake GD is much more potent than any other sample extracts they investigated.

The phenomenon of “Apoptosis”, a form of programmed cell death (or, the cancer cells actually committing suicide), has suddenly and dramatically been thrust into scientific consciousness gaining keen attention from the frontline of cancer research. Dr. Barbara Osboarne, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts, found an erratic history of this “apoptosis” awareness, characterized by very little early study activity followed by booming interest. She searched databases for apoptosis references and found only 300 total papers by 1991 soaring to over 3,000 papers by early 1995.

Michael Shirota, President and CEO of Maitake Products, Inc., who has supported this study, states that this result is very exciting since Maitake D-fraction® is now proven not only as an immune-booster but also an apoptosis-inducer. According to Shirota, his company has received a large amount of feedback from health professionals and cancer patients, reporting that Maitake D-fraction® works very well against some prostate cancers and brain tumors. Shirota now believes that the result of this study could be the evidence to support the above positive testimonials.

Grifron Pro D-fraction® has been under the FDA approved clinical study (IND #54,589) on advanced cancer patients with prostates and breast cancer.

I do carry the Grifron product, but have found an extract made by Mushroom Sciences which I like equally well. It is developed by the same Dr. Nanba who originated the Grifron product, and is stronger.


  1. Avoid toxins
  2. Eat organic
  3. Improve diet
  4. Lower blood sugar.
  5. Balance Hormones. 
  6. Control stress.
  7. Control viruses
  8. Drink pure water.
  9. Exercise.
  10. Improve your Immune system.
  11. Restrict  Cancer’s pathways in the body.
  12. Have faith. 
  13. Laugh a lot.
  14. Think positive.
  15. Make friends.
  16. Love your partner.
  17. Stay close to your family.

Cancer concerns all of us – few of us have been untouched by its ravages, whether we ourselves were the victim, or a friend or loved one.  We need to know what to do to protect against it.  I hope this article has helped guide you on the path to taking control of your destiny.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact me.

The Vitamin Lady®

in Memoriam Nancy Morey, friend mentor personal saint

**From “Nutrition and Cancer”
Regulation of Tumor Angiogenesis by Dietary Fatty Acids and Eicosanoids
David P. Rose and Jeanne M. Connolly, The authors are affiliated with the Division of Nutrition and Endrocrinology, American Health Foundation, Valhalla, NY 10595.

Angiogenesis is a prerequisite for tumor growth and metastasis. Vascular endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and capillary formation are stimulated by angiogenic growth factors, which include the proteins vascular endothelial growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, and transforming growth factor- , and eicosanoids synthesized from n-6 fatty acids. Clinical studies have shown that angiogenesis in solid tumors relates to a poor prognosis and, in premalignant lesions, indicates potential for cancerous transformation. High-fat, n-6 fatty acid-rich diets were associated with a relatively poor prognosis in breast cancer patients; in a nude mouse model the same diet enhanced breast cancer progression, whereas n-3 fatty acids exerted suppressive effects that were associated with impaired angiogenesis. Lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase products of n-6 fatty acid metabolism are angiogenic in in vitro assays. This activity is blocked by pharmacological inhibitors of eicosanoid biosynthesis, and one, indomethacin, suppressed n-6 fatty acid-stimulated murine mammary carcinoma growth and metastasis and tumor vascularization. Review of the experimental data suggests that selective inhibitors of eicosanoid-synthesizing enzymes and dietary intervention with n-3 fatty acids merit clinical evaluation as adjuvant therapy and chemopreventive agents. [Nutrition and Cancer 37(2):119-127, 2000. © 2000 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.]

This study  is important information for women since they are the ones who are most likely to color their hair. Women who hide their natural hair color with regular applications of permanent hair dye may be putting themselves at increased risk for bladder cancer, new research findings suggest.

“Our study is the first to demonstrate a frequency- and duration-dependent association between personal use of permanent hair-dyes and bladder cancer risk,” lead study author Dr. Manuela Gago-Dominguez, from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, told Reuters Health.To investigate the relationship between permanent hair dyes and bladder cancer, Dr. Gago-Dominguez and colleagues analyzed more than 1500 cases of bladder cancer, 897 of which yielded information about hair dye use. Data on a similar number of adults who did not use permanent hair dye were used for comparison. The study findings will be published in the February 2001 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

After adjusting for cigarette smoking, the authors found that women who used permanent hair dye at least once a month were 2 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women who did not use permanent hair dye. Women who reported regular long-term use of the hair dye for at least 15 years were more than 3 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than nonusers.

Hairstylists and barbers were 50% more likely to have bladder cancer than those who did not have occupational exposure to hair dye. Those who were exposed to hair dye for at least 10 years were five times more likely than the comparison group of unexposed individuals to develop bladder cancer.

“Our novel observations are provocative and carry enormous public health implications,” Dr. Gago-Dominguez said. “It is [perhaps] a little premature to make any recommendation about stopping the use of permanent hair dyes,” she acknowledged. “However, this is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies ever conducted on the issue and we think our results should not be ignored.”

Now we come to the fun part!  According to Dr. John Corbett, a consultant to the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association, Dr. Gago-Dominguez and her team may have used a faulty study design.

“Their measure of exposure is just (Lynn: my italics) frequency of use and duration of use, which is not very good,” he told Reuters Health. “The most important factor in exposure to hair dye is the shade you use.”

“All of the shades use essentially the same chemicals, but there’s quite a lot more of [the chemicals] in dark brown and black than there are in blonde,” he explained.

Also, Dr. Corbett contends that the researchers “seem to make light of previous studies” by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society that failed to find an association between hair dye use and cancer risk.

“The bottom line is I don’t think [the new study findings] should affect people in their decision as to whether to use hair color or affect the hair color industry,” Dr. Corbett said. Science News, April 29, 2000

Soy-rich diets appear to help fight certain cancers. Tea drinking has been linked to similar benefits. Two studies now find that the combo offers a potent double whammy against cancer of the breast and prostate -at least in mice. Jin-Rong Zhou and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School in Boston injected a million breast cancer or prostate cancer cells into mice engineered to possess weak immune systems. Two weeks earlier, they had replaced the drinking water of some animals with green or black tea. Others received chow laced with isoflavones, soy’s biologically active antioxidants. Two groups of mice got both the mix of isoflavones and one or the other tea. Some just ate their normal diet. Two months after implantation of the cancer cells, the researchers surveyed for tumors and found that all the experimental diets had conferred some benefit. Compared with animals on the normal diet, mice given isoflavones or tea had 25 to 50 percent fewer tumors, and their tumors weighed 15 to 25 percent less. However, benefits from pairing tea and isoflavones equaled or exceeded the sum of either alone–a reduction of between 72 and 87.5 percent in tumor number and a similarly large decrease in each tumor’s size.

*** Int J Cancer 2002 Mar 1;98(1):78-83

Laboratoire de Biologie des Tumeurs, Clinique d’Oncologie-Radiotherapie, Service de Gynecologie-Obstetrique, E.A. 2103, Unite de Recherche Associee Universite-INRA, CHU, Tours, France.

Experimental studies have indicated that n-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (18:3 n-3) and long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids inhibit mammary tumor growth and metastasis. Earlier epidemiological studies have given inconclusive results about a potential protective effect of dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on breast cancer risk, possibly because of methodological issues inherent to nutritional epidemiology. To evaluate the hypothesis that n-3 fatty acids protect against breast cancer, we examined the fatty acid composition in adipose tissue from 241 patients with invasive, nonmetastatic breast carcinoma and from 88 patients with benign breast disease, in a case-control study in Tours, central France. Fatty acid composition in breast adipose tissue was used as a qualitative biomarker of past dietary intake of fatty acids. Biopsies of adipose tissue were obtained at the time of surgery. Individual fatty acids were measured as a percentage of total fatty acids, using capillary gas chromatography. Unconditional logistic regression modeling was used to obtain odds ratio estimates while adjusting for age, height, menopausal status and body mass index. We found inverse associations between breast cancer-risk and n-3 fatty acid levels in breast adipose tissue. Women in the highest tertile of alpha-linolenic acid (18:3 n-3) had an odds ratio of 0.39 (95% confidence intervals [CI] = 0.19-0.78) compared to women in the lowest tertile (trend p = 0.01). In a similar way, women in the highest tertile of docosahexaenoic acid (22:6 n-3) had an odds ratio of 0.31 (95% CI = 0.13-0.75) compared to women in the lowest tertile (trend p = 0.016). Women in the highest tertile of the long-chain n-3/total n-6 ratio had an odds ratio of 0.33 (95% confidence interval = 0.17-0.66) compared to women in the lowest tertile (trend p = 0.0002). In conclusion, our data based on fatty acids levels in breast adipose tissue suggest a protective effect of n-3 fatty acids on breast cancer risk and support the hypothesis that the balance between n-3 and n-6 fatty acids plays a role in breast cancer. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Find the recommended supplements here

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