Antioxidants and Cancer Therapy
Evidence reviewed here demonstrates exogenous antioxidants alone produce beneficial effects in various cancers, and except for a few specific cases, animal and human studies demonstrate no reduction of efficacy of chemotherapy or radiation when given with antioxidants. In fact, considerable data exists showing increased effectiveness of many cancer therapeutic agents, as well as a decrease in adverse effects, when given concurrently with antioxidants.
Part I: Their Actions and Interactions With Oncologic Therapies
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Oct); 4 (5): 304–329 ~ FULL TEXT
Dietary and endogenous antioxidants prevent cellular damage by reacting with and eliminating oxidizing free radicals. However, in cancer treatment, a mode of action of certain chemotherapeutic agents involves the generation of free radicals to cause cellular damage and necrosis of malignant cells. So a concern has logically developed as to whether exogenous antioxidant compounds taken concurrently during chemotherapy could reduce the beneficial effect of chemotherapy on malignant cells. The importance of this concern is underlined by a recent study which estimates 23 percent of cancer patients take antioxidants. (1)
Part II: Quick Reference Guide
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Apr); 5 (2): 152–163 ~ FULL TEXT
This guide is meant to be a companion to the previous review on effects of antioxidant supplementation during cancer therapy. (1) Widespread use of antioxidant compounds makes this an area of increasing interest to oncologists as well as other physicians; hence, the attempt to reduce the findings of a lengthy report to a manageable guide.
Part III: Quercetin
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Jun); 5 (3): 196–204 ~ FULL TEXT
Quercetin (3,3',4',5,7-pentahydroxyflavone; Figure 1, R= OH) belongs to an extensive class of polyphenolic flavonoid compounds almost ubiquitous in plants and plant food sources. Frequently quercetin occurs as glycosides (sugar derivatives); e.g., rutin (Figure 1) in which the hydrogen of the R-4 hydroxyl group is replaced by a disaccharide. Quercetin is termed the aglycone, or sugarless form of rutin. Two extensive volumes, the proceedings of major meetings on plant flavonoids, presented much of the biological and medical data about quercetin in 1985 and 1987. (1,2)
High Doses of Multiple Antioxidant Vitamins: Essential Ingredients
in Improving the Efficacy of Standard Cancer Therapy
J Am Coll Nutr 1999 (Feb); 18 (1): 13-25
Numerous articles and several reviews have been published on the role of antioxidants, and diet and lifestyle modifications in cancer prevention. However, the potential role of these factors in the management of human cancer have been largely ignored. Extensive in vitro studies and limited in vivo studies have revealed that individual antioxidants such as vitamin A (retinoids), vitamin E (primarily alpha-tocopheryl succinate), vitamin C (primarily sodium ascorbate) and carotenoids (primarily polar carotenoids) induce cell differentiation and growth inhibition to various degrees in rodent and human cancer cells by complex mechanisms.
Micronutrients Prevent Cancer and Delay Aging
Toxicology Letter 1998 (Dec 28); 102-103: 5–18
Approximately 40 micronutrients are required in the human diet. Deficiency of vitamins B12, folic acid, B6, niacin, C, or E, or iron, or zinc, appears to mimic radiation in damaging DNA by causing single- and double-strand breaks, oxidative lesions, or both. The percentage of the US population that has a low intake (< 50% of the RDA) for each of these eight micronutrients ranges from 2% to > or = 20%; half of the population may be deficient in at least one of these micronutrients.
New England Journal of Medicine 1997 (May 29); 336 (22): 1569–1574
The war against cancer is far from over. Observed changes in mortality due to cancer primarily reflect changing incidence or early detection. The effect of new treatments for cancer on mortality has been largely disappointing. The most promising approach to the control of cancer is a national commitment to prevention, with a concomitant rebalancing of the focus and funding of research.
The Role of Free Radicals in Disease
Aust N Z J Ophthalmol 1995 (Feb); 23 (1): 3–7
Evidence is accumulating that most of the degenerative diseases that afflict humanity have their origin in deleterious free radical reactions. These diseases include atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory joint disease, asthma, diabetes, senile dementia and degenerative eye disease.
The Leading Causes of Death
Careful analysis of the tables below demonstrates that the top killers of human–kind are lifestyle–related and often preventable. Chronic diseases comprise the three leading causes of death in the United States –– heart disease, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease –– and they account for nearly two thirds of all deaths.
Defeating Free Radicals: The Key to Longevity
Renewal: The Anti-Aging Revolution
Great moments in human history often begin inauspiciously. Such was the case in December 1945, when the wife of Denham Harmon handed him the latest issue of the Ladies' Home Journal. It was opened to an article titled "Tomorrow You May Be Younger," written by William L. Laurence, science editor of the New York Times. This article, heralding the work of a Russian gerontologist on an "anti-reticular cytotoxic serum," sparked Dr. Harmon's interest in finding an answer to the riddle of aging--a subject that scientists of the time knew absolutely nothing about.
Cancer's Sweet Tooth
Of the 4 million cancer patients being treated in America today, hardly any are offered any scientifically guided nutrition therapy beyond being told to "just eat good foods." Most patients I work with arrive with a complete lack of nutritional advice. I believe many cancer patients would have a major improvement in their outcome if they controlled the supply of cancer's preferred fuel, glucose.
Beating Cancer With Nutrition
“I'm sorry, but you have cancer.” These words from a doctor introduce fear into the heart of any patient. The good news is that supportive nutrition therapy can significantly increase cancer patients' quality and length of life and improve their chances for a complete remission. Better yet, a healthy lifestyle that includes a wholesome diet, sufficient exercise, positive attitude and toxin avoidance can prevent up to 90 percent of cancers.
Fighting Cancer With Food
The four main causes of cancer are radiation, toxins, infections and, surprisingly, food itself, as certain foods can contain carcinogens. Although some recent techniques such as cancer 'immunisation' are promising, they are not available just yet. In the meantime, a series of safe, inexpensive, nutritional steps can be taken in the fight against cancer, as follows:
The Cancer Prevention Diet
Cancer is a prominent killer of Americans--second only to heart disease--and responsible for more than a half million deaths yearly. The good news is that scientific validation for the protective power of food is accumulating. And empowering people to preserve their health through daily choices puts responsibility in patients' hands.