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Dietary Approaches to Fighting Cancer

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

GINGER

I thought it might be helpful to have one thread for all of the research that has been completed looking at the impact of various foods and herbs on cancer cells. I am going to start with the article below and then take my time going through all the posts and move the food-related ones here. By clearly marking this thread, those who are interested will have information in one place; and those who are not interested can move on.

I hope there are some women here who will find this useful. More to come.

Claudia posted this article:

http://www.med.umich.edu/opm/newspage/2006/ginger.htm

"Ginger causes ovarian cancer cells to die, U-M researchers find

Cell studies show promise for ginger as potential ovarian cancer treatment

Notice to patients: This study represents very preliminary research findings made in the laboratory. Further testing is needed before researchers know how or if ginger should play a role in the treatment of ovarian cancer. U-M researchers do not recommend taking ginger as treatment for cancer. Please talk to your oncologist before taking any dietary or herbal supplements. For more information about ovarian cancer treatment, call Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

ANN ARBOR, MI – Ginger is known to ease nausea and control inflammation. But researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center are investigating a new use for this age-old remedy: treating ovarian cancer.

In laboratory studies, researchers found ginger caused ovarian cancer cells to die. Further, the way in which the cells died suggests ginger may avoid the problem common in ovarian cancer of cells becoming resistant to standard treatments.

The researchers are presenting their results in a poster session at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.

Researchers used ginger powder, similar to what is sold at grocery stores, only a standardized research grade. The ginger powder was dissolved in solution and applied to ovarian cancer cell cultures. Ginger induced cell death in all the ovarian cancer cell lines tested.

Moreover, the researchers found that ginger caused two types of cell death. One type, known as apoptosis, results from cancer cells essentially committing suicide. The other type of cell death, called autophagy, results from cells digesting or attacking themselves.

“Most ovarian cancer patients develop recurrent disease that eventually becomes resistant to standard chemotherapy – which is associated with resistance to apoptosis. If ginger can cause autophagic cell death in addition to apoptosis, it may circumvent resistance to conventional chemotherapy,” says study author J. Rebecca Liu, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the U-M Medical School and a member of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Study results are very preliminary, and researchers plan to test whether they can obtain similar results in animal studies. The appeal of ginger as a potential treatment for ovarian cancer is that it would have virtually no side effects and would be easy to administer as a capsule.

Ginger is effective at controlling inflammation, and inflammation contributes to the development of ovarian cancer cells. By halting the inflammatory reaction, the researchers suspect, ginger also stops cancer cells from growing.

“In multiple ovarian cancer cell lines, we found that ginger induced cell death at a similar or better rate than the platinum-based chemotherapy drugs typically used to treat ovarian cancer,” says Jennifer Rhode, M.D., a gynecologic oncology fellow at the U-M Medical School.

Liu’s lab is also looking at the effects on ovarian cancer of resveratrol, a substance found in red wine, and curcumin, the active ingredient in the curry spice turmeric. In addition, researchers at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center are investigating ginger to control nausea from chemotherapy and ginger to prevent colon cancer.

“Patients are using natural products either in place of or in conjunction with chemotherapy, and we don’t know if they work or how they work. We don’t know how these products interact with chemotherapy or other cancer treatments. There’s no good clinical data,” Liu says.

More than 20,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and 15,000 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. For information about ovarian cancer, go to www.cancer.med.umich.edu/learn/ovarianinfo.htm or call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

In addition to Rhode and Liu, study authors are undergraduate student Jennifer Huang, research associates Sarah Fogoros and Lijun Tan, and Suzanna Zick, N.D., M.P.H., research investigator in family medicine.

Funding for the study was from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Reference: American Association for Cancer Research 97th annual meeting, April 1-5, 2006, Washington, D.C."

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

You on the Budwig Protocol? I remember at beginning of my cancer journey reading up on this and decided to try it. Wow...it took everything in me to get it down twice per day, so I eventually stopped.

Anyone else trying this Budwig concoction? Curious....

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Not now. I was on it last year for a short time. Occasionally I will add the flaxseed oil to cottage cheese or yogurt. Fruit, nuts, and cinnamon helps it go down easier.

JoAnnDK
Posts: 276
Joined: Jun 2011

For those looking for more protein for your "buck", try FARRO. I discovered it a few months ago and may never go back to rice.

http://endurancebuzz.com/2011/01/25/farro-a-low-gluten-grain-packed-with-protein/

JoAnnDK
Posts: 276
Joined: Jun 2011

I was at my radiation oncologist's office today and found the new copy of CURE, a magazine I really like - I often find interesting articles in it.

The issue I read had three articles about supplements, the first (link below) written by the chief of the Integrative Medicine service at Sloan Kettering.

http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/article.show/id/2/article_id/1765

And this one: http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/article.show/id/2/article_id/1748

and one more: http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/article.show/id/2/article_id/1773

Interesting perspectives, especially the first article.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

I read these articles today as well. Overall I found them to be biased and vague. Yet the overall message was loud and clear that supplements are not beneficial and my even interfere with your cancer treatment. But, in the same article they said doctors really don't know. There was no mention in this article about the numerous trials that have been conducted in hospitals like MD Anderson, that have shown positive results with the use of supplements in treating cancer. There was no mention of supplement used at cancer hospitals in Mexico and the amazing results these patients experience. In this country, doctors are trained to prescribe pharmeceuticals that go through a review by the FDA. Most are taught not to trust anything that is not FDA approved and they pass this down to their patients.
Naturopaths, on the other hand, learn how the body functions with the use of supplements and how supplements help in fighting and preventing disease. I would certainly trust a reputable naturopath to guide me in the right direction with regard to supplements during cancer treatment, and have. At the end of one of the articles, it states that vitamin D may hold some hope. Naturopaths have known for years that people who get cancer tend to have a deficiency in vitamin D. That is one of the first things they work to rectify with their patients. These articles in this issue of Cure really reduced my faith that this magazine provides accurate, unbiased information.

JoAnnDK
Posts: 276
Joined: Jun 2011

Funny, I thought there was a lot of common sense expressed in those articles and gave particular weight to the one by the director of Integrative Medicine at Sloan Kettering. If anyone's opinion carries heft, hers does.

"Supplements are not benign—they affect the body in different ways. They can alter the immune system, change hormone balance or affect the way blood coagulates." ———>>>Well, this certainly makes sense!

"Researchers often favor the position that supplements may be neither good nor bad by themselves, and that it likely depends on how much you take and when.

It’s usually a function of dose,” says Michael Wargovich, PhD, director of cancer chemoprevention at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. “People jump overboard and think more is better.” ———>>>>And this makes sense too.

For example, if someone came to this discussion board and was desperate to do something besides chemo, it would be possible that she might take the absolute wrong combination of supplements. And who knows how those different supplements/herbs react with each other unless they have been prescribed by someone who knows what they are doing, like your reliable naturopath? I would guess that the vast number of people taking supplements for cancer are not seeing someone like that, but are basing their decisions on what they hear from other people or read online. And we all know there are a lot of charlatans out there selling "voodoo" stuff.

When I first looked at this board, I wrote down the things everyone was taking — and believe me, it was a very long list. Then I started doing some research, and found some suggestions that X and Y should not be taken together, then that Y and Z should not be taken together. So I started doing research on the research that has been done with supplements and it is very sparse and inconclusive. Much of the "evidence" is anecdotal rather than research-based scientific evidence. And yes, I realize that the companies that produce supplements do not have the vast resources that pharmaceutical companies do.

Besides curcumin, what supplements have come out of MD Anderson trials? I know one of their trial is with Vitamin D, so they must still be trying to see if it prevents cancer. Here is an article from their newsletter about one trial:

http://www.mdanderson.org/publications/conquest/issues/2009-spring/conquest-sping-2009-supplements-don-t-hold-the-answers.html

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

You're right on the money with the supplements. Years ago I worked as a distributor with a large corp supplement company and learned lots. One thing we should think about, many of the pills we put in our mouths donn't digest in our systems, therefore, end. up in the sewage systems. Never makes it thru our bodies to be used. So..why bother taking them? Secondly, many must be taken with another one and not with A or B or it's less effective....on and on and on. Very complicated....not as easy as putting a pill in our mouth and it does the trick.

Many of us think a "pill" will help with our daily allotment of nutrients, but after being on supplements for many, many years I'm learned they aren't always the best for us. A few years ago I met with a nutritionist and one thing she told me, "don't go overboard with supplements...our bodies work so much better if we gain nutrients from our every day foods". That stuck with me and today weaning off many of my supplements and gaining my nutrients from my good eating. Now I've not dished them all, but really looking at what I'm taking and why.

Remember supplements aren't monitored by the FDA, therefore, they can tell us "this will cure cancer"...and people believe it. There has been talk for years about monitoring the supplement industry and when/if that happens it will be a whole different ball game.

Joann, Do you presently take any supplements? If so, can I ask which ones?

Great subject~
Jan

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

JoAnn,
I don't think we are on opposite sides of the fence. I do agree that when addressing a disease like cancer, you can't just randomly pick supplements off the shelf and hope that you will get positive results. You definitely have to be aware of interactions and how the supplements will affect traditional treatment. I would no more recommend that patients choose their own supplement regimine as choose their own chemotherapies, without the guidance of a professional.
What was lacking in these articles, however, is that there is a lot of research and practical experience out there that indicates that supplements can acutally augment the effects of chemo drugs. I spend most of my time on the ovarian cancer board, as that is where my history lies. I find it sad the number of women who do not attain remission or have recurrances. I've learned, through personal experience and research, that using an integrative approach to this disease yields better outcomes. And I look forward to the day when the medical community can embrace that instead of being threatened by it. The current position does not serve patients well.

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

We mustn't forget that our cancer cells aren't some foreign parasite that entered our body from the outside; our cancer cells are US, as much as all of our other cells. In fact our cancer cells are US at our most adaptible, mobile, and strong, our evil Doppledanger perhaps, but still a part of our own body as much as any other cells within us. I cannot see how we can hope to assume that the things we eat and the supplements we take aren't affecting our cancer cells,too.

And without a lot of independent scientific study, I wouldn't personally feel equipped or well-educated enough to make those kinds of judgement calls on supplement combinations and dosage amounts. So I rely on a registered dietician that specialzes in cancer. She's very 'anti-supplements' unless a blood test proven deficiency requires emergency intervention that a change in diet can't accomplish fast enough. I believe my oncology team when they assure me that there is nothing I could have eaten or not eaten, nothing more whatsoever that I could have done, that could have prevented my SOOOOO powerful 'Doppledanger Linda' Grade 3 cancer cells from prevailing over their less adaptable and less mobile cousin cells. And I assure you that women who have had a recurrence don't take kindly to any insinuation that they have done less than they could. Please, everyone, be sensitive to that.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

Sorry JoAnn and Linda, not trying to start an argument here. Linda, I certainly meant no offense by my comment and even after re-reading it, I don't see that I indicated anyone has not done everything they felt necessary to fight their disease. I'm sorry if you interpreted anything in that way. Just expressing my views and frustration with the system. Still don't like the mainstream position, still don't like the articles in CURE magazine. Nothing personal.

JoAnnDK
Posts: 276
Joined: Jun 2011

Turmeric should not be used if one uses the common meds aspirin or Advil, or with cloves, gingko, garlic, or ginger — because all of these meds and herbs slow blood clotting, as does turmeric, and the combination might slow the clotting to a dangerous level. This info is from NIH.

I know I have read of people on this board using turmeric and some or all of these other substances. Were they aware of the contraindication? I think not. I would bet that fewer than a handful of women consult someone who is really in the know about supplements, herbs, etc. and is, most importantly, qualified. I would go to the highly-qualified woman at S-K who wrote that CURE article in a heartbeat!

I have only read that there is a lot of research being done on supplements from supplement companies or those who are pushing them, like paid spokespersons, usually celebrities. These are NOT the people I want giving me health advice. There are a few ongoing studies at reputable institutions, but not many. There is little scientific evidence about most supplements. Just anecdotes.

Implying that women who did not use an integrative approach have recurrences is hurtful to those women on this board who have recurred despite doing everything they can.

carolenk's picture
carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

I have to agree with the first link:

http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/article.show/id/2/article_id/1765

Vitamin E IS a complex rather than an isolated substance. So that explains why the smoking studies didn't show any benefit from taking "vitamins."

Unfortunately, the food is only as good as the soil that it is grown on.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

Carolen,
I like the concept of obtaining your nutrition from food. But I am wondering, when someone is dealing with a condition such as cancer, what they can eat to effectively raise their vitamin D levels, which are typically low in cancer patients; ingest enough vitamin B12 and B6 to avoid neuropathy from chemotherapy drugs; obtain enough L-Gutamine to repair the damage done to the gut by chemotherapy drugs; or obtain enough of the components in melatonin and bindweed to cause and anti-angiogenic effect; or enough modified citrus pectin to keep things lubricated, reducing the ability of cancer cells to adhere to one another. If I'm missing something, please educate me.

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

Rosey listed Rosemary as a antifungal .It's that and more. If you google Rosemary and cancer you will find quite a bit.Rosemary has a strong taste in tea. I use lots of Ginger along with green tea and it blocks/masks the taste of more bitter herbs like burdock and dandilion root etc.I has been shown to Block/ help metabolize estrogens in the body.Unfortunately, those who are on blood thining medication or some pain relievers cannot use all the natural blood thinning effects of the herbs I listed. Its Good for "preventing" thrombosis.Here is one artical I read which sums up most of what you will find.**********************************************************************************************Previously posted, got lost somewhere.

Recent FindingsMany of the traditional uses of rosemary are supported by modern research. In addition to the essential oil eucalyptol (cineole), researchers have isolated a number ofpotentially therapeutic compounds, including tannins, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives such as rosmarinic acid, and diterpenes such as carnosol or carnosic acid. All of these may have potential therapeutic effects. In recent years, rosemary has developed a reputation for antibacterial and antifungal action, and herbalists recommend that the leaves be used externally for skin infections.CancerOf all the potential therapeutic effects of rosemary, the most exciting is its role in preventing cancer. Researchers have demonstrated that natural polyphenols found in rosemary have potent anticarcinogenic properties. To date, rosemary extract, or its active components, carnosol, carnosic acid, and rosmarinic acid, have been shown to prevent cancer by several actions.Antioxidant -- better than BHTResearch into the free-radical quenching effects of rosemary have found it to be a potent antioxidant, possessing greater activity than the common food additives BHT (tert-butyl-4-hydroxytoluene) and BHA (tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisol). (2) The discovery of the antioxidant activity of rosemary in biological systems supports the historical use of rosemary as a preservative for meats and foods.Estrogen BlockerResearchers have shown that rosemary enhances the metabolism and removal of endogenous estrogens and decreases their cancer-promoting actions. Researchers evaluated the effects of rosemary extract on the metabolism and action of estradiol and estrone given to female mice. The results of the study showed that feeding female mice a 2% rosemary diet increased liver microsomal oxidation and glucuronidation of estradiol and estrone and inhibited their uterotropic action. (3)Carcinogen BlockerResearchers have found that rosemary extract can prevent carcinogens from binding to and possibly mutating cellular DNA -- two early steps in initiating cancer. In onestudy, researchers compared the effects of whole rosemary extracts to its purified components, carnosol and ursolic acid, on the initiation of breast cancer in rats. They found that whole rosemary extract taken orally prevented the carcinogen 7, 12-dimethyl-benz[a]anthracene (DMBA) from binding to the rats breast cell DNA. Neither carnosol nor ursolic acid had any effect when taken orally. When injected, whole rosemary extract and carnosol (but not ursolic acid) decreased carcinogen binding to DNA and decreased tumor formation by 37 percent. Again, ursolic acid had little effect. (4)ConclusionRosemary clearly is an herb with many benefits. Valued for its contributions in the kitchen, and prized by modern herbalists for its traditional healing powers, rosemaryis now beginning to reveal its true life-enhancing powers to modern scientific research. Current findings show that rosemary is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and that it prevents carcinogens from binding to DNA, and stimulates liver detoxification of carcinogens. Ongoing research will continue to elucidate the role of this herb in health, but we dont need to wait to begin to enjoy the life-enhancing benefits of this herb. the entire link is here.http://www.yourmenopausetype.com/menopausequestionsandanswers/04232000.html

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

Amen to integrative medicine approaches.

Lovely that you are here. Thanks for your opinions.

Best,

Claudia

(I nearly forgot--THE FOLLOWING IS A COMMENT ADDED TO THIS POST SO AS NOT TO PLUG UP THE THREAD. I ADDED THIS ON TO THE ORIGINAL COMMENTS ABOVE AT 4:37 ON SEPTEMBER 30,2011)

Due to the discussion about Cure magazine, which I really like for the most part and find informative, I went to look at an issue I had to see how they rolled so to speak, as someone here was curious. So, I found 26 pages of ads, 24 were for chemo and fixing the side effects of chemo, 1 was an insurance company, 1 was an attorney.

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

We all come on here to share what we have learned, with others, so that they have as much information as they can to choose from to make their decisions in regards to their treatment. Just as I don't assume that the person talking about chemo, radiation or any other of the typical treatments is directing their comments at myself, or any of the others here who choose to add nutrient based components to their regimens, I am surprised that anyone feels that sharing nutritional based information means that if they don't use it they are therefor not doing everything they can to help themselves, or that it is directed at some person in particular.

Maybe I'm naive. Probably am. Are all of you directing your chemo uses and talks at me? Do you all mean to imply that by my not doing what you are doing, I am not doing everything I can to help myself? Geeze Loiuse, I certainly hope not. Cause if you have been, I have totally missed that missive. I just assume you are sharing your experiences and knowledge, as am I and the others here --to help one another.

Shared information from me is just and only that, shared information. Please don't ever, any of you feel like you have to do something just because I've mentioned it. I hear what you all are doing. Okay. that's you and your decision. Fine by me. I often suggest that you take a particular study to your own physician to see if they would think it might be of use to you in your particular situation.

So, what if----wait. I did rather feel like the articles on anti supplementation was an attempt to dissuade some of those that take supplements. But again, I didn't take it personally, just thought, huh, that's ah, --well actually I thought of the source of the article, CURE mag, and looked at the ad revenue and thought, well what you might think, should you choose to think about it, since it was all chemo realted. But, again, didn't take it personally. And, as I said previously, I happen to like CURE mag, finding many of the articles very informative.

So, what I started to say up there was, let's just share what we have, knowing some will use the info and some won't, but whatever their choice, it's their choice. I mean, you can say what you feel about the info, but if it's not directed at someone, let it go. If I tried to defend my non chemo approach every time someone mentioned chemo or radiation, I would be very tired indeed.

The whole field is in flux. New ideas are being added. New ideas meeting old established ideas usually brings with it some resistance. Antiangiogenesis was met with such outright derision and hostility by the doctors who only wanted to do surgery chemo and radiation, it's a wonder the poor guy continued in his research. He was still being slammed in the press and by his peers after the NIH had given him the go ahead for clinical trials.This after nearly thirty years of investigation and lab trials. Newness is a hard row to hoe. And while I know that dietary treatment is not new, and is fact an anciently based treatment approach, it has just gotten lost in the drug, and surgery approach to curing disease and is simply trying to make a comeback, in the Western part of the world where it has gotten over ridden. Some of us are more on board than others. That's perfectly alright.

You know, maybe if someone is laughing at you and calling you a fool, it may just be a sign you are on the right track, and they are on a different train. And I'm saying that in regard to Folkman, not anyone here.

So, chemo and radiation works swimmingly for some. Chemo and radiation and additional adjustments to lifestyle, work swimmingly for others. Adjustments to lifestyle work swimming for still others. Obviously, do what works, that's do what works, for you. And if it's not working, why not try something else? I'm just saying. If my choices should fail me any time in the future, I will absolutely try other things, even chemo and or radiation if I feel that that has the best chance of giving me the best chance for survival at that point. Can't be much clearer than that.

And now, there was this absolutely beautiful man on the X Factor, whose eyes touched something in me, and I am off to see if I can't get a preliminary sketch done.

My love to you all, take a cleaning, cancer disturbing long deep, deep breath and relax, while thinking of Rodney King's message, if you can,

Claudia

carolenk's picture
carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

Perhaps Tethys took my comments that were anti-man made vitamins & miscontrued that I am anti-supplement. On the contrary! I take lots of digestive aides, herbs, alpha lipoic acid, resveratrol, ginkgo, etc. I WISH I could get into remission but the best I can do is keep my tumors "quiescent" or dormant. I see the malignant cells that reside in my belly as "confused" and needing to be re-educated rather than the enemy.

I did take B6 when I was going thru chemo but saw it more as drug therapy rather than vitamin therapy. The IV ascorbic acid that I take is so far removed from the natural vitamin C that I see that as more of a drug than a real vitamin. If the ascorbic acid really WAS vitamin C, I don't think I would bruise so easily.

The ONLY thing that I am 100% sure of is that I have been able to mitigate many of the negative long-term effects of carboplatin by taking supplements. I think there are some other women were spared from having residual neuropathy, joint pain or whatever & they didn't even take supplements. But I have a "touchy liver" & needed all the help I could get.

Do I take curcumin? You bet! My gall bladder was removed so I don't have to worry about biliary stasis. I think it would benefit every cancer survivor if oncologists were more open to those integrative therapies that have been shown to have merit. Perhaps that is the way of the future.

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

Carolenk,

Have read that ALA is very effective against neuropathy, but wonder if THAT is the reason you're taking it. In a Kansas U research study, many women who survived ovarian cancer longer than predicted had taken ALA.

Thanks,
Rosey

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

About a liver. I have had trouble with mine and on doing research found some studies that used melatonin to help repair liver issues. I believe I googled NASH and melatonin to find the study. Oddly, the combo came to me and was the first thing I thought of in the middle of the night one night when I went to bed wondering what the heck i was going to do make my stupid liver get better.

So, here's the article. I have been trying just 6mg at night. I am unable to get the full text which would most likely give greater info and times of dosing. I assume it's at night so as to reset the pineal gland but don't know. Plan on upping the dose overtime. I take one an hour before going to bed and then one at bedtime. I have noticed that I am sleeping through the night now, whereas before I would sleep for from one and half to four hours and then I'd be up.

Still think getting together to talk out all the possibilities would be a great idea.

I think as lay people we tend to think that all the thoughts have already been examined. I am learning they haven't. Not at all.

I had always assumed, and made mention of here on more than one occasion, that the thought of giving chemo in a manner similar to antibiotics made more sense than slamming a person til near demise and then allowing them to recover. As I was finishing that book Dr. Foldman's War just now, they began to consider that possibility and found out that the basis for that protocol (nearly kill than allow to recover)was just a report based on the results with I think sixteen rabbits, forty years ago. Forty years ago. And no one bothered to question its validity. YIKES! I could look up the specifics on the test, but I would really rather you read the book. There is talk of the validity of thalidomide's role in anti angiogenesis and interferon's use in curing, that is right curing giant-cell sarcoma's.
Any how, here's that study::

The pilot study of 3-month course of melatonin treatment of patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: effect on plasma levels of liver enzymes, lipids and melatonin.
Gonciarz M, Gonciarz Z, Bielanski W, Mularczyk A, Konturek PC, Brzozowski T, Konturek SJ.
SourceDepartment of Gastroenterology, St Barbara's Main District Hospital, Sosnowiec, Poland.

Abstract
The mechanism by which nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) progresses into nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is unknown, however, the major process is oxidative stress with increased production of reactive oxygen species and excessive inflammatory cytokine generation. To date, there are no effective treatments for NASH and the published data with treatment using antioxidants are not satisfactory. Melatonin (MT), the potent endogenous antioxidant secreted in circadian rhythm by pinealocytes and in large amounts in the digestive system, was reported to improve oxidative status and to exert beneficial effects in NASH pathology in experimental animals, but no study attempted to determine the possible effectiveness of MT in humans with NASH. In this study, 42 patients (12 placebo controls and 30 MT-treated) with histological evidence (liver biopsy) of NASH and no history of alcohol abuse, were included. The treatment group took melatonin (2x5 mg/daily orally), while controls were treated with placebo. At baseline no significant differences between the groups were found for age, body mass index (BMI) as well as for plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), glucose and MT. During the study period plasma ALT level and cholesterol concentration decreased significantly in both MT-treated and control groups, however AST and GGT levels decreased significantly only in MT-treated groups. Median value of AST level at baseline was 76.5 (64.2-114.2) IU/L and its percentage decrease at 4, 8 and 12 week was 20, 36 and 38%, resp. Baseline GGT median level was 113 (75.7-210.7) IU/L and its mean percentage decrease at week 4, 8 and 12 was 46, 48 and 47%, resp. Plasma ALP levels did not change significantly during MT treatment. Median value of plasma concentrations of MT (pg/mL) in MT-treated group rose from 7.5 (5.0-14.25) at baseline to 35.5(18.8-110.0), 43.5(17.0-102.5) and 49.5(18.0-99.5) at the end of 4, 8 and 12 week of treatment, respectively. Plasma levels of TG and glucose as well as BMI in controls and MT-treated patients were not significantly different from baseline. This study demonstrates for the first time in humans that three months treatment with MT significantly improves plasma liver enzymes in patients with NASH without causing any side-effect. Plasma MT levels during the whole period of MT treatment persisted above that at baseline. Our findings show that treatment with MT significantly improves plasma liver enzymes in NASH patients, but larger cohort trials and longer treatment with MT are required before this indole could be included into the spectrum of the NASH treatment.

PMID: 21224501 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free full text

One other thing I thought I'd mention to you, Carolen, is that I have symptoms almost always related to either stress or almonds. True there were a lot of almonds consumed and I know that almonds are usually good for a liver, but apparently not mine. and certainly not with chocolate. My liver is currently much, much less tender than previously.

carolenk's picture
carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks for sharing that information. NASH is also known as "fatty liver" so named because the liver degenerates and liver cells are replaced by fat cells. A fatty liver is usually associated with a high-carb diet. And I have seen fatty livers reverse to normal when they are found and treated before they progress to NASH. There are several good herbs for the liver--milk thistle is probably one of the ones best known.

The dose of melatonin that Tethys takes is 20 mg at bedtime--so the hormone seems to be quite safe in high doses.

I was reading about laetrile (B17)and learned that there was a time when a person in the US could get the "nutrient" from eating raw almonds. However, out of some fear the government had of B17, all almonds are treated somehow (I can't find the source of this information) so that the B17 is destroyed in it. Even raw, organic almonds. In any case, Claudia, you should stay away from almonds and probably chocolate, too.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

Carolen,
I know of the source to which you are referring regarding the removal of B17 from ALL almonds in the US. I read it too. Can you still get it in bitter apricot seeds?

How does one treat a fatty liver? Do you use only the herbs you list above?

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Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

I will stop in here every once in a while to update this food thread. My focus right now is on reviving my career, but I think about all of you so often. To those of you who have written to me on this board, I deeply appreciate your comments. To those who have contacted me privately, I will be in touch soon. Much love to all.

Jill

Claudia provides a very good explanation of angiogenesis is a separate thread. I have excerpted the information on foods that inhibit angiogenesis:

If you're new here, angiogenesis is the process of cancer cells sending out signals to bring new blood vessels to them. Without these new blood vessels, these little outposts cannot grow and have no power to harm, due to their limited nutrient getting capabilities and the resulting limited size capabilities.

This is a list of foods, that act to discourage angiogenesis from the society by the same name:

GREEN TEA
STRAWBERRIES
BLACKBERRIES
RASPBERRIES
BULEBERRIES
ORANGES
GRAPEFrUIT
LEMONS
APPLES
PINEAPPLE
CHERRIES
RED WINE
RED GRAPES
BOK CHOY
KALE
SOY BEANS
GINSENG
Maitake mushroom
Licorice
Turmeric
nutmeg
Artichokes
LAVENDER
PUMPKIN
SEA CUCUMBER
TUNA
PARSLEY
GARLIC
TOMATO
OLIVE OIL
GRAPE SEED OIL
DARK CHOCOLATE

Whatever you do, there are people to answer your questions. Most are simple questions, I am rather on the outskirts looking in and all around in the search for answers.

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Rewriter
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Joined: Dec 2009

I have edited the following posts, which I hope Linda will not mind, so as to include only the pertinent information about the food in question. All of the other great information can be read in the original thread.

From Linda Procopio, in response to Fayard's need to gain weight and question about adding some yogurt to her diet.

I eat Greek yogurt daily, on advice from my nutritionist.

As your cancer journey continues, what you need for your health changes too.

Most of the rarer and more aggressive cancers tend to NOT be hormone receptive, although you really need a simple assay to know for sure how that is for you personally. If your particular cancer is ER-, the benefits of adding some dairy or meat to your body, at this juncture, may outweigh the risks. From my 1st appointment with a cancer nutritionist in 2008, I was told to eat at least a tablespoon of active yogurt every single day to help restore the good bacteria that chemo could be killing off.

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Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

This was posted a while ago, but it is a good introduction to the diet. Also, I would suggest using the search option to find more information on the anti-cancer diet. Good luck!
I'm not sure who posted this originally, but it is pertinent to this thread:

Incredible lecture given by Servan-Schreiber at UCSF. Discusses the studies and perspectives of why oncologists say what they say, dismissively, about diet and exercise. His arguments backed by science. A must-see!

Natural Defenses in Preventing and Treating Cancer - UCtelevision
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaDt3AJQ98c

(28:20 in) “…For the last 40 years, all of oncology has been focused on destroying cancer cells….We spent between 150 and 200 billion dollars on cancer research in the last 40 years and we’ve improved the median survival of metastatic cancer, which is really the only one that kills you, by 3 months….So maybe we’re not pursuing quite the right roadmap. And what [I and others are] saying…is that yes it’s great to kill cancer cells but obviously it doesn’t seem to be enough. It is important, at the same time, to strengthen the body’s ability to resist cancer by creating an inhospitable terrain to cancer growth. And you can do both at the same time. This is not about alternative medicine.”

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Fayard
Posts: 343
Joined: May 2011

I have almost forgotten this video. I am glad you posted the link.

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carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

I don't know about B17 in bitter almonds. Choline deficiency can cause fatty liver. Organic egg yolks are a good source of choline or choline can be taken as a supplement with meals. People with fatty liver should follow the anti-candida diet (no sugar or simple carbs).

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

Am back to work full time, so able to visit the boards less often.

But am fascinated by some of these posts.

Re fatty liver, Claudia, I know only that artichokes are supposed to be the vegetable par excellence for the liver, helping to thin bile and nourishing the organ. Even Ralph Moss's web site has an entire article about it.

Re whether to take, or not take, supplements, I am of two minds.

Yes, food is the BEST source of most nutrients because they occur there with phytochemicals that are synergistic. And some supplements are far purer than others; Standard Process Labs, for example, reputedly produces supplements that are not mere extracts, but substances that occur in their "whole" form. (I am impressed by the theories of Dr. Bruce West on this subject; in his newsletter "Health Alert" he claims that his mother wound up in a wheelchair from radiation to her pelvic region for uterine cancer; that this cancer soon spread to her lungs; but that she is still alive nine years later on the Mediterranean diet, Standard Process Lab supplements (including peptides that boost the performance of the thymus gland, crucial to the entire immune system).

However, not only is much of our food supply degraded from depleted soil and other problems--so that unless we are really careful to eat primarily fresh organic foods, we are getting little sustenance-but the very digestive systems we have may well have been compromised by too much chemo and radiation, notorious for destroying the delicate tissues of the digestive tract so that, even a year or two after treatment, we do not ABSORB many nutrients.

The latter fact is one argument, for me, that supports the use of supplements.

Another is the fact--as reported by one of MD Anderson's key researchers, Aggarwal, that taxol is so toxic that it in itself creates an inflammatory state that causes micrometastases that show up, a few years later, and are diagnosed as evidence that our tumor has spread--rather than that taxol has HELPED it to spread. Curcumin is so suppressive of inflammation that he and other researchers recommend it be taken throughout chemotherapy to prevent this dynamic from occuring. And as Dr Jeanne Drisko (Kansas U) observes, patients who start chemo with high levels of antioxidants do better than those who are already low in antioxidants: which is why Dr. Russell Blaylock long advised HIS cancer patients to DELAY chemo and radiation for a few weeks to boster their immune systems with Vitamin E succinate, fish oil, and other supplements.

On the subject of melatonin, Claudia and all: I have a lot of research on it that would be happy to forward. I pursued the research upon finding a few clinical studies reporting that women with UTERINE cancer, of all cancers, are at diagnosis, notoriously low in melatonin. Reading up on the subject, and with the endorsement of my integrative doctor, I took 20 mgs a night during radiation and my last three rounds of chemo. Although I rarely had had trouble sleeping, neither did I feel 'drugged" by melatonin, whose use was first sanctioned for cancer patients by the Italian researcher Lissoni (sp?) a few decades ago. (Ladies, I also hate to report that my very use of this computer at the moment may well be lowering my melatonin levels; exposure to artificial light after dark--particularly, from computer screens, fluorescent light, and so on--diminished melatonin production, as does stress, which is why meditation has recently been found to boost melatonin levels.
Nurses who work the night shift, you may already know, suffer far higher rates of breast cancer than the female population at large--because exposure to sustained light at the very time our pineal gland should be secreting melatonin wreaks hormonal havoc. (Perhaps I'm too much the romantic, but it all makes sense: we were not MEANT to use sunscreen, which prevents Vitamin D absorption, just as we were MEANT to be asleep soon after dark--not staring into computer screens and watchig televison late into the night. (She said, while sitting in a WIFI cafe--hardly an ideal environment for a cancer patient. I saved forty dollars a month by getting rid of WIFI in my apartment because WIFI where we SLEEP is particularly hazardous. A good source on this subject is the recent book Zapped! by Ann Louise Gittleman.)

Getting back to nutrition: I agree with Joann that we need to watch the interactions of supplements; it's true that some, such as ginger, garlic, curcumin, fish oil can have anti-clotting effects. However that effect is only dangerous if our platelets are really low (below 60), or we're about to undergo surgery, or we've already had "bleeding episodes" showing fragile platelets. One of you who is taking intravenous Vitamin C wondered why you are bruising so much: it could be the OTHER supplements you're taking, such as those I just mentioned.

None of this is to pretend I know much about the entire elusive and underresearched field of cancer and nutrition. There will, my doctor shakes his head sadly, NEVER be adequate research in this field because the financial rewards are so few: no company will get rich on the discovery that Vitamin E succinate does enhance chemo or that fish oil does enhance our resistance to certain cancers. If he's right (and I hope he's not), we have to do the best we can to ferret out what we can.

As I noted in an earlier post, I'm now very interested in the theory that some cancers, perhaps even many, are manifestations of a fungus. Grape-seed extract is a powerful anti-fungal; so are garlic and rosemary. Do we know of others? Can we compile a list?

Best,
Rosey

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carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

Good info, Rosey. Just want to add a caveat about melatonin: it lowers cortisol. When someone has strong adrenal glands, the drop in morning cortisol is not noticeable. When someone has borderline or exhausted adrenals, they notice the drop in the morning cortisol. That's where the drugged feeling comes from.

Nobody should be taking vitamin E without selenium--in food, these two are found together. Selenium is considered to be the anti-cancer & anti-oxident mineral. Taking vitamin E without selenium will deplete selenium.

Each vitamin has a companion mineral. Vitamin C (as derived from food) contains a small amount of copper. When you take ascorbic acid, you lower copper levels because food-sourced vitamin C is a lot more than ascorbic acid--it has bioflavinoids, copper & more. Taking large amounts of ascorbic acid binds with copper & pulls it out of the body.

I understand copper promotes angiogenesis (the creation of new blood vessels which may feed cancer) yet you don't want to be so low on copper that you get an aneurysm. Maybe I'm bruising from being low in copper--I don't take ginger or garlic.

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

Hello, I was wondering if you had a list, or a url or some further info on the companions to vitamins, Vit E and Selenium is a start. Thanks.

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Gracegoi
Posts: 59
Joined: Aug 2011

In Mary anns thread about the Cancer project there is some discussion about brown rice and acidity.

http://csn.cancer.org/node/228792

So I googled is brown rice acid and found this artical on Livestrong which says wild rice is or mostly is alkaline. I'm happy to hear this. I love wild rice.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/518009-is-rice-acid-or-alkaline/

About Black rice.

A year ago I was in an oriental grocery store and saw a bag of black rice .This was new to me. It had a higher protien content so I tried it. I was not aware of its antioxidant benefits. I'm not that fond of the taste cooked . In this artical it recommends grinding the rice in a coffee grinder and sprinkling it on things. I'm excited to try this.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/26/black.rice.new.brown/index.html

Grace

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

It's good to see you are easily excited.
Love ya, let me know how that goes.

I do the same sort of thing with steel cut organic oats. I'll grind them up in my grain grinder, which is just a coffee grinder that I only use for oats and things, and then I use it like flour as a thickening agent or just add it to whatever. Helps if you mix it with water first or else added to something hot it can clump.

Isn't clump an odd sort of word?

JoAnnDK
Posts: 276
Joined: Jun 2011

You might want to try this packed-with-protein grain which I have used a lot in the last months. Here is a link that tells of its properties, etc.

http://endurancebuzz.com/2011/01/25/farro-a-low-gluten-grain-packed-with-protein/

It is delicious in salads, soups, or by itself prepared as you would make a rice recipe.

My natural-food store sells it by the pound. I like the semi-pearled version but any one is good.

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Gracegoi
Posts: 59
Joined: Aug 2011

Claudia My comrade,

I put it in my six eggwhite ommlet flavored with Parmesan ( picked that up one morning from a female news anchor)

Turned it purple and gave it a hint of pancake flavor. I could see young children getting a kick out of purple scrambled eggs.

Not Blueberry waffels! HA HA

My coffee grinder is wearing out so I'll get a new one for coffee and keep the old one for grains and herbs. Good thinking Girl! ;-)

I grind up oats and lavender and mix with carrot juice and one egg white for a facial.

Got the carrot juice and egg from Dr. Oz show. I added the lavender oats.

Thanks for the Farro Joann. I have not heard of it. Thats a very helpful artical . Amazes me how sharing and helpful people are on the internet.

Grace

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Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

Hope this gets the discussion going again.

zarkapopovic
Posts: 30
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi All,

One contributing factor to endometrial and ovarian cancer is acrylamide: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/90823.php

Acrylamide is created by certain cooking methods in carbohydrate foods. Review the article for more information.

Zarka

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Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

I am moving this thread up because a few new people on this board have asked questions about an anti-cancer diet.

Jill

Sunnysmiles
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2012

Hello Jill,
I have been following the Cancer Survivors Network for over a year now, but I confess only silently. I feel I am ready to 'join in' as even though no one here knows me I feel this close relationship to all these wonderful people that have so much to share.
I have a question on the diet and am not sure to ask it here or to start it new.... I was advised by my oncologist and doctors that uterine papillary serous carcinoma likes estrogen and to avoid foods high in plant estrogen and phyto estrogen. (ie flax, sweet potatoe, soy) and to limit foods containing estrogens. I have researched and have found very limited info. Can anyone share any info they may have? Thanks so much!
Tami

soromer
Posts: 130
Joined: Mar 2011

But this thread is so long, it's probably worth raising the question yourself, from scratch.

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Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi, Tami

I'm so glad that you feel comfortable enough to join the discussion. These boards provide so much excellent information and are probably the best source on the web of all kinds of data on uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC).

My understanding is that UPSC is not generally affected by estrogen, although "regular" endomentrial cancer is. I am going to let other UPSC sisters chime in here, though.

I look forward to hearing some of the details of your diagnosis and treatment. Welcome.

Jill

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

Unlike the normal uterine cancer, which is ER/PR+, and is responsive the estrogens, it is my understanding that because UPSC is mostly ER/PR-, it is not so responsive to estrogen.

Taxol works much better on the ER + cancers.

Claudia

Took a quick trip to your About Me page and did notice that you have mixed histology of adeno and upsc, so your doc was most likely referring to the adeno part of your cancer.

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks so much for gathering all this useful information that has been posted over the past year or two.

It helps so MUCH to have it all in one message thread rather than having to backtrack through hundreds of subject headings to find it.

As for the viability of studies done five or even ten years ago:

While I agree that the more recent, the more persuasive, I'd also remind us that stellar findings, brilliant intimations, and accurate theories--that never gained adequate follow-up study, often stymied by professional rivalries, jealousies, or lack of financial profit--should not be dismissed as possible CLUES to a CURE.

Yes, ladies, let's not be victims of "presentism"--bias against older research and theory.

For example: I find the speculation that some forms of cancer may be merely a form of fungus worth our further investigation. I believe it was the well-informed Carolenk who said that the subject deserved its own thread.

Appreciatively,
Rosey

Jules13
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2012

I have been doing research for my Mom's cancer and ran across this today and felt compelled to share it. www.chrisbeatcancer.com. I though the post on apricot kernels was especially interesting. There are lots of good links and information in both the post and in the comments as well. http://chrisbeatcancer.com/b17-laetrile-alternative-cancer-treatment-suppressed-50-years/

Best wishes and prayers of recovery and hope to you all.

Jules

HellieC
Posts: 444
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi Jules
I take B17 in supplement form every day (I tried the kernels but I just couldn't handle the taste at all). I researched it quite a bit and then discovered that a friend's husband, who has melanoma, was using them too. I started taking them a month after my chemo stopped (Jan 2011)gradually building up the dose. I remained on the high dose (6 x 500mg per day) for 3 months, then reduced to 4 x 500mg per day for the rest of the year. I am now taking 3 x 500mg per day. I don't believe in miracle cures for cancer. My thinking is that this supplement may help to stop cancer re-establishing itself after conventional teatments have removed all/most of the tumour burden. Time will tell - but having had two recurrences, I feel that, for me, it was a chance worth taking.
Kindest wishes
Helen

Jules13
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2012

Thanks Helen, I am going to look into the supplement form too. Thank you for telling me how many you take too. I feel different things may work for different people, so looking into all options to try to help my Mom. Best wishes in your recovery.
Jules

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NatalieCat
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2013

First, I want to express my gratitude to everyone for sharing all this nutritional information. I just joined this site and am looking for all the information I can to improve my well being and prevent recurrance of ovarian cancer as well as all cancers. I've read a lotis out ginger and turmeric and have started adding ground ginger to my diet via teas, cereals and simply adding to water with lemon. Most of the research I have found seems outdated or at least two years ago. Has anyone found any more recent studies?

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

As someone who researched and followed the info I found on the benefits of foods, exercise, deep breathing, etc. I have found that whether the info is newly discovered or tried and true, as someone who will be a five year survivor next month, do all that you are able to do regardless of the age of the research.

 

Hugs and great love to you all,

 

Claudia

 

To all my old buds, I did finally make it to California and am living in "Hippie Heaven" in Ukiah. This people are mostly peace, love and sharing hippie souls. I haven't been this happy since I foolishly left California nine years ago. Just packed stuff in an SUV Christmas Eve and was here by New Year's Eve. Blessings on you all. Love you Jill, and Karen.

HellieC
Posts: 444
Joined: Nov 2010

So pleased to see you touching base with the boards again.  Missed your interesting, informative posts - but absolutely delighted that you have rediscovered what you need.  Maybe with your new found happiness we'll get to see some more of your beautiful paintings?

Kindest wishes
Helen

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

Congratulations on your new location! So glad to hear you are in your happy place now!

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

As someone who researched and followed the info I found on the benefits of foods, exercise, deep breathing, etc. I have found that whether the info is newly discovered or tried and true, as someone who will be a five year survivor next month, do all that you are able to do regardless of the age of the research.

 

Hugs and great love to you all,

 

Claudia

 

To all my old buds, I did finally make it to California and am living in "Hippie Heaven" in Ukiah. This people are mostly peace, love and sharing hippie souls. I haven't been this happy since I foolishly left California nine years ago. Just packed stuff in an SUV Christmas Eve and was here by New Year's Eve. Blessings on you all. Love you Jill, and Karen.

soromer
Posts: 130
Joined: Mar 2011

I think I sent you a message a while ago but don't recall.

Congratulations on your move! I'm so glad it worked out for you. Great job on your part.

I think I'll be in N. CA this June--Pleasant Hill area as well as San Jose. I'll let you know.

Excellent to hear that you're doing well generally. I'm doing all right myself--remission for the past six months, and planning to keep it going~!

Peace, blessings, love and hugs,

soromer/Kate

 

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