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Supplements

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

A gal in my therapy group who's a stage 3 breast cancer patient sees an integrative doc, plus very much into complementary approaches such as herbs, vit C infusions, etc. Judy mentioned a good book to read per her research and her integrative doc recommendation, so I picked it up at my library.

Definitive Guide to Cancer, 2nd Ed, An Integrataive Approach to Prevention, Treatment and Healing, by Lise Alschuler, ND and Karolyn Gazella

The chapter on UTERINE CANCER has some information I want to share with others.

NUTRIENTS & HERBS

There's limited research on nutrients and herbs to treat uterine cancer. However, it's important to note that herbs with estrogenic activity, such as red clover, dong quai and possibly licorice, may be contraindicated in estrogen-related endometrial cancers.

. MELATONIN - in vitro studies demonstrated that melatonin has antiproliferative effects on estrogen-related endometrial cancer.

. MUSHROOM POLYSACCHARIDES - A human study of 100 patients with cervical, ovarian or endometrial cancer undergoing chemotherapy treatment demonstrated that a mushroom extract, Agaricus blazei Murill Kyowa (ABMK), improved chemotherapy associated symptoms, including appetite, hair loss, emotional instability and general weakness.

RESVERATROL - This phytonutrient from red grapes was found in vitro to stop human endometrial cancer cells from rapidly reproducing.

. SOY ISOFLAVONES - While data on soy isoflavones is conflicting, an animal study using genistein and daidzein from soy demonstrated a protective effect against estrogen-related endometrial cancers.

------------

My question to you experts, anyone integrated these nutrients into their diets? Noticed a few mentioned melatonin to be good and I have used a powder resveratrol. Not looking to add more to my supplement list, but pondering using only the MOST IMPORTANT.

Hugs,
Jan

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

..I would definitely suggest getting your gyn-oncologist's feedback before taking supplements.

I just consulted with mine with list of things that integrative MD recommends and my gyn-onc only wants me taking a multi-vitamin.

MA

JoAnnDK
Posts: 276
Joined: Jun 2011

MaryAnn, it is not surprising that your doctor told you what he did about supplements and vitamins. The more I read about this stuff, the more leery I am. There is no research showing how 3 or 4 (or more) different supplements/compounds/herbs/vitamins work together (or cause a bad reaction together). And there is no clearinghouse to go to for information about reactions.

I liken all of this to playing with compounds in a science lab and hoping that nothing explodes.

I just found out that thyroid medication should not be taken at the same time as calcium. Two products that have been used for a long time, and I am just now finding this out! So who knows about all that other "stuff"?

JoAnn

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

When I posted I was going to say that our bodies are like chemistry labs - but you did that. I guess I never thought of the supplements interacting with each other. Makes sense.

Speaking of multi-vitamins. There is some talk out there in the media (I heard it twice recently) that they may really help all that much. Vitamins are a big industry. Let's eat healthy and fresh foods.

MA

HellieC
Posts: 436
Joined: Nov 2010

Red wine is a good sourse of resveratrol. Of course, once you've had a glass or two of it, you can't say it, but hey ho - it's on my daily list!

Seriously, there is a lot of information "out there" about supplements, vitamins etc etc. Some of it makes sense, some of it is conflicting, but above all, most of the evidence is anecdotal or at best "in vitro". I choose to take some supplements, but in the UK, our clinical oncologists are trained to offer "evidence based" treatment only, so not much point in discussing it with them, as they wouldn't be prepared to offer an opinion in most cases. Although I made sure that when I was receiving their "orthodox" treatment, I did nothing in terms of supplements which could affect the outcome.

Now that I am not on treatment, I am my own advocate. I read carefully, hopefully make informed choices and monitor how I feel very carefully. I figure that my chance of re-recurrence is relatively high, so I intend do everything I can to try to prevent it - diet, supplements, exercise, lessen stress etc. There are risks, of course, in following this strategy, but I would hate to look back and say "if only I'd tried........"

So bring on the resveratrol.........

Wishing everyone good health
Helen

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

The claim that there are no or few studies of how a given supplement affects outcomes in classic treatment is simply wrong; there are many studies in reputable journals (just look at the bibliography in articles on curcumin, for example, or Vitamin e succinate); it's just that our U.S. med schools ignore them and don't even include a single course in nutrition, let alone supplementation. (Thomas Jefferson U in Philadelphia is one of the rare exceptions; they now have a course in nutrition built into the four-year curriculum. How belated and still inadequate!)

Servan Schreiber was a doctor and researcher and did NOT rely on shoddy sources for his own research. Nor does Dr. Russell Blaylock, who cites many clinical studies in good journals to support his conclusions.

Do we have to be careful in how we combine supplements? Occasionally, yes--but less often than how careful we need to be in how to combine medications, mistakes in which, by prescribing physicians, cost many lives each year.

Rosey

bea-mil's picture
bea-mil
Posts: 106
Joined: Jun 2010

...well said Rosey.
I don’t even bother asking my doctor for any advice on supplementation or diet for the reason you’ve mentioned. Also from legal point of view doctors cannot prescribe any supplementation not approved by FDA. They can lose their licence.
If I have any question I search internet and books and like you said there are many independent studies done by reputable doctors we can rely on.
I am more afraid to take a combination of drugs prescribed by doctor than a combination of supplements. So far our body is handling nature better than synthetics.
There are more people dying from being misdiagnosed than from car accident each year in America.
Here is a link to very good article.
http://www.cancertutor.com/ChemoSpill/deathbydoctoring1.htm

JoAnnDK
Posts: 276
Joined: Jun 2011

Rosey, I do not think anyone said anything about no studies being done on supplements. But I do not think there are studies on using multiple supplements. Sometimes as many as 10 or 12 at a time are mentioned by people who are using them. To me, this kind of "mixing" is just not something I want to risk.

Studies are usually always just about one supplement, not multiples being used together.

Also, there is a TON of misinformation and bad information online.

And I know that there are sometimes problems from prescription meds......but does that mean we choose the lesser of the two evils? Because to me, it is just as unwise to do one as the other. Just because something is "natural" does not mean it is good! Look at all of the natural things we avoid, such as meat, sugar, salt, dairy.

Some informative articles from reliable sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/511965-can-taking-too-many-supplements-make-you-sick/

http://ods.od.nih.gov/pubs/ds_whatyouneedtoknow.pdf

HellieC
Posts: 436
Joined: Nov 2010

I can't see where anyone has suggested that there aren't any studies being done on supplements. But the number of double blind studies with sufficient power to detect changes are few and far between and are usually on a single compound. These are the sorts of studies that our clinicians have been taught to look at and it is these that provide the basis for their "evidence based" medicine. It really would not be realistic to expect them to take on board every paper in every journal on every supplement -they have to concentrate on one area of expertise, otherwise they become generalists and lose their edge. That's why there are alternative/complementary practitioners out there.
As I said before, we need to be our own advocates and do what feels right for us. I consider my clinical team to the backbone of my fight against this awful disease - their skill, knowledge and care, so far, has been awsome - I am still here because of them. But that doesn't mean I can't do my own research and take up some supplementary strategies. In doing so, I take full responsibility for any mistakes I may make!

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

I figured this is a good place to post my latest "findings" on supplements. I found an excellent article written by a couple of Chinese researchers called The Role of Sulfur in Platinum Anticancer Chemotherapy (I don't have a link to it but you can do a Google search using the title to get the PDF of the full text document).

The article explains how cancer protects itself from platinum chemotherapy by recruiting sulfur in any way it can. Sulfur is in many foods such as cruciferous vegetables, onions, garlic, radishes AND animal sources of protein (as methionine, cysteine, cystine, taurine). Sulfur is also in alpha lipoic acid (used to prevent/treat neuropathy). So a vegan diet during chemotherapy could be good idea (but only for a limited time in my opinion).

Glutathione is a sulfur containing endogenous antioxidant. Cancer uses glutathione to resist platinum chemotherapy, too. There are a number of supplements that can raise the level of glutathione in the body: melatonin, selenium, milk thistle, vitamins C & Bs, alpha lipoic acid and SAM-e. These supplements all PROTECT the body from the damaging effects of chemotherapy, too. So I guess it's a balancing act.

The article does mention a form of methionine (D-methionine) that protects against chemo damage while NOT helping the cancer resist platinum chemotherapy. I'm looking for a source of D-methionine & it looks like I might have to buy it from China.

bea-mil's picture
bea-mil
Posts: 106
Joined: Jun 2010

I don’t know if we can mix multiple supplements. After the surgery I was eating a lot of them. Lately max 3 a day. I do change them every couple of months, because I don’t know what my body really needs. I’m focusing on my diet more.

I know that all vitamins and minerals work synergistically. This is how the nature works. Every simple fruit or vegetable is packed with multiple nutrients.
Do you know that one mango without peel contains 10 minerals and 9 vitamins? Total of 19 nutrients, does this mixture look scary to you or healthy??

Potassium - 323 mg
Phosphorus - 23 mg
Magnesium - 19 mg
Calcium - 21 mg
Sodium - 4 mg
Iron - 0.27 mg
Selenium 1.2 mcg
Manganese - 0.056 mg
Copper - 0.228 mg
Zinc - 0.08 mg
Vitamin A - 1584 IU
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) - 0.12 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - 0.118 mg
Niacin - 1.209 mg
Folate - 29 mcg
Vitamin B6 - 0.227 mg
Vitamin C - 57.3 mg
Vitamin E - 2.32 mg
Vitamin K - 8.7 mcg
http://www.healthalternatives2000.com/fruit-nutrition-chart.html

Every fruit and every vegetable is packed with healthy mixture of vitamins and minerals, the supplements (not from the drug store but from reliable health store) are simply a healthy substitute for all of those things that we are missing in our daily diet.

The prescription drugs are harmful to us with combination of supplements – no other way round. Our immune system is smarter than doctors and simply fights all harmful toxins that we are injecting into our body including prescription drugs.

If someone is telling me deplete your organism from healthy nutrients so my “medication” can work “better” I rather have these nutrients that are powerful enough to fight both.
I am my own advocate and I do what feels right for me like Helen suggested with the help of professionals: herbalists, nutritionists, dieticians etc.

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

The link below should take you to the abstract of a meta-analysis that found no decrease in mortality rates in cancer patients who were given nutritional supplements. If the cancer patients were being given "healthy food/nutritional supplements" that contained sulfur while the patients were undergoing chemotherapy, it stands to reason that there wouldn't be a decrease in mortality rates. The abstract does not list the nutritional supplements that were involved.

http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/02/14/jnci.djr556.abstract

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

Heck no -- my OB oncologist has no desire to comment about my supplements. He is very honest and tells me they have no "approved" research, so he won't give me guidance. Suggests I eat lots of good natural foods...good advice doc!!!!

I as well try to get most of my nutrients from foods and when Bea-Mil posted the nutrients in one fruit, it really makes one think....we can get most of our vitamins/nutrients from our foods...key is eat an array each day!!! Mix 'em up~

I'm my own advocate on what to put in my mouth...learned from you lovely ladies here and my own research.

Ciao!
Jan

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