His was the book that got me started in the usefulness of natural therapies and he is a huge proponent of synergy in using foods.
Natural Compounds that help fight cancer
In 2001 John Boik of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas launched a book called ‘Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy’ It should have been compulsory reading for all Oncologists. It showed clearly the benefits of a host of natural compounds in fighting different aspects of the cancer process.
From the 4000 cancer research studies Boik concluded that cancer was not an ‘item’ but a process with twenty steps, and a cancer patient might have several or all of these. Whilst no natural compounds could be said to ‘cure’ cancer, some were particularly effective against certain of these 20 steps. The combination of a number of these natural compounds each targeting certain jobs could thus prove effective.
It is a theory Chris Woollams agrees with. He had already run a piece in 2002 called the Rainbow Diet and in 2008/9 he launched ‘The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer’, using the very latest scientific research to show exactly what foods might reduce pre-cancerous inflammation, which vitamins might kill a cancer cell, which natural compounds might block or reduce oestrogen, which might restrict blood supplies to a tumour, and so on.
Here, from their two works, are twenty natural compounds that you might think of including in your regime to beat cancer. Most are covered in much greater detail on our CANCERactive web site.
Chinese herb – not only does it boost the immune system but it helps the immune system recognise the cancer cells. The Chinese use it for patients taking chemo- and radiotherapy. MD Anderson say it helps double survival time for people undergoing the latter.
Several studies in Cancer Watch lately have pointed to their effectiveness in helping to fight breast cancer. The yellow, orange and red pigments in vegetables. Vitamin A is found in fish oils but you can overdose so, since it can be made in your body from the precursor beta-carotene, you might be best to try taking natural Chlorella.
3: Bee Propolis
Can contain 180 different natural compounds, the ultimate Rainbow Diet multivitamin! Also keeps bacteria, yeasts and microbes in check and boosts the immune system.
4: Burdock Seed
Has anti-cancer properties and boosts immune system. In Essiac.
5: Curcumin (Turmeric)
Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbes. Increasingly popular in the USA with doctors dealing with colorectal cancer cases.
What doesn’t it do? Pharma companies are working on it now. Blocks oestrogen receptor sites from oestrogen attack, denatures aggressive oestrogens to safer cousins, and it even stops the action of dangerous chemical ´dioxin´. Hoechst has dubbed it ‘The new safer Tamoxifen’.
7: Vitamin D
Becoming an essential ingredient in any anti-cancer regime. Attaches to receptors on cancer cell walls and is thought to be capable of returning them to be ‘healthy, normal cells’. Only real source via sunshine on the cholesterol layers below your skin. A little in fish oils.
Active ingredient in some herbs. Shown to be a powerful anti-cancer agent in research.
9: Vitamin E
Boik believes ideal anti-cancer dose is 440 to 1700 IUs per day. But it must be all natural with all 8 types of vitamin E (4 tocopherols, 4 tocotrienols).
Seems to have several different benefits, for example, a good omega-3 source, an alpha-linolenic acid source and a good lignan source. Each performs different anti-cancer functions.
Allicin is a proven, potent ingredient. Research indicates its anti-inflammatory benefits, and even an ability to restrict blood vessel formation in tumours. Must be fresh, uncooked garlic.
An ‘anti-oestrogen - it is found in a number of pulses like beans and soya but is especially prevalent in Red Clover, the herb of Hippocrates. Several cancer centres have researched its benefits for people with oestrogen-driven cancers.
Has glucose-controlling properties, is an immune booster, and there is some research showing it can act against cancer cells.
An amino acid involved in oxidative processes, and can attack the cancer energy producing system, which does not use oxygen.
Orange or lemon peel, essential oil, and anti-cancer agent.
Powerful antioxidant, which is normally produced by the brain 90 minutes after falling asleep in a darkened room. It is also a hormone and known to regulate and balance oestrogen and IGF-1, two hormones which can drive cancer. If you supplement, restrict your dose to just 3 mgs; excess can cause halucinations.
The active ingredient of the herb Feverfew. Caused a big surprise two years ago when research showed it out-performed the anti-leukaemia chemo drugs! The American FDA has ‘fast-tracked’ it as a compound of huge potential.
Found in a wide variety of foods – from grape seed and pine bark extract (where it has great immune boosting properties) to the anthocyanins of beetroot, which are known to kill cancer cells.
Every week seems to bring new research on this natural compound found in organic red grape skins, where it keeps fungus and bacteria at bay. Research indicates benefits in dementia, brain tumours, leukaemia and other illnesses including cancers.
Medicinal Mushrooms like Shiitake and Cordyceps have been shown in research to greatly increase survival times, both on their own and in conjunction with orthodox cancer therapies. Active ingredients include polysaccharides (like beta-glucan polysaccharide) which boost the immune system and improve cellular messaging, and linoleic acid which seems to have anti-cancer properties and helps increase oxygen in the blood. Even button mushrooms help! Because each mushroom type can have different benefits it is best to mix three or four types in your meals.
At last, the definitive, research based book on how to build a diet to help beat cancer. Click here to read about it.
NB: Some of these natural products are very powerful and can interfere with drugs. For more information see Boik´s book. If using supplements please ensure that they are the all natural compound.
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