Lymphoma & Nutrition
My husband was diagnosed with Stage 3 grade A Non-Hodgin's Lymphoma. He is feeling great.
I have done lots of reading about cottage cheese and flax oil blended together with fruit and another long time survivor has a web site and will send you some really excellent information. For example:
1. ADEQUATE QUALITY SLEEP...No amount of nutrition, exercise, medication or attitude will work properly and take hold to restore health without time for quality sleep. Sleep and relaxation are different. Without being too scientific, quality sleep means deep sleep, where powerful lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cells (See Addendum, note 1) are produced.
It is widely acknowledged that many people in today's fast-paced demanding world are sleep deprived. Attention must be given to this fact in order to get the following strategies to work.
The issue of stress enters the picture... feeling trapped by something in one's life, a lack of control etc., all of which may lead to a reduction in deep sleep or in waking up too early. Many researchers believe that stress, because of its demands on the immune system, is a contributing factor in the advancement and regulation of lymphoma.
In addition to the LAK cells mentioned above, the role of the hormone melatonin, produced within the brain at the onset of darkness, is a significant factor in connection with sleep and one's daily circadian rhythm. Lymphomas are known to be particularly sensitive to hormonal balance. Do not supplement with melatonin. It is illegal in most countries. Sleep in as dark a room as possible. If this is not possible, particularly in the spring and summer months, despite some understandable reluctance, consider using a mask. Getting to sleep before midnight is important.ÃÂ
2. BREAKFAST... Of all the strategies, this one has become the most famous. Perhaps that's not surprising since breakfast may be the hardest meal to prepare from a "health" standpoint, and yet it is so critical to nourishment throughout the day.
Here we have the "Stainmaster Breakfast of Survivors". It consists of a large bowl of organic brown rice smothered with a generous portion of one or more of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, blackberries, or cranberries with a heaping spoonful of ground flax seed and soy milk.
Turmeric, (Addendum, note 2) is a critically important supplement targeting a substance called NF kappa B believed in research to be necessary for the growth of lymphoma cells. It contains the bioflavonoid curcumin from which the spice curry is derived. It is added to the rice and the rice is cooked in a steamer. I sprinkle on additional turmeric before eating.ÃÂ Turmeric is inexpensive when purchased in bulk from a health food store.
Here it is, all in one delicious pretty bowl, easy to digest, so nutritious and it stays with you a long time. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries blackberries and cranberries are at the top of the list in phytochemicals (Addendum, note 3) and are usually available year round in frozen form with no loss in nutrients. The rice and soymilk are rich in many nutrients including the important natural gamma form of vitamin E (Addendum, note 4) and the ground flax seed is rich in omega 3's (Addendum, note 5). The absorption of turmeric may be improved by adding some black pepper.ÃÂ
Yes, it penetrates and stains, so don't spill it on your precious wool carpet or use white face cloths to clean it up in your motel room while on the road!
3. EXERCISE... Moderate exercise is an essential component in a healthy active life. Fresh air, movement of the large muscle groups, deep breathing, an increase in resting heart rate...all are important to general health and a sense of well being. Exercise also has some very important connections with lymphoma.
During exercise your body produces its own DHEA, a hormone much in the news these days in connection with anti-aging. Generate your own DHEA through reasonable exercise, not supplementation. Exercise also builds muscle, which, relevant to lymphoma or any illness, is an essential reserve for the supply of proteins for the production of antibodies to fight disease.
Exercise reduces insulin and other hormonal growth factors which encourage cells to divideÃÂ more rapidly. Moderate physical activity speeds the passage of dietary and environmental carcinogens from the body.ÃÂ
Furthermore, endurance aerobic exercise results in extensive oxidation to all cells of the body. The harmful effects of this oxidation on normal cells are handled adequately by antioxidants in a well balanced diet, particularly by such foods as the fruit mentioned above at breakfast. However, the lymphoma cells may be particularly vulnerable to oxidation, such that they appear to undergo apoptosis (death) through a delayed reaction of a few months. To capture this effect, I ride my bike most days of the year and take long hikes in the mountains each summer. I DO NOT supplement with antioxidants (Addendum, note 6). They may block natural apoptosis of the benign-like follicular cells.
Another vitally important benefit of exercise is that it's usually done outdoors where there is exposure to the sun and the natural production of essential vitamin D3.
Overall, when it comes to exercise, each person is different. The message is to do what you can sustain, with enjoyment. The scientific rationale is to get your circulation going through the miles and miles of tiny blood vessels to deliver all those nutrients from the REAL FOOD eaten at breakfast AND to cleanse the body using your lymphatic system.
Your body is a remarkable machine but it will only return to you those things that you have prepared it for. As my oncologist puts it, you will also exercise your bone marrow.
Fitness is like a physiological bank account. You can only withdraw from the body the deposits you made earlier.
4. DINNER... I try to practice some variation which usually includes a mixed salad, meat for protein with an emphasis on fish (wild Pacific salmon, rich in natural omega 3's, when available), various highly colored vegetables changing from day to day and the occasional big juicy steak when I need the nutrients after a series of hard workouts.
The role of sugar is not well understood but many believe that, in excess, it needlessly "feeds" cancer cells. Aspartame (Nutrisweet) is probably worse.
Partially hydrogenated fats,...so common in today's convenience, fast and processed food industry are contained in french fries, many baked products, potato chips and the like...are to be avoided since studies have connected these artificial fats with many forms of cancer.
Those concerned with weight management and those with diabetes will benefit by reducing, preferably eliminating from their diet, the many products containing refined flour. Vegetarians and those not eating meat are advised to make sure they get enough vitamin B-12 and the essential amino acids the body cannot make on its own.
5. SUPPLEMENTS...As few as possible. It's FOOD FIRST, FOOD FIRST, FOOD FIRST. I believe that excessive supplementation is a form of abuse that upsets and confuses the body's natural balance (Addendum, note 7).
Turmeric was covered above in item 2.
Omega-3 fatty acids may be effective in regulating the growth of lymphoma cells, so with breakfast I take three wild Pacific salmon oil capsules (Addendum, note 8)... and two more with dinner, a total of five a day...based on scientific research on dogs with lymphoma. Avoid the L-Arginine which was also used in this study. Apparently, only the oil from wild salmon that have eaten plankton at sea, not the farmed salmon that contain four times as much fat, contain a useful amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
For adequate vitamin C, along with numerous other nutrients, I eat two organic oranges a day. Vitamin D is best derived from the sun as mentioned previously, but for those living in the north and possibly working inside, supplemental vitamin D3 is suggested. There is growing concern that people are not getting enough Vitamin D and this has been associated with an increase in cancer rates. (Addendum, note 9).ÃÂ
Occasionally I will take a 200 mcg. capsule of selenium and a liquid solution of B complex vitamins, rich in B-12, dissolved under the tongue. B complex vitamins are especially important for those people recovering from chemotherapy or radiation. Vitamin E was also covered in item 2. Tomatoes are highly nutritious, and I find that they are especially tasty and refreshing with a mixture of "half and half" salt (sodium/potassium) after a hot bike ride.
I also take a 4.5 mg. capsule of naltrexone (Addendum, note 10) at bedtime.
All other nutritional supplements are unnecessary with a fully balanced diet. In study after study the benefits from eating whole foods clearly exceeds the futility of supplementation. That's not surprising, since after 10,000 years of evolution, our bodies have become accustomed to eating whole foods and excessive supplementation can shock the system and be disruptive to normal metabolism since supplements act alone in the body and not in harmony with other components in natural food, such as fiber.
Concern with antioxidant supplements was mentioned in connection with exercise. In excess, as in supplementation beyond the normal amount in selected foods, it is believed by some that they can prolong the useful healthy life of cells and delay, even prevent, the programmed cell death (apoptosis) of damaged cells and those on their way to becoming cancerous. Cells are supposed to die at a certain point in their natural life to make way for new healthy cells. Each day, as many as 10 billion cells die as they are supposed to.
Green tea is one of the most potent antioxidants, so I do not supplement with it, however it has been beneficially linked to hormonally based cancers such as breast and prostate and to aggressive lymphomas.ÃÂ
Definitely no iron supplements based on convincing scientific research regarding cancer cell growth. His web site is:http://www.lymphomasurvival.com/
My email [email protected]
His website is http://www.lymphomasurvival.com/ and he has a lot more great information.
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