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As I've often said--and try to remind myself--I'd like to gain as much nutritive benefit as I can from wise dietary choices rather than supplements; life's complicated enough without gulping down thirty capsules a day.

But although we've gained empowering information about diet from many sources, especially all the posts that Jill is gathering under a single thread, several of us are wondering precisely how, and why, probiotics--and enzymes--are of particular benefit to cancer patients, especially while trying to maintain an alkaline diet.

Can anyone speak to either subject with authority?

Several doctors who run integrative cancer centers or minister to patients' nutritional needs at CTCA strongly recommend probiotics, particularly during chemo and radiation, to deflect the assaults of these treatments on our intestines; apparently, the digestive system is a major player in our immune function.

Many doctors specializing in cancer treatment even more strongly urge us to take enzymes--before any other supplement--each morning. Michael Murray (CTCA), James Quillen, Keith Block and Russell Blaylock (the latter two M.D.s specializing in nutrition against cancer) advocate enzymes which, I'll clumsily try to recall and paraphrase, help us not only to absorb protein and other nutrients more efficiently as we age, but attack a tough outer membrane that protects cancer cells. Enzyme therapy is deemed the most important of all protocols in the comprehensive treatment of cancer developed by Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez of Manhattan whose work, cited on "Sixty Minutes" and a bit controversial, has been documented to have prolonged the lives of even some pancreatic cancer patients whose prognosis was initially "six months to a year." While Gonzalez doesn't claim to have gained long remissions for ALL his patients, and his comprehensive therapy for the first two years is grueling, one of its mainstays is enzymatic therapy; he believes that the most effective enzymes are not WobEnzymes but porcine enzymes (derived from pigs, whose digestive systems are allegedly far more similar to those of humans than are the digestive systems of cows, from which many enzymes are derived.

In short, are any of you taking probiotics or enzymes?

If so, were they prescribed by an integrative physician?

What kind are you taking and at what dosage?

Can you recommend any web sites that are particularly authoritative?