Orthomolecular Supplements, Part 3

Anti Cancer Nutrition

A large number of special diets ranging from fasting (water only) to juice fasts to low fat and sugar free diets are used. Every one of the special diets have proponents who think they are very helpful, and patients who have been helped by them but no one has ever conducted an experiment to compare all the diets to determine which is the best. Perhaps there will never be a “best”. Because of the individuality of people it may turn out that each person will have to determine what is their own best diet. In my book Hoffer’s Laws of Natural Nutrition Quarry Press, P.O.Box 1061, Kingston, Ontario K7L 4Y5. Almost all the diets used by complementary therapists are lower in animal proteins, much more vegetarian, with emphasis on vegetables rich in bioflavonoids and fruits.

I advise my patients to obey three rules (1) To eliminate all junk food i.e,. food containing any added simple sugars like table sugar or glucose as in corn syrup. This simple rule, comprehensible even to children, will eliminate nearly 90% of the additives commonly added to processed foods. (2) To reduce fat levels, I think that dairy products are the chief villains. Nearly every study internationally has shown that countries with lower fat intake have fewer cases of cancer, particularly breast cancer. Milk is very rich in estrogens from the cow and in phytoestrogens from the grass that they eat.(3) To eliminate all foods they know they are allergic to. These rules allow the diet to be varied, palatable and interesting.

Vitamin Supplements

No one should take any supplements until they have become familiar with their properties and how to use them. It is advisable always to work with a knowledgeable physician. But if they can not find any physician or orthomolecular nutritionist they should go ahead on their own using the information now readily available on nutrition and vitamin supplements. They should advise their doctors what they are doing and which supplements they are using. By listing the vitamins and dose ranges I am not suggesting that every person need to take them all. This is an individual matter based on discussions with their doctor. The vitamin and mineral supplements are compatible with medication and with the diet Vitamin C. The dose range is anywhere from 3 to 40 grams daily in three divided doses. If the dose is too high it will not be absorbed by the intestines, will stay in the bowel and act like a laxative causing loose stools and gas. It is a good laxative.

The best dose does not act like a laxative. Forms of vitamin C include the pure ascorbic acid (hydrogen ascorbate), and the mineral salts such as sodium ascorbate (slightly salty in taste), calcium ascorbate (slightly bitter), and other salts often found in combinations of the mineral ascorbates, In large doses it is best used as the powder dissolved in water or one of the juices. Do not use commercial grade vitamin C crystals of powders. Use CP grades as is found in drug stores or health food stores. Contrary to false rumors issued by some hostile critics of megadose vitamin use it does not cause kidney stones, does not cause pernicious anemia, does not cause sterility. A recent suggestion in a letter, to Nature, published in England concluded that more than 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily could cause DNA damage. This was based on one of a possible 20 markers that could have been used which showed no damage and a 21st marker which is seriously questioned.

Some of the key scientists in this field criticized these conclusions. My only comment is that if they were correct why do my patients who take large doses of vitamin C live so much longer. Vitamin B-3. There are two forms. Niacin lowers cholesterol, elevates high density lipoprotein cholesterol and reduces the ravages of heart disease, but causes flushing when it is first taken. The flushing reaction dissipates in time and in most cases is gone or very minor within a matter of weeks. Niacinamide, the other form, has no effect on blood fats (lipids) but is not a vasodilator. There have been 7 international conferences on the theme niacin and cancer. This vitamin is an essential component of the enzyme systems that repair broken DNA molecules. The dose ranges from 100 milligrams three times daily to 1000 milligrams three times daily.

Several studies in Detroit have found that the response rate of cancer around the head and neck was 10% on radiation alone but increased to 80% when patients were given large doses of niacinamide. Very rarely niacin will cause obstructive jaundice which clears when the niacin is stopped. For details see my book Orthomolecular Medicine for Physicians. Vitamin E (d alpha tocopherol succinate). This water soluble form has the greatest efficacy in controlling cancer cell growth in the test tube and is the one I recommend should be used. The dose ranges from 400 to 1200 International Units daily. Vitamin E is the major fat soluble anti- oxidant in the body and plays a role by decreasing the concentration of free radicals which are thought to be involved in the creation of the cancer. It also decreases the risk of heart disease, thus confirming what was found over fifty years in Ontario by Drs. Wilfrid and Evan Shute.

The Carotenoids. Most people have heard of beta carotene but this is only one of a large number of carotenoids which are present in colored vegetables and fruits such as carrots, beets, tomatoes and greens. The evidence is very powerful that these mixed carotenoids as found in these foods will decrease the incidence of cancer but there is a question about the efficacy of the pure beta carotene. There is still a vigorous debate about this. I prefer carrot juice to the beta carotene. Generally it is better to have a large variety of these natural anti cancer factors. Beta carotene is very safe. The only question is whether it is the best form. Only a small portion is converted into vitamin A. Folic acid. Several studies have found this important vitamin has anti cancer properties, for cancer of the cervix and of the lung in lung smokers. This does not mean it is safe to smoke. It does mean that smokers should take it and immediately start their campaign to stop smoking.

Women should take ample amounts to prevent neural tube disorders such as spina bifida. The US government plans to add it to flour. Canada is still thinking about it. The dose range is from 1 to 30 milligrams daily. It can be taken only on prescription. Coenzyme Q 10. Dr. Karl Folkers discovered this substance, also called ubiquinone; toward the end of his long and distinguished career he regretted that he had not called it a vitamin. It is an odd vitamin since young people are able to make enough from the lower numbered ubiquinones such as Q 6 or Q 8 whereas older people and anyone ill is not able to make enough. It thus becomes a vitamin later in life and when one becomes ill. A few clinical studies have shown that in large doses it has anticancer properties especially for breast cancer. These range from 300 milligrams to 600 milligrams daily.

Mineral supplements

Selenium, The presence or absence of this trace element has the clearest relationship to the presence of cancer. People living on soils that are rich in selenium have a lower incidence. I recommend between 200 to 1000 micrograms daily. One of my patients took 2000 with no side effects. Calcium and magnesium. These are generally very useful to take to maintain calcium levels in bones and blood. They have been found helpful in cases of bowel cancer. Women should receive 1500 milligrams of calcium daily from their food and supplements and half as much magnesium. There are several forms of these minerals available. Usually a person will absorb into their body anywhere between 25 and 50% of the calcium, Zinc and copper. There is a reciprocal connection between these two. If blood zinc levels are too high the copper levels will be too low. Because zinc can shrink enlarged prostate glands and may be helpful in the treatment of this cancer. I have been using it routinely. Also, people in Victoria tend to be low in zinc levels because our water is soft, and dissolves copper more easily from copper plumbing.

Other Substances Found in Plants

A large number of these preparations are being used for the treatment of cancer. They include bioflavonoids, preparations from soy bean, and from mushrooms. Vaccines are also being used. Coley’s vaccine originated over 100 years ago. I will not discuss these, nor other treatments such as 714-X, Ukrain, Iscador, Cartilage, Carnivora, Amygdalin (Laetril), Essiac, and many herbs. These are described in the book by Diamond, Cowden and Goldberg. Most of the speakers at the 26th Annual International Conference on Nutritional Medicine Today, Toronto, April 1997, discussed various topics dealing with the principle and practice of orthomolecular medicine. Dr. C. Simone spoke on “Breast Cancer: Nutritional and Lifestyle Modification to Augment Oncology Care”. Dr. Simone is well known for his work in researching complementary treatment of cancer.. He is an Internist, Medical Oncologist, Immunologist and Radiation Oncologist and has published several valuable books including Cancer and Nutrition and A Ten Point Plan to Reduce Your Risk of Getting Cancer. Optimum nutrition, avoiding toxic substances in food and water, and other lifestyle changes will materially reduce the risk of developing cancer.

Here is his ten point plan

  1. Nutrition: calories slightly below average to maintain a weight just below the average weight. Should be high in fiber, rich in fish, fruits, and vegetables and with vitamin and mineral supplements. Eliminate additives and salt.
  2. Avoid tobacco.
  3. Avoid alcohol (one drink per week allowed).
  4. Avoid radiation. Take X-ray only when necessary and avoid excessive exposure to sun.
  5. Keep environment, air, water, and work place clean.
  6. Avoid promiscuity, hormones and any unnecessary drugs.
  7. Learn early warning signs like a lump in the breast.
  8. Exercise and relax regularly.
  9. Take a yearly physical.
  10. Read his book for a self test of risk factors and symptoms that may indicate cancer or heart disease. See the report by Esteve J. et all. Diet and cancers of the larynx and hypopharynx: the IARC multi-center study in southwestern Europe. In Cancer Causes and Control 7:240-252,1996.

These ten points should be part of every treatment program as well. The main difference is that in treatment the first point becomes even more important and the doses of supplements are much greater. The sicker a person is the more nutrients are needed in optimum doses to help the bodies reparative mechanisms. Treatment must be started as soon as the diagnosis is suspected and made, and should be concurrent with any other treatment recommended by oncologists and cancer specialists. Eventually all cancer specialists will be using these orthomolecular techniques. Supplements must be maintained while chemotherapy or radiation are being used. Studies have shown that these supplements enhance the toxic effect of the treatment on the lesion and decrease the toxic effects on the body. Patients do not suffer as much from the side effects and recover much more quickly when the treatment series is completed. They enhance the quality of life during and after treatment.

Treatment with high doses ascorbic acid either by mouth or intravenously or both carries no risk and does provide substantial advantages over chemotherapy and surgery used as the sole treatment. Between 1980 and 1995 four patients with sarcoma followed my treatment protocol (a combination of orthodox and orthomolecular treatment). The first seen in Victoria, had a prostate sarcoma invading his pelvic bones. The cancer clinic could not treat him and he was declared untreatable. He responded to the regimen and died 9 years later at age 80 clear of cancer. One is alive after ten years. One is still alive after five years. The last one, an abdominal liposarcoma died in his sixth year. Counting the first young patient I saw in 1962 who was still well several years ago, five of six responded either to the vitamin regimen alone or to the combination treatment. There is no reason in the world why any oncologist should not allow vitamin treatment in combination with chemotherapy. This would enhance the therapeutic effect of the chemotherapy and decrease its toxicity.

Author: Dr. Abram Hofer