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PATIENTS' PROTOCOL STEP 4
Diet, Juices and Supplements
Scroll down to the Introduction or click on sub-topics below
This is an introduction to the basic concepts of nutritional therapy for cancer and a preview of detailed information to follow.
It is assumed that the patient has read PATIENTS' PROTOCOL Steps 1- 3, and knows about suppressing metastasis by eliminating tobacco and animal products, reducing sodium, vegetable oil, etc. To review why the carcinogens in animal products are believed to be a leading cause of cancer in America, we have cited books in Section VIII, REFERENCES at the end of this web page.
Now in Step 4 it is time to consider full nutritional therapy. With Step 4, a small but significant amount of patients may be expected to get well. This is discussed later on this web page in Section VII, RESULTS.
Nutrition may be the only true cure for cancer there is. We are what we eat, so only top-notch nutrition can build the top-notch anti-cancer systems we need in our bodies. Then they can fight not only the current cancer, but also the many new cancer cells that will occur in the future. Other treatments may be compared to first aid, attacking the current problem, and helping to speed the solution, but not offering the comprehensive long term cure of good health.
Many patients who have reversed their cancer believe that nutrition and life style are the two most powerful anti-cancer treatments in the world, especially after chemotherapy or radiation had failed them. Some of the reasons will become apparent as Step 4 of the Patients' Protocol unfolds.
To begin with, nutrition can be under direct and immediate control. Anyone can launch an anti-cancer campaign this minute by getting a nice fresh fruit and eating it while reading this web page. Each daily serving of fruit or vegetables can reduce certain cancer risk factors by as much as 20%. (But it takes more than the government's recommended five servings to reverse cancer.)
One purpose of anti-cancer nutrition is to restore and revitalize the immune system and all the other anti-cancer armies that are naturally present in a healthy body. Many have heard about B-cells and T-cells, which fight both infections and cancer. These are two components of the defenses specifically referred to as the immune system. But in common parlance, patients often refer to all the anti-cancer armies of cells, peptides, enzymes, etc. as the immune system.
We have armies that cut out damaged DNA and paste in the needed repairs. We have armies that turn cancer-promoting genes off, and armies that turn cancer-fighting genes on. There are armies that seek out cancer cells and mark them for repair or destruction. There are armies that order cancer cells to self-destruct, and armies of giant pac-man cells that devour them if they don't, etc, etc. The list of anti-cancer armies that the body knows how to produce is far, far too long to cover here. That's why most people don't have tumors.
The point here is, what we eat can determine the size and vigor of all those armies. That's one reason we found nutrition to be one of the most powerful cancer treatments in the world.
Another reason is that fresh food itself contains literally hundreds, some scientists say thousands, of it's own anti-cancer armies - armies of phytochemicals, enzymes, nutrients, etc, etc, that flow through our bodies and come to our daily rescue.
And a third reason, as explained in Patients' Protocol Step 3, is that just replacing animal foods can result in over a 40% drop in cancer risks, according to many studies cited by the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine and the reference books listed later.
A FEW OF OUR ANTI-CANCER SYSTEMS
Antioxidants - prevent cancer-causing cellular damage
DNA Repair Enzymes - cut and paste corrections to cellular DNA
P53 Gene System - stops damaged cells from reproducing
Phase II Liver enzymes - detoxify carcinogens
Tumor Suppressor Genes - induce death of cancer cells
B-Cells - make antibodies against certain cancer cells
Helper T-Cells - direct other cells to attack cancer
Cytotoxic T-Cells - kill cancer cells upon contact
Natural Killer Cells - bind, kill cancer cells
Tumor Necrosis Factor - chemotherapy made by many cells
Lymph Nodes - trap cancer cells for destruction
Macrophages - devour cancer cells
Neutrophils - digest dead tumors
Antineoplastons - five newly recognized anti-cancer peptides
Prostaglandin J2 - kills all types of cancer cells upon contact
Adhesion Molecules - grab cancer cells and call immune system
Fruits and Vegetables - Your body's daily chemotherapy, containing hundreds of anti-cancer ingredients, including antioxidants, phytoestrogens, vitamins and minerals, carotenoids, retinols, indoles, saponins, flavinoids, protease inhibitors, phenols, lycopene, sulfurophane, catechins, etc., etc. - nutrients that can prevent, heal and eliminate cancer cells.
Food has to be digested to build those anti-cancer armies. It may take scientific testing to find out if a patient's digestion needs fixing. And then testing may be needed again to make sure the corrective treatment is working. However, we put faith in the clinical picture as well as in tests.
Key tests some of us used:
We mentioned the consensus among American scientists that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day can help prevent cancer. So it's not too hard to see how 10 servings a day might help prevent existing cancers from growing. And 20 servings a day might actually reverse cancer. That's what many recovered cancer patients have learned.
But we couldn't get that many servings of vegetables by just adding side dishes. The whole diet had to be based on produce - not on animal products, not on tofu, not even on whole grains, although grains are still important. This is the type of vegetarian diet called a vegan diet.
THE VEGAN DIET harms no creature, so some of us also call it the "Garden of Eden Diet." This concept helped us to visualize what is included. It is not a lacto- (dairy) or ovo- (eggs) vegetarian diet. These contain animal foods, and levels of protein and fat that could be too high for cancer therapy.
A vegan diet consists almost entirely of limited fruits and unlimited vegetables. Some whole grains are important, and legumes are usually included, provided they do not displace too many servings of other vegetables. Limited seeds are usually included for essential fatty acids.
A CAUTION FOR TOFU AND OTHER SOYBEAN PRODUCTS Producers are spending literally millions of dollars in a media blitz to win market share from the animal food industry. They plant favorable articles about soy in almost every popular magazine, and fund favorable research. We don't object to hard-ball marketing, except when it misleads doctors and patients into relying on unproven soy foods in place of the long established benefits of vegetables.
When animal products are replaced by vegetables, studies in the books cited in the reference section show that cancer risk is cut 40 to 50%. We haven't seen even the most favorable research that soy producers have sponsored come close to that.
Sometimes we overlook what may be the main advantage of soy products - they replace carcinogenic animal products. This might explain most of their reputed health benefits.
Independent researchers reported in the highly respected journal, Cancer Reserch, that one component of soy, the highly touted genistein, turned out to be carcinogenic in laboratory tests. In real life trials, leading international cancer hospitals tested soy products and now prohibit them during early stages of cancer therapy.
Be aware that there may be some sleight of hand regarding which kind of soy they are trying to sell you and the traditional soy credited with the health benefits of Asia. In America they usually sell a newer Swedish breed of soy that is reportedly higher in industrial oils and stronger in estrogenic activity. And even that is now being replaced with genetically-modified soy, about which even less is known. So when you read the research, it would good to know which soy they are referring to.
Other beans may be safer and healthier, since they have only a fraction of the oils that soybeans have and their amino acid profile is less like meat. Usually they are sprouted or cooked - not so heavily processed as soy products. Look for Certified Organic, or at least Non-Genetically Modified products.
For decades cancer diets have worked very well without relying on soy, so clearly soy does not seem important.
For patients undergoing cancer therapy, we see no reason to take unnecessary risks until the marketing blitz is over and real scientific answers to the controversy become available. Hopefully we will then learn what place, if any, soy has in cancer therapy.
Certainly an occasional serving of soy shouldn't be anything for patients to worry about, and recovered patients should be able to enjoy soy even more often. But be warned - symptoms such as goiter and thyroid suppression have been reported at doses as low as two servings a day.
RAW FOODS ARE IMPORTANT. Cancer patients need the maximum nutrients possible, so they cannot afford to destroy them by unnecessary cooking. Besides reducing vitamins and minerals, cooking destroys virtually 100% of the enzymes that seem to be crucial to reversing cancer. It appears that the most powerful anti-cancer diets are 75 - 95% raw. Often the high proportion of rawness is achieved by adding fresh vegetable juices. For a few foods there may be advantages to occasional cooking.
Contrary to some opinion, raw foods are often much easier for the body to digest, because they can contain many of their own digestive enzymes. But it may take several weeks for the chewing and peristaltic muscles to get in shape. Poorly chewed foods can feed the microorganisms in the colon instead, causing gas.
There is a double benefit from raw food. Since it spares the body from making so many digestion enzymes, it can free up the body's chemistry to make more cancer killers instead. Clinical experience shows that a weak immune system may double in strength after a few weeks on a mostly raw diet.
Would you rather use your chemistry to make a quart of unnecessary digestion enzymes, or to make an extra quart of anti-cancer armies?
IV. CARBS, OILS, PROTEINS
Now here's some straight talk about basic nutrition that may not be quite what you have heard before. It can be difficult to get the whole truth from the health "news" in any advertising media that gets it's revenue from selling supplements or cheeseburgers, or from someone who is trying to promote their latest book.
We have to understand three key terms to keep from being misled.
1. CARBOHYDRATES. Thanks to this unfortunately broad term, a zone of confusion has been produced in America. Technically anything that contains carbon and water is called a carbohydrate. But this covers a wide spectrum from the worst junk foods to the foods that most nutritionists agree are the healthiest foods on the planet - vegetables. This makes it possible for research to "prove" that one should eat less carbohydrate (junk food) and also to "prove" that one should eat more carbohydrate (vegetables).
Some guidelines might be helpful:
2. OILS. Contrary to what the animal industry and old-fashioned experts may tell you, we do not need fat in our diet. Watching people on the sidewalk will demonstrate that we can make our own fat all too easily. Modern scientists have determined that what people really need is oil.
Fat is solid, as in butter or lard. It comes mostly from animal foods.
Oil is liquid at room temperature. It comes mostly from plants. (Fish have both bad fats and good oils, a tricky exception.)
Like vitamins that are essential, scientists have now determined that there are two kinds of oil that are essential to life and health. They are called Omega 6 oils and Omega 3 oils. Omega 6 oils are also called Linoleic Acid. Omega 3 oils are also called Linolenic Acid. Omega 3 has the three-letter name "len" in the name.
Omega 6 oil is found in virtually all vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds - even in most other oils. It is almost too easy to get the amount that is essential from a healthy diet. Requirements are roughly estimated to be about 20 grams a day, equivalent to about 1/4 cup of sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
Adding more Omega 6 oil in salad dressing could be way too much oil for a cancer patient. Even olive oil contains some Omega 6 oil. The dangers of excess Omega 6 oil were discussed in Patients' Protocol Step 3, Suppressing Metastasis. Excess oil spoils easily in the body, and can turn into toxins that promote cancer. Some investigators blame vegetable oil as a major factor in the epidemic of skin cancer.
The other oil that is essential for human life, and to fight cancer, is called Omega 3 oil. Food historians say this used to be one of the most common oils in early America, but we are told that the Biotech Industry now has bred it out of most of our foods, to give them longer shelf life.
Tiny amounts still remain in our foods, including dark greens, walnuts, and soybeans. To be sure of getting the recommended amount, about 4 - 6 grams, many of us added:
Omega 3 oil is even more biologically active than Omega 6, so it can be especially important to take it right along with the anti-oxidant vitamin E to keep it from oxidizing.
Many of us, including prostate cancer patients, got well over the last 40 years using flax oil with obvious success. There was a recent, theoretical controversy over the use of flax oil for prostate cancer. So some new prostate cancer patients are using only the fish oil capsules. More recent research seems to confirm the previous 40 years of experience, that flax is good for prostate cancer after all. But check with your doctor for the latest recommendations.
Beware of hydrogenated, and especially partially hydrogenated oils. They are associated with dangerous trans-fatty acids, which are suspected of promoting cancer, and often considered to be one of the most dangerous food ingredients in America, dangerous enough to disqualify them from everyone's diet.
3. PROTEIN. The amount of protein is slightly variable among experienced cancer doctors. Some prefer to temporarily reduce protein and other foods initially to starve the cancer. Sometimes that can stop a cancer in its tracks. Other doctors like to increase protein temporarily in weakened patients to help the immune system expand its attack on the cancer. Many of us just stuck to the government recommended amounts of protein for our size, and did quite well.
On a new diet, patients probably have to pencil out the amount of protein for a few days so they know what they are taking.
The vast majority of alternative doctors do agree that plant protein is far superior to animal protein for cancer patients. It's not just the immune weakening antibiotics, or the possibility of hormones and carcinogens that may be found in meat.
Animal proteins are reported to contain a unique mix of amino acids that tend to acidify the body and promote cancer growth, compared to plant proteins.
The mix of amino acids in animal foods may also inhibit uptake of the amino acid tryptophan to make serotonin. Low serotonin is associated with depression. That could explain why so many meat eaters feel a need to turn to Prozac-type drugs, which may work as an antidote to meat.
While animal protein may be associated with depression and cancer, the amino acid mix from plant proteins seem to have almost the opposite effect on our health. They are associated with calm energy, and as reported before, over a 40% drop in cancer risk.
Another benefit of plants, especially sprouts, is that many amino acids are available directly, so the body doesn't have to go through the work of breaking down protein to get to them. (But sprouts must be very fresh, as they can pick up dangerous levels of bacteria after a few days.) As mentioned earlier, produce that can be eaten raw has it's own enzymes to aid in its own digestion.
Proteins are found in virtually all vegetables. The following vegetables actually have more protein per calorie than some animal foods:
Even more concentrated plant proteins include:
Note the great variety of proteins in a Vegan diet! According to Dr. MdDougall, if one gets enough calories from vegetables, they will automatically have enough protein too. But if more is desired, simply add some of the above foods.
V. JUICING and VEGETABLE JUICE CHEMOTHERAPY
One of the easiest ways to add a large amount of raw produce to the diet is through juicing vegetables. But fruit juices require caution, because they may present too much sugar, too suddenly.
An even more powerful use of juicing is for cancer chemotherapy. Many patients are not informed that they have choices of different kinds of chemotherapy. They include:
In general, American chemotherapy uses a few strong chemicals and produces the most side effects. International chemotherapy relies more on a synergistic effect of many gentle anti-cancer treatments with the addition of health-giving nutrients. It endeavors to make the patient stronger and healthier while fighting the cancer. Herbal or mushroom chemotherapy is used in Europe or Japan, respectively.
Vegetable juice chemotherapy contains hundreds of anti-cancer nutrients and also makes the patient stronger and healthier. The special thing about using vegetable juice for chemotherapy is that juices must be made fresh and consumed immediately. The most powerful anti-cancer ingredients include innumerable enzymes and nutrients that are lost at the rate of about 1% a minute after juicing.
After about a 100 minutes, the juice becomes much less effective as chemotherapy, but is still a very healthy food for the diet.
Some patients found that vegetable juice chemotherapy seemed to work wonders for them, after conventional American chemotherapy failed and seemed to make things worse. Some patients recovered on juice chemotherapy without using the other kinds.
If the doctor agrees that time permits, it would seem logical to try the non-invasive juice chemotherapy first, especially since it also strengthens the patient to withstand conventional treatments should they become necessary later.
The juice recommendations of Gerson, Livingston and Wigmore in the reference books listed at the end differ somewhat. Most recovered patients used various dark greens, carrots, and cabbage family vegetables. Wigmore favors the addition of wheat-grass juice. Gerson adds pectin from tart apples to protect the stomach and improve absorption. Some of us combined green juices and carrot juices to avoid a high-glycemic effect from carrots alone. Some avoid spinach due to it's high oxalic acid content.
Depending upon the severity of the case, it typically took us 8 - 16 full cups a day. That's a lot of juicing. But it is also one of the reasons why it was more effective than conventional chemotherapy in some cases. Toxicity limits the number and frequency of conventional chemotherapy treatments. Juices can be used hourly, all day, every day. Results suggest that this may be one of the most powerful cancer treatments.
A non-scientific survey of patients rates the following juicers among the best:
Norwalk probably extracts the most nutrients and preserves enzymes well, since it avoids spinning the juice. It grinds and then presses, which is an extra step. It is relatively easy to clean, if the press cloth is rinsed and kept in the freezer for use all day. It is expensive, over $1000, but often can be found second hand through support groups, vegetarian markets, some distributors, etc. This is probably the one to get for patients needing the most powerful vegetable juice chemotherapy, especially if help is available.
Green Power or Angel brands feature a Korean juicer using long parallel gears that grind and juice in one pass. Its design makes it easier to use, and low speed helps to preserve enzymes from oxidation and electromagnetic fields. They usually cost much less than a Norwalk. Beware of one wrong-headed model that actually has an electrostatic insert that REMOVES the enzymes to give juices a longer shelf life.
Champion is a venerable brand that has several other food processing capabilities including frozen banana "ice cream" and bread. Some say it can even juice wheat grass, which normally requires a special machine. Avoid overheating to preserve enzymes. It usually costs around $200.
Small, slow-growing cancers, such as "watchful waiting" prostate cancers, may be relatively easier to reverse. For them a convenient rotary basket juicer that instantly separates the juice from the pulp, like Juice-Man or Braun, etc. may be sufficient, especially when ease or cost is an important factor. They run around $50 - $100. Naturally these juices are not expected to be as potent as Norwalk juices.
Blender-types spin the juice so much that precious enzymes may be lost to oxidation, electromagnetic fields and heating. However some recovered patients have used them. They liked the fact that they got the entire fiber and used about half the amount of vegetables. Other patients say all that fiber made it too difficult to consume enough servings. If it comes down to a trade off between fiber and enzymes, we think enzymes are probably more important, because a vegan diet already contains plenty of fiber.
Before buying, check out any juicer for ability to handle greens and carrots, for vegetable preparation requirements (opening size), for ease of cleaning, for noise, warranty, return policy, etc.
For more information, try the Yellow Pages under Juicing Equipment and Supplies.
Raw food support groups may be located through health food markets or vegetarian organizations such as EarthSave, at www.earthsave.org
VI. SUPPLEMENT PREVIEW
Nutritional therapy is often supercharged by means of nutritional supplements. Some alternative doctors are more conservative than others about using them. Professional help is important in this area, because it is easier to throw the body out of harmony than it is to bring it into harmony.
Cancer doctors may prescribe supplementation for several different areas, which makes coordination very challenging, and usually requires a written program. Areas treated include:
We repeat that cancer patient supplementation is best done by experienced practitioners. It may require scientific testing before and after. (We do not recommend making selections based on muscle testing. Have a scientific reason for using or not using a supplement.) It is up to the patient or their partner to make sure doctors have addressed all 6 of the above areas. Just like anyone else, doctors and clinics have their strengths and their blind spots.
Diet, juicing and supplements will be covered in detail in the future. Meanwhile, what can be expected from nutritional therapy?
Virtually all physicians familiar with curing cancer by alternative therapy begin many non-invasive treatments simultaneously with nutrition. So it is difficult to find accurate statistics for the effectiveness of nutrition alone.
In Europe where nutrition can be an officially recognized form of cancer treatment, 30% success rates have been reported for nutritional therapy. In America, most researchers agree that diet accounts for at least 30% of cancers. (Others say over 60%) The Gerson nutritional therapy (which also includes extensive detoxification) reports a best case rate of 50%, but often their patients are considered terminal by conventional therapy.
We believe these figures are optimistic for most American patients for at least two reasons. One, only Americans are routinely treated first with the most invasive treatments, instead of reserving them for later when they may do the most good. Occasionally there is a true emergency that requires such immediate and drastic intervention. We are all grateful that it is available when it's really needed. But needed or not, the patient then has two battles to fight at once - recovery from the cancer, plus recovery from the invasive treatments.
The second problem for Americans stems from the fact that alternative therapy still has a stigma attached to it by very powerful critics and competitors. Congress has now demanded access to alternative therapy by law, the National Institute of Health is now funding it, and the new leadership of the National Cancer Institute seems to be actually encouraging it. Yet American doctors are still threatened by special interests and local medical societies if they dare to provide alternative therapy for cancer.
This can make it financially and emotionally devastating for the sick patient to get access to the full range of cancer therapies. Often they have to pay the distressing price of leaving the community of support they have been counting on and moving to international hospitals. Often insurance won't cover them. These problems don't help, to put it mildly.
For reasons like these, we would guess those ideal rates quoted above may be much lower for pre-treated Americans. Possibly one should expect that a 10% addition to the total success rate might be credited to nutrition alone. Or, to look at it another way, over 10% of cancer patients might get well by Step 4. The number could be much higher if they have been lucky enough to avoid invasive treatments at this stage.
So many patients required all the first 7 steps of the Patients' Protocol to get well, that it seems prudent to implement them all as soon as possible. Those seven steps of the Protocol were selected because they seemed to make the difference between the most successful patients and those that had more problems.
We hasten to add that we did recover, even after invasive treatments, even after being declared terminal in some cases. We believe that nutrition was the foundation for our successful cancer therapy.
Reaction to food varies from person to person and even from time to time. One of the difficult skills is to fine tune nutritional therapy to the needs of the individual without loosing the power of a disciplined therapy protocol.
For example, obese patients may need to loose weight (because fat itself can promote cancer) and then stabilize. If patients are under weight, they may need to gain, and then stabilize.
The art is to feed the patient just enough to maintain the immune system and stabilize at their natural weight, but not enough to feed the tumor. If energy isn't high enough, more calories and juices may have to be added.
Skin should improve on this therapy. If it's dry and flaky, perhaps that's a clue that oils must be increased with nuts or seeds. If muscle wasting becomes apparent, more calories and more protein from grains, legumes, yeast , etc, may be needed. Additional physical therapies are required to restore muscles, including bed or chair exercises for those too weak to walk.
Patients should expect to look and feel better than someone with a similar cancer who is not on nutritional therapy. They must review dietary restrictions or dietary philosophies if they don't.
Here are a few tips that may be helpful:
But if you see a jaw that can move sidewise and has primate teeth like a chimp or a gorilla, you are designed to eat fruits and vegetables.
We think it is no accident that so many of the leading causes of death by disease in America are related in some way to animal food:
These top killer diseases in America are often rare in nations with a vegetarian-based diet. Traditional cultures around the world have often used animal food sparingly, as a condiment rather than an entree. But even this small amount appears to be too much during cancer therapy.
In alternative therapy, eliminating the cancer is only half the battle. Cancer usually has to survive in our bodies for 5 to 20 years to grow large enough to be detected. Scientists speculate that at least six anti-cancer systems must have failed for cancer to survive that long. After it is gone, it can take many more months of nutritional therapy, usually at a reduced level, for all those anticancer systems to be fully healed, and for the patient to be back to full strength.
The good news is that many of us felt so good afterward, with our new diets and lifestyles, that we were actually grateful to our cancer for the wake up call!
Here are some nutritional references and resources to use while more information is being collected and prepared for future web pages.
CLINICALLY TESTED ANTI-CANCER DIETS THAT MOST OF US USED TO GET WELL
These books explain the three most effective anti-cancer diets we have seen over the last 20 years. They are not sacred, and some of us mixed and matched meals and recipes from all three for more enjoyment. If you design your own diet, be sure to pencil out the daily intake of carbohydrates, oils and proteins once in a while to make sure it is a balanced diet.
GUIDES TO THE SUPPLEMENTS MANY OF US USED.
Be careful about wasting your time and money on new supplements before they have seen human clinical testing on real cancer patients. No matter how good these new products sound, they are seldom needed and they seldom pan out. There usually are plenty of established supplements that have been clinically proven to do the job.
ON THE HEALTH PROBLEMS OF MEAT
This is the book that caused the Texas beef barons to sue Oprah and the author - twice. The beef barons lost both times, so the book must be right.
NUTRITION - THE BIG PICTURE
This book explains how more intelligent eating can not only help to make us well, but it can put our nation's food industry on a healthier economic path, dramatically improve the environment, and help to heal the planet. Food is a decisive factor in each of these critical problem areas.
GOVERNMENT NUTRITIONAL WEBSITE
Many health books contain helpful charts showing the amount of carbohydrate, protein and oil in foods. The source for most of them is the US Department of Agriculture. The USDA offers food composition data and a lot more at their Food and Nutrition Information Center: www.NAL.USDA.GOV/fnic
While PATIENTS' PROTOCOL is being finished, patients and doctors can find more of the future information in the sources listed on the INTERIM LIST OF RESOURCES web page - just click on Section A of the Home Page Index page.
If you have comments and suggestions about this nutrition web page, or the rest of the web site, please email them to us at Webmaster@PatientsNCI.org
PATIENTS NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE
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(First draft - read with extra caution. Version De-20-03-www.PatientsNCI.org)