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Green Tea and Cancer September 5, 2018

Posted by Dreamhealer in best vancouver naturopath, Cancer, cancer prevention, cancer therapy, Cancer Treatment, Chemotherapy, Healing, integrative cancer care, naturopath, naturopathic, Naturopathic Doctor, Naturopathic Medicine, naturpathic medicine.
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Written By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc (Hons)

Green tea is a common beverage that can be found at any cafe yet it also has important therapeutic properties.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is an extract from green tea that has shown great promise as an integrative cancer therapy. The mechanism of action is complicated because it interacts with multiple molecular pathways to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. When cancer cells are exposed to EGCG, it triggers cell death by a variety of mechanisms1,2,3,4. Not only does it inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, but it also slows down the rate of metastasis.

Although there is a wide range of EGCG content in green tea, a strong tea has about 70mg per tea bag. The therapeutic doses for EGCG (particularly in the context of cancer) is a minimum of 1500mg per day. Which means you would have to have approximately 20 green teas per day to reach this dose. Obviously this is not practical as a long term treatment plan so the best way to get the appropriate doses is through pill form. If you enjoy having green tea then you can certainly continue to do so but you will not be significantly contributing to the therapeutic effect of the EGCG.

One important characteristic of EGCG is that it acts as an anti-angiogenic substance. Angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels into a developing tumour. This process is necessary when cancer cells are spreading because the smaller growths need a blood supply to sustain their rapid growth. Cancer cells will often secrete chemicals that trick the human body into growing blood vessels into the tumour. EGCG helps to inhibit this process by inhibiting the viability of capillary tube formation and migration. This effect seems to be greatly enhanced by a new class of drugs called ERK inhibitors2.

Tumour samples of mice treated with EGCG clearly show that the cancerous cells have reduced ERK activity while having enhanced p38 and JNK activity. In other words, the pathways that promote growth are down-regulated and the pathways that inhibit growth are up-regulated. The net effect is that the cancer does not grow or spread as quickly. Every molecular marker that was tested indicated that the cancer was less aggressive and more prone to cell death. If you perform a quick Google scholar search, you will see hundreds of well-controlled studies that consistently demonstrate this anti-cancer effect.

When EGCG is combined with curcumin at high doses, it helps to stabilize leukemias and lymphomas. There are many well-documented cases of patients with multiple myeloma who have had long-term disease stabilization by simply taking high doses of EGCG and curcumin. These natural compounds work synergistically to reduce inflammation and promote cell death in cancerous cells. The effectiveness of EGCG in multiple myeloma is undeniable, and this has resulted in a resurgence of research into its use as an adjunctive cancer therapy6.

There are a handful of chemotherapy drugs where the use of EGCG is contraindicated such as bortezomib (Velcade). There is contradictory information about the significance of this interaction, but it is still best to avoid combining EGCG with velcade15. Some doctors focus on this one interaction while ignoring the overwhelming evidence that EGCG often acts synergistically with other forms of chemotherapy. It is difficult to argue against the use of EGCG if you take the time to actually look at the evidence. When EGCG is combined with cisplatin, it not only significantly increases the effectiveness of the drug, it also dramatically reduces the side effect profile7,8,9.

Recently in the media, concerns have been raised about the connection between EGCG and liver toxicity. These liver toxicity reactions that are potentially related to EGCG are exceptionally rare considering how regularly EGCG is consumed in the general population. There have been several documented case studies of liver toxicity that have been connected to use of EGCG. It appears that there may be a genetic predisposition to these rare reactions12. At this point in the time mechanism of action for these reactions is unclear, however, it is in many cases likely due to a immune-allergic mechanism. In other words, it could be that some of these patients were just simply allergic to EGCG.

There is contradictory information regarding the impact of EGCG on liver as several animal studies indicate that it actually has a strong protective effect on the liver and kidneys10. I can tell you from experience that I have literally prescribed EGCG thousands of times and I have never seen even a hint of such reaction. EGCG is a exceptionally safe supplement when used appropriately and patients should not be fearful of using it due to a handful of exceptionally rare cases of liver toxicity.

EGCG is an example of a supplement where the quality makes a significant difference. In order to obtain the desired anti-cancer effect, you must take high doses of quality EGCG. Drinking green tea may be helpful in the context of cancer prevention, but when it comes to cancer treatment, you need much higher doses. Some physicians recommend that patients get EGCG administered by intravenous therapy to get the doses as high as possible. The doses required to enhance chemotherapy and promote cell death in cancerous cells are quite high, but they are obtainable by consuming EGCG orally. It is also important to point out that this treatment is cost effective and generally well tolerated by patients.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative cancer care, providing the best care in integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

Dr. McLeod will be holding two seminars in 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario. For more information on his seminars please visit the website: http://www.dreamhealer.com/workshop/

References:

1) Ahmad, Nihal, Sanjay Gupta, and Hasan Mukhtar. “Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate differentially modulates nuclear factor κB in cancer cells versus normal cells.” Archives of biochemistry and biophysics 376.2 (2000): 338-346.

2) Shankar, Sharmila, et al. “EGCG inhibits growth, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis of pancreatic cancer.” Frontiers in bioscience: a journal and virtual library 13 (2007): 440-452.

3) Hwang, Jin-Taek, et al. “Apoptotic effect of EGCG in HT-29 colon cancer cells via AMPK signal pathway.” Cancer letters 247.1 (2007): 115-121.

4) Shimizu, Masahito, et al. “EGCG inhibits activation of HER3 and expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in human colon cancer cells.” Journal of experimental therapeutics & oncology 5.1 (2004): 69-78.

5) Shah, Jatin J., Deborah J. Kuhn, and Robert Z. Orlowski. “Bortezomib and EGCG: no green tea for you?.” Blood 113.23 (2009): 5695-5696.

6) Shammas, Masood A., et al. “Specific killing of multiple myeloma cells by (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate extracted from green tea: biologic activity and therapeutic implications.” Blood 108.8 (2006): 2804-2810.

7) El-Mowafy, A. M., et al. “Novel chemotherapeutic and renal protective effects for the green tea (EGCG): role of oxidative stress and inflammatory-cytokine signaling.” Phytomedicine 17.14 (2010): 1067-1075.

8) Davenport, Andrew, et al. “Celastrol and an EGCG pro-drug exhibit potent chemosensitizing activity in human leukemia cells.” International journal of molecular medicine 25.3 (2010): 465-470.

9) Sarkar, Fazlul H., and Yiwei Li. “Using chemopreventive agents to enhance the efficacy of cancer therapy.” Cancer Research 66.7 (2006): 3347-3350.

10) Niu, Yucun, et al. “The phytochemical, EGCG, extends lifespan by reducing liver and kidney function damage and improving age‐associated inflammation and oxidative stress in healthy rats.” Aging Cell 12.6 (2013): 1041-1049.

11) Chen, Ju-Hua, et al. “Green tea polyphenols prevent toxin-induced hepatotoxicity in mice by down-regulating inducible nitric oxide–derived prooxidants.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 80.3 (2004): 742-751.

12) Church, Rachel J., et al. “Sensitivity to hepatotoxicity due to epigallocatechin gallate is affected by genetic background in diversity outbred mice.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 76 (2015): 19-26.

Naturopathic Medicine and Cancer February 29, 2016

Posted by Dreamhealer in best vancouver naturopath, Cancer, cancer therapy, Chemotherapy, Healing.
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Naturopathic Medicine and Cancer

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Written by: Dr. Adam McLeod ND, BSc (Hon)

Naturopathic medicine has a wide range of tools that can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine to effectively treat cancer. Many people have this underlying assumption that naturopathic treatments are not “evidence based” because otherwise their oncologist would have recommended them. The truth is that many of these therapies are extremely well documented by scientific studies and the mainstream scientific community does not dispute their effectiveness. The bottom line is that cancer patients do better when they have an integrative health care team and Naturopathic doctors are an integral part of this team.

When dealing with a complex condition such as cancer it is very important to thoroughly review the entire health history of the patient, not just the diagnosis of cancer. It is essential that as physicians we actually take the time to listen to what the patient is saying. This allows us to develop a custom treatment plan for that individual which addresses the unique circumstances of that patient. Naturopathic doctors are experts at taking the time to listen to the patient and developing a treatment plan for that unique patient.

Chemotherapy and radiation are effective therapies and often it is a race between the death of the cancer cells and the death of healthy cells. Making sure the healthy cells are supplied with adequate nutrients allows patients to endure these harsh therapies with fewer side effects. Very often patients who are adequately supported with the appropriate nutrition and supplements will be able to tolerate additional rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Ultimately if healthy cells are more likely to survive, this helps stack the odds against cancer cells.

Patients are often reluctant to take any supplements during chemotherapy and radiation because of potential interactions. This is a legitimate concern because there are many negative interactions if the wrong supplement is used. Any Naturopathic Doctor who regularly works with cancer is well aware of these interactions. When the appropriate supplements are used there are profound benefits to cancer patients. These supplements are well supported by scientific evidence and they have been consistently demonstrated to be safe when used in the right context. This is why the blanket statement of “avoid all supplements” is simply incorrect. It is absolutely essential that you have professional guidance from an experienced Naturopathic Doctor when you are picking supplements.

The mainstream medical community is slowly becoming more open to collaborating with Naturopathic Doctors because the evidence for the benefits of an integrative approach to cancer care can no longer be ignored. For years Naturopathic Doctors have been using high dose IV Vitamin C as a cancer therapy and traditional medical doctors considered it to be a nonsense therapy. Recently they have changed their attitude and oncologists are jumping on to the Vitamin C bandwagon. There is no doubt that when used appropriately this can be an effective integrative cancer therapy.

Patients who undergo this therapy tend to experience less significant side effects from the chemotherapy. IV Vitamin C can vastly improve quality of life by increasing appetite, raising platelet counts, easing fatigue and reducing pain. When patients are supported by the appropriate nutrients and supplements, the side effects from chemotherapy are less intense. Studies consistently show that at these high doses, Vitamin C is toxic to cancer cells while protecting healthy cells from the adverse effects of chemotherapy. The evidence indicates that IV Vitamin C is effective when used in conjunction with chemotherapy rather than as a stand-alone therapy. This is just one example of many different effective natural cancer therapies available. There is much more to integrative oncology than simply IV Vitamin C!

There is no question that there is often a strong emotional component to cancer and this must be addressed for optimal healing to take place. Patients will often be able to directly connect the formation of their cancer with a stressful event in their life. This is not an imaginary connection; there are biological reasons why emotional stress can trigger the formation of cancer. Stress can cause cancer. It is important to point out that this is not a hypothetical concept. This is a statement that is well supported by scientific evidence. The link between cancer and stress is well established and is not debated by the scientific community. Many people are not aware how significant this connection is as medical doctors often disregard this connection despite the body of evidence. Naturopathic doctors not only address the physical components of health, they will also take the time to address the emotional and spiritual components that simply cannot be ignored in patients with cancer.

If you know someone with cancer, make sure you let them know about the potential benefits of seeing a Naturopathic Doctor who focuses on cancer. There are so many amazing tools that Naturopathic medicine has to offer and the public needs to be aware that these therapies exist and that they are effective!

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular Biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology.

http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

Evolving Treatment Plan February 25, 2016

Posted by Dreamhealer in best vancouver naturopath, Chemotherapy, Healing, Supplements.
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Written By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc (Hons)

It is not unusual for patients to develop a treatment plan with their medical doctor or naturopathic physician and then remain on the same plan for many years. Of course there are times where the developed plan is optimal and in these cases there is no need to modify the plan. However, as the unique health circumstances of a patient evolve over time, so must the treatment plan. A plan that was optimal 5 years ago, may no longer be relevant or indicated now. This is why it is important to regularly follow up with your naturopathic physician to make sure that the developed plan is still the best treatment plan for you.

A great example of this is in the context of integrative cancer care. If a different chemotherapy is used, then clearly a follow up is indicated to make sure that there are no contraindications and that the plan is still safe and effective. If there is an upcoming surgery, whether it is related to cancer or not, there are simple changes that can be done to help you heal faster from that procedure. There are also times where a plan must be modified based on the particular symptoms that a patient is having. For example, prior to radiation there are naturopathic therapies which can be used to reduce side effects and enhance the effectiveness of the radiation. I would highly recommend these supports prior to initiating therapy but if specific side effects of radiation start to surface then we can add additional supports to address these concerns.

It seems obvious to point out that treatment plans must be modified to address your current health circumstances. But this is something that patients tend to forget in the chaos of life and appointments to various health care practitioners. Naturopathic doctors will take the time to go through your entire health history and modify the treatment plan accordingly.

Although your treatment plan should be dynamic, you also must use each therapy long enough to have any reasonable chance of having a therapeutic benefit. A common problem with many patients who self-prescribe supplements is that they constantly change the plan based on advice from friends or by looking at popular trends on the internet. This presents several obvious concerns which ultimately results in a more expensive and less effective plan. If you are taking many different supplements then there is no way of knowing what is actually working. By consuming large numbers of supplements this starts to interfere with the absorption of clinically useful quantities and the interactions between these supplements can hinder effectiveness of the plan.

The bottom line is that if you are taking a very long list of supplements then chances are that you do not have an optimal treatment plan. If this is the case then I would suggest that you seek a naturopathic doctor who can help you to eliminate supplements, not add to the list. At my practice I spend a significant portion of my time helping patients to simplify their treatment regimen and make it more targeted for their specific health concerns.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

Is the Antioxidant Melatonin Dangerous during Chemotherapy and Radiation? January 25, 2016

Posted by Dreamhealer in best vancouver naturopath, Chemotherapy, Healing, Integrative Medicine, Naturopathic Doctor, Naturopathic Medicine, stress.
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Written By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc (Hons)

It is not unusual for patients to be intimidated by their medical oncologists to fear all natural therapies. They are told to specifically avoid all antioxidants because they will neutralize the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. This broad generalization that all antioxidants should be avoided is simply not supported by scientific evidence. On an intuitive level, it makes sense that if chemotherapy is creating oxidative damage as its mechanism of action then providing the body with antioxidants would theoretically neutralize this mechanism. There are legitimate concerns with specific chemotherapies and high doses of synthetic antioxidants. However, there are many double blind human trials which demonstrate that antioxidant supplementation at moderate doses decreases side effects without interfering with the effects of the chemotherapy12,13,14. There is also no debating that patients who consume natural sources of antioxidants respond better to chemotherapy and radiation with less side effects33,7. If antioxidants are to be feared, then why do patients with better antioxidant capacity in their blood respond better to these conventional therapies?

There are several things which must be considered. First of all this simplistic view that all antioxidants are bad has long been debunked and this is not supported in the scientific literature31. Secondly, not all chemotherapies work by creating oxidative damage so the argument against antioxidants in these cases is nonsense. Another important point is that antioxidants can help your healthy cells to recover from the residual toxic effects of chemotherapy28,29,30. To add to the hypocrisy of the “avoid all antioxidant stance”, it is not unusual for oncologists to administer powerful pharmaceutical antioxidants such as theophylline to reduce side effects from chemotherapy34.

The antioxidant capacity of your blood is a measure of how effectively your blood is capable of neutralizing free radicals. The consumption of antioxidant rich foods dramatically increases the concentration of antioxidants in the blood which consequently increases antioxidant capacity3. It is well known that patients who have lower antioxidant capacity in their blood have greater side effects to chemotherapy32.

The notion that all medical oncologists share this view of fearing antioxidants is simply not true. There are major integrative cancer centres in the US where naturopathic doctors work along-side medical oncologists and things like melatonin and Vitamin C are given as standard therapies to patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. Of course there are specific interactions that must be avoided and a Naturopathic Doctor who is skilled in oncology will be able to guide you to develop a safe and effective plan. You must have professional guidance when developing a treatment plan in the complicated clinical context of cancer.

One of the most common natural therapies given to patients undergoing chemotherapy is melatonin. I have heard on numerous occasions from patients who were warned from the cancer agency pharmacist that melatonin is contraindicated during chemotherapy and radiation because it is an antioxidant. What I find so bizarre about this statement is that virtually all of the available scientific literature literally says the opposite and strongly supports the use of melatonin with chemotherapy and radiation. The position of scaring patients about melatonin is not grounded in scientific evidence, they take this position because from a legal perspective it is easier to say avoid any and all antioxidants.

What does the research say about melatonin used in combination with chemotherapy? Several randomized double blind trials have tested patients with lung cancer who were treated with chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy in combination with melatonin. The melatonin group not only lived longer they also had significantly better quality of life when compared to the group not given melatonin15,16,17. Melatonin has been consistently shown to enhance the effects of chemotherapy while reducing side effects18,19,20,25. It is however important to point out that not all cancers are the same and melatonin is not indicated for all cancers. In fact, it is contraindicated with many blood cancers such as leukemia.

What does the scientific literature actually say about combining melatonin with radiation therapy? Patients who concurrently take melatonin during radiation therapy for glioblastoma live significantly longer than those who just received radiation therapy21. Melatonin helps to protect damage to the immune system during radiation22,23,24. Although melatonin is a well documented antioxidant, there are numerous studies which demonstrate that melatonin actually makes cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation26,27.

When used appropriately certain antioxidants such as melatonin can reduce side effects from conventional cancer therapies without interfering with their effectiveness. Healthy cells need antioxidants too and when you consume natural sources of antioxidants the net effect is that it protects healthy cells much more than cancer cells. Ultimately this makes the drugs work just as well and the healthy cells are less damaged from the drug. When you consume a diet rich in antioxidants, the antioxidant capacity of your blood increases dramatically and the research clearly demonstrates that this is a good thing during chemotherapy and radiation.

Lets take a moment to look at the data about melatonin and its activity as an antioxidant. After consuming 80mg of melatonin the serum levels peak at approximately 100,000 pg/mL before rapidly dropping by the end of the day2. The standard dose of melatonin given during chemotherapy or radiation is 20mg. Based on this number it is fair to assume that the amount of melatonin in the blood would be approximately 25,000 pg/mL. At first glance this seems like a shockingly high number. It is well documented that when patients eat a diet high in antioxidant rich foods, that the antioxidant capacity of their blood increases and some of this is due to the melatonin in the food3. In one well controlled study after consuming approximately 1L of orange juice the participants had serum melatonin levels rise from 40 to 150 pg/mL1. This is still 150 times less than values that would be expected after consuming 20mg of melatonin.

The data must be taken into the proper context. True antioxidant capacity in the blood is never determined by one single molecule. It is the entire antioxidant network that gives the blood the capacity to neutralize free radicals. There is a potent synergy between hundreds of different antioxidants which counteracts oxidative damage in a balanced way. Each molecule on its own is only one small piece of the complicated antioxidant network. The mechanism by which melatonin neutralizes free radicals is very different from that of Vitamin C and Vitamin E5. Melatonin is often described in the literature as a terminal antioxidant which distinguishes itself from so called opportunistic antioxidants. The bottom line is that the addition of a single antioxidant does not necessarily impact the entire antioxidant capacity of the blood in a linear fashion.

This next section is a bit heavy in math but I feel that it is important to break down these details. Melatonin is approximately 2.04 times more potent of an antioxidant than a molecule called Trolox. This molecule Trolox is often used as a standard to measure the antioxidant capacity in the blood. Blueberries, which are best known for their antioxidant capacity have an ORAC value of 6552. This means that 100g of blueberries will have the same antioxidant capacity as 6552 micromoles of Trolox. Based on this information it is easy to calculate that 15.26mg of blueberries is the equivalent antioxidant capacity of 1 micromol of Trolox. If you convert these values to make it relevant to melatonin, each mg of melatonin is equivalent to 31.13g of blueberries. The standard dose of 20mg of melatonin during chemotherapy is the equivalent of a patient eating 622.71g of blueberries. In other words, if you eat a little over 1 pound of blueberries this should have the equivalent antioxidant effect as 20mg of melatonin.

There is no evidence to suggest that antioxidants from natural sources are dangerous during chemotherapy or radiation. In fact, virtually all of the literature clearly states that it is beneficial to get antioxidants from natural sources. By consuming antioxidant rich foods, patients have fewer side effects during conventional cancer treatments. Many studies have also clearly demonstrated that these foods do not interfere with the effectiveness of these therapies6,7,8,9,10,11. The debate is around synthetic supplementation with high doses of antioxidants during chemotherapy and radiation. Natural sources are well established as beneficial in these cases, as they protect healthy cells without interfering with the effects of conventional therapies9.

Blueberries are a great source of nutrients and they provide a balanced antioxidant support that is synergistic with chemotherapy and radiation. What is particularly interesting is that wild blueberries are much more effective at neutralizing free radicals than cultivated blueberries. Depending on which measurements you use, in some cases the wild blueberries have almost double the antioxidant capacity. So make sure you eat your blueberries and give your cells the nutrients they need!

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

References:

1) Sae‐Teaw, Manit, et al. “Serum melatonin levels and antioxidant capacities after consumption of pineapple, orange, or banana by healthy male volunteers.” Journal of pineal research 55.1 (2013): 58-64.

2) Waldhauser, Franz, et al. “Bioavailability of oral melatonin in humans.” Neuroendocrinology 39.4 (1984): 307-313.

3) Cao, Guohua, et al. “Increases in human plasma antioxidant capacity after consumption of controlled diets high in fruit and vegetables.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 68.5 (1998): 1081-1087.

4) Pieri, Carlo, et al. “Melatonin: a peroxyl radical scavenger more effective than vitamin E.” Life sciences 55.15 (1994): PL271-PL276.

5) Tan, D-X., et al. “Significance of melatonin in antioxidative defense system: reactions and products.” Neurosignals 9.3-4 (2000): 137-159.

6) Moss, Ralph W. “Should patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy be prescribed antioxidants?.” Integrative cancer therapies 5.1 (2006): 63-82.

7) Simone, Charles B., et al. “Antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can increase kill and increase survival, part 1.”Alternative therapies in health and medicine 13.1 (2007): 22.

8) Drisko, Jeanne A., Julia Chapman, and Verda J. Hunter. “The use of antioxidant therapies during chemotherapy.” Gynecologic oncology 88.3 (2003): 434-439.

9) Moss, Ralph W. “Do antioxidants interfere with radiation therapy for cancer?.” Integrative cancer therapies 6.3 (2007): 281-292.

10) Conklin, Kenneth A. “Cancer chemotherapy and antioxidants.” The Journal of nutrition134.11 (2004): 3201S-3204S.

11) Block, Keith I., et al. “Impact of antioxidant supplementation on chemotherapeutic toxicity: a systematic review of the evidence from randomized controlled trials.” International Journal of Cancer 123.6 (2008): 1227-1239.

12) Weijl, N. I., et al. “Supplementation with antioxidant micronutrients and chemotherapy-induced toxicity in cancer patients treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” European Journal of Cancer 40.11 (2004): 1713-1723.

13) Drisko, Jeanne A., Julia Chapman, and Verda J. Hunter. “The use of antioxidant therapies during chemotherapy.” Gynecologic oncology 88.3 (2003): 434-439.

14) Conklin, Kenneth A. “Dietary antioxidants during cancer chemotherapy: impact on chemotherapeutic effectiveness and development of side effects.” Nutrition and cancer 37.1 (2000): 1-18.

15) Lissoni, P., et al. “Five years survival in metastatic non‐small cell lung cancer patients treated with chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy and melatonin: a randomized trial.” Journal of pineal research 35.1 (2003): 12-15.

16) Lissoni, P., et al. “A randomized study of immunotherapy with low-dose subcutaneous interleukin-2 plus melatonin vs chemotherapy with cisplatin and etoposide as first-line therapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer.” Tumori 80.6 (1994): 464-467.

17) Lissoni, P., et al. “Randomized study with the pineal hormone melatonin versus supportive care alone in advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer resistant to a first-line chemotherapy containing cisplatin.” Oncology 49.5 (1992): 336-339.

18) Govender, Jenelle, Ben Loos, and Anna-Mart Engelbrecht. “Melatonin: a protective role against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity.” Future Oncology 11.14 (2015): 2003-2006.

19) Tavakoli, Maryam. “Kidney protective effects of melatonin.” Journal of Nephropharmacology3.1 (2015).

20) Mills, Edward, et al. “Melatonin in the treatment of cancer: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials and meta‐analysis.” Journal of pineal research 39.4 (2005): 360-366.

21) Lissoni, P., et al. “Increased survival time in brain glioblastomas by a radioneuroendocrine strategy with radiotherapy plus melatonin compared to radiotherapy alone.” Oncology 53.1 (1996): 43-46.

22) Thomas, Charles R., Russel J. Reiter, and Terence S. Herman. “Melatonin: from basic research to cancer treatment clinics.” Journal of Clinical Oncology 20.10 (2002): 2575-2601.

23) Srinivasan, Venkataramanujan, et al. “Therapeutic actions of melatonin in cancer: possible mechanisms.” Integrative Cancer Therapies 7.3 (2008): 189-203.

24) Blask, David E., Leonard A. Sauer, and Robert T. Dauchy. “Melatonin as a chronobiotic/anticancer agent: cellular, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms of action and their implications for circadian-based cancer therapy.” Current topics in medicinal chemistry 2.2 (2002): 113-132.

25) Conti, Ario, and Georges JM Maestroni. “The clinical neuroimmunotherapeutic role of melatonin in oncology.” Journal of pineal research 19.3 (1995): 103-110.

26) Alonso‐González, Carolina, et al. “Melatonin sensitizes human breast cancer cells to ionizing radiation by downregulating proteins involved in double‐strand DNA break repair.”Journal of pineal research 58.2 (2015): 189-197.

27) Alonso-González, Carolina, et al. “Melatonin enhancement of the radiosensitivity of human breast cancer cells is associated with the modulation of proteins involved in estrogen biosynthesis.” Cancer letters 370.1 (2016): 145-152.

28) Ladas, Elena J., et al. “Antioxidants and cancer therapy: a systematic review.” Journal of clinical oncology 22.3 (2004): 517-528.

29) Kasapović, Jelena, et al. “Antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation in the blood of breast cancer patients of different ages after chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide.” Clinical biochemistry 43.16 (2010): 1287-1293.

30) Chen, Yumin, et al. “Collateral damage in cancer chemotherapy: oxidative stress in nontargeted tissues.” Molecular interventions 7.3 (2007): 147.

31) Moss, Ralph W. “Should patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy be prescribed antioxidants?.” Integrative cancer therapies 5.1 (2006): 63-82.

32) Kennedy, Deborah D., et al. “Low antioxidant vitamin intakes are associated with increases in adverse effects of chemotherapy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 79.6 (2004): 1029-1036.

33) Russo, Gian Luigi. “Ins and outs of dietary phytochemicals in cancer chemoprevention.”Biochemical Pharmacology 74.4 (2007): 533-544.

34) Benoehr, Peter, et al. “Nephroprotection by theophylline in patients with cisplatin chemotherapy: a randomized, single-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.” Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 16.2 (2005): 452-458.

Ginger Tea for Cancer September 21, 2015

Posted by Dreamhealer in Chemotherapy, Naturopathic Medicine, oncology.
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Written By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc

Often when looking for natural therapies patients turn to complicated exotic treatments. By doing this it is easy to forget about some of the more basic treatments that are also effective. A more complicated treatment plan is not necessarily more effective. A simple yet relatively unknown cancer treatment is ginger. There are a number of uses for ginger in an integrative cancer setting.

Ginger has some well documented anti-cancer effects and it has been shown to reduce side effects from chemotherapy. When a patient is treated with chemotherapy the goal is to get as much of the drug as possible into the cancer cells. Every cancer cell is very metabolically abnormal and it is appropriate to describe cancer cells as being sick cells. Due to this altered metabolism the cancer cells often have more transporter molecules on their surface to remove toxins from within the cell. This presents a problem when these cells are treated with chemotherapy because these cancer cells can eliminate the drug before it has the opportunity to work. These transporter proteins are essential to the survival of multi-drug resistant cancer cells.

Ginger inhibits the function of a key transporter protein known as P-gylcoprotein1,2,5. As a result when this is combined with certain chemotherapies it will result in a greater accumulation of chemotherapy inside cancer cells. This has been consistently observed in the scientific literature especially with the chemotherapy doxorubicin (also known as Adriamycin)5. The net effect is that it makes the chemotherapy more effective while reducing side effects1. There are many other natural therapies that have similar effects on cancer cells including quercetin and bitter melon6. Not only does ginger inhibit these critical transporter molecules, it also reduces inflammation7. Systemic inflammation is a major concern with cancer patients and it is often helpful to control this inflammation during these aggressive conventional therapies. Ginger suppresses the formation of inflammatory molecules in the body. It also seems to suppress the activity of genes that are directly involved in producing these inflammatory molecules.

A common side effect from chemotherapy is nausea and ginger tea is one of the most effective natural anti-nausea remedies. Ginger inhibits nausea due to its action as a potent 5-HT3 antagonist, which means that it inhibits the activity of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that also is strongly linked to nausea and vomiting. A strong ginger tea can often make a profound difference in patients that have stopped responding to conventional medications3,4. The ginger does not have to be taken in replacement of conventional anti-nausea medications. In fact, it works best if taken with conventional medications because then you have multiple pathways being inhibited rather than just one.

I have personally witnessed on many different occasions where patients have dramatic improvements from chemotherapy induced nausea when they use ginger tea. It is easy to make the ginger tea. Just go to your local grocery store and buy some fresh ginger root. Cut the ginger into small pieces until you have a handful of ginger slices, then place the ginger into a pot of boiling water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on to keep all the volatile oils contained within the tea. Filter the pieces of ginger out of the tea using a strainer and allow the tea to cool until it is a pleasant warm tea. Slowly sip at the tea and give it about 30 minutes to work. Some people find the tea more tolerable if honey is added after the ginger pieces have been filtered out.

You must have professional guidance when developing a cancer treatment plan. A Naturopathic Doctor can help you to develop a safe and effective treatment plan. Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hons) Molecular biology, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology.http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

References:

1) Pereira, M. M., et al. “Zingiber officinale Roscoe (ginger) as an adjuvant in cancer treatment: a review.” Journal of BU ON.: official journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology 16.3 (2010): 414-424.

2) Nabekura, Tomohiro, Shizu Kamiyama, and Shuji Kitagawa. “Effects of dietary chemopreventive phytochemicals on P-glycoprotein function.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 327.3 (2005): 866-870.

3) Pillai, Anu Kochanujan, et al. “Anti‐emetic effect of ginger powder versus placebo as an add‐on therapy in children and young adults receiving high emetogenic chemotherapy.” Pediatric blood & cancer 56.2 (2011): 234-238.

4) Ryan, Julie L., et al. “Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces acute chemotherapy-induced nausea: a URCC CCOP study of 576 patients.” Supportive care in cancer 20.7 (2012): 1479-1489.

5) Angelini, A., et al. “Modulation of multidrug resistance P-glycoprotein activity by antiemetic compounds in human doxorubicin-resistant sarcoma cells (MES-SA/Dx-5): implications on cancer therapy.” Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 27.4 (2012): 1029-1037.

6) Kwatra, Deep, et al. “Bitter melon extracts enhance the activity of chemotherapeutic agents through the modulation of multiple drug resistance.” Journal of pharmaceutical sciences 102.12 (2013): 4444-4454.

7) Grzanna, Reinhard, Lars Lindmark, and Carmelita G. Frondoza. “Ginger-an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions.” Journal of medicinal food 8.2 (2005): 125-132.

How is Sleep Linked to Cancer? August 27, 2015

Posted by Dreamhealer in Cancer, Chemotherapy, Sleep.
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Written By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc

Everyone knows the importance of a good nights sleep. It is no secret that your physical and mental health is negatively impacted when you do not get adequate sleep. Is lack of sleep actually linked to the formation of cancer? The short answer is yes and the reasons are obvious when you take a closer look at the science of sleep.

The circadian rhythm is a natural cycle in our brains that tells our cells whether it is day or night. This is a biological process that is present in virtually all forms of life and it helps to synchronize our biochemistry with the position of the sun. This internal clock obviously would be of great importance to our ancestors, however with our modern lifestyle we have become disconnected from the sun. There is a growing body of evidence that shows a link between disruptions in the circadian rhythm and the formation of cancer. In fact, some studies suggest that a circadian rhythm in chaos is a signal for a high risk of breast cancer even in the absence of mammographic evidence of neoplasm1.

People who work irregular shifts will naturally have disrupted circadian rhythms3,4. The reason is obvious; in what natural environment would anyone work at such irregular times and disregard their own internal clock. The effect is so dramatic that some researchers have called for shift work to be labeled a carcinogen2. It is also interesting to note that individuals who have mutations in genes related to this cycle have an increased risk of developing cancer6. The bottom line is that if your natural circadian rhythm is disrupted then you are more likely to develop cancer3,5.

What can be done to restore the health of your circadian rhythm? There are several key molecules that directly influence this delicate rhythm. Perhaps the best documented molecule is melatonin8,9. Melatonin is responsible for the generation of at least 40% of the amplitude of the circadian core body temperature rhythm7. Manipulation of melatonin levels are clinically useful to resynchronize the circadian rhythm under conditions of rhythm desynchronization. In other words, melatonin helps to restore the circadian rhythm when it has become disrupted.

Everyone has heard about melatonin and how it can be used to promote restful sleep. Melatonin is a critical component of the circadian rhythm, and it is one of the molecular signals that tells our cells whether it is day or night. I have seen countless times where cancer patients were prescribed melatonin by another Naturopathic doctor, but the patient discontinued it because they thought their sleep was fine. This suggests a misunderstanding between the patient and some of my colleagues regarding the reason for prescribing melatonin in the context of cancer. Whether the patient is sleeping well or not is secondary. They should be taking this supplement because of melatonin’s potent anti-cancer properties.

Melatonin triggers cell death in cancerous cells and it has several properties that make it useful as an adjunctive cancer therapy10,11,12. The conclusion from a paper in the prestigious journal “Cancer Research” stated that:

“Physiologic and pharmacologic concentrations of the pineal hormone melatonin have shown chemopreventive, oncostatic, and tumour inhibitory effects in a variety of in vitro and in vivo experimental models of neoplasia. Multiple mechanisms have been suggested for the biological effects of melatonin. Not only does melatonin seem to control development alone but also has the potential to increase the efficacy and decrease the side effects of chemotherapy when used in adjuvant settings.”

The use of melatonin is particularly indicated in cases of estrogen positive breast cancer. For those who are taking tamoxifen or letrozole as a long-term therapy, it is helpful to add melatonin into the treatment plan. The cancer prevention properties of melatonin appear to be mediated through the estrogen response pathway18.

When used appropriately, melatonin not only decreases side effects from chemotherapy, it also significantly enhances its effectiveness. In one randomized study, lung cancer patients were treated with chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy with melatonin. The melatonin group lived significantly longer with a reduced side effect profile14. This is just one example of many clinical trials. Melatonin can be used during chemotherapy or radiation, and the antioxidant effect is considered supportive of these conventional therapies15.

In my experience, the high doses of melatonin (20mg) are well tolerated when they are used properly. The most common complaint that I hear from patients is that they feel groggy the next morning. Upon further questioning, it becomes clear that they did not use the melatonin correctly. You must take it before bed; but after you take the melatonin, you must avoid light! This means no television, no iPads and no reading.

When light touches your eyes, it inhibits the activity of melatonin. This makes sense considering how connected melatonin is to the circadian rhythm. Think about it for a second. A thousand years ago when our ancestors went to sleep, they would not have encountered light again until the sun rose. When you are exposed to light after taking melatonin, it sends mixed messages to your brain and disrupts the circadian cycle. This often results in a sensation of grogginess the next morning. It is critical that after you take melatonin, you immediately go into a dark room and sleep.

One other interesting note about melatonin is how its metabolic effects are easily disrupted by magnetic fields13. The clinical significance of this disruption is unclear, but this is not surprising given how delicate the circadian rhythm is. What is also interesting is that magnetic fields appear to disrupt the positive benefit from tamoxifen as well16. This does not mean that everyone should panic and avoid all sources of magnetic fields since this is virtually impossible to do in modern day society. The threshold for this inhibitory effect is not well established, however, it is worthwhile to point out this interaction. Perhaps people wanting to prevent cancer should reduce their exposure to excessive magnetic fields when possible17.

Melatonin certainly can be helpful in an integrative cancer setting but you must have professional guidance when developing a cancer treatment plan. A Naturopathic Doctor can help you to develop a safe and effective treatment plan. Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology.http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

References:
1) Keith, Louis G., Jaroslaw J. Oleszczuk, and Martin Laguens. “Circadian rhythm chaos: a new breast cancer marker.” International journal of fertility and women’s medicine 46.5 (2000): 238-247.

2) Stevens, Richard G. “Light-at-night, circadian disruption and breast cancer: assessment of existing evidence.” International journal of epidemiology 38.4 (2009): 963-970.

3) Megdal, Sarah P., et al. “Night work and breast cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” European Journal of Cancer 41.13 (2005): 2023-2032.

4) Hansen, Johnni. “Risk of breast cancer after night-and shift work: current evidence and ongoing studies in Denmark.” Cancer Causes & Control 17.4 (2006): 531-537.

5) Hansen, Johnni. “Increased breast cancer risk among women who work predominantly at night.” Epidemiology 12.1 (2001): 74-77.

6) Zhu, Yong, et al. “Non-synonymous polymorphisms in the circadian gene NPAS2 and breast cancer risk.” Breast cancer research and treatment 107.3 (2008): 421-425.

7) Cagnacci, A., J. A. Elliott, and S. S. Yen. “Melatonin: a major regulator of the circadian rhythm of core temperature in humans.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 75.2 (1992): 447-452.

8) Kiss, K., et al. “Disturbed circadian rhythm in ICU patients as indicated by melatonin levels: a prospective pilot study.” Critical Care 19.Suppl 1 (2015): P549.

9) Flynn-Evans, Erin E., et al. “Circadian rhythm disorders and melatonin production in 127 blind women with and without light perception.” Journal of biological rhythms 29.3 (2014): 215-224.

10) Hill, Steven M., and David E. Blask. “Effects of the pineal hormone melatonin on the proliferation and morphological characteristics of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) in culture.” Cancer research 48.21 (1988): 6121-6126.

11) Blask, David E., Leonard A. Sauer, and Robert T. Dauchy. “Melatonin as a chronobiotic/anticancer agent: cellular, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms of action and their implications for circadian-based cancer therapy.” Current topics in medicinal chemistry 2.2 (2002): 113-132.

12) Jung, Brittney, and Nihal Ahmad. “Melatonin in cancer management: progress and promise.” Cancer Research 66.20 (2006): 9789-9793.

13) Liburdy, R. P., et al. “ELF magnetic fields, breast cancer, and melatonin: 60 Hz fields block melatonin’s oncostatic action on ER+ breast cancer cell proliferation.” Journal of pineal research 14.2 (1993): 89-97.

14) Lissoni, P., et al. “Five years survival in metastatic non‐small cell lung cancer patients treated with chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy and melatonin: a randomized trial.” Journal of pineal research 35.1 (2003): 12-15.

15) Sanchez-Barcelo, Emilio J., et al. “Melatonin uses in oncology: breast cancer prevention and reduction of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.” Expert opinion on investigational drugs 21.6 (2012): 819-831.

16) Harland, Joan D., and Robert P. Liburdy. “Environmental magnetic fields inhibit the antiproliferative action of tamoxifen and melatonin in a human breast cancer cell line.” Bioelectromagnetics 18.8 (1997): 555-562.

17) Stevens, Richard G. “Electric power use and breast cancer: a hyptothesis.” Am. J. Epidemiol.;(United States) 125.4 (1987).

18) Sarkar, Fazlul H., and Yiwei Li. “Using chemopreventive agents to enhance the efficacy of cancer therapy.” Cancer Research 66.7 (2006): 3347-3350.

Fasting Before Chemotherapy March 30, 2015

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Cancer, Chemotherapy.
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Written By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc

There has been a major movement lately for cancer patients to fast before and after an infusion of chemotherapy. When first hearing this, it sounds dangerous to encourage a patient to fast when their body is already stressed with chemotherapy. Fasting before chemotherapy has been used safely in several clinical trials1,4. It turns out that there is a significant amount of scientific data to support this therapy when the patient is properly supervised. This is a very interesting shift in thinking because the conventional approach in the past has been encouraging patients to get as many nutrients into their body as possible.

There are a number of metabolic reasons why fasting may increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy while reducing the side effects2,3. Fasting triggers normal cells to enter into a protective mode. They rapidly become more efficient and this triggers a reduction in glucose and IGF-1 levels by more than 50%3. This rapid metabolic shift would be very difficult to achieve even with a very potent mixture of drugs. Cancer cells are unable to shift into this protective mode and this makes them more vulnerable to the chemotherapy than normal cells5. This is referred to as differential protection and it has the potential to transform conventional cancer care.

The length of fasting before chemotherapy varies significantly depending on which study that you look at. The most commonly recommended fasting period is 48 hours before chemotherapy and this continues until 24 hours after the chemotherapy infusion. During this fasting period ideally the patient should only have water. It should be as close to complete fasting as possible.

Although it is clearly uncomfortable not eating for a total of 72 hours, the research is indicating that this is a worthwhile sacrifice. The discomfort from hunger will actually decrease the severity of the side effects from the chemotherapy. It is also important to keep in mind that this starvation state is triggering a powerful metabolic shift in your cells that protects your cells while making the cancer cells more vulnerable to the chemotherapy.

As fasting before chemotherapy is further researched it is likely that other mechanisms will be discovered that explain this differential protection. Even without a fully defined biochemical mechanism for this protection, it is clear that fasting does make a substantial difference. Do not implement a fasting protocol before chemotherapy without the supervision of a qualified health professional. It is essential that you are monitored during this process because fasting is not safe for everyone.

If you are currently doing chemotherapy make sure that you contact a Naturopathic Physicianwho focuses on oncology. There are many different naturopathic therapies which not only increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapy but they can act to reduce side effects from the chemotherapy. These natural approaches are safe to use with chemotherapy when they are used under the supervision of an experienced Naturopathic doctor. A Naturopathic Doctor that works with oncology will take the time to look at your case and help you effectively integrate these approaches into your program.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

DCA and Cancer August 27, 2014

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Integrative Medicine, naturopathic, Naturopathic Medicine, Research.
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DCA and it's use in integrative oncology

DCA and it’s use in integrative oncology

By: Dr. Adam McLeod , ND, BSc

Several years ago there was a huge buzz in the media about Dichloroacetic Acid (DCA) and its use in cancer1. The public was outraged that DCA could be an effective cancer therapy and that the government showed little interest because DCA could not be patented. The drug companies ignored any evidence related to this therapy because without a patent it was simply not a profitable venture. Fortunately, some private researchers raised enough money to continue studies into this simple yet effective therapy.

DCA was initially used for lactic acidosis, a condition where the blood has high levels of lactic acid. The DCA inhibits the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase which causes a major shift in metabolism from fermentation to oxidation in the mitochondria2. In other words, it forces the mitochondria in cells to become more active. This is relevant to cancer because the survival of cancer cells depends on the mitochondria being dormant. The mitochondria are capable of triggering cell death in abnormal or damaged cells. Cancer cells are grossly abnormal and they often depend on the mitochondria being inactive.

The ultimate goal of this therapy is to activate the mitochondria and allow them to trigger cell death in the abnormal cancerous cells. The DCA will certainly help to activate these pathways but it is essential that patients also exercise. By regularly doing aerobic exercise you are also stimulating the mitochondria. The excessive energetic demands during exercise trigger the mitochondria to be more active and burn oxygen. DCA when combined with exercise significantly increases the consumption of oxygen by the mitochondria which is an indication that the mitochondria are being further activated5.

It is essential for cancer patients (not just patients on DCA) to do aerobic exercise if they are physically able to. It does not matter what that type of exercise it is, just as long as it is a moderate aerobic exercise that you are able to do on a regular basis. There is an overwhelming body of evidence which clearly shows that cancer patients who regularly exercise simply do much better than those who do not. It is possible that this mitochondrial activation could be one of the reasons for this.

Most of the research seems to indicate that DCA is more effective for cancers that are localized in the nervous system3. Although it can be used for other types of cancer, it is less indicated for cancers that do not localize to the nervous system. A very common side effect from chemotherapy is neuropathy4 and DCA should be used with caution if there are any signs of neuropathy. There are no known drug interactions with DCA except for the drug Lasix which is a diuretic. Overall DCA is a very safe therapy and there are many studies that demonstrate the safety of this therapy.

The bottom line is that DCA is an effective therapy when used appropriately. It is not a cure on its own but DCA can be a major part of an effective and comprehensive integrative cancer treatment plan. It can be administered either orally or intravenously. The oral dose is typically 15-20mg/kg and it is cycled 2 weeks on followed by 1 week off. It is extremely important to have the appropriate neurological support during this therapy. DCA is known to cause significant neuropathy and you must be monitored by a physician who is experienced with the use of DCA. Common neurological support includes NAC, Thiamine (B1) and ALA. It is essential that you consult with a Naturopathic physician who focuses in oncology to know what neurological support is best suited for you.

A Naturopathic doctor that works with oncology will take the time to look at your case and will write you a prescription for DCA if it is truly indicated. Contact Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic to see if this is the right therapy for you.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

References

1) “Cheap, ‘safe’ drug kills most cancers”. New Scientist. 2007-01-17. Retrieved 2014-08-23.

2) Stacpoole PW (1989). “The pharmacology of dichloroacetate”. Metabolism 38 (11): 1124–1144. doi:10.1016/0026-0495(89)90051-6PMID 2554095

3) Michelakis E D, et al. Metabolic Modulation of Glioblastoma with Dichloriacetate. Sci Transl Med 12 May 2010: Vol. 2, Issue 31

4) Abramowski MC. Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain. J of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology. 2010;1:279-283.

5) Ludvik, Bernhard, et al. “Effects of dichloroacetate on exercise performance in healthy volunteers.” Pflügers Archiv 423.3-4 (1993): 251-254.

When is high dose IV Vitamin C indicated? June 22, 2014

Posted by Dreamhealer in Cancer, Chemotherapy, Health, Integrative Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, vitamins.
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vancouver naturopath vitamin c

High dose IV Vitamin C is emerging as a powerful cancer therapy

By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND

High dose intravenous Vitamin C has gained a lot of attention in the media lately as an anti-cancer therapy. There is no doubt that when used appropriately this can be an effective integrative cancer therapy1. As the evidence mounts, mainstream medicine is slowly beginning to embrace high dose IV Vitamin C.

Oncologists will frequently tell their patients to fear antioxidants because they will neutralize the effects of the chemotherapy. The rationale is that chemotherapy works by adding oxidative stress to cancer cells and antioxidants will neutralize this effect. On an intuitive level this makes sense but the majority of the scientific evidence indicates that when used appropriately antioxidants protect healthy cells without interfering with the effects of the chemotherapy2,3.

It is important to point out that Vitamin C is not an antioxidant when given at high doses intravenously4. When taken orally at low doses Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant and it has many positive benefits. At high doses Vitamin C switches roles and acts as a potent oxidative molecule, which is the complete opposite of its antioxidant role at lower doses. Studies show that at high doses Vitamin C is very toxic to cancer cells6. In this cellular context it is a potent oxidative molecule that works synergistically with most conventional therapies.

Patients who undergo this therapy tend to experience less significant side effects from the chemotherapy7,8. IV Vitamin C can vastly improve quality of life by increasing appetite, raising platelet counts, easing fatigue and reducing pain. When patients are supported by the appropriate nutrients and supplements, the side effects from chemotherapy are less intense. Studies consistently show that at these high doses, Vitamin C is toxic to cancer cells while protecting healthy cells from the effects of chemotherapy. The evidence indicates that IV Vitamin C is effective when used in conjunction with chemotherapy rather than as a stand alone therapy.

There are several different situations where high dose IV Vitamin C is not safe. Although it is safe to use with most chemotherapies, it is not safe to use with Velcade (Bortezomib)5. There are a number of studies that show a negative interaction between this particular drug and Vitamin C. When injecting Vitamin C there is a significant amount of sodium that is in the infusion and this can add a significant burden to the kidneys. This stress to the kidneys is only a concern in patients that have significantly compromised kidney function. There is also a rare genetic condition known as G6PD and in these patients it is not safe to give them high doses of Vitamin C. You need an experienced health care professional to assess your health history and ensure that you do not have any contraindications to this therapy.

I regularly run IV Vitamin C on my patients at the clinic and it is a very effective cancer therapy when used appropriately. On a regular basis I see patients improve significantly when they use this therapy as part of a comprehensive integrative cancer therapy. Contact Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic to see if this is the right therapy for you.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

 

References:

1) Vollbracht, Claudia, et al. “Intravenous vitamin C administration improves quality of life in breast cancer patients during chemo-/radiotherapy and aftercare: results of a retrospective, multicentre, epidemiological cohort study in Germany.” in vivo 25.6 (2011): 983-990.

2) Suhail, N., et al. “Effect of vitamins C and E on antioxidant status of breast‐cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.” Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics 37.1 (2012): 22-26.

3) Tabassum, A., R. G. Bristow, and V. Venkateswaran. “Ingestion of selenium and other antioxidants during prostate cancer radiotherapy: a good thing?.” Cancer treatment reviews36.3 (2010): 230-234.

4) Carr, Anitra, and Balz Frei. “Does vitamin C act as a pro-oxidant under physiological conditions?.” The FASEB Journal 13.9 (1999): 1007-1024.

5) Perrone, G., et al. “Ascorbic acid inhibits antitumor activity of bortezomib in vivo.” Leukemia23.9 (2009): 1679-1686.

6) Riordan, N. H., et al. “Intravenous ascorbate as a tumor cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent.”Medical hypotheses 44.3 (1995): 207-213.

7) Weijl, N. I., et al. “Supplementation with antioxidant micronutrients and chemotherapy-induced toxicity in cancer patients treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” European Journal of Cancer 40.11 (2004): 1713-1723.

8) Takemura, Yukitoshi, et al. “High dose of ascorbic acid induces cell death in mesothelioma cells.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 394.2 (2010): 249-253.

Chemotherapy can do more harm than good April 8, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Chemicals, Chemotherapy.
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Doctors have been urged to be more cautious in offering cancer treatment to terminally-ill patients as chemotherapy can often do more harm than good, a study suggests. Patients with incurable cancers were promised much greater access to the latest drugs which could offer them extra months or years of life by a Department of Health review last week. Read More….

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