I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You are what you eat. If there’s truth to that expression, what are you? Are you well-balanced and healthy or are you loaded with unnecessary calories, unbalanced and sick? A quick look at your diet very often tells more of the story than you may realize.
One of the causes of tumour development and growth is incorrect DNA replication. When DNA doesn’t copy itself (replicate) correctly, genes that should be on can get turned off and vice versa. Suddenly, a perfectly functioning cell can be behaving in ways that are no longer optimal. One or more of those genes in DNA take care of the rate of replication. When genes start expressing or repressing proteins in unexpected combinations, suddenly our DNA and, therefore, cells, don’t do what they should.
Tumours, either malignant or benign, thrive on sugar. Sugar, of course, is present in nearly all processed foods. The jam on your toast, that 64-oz. Big Gulp you just bought at the convenience store, the bag of Oreos you scarfed down sitting in front of the TV; all feed the tumour. Cancer just LOVES the stuff.
Cancer thrives in an imbalanced environment. That environment is a body in which its protective systems have either been switched off or confused to the point of ineffectiveness. Most pet owners wouldn’t think of serving their collie coffee, donuts and a cigarette for breakfast, so why do they think it’s a suitable breakfast for a person?
Starving Cancer, Starving Tumours
When you take away the sugar, a whole lot of the fuel needed for rampant replication goes away. As well, the oxidizing damage of sugar is reduced, thereby enabling the body’s systems to begin recovering. Some of the other tricks to get rid of the nasties include:
- Eating a whole-food diet that is protein-rich and light on carbohydrates
- Serve your veggies raw and have plenty of fruits and berries as your dessert (and you can have this dessert at every meal!)
- Have a handful or two of nuts daily, with special emphasis on walnuts for the abundance of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E
Supplementation Can Help!
If you’re dealing with cancer or some sort of tumour, you may be interested to go off and do some research on the work of Linus Pauling with regard to megadoses of Vitamin C. I read a fair bit about it and I tend to hold a somewhat “cautiously optimistic” view of it. I, myself, tend to take 2-4 grams of oral Vitamin C daily, without suffering from any side effects whatsoever.
Vitamin C has very low toxicity in the body, which means that large doses are unlikely to cause any symptoms whatsoever. Pauling’s work found that during severe stress and/or sickness, animals (most of which produce their own Vitamin C in the body) produce upwards of 10s of grams per day. He went on to evaluate diets of animals producing their own Vitamin C and compared body weights, etc. to finally determine that a normal, healthy adult who required 2500 kilocalories/day of food energy would optimally require 2300 mg of Vitamin C.
In Vitamin C research, the human body’s tolerance is front-line measured by something known as bowel tolerance. At the first sign of diarrhea, the body has reached saturation and the dosage should be cut back. In healthy individuals, bowel tolerance is reached much earlier than in unwell individuals, which seems to indicate the body’s recognition of the higher doses as being of benefit.
Vitamin E goes hand-in-hand with Vitamin C. The two have a synergistic relationship, keeping one another “alive” and able to perform more antioxidant superdeeds throughout the body. Vitamin E has only relatively recently been recognized for the vitally important vitamin that it is.
Vitamin E is not a megadose-capable vitamin. The typical recommended daily allowance of 400 IU is plenty to keep Vitamin C charged up and going, even in larger doses. For those who believe that more is better, evidence seems to indicate that up to 1600 IU/day (1073 mg) seems to have no ill effects on the body. It would be unwise to take in more than that.
Somewhat less well known in the antioxidant world is the behaviour of beta carotene. What is known, however, is the very complementary interplay among Vitamin C, E and beta carotene. Beta carotene is fat-soluble and is stored in the liver. Overdoing beta carotene can cause the liver to not be able to store other fat-soluble vitamins, such as D and A.
Smokers should be aware that beta carotene supplementation has been linked with increased incidence of lung cancer in smokers. It might seem obvious, but it bears stating anyway that it’s a far, far better decision to quit smoking and stay on beta carotene supplements than it is to quit the supplements and continue smoking. Make the decision that’s best for your body. Please.
Generally, overdosing on beta carotene isn’t likely. In most people, overabundance of beta carotene expresses itself as carotenodermia, a harmless skin condition where the skin presents a conspicuous orange tint. (This condition is actually a rather humorous, cultural affliction here in Japan, as the mandarin orange season coincides with the New Year holiday. Many people magically “turn orange” during the holiday and remain interestingly tinted for up to a couple of weeks after, due to overeating of mandarin oranges to a significant degree.)
It’s worth educating yourself about the difference between fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. The “lifespan” of each vitamin in the body is determined by its solubility. As a matter of convenience, you can think of water-solubility as giving a vitamin a quick-reaction time in terms of depletion and replenishment. Fat-solubility slows things down in terms of both, but complicates the overdose possibilities
Water-soluble vitamins are those that are not stored in the body and must constantly be replenished. Exhausted (or excess) water-soluble vitamins are typically passed in urine as waste. Water-soluble vitamins tend to be safer in terms of overdose risk, but caution is always advised whenever going outside of guidelines.
Fat-soluble vitamins are those that the body stores in the body for later use. With fat-soluble vitamins, it tends to be much easier to maintain a proper level, but it also is easier to overdose. Chronically taking too much of a fat-soluble vitamin can set you up for a long-term problem because the amount of vitamin in the body won’t significantly reduce upon cessation.
Finally, Vitamin B12 plays a huge role in DNA replication. Getting enough animal protein in your diet and/or adequate supplementation of Vitamin B12 can go a long way to ensuring that your DNA and, therefore, cells are able to replicate correctly over many iterations and at the correct frequency.
Cancer and tumours are a horrible experience, being responsible for a large number of deaths each year. That said, it’s not the end of the road. If you’re willing to make dramatic changes to your diet and lifestyle, your body has in it all the innate knowledge and tools required to kick those tumour cells in the butt and send ’em packing.
What are you waiting for?