The role of nutrition in cancer treatment

Did you know?
Nutrition is a decisive factor in the creation of cancer – a fact on which conventional and holistic doctors agree upon. Even the American Cancer Society blames the increase of intestine cancer for younger Americans, starting in the 1970s, on fast-food consumption.

Organic nutrition is healthy nutrition.
This example illustrates how important essential nutrients are to our organism, our immune system and to our well-being. Food is – even if in our modern society it sometimes does not seem – not only a satisfaction of needs, food is foremost a way to give our organism the nutrition components it needs to keep our immune system running. It helps our metabolism to detoxify, and the detoxification processes are very important in the case of cancer therapies or cancer prevention. Research has shown that some foods contain secondary plant products, which lower the risk of cancer and which are commonly used in synthetically created medication used in cancer therapies. One could conclude that fighting cancer or preventing cancer through secondary food products is similar to a non-toxic, virtually speaking natural, chemotherapy. At our clinic, we use secondary food products and their molecules in your daily food.

This is not a way to promote a certain type of cancer diet, but a way to describe which foods are suitable to fight cancer or help in the prevention of cancer by increasingly eating them and avoiding risky nutrients, like trans fats or sugar.

Healthy nutrition
To make it simple, healthy nutrition is food which does not contain trans fats, artificial components or ingredients (sweeteners, flavour enhancer, artificial fertiliser, pesticides…) and is prepared at home.

Healthy nutrition and secondary plant products
Research findings of the last decade have shown that a variety of plants and foodstuff are remarkable suppliers of molecules to disturb tumour-developing processes. Secondary plant products are part of these.

A nutrition based upon a constant flow of foods containing secondary plant supplements is a formidable way of cancer prevention and countering a manifest cancer diagnosis.

Secondary food supplements are not only responsible for colour and organoleptic (appealing effects to our sensory organs) characteristics in fruits, vegetables and spices, but also in drinks like tea or red wine. In addition to this, they serve as an antidote against bacterias and mushrooms. This protective effect is not only bound to plants, but also play a vital role in the fight against cancer by actively supporting metabolism processes and our immune system.

Fruits and vegetables which contain a lot of secondary plant products are: strawberries, blueberries, grapes, citrus fruits, tomatos, cabbage, broccoli, garlic, soybeans, the spice curcuma (turmeric) and green tea.

The most important aspect of all this is the following: Everything you eat should have grown without the use of artificial fertiliser and pesticides, as these foods contain more secondary plant products and do not add toxins, even in smallest allowed quantities, to your organism. Organic and bio products are products that fulfill these criteria.

Be careful with animal fats proteins
It is increasingly recognised that many civilisation illnesses are provoked by an over consumption of animal fats and proteins. Research in this field shows a connection between meat consumption and an increased cancer risk. Special focus is put on red meat, like beef or pork, as it might increase the risk of intestinal cancer.

Responsible for this increased risk are substances present in meat and those which are created while processing meat. Nitrosamine is one of those substances, which is largely present in corned/salted meat or sausage products. Nitrosamines are also created during a barbecue, frying or cooking using fats or oils transforming themselves into trans-acid fats in the cooking process or simply inside our stomach during digestion.

Benzopyrene is another carcinogen (cancer-causing) agent, which is created during improper smoking of foodstuff or fats dropping into a fire during a barbecue.

Another cancer causing risk is coming from modern farming methods. Dioxins, hormones, antibiotics and heavy metals too often pollute animals and fish, which we consume. Studies estimate that 95% of our exposition to dioxins, a well-known carcinogen (cancer-causing) agent, is coming from our consumption of animal products.

In order to give our body enough proteins, cancer patients should switch to vegetarian foodstuff. One of the advantages of vegetarian proteins is that fewer animal fats are consumed and their vegetarian proteins are simpler to digest. Vegetarian proteins have no uric acid, which is partly responsible for an over-acidification of our organism. In holistic medicine, over-acidification is considered as load factor for our organism and responsible for many illnesses. The fact that cancer patients are particularly affected by over-acidification confirms that position.

Leguminous plants like beans, peas, soya contain a lot of vegetarian proteins just as vegetables and corn (especially spelt). In any case, organic food or bio quality products should be consumed.

The influence of carbohydrates
Cancer cells, unlike healthy cells, do not gain their energy from oxygen but from sugar (glucose). In fact, a high blood sugar level can contribute to tumor growth because it enhances and facilitates cell division.

Our western nutrition is characterised by a high consumption of carbohydrates foods, which during digestion produce a high level of glucose.

Especially cancer patients should avoid simple carbohydrates, which are rapidly digested, like sugar, biscuits, cakes, ice cream, soft drinks or convenience foods (readily prepared meals). Instead they should opt for complex carbohydrates which are digested slowly, wholemeal products like vegetables, fruits and salads from organic food or biological agriculture for their high level of secondary plant supplements.

Very good results have been achieved with a combination of sour milk products like yoghurt, buttermilk, quark or sauerkraut because it gently de-acidifies our organism and can even suppress the fermenting metabolism of tumour cells.

Dangerous trans fats
Trans fats are the “Monsters” among fatty acids, because they are the cause for many illnesses. In Denmark, trans fats are forbidden by law and in states like New York and California their use is legally restricted. The European Union is currently not taking any steps against the use of trans fats in our food supply chain, although several studies have documented there role in initiating illnesses.

Trans fats are artificial fatty acids created during industrial oil hardening (hydrogenation) of unsaturated oils. Chemically speaking, a unsaturated carbon-carbon bond is transformed in a mono-, or polysaturated fat. During this process, oil is transformed into an easy to spread foodstuff harboring many advantages to the food industry, but trans fats do not occur in nature. Trans fats are cheap, do not rancid and their date of expiry is very long. They colour chips, French fries, potato chips, make Croissants airy and chocolate taste creamier. Only in our human metabolism they act as poison and increase sharply the risk for heart diseases, diabetes or cancer. Studies have further shown that trans fats lower the level of “good” HDL cholesterol but raise the level of the “bad” LDL cholesterol. And lastly, trans fats make people even fattier than other fats already do.

The take in of trans fats is best avoided by either not eating them altogether or by restricting yourself about their frequency. Trans fats can mainly be found in readily prepared meals, like chips, potato chips, Instant-soups/sauces/meals, fast-food, microwave popcorn or sweet bakery like Croissants.

Generally speaking, the more industrial processed food we eat, the more trans fats we consume.

Trans fats are not always mentioned on the packaging because there is no labeling obligation. However, one should always take a look at the ingredients labeling, as trans fats are often called “partly hardened fats”.

Food supplements
Our organism needs more than 40 vital nutrients – vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients and essential fatty acids – in order to function correctly. But as always, the right dose is very important. 2 mg of pomegranate do not have the same effect as 200 mg. This is why we are using natural food supplements from naturasanitas.

Secondary plant nutrients – food supplements
This knowledge is used by orthomolecular medicine, which states that a disequilibrium in the supply of essential vital nutrients makes our body more susceptible to diseases and in case of a diagnosed cancer lowers the healing power of our immune system. The biochemist Linus Pauling was one of the first who did research in the field of orthomolecular medicine. “Ortho” means “really good” in Greek. “Molecular” is used as the “module of vital nutrients” to restore that balance. These vital nutrients are today known as food supplements, of which we know they are either healthy or have real healing powers. Linus Pauling defines the working of orthomolecular medicine as following “Orthomolecular medicine is the preservation of our health and treatment against illnesses through the modification of substances which can be found in our organism and are responsible of our health.”

Starting with food supplements and vital nutrients at the right time is a good prevention scheme. And it is a complementary treatment method in case of a disease because patients have a higher need of food supplements and vital nutrients. A dedicated take in of food supplements and vital nutrients can significantly enhance the regeneration and protection of affected cells and is an essential part of a holistic therapeutic approach.

The experience made with orthomolecular medicine over the last years have resulted in very positive results, particularly with chronically diseases like heart attack, heart stroke, diabetes mellitus, cancer and rheumatism. A growing number of companies now offer food supplements and vital nutrients to be used in orthomolecular medicine. Some of these can also be used as medication.

Orthomolecular medicine has mainly three points of focus:

  • Compensation of nutrition deficits
  • Individual health optimisation
  • Highly dosed take in with pharmacologic impacts

In a holistic cancer therapy, very good results have been made with pomegranate and broccoli extracts.

The pomegranate tree is part of the oldest crop plants used by mankind and already the middle-aged alchemy knew about is life extension mechanisms. The main reason lies within the high dosage of antioxidants present in the pomegranate fruit itself. Several studies prove the effectiveness of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-sclerotic and anticancer substances present in pomegranate.

In holistic cancer therapy mainly the flavonoids are efficient. Studies indicate that the food supplements present in pomegranates enhance the apoptosis (suicide of cells) process of cancer cells.

Broccoli is part of the cabbage family. It is not only rich in food supplements but also contains a lot of vital minerals with phytochemical agents who inhibit cancer. Broccoli further encourages our immune system to create the inhibiting cancer substance I3C (Infol-3-Carbinol). These substances reduce the spreading effects tumours can develop. In case of breast or uterus cancer, studies have confirmed that I3C regulates the oestrogenic metabolism and stimulates the conversion of estrogens into neural metabolite products, which do not create cancer.

Another very important ingredient is the antioxidant sulforaphan. It has also inhibiting effects on cancer cells, as it lowers their ability to spread by inhibiting cell division. Other studies show anti-inflammatory effects within our organism, thereby lowering the risk of chronic diseases.