Nutrients that target cancer: AMPK activators
Target: AMPK activators: When activated, AMPK attacks cancer by multiple pathways shown below:
The following nutrients stimulate AMPK
Other important tools to fight cancer.
No sweeteners (except stevia)
Strengthen your immune system. There is plenty of data that shows how foods and supplements can optimize your immune system. Include vitamin C four times a day for immune support. It is used up quickly which is why you need to take it frequently.
Support immune cells that attack cancer cells. (See Immune Boosters in Appendix)
Optimize your nutrition for whole body defenses and functioning.
Minimize the toxins associated with cancer. (See detoxification pages)
Selenium. Some studies have suggested that people with low selenium levels are at greater risk of bladder, breast, colon, rectum, lung, and prostate cancers. A large-scale, multiyear study is currently in progress to look at the effects of combining selenium and vitamin E on prostate cancer prevention.
Vitamin B6. Several studies have suggested that a vitamin B6 deficiency can depress aspects of the immune response, such as lymphocytes’ ability to mature and spin off into various types of T and B cells. Supplementing with moderate doses to address the deficiency restores immune function, but megadoses don’t produce additional benefits.
Vitamin E. A study involving healthy subjects over age 65 has shown that increasing the daily dose of vitamin E from the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 30 mg to 200 mg increased antibody responses to hepatitis B and tetanus after vaccination.
Optimize Diet: I work carefully so see what works best. There is no one diet that is best for everyone.
Make sure you are taking adequate fat-soluble vitamins. Some people do not absorb them well and need to supplement them. Vitamin D and vitamin A have been shown to act together to kill some cancer cells. You can measure your Vitamin D. For Vitamin A, the best measurement is of its precursor, Beta-Carotene. Beta-Carotene, is converted to vitamin A and Beta-Carotene can be tested with Raman Spectroscopy.
The fat soluble vitamins need to be taken with fat–Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E–and we probably are not getting enough of them. Learn how to get on a program to optimize these important vitamins.
These herbals may help:
- Astragalus membranes
- Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice root)
If you can afford it, do nutritional IV’s on a regular basis.
The spice curcumin has shown benefits.
Use a green tea supplement that is of the highest quality (organic, young leaves, etc)–because of the wealth of information on green tea’s effects against cancer.
Alkalinize your system: Refer to “Osteoporosis” page
There are some who claim cancer is started by mold in the body. For a viewpoint on how alkalinizing will kill the mold that is “at the center” of the cancer, see
Most studies are using just cancer cells in a lab, or in small animals, so they must be taken with a grain of salt. And don’t forget the value of emotional expression—both laughter and crying have been shown to help your immune system.
Appendix: Immune Boosters and Mechanisms:
1) Vitamin D – 5000 to 10,000 IU daily for most adults is safe and effective for the prevention of cancer and approximately 200 different diseases. No other supplemented nutrient has been as extensively studied as vitamin D. Thousands of studies support its use in higher than RDA doses. For the best source of information and documentation of all the benefits, visit http://www.vitamindcouncil.org
If you have adequate blood levels of Vitamin D it is possible to prevent any and all infections. The trouble is that one has to get enough sunshine in order for the body to manufacture sufficient vitamin D through the action of ultraviolet light on the skin. Hence, regular oral supplementation of emulsified vitamin D drops is almost mandatory. Check your blood levels before supplementing with vitamin D. The optimal average adult dose is between 5000 and 10,000 IU daily.
2) Omega-3 Fatty Acids – 4000 mg daily for most adults not only prevents heart disease but also powerfully boosts the immune system. Omega-3 is needed to help vitamin D work in an optimal manner and, in effect, helps prevent vitamin D deficiency. Omega-3 supplementation increases the activity of white cells that gobble up dangerous bacteria. No doubt you have heard of the benefits of taking cod liver oil during the winter months. Interestingly enough, the major active ingredients of cod liver oil that work their magic on the immune system are vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
3) Probiotics (variable dosing) are friendly bacteria that usually inhabit the gut and are a very well documented optimizer of the immune system. Seventy percent or more of our immune system is controlled by what happens in the gut, and friendly bacteria are the most important component of that immune system. These bacteria modulate the immune system by increasing the numbers of certain while blood cells (T lymphocytes). Probiotics also help improve digestion and protect the body from harmful pathogens such as candida albicans.
4) Astragalus – 1000 mg or more daily of this well-known Chinese herb stimulates white blood cells to both prevent and fight infections. Astragalus does not work as quickly as vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acids, and may take between 6 – 8 weeks to reach its full effects. Numerous studies attest to the fact that it is well worth supplementing.
5) Zinc – 50 mg daily is an effective preventive for all kinds of infections. The vast majority of people are zinc deficient. High dose zinc combined with vitamin C can offset excessive lead levels in the body.
6) Selenium – 200 mcg daily – regular supplementation reduces the risk of cancers of the bladder, breast, bowel, lung and prostate. I usually recommend that people take a vitamin E complex (tocopherols and tocotrienols) – 400 IU with selenium because the two nutrients work synergistically.
7) Vitamin A – 10,000 IU – another component of cod liver oil that plays a major role in preventing infections by influencing the activity of T and B lymphocytes (white cells). Vitamin A is a common component of many multivitamin supplements but some people just do not absorb enough of it from their diet. For most of these individuals, supplementing pancreatin (pancreatic enzymes) should help resolve the absorption issue.
8) Colostrum is the first mammary secretion nourishment that any mammal, including man, provides for its newborn for the first 24-48 hours of life. It does not contain milk, as we know it. In choosing a bovine colostrum supplement, make sure it comes only from the first milking, ideally within the first 6 hours after birth of the calf. Choose your colostrum carefully as most brands combine the first milking (which is pure colostrum) with several subsequent milkings (which are mostly milk), resulting in products that more closely resemble milk or whey powder than true colostrum.
First milking colostrum contains numerous immune system and growth factors which trigger at least fifty processes in a newborn, ranging from the development of the immune system to the growth of all body cells. Laboratory analysis of immune and growth factors from bovine colostrum show them to be virtually identical to those found in human colostrum and bovine colostrum is totally safe, with no known drug contraindications or negative side effects at any dosage level.
Well known colostrum components like interferon, gamma globulin, growth hormone (GH), IgF-1 and protease inhibitors are all used by conventional medical specialists in the treatment of cancer. There are now over 4,000 clinical studies from around the world detailing research that has been done using colostrum in the treatment of dozens of different diseases.
First milking bovine colostrum is the ideal vaccination alternative. The reason is obvious when you look at its components. The two major components of colostrum are immune factors and growth factors. It’s the immune factors that offer the vaccine benefits. These include:
* Immunoglobulins (A, D, E, G and M) – neutralize toxins, viruses and bacteria in the lymph and circulatory systems.
* Lactoferrin – antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, iron-binding protein with therapeutic effects in cancer, HIV, cytomega-lovirus, herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome, candida albicans and other infections.
* Proline-Rich Polypeptide (PRP) – a hormone that regulates the thymus gland, stimulating an underactive immune system or dampening an overactive immune system as seen in autoimmune disease (MS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, etc.).
* Leukocytes – white blood cells that stimulate the production of interferon which slows viral reproduction and penetration of cell walls.
* Enzymes – lactoperoxidase-thiocyanate, peroxidase and xanthine oxidase destroy bacteria through their ability to release hydrogen peroxide.
* Lysozyme – a hydrolyzing agent and immune system booster capable of destroying bacteria and viruses on contact.
* Cytokines – interleukins that regulate the duration and intensity of the immune response, are responsible for cell to cell communication, boost T-cell activity and the production of immunoglobulins. Interleukin-10 is strongly anti-inflammatory, especially in arthritic joints.
* Trypsin Inhibitors and Protease Inhibitors – prevent the destruction of immune and growth factors in colostrum from being broken down in the GI tract; they also prevent H. pylori from attaching to the walls of the stomach and can have a beneficial role in the treatment of peptic ulcers.
* Lymphokines – hormone-like peptides produced by activated lymphocytes which mediate the immune response.
* Oligo Polysaccharides and Glycoconjugates – attract and bind to pathogens (Strep., E. Coli, Salmonella, Cryptosporidia, Giardia, Entamoeba, Shigella, Clostridium Difficile Toxins A & B and Cholera) preventing them from attaching or entering the mucous membranes.
* Other immune Factors – some of the documented immune factors include orotic acid, secretory IgA, IgA Specific Helper, B Lactoglobulin, Lactalbumin, Albumin, Prealbumin, Alpha 1-Antitripsin, Alpha 1-Fetoprotein, Alpha 2-macroglobulin, Alpha 2-AP Glycoprotein, C3, C4 and Orosomucoids.
* Vitamins – A, B12 and E are found in small amounts while traces of all others are also present in colostrum.
* Sulfur – a mineral with multiple uses in metabolism and as part of many structural body proteins.
9) Vitamin C – 1000 mg or more daily has anti-viral and immune enhancing effects. Mega doses above and beyond bowel tolerance (dose that produces diarrhea) are given intravenously to fight serious infections like Lyme disease as well as cancer. The only significant issue with the use of high dose vitamin C beyond the RDA levels is the diarrhea side effect. Backing off the dose should resolve this problem.
10) Echinacea – 1000 mg or more daily is well documented as an immune system booster used to both prevent and treat a long list of infections. It is often said that Echinacea shouldn’t be taken for long periods of time beyond a few weeks, but this has never been proven to be detrimental in any way. This false advice on limiting the length of time that one should be using Echinacea originates from a German study that actually said the opposite. Things are often lost in translation. The bottom line is that one can supplement Echinacea continuously for years without concerns. The other Echinacea myth is that people who have autoimmune disease should not be taking it due to over-stimulation of their autoimmune disease. This too is nonsense since supplementing with Echinacea increases the body’s production of hyaluronic acid, a well-known anti-inflammatory pain reliever. Once again, to be healthier with autoimmune disease, take echinacea in large doses. (Caveat: If you have a ragweed allergy you might react adversely to Echinacea because it belongs to the same plant family.)
Appendix: Anti-Angiogenesis For Cancer Prevention and Treatment
We all have abnormal cancer cells in our bodies. Most of these micro-tumors are dormant.
Cancer can not grow larger than the size of the tip of a ball point pen without first developing a network of blood vessels.
If we can prevent abnormal cells from forming a network of blood vessels, we can render them harmless. Researchers are developing drugs designed to stop blood vessel growth (called angiogenesis). These drugs have had some success; however, they come with serious side effects.
Research has demonstrated that fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and some legumes have anti-angiogenesis compounds within them that may prove to be powerful cancer preventatives
The most powerful anti-angiogenesis foods are listed above.
Certain supplements may help to further concentrate food-based anti-angiogenensis compounds in the body
The Breakthrough Discovery
Back in the early nineteen sixties, a navy surgeon, by the name of Dr. Judah Folkman, happened upon a discovery that would revolutionize the way that we view cancer development in the human body. While testing the impact of preserved blood on fast growing tumor cells (a model used to mimic fast growing tissues of wounds) he noticed that cancer cells that would normally ravage the body of a living mouse, could only seem to grow to the size of the tip of a ball point pen in a Petri dish. He wondered why the same tumor cells didn’t replicate with the same level of aggression in a Petri dish as they did in a living creature. After all, he had taken great care to mimic the conditions of living tissue.
After dissecting the large tumors from the living creatures and comparing them to the tiny tumors from his Petri dish experiment, he noticed only one difference between the two tumors; the large tumors from the mice were filled with thousands of tiny networks of blood vessels while the tumor cells from the Petri dish experiment had no such blood supply. From this experiment, he hypothesized that the cancer cells could not develop into a large tumor mass unless and until it had developed a network of small blood vessels called capillaries to feed the cells. This process of blood vessel development was named “angiogenesis”. Said another way, if we could prevent cancer cells from developing a blood supply of their own, we could stop cancer growth in its tracks and even cause existing tumors to regress! Furthermore, if tumor cells could not develop a blood supply, they would not be able to metastasize.
Dr. Folkman’s hypothesis and experiment was met with ridicule and rejection from the medical community. In fact, after discussing with a colleague his worry that his research would get picked up and stolen by other researchers, his colleague replied, “You are totally protected against intellectual theft. Nobody will believe you!”
Dr. Folkman continued his experiments, and over the years, his hypothesis went on to be accepted. His research led to the development of a new class of medication called anti-angiogenesis drugs. Since then, other anti-angiogenesis medications had come to market. Unfortunately, the clinical results were somewhat disappointing; some tumors responded quite well, while others responded partially or not at all.
William Li, founder of The Angiogenesis Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of anti-angiogenesis therapies and lifestyles, believes that the main reason that the medications are not living up to their potential is because we are getting to people too late in the game, after the cancer is fully developed and situated. He believes that if we can use non-toxic tactics to prevent the small cluster of cancerous cells from forming a blood flow in the first place, we can prevent tumors from developing altogether. This would be what Dr. Folkman calls, “Cancer without disease”.
We All Have Cancer
It is a well-known fact that we all have these microscopic cancer cells throughout our bodies. In fact, research that looked at healthy men and women who had died in car accidents, discovered that 40% of women between the ages of 40-50 have these microscopic tumors within their breasts and 50% of men, between the ages of 50-60, have these micro-tumors in their prostates. It is even more disturbing that virtually 100% of men and women in their 70s have micro-tumors in their thyroid! The only thing preventing these people from developing the disease of cancer is the fact that the tumor cells had not developed a blood flow yet. The question is, “what can we do to prevent those harmless micro-tumors from ever developing a blood flow?” Dr. William Li believes that he has the answer…
Eat to Starve Cancer
The anti-angiogenesis medications, used to treat existing tumors, do not come without side effects. These side effects, although fewer than conventional chemotherapy, would make them inappropriate tools for preventing angiogenesis in micro-tumors. There is good news, however, researchers discovered that nature offers an abundance of natural compounds with potent anti-angiogenesis activity. Best of all, rather than blocking angiogenesis altogether, they normalize it. Disease begins when the growth of blood vessels occur unimpeded by the natural systems of checks and balances within the body. These natural anti-angiogenesis compounds appear to regulate and normalize the angiogenic balance within the body.
Angiogenesis is Essential to Health
Once we reach adulthood, it is generally accepted that blood vessels stop growing. There are three situations, however, that seem to defy this rule: menstruation, pregnancy and injury/wounds. During menstruation, pregnancy, and injury, the body produces protein chemicals that act as fertilizer for blood vessels; this stimulates the growth of new capillaries. When we injure ourselves, blood vessels grow beneath the scab to bring nutrients and oxygen to the damaged area in order to repair the damage. After the wound has healed, the body produces anti-angiogenesis compounds that stop the growth and prune back the blood vessels if needed. This process is tightly controlled; when angiogenesis is not well controlled, many diseases can arise.
Cancer – The Ultimate Disease of Excess Angiogenesis
Although there are many diseases that can be connected to angiogenesis, abnormal blood vessel growth is a hallmark of all solid tumors. It is an accepted theory that one key to controlling cancer growth, especially metastatic and aggressive cancer, is to shut down the process of angiogenesis within the diseased tissue without affecting the healthy tissue.
Generally speaking, blood vessels are stable and resilient tissues. Blood vessels found in tumors, however, appear to be built in a hurry. Their structure and architecture is disorganized and fragile, which makes them more susceptible to anti-angiogenesis therapies than normal tissues. This weakness may prove to be one of the greatest advantages that we have over this deadly foe.
When the scientists discovered the presence of proteins that promote angiogenesis, they realized that nature, with all of its systems of checks and balances, must also make proteins that inhibit angiogenesis. They first discovered these compounds in the urine of mice, which were resistant to cancer; they named this compound angiostatin. They then began to find compounds with similar activity in the foods that we eat, such as fruits, vegetables and tea leaves. Researchers have made great strides in defining which foods appear to have the most potent anti-angiogenesis activity. In addition to the previous list, here is another list:
Power Resides in the Synergy
According to Dictionary.com, “Synergy” is defined as “The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.” In a study on the anti-angiogenesis activity of tea, researchers tested the ability of three different types of tea to inhibit blood vessel growth. In this study, they determined that they all had anti-angiogenesis activity, however, of the three, Earl Grey appeared to be the most potent. The researchers then decided to combine the two weaker teas and test the anti-angiogenesis activity of the mixture. They discovered that the combination of the two weaker teas resulted in more inhibition of blood vessel growth than the stronger Earl Grey tea. According to Dr. Li, this shows the presence of what is called “Nutritional Synergy” meaning, smaller quantities of many different nutrients and phytochemicals is likely superior to high quantities of fewer nutrients.
Future of Anti-Angiogenesis Studies
Currently, there is mounting laboratory and animal research that is confirming the anti-angiogenesis activity of foods. Using a special test tube model of blood vessel growth, Dr. Li and his organization is working to map the anti-angiogenic activity of common fruits, vegetables, herbs and teas. The ultimate goal is to form a menu of foods that are likely to inhibit this key step in the growth of abnormal cells into metastatic tumor masses.
One study, published by Harvard Medical School, tested the effect of dietary lycopene (a red pigment found in foods such as tomatoes, berries, etc) on the risk of prostate cancer. They determined that men, who consumed the most lycopene-containing foods, enjoyed the lowest incidence of prostate cancer. The researchers then tested the tumor biopsies for the presence of blood vessels. They discovered that of the men who went on to develop prostate cancer, the more lycopene they consumed, the lower the density of blood vessels in the tumor. This finding suggests that even when lycopene fails to completely inhibit angiogenesis, is appears to slow the growth and potentially decrease the virility of the existing tumor mass.
Obviously, more research needs to be performed to confirm the legitimacy of the laboratory and animal findings. I believe that there is sufficient data, in combination with epidemiological research showing an inverse relationship between fruit/vegetable intake and cancer risk, to start to incorporate larger quantities of the foods, which have anti-angiogenesis activity.
Using These Findings
The rules are simple:
- Consume many servings of vegetables, fruits, and spices
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables; choose them based on color and spectrum
- Choose fruits that are lower on the glycemic index (lower sugar content)
- Drink a variety of teas including: green tea, Earl Grey, jasmine and white tea.
Supplements for Prevention of Angiogenesis
Many people have been asking me about herbs and nutritional supplements that may give them a leg up on this issue. Although we do not have research on specific supplements, as they pertain to angiogenesis, I suspect that whole-food, freeze-dried extracts of fruits, vegetables and herbs will provide a spectrum of concentrated anti-angiogenesis compounds. I personally use a variety of whole food fruit, vegetable, mushroom and nutritional extracts for their broad benefits. This research has solidified these products as part of my long-term supplement plan. Below I list the supplements that I feel would provide the greatest anti-angiogenic activity; it should be noted that every one of these food-products offer multiple health benefits, in addition to being great means of protecting against angiogenesis:
- Berry Greens by New Chapter – There are many whole food formulas on the market, I chose this formula because it is highly concentrated, has a good number of plants with certified anti-angiogenic activity, can be found in either capsules or powder and is readily available. I recommend 6 capsules per day or one tablespoon per day as a supplement to a healthy diet. If you get few fruits and vegetables in the diet, or you have a history or high risk of cancer, I would recommend doubling this dose.
- PolyResveratrol-SR by Thorne Research – This formula combines resveratrol, pterostilbene, a highly absorbed curcumin, a highly absorbed green tea extract and quercetin. These compounds have anti-aging, anti-cancer and anti-angiogenic activity. The recommended dose is one capsule twice daily (although higher doses may be even more effective).
- Vitamin D – Aside from vitamin D’s other anti-cancer qualities, it also appears to inhibit angiogenesis. Recommended doses are 2,000-4,000 iu per day.
Normalizing angiogenesis within the body appears to be a critical step in the maintenance of healthy cells. After listening to a 20-minute lecture by Dr. William Li of the Angiogenesis Foundation, and researching the topic in depth, I am convinced that this may be one of the most important findings in medical history. I look forward to the results of Dr. Li’s research on the anti-angiogenesis activity of various foods and will continue to keep you updated as new research is published on the subject.