Dynamic Duo: Antioxidants for Cancer

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH


Antioxidants for Cancer support is as easy using these two nutrients!With or without the knowledge of their doctor, research shows that 23 percent of cancer patients take antioxidants on their own. The use of antioxidants as an adjunct or as an integral part of cancer therapy is an area of intense research. Though many questions are still unanswered, we know much more about antioxidants for cancer today, than we have ever known in the past.

For decades, physicians specializing in integrative, nutritional and ortho-molecular medicine have successfully employed a carefully planned protocol of natural micronutrients and antioxidants for cancer. Used at the right time and with the right dosage to reverse cancer in its early stages and to deter cancer metastasis in advance stages. This is well before the antioxidant was accepted by mainstream medicine.

For safety concerns, all antioxidants and micronutrients used in an adjunct protocol must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. There must be science to justify the use of the antioxidant objectively.
  2. Some form of mechanism of action must be known.
  3. The antioxidant cannot be toxic to the body.
  4. The antioxidant should not interfere with chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Antioxidants for Cancer Patients?

This question can best be answered by reviewing in detail the history and experimental designs of studies on antioxidants for cancer.

In earlier studies, researchers drew the conclusion that antioxidants for cancer treatment should not be used because antioxidants protect cancer cells during chemotherapy. This hypothesis was based on experimental designs where cancer cells were given a single low dose micronutrient (like 65 mg. of vitamin C) just before the commencement of a series of conventional chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Cancer cells exposed to a single low dose micronutrient showed resistance to chemo and radiological therapeutic agent. It was extrapolated from this experimental observation that antioxidants protect cancer cells against conventional therapy and therefore should not be used. This conclusion has since been shown to be flawed in two ways: Firstly, it assumed that cancer cells reacted the same way to low dose as compared to high dose antioxidants for cancer therapy. Secondly, it assumed that only one dose of antioxidant is needed, while in real life, antioxidants as well as chemotherapies are usually given in series with multiple doses.

Health professional holding a patient's hand with an IV for cancer therapy. Patient uses Antioxidants for cancer also.More recent studies using antioxidants for cancer in the appropriate high and repeated doses showed improvement in the efficacy of tumor response to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This is the total opposite of the earlier researches mentioned above. These later studies showed that antioxidants for cancer at very high doses clinically delivered by intravenous route selectively inhibit the growth of cancer cells without affecting the normal cells. This hypothesis is now well tested in many cell cultures and in clinical trials and is widely accepted by nutritionally minded physicians. Intravenous vitamin C is an example of this.

Let us look at the research on using antioxidants for cancer more closely. Studies have shown that a single low dose vitamin C or E micronutrient antioxidants for cancer can stimulate growth of normal cells and some cancer cells. In studies where low dose beta-carotene was given to heavy smokers (whose body’s cells were exposed to free radical damage and oxidative stress from the cigarette smoke and therefore had precancerous cells), it is demonstrated that low dose beta-carotene actually increased the incidence of lung cancer. This was consistent with the fact that both cancer and normal cells strive in an environment of a low dose antioxidant.

Normal and cancer cells respond in the same way to low dose antioxidants for cancer therapy because both cell types uses antioxidants to its favor in low doses for optimum function. In an environment of high dose antioxidants for cancer, both orally or intravenously, however, the picture is quite different. Normal cells have a mechanism to protect themselves when exposed to high doses of antioxidants while cancer cells do not. In other words, cancer cells have not yet adapted to the new insult and suffer damage from the elevated amounts of antioxidants. High dose antioxidants therefore are selectively are toxic to cancer cells but not to normal cells.

Lets look at the pathophysiology. Compared to normal cells, most human tumor cell lines are 10-100 times lower in an enzyme called catalase. Vitamin C as an antioxidants for cancer in high dose administration to these tumor cells cause a buildup of hydrogen peroxide, which leads to cell death as a pro-oxidant.  However, the cytotoxic effects of vitamin C were eliminated by addition of catalase to the cell culture. Regular catalase-containing normal healthy human cells were not affected by high dose vitamin C, unlike tumor cells.

It is clear that repeated high dosage of antioxidants selectively kills cancer cells while spares normal cells.

Dosage Levels

A health professional pouring medicine into a spoon for proper dosing. Could antioxidants for cancer support work as well?What is the optimum dose for antioxidants for cancer for each nutrient at each stage of the disease? Unfortunately, there is no standard reference established today, as research in this field has only been possible since the mid 1970s with the advent of modern computerized technology. Those in the forefront of nutritional and alternative cancer therapy research, such as use of antioxidants for cancer, have a general idea of what the therapeutic ranges should be, and the ranges are established largely based on clinical and in vitro experience.

It is important to make a distinction between low dose and high dose micronutrient therapy. Low dose generally reflect that established by the RDA. High dose is defined as the dose that causes death of cancer cells die but not that of normal cells.

The low and high dose for the majority of micronutrients are not well known, with the exception of a few well studied ones such as vitamin C. Over 5,000 studies have been conducted on vitamin C, and here is the general parameter on a daily intake basis:

  • Prevention of scurvy – 35 mg
  • Low Dose – Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) – 80 mg
  • General well being: 100-1,000mg
  • Optimum Dose for healthy living: 1,000 – 3,000 mg
  • High Dose for stress for infection – 3,000-10,000 mg
  • Very High Dose as adjunct cancer support – 6000-20,000 mg orally, 30-100 gm intravenously
  • Toxic Dose – where cancer calls and normal cells are both killed. There is no established toxic dose.

What is clear is that the amount of antioxidants for cancer needed is case specific and stage specific. For example, the dosage required to maintain remission is lower than that used to treat active and growing tumors, but significantly higher than that used to prevent cancer or for simple wellbeing.

Current Evidence Supports Antioxidants For Cancer

  • Different cell types react differently to different nutrients. For example, melanoma cells are very sensitive to vitamin C but not parotid carcinoma. Response is dependent on the dose and the type of cancer cell.
  • Specific combinations of high dose micronutrients should be used at least 48 hours before conventional chemotherapy or radiotherapy to protect normal cells and enhance the chemo and radio therapeutic agent during each day of active treatment.
  • Do not give single low dosemicronutrient before, during, or after conventional therapy as it enhances normal and cancer cell growth. Giving one low dose of antioxidant alone can stimulate cancer cells and is counterproductive. A combination of micronutrients at low doses also has the similar effect of being ineffective. This has been demonstrated in melanoma cells exposed to RDA levels of low dose vitamin C and E.
  • Dietary antioxidants in high doseswill enhance chemotherapy and radiotherapy agents, if given in series on a daily basis during the course of chemo and radiotherapy. Do not give low dose antioxidants before chemo or radiotherapy, because it has repeatedly been demonstrated to protect cancer cells. Vitamin C and E markedly enhance the effect of the chemotherapeutic agent 5 FU.
  • Some nutrients augment the effect of chemotherapeutic agents. Studies have shown that high dose of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E succinate causes a 50 percent reduction in melanoma cell growth, while there is no effect on normal cells. In selected cases of colon cancer, vitamin E has been shown to be more effective than 5FU in reducing cancer cell based on laboratory animal models. Antioxidants also increase the effect of hyperthermia without affecting the normal cell.

Single Nutrient or Nutritional cocktail?

Several schools of thought are present within the use of micronutrients. Some researchers favor the use of a selected single micronutrient to fight cancer cells, while others prefer a cocktail approach, using a myriad of micronutrients, each in much lower (but still higher than RDA doses) to accomplish the same purpose.

Several varieties of capsules and pills: Antioxidants for cancer.Since many antioxidants at high doses have been shown to have cytotoxic anti-tumor properties, their judicious use in an anti-cancer nutritional cocktail has been extensively studied in recent years. In an open trial of combination antioxidant treatment along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy in patients with small-cell lung cancer, patients taking at least 15,000 IU vitamin A, 10,000 IU beta-carotene, 300 IU alpha-tocopherol, 2 gram of vitamin C, and 800 mcg of selenium were able to tolerate chemotherapy and radiation well. In addition, their survival at the end of 2 years was greater than that of historical controls (>33% to <15%), with 44 percent still living at the end of the study (mean survival time for survivors=32 months)

Most nutritionally oriented physicians favor the use of a properly blended nutritional cocktail. The foundation of this nutritional cocktail rests with two time-tested and proven nutrients – Vitamin C and glutathione. These two nutrients are the dynamic duo in adjunct cancer therapy. However without the proper dosage or delivery system, these nutrients are severely handicapped and have limited effectiveness. One of the most common clinical myths is the mistaken belief that all delivery types are the same, and that all dosages yield similar clinical effect. This cannot be further from the truth. Proper nutritional compounds can only exert their therapeutic effect only when properly delivered and made bioavailable to cancer fighting cells in a controlled setting. Knowing how to structure a proper cancer-fighting nutritional program and seeing whether or not antioxidants for cancer is a good fit requires extensive clinical experience and knowledge.

Which Antioxidants to Avoid?

When cancer cells are laced with over expression of an antioxidant called Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), they become resistant to oxidation. Do not use exogenous SOD with radiotherapy because mitotic cells (the most sensitive to chemo therapy) have the lowest level of SOD. When you increase the level of SOD, the cell becomes resistant.

The use of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), tangeretin, and flavonoids in therapeutic dosages should be avoided during active chemotherapy or radiotherapy sessions unless under proper guidance for specific reasons. NAC reduces the effectiveness of doxorubicin, flavonoids with tamoxifen, and beta-carotene with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Dosages used to demonstrate such interaction is at high therapeutic doses. The nature of this interaction is not clear. Non-therapeutic doses of nutritional cocktails, such as those used in normal well-being, pose no side effect when taken by those in active chemotherapy or radiotherapy, but in fact will alleviate some of the symptoms associated with these standard treatment. When the active chemotherapy or radiotherapy is finished, an aggressive cancer remission protocol with optimum doses of nutritional supplementation should be considered.

We will study the dynamic cancer support duo in more detail next.

Vitamin C

It is known that vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger that reacts directly with super oxide and hydroxyl radicals produced during normal cellular metabolism. Oxygen is necessary for life. However, oxygen also comes in several radical forms that have been implicated in both initiation and post-initiation stages of invasive and metastatic processes of cancer.

It seems the limits of vitamin C are without end, with it being one of the great antioxidants for cancer supportAside from its antioxidants for cancer properties in low dose, and both antioxidant and pro-oxidant effects concurrently in high doses, there is no single universally accepted and proven explanation for vitamin C’s use of antioxidants for cancer fighting properties. It is likely that a variety of other pathways are also involved, which include (1) fortification of the immune system through increased lymphocyte production; (2) salvaging of cellular free radical damage; (3) inhibition of hyaluronidase, keeping the ground substance around the tumor intact and preventing metastasis; (4) killing oncogenic viruses through its enhancement of phagocytic activities; (5) correction of an ascorbate deficiency commonly seen in cancer patients; (6) stimulating collagen formation and its stabilization necessary for “walling off” tumors; and (7) neutralization of carcinogenic toxins; (8) decreasing inflammation and angiogenesis.

Vitamin C has been extensively studied in vitro and in vivo for its ability to prevent the adverse effect of, decrease resistance to, and increase the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents. There is little doubt that Vitamin C is an important cornerstone of any active adjunct cancer support program to conventional therapies.

Concurrent use of vitamin C has been shown to reduce the cardio toxicity of chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin and increases the activity of doxorubicin, cisplatin, and paclitaxel in human breast carcinoma cells in vitro. As an adjunct, a daily IV dose of 3-10 gram  significantly extended the survival and improved the quality of life of cancer patients in numerous studies.

Gentle Yet Potent

Vitamin C is so gentle that most healthy people taking it would hardly notice any difference physically and mentally. This is, in fact, a hallmark of good health. The adrenal glands contain one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C in the body. This is where it is most needed, because it’s a key catalyst in the production of adrenal hormones. The adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, control over 50 key hormones in the body that are required for optimum health and a strong immune system. It is responsible for our body’s anti-stress response. When cancer arrives on the doorstep, stress on the internal organ systems are inevitable. Cancer cells grow and multiply by destroying nearby cells. The body’s defense system is automatically activated to neutralize cancer cells’ insult and toxin they release. This neutralizing process needs tremendous amount of anti-oxidant.

Oranges, containing Vitamin C, one of the amazing antioxidants for cancer.Numerous studies have shown that in time of stress, the body’s needs for vitamin C rises exponentially.  Unfortunately, human beings cannot produce vitamin C internally and therefore external supplementation is needed.  Remember that one orange  contains only about 75 mg of vitamin C. The optimum dose for surviving polluted modern urban society requires about 3000 mg (or the equivalent of about 40 oranges) of oral vitamin C daily. In times of severe stress during late stages of cancer, the requirement rises to extraordinary high levels but sadly, the body is unable to provide adequate amounts of antioxidants. Unfortunately, oral delivery system of high dose ascorbic acid becomes problematic as well as reaching bowel tolerance triggers harmless diarrhea. That is why other forms of delivery system, such as liposomal form mentioned below combining with intravenous vitamin C is needed to properly deliver a sustained and consistent level throughout the day.

In addition to its critical adrenal support function, vitamin C is perhaps the best electron donor because of its water-soluble properties and its bioavailability to the cells. Toxins deplete electron stores in the cell. This having sufficient electrons inside the body reverses potential cell death brought on by bacterial, environmental, and industrial toxins. In addition to its adrenal support and cytotoxic function, vitamin C helps in the formation of critical collagens responsible for keeping the vascular and musculoskeletal systems pliable and healthy.

As mentioned earlier, in times of stress, the body’s requirement for vitamin C increases many fold.
Therefore, having a sufficient level of vitamin C in the body is critical to help:

  • Fight cancer
  • make anti-inflammatory hormones, including cortisol
  • prevent a catabolic state from worsening
  • boost immune function to fight infection
  • prevent heart disease
  • overcome opportunistic infections, and
  • neutralize systemic toxins from environmental and periodontal diseases

Knowing which antioxidants for cancer can be used is very important. Proper vitamin C fortification should therefore be a cornerstone of any cancer-support program. Vitamin C is readily available, but it is also widely misused due to lack of knowledge.
Choosing the proper combination of forms and delivery systems of vitamin Cocktails is an important clinical challenge for those with advanced cancer.

Forms of Vitamin C

Oranges and Vitamin C supplements, which can contain different forms of antioxidants for cancer supportVitamin C comes in many forms, each with its own properties and characteristics. Ascorbic acid, the most common form, is water-soluble. It dissolves quickly in water and is excreted out of the body quickly, too. Because of its relative fast action, once absorbed, ascorbic acid tends to act rapidly and is therefore described as “spiky.” Effervescent forms of vitamin C are particularly prone to this characteristic. Those with a sensitive stomach may find ascorbic acid antioxidants for cancer hard to tolerate, especially in high doses.

Natural (from food) and synthetic ascorbic acid (from a tablet) are chemically identical. There appears to be no clinically significant difference in the bioavailability and bioactivity of natural and synthetic ascorbic acid. The gastrointestinal absorption of ascorbic acid occurs through an active transport process, as well as through passive diffusion.

At low gastrointestinal concentrations of ascorbic acid, active transport predominates, while at high gastrointestinal concentrations, the active transport becomes saturated, leaving only passive diffusion. This is where vitamin C is being absorbed without expanding energy by moving from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration passively. This form of transport is generally less efficient and slower. As the amount of vitamin C intake increases, the overall absorption efficiency decreases. For example, a vitamin C intake of 180 mg is about 80-90 percent absorbed, but an intake of five grams is only 20 percent or less absorbed. Fortunately, this problem can be overcome with the liposomalized form of vitamin C discussed later. Much of the excess vitamin C metabolites that aren’t absorbed are removed from the body through the urine.

Mineral Ascorbates

Elemental chemical information for calcium, one of the minerals that chelate with Vitamin C and useful with other antioxidants for cancer support.These ascorbic acids are chemically bound or, in scientific terms, chelated to minerals as one unit. Commonly used minerals include calcium, sodium, and magnesium. These units, also called mineral salts of ascorbic acid, or commonly known as mineral ascorbates, are buffered and, therefore, less acidic. Thus, mineral ascorbates are often recommended to people who experience gastrointestinal problems (abdominal pain or diarrhea) with plain ascorbic acid. When taking large doses of mineral ascorbates, it is important to consider the dose of the mineral accompanying the ascorbic acid. Some minerals are more desirable than others.

Sodium ascorbate: 1,000 mg of sodium ascorbate contains 889 mg of ascorbic acid and 111 mg of sodium. Individuals following low-sodium diets (e.g., for high blood pressure) are generally advised to keep their total dietary sodium intake to less than 2,500 mg/day.  Most cancer patients have weak and overworked adrenal glands. Using sodium ascorbate provides a good source of vitamin C as well as  replenishment of sodium to the adrenal glands.

Calcium ascorbate: 1,000 mg of calcium ascorbate generally provides 890-910mg of ascorbic acid and 90-110 mg of calcium. Calcium in this form appears to be reasonably well absorbed. Excessive calcium intake can sometimes worsen cardiac arrhythmia. Therefore, we don’t recommend excessive intake. Ester-C® (a popular form of vitamin C) contains mainly calcium ascorbate, but also contains small amounts of the vitamin C metabolites: dehydroascorbic acid (oxidized ascorbic acid), calcium threonate, and trace levels of xylonate and lyxonate.

Potassium ascorbate: This form is not recommended at high doses for antioxidants for cancer because most cancer patients have subclinical adrenal weakness with relatively high levels of potassium compared to sodium, though lab tests usually show both as normal.

Magnesium ascorbate: The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 400-420 mg/day for adult men and 310-320 mg/day for adult women. Magnesium helps to relieve tense muscles and acts as nature’s powerful relaxant, making it a wonderful sleep aid.

Vitamin C Safety

Over the years, many research studies have concluded that vitamin C is one of the safest and most nontoxic natural nutrients we can take. Both long term and high oral intake of up to 20,000 mg and intravenous doses of up to 300,000 mg of vitamin C are safe and have no side effects when properly monitored. Likewise, studies show no evidence of toxicity or side effects when late-stage cancer patients are given up to 50,000 mg of intravenous vitamin C regularly for up to eight weeks. Moreover, AIDS patients were given anywhere between 25,000 to 125,000 mg of vitamin C on a regular basis under supervision without any side effects. Vitamin C is undeniably a safe supplement even when given in high doses over a long period of time in healthy adults.

A man holding his chest because of heartburn pain, a possible side effect of taking vitamin C, learn how to safely use antioxidants for cancerWe have seen reports of heartburn in some people (primarily in those with a sensitive gastric lining) while using vitamin C. Diarrhea is also a common occurrence when the intake of vitamin C exceeds the body’s bowel tolerance level (BTL). This is a temporary effect and subsides once vitamin C dosage is reduced. This is not considered a side effect but rather a sign of maximum saturation from oral ingestion.

Vitamin C is broken down into metabolites prior to its excretion from the body. If this breakdown process is dysfunctional or functions sub-optimally (as we frequently see in advanced adrenal weakness and end stage cancer), the speed of clearance is reduced.

As a result, metabolites accumulate and circulate in the body for a longer period of time. These excessive circulating metabolites can trigger a wide variety of re-toxification reactions, with symptoms including malaise, joint pain, anxiety, fatigue, heart palpitations, and so forth. It is important to differentiate that these are not side effects of Vitamin C, but of liver congestion. These symptoms reverse over time as liver function improves.

Vitamin C and Iron

Vitamin C enhances iron absorption many fold, but it must be taken simultaneously with the iron so both vitamin C and iron are present together in the intestine.

If additional iron absorption is not desired, then vitamin C and iron can be taken two hours apart.

Note: Those with hemochromatosis, a disorder in which high amounts of iron buildup in the body, should take only moderate levels of vitamin C.

Vitamin C and Kidney Stones

Since studies have shown that vitamin C contributes to the increased production of oxalates in the body, it is commonly linked with a buildup of kidney stones. However, no evidence has surfaced to pinpoint vitamin C as the sole culprit in the increase in kidney stones, and other factors exist that contribute to oxalate development. When ingested, vitamin C is broken down into dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA)and further metabolized and converted into diketogulonic acid. Finally, it is broken down and metabolized into lyxonic, xylose, threonic acid, or oxalic acid (oxalate).

2 Kidney stones and how they relate to antioxidants for cancer supportOxalate is the metabolic end product after the human body breaks down vitamin C. The body cannot break oxalates down into smaller compounds. Confusion arises because of the presence of calcium oxalate, the primary component of kidney stones. Moreover, some suggest that the intake of vitamin C promotes the development of these kidney stones due to the oxalates produced when vitamin C is broken down by the human body. However, studies have shown that these theories are not well supported. A number of factors cause a buildup of calcium oxalate stones in the kidney. High vitamin C intake when certain medical conditions are present is just one of many. Kidney stones are linked to the presence of heavy metal chelating agents such as DMPS and EDTA. Taking vitamin C may increase the oxalate level in the urine, which is why many believe prolonged use of the vitamin increases calcium oxalates in the body. However, other research shows a leveling of oxalate production even though vitamin C dosing was increased. Furthermore, the human body excretes significant amounts of oral vitamin C that have not been fully metabolized.

As much as 89 percent of vitamin C administered is eliminated as DHAA. Dietary sources of oxalates include: spinach, rhubarb, parsley, citrus fruits, and tea. In addition, swiss chard, cocoa, chocolate, pepper, wheat germ, peanuts, refried beans, lime peel, and various soy-based foods also have high oxalate content. High protein foods such as sardines and herring roe also increase oxalate secretion in the body.

Those who take excessive calcium supplements, especially the elderly, may need to be more careful. Excess calcium from supplements finds its way to other compounds in the body. For example, the calcium combines with oxalates already present in high concentrations. However, studies show that vitamin C taken with calcium carbonate and other oxalate sources can facilitate stone formation. Therefore, individuals who have kidney stones should take sodium ascorbate as a vitamin C supplement and should reduce calcium ascorbate as well as regular calcium supplements.

For patients with kidney problems, it’s necessary to monitor vitamin C therapy as well as other oxalate sources as a safety precaution. Totally avoiding vitamin C is not a sound recommendation since the human body still needs this vitamin. In normal individuals, no conclusive evidence has pinpointed vitamin C as the sole cause of renal and kidney failure caused by excess calcium oxalate crystal formation. In some people, the decline in kidney function after vitamin C therapy is more likely related to dehydration and pre-existing kidney disease. Before blaming vitamin C for decline in kidney function, we need to study the person’s medical history. When using any medication or nutrient, proper hydration is always necessary to prevent crystallization as well as concentration of precipitates (solid substances made from liquids) in the human body, which includes kidney stone crystals.

Vitamin C and G6PD Deficiency

Important caution about vitamin C is necessary for those with G6PDdeficiency (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, a genetic disorder affecting red blood cells). Iron levels in G6PD deficient cells detrimentally interact with vitamin C, and G6PD deficient cells rupture due to the presence of vitamin C. Vitamin C, in rare cases, can promote a hemolytic (related to red blood cells) crisis in individuals with G6PD, although this is difficult to predict. If using vitamin C, this group of patients should be supervised. Anyone embarking on the journey of receiving intravenous Vitamin C should have blood G6PD checked ahead of time.

Vitamin C Tolerance and Withdrawal

As you take more vitamin C, your body adapts and gets used to higher levels. This tolerance is normal, but if you reduce vitamin C intake, do so gradually. A 300-500 mg reduction every week is usually safe. A sudden drop in vitamin C intake can trigger symptoms of scurvy, such as bleeding gums and easy bruising. If you experience these symptoms as you reduce vitamin C intake, slow down the rate of reduction. If your fatigue returns and worsens, it may be a sign that your body needs more vitamin C. Always consult your healthcare professional for guidance if you have such experiences. The body will adapt to the lower dosage over time, though the adaptation to lower doses is usually slower than adaptation to higher doses.

Delivery Systems for Antioxidants for Cancer

The advance of nanotechnology and liposomal encapsulation technology offers a significantly enhanced oral liquid delivery system with superior absorption from the small intestine rather than from the stomach. The liposomal delivery system dramatically improves bioavailability and is by far the best oral form of vitamin C delivery if tolerated. A large amount of vitamin C can be delivered by liquid orally with a very high rate of absorption with this system, if used properly. Care should be taken to avoid any formula that contains alcohol as a preservative.

A young woman drinking orange juice next to a plate of oranges, one way of getting antioxidants for cancer supportThis system is ideally suited for cancer because high doses can be administered easily by mouth. Because absorption occurs at the small intestine and the stomach is bypassed, gastric irritation is minimal. Diarrhea is also significantly reduced because most is absorbed and does not remain in the GI tract where it triggers water retention at the large bowel. Nutritional cocktail blends (such as LipoNano® C) rather than mono-therapy works best.

Important synergistic co-factors that enhance effectiveness include alpha lipoic acid, and grape seed extract / polygonumcuspidatum. While the bioavailability of vitamin C delivered by liposome is far superior to other forms of vitamin C, ascorbic acid in its various forms still has its place and should not be ignored. The absorption tends to be faster and the results more immediate. Because each body reacts differently to vitamin C, no one-size-fits-all protocol exists. A thorough knowledge of these forms is important. Various forms of ascorbates, including regular and liposomal vitamin C, can be used together in a nutritional blend or cocktail mix for maximum and sustained effect in selected cases.

Commercially available oral liposomal vitamin C, such as LipoNano® C, is the preferred delivery system if there is no access to IV vitamin C, such as  during days between IV therapy. Which antioxidants for cancer are the most beneficial?

The antioxidants for cancer dosage for advanced stages of cancer varies greatly from person to person, but most do well with 2000 to 6,000 mg or more a day (around 2tsp to 3 tsp by mouth) or until bowel tolerance level is reached of Liponano C. Because this is a high potency form, start at lower dose and slowly increase over time so that the bowel can adapt more easily. If using LipoNano C for regular health maintenance, it is appropriate to take 1200mg-300mg daily by mouth (1-2tsp). Try to avoid effervescent and chewable forms of vitamin C due to its spiky nature and short length of life in the body.

Glutathione (GSH)

Glutathione is a crucial cancer support nutrient, learn more about great antioxidants for cancer Excessive oxidative stress is implicated in premature aging, chronic degenerative disease, cancer, and diseases such as Alzheimer’s. As you breathe, your cells constantly react with oxygen as your cells generate energy, and consequently, produce highly reactive free radical molecules. These free radicals interact with other molecules in the cells, resulting in oxidative stress that damages proteins and other cell components. Oxidative stress also contributes to a host of subclinical dysfunctions, such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. The body has natural antioxidants for cancer available to neutralize undesirable effects of oxidative stress, one of which is glutathione. When a person experiences an increase in oxidative stress, the levels of glutathione in the cells drop because the body uses it up. Unhealthy cells are compromised in their abilities to produce adequate amounts of glutathione to protect the body against harmful external toxins or free radicals. These cellular level battles within the body go on without our knowledge, of course, and can have catastrophic effects if the process is hampered in any way.

Glutathione detoxifies harmful chemicals such as lead, mercury, xenobiotics (a chemical present, but not normally produced or expected to be found in an organism), toxic metabolites, and pesticides that have accumulated in the cell. Maintaining sufficient intracellular glutathione levels is one of the key and most powerful lines of defense against cellular death. Glutathione is also considered a powerful detoxifier in the body. It supports and protects the immune system and neutralizes oxidative damage caused by toxins and pathogens. Aside from these protective functions, glutathione also maintains the transport of amino acids and sustains the synthesis of DNA, protein, and prostaglandin (a family of hormones). These functions rely on glutathione to fight against degenerative diseases, cancer, infections, and in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.

Electron Flow

Glutathione promotes the healthy flow of electrons and maintains their steady supply in the body’s cells. This is the source of its effectiveness. Simply put, hindering the flow of electrons or robbing the cells of electrons is detrimental to health. The opposite also is true. When electron flow is abundant and smooth, cells are healthy and live longer. Poor flow of electrons corresponds to low energy, higher disease rates, low cell integrity, and cell death.

Glutathione donates electrons to the body’s antioxidant pool, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid, and superoxide dismutase(SOD). In addition, glutathione neutralizes disease-causing oxidants and is capable of eliminating heavy metals. By protecting the body from free radicals and pathogenic attacks, it is keeping the cellular structure intact.

The Master Recycler

Arrows cycling in a circle represent the recycling action of glutathione for vitamin C, two antioxidants for cancer supportGlutathione is the most powerful antioxidant at the intracellular level and works synergistically with vitamin C, a key antioxidant in the extracellular level. Glutathione also recharges nutrients such as carnitine, vitamin E, and alpha-lipoic acid. After performing its antioxidant function, vitamin C is recycled using glutathione. This makes glutathione a part of the recycling chain that reuses natural compounds without decreasing the benefits derived by the body. Glutathione is called the master recycler, and as such it keeps vitamin C in an electron donating state and plays a role in recharging vitamin C. To reciprocate, vitamin C alleviates the effect of glutathione deficiency and cellular death. In other words, vitamin C and glutathione mutually support and enhance the functions of each other. Almost all diseases and toxins cause death and sickness by stealing electrons at the cellular level. Conditions such as cancer, fibromyalgia, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome are part of a spectrum of low energy states where the body’s energy output is reduced. The body’s electrons are the fuel of life and are responsible for generating energy necessary to sustain life. To achieve optimum health and reverse this low energy state, a good flow of electrons is necessary. To achieve this, principal antioxidants, including glutathione and vitamin C work synergistically to replenish cells depleted of electrons. By helping each other supply and recycle electrons to the cells, the body can recover at the cellular level.

Antioxidants For Cancer Dosage Consideration: Glutathione is a free amino acid peptide (substances derived from combinations of amino acids). The regular form of glutathione breaks down in the stomach before entering the blood stream. For best results, consider oral liposomal forms such as LipoNano® Glutathione at dosage of 300-1500 mg orally (1 – 6 tsp daily in divided dosage). Glutathione gives off an aroma of rotten eggs due to its sulfur association. Do not be afraid. Simply dilute in water to reduce the smell.

Liposomal Encapsulation Technology

Microscopic liposomal bubbles that contain antioxidants for cancer supportIn existence since the early 1970s, liposomal encapsulation technology (LET) is an excellent delivery method used by medical researchers to transfer drugs that act as healing promoters to specific organs. In other words, LET offers targeted delivery of vital compounds to the body. The excellent transference capability of LET has led some manufacturers to use it in their topical moisturizers and other cosmetic products. The astounding effects and advantages derived from LET are the reason that a number of nutritional companies use this technique in the oral delivery of dietary supplements. The advantage of LET is its ability to carry power packed and non-decomposed natural compounds to pinpointed tissues and organs. Even if doses are 5 to 15 times less than normal supplemental intake, the delivery system’s effectiveness remains unchanged. This reduction is both medically and economically significant.

Tablets, capsules, and topical nutritional products are affected by environmental conditions such as moisture, oxygen, and other unfavorable factors. For example, nutrients are likely degraded by enzymes and esophageal digestive juices prior to being absorbed into the body. In addition, binders, fillers, gelatins, and sugar are food additives that affect the absorption process. This partial assimilation caused by the incomplete disintegration of the tablet or capsule is a serious problem. LET shields substances from these negative properties taking place within the gastrointestinal passage.

Liposomal encapsulation employs a phospholipid liposome to construct a defense that repels the negative activities of the digestive juices, alkaline solutions, salts, and free radicals of the body. The duration of this protection lasts from the moment the nutrients are on their way toward the gastrointestinal tract, until the contents have reached the target tissue and are immediately taken in by the cellular structure and transferred into the intra-cellular space.

A majority of the liposomes in LET are composed of phospholipids. All bodily cells contain a protective membrane consisting of phospholipids. This substance is required by the body to grow and function.

LET at Work

Glutathione and vitamin C represent an excellent example of LET’s application.

In LipoNano C, the Vitamin C is guarded by PC liposomes and protected from gastric juices and enzymes in the digestive system. PC liposomes diffuse through the small intestine smoothly into the blood stream without expending any energy. The liposomes are carried by the system to the liver in complete form and then the polyunsaturated PC is ingested by the liver cells and the encapsulated vitamin C is released.

Common side effects of oral vitamin C (powder, capsule, and tablet forms) include diarrhea and gastric discomfort. Oral liposomal encapsulated vitamin C however has less negative gastric and does not put extra burden on the liver. While liposomal encapsulation technology represents an excellent delivery system, it is important to note that normal routes of delivery (such as tablets, capsules, and powder forms) are still useful in that they offer different and complimentary forms of nutrient bioavailability to ensure a steady blood level throughout the day. Designing a comprehensive program combining various forms of delivery systems requires extensive clinical experience. If done properly, one can see beneficial clinical results.

A Word About Preservatives and Liposomal Construction

Petri dish full of sodium benzoate used as supplement preservative and can hamper antioxidants for cancer supportPreservatives are used in most liquid nutritional formulas. They serve to increase the shelf life of a product by preventing (or delaying, at least) spoiling. Commonly used preservatives include sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate and alcohol. Alcohol in particular has been long used by the pharmaceutical industry as a solvent, penetration-enhancer, disinfectant and preservative. A 7 to 12 percent alcohol content is commonly used in many skin-care products, a concentration that can be significantly toxic to skin cells. The skin, like liver, is one of the few organs capable of metabolizing alcohol to another cytotoxic chemical acetaldehyde.

In the case of advanced cancer, where liver function is often compromised at the subclinical level, intake of alcohol from such a preservative only adds further burden to the already weak and low clearance capability of the liver. Alcohol may therefore deter the healing process, and in extreme cases, precipitate adrenal crashes. Look for formulas that are non-alcoholic and have as little preservatives as possible. Avoid liposomal products that are in capsulated form, derived from sunflower, or home made. The liposomal can be unstable during the synthesis process, leading to separation between the nutrient and the liposomal over time.

Antioxidants for Cancer Summary

Published research indicates that cautious and judicious use of a number of important antioxidants can be helpful as adjuncts to standard radiation and chemotherapy protocols. None are more important than Vitamin C  in high dose and glutathione. These two powerhouse nutrients cover both the extracellular matrix and the intracellular space. This provides 100% coverage of the body ecosystem. Numerous animal studies have been published demonstrating decreased tumor size and/or increased longevity with a combination of chemotherapy and antioxidants.

The key to clinical success with antioxidants for cancer lies in deploying the proper dosage with the right delivery system. Fortunately, the advance of liposomal delivery system in formulas, such as Liponano C and Liponano Glutathione, provides superior delivery, assimilation, and bioavailability far superior to ordinary oral intake of nutrients in the capsule or power form. When used in conjunction with intravenous therapeutics such as IV vitamin C and IV glutathione, they provide the in-between support to a body that needs continuous access to nutrients that fight the cancer cells. Both intravenous and liposomes work synergistically and are not mutually exclusive. Combining both liposomal and intravenous routes of delivery in a comprehensive program represents a major breakthrough in optimum cellular delivery of nutrients.

Selecting the appropriate nutrients and the right dosage is best left to a nutritionally oriented physician for maximum effectiveness. Blindly mixing and matching without professional help at these dosages are NOT recommended. The dosages reflect a range and not specific amounts as the exact amount varies with each person.


Antioxidants for cancer

DrLam.com
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Dear Dorine (Dr. Lam too),
Thank you very much for all that you have helped me with for our family health problems over the last year or more.
I wanted you to know that your lifestyle protocols kept me going while I was on the road to figuring all this out. Your natural cold and virus protocols and the availability to call you when needed where so supportive when the kids were sick so often. If you were not so far away, I would give you a hug. You never gave up on us! You never got discouraged with trying to help all of us. Your practice has an exceptional way of dealing with long distance patience. Thank you again for being there!
Also, I am interested in purchasing your adrenal yoga breathing exercise series that I have on my portal.Can I purchase a downloadable version or a DVD? Please let me know. This is one of your lifestyle protocols I will do for the rest of my life.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Corinne (and family!)




7 Comments

  • Kathleen Brooks says:

    This is very interesting to me. I think I have adrenal fatigue … I was diagnosed years ago by the Mayo Clinic with fibromyalgia, I’ve had breast cancer 3 times and one of my doctors has done testing showing my myelin sheath is diminishing substantially. I’m 59 … a neurologist disagrees and basically calls the other doctor crazy. My question is to do with Glutithione … many don’t beleive you can take it orally and matter and suggest that NAC will help you own body manufacture its own. All the while the brain fog I have is getting worse after fibro-brain (fog), menopause brain (fog) and then .. chemo brain (fog) and I am just SO exhausted. The cancer I have is estrogen positive so I cannot (and will not) take anything that creates or is estrogen. I would relish some actual help on this . Sigh. Your thoughts Dr. Lam?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      NAC is a precursor to GSH but the yield is very low. You can consider IV glutathione.

      Dr Lam.

  • Kristin says:

    I’m confused about absorption. Low dose vs high. Should one take low doses continually through the day like 500mg for infection, or take multiple high doses like 1,000-5,000 at a time multiple times a day?

  • Robyn says:

    Does the body know the difference between cheap and expensive vitamin C..and what do you think of crystalized C, mixed with water?
    I take iron and one gram of C for adrenal support…comments?
    Thanks!

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Vitamin C comes in various forms and delivery systems. For healthy person, the difference may not be detectable. For those who are weak, the difference can be very dramatic. Pricing is a different issue and is a business decision. Asorbic acid is least expanisve but is very stimulating. it has its place, though excessive and long term use should be carefully done. Other forms each has their own characteristics.

      Dr Lam.

  • Sally says:

    I noticed that when taking liposomal Vitamin C, I tend to break out with canker sores in my mouth. Does that mean I should lower my dose intake or that I should drink more water to clear out the metabolites better?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      There are many factors involved. The form of liposomal vitamin C is critical. Some are marketed as such but really not as good as they claim. You may try other brands. As well, outbreak in the mouth can also be due to your body’s intrinsic sensitivity, in which case you need to reduce or stop while you find out what is really going on.

      Dr Lam