Narrowing down your supplement choices can be mind-boggling. Not only are there thousands of supplement types, there are hundreds of brands you also need to navigate. Once you’ve landed on a specific supplement and brand, you’ll then have to decide whether to buy capsules, tinctures, or powders. The whole affair can be confusing to say the least. In this post, I’ll take the guesswork out of buying the best cancer fighting supplements by recommending my top choices.
Best Cancer Fighting Supplements For Healthy Immunity
Pectasol-C, or modified citrus pectin (MCP), is used for many conditions, including diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer. It’s beneficial for any condition that is inflammatory in nature, and is efficacious for cancer because it promotes healthy immunity by helping white blood cells and natural killer cells better do their job. Modified citrus pectin blocks galectin-3, a chemical normally found in small amounts.
High amounts of galectin-3 are associated with inflammatory markers, including macrophages, mast cells, neutrophils, C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6. The over-expression of galectins is implicated in the aggregation, proliferation, and metastases of malignant cells. MCP blocks galectin-3 by inhibiting the mechanisms that stimulate cancer growth, notably apoptosis and angiogenesis. Modified citrus pectin also chelates heavy metals.
Lowering levels of galectin-3 is imperative if you have cancer, which is why Pectasol-C is one of my favorite cancer fighting supplements. It has been highly researched, and was developed by Dr. Isaac Eliaz. You can learn more in the video below.
2. Systemic Enzymes
Most people think of enzymes in terms of digestion. Systemic enzymes are taken on an empty stomach, and have a different purpose than digestive enzymes. Also, called proteolytic enzymes, systemic enzymes are used to break down fibrin in the bloodstream, sweep the circulatory system of debris, and promote good immune function. When enzymes are deficient, waste and toxins accumulate in the bloodstream and lymphatic system, inhibiting immune function, which sets the body up for disease.
Specifically for cancer, enzymes are used to break down tumors, and degrade the protective coating of viruses, freeing them to be targeted by the immune system. Viruses and pathogens significantly burden the immune system and increase toxic load. On the other hand, reducing toxic load liberates the immune system so it can function optimally.
Enzymes are often used as an alternative to NSAIDs for their ability to decrease inflammation, pain, and swelling. They differ from NSAIDS in that they target only harmful circulating immune complexes, while leaving beneficial ones untouched. This makes enzymes a great choice for alleviating pain as they don’t have any deleterious side effects.
Here’s a good brand of systemic enzymes
3. Vitamin D
In my opinion, vitamin D is a non-negotiable cancer prevention supplement due to its ability to regulate immune function. It’s also necessary for calcium absorption and for optimal functioning of the muscular and nervous systems. It’s ideal to get vitamin D from sunlight, but this isn’t always possible, depending on where you live.
In some locations it’s impossible to get vitamin D from the sun during the winter months. Many people are deficient even in the summer months because they don’t spend time in the sun on a regular basis. In order to get D from sunlight, you need to be outside for at least 20 minutes, with 40% of your skin exposed. Certain foods contain vitamin D, including fatty fish, fortified milk, and egg yolks.
My favorite way of building up my vitamin D stores is by taking my daily dose of cod liver oil. You not only get the benefits of consuming fatty fish, cod liver oil is also rich in vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin plentiful in animal-based food. Because of this, vegetarians are often deficient in both vitamins A and D.
1,000-2,000 IUs a day is optimal. High doses of vitamin D3 deplete magnesium. Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, you can take a weekly dose all at one time. For instance, a 10,000 IU tablet of vitamin D3 can be taken every Sunday to cover each of your daily doses for that week.
4. Essiac Tea
Essiac tea is a popular alternative cancer therapy that has shown great success with newly diagnosed cancer patients. Rene Caisee, a Canadian nurse, promoted the tea in the 1920s. In fact, “Essiac” is “Caisee” spelled backwards. Essiac tea contains four main ingredients: Burdock root, which has apoptotic effects, supports the immune system, and purifies the blood. Slippery elm, a mucilage and anti-inflammatory, that promotes detoxification and elimination.
Sheep sorrel leaves is an antioxidant-rich herb that supports waste removal from the kidneys and targets cancer cells. Indian or turkey rhubarb root promotes liver detoxification and decreases inflammation. The tea is a favorite among alternative health practitioners due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting properties, along with its ability to promote cellular renewal.
The herbs contained within the tea elevate the enzyme systems in the body, which is highly beneficial for people with cancer. They also improve endocrine function, and have a favorable effect on the liver, both of which positively affect immune function. All these properties make Essiac tea a therapeutic remedy for cancer and a host of other conditions. Each herb is medicinal in itself, but when combined, have a synergistic effect. The tea is considered safe, and most people don’t experience any negative side effects.
Turmeric is the rich yellow Indian spice used in curry dishes. Curcumin is the primary curcuminoid in turmeric, and is used alternatively to treat cancer and the pain associated with it. It has been shown to prevent cellular proliferation, stimulate apoptosis, prevent angiogenesis, retard tumor growth and inhibit malignant cells from multiplying. It is also liver-protective.
Curcumin may be particularly helpful for cancers of the prostate, breast, and colon, as well as melanoma, but is advantageous for all types of cancer. It helps the immune system operate more efficiently and boosts detoxification. Because it’s a potent anti-inflammatory, curcumin is used to reduce the pain and swelling associated with arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases.
It exerts this beneficial effect by inhibiting various inflammatory molecules, making it a viable supplement for pain relief. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant, antiviral, and antifungal, and is unique in that it can cross the blood brain barrier. Six different human trials have deemed curcumin safe. It is used alternatively, or in combination with conventional cancer treatments.
6. Medicinal Mushrooms
Mushrooms grow from the vegetative portion of fungi called the mycelium. They have a line up of impressive benefits, including: regenerating tissue growth, decomposing bacteria, viruses, and other toxins, producing enzymes, stimulating immune function, detoxifying cells and tissues, healing damaged tissue, accelerating healing, blocking cell replication, and stimulating apoptosis. Apostosis is a process of programmed cell death in which damaged cells shrink, condense, and die, and is critical for cancer prevention.
There are numerous varieties of mushrooms that support health. Maitake is a broad spectrum tonic that supports immune function by increasing the activity of Th1 cells, natural killer cells, T cells, interleukin-1, and macrophages. Chaga mushrooms are anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and contain superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant enzyme. It has copious amounts of vitamin C. Chaga has been shown to decrease tumor growth in live animal models.
Reishi is called the “Elixir of Immortality” and is a potent immune modulator and detoxifier. It’s plentiful in polysaccharides, compounds responsible for its anti-cancer effects. Reishi is used to prevent and combat infections, and to treat prostate cancer in combination with other herbs. It promotes oxygenation and healthy liver function.
Cordyceps is a nutritional powerhouse and anti-inflammatory, it prevents mutations, reduces oxidative stress, and inhibits cancer cell and tumor growth. Shiitake is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and is rich in vitamin D. It’s used to heal chromosomal damage caused by conventional cancer treatments, and to prevent DNA damage caused by oxidative stress.
Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by the pineal gland and gastrointestinal tract. It’s used widely for jet lag and to promote restful sleep. Melatonin is commonly used in supplemental form to treat insomnia. Because of melatonin’s antioxidant properties, it is thought to stimulate components of the immune system. Laboratory results have shown that melatonin inhibits cancer cell growth, particularly in regard to melanoma, lung, colorectal, and breast cancer.
Additional evidence suggests that melatonin is showing promise in treating tumors of the brain by inhibiting the growth of neuroblastoma cells. Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer where malignant cells form in developing tissue, and is the third most common cancer in children. Studies on rats have shown that melatonin stopped the growth of gliomas, a type of brain tumor that originates in the spinal cord or brain.
Melatonin may also prevent pituitary tumors from developing by triggering apoptosis and halting tumor growth. Supplementation may result in longer survival times, when used in combination with certain chemotherapy drugs, especially in advanced cases of cancer. It’s also used to decrease the side effects of chemotherapy.
Targeted supplements are used with great success as components of alternative cancer therapies. They’re affordable, effective, and can be vital allies to support you during your cancer journey. Supplements are also important for cancer prevention or to maintain the current state of your health. If you or a loved one has cancer, please consider learning more about these supplements and passing along the information.
Do you have any questions about supplements for cancer? Let me know in the comments:)
(1) NCBI: Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of turmeric (Curcuma longa)
(2) NCBI: Global microRNA expression profiling: Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) oxidative stress-responsive microRNAs in human ARPE-19cells
(3) NCBI: Programmed Cell Death (Apoptosis)
(4) Essiacinfo.org: The History of Essiac
(5) Research Gate: Development of Spectrofluorimetric Method for the determination of curcumin
(6) Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Melatonin
(7) DrVitaminSolutions: Brain Tumor Protocol
(8) WebMD: Reishi Mushroom
(9) New Medical Life Sciences: What are Gliomas?
(10) Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Neuroblastoma
Disclaimer: This article is strictly for informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice.