Saturday, September 29, 2007

Kill Cancer with Chemotherapy. Heal the Wounds with Vitamin C, Niacin, and Multivitamins

Last week I advised cancer patients to cooperate with their physicians to kill their cancer with chemotherapy and/or radiation, and to pressure their physicians to prescribe vitamin C, niacin, and multivitamins to heal the wounds. I promised to provide references to the scientific literature that proves that vitamin C and niacin in high doses are indeed effective for wound healing. This column will discuss vitamin C.

Large area wounds to the skin are generally referred to as burns. There are many different ways to wound the skin, resulting in many categories of burns. Sun burns, heat burns, rope burns, and chemical burns are among the most common types of serious skin wounds. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and far and away the most prone to injury. Treatments that help heal wounds to the skin are likely to help heal wounds in other organs and tissues.

The chemical structure of vitamin C was worked out in the 1930’s. Methods to synthesize pure vitamin C were worked out in the 1940’s. Shortly after it became available for use as a pure pharmaceutical compound, the first reports surfaced indicating that concentrated topical and IV solutions of vitamin C were a highly effective treatment for burns. Dr. Fred Klenner is the most well known among a handful of physicians who used vitamin C to treat burns decades ago. He documented his procedures and results. These documents are easily found on the internet by typing “Klenner and burns” into Google. Klenner’s papers report that the effect of combined IV, oral, and topical vitamin C on burns is dramatic. He reported that it is an obvious scientific result and saw no need further scientific inquiry. To him, vitamin C for burns was like penicillin for bacterial infections. The treatment obviously works.

Linus Pauling looked into Klenner’s claims and reviewed the scientific literature on vitamin C and burns for his book “How to Live Longer and Feel Better”. Pauling joined Klenner’s call for action and supported Klenner’s claims by providing references to a number of early scientific papers. I encourage everyone to read Pauling’s book and scan through the roughly 500 references provided.

In the two decades since Pauling published his controversial book, his claims about burns have been tested and confirmed by rigorous science. The subject was reviewed by Michael A Dubick at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research in 2000. He concluded, “The data to date suggest that doses up to 66 mg/kg/h (120,000 mg/day!!) infused for 8-24 h after burn may be required to reduce fluid needs and tissue edema (swelling) and such doses have produced no overt toxicity.” Evidently his claims met with resistance because they led to an incredible experiment. Dubick was able to find funding to carry out an expensive blinded clinical trial with sheep. A group of sheep were placed into a drug-induced coma and then severely burned over 40% of their bodies. One group was treated with vitamin C, and another group was treated using today’s normal standard of care. Yet again the results confirm the claims that intravenous vitamin C in high doses works to heal burns. Physicians in Chicago carried out a similar study on guinea pigs with similar results. Physicians at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Cincinnati have carried out supporting experiments on cultured skin substitutes. The list goes on. I found no reports of unsuccessful trials testing this hypothesis that high dose vitamin C helps heal burns (wounded skin).

If you need still more evidence, please read my column from several weeks back about the scientific studies proving that vitamin C protects the skin from the damage caused by the sun (sun burn). Beyond the science, the cosmetics industry has successfully commercialized and marketed vitamin containing skin creams (this is called clinical confirmation). The burn trauma treatment industry is developing vitamin C products to treat burns. I found ten recent patents. Personally, I’ve used vitamin C and niacin creams to treat minor burns from kitchen accidents and I thought they worked great. Science has reached a verdict. Klenner was right 40 years ago. Pauling was right 20 years ago. Dubick was right 7 years ago. High dose vitamin C heals wounds.

References Proving that IV Vitamin C Heals Burns (and therefore wounds)

(1) A review of the use of high dose vitamin C for the treatment of burns. Dubick, Michael A. US Army Institute of Surgical Research, San Antonio, TX, USA. Recent Research Developments in Nutrition Research (2000), 3 141-156.

Abstract

A review. Thermal injury is assocd. with capillary leakage and tissue edema that increases the challenge of fluid resuscitation for treating the developing hypovolemia. It is postulated that free radical generation assocd. with thermal injury is an important mediator in the development of this capillary leakage. Over the past decade a series of studies in exptl. animals and 2 studies in humans have explored the use of high dose vitamin C in reducing fluid requirements and tissue edema assocd. with burns. The data to date suggest that doses up to 66 mg/kg/h infused for 8-24 h after burn may be required to reduce fluid needs and tissue edema and such doses have produced no overt toxicity. Further study appears warranted.

(2) Rationale and impact of vitamin C in clinical nutrition. McGregor, Gerard P.; Biesalski, Hans K. Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Philipps University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care (2006), 9(6), 697-703.

Abstract

Purpose of review: The impact of vitamin C on oxidative stress-related diseases is moderate because of its limited oral bioavailability and rapid clearance. Parenteral administration (by injection) can increase the benefit of vitamin C supplementation as is evident in critically ill patients. The aim here is to assess recent evidence of the clin. benefit and underlying effects of parenteral vitamin C in conditions of oxidative stress. Recent findings: In critically ill patients and after severe burns, the rapid restoration of depleted ascorbate levels with high-dose parenteral vitamin C may reduce circulatory shock, fluid requirements and edema. Summary: Oxidative stress is assocd. with reduced ascorbate levels. Ascorbate is particularly effective in protecting the vascular endothelium, which is esp. vulnerable to oxidative stress. The restoration of ascorbate levels may have therapeutic effects in diseases involving oxidative stress. The rapid replenishment of ascorbate is of special clin. significance in critically ill patients who experience drastic redns. in ascorbate levels, which may be a causal factor in the development of circulatory shock. Supraphysiol. levels of ascorbate, which can only be achieved by the parenteral and not by the oral administration of vitamin C, may facilitate the restoration of vascular function in the critically ill patient.

(3) Vitamin C regulates keratinocyte viability, epidermal barrier, and basement membrane in vitro, and reduces wound contraction after grafting of cultured skin substitutes. Boyce, Steven T.; Supp, Andrew P.; Swope, Viki B.; Warden, Glenn D. Shriners Hospitals for Children and Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA. Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2002), 118(4), 565-572.

Abstract

Cultured skin substitutes have become useful as adjunctive treatments for excised, full-thickness burns, but no skin substitutes have the anatomy and physiol. of native skin. Hypothetically, deficiencies of structure and function may result, in part, from nutritional deficiencies in culture media. To address this hypothesis, vitamin C was titrated at 0.0, 0.01, 0.1, and 1.0 mM in a cultured skin substitute model on filter inserts. Cultured skin substitute inserts were evaluated at 2 and 5 wk for viability by incorporation of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) conversion. Subsequently, cultured skin substitute grafts consisting of cultured human keratinocytes and fibroblasts attached to collagen-glycosaminoglycan substrates were incubated for 5 wk in media contg. 0.0 mM or 0.1 mM vitamin C, and then grafted to athymic mice. Cultured skin substitutes (n = 3 per group) were evaluated in vitro at 2 wk of incubation for collagen IV, collagen VII, and laminin 5, and through 5 wk for epidermal barrier by surface elec. capacitance. Cultured skin substitutes were grafted to full-thickness wounds in athymic mice (n = 8 per group), evaluated for surface elec. capacitance through 6 wk, and scored for percentage original wound area through 8 wk and for HLA-ABC-pos. wounds at 8 wk after grafting. The data show that incubation of cultured skin substitutes in medium contg. vitamin C results in greater viability (higher BrdU and MTT), more complete basement membrane development at 2 wk, and better epidermal barrier (lower surface elec. capacitance) at 5 wk in vitro. After grafting, cultured skin substitutes with vitamin C developed functional epidermal barrier earlier, had less wound contraction, and had more HLA-pos. wounds at 8 wk than without vitamin C. These results suggest that incubation of cultured skin substitutes in medium contg. vitamin C extends cellular viability, promotes formation of epidermal barrier in vitro, and promotes engraftment. Improved anatomy and physiol. of cultured skin substitutes that result from nutritional factors in culture media may be expected to improve efficacy in treatment of full-thickness skin wounds.

(4) High-dose vitamin C infusion reduces fluid requirements in the resuscitation of burn-injured sheep. Dubick, Michael A.; Williams, Chad; Elgjo, Geir I.; Kramer, George C. U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, San Antonio, TX, USA. Shock (2005), 24(2), 139-144. Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, CODEN: SAGUAI ISSN: 1073-2322. Journal written in English. CAN 143:319069 AN 2005:975444 CAPLUS (Copyright (C) 2007 ACS on SciFinder (R))

Abstract

Fluid resuscitation to maintain adequate tissue perfusion while reducing edema in the severely burned patient remains a challenge. Recent studies suggest that reactive oxygen species generated by thermal injury are involved in edema formation assocd. with burn. The present study tested the hypothesis that adding a free radical scavenger to the resuscitation fluid would reduce total fluid requirements in the treatment of severe thermal injury. Anesthetized chronically instrumented sheep received a 40% total body surface area full-thickness flame burn. At 1 h after injury, animals were resuscitated with lactated Ringer's (LR, n = 14) as control, LR contg. high doses of vitamin C (VC, n = 6), 1000 mOsM hypertonic saline (HS, n = 7), or 1000 HS contg. VC (HS/VC, n = 7) in coded bags so that investigators were blinded to the treatment. Fluids were infused at an initial Parkland rate of 10 mL/kg/h, adjusted hourly to restore and maintain urine output at 1 to 2 mL/kg/h. Sheep in the VC or HSA/C group received 250 mg/kg VC in the first 500 mL of LR or HS, and then 15 mg/kg/h thereafter. Hemodynamic variables and indexes of antioxidant status were measured. At 48 h postburn, sheep were euthanized, and heart, liver, lung, skeletal muscle, and ileum were evaluated for antioxidant status. All fluid resuscitation regimens were equally effective in restoring cardiac output to near baseline levels; no treatment effects were apparent on arterial pressure or heart rate. VC infusion significantly reduced fluid requirements and, therefore, net fluid balance (fluid in, urine out) by about 30% at 6 h and about 50% at 48 h in comparison with the LR group (P < 0.05). HS and HS/VC reduced fluid requirements by 30% and 65%, resp., at 6 h, but the vol.-sparing effect of HS was not obsd. after 36 h and that of HSA/C was lost after 12 h.
Plasma total antioxidant potential increased about 25-fold (P < 0.05) at 2 and 3 h in response to VC infusion compared with the LR and HS groups, and remained about 5- to 10-fold higher throughout the rest of the study. VC infusion also prevented the 4-fold increase in plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances seen in the LR group early after burn (P< 0.05). Tissue antioxidant status was similar between groups. In this sheep burn model, continuous high-dose VC infusion reduced net fluid balance, reduced indexes of plasma lipid peroxidn., and maintained overall antioxidant status in comparison with std.-of-care LR treatment.

(5) Reduced resuscitation fluid volume for second-degree experimental burns with delayed initiation of vitamin C therapy (beginning 6 h after injury). Sakurai, Masaru; Tanaka, Hideharu; Matsuda, Takayoshi; Goya, Tomoyuki; Shimazaki, Shuji; Matsuda, Hiroharu. Hektoen Institute for Medical Research, Burn Center, Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA. Journal of Surgical Research (1997), 73(1), 24-27.

Abstract

The authors studied the hemodynamic effects of delayed initiation (6 h postburn) of antioxidant therapy with high-dose vitamin C in second-degree thermal injuries. Seventy percent body surface area burns were produced by subxiphoid immersion of 12 guinea pigs into 100 water for 3 s. The animals were resuscitated with Ringer's lactate soln. (R/L) according to the Parkland formula (4 mL/kg/% burn during the first 24 h) from 6 h postburn, after which the resuscitation fluid vol. was reduced to 25% of the Parkland formula vol. Animals were divided into 2 groups. The vitamin C group received R/L to which vitamin C (340 mg/kg/24 h) was added after 6 h postburn. The control group received R/L only. Both groups received identical resuscitation vols. Heart rates, mean arterial blood pressure, cardiac output, hematocrit level, and water content of burned and unburned tissue were measured before injury and at intervals thereafter. No animals died. There were no differences in heart rates or blood pressures between the 2 groups throughout the 24-h study period. The vitamin C group showed lower hematocrits 8 and 24 h postburn, and higher cardiac outputs after 7 h postburn. At 24 h postburn, the burned skin in the vitamin C group had a lower water content (73.1) than that of the control group (76.0). Thus, delayed initiation of high-dose vitamin C therapy beginning 6 h postburn with 25% of the Parkland formula vol. reduced edema formation in burned tissue, while maintaining stable hemodynamics.

(6) Nutrients as antioxidants - effect of antioxidative trace elements and vitamins on outcome of critically ill burns and trauma patients. Berger, M. M. Surgical Intensive Care Unit and Burns Centre, Lausanne, Switz. Aktuelle Ernaehrungsmedizin (2003), 28(6), 376-379.

Abstract

Trace elements and vitamins exert numerous functions. The non-nutritional antioxidant effects now appear of utmost importance in trauma and critically ill patients. The balance between the ROS and antioxidants is the key to survival in a world invaded by oxygen. Patients with severe injuries are characterized by ischemia-reperfusion injuries and by increased oxidative stress. The endogenous antioxidant defences may become inadequate through a variety of mechanisms, but mainly through inadequate intakes, or through increased losses of biol. fluids contg. micronutrients. Inadequate intake is widespread in the general population. In addn. critically ill trauma patients are a particular subset of patients exposed to ischemia-reperfusion injury and to severe oxidative stress, while having increased nutritional requirements. Supplementation trials have been conducted in critically ill injured patients using selenium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E and N-acetylcysteine in quantities varying between 5 and 20 times the parenteral nutrition doses. Although most of the trials are underpowered, clear clin. benefits have been shown such as improved wound healing, reduced infectious complications, improved neurol. outcome, and less organ failures. The optimal antioxidant micronutrient combination, and the doses required to achieve the clin. effect remain to be detd. and further clin. trials are required to answer these questions.

(7) Antioxidant vitamin therapy alters burn trauma-mediated cardiac NF- B activation and cardiomyocyte cytokine secretion. Horton, Jureta W.; White, D. Jean; Maass, David L.; Hybki, Dixie Peters; Haudek, Sandra; Giroir, Brett. Department of Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA. Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care (2001), 50(3), 397-408.

Abstract

This study examd. the effects of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E on nuclear transcription factor-B (NF-B) nuclear translocation, on secretion of inflammatory cytokines by cardiac myocytes, and on cardiac function after major burn trauma. Adult rats were divided into four exptl. groups: group I, shams; group II, shams given oral antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C, 38 mg/kg; vitamin E, 27 U/kg; vitamin A, 41 U/kg 24 h before and immediately after burn); group III, burns (third-degree scald burn over 40% total body surface area) given lactated Ringer's soln. (4 mL/kg/% burn); and group IV, burns given lactated Ringer's soln. plus vitamins as described above. Hearts were collected 4, 8, 12, and 24 h after burn to assay for NF-B nuclear translocation, and hearts collected 24 h after burn were examd. for cardiac contractile function or tumor necrosis factor- secretion by cardiomyocytes. Compared with shams, left ventricular pressure was lower in burns given lactated Ringer's soln. (group III) (883 vs. 645 mm Hg, p < 0.01) as was +dP/dt max (2,19030 vs. 1,321122 mm Hg/s) and -dP/dt max (1,77571 vs. 99996 mm Hg, p < 0.01). Burn injury in the absence of vitamin therapy (group III) produced cardiac NF-B nuclear migration 4 h after burn and cardiomyocyte secretion of tumor necrosis factor-, interleukin-1, and interleukin-6 by 24 h after burn. Antioxidant therapy in burns (group IV) improved cardiac function, producing left ventricular pressure and  dP/dt (822 mm Hg, 1,88044 mm Hg, and 1,57046 mm Hg/s) comparable to those measured in shams. Antioxidant vitamins in burns inhibited NF-B nuclear migration at all times after burn and reduced burn-mediated cytokine secretion by cardiomyocytes. These data suggest that antioxidant vitamin therapy in burn trauma provides cardioprotection, at least in part, by inhibiting translocation of the transcription factor NF-B and interrupting cardiac inflammatory cytokine secretion.


(8) The additive effects of carnitine and ascorbic acid on distally burned dorsal skin flap in rats. Arslan, Emrah; Basterzi, Yavuz; Aksoy, Alper; Majka, Christopher; Unal, Sakir; Sari, Alper; Demirkan, Ferit. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Mersin University Medical School, Mersin, Turk. Medical Science Monitor (2005), 11(6), BR176-BR180.

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to det. the effects of combined use of L-carnitine and vitamin C on partially burned skin flap in an exptl. rat model. Material/Methods: In the rat dorsal skin, a 103 cm flap was marked. The most distal 33 cm part was burned to full thickness. Twenty-four rats were randomized into four groups with 6 animals in each. Group 1 was simply followed up. Group 2 was given 0.5 mg/kg vitamin C per day for 7 days, group 3 100 mg/kg carnitine per day for 7 days, and group 4 both carnitine and vitamin C. On the eighth postoperative day, the animals were sacrificed and examd. The surviving and necrotic areas were detd. by macroscopic examn. and measured with a planimeter. Results: The areas of flap necrosis were measured. The median surviving areas and areas of flap necrosis, resp., of the groups were: group 1, 16.0 cm2 and 14.0 cm2; group 2, 18.25 cm2 and 11.75 cm2; group 3, 20.0 cm2 and 10 cm2; and group 4, 23.75 cm2 and 6.25 cm2. The surviving areas of the groups were found to be significantly different (p=0.000). Conclusions: The risk of ischemia-induced necrosis in flap attempts made in damaged tissues may be reduced by the combination of two promising agents, L-carnitine and vitamin C. L-carnitine appears to be the major contributing factor that reduces necrosis, and vitamin C an additive agent.

(9) Effect of early nutritional support on plasma superoxide dismutase, malondialdehyde and nitric oxide in rats with burns in a hot and humid environment. Wang, Ying; Li, Ya-jie; Zhai, Hui-min; Xu, Cai-xia; Luo, Bing-de. Departments of Nursing Administration, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Peop. Rep. China. Diyi Junyi Daxue Xuebao (2005), 25(1), 93-95.

Abstract

Objective To observe the changes of plasma superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) in rats with combined stress of burn injury and hot and humid environment. Methods The rats with superficial second-degree scald were subjected to intragastric administration of double-distd. water for one week (control group) or treated with ascorbic acid and L-arginine mixed with -Tocopherol for one week (treatment group). All the rats were exposed to the same hot and humid environment of Td 370.5 C with relative humidity of 65%5% for 1-2 h. Observation was performed at 1, 2, 4, and 10 h after the heat exposure, resp. Results SOD and MDA changes were significantly different between the two groups (P<0.01, P<0.05). In the control group, NO levels at 1 h were significantly different from those measured at 2 and 6 h after the exposure (P<0.01, P<0.05). Conclusion Early nutritional support can significantly reduce the stress organ injuries, and prevent complications following, injury in a hot and humid environment.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

All Guns Blazing – Chemotherapy, Multivitamins, Vitamin C, and Niacin for the Treatment of Cancer

I decided to devote an entire column in response to Rusty’s last post about vitamins and cancer. I don’t like to write about cancer because I don’t like to hold out false hope. Living with cancer more often than not involves learning how to deal with disappointment. The probability of getting cancer rises steadily with age. Cancer is rare amongst children and young adults. Cancer has the highest incidence amongst senior citizens. Even when cancer is beaten, it is often followed by death from another cause. I’m afraid that overall, using vitamins to treat cancer lends more support to the view that vitamins in excess of the RDA are ineffective than it does to the view that vitamins are wonder drugs.

In a tiny minority of cancer cases, vitamins are wonder drugs. Stories like the one Rusty relates in his column have been appearing regularly for decades. Each case like Rusty relates probably inspires hundreds of other cancer patients to go to the same doctor to seek the same treatment. Doctors will continue to make a living providing IV vitamin C treatment as long as the occasional success keeps occurring.

To me, the available evidence suggests that curing cancer with vitamins is a long-shot. I also believe that the evidence suggests standard cancer treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.) and vitamins are complementary treatments. I believe that by using chemotherapy and vitamins together, many cancer patients can dramatically slow the progression of their condition and make the resulting discomforts not so different from the inevitable expected discomforts of aging.

I doubt that many experts would disagree with the following assessment of cancer. There are two basic objectives:

1) Kill the cancer tissue
2) Heal any wounds caused by the cancer/treatments used to kill the cancer

Modern medicine is evolving highly effective methods for killing cancer tissue. I have little expertise in this area, but I know enough to know that my scientific colleagues are constantly finding cancer killing agents that are more active and selective than those in use today. The best way to kill cancer is to use your medical insurance and get treated by specialists in your particular cancer.

What distresses Rusty and I is that mainstream medicine has walked away from some of the best treatments known for wound healing – the vitamins. In subsequent columns I will provide references to scientific proof that for vitamin C this is factual information and not just my opinion. Vitamin C in high doses is a powerful tool that helps the body heal wounds. Healing is still slow. The healing that occurs doesn’t unheal if and when vitamin C is stopped. When vitamin C is taken, the facilitation of healing is imperceptible. Everyone expects to heal wonderfully so when vitamins are effective their healing effects are taken for granted.

The other vitamin that is most likely to help cancer patients is niacin. Like vitamin C, niacin has also been scientifically proven to treat diseases when used in astonishingly high doses. Niacin is the only vitamin that has been embraced by the medical community for use at high doses. It is prescribed at 1000 to 3000 mg/day (the RDA is 20 mg/day) to treat heart disease. In future columns I will point to the science again and make the argument that the underlying mechanism of action is at least partially explained by an acceleration of healing of the tissues of the vascular system (veins and arteries).

Rusty refers to Abram Hoffer in his column. Dr. Hoffer has by far the most experience using vitamins to help cancer patients survive. High doses of vitamin C and niacin are central to his treatment strategy. Dr. Hoffer is pretty specific about his dosage recommendations. My view is to follow his advice if possible, but to be aware that vitamin C and especially niacin can have uncomfortable side effects at high doses. The emergence of side effects is no reason to quit taking vitamin C and niacin. It only provides a reason to lower the doses in order to find the right balance between benefits and manageable side effects. I also believe that the emergence of side effects is a reason to search for better methods. I’ve already suggested in an earlier column that patients and specialists interested in vitamins and cancer should consider exploring localized vitamin C and/or niacin injections when taking these vitamins by mouth isn’t achieving the desired effects.

Vitamin C and niacin by mouth are extremely low risk. Toxic effects caused by combining cancer killing treatments with high doses of these vitamins are rare. Cancer patients have a lot to gain and almost nothing to lose by taking vitamin C and niacin before, during, and after chemotherapy. Again, they have a lot to lose if they take vitamin C and/or niacin and/or other vitamins instead of chemotherapy. Cancer is a deadly disease.

Vitamin C is so safe that it has relatively low toxicity even when it is injected in high concentrations (hundreds of grams/day) by IV. Injecting anything into the bloodstream by IV or syringe is dangerous. Injections should be carried out only by experienced professionals as a treatment of last resort. Safety is of primary importance. Logic suggests that IV vitamin C can be practiced safely. Dr. Robert Cathcart has been practicing IV vitamin C treatments for decades and advertises his methods on the internet. If his practices weren’t safe, his activities should have been stopped by now by legal action. I believe Dr. Cathcart’s procedure should be readily available to anyone suffering from cancer and interested in this option.

When I searched Google and a database of the scientific literature for niacin injections, I didn’t find any useful information. Using IV treatment to elevate blood levels of niacin isn’t practiced because the same effect is achieved safely by swallowing niacin supplements.

Using injections to focus the delivery of high doses of vitamin C or of niacin to specific tissues is uncommon if it is practiced at all. I don’t really understand this since, personally, if I had a localized cancer, I’d rather have only the tissues surrounding the tumors injected with vitamin solutions than be hooked to an IV. I’d also rather have the unusually high doses of vitamins targeted at the problem area rather than distributed evenly throughout my entire body.

In summary, the objective of cancer treatment is to kill the cancer and then heal the wounds caused by the cancer and the treatments used to kill the cancer. There is strong scientific evidence backing the hypothesis that vitamin C and niacin in high doses can both increase the effectiveness of the killing strategies (by boosting immune function) and/or increase the effectiveness of the healing process. Vitamin C and niacin, even in high doses, are safe. They are much safer than the obviously toxic treatments used to kill cancers. Cancer patients have much to gain and little to lose by adding high potency vitamin C, high potency niacin, and a multivitamin to their cancer treatment plan.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cancer and IV vitamin C

I recently received a letter from Susan. She wrote to the story of “Jane” and “John”, both of whom have cancer and have, or will, undergo IV vitamin C therapy. I am sure her will give people support to try high-dose vitamin C for cancer.

I have, fortunately, not had to make treatment decisions involving cancer. I can only imagine the difficulty there is to decide on a course of action given the uncertainties and seriousness of both the disease and the treatments. Abram Hoffer has extensive clinical experience with cancer and vitamin C and it is his opinion that IV vitamin C can be used in conjunction with conventional treatments. His experience is that the vitamin C actually promotes the effectiveness of both radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Here is Hoffer's regimen:

Diet Advice
  • Restrict sugar
  • Increase fruits and vegetables
  • Drink lots of water
Supplementation

  • B-50
  • Vitamin B-3 (niacin) – 1.5 – 3 grams
  • Vitamin E – 800 – 1600 IU
  • Beta Carotene – 10,000 - 75,000 IU
  • Selenium – 200 - 600mcg
  • Zinc – 50 - 220mg
  • Vitamin C – bowel tolerance limit – 3 times daily, plus IV

It is very disappointing that the conventional medical community knows so little about nutrition. They tend to severely underestimate the requirement of proper nutrition to support the body's systems, especially during an illness, and also dismiss the possibility of nutrition therapeutically. It is a travesty that from this position of ignorance and bias, most doctors do not hesitate, as "experts", to tell patients that nutritional therapies are of little or no value. When a person is facing such difficult and important decisions as they do for cancer treatment it is natural to desperately want to have faith in their doctors, that they are in the best hands and that the doctors are knowledgeable and will guide them to the best outcomes. In order to try IV vitamin C as a cancer patient you must be very strong in your convictions knowing that the "experts" are going to be hostile to your plans. I am sure you have felt this.

I would highly recommend Beating Cancer with Nutrition. This book outlines a vast array of nutrients and their value in treating cancer.

Check out my Cancer Reference page for other book reviews.

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And here is Susan’s story of “Jack” and “Jane”:

First of all, I am writing about my daughter-in-law, “Jane”. I just happened upon your site as I am researching even further for my own son (not "Jane's” husband) who has just been diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma. He will start I.V. Vitamin C next week. It is "Jane's story" I would like to relay.

"Jane" was diagnosed on Oct. 12, 2005 with an Anaplastic Astrocytoma of the Thalamus. It was inoperable and malignant. We were told she had 14 to 18 months to live and that was with high-dose radiation therapy for six weeks, which followed immediately after diagnosis. They also administered a low-dose chemo drug along with the radiation. This drug had not really been proven to increase survival to any significant degree. After this was complete, she seemed to recover as thin as she was. However, when the "high-dose" chemo began one-month later she deteriorated rapidly. The tumor grew quickly, swelling increased and neurological symptoms worsened significantly. It was decided by my son and his wife with the support of her neurosurgeon to cease treatments. At this point they gave her "a few weeks, perhaps a few months" to live. We were devastated to say the least. Their children were 2 yrs and 7 months respectively at this time.

In the meantime though, good friends from our church had introduced us to a doctor in Cambridge, Ontario who administered I.V. Vitamin C among other treatments. A week after "Jane" had been sent home to die she said, "I want to go see Dr."A". The appointment was made and treatment began the next week. To make a long story short Jane is still with us, and presently doing well. Her last MRI in May '07 showed the tumor was now just less than half its' original size. No swelling and no inflammation. I must say though that in March '07 the MRI was "strange". The neurosurgeon and oncologist did not know what to make of it - Blurry - no definite outer margins. Perhaps this was the breaking up of the dead tissue. Prior to this, the MRIs were similar - not much change. Maybe a couple millimeters smaller overall.

We are encouraged by the results of her I.V. treatments.

My son's journey began 12 years ago as a teenager with a tumor which we now know was misdiagnosed as a borderline Polymorphous Hemangioendothelioma. They thought they "got it all" in two four-hour surgeries. No follow-up therapy recommended. This March '07, 12 long years later he began having strange feelings again. Two tumors this time they thought, however, the MRI did not reveal the full extent of disease found during surgery on August 21st '07. After 10 long hours they closed unable to "get it all". His clavicle broken in two places and screwed back together. His Pectoral muscle detached and sewed back on. His journey has just begun. We are so impressed with Sarah's progress the decision to follow her course was natural. "John" will probably do the radiation recommended though it is a large field that requires radiation. Chemo has been recommended but the possible side-effects are horrendous and at this point he has decided to decline. A chest x-ray showed no metastasis. I'm sure this will not go well with the oncologist next week. We saw what chemo did to "Jane". He is adopting a stricter diet that will help his immune system recover along with the I.V. vitamin C and anything else Dr. "A" suggests. We will also be pursuing PET scans to evaluate treatment, as the MRI did not fully reveal the disease. We questioned the oncologist with respect to increased survival if "John" goes with Chemo. Without Chemo the 5-year survival rate is 50%. With Chemo it is 60% to 70%. Not much better given that the complications of Chemo can kill his slight and presently weakened frame. I.V. vitamin C is just so much gentler. The side effects listed for the two drugs they wanted to give him are: hair loss (no biggie),nausea/vomiting (a little worse), raw sores in mouth (can't eat will lose even more weight), kidney/bladder/heart issues (just temporary they say), sterility (permanent - were kind enough to give him info on a Sperm Bank), severely weakened immune system (just what he doesn't need) and last but certainly not least - blood clots.

So this is our story to this point in time. I hope it serves to encourage someone that might feel discouraged. Knowing about I.V. Vitamin C gives us hope for our beloved "Jane" and "John"

Multivitamins, Vitamin C, and Niacin for the Prevention of Childhood Obesity, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure

Every parent should be afraid for their children. We are in the midst of an epidemic of childhood diseases. I have written several times about the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders that has roughly 1 in 10 children receiving some special education services during the course of his/her education. This column will discuss obesity. According to the September 10th issue of U.S. News and World Report, an incredible 34% of children are overweight. 17% are at or over the 85th percentile of weight for their height, and another 17% are at or over the 95th percentile. Two million youngsters have high blood pressure, and childhood diabetes rates have increased roughly 10-fold since the early 1980’s.

Consumption of manufactured beverages and foods high in refined sugars and fats, and a lack of exercise are two clear causes of the epidemic. Over 20 years ago, two-time Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling wrote a book on nutrition called “How to Live Longer and Feel Better”. His book forbids only one food. That food is sugar. Human beings did not have access to significant quantities of sugar until modern times. Average consumption of sugar from all sources (table sugar and fruits and vegetables) was less than 10 calories per day. Today, average sugar consumption in the United States is an incredible 500 calories per day. At these doses, I believe sugar is toxic for children.

Children are profoundly different from adults. Children are undergoing growth and development. When adults eat too much sugar, there is little danger that it will irreversibly change them. With children, I believe there is every reason to fear that too much sugar can cause permanent and irreversible harm. In the end, it may turn out that sugar isn’t so bad. That doesn’t change the fact that right now parents should be afraid.

Educators everywhere are exhorting children to eat better and exercise more. Sugar is addictive so it is not surprising that there is little evidence of progress. The purpose of this column is to discuss the potential role of vitamin supplements. I believe that the primary function of vitamins is to catalyze the growth and development of and egg and sperm into a healthy adult. Medical authorities and the government insist that 1 RDA of vitamins is sufficient. I don’t understand how they can stand by that position in 2007. Most children are getting 1 RDA and vitamins and yet one third of children are either overweight or in need of special education services at some point during their education. How can these medical authorities and government officials know that vitamin supplements might not reduce the incidence of these childhood conditions?

Vitamin dependent pathways are involved in a large fraction of the chemical reactions that are required for weight regulation and development of the nervous system. It is perfectly reasonable to hypothesize that taking vitamin C, niacin, and multivitamin supplements can improve the odds of a child growing up healthy even if he/she eats a lot of junk food and doesn’t exercise often.

I believe that the importance of vitamin C, niacin, and multivitamin supplements are a function of age. Optimal daily consumption of vitamins is the most important for the youngest members of our society. I recommend 2000 to 3000 mg/day vitamin C, 125 mg time-release niacin two or three times/week, and a one RDA multivitamin/day. This is about half what my own children were raised on. As the children grow, doses per unit of body weight decline naturally.

Vitamin supplements are safe. Parents have no reason to worry whether their children are being harmed by the vitamin supplements they are taking so long as their children are robustly healthy and thriving in school. When all is well, keep taking vitamin supplements every day. When a child gets sick or stops thriving for any reason, it is good practice to stop taking vitamins for several days or weeks and to take the child for the best available medical attention. If a vitamin supplement is the cause, the child will be feeling well again often times before a physician can make the diagnosis. Far more often, vitamins will not be the cause. The child will respond to the medical treatment and vitamins can be added back to the daily routine once resolution of the problem is well underway.

Prior generations of parents had less incentive to consider vitamin supplements. They could do nothing (raise their children on food) and 95 times out of 100 they would watch their children grow up to become healthy adults. Not only are one out of three children today afflicted with a significant healthcare problem, but the consequences for poor health are becoming more and more serious. Today, incomes of the healthiest and best educated fraction of the population are 500 times greater than the minimum wage. The healthiest and best educated use their wealth to travel extensively around the world while minimum wage workers struggle to afford a used car to travel to the local mall.

Most parents want their children to grow up to be healthier and wealthier. Almost all children today are being raised without separate vitamin C and niacin supplements, and only a fraction of children regularly take a multivitamin. The results of doing nothing are clear. Children are suffering from twin epidemics of obesity and neurological disorders. The question for parents is, “Should we risk raising our children differently and causing the temporary discomforts of vitamin supplement overdoses in return for the potential (and unknowable) benefits of improving the growth, development, and intelligence of our children?” All parents will rightfully arrive at different answers for the doses of vitamin C and niacin supplements they want their children to take. As time passes, fewer and fewer parents will choose none.

Today’s children are in trouble. Neurological disorders, obesity, and high blood pressure are becoming common problems. All parents should consider vitamin C, time-release niacin, and multivitamin supplements for their children. The children have much to gain and almost nothing to lose by giving this approach a try.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Multivitamins, Vitamin C, and Niacin for the Prevention and Treatment of Anorexia

Every parent should consider feeding their children multivitamin, vitamin C, and time-release niacin supplements because food does not provide enough of these essential nutrients to optimize the health and intelligence of all children.

Every responsible parent of teenagers must consider feeding their children one multivitamin and at least 1000 mg/day of vitamin C to prevent eating disorders.

Every parent and healthcare provider responsible for the care of teenagers with eating disorders should know that anorexia is caused by the deficiency of several B-complex vitamins and minerals. In addition to getting help from nutritionists and therapists, they should also get help from a physician who specializes in vitamin deficiency diseases. Anorexia is an early symptom of pellagra and beriberi. Read more about thiamine and anorexia here

From my reading, I believe that the standard of care for pellagra is 100-1000 mg/day of niacin, and that the standard of care for beriberi is 50 to 100 mg/day each of vitamins B1 and B2. Vitamin B1 and B2 deficiency is often accompanied by deficiencies in other B-complex vitamins. Many deficiency disease experts recommend supplementation with B-complex in addition to vitamins B1 and B2 to treat beriberi.

When you search on Google for a common disease like anorexia, you get an opportunity to refine the search at the top of the page. One option is “from medical authorities”. I followed many of the top links “from medical authorities” concerning anorexia. I found several discussions of anorexia that did not list vitamin deficiency as a cause. This needs to be fixed. The omission of this information undermines the credibility of the organization.

All of the sites recommend treating anorexia with nutrition and therapy. There is a wide range of advice, however, about vitamin supplements. Some sites recommend no supplements at all. Other sites recommend the addition of a standard multivitamin. Still others recommend the same doses of vitamins that are recommended for the treatment of advanced pellagra and beriberi (see above). Apparently some medical authorities believe that there is a different standard of care for anorexia and for pellagra/beriberi. There is almost nothing to lose by adding high potency vitamin supplements to the treatment plan for eating disorders. If you are helping to care for a family member with anorexia, and your physicians didn’t recommend vitamin supplements, get a second opinion.

High potency vitamin supplements are a fast and effective cure for the loss of muscle mass caused by beriberi and the skin lesions caused by pellagra. They are less effective for treating the psychological defects associated with anorexia. This is why nutrition and therapy are standard treatment, and may explain why vitamin supplements are controversial.

Anorexia is a vitamin deficiency disease. It is normal for healthy teenagers to become insecure about their weight and to experiment with dieting. Dieting without supplementation causes vitamin deficiency, and vitamin deficiency causes anorexia. How many teenagers fall victim to anorexia because their parents and physicians fail to train them to take vitamin supplements?

Dieting is the number one cause of vitamin/mineral deficiency in America. This is a tragedy, because there is no reason to become vitamin/mineral deficient while dieting. Vitamin and mineral supplements contain no calories, and don’t interfere with losing weight. I’m a parent of teenage children, and I know how hard it is to ensure that children eat a healthy diet. For me, I had no trouble at all ensuring that my children take vitamin C, multivitamin, and time-release niacin supplements. I found vitamin supplements and healthy eating to be separate subjects. My children never argued that they felt free to eat more junk food because they got extra vitamins from their supplements.

Anorexia is difficult and expensive to cure. Roughly 5% of the teenage girls in America struggle with eating disorders. Every parent should be afraid that their daughters might fall victim. Vitamin deficiency causes anorexia. Even for healthy children, the benefits of vitamin supplements at or below the government’s safe upper limits far outweigh the risk of any harm. What do parents and physicians of children with eating disorders say when asked why they didn’t insist that the children in their care take vitamin supplements as a preventative measure? For some unlucky children, a one RDA vitamin won’t be enough to prevent eating disorders. What do the parents and physicians of these children say when asked why they didn’t insist that these children take vitamin supplements at the safe upper limit? If, God forbid, my children develop eating disorders, I’ll know it had nothing to do with vitamin deficiency.