Cancer patients: Increase your nutritional status

The standard approaches to cancer produce a cure only about 50% of the time. The goals of therapy should be to support the WHOLE person and remove factors that support cancer development such as stress, toxins (household cleaners,cosmetics, pesticides) and sugar (which feeds cancer cells). Did you know that high insulin levels increase the risk of cancer recurrence? The recurrence rate for colon cancer in women is one the to as high in women who have low levels of insulin than those with high levels. Functional medicine helps to limit tumor growth, boost the immune system, promote the natural death of cancer cells, boost the effect of traditional therapies and even reduce the side effects of conventional treatments.

Half of all people with cancer will eventually die of their disease. One half of cancer patients die of malnutrition. The cancer patient’s body may be so ravaged that they cannot properly absorb nutrients. Cancer patients with higher nutritional status are more likely to fight off infections and more likely to better tolerate therapy and it’s side effects. Cancer patients need to increase their intake of protein, which helps maintain muscle mass, nourishes the lining of the GI tract, boosts blood counts, heals tissue and boosts the immune system.

Undergoing chemo and radiation may require up to 50% more protein than usual. The highest quality protein comes from whey. It is a natural by-product of cheese. It is complete, containing all of the essential and nonessential amino acids. It has the highest concentration of glutamine and branched chained amino acids found in nature. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and is involved in more metabolic processes than any other amino acid. It is important fuel for white blood cells, the intestinal lining and it increases survival in critically ill patients. Glutamine prevents suppression of the immune system, heals peptic ulcers and enhances energy levels. Some studies show that the concentration of glutathione is higher in tumor cells than in neighboring normal cells and may be the reason why some cells are resistant to chemotherapy. Whey protein is the answer in that it selectively depletes cancer cells of their glutathione, inhibiting cancer cell growth and making treatment more successful. At the same time, Whey increases glutathione in normal cells and increases their growth. This discussion will be continued in subsequent posts and a discussion of juicing, herbs and supplements to help control cancer will ensue.

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