Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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March 15, 2006

Cancer And Micronutrients: A Connection Worth Exploring?

According to German doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer's iron-bound rules of cancer, the development of a tumoral growth invariably follows a highly traumatic experience that is too intense to have been fully "confronted" or looked at. Each different kind of trauma, according to Hamer, leads to corresponding brain edemas that can be detected by modern scanning methods and eventually to a tumorous growth or, in the case of bone cancer, to a dissolution of bone tissue. (A more detailed description of Hamer's discoveries can be found here)

While the idea that cancer seems to develop only after certain traumatic experiences is suggestive, it is an outsider's view, not generally accepted. Science looks into possible viral causation, as well as the "cells gone mad" theory of tumor growth. This has led to a proliferation of growth-limiting, highly toxic medications and radiation as the preferred mode of treatment. However it seems these treatments have been enormously oversold, according to a recent Australian study. When all the statistics are examined, the results in real terms of survival of those treatments are extremely slim, says Dr Ralph Moss, author of the book "Questioning Chemotherapy".


Search for a cancer cure... (Image credit: Keith Syvinski)

Many studies have looked into a different cellular mechanism of cancer causation, where the oxidative potential of certain environmental factors is said to overwhelm the anti-oxidant defenses that normally keep oxidation in check to ensure healthy cell function. Both chemotherapy and radiation counteract this line of defense by increasing oxidative pressure on cells. Such oxidative "treatments", while slowing growth may even push previously healthy cells into a different mode of operation, one where energy is provided by fermentation, a mode of operation typically found in tumor cells.

Beldeu Singh discusses these studies in this recent article:

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Beldeu Singh

"About one third of the world's population suffer from micronutrient deficiencies and hundreds of millions suffer from chronic diseases of lifestyle. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), myocardial infarction, angina pectoris and stroke as one of the most important causes of mortality and morbidity globally, will continue to be first and second leading causes of death in the world. Most developing countries, including South Africa, currently are in the process of transition and experiencing the double burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases in which chronic diseases of lifestyle such as CVD have emerged while the battle against infectious diseases has not been won. In the last few years the HIV/AIDS epidemic has spread extremely rapidly and is likely to double overall mortality rates, undermine child survival and halve the life expectancy over the next five years." The US Environmental Research Foundation published an article on February 5, 1998, entitled: "Poverty Makes You Sick".

Individuals whose diets are high in fresh fruits and vegetables have a lower incidence of many cancers than those with a diet low in these food groups (Gary E. Goodman, Steven Schaffer, Gilbert S. Omenn, Chu Chen and Irena King; The Association between Lung and Prostate Cancer Risk, and Serum Micronutrients, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Vol. 12, 518-526, June 2003 - American Association for Cancer Research).

Greater consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of degenerative diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and brain dysfunction. More that 200 studies in the epidemiological literature have been reviewed and show, with great consistency, an association between low consumption of fruits and vegetables and the incidence of cancer (Ames, Bruce N., "DNA damage from micronutrient deficiencies is likely to be a major cause of cancer", Mutation Research, January 1, 2001, Vol. 475, Num. 0, pp. 7-20).

It has been hypothesized that this association is because of the presence of naturally occurring micronutrients or trace compounds, which act as inhibitors of carcinogenesis. If the food constituents responsible for this "prevention" activity can be identified, modification of the diet to include foods rich in these compounds or supplementation with the specific agent(s) may be an effective method of cancer prevention. The challenge has been to identify the relevant dietary constituents (Gary E. Goodman, Steven Schaffer, Gilbert S. Omenn, Chu Chen and Irena King; The Association between Lung and Prostate Cancer Risk, and Serum Micronutrients, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Vol. 12, 518-526, June 2003 -American Association for Cancer Research).

More than 40 micronutrients (the vitamins, essential minerals and other compounds required in small amounts for normal metabolism) are required in the human diet. For each micronutrient, metabolic harmony requires an optimal intake for optimum cellular function and maximum life span and any deficiency distorts metabolism in numerous and complicated ways, many of which may lead to DNA damage.

"Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) constitute the single greatest cause of preventable brain damage in the fetus and infant, and of retarded psychomotor development in young children. It remains a major threat to the health and development of populations the world over, but particularly among preschool children and pregnant women in low-income countries...

"Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major public health problem, and again the most vulnerable are preschool children and pregnant women in low-income countries. In children, VAD is the leading cause of preventable visual impairment and blindness... In addition, VAD significantly increases the risk of severe illness and death from common child infections, particularly diarrhoeal diseases and measles... In VAD-prevalent countries, pregnant women often experience deficiency symptoms, such as night blindness, that continue into the early period of lactation...

"Iron deficiency is the world's most widespread nutritional disorder, affecting both industrialised and developing countries. In the former, iron deficiency is the main cause of anaemia. In developing countries, it is also associated with other nutrient deficiencies (folic acid, vitamin A, B12), malaria, intestinal parasitic infestations (especially hookworm, schistosomiasis and amoebiasis), and chronic infections such as HIV. Zinc deficiency causes growth retardation or failure, diarrhoea, immune deficiencies, skin and eye lesions, delayed sexual maturation, night blindness and behavioural changes. Inadequate dietary calcium intake is associated with a number of common, chronic medical disorders worldwide, including osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease (hypertension and stroke), diabetes, dyslipidaemias, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, obesity, and cancer of the colon. Outbreaks of beriberi, pellagra and scurvy still occur among the extremely poor and underprivileged and, not infrequently, in large refugee populations.

Between 30% and 40% of all cases of cancer are preventable by feasible and appropriate diets, physical activity and maintenance of appropriate body weight. The same applies to heart disease and stroke, which accounted for 22% of deaths in South Africa in 1996. This is a true "pandemic", propagated by the 'globalisation' of risk factors such as cigarette smoking, salty high saturated fat foods, obesity and lack of exercise” (A US-trained physician from Haiti, Paul Farmer, has written in his book "AIDS and Accusation": (University of California Press, 1993).

“Micronutrient deficiency is a plausible explanation for the strong epidemiological evidence that shows an association between low consumption of fruits and vegetables and cancer at most sites” (Ames, Bruce N., "DNA damage from micronutrient deficiencies is likely to be a major cause of cancer", Mutation Research, January 1, 2001, Vol. 475, Num. 0, pp. 7-20).

Micronutrient deficiency can mimic radiation (or chemicals) in damaging DNA by causing single- and double-strand breaks, or oxidative lesions, or both. Chromosomal aberrations such as double strand breaks are a strong predictive factor for human cancer. Those micronutrients whose deficiency mimics radiation are folic acid, B12, B6, niacin, C, E, iron, and zinc, with the laboratory evidence ranging from likely to compelling. However, the level of each micronutrient that minimizes DNA damage remains to be determined (Ames, Bruce N., "DNA damage from micronutrient deficiencies is likely to be a major cause of cancer", Mutation Research, January 1, 2001, Vol. 475, Num. 0, pp. 7-20).

Interestingly, Federico et al (Federico A, Lodice P, Federico P, et al. Effects of selenium and zinc supplementation on nutritional status in patients with cancer of digestive tract. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2001;55:293-297), showed that serum concentrations of selenium and zinc were significantly lower in cancer patients than in control patients, whereas serum copper concentrations were elevated in cancer patients compared with control patients. These differences in serum selenium, zinc, and copper concentrations were noted prior to patients receiving any form of therapy. In a case series study of patients with lung cancer, 64% of the patients evaluated had serum vitamin C levels that were below the threshold typically associated with the development of scurvy (Anthony HM, Schorah CJ. Severe hypovitaminosis C in lung-cancer patients: the utilization of vitamin C in surgical repair and lymphocyte-related host resistance. Br J Cancer. 1982;46:354-367).

Cancer patients are susceptible to disease-related abnormalities in micronutrient metabolism (Whiteside, Martin A, Heimburger, Douglas C, Johanning, Gary L; , Nutrition Reviews, Apr 2004, International Life Sciences Institute). So, when a study evaluating the effect of selenium and zinc supplementation in malnourished patients with gastrointestinal and esophageal cancer who were receiving chemotherapy determined that 70% of supplemented patients did not show worsening of nutritional status, whereas 80% of unsupplemented patients demonstrated a worsening of their nutritional status (Federico A, lodice P, Federico P, et al. Effects of selenium and zinc supplementation on nutritional status in patients with cancer of digestive tract. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2001;55:293-297), it was something close to a natural expectation.

Chemotherapy kills young normal cells as well as cancer cells by inducing oxidative damage. It does not selectively target cancer cells and many patients require blood transfusions after chemotherapy. For example, doxorubicin is a chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of breast cancer. The quinone moiety of doxorubicin is converted to a free radical in the cancer cell; in the presence of oxygen, this free radical forms Superoxide anions, which have the potential to form OH radicals, ROS (radical oxygen species) that are very cytotoxic to cancer cells (Whiteside, Martin A, Heimburger, Douglas C, Johanning, Gary L; Micronutrients and Cancer Therapy, Nutrition Reviews, Apr 2004, International Life Sciences Institute).

Ideal chemopreventive agents should be non-toxic and inexpensive. A large number of natural and synthetic compounds have cancer preventive properties in cell culture or animal model studies. The current challenge is to build on this success and identify non-toxic chemopreventive agents. A promising area of research is clinical studies with botanicals, cancer preventive compounds in fruits (such as pineapple stems), vegetables and other plants (Antwan Stuckey & Frank Manista, ATL 110 Section 005, 16 January 2003).

Cisplatin-induced toxicities are mainly caused by the formation of free radicals, leading to oxidative organ damage. Plasma concentrations of antioxidants decrease significantly during cisplatin chemotherapy for cancer (Weijl NI, Elsendoorn TJ, Lentjes EG, et al. Eur J Cancer 2004;40:1713-1723). Forty-eight cancer patients treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy were randomised in a double-blind manner to receive either supplementation with vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium dissolved in a beverage or to receive a placebo beverage. Primary outcome measures were the amount of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity induced by cisplatin. No significant differences were found between the two study groups with respect to these primary outcome measures. However, patients who achieved the highest plasma concentrations of the three antioxidant micronutrients had significantly less loss of high-tone hearing. In addition, significant correlations were found between the reduced/oxidised vitamin C ratio and malondialdehyde (MDA), markers of oxidative stress, and cisplatin-induced ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity. The lack of protection against cisplatin-induced toxicities in patients in the intervention arm may be related to poor compliance and/or inadequate supplementation. Hence Weijl et al recommended that supplementation with a higher dose (intensity) and in combination with other antioxidants should be investigated further.

Several studies have demonstrated that antioxidant supplements may have the undesired effect of protecting cancer cells against apoptosis but the fact remains that antioxidants also protect the normal cells from oxidative damage while the selenium based natural antioxidant system protects cellular metabolism in normal cells. T4 cells are rich in vitamin C which protects them from excess free radicals generated by them to destroy bacteria and perhaps cancer cells. A ten year old girl in Scotland was given the untested treatment of T4 cell transfusion at the request of her parents, who had tumours in her brain. She recovered. This treatment proves that boosting the body's natural defense mechanisms enables a patient's body to fight disease states and with successful otcomes. Conversely, the reduction of T4 cells in the body due to malnutrition or drugs or excess free radicals is detrimental to health and the body's ability to heal itself.

It is pertinent to note that natural antioxidants and micronutrients are essential to the functioning of the Krebs cycle and the enzymes involved in the Krebs cycle are susceptible to peroxide inactivation or inactivation by excess free radicals. While antioxidants may scavenge the free radicals generated by chemo-drugs and reduce their efficacy in destroying cancer cells, it is doubted if antioxidants act to repair cancer therapy-induced oxidative damage to cancer cells becuase cancer cells do not depend on the Krebs cycle for energy but use alcohol to derive energy for their use and it may be that excess free radicals initially shut down the Krebs cycle in the normal cells, thus transforming them into cells that swithched to the alcohol based energy system and became cancerous.

“We have hypothesized that high-dose multiple micronutrients, including antioxidants, as an adjunct to standard (radiation therapy and chemotherapy) or experimental therapy (hyperthermia and immunotherapy), may improve the efficacy of cancer therapy by increasing tumor response and decreasing toxicity. Several in vitro studies and some in vivo investigations support this hypothesis. A second hypothesis is that antioxidants may interfere with the efficacy of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. This hypothesis is based on the concept that antioxidants will destroy free radicals that are generated during therapy, thereby protecting cancer cells against death. None of the published data on the effect of antioxidants in combination with radiation or chemotherapeutic agents on tumor cells supports the second hypothesis”, (Kedar N. Prasad, PhD, William C. Cole, PhD, Bipin Kumar, MD and K. Che Prasad, Scientific Rationale for Using High-Dose Multiple Micronutrients as an Adjunct to Standard and Experimental Cancer Therapies, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 20, No. 90005, 450S-463S (2001) Published by the American College of Nutrition)

Studying the associations between the serum concentrations of dietary micronutrients and cancer incidence is a classic method to explore the potential role of a nutrient in cancer prevention, and generate a hypothesis to test in randomized clinical trials. One method used to identify candidate prevention nutrients is the analysis and comparison of serum obtained from individuals who later developed cancer with those from matched healthy controls. The association between cancer incidence and the serum concentrations of nutrients that are the result of variations in the dietary intake and physiology of an individual were explored in several studies. These analyses show that small differences in many serum micronutrients are associated with significant differences in cancer incidence. Most of these studies studied the effect of only a small number of micronutrients such as selenium, zinc, coenzyme Q10, tocopherols, lycopene and vitamin E and may not be relevant when considered against the cause of the system that initiaties the transformation of normal cells to cancer cells. Micronutrients currently being examined in National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored phase I, II, or III chemoprevention trials for prostate, breast, and colon cancers include isoflavones, lycopene, selenized yeast, selenomethionine, selenium, vitamin E, perillyl alcohol, folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, and curcumin" (cf: Antwan Stuckey & Frank Manista, ATL 110 Section 005, 16 January 2003).

The approach currently adopted by researchers to look for biologically active compounds in food, that can be better identified and measured is therefore incorrect and it will be difficult or meaningless to ascribe the inverse association seen between the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and cancer to a specific nutrient. The optimum functioning of the Krebs cycle and cellular functions is not linked to any single micronutrient but depends on a very broad spectrum of micronutrients, many of which are required in trace amounts.

Free-radical reactions are vicious reactions. They produce other highly reactive secondary products such as alkanes, alcohols, acids and carbonyls which react with proteins, amino-acids, amines and DNA leading to mutagenesis, cancers and promote aging. Some tumours have been shown by gas chromatography studies to exude minute amounts of formaldehyde, alkanes and benzene derivatives not found in healthy tissues and that is probably why young-adult dogs with no brain impairments can sniff out cancerous tumours in human beings. So, another postulate is that chronic benzene poisoning produces cancer cells that in turn produces benzene derivatives that continue the free-radical chain reactions in the body.

Pacifici et al describe the effects of 100mg of the "recreational" drug Ecstacy used by young people at "rave parties". The 17 volunteers received one or two doses in a 24 hour period, resulting in a 30% decline in blood concentration of CD4+ cells within hours of the single dose. The CD4+ levels recovered to their former levels within the subsequent 24 hours. Among subjects who received two doses of the drug four hours apart, the decline of CD4+ cells was even more serious, reaching a level of 40% below normal. Although a day later T cell levels rose, they did not return to normal, (Pacifici R, et al: "Effects of repeated doses of MDMA ('Ecstacy') on cell-mediated immune response in humans". Life Sciences 2001; 69: 2 931 – 2 941.)
Furthermore, the report claims that the effect of Ecstasy can rise to deadly levels among people living with AIDS who take protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors such as nevirapine.

In another study, Pacifici et al report on the effect on the immune system of the combination of Ecstacy and alcohol, for which they used six healthy volunteers. There was a decline in CD4/CD8 cell ratio due to a decrease in both percentage and absolute terms of CD4 T-helper cells and a simultaneous increase in natural killer cells. Alcohol consumption produced a decrease in T-helper cells and B lymphocytes. The combination of MDMA and alcohol (ethanol) had the greatest suppressive effect on T cells. Drug treatment also produced a large increase of immunosuppressive cytokines, (Pacifici R, et al: "Acute effects of 3,4 methylendioxymethamphetamine alone and in combination with ethanol on the immune system in humans". J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 2001; 296(1): 207-215.)

Put simply, what all this means is that the drug Ecstacy on its own and in combination with alcohol suppresses the immune system and the body's ability to heal itself. The free radicals generated by ecstasy or alcohol and chemo-drugs reduce the rate at which blood is produced by the body and the rate at which T cells are produced. In other words, excess free radicals interefere with the metabolic processes in cells by depleting antioxidants and possibly micronutrients. Severe depletion of vitamin C in the body at levels below 40% might create a sepsis condition and if glutathione levels also fall 30% the condition may appear critical. If vitamin and glutathione levels become further depleted by free radical generating drugs, the chances of recovery may be poor as in the case of 20% of such cases. Research in this direction will yield practical insights and might alter the course of treatment.

Arsenic, a cancer-causing metal that poisons millions of people worldwide, exerts its harmful effects by boosting the body's production of damaging chemicals called free radicals, Columbia researchers report. The new research, published in the Feb. 13 issue of "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," adds to growing evidence that nutrients called antioxidants, which eliminate free radicals, may help prevent cancer and other illnesses caused by such environmental toxins as arsenic, cadmium, and asbestos. Sources of antioxidants include vitamins and micronutrients commonly found in the human diet, such as vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium.

"Arsenic is among the top environmental contaminants on the EPA Superfund list," says Tom K. Hei, the lead author of the study. "This piece of research provides the first clear-cut evidence that an environmental carcinogen acts predominantly through a free-radical pathway." Hei is professor of radiation oncology and public health at the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons. "If we understand how arsenic causes cancer, we'll have better means of prevention." Antioxidants are a leading candidate for such preventive measures, he said.

The study, which also involved P&S dermatology researchers and researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Colorado State University, showed that cells cultured in the laboratory sharply increased their free radical production within five minutes of being exposed to an arsenic compound. The compound, sodium arsenite -- the main toxic form of arsenic in the environment -- also boosted the rate of mutations among the cells. Mutations are a key step in cancer development. The mutation rate shot up still higher when researchers added a chemical that reduced the cells' production of natural antioxidants. This was consistent with previous research suggesting that antioxidants can protect cells from arsenic-induced genetic damage (Office of External Relations, Columbia University Health Sciences Division).

Selenium, a trace metal that is required for proper function of one of the body's antioxidant enzyme systems, has a key role of combining with glutathione to form the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which neutralizes the formation of hydrogen peroxide. The selenium based antioxidant system protects metabolic activity in cells. Selenium also acts as an antioxidant and in the presence od excess free radicals, it is depleted, and hence there may not be sufficient selenium left in the body to form the selenium based antioxidants and the cells begin to die. This explains the low levels of selenium in cancer patients after chemotherapy and the adverse effects of those toxic drugs. It may also explain the disruption in cellular function and metabolic activity in the case of arsenic poisoning.

The human body has several mechanisms to counteract damage by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. These act on different oxidants as well as in different cellular compartments. One important line of defence is a system of enzymes, including glutathione peroxidases, superoxide dismutases and catalase, which decrease concentrations of the most harmful oxidants in the tissues. Several essential minerals including selenium, copper, manganese and zinc are necessary for the formation or activity of these enzymes. Hence, if the nutritional supply of these minerals is inadequate, enzymatic defences against free radicals may be impaired.

The antioxidant defense mechanism is a system that comprises the selenium based antioxidants produced in the body that function together with the exogenous antioxidants of plant origin such as vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E. Hence administering one vitamin for a specific cure as in the case of drug administration may not be the correct or proper approach for improving total health. The antioxidant approach requires that the antioxidant defense mechanism functions effectively as a system to restore health or improve the body’s ability to fight infection or reverse a chronic disease or to slow down the progress of diseases. And this requires a basic understanding of the lipoic acid antioxidant network and the need for selenium by the body to produce glutathione and selenoproteins. The endogenous antioxidant system in the mammalian body works in an integrated fashion incorporating the exogenous antioxidants (including vitamins) obtained from plant sources.

Many standard therapeutic agents mediate their effects, in part, by generating excessive amounts of free radicals that damage both normal and cancer cells. Therefore, some suggest that the use of high doses of antioxidant vitamins during standard cancer therapy might be harmful since they might protect both normal and cancer cells against the cell killing effects of tumor therapeutic agents. Available experimental studies indicate that this concern has no scientific basis. For example, vitamin C, -TS and 13-cis-RA individually enhance the growth inhibitory effect of x-irradiation and certain chemotherapeutic agents on tumor cells in culture and in vivo. This is a direct demonstration that antioxidants do not protect cancer cells against the growth-inhibitory effect of standard therapy. In fact, they enhance the growth inhibitory effects on tumor cells. The exact reasons for the differential effects of antioxidants in combination with tumor therapeutic agents are unknown. However, some of them are listed below. Cancer cells accumulate more vitamin C than normal cells and this may account for the selective damage of cancer cells by vitamin C. Cancer cells and normal cells accumulate similar levels of -TS, but tumor cells are more sensitive to -TS than normal cells. This finding indicates that greater sensitivity of tumor cells to -TS is developed during transformation. Antioxidants such as retinoic acid reduce repair of potentially lethal damage in cancer cells more than in normal cells (cf: Kedar N. Prasad, PhD, William C. Cole, PhD, Bipin Kumar, MD and K. Che Prasad, Scientific Rationale for Using High-Dose Multiple Micronutrients as an Adjunct to Standard and Experimental Cancer Therapies, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 20, No. 90005, 450S-463S (2001), Published by the American College of Nutrition)

Cancer cells are created through a transformation process.

One transformation (Type I transformation) process involves the shutdown of the Krebs cycle through severe oxidative stress on intermediates and enzymes which become inactivated. The cell then resorts to anaerobic respiration for energy through a process (of fermentation) that generates a host of free radicals that help in the proliferation of cancer cells and tumor formation.

The other transformation (Type II transformation) takes place through excessive hydroxyl radicals that attack genetic material and cause breaks in the DNA. Further research may reveal the gene splicing activity of such highly reactive free radicals and repair of the DNA in excess free radicals may result in aberrations. Exposure to chemicals that have free radical generating toxicity may have a similar effect. Vitamin E in the testes may be a protecting factor for minimizing such free radical injury during spermatogenesis.

Type I transformation may be reversible but Type II transformation may not be reversible and these cancer cells may have to be destroyed by naturally occurring cytotoxic compounds found in certain herbs and spices.

Excess free radicals generated by drugs or poisons like arsenic can, over time shut down the Krebs cycle in normal cells and they switch to anaerobic respiration in order to live by deriving their energy from an alcohol based process that is less efficient.

Adequate levels of antioxidants, in excess of free radicals, in the body can prevent both types of cell transformations or lower the risk of oxidative injury as shown by the many studies on the incidence of cancers in people with a high or low intake of antioxidants or vitamins.

Pollutants such as pesticides, cigarette smoke, lead or benzene in petrofuels and other chemicals that generate free radicals in the body are the main culprits and the individual exposed to excess of such pollutants and those individuals with poor nutrition marked by low levels of micronutrients and low blood antioxidant levels may be susceptible to chronic inflammations and medical problems resulting from chronic inflammations and cancers due to oxidative stress by free radicals. Since micronutrients are essential for optimum functioning of the Krebs cycle in cells and in metabolic activity in the mitochondria, malnutrition that is characterized by low levels of iron, manganese, iodine, selenium etc may also shut down the Krebs cycle in cells and as a result they transform into cells that depend on anaerobic respiration for energy and survival.

An epidemiological study (by NIA) of about 3,500 older Japanese-American men in Honolulu, Hawaii reveals prevalence rates of Alzheimer’s disease are higher than in Japan. This study offers some unique features - this population has been under observation for about 25 years; so, data were collected many years earlier, before any effect of dementia could distort the data. Data were primarily on cardiovascular risk factors including dietary intake and indicators of cultural differences (more or less traditional Japanese). Preliminary results are available on a number of potential risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. There is no relationship with alcohol consumption, smoking, years of education, or low complexity occupations including working in sugar-cane or pineapple fields. What is unexpected, and somewhat inconsistent with the hypothesis of westernization being related to increased Alzheimer’s disease, is the unexplained finding that components of the traditional Japanese diet, which include a high intake of green tea, tofu, and miso soup, are positively associated with Alzheimer’s disease (White LR et al, London Greenwich Medical Media, 1997 p 23-32).

Tofu is touted for its health benefits, but also may pose health risks especially for men and women after mid-life or after the age of 40. In comparing the dietary habits and health of the Japanese-American men in the study group between 1965 and 1993, White said the scientists found "a significant link between tofu consumption during midlife and loss of mental ability and even loss of brain weight." The men were questioned about 27 foods and drinks, with data showing that those who ate more tofu were apt to have impaired mental ability, White said. Tofu was the only consistent link among the men, he said. The rate of brain impairment, which normally increases with age, also went up faster in the men who ate the most tofu, he said. "The test results were about equivalent to what they would have been if they were five years older," he said. "Guys who ate none, their test scores were as though they were five years younger."

There are other worries. In monkeys fed the higher amount of isoflavones, frequencies of intense aggressive (67% higher) and submissive (203% higher) behavior were elevated relative to monkeys fed the control diet (P's below 0.05). In addition, the proportion of time spent by these monkeys in physical contact with other monkeys was reduced by 68%, time spent in proximity to other monkeys was reduced 50%, and time spent alone was increased 30% (P's below 0.02), (Simon Ng et al. Horm Behav, 4594);278-84, 2004).

Interestingly, there are many epidemiological, clinical and laboratory studies that link soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, cognitive, immune system breakdown, and even heart disease and cancer. Short-term soy feeding increases breast cancer cell proliferation in pre-menopausal women with a history of benign or malignant breast disease. Dr Bill Helferich of the University of Illinios has recently stated that 'there is potential for dietary genistein to stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors in humans with low circulating endogenous estrogen levels, such as those found in postmenopausal women'.

That phytoestrogens are biologically active and they can markedly enhance tumor cell proliferation was known to science as early as 1978 (Martin PM and others. Phytoestrogen interaction with estrogen receptors in human breast cancer cells. Endocrinology 1978 Nov;103(5):1860-7).

Then in 1995 came an astounding finding – that genistein blocks the production of T cells needed for the immune system. The authors conclude: "...that genistein is a powerful immunosuppressive agent..." and suggest that it has a potential use in the treatment of allograft rejection (Atluru S and Atluru D. Evidence that Genistein, a Protein-tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor, Inhibits CD28 Monoclonal-antibody-stimulated Human T cell proliferation. Transplantation 1991 Feb;51(2):448-50). The research by Traganos et al, suggests that genistein "is expected to be a strong immunosuppressant." (Effects of genistein on the growth and cell cycle progression of normal human lymphocytes and human leukemic MOLT-4 and HL-60 cells. Cancer Res 1992 Nov 15;52(22):6200-8).

Soy contains several naturally occurring compounds that are toxic to humans and animals. The soy industry frequently refers to these toxins as anti-nutrients, which implies that they somehow act to prevent the body getting the complete nutrition it needs from a food. The soy toxins (such as phytic acid) can certainly act in this manner, but they also have the ability to target specific organs, cells and enzyme pathways and their effects can be devastating. The soy toxins that are of concern are protease inhibitors, phytic acid, soy lectins (or haemagglutins), nitrosamines, manganese concentrations and the mysterious soyatoxin. Nitrosamines are not naturally occurring in soybeans but form during the processing of products such as isolated soy protein (ISP) (Soy Online Service;

It is important to note that phytic acid or phytate in soy formulas (in studies involving monkeys) seriously affects copper and zinc bioavailability as well as iron and manganese absorption. These metals are very important in trace amounts for the healthy functioning of the body while iron is very important to healthy brain function and is used by the brain in preventing oxidative stress in the brain while manganese is vital for neurological development and this anti-nutrient action of phytic acid and genistein may explain its role as an endocrine and neurological disruptor.

The highly purified protein designated soyatoxin (a trypsin inhibitor) is a single chain acidic protein (pI 4.4-4.6) of 21 kDa, dependent on reduced thiol groups to maintain its solubility and biological activities. The toxin is a metalloprotein containing iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. So, comsumption of excess tofu leads to the production of metalloproteins which depletes essential micronutrients in the body while at the same time these metalloproteins generate free radicals and cause even more harm by oxidative stress on the Krebs cycle in a cellular environment that may equal that in individuals suffering from malnutrition. It is no wonder that in countries like Malaysia, where the Chinese population consume a lot of tofu, it happens to coincide with much hugher incidence of cancers.

Finally, it is generally accepted that older people, above the age of 45 are more susceptible to cancers and other degenerative conditions includinmg cardiovadcular disease. The drop in blood antioxidant levels coincides with the decrease in the absorption of vitamins and minerals with corresponding decrease in the production of antioxidant enzymes in the body and visible signs of aging begin to show up at 40 years. The antioxidant defense system becomes less efficient. About 40% of men may have erectile dysfunction usually associated with some degenerative condition at 40 years of age.

At 50 years, there is sharp decline in the blood antioxidant level within 10 years which coincides with a 69 – 70% incidence of erectile dysfunction with more of them associated with diabetes, hypertension or arthritis, etc. With advancing age and decreasing blood antioxidant levels, the repair mechanism at the cellular level is slow and cellular function is less efficient in an environment of excess free radicals. Chronic illnesses progress faster in such states.

After 50 years, organ size may actually shrink in most people due to loss of cells by death. As the glutathione (an antioxidant enzyme that is critical in metabolic activity in mitochondria) level drops, lethargy sets in, followed by getting tired easily. As glutathione levels drop more than 80% in cells, cell death begins to occur with few or no new cells being produced in the organ. Organs shrink in size and organ efficiency begins to decline. The average life span, 72 years, coincides with an age at which very low antioxidant levels are found in the blood.

It can be concluded that micronutrient and antioxidant intake is important to maintain health through optimum functioning of the Krebs cycle and cellular function. These are critical factors in slowing down the aging process and in restoring health or improving the quality of life.

Beldeu Singh
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Sweeping cancer edict: take vitamin D daily
The cause of the cancer epidemic sweeping the world has long eluded researchers, but the U.S. study being released today found that the 60-per-cent risk reduction is the strongest evidence to date that many cases of the disease are linked to a vitamin deficiency. Over the past few decades, vitamin D levels in the public have likely fallen because of lifestyle changes, such as the use of sunscreen in summer and people spending more time indoors. "It's an important component of cancer prevention," said Joan Lappe, lead author of the study and professor of medicine and nursing at Creighton University in Omaha, who added that there is "overwhelming evidence supporting the need for higher vitamin D intakes in populations throughout the world."


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Wednesday March 15 2006
updated on Friday December 3 2010

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Cancer - Are Chemicals To Blame?
Cancer may be largely to blame on man made chemicals in our environment, rather than on smoking and diet, the factors that are emphasized by medical experts. The article reporting the Canadian study was printed in the Penticton Herald, a relatively obscure paper and I haven't seen it taken up by other press outlets so far. A separate study of scientists from the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine blames... [read more]
March 11, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Cancer: Pineapple Enzymes 'Discovered' by Australian Researchers
"Pineapple stem may combat cancer" is the title of an article published today on BBC News. Researchers say that two components found in the stem of the pineapple may be active anti-cancer agents. Image credit: star-one "In searching for these components, we discovered the CCS and CCZ proteins and found that they could block growth of a broad range of tumour cells, including breast, lung, colon, ovarian and melanoma." I... [read more]
July 24, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

..."No non-toxic, readily available agent has ever been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of cancer. Vitamin C at retail sells for around five cents per gram. The cost of even 100 grams prepared for intravenous use is still very inexpensive compared to patented chemotherapy. I therefore don't think you will find many drug companies lining up to test and market such a readily available agent.... [read more]
July 20, 2004 - Chris Gupta

Ascorbic Acid in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer
Here is more background to the post: "VITAMIN C AND CANCER: NEW DEVELOPMENTS" and other uses of vitamin C. Reading these one can see how the medical Mafia has kiboshed THE most potential non toxic, immune enhancing treatments. With so much information in the literature, I wish people should start do demand the use of nutrient therapies under the treat of malpractice and or negligence. Reasoning with these self serving... [read more]
July 21, 2004 - Chris Gupta

Cancer: Intravenous Vitamin C Effective Treatment
Studies during the 1970s first suggested administration of high doses of ascorbate might provide a clinical benefit for treating cancer, but later studies using the same high doses found no benefit. However, researchers now say the original studies used intravenous and oral ascorbate, while subsequent studies used only oral administration. Recognizing those differences might account for the disparate clinical outcomes, Mark Levine and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health... [read more]
September 13, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

Jason Vale in Prison for Cancer Cure - Medicine Losing 'War on Cancer'
According to an article in Medical News Today, Jason Vale was sentenced on June 18, 2004 to 63 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release by a United States District Court in the Eastern District of New York. Vale ran foul of the US Food and Drug Administration which is acting to protect, as the word goes, the victims of cancer, preventing any idea from taking hold that... [read more]
June 26, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger




Readers' Comments

No one denies the importance of proper cell nutrition, but a fact remains, in my opinion:
Hamer's approach must always be considered when dealing with illness, not with cancer alone.
The understanding of pathogenesis is the same for every illness.

Posted by: Vera on March 15, 2006 06:15 PM


Thank you for the most informative documment I have seen for a long time . I am a scientist, a good scientist, not the one that has polluted himself with politics and money. As an ecologist I wake up every morning and give my best to the people whom they have hired me(Los Angeles County Vector Control. I am with out an angestrum of a dobt in my mind that certain scientists know the origin of different cancers but for one reason or another they do not come foreward and help people. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in Dec 2002, and after chemo and radio that fliped my life almost 180 degrees on Feb 2006 after couple of years of remmission I was back positive with hodgkins this time in my inverse submandibular nodes based on a CT/PT scan. If you have any information that can substantiate return of a cancer due to stress I would grately appreciate. Sincerely ST.

Posted by: saeed tabatabaeepour on June 20, 2006 08:02 AM



thank you for your comment.

look at the following page -

where you will find an exposition of the work of a Ryke Geerd Hamer, a German medical doctor who hit upon the connection between cancers and emotional traumas that have not been properly confronted. According to Hamer, each cancer has - at its bottom - a certain kind of unresolved emotional trauma or shock.

Another site on Hamer's discovery:

That should get you started on the cancer/stress connection.

Posted by: Sepp on June 20, 2006 11:18 AM


excellent information
thnx for refrences

Posted by: dr shakeel mulani on March 13, 2007 08:54 AM


That was an eye opener. I just scanned it and don't understand all the cell biology references. Still, it falls into place from the many different sources cited that there is no more room for ridiculing or ignoring the obvious in cancer therapy.

Of special interest was the CO connection. Does this translate into danger from atuomotive exhuast and other CO emissions? Certainly we know it is a deadly gas, unlike CO2, which is demonized these days.

The singularity of demonic CO2 should be examined as the latest disaster cause celebre in view of the conflicting science on "global warming" CO2 culprit.

What is more important in terms of atmosheric pollution to life on our planet? poison gas never before experienced by life on this planet except during significant natural catastrophes? Now everyday phenom of life for most urban humans.

The article points up that there are many tangents to be fitted into a globular view rather than just a lineal one, such as CO2 ^ = catastrophic global warming. Or cell mutation and
"defective genes" (read defective people) are soley responsible for cancer. Thanks for great article, will read again

Posted by: Neal Perrochet on May 17, 2007 04:29 PM


I am searching for doctors fairly close to Darmstadt who can administer 03 Oxidative Therapy for my wife. Heidelberg would not be too far, but Darmstadt is where we live, so that would be better. Anyone know of Doctors doing 03 Oxidative Therapy near Darmstadt area please leave an e-mail to: Thank you!

Posted by: Joseph on September 26, 2007 04:14 PM


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