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February 24, 2010 at 5:15 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

New Study: How 7 Vitamins Enhance Quality and Quantity of Life in Cancer Patients

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This Author

A new study brings renewed hope for cancer patients and their families. This recent study from the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition in London shows that in three out of four cases, patients taking a combination of ordinary supplements lived longer than expected.

How much longer?

Five months longer in most cases, and as many as three years longer in others!

According to the study's co-author, Dr. Bob Lister, these results are comparable to those of new cancer-specific medications on the market and in some cases, even better. Says Dr. Lister, "People with cancer are always asking 'What can we do, not necessarily to beat the cancer, but to have a better quality of life whatever the length of survival?' We believe these results are meaningful and justify trying to get backing for a proper clinical trial. Most importantly, taking these supplements is extremely safe, and there were no adverse reactions among the patients."

So what was in their regimen?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Tolerable upper level intake for adults 19 and older: 3,000 mcg (micrograms) a day

  • Essential to cell growth
  • Essential to mitochondrial health
  • Prevents cell damage which may otherwise lead to cancer growth (antioxidant)
  • May be useful for congestive heart failure and other cardiovascular disease
  • Studies show that it improves immunity and resistance to infection and cancer
  • Has been used for Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Friedreich's Ataxia
  • Trials show that it protects against heart damage caused by the cancer treatment, doxorubicin.

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Tolerable upper level intake for adults 19 and older: 3,000 mg a day

  • Promotes healthy vision
  • Promotes healthy bone growth
  • Used in epithelium cell (line internal and external body surfaces)
  • Regulates gene expression
  • Important to the creation of specialized cells
  • Commonly known as "the anti-infective vitamin" for its importance in immunity
  • Currently being studied as a cancer preventative and treatment
  • Commonly used for acute promyelocytic leukemia

Vitamin C

Tolerable upper level intake for adults 19 and older: 125 mg a day

  • Essential to collagen synthesis
  • Important to blood vessel, tendon, ligament and bone health
  • Essential to the neurotransmitter norepinephrine
  • Required for the synthesis of carnitine, an essential amino acid
  • Helps to metabolize cholesterol
  • Acts as an antioxidant
  • Used for patients with coronary heart disease, stroke, cataracts, gout and lead toxicity
  • Cancer preventative

Vitamin E

Tolerable upper level intake for adults 19 and older: 1,000 mg a day

  • Acts as an antioxidant
  • Deficiency can cause impaired balance and coordination, nerve injury, damage to the retina, and neurological symptoms
  • Used in the treatment in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cataracts and dementia
  • Cancer preventative

Selenium

Tolerable upper level intake for adults 19 and older: 400 mcg a day

  • Important for reproductive health
  • Regulates cell growth and viability
  • Important for normal growth and metabolism
  • Important to thyroid health
  • Protects endothelial (blood vessel) cells
  • Prevents protein folding and has a redox function implicated in cancer prevention
  • Improves immune response, useful with viral infection
  • Used for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS
  • Substantial evidence shows that it reduces tumor incidence and prevents cancer

Folic Acid

Tolerable upper level intake for adults 19 and older: 1,000 mg a day

  • Vital for DNA metabolism, synthesis and methylation
  • Prevents homocysteine build up and heart disease
  • Important birth defect preventativ
  • Deficiency can cause anemia
  • Used for patients with cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, cognitive impairment, and several types of cancer including breast and colorectal

Beta Carotene

Recommended Daily Allowance for adults 19 and older: 16 mg a day

(Except for lung cancer patients, for whom the supplement poses some risk)
  • Actually a precursor of vitamin A
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Used for patients with photosensitivity, exercise-induced asthma, macular degeneration and cystic fibrosis.

It certainly is encouraging to see the medical health community embrace natural health components as part of cancer care! Whether you are dealing with cancer or not, the benefits of vitamins cannot be denied, so seek them in food or supplement form for a better quality of life.

Sources:

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/coq10/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1251286/Cocktail-vitamins-cancer-patients-extra-years.html

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminA/

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminC/

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/selenium/

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/fa/

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