An Ally in the War Against Cancer

In All Health Watch, Cancer, Featured Article

Humans and cancer have been at war for years. We welcome any help to increase our chances of victory.

For millions of cancer patients, that means chemotherapy. But that choice has devastating consequences.

Chemo Can Kill Too

More than half of all people diagnosed with cancer receive chemo. The treatment uses chemical agents to stop cancer cells from growing. The problem is… it kills healthy cells too.

As one doctor put it, “You can cure cancer with a shotgun.” In some cases, chemo is that shotgun.

It ruthlessly weakens the immune system. Often to the point of no return. It even reduces the ability to digest food. So you are unable to absorb the nutrients critical for recovery. When you hear that someone died as a result of “complications from cancer treatment,” that most likely means they were killed by chemotherapy.

The search is still on for a better cancer cure… one that doesn’t hammer the patient. Meanwhile, Dr. Vera Mazurak has discovered an all-natural supplement to help. It fortifies the body against the chemical battering of chemo. It also counteracts debilitating side effects.

Dr. Mazurak is a nutrition and metabolism professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. She’s also led cancer studies for the University of Guelph in Ontario. And she’s published dozens of related studies in peer-reviewed journals. Her research team focuses on the relationship between nutrients and cancer.

Her latest study was published in Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society. It’s convinced her that everyone on chemo should be taking this supplement.

The Body Booster

The supplement is fish oil. And Dr. Mazurak isn’t the only one who believes in its benefits.

Dr. Lona Sandon is a professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas. She’s a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. After studying Dr. Mazurak’s findings, she thinks they offer real hope.

Patients waste away from chemo. It devours their energy. They lose weight and muscle mass. They’re in no condition to survive the treatment… let alone fight the disease.

Dr. Sandon says that supplementing with fish oil can even the score. For starters, it helps prevent cancer-related malnutrition. That’s a big concern with patients undergoing chemotherapy.

“So certainly this does seem promising,” says Dr. Sandon. “And other similar studies have looked at omega-3 and muscle preservation and have also suggested that fish oil can act to prevent inflammation caused by both disease and hardcore medications, like chemotherapy agents,” adds Dr. Sandon.

We’ll tell you how it works in a minute… First, more about Dr. Mazurak’s study.

The Research Behind the Hope

Dr. Mazurak followed 40 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients undergoing the first rounds of chemotherapy. Sixteen of those patients were given fish oil. The other 24 received no supplements.

Their weight and blood levels were monitored. Muscle and fat were measured using computed tomography (CT) imaging.

After 10 weeks, 70 percent of the patients taking fish oil had gained healthy muscle mass. Those with the highest levels of fish oil in their blood had the greatest gains. They were also the quickest to recover from a chemo session.

At the same time, 70 percent of those not taking the fish oil had lost significant muscle mass. That group was also much slower to recover from their chemo sessions.

The Inflammation Connection

Dr. Mazurak believes these results can be attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil.

Fish oil has both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. The one we’re interested in here is EPA – the type of omega-3 that controls inflammation.

Inflammation plays a major role in disease. It’s your body’s natural response to infection. It’s linked to everything from heart attacks to cancer. And cancer is a very extreme infection.

Chronic inflammation can also result from chemical exposure – like chemo.

Inflammation releases chemicals to fight infection. But it can also promote tumor development. It can go from “friend” to enemy in an instant.

Fish Oil to the Rescue!

The EPA omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil also boost your immune system… and give your body a chance to focus on recovery.

So how do you get those fatty acids?

EPA is found in the flesh of coldwater fish. That includes mackerel, herring, tuna, halibut, and salmon. Not a fish lover? You can get a quality fish oil supplement in pill form here. (This one includes both EPA and DHA omega-3s.)

How much do you need?

Dr. Mazurak found that the patients in her study responded well with 2.2 grams of EPA in a fish oil supplement.

The road to recovery from cancer can be a long one. But it can be shortened by supplementing with fish oil.

To your best health,
Ian's signature
Ian Robinson,
Managing Editor,
NHD “Health Watch”