Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Anti-oxidants may promote rather than fight cancer!

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Hold off those berries and vitamins, suggests DNA discoverer James Watson, in today's article titled "DNA pioneer James Watson takes aim at 'cancer establishments'" article.

From wiki

Quotes:
On the $100 million U.S. project to determine the DNA changes that drive nine forms of cancer: It is "not likely to produce the truly breakthrough drugs that we now so desperately need," Watson argued. On the idea that antioxidants such as those in colorful berries fight cancer: "The time has come to seriously ask whether antioxidant use much more likely causes than prevents cancer."

...

That is why Watson advocates a different approach: targeting features that all cancer cells, especially those in metastatic cancers, have in common.

One such commonality is oxygen radicals. Those forms of oxygen rip apart other components of cells, such as DNA. That is why antioxidants, which have become near-ubiquitous additives in grocery foods from snack bars to soda, are thought to be healthful: they mop up damaging oxygen radicals.

That simple picture becomes more complicated, however, once cancer is present. Radiation therapy and many chemotherapies kill cancer cells by generating oxygen radicals, which trigger cell suicide. If a cancer patient is binging on berries and other antioxidants, it can actually keep therapies from working, Watson proposed.

"Everyone thought antioxidants were great," he said. "But I'm saying they can prevent us from killing cancer cells."







15 comments :

Tuck said...

"Anti-oxidants may promote rather than fight cancer!"

Er, may promote cancer if you already have it and you're trying to eliminate it. This is not to say that your berries (which I'll continue to eat) are going to promote cancer in a healthy individual.

What are you, a health journalist? ;)

Keep up the good work.

TedHutchinson said...

Interesting to see Vitamin D receptor as a master regulator of the c-MYC/MXD1 network

Stan (Heretic) said...

Ted, I missed that detail. That could explain a huge anti-cancer effect on vitamin D3 supplementation, and cancer-promoting effect of vitamin D3 receptor blockers such as wheat germ agglutins. Here - wheat again...

Regards,
stan

Stan (Heretic) said...

Tuck, I love berries - with a whipped 35% cream on top. 8-:)

George Henderson said...

I read this and thought "cancer and so-called antioxidants just aren't his specialty".
a) surely no-one still thinks of "antioxidants" as a single homogenous category. This kind of sweeping statement is like saying 'fats are bad' because you've seen evidence that trans fats are harmful.
b) polyphenols such as anthocyanins don't seem to have have direct antioxidant effects in vivo
c) ascorbic acid is fairly well known to sensitize cancer cells to chemo and promote apoptosis.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3082037/
Like many "antioxidants" ascorbate can also help to generate ROS.
d) cancers are by no means homegenous and what promotes one type may inhibit another.
e) radiation and chemotherapy are carcinogenic and often promote new primary cancers, which is why 5 year survival is considered successful treatment.
f) selenium and zinc independently reduce the rate of liver cancer in cases of infection by carcinogenic viral hepatitis (B and C)

...ASOASF

Stan (Heretic) said...

George,

Thanks for the info. You are correct, not only anti-oxydant subject is not my prime interest but I am also quite sceptical about the use of supplementation and vitamin pills. For example, in my personal experience vitamin C never did anything helpful, for example to fight flu which I used to get every season. Up until I went high fat low carb in 1999.

Re: paper titled "Ascorbate exerts ..."

I am skeptical about that paper. I find it quite weak, since it relies on apoptosis and that can be caused by many other factors. Also the strength of vit C effect seems to be relatively small which may indicate some coincidental or secondary effect. Still H2O2 may be the major cancer-killing factor which again points towards oxidative products of metabolism as being helpful in this case, and anything that reduces it - as not very advantageous.

I found your posts in the Hepatatis C blog very interesting! My experience with the High Fat LC diet was started by my friend who used such a diet in 1999 to cure himself of supposedly "incurable" Hepatatis C induced liver cirrhosis.

Best regards,
Stan

Stan (Heretic) said...

George,

I have to elaborate regarding my sentence "Still H2O2 may be the major cancer-killing factor...".

Since reactive oxidation species (ROS) end up as H2O2 and since H2O2 is a powerful cancer cell killer, thus logically, anything that interferes with the chain ending up with H2O2 negatively, may reduce the anti-cancerous effect of the ROS. This is logical, that is what James Watson pointed out. The authors of that paper you linked did mention the H2O2 effect as main cancer killer, that's why they present their finding on vit C induced apoptosis as anomalous and somewhat surprising. I think this effect is spurious.

The more I read about vitamin C the more I smell a "lipitor" effect.

;)

Indeed the old studies on combating scurvy among sailors point out at the vital role of vitamin C, saurcraut and lemons and all that.

Until you look closely. Then you find out that the sailors who never used to get vitamin C cabbage etc would not normally get scurvy that often on their old diet of salted or smoked bacon, smoked fish etc.

They did however get scurvy when the cash strapped British Admiralty replaced smoked meat with dried bread and wheat buiscuits.

Can you see the pattern?

Stan (Heretic)

George Henderson said...

I meant, those don't seem to be Watson's specialities and, indeed, I imagine he retired long ago, and doubt this news from him is a first-hand product of his own research.
Ascorbate is an extra-cellular antioxidant but its intracellular functions (for example, synthesis of carnitine) involve the reduction of Fe, which (Fenton reaction) is a potential generator of ROS. Antioxidant sceptics have often pointed to pro-oxidant actions to contradict the concept.
There is other recent research showing tumours with higher ascorbate levels are less aggressive. And the classic Pauling-Cameron cancer study was never replicated. Morel claimed to have debunked it, but in fact none of his patients died while taking ascorbate. And Morel died of cancer age 63, Pauling at 93, a decent innings. I recently was caught up in a whooping cough epidemic and tried many cures, but could have saved time and money, because ascorbate, lots of it and often, was the only effective treatment I came across. It doesn't prevent respiratory infections but definitely ameliorates the discomfort from most of them.
But it's not something I'd be taking every day just in case, it does have some side effects at those doses ("bowel tolerance" indeed, and some diuresis. It's a prebiotic that can potentially encourage dysbiosis of UT IMO).

George Henderson said...

"The person who says it cannot be done shouldn't get in the way of the person doing it".

Like this guy:
http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/194x/klenner-fr-southern_med_surg-1949-v111-n7-p209.htm

They can't disprove something like this if they're not prepared to replicate it... really, this is an embarassing black hole in medical history. I'm sure that ROS generation, as well as the quenching of some radicals (ascorbate is I think relatively specific for peroxynitrite, particular antioxidants tend to match specific ROS and have no affinity for others) accounts for the effect.

Stan (Heretic) said...

You may find Dr. Jack Kruse's approach of treating infectious diseases with ketosisis and thermogenesis, interesting. See his links in the left hand side of my blog. I can partially corroborate his claims. Ketosis alone will cure hepatatis of any kind, as witnessed by Dr. Jan Kwasniewski (see "Homo Optimus" book). If you couple that with Krause's cold stimulus you get a hugely amplified effect on immune resistance. I also recently added organic monomethylsilatriol silica supplementation which seems to further increase my energy level (I am still experimenting with it). I thought I should share this because of involvement in the Hepatitis C blog.

George Henderson said...

Thanks - I've certainly found ketosis has improved my health. To the point where it's no longer necessary, it seems to have restored a reasonable degree of metabolic flexibility.
Also, the process of adapting to ketosis seems to work against every gene the Hep C virus is trying to manipulate and activate instead genes inimical to its replication. So not only is the ketotic state curative of the disease of hepatitis, it is (in this case) frustrating the designs of the pathogen causing it.
it works on at least 3 levels; histopathology, virology and immunology.
Is you friend's cirrhosis experience recorded anywhere online?

It occurs to me that Watson's claims about berries are unlikely to have ever been subject to even the weakest kind of experimental trial. If that's so, Linus Pauling's opinions would have more credibility.

Stan (Heretic) said...

No, I only have his "after" the optimal diet liver tests results on-line (have to dig it out) but not the original results and diagnosis before his cure. He was not able to wrestle the original diagnosis out of his doctor. His doc (Canadian public "health" system) became quite uncooperative and refused to provide the necessary documentation, after his patient refused to die promptly. BTW that was 14 years ago.

George Henderson said...

So it was the Optimal diet?
Typical doctoring I'm afraid. The whooping cough epidemic experience has reminded me how of the inability of most doctors to recognize and record and properly respond to the most obvious diseases. One day I will pay my bills and get my old liver records back.
The oft maligned but reliably conservative Dr Guyenet had a valuable series of fatty liver reversals a few years ago, beginning here: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.co.nz/2009/06/fatty-liver-reversal.html

Stan (Heretic) said...

George,

Unfortunately your last post got caught by blogger.com spam cop, I have just restored it. Must be that "often maligned Dr Guyenet" link that tripped the wire!
8-:)

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