Friday, 12 July 2019

What now after mineral and fatty acids tests?

Cartoon by Jo
In the last two blogs I’ve covered tests I've had looking at my mineral and the Ethythrocyte Essential Fatty Acids levels. Some positive developments but still some areas of concern and what looks like poor absorption of fats. I have some of the symptoms of poor fats absorption (i). So here is some of what I have been doing in terms of supplementation. Again I note that this is only a part of my approach to tackling cancer.

Nutrition
My diet is largely plant based vegan with no sugar or gluten and reduced high Glycemic Index carbs. In coming weeks I will add a small portion of organic grass-fed beef and wild oily fish once a week (salmon is one of the fish with lower mercury levels). I’ve also continued with apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice before eating plus sauerkraut a few times each week and a probiotic supplement. I’ve still not managed to blog re my diet/nutrition but will do one eventually - it seems a challenging on eto write as there are constant adjustments! Anyhow...


Some of the changes to my protocol already noted

Zinc;
Zinc citrate two times a day plus one food state zinc; on an empty stomach and in evening where possible.

Magnesium; 
(a) I will try a Magnesium Oil spray although in the past it has made my skin tingle and sting and I am aware that those on low blood pressure need to avoid or take care. Apparently stinging can be a sign of deficiency.
(b) A 20 minute bath once a week with Magnesium Flakes (Magnesium Chloride) or Epsom salts (Magnesium Sulphate). While both contain a similar level of elemental magnesium, the flakes are wholly soluble, so will elevate cellular magnesium levels when exposed to the skin and are said to be absorbed more readily by the body. Some suggest the flakes can also be purer.
(c) Continue with a Magnesium supplement but change brand.

B6 Vitamin (P5P form); 
Pic from Russ
B-6 is used in activating nearly 120 enzymes and 19 of our body’s 20 amino acids. All this is critical for DNA repair, healthy immune, hormone, and cognitive functions, as well as prevention of many conditions including some cancers like prostate. Research has found that men with the best survival records were those who had localized-stage prostate cancer at the start of the study and also had the highest B-6 intake (ii). It would seem that high levels of the vitamin were most effective when the cancer was newly diagnosed and had not yet spread beyond the prostate. Men who had the highest intake averaged 2.2 to 2.9 mg of B- 6 daily; this is roughly twice the recommended intake.


Additional changes

B12; 
Back in February I had my B12 measured at the GP surgery and it was 163  (normal range is 180-1000 which some commentators consider is too low for 'normal' health). However my low reading wasn’t low enough to warrant injections at the surgery so I have used a supplement. The cause of my low B12 is likely to be my switch to a largely vegan diet or possibly connected to lack of absorption for some reason? A friend with prostate cancer recently raised the question of higher levels of B12 being linked to prostate cancer. However looking more closely at the research it seems that only if you take very large doses of folate or vitamin B12 that there might be a link (iii). This is certainly not the case for the amount of supplementation I am doing.

Update 19/0819: I read that it might be better to have oral supplements rather than injections - plus Vitamin B12 is best supplemented in the form of methylcobalamin as this is a superior, activated, body-ready form of vitamin B12. See Nutri Advanced article here.

Omega-3 supplements;

Last year, Cochrane, a well-respected organisation that compiles and evaluates medical research for the general public, released a meta-analysis – a study of studies – to determine whether or not omega-3 pills, one of the world’s most popular dietary supplements, reduced the risk of coronary heart disease. After comparing 79 trials involving 112,059 people, the researchers could find “little or no difference to risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart deaths, coronary heart disease events, stroke or heart irregularities” (iv). Update 7/04/20: I've just read BMJ article about a study of over 400,000 people - the researchers found that those who took fish oil supplements regularly had a 16% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who didn’t supplement with fish oil: https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m456

Fish; It is said that eating one to two meals of fatty fish weekly is considered safe, despite concerns about the high mercury levels, PCBs, and other contaminants in fish. However in cases where omega-3 is not being absorbed well (like me) it maybe necessary to supplement. It is worth noting that some supplements are supplied from areas that have much less pollution and some companies filter and purify the oils. Basically the fish get their omega-3 fats from eating the algae and krill and there is by far the most research showing health effects from these fish oils than the other oils. They are also the cheapest!

Krill; research strongly suggests that krill oil made from a small shrimp, has similar effects to fish oil in the body and because krill are at the bottom end of the ocean’s food chain, they don’t have time to accumulate high levels of mercury or other contaminants. Although some krill are exposed to the same pollutants as fish. The oils don’t repeat like fish oils which is nice if that is a problem! However I have ruled out further use of Krill as the more I discovered the more it is clear that it is not sustainable. When krill was introduced it was supposed to tackle some of the threat of overfishing resulting from the demand for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is some of what we are after - it makes up about about half of the fatty acids in the brain and is associated with all sorts of great health benefits established. Sadly the decline of animal populations that rely on krill has raised serious concerns, prompting conservation organisations to raise an alarm (v). On top of this I have a further concern with Krill as the brand I was using contained choline (see below).

Algae; until recently algae only contained DHA but now you can find it with the crucial Eicosatetraenoic Acid (EPA) - both DHA and EPA are also in fish oil and can both be used instead of ALA to gain omega-3 fats. Some supplement companies add antioxidants to protect the fats from rancidity. There is much less research around algae and questions about how much DHA some contain. However after much consideration I am switching to these for now.

Update 6/08/19: I thought it was worth adding that some research warns that: 'Antigenic stimulation (e.g. pathologies associated with persistence of viral, bacterial, and, perhaps, tumor antigens) may require optimal, but not excessive, dietary intake of EPA and DHA.' Plus research showing 'increased prostate cancer risk among men with high blood concentrations of LCω-3PUFA. The consistency of these findings suggests that these fatty acids are involved in prostate tumorigenesis.'


Choline dangers?

Choline is crucial for liver, brain, muscles, nervous system and overall metabolism function plus brain and nervous system function, DNA synthesis, and carrying cholesterol from your liver. So we need it! Studies have shown higher choline intake to be linked to a decreased heart disease risk, as well as a 24 percent decreased breast cancer risk among 1,508 women studied. However there are concerns about choline and prostate cancer. Choline is so concentrated in cancer cells that if you track choline concentrate in the body you can track a cancer’s progression. 
In a large study eggs and poultry led to a significant increase in prostate cancer; the later could be the cooked meat carcinogens but the eggs point to another issue. Men who consumed more than two and a half eggs per week had an 81% increased risk of getting lethal prostate cancer compared to those having only one egg a fortnight. Researchers have concluded that the choline in eggs increases the risk of getting cancer, having it spread and killing you. The Harvard researchers argue that it leads to greater inflammation and promote the progression of cancer. I’ve not had choline levels measured but it feels like I should avoid additional choline where possible (vi).


Cannabidiol (CBD); 

Research is clearly needed and many say it is too early to make any claims about CBD for cancer treatment. However there have been many indications like a 2016 study that found that cannabinoids seem to inhibit the growth of many different types of tumor cell in both test tubes and animal models. The authors did also noted that some dosages or types of cannabinoid might suppress the immune system, allowing tumors to grow unchecked. Of course there are also side-effects like low blood pressure which folk like me have to watch. This topic really needs a blog or even a book! 

It is of course also important to note that CBD is not the same as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is an active cannabinoid in cannabis that causes a "high" when a person smokes or ingests it. Having read lots on this I can’t help but think that both CBD and cannabis could be helpful re cancer. However I head Jane McLelland’s warning: "I do not include THC in the cocktail in my book despite its MMP-2 blocking effects. THC supplementation led to worse results in trials on patients using a PD-1 or PD-L1 check point inhibitors, i.e. it has negative effects on the immune system.” However there is also evidence that cannabis can impact on cancer (vii).

Anyway at the moment I have been taking a high quality CBD oil for a few weeks. It is interesting that Omega-3 has been shown to improve the effectiveness of CBD so I wonder if my lack of absorption of Omega-3 maybe impeding my uptake of the CBD (viii)?


Enzymes

Digestive enzymes act as catalysts in speeding up life-preserving reactions in the body; breaking down larger molecules into more easily absorbed particles so that the body can actually use to them (ix). There are three main types:

• Amylase breaks down starches and carbohydrates into sugars.
• Protease breaks down proteins into amino acids.
• Lipase breaks down lipids, which are fats and oils, into glycerol and fatty acids.

This topic is huge and I am only just starting to understand some of the basics. Could one of these enzymes help with my lack of absorption? One suggestion was to try Choline Bitartrate but again I was cautious because of the choline. I am first  trying the Polyzyme to see if it will have an impact.

Biocare Polyzyme forte; Blocare write that this is a "high potency combination of vegetable-derived enzymes such as bromelain, 'fat digesting' lipase, protease, amylase, cellulose, lactase and maltase with Lactobacillus acidophilus live bacteria."

It is also worth a read here to see how pancreatic enzymes are being used to treat cancer, more from Dr Gonzalez about the history of cancer and enzyme therapy here and lastly more here about enzyme use.

Mico-men

In terms of my protocol I have also made a significant change. I've introduced some serious mushrooms for 5 weeks....and at the same time I have stopped a lot of the other supplements covered in my previous blog here. It seems healthy to take a break from supplements but also I have been intrigued by the research around mushrooms.

At Trew Fields this year (see last year here) there was an excellent workshop that also raised questions about the brands selling mushrooms and the quality of many products; for example Chaga, or the "King of Medicinal Mushrooms" as some like to call it, holds many wonderful benefits if wild-harvested from birch but soem are cultivated and do not contain the key cancer-fighting ingredients. Reishi is another one that is key to know how it has been grown; apparently some mushrooms it is less important.
Mice-Men has been described as: "Mico-Men (Prostat) helps to maintain an adequate quality of life of the nutritional status. It contains a variety of bioactive ingredients which come from mushrooms that are beneficial for health: β-glucans, α-glucans, triterpenes, oligosaccharides, proteins, antioxidants, essential amino acids, trace elements, vitamins, minerals, etc….Mico-Men (Prostat) is an unique Mycotherapy formulae. It contains the highest concentration of bioactive compounds (antioxidants, β-glucans, α-glucans, triterpenes, essential amino acids, etc.) and vitamins (E, A and D) which come from Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Royal Sun Agaricus (Agaricus blazei), Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus). Mico-Men (Prostat) also contains Myrciaria dubia.”

MicoMen packaging
There is a useful blog on the Yes To Life website (xi) about these mushrooms plus a code to get 30% off! You'll need that as these are certainly not cheap. I do also question their outrageous packaging; each dose comes in a plastic squeezy thing that doesn't release all it's contents so you have to sort of wash it out. Also a warning to some as it comes in agave which may make it a no-no for those being super-strict re sugars. At some point I'd love to write more about all this! Indeed every blog leads to more!


Notes

(i) https://www.healthline.com/health/malabsorption#symptoms
(iii) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamin-b12-or-folate-deficiency-anaemia/causes/ and
(v) https://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2012/algae-dha-healthy-as-fish-oil/
Dr Axe video talking about CBD  oil and cancer: https://vimeo.com/312596488 
Cannabis and Prostate Cancer list from a closed group Facebook post:
(viii) https://highlandpharms.com/cbd-oil-effective-omega-3/

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