Grace Gawler | What you Need to Know to Safely Navigate the Complementary Medicine Maze – October 31, 2014
Today’s Navigating the cancer Maze will give insights With 30 years experience as a botanical medicine practitioner, I know that complementary medicines are very popular with cancer patients. Some believe they are an alternative to conventional medicine, rather than a complement or adjunct to other treatments. Patients tend not disclose natural medicines they are taking when seeing their oncologist. Some oncologists don’t ask. Some patients take an each way bet and use both conventional and “natural medicines”, but in most cases; they will likely never tell their doctor what they are doing. Why? Because they expect a prejudiced attitude, either ridiculing their choice or telling them to stop everything else they are taking or doing that is not considered real medicine. Herein lies an enormous modern-day dilemma because many alternative & complementary medicines are indeed REAL medicines with active phyto-chemical contents.In today’s episode and on this blog – I also share useful information about Curcumin as a adjunct medicine for cancer patients.
First of all Vitamin C
I often see patients in my practice who refuse to have pharmaceutical drugs….they are often shocked when I explain to them that so called “natural medicines” they are using may not be natural at all – These substances actually become a drug or pharmaceutical product once they are administered by intravenous injection or intramuscular. It doesn’t mean they wont work – but the fact is they are NOT natural as is often marketed. They may have natural origins or have active principles of natural origin that has been synthesized in the laboratory.
Perhaps the best example here is vitamin C – there is no way we could use ascorbic acid as an i/v infusion….It must be modified in the laboratory.
Now this may come as a shock to those to love all things natural…..but Unfortunately, nearly all the dietary supplements marketed as vitamin C these days are synthetic isolates, made with genetically modified (GMO) corn from factories in China. Ascorbic acid is the product most often paraded as “vitamin C,” but it’s really only a laboratory-produced synthetic “isolate”—meaning it is a single component of vitamin C. Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she created vitamin C-rich fruits, berries and plants. Scientists now know that vitamin C isolates such as ascorbic acid do not provide the health benefits that whole food forms of vitamin C do.
This subject is so important that I will be inviting an expert on to the show soon to discuss the topic…. so sign up to receive an ecard notification for details of when this show will go to air.Join this blog to be updated and informed about complementary medicines and cancer – select Follow or join in the form in the widget bar on the right. The blog will be delivered weekly to your email address.
- Curcumin – Tumeric
Multiple Molecular Targets of Curcumin
Curcumin attacks multiple targets, providing the scientific basis for its effectiveness in many different diseases. Extensive research shows most diseases are caused by dysregulation of multiple signaling pathways–casting doubt on the effectiveness of monotherapy, which is limited to a single target.
Studies show curcumin modulates numerous molecular targets, including: regulating several cytokines and fibroblast growth factor-2 (gene expression), growth-factor receptors including modulation of androgen receptors (protein kinases), transcription factors, pro-inflammatory enzymes (including supression of COX-2, 5-LOX and iNOS and regulation of NF-κB), modulation of cell-cycle-related gene expression, blocking the adhesion molecules, downregulating anti-apoptic proteins and inhibiting multi-drug resistance.
While therapeutic properties of turmeric have been known for centuries, modern science has identified the curcuminoids (phenolic compounds found in turmeric) and provides a scientific basis for many clinical uses of standardized curcumin.
Since turmeric contains very small concentrations of curcumin, look for standardized 95% curcumin (curcuminoids). Why? Hundreds of scientific and technical papers confirm: clinical results were obtained using curcumin (curcuminoids).Most Curcumin Products Contain 3 Curcuminoids
Commercial curcumin typically contains curcumin I (~77%), curcumin II (~17%) and curcumin III (~3%) as its major components.
For convenience, all curcuminoids are often referred to simply as “curcumin” even though turmeric contains a variety of different curcuminoids. Unfortunately, pure curcumin (including all known curcuminoids) is very poorly absorbed into your bloodstream after oral ingestion due to rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall, and rapid systemic elimination.
Many curcumin products add piperine to improve absorption of curcumin. But piperine is a problem for many consumers because the additive should be taken cautiously (if at all) by anyone taking medications. According to the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, piperine is a potent inhibitor of drug metabolism, which means piperine spikes blood levels of many prescription medications.
A review of published research articles reveals piperine is toxic in experimental animals. Some research suggests piperine is safe in small amounts but large amounts of piperine could be damaging to the liver or other organs. Experts advise against consuming more than 15 mg of piperine per day. Piperine has known central nervous system (CNS) depressant effects. Finally, since piperine is a component of black pepper, consumers with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to black pepper should avoid piperine.
Check out BIOMOR Cucumin READ MORE at: http://curcumin-turmeric.net
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Cheap versions of complementary medicines manufactured in countries with poor manufacturing and quality control standards are best avoided…….contamination is a big issue as well as growing, harvesting and all that happens to a the material before it gets to production. A recent example in May 2013 was the outbreak of symptomatic hepatitis A virus infections across 10 US states associated with pomegranate arils imported from Turkey and manufactured in the USA by an organic group. The source was traced to imported frozen pomegranate arils. These were identified as the vehicle early in the investigation by combining epidemiology—with data from several sources—genetic analysis of patient samples, and product tracing. There were 165 cases known to have been affected.Hepatitis A is spread when human feces contaminate food or when an infected food handler prepares food without using proper hygiene. Human feces are expected as the cause of the outbreak, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Remember – it’s best to ask for professional help when selecting products from the internet: Not only is it important to know the source of raw material – but the technique used in the manufacturing process and efficacy of the end product. Sometimes the pseudo-science that surrounds a product can be misleading.
Medicines and supplements purchased on the Interne need to be carefully scrutinized, especially if you are have cancer. Countries that have raw materials processed and manufactured with inadequate standards and poor quality control can be an issue.
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