ANTIOXIDANTS and CANCER THERAPY with or without the knowledge of their doctor, research shows that 23 percent of cancer patients are taking antioxidants on their own. The use of antioxidants as an adjunct or as an integral part of cancer therapy is an area of intense research. Though many questions are still unanswered, we know much more today than we have ever known in the past.
For decades, physicians specialising in integrative, nutritional and ortho-molecular medicine have successfully employed a carefully planned protocol of natural micro-nutrients and antioxidants at the right time and dosage to reverse cancer in its early stages, and to deter cancer metastasis in advance stages. This is well before the antioxidant was accepted by mainstream medicine.
For safety concerns, all antioxidants and micro-nutrients used in an adjunct protocol must meet all of the following criteria: There must be science to justify the use of the antioxidant objectively. Some form of mechanism of action must be known. The antioxidant cannot be toxic to the body. The antioxidant should not interfere with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Should Antioxidants be used in cancer patients? This question can best be answered by reviewing in detail the history and experimental designs of studies on . In earlier studies, researchers drew the conclusion that antioxidants should not be used because antioxidants protect cancer cells during chemotherapy. This hypothesis was based on experimental designs where cancer cells were given a single low dose micro-nutrient (like 65 mg. of vitamin C) just before the commencement of a series of conventional chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Cancer cells exposed to a single low dose micro-nutrient showed resistance to chemo and radio-logical therapeutic agent.
It was extrapolated from this experimental observation that antioxidants protect cancer cells against conventional therapy and therefore should not be used. This conclusion has since been shown to be flawed in two ways: Firstly, it assumed that cancer cells reacted the same way to low dose as compared to high dose antioxidant therapy. Secondly, it assumed that only one dose of antioxidant is needed, while in real life, antioxidants as well as chemotherapy are usually given in series with multiple doses.
More recent studies using antioxidants in the appropriate high and repeated doses showed improvement in the efficacy of tumour response to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This is the total opposite of the earlier researches mentioned above. These later studies showed that antioxidants at very high doses clinically delivered by intravenous route selectively inhibit the growth of cancer cells without affecting the normal cells.
This hypothesis is now well tested in many cell cultures and in clinical trials and is widely accepted by nutritionally minded physicians”.
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