Special Preventive Factors
The solution is to reduce the number of unsatur- ated fats and, in some way, to block the oxidation of fats. The answer to the second is vitamin E. It is the most powerful natural, nontoxic antioxidant known to mankind. Dr. Harman chose to use vitamin E in his experiments. He found that vitamin E was an antioxi- dant which could reduce cancer formation in rats. Some were fed 5 percent fat; others, 20 percent. Half of all test animals were given supplemental vitamin E. After nine months, the group without the vitamin E began developing tumors, but none developed in the other group until after 25 months.
In 1983, Kedar N. Prasad, Ph.D., director of the Center for Vitamins and Cancer, University of Colo- rado, reported on his research with vitamin E.
“He has looked into the effects of vitamin E on mouse and rat tumor cells, and has come up with some dramatic findings. He reported that, when he exposed such cells to DL-alpha-tocopherol succinate [a form of vitamin E], they actually stopped growing.
“ ‘We are hoping,’ Dr. Prasad says, ‘that one day vitamin E succinate will be widely used to inhibit tu- mor growth in humans’ ” (Prevention, October 1983).
The same year, Laurence Helson, M.D., of the Me- morial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases in New York City, reported on his research. For up to four weeks, he gave intravenous doses of vitamin E to 13 patients who had nerve cancers. Each one had failed to respond to conventional cancer therapies, so any positive sign would be considered remarkable. But, in fact, the tumors on six of the people either stopped growing or diminished in size. Several patients reported relief from pain.
Vitamin E works in a double-barreled attack against cancer. It prevents the oxidized state that can- cer cells thrive in, and it deactivates the free radicals that promote cellular damage leading to malignancy. Vitamin E is also very helpful in helping the body re- sist the dangerous effects of nitrites and nitrates. These are highly carcinogenic classes of chemicals naturally found in many prepared foods, such as bacon, pickled foods, and alcoholic beverages.
the appearance of liver cancers in rats maintained on diets to which “butter yellow” and related azo dyes had been added. (Azo dyes are artificial food colors, de- rived from coal tar, and are widely used to add various colors to food.) This research was repeated in America, but the rats did not develop liver cancers. Then it was noted that the Japanese rats were fed white rice while the American rats were fed a more generous diet. When riboflavin was removed from the diet of the American rats, they contracted liver tumors as described by Japa- nese researchers.
Richard S. Rivlin, of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, reviewed riboflavin/cancer research in the September 1973 is- sue of Cancer Research. He discussed several studies which indicate that riboflavin deficiency is related to tumor growth in experimental animals and possibly in man. He also noted provocative observations that cer- tain patients with cancer excreted less riboflavin than do normal individuals. This would indicate that need of vitamin B2 was greater in these individuals than in normal people.
NIACIN (B3, NICOTINAMIDE)
This B vitamin is also important in safeguarding health. Dr. Robert A. Smith and his colleagues, at the University of California of Los Angeles, raised tissues outside the body from human colon and kidney can- cers. They found the cancer cells to have abnormally low concentrations of niacinamide, one form of vita- min B3 (Niacin), apparently establishing a link between B3 and cancer.
VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE)
Cancer tissue has a very low level of vitamin B6, and uses amino acids differently from normal tissues.
Vitamin B6 (also called pyridoxine) may also play a part in the body’s immunity against cancer. Ten ba- boons were fed a balanced diet, which was only lack- ing in one nutriment—Vitamin B6—for two to six years. Half of them developed premalignant nodules and other indications of liver cancer. Yet the animals received no carcinogenic substance. They were simply deprived of pyridoxine.
There are over a dozen B vitamins, and they tend to work together. C. Edith Weir, Ph.D., mentioned the value of maintaining an ongoing intake of B vitamins, in order to avoid cancer:
“There is a small but growing body of data sug- gesting that chronic, low-level intake of some nutrients is a factor in the incidence of cancer in man. There is evidence that vitamin deficiency plays a role in the oc- currence of cancer in the oral cavity and the esopha- gus. Chronic vitamin B complex deficiency, due to in- adequate supply of vegetables in the diet, appears to be incriminated” (C. Edith Weir, Human Nutrition: Report No. 2, Benefits from Nutrition Research).
VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)
In late 1973, Michael B. Shimkin, M.D., reported on the early history of cancer research and vitamins. Thirty-five years earlier, Yoshida, of Japan, had reported
What happened to the other five? They did not live long enough to develop liver tumors. Instead, they died of liver damage within six to eight months. For more on this, see the article by Henry Foy in the November 1974 issue of Journal of the National Cancer Insti- tute.
Inositol is one of the vitamins in the B complex. Not only does inositol have the ability to break up ab- normal deposits of fat in the body, but has also been demonstrated to have a mild inhibitory effect on can- cer. Science (Vol. 97, 1943) reported that intravenous shots of inositol slowed down the growth of transplanted tumors. Researchers wrote in the Journal of Urology (Vol. 59, 1948) that, when inositol was given to six pa- tients suffering from bladder cancer, their tumors grew smaller and blood stopped appearing in their urine.