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Does Vitamin C Help with Terminal Cancer?

Studies in the 1970s showed an extraordinary survival gain in terminal cancer patients with vitamin C, a “simple and relatively nontoxic therapy.” It’s no wonder it got a lot of attention, especially when reported by a world-renowned scientist, Linus Pauling. But studies in the 1980s found no such benefit, so scientists were “left with the inevitable conclusion that the apparent positive results [in the original study] were the product of case-selection bias rather than treatment effectiveness.” In the 1990s, though, an alternative explanation arose: The disappointing ’80s research only used oral vitamin C, whereas the apparently successful ’70s experiments also gave vitamin C intravenously, and we didn’t realize until the ’90s that the same dose given intravenously can lead to dramatically higher levels in the bloodstream than when taken orally. So maybe high dose vitamin C does help in terminal cancer, but maybe only when given intravenously. This is the topic of discussion in my video The Role of Vitamin C in the Treatment of Terminal Cancer.

Encouraging case reports continued to be published. Regression, remission, and cure had been documented in individual cases of advanced kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and lymphoma, but that was three success stories out of how many? If it was three out of a hundred, or even three out of a thousand, then okay, if the treatment is sufficiently nontoxic. But there is evidence that IV vitamin C is widely used in the alternative medicine world, as in 86 percent of 172 practitioners surveyed. Just those 172 practitioners alone treated about 10,000 patients a year, and manufacturers are selling hundreds of thousands of vials of this stuff in the United States. It’s not all being used for cancer, but, presumably, at least thousands of cancer patients are being treated every year with IV vitamin C, making the publication of three remarkable case reports seem less impressive. So no matter how amazing these cases seemed, it’s possible the cancers just spontaneously regressed all on their own, and it was just a coincidence that it happened after the patients were given vitamin C. To know for sure, you have to put it to the test.

To date, there have been some small pilot studies, and the results so far have been disappointing. The good news is that even insane doses of IV vitamin C seem remarkably safe, but failed in a study of two dozen patients “to demonstrate anticancer activity.” Similar small studies have been published, all the way through to the present, with results that are tantalizing but inconclusive. What we do know is that the present state of cancer chemotherapy is “unsatisfactory.” People have a perception that chemotherapy “will significantly enhance their chances of cure,” but if you put all our cancer-killing chemo together, the overall contribution to five-year survival is on the order of 2 percent—all those side effects for a 2.1 percent survival rate bump, at a cost of maybe $100,000 per patient per year. So, it may be worth looking deeper into therapies like IV vitamin C. However, the lack of financial reward (since vitamin C can’t be patented and sold for $100,000) and bias against alternative medicine “could dissuade conventional investigators and funding agencies from seriously considering this approach.”

So, decades later, what can we conclude? “After trials which have included at least 1,609 patients over 33 years, we have to conclude that we still do not know whether Vitamin C has any clinically significant antitumor activity.” Although “there is currently no definitive evidence” of benefit, the Mayo Clinic’s randomized controlled trials “do not negate the potential benefit” based on what we now know about oral-versus-IV routes of administration. So, we’re kind of back at square one: Does it work or not? There are highly polarized views on both sides, but everyone’s working off the same incomplete data. What we need are carefully controlled clinical trials. The question, though, is what do we do until then?

If it was completely nontoxic, one could argue, “Well, what have you got to lose?” But it is not—it’s only relatively nontoxic. For example, there have been rare but serious cases of kidney injury reported. After all, if it’s so safe, why did our bodies evolve to so tightly control against excess absorption? It can also be expensive and time-consuming. Each infusion can cost $100 to $200 out of pocket since insurance doesn’t pay for it, which can be quite a boon for alternative medicine practitioners. About 90 percent of the millions of doses of vitamin C being dispensed are in for-profit arrangements, so there are financial pressures pushing in both directions, for and against this treatment.

Given the relative safety and expense, though, if controlled studies even find a small benefit, it would be considered worthwhile. And if they don’t, the vitamin C question can be put to rest once and for all. But “[i]n cancer treatment we currently do not have the luxury of jettisoning possibly effective and nontoxic treatments. We should revisit promising avenues, without prejudice and with open minds…”

This video is the third installment in a three-part series. For the complete saga, watch the other two videos Intravenous Vitamin C for Terminal Cancer Patients and Vitamin C Supplements for Terminal Cancer Patients.

I discuss the conundrum of what do to about funding research of non-patentable natural treatments in Plants as Intellectual Property: Patently Wrong?.

Additional videos of interest include:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

66 responses to “Does Vitamin C Help with Terminal Cancer?

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  1. Maybe not for simply vitamin C, but how about trying Vit C with some select co-factors, like zinc or bio-flavonoids(in a purified state)? Vitamin C, as you know, doesn’t work alone….but what would help it work optimally?

  2. Perhaps Dr Greger could look at the work of Dr Nicholas Gonzalez who published case reports of 112 of his patients who survived much longer than expected with terminal cancer using a dietary protocol.

    This protocol employed diets that in many cases were quite liberal in their use of animal products, so I guess Dr Greger wouldn’t look at those reports because he might have to conclude that eating animal products can help overcome advanced cancer.

    1. I suspect it is because Dr G is actually aware f the scientific evidence about this matter/

      Gonzalez made bold claims of success.for his approach. However, the US National Cancer Institute actually funded a trial and found that patients given this treatment died earlier and suffered more than those who received conventional treatmento

      ‘CONCLUSION Among patients who have pancreatic cancer, those who chose gemcitabine-based chemotherapy survived more than three times as long (14.0 v 4.3 months) and had better quality of life than those who chose proteolytic enzyme treatment.’

      That still hasn’t stopped conspiracy nuts and cranks with websites claiming that his was yet another suppressed cancer cure. Why?

      1. I’ll tell you why. Because there is documented evidence of major irregularities and conflicts of interest in the trial you reference. If you have or anyone here have an open mind perhaps you should read Dr Gonzalez’s 650 page book on the trial called ‘What went wrong’ which demonstrated conclusively that the trial was fatally flawed and biased against Dr Gonzalez. I was a patient of his for 25 years and cured of metastatic cancer to the liver, so i know first hand that the man was brilliant, dedicated and ultimately taken down by a system that couldn’t tolerate an effective treatment for cancer that wasn’t a product of big pharma and academic medicine.

        1. Herb,

          Why are they using diets liberal in animal products?

          I watched the documentary “Healing Cancer From the Inside Out” (It was an Amazon Prime free video) and they talked about how as the body ages, the stomach tends to become less acidic and can’t digest meat as well and that digesting the meat uses all the enzymes, which could be eating the Cancer cell wall and exposing the Cancer to the immune system.

          I ponder if he would have had better results if he did the enzymes with a WFPB diet.

          1. I don’t know the exact reason that he required animal products. He selected a diet for each person based on their metabolic type and out of the 100 possible diets he used none were vegan. I am sure that if in his experience he felt that a vegan diet was best he would have prescribed it. He had the best record of treating advanced cancer of perhaps any doctor in the world with at least some required animal products. He prescribed several digestive enzymes with each meal to ensure effective absorption.

            1. I respect Dr. Gonzalez’s work. I respected Dr. Kelly’s work before him, using juicing for enzymes and Gerson’s work.

              I have seen many people succeed with juicing, but none of them used animal products.

              I don’t understand the logic for that. I say it, because of T. Colin Campbell and the other Dr. Kelley and people like Dr. Fuhrman saying that if over 5% of the diet has animal products, Cancer grows.

              I did look at the enzymes Dr. Kelly’s followers sell and it was a whole lot of pills. Too much for me to afford, though I did buy them once, but they destroyed me from ever wanting to take any pills ever again and I was doing them pretty much after I had already gotten rid of my Cancer symptoms with juicing and super foods.

              I have been watching the WFPB doctors succeeding with just food and just don’t understand the logic and I am not trying to say that sentence as a put down.

              The Whole Food Plant Based videos are having testimonies about healing all sorts of Stage 4 Cancers. I don’t know if there will be more doctors like Dr. Kelley in Ireland who will do it that way to see what their success rate will be, but it has been inspiring to watch what just limiting growth hormone and methionine and choline and carnitine from animal products.

              Either way, I do believe enzymes are powerful.

              1. I listened to an interview with him and he told a story about how his friend tried to heal Cancer with Keto and it was such a miserable failure that the man quit practice, because people were dying so fast.

                I honestly didn’t know that he was forcing people to eat meat.

                He is the one who got me into looking at the enzymes in foods back then.

                Honestly, I chose WFPB, because all of the testimonies I saw and have heard in person were of people who radically changed their diets away from animal products. I still haven’t seen even one who did it with meat, so if you did, you are the first.

                1. That was Dr Atkins who was treating cancer with his diet, and who finally gave up because his patients were dying. Dr Gonzalez was good friends with Atkins, and Atkins wanted him to work for him, running the cancer arm of his clinic. Gonzalez declined.

            2. And we know all this because he told us so in his book, article and pamphlets. Just as we know that Royal Rife cured people of all sorts of cancers with his machine. Because he told us so in his book. And nobody has ever been able to replicate their claimed results in a scientific trial because Big Pharma, the gubbermint and the medical profession are colluding to suppress cheap, effective cancer cures like these. And have been doing so for almost a hundred years

              If people want a third party view of what occurred instead of reading Gonzalez’ self justifying claims, they could read the various articles here from thee Science Based Medicine website.

              1. You’re right. What was I thinking of? Maybe I was never properly diagnosed with cancer 30 years ago at a top medical center and have given doctor Gonzalez undue credit for curing me of advanced metastatic cancer.

                And maybe he spent thousands of hours writing his six books on cancer including his 112 case reports just for his ego – an ego I guess I should have detected after spending over 50 hours with him in 23 years. And the fact that I have never seen even one medical researcher or doctor find even one error in all his writings shows that I haven’t been looking hard enough.

                And maybe the letters and reports he reproduces in his book What Went Wrong showing the irregularities and blatant conflicts of interest of his NCI trial are just forgeries. I’m sure Dr Gorski and his band of debunkers were correct when they felt no need to even contact Gonzalez before they dismissed him.

                And maybe ‘livewire’ who wrote in these comments about her friend benefiting from Gonzalez treatment is just delusional as well.

                It’s good that you’re so openminded. We definitely need more people like you and fewer like me (and livewire’s friend) and hundreds of others who were gullible enough to believe we benefited from the Dr Gonzalez protocol after conventional medicine told us it had little to offer.

                1. Herb

                  You are clearly a passionate advocate for Gozalez and his ideas. It might even be said that you are one-eyed about the matter. As such, you are the last person who should be accusing other people of not being open-minded. Judging from your posts, you appear to have closed your mind to contrary interpretations of Gonzalez’ methods and results many years ago.

                  Gonzalez may have explanations why the only clinical trial of his methods showed a greatly increased mortality rate and quality of life. But he would, wouldn’t he? They all do.

                  As for your testimony and that of other people about being cured by Gonzalez, every other alternative cancer ‘cure’ on the internet can offer similar testimonies. So do anti-wrinkle creams and baldness cures for that matter. That aren’t worth much. There are cases of spontaneous remissions of cancer and there are also documented cases of the placebo effect in cancer patients, knee surgery patients and many others The first one I read about, many many years ago now, was way back in the 1950s

                  These could explain many of the testimonies offered to support alternative health ‘cures’ for this and that. Then there’s surivorship bias. Dead patients don’t offer contrary testimonials. This is why scientists demand positive evidence from controlled clinical trials and ideally some plausible theoretical explanation of a mechanism of action to accept the utility of specific approaches. Gonzalez and his supporters offer neither. As for your statement that nobody has ever proved his theories wrong, nobody has ever proved that Father Christmas doesn’t exist either.
                  The point is that he and his supporters have signally failed to prove that his claims are correct.

                  One difficulty for example is his claim that pancreatic enzymes (a core part of the Gonzalez approach) fight cancer. This is contradicted by animal trials which showed that

                  “Results showed that the enzyme did not affect growth of the primary tumor (where the cancer started).
                  . The cancer spread to the most places in the rats that received the highest dose of enzymes.
                  . The cancer spread to the fewest places in the rats that received the lowest dose of enzymes plus magnesium citrate.”

                  That possibly explains why, in that human trial, the Gonzalez treatment patients died at a much higher rate and had a worse quality of life than those opting for conventional treatment.

                  1. Hmmm. Linking to a rat study that showed no benefit and ignoring the rat study mentioned literally just below it that showed rats taking his enzymes lived longer. I thought you were a more sophisticated critic than that.

                    Choosing to pick the worst outcome is not what most would consider being impartial. You do exactly what you accuse me of doing – and you have no explanation for 112 detailed case studies showing remarkable longevities except to say spontaneous remissions, survivor bias blah blah. If these case studies were published by an establishment clinician they’d be featured on the front pages of every paper in the world.

                    I don’t mind engaging with a fair minded critic but not with someone who’s as blatantly biased as you have demonstrated.

                    1. That’s your choice. However, case studies are also problematic.

                      If a thousand patients follow a particular protocol and 900 die, what matters if there are case studies of the remaining 100?

                      This is why scientists look for the results of controlled clinical trials and a clear, plausible mechanism of action.

                      Neither you nor any other Gonzalez supporter have presented these.

                      As for criticising me for ignoring positive studies (there are no positive clinical trials), you also ignore the history of regulatory action and legal action concerning Gonzalez For example, Quackwatch states

                      ‘In 1987, Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D., of New York City, began offering treatment that he said was similar to that of Kelley. Gonzalez also analyzed many of Kelley’s records and in drafted a book that included a chapter about 50 cases. In 1990, experts who reviewed the chapter manuscript found no evidence of benefit. Gonzalez said that he offered “10 basic diets with 90 variations” and typically prescribes coffee enemas and “up to 150 pills a day in 10 to 12 divided doses.”

                      In 1994, after investigating six of Gonzalez’s cases, New York State licensing authorities had concluded: (a) his “alternative protocol” did not entitle him to an alternative standard of care; (b) he had failed to correctly interpret signs and symptoms of disease progression, (c) he had treated the patients incompetently, and (d) his record-keeping was inadequate. He placed on probation for three years with a stipulation that he undergo retraining and his work be supervised by the Office of Professional Conduct. [Download documentation]

                      In 1997, a jury in New York City awarded $2.5 million in actual damages and $150,000 in punitive damages to a former Gonzalez patient. The woman testified that she had been diagnosed with an early stage of uterine cancer in 1991 and underwent a hysterectomy. Instead of following through with medically recommended radiation and chemotherapy, she consulted Gonzalez who discouraged her from following her cancer specialist’s advice. Based on his interpretation of a hair test, Gonzalez prescribed up to 150 dietary supplement pills a day plus frequent coffee enemas. Later he claimed that the cancer was cured even though it was progressing. It eventually damaged her spine and left her blind. An appeals court upheld the $2.5 million verdict but dismissed the punitive damage award. In April 2000, a jury awarded $282,000 in damages to the husband of a 40-year-old college professor who had died of Hodgkin’s disease in 1995. According to an article in The New York Daily News, the jury found him negligent because he failed to arrange “appropriate testing” to track the cancer, relying instead on an unproven method of hair analysis [38]. In July 2015, Gonzalez’s office announced that he had suddenly collapsed and died, apparently of a heart-related cause.

                      In 2010, 23 years after its original compilation, Gonzalez’s book was published as One Man Alone: An Investigation of Nutrition, Cancer, and William Donald Kelley. However, a review done at my request concluded that none of the 50 cases Gonzalez reported provide compelling evidence of of a cure [41]. At least 41 of the patients had been treated with surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy that could have been responsible for the length of their survival. The rest lacked biopsy evidence and/or had cancers that typically have long survival times.’

                      To be frank, you appear blatantly biased in favour of someone who was widely and reasonably regarded as a dangerous quack

        2. herb, Thank you for telling about your experience. I have a friend who was also a patient of Dr Gonzalez, who was cured of her breast cancer. He had her on a plant based diet without animal products. He used different diets for different patients, some including meat. I’m pretty sure all his patients with cancers of breast, ovaries, prostate, and other sex organs were given diets free of animal proteins. My friend eventually went off the diet and subsequently developed a liver cancer. She went back on the protocol, under the guidance of Dr Linda Isaacs, and has lived well beyond expectations.

          When I developed an aggressive breast cancer I considered seeing Dr Gonzalez, but I could never have taken the required dozens of daily supplements – I choke on most capsules, or they stick in my esophagus – so I chose another alternative route.

      2. By the way, I don’t think it’s helpful to your advocacy to dismiss those you disagree with as conspiracy nuts and cranks.

        1. I apologise. I should have written ‘dangerous conspiracy nuts and cranks’ instead.

          How many people have had their lives ended prematurely or seen their health ruined by listening to the strident claims of these people? We should not tolerate medical quackery any more than we should tolerate financial scammers …. let alone actively promote it.

          ‘After a median of 5 years, patients with breast or colorectal cancer were nearly five times as likely to die if they had used an alternative therapyExit Disclaimer as their initial treatment than if they had received conventional treatment.’

        1. Thanks David but I doubt it. Do you honestly think that Gonzalez would actually provide a cometely objective account of what happened?

          Why not read Gorski as well? Perhaps then you will change your tune.

          Below is one of Gorski’s articles and is followed by an extensively and lively discussion involving supporters of Dr Gonzalez.

          If you have an open mind, consider the views of both sides.

  3. One approach that has not been mentioned is Liposomal Natural Vitamin C, where each Vitamin C molecule is coated with a layer of fat, is estimated to increases the bioavailability by a factor of +10 as the coated molecule more readily passes through the cell walls which are also made of fat. Liposomal Natural Vitamin C provides the individual with the capability for making at home and dosing Vitamin C equivalent to the 50 gram intravenous quantities.
    It seems like this a better and more cost effective approach. Are there any studies to support or disprove this method of dosing vitamin C?

    1. Great question. I’ve heard of liposomal vitamin c but never understood it–so thank you for your explanation. I think liposomal C would be an excellent topic for a future nutritionfacts video!

    1. B, Do you really think 2% success after five years is a great track record for treating cancer? Really?

      In clinical trials for most drugs placebos will have a much better track record than that, but apparently with cancer 2% is considered successful. Also, many new drugs that are tried and touted to extend life (despite what they do to the quality of life) often only give the patient another month or two over existing drugs, usually at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

      1. Rebecca

        I think that B was being ironic.

        However, the 2% figure is misleading for a number of reasons not least because it deliberately excludes a number of cancers for which chemo is very effective, like leukaemias. Cancer surgeon David Gorski discusses the problems with the paper which is the source of that 2% figure. The links won’t post here but he has a couple of articles called

        or just Google ‘Gorski 2% gambit’

        By the way,if Dr G or the NF team do read this post, could you consider re-evaluating the reference to the 2% figure and the article from which it comes?

        1. TG, My use of the 2% figure came from a lengthy (90 minute) conversation with an oncologist friend of my son’s. I was very resistant to chemo. I eventually went through it – in 2010 and again in 2012, since the first time didn’t stop the cancer. Then, following the 2012 round I had a mastectomy. There was still live cancer in the original tumor, even though it NEVER showed on four PET scans. My oncologist wanted me to start yet another, even more toxic chemo that would likely have caused permanent problems and I refused. That was five years ago. I owe my health today to healthy eating – greens and beans for breakfast at the moment – and I don’t think any doctor could talk me into chemo in the future should I have cancer again.

          I realize there are a few cancers for which chemo is very helpful, including some leukemias, testicular cancer, and some rare cancers.
          However, I do believe many, many people have had their lives shortened by chemo and others have been harmed by it when what they had wasn’t even cancer, as Dr G and others have documented.

          1. Thanks LiveWire.

            I was actually referring to Dr Greger’s reference to the 2% figure in his video presentation. It comes from an Australian paper from some years back and is widely quoted. However, all the references stem from that Australian paper which, as Gorski has pointed out, does have a number of flaws. It also seems to be contradicted by more recent cancer survivorship statistics.

            Also, I don’t doubt that your change to healthy eating delivered substantial benefits. It appears to be widely accepted that plant based diets reduce the risk of cancer

            and there is evidence that it is an effective compementary treatment for people breast cancer eg

            What I am criticising is alternative health gurus who sell unproven ‘treatments’, that include pig enzyme injections, coffee enemas and tons of very expensive supplements to the sick and the dying in addition to promoting the scientifically demonstrated benefits of a plant-based and exercise. They may actually make things worse as appears to be the case with Gonzalez.. But then there’s no money in just telling people to eat a low fat plant based diet and take up regular exercise is there?

  4. The naturopathic IV treatment for cancer is a cocktail – not just vitamin C – I’ve been told. And it is sometimes given in conjunction with chemo to enhance the chemo and lessen the side effects.That is probably what needs to be researched, no?

    1. It has been researched. It can lessen side effects. It can also make conventional treatment more effective. However, in some cases, it makes conventional treatment less effective.

      Naturopaths and others make substantial sums of money selling IV vitamin C and supplement cocktails. They are not unbiased sources of advice on this topic.

      The US National Cancer Institute has useful patient and health professional summaries of the current state of knowledge on this topic

      1. TG,

        Please don’t forget that oncologists are one of the few types of doctors who profit mightily from the chemo they prescribe, at least in the USA. I can’t speak for Australia. Making a profit on IVs isn’t limited to NDs.

        1. Live wire

          I fully agree. It’s perhaps less of a problem in national health systems where medicines have to be approved before they can be prescribed and the physicians are often employees rather than private practitioners.

          My argument is basically that alternative health advocates

          1. often argue that conventional medicine is fatally undermined by financial conflicts of interest but

          2. all too often they simply refuse to accept that the alternative health sector itself has financial conflicts of interest that are just as great if not greater than those found in conventional medicine (because of the lack of regulation)

          In any case, the alternative sector seems to disdain evidence based approaches and uncritically accept claims by individuals where they find those claims congenial.

          Yes, definitely practise caveat emptor when it comes to conventional medicine. But I would argue that it is even more necessary when considering the claims made by alternative health practitioners. The alternative health sphere seems a veritable Wild West full of cowboys to me. ‘Let’s be careful out there’

  5. I found one person who totally got rid of their dog’s hemangiosarcoma cancer, even after it entered the heart.

    That made me happy.

    They did an ultrasound and it was totally gone in 6 weeks.

    That is my goal.

  6. a great summary from Dr G. In essence. We dont know, but the alternative (chemo) is at best unspectacular, and will probably remain so until it is more selectively delivered. Then again, there are any number of less toxic, non-chemical compounds (including plant-based compounds) which could do the same job, if only they were capable of more selective delivery.

  7. Does anybody know what barringtozenol is?

    The dietary product curcumin and EGCG can be cancer chemopreventive agents and the natural molecules barringtozenol and finasteride can be effective inhibitors for VEGFR.

    I understand curcumin and EGCG and I think finasteride is for baldness – 5-alpha reductase inhibitor – and when I did those terms and “natural” they gave Saw Palmetto, Pumpkin seeds and Walnuts and a few other things for that. Walnuts, he likes.

    Barringtozenol is a mystery.

  8. The video where a turmeric resistant tumor grew makes me curious.

    Is it that the Cancer took a pathway that turmeric didn’t effect. (There is a TED Talk on starving Cancer where the woman shows that it is good at changing pathways.

    I feel like turmeric, decaf green tea, walnuts, flax seed oil and hemp seed oil and their seeds and sweet potato and green peppers and chick peas and lentils and wormowood and butyrate and Amls and nutritional yeast and maitake mushrooms, turkey tail mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms and parsley and artichoke hearts and soy and kale are my superheroes and he doesn’t always eat kale anymore.

    This is my dog protocol.

    He has been eating more than that, but he doesn’t like some of the other things and I am not making meals negative.

    With Yanno Baiyo if he bleeds.

    Turmeric resistance in Cancer makes me think it needs to be all the superfoods possible at the same time, especially ones that effect different pathways.

    I switched some foods because of pathway and mechanism. Green peppers inhibited something shiitake mushrooms came up in one pathway.

  9. I am pondering the whole chemotherapy and turmeric resistance and I am wondering which part of the Cancer is the intelligence?

    I know that sounds stupid, but is it more a force like magnetism? Or is there a driver to the bus like in the cell nucleus?

    1. No Deb, it is evolution.

      There might be billions of individual cancer cells. Like humans, there will often be genetic differences between individual cells. Perhaps one in a million might have a mutation that makes it resistant to turmeric (or an anticancer drug say). You treat the cancer patient with turmeric and that kills all the cancer cells that do not have the anti-turmeric mutation.

      But the very few cancer cells with the anti-turmeric mutation survive and are free to grow and replicate with greatly reduced competition from other cancer cells for the food and other resources they need to survive. They then become the dominant type of cancer cell in that patient.

    1. Deb,

      Cancer is complicated. It masks itself from immune system, making it hard for our bodies to overcome once it is established. Our immune system is best at fighting cancer in the very earliest stage, long before it can be detected.

      It does have vulnerabilities, however, and one of them is a diet low in the amino acid, methionine. One advantage of a whole food plant only diet is that it is naturally low in methionine compared with diets with animal protein.

      T Colin Campbell is a respected researcher at Cornell (now emeritus) who describes how animal protein stimulates cancer growth in this video:

      * *

      I hope this helps. He describes much of the work that led him to understand the mechanics of how cancer grows over a very long research career on various Youtube videos and in his books. The best known is *The China Study*, where he verified that what he had learned in lab research with animals also holds true in real life with humans.

  10. I was looking at PubMed about Yunnan Baiyoa, which arrived in the mail from a company which says they sell GMP products.

    What struck me is that three studies showed results, then they did studies with no results and they hypothesized that either they didn’t give a high enough dose or they didn’t get the real product.

    They don’t test the product in these studies just for kicks?

    They just go to the store and buy some?


    There are so many positive reviews that I am going to not know what to do.

    I am also frustrated because I found a testimony of one dog who got healed after 120 days on keto and I already know that my dogs tumor is decreasing, and I just believe WFPB vegan will heal him even faster, but I seem to be the only one who has tried it.

    I might have him go vegan keto, but I am not sure whether it is a good idea, because my dog is always hungry and they use soy products and I sm afraid it will cause his growth hormone to go up.

    1. I ended up learning about mTOR today and I am doing so many things to restrict it in my dog already, but for the first time I understand that the people serving the dogs keto diets and using calorie restriction and intermittent fasting who succeeded at healing a dog with my dogs condition with keto is affecting Cancer through different mechanisms.

      I had a brief lack of confidence, but I went through all the ways to inhibit mTOR and I have the advantage. If their pathway worked, mine is working better. It has to. I just have to add in intermittent fasting and calorie restriction and that tumor already is shrinking.

      And it isn’t gonna grow back.

      I just have to not overdo it with soy or nuts.

      I was so happy, because I am doing a lot of the list.

      I still have the MAPkinase pathway to figure out, but mTOR is inhibited left and right.

      1. Well, I might be slowing down on some of the super foods already.

        Pondering it, because I just looked up everything related to anemia,

        That is what my vet is going to kill me about, because turmeric and green tea can cause it in pets who are already there.

        I pondered it and feel like “bleeding out” is still number one, because this thing isn’t spreading on the diet he is on. But not going so low in Methionine to give him fatty liver is also on the list and not making his anemia worse is also on the list.

        Wormwood has ridiculously good studies, and I mean ridiculously good studies, but you can’t buy the stupid holo transferrin unless you are a researcher.

        They say giving it with butyrate or a few hours after a meal with iron and vitamin C help it absorb better.

        But their stupid study got rid of the Cancer so fast, but only combined with holo transferrin.

        I wonder if my friend in France can get me some or if every country doesn’t want people to have access to it.

    1. Burzynski is widely regarded as a dangerous quack who exploits the sick and the dying.

      Even James Randi has blown the whistle on this guy

      And famous fighter of medical quackery, cancer specialist David Gorski, has several times exposed Burzynski’s claims. Here is one analysis

    1. Thanks Deb. That is a very interesting link. To tell the truth, I am usually wary of MDs selling stuff online. That’s why I seldom visit McDougall’s site and almost never go to Fuhrman’s site.

      However, I like the way Dach provides all the references to the professional literature.

      But every coin has two sides. Some forms of vitamin C may reduce the effectiveness of treatment. Also IV vitamin C may be contraindicated with certain medications. It can also cause serious side effects in patients with kidney disease or certain genetic defects. trials have also shown mixed results.

      I thought that this recent review was interesting but note that it is primarily about the use of IV vitamin C in palliative care of cancer patients not curative care. Also, it remains to be seen whether whether effects found in humans (who are unable to make vitamin C) would also be found in animals that do make their own vitamin C.

  11. Tom,

    That is an interestinh link.

    Yes,I don’t trust almost anyone either, but I do read most of it and try to make sense of the studies.

    You are right about every coin having two sides.

    In the past few days, I have examined the other side of so many of the coins I am using with my dog and, it is expensive enough so that in America I have to go up to every hundred dollar bill has two sides, because each rabbit trail is costly and it is frustrating figuring which treatments are worth trying and how to figure out of the treatments are going to save him or kill him or just rob from my bank account.

    It is genuinely illuminating at what people have to feel like when they have to make these decisions.

    Turmeric and green tea are two of the most likely to kill Cancer cells, but they could cause anemia.

    Soy is the most likely to prevent angiogenesis and has iron, but if I mess up the dose for dogs, I might undo all of the benefits.

    Methionine restriction is so promising, but caused anemia in 5 weeks.

    The WFPB diet is the one I believe in, and I have found a few people who cured their dogs from Cancer with it, but I also found a keto place, which. Is professional which did the same thing in 120 days and if you go to the WFPB sites most of them won’t stick up for it for dogs. Though the longest living dog was vegan is what the dog food manufacturer says, but Gentle Giant said the same thing and 60% of dogs get Cancer, and their food didn’t prevent it and I am wondering if their seriously long lived dogs actually eat the same kibble they sell. Doubt the food all comes from their organic farm. It could, but once you go big, things like that tend to change.

    The war between keto and WFPB and between conventional medicine and holistic medicine is so serious and we literally can’t just trust any of it, because we don’t understand enough.

    1. That’s true Deb. I winder though if beans other than soybeans might also help. Kidney beans for example are a good source of iron if anaemia is a problem.

      Some animal studies also suggest they might help

      ‘the incidence of colon adenocarcinomas was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in rats fed the black bean (9%) and navy bean (14%) diets than in rats fed the control diet (36%). Total tumor multiplicity was also significantly lower in rats fed the black bean (1.1) and navy bean (1.0) diets than in rats fed the control diet (2.2). The 44-75% reduction in colon carcinogenesis in rats fed beans was attributed to 1) more controlled appetites, leading to significantly less body fat, and 2) much greater concentrations of butyrate in the distal colon. It was concluded that eating black beans and navy beans significantly lowered colon cancer incidence and multiplicity.'

      From what I have read, if you do go keto, you need to avoid saturated fats and instead emphasise PUFAs. I think I have linked this recent article before but it does seem relevant

  12. Deb

    On ketogenic diets and cancer, I am not sure that the hype is justified

    ‘The German Association of Urological Oncology (AUO, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Urologische Onkologie) presents a systematic review investigating the evidence of ketogenic diet in cancer patients.

    A systematic literature research was conducted in the databases Medline, Livivo, and the Cochrane Library. Only clinical studies of tumor patients receiving chemotherapy while on a ketogenic diet were included. The assessment of the results was performed according to the predefined primary endpoints overall survival and progression-free survival and secondary endpoints quality of life and reduction of adverse effects induced by cytostatics.

    Nine studies met the inclusion criteria: eight prospective and one retrospective study case series respectively cohort-studies, with a total of 107 patients. Currently there is no evidence of a therapeutic effect of a ketogenic diet in patients with malignant tumors regarding the clinical outcome or quality of life.

    Based on the current data, a ketogenic diet can not be recommended to cancer patients because prospective, randomized trials are missing’

    1. Thanks Tom.

      A few of the Cancer Doctors made sentences that Ketogenic diets fail against Cancer. And some of the people like Bill Henderson and Dr. Gonzalez said the same thing.

      When I was watching video after video after video of the people who had overcome the odds to fight Stage 4 Cancers, not one did Keto. Not one.

      When I had Cancer symptoms a year and a half ago, that was the sentence I told myself when I made the choices I made. The Keto crowd talks about Cancer eating sugar and I respected that position enough to do low glycemic index foods for myself back then and for my dog now, but I looked at testimonies on Dr. McDougall’s site and the people with testimonies weren’t eating as low glycemic index as my dog is right now. But John’s diet is very low oils and I am giving my dog flaxseed oil, as what I put his turmeric, ginger and pepper in and I am giving him walnuts, so I don’t know if his Pancreas is getting emptied of fat or if low methionine for too long will cause his liver to become fatty. Feels like standard vegan diet won’t cause fatty liver, based on the studies I read at V-Dog, but I was probably going overboard on trying to control for methionine and it can cause anemia.

      He will be getting new blood work on Thursday, so I will probably be correcting for anemia the week after, but I decided to stick with the turmeric and ginger and decaf green tea for one more week.

      Trying to raise his plant based iron intake. Edamame seems to be the highest. I think it was 1 cup gave almost 50% RDA human. I have to work a little more on understanding serving sizes for dogs.

  13. When I was reading the Keto versus Vegan dog testimonials, one person said that they wanted to do WFPB with their dog who had Cancer, but chose Keto and when their dog died, they wondered if it would have lived longer if it was fed a Vegan WFPB diet.

    I am laughing, because a clicking timer in my head sometimes messes with my logic and I pondered, do I give him a little game for Heme and over in the video, game was a through the roof increase in toxins in the blood and Heme in a Dr. Greger link was linked to more Cancer.

    I would rather err this way and live within what I actually believe, rather than try that way.

    My dog was given 100% chance of death sentence, and his tumor was so big that it is likely spread throughout his body and wasn’t a good candidate for surgery. The vet said that with tumors that size, they often die on the table and he obviously couldn’t remove all of his organs, just the spleen.

    I would rather come away knowing the powers of the WFPB superfood diet and if I fail, maybe know the limitations of it.

    1. It helps so much that he wasn’t vegan when he got cancer.

      If I switched him to Keto, I would be worried about growth hormone and methionine and bad gut bacteria and viruses and metastases.

      Now, I am just worried about glucose and anemia.

      Easier to control glucose and increase plant based foods with iron.

      My mental health is so much better than if I was trying to go against everything I have learned.

      1. If I switched him to Keto, I would be up nights worrying about his tumor getting bigger and his organs rupturing.

        Instead, I have an internal sense that the Cancer is getting smaller and I just have a sense of a time limit, in case he bleeds out.

        I gave him Yunnan Baiyao to see how he responded to it and I think his gums are slightly darker. A little less pale. That made me happy. I will find out if the color change was placebo effect giving me rose colored glasses on Friday.

  14. So, anyway….

    Tonight, green tea got crossed off my list.

    Yes, it kills cancer.

    Yes, it kills cancer in dogs.

    Yes, I found testimonials and holistic vets recommending it.

    But, if you are an OCD owner, you keep going and find out that a study on Green Tea in dogs, half the dogs died and the study had to be cut short about 10 days in.

    My dog is still alive, but he is gonna be on just regular old food for a few days, while I go back to the drawing board.

    If he makes it through the next few days.

    Not mad at myself, because I know this is the process everybody goes through. Sometimes the studies, that give this type of information are 2000 studies down.

    Got to get him off everything and look way more carefully at toxicity studies and not just believe PubMed as an entity or holistic vets or dog owners who got rid of their dog’s cancer with it.

  15. The first death was in 9 days.

    “Toxicity was evident by day 9 when clinical signs, including one death, significant body weight and food consumption decreases were seen in the 1000 mg/kg/day group. Dosing of that group was then discontinued and resumed one week later with 800 mg/kg/day after some body weight recovery. By the early termination of the study at 6.5 months, there were 16 deaths out of 24 PPE-treated animals. Incidence of mortality was 0 out of 4 in both male and female control groups, 2 out of 4 and 1 out of 4 in male and female 200 mg/kg groups, respectively, 3 out of 4 and 2 out of 4 in male and female 200 mg/kg groups, respectively, and 4 out of 4 in both male and female high dose groups. The majority of unscheduled deaths occurred during the first 13-weeks. “

  16. I am trying to remember how many days I have given it, because I didn’t start with it, and didn’t give it every day, and don’t believe I have given it even 7 days, but my poor dog is already sick and didn’t need a toxic super food.

    I don’t know whether they were giving an extract or not, but either way, he is back to just food until after the vet visit on Thursday.

    I know that the green tea extract had increased mortality was in the podcast. That is what flashed across my brain when I reached that study.

    My poor baby, that I don’t have enough understanding to do this and the vet wouldn’t do anything at all.

  17. It has passed midnight, and today is my dog’s birthday.

    He is having less stable gate tonight and I genuinely know that I could have hurt his liver.

    I am not mad at myself, because I am doing the best I can with a 100% death sentence.

    My poor boy. He is such a love still and is still eating and going outside, but he stumbled a few times tonight.

  18. My dog is still begging for food.

    I took out a can of vegsn dog food and he ate it and asked for more.

    That makes me happy. It isn’t going to be that he stops eating on his birthday.

    The vet will be coming and I don’t know whether he is bleeding or if I hurt his kidneys, or if the Cancer is spreading.


  19. Wouldn’t it be more likely that the people who had higher levels of vitamin C had more vitamin C intake from fruits and vegetables? If anthrocyanins and lignans have some anitcancer effects then this would still show up in higher survival being correlated to higher C levels.

  20. Hi, Joe Thomas! It is true that, when nutrients come from whole plant foods, there are many biochemicals at play that work synergistically in the body. This works against a reductionist approach, which tries to identify the one, magical constituent responsible for benefits. I think this reductionist approach is counterproductive. We know that whole plant foods are health-promoting, and it does not seem useful to try to isolate nutrients from them. It is usually not as effective as whole plant foods, and can be harmful in some cases.

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