Intravenous Vitamin C for Terminal Cancer Patients

Intravenous Vitamin C for Terminal Cancer Patients
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Studies in the 1970s with terminal cancer patients appeared to show an extraordinary survival gain with vitamin C, a simple and relatively nontoxic therapy.

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In 1975, a remarkable case was reported of a 42-year old man suffering from a malignant form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, who experienced a dramatic regression of the cancer after being given large doses of vitamin C intravenously. He seemed cured; so, they stopped the vitamin C, and the cancer came surging back. So, they restarted the vitamin C, apparently inducing a second complete remission. Now, sometimes, cancer does just spontaneously regress—it’s rare, but not unheard of. So, one could argue that the first remission was spontaneous, and it was just a coincidence that it happened when they started the vitamin C, but given the trajectory the cancer was on, followed by the rapid remission, followed by the relapse when the vitamin C was stopped, followed by a second remission once restarted does strongly suggest the vitamin C had something to do with it.

Now, multiple spontaneous regressions do exist. There was a recent case, for example, of a woman with cervical cancer, apparently cured with radiation and chemo, but when the cancer came back, she refused further treatment; yet, the tumors disappeared on their own, and then came back, and then disappeared, then came back, and then disappeared, then came back, and then disappeared for a fourth spontaneous remission, and that was with no apparent treatment at all. So, it’s possible this vitamin C case is just a crazy coincidence fluke, and the vitamin C didn’t help at all. You never know until you put it to the test.

So, these researchers enlisted the help of Linus Pauling, considered the greatest chemist of the 20th century, who was known to be interested in vitamin C. If he couldn’t get funding, nobody could get funding, and he couldn’t get funding. They went to the National Cancer Institute with promising data on the first 40 cancer patients they treated with vitamin C and asked that they carry out a randomized double blind trial, meaning take a group of incurable cancer patients for which we have nothing more to offer, randomly split them up into two groups and infuse one group with vitamin C and the other group with something just saline, basically water, and see who lives longest. Neither the patients nor the doctors would know who got which, to eliminate bias and placebo effects. And they went back year after year after year asking for grants to study it themselves if the National Cancer Institute wasn’t going to do it , and they got rejected year, after year, after year. So, they scraped up whatever funds they could find and did their best with what they had and published their famous findings in 1976.

They didn’t have a controlled trial, but by that point, they had treated a hundred terminal cancer patients with vitamin C. So, they compared their progress to that of a thousand similar patients who didn’t get vitamin C. For each patient treated with vitamin C, they found ten patients about the same age with the same kind of cancer that had been treated at the same hospital but without the vitamin C infusions. This is what they found. Let’s look at breast cancer, for example. Here’s the survival curve for terminal breast cancer—remember these were all terminal cancer patients. As you can see, in the control group, within 100 days, more than 80% of the women were dead, but in the vitamin C group, half were still alive nearly a year later. They had women with terminal breast cancer still alive 2,270 days later and still counting.

The control groups for all the different cancers did predictably bad, with the vast majority dead within one to two hundred days, while the vitamin C treated patients appeared to do substantially better. All in all, the average survival time was four times as great for the vitamin C subjects: more than 200 days compared to only 50 days for the controls. The results, they conclude, clearly indicate that this simple and safe form of medication is of definite value in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer. So what happened?

Critics understandably attacked the study for using after-the-fact controls. You could see how this could introduce bias. If you consciously or unconsciously chose control group patients who were sicker than your treatment group patients, they would die sooner than your patients, but it would have nothing to do with the treatment; the control group folks just started out in a worse place. And, indeed, there’s evidence that is what happened—a full 20% of the control group died within a few days after being declared terminal compared to none in the treatment group, which really does sound fishy. But the trial was successful in finally convincing the National Cancer Institute to fund randomized controlled trials performed by the prestigious Mayo Clinic, no less. What did they find? We’ll find out, next.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Eric Malette via Flickr.

In 1975, a remarkable case was reported of a 42-year old man suffering from a malignant form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, who experienced a dramatic regression of the cancer after being given large doses of vitamin C intravenously. He seemed cured; so, they stopped the vitamin C, and the cancer came surging back. So, they restarted the vitamin C, apparently inducing a second complete remission. Now, sometimes, cancer does just spontaneously regress—it’s rare, but not unheard of. So, one could argue that the first remission was spontaneous, and it was just a coincidence that it happened when they started the vitamin C, but given the trajectory the cancer was on, followed by the rapid remission, followed by the relapse when the vitamin C was stopped, followed by a second remission once restarted does strongly suggest the vitamin C had something to do with it.

Now, multiple spontaneous regressions do exist. There was a recent case, for example, of a woman with cervical cancer, apparently cured with radiation and chemo, but when the cancer came back, she refused further treatment; yet, the tumors disappeared on their own, and then came back, and then disappeared, then came back, and then disappeared, then came back, and then disappeared for a fourth spontaneous remission, and that was with no apparent treatment at all. So, it’s possible this vitamin C case is just a crazy coincidence fluke, and the vitamin C didn’t help at all. You never know until you put it to the test.

So, these researchers enlisted the help of Linus Pauling, considered the greatest chemist of the 20th century, who was known to be interested in vitamin C. If he couldn’t get funding, nobody could get funding, and he couldn’t get funding. They went to the National Cancer Institute with promising data on the first 40 cancer patients they treated with vitamin C and asked that they carry out a randomized double blind trial, meaning take a group of incurable cancer patients for which we have nothing more to offer, randomly split them up into two groups and infuse one group with vitamin C and the other group with something just saline, basically water, and see who lives longest. Neither the patients nor the doctors would know who got which, to eliminate bias and placebo effects. And they went back year after year after year asking for grants to study it themselves if the National Cancer Institute wasn’t going to do it , and they got rejected year, after year, after year. So, they scraped up whatever funds they could find and did their best with what they had and published their famous findings in 1976.

They didn’t have a controlled trial, but by that point, they had treated a hundred terminal cancer patients with vitamin C. So, they compared their progress to that of a thousand similar patients who didn’t get vitamin C. For each patient treated with vitamin C, they found ten patients about the same age with the same kind of cancer that had been treated at the same hospital but without the vitamin C infusions. This is what they found. Let’s look at breast cancer, for example. Here’s the survival curve for terminal breast cancer—remember these were all terminal cancer patients. As you can see, in the control group, within 100 days, more than 80% of the women were dead, but in the vitamin C group, half were still alive nearly a year later. They had women with terminal breast cancer still alive 2,270 days later and still counting.

The control groups for all the different cancers did predictably bad, with the vast majority dead within one to two hundred days, while the vitamin C treated patients appeared to do substantially better. All in all, the average survival time was four times as great for the vitamin C subjects: more than 200 days compared to only 50 days for the controls. The results, they conclude, clearly indicate that this simple and safe form of medication is of definite value in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer. So what happened?

Critics understandably attacked the study for using after-the-fact controls. You could see how this could introduce bias. If you consciously or unconsciously chose control group patients who were sicker than your treatment group patients, they would die sooner than your patients, but it would have nothing to do with the treatment; the control group folks just started out in a worse place. And, indeed, there’s evidence that is what happened—a full 20% of the control group died within a few days after being declared terminal compared to none in the treatment group, which really does sound fishy. But the trial was successful in finally convincing the National Cancer Institute to fund randomized controlled trials performed by the prestigious Mayo Clinic, no less. What did they find? We’ll find out, next.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Eric Malette via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

This video is part of my vitamin C and cancer series, which also includes: Vitamin C Supplements for Terminal Cancer Patients and The Role of Vitamin C in the Treatment of Terminal Cancer.

You’ll notice I sometimes take slight departures from covering strictly nutrition topics (as I did with my Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work? video, for example). I don’t seek out such topics, but when I run across them in my nutrition research, I can’t help but get drawn down the rabbit hole. I really wish there were other sites like this that would do evidence-based reviews of these important topics. In fact, there should be a dozen more just on nutrition!

LifestyleFacts.org is one attempt at covering other lifestyle medicine topics, and I know Dr. Mark Faries is considering doing something with ExerciseFacts.org. To facilitate this movement to provide us all with free, unbiased, science-based resources, I’d be happy to share the nitty gritty, inner workings of NutritionFacts.org, in terms of how to get journal access, how to create the videos, and more. In fact, if there’s enough interest I may even do like a day-long seminar or something.

More videos on cancer survival can be found here:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

117 responses to “Intravenous Vitamin C for Terminal Cancer Patients

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  1. thats great about the new websites but it would be great that info would be displayed like all mighty Dr Greger and NF team does, showing the actual science so we can check for ourselves! A big Thank You ! excited for whats coming in 2016 :)




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    1. It would be even greater if related, reliable sites were put under one umbrella or an exclusive portal so that people could easily find related, trusted, ethical sites with like approaches and sensibilities.




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  2. My partner and I have often wished there would be an ExerciseFacts.org site of the same caliber as this one! A lot of the info we seek out about exercise in particular seems to focus on the importance of weight maintenance (something we don’t need to worry about) or building giant muscles (something we’re not interested in). It’d be nice to have more information on how the body works, the benefits of exercise on various body systems, the negative effects of being sedentary on factors other than weight, that kind of thing. For instance, in your book you talked about the negative effects of being too sedentary, sitting too much, etc. on arterial health – more of that kind of thing is what I’m seeking! This motivates me to get off the couch!




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    1. My gripe about exercise info is that nobody seems focused on what is truly optimal. It’s either, work out a minimum 20 minutes three times a week, or the other extreme of ultramarathons and extreme weight-lifting. I want to know, what are the programs which, when maintained for years, result in (a) maximum longevity and (b) maximum aerobic fitness?




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    2. Answer – lift weights once a week and do some cardio a few times a week for 30 minutes to preserve cartialge but still move.. If you are trying to gain muscle or stamina do the things that make that happen (Ie lift heavy weights or slowly add time or speed to your cardio) No need for a website called exercise facts I just gave them to you.




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    3. It’s not exactly what you are after but you might want to check out the American College of Sports Medicine. It is the US national association for fitness professionals. They seem to take a very responsible and scientific approach to the subject and have a range of free information for members of the public.
      http://acsm.org/public-information

      They have also just published a very useful guide to reading research on exercise and fitness.
      http://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2016/01000/READING_RESEARCH_101.5.aspx




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  3. This makes so much more sense than to accept carcinogenic chemotherapy. Surveys of oncologist indicate that a vast majority would not use chemotherapy for themselves or a loved one to treat cancer.




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            1. See this http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26401102 Indicates arsenic (apricot pits) and ascorbic acid (which is not really vitamin c) both kill cancer cells. Laetrile was lied about, said it didn’t work (when it did), vilified and made illegal in this country as a cancer treatment and comes from apricot pits. Note in the study discussed by Alexandre they talk about “advanced” cancer. What about in the early stages?




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      1. If that is the case, good call. I don’t mind spoilers when it comes to people health, and I understand that there are some cancers that actually do respond well to chemotherapy treatment. That being said, the risks/rewards of chemotherapy do not seem particularly attractive, at least not to those who administer it.




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        1. another 2 videos are coming about it so maybe in the Mayo Clinic it showd no value but maybe in other situations.. well we are gonna have to wait :)




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      2. It didn’t work because the Mayo clinic used vitamin C pills instead of IV vitamin C. Plus, the Mayo clinic only used 3000 mg of P.O. vitamin C instead of the high doses of 20,000 to 50,000 mg of IV vitamin C used by Pauling. In other words the Mayo clinic did their way and not the way Linus Pauling did it. Of course it didn’t work. They didn’t want it to work.




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  4. This is the classic cliffhanger!! Can’t wait for the next episode of As the Vitamin “C’s” it !!! I’m curious about how much IV Vit C did they use? CC per pound of body weight or another method? Pure ascorbic acid or mixed with something else?? Any adverse reactions??? Contraindications??? I know the Pauling institute also has a protocol for Vit C and heart disease so this should be interesting… http://www.paulingtherapy.com. Something about Vit C helps with the production of collagen in the blood vessel walls.. Hummm I have to do more homework…
    I like the fact that the Good Doctor backs up all the info with real science. Kinda shoots down the nasayers.




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    1. I’ve read up a little bit on Orthomolecular after watching a documentary on Netflix which addresses this topic and goes into the science behind it as well (and of course I can’t recall the name right now, damn). The amount of IV Vit C seemed exorbitant at the time but being water soluble, they argued that there were no side effects and certainly no fatalities even from these massive amounts.




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          1. Thanks for the link. I really enjoyed “that vitamin movie”. I had listened to and read books by people who said how necessary supplementation is since 1990. Then 5 or so years ago got into the WFPB lifestyle and dropped off most supplements because food is supposed to do it all. Well for me that doesn’t work.




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  5. from the Doctor’s note, re: “I know Dr. Mark Faries is considering doing something with ExerciseFacts.org” I was *just* having a conversation with some other posters about the need for this very thing! If you hear of such a website getting started, please let us know. Maybe you could feature a guest blog post as there is a lot of cross over between the topics of nutrition an exercise – since you need the right combinations of both to get the right results in the body. They are interrelated.
    .
    It is generous of you Dr. Greger to offer to help others start similar sites. I love the idea in general. I do worry about unscrupulous people taking on similar website names and providing bad info. It would be great if someone could snap up these names until such legitimate sites could get up and running.




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    1. Some university libraries let people living in the area get free library cards. If you can get one, then you can request papers electronically through the library. Also, if you become a member of researchgate, which is free, you can request papers directly from the authors if the authors are also members.




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  6. Recently I’ve been doing some rereading of old NF posts and (I think) in more than one place, Dr Greger, you stated that ‘one-third of common cancers could be avoided if people ate a WFPB diet and exercised regularly’.
    (Citation: http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/03/25/starving-tumors-of-their-blood-supply/ )

    This really surprises and disappoints (even disturbs) me. With all the evidence of the anti-carcinogenic properties of food that you’ve been sharing with us and teaching us about for years, it just seems like it should be higher; much higher. Why is it this low? Or is that percentage believed to be higher now? Could you please elaborate?

    Cancers are my number one concern, not other diseases, as others seem easy to address with a proper diet.
    Thanks!
    Mark G




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    1. I am not sure if this includes smoking cessation. There are plenty of ways to get lung cancer that deal nothing with diet (asbestos, smog, smoking). Skin cancer from sun exposure. If a drug could cut the risk of developing 1/3 less cancer people would be lining up at the door and throwing money at whom ever developed the pill. There are also genetic factors that lead to the development of some cancers as well that may or may not be mediated by diet.
      This estimate is based of research that is available now and as far as to my knowledge most research on diet and cancer follows vegetarians and vegans long term but not necessarily whole plant based food diets. One can eat spaghetti and drink soda and be considered both a vegan and a vegetarian. My guess is that the 1/3 estimate is what is available given what data is out there. Perhaps as more people follow this way of eating and more interest in the scientific community will lead to more research and that 1/3 estimate will go up..

      I find it funny that all you care about is cancer considering that half the humans alive today will die of heart disease and new estimates on diabetes suggest that up to 1/3 of people in the US will suffer complications and a good portion will die from this disease. I know this is anecdotal but following Dr Greger’s probably saved my life. I know I feel so much better than when I consumed a SAD diet.
      Best Wishes




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      1. Smoking accounts for another third of cancers. So probably the other ones are from radiation, infections, stress and pollution (toxins/heavy metals etc) and of course some are genetic




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      2. Hi Kes
        Your speculations about what might be in the estimate show exactly why I posed the question: I don’t know the context and stipulations.

        Regarding why my only concern is about cancers, as I said, the rest can be address with diet. But to clarify, I eat only an vegan, 95% organic, whole foods diet (junk and refined food in your example are not whole foods). No: oils, alcohol, coconut, or sugars. I meet Dr Greger daily checklist of foods, fiber and nutrients. I’m almost 60 and tried to follow a Pritikin diet since I was 20; followed a vegetarian diet since my early 30s; a McDougall diet in my 40s; vegan in my early 50s. Did a lousy job with all of those because out of ignorance I ate a lot of refined and junk foods. In my mid-fifties I tried a paleo diet for one year thinking it might address ongoing health problems, (which turned out to be food allergies and a bad parathyroid). Paleo ruined my metabolic-health, all my tests went to crap. Discovered & solved my health issues at the same time I discovered Dr Greger about 4 or 5 years ago. 100% committed and have never looked back.

        So with Dr G as my main man and also reading, McDougall, Furhman, Ornish, I feel I’m ok except all the head and torso x-rays, and the radioactive isotope injects for my surgery, leave me concerned about my cancer risks and how I might mitigate then. I worry about latent risks from exposures. Hence my question.

        Btw, congrats to you for finding Dr Greger and having the sense to follow his advice. I’m always encouraged and delighted to hear about others taking control of their diets and achieving better health. It’s very empowering.

        Cheers,
        Mark




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        1. Wow,
          You have done much better than I. I was in my 30s when I even considered diet and health. I too tried Paleo and it completely messed up my number and made me worse than when I started. I had a cholesterol of 160 before Paleo and after 3 months my cholesterol was 220, I was pre diabetic and I had stage one hypertension form the Paleo. I switched to PBWF diet and my cholesterol is 145, BP115/60 and my A1C was withing normal limits and I lost 50 lbs. I am sorry about the snark and realized I had misread your post and I am sorry about it. I used to be an RN and have degrees in biology and one of my hobbies is to read research papers especially on nutrition. I can see why you are concerned. My guess is that at best we can mitigate some risk but realize that this way of eating does not confer 100% protection. Even eating this way one may still die of heart disease if they are really genetically prone. Best Wishes
          Kes




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          1. I didn’t feel like you were being snarky. If you were, glad I missed it. :p
            Dr Greger has a 10+ years video on YouTube about a 40 year vegan dropping dead if a heart attack. He then talks about why researchers think that happened and how to mitigate it. Spoiler alert, homocystine should be kept low with folate and b12 (if I remember right) and omegas 3 & 6 should be in balance. If love it if he’d do an update in the theory, as last year it was in the general media that keeping homocystine down with vitamins doesn’t actually help as goes it would.

            My paleo experience was similar to yours. I heard Ornish give a radio lecture back when the movie ‘The Sixth Sense’ was out and he was still arguing against Atkins. Ornish started by saying, “I see dead people…they’re on the Atkins diet.”




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        2. When I was doing alternative cancer treatments almost six years ago we received IV vitamin C twice weekly, and built up to 100 grams each time. If we went for a PET scan or other radiation, we were given a 25 gram dose shortly after to mitigate the effects of the radiation.

          After returning home I’ve seen a local ND for 25 gram IVs of C following scans. The problems, of course, are that not many doctors give them and they are not covered by insurance. I think I paid $125 for the 25 gram dose last time and more for higher doses.

          It isn’t totally true that there are no side effects. High dose vitamin C IVs are very dehydrating. After a few weeks of treatment with both low dose insulin potentiation chemo alternating with the C, I began feeling weak. The next day when I went for treatment my blood pressure was extremely low (something like 70/40). They immediately gave me electrolytes through the IV and had me drink water with added sea salt, which actually tasted good to me as well as coconut water from fresh coconuts. I continued the salt water for several weeks after treatment until one day it didn’t appeal to me any more and I stopped with no adverse consequences.

          Another thing that happened was, after about six weeks of this treatment I developed very itchy, red rash-like patches on my chest, upper arms and a few other places. I didn’t know the cause, but it got better over the weekend. After my next C infusion it came back. My doctor was unhappy with me when I told him I didn’t want any more of the C, but I was adamant and the rash eventually subsided. I have had infusions since then, but only occasionally, without problems. I did have the clinic check the source of the vitamin C and it was not from corn, though I can’t remember what it was from.




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          1. Wow, livewire, I’m sorry to hear you had reason so go through all of that. I hope that you’re better now and that this is something behind you.

            Mark G.




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      3. I understand completely mbglife’s comment on cancer. It’s well documented that most heart disease and type 2 diabetes can be avoided by a WFPB diet. Cancer reduction on a similar diet seems to be a fraction of that, suggesting to me at least, that genes and perhaps environment have a bigger influence over cancer than over T2 diabetes and heart disease. My own experience in my family is that we don’t live long enough to die of heart disease. Cancer gets us first, therefore, cancer prevention is the focus of my diet. So far, so good.




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        1. Right, plus as a treatment, if Ornish can get very high reversal rates of full blown prostate cancer, and researchers get 80% esophageal cancer reversal in 6 months with strawberries, and likewise reverse oral cancer with black raspberries, just to name a few, then why is diet as a preventative just a third? And if the SAD and animal products increases the risk, and even just adding plants decreases the risk, then the a third just seems low to me.




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          1. I don’t know. I do know there are TONS of different cancers and each may respond differently. I’m hoping that 1/3 is just a conservative estimate and that time will prove the number larger.




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            1. Rather than focusing on how cancers differ, a group of prominent scientists (including Dr. Thomas Seyfried, often mentioned in these comments) have been trying to understand what many cancers have in common. What those scientists have found is that cancer cells metabolize–or burn–fuel for energy in a faulty manner, due to damage to their mitochondria. Cancer cells utilize nutrients in their environment, often provided by food, to support their eternal growth. For sources, see http://eatandbeatcancer.com/2015/12/30/2016-whats-on-and-off-your-anti-cancer-platter/

              That 30 percent figure does not appear to address the question of what fuels cancer cells, once established, to grow.
              It address a different question: What causes cancer in the first place? The American Institute for Cancer Research and other organizations claim that about a third of the most common cancers “are preventable through a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.” See http://www.aicr.org/research/research_science_policy_report.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

              So what causes cancer? Oxidants do–agents in the environment (in dirty air, cigarettes, sunshine and yes, foods) lead to the creation of free radicals of oxygen, which damage cells. According to Seyfried et al, oxidants damage your mitochondria, turning you into a coal-burning furnace, which in turn leads to genetic mutations and the wacky cell signalling that drives cancer growth. As Dr. G recommends, adopting a WFPBD can turn you into a Tesla instead. See http://eatandbeatcancer.com/2015/12/30/2016-whats-on-and-off-your-anti-cancer-platter/




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          2. mbglife: For what it’s worth, here’s my understanding: There are wildly different estimates out there for how much power we have to affect cancer. I’ve seen ranges from 30 to 90 percent. I think those ranges are due to both differences in how calculations are done and a due to a large number of unknowns still to figure out. So people have to do a lot of estimating. Also, I’m guessing that some of those estimates include “and lifestyle” while others include diet only. The “and lifestyle” would include smoking and exercise which also has a big impact on cancer growth. So including, “and lifestyle” should give you a bigger number than just diet.

            In the introduction to Dr. Greger’s new book, How Not To Die, he says that we could reduce the odds of breast cancer by 90% *just* by eating a better diet. But other cancers, even when including all four health factors (diet, exercise, healthy weight, and not smoking) had lower percentages. Over all cancers, were listed as reducing risk by one third. But we can reduce risk by 71% (still relatively high/good reduction) for colon cancer, our number two cancer killer. I think this starts to get at answering your question/concern.

            Stepping back a second: Based on what you describe as your situation, it makes sense to me that you be concerned about cancer, but only in the sense of making sure you meet those four factors and paying particular attention to including those foods that NutritionFacts shows work well for fighting cancer. But other than that, it’s not worth dwelling on/be worried/concerned. Even the person who does everything perfectly from birth (lucky kid) can still get various cancers. Risk is never zero. And even an overweight couch potato who smokes and eats bacon all day can manage to avoid cancer. After taking good basic measures like it sounds like you are already doing, I hope you won’t worry about it. Life is too short! (That’s just my advice/reaching out to try to help.)




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            1. Hi Thea
              Thanks for your thoughts. They are very interesting. I have Dr. Greger’s book, but I still hope he might clarify. I feel like if I don’t understand a statement or numerical value that I should try to figure it out.

              I would still be eating my diet and living my lifestyle even if I didn’t have elevated risks, because I prefer it. Crappy food is, well…crap. I don’t understand people who prefer white bread to hearty rye, white rice ot any of the reds, blacks or browns, or a piece of candy to a piece of fruit.

              Anyway, I don’t lose sleep about my risks. That said, I do like to understand and mitigate my risks as much as I can. Yes, one can get hit by a bus or die early from some other cause. And even if you (the editorial, you) don’t, you’re as good as dead if all you does is focus on the bad and miss the good. So I do practice balance.

              Thanks again, Thea.
              Mark G.




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    2. Smoking accounts for another third of cancers. So probably the last third and other ones are from sun exposure, radiation, infections, sleep deprivation, stress and pollution (toxins/heavy metals etc) and of course some are genetic. however, i believe, its all variables working at the same time




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      1. Hi Alexandre. Thanks for your thoughts. But it doesn’t get at the question. Presumably some of the risks you cite should be offset by foods. E.g., smoking risks somewhat offset by kale and other foods, skin cancers offset by tomatoes sauce and other foods, prostate offset by flax and other foods. My concerns are with x-rays, as I just explained in my reply to Kes. I’m trying to understand what Dr Greger meant, what the constraints are from and the context of his citation. As it is, I don’t understand what the reference means as a particle measure.




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        1. Another thought is age that people start eating healthy. If a cancer has been developing for some time and if they only recently started eating healthy it might be too little to late. Most cancers are detected after they have been there for years. For example one of DR Gregers videos on prostate cancer, there is a link that consumption of dairy products as teens that seems to set the stage for prostate cancer development in later life.




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          1. Right, and I’m reminded of my lifelong consumption of milk, cheese and yogurt several times each night when I get up to use the bathroom because of my BPH. :/
            I try eat like I’m an Ornish prostate cancer subject in order to stop it before it might start.




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    3. The American Institute of Cancer Research, which funds diet and cancer studies, also uses that figure. But does that figure distinguish between dietary factors that initiate cancer and those that fuel the growth of cancerous cells? They are two separate beasts.




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      1. Well, that’s kind of my point. And I feel that all the replies to my question guessing at what it might include just demonstrates my point. Just because there are a lot of things that could factor into the figure didn’t mean the parameters and assumptions shouldn’t be itemized. In fact, I think that makes it even more important to list the biggest assumptions. Otherwise, paleo and anti-plant groups can just discredit it. All I’m asking is, what assumptions make up that or similar, more recent stats.




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    4. Well, we know that a WFPB diet is best, but what if there are particular plant synergies required to stave off cancer about which we are unaware? For example, turmeric requires the addition of black pepper to increase its effectiveness. Like you, I am disappointed with the current statistics, but with sites like this one disseminating new or hidden information, I can only be hopeful that information will continue to accumulate about promising effects of foods. There are infinitely more avenues that might be explored; I just hope they can be done in time, speaking as a cancer patient (in 2001.)




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  7. I am really excited that you’re delving into supplementation. I haven’t been able to find the research on synthetic vs natural, but if you can somehow present something on vitamin supplements that are sourced synthetically vs naturally, that would be fantabulous. Obviously the best sources are foods themselves…but what about supplements? Aside from infusions of large doses of vitamin C, this vitamin, in supplement form has been shown to be a prooxidant in higher doses. However, my suspicioun is that when taken out of context (as is a supplement like this), it is natural to think there would be side effects. This is certainly true of the vitamin E supplementation research. Yet I wonder, have there been trials showing differences of vitamin C supplementation on outcomes using vitamin C as ascorbic acid vs something like Amla-C which is a food based vitamin C. (so there would be phytochemical constituents along with it). I think this would change the discussion of supplements….




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      1. Thanks for the link – it’s very interesting. And vitamin C tablets certainly help me when it comes to cold and flu prevention/management.




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      2. This article shows that synthetic vitamin C is as bioavailable as vitamin C naturally occurring in food. But how about bioactivity? Supplement manufacturers selling very expensive, whole-food vitamin C products claim that their products are a lot more active in the body and therefore small doses are sufficient, but I haven’t found any research confirming or disputing this claim in general. Somewhere in Dr. Greger’s book, he says that vitamin C in whole food is effective for something – I can’t remember what it is – but synthetic vitamin C is not.




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    1. My Auntie Pat, who had true Grit, told me to eat lots of V C and I did and read up on it. If you want to get the right level of vc in you some recommend getting the same level as those critters who make their own. Works out to about 10 g per day. I think half of that has been shown to be without side effects. It was long ago…should be better info now…or just wait for the next vids :)




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  8. Click in he link under the video and all he sources cited are in there. … Cheers. Love what you doc, keep spreading the grassroots movement !




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  9. Thank you for all you do. I find any of your digressions from nutrition interesting. Excuse me, I need to eat an orange. P.S. Don’t forget morning sun in depression, especially for those with SAD, but all of us evolved to wake up and forage in the morning sun while our predators slept.




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  10. What is interesting about all this is that if spontaneous cancer remissions occur naturally, how much benefit can one attribute to any treatment whether sanctioned by US law and the AMA or not?




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    1. Joe, in the book, Radical Remissions, the author (can’t remember her name at the moment) studied many people who had had cancer remissions and found they weren’t just flukes. Everyone who had a remission was intervening with various things – diet, meditation, other forms of stress relief, etc. etc. While not everybody did the same things, she found about eight things that pretty much all those whose cancers went away did. It’s a hopeful book, with lots of practical things cancer patients and those who want to avoid cancer can do to increase the odds in their favor. Some of this information is on the website, http://www.radicalremissions.com.

      A couple of years ago I had a genetic test and found many genes that were associated with a higher cancer risk. Most of them had to do with the way my body handles detoxification, or doesn’t, or how it handles various minerals and vitamins and fats. This made sense to me because there has been a LOT of cancer on one grandmother’s side of the family. That includes myself, my mom and three cousins who have had breast cancer, a cousin and uncle with colorectal cancer, another with liver cancer and several of my mother’s aunts and uncles who have had various cancers. We now know a bit more about how to eat and things to avoid to affect those genes so they don’t express and stimulate cancers, but that is pretty new science and most people don’t know much about it.

      And finally, today there was an article in http://www.greenmedinfo.com, where the information is also based on nutrition scientific studies, about how Candida Albicans yeast can cause at least some types of cancers and how turmeric can kill both cancer cells and yeast. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/yeast-cause-cancer-and-turmeric-can-kill-both-research-confirms?page=2. Our way of eating and all the antibiotics we’re given and other factors figure into causing many of us to have yeast overgrowth, so this is news we all should pay attention to.




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      1. Rebecca, Thank you for your thoughtful response to my question. I too have a family history of cancer. I believe that life style interventions can have a profound impact on cancer risk. The first time I heard that diet could have an impact on cancer from John Robbins in his book, Diet for a New America.

        I always knew that I that it a good idea to give up eating animal products. I had flirted with vegetarianism on several occasions, although, it was too easy to go back to eating meat. It wasn’t until I faced with a life long regimen of medications before I did so in earnest. It was not just for me. I have a special needs child, and he is going to need me for as long as possible.

        It’s great that Dr. Greger has done much investigative work on diet’s impact on cancer, and armed with this data, I feel that I am doing what I can. That being said, people who eat right and exercise get cancer as well so your information is most appreciated. Best Regards, Joe




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        1. Joe, I definitely agree that lifestyle interventions help or even totally cure many things, sometimes including cancer. Almost three years ago I met a new oncologist. She read my chart, looked up and said, “We don’t meet many people with your diagnosis three years later.” I responded that no, I was supposed to be dead by then. She acknowledged that was true. I think, without the many things I did to enhance my health, I’d have died right on schedule, at about 18 months after diagnosis, like two other women I knew who had the same type of aggressive cancer. Now it’s been another three years, so I’m doing OK.




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          1. I think it is great that you are still very much alive, and I hope that you are doing better than okay. You have certainly gone beyond expectations, and I believe that you should continue behaving like the livewire you are by beating the odds and confounding the beliefs of your doctors.




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    2. Joe, in the book, Radical Remissions, the author (can’t remember her name at the moment) studied many people who had had cancer remissions and found they weren’t just flukes. Everyone who had a remission was intervening with various things – diet, meditation, other forms of stress relief, etc. etc. While not everybody did the same things, she found about eight things that pretty much all those whose cancers went away did. It’s a hopeful book, with lots of practical things cancer patients and those who want to avoid cancer can do to increase the odds in their favor. Some of this information is on the website, http://www.radicalremissions.com.

      A couple of years ago I had a genetic test and found many genes that were associated with a higher cancer risk. Most of them had to do with the way my body handles detoxification, or doesn’t, or how it handles various minerals and vitamins and fats. This made sense to me because there has been a LOT of cancer on one grandmother’s side of the family. That includes myself, my mom and three cousins who have had breast cancer, a cousin and uncle with colorectal cancer, another with liver cancer and several of my mother’s aunts and uncles who have had various cancers. We now know a bit more about how to eat and things to avoid to affect those genes so they don’t express and stimulate cancers, but that is pretty new science and most people don’t know much about it.

      And finally, today there was an article in http://www.greenmedinfo.com, where the information is also based on nutrition scientific studies, about how Candida Albicans yeast can cause at least some types of cancers and how turmeric can kill both cancer cells and yeast. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/yeast-cause-cancer-and-turmeric-can-kill-both-research-confirms?page=2. Our way of eating and all the antibiotics we’re given and other factors figure into causing many of us to have yeast overgrowth, so this is news we all should pay attention to.




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  11. Dr. Greger, now you’ve opened up a can of worms. Is there enough quality research for you to do a posting on the fungal theory of cancer and/or Dr. Simoncini baking soda treatment for cancer?




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  12. It looks like Dr. Greger will do a much needed public update and overview this week on
    this important topic. He warns it has lots of cliffhangers – so he may not
    really reach a conclusion until the last in the series.

    I did find it amazing that when after 5 years of Linus Pauling, a two time
    winner of the Nobel Prize, failed to get a grant to study the effects of Vitamin
    C on cancer in a proper randomized double-controlled like manner, that when he
    and his colleagues did the best they could with what funds they could scrape up
    and getting quite impressive results, that many scientists dismissed the results
    because they did NOT do a randomized double-blind controlled study. A Catch-22
    devised by the pharmaceutical industry that still works to this day with respect
    to research on nutraceuticals.

    First, dismiss any evidence that a nutraceutical or alternative therapy
    might work as worthless because the evidence seems anecdotal.

    Second, make sure researchers can’t get funding to do a proper randomized
    double-blind controlled study.

    Three, if other studies, forced by limited funding do show positive results,
    dismiss their results because they did not do randomized double-blind controlled
    studies.

    Four, intentionally confuse “evidence for the absence of an effect for a therapy” with “the absence of (acceptable) evidence of an effect for a therapy.”

    And Five, should public pressure force the issue into having NCI of NIH
    fund a randomized double-blind controlled study, choose researchers who will
    find a way of designing the study so that it does not replicate in important
    respects previous studies that demonstrated an effect, so that it will fail.
    This usually involves using a much lower dose over a much shorter period, or
    even choosing research subjects unlikely to respond to a treatment. For
    example, if a nutraceutical boosts immune function, choose subjects who have had
    so much chemotherapy that they don’t have much of an immune system to
    stimulate.

    I feel glad that this system has at least begun to break down.

    One other point. Doctors have a tendency to intentionally confuse “evidence for the absence of an effect for a therapy” with “the absence of evidence of an effect for a therapy.” Withholding funding to do a proper human study on a therapy results in “absence of evidence” but one can not conclude, or at least not should one conclude, that this in any way demonstrates evidence for the absence of an effect.

    And as far as “proof” goes, as far as i know no large scale study has appeared on the effect
    of a low-methionine diet, or of a nutraceutical like curcumin on cancer in
    humans that oncologists in general would accept as evidence, because such studies cost lots and lots of money – and offer no
    financial reward. In fact pharmaceutical companies, who normally fund such
    studies, not only would not do such a study, but actively lobby against them,
    given the potential financial loss a successful study would have on their
    chemotherapy drug revenues. On the other hand large scale studies of
    chemotherapy drugs have in fact proven that they do not work for the
    majority of cancers. ( http://www.icnr.com/articles/ischemotherapyeffective.html )

    I have had a number of friends who have come down with cancer. Judging by what they have told me, their oncologists feels perfectly happy to give their patients very toxic drugs with a proven record of failure, and so far in every single case, have actively
    discourages them from doing something that – if not yet clinically proven –
    might really help, and not only does not seem toxic – but might actually prove good
    for them. As far as oncologists as a group goes, not sure if my opinion can fall any lower than it already has, with regard to their ethics, an/or their
    intelligence.

    I look forward to watching future installments.




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  13. I much appreciate your detours. Had heard of Dr. Pauling and Vitamin C cure. Didn’t know of the other trial. Sounds a lot more promising than a new drug advertised on TV – it averages an extra 3 months of life.




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  14. If you want to know more about this subject then google for Dr Rath. He was working will Linus Pauling on this research and continued doing this when Linus died in 94. They made great advances on this subject, truly remarkable and even more remarkable is that is mostly ignored.
    http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/




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  15. Can anyone tell me how to start curcumin therapy for pancreatic cancer. Dr. G makes the recommendation. My dad was just diagnosed. Thank you.




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  16. My husband died in 2013 of breast cancer at 52. He was originally diagnosed at 40. He used IV vitamin C (from the Riordan Clinic in Wichita Ks) as an adjunct therapy to his brutal aggressive chemo and radiation (he was young, otherwise healthy and very fit) so they gave him a highly aggressive chemo treatment. His protocol was later discontinued because it was killing people (at a much faster rate than normal treatment protocols. Although not a proven fact, I think the IV vitamin C did wonders for his recovery. He took the vitamin C therapy at the same time as his chemo and then continued for several years after the chemo and radiation ended. All docs couldn’t believe his recovery after the chemo/radiation. He ran a marathon and biked to work every day. I begged him to continue the treatments monthly, but he felt he it was unnecessary. The Riordan clinic uses IV vitamin C for all kinds of issues and has lots of research on IV Vitamin C and Cancer. I often wonder if my wonderful husband would still be around if he would have continued treatment. It was sooooo easy too. They shipped to our home, and I just figured out how to administer the vitamin C. It was only $80 per treatment and we went once a month. Only positive side effects too. It disgusts me that we can’t get funding for more research on things like vitamin C. Thanks so much to Dr. Greger for getting all of this wonderful information out. NutritionFacts.org is saving lives.




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  17. A cousin-in-law’s mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the age of 70, and she began IV Vitamin C when her oncologist told her there was nothing more to be done. I think she went 3 times per week for the first 6 months, and then weekly after that. Because she was a distant relative I don’t know how much longer she continued the IV Vitamin C, but she did live to the age of 77, and from what I know was doing quite well. She ate a “standard” diet, so I wonder if she had been WFPB if she would still be alive.




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    1. Thanks for that link…very interesting and, potentially, useful. Should/could we Greger-ites have a similar forum? It is clear that there are some solid minds attending the comments section, not to minimise the contribution of common folk like myself :) A forum would serve as a place to share info in a little more organised and accessible way. I would volunteer to help but confess my knowledge of forum building is sorely lacking…always willing to learn. Any interest?




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  18. OT question: My wife is on a low FODMAP diet and result is much improvement. Nice. But sometimes we like to have a little legume so she takes a Beano. It helps, nothing is 100% but we seem to be making progress. Could someone please tell me why the label says “Contains Cod, flounder, redfish” ….the enzyme is from A. niger, a fungus




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  19. There is a website, http://www.doctoryourself.com/, which contains many journal references to the beneficial effects of vitamin C, niacin and lots of other antioxidants, and references to all the research sources a la NF. It was created by Dr. Andrew Saul, a strong advocate for juicing and supplements. If you look past those recommendations, which I eventually did, there is still a lot of information on antioxidant therapy that documents successful treatment for chronic disease. Although Dr. Greger advocates getting our vitamins from a whole foods plant based diet rather than take the naked supplements, there is still a lot of important research that has been suppressed and might have saved countless lives. Thanks, Dr. Greger, for taking this on, so “we don’t have to.” : )




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    1. I would not take all of the claims on that website and in his books as absolute facts. Andrew Saul’s PhD actually comes from a non-accredited degree mill and, while I have subscribed to Orthomolecular News for a long time, I have seen quite a few grotesquely unscientific articles come from the orthomolecular movement of which he is the guiding light. Also, a number of the claims of orthomolecular gurus have been very thoroughly and expertly investigated over the years. They haven’t always stood up to scrutiny but “Dr” Saul does not necessarily accept or report subsequent failures to confirm initial positive results.
      In other words, regard the claims you find there with a healthy degree of scepticism and do your own due diligence before accepting them. I think Dr G approaches these matters with a much more scientific attitude and doesn’t simply accept positive claims based on weak cherry-picked studies or anecdotal reports. The internet is full of sites containing extravagant claims of wild success for this or that alternative approach. Somebody mentioned Dr Rath previously. Now he is genuinely well-qualified but his claims are definitely extravagant and he is not someone who, shall we say, suffers from low self-extreme. These are red flags for me.
      So, I’m just sayin’, be very cautious ……………………




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      1. Thanks, Tom. I pretty much agree with you at this point. Dr. Saul is no Dr. Greger. Still, I’m glad to see this investigated by a truly independent and credible person. Just thinking that if I had a terminal disease I’d sure want to know about any beneficial and non-harmful treatment options. As is is now I’m almost as afraid of the treatments as the disease.




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  20. I’m buying Vitamin C IV injectable for my grandmother direct from supplier from Europe.

    I do not know if it is good but i will share the supplier’s link maybe somebody needs also this treatment.

    vitamincvial.blogspot.com




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  21. Thank God Almighty that lead me to Rick Simpson, My brother lungs cancer has been cured within the Rick Simpson Hemp oil. My brother has been through chemo 3 times, but this time his condition was getting worse that I was afraid it will kill him. When a friend of mine directed me to Rick Simpson at: (akpespellcaster@gmail.com ) where I could buy the medication from, because the Rick Simpson has help cured his own Brain tumor and I strongly recommend that he would helped me with my brother cancer and cure it completely, I never believed the story, but today, with thanks giving in my heart, My brother lungs cancer has been cured within the Rick Simpson hemp oil and I want you all to join hands in appreciation of the great work that is been done by rick Simpson, he is the man that saved the life of my brother with hemp oil, thanks to him. for all those who have problem relating to cancer and other diseases should contact him through his emai(akpespellcaster@gmail.com ) I’ll keep thanking him because his God sent to save my family that was at the stage of collapsing all because of my brother cancer my name is Janice Sample, if you have cancer is time to save your life thanks everyone again bye or call me with this Number +1 334 543 0829 to know more about how my brother got cured.




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  22. I have a friend with non curable cancer, and he takes vit C when I tell him, and he feels really better? and still alive after 3 years, and go for a work and travel.
    So for me it’s much better than chemo, that could kill you better then cancer in some cases and clearly don’t let a chance to live a normal life during the treatment.




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  23. Here in Germany a new wave of books are just coming out about the miraculous vitamin c (treating cancer and other problems) – one of them written by Mr. Thomas E. Levy M.D.; J.D.
    My question is: Who serious are his informations?
    I like to know much more details about such things, because I always stay in front of questions with my patients (I recomment a LFWPBD for example and they answer, look this book, it is not necessary to change the whole diet, give me only vitamin c please… beside, the German mainstream on tv and radio recomment at the time the low carb diet again, I could tear my hair out when I hear this again and again)




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