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View Diary: Can Antioxidants be Bad for You? (117 comments)

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  •  Some Antioxidants increase ATP production in cells (10+ / 0-)

    That would explain tumor growth in some models.

    N-Acetyl Cysteine is taken to increase endogenous glutathione in the body. It can also slightly raise blood sugar. So it's counterindicated for diabetics. It also has protective qualities for the liver, and has been used by some recovering alcoholics and heavy drinkers. Glutathione is used to help protect smokers, people exposed to radiation, and it helps the body detoxify heavy metals which is very important to those of us exposed to pesticides and fuel exhaust or other petroleum products that can increase heavy metal absorption.

    N-Acetyl Cysteine has been used by AIDs patients to treat chronic bronchitis.

    Vitamin C --excess vitamin C is passed out of the body through the urine. Taking megadoses of Vitamin C in a cancer treatment can lead to kidney stones, and hydration is very important. Vitamin C also binds with heavy metals  and helps the body pass them.

    Perhaps combined or in megadoses what switches the onco-genes one are the flushing of zinc or iron or other trace elements needed for proper protective cell function.

    In cancer, depriving the cell of iron helps, but maybe not in this case or not with mice. Vt C can reduce cholesterol too and that's good when someone has bad cholesterol but if it leads to thinning cell membranes at mega doses, that could be problematic for a being with normal cholesterol taking mega doses.

    I know that mice make good homologues for people in lab experiments, but it seems that whenever supplements are used on mice that have bad effect the effect is bad for people always, And when those supplements have a good effect, then it's "just a mouse study".

    I would need to see a lot more data on this. I believe that it's wise to avoid megadoses of most supplements just because you cannot know what long term use will do to the body in general. Follow the directions and do your homework.

    However, If you are using mega doses to treat cancer how is that any more harmful in this case, than flooding the body with radiation or chemo which has known mutagen effects that raise the spectre of future cancer development in the blood?

    I have taken NAC to raise my blood sugar and to help my liver because of other medical conditions, and it has helped tremendously. NAC also helps with chronic allergies because it breaks down mucus, much like MSM.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:40:29 AM PST

    •  To the last question (5+ / 0-)

      The difference between mega-doses of vitamin E and chemo or radiation therapy are how well these treatments have been studied.

      Long term survival chances after radiation and chemo for specific cancers are well known, and, to my knowledge (not a physician), the best treatment is the one that has been shown to give the highest survival.

      Mega-doses of vitamins haven't been so thoroughly tested, there is no/little clinical evidence of whether the treatment is helpful, or, as this study may suggest, actually harmful.  

      This is known as evidence based medicine.

    •  This: (9+ / 0-)
      However, If you are using mega doses to treat cancer how is that any more harmful in this case, than flooding the body with radiation or chemo which has known mutagen effects that raise the spectre of future cancer development in the blood?
      ... is exactly why this study needs to be taken seriously.

      People want the answers to these questions to be black and white: Vitamin E, Good for cancer patients, or Vitamin E Bad for cancer patients. They don't want to be told that there's a continuum -- indeed, there's a multi-dimensional space of continuua -- in which any individual outcome is a probability experiment. Radiation causes cancer, yet radiation kills cancer. Somewhere in the infinite set of possible radiation protocols for a particular patient, there's the sweet spot that maximizes the chance of the desired outcome: Current cancer dead, No new cancers created. That's two interacting probabilistic processes. Now add anti-oxidant therapy. Anti-oxidants mitigate the damage done by radiation to healthy tissue. Of course, they also mitigate the damage done by radiation to cancer cells. (Hell, they mitigate the damage done to your skin by UV rays.) So ... where's the sweet spot? Are there some anti-oxidants that, for reasons we can't even speculate, are specifically better or specifically worse choices for people undergoing radiation therapy?

      Now add one more probabilistic process: Anti-oxidants appear to give succour to small cancer tumors, regardless of radiation therapy. How does that process affect the "sweet spot" for combining radiation and anti-oxidant therapies?

      Unfortunately, it's possible that most of the systems we're describing are just too damned complex for us to ever be able to answer these questions.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:12:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a miserable choice to make (8+ / 0-)

      "If you are using mega doses to treat cancer how is that any more harmful in this case, than flooding the body with radiation or chemo which has known mutagen effects that raise the spectre of future cancer development in the blood?"

      I so wanted high dose IV vit C to be the alternative to chemo, and some have pursued it and lived to tell the tale, but slim in the way of experimental validation

      Back to your question, and why I am settling for chemo, there's validated data on chances of recurrence for specific tumor types with certain chemo tx, for me (TNBC stage 1, taxofere and cytoxan tx) from 35% to 15% with chemo, then to 5% with follow on radiation, so I'm fighting the recurrence

      Cytoxan is a mustard gas derivative! Lord help! with a albeit slight risk of leukemia... but at this point in the struggle I fight recurrence anywhere

      So, what's a girl to do

    •  GreenMother, I recommend the 2009 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raoul78, greengemini, terrypinder

      Schafer paper, if you have access to Nature archives. Given your insight on ATP, I think you would find it very interesting. Here are a couple of highlights from the abstract:

      ... Here we demonstrate that detachment of mammary epithelial cells from ECM causes an ATP deficiency owing to the loss of glucose transport ... Notably, we found that the ATP deficiency could be rescued by antioxidant treatment without rescue of glucose uptake. This rescue was found to be dependent on stimulation of fatty acid oxidation, which is inhibited by detachment-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) ... These results show both the importance of matrix attachment in regulating metabolic activity and an unanticipated mechanism for cell survival in altered matrix environments by antioxidant restoration of ATP generation.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:42:38 AM PST

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      •  That talks way above my paygrade. (7+ / 0-)

        Right now I am doing my own research on ovarian neoplasms. I have had to avoid certain supplements that promote ATP production, namely COQ10. I also learned that certain laser treatments used to help patients recover after surgery are successful because they too increase ATP production, which can lead to faster, deeper healing, BUT also would be counterindicated as a tumor treatment.

        Mammary epithelial cells are from the inside of the breast, which also indicates a hormonal component. Does this paper address the known, that female mammary tissue is composed partly of adipose fat, which tend to also hang onto xenoestrogens? And that this can also make cancer damn hard to treat, due to endocrine disrupting pollutants that mimic estrogen, that are taken into and stored in the fat.

        I think it's awesome how much people pay lip service to their concerns about cancer, but then fight like hell whenever attempts are made to regulate sources of major carcinogenic pollutants, including obfuscating attempts to discover more carcinogenic substances in the 84 thousand chemicals approved for use on American soil: Case in Point: Plastics and that West VA plant leak.

        Hence my suspicions about interactions that are ignored, or simply not noticed, because we don't think in terms of preventative cures, we think in terms of after the Cancer has formed.

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:31:04 AM PST

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        •  Most of the concerns about anti-oxidants and (4+ / 0-)

          cancer are specifically connected to problems after the cancer has taken hold. Anti-oxidants may well be useful for cancer prevention, but dangerous for cancer therapy -- any cancer therapy. Moreover, different anti-oxidants have different properties, some may be more or less harmful or beneficial than others, under varying conditions.

          The Schafer paper didn't set out to look at anti-oxidants -- rather, it was trying to figure out how breast cancer cells survive after they detach from their "niche extracellular matrix" and migrate into the "gland lumen" -- the spaces within the glandular structures. Ordinary cells, and for that matter diseased cells that lack the necessary characteristics to become cancer cells, die and/or are "cleared" from the lumen by various defense mechanisms, including programmed cell death (also called apoptosis).

          The discovery that some anti-oxidants help the detached cells survive was an outcome of the experiment, but it wasn't part of the original hypothesis -- it was something they found as they pursued the pathways by which one specific oncogene seems to protect the cancer cells.

          As to your larger point, I stopped eating soy when I realized that the reasons we were given for isoflavones being good for us sounded an awful lot like the reasons I had already internalized for why pesticides were probably bad for us.

          Nonetheless, a surprisingly large number of cancers are turning out to be caused by viral infection rather than dietary and environmental issues. That these fairly straightforward results are disputed in the naturopathic literature is disappointing -- it is clear that the objections are ideological, not rational. People devoted to enthusiastic advocacy of therapies that can neither prevent nor cure virally-induced cancer are not going to welcome such news. Meanwhile, we lack explanatory models for how hormonal disruption might cause cancer, though we have some ideas of how hormonal disruption might aggravate/exacerbate/nurture cancer.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:14:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Viral infections that can sometimes be handled (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Carol in San Antonio

            with other natural substances like Beta Glucans and Olive Leaf Extract or Elderberry Extract.

            These all suppress viral activity and even prevent the spread of virus from cell to cell in some cases.

            I suspect that different antioxidants will have different actions depending upon the condition, age, etc.,

            Sometimes they seem to support the immune system while the patient is getting treatment, more than anything. Because when the immunity is lowered one is susceptible to more and more viruses either becoming active in the body or newly infecting the body for the first time.

            I would like to see more work on antineoplastons.

            Everything we know about paw paw extract, it seems odd to me why that hasn't been looked at, as a bath for tumors instead of chemo-baths, knowing what it does to tumors and their blood supplies, or even sour-sop.

            But you know those cannot be patented because they are natural substances, which is good, because that means people can afford them, but bad because our For Profit medical industry will pick expensive poison every time over anything like that for the sake of money.

            Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

            by GreenMother on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:37:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  if you honestly believe that elderberry extract (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slouchsock

              is going to prevent, or even more extraordinarily, cure a retroviral infection, then feel free to take it. try not to be too disappointed when your herpes flares, though.

              and with respect to virally-induced cancer, it had better prevent, because once you've got cells whose genomic DNA has been modified by the virus, it's no longer a matter of curing the viral infection, it's a matter of killing the cancer cells.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:04:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have used elderberry extract for years to (4+ / 0-)

                prevent the flu. I have had the flu one time in 13 years of using that. I highly recommend it. I also buy jr preparations for the kids. And there are infant preparations too.

                If you honestly believe that it can't work just because you don't know about it, then that says more about you than me.

                My advice if you decide to try it is stick with a brand that has a good reputation that uses a standardized extract.

                Also wait til you see what taking a teaspoon of raw local honey will do for your allergies. Amazing stuff. And you can experiment. When you stop taking it, the effect wears off. So you can go on and off as many times as you need to convince yourself that it is indeed working.

                Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                by GreenMother on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 12:53:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  i'm not talking about the flu. (0+ / 0-)

                  i'm talking about retroviruses.

                  To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                  by UntimelyRippd on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 01:04:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You mean like AIDs? (0+ / 0-)

                    Are we now going to argue about the "differences" between macro and micro evolution?

                    I was talking about viruses, Though some people might use this as a complimentary treatment for a suppressed immune system to stave off regular viral infections or activity.

                    I don't have HIV-AIDs, so while I see that pop up in literature, I don't see anything claiming to cure it out right. But I have found a variety of materials used to prevent the flu, the cold (things as simple as zinc lozenges) and cold sores/ herpes.

                    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                    by GreenMother on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:43:13 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  antineoplastons? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              raoul78

              as in Burzynski?

              Bryz. has had~60 trials on antinoplastons going on for 16 years and yet he's failed to publish any results. You might want to read this article

              •  Did you see the people who testified to congress (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Carol in San Antonio

                that his treatments cured them of brain cancer and other conditions.

                Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                by GreenMother on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 01:00:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  pathos (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  raoul78

                  No, I didn't see them and I don't intend to watch. I've seen numerous examples of cancer patients being used to play our heart strings--I can be one of them when I choose--and I'm not going to fall for what I call the "pathos gambit."
                   The seriousness of a person's medical situation does not equate to an understanding of the causes of those experiences, it only speaks to Burz. ability to put on a good production.

                  If B. has something valuable, why hasn't he published his studies? Could be because he makes millions off of  experimental drugs and treatments  without having to demonstrate that the drugs work. Or that the drugs the patients get are what he says they are.

                  If you'd like to get a more critical understanding of the B. story, read some of the 30+ blog entries here.

                  •  Oh, I see. (0+ / 0-)

                    So it's okay to side with the government that tried to steal his research and botched it, but it's not okay to listen to the testimony of people who say this man helped them overcome conditions like brain cancer.

                    I doubt we will ever see eye to eye on much in the  medical field. I have been using supplements and herbal products since I was a child. My family uses them too. Some home made, some store bought. I have one relative who works in the alternative health care industry. I have experiences and observations that would probably upset you greatly.

                    I looked in to Burzynski as a possible treatment option, however I don't have 2000 dollars a pop for a treatment. I found something else to use in the mean time. It looked to me as if the main group of people who had benefited from his treatment were people with brain cancer. That's great, but that isn't what I am dealing with.

                    Skepticism gone wrong is a bad as total gullibility. I am grateful on a daily basis to my parents for introducing me to alternative healthcare. Hard core drugs are a last resort and for a lot of good reasons.

                    When you can gently bring a body back into balance with nutrition, you can have longer lasting results, that don't necessarily harm other systems in the body.

                    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                    by GreenMother on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:39:01 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  IOW, the antioxidants (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrypinder, Betty Pinson, raoul78

        seem to thwart the Warburg effect.

        Which should aid in cell survival, but not growth.

        •  Once you are undergoing treatments like (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Carol in San Antonio

          Chemo and radiation, cell survival may be 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Some people survive cancer but not the treatments.

          Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

          by GreenMother on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:41:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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