[caption id="attachment_89" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Tel Aviv scientists pioneer food supplement"][/caption]
A new food supplement from Israel targets colon and rectal cancer, as well as ulcerative colitis and other bowel diseases. The product, which has yet to hit the world market, is called Coltect. It is a combination of green tea polyphenols, curcumin powder from the turmeric root and the trace mineral selenium. Its effects were described at a recent oncology meeting and it is the subject of two clinical trials.
Results were presented at the 2010 American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. The authors, from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, tried Coltect alone or combined with a common drug, 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA), in cell line and animal models of colon cancer.
Depending on the dose, there was up to an 83 percent inhibition of cancer cell growth using Coltect. In the animal model, the combination of Coltect and the drug 5-ASA reduced the number of precancerous lesions from 66.5 in the control group to 20 in the group that received both agents. The authors concluded that Coltect "can be administered as a chemopreventive regimen to prevent" colorectal cancer.
While waiting for Coltect to hit the world market, one might consider taking a combination of green tea polyphenols, turmeric (with its key ingredient, curcumin) and Brazil nuts (a good source of selenium--use the kind that you have to shell yourself).
As for 5-ASA, it is not available without a prescription. But it is a derivative of salicylic acid and is chemically similar to aspirin. A 2003 journal article concluded: "Preclinical, observational, and clinical data consistently show that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—particularly aspirin—reduce colorectal carcinogenesis" (Hawk and Vine, 2003). So you might ask your doctor about taking a baby aspirin (81 mg) along with the anticancer food components.
Colon cancer afflicts over 100,000 Americans each year. Perhaps some of these cases could be prevented by the judicious use of anticancer foods, supplements and drugs, all of which are readily available. The toxicity of such agents is low and the cost of all together is less than a dollar a day.
Hawk ET, Viner JL. Aspirin: still learning about the wonder drug. Gut. 2003;52(11):1535-1536.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
On Friday I drove to Ithaca, NY, to hear a lecture by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, the retired Cornell University professor and author of The China Study. Afterwards we had dinner at his house overlooking Lake Cayuga. I am investigating his theory that a low-fat vegan diet is highly protective against cancer. I am particularly interested in his findings on milk/dairy and cancer incidence. To be sure, I haven't made up my mind on this yet. But I certainly admire the man for his commitment to improving the health of humanity. During his lecture he played a film clip of President Clinton being interviewed recently by Wolf Blitzer of CNN. In it, Clinton pays homage to Campbell and credits him and his colleagues with not only his weight loss but also with greatly improved health. It was impressive.