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Patient Survival Improved with CoQ10 and Antioxidants PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Friday, 26 February 2010 13:20

antioxidantsFree radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an unpaired number of electrons that are created in our bodies when oxygen interacts with molecules. These highly reactive radicals can then begin a chain reaction causing damage. The main hazard comes from the damage free radicals can do when they react with the cell's DNA or membrane and this injury may eventually lead to cancer. Antioxidants stabilize free radicals and may prevent some of the damage free radicals may otherwise cause.

A recent study in The Journal of International Medical Research examined 41 patients with end-stage cancer who were put on a supplemental nutritional treatment protocol. End-stage is considered the last phase of a disease and has replaced the somewhat less bleak term of terminal. The patients included in the study had solid tumors some of which were in the breast, brain, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, ovaries, and skin and who were also diagnosed with distant metastases. The authors explain the basis of the study as follows:

"Reactive oxygen species are able to activate all stages of carcinogenesis [creation of cancer]. Simplified, this process can be regarded as a continuous growth and accumulation of mutations in a cellular clone. If combinations of antioxidants have a preventive effect, it would seem possible that they would also retard the process at a later stage, i.e. when the cancer is apparent."

"There are several putative [commonly accepted] mechanisms for the potential anticancer effect of antioxidants. Most important among these are possible effects on cytokines, and inflammation, modulation of the expression of the tumour suppressor gene p53, inhibition of mutations, and inhibition of tumour angiogenesis [formation of blood vessels to the tumor]."

The patients were offered a treatment of CoQ10 and other antioxidants as supplements to any usual cancer therapy they were receiving. Their daily doses of antioxidants were:

• Coenzyme Q10 - 300 mg
• Vitamin C - 5.7 mg
• α-Tocopherol - 1,625 mg
• Selenium - 487 mg
• Folic acid - 5 mg
• Vitamin A - 25,000 IU
• β-Carotene - 76 mg
• γ-linoleic acid - 375 mg
• fish oil - 375 mg
• niacin - 45 mg
• pantothenic acid - 22.5 mg
• vitamin B 12 - 13.5 µg
• vitamin B6 - 12.6 mg
• vitamin B2 - 8.4 mg
• vitamin B1 - 5.4 mg

The instigators report the supplements were well tolerated and also reported that patients over all sense of health and happiness had improved.

"Side effects associated with antioxidant therapy were very rare and minor, mainly consisting of difficulties in swallowing the many tablets and aversion to the odour of the tablets, particularly once their general physical condition had deteriorated. No other physical side effects were noted."

"The clear impression of the investigator was that a large majority of the patients experienced impressive improvement of their general well-being after beginning the antioxidant supplementation, although this was not measured."

The authors reported on several positive cases including a woman referenced as patient 37.

"This woman developed rapidly growing metastases in the liver from and adenocarcinoma [a cancer originating in glandular tissue]of the pancreas at the age of 60 years. At inclusion (after 1 month) her liver was grossly enlarged, extending to the spleen and filling out most of the epigastrium [upper central region of the abdomen]. No conventional treatment was offered. One year later, she was still fully mobile and without apparent further enlargement of the liver. She survived 25 months, i.e. 20 months more than expected."

The findings of the study indicated that starting an antioxidant protocol sooner increased the life expectancy of patients.

"Perhaps the most interesting finding of the present study was that the median (though not the mean) survival times in excess of that predicted was longer (7 versus 1.5 months) in the 20 patients who began antioxidant treatment within 1.5 months of being diagnosed than in those who began antioxidant treatment later."

The authors conclude that:

"The present study seems to show an impressive effect of a combination of antioxidants, including Q10 on the course of advanced cancer and underscores the need for larger clinical trials. If these results can be duplicated they would support the notion that a combination of antioxidants can be used to aid the management of advanced cancer."

While this study is extremely encouraging if the study protocol had also included dietary changes such as increasing cancer fighting foods such as blue berries, apples, pomegranate, green tea, broccoli, cranberries, and others and avoiding cancer promoters such as red meat, alcohol, smoking, pesticides, as well as including other cancer modifying life style modifications the results could only have been even more spectacular.

Source: Improved Survival in Patients with End-stage Cancer Treated with Coenzyme Q10 and Other Antioxidants: a Pilot Study, N Hertz and RE Lister, The Journal of International Medical Research, 2009, Vol. 37: 1961-1971


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Last Updated on Friday, 26 February 2010 13:36