Around 140,000 Americans will receive a terrifying diagnosis in 20141: “You have colon cancer.” Colon cancer, also known as colorectal or bowel cancer, is the third most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. Worldwide it is responsible for over 600,000 deaths per year. The annual cost of cancer care for a patient with metastatic cancer can reach $310,000, financially devastating a person and their family.
Colon cancer detected at its early stage (stage I) is usually removed by surgery. However, it is known that these cancer cells can spread quickly to vital organs in the body such as the lungs, liver and bones etc. Conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy do not provide a cure and are associated with severe side effects including nausea, diarrhea, neuropathy, bowel and bladder incontinence, life-threatening infections, bleeding, bone marrow damage and other cancers. The main reason for these severe side effects is that these approaches severely damage both healthy and cancer cells, thereby impairing the body’s ability to successfully fight cancer and cope with the toxic treatments. Moreover, once the cancer has metastasized there are no effective solutions for fighting it.
Multiple risk factors have been attributed to the development of colon cancer; these include diets rich in red and processed meat, obesity, alcohol, smoking, inflammatory bowel disease and an inherited predisposition. However, it is known that long-term deficiencies of common micronutrients (i.e. folic acid, vitamin C, B-vitamins and zinc) can damage cellular DNA by a mechanism similar to radiation and chemicals. Not only is this particular cancer risk factor significantly more important than any of the others, it is also the most easy and economical to correct.
While many individual micronutrients – such as vitamin C, green tea and others – have been studied for their anti-cancer properties, our research has shown that a combination of specific micronutrients working in synergy can be more effective by simultaneously targeting multiple cancer mechanisms. In multiple studies, we have documented that vitamin C, lysine, proline, green tea extract and other important components combined in synergistic proportions can be effective in halting metastasis (the spread of cancer cells), decreasing tumor growth and eliminating cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
The efficacy of this micronutrient mixture was tested in colon cancer using both in vitro and in vivo approaches. We documented that these micronutrients could completely stop the spread of colon cancer cells (invasion was inhibited by 100%). Supplementation of the diets of mice with this nutrient mixture resulted in significant inhibition of cancer progression. The mice developed smaller tumors (63% smaller) with fewer blood vessels compared to the control group2.
Despite cancer screening advances, less than 10% of the patients with metastasized colon cancers live beyond 5 years after the diagnosis. The scientific progress in micronutrient synergy research brings hope that biological regulation in cancer prevention and therapy will soon replace toxic and ineffective treatments.