Whether we are thinking about the annual flu or any cancer (including breast cancer here in Pinktober), our best protection is to build super smart immune function with supplements. I say “smart” because we need immune system action against invaders like bacteria, viruses and errant cells. We don’t want the system to be confused and cause allergies. It is an even worse situation when the immune system attacks healthy tissue as is the case with auto-immune conditions. To build a super smart immune system, good food is the place to start. Read about 8 pink foods that help prevent breast cancer
The supplement list below (installment one of two) keeps that important balance in mind. For each I’ve provided an interesting reference for your consideration. For the most part I’ve used breast cancer examples, but I recently did the same search for leukemia and found similar evidence. In each section I’ve also given a link to a high quality product so you have an idea what to shop for. (Since they are such fine hand-picked companies, it should come as no surprise that our radio sponsors are represented.)
- Vitamin D – This article shows that “raising vitamin D levels to the recommended range of 40-60 ng/ml reduces incidence of breast cancer by 50-80%”. Wow!!! (We will have an interview on vitamin D on October 29.) Most milk is fortified with vitamin D2 rather than the more effective vitamin D3 that is in supplements. Any good brand of D3 supplement will work…if you get enough. I like the sublingual by Superior Source because it is easy and at 5,000 IU you are more likely to take enough to achieve beneficial blood levels.
- Probiotics – In my book, The Probiotic Cure, I discuss the research on the benefits of a healthy microbiome (balance of gut bacteria) for cancer and many other immune challenges. Good bacteria can not only tell immune cells when to attack, but also when to calm down. They even help our genes behave. I gave a link to an interesting study on microbes and breast cancer in last week’s blog. Here is a revealing mouse model study. LINK. As I’m sure you know, my favorite product of any kind is Ohhira’s Probiotics. It doesn’t contain the exact organisms used in some studies, but it does help create a good environment in the gut for our native strains. The same fine folks that import Dr. Ohhira’s from Japan also make Reg’Activ which contains a strain that makes glutathione, the master antioxidant. One of the Reg’Activ combinations is specifically for immune function.
- Minerals – Our microbes can make a few vitamins, but they cannot make minerals. The processing of foods in America removes many minerals. What about “enriched” flour you might ask? Iron is added to that and sometimes calcium, but not the following minerals that are so important for immune function:
- In an archived interview, Richard Passwater discussed a study that showed that the right form of the mineral selenium prevented up to 50% of cancer deaths. The form in the supplement at this link is the same type used in the study. (Sadly, a follow-up study used a completely different form that did not get such good results. That is the cheap form used in many supplements.) A recent study shows that low selenium in the blood may be a factor with childhood cancers. LINK.
- Zinc is well known to help immune function. Bill Sardi wrote a useful article on zinc deficiency. I like Jarrow’s Zinc Balance because it is a good form and combines a little copper to keep that mineral in balance.
- Magnesium. I know, I know, I make it sound as though magnesium is good for everything. Well, that is about the size of it. In a recent study of breast cancer patients, increased magnesium intake was associated with reduced death from all causes especially in postmenopausal women. LINK. Most any magnesium will help, but the cheaper forms are more likely to cause a loos stool. I like this form.
The list above isn’t necessarily in priority order because any given person might be okay with one item, but deficient in another. Actually, we don’t have to choose because they can all be taken concurrently.
Click here to read my Library article on building immunity. Anyone interested in “stage zero breast cancer” (ductal carcinoma in situ) should listen to this interview with Sayer Ji about the risks of over-treatment.
Next week I’ll cover curcumin, aged garlic extract, Aloe vera, flax seed, resveratrol and colostrum.