Prevent a Return of Colon Polyps: A reader had a polyp removed during a colonoscopy and wanted to know how to avoid developing another one. He is concerned because they are considered pre-cancerous. I asked my favorite gastroenterologist, Jeffry Fine, MD. He said to limit animal protein and fat and to take at least 2000 iu of vitamin D3 with 45 mcg of vitamin K2.
Medical Deaths Put into Perspective. Medical errors are considered the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. Then there is the documented 106,000 deaths from drugs given as prescribed in hospitals. Add in the common side effects of drugs taken at home (e.g. something like 16,000 deaths a year from NSAIDS) plus overdoses of opioid pain killers and we are talking colossal numbers of fatalities. For comparison: more deaths from meds and erros in any one year than breast cancer, gun shots, auto accidents, AIDS, home fires, tornadoes, floods, and workplace accidents all combined! Oops, wait, that is still way short. You also have to add the total of two recent middle East wars and the 911 tragedy! That total is mind-blowing, but we should also consider the gradual degenerating contribution of medications to deaths that are in the end officially blamed on some other causes. (See a great example of that in the section below.) This situation is why HBN preaches to prevent disease and use natural solutions whenever possible.
Question from Tom about a relative’s cancer. “Back in August, I learned that my sister-in-law, age 68, has stage four brain cancer. She has been undergoing the standard medical treatments, but the prognosis is not good. I was shocked when she told me that she has used Omeprazole [a proton pump heartburn drug, a PPI] for the last 20 years. I am just wondering if this very long term usage has anything to do with her cancer. After reading your book about natural alternatives, I stopped using Omeprazole and found other things I could do to help my acid reflux. I quit smoking back in 1975, and I figure that was one big decision that has let me live this long (68 years). I can’t imagine having to use any drugs for decades. Thanks for a wonderful site to find good, reliable info.”
My reply to Tom. Thank you for the kind words and you are very smart to ask that question. There is no way to prove a connection between the drug usage and her brain cancer, but well known research and knowledge of physiology would lead to that conclusion. Connect the dots:
- Stomach acid is critical for absorption of the mineral zinc. Zinc is critical for immune function and helps preserve the thymus gland. The thymus produces immune cells that protect against the viruses suspected in some brain cancers.
- Acid suppressor drugs also interfere with the uptake of selenium, a mineral that helps zinc and is considered highly cancer-protective.
- Stomach acid is needed for absorption of magnesium that is needed for hundreds of body functions including brain health. Magnesium is needed to properly utilize vitamin D. Low vitamin D increases the risk of brain cancer. (Most people are low in D to begin with.)
- PPI drugs interfere with the formation of vitamin B12 which is critical for the health of the nervous system and brain function.
- Reducing stomach acid leads to an imbalance of good to bad organisms in the gut. That imbalance can directly interfere with immune function and damage the lining of the intestinal tract. A damaged lining called “leaky gut” allows toxins and organisms to get into blood circulation and reduces nutrient absorption. Many experts think that when leaky gut is present there is also a “leaky blood/brain” barrier. Cancer risk increases in tissues that are deprived of nutrients and exposed to toxins.
- Back to your sister-in-law. Since we can’t help get her off the drug retroactively, blaming her would be unkind. Sadly, she is unlikely to do well under the care of doctors who do not have a clue about these connections. I’ve known of many stage 4 cancers that were reversed with functional-medicine/integrative/alternative methods. If she is open to that idea, there is a lot of information about cancer and links to doctors in the Library of this site. I pray she is guided in the right direction.