by Elyn Jacobs, Guest Blogger
Ever wonder why it is that billions have been spent and we still don’t have a viable, established, agreed upon cure for cancer? Very little has changed since 1971, the year the war against cancer began. We have drugs, lots of drugs. However, this year, more than 1.6 million Americans will receive a diagnosis, and 600,000 will die of the disease and/or its treatment. Why are we still dying from cancer? We have clearly not addressed the underlying causative factors. As proposed by Thomas Seyfried PhD, cancer is a metabolic disease which is driven by damage to the mitochondria of cells with mutations within the nucleus of the cell playing a role, but not the central role that today drives the conventional development of cancer drugs and the overall approach to the treatment of cancer. The true solution for cancer lies in both the reduction of toxins in our environment and the nutritional and metabolic functions of the body. It is time to change the paradigm.
Cancer is complex, but what if the answer to cancer was as simple as eating your vegetables? Dr Michael Schachter and Brian Schaefer, author of Salvestrols: Natures Defense Against Cancer, believe that most people suffer from a deficiency of anti-cancer compounds in the diet and this may lead to the development and progression of cancer, and that by correcting these deficiencies we can effectively manage cancer.
~~ “Eat your Vegetables” Mom, various dates ~~
What if it was that simple, that mere produce could cure or manage our cancer? Well, I am sorry, but it’s not. However, it is quite possible that it can play a major role in the prevention and overcoming of cancer. Turns out, Gerald Potter, an English medicinal chemist, and Professor Dan Burke, a professor of pharmacology and specialist in enzyme metabolism, discovered a molecular level explanation of the link between diet and cancer.
Potter and Burke discovered that certain plant derived compounds produce anticancer metabolites as a result of their action with a particular enzyme, known as CYP1B1. They coined a name for these compounds—Salvestrols– being a derivative of the Latin work ‘salvia’, the common herb sage, which means ‘to save’.
When a cell becomes cancerous or precancerous the enzyme CYP1B1 is produced within it. Normal cells have very little or no CYP1B1 within them. When ones diet is rich in organically grown produce that contains Salvestrols the CYP1B1 enzyme will metabolize the Salvestrols to produce metabolites that will cause the cancer cell to die. Human physiology (the CYP1B1 enzyme) plus an organic plant rich diet (Salvestrols) constitutes a natural rescue mechanism to rid the body of cancer cells.
~~Killing Cancer, One Berry at a Time~~
Salvestrols are found naturally in organic blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, black currents, figs, tangerine peel and perhaps as many as 50 other fruits and vegetables. Again, Salvestrols produce anticancer metabolites as a result of their action with CYP1B1. These Salvestrols have the extraordinary ability to recognize cancer cells, embed themselves in them, and destroy them. The CYP1B1 enzyme is present only in cancer cells, and when it encounters a Salvestrol, it converts it into a form which is toxic to the sick cell and causes that cell to commit suicide (apoptosis). In other words, when Salvestrols come into contact with the CYP1B1 inside human cancer cells, they become “activated”—and cause the cancer cells to stop growing or die–they basically go on a-seek-and-destroy mission. Because the enzyme is not present in healthy cells, the Salvestrols have no ill effects on them–unlike cancer therapies such as chemotherapy.
Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, it’s not. In order for a plant to create Salvestrols, it must be grown organically. Salvestrols are part of the plant’s immune system. They are produced by plants to protect themselves from pests and disease. However, the use of many modern fungicides and crop protection chemicals means that plants which are not organically grown will not express high concentrations of Salvestrols because they not exposed to the attacks which cause the plant to produce them. Plus, Salvestrols are generally produced late in the ripening phase as this is when the plant is most vulnerable to attack, but produce is typically picked well before ripe.
For the healthy individual without cancer and who eats a significant amount of organic produce, diet is likely sufficient. For those with cancer or who have had cancer, it is virtually impossible (and terribly expensive) and potentially dangerous to eat enough to challenge cancer, so a supplement may well be the answer. Keep in mind that while fruits are incredibly healthy, they do provide a significant source of sugar (glucose), which is fuel for cancer. Salvestrol activity operates regardless of whether the cell is precancerous, part of a primary tumor or part of the metastases of that primary tumor, so they can be considered as important for prevention as for treatment of full-blown cancers. Although Salvestrol supplements are available online, it is probably best to take them under the care of a health professional who is familiar with their use to help with the optimal dosage and to help integrate them with a current conventional and/or integrative cancer program and to help with a total program to help prevent and/or treat cancer. Information about alternative approaches to cancer, including the use of Salvestrols, can be obtained from the Schachter Center website by clicking here, or by contacting the Schachter Center at 845-368-4700 and asking to speak to one of the Schachter Center Counselors.
It is important to note that there are inhibitors and supporters of CYP1B1. Inhibitors include Laetrile (also known as B17 and amygdalin, with bitter apricot kernels being one of the best sources) as well as carbon monoxide (cigarette and likely marihuana smoke), household pesticides and chemicals such as Roundup, as well as the supplement resveratrol (at high doses of more than 40mg or so per day). Yes, resveratrol has some anticancer benefits, but it inhibits the activity of the enzyme, so it must be avoided in supplement form if you are taking Salvestrols. Supporters of CYP1B1 include magnesium, niacin, biotin, selenium, vitamin C and iron. (Note: Biotin is not recommended for those receiving chemo as it will decrease the effectiveness of these drugs and iron supplementation should be under the direction of a doctor; as always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.)
Remember, the key to overcoming cancer is to find the cause and make corrections. Triggers such as cigarette smoke are well established, but not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer. It is a breakdown in the body’s ability to manage these insults that results in cancer—deficiencies and imbalances. So while the trigger for our lung cancer might be smoking or over-exposure to some other toxin, the predisposing cause may well be a weak army, which relates to nutrition and a variety of lifestyle factors. Therefore the best we can do to support the body is to eat well, exercise, take supportive supplements as needed, engage in stress releasing activities, and get plenty of sleep. Bring on the soldiers.
Cancer requires a comprehensive plan developed by you with the help of your team. A coach or advocate can help you find the right team, and can be an integral part of that team, but you are in the driver seat when it comes to your anti-cancer plan—you and only you will know what feels right for your cancer, your body.
Many thanks to Dr Michael Schachter and Brian Schaefer for sharing their information and for their dedication to finding cancer solutions.
All of the underlined words below are links. Click on the links to open a new webpage with the content underlined.
Dr Schachter is a physician in the USA who is currently using Salvestrols with patients and the results seem quite promising. For more information on Salvestrols, please contact the Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine. Dr Schachter has produced a number of DVDs of lectures he has given related to cancer, including one on CYP1B1 and Salvestrols. Here is a list of these DVDs: http://www.schachtercenter.com/DVDsMBS.htm. (Any one of them may be purchased by calling the Schachter Center at 845-368-4700, dialing zero and asking to speak to the dispensary). You can pick up a copy of Brain Schaefer’s book, Salvestrols: Nature’s Defence Against Cancer online or via Dr Schachter’s office. You can also replay my interviews with Dr Schachter during which we discuss Salvestrols quite extensively:
Nothing in this post represents medical advice, and I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist or naturopathic doctor. For more information about cancer coaching please visit www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com.
~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~
Dr. Michael B. Schachter is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia College and Columbia P&S Medical School in NYC. He is also a Board Certified Psychiatrist and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. Dr. Schachter has been involved with nutritional and integrative health care for 35 years. A leader in alternative cancer therapies, EDTA chelation and orthomolecular psychiatry, he is a past president of the American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). He has authored numerous articles and was a major contributor to Burton Goldberg’s classic “Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer”. His published 2010 paper “Integrative Oncology for Clinicians and Cancer Patients” helps to guide patients in developing a cancer treatment program. In 2010, Dr. Schachter received the Humanitarian Award from the Cancer Control Society in California. He has a special interest in the role of iodine in health and disease. Over the past year or so, Dr Schachter has become intensely interested in the possible role of Salvestrols in the diet and as a supplement. Salvestrols are not mentioned in articles or lectures given prior to 2013. Dr. Schachter is the director of the Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine in Suffern, NY.
Dr. Brian Schaefer was educated in Victoria, B.C., Canada and Oxford, England, obtained a B.Sc., and M.Sc., degree from the University of Victoria and a Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) degree from Oxford University in England (Wolfson College). After these studies were completed he chose to return to Canada. After two years as a research fellow in Ottawa he returned to Victoria where he currently lives with his wife and his two children. A fondness for England continues and he returns to England on a regular basis. He has published and lectured on a broad array of topics including psychometrics, pattern recognition, visual perception, knowledge acquisition, artificial intelligence, laboratory medicine and cancer research. The author serves on the Board of Directors of companies in Canada and England.
Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She mentors women who are coping with issues of well-being associated with breast cancer and its aftermath; she is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health and more and has contributed to Breast Cancer Answers as well as written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, and she writes the Options for Life column for the Natural Healing-Natural Wellness Newsletter. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.
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