Supplements that support breast health
Iodine– The connection between iodine deficiency, breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease is strong. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for iodine is set at 150 micrograms. Yet the thyroid gland alone requires approximately 6 milligrams per day of iodine to operate sufficiently, the breasts require another 5 milligrams, and iodine is used by other organs of the body as well. Most people are deficient in this essential nutrient because of a lack of iodine-rich roods in the diet, and because exposure to common halogens such as fluoride, chlorine and bromide will displace iodine, therefore interfering with absorption. Having your iodine levels evaluated with a complete thyroid panel and then supplementing with an appropriate form and amount of iodine is essential.
In his book, Iodine : Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, Dr David Brownstein reports on three cases of spontaneous regression of breast cancer after starting iodine supplementation therapy.
- Case study #1, Joan was a 63-years-old English teacher and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989. She declined conventional treatment and began taking 50 mg of Lugol’s Iodine Solution per day. Six weeks later, a PET scan revealed that “all of the existing tumors were disintegrating.”
- Case study # 2, Delores was 73 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. She declined to have conventional treatments of radiation and chemotherapy, and instead took 50 mg of Lugol’s Solution daily. A follow-up ultrasound of the breast 18 months later showed that the malignancies continued to diminish in size. Two years later, a follow up mammogram and ultrasound failed to show any abnormalities and were read as normal by the radiologist.
- Case study #3, Joyce was 52 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and started taking 50 mg of Lugol’s Iodine Solution per day. Three years after starting iodine therapy, her follow up mammograms and ultrasound exams continued to show decreasing of the tumor size, with no progression of disease.
- Read more about iodine and breast cancer.
- Read more about the thyroid, iodine and breast cancer from the National Institute of Health
Vitamin D3-being out in the sun for at least 25 minutes per day of mid-day sun without sunscreen (as sunscreen blocks the body’s production of vitamin D and 95% of them contain harmful chemicals that are absorbed through the skin and causing toxicity). Have your vitamin D levels checked and then supplement to bring yourself to a minimal level of 45 ng/dl, this requires at least 4,000 IU a day of vitamin D3. Many alternative doctors suggest the optimal range to be around 60-75 ng/dl. Use vitamin D3 supplements, sunlight, or other light therapy so your body can synthesize its own Vit D3. When purchasing supplments, look for the addition of K2 in the vitamin D3 formula. How to get your vitamin D level tested to reach optimal levels
Selenium– It’s main role is inhibiting the oxidation of fats as a component of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, one of the most powerful of the body’s own antioxidants. When combined with vitamin E, selenium protects the immune system. It plays a vital role in regulating the effects of thyroid hormone on fat metabolism. In a study, men who consumed 200 mcg of Selenium taken daily over a ten-year period had roughly half the risk of developing lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer compared with men who did not. Additionally a woman taking a 200 mcg daily dose of selenium would reduce her risk of developing breast cancer by 82%. Furthermore, selenium has been shown to virtually eliminate the cancer threat posed by the BRCA1 mutation. According to the following study: “The frequency of chromosome breaks was greatly reduced following 1 to 3 months of oral selenium supplementation (mean, 0.63 breaks per cell versus 0.40; P < 10(-10)). The mean level of chromosome breaks in carriers following supplementation was similar to that of the noncarrier controls (0.40 versus 0.39). Oral selenium is a good candidate for chemo-prevention in women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. Read this study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=15894690.
Zinc- is an essential nutrient for helping your anti-cancer surveillance system to function properly. Restoring your body’s levels of zinc prevents loss of natural killer cell function, reduces the inflammation that promotes cancer, and reduces cancer cells’ ability to grow new blood vessels. As a result, zinc supplementation has been associated with a reduced incidence and/or progression cancer of tongue, esophageal, stomach, and colon in animals with zinc deficiencies. The primary gene that protects women from breast cancer is P53. This gene requires zinc, and when zinc is missing this gene can mutate resulting in inactivation or suppression. Dysfunction of P53 is well documented in the development of breast cancer indicating that a zinc deficiency is a risk factor for breast cancer. Zinc offers additional protection against cancer by starving tumors of the glucose they need to grow and spread. Cancer cells take up glucose at a very high rate compared to non-malignant tissues; that’s presumably because the rapidly-growing tumors have exceptionally high energy requirements. Zinc supplements appear to reduce glucose uptake in malignant cells, thus reducing the availability of energy cancer cells need to replicate and progress. Read more about zinc.
Magnesium- plays an important role in cell health and is an active component in more than 300 biochemical reactions within the body. Health benefits of magnesium include: maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping the heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and helps to keep your bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. There is also interest in the role that magnesium plays in preventing and managing hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer development. Food sources of magnesium include green vegetables (such as spinach, beans, and peas), nuts and seeds, and whole unrefined grains.
Optimal levels of magnesium can be achieved through supplementation, or transdermally by taking a bath in 2 cups of Epson salts or by applying magnesium oil to the skin. Acceptable forms of magnesium supplements include Magnesium Glycinate, or Magnesium L-Threonate.
Avoid elemental calcium supplements
Inorganic or “elemental” calcium supplements (such as found in calcium carbonate and calcium citrate supplements) are made from limestone which is not bound to the natural co-factors such as amino acids, lipids and glyconutrients, meaning that they do not allow the body to utilize the calcium in a biologically appropriate manner. Lacking the appropriate delivery system, the calcium may end up going to places you do not want it, such as ectopic calcifications. The breasts are uniquely susceptible to ectopic calcifications, which is why doctors use diagnostic x-rays devices such as mammograms in order to locate them. Due to the fact that the hydroxylapatitate crystals found in malignant breast tissue may act as a trigger that induces cell proliferation, it is also possible that certain breast calcifications may actually be the cause and not just an effect of the tumorous lesions that are found there. This may also explain why women who have the highest bone density through calcium supplementation also have up to 300% higher incidence of developing malignant breast cancers. Read more about this here.
Plant-based calcium– while enhancing the bones with calcium is important, it should be done with a form of calcium that is made from natural, plant-based materials that includes all of the co-factors needed to assimilate the calcium such as D3, magnesium, and k2 which helps to direct the calcium into the bones where it is needed, not to deposit it in the fatty tissues of the breasts. Natural plant-based calcium can be found in products such as Raw Calcium. Additionally, if healthy strong bones is your intention, then take a look at supplementing with Boron which is one of the most important supplements for improving bone density. Read more about boron here.
Read more articles from this breast cancer series