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.
- Joan was a 63-years-old English teacher and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989. She declined conventional treatment and chose instead to take 50 mg of Lugol’s Iodine Solution, per day. Six weeks later, a PET scan showed that, “all of the existing tumors were disintegrating.”
- 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 were continued to diminish in size. Two years later, a follow up mammogram and ultrasound failed to show any abnormality and were read by the radiologist as normal.
- 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 continue to show decreasing of the tumor with no progression.
- 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. 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. The risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a common blood cancer) is 42% lower in people with higher levels of zinc compared to those with lower levels, furthermore, 65% of patients with head and neck cancers were found to be zinc deficient. Prostate cancer is also sensitive to zinc. Normally the prostate contains tenfold the amount of zinc than is found in other soft tissues, but zinc accumulation in prostate tissue decreases shortly after prostate cancer begins. Supplementation restores normal prostate zinc levels and reduces levels of a promoter of tumor growth (IGF-1). Supplementation also supports natural antioxidant enzymes in the prostate; those enzymes are impaired as the result of high oxidant stresses imposed by growing malignancies.
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.
Avoiding certain calcium supplements
Inorganic or “elemental” calcium (such as found in calcium carbonate and calcium citrate supplements), is made from limestone is not bound to the natural co-factors such as amino acids, lipids and glyconutrients, and this does not allow the body to utilize it in a biologically appropriate manner. Lacking the appropriate delivery system, the calcium may end up going to places you do not want it to be such as ectopic calcifications. The breasts are uniquely susceptible to ectopic calcifications, this is why we use the same type of diagnostic x-ray that we use to ascertain bone density which is x-ray mammography.
Due to the fact that the hydroxylapatitate crystals found in malignant breast tissue may act as a trigger that induces cell proliferation, it is possible that certain breast calcifications may 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 resulting from calcium supplementation also have up to 300% higher incidence of malignant breast cancer. Read more here.
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 and include 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, not to deposit it in the fatty tissue such as the breast. Natural plant-based calcium can be found in Raw Calcium.
Additionally, if healthy strong bones are what you are going for, then take a look at supplementing with Boron which is one of the most important supplements to take for bone health. Read more about boron here.
Read more articles from this breast cancer series