What is cachexia?
Cachexia (or wasting) is one of the most frightening symptoms of advanced cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, “It is estimated that half of all cancer patients experience cachexia, which is the rapid loss of weight accompanied by fatigue, weakness, and a loss of appetite. Cachexia is a serious problem among many patients with advanced cancer.”
Cachexia creates a vicious cycle that occurs when cancerous tumors metabolize glucose from the blood and excrete a lactic acid byproduct. This lactic acid then goes to the liver where it is converted back into glucose to once again be used as fuel by the cancer. The more glucose in the blood, the more acid is produced…..and the cycle continues. This process is called gluconeogenesis and it consumes enormous amounts of energy.
The cycle eventually leads to the break down of muscle mass in order to create another fuel source to “feed” the cancer. This breakdown of tissues exceeds the bodies ability to repair and rebuild them, and when it is accompanied by a loss of appetite, this cycle can quickly turn deadly. Dr. Harold Dvorak, former chief of pathology at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, states “In a sense, nobody dies of cancer. They die of something else – pneumonia, or failure of one or more organs. Cachexia accelerates that process of infection and the build-up of metabolic poisons, this process causes death much faster than the tumor would.”
Lactic acid buildup can also be a contributing factor to cancer-related pain because of the irritation that it causes to the nerve endings of the body. So theoretically, if you can eliminate the buildup of acids, you might also be able to provide some relief from the cancer-related pain as well.
The following natural remedies are said to help eliminate the buildup of the lactic acid as well as provide fuel to the weakened cells of the body, and this may stop the deadly cycle of cachexia. There are three protocols listed below that can help with cachexia, along with some additional supplements and nutritional recommendations.
The first step to stopping cachexia is to remove all refined sugars, refined grains, and processed foods that contain hidden sugars from the diet– as these will all raise the blood glucose levels and this will only fuel the growth and spread of cancer, while creating more lactic acid and accelerating the deadly cycle of cachexia. Read more about sugars and cancer.
Protocol 1. The MSM and liposomal vitamin C protocol for cachexia
The combination of liposomal vitamin C and MSM is said to be very helpful for those dealing with cachexia as well as being a standalone protocol for those with cancer.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic sulfur-containing compound that can improve immune system function and lower inflammation. It can also be helpful in neutralizing the lactic acid buildup that surrounds cancerous tumors and plays a positive role in the permeability of cellular membranes. This permeability allows for the transfer of oxygen and nutrients into the cells and the release of cellular waste products out of the cell, and this is essential as cellular toxicity is the root cause of cancer.
Vitamin C is responsible for wound healing and immune system function. In addition, when vitamin C is taken in high enough doses it is selectively toxic to cancerous cells. Liposomal C is vitamin C that has been encapsulated within a lipid (fat) and this allows the product to easily cross through the lipid-based cellular membrane and fuel the weakened cells of the body. Liposomal C has about a 90% absorption rate compared to powdered vitamin C products that are lost in the digestive tract
- Do not do this protocol if you are allergic to sulfur products.
- It is important to do a self test with 1 tsp of sulfur mixed with 1/2 c filtered water to test for any allergies to the sulfur (this can include nausea or a rash) before starting any kind of protocol with MSM. If you have these symptoms you should not proceed with this protocol.
- The best way to ingest MSM is by mixing it with water. The recipe is to mix 1 gallon of purified (non-chlorinated/non-fluoridated) or distilled water with 16 tablespoons of Pure Organic Sulfur Crystals in a glass container. You must use a glass container for storing this!
- Shake this mixture well and allow the MSM granules to fully dissolve for about one hour and then store this mixture in your refrigerator.
- The recommended starting dosage is 4 tablespoons of the water followed a half hour later by 2,000 mg of Liposomal Vitamin C .
- The water followed by the vitamin C dosage which is taken two times per day at the beginning, and then one can slowly start building up to taking higher doses.
- The eventual protocol would be 12 tablespoons of MSM water followed 1/2 hour later by 2,000 mg of vitamin C and taking this up to 5 times per day for those doing the full protocol.
- It is important that you stay hydrated by drinking ½ of your body weight in ounces of purified water per day. (purified because the chlorine will neutralize the effectiveness of the MSM.) You can add 1/2 tsp of Real Salt per gallon of this purified drinking water. Real salt contains trace minerals that are needed by the body. Additionally, one should add 2 drops of Lugol’s Iodine Solution into that drinking water. Iodine is an essential nutrient that most people are lacking. You can find more information about iodine with this post.
- Get out in the sun during the day for 30 minutes without sunscreen, whenever possible.
- This protocol combines well with detoxing baths, saunas, and coffee enemas in order to assist the liver in clearing away any toxins. You will find a link to detoxing protocols at the bottom of this post
Precautions for MSM:
- Having nausea or developing a rash may be indications that you are allergic to MSM. If you have these symptoms after doing the self-test then you cannot do this protocol.
- Do not take this protocol with aspirin or any other type of blood thinners.
- Do not drink chlorinated tap water at all when doing this protocol
- Only use pure organic sulfur crystals with this protocol
Protocol 2. D-ribose protocol
D-ribose– is a unique 5-carbon carbohydrate that is a fundamental building block of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the source of all cellular energy. Cancertutor.com states that anyone suffering from cachexia should begin taking D-ribose to help transfer energy to the weakened cells of the body. You can find D-Ribose powder on Amazon.com or in health food stores.
- Fifteen grams per day is the general daily dose, but you can increase the dosage if needed. Begin with 5 grams, then 4 hours later you can take another 5 grams, and 4 hours later take another 5 grams to reach the 15 total.
- D-ribose combines well with other alternative protocols and can be used in conjunction with the MSM/Vitamin C protocol above.
Protocol 3. Nutritional Support Protocols
High protein shakes – that can help put weight back on: 2 raw pasture-raised eggs (optional), 2 tbsp of almond butter, 2 T hemp protein powder, 1 cup coconut milk or cream, 1 avocado, the juice from 1 orange, 1 banana, then blend until smooth. You can find more smoothie recipes with this link.
Bone Broth- is an exceptional way to provide nutrients to those who are ill or failing to thrive. It is typically made by gently simmering meat bones for a long period of time (24-48 hours), in order to draw the minerals from the bones and the gelatin from the collagen-rich joints. The finished broth is rich in nutrients including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silica, sulfur, and many other trace minerals that can be easily absorbed by the body. How to make bone broth
Functional Formularies Liquid Hope- is a shelf stable organic, whole foods feeding tube formula or liquid meal replacement product that can be used in place of high glucose feeding formulas such as Ensure. You can purchase Liquid Hope online.
Additional supplements for cachexia
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 can help to regulate blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and is involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Magnesium also has the added benefit of helping to rid the body of excess lactic acid buildup. Optimal levels of magnesium can be achieved in various ways. Transdermally by taking a bath with Magnesium Bath Flakes or you can apply Magnesium Oil to the skin, or internally with supplements. Acceptable forms of magnesium include Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium L-Threonate, or Magnesium Orotate. Taking oral magnesium may temporarily alkalize the stomach acids so it is best to take it on an empty stomach so that you don’t interrupt the digestion process, close to bedtime is actually preferable as it will also help you relax and sleep better.
Angiogenesis – is a process in which new blood vessels are formed and is responsible for much of the growth and spread of cancer. Once a tumor grows to a certain size, the tumor sends chemical signals out that stimulate the growth of new blood vessels that carry the blood to it. If you can stop the tumor from receiving a blood supply, then the tumor can not grow and spread. The following supplements can interrupt the growth process of tumors and promote cancer cell death.
Natural killer cells –are lymphocytes of the immune system that control several types of tumors and microbial infections by limiting their spread and subsequent tissue damage. Supplements that support the function of Natural Killer Cells include: