I have long believed that nature does indeed hold the answer to cancer. In November, I spoke with Dr Michael Schachter on my radio show, Survive and Live Well. We had a fantastic conversation about reducing our risk for cancer and treating it if diagnosed. One recommendation he made for both is the use of Salvestrols, a term I had never heard of. Salvestrols, you say, huh? The name was coined by Professor Gerry Potter, being a derivative of the Latin work ‘salvia’, the common herb sage, which means ‘to save’. Dr Schachter had suggested we read Salvestrols: Nature’s Defense Against Cancer. Intrigued, I contacted the author, Brian Schaefer, and he was kind enough to chat with me. I read the book; I learned much.
Simply put, Salvestrols are plant derived compounds that produce anticancer metabolites as a result of their action with a particular enzyme, known as CYP1B1. This 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. Because the enzyme is not present in healthy cells the Salvestrols have no ill effects on them, unlike cancer therapies such as chemotherapy. I found this really exciting.
Salvestrols are also 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.
Dr Schachter explained the importance of organics, but he also said that the way our food is now grown and altered (including organic) has significantly reduced the levels of Salvestrols in our foods. To replay my interview with Dr Schachter, please click here.
I often hear “I eat my organic fruits and vegetables but I still have cancer” or “my mother did everything right and still died from her cancer”. I don’t have all the answers, sometimes cancer wins. But as Dr Schachter said, it may have to do with the integrity of the organic foods we are eating. But you can maximize the benefit of both diet and Salvestrols by exercising and taking supplements such as biotin. Exercise will help keep you well oxygenated thus boosting CYP1B1 efficacy, and biotin has been shown to boost Salvestrol metabolism as well as inhibit factors that boost tumor survival. (Note: Biotin is not recommended for those receiving chemo as it will decrease the effectiveness of these drugs.) Magnesium and Niacin also support Salvestrol activity; however, a diet rich in produce and whole foods will likely provide a sufficient amount. A reasonable amount of iron is also a good idea; just don’t go overboard as that can have cancer friendly consequences.
A simple shift in diet may not be sufficient for those at risk or already fighting active disease, but incorporating a large amount of organic fruits and vegetables into one’s diet represents a significant step towards good health and can be quite helpful in disabling the cancer cells which form and develop in our bodies daily. Notable sources of Salvestrols are artichokes, mint, basil, parsley, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, avocado, kale and other greens. Supplemental Salvestrol is also an option. 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. Just remember, Salvestrols are only one part of the equation, so eat a variety of vegetables to take advantage of all the anticancer compounds, and embrace an overall anticancer lifestyle.
To find this summary on The Schachter Center Website, Click Here
Nothing in this post represents medical advice, and I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist or naturopathic doctor. Please note that Salvestrols should not be taken with B17-Laetrile. I have compiled this information solely for those seeking to use natural means to support their body against cancer or enhance cancer treatment.
~~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. 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. She is also on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.
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