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The new understanding about the role that cancer stem cells play in both the initiation of cancer and cancer metastasis is an exciting scientific breakthrough in cancer therapy. Therapies that target cancer stem cells will revolutionize cancer therapy. In the first section of this article, I will discuss what cancer stem cells are, and the role they play in the initiation of cancer and the development of cancer metastasis (spreading). In the second section, I will discuss anti-inflammatory therapies that suppress cancer stem cell activity and allow the body to heal.Every type of tissue and organ contains a few stem cells. Stem cells are immature or undeveloped cells that normally remain dormant. However, when tissues are damaged, stem cells are activated and begin to produce new cells (called daughter cells) which can develop into whatever type of cell is needed. For example, if you get cut, local stem cells are activated, producing daughter cells which develop into new skin cells to heal the wound.Read more
Metformin (brand name Glucophage) is the most commonly prescribed drug in the world for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Because metformin effectively lowers both blood glucose and blood insulin levels, it also reduces the risk to many other chronic degenerative diseases. Consequently, in addition to its use in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, metformin is now becoming recognized as a therapy to slow down aging.
In 2016 the FDA made an unprecedented announcement when it approved a study to examine the effect of metformin on the biology of aging in humans. This study is titled Targeting Aging with Metformin, or the TAME study. This is the first time in history that the FDA has approved any human clinical trial with a goal of establishing a drug’s ability to protect against multiple diseases of aging. In previous studies with different species of animals, therapy with metformin has resulted in significant increases in lifespan. Many healthy people are now electing to take metformin for its ability to slow down aging processes and increase longevity. I want to explain how metformin works so you will understand why it produces so many additional health benefits beyond treating type 2 diabetes.Read more
In the first trial, I'm summarizing the results from a fabulous study conducted by scientists in Sweden which makes a powerful statement about how the benefits from intense exercise can reduce cancer risk.
The images on the left above show cancer and tumor growth in non-exercising subjects compared to dramatic reduction in tumor incidence and growth in subjects that engaged in intense exercise.
THE STUDY: Ten men were recruited for this study. The volunteers were instructed to perform 60 minutes of exercise on stationary bicycles at increasing levels of intensity. For the first 20 minutes, the men cycled at 60 rpm, which wast a median (range) work rate equal to approximately 50% of VO2-max. For the remaining 40 minutes, the exercise increased to a high-intensity rate that was equal to about 65% of VO2-max. The full title of this study is: The Effect of Acute Exercise on Prostate Cancer Cell Growth.Read more
Michael Holick, MD, Phd, who is one of the world's leading vitamin D researchers, has written a book titled The Vitamin D Solution. I highly recommend this book. The information about vitamin D is so important and so compelling that most people who read it are motivated to take action.
Dr. Holick made the following important statement, "Vitamin D is not only the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, but it is also the most common medical condition, affecting at least one billion people." An excerpt from Dr. Holick's book appeared in the September 2010 issue of the Life Extension Magazine.
Vitamin D is made in our body when natural sunlight strikes our skin. But, most people do not get enough sun exposure. That's why I encourage people to take a daily vitamin D supplement. I recommend that adults take 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, it should be taken at the largest meal of the day to enhance absorption.
Vitamin D was discovered in 1922 when it was found to prevent rickets in dogs. Because it was the fourth vitamin to be discovered (after vitamins A, B and C) it was named vitamin D. For over half a century, scientists thought vitamin D’s only function was to enhance calcium absorption and help prevent bone diseases like rickets and osteoporosis.
More recently, scientists have discovered that virtually all cells in the body have vitamin D receptors. In addition to bone health, we now know that optimal vitamin D levels are important for the prevention of heart disease, cancer, depression, cognitive decline and dementia. Also, vitamin D is one of the most critical factors for a healthy immune system and healthy pregnancies.
Vitamin D’s importance for a strong immune system has lead scientists to the realization that the annual increase in winter colds and flu is basically a vitamin D deficiency disease. Our primary source of vitamin D is direct exposure of sunlight on our skin. In the winter months, the sun’s rays are less direct and cold temperatures cause people to stay indoors more and wear clothing that prevents sunlight striking the skin.
What is the “optimal” vitamin D level? The accepted method of determining vitamin D is to measure blood levels of 25 hydroxy vitamin D. Many laboratories list 30 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter) and above as being optimal but I think this is wrong. The world’s leading vitamin D researchers uniformly agree that optimal vitamin D levels should be between 50-70 ng/ml. The only way to really know your vitamin D status is to get yourself tested. However, my general recommendation for adults is 5,000 IU/day.
THE VITAMIN D COUNCIL'S RECOMMENDED 25 HYDROXY VITAMIN D LEVELS:
Deficient: Below 50 ng/ml
Optimal: 50-70 ng/ml
Treating Cancers & Heart Disease: 70-100 ng/ml
Excess: Over 100 ng/ml
Did you know there are two forms of vitamin D? Vitamin D2, which is synthetic, is not the form of vitamin D that is produced in the body. Vitamin D3 is natural vitamin D, which is identical to the vitamin D our body makes. Many physicians write prescriptions which instruct patients to take 50,000 IU of vitamin D2 once weekly. However, I think it is better to take the active D3 at a dose of 5,000 IU once daily.
According to a recent study, vitamin D3 is much better absorbed, making it approximately 87% more effective in raising and maintaining blood levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D3 also stays in the body 2 to 3 times longer than an equivalent amount of vitamin D2.