in the Treatment of Cancerous Tumors
by Karen Railey
Cancer is a systemic disease that causes severe
wasting, metabolic disturbances, and often induces anorexia. More
than 40% of cancer patients die from malnutrition and not from the
cancer ("For the Technically Oriented Reader," Quillin,
in the body have the ability to become cancerous and many do so on
a daily basis. The immune system, if functioning properly, is able
to destroy these cells or reprogram them back into normally functioning
cells. Cancer can manifest itself as tumorous growths and the disease
is able to proliferate in the body when the immune defense has become
inadequate and unable to deal with the various stresses put on it.
the cells metabolism is effected and the normal cycle of cell
regeneration and death is interrupted, changes occur in the DNA and
cells become mutated. The mutated cells begin to multiply uncontrollably,
dividing when they are not needed and forming a mass of excess tissue,
which can develop its own network of blood vessels. This mass will
draw nourishment away from the bodys blood supply to feed itself,
and if left unchecked can develop into a cancerous tumor. Cells from
malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues and organs causing damage
and can also break away from the tumor and enter the bloodstream causing
the cancer to spread and tumors to grow in other areas of the body.
The spread of cancer is called metastasis.
there are many different types of cancer, there are five basic categories:
the most common cancers, which are those that originate in
the tissues which cover a surface or line internal organs. Carcinomas
include lung, breast, prostate, skin, and intestinal cancers.
cancers which originate in the connective and muscle tissue,
attacking bones, muscles, cartilage, or the lymph system. These
are considered to be the rarest and also the most deadly types of
these tumors are also rare and originate in the plasma
cells, which are found in bone marrow.
these are cancers of the lymph system. The two
most prevalent types in the U.S. are Hodgkins disease and
this type of cancer originates in the tissues of the
bone marrow, spleen, and the lymph nodes. Leukemia manifests itself
as an overproduction of white blood cells and is not a cancer that
forms solid tumors.
factors for cancer include overexposure to toxins such as pollution,
chemicals and drugs, improper diet and lifestyle, malnutrition, and/or
emotional and physical trauma. These factors contribute directly to
diminished immune function, thus increasing cancer risk. Hereditary
influences may also be a factor.
the relationship between cancer and impaired immune function, the
need to support, build, and stimulate the immune system of those with
the disease is obvious. The amino acid L-arginine has been proven
to be helpful in enabling the immune system to be more proficient
in fighting cancer in the body and has shown promise in the treatment
Arginine is a complex amino acid and is considered to be conditionally
essential. It does not fall perfectly into the essential or non-essential
categories, due to the fact that arginine can be synthesized in the
body at adequate levels for maintenance in normal adults. The body
needs higher levels of arginine when it is under conditions of stress,
illness, malnutrition or injury. When these conditions are present
arginine is essential. There are also some rare genetic disorders
in which the synthesis of arginine is impaired; in these conditions
supplemental arginine is necessary. It is interesting that even in
those not deficient in arginine, beneficial effects were realized
human body arginine is most concentrated in skin and connective tissue.
has many benefits:
in liver detoxification
sperm count in males
in kidney disorders and trauma
to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass
the body in collagen production
in the release of growth hormones
immune system function
retardation of tumor growth
actions of L-arginine which are related to its use in cancer treatment
cellular replication of tumors
in the release of growth hormones
rate of wound healing (in cases of surgical intervention)
retards the growth of tumors and cancer by enhancing immune function.
The thymus gland is the "director" of the immune system
and plays a key role in determining the effectiveness of the immune
response to cancer. When the body is under attack from cancer,
protein loss causes the thymus to shrink, drastically reducing
the strength of the bodys immune response. Supplements of
free-form arginine, acting as the precursor of growth hormone,
have shown the ability to increase the size and health of the
thymus gland. The immune response becomes more vigorous as the
thymus gland produces more of its enzyme, thymosin, which in turn
stimulates the spleen and lymph nodes to manufacture higher levels
of T lymphocytes (T-cells). The T-cells are not only increased
in number, but also become more active and effective. T-cells
aid in the destruction of pathogens, including cancerous cells,
either by digesting the invading agents or by sending out toxic
compounds to destroy them.
correlation has been seen between the excess of an enzyme, ornithine
decarboxylase, and increased tumor growth. Arginine supplementation
has been shown to decrease the activity of ornithine decarboxylase
and aid in slowing tumor development in this manner also (The
Healing Nutrients Within, Braverman, Eric, and pg. 222). It
is also believed that the by-products of normal arginine metabolism
produce anti-tumor activity resulting in lowering polyamines,
which are elevated in many cancer patients.
high in arginine include carob, chocolate, coconut, dairy products,
gelatin, fish, poultry, meat, oats, peanuts, soybeans, walnuts, brown
rice, wheat, wheat germ, sesame and sunflower seeds, popcorn, and
of Arginine Deficiency:
loss and breakage
and clinics such as Patrick Quillin Ph.D., N.D., Eric R. Braverman,
M.D., Center for Holistic Life Extension in San Ysidro, CA, and The
Edelson Center in Atlanta, GA use arginine for treatment of cancer
in various dosages and protocols. Arginine is used in conjunction
with proper nutrition (usually a whole food, vegetarian diet), other
adjuncts, and other types of alternative and/or allopathic therapies.
prevention/treatment protocol suggested in The Amino Revolution
include the aminos and cofactors directly related to them but does
not include dosages.
acid } components of glutathione
Vitamin B complex
supplements must be taken in fairly high doses to combat cancers
ability to consume protein. The components of glutathione are used
rather than the glutathione itself, due to the fact that it is made
up of the three amino acids (cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine)
and therefore tends to be attacked by digestive enzymes in the stomach.
Nutritionists believe that supplements of the three constituent components
would be more effective in fighting cancer (The Amino Acid Revolution,
Erdman, Robert, pgs 132-133).
Quillin suggests the following aminos be included in a cancer treatment
up to 12 grams daily
Carnitine 1.5 grams
Glutamine 5 grams
N-acetylcysteine 1 to 2 grams or 200 mg of glutathione
a therapeutic dose of glutamine is considered to be 5 grams or more
per day, there is controversy concerning "optimum doses"
for arginine in cancer treatment. It is a complex question depending
on many variables including the patients condition and response
to the treatment. A recommendation for optimum dosing is to dose at
a therapeutic level then raise the dosage until the desired effect
is observed. After this, raising the dosage further will not produce
a greater or more sustained effect. Monitoring plasma arginine levels
may be important as well.
is most effective if taken on an empty stomach at least one hour before
or three hours after a meal. It can be taken easily by mixing with
water. It has also been administered intravenously in dosages up to
25 to 30 grams in hospitals and clinics.
suggested that a dosage of up to 1.5 grams per day would be safe and
effective for the average person.
Comments were found stating that arginine might cause tumor growth
by feeding the cancer. The theory is that cancer needs protein so
ingesting arginine (a protein) could cause cancer growth. I found
no research to back this up, only opinion and theory.
/ Side Effects:
supplements should not be taken by pregnant and lactating women, unless
under the care of a health professional. It should be avoided by those
with viral infections such as herpes and those with liver diseases
that cause an excess of ammonia in the system (some liver disorders
are benefited from arginine) or who have kidney failure. Diabetics
should avoid arginine due to its insulin-blocking effects. Schizophrenics
should not take more that 30 milligrams per day. Children who have
not completed bone growth should avoid arginine supplementation but
eat arginine rich foods.
has been shown to be remarkably free of side effects for the vast
majority of people who have taken it, even in large therapeutic doses.
Some have experienced diarrhea and/or nausea when taking high therapeutic
doses and one study found that several weeks of large doses might
result in thickening and coarsening of the skin in some people.
Supporting the Use of Arginine in Cancer Treatment:
fed arginine rich diets (5%) had considerably fewer and more benign
tumors when later treated with the carcinogen DMDA (Takeda, Y., et
al, Cancer Research, vol. 35, p.2390, Sept. 1975).
added to drinking water in animals was able to inhibit subcutaneous
tumor growth (Pryme, If, Cancer Letters, Vol5, p. 19, 1978).
added to diet of mice (5% of wt.) produced fewer tumors, slower growing
tumors, and twice the mean survival time as compared to untreated
mice (Milner, JA, et al., Journal of Nutrition, vol.109, p.489, 1979).
studies, researchers have speculated on two primary functions of arginine
in the body; essential for the synthesis of reparative collagen in
wound recovery, decreases some of the negative aspects of metabolic
responses to injury (Seifter, E., et al., Surgery, vol.84, no.2, p.224,
supplements in animals stimulated thymus activity which resulted in
reduced tumor growth (Critselis, AN, et al., Federation Proceedings,
vol.36, p.1163, 1977). Arginine also dramatically improves wound healing.
stimulates lymphocyte immune response in 21 healthy human volunteers
Barbul, A., et al., Surgery, vol.90, no.2, p.244, 1981).
supplements in tumor-bearing mice provided enhanced T-cell function,
increased response to autologous tumors, retarded tumor growth, and
prolonged median survival time (Reynolds, JV, et al., Annals of Surgery,
with neuroblastomas, arginine supplements provided significant tumor
retardation in the ummunogenic group (Reynolds, JV, et al., Journal
of Surgical Research, vol.45, p.513, 1988). Arginines tumoricidal
abilities go beyond its protein sparing abilities or immune stimulation.
supplements in mice provided significant enhancement of cytotoxic
T-lymphocytes, natural killer cell activity, interleukin-2 receptors
and general immune improvements (Reynolds, JV, et al., Surgery, vol.104,
no.2, p.142, Aug.1988).
protein synthesis and elevates albumin synthesis from 8.5% to 19.7%
when used in TPN formula in 10 malnourished cancer patients (Tayek,
JA, et al., Clinical Research, vol.33, no.1, p.72A, 1985).
with breast cancer were given 10 milligrams a day for three days,
which significantly enhanced several measures of immune function..
The mitogenic responses of peripheral blood lymphocytes were increased
approximately 60%, while NK and LAK cytotoxicity were increased by
81 and 107%.
All above research which includes references is from "For the
Technically Oriented Reader," by Patrick Quillin Ph.D., N.D.
James F., M.D.; Prescription for Nutritional Healing Avery
Publishing Group, Garden City, New York, 1997
Eric R., M.D., The Healing Nutrients Within
Robert, Ph.D; The Amino Revolution Fireside, New York, New
April 26, 1999
Burton, Alternative Medicine, The Definitive GuideFuture Medicine
Publishing, Puyallup, Washington, 1993
Sheldon Saul, M.D., Ph.D.; The Doctors Vitamin and Mineral
Encyclopedia Simon and Schuster, New York, New York, 1990
Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Family Health Book Harper
Collins Publishers, New York, New York, 1999
Patrick, Ph.D., N.D., "Action Plan Against Cancer"
April 25, 1999
Patrick, Ph.D., N.D., "For the Technically Oriented Reader"
April 25, 1999
April 25, 1999
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