Outside the Box Cancer Therapies with Dr. Paul Anderson
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Dr. Paul Anderson discusses Outside the Box Cancer Therapies with Dr. Ben Weitz.
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2:08 Diet and Cancer. Dr. Anderson believes that the balance between fat metabolism and muscle metabolism are two of the most important factors that diet affects and that impact long-term survival. Fat metabolism is largely driven by insulin excess and insulin insensitivity. The chemistry that comes from that insulin cascade is very inflammatory, is very pro cancer. The metabolism of our muscles when we are moving and doing muscle work sends out the opposite signaling. It is beneficial to get into ketosis whether that is with a ketogenic or other form of low carb diet or through intermittent fasting. Even if patients find it difficult to follow a ketogenic diet, nearly everyone can do a 13 hour intermittent fasting window and this alone results in 1/3 less breast cancer recurrence. It is important while doing any form of fasting to drink plenty of water.
7:48 The next step is cleaning the junk out of the diet, which means not eating anything artificial, avoiding packaged foods that have preservatives and coloring agents, etc. and avoiding any foods that do not come from nature.
8:04 The following step is to remove simple carbohydrates, which means avoiding simple sugars and any fast converting carbohydrates. We counsel patients to maximize vegetable content, esp. high fiber vegetables with color. It is best to follow a low carbohydrate or ketogenic approach, so we counsel patients how to do this. If patients are unwilling to do that, then we ask them to follow a modified Mediterranean diet, which is essentially a Mediterranean diet with the fast carbs and grains removed and a focus on fish and healthy oils and a lot of colorful vegetables.
12:15 The role of meat in cancer causation. Meat is a good way to bring toxins into the body, especially commercially produced meat. Such processed meat also contains hormones and preservatives and other chemicals. Dr. Anderson believes that the association between meat and cancer that is seen in some of the epidemiological studies is more related to the quality and the cleanliness of the meat, which is what he tells his patients who want to eat meat. His vegan and vegetarian patients he tells them about insulin resistance and her either recommends starting with a three day fast or a seven day raw vegan/low fruit diet with nothing cooked, both of which can improve their insulin sensitivity.
15:32 Ketogenic diet for cancer. Dr. Anderson explained that he will often recommend a ketogenic or low carb approach, esp. if the person has a very aggressive cancer, such as a stage four pancreatic cancer. He will approach such a patient and frame a ketogenic diet as an intervention for their cancer or a prescription diet, rather than a lifestyle change. He will combine this with an aggressive supplement and IV supplement regimen as well. Stage four pancreatic cancer has a very low survivability with standard treatment of 2 to 5%, but Dr. Anderson has seen some of his patients survive using an aggressive diet and supplement program as adjunctive care. Once the low carb or ketogenic diet is in place, then adding some exogenous ketones can be helpful to keep their ketone levels higher in their blood. Dr. Anderson mentioned that Xymogen has one of the better tasting ketone products. He likes to start them with 5 gm twice per day and work them up to 10 gm twice per day. This ketogenic approach seems to work better with some of the aggressive cancers, like pancreatic, ovarian, colon, and glioblastoma.
19:33 Prostate cancer is a bit of an outlier when it comes to diet. The prostate cancer tumor biology is unique and while keeping insulin levels low is important, there are certain other factors that need to be considered, including reducing choline intake from egg yolks, organ meats, chicken, and certain other foods.
20:21 Oral nutritional supplements for cancer patients. Curcumin is one of the really important supplements to include because it has such an immune-leveling effect and it positively affects so many of the pathways involved in cancer formation and progression. One of the forms of curcumin that Dr. Anderson prefers is a highly absorbable form of curcumin from Ayush Herbs that comes emulsified in a powder form with coconut oil and it can easily be added to a smoothie. The other form he prefers is CuraPro, which is the BCM-95 form of curcumin, and the Curcum-Evail from Designs For Health is very similar. Dr. Anderson will often start patients with 1,000 mg per day to start and then dose it 2-3 times per day for a total dosage of 2,000 to 3,000 mg per day. Another herb that often goes with curcumin is boswellia, which also acts on those inflammatory pathways. He will usually recommend 1,000 mg of boswellia per day. The next oral supplement that Dr. Anderson often recommends is melatonin and he is now recommending a dosage of 100-300 mg per day. Melatonin has over 15 different mechanisms by which it can help your immune system, so it is really important.
31:48 Another important category of supplements that Dr. Anderson recommends is medicinal mushrooms. A good resource for information about mushrooms is Paul Stamets, who is a mycologist and has the largest repository of research on mushrooms on his website, which is PaulStamets.com. If Dr. Anderson is working with a patient with an active cancer, he will often start with a specific mushroom formula, such as Turkey Tail, and he will use a high dosage, like 2,000 to 3,000 mg and this is usually well tolerated. Or he may use a concentrated mushroom extract, like AHCC. Sometimes he will use a blend of shitake, maitake, and a few others. Once the cancer slows down or goes into remission, he will switch to a maintenance strategy such as a blend of a number of mushrooms, such as MyCommunity. We should not overlook the benefits of white button mushrooms, which at one time were considered not very beneficial like iceberg lettuce, but there is now a fair amount of research that demonstrates the benefits of white button mushrooms. And Dr. Anderson said that they like to rotate the mushroom supplements.
38:39 Other supplements that he uses frequently are Vitamin D and Vitamin K2.
42:21 CBD and THC. The cannabinoids have a lot of potential anti-cancer benefits. Dr. Anderson has found that if you mix CBD and THC you can get the immune benefit and you can also reduce some of their pain medications and cancer patients are often on some kind of pain medication, such as opiates, or medications for anxiety, such as benzodiazopenes. He may recommend 50-200 mg of CBD maybe as an oil to take several times per day and then take a tincture of THC to take later in the day such as after dinner when they are not going to be working or driving.
45:12 Metatrol or Avemar or Oncomar. Another strategy to take advantage of the metabolic effect of following a low carb diet is to add in Metatrol or Avemar, which is a very expensive supplement of fermented wheat germ extract that supports the mitochondria. This product weakens the cancer cells and makes it harder for the cancer cells to work like our normal cells, which is what the low carb diet does. This fermented wheat germ research has more and more research showing its benefits. Here is a list of the Studies on Fermented Wheat Germ Extract.
50:59 Continuing with this Warburg idea that cancer cells have trouble generating energy except through glycolysis, which is why the low carb diet makes it hard on cancer cells and why Avemar helps, the mitochondria in cancer cells is weak. Therefore it makes sense to target the mitochondria of cancer cells with alpha lipoic compounds, including R-Lipoic acid, which should be dosed fairly high–more than 400 mg, and there are several augmented lipoic acid compounds like Poly-MVA. Poly-MVA contains palladium that holds the lipoic acid molecules together, which allows the lipoic acid to be sucked into the mitochondria faster.
50:30 Artemesinin. The injectible form, artesunate, can be very powerful for cancer and works well used with IV vitamin C, but it’s difficult to get now in the US. The artesunate uses iron or copper in your system to create peroxide that kills cancer cells. While some have advocated reloading the patient with iron, Dr. Anderson does not like doing this unless the patients is severely anemic, since the iron can also promote cancer. And copper is also very pro cancer. You can also give oral wormwood or artemisinin the night before and then the morning of the IV vitamin C. When using oral artemisinin he will give it for 3 or 4 days and then not for 3-4 days, so you don’t create severe anemia.
1:04:36 Supplements that can modulate estrogen metabolism and potentially affect breast cancer risk: Iodine, Indole-3-carbinol, DIM, Calcium D-glucarate. High dose iodine can be a good synergistic supplement for breast cancer, though he has never seen it push someone to remission. There is some worry about iodine, but this is mostly because when you take iodine, you detoxify bromine chemicals and this can cause headaches and other symptoms. Dr. Anderson prefers using a supplement that contains both Indole-3-carbinol and DIM since they have slightly different mechanisms of action and also add calcium D-glucarate, which works mostly in the gut to stop us from reabsorbing metabolized estrogen.
1:10:09 Intravenous Vitamin C. There are benefits to both lower dose and higher dose IV vitamin C, though these are different benefits. The most common is to use high dose IV vitamin C and it has both an oxidative effect and like artesunate it creases a peroxide surge, which is very irritating to cancer cells. It helps to draw immune cells into the area and it helps with the balance of the NAD system. Using a high dose of IV vitamin C we usually start with 25 gms but works up to 50-75 grams, depending upon body size.
1:16:00 IV Curcumin. IV Curcumin allows us to reach a much higher level of curcumin than can be achieved with oral curcumin and it has been effective at helping to reverse metastatic spread of cancer to the bones. A drug company has developed a IV curcumin analog as a cancer drug that they have patented and has to be given at a lower dosage, since it is not as safe as natural curcumin. And this is making it more difficult to get natural curcumin IV products.
Dr. Paul Anderson is a Naturopathic Doctor, Medical Director & Founder of Anderson Medical Specialty Associates (AMSA). He is a recognized authority in the field of integrative cancer research and the treatment of chronic diseases, genomic conditions, and auto-immune and infectious disorders. Dr. Anderson has written three books, Outside the Box Cancer Therapies: Alternative Therapies That Treat and Prevent Cancer, which he wrote with Mark Stengler, Cancer, The Journey From Diagnosis to Empowerment, and the recently released Cancer, The Journey from Diagnosis to Empowerment. Dr. Anderson also offers 80 different courses on a wide variety of aspects of a Naturopathic practice, including on biofilms at ConsultDrAnderson.com. Dr. Anderson also has a hub website, DrANow.com.
Dr. Ben Weitz is available for Functional Nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure and also weight loss and also athletic performance, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111. Dr. Weitz is also available for video or phone consultations.
Dr. Weitz: Hey, this is Dr. Ben Weitz, host of the Rational Wellness Podcast. I talk to the leading health and nutrition experts and researchers in the field, to bring you the latest in cutting edge health information. Subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast for weekly updates, and to learn more, check out my website, drweitz.com. Thanks for joining me. And let’s jump into the podcast.
Hello, Rational Wellness Podcasters. Thank you so much for joining me again today. And today we’re going to focus on Outside the Box Cancer Therapies with Dr. Paul Anderson. As most of us know in the functional medicine world nutrition, lifestyle and nutritional supplements, taken both orally and intravenously, can potentially have an impact on the outcome of cancer patients, both in terms of symptomatology, as well as overall mortality. Dr. Anderson has spent many years researching such strategies, as well as decades of clinical experience. Today, we are going to pick his brain to get some clinical pearls on effective natural strategies to help in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
Dr. Paul Anderson is a naturopathic physician, medical director and founder of Anderson Medical Specialty Associates. He’s a widely recognized authority in the field of integrative cancer research and the treatment of chronic diseases, genomic conditions, autoimmune and infectious disorders. Dr. Anderson has written several books including Outside the Box Cancer Therapies and Cancer: The Journey from Diagnosis to Empowerment. Dr. Anderson also offers quite a number of different courses on a wide variety of aspects of a naturopathic practice at consultdranderson.com. Dr. Anderson, thank you so much for joining us today.
Dr. Anderson: Thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Weitz: Okay. So let’s start with diet. What do we know about specific diets or specific dietary strategies, that can help the body to prevent and get rid of cancer?
Dr. Anderson: Yeah, I think that’s a great place to start because one of the things that I’ve seen when we look backwards over time at people who did maybe a lot better than other groups of folks with the same cancer, is that diet is such a foundational part of the way our body and our metabolism works. That it’s critical that it’s part of any care plan. So I think it’s a really great place to start. And this has really evolved a lot over time and that’s a good thing I think, but one of the things I try and communicate with patients and actually other doctors too, is there’s a lot of ways into your diet to make changes in your metabolism and the way your chemistry works. And if we keep in mind, what’s the most important parts that a diet can reach into or effect, et cetera and can we design the type of diet that we’re going to eat to do that? That’s like the core.
Because clinically speaking, and we’ll talk about specific diets here in a second, but we had a lot of success with low carbohydrate or ketogenic diets, et cetera, in cancer. And there’s a lot of reasons we talk about that, for that. We had other patients who, that just either because of the way that they ate or for other reasons, they couldn’t do that fully, but we were still able to work with, I guess you could say the way that they ate and their food choices, in a way that kind of got us in the same direction. So what I would try and transmit to the patient is the two most important factors that your diet does affect are the balance between fat metabolism and muscle metabolism, is really a critical place. We now know that that balance is involved in long-term survival of people who’ve already had cancer, of people who may be trying to prevent cancer and even people with chronic illnesses.
And the bottom line of that is, because there’s obviously a lot of deeper chemistry, is that fat metabolism is largely driven by insulin excess and insulin insensitivity. And the chemistry that comes from that insulin cascade is very inflammatory, is very pro metastases, it’s just pro cancer in general. And the metabolism that our muscles have when we’re just moving and doing muscle work sends out kind of the opposite signaling. And so your diet really affects the fat and insulin metabolism side very, very heavily and then the muscle metabolism a little bit.
So for example, and we got to the point where at our clinic, we designed a graphic to help patients kind of see their way through this. And so we would get people that would say, “Well, I’ve looked at ketogenic diets and I just don’t think I could get there. I don’t think I could do that.” And sometimes that was just because maybe they didn’t understand that there’s a variety of ways to get into ketosis. If you can, and not everyone can do this, but almost everyone can, if you can do a 13 hour intermittent fasting window, regardless of what you eat it, the data now with breast cancer patients and some other places shows, I think with the breast cancer patients, they had about a third less cancer recurrence. Just doing that, they didn’t even change their diet. And then the next step up was to clean out just the junk from your diet, so processed food-
Dr. Weitz: Okay, let me just stop you for one second for people don’t know what intermittent fasting is. Really all you’re saying is, is let’s say you eat dinner at 6:00 the night before you don’t eat until say 7:00 AM the next morning. That would be 13 hours of intermittent fasting, correct?
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. And basically you drink plenty of water, so you stay hydrated. I’ve experimented with a lot of types of fasting. And almost every symptom I got during fasting was I was dehydrated. So we really try to have people drink water, but just no caloric intake during that time. And yeah, if you frame it that way and just say, “Okay, when do you normally have dinner. So after dinner is done, we’re going to have water and then sleep. Most of it you’re asleep for, and then in the morning, our breakfast is going to start 13 hours whenever you finish dinner.”
Dr. Weitz: So 13 hours is really not much sacrifice at all.
Dr. Anderson: It’s pretty doable. And I think somewhere between 12 and 14 hours is where they think the autophagy response, that sort of cell cleaning out response, turns on. But the other thing that the intermittent fast does, is it helps to reset your blood sugar and insulin release, so that your liver has a chance to clean out its stores and you start the day fresh. And they think that that’s a piece of why that works. So that was the foundation. So you can see that doesn’t, however I decide to eat after that, is a cherry on top. Obviously cleaning the junk out, which is easier for some people, harder for others, but we have them look for anything artificial, any obviously packaged foods that have preservatives and coloring and all the stuff that didn’t come from nature.
And then the next step above that is removing simple carbohydrates. And so that’s just simple sugars. Again, let’s say for example, somebody really wants to stay being a vegan or do a Mediterranean diet, you can still remove simple carbohydrates. That’s something that’s very doable and that keeps that insulin response low. And then the next step was, and almost regardless of the diet that they did with a couple exceptions, was to try and look at the non animal parts of their diet and maximize vegetable intake, high fiber vegetables with all the color. And then after that we’d show them, “Okay, so the top of the pyramid is what your specific diet is.” And we had a fair number of people who really resonated with say a low carbohydrate or ketogenic approach. And we would counsel them in a way to do that.
We also had other people that couldn’t get there, but we would do what’s called a modified Mediterranean diet. And I see with the Mediterranean diet is it has probably more research on it in health, in general, but in cancer, than any other type of diet. And I would tell patients, “All that means is we’ve researched it more. It doesn’t mean it’s better or worse. It just has a lot of research that’s positive.” So what we would do with the Mediterranean diet is basically remove the grains from it and then remove any fast converting sugar carbohydrate things. There aren’t a lot, but we’d focus on fish and healthy oils and a lot of colorful vegetables, that sort of thing.
Dr. Weitz: But say, take out the bread and the pasta and [inaudible 00:09:53]
Dr. Anderson: Take out the bread and the pasta and we would allow a certain amount of legumes, beans, and peas and things, but not an overly large amount. And basically you can get a very healthy diet by doing that. And a lot of people felt better with that. So the bottom line though, is if your diet can always be going in this direction of giving me enough fuel and enough nutrients, et cetera, let my body run, without making my insulin spike or triggering what 50% of North Americans have, which is their insulin resistance, without triggering that, you wind up with a lot healthier chemistry on the inside for your body’s immune system to resist the cancer.
Dr. Weitz: And is it your understanding that the insulin resistance is basically resulting from carbohydrates?
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. Well, I think there’s a lot of aggravating factors there. Toxicity is one and certainly there’s a spectrum of genetics that can make you a little insulin resistant or a lot. But I think the fuel for it, if we take away toxicity, I think the fuel for insulin resistance is how we eat. And it’s not fair, but somebody who has a high degree of insulin resistance built into their genes, they will achieve that insulin resistance faster the more carbohydrate they consume and also the less physically active they are. So those two go together.
Dr. Weitz: I have spoken to some vegan experts who claim that it’s fats that lead to insulin resistance.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. I’ve heard that and I’m not convinced of that, personally. I will say though, that we do have some patients who come in and they’re already vegetarian or vegan and they really don’t want to consume animal products, which is fine. We’ve also modified diets that worked well for that group of folks. It’s just a different focus. What we would do, because you brought up vegetarians and vegans.
Dr. Weitz: Right. So maybe you should even address, what do you think about the concept that meat might play a role in cancer causation?
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. So I think there’s a lot of reasons why some of our patients don’t want to eat meat for whatever reason. And some are concerns about maybe meat is a good way to bring toxins into your body, so that’s one thing, especially commercially produced meat. There’s a lot of hormones, a lot of other junk and even Dr. Stengler and I got into it in the book a little bit and it was something that I almost felt like we should explain a little bit more, but you find that out after you write things. There are some associations with certain types of meat and more cancer. So whenever there’s a population association, you can’t say for sure that that’s causal, but it’s where’s there’s smoke, there’s probably fire. My assumption with that has always been the quality and cleanliness of the meat is probably more at issue than just meat quote, unquote, “itself.” Also, if you look at the chemical changes, the amount of work your liver has to do, et cetera. If you were to eat a lot of processed meat versus fairly non-processed meat, it’s very different burden on your body. And to a lot of people, eating meat could be anything from preserve salami and lunch meats and stuff that’s got a lot of the junk in it we don’t need anyway. Or it could mean organically grown chicken or a fish or something like that. So what we would tend to do with folks, if they did want to eat meat is counsel them, that meat is a good entry point for toxins if you’re not careful how you source it. So we’d have them be careful there.
But to give equal time to our vegetarian and vegan patients, what we would tend to do with them is just explain this idea of insulin, insulin resistance. And a lot of that with a vegetarian or vegan diet has to do with the choices made of the plant material that you’re eating and also what fats you do and don’t allow in. So if people really, on the vegetarian/vegan end of the spectrum, wanted to really get a jump start on their metabolism. We would have two options for them if they wanted. One would be, if they want to do a three day fast as an induction fast. Anybody who wanted to do a three day fast on the beginning of a diet change, we would support them. A lot of people couldn’t do that or didn’t want to. So for the vegetarians and vegans, what we would do a lot of times is do a three day to maybe seven day raw vegan diet where they’re not even cooking anything. They’re just forcing their body to digest what they take in. And that sort of a raw food diet can push your insulin sensitivity down to a nice level for a lot of people, especially if you’re not eating a high amount of fruit, it’s more vegetables, et cetera.
Dr. Weitz: So some of the promoters of a ketogenic diet for cancer talk about the Warburg Effect. I’ve interviewed Dr. Thomas Siegfried and that one of the real benefits you get from a low carb, higher fat ketogenic diet, is that you starve the cancer cells, because the cancer cells can only get energy from through glycolysis as opposed to our ordinary cells who can get energy either through oxidation or through glycolysis.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. And that’s one of the reasons that we put it in context. If we had somebody come in say with a very aggressive cancer and they were pretty far along, say a pancreatic cancer stage four, something where we really had one chance to interact with their body. What we would tend to tell them is we would mention that about, say a ketogenic or a low carb diet and talk about the Warburg Effect and all that. And more frame it as, this is a very powerful intervention as a prescription diet, basically doing a keto or keto like diet. And we would combine that with supplement or IVs or some combination thereof, to reinforce that keto effect on their metabolism. And so a lot of people, even if they didn’t want to eat that way long-term, but they kind of had their backup against the wall with aggressive cancer, would understand that and they’d see it as a prescription.
And I’ve seen, for example, most people know or have heard, stage four, pancreatic cancer is very low survivability, standard treatment works three to 5% of the time. It’s a bad one. I’ve seen people do that with a keto diet and some metabolism support, et cetera, and essentially go into a remission with a pancreatic cancer, which is very difficult to see and I’ve seen it with other things. So we do certainly, as it is with patients, sometimes you have a broader group of options that you can do because they’re meeting the other criteria. But sometimes if you really have to get a hold of their metabolism and force the issue, we found that in that end of the spectrum, between a traditional low carb diet and a keto diet, if they could get there, we would then also use exogenous ketones with them to keep their ketone levels higher in their blood.
And what we would tell people, is the exogenous ketones are not to make it so you can eat other stuff or cheat a lot or any of that, it’s to just enhance what your diet’s doing. And so in our metabolic therapy protocol, the use of oral exogenous ketones is, we do that with everybody almost regardless of what diet they choose, but certainly a ketogenic diet can get you there. Now there are some cancers for which that approach seems to work a lot better and others it’s sort of like maybe, maybe not, it’s a little unclear. But definitely with, I would say, aggressive cancers and some of the big, bad ones we see a lot like pancreatic and ovarian, colon cancer, some of the other more aggressive things we would try and…
Dr. Weitz: Glioblastoma.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah, yeah. Definitely, glioblastoma is, yeah, certainly
Dr. Weitz: Prostate seems to be a little bit of an outlier. There seems to be some other dietary factors that can play a role that seems to be a little bit different than some of the other cancers.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. And the way I’ve seen that play out clinically with prostate cancer is I think maybe as opposed to one type of diet is really bad for prostate cancer and one’s really good. I think if you’re staying in this zone of low insulin stimulation, a lot of nutrients and the right mix of protein and fat, prostate cancer kind of has a wider band where it can do well there. It still is not served well by high sugar and high insulin levels and stuff like that. But prostate cancer is, it’s very unique in that respect. It doesn’t always behave like the other cancers.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah. There’s a few foods like egg yolks that seem to be problematic for prostate cancer and not for other cancers.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. And I think that a lot of that’s because prostate cancer’s biology, the tumor biology, is just so unique. And I’ve been seeing and reading the research and counseling patients on let’s say eggs and choline, which comes from eggs and other stuff.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah, choline seems to be the big factor.
Dr. Anderson: To be careful with those things. Whereas in other cancers that doesn’t seem to really be a huge fuel, but that being said, all the basic stuff like the intermittent fast and cleaning the junk out, it’s still the same.
Dr. Weitz: Absolutely. Good. So let’s go into oral supplementation and then we’ll finish with IV supplementation. So there’s quite a number of supplements that you mention in your book on cancer, The Outside the Box Cancer Therapies. Maybe you could tell us what you think are the five or 10 most impactful oral nutritional supplements that can be beneficial for prevention and for cancer patients.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a great place to start. I think in the book between oral nutrients and botanical herbal medicines, that’s probably the largest portion of the book is dedicated to what we could take supplementally to our diet. That being said, the first thing about oral supplements, especially nowadays with the internet, you can find literally a thousand things that’ll say they’re good for cancer. And a lot of them probably are. And one of the problems that we all see, I think who see patients is, between family and friends and their own research and just things they run into. They might come in with 30 things, literally, or 20 or 10, and it might just be too much for their body to actually handle, to take all that stuff and get anything good out. Or the doses might be so low that they’re not useful. So I usually try and have people think of it from the point of view of, “What are we going to get the most.”
Think of it from the point of view of what are we going to get the most effect out of for your money and your resources and your time and your spending doing this, and let’s build a core for supplementing, and then we can work out from there. There might be something that comes along, for example, maybe a breast cancer, certain other types of cancers. We might use a real specific mushroom like turkey tail, which now people have heard a lot about because there’s a lot of research, whereas if we step back and maybe look at other cancers, we might use more of a mix of mushroom species, et cetera. So when I think of cancers and with almost no exceptions, the top few I’ll talk about I would probably use with almost every cancer because of their, number one, multiple effects from one supplement, which is always great, and also the amount of research and just what we see clinically. And obviously, if someone’s allergic to something, that’s not a good… We just don’t do that.
But barring allergy or some other odd reaction, for example, curcumin is kind of a hard one to leave out of a treatment plan because curcumin, regardless of the tumor type, has such an immune-leveling effect. It affects so many, literally hundreds of parts of our immune system. And cancer, part of the problem with cancer is… We talk about insulin pushing cancer along. Well, cancer gets momentum by keeping your immune system off balance, and then the immune system can’t really control it, and it can’t really stop it from growing, et cetera. So curcumin is a really great leveler to immune problems. It’s also why we use it in autoimmunity and other things. So curcumin is probably one of my top three or four that I like with people. Now-
Dr. Weitz: Do you have a preferred form, and could you mention potential dosages?
Dr. Anderson: Yeah, and I’ll use an example of a product that there’s analogs to. The form of curcumin that we tended to use was one of two things, depending on how the person liked to take things. So Ayush Herbs has a powder that is a very highly absorbable curcumin that comes with some coconut oil as an emulsifier and some other absorption helpers. But the fact that it’s a powder and we’ve had people put it in their smoothie, it absorbed quite quickly, to the degree that you’d even see the sweat a little bit yellow afterwards. So it really gets into people. So if they liked that and they could tolerate taking the powder, we like that Ayush curcumin powder. And that’s, of course, not its trade name. I forget the trade name, but it’s the only one Ayush makes. That was really good. We used that a lot with our inflamed people, orthopedic injuries and eczema and other stuff too. But with cancer, that was a really big go-to for us.
And then the other one was called CuraPro. And CuraPro has a couple of lookalike products from other companies. CuraPro is easy for people to source and things, so we would often use that. And then CuraPro has an exact or almost exact copy from Designs for Health, and it’s their curcumin. It’s basically the same stuff. With those and with the powder, we would go for a starting dose… We start people usually at 1,000 milligrams to just see their tolerance. And then we would try and have them dose it two or three times a day and get to around 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams. I think for cancer, if you look across the research, that’s probably a good place to be, 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams. So whether you’re using CuraPro or the Designs for Health Curcum-Evail, is their trade name, that’s sort of the capsule version, or if you use the Ayush powder, you’re going for two to three grams once you get used to it. Curcumin does… You get to higher doses, you have to warn people that their stool will be curcumin colored and their sweat might and other stuff. So they just have to get used to that. But curcumin probably is the best go-to. And there’s people that are allergic to it and can’t do it. But broad spectrum.
And whenever I talk about curcumin, there’s another herb that often goes with curcumin, but we might tend to use it with more hyper-inflammatory cancers or things that are harder to get to, like brain tumors, prostate. And that’s boswellia, so the herb boswellia. And there’s even products that have those two together that makes it a little easier for the patient too. But boswellia is very… It’s also immune leveling, but it’s a little more potent in the anti-inflammatory end of the spectrum. And if you think about what drives metastases of cancer, a lot of it’s inflammatory, which is why we want to get the insulin down and all that stuff. So boswellia is always a good one, especially, like I say, with brain, prostate, other cancers that might be hard to get to, or just things where there’s a lot of collateral inflammation in the body, bone metastases, et cetera. And with the boswellia, you often don’t need as much dose as you do with a curcumin. Usually, a total of 1,000 milligrams a day with a curcumin is plenty. But boswellia is good enough that if someone was allergic to turmeric or cumin, I would do their dose mostly with boswellia as their primary herb. So those two are really very broadly useful.
The next supplement that I probably recommend with most people is melatonin. So not an herb but a hormone actually. And what we’re seeing now is sort of interesting if you watch over long periods of time. I remember, gosh, it was probably 25 years ago now, melatonin used to be dosed in cancer 100-plus milligrams easily. We used to do that. And then for whatever reason, that kind of fell out of favor, and we dropped our doses and everything. And now there’s a lot more research coming out showing that, well, melatonin does so many more things than make you sleepy at night. We think of it as help me go to bed, right?
Dr. Weitz: Right.
Dr. Anderson: And you use three to five milligrams for sleep. Well, in cancer, melatonin literally has over 15 mechanisms where it may help your immune system. So common doses of melatonin in cancer are working people up from 10 to 30 to maybe 50 or 60 milligrams of melatonin. And some people now, and we’ve done it with some aggressive cancers, are even going back to the olden days and using 100, 200, even 300 milligrams of melatonin. And what’s interesting with that is that, again, there’s different tolerances to these things. You don’t go in and give them the full dose right away. You work up to it. Some people, actually, if they spread it through the day, they don’t get tired from it anymore. And some people are a little more sensitive. But melatonin is… It just does so many things, kind of like curcumin does. It’s got so many ways into the tumor biology. It’s tough to leave that out of a protocol, in my mind.
Then, if we start looking at other supplement type things, the category of medicinal immune mushrooms is very broad. If you look at… The person who has the biggest repository of research on medicine and mushrooms is Paul Stamets, who most people have heard of now. He’s a mycologist, and he has a website, and he’s got well over 50,000 publications linked there for different types of mushrooms and what they do and all that.
What we would often do with patients is if the cancer was, let’s say, very active and we’re getting in and we’re doing diet changes and all the supplements and all that stuff, we might use a more specific mushroom formula on the front end when the cancer’s active. So that might be, like we mentioned, a turkey tail, which is pretty hard to go wrong with. Turkey tail doses tend to be fairly high for cancer, 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams, but they’re very well tolerated. Most people tolerate turkey tail really well. Later, when we talk about IVs, part of the IV research I was involved in… Our group was also researching turkey tail and other mushrooms orally, and we had a lot of pretty remarkable responses from turkey tail therapy.
That being said, also, there’s some people where we would use a blend of a shiitake/maitake or maybe shiitake, maitake, and a couple other ones from that family. And that’s another good strategy, I think, during the active working phase of cancer, where we’re trying to get the cancer under control. What we would do a lot with maintenance, because there’s always… The concept usually is, if we’re really working hard and the cancer’s fighting back a lot, so we’ve got a lot going on on the front end, we want to maximize things, probably use higher doses. And then if the person goes into remission or the cancer slows down or some other good thing, they level out, then sometimes it’s good to change to a maintenance strategy. So their body kind of… It mixes it up a little bit.
So in maintenance, we would often use… There’s a common mushroom blend called MyCommunity. It’s M-Y Community, and it’s a play on Myco community, mushroom community. And it’s basically a blend of immune mushrooms that’s more leveling, let’s say. So instead of trying to drive with just one driver, like turkey tail or the shiitake blends or something, this is a little more let’s keep your immune system ready.
I will put a plug in for white button mushrooms. White button mushrooms in the past always got… They got the rap of like iceberg lettuce. Like, “Oh, they probably don’t do anything.” But there’s actually, in the last 10 years, really good research on white button mushrooms. I mean, they’re still a mushroom. And they looked first at just people who ate a fairly large amount of them in their diet, and they saw these… There was some cancer protection. There were some other things that they noticed. So now there’s actually research showing white button mushrooms, if you put them in your diet, that’s one thing. But there are supplements now where there’s the equivalent amount of the constituents from white buttons. And the research, I believe, is around some common… probably breast cancer and a couple others. But there’s no reason that that’s not going to work across the board.
So as we know, there’s kind of two parts to prevention. One is you’ve never had cancer and you’re trying not to get it. And we all make cancer cells every day. On that end, we usually just counsel people that that’s a good addition to their diet. If you’re on the other end and you’ve had cancer and you want to keep everything calm, that MyCommunity type of supplement, where it’s a mixture, or the white button mushroom things, we like to rotate them.
Dr. Weitz: What about some of the extracts like active hexose compound, AHCC, which you mentioned in your book?
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. So that’s something that we use with a lot of folks, especially during the active cancer-fighting phase. AHCC is… It’s sort of like taking the most potent part out of a mushroom and concentrating it. AHCC is a really good supplement to add for people on that front end. Now one of the things I’ve seen with AHCC, because it’s got a lot of the more pro-immune parts of the mushroom activity. So for instance, we use AHCC with people with chronic infections too, things like that.
The only thing that we would watch on that if we used it a little early is if the immune system got a little too wound up, people… That’s good because you’re going to be fighting with things. But people could get some side effects from that. So they might notice fevers or other things. And if they were manageable, that’s fine. If it was too much stimulation, maybe they got joint pain and fever and things, we might switch them over to turkey tail or a shiitake blend and then work them over to AHCC.
The way I think in my mind is the neutral blends and the white mushrooms and stuff are very broad in their actions. Then you get to the shiitake family and the turkey tails and that stuff, and they’re a little more specific, a little more weighted towards fighting, so to speak. You get to AHCC, and it’s weighted even more because it’s so concentrated. But AHCC is a very useful addition. I kind of think of it like in the middle of therapy. Yeah. So the whole mushroom world is always… That’s obviously more than one supplement, but there’s a lot of options in there. And I think nature gives us a lot of gifts, and mushrooms probably have the most breadth of offerings really when it comes to plant medicine. Now, other things that are fairly common, Vitamin D and vitamin K, especially K2.
Dr. Weitz: Sure.
Dr. Anderson: Now, a lot of times, it’s good to look at people’s labs up front and see where their vitamin D is, of course, and all that. So if we think about chronic vitamin D supplementation, we’re normally giving people D3 with some K2 in the balance, and that’s a maintenance dose. So for prevention, that works out really well there. Now, I think almost every supplement company now has a D/K2 supplement, and it’s always about the same ratio.
But in active cancer, what we often would do… Certainly, if a person’s vitamin D was low, we would be giving higher doses. But a lot of times, the D’s not bad, but they haven’t had any vitamin K. So vitamin K2… Menadione is its name, and so it has a precursor of MK. Well, the most common supplements are an MK-4 or MK-7. There’s obviously all the other MKs too, but that’s what supplement people have looked at. And in my opinion, they both work about the same. Obviously, the people who make one versus the other usually try and tell you that theirs is better.
But the idea with vitamin K2 is… So K1 is the stuff… If you ate a high vitamin K plant, like a dark green vegetable, there’s K1 in there, and that’s phytonadione. K2 usually comes from some metabolism of bacterial or fermenting metabolism, something like that. But, we can get it in supplements easy enough. So either an MK-4 or MK-7 supplement is very useful. Normally, with those guys, what we believe that they’re doing… So vitamin K, the reason we give it with D is it balances the calcium activity of vitamin D out. It helps the calcium go to the right places and not the wrong places. That’s K’s job. But vitamin K also activates a lot of enzyme systems. And especially if you’re getting the vitamin D levels up and you don’t have a lot of vitamin K, the K2 can be very helpful to that immune fight with the cancer. So like I say, if it’s maintenance on either side. For prevention, it’s probably just a standard vitamin D3/K2 supplement. If it’s during the active cancer process, they’re getting whatever vitamin D they need and then an MK-4 or MK-7. And the only other difference there, which in the book I get into specifics, and I always get it turned around in my mind because it’s an interesting factoid. One of them is dosed in milligram doses and the other’s in microgram doses because they’re different. Although they’re both K2, one’s way more active. So you just have to look at what you’re getting there. So D and K, pretty important.
The other thing that I’ve found, especially in the last, I would say, well, 12, 15 years now… Time flies. We had early on in the state of Washington, where I practice mostly, the advent of medical cannabis prescribing. So before we had recreational or any of that stuff, we could recommend… not prescribe it, but recommend cannabinoids. So that allowed us… And that law passed when we were doing this cancer research. So it allowed us a lot of latitude of recommending things and just seeing what happened with people. And if you fast forward till now, we know that there’s a lot of potential anti-cancer benefits to the different cannabinoids. The CBD forms from hemp, which are legal everywhere now because they’re not from the other cannabis family, those are used quite a lot. But what we found is if you could mix CBD and THC’s family together, you could not only get a lot of immune benefit, but sometimes a lot of medication reduction with people. So for example, we might have people on 50 to 200 milligrams of CBD as maybe an oil or something easy to take a couple of times a day. And then later in the day, where they weren’t driving or going to work or whatever, we might have them dose, say, a tincture, drops of THC. Because everyone’s tolerance is so different, we’d start with just a few drops at dinner and kind of work up. But we had a lot of people where they were able to decrease or get off of pain medicine, anxiety and sleep medicine, et cetera, and/or only need those things like their pain medicine if they had breakthrough pain. And one of the things that you don’t think about, sort of a necessary evil with advanced cancer is most people are on some kind of pain medicine. If someone’s uncomfortable with anything, we don’t make them do it obviously. But we had a lot of people where they were tired of taking Ativan three times a day for their anxiety and their sleep and stuff, or they really didn’t like the side effects from their opiates. And we would titrate in the THC forms, see what effect we got, and they could either get on lower or even be off most of it. So I found that to be very useful over time.
Now, there’s a whole… Obviously, for every one herb we mentioned, there’s 40 other ones that you can go into. So there’s another because, and I think this is important because it sort of fits in with this metabolic approach to cancer we were talking about. So let’s say you’re doing a dietary approach like the low carb or a keto or something in that end of the spectrum, and maybe you’re even adding some exogenous ketones in. The thing that you want to do is to enhance what that’s doing at your cell level, at the cancer cell level specifically. So as you were saying earlier, most cancers, not all, but most, can really only metabolize in the cytosol through glycolysis. And that’s the-Metabolize in the cytosol through glycolysis, and that’s the energy they get. When you get to the mitochondria where our normal cells get most of their energy, the mitochondria in most cancer are dysfunctional. So if you can do something that takes advantage of that dysfunction, the nice thing is it won’t hurt your normal cells at all, because you’re just feeding them. But if you can take advantage of the metabolic dysfunction and your diet is in a direction like keto, et cetera, where it’s taking advantage of that in the Warburg effect, that’s a one, two bonus there. One of the things that we’ve used in that setting, which is very specific, is something, common name for it now is Metatrol, they used to call it Avemar, and they might still.
Dr. Weitz: Oh, yeah. Fermented wheat germ extract.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. I think maybe the OTC is one name, whatever. That has a lot of immune effects, but when you look at the way it works, it supports what you’re trying to do with that dietary approach. So especially if someone’s working on that, we’re trying to really force the cancer cells to work like our normal cells, which they can’t do when they’re weakened the Metatrol or Avemar works really well for that. Now, it’s one where it’s many of these things are kind of your average supplement cost, et cetera. Some of these specialty things like AHCC, where they have to do a lot of work to it, or Avemar, Metatrol, those are a little more expensive, so we usually make sure somebody’s doing the dietary side first, before they spend the money on doing that. But Avemar or Metatrol are very, very supportive of that.
Dr. Weitz: I think we were using a version of it from XYMOGEN That was called OncoMAR and it was in capsules.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. Yeah, and I’m sure there’s trade name reasons why they are using those.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah, it was fairly expensive, but you start looking into some of the animal research and it’s pretty impressive.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. The compound in all those products, interestingly, has more and more research that is very compelling around it. I kind of have always thought it probably does work better if you’re also attending to the dietary side of the equation. Just because I’ve mentioned it a few times as I’m sure people are curious how much exogenous ketones we recommend to people, normally we have them do a powdered ketones salt. I’ve tried a lot of them. Ketones taste bitter, they taste like ketones, it’s not a great taste. So the company’s try and mask that the best they can.
We’ve used a lot of different ones, and what I would tell people is, “Here’s some options.” We’d have them try them, because obviously if you get a hold tub of something that makes you not want to eat it, you’re not going to take it. We used a lot of the XYMOGEN ketone powder, for example. I do remember, I did a conference a few years ago now and one of my co-speakers was Dominic D’Agostino who’s of the big keto and metabolic research guys. I was asking him, because he did some of the original research with ketone esters and the special forces and diving and preventing seizures and things, ketone esters are kind of hard to get and they’re quite expensive. And I said, “Clinically speaking, if we’re not working with people underwater for a long time, like his population, if I’m just looking at raising ketone levels, would keto salts work?” And he said, “Yeah.” He said, it’s basically going to get you the same direction. If you’re trying to avoid seizures, the ketone esters are better, but they’re hard to get.
The ketones salts, we would start people with 5 grams, which is usually one serving twice a day, and then get them up to about 10 grams twice a day. That helps to level out shifts in their dietary intake and things, because your diet drives keto generation. And so if your diet was not the same all the time, the exogenous ketones really helped. So usually start with 5 grams twice a day and go to 10 grams twice a day. You can take more, but that seemed to be an effective level.
But before we get off this, the Warburg idea and things like Metatrol, Avimar, that whole family of the same thing, you could think parallel like normal cells and they’re going to go through glycolysis and then into oxphos in your mitochondria, make lots of energy. Cancer cells, most of them get down to glycolysis and have to stop, and they make a little energy and they pump out a lot of lactic acid and other stuff that’s not good for you. And their mitochondria is weak. So the things like Avimar, Metatrol kind of help on the front end of that, so does the diet, and then if you’re targeting the mitochondria, there’s a number of ways into the mitochondria. Again, nice thing is your normal cells will only be helped by this and the cancer cells will be injured. So mitochondrial targeting alpha-lipoic acid compounds are the best known for mitochondrial targeting.
So if we’re going to do a real specific mito target with a lipoic acid compound, the R-lipoic acid is just the R non-racemic mixture, so it’s more potent. That’s the preferred one that we would use with folks. The dose there is usually 200 to 400 milligrams, whereas with a racemic mixture, we go higher. And then there’s other, I call them augmented lipoic acid compounds. We talk about them in the book. Again, just like Avemar, there’s a couple of trade names to these. Generically, they’re just called lipoic acid mineral complexes. So it’s usually two lipoic acids bound in a structure with electrolytes holding them together. Why would you do that? Why would you give R-lipoic acids? Because those forms of lipoic acid go right to the mitochondria very quickly. So, like in our chronic fatigue patients, we give them lipoic acid as a mitochondrial boost. If you think of a cancer mitochondria that doesn’t process energy correctly, you put energy in the front end, it actually can damage itself. And then your normal cells, you put energy in the front end, they just get healthier. So the lipoic mineral complexes are a little more potent. One of the supplements is called Poly-MVA, and that’s in the book. There’s also a version called Rejeneril-A, which is the same thing, sort of like Avemar, there’s two or three companies with it. But that one specifically was developed for cancer, the mineral complex, so it’s a little more potent than R-lipoic acid, although they’re both very good.
Dr. Weitz: The Poly-MVA, my understanding was one of the essential parts of it is the palladium?
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. It has a couple of ions in it that hold the lipoic acid together, and it literally looks kind of like a V if you look at the molecular structure, and that’s because there’s palladium and a little rubidium and a couple other things. So yeah, with Poly-MVA or Rejeneril, whichever trade name you see, the structure is such that they have the two lipoic acid molecules that are held together like a V, and essentially the electrical effect of the minerals, like palladium and rubidium, et cetera, hold those big lipoic acid molecules together so they stay together. The upside of it is, like Poly-MVA or Rejeneril, the lipoic acids actually protect your body from the palladium. Palladium is a heavy metal, and if you get palladium that’s free, it goes around and it does things you don’t want in your body. In a lipoic mineral complex like Poly or Regeneril, it’s stuck between the lipoic acid, so pre-chelated. So if you have some, we always warn patients about this, if they do a urine test for heavy metals, the palladium will look really high, but it’s not free palladium, it’s part of that complex, and the minerals like the rubidium and palladium and things are there to hold that all together. And then by holding it together, the lipoic acid that’s there sucks it, essentially, into the mitochondria faster.
Actually, there’s a lot of veterinary cancer research with that complex, Rejeneril or Poly, and some human. More of the human research is around mitochondria regeneration in non-cancer. So they’ve used it with cardiac decompensation and radiation damage with NASA and stuff like that. But the idea there is, you’ve got something up on top, you’ve got your diet kind of helping with the glycolysis part and the Warburg effect, you’ve got something like, say, Avemar, Metatrol, helping there, you get lipoic acid or Poly-MVA, Rejeneril at the mitochondrial part, you’re really trying to hit the cancer cell everywhere where it’s weak. And then your immune system can take notice of it and do more with it. I would say one of the things, I put the early version of it in the book too, what we’re doing with patients, we developed this, we called it our combination metabolic cancer approach, so it of course included a dietary component to try and get into ketosis, it included exogenous ketones, and then it included things that would support the mitochondria in a way that makes the cancer weak and enhance a Warburg effect.
Unfortunately, a number of the stronger non-supplement things, the drug-type things we’re using for Warburg effect, got the notice of the government and they made them not available, which is really unfortunate. Now, here’s the thing, just full disclosure. They made them not available to most people. They said, “Gee, these things work.” And so they made them available to drug developers. So, some of the things that I was using just as a compounded medication to help with the Warburg effect that have been around a long time and were in the public domain, the government took away from the public domain and gave them to cancer drug developers, which happens, unfortunately. But there’s a lot of things. For example, the Avemar or Metatrol, et cetera, is a good replacement in that respect, and because it’s a supplement and it’s not a drug it’s regulated differently. The Poly-MVA or Rejeneril are a supplement, so that helps. Alpha-lipoic acid still is a supplement, so there’s that. But yeah, there was a lot of benefit with people with pretty aggressive cancers by combining all that. We had people with very aggressive blood cancers where that was really helpful. One of the first things we noticed with the combined metabolic thing was our leukemia lymphoma patients, which wouldn’t maybe respond well to other stuff, really responded to the metabolic treatments very, very well. And it seemed like the more we did to enhance the Warburg effect, if you will, to make the cancer cell play by normal cell rules, essentially, the better response we got for cancer.
Dr. Weitz: If I can, I’d just like to ask you about two more concepts. One is the artemisinin, which I’ve been told should also, in some cases, be used with iron to get it into the cells. Do you know about that?
Dr. Anderson: I do. Yeah. I did a lot of human research with Artemisia compounds. The one that, again, isn’t terribly available in the U.S. anymore, it’s legal, it’s just not available, is our artesunate, which is the injectable kind. So we would give that right before we gave IV vitamin C because they’re synergistic. There is a thought, because artemisinin is the wormwood plant family, and so Artemisia is all the compounds and then artesunate, some of them, et cetera, people kind of misconstrue the mechanism of that plant, especially artesunate and artemisinin specifically, because, kind of like high-dose C does, it has a redox step where, through a Fenton reaction, it flips some electrons around, it creates peroxide, which is irritating to cancer cells. So people misconstrue that you have to have a lot of iron to make that work. And that’s actually not true. It sounds really good. It sounds wonderful. But that step works through both copper and iron, primarily. So it’s not just iron.
The other thing that we found is we got just as much effect in people that had almost no iron in their body, as we did with people with a lot of iron. So it’s a good theoretical idea. One of the problems with preloading people with iron in cancer is, you can’t control once it goes in the body where it goes. And so, while it might make your high-dose vitamin C or your artesunate work a little harder, it’s also going to go and be very pro-cancer in other places. So we usually reserve preloading with iron for people who, they’re going to die if they don’t get more iron or something like that.
What I would tell patients, and this literally came from watching people who were so profoundly anemic from just years of cancer and all this, and watching them be some of the best people to respond to artesunate after that, I would just tell them, “Look, if you’re still alive, you have enough iron to do this little chemical thing that the artesunate needs to do.” It’s sort of similar, because they’re usually related therapeutically, high-dose vitamin C, people would think, well, okay, it does a Fenton reaction, and so maybe we should give iron or copper with that or something of that nature. There’s like one study from the ’70s where they gave a very, very specific type of copper that was bound intravenously with vitamin C and it did enhance the vitamin C effect. The problem is, that type of copper is not available. You can’t use it. And number two, copper is also very pro-cancer as well, so you have to be really careful with that.
Now, certainly, if, clinically, somebody needs iron, they get iron. That’s not a problem. Now, I do want to say though, the IV kind of stuff with IV artesunate nowadays, they have IV artemisinin, which is a little different but it works similarly. That’s one way to go.
The other way with cancer is oral. You can use oral wormwood compounds that are sort of a mixture of whole wormwood and artemisinin, or just an artemisinin supplement orally. With that, we tend to rotate it. So people have usually 3 or 4 days, they take it a week and then a break the rest of the week. So if you keep your artemisinin, wormwood oral everyday for a long period of time, it can drive severe anemia, and there’s some other things that can happen. So we tend to rotate it. And then it works really well in cancer. Now that it’s very hard to get artesunate IV, what we do with a lot of people getting high-dose vitamin C IV is we give them their artemisinin orally the night before their IV in the morning of, and then that they get the IV. So they get a similar effect that way.
Dr. Weitz: Interesting. One more question on the oral. I just want to ask about a few things related to breast cancer. Basically, we have some people recommending iodine, and then the controversy between indole-3-carbinol and DIM to help modulate estrogen metabolism.
Dr. Anderson: Iodine is interesting, especially with breast cancer. I believe, based on everything I see with breast cancer patients who have used iodine, I’ve never seen any problem from it, unless it was totally administered wrong or something, to the degree that a hospital I consult for in outside of the U.S., where you can do more things, for probably 20 years now has used various forms of high-dose iodine therapy with breast cancer.
And so, that being said, I think it’s useful, but what we’ve seen through the hospital experience is it’s probably a good synergist. It’s never been enough to really push someone to a remission or something like that. I know there’s people, and for legitimate reasons, they have concerns about iodine therapy, et cetera. A lot of the trouble with iodine therapy is that our bodies detoxify bromine chemicals when we take iodine, and if we’re not ready for that, you can get bad headaches and other symptoms. Actually, that’s fairly easy to fix. Either raising your dose of oral vitamin C will take care of most of that, and the other thing is if someone has a migraine from it, we give them a lot of salt because the sodium will go and displace the bromines and sent them out of the body.
But once you detoxify from the bromines in your body, iodine is pretty well tolerated. We did a lot at the hospital, where, with breast cancer, they would paint the iodine right on the breast, et cetera, for local absorption, which I think is not a bad idea for that. But I do look at it more as a synergist, really. The second part was? There was iodine.
Dr. Weitz: Indole-3-carbinol and/or DIM. Yeah
Dr. Anderson: Again, I think in a perfect world, I would use a supplement that had both of those in it.
Dr. Weitz: There are supplements like that.
Dr. Anderson: There are, yeah. Nowadays there’s a lot more, they have a mixture. They have different mechanisms of how they modulate estrogen, and you could even add to that group in a different mechanism, calcium D-glucarate, which works mostly in the gut to stop us from reabsorbing metabolized estrogen, which is a great thing. What I have tended to do is really, and obviously I could be wrong about everything I’m saying, but I kind of look at the DIM versus IC3 controversy kind of like I look at MK-4 versus MK-7, I don’t think we know enough to know that one is truly the winner. You’ve got a little bit different mechanisms.
I have tended to use mixtures to have them both in there. Because the idea is, especially with breast cancer, some thyroid cancers, et cetera, and really for prevention, men or women, you don’t want a lot of estrogen floating around in your system after your liver has metabolized it. You want it to leave. One of the big problems that we can run into with hormone-sensitive cancers is not so much the hormone we made that day, the primary hormone, testosterone or estrogen, et cetera, it’s what we do to not eliminate it. There’s a lot of steps in metabolizing estrogen and getting out of the body, and a lot of people with cancer have a lot of trouble at various steps along the way. Some of them are gut related, which is why I like calcium glucarate, because it works in that setting, and some are metabolism.
… great, because it works in that setting. And some are metabolism, internal-related, and that’s, I think, where [inaudible 01:09:07] come in. The first order of business with removing hormones is making sure you’ve got enough bowel movement frequency, enough fiber going through to bind up these things in your bile. And then after that, the supplements will round out your elimination.
And then you can get even more deeply into it now that we have these new tests that show us metabolites. I’ve seen in cancer patients where they probably have a genetic problem they get the estrogen metabolized to this point, and they can’t metabolize it further very well. So it keeps floating around their body. And then if the breast cancer receptors are sensitive to estrogen, those metabolites seem to be worse for the receptors. So anything you can do to speed up elimination is helpful.
Dr. Weitz: Are we okay on time to spend a few minutes on IVs?
Dr. Anderson: Yeah, we can do some IV stuff. Sure.
Dr. Weitz: Okay, yeah. Good. Obviously, intravenous vitamin C is probably number one on the list.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. With IV therapy and cancer, historically, just if you look just by sheer volume, intravenous vitamin C is the thing. Almost every patient knows about it, or they’ve heard about it. It’s the thing people ask for the most. I think one of the benefits of intravenous vitamin C is now that we have more research and we know a little more about the way it works, there’s actually benefits both at lower doses and higher doses of vitamin C. They’re just sort of different benefits. For example, there are some people who can’t get high-dose vitamin C because of some genetic issues or other tolerance things. They can still benefit from low-dose vitamin C intravenously and orally because of the other mechanisms that it helps out with. But the most commonly used in cancer is a high-dose intravenous vitamin C. That puts the vitamin C in your vein instead of through your digestive tract, so your levels raise quickly. What we’re going for there … We used to think that it was all about this oxidation effect, which is part of it. So like the artesunate helps with, where the vitamin C encounters copper or iron, the electron state changes, and it creates a peroxide surge. Now, peroxide, whether it’s created through the artesunate or admesinin, vitamin C, or both, is very irritating to cancer cells, and it also draws the immune system to look in that area. But now we also know, like with vitamin C, at low or high doses, it has real positive effects on your natural killer cells, on a number of other immune factors that we didn’t used to know about. It also appears, at high dose, anyway, to help with the balance of the NAD system, so NADPH and NAD and NADH and all the intermediates. The reason that-
Dr. Weitz: When you say low-dose versus high-dose, what’s a low dose, what’s a high dose?
Dr. Anderson: In the IV world, high-dose is usually considered to start about 25 grams, 25,000 milligrams IV and up. Probably most effects start somewhere at 50 grams, but the first IV people usually get is 25. We tend on most people to treat them at 50 to 75 grams, or 50 to 75,000 milligrams. Some people more. It depends on body size. So low-dose, there’s about three or four, five research papers now on low-dose vitamin C and quality of life and natural killer function, stuff like that. Low-dose tends to be somewhere around like 5 to 10 grams. A real common low-dose infusion nowadays is 7-1/2 grams. It’s in the middle. That’s pretty common too. Yeah, usually low-dose is plus or minus 7-1/2 grams, so 7,500 milligrams, plus or minus. High-dose pretty much is somewhere around 50 grams to 100 grams for really most clinics. And we do believe if you’re going for that oxidative effect, you got to get up there in that range.
But the thing I’ll usually try and tell patients is, that’s sort of the famous effect of vitamin C at high dose. There’s a lot of other things that are very beneficial too, because if you think about it, you put all that in my vein, and the first four to six hours, I’ve got a lot of vitamin C floating around. That’s great. But my normal cells are sucking up the vitamin C and using it as an antioxidant and a support. So vitamin C is really … It’s like we were talking about with the Warburg effect. It’s supporting my normal cells, and it’s also irritating my cancer cells at the same time. So it’s really a wonderful multipurpose treatment. And I think that’s why it’s still the workhorse of IV therapy with cancer. Also, the people study it more. So now we have papers coming out showing it’s safe with certain chemos or helps certain chemos, et cetera.
Dr. Weitz: Okay. What would be the second most common IV therapy that you’ll use with cancer patients?
Dr. Anderson: With cancer patients, after vitamin C or the combination of artesunate and vitamin C together, then the field really broadens out. Nowadays a lot of it goes to, what do we have available? For instance, in the book, which we wrote in 2016, ’17, published 2018, we had more things available then than we do now, because of government regulations.
Dr. Weitz: Ah, okay.
Dr. Anderson: Back at that time, probably our second most common combination of IV things was actually to support the metabolic therapies and the Warburg effect, and for all intents and purposes, intravenously those things aren’t available. You can do the oral things we talked about, but the IV things are aren’t. The other thing that we did, a small but very impressive group of things intravenously with very advanced cancers, was intravenous curcumin. It was a emulsion of curcumin. There’s different types of intravenous curcumin. And we had people with stage four advanced breast cancers and other things where they had metastases on their bones, and on imaging after a series of treatment with IV curcumin, the bone metastases would actually reverse themselves. And we believe it’s because we could put so much more intravenously of the curcumin than you could ever take by mouth. And also, curcumin, remember, dampens that chemical drive for metastases. So that was really good.
What is curious that happened with curcumin is, at the same time we were researching plain opensource sterile curcumin, there was a drug company that was making a curcumin analog so they could patent it. It looks like curcumin, but it’s a modified molecule. That was being developed as a cancer drug, okay? So we were doing our stuff at the same time, and as soon as we started to report that we were getting these results with curcumin in the public sphere, the sources for that were shut down in the US. And the drug, which I believe is still called Lipocurc, L-I-P-O-C-U-R-C, given at much lower doses than we were doing because it’s not safe at lower doses, that’s now, I believe, approved, or is almost ready to be approved as a cancer drug. So there’s a lot of these things that have gone away from, say, the integrative oncology, naturopathic oncology world as an availability, but they’re not gone. They’re being given to us now by big drug companies, which, you know, that is what it is.
Dr. Weitz: [inaudible 01:18:15]
Dr. Anderson: Yeah.
Dr. Weitz: What about mistletoe? I’ve heard quite a bit about mistletoe.
Dr. Anderson: If you had to pick one, like in a sports analogy, utility player, it would be mistletoe. A nice thing with mistletoe, at least that we found clinically, was, obviously if you’re doing a oral protocol and a diet, you can do that at home with some guidance. If you’re getting IVs, you obviously have to go somewhere to get an IV. Mistletoe, we would often do IV, but it can also be, you can train the person to do it subcutaneously like you would inject insulin, with a little needle just under the skin. And there’s a protocol for it, et cetera, so the patient gets trained. But they can then do that at home.
Mistletoe, it’s thought of as an immune stimulant, but much like curcumin, it’s more of an immunomodulator. So it goes in and it helps to wake up the sleepy side of your immune system that’s not fighting the cancer very well, but it also helps to dampen the inflammatory side that’s probably pro-metastasis. I think mistletoe probably has 30,000 research papers on it. I mean, it’s a very … Anywhere else in the world, mistletoe in cancer is very commonly used, even in standard oncology elsewhere. And there’s actually some new research in North America that’s looking at, you know, maybe we should look into this. Mistletoe is very, very useful. There’s a few cancers you have to be careful with it, because it is stimulating on the front end. But a real big benefit, whether the person was coming in IV and we added it to the IV protocol or not, was the fact that when they got to the point where they were doing maintenance, we could send them home trained how to inject it subcutaneously. Now, people will often ask, because mistletoe, obviously, is a plant, “Could I just take mistletoe?” And you can. It can be poisonous at higher doses. But the problem with taking it by mouth is, the chemical structure of the mistletoe that needs to be present to do the immune work breaks down in your digestive tract, so you don’t get a lot of the good stuff on the … Now, you might get other effects, but you don’t get the good stuff on the other side. So it does have to be injected in some way.
Going back to nonavailability of IV substances, now I would say the order we would go in, vitamin C is still the most common, artesunate vitamin C if we can get it, very common. Mistletoe, probably number two. And then everything else after that. Now, certainly there’s another aspect to IV therapy in cancer, which is quality of life enhancement. For instance, you have somebody that has a major surgery, a mastectomy or something, or a colon resection. We use a lot of nutrient IV therapy in their recovery to just help them rebuild and get healthy. We use a lot of nutrient IV therapy after radiation therapy to help with nerve damage and things like that. So there’s many other things you could do with IV therapy too.
Dr. Weitz: What about ozone? Is that a significant player in this?
Dr. Anderson: Yeah, I would say it’s probably right up there, maybe a triad nowadays, with availability issues, of ozone and vitamin C and mistletoe, because those are still quite available. A lot of people, ozone has a very similar effect to high-dose vitamin C, but it’s different, because it doesn’t have any vitamin C with it. With ozone, the way it’s different from vitamin C really is that obviously there’s no vitamin C in ozone. They both have an oxidative burst that they create. And that creates a couple of important things. One is hydrogen peroxide formation around the tumors. The nice thing with peroxide formation is, normal cells have enzymes to break peroxide down, so it’s not dangerous to them. Tumor cells, many of them have low levels of the enzymes, or no enzymes to break peroxide down, so the peroxide damages the tumor cell. So that’s a big effect.
The other thing, though, is that as you’re infusing the ozone, whether it’s through a major autohemotherapy where they mix it with the blood and put it in, or some people do ozonated saline, and many other things, ozone gets in. As your blood is trying to deal with the ozone, it’s triggering pro-immune chemistry right there in your blood. So in addition to the peroxide formation, you get this nice burst of immune-stimulating chemistry. So it’s really helpful, kind of like with mistletoe, where it’s waking up the part of your immune system that can go deal with the cancer.
Dr. Weitz: Do you find it’s better to just inject the ozone, or take the blood and mix it with the ozone, or which strategy do you think is best?
Dr. Anderson: Well, yeah, we tend to … There’s a lot of different ways to do it. The one I don’t do is what they call direct ozone injection, because that could go too fast. There’s a lot of regulatory things of just getting the right amount and all that. Major autohemotherapy is usually where I start with people, because that’s mixing it with their blood. That can have quite a potent effect. It’s kind of like we talked about with some of the other things. You want to see how a person responds, because let’s … There’s a lot of cancer patients who don’t realize, for example, they have chronic infections that are smoldering. If you give them a big oxidizing treatment, like too much ozone or too much high-dose vitamin C, they’ll have a lot of die-off of these bugs they didn’t know they had.
So if we start with a major autohemotherapy at a moderate dose, make sure they don’t get big fevers afterwards, joint pain, stuff like that, then there’s a number of potential processes. One is to do more ozone in the major autohemotherapy. The other, you could ozonate saline and then run the ozonated saline in. Very useful. And then some clinics have access to multi-pass systems, where they might do one through 10 passes of ozone. And again, most of those clinics also will start low and work up, because a lot of people can’t handle too much. So ozone is quite versatile. And because it relies on technology to create it, as opposed to buying it from a pharmacy, it’s got a little of … You know, right now it’s sort of protected in that respect from a pharmacy oversight or something like that. So as we have less access to some of the other things we used to use, ozone’s becoming much more popular, vitamin C is even more popular than it was, et cetera.
Dr. Weitz: Right. Great. Awesome, Paul. This has been incredible. We’ve really gotten an amazing number of clinical pearls. Thank you so much.
Dr. Anderson: Thank you.
Dr. Weitz: How can viewers find out more about your courses to go more in-depth into these and other strategies for helping patients?
Dr. Anderson: Yeah. The easiest way, if it’s a healthcare practitioner, is consultdra.com, Consult Dr. A dot com. And also if you put in my whole name, Consult Dr. Anderson, you’ll get there too. That’s a provider website, so there’s a lot of free searchable things where I’ve answered questions or written reviews, and then there’s a CE component that we have almost 100 one and a half to three-hour CE things on many, many topics there. So that’s the professional website.
There’s also a lot of content for the public, and there’s a hub website, just D-R-A-N-O-W, Dr. A Now. That has links to … Whether you want books or the podcasts or the YouTube channel, it’s all there. So you can just go there and do it. And the-
Dr. Weitz: And what’s your podcast and your YouTube channel?
Dr. Anderson: The podcast, which is on every pod burner I can think of, is called Medicine and Health with Dr. Paul Anderson. If you go to your Apple Play or whoever you use and search that with my name, you should find it. The YouTube channel is D-R-A Online, Dr. A Online, is the YouTube name. And now I’ve got enough YouTube content, usually if you search that, you get there. But if you get lost for anything, that Dr. A Now website has everything. And the book we were talking about is this Outside the Box Cancer Therapies. That’s available anywhere you get books. My website has links to it. And then I’ve got a couple other books there as well.
Dr. Weitz: For a clinician, a great, great reference for cancer. Thank you so much, Paul.
Dr. Anderson: All right. Thank you very much.
Dr. Weitz: Thank you for making it all the way through this episode of the Rational Wellness podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast, please go to Apple Podcasts and give us a five-star ratings and review. That way more people will be able to find this Rational Wellness podcast when they’re searching for health podcasts. And I wanted to let everybody know that I do now have a few openings for new nutritional consultations for patients at my Santa Monica Weitz Sports Chiropractic and Nutrition Clinic. So if you’re interested, please call my office, (310) 395-3111, and sign up for one of the few remaining slots for a comprehensive nutritional consultation with Dr. Ben Weitz. Thank you, and see you next week.
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