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As nutritionists, our approach when helping people with cancer should always be about improving their quality of life and aiding their recovery. Some approaches have moved more comfortably into mainstream awareness than others. Taking a natural compound – in the form of food, herbs or homeopathy – is the simplest and most fundamental preference that can help the body to return to good health; that is to say, good nutrition.

 

Ways we can help to support the body:


We need to support and protect the building blocks of DNA, reduce inflammation in the body and provide the optimum nutrition needed to help enhance recovery. Cruciferous vegetables, such as greens, cabbage and broccoli, are known to reduce breast cancer death rates. Inflammation is the precursor to cancer and recent research had shown that vitamin D plays an important role in the prevention of an inflammatory cascade in the body. Cancer is also more aggressive when vitamin D levels are low.


The right nutritional supplements can help to reduce inflammation (curcumin, boswellia) and provide the building blocks for DNA to repair damaged cells and allow good cells to proliferate (lutein, zeaxanthin and astaxanthin). Cancer cells low in oxygen are three times more resistant to radiotherapy. Researchers have already demonstrated that in mice, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) results in the alkalising of the area around tumours, and that bicarbonate increases tumour pH, inhibits spontaneous metastases in mice with breast cancer, and reduces the rate of lymph node involvement.

 

The treatment emerging with greatest interest at the moment is the ketogenic diet. This diet causes the body to enter a state called ketosis, where fat-derived chemicals called ketones are burned in response to the absence of glucose. Tumour cells cannot use ketones for energy, so this metabolic change starves tumour tissue, stunting its growth and improving survival rates in people with cancer. As practitioners, we need to help clients change the body’s environment in which the cancer started and not encourage them to get “back to normal” – we need them to achieve better than “normal”.

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