Finding natural remedies for cancer, the top recommended supplements to take and what to avoid when you have cancer or any chronic illness can be a very confusing and time-consuming task. The supplement business is a multi-billion dollar industry and the market is flooded with ineffective and even toxic, harmful products. This can be due to cost-cutting, profit maximizing or simply lack of knowledge. At the same time, it isn’t in the best interests of the multi-trillion dollar pharmaceutical industry to fund expensive research and clinical trials for relatively cheaply obtained vitamins, minerals, herbs and natural remedies for cancer.
Then there are many promoting natural remedies for cancer and not-so-natural remedies as dubious ‘miracle cures’. These may have ‘worked’ for a lucky few of the thousands taking them, though the cause of the improvement or spontaneous remission could have been something else entirely, or a combination of factors including the placebo effect. I will avoid naming and criticizing any of these controversial natural remedies for cancer here and stick to a list of what I consider, well-supported and researched nutrients and herbs.
I do not advocate taking a huge number of herbs and supplements — that would only confuse and overwhelm the body and potentially do more harm than good. Having said that, the list below is fairly long and I don’t suggest taking everything on the list at once, but choose what resonates with you. Aim to get as much as you can from a healthy, well-rounded diet, preferably a largely or purely plant-based diet including a rainbow of colours of preferably organic vegetables and fruits. See which produce you should definitely aim to get as organic, and which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are relatively safe to eat here: The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen
Nevertheless, there are a few important nutrients and herbs that help promote optimal functioning of the body systems, but are difficult to obtain in sufficient quantity from the food you eat, plus some that contain proven cancer-fighting or cancer-correcting compounds.
It is important to note that you should never rely on supplements alone in your healing regime. They are only one piece of the whole picture, which should also include good sleep habits, regular exercise, a healthy, balanced diet, avoiding alcohol, tobacco, sugar, artificial additives and so on, cultivating good relationships, relaxation / yoga / meditation or prayer, proper full breathing and so on.
DISCLAIMER: And finally, I have to make the following disclaimer before I present the list of top recommended supplements. The products and claims made about specific products on or through this Site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This Site is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Products, services, information and other content provided on this Site, including information that may be provided on the Site directly or by linking to third-party websites are provided for informational purposes only. We are not liable for any information provided on the Site with regard to recommendations regarding supplements for any health purposes. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.
My Top Recommended Supplements — Natural Remedies for Cancer
For most of these supplements it is important that you choose the correct form and good quality, otherwise it could be useless or even harmful. In trying to get a bargain or save money you could end up completely wasting your money or worse, jeopardizing your health. So it is after considerable time spent evaluating that I have fine-tuned this list. Note that new research and improvements are always going on so if better products become available that I am aware of I will update them here.
I buy most of these on iHerb as it is generally the cheapest, at least for international orders, and depending how much you spend, and where you live, postage is either free or very cheap. I have provided links to buy each supplement on iHerb. If you are a first-time iHerb customer you will get a 5% discount off your order by using these links. I have provided other links for some products that aren’t available on iHerb.
I would rather not say what is the number one supplement as everyone is unique, but I would put curcumin in the top five for its general benefits for all types of cancer as well as other chronic illness. It can curb the growth and development of cancer cells, reduce angiogenesis and metastasis, and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and detoxifier.
Indian citizens have low rates of cancer and Alzheimer’s, which could be partly attributed to high turmeric consumption, along with other potent spices and low meat consumption. So, as well as taking a curcumin supplement, compliment that with plenty of turmeric in your cooking as well.
Curcumin is the active yellow pigment contained in turmeric. As it is not water-soluble, only a small amount is absorbed from the turmeric you eat. So various ways have been devised to get the curcumin supplements to be absorbed into the blood. There are eight main ingredients that are used by nearly all the hundreds of brands: piperine (from black pepper), BioPerine (basically just piperine), Longvida, BCM-95, Meriva, Theracurmin, Curcumin C3 complex and a newer one, NovaSol (micellized). There are also the lesser known UltraCur, Metacurmin, Cavarcumin, Curcupure, CurcuWin, and probably others that I haven’t heard of.
However, piperine / Bioperine, now considered as a 1st generation bioavailability enhancer, has potential side effects and should not be taken long term. The same mechanism that enhances curcumin absorption (it inhibits glucuronidation) also delays the elimination of toxins, other supplements and prescription drugs from the body. This raises the amounts of these substances to potentially unsafe levels in the blood and may cause liver damage. Some people who are sensitive to black pepper extract can also experience gastrointestinal irritation, pain, and nausea.
Each claim the highest absorption or potency, but what really counts is probably the amount of free curcumin in the blood. Longvida and NovaSol are the two that have being scientifically shown to produce the highest amounts of free curcumin in blood plasma, while BCM-95 also produces free curcumin in the blood. However, NovaSol (used in Solgar, Full Spectrum Curcumin Liquid Extract Softgels) is quite new and more research is needed to establish its effectiveness and safety. The main ingredient is the emulsifier polysorbate 80, which according to the material safety data sheet (MSDS), “May cause adverse reproductive effects based on animal test data. No human data found. May cause cancer based on animal test data. No human data found. May affect genetic material (mutagenic).” Also, in the one clinical study comparing NovaSol to other forms of curcumin, several participants suffered mild nausea after taking it. I was excited about this micellized form of curcumin, but I would rather exercise caution and avoid it for now.
Other forms of curcumin, either have additives like polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) with unproven long-term safety, or the don’t result in free curcumin in blood plasma, but rather just metabolites of curcumin. However, the advertising claims of the different companies don’t make this clear and just state the amount of total curcumin in blood plasma or simply how many times more is absorbed than standard curcumin. These figures can be very misleading and confusing, not even based on standard dosages and only present the data that supports their claims, not conflicting data.
If you are interested in seeing some of the thousands of research studies on curcumin you can find a nice, searchable summary of links to them at http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/curcumin
Without going into too much detail that would require another post just on curcumin, it all comes down to two forms of curcumin that both deliver free curcumin into the blood, have more studies backing up their claims though still not great ones, and don’t contain potentially harmful additives: Longvida and BCM-95. Longvida uses what they call Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle technology (SLCP) and BCM-95 uses turmeric essential oils added back in after extraction to increase absorption.
My preference is towards BCM-95 as it is 100% natural, proven to be safe, contains turmeric essential oils, stays in the bloodstream up to 8 hours, and its efficacy is scientifically documented by many preclinical and human clinical trials including the largest cancer preventative study. I also like the fact that it is manufactured using 100% solar energy.
My top choice for BCM-95 curcumin is EuroPharma Terry Naturally CuraMed (750 mg, 120 Softgels). This is a non-vegetarian option as the softgels contain gelatin.
Click Here to find it on iHerb (Save 5%) Click Here to find it on Amazon
An alternative, equivalent to CuraMed is available on Amazon: EuroMedica – CuraPro 750 mg, 120 Softgels
Another excellent choice is Curcu-Gel Ultra 650 mg BCM-95 Enhanced Absorption Bio-Curcumin Complex 60 Softgels. Click on the link to buy it on Amazon (not available on iHerb).
The best vegetarian BCM-95 curcumin supplement that I have found is Life Extension, Super Bio-Curcumin (400 mg, 60 Veggie Caps). Life Extension make excellent, premium quality, well-researched formulations. Click on the link to buy it on iHerb.
Longvida has been shown to elevate free curcumin in the blood more for a similar dose and to cross the blood brain barrier (not to say that BCM-95 doesn’t), so it is a good option to use for brain disorders like Alzheimers, dementia and depression. Most curcumin products fail to deliver therapeutic benefits because they deliver conjugated (non-active) forms of curcumin that are easily and rapidly excreted. The protective nature of the Longvida Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle (SLCP) system delivers curcumin to the lymphatic system, bypassing the liver; by avoiding enzymatic metabolism, Longvida ensures the delivery of curcumin in the ‘free’, active form. The body cannot excrete curcumin in the free form, also enabling Longvida Curcumin to stay at therapeutic levels for significantly longer than any other delivery system (half life of 7.45 hours according to cited research).
You might consider combining a Longvida-based curcumin product with one of the BCM-95 curcumin products above. This way you can get the advantages offered by each form of curcumin. A great Longvida curcumin product you can try is Now Foods, CurcuBrain, Cognitive Support, 400 mg, 50 Veg Capsules Now does thorough product testing and provides good value products. All the Longvida supplements that I have looked at contain several additives, such magnesium stearate, which although controversial, is probably harmless in the minute quantities present in supplements. Nevertheless, I always try to choose products with a minimum number of extra ingredients. This one is no exception, but it has less extras than many of the other Longvida curcumin supplements.
Another good quality Longvida product is available on Amazon, though I wish they would produce them in larger quantities than just 30 caps: Longvida Optimised Curcumin 500 mg – 285x more bioavailable – 30 capsules/1 month supply
Black Seed Oil
Green Tea — EGCG
Salvestrols / Resveratrol / Pterostilbene
Ellagic Acid / Ellagitanins
Bitter Gourd — Karela
Indian Gooseberry Powder — Amla
Natural Vitamin E — Tocotrienols
Vitamin B12 / Folate
Sulfurophane — Broccoli Sprouts
Omega 3 Oils
CoQ10 — Ubiquinol
Systemic / Proteolytic Enzymes
Internal and topical
Thank you for reading and I hope that you find it useful. Please leave a comment or question below and if you think something is missing from this list, shouldn’t be on there, or if you have found a better alternative brand or product it would be very helpful if you can share your opinion.
THIS IS A DRAFT — JUST GETTING MY INITIAL LIST PUBLISHED AND I WILL ADD DETAILS AND THE LINKS TO RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS IN THE COMING DAYS (FEB 2018)