Of Mice and Men

Of mice and men

A study recently conducted on mice at the University of Michigan indicates that the level of intestinal health is a primary factor to successfully completing and surviving chemotherapy.

The study gave mice lethal injections of chemotherapy that would, if given in a proportionate dose, kill most adult human beings, too.

But they also gave some of the mice an injection of a molecule called “Rspo1” or “R-spondon1.”  This substance activates stem cell production in the intestinal wall, and these stem cells are “superstars” that can help rebuild damaged tissues faster than the chemotherapy can destroy them!

The result?

Between 50-75% of the mice who were given R-spondon1 survived the fatal chemotherapy dose!

Now, although this study was performed on mice and not yet on men, mice are nearly identical to humans in terms of biology, gene expression, endocrine system function and more…so they’re a pretty darn good indicator of what would happen in a human.

Get some R-spondon1…or make your own?

Now, even though this study used an injection of R-spondon1 as the “catalyst” of stem cell production in the intestinal lining, the truth is your cells already possess the ability to produce R-spondon1 on their own!  In fact, your intestinal wall contains cells that are regenerated every 4-5 days in a normally healthy person.

But what determines the health of those stem cells more than anything else is your GUT BACTERIA.

That’s right.  If your gut bacteria are in a healthy balance, the genetic expression of your intestinal cells is also normal and healthy. If your gut bacteria are out of balance (favoring harmful bacterial), the gene expression of your intestinal cells will be hampered, which in turn will slow or downright cripple the regeneration potential of your intestinal cells.

This is also why imbalanced intestinal flora is also linked to inflammatory intestinal conditions such as Crohn’s, IBS and colitis.

The flip side—the anti-life substances

The word antibiotic means “anti-life” and this has taken on a whole new meaning.

First of all, it’s a known fact that antibiotics “work” by killing off bacteria in your body.  But since they don’t know the difference between healthy and dangerous bacteria, they kill ALL bacteria—and that includes your healthy intestinal bacteria.

This can be especially dangerous for someone going through chemotherapy.

You see, although the research in the study I quoted above did not directly address antibiotics, since the ability to survive chemotherapy is SO dependent on a strong level of healthy gut bacteria, and antibiotics kill off your friendly flora, it only follows that the kind of gut bacteria “obliteration” caused by antibiotics could potentially prove to be harmful or downright fatal to a chemotherapy patient.

This is especially a concern because many cancer patients are, you guessed it, prescribed antibiotics as an infection-preventive measure while they undergo chemotherapy!

This could truly be life threatening. You see, while neither the antibiotics nor the chemotherapy drugs would in and of themselves be deadly, the combination of the absence of healthy gut bacteria andthe highly-toxic chemotherapy drugs could multiply the toxicity and potentially be fatal.

A healthy gut is key to surviving cancer and beyond

Clearly, a healthy gut is where it’s at in terms of staying healthy from head to toe during chemotherapy and beyond!

And the good news is it’s very easy to help nourish YOUR gut and encourage the development of a strong population of protective friendly flora.

Here are three very effective measures you can take:

Eat for a strong flora balance

This is far and away THE #1 most important cancer-fighting measure you can take.

The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society estimate that at least 30-35% of all cancers are related to a poor diet!

Here’s why a good diet has such a profound effect on cancer prevention and treatment:

First of all, having a diet comprised of meals that are easier to digest and contain lots of alkaline foods (like fruits and vegetables) not only helps to nourish your friendly flora, but they can help eliminate built-up toxic wastes in your body too.

This means you’re a much less attractive home to cancer to begin with and can make it difficult for it to thrive!

The nutrients in a healthy diet play a big part too.

Antioxidant vitamins (like Vitamins C and E) and minerals (like selenium) can actually help prevent and repair DNA damage that may otherwise develop into a cancerous tumor!

Plus, Vitamins A, D and folate all encourage healthy, proper cell growth—which is crucial during chemotherapy!

And many of the phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables have been shown to have anti-carcinogenic properties and are potent antioxidants as well.


Copyright © 2004-2018, Jerome Freedman, Ph. D.