I was just about to celebrate the American Cancer Society's new common sense guidelines for disease survivors on the role of exercise and nutrition in preventing a recurrence -- until they started taking potshots at supplements.
It's like they can't help themselves.
"There is no good evidence that supplements reduce recurrence risk and increasing evidence that they may be harmful in some cases," the society's director of nutrition and physical activity, Colleen Doyle, told WebMD in a feature about the new guidelines.
That's so much nonsense I don't know where to begin -- because there IS plenty of evidence that poor nutrition can increase the risk of cancer recurrence... that proper levels of vitamins and minerals can prevent it... and that supplements in particular can play a critical role in raising those levels.
No less than three studies last year, for example, found that breast cancer survivors have a lower risk of recurrence when they take supplements.
In one, women who took multivitamins with minerals in the year before their diagnosis and for the five years afterwards were 31 percent less likely to have a recurrence than women who didn't take them. They also had a lower risk of death from the disease as well as death from all causes.
In the second, women who took vitamin E, vitamin C, or multivitamins in the six months after a breast cancer diagnosis had a 22 percent lower risk of recurrence and an 18 percent lower risk of death.
And in the third, fish oil supplements reduced the risk of both recurrence and death.
In a randomized trial of 1,200 healthy, postmenopausal women from Nebraska, the ones given calcium and vitamin D supplements had a 60 percent lower risk of all cancers than those given a placebo.
I could go on with these all day. Here's another: In a 10-year study, patients who underwent colon cancer surgery who were given supplements of coriolus -- a type of mushroom -- were twice as likely to remain disease free compared to those given a placebo.
And let's not forget that repeated studies on vitamin D have consistently found that people with the highest blood levels have the lowest risk of recurrence of lung, breast, and colon cancer -- not to mention a lower rate of death.
There's only two ways to raise those blood levels -- sunbathe, or take supplements.
Don't believe mainstream medicine's mantra that "chemotherapy" and "radiation" are the only "supplements" that can prevent cancer.