How do we know what supplements to take? While there are certain supplements which have anti-cancer properties, there is no one-size-fits-all supplement plan. It is critically important to consult with and be supervised by a certified nutritionist, a naturopathic Dr. or an integrative Dr. These heath-care specialists are specially trained in prescribing general, preventative and therapeutic levels of appropriate vitamins and minerals specific to one’s condition and needs. And this can change depending on lab tests.
Three of the most commonly recommended supplements specifically for breast cancer prevention are indole-3-carbinol (I3C), iodine, and calcium d-glucarate (CDG).
According to Life Extension website, I3C keeps estrogen from transforming into precancerous metabolites.
An October 2011 article in Life Extension Magazine explains that “iodine-deficient breast tissue exhibits chemical markers of elevated lipid peroxidation, one of the earliest factors in cancer development. Iodine-deficient breast tissue also shows alterations in DNA and increases in estrogen receptor proteins. Coupled with iodine deficiency-induced increases in circulating estrogen levels, these changes can substantially increase the risk of breast cancer in women with low iodine levels.”
A 2008 study from the International Journal of Medical Sciences suggests iodine may inhibit cancer promotion through modulation of the estrogen pathway. Adequate iodine can also reduce fibrocystic changes in the breast and help with programmed cancer cell death. Dr. Jeffrey Dach’s website provides more information on using iodine for prevention.
According to Dr. Uzzi Reiss in Natural Hormone Balance For Women, calcium d-glucarate (CDG) “blocks (the enzyme) beta-glucuronidase activity and prevents the recycling of the outward-bound estrogen.” If this enzyme is not blocked, the body’s ability to detoxify and eliminate excessive estrogen is reduced. CDG was developed and patented by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.
Marine omega-3 fatty acids also have a protective effect against breast cancer. The results of a July 27, 2013 meta-analysis in a British Medical Journal article indicate that in postmenopausal women, for each 100 milligram increase, the risk was lowered by 5 percent.
Research has demonstrated that there are several nutrients that look promising as natural chemoprevention against breast cancer. Life Extension provides a summary of nearly three dozen specific nutrients along with the exact dosages you should take of each.
Two good additional resources on breast cancer prevention supplements are Keeping a Breast by Dr. Khalid Mahmud and Avoiding Breast Cancer by Dr. Joseph McWherter, M.D.
Also check out Chris Wark’s health blog. In 2003, at 26 years old, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer. He had surgery and then used nutrition and natural therapies to heal himself. Read his blog post: “My Anti-Cancer Supplement Protocol (Part 1): Recommended By My Nutritionist John Smothers.”
Dr. Oz also did a show on cancer fighting supplements.