Friendly Bacteria supplements may curb diarrhea caused by chemotherapy

November 16, 2007

In your intestines there coexist friendly and less friendly bacteria. Friendly bacteria improve digestive tract health significantly, while contributing to regularity and good digestion.

Patients with colon cancer are often treated with the chemotherapeutic drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Treatment with 5-FU often causes severe diarrhea and abdominal pain. In a study of 150 colorectal cancer patients treated for 24 weeks after surgery with 5-FU, giving Lactobacillus decreased the incidence of severe diarrhea and decreased the level of abdominal pain vs. those patients on placebo. The patients on healthy flora also needed less hospital care and had less of a need to reduce the dose of chemotherapy due to bowel trouble. The study is published in the October 16th, 2007 issue of the British Journal of Cancer.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.; Treatment with 5-FU also causes fatigue that can be ameliorated to a degree with Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplementation.

Smoking and Cancer; a new analysis

Scientists from New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, The European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy, and other institutions performed a systematic meta-analysis of 254 studies concerning cigarette smoking and cancer at 13 sites in the body. The risk variation for each site was also analyzed in a systematic manner. The results are horrifying. The risk for lung cancer increased by 896 %, laryngeal cancer risk increased 698%, pharyngeal cancer risk increased by 676%. The risk for cancer of the upper digestive tract increased by 357%, and the risk for oral cancer jumped to 343%. The analysis is published online ahead of print in the International Journal of Cancer.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.; Smoking is also linked to esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, lip cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and even but rarely to breast cancer. If people stopped smoking, exercised, lost weight if obese, ate sensibly, avoided sunburns, and were not infected with particular viruses the incidence of cancer, and cancer mortality, would drop tremendously. Having sufficient levels of Vitamin D would also contribute to a decrease in cancer deaths especially due to colon cancer and breast cancer.