The following blog discusses the comments on the BBC1 programme, The Big Questions on 29th January, 2016, which addressed the question, “Should sugar be treated as a dangerous drug?”
To give you some background, I have taken issue in a previous post with this man’s (Prof Mike Lean of Glasgow University School of Nutrition) £2.5 Million research award from Diabetes UK, researching a low calorie diet and its effects on obesity and reversing type 2 diabetes. You can read the absurdity of this award here.
The show was hosted by Nicky Campbell and the following transcript only involves both Nicky and Prof Mike Lean; NC denotes Nicky Campbell and PML denotes Professor Mike Lean. My personal comments are denoted by CR and are not part of the transcript from the programme.
You can watch it on the YouTube link here.
Should sugar be treated as a dangerous drug?
NC – Sugar causes diabetes
PML – Well that is, dismiss that one completely
NC – What?
PML – The firmest science that we have is called a meta-analysis, when you take all the data that has been done since research started, in this case about the 1980’s; put it all together, re-analyse it and say where is the truth in all this.
CR – This meta-analysis that PML is referring to can be seen here (see section 6.23), but unfortunately it only uses three studies; hardly a meta-analysis, which usually collates many studies and in this case you would definitely expect more studies since PML also mentions that the research goes back to the 1980’s.
The problems are that this still DOESN’T prove that sugar does not cause diabetes. It offers “limited evidence” (3 studies) of “no consistent evidence of association” with heterogeneity too high and the studies too few to pool results. So there are two issues; firstly the study is not really a meta-analysis, certainly not a peer reviewed meta-analysis and secondly, lack of evidence for association is not evidence for no causation.
NC – So the NHS website is wrong
PML – If it has said that sugar causes diabetes, then it is wrong; Diabetes UK is correct on this, so is The European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the World Health Authority, which conducted a review last year. A very major meta-analysis has been conducted on this, and the answer is there is no evidence that sugar causes diabetes.
CR – Sugar DOES cause diabetes and here is a large (larger than PML’s aforementioned study) meta-analysis of 17 studies.
NC – Is sugar killing us; how dangerous is it?
PML – Sugar is not killing us; sugar has been, was created, invented roughly 450 years ago; it came to Europe on boats. Until that time, sweeteners, which is what you guys like Nicky, you like sweeteners, and the addiction is not to sugar, the addiction is, there was a very nice study at Aberdeen, the addiction to food, yes thank goodness we are addicted to food, or we would have died out as a species years ago.
So the sugar came over on these boats and suddenly, what do we do with it, and of course since then, people have been writing books, claiming that sugar causes every disease under its spell.
CR – Sorry, but sugar is killing us alright; see here. No Professor, sugar is a major part of food addiction and hijacks the brain’s reward centre; see here and here. In fact sugar is known to be more addictive than cocaine; see here.
NC – Causes obesity, causes obesity, does it cause obesity?
PML – And the answer is one by one, you go through these, and say no, I’m afraid it DOESN’T cause cancer, and it DOESN’T cause heart disease and no it DOESN’T cause diabetes.
What it DOES do is, if you eat excess calories from sugar, then you will gain weight, and the evidence says about 0.8Kg of weight, not obesity, and can I just finish this because what is important is the sugar if you analyse it says that; however if you look at sugary drinks, then you’ll find that greater consumption of sugary drinks does cause weight gain in children. Interesting!
What we’re seeing is an increase in food consumption; there is an addiction to food, there are foods you like and foods you don’t like. People who like more food like more food, and sugar is one of the things that contributes to weight gain if you eat more calories.
CR – Sorry PML, you can waffle on by stating the obvious, “if you eat excess calories from sugar, then you will gain weight”, “there is an addiction to food, there are foods you like and foods you don’t like” etc, but unfortunately sugar DOES cause cancer; see here , DOES cause heart disease; see here, here and here and DOES cause diabetes; see here.
Yes there is an addiction to foods and the main driver is sugar; see my previous comment above.
NC – Some foods are not going to make you fat
PML – If you swap sugar for other calories, and this has been subject again of a meta-analysis, there is no difference in weight. What is important is that sugary drinks are associated with greater weight gain in children and that is very important, because what it tells us is that it’s not the sugar, but the pattern of eating, which is associated with weight gain and ultimately diabetes.
We’ve been demonising sugar for centuries; the science says it’s not dangerous, but I’m not a lover of sugar. Do you know I’m probably the only person here that’s never tasted Cocoa Cola or Pepsi Cola or any other Cola in my life? Is there anyone else here that could claim never having tasted the wretched stuff. It is very bad for teeth, it is absolutely tragic for Scottish teeth, in a country which has no fluoride and you know we are a fluoride deficient nation, and we will lose our teeth if we eat sugar. I’m no supporter of the sugar industry and no supporter to sugar addition to foods.
CR – PML states that if you swap sugar for other calories, there is no weight difference. This is complete nonsense and I would like to see this meta-analysis. The quality of calories is far more important than quantity; see here. The body processes an avocado differently than a Snicker bar and they both have similar amounts of calories.
He, PML is back on the sugary drinks and weight gain in children theme; he seems to have hammered this blatantly obvious point. However he omits the fact that all drinks, sugar or diet will not only affect children, but also adults as will sugary foods. He mentions the pattern of eating as the cause of weight gain and diabetes; I have no idea what he is waffling, but I suspect he is using this as some sort of smokescreen or he just doesn’t have a clue, a bit of both in my opinion.
He, PML also states that “the science says it’s not dangerous”. What a load of nonsense and we have covered this throughout the blog as to why it is nonsense. After his apparent personal disdain for sugar, another irrelevance, he makes the point about the lack of fluoride in Scottish water and appears to blame this for the incidence of tooth decay. Well if he had only the slightest clue on the damage fluoride can do to the body and brain, then he would not make such a silly statement.
Flouride has an endless list of health dangers including brain damage, thyroid damage, cancers and hormone damage to name a few. See here.
NC – Are we being puritanical?
PML – Well you’ve just got the science up the creek; the science says, I’m sorry it DOESN’T cause cancer, it DOESN’T cause heart disease and it DOESN’T cause type 2 diabetes and quite correct. If it contributes to extra calories, then it’s a very bad thing and we need to limit it for that reason.
CR – No we did not get the science up the creek, you, PML have and sugar DOES cause all of the aforementioned health conditions. Yes it DOES contribute towards many extra calories since it is addictive. Even if it wasn’t addictive, it would still make you eat more calories since sugar is devoid of nutrition and the body will crave more calories as a result.
Sugar also depletes magnesium, see here, the body’s most important mineral that is responsible for over 300 metabolic reactions, and magnesium deficiency is linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; see here.
Incidentally magnesium is depleted by soft drinks, sugar or diet types due to caffeine and phosphates, which are present in both. See here. Therefore irrespective of the sugar element, soft drinks have other issues involved in the potential onset of diabetes.
This man, PML is either in the pockets of big business or deluded; not sure which to be honest. One thing for sure is that he (Glasgow University) received £2.5 million for a red herring study from Diabetes UK.
He, PML rants on about a meta-analysis with only 3 studies, he waffles about how sugar came across on boats and has been with us for 450 years that have absolutely no relevance to the debate and the issues at hand and he mentions that everyone is conspiring against sugar.
He repeats the sugary drinks and weight gain in children connection, which is only part of the picture, in an attempt to detract from the bigger picture.
This reeks of a man who is hiding an agenda and clearly on the back foot in this programme. He is involved in a “healthy” pizza company; take a look here. Talk about a misnomer and a conflict of interest.
If this is the level of knowledge and/or deceit that is influencing our decision making ability regarding our health and wellbeing, then God help us.
Academics should be taken with a pinch of salt. They have spent too much time sheltered from reality with no accountability for their actions and conclusions. They are also surrounded by vested interests in their continual quest to attract research funding, which in its very nature leads to biased findings.
You find a similar scenario in drug research; where the efficacy and safety of most drugs are grossly exaggerated.
The news was awash recently with the story concerning the consideration by the Scottish Government to add folic acid to flour, in an attempt to thwart a potential rise in birth defects.
Folic acid plays a role in preventing brain and spine defects including spina bifida; however 85% of women don’t have an adequate intake, which has been recommended as 400mcg per day.
There seems to be the absence of an important distinction in all the recent media coverage; demonstrating that the health and medical professionals don’t seem to appreciate that folic acid and folate are two quite different substances or molecules.
So what are folic acid and folate?
Folic acid is basically a synthetic (made in a lab) form of vitamin B9, often used in cheap dietary supplements or in food and beverage fortification. In contrast folate is the natural B9 metabolite found in natural food sources, including leafy green plants and liver.
What is the difference?
The importance of favouring folate over folic acid can be recognised by how the body metabolises (or breaks down) both versions.
Natural plant based folate is broken down to tetrahydrofolate in the gut lining of the small intestine, whereas the synthetic folic acid form starts it’s breakdown in the liver. However the problem is that the enzyme (dihydrofolate reductase) required in breaking it down, is in short supply in the liver.
The lack of enzymatic breakdown combined with a high intake of folic acid through supplementation or fortification, may result in unnatural levels of non-metabolised folic acid entering the circulation; this has been demonstrated in several studies.
Our bodies are very smart machines, which have evolved over millions of years; hence the reason they are too smart to be fooled by synthetic substances, posing as legitimate natural plant derivatives. Natural plants and their constituents represent the true essence of the human diet, and simply won’t be replaced by laboratory chemicals masquerading as nutrients.
What are the health implications?
Although the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs) in the United States has been significantly reduced due to the introduction of folic acid fortification in 1998, there have nevertheless been concerns about the safety of chronic dosing of high levels of folic acid from fortified foods, drinks and dietary supplements. See here.
Believe it or not there is an increased risk of cancer from excessive consumption of folic acid; see here. In some counties, including the USA, Canada and Chile, there was an increased rate of colon cancer associated with the introduction of folic acid supplementation programmes. See here and here.
In another study, which involved a randomised control, researchers found that supplementing with 1mg of folic acid resulted in an associated higher risk of prostate cancer.
One of the mechanisms in which high folic acid levels promoted cancers was proposed in one study, where it was postulated that folic acid destroys natural killer cells (NKCs); NKCs play a key role in our immune arsenal, responsible for the destruction of cancer cells and tumours. See here.
A high intake of folic acid can mask detection of vitamin B12 deficiency, leading to a deterioration of the central nervous system in the elderly. See here.
Benefits of folate
Folate represents the best option for preventing brain and spinal conditions in your child, whether you are thinking about starting a family or are pregnant. It is important to boost your folate intake well in advance of pregnancy.
Not only are folate containing foods protective for your foetus and baby, but they also offer many other health benefits including the correct source of fibre (not from grains), a good variety of vitamins and minerals and chemo (cancer) protective compounds.
What types of foods are rich in folate?
Excellent sources of dietary folate include; Romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, parsley, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, lentils and liver. Liver has by far the highest amounts; about 250mcg per 100g of liver; liver is often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin”.
It is possible to top up your folate intake if your dietary intake is inadequate. Just make sure you avoid folic acid and choose brands that stipulate “5-methyltetrahydrofolate” or “5-MTHF” on the label.
NB Most multivitamins contain the folic acid version of B9, which is as previously discussed, fraught with dangers.
What are the correct dosages?
Well in terms of folate, our healthy alternative to synthetic folic acid, anywhere between the 800mcg and 1,200mcg range on a daily basis is about right for women planning a pregnancy and they should ideally start a few months before becoming pregnant. During pregnancy the same dosage applies.
Now this is quite a lot to glean from foods alone unless you are regularly consuming the aforementioned foods, especially liver at least a couple of times per week and plenty leafy greens.
Therefore if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, I would suggest supplementing with 600-800mcg of folate per day, depending on your dietary intake.
For everyone else other than pregnant women, they should be able obtain plenty of folate in a diet rich with vegetables including leafy greens, and shouldn’t really need to supplement.
Other problems with fortification
Specifically in the case of folic acid, the Scottish Government’s consideration on adding it to flour is concerning on many levels. Flours, which are mainly used in breads and baked goods have many detrimental health issues. We cite three below and their impact on mother and foetus (and child).
Bromine – Flours and their products like breads contain bromine, which is added to modern day flours as a flour improver, apparently. Unfortunately bromine is toxic and not only that, it depletes iodine in the body; iodine is a critical nutrient and one that has seen widespread deficiencies in the Western World. Iodine deficiency is linked to thyroid disease, increasing rates of cancer of the thyroid, stomach, breast and prostate. See here.
Iodine is essential to every cell in your body, but it’s especially important to your thyroid gland, which makes the hormones, T3 and T4 that regulate your entire body’s metabolism.
Iodine levels in the UK and the U.S. have dropped 50% in the last 30 years. During the same period, breast cancer rates have tripled, and the percentage of pregnant women with low iodine levels has increased 690%. Many studies have shown that children born to these mothers run a significant risk of being born with lowered intellectual ability. One such study measured a 13.5 point difference in IQ scores. In utero iodine deficiency has been associated with a host of childhood ailments including ADD/ADHD, depression, cretinism, dwarfism and mental retardation. See here and here.
Blood sugar and insulin response – The Scottish Government’s recently launched website dedicated to informing better food choices ran a radio ad campaign which claimed that, “A wholemeal wrap boosts energy levels and keeps you fuller for longer.”
This is basically nonsense; regardless of whether the breads are white or brown, theyproduce similar insulin responses (very high), which leads to a quick surge of energy, followed by a crash; hence the term “afternoon crash” or “3pm slump”.
Opposite shows a graph of blood insulin responses after oral glucose, white bread, wholewheat bread, and bread made from a finely ground flour that the researchers called “ultra-fine ground whole-grain wheat flour.”
The study was carried out by a group at the USDA to study whether the particle size of wheat made any difference on blood sugar, insulin and other measures; however I think it demonstrates something different.
Here’s the effect of these four study foods on insulin, which is often referred to as “the fat storing hormone”.
All four study foods increased insulin approximately four fold or by 400%. That’s a huge insulin spike, and did you notice what food increased insulin the most? Surprisingly to most people, it was the whole wheat bread, even without the fine grind.
The health impact of chronically high insulin and associated glucose levels are huge; in short it leads to a higher risk of cancers, obesity (including dangerous visceral fat accumulation), diabetes, Alzheimer’s (often referred to as type 3 diabetes) and heart disease to name a very few. See here, here, here and here.
A 2012 study found a link between the maternal size of women, before and during pregnancy and obesity and other associated health risks e.g. heart conditions in their young adult offspring.
Also highly processed foods including wheat flour products fuel the growth of the yeast, Candida, which can be passed from mother to foetus; this can lead to autism in utero or after birth. See here.
Gluten – Finally gluten, it could be argued is even worse than sugar and is contained in most flours including wheat, which we have just demonstrated above is a disaster for blood sugar, insulin and general health.
Taking a snapshot of gluten and it’s damaging effects to health.
- Gluten causes autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
- Gluten causes leaky gut syndrome, which in turn is associated with over 200 disease conditions. See here.
- Gluten sensitivity is enough to produce antibodies (allergic reaction) andstudies have been published, concluding that everyone has gluten sensitivity to some degree. See here.
- Gluten is a known neurotoxin. See here.
- Gluten has been confirmed to cause weight gain. See here.
- Gluten is linked to depression. See here.
- Gluten is linked to Alzheimer’s. See here.
- Gluten can make you infertile. See here.
- Gluten contains addictive opiates (exorphins), stimulating hunger and increased consumption. See here.
I realise that the Government have the best of intentions here. However that doesn’t excuse the lack of understanding of the many issues and health implications of adopting this policy.
The first problem is the decision to consider folic acid (the synthetic, unnatural and low absorption form) and not folate (the natural, high absorption form found in plant and other foods such as liver), which as we have alluded to above is a major issue on its own.
If we then consider that this problematic form of B9 is being considered for fortification with bread flours, we have the potential for opening up a Pandora’s Box of other health problems for mother, foetus and child.
By encouraging women to consume more nutrient deficient wheat flour, which is among the most damaging “foods” on the planet, they are exposing them to a host of health issues including high blood sugar and insulin levels, bromine and gluten.
As if it was not bad enough that women may consciously choose to eat more wheat to meet their daily folic acid needs, they are subconsciously being hooked on it, due to the fact that wheat contains gluten exorphins, which are opiate like peptides, responsible for increased hunger, cravings and consumption.
We are seeing a parallel between the fortification of flour issue and the Scottish Government’s consideration and subsequent decision not to fluoridate the public water supply.
Regarding the fluoridation issue, common sense, proper risk and scientific analysis and putting the onus on the public to take control of their own health, all prevailed.
There is an opportunity to apply the same criteria used in declining the option to fluoridate, to declining the option to fortify the flour (a damaging ingredient on its own) supplies with a synthetic and potentially damaging chemical, folic acid.
The question is whether the same result as the fluoridation issue produced will be replicated.
England and Wales made a huge mistake adopting water fluoridation; now they have an opportunity to make some amends by rejecting the Scottish Government’s request for UK wide fortification of flour.
We all know that prescription drugs come with a variety of side effects in some people. Things like tummy upsets, constipation, headaches, drowsiness, dizziness and nausea are fairly common. Read more
What most of us don’t think about when handed a prescription by our doctor is that the medicine could set us on the path towards metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Yet, that is the shocking truth; not for some rarely prescribed drug for a condition you’ve never heard of, but for whole classes of commonly prescribed medications that together make up the vast majority of prescriptions written in the UK.
Two major recent studies showed that statins, the world’s best-selling drugs, were clearly implicated in increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Statins block the production of cholesterol in the liver, but in doing so they also block the production of a related substance called dolichol, which has an important role in sugar metabolism and insulin sensitivity. The sad fact is that, while they increase the risk of diabetes, statins actually do little or nothing to reduce the risk of a heart attack, the reason they were prescribed in the first place.
A class of frequently prescribed steroid drugs called glucocorticoids (such as prednisolone) are also known to affect blood sugar control and lead to type 2 diabetes. The medical community is well aware of “steroid diabetes” as a condition that arises in people who have to take these drugs for an extended period, such as kidney transplant patients. But if your GP prescribes you a glucocorticoid for your asthma, eczema or irritable bowel syndrome, you may not be warned of this risk. Glucocorticoids raise blood sugar levels by promoting insulin resistance in the liver and muscle cells. At higher doses, they also impair the function of insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas, reducing the release of insulin.
Another mainstay of drug based medicine, beta blockers are used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including high blood pressure, angina, abnormal heart rhythm, overactive thyroid, glaucoma, anxiety and migraine. These drugs not only increase blood sugar levels in those who don’t have diabetes, but may worsen blood sugar control in people with diabetes and also blunt the warning symptoms when hypoglycaemia occurs. A massive study involving nearly 20,000 patients established a clear connection between the use of older beta blocker drugs, such as atenolol and type 2 diabetes.
Several studies have linked the long term use of antidepressants, one of the most frequently prescribed kinds of medication in the UK, with a raised risk of type 2 diabetes. All types of antidepressants, including tricyclic and SSRIs, are implicated. A recent major study, which examined the health data of more than 168,000 people, concluded that, even after adjusting for weight gain (a common side effect of antidepressants), people taking these drugs had an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes.
The list goes on and on…..
Other classes of drugs have also been linked with raised blood sugar levels, metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes.
- Blood pressure drugs, which a long term study found was associated with new onset diabetes in 20% of patients who took them and with a consequent increased risk of heart attack and stroke in these patients.
- Diuretics, particularly the thiazide type, which reduce blood potassium levels and interfere with the release of insulin by the pancreas.
- Mood stabilisers, such as clozapine, quetiapine and risperidone, which have been found to cause metabolic syndrome, including raised blood sugar and blood fat levels, abdominal obesity and high blood pressure.
- Anti-epilepsy drug sodium valproate (Epilim), which is often also prescribed for bipolar disorder and can interfere with the mechanism by which cells take up glucose, leading to raised blood sugar levels.
I get the feeling we have only just scratched the surface and that prescription drugs could turn out to be a significant factor in the worldwide epidemic of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Big Pharma must be well aware of this, but why would they tell anybody about it when sales of anti-diabetic drugs are such a big earner for them?
If you already have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, it is vital that you are aware of the damage that the drugs mentioned above could do to your blood sugar control. Ask your doctor how any medications you are taking could affect your glucose metabolism (doubt he will know). Sometimes it is a case of weighing one risk against another, but often there are safer drugs or non-drug alternatives that can be just as effective. Just don’t stop any medication without letting your doctor know.
NB Do not follow Diabetes UK or the American Diabetes Association’s recommendations for diabetes control; they are highly flawed due to vested or conflicting interests.
We are taught to respect authority from an early age i.e. at school as well as the notion that truth comes from authority.
There are many reasons for this and one is to respect and obey everything your doctor or consultant says, and in this case we are talking about oncologists. Why is this? Medicine is big business, which we don’t seem to get in the UK because it’s free at the point of delivery; however £130 Billion a year is far from being free to the taxpayer.
Also the perception of being “free” can make many of us feel awkward about questioning the people who work in the service or the service in general.
But in reality we have paid for this service through our taxes and the doctors, consultants and managers make very decent salaries and the companies who supply equipment and drugs to the health service make very good profits, especially the pharmaceutical companies aka Big Pharma.
Bear in mind that we are not talking about a hip replacement or getting your appendix out, which for the most part are relatively straightforward and have decent recovery results. Unfortunately with cancer the procedures are more invasive and highly toxic, be it surgery, radiation or chemotherapy as well as causing many long term, permanent side effects, including secondary cancers as a direct result of these 3 conventional therapies.
Doctors are busy, but that is no excuse to be economical with the truth and facts about these highly dangerous interventions, especially when doctors are supposed to be bound by The Hippocratic Oath, which states that doctors should “Firstly do no harm”.
They’re just not telling patients everything they really need to know, by glossing over a lot of important stuff and consequently you are at a higher risk. Therefore you have to take the initiative by preparing yourself with questions and that is the reason for this blog; so without further ado, here is a list of questions to ask your oncologist.
What’s my diagnosis?
You need to find this out as it is important. What kind of cancer do you have? By the way, it’s a good idea to get a second and a third opinion to make sure that your diagnosis is correct. Don’t just trust one doctor’s opinion on your diagnosis.
Is this a fast-growing cancer or a slow-growing cancer?
How long has this been growing in my body? This is important because if it’s a slow-growing cancer, you may have a lot more time than you realise. This will alleviate the sense of urgency that maybe your doctor or whoever may be trying to impose on you. If you have a slow-growing cancer that’s been growing on your body for 5 or 10 years or maybe longer, guess what? You probably have more time. You need to know how much time you really have in the sense of, “Is this fast-growing or slow-growing?”
Do you think an unhealthy diet, or pollution, or stress have anything to do with this?
You’ll be surprised how many doctors say, “No, it’s not your diet. No, stress doesn’t have anything to do with it. No, you’re just unlucky”. Luck is not a factor in cancer development, nor a factor in health, and has no place in the discussion.
What treatment do you recommend?
Very simple; they’re going to outline it, “Okay, we think you need surgery and chemotherapy and you need radiation.” You want to take really good notes. Take a notepad and write down everything or even better take a Dictaphone and record the conversation for future reference. You can obviously be polite by asking permission, but remember it’s your right.
What are the side effects of these treatments?
This is important for obvious reasons. What you need to know is chemotherapy drugs cause brain damage, heart damage, liver damage, lung damage, immune system damage, hearing loss, kidney and bladder damage, intestinal damage, internal bleeding, peripheral neuropathy (that’s where you lose the feeling in your fingertips and toes, sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently) and chemo drugs can cause new, secondary cancers to form in the body.
If they’re not mentioning all these potential problems, then they are omitting some serious complications. This is what the conversation may go like, “Well, you’re going to throw up, you’re going to lose your appetite, you’re going to lose your hair, you’re just going to feel bad all round, food is not going to taste very good”.
If that’s all they’re telling you, then they’re feeding you all the trivial (by comparison) side effects that everybody knows about, and hiding the major damage that chemo drugs are going to cause in your body short and long term.
In 2015, a report was published that said nearly one in five new cancer cases are secondary cancers; that’s 20% of new cancer cases are secondary cancers. This basically means that cancer patients are developing new types of cancer in different parts of their body caused by treatment of primary cancers.
Since 1970, the amount of secondary cancers has increased by 300%. Secondary cancers can come quickly within the first few months or few years of treatment, or they can come decades later. It’s important that you know that. Your doctor should acknowledge that when you talk about this.
Are these drugs the latest innovation?
You would think that the older the drug, the better, because it’s been extensively tested. That’s the way the oncologists try to talk up these drugs, “We’ve been using these drugs for years.” The truth is, the top 10 most prescribed standard chemo drugs are between 20 and 60 years old.
- Methotrexate, Fluorouracil (that’s 5-FU) and Cyclophosphamide were developed in the 1950’s
- Doxorubicin was developed in the 1960s
- Cisplatin was developed in 1978
- Gemcitabine was developed in the 1980s
- Etoposide was developed in 1983.
- Chlorambucil was developed around 1984
- Docetaxel and Paclitaxel were developed in 1992
Does that give you a whole lot of confidence in what they’re doing, the fact that they still have to resort to drugs 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years old? The cancer industry is constantly boasting about new innovative life saving treatments. Yet, they’re still using drugs that are decades old; something is amiss.
Is this treatment palliative or curative?
Curative means it will get rid of your cancer and palliative basically means your condition is terminal, but the drugs will give you a wee bit of extra time. They may give you a few months, but you will be miserable in pain and discomfort.
A study concluded that two thirds of patients think they were getting curative treatment, when in actual fact they were being treated palliatively. Their doctors knew there’s no way this treatment was going to cure them. You need to know the difference and make sure you ask that question.
If they say, it’s curative treatment, then ask them,
What’s the recurrence rate after this treatment?
They will probably throw a figure or percentage chance at you. Ask them where they got it from. It needs to be from an unbiased source; hint, not a drug company or Government agency.
How much time do you think I have to live if I do this treatment?
You may or may not want to know, but bear in mind two things; firstly they are only guessing themselves and secondly, oncologists have been known to inflate the survival time to coax you into taking the treatment.
Remember the Big Pharma industry runs Governments and conventional medicine. See here.
How much time do you think I have to live if I do nothing?
Usually, it’s always going to be, “You’re going to live less time if you don’t do treatment.” We know that’s not the case. See here.
What is the five year disease free survival rate for my specific diagnosis with your treatment protocol?
It’s all about the words here; we are not talking about “survival rate” because that could mean you are not that well, but since you are alive (just), they record it as a survival success. That’s the Government for you. Make sure you use the words DISEASE FREE.
What is the five year disease free survival rate for my specific cancer if I do nothing?
They won’t know this, but you can ask them anyway. The truth is it is higher by doing nothing. See “How much time do you think I have to live if I do nothing?” above.
How much does chemotherapy contribute to five year survival for my type of cancer?
An extensive study in The Journal of Clinical Oncology (2004) concluded that chemotherapy contributed only 2.1% towards the five year survival rate i.e. not that much. Some drugs were better than others and some have a zero contribution to the five year rates, so you will have to check your own cancer in this study.
I wouldn’t bring this study up with them as it won’t make a blind bit of difference.
NB Although the study is 11 years old, the chemo drugs used then are still being used today.
May I have copies of the safety data sheets on all the drugs I’ll be taking? I like to take them home with me today if possible.
The safety data sheet is the drug insert that pharmaceutical companies have to provide to doctors for each drug; it lists all of the known side effects and damages to your body, including any known counter indications with other drugs. This is your right and comes under the Health & Safety Act. Make sure you don’t leave until you get copies of the data sheets on these drugs.
Would you (the oncologist) or your family do this treatment if you had the same diagnosis as me?
90% of oncologists would refuse chemo for themselves and their family if they had cancer. See here. That’s pretty damning, don’t you think?
Is it true that chemotherapy drugs can make cancer more aggressive?
Absolutely is the accurate answer, but let the oncologist talk just to see how honest he is going to be; he may just brush it off or say it’s not that big of an issue. It certainly is and is called chemo resistance and is driven by cancer stem cells, which become resistant to chemo and radiation. Here is a great article for your information.
Does chemotherapy kill cancer stem cells?
They will say yes they do for sure; however that is only part of the story. They cause heavy collateral damage to healthy cells, as well as failing to kill cancer stem cells, which cause chemo resistance, increased malignancy and secondary tumours. Also there are many natural plant compounds that outperform chemo with no side effects. See here.
I read that chemotherapy drugs are carcinogenic. Can this treatment cause more cancers in my body?
Yes they are, but the oncologist in all probability will down play it or use the drug company’s official (biased and inaccurate) data.
Most if not all chemo drugs are registered carcinogens at the Government level. Even the ones which have slipped through the net are cancer causing. Why? In simple terms they destroy the mitochondria (the energy producing part of your cells) of your healthy cells, which not only cause healthy cell death, but cell proliferation; cell proliferation is the hallmark of cancer, in this case secondary cancers.
How do we know this? Well Professor Thomas Seyfried wrote a ground breaking book in 2012, “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease”, which postulates that mitochondrial damage or dysfunction leads to DNA damage, in turn cell proliferation i.e. cancer.
What other options are available besides standard treatment?
They will probably say “other options don’t work” or “these are the best options that we have”. This is actually nonsense as there are many natural plant extracts that are more effective than chemo and actually kill the cancer stem cells, the main cause of secondary cancers and increased malignancy.
What do you recommend I eat while I’m doing chemotherapy?
They will probably tell you to go ahead and eat anything you want. This is shocking and demonstrates their lack of training and understanding in nutrition. Cancer cells are ravenous for glucose, which they get mainly from carbohydrates of all kinds. Hence limiting carbs (using a ketogenic diet), will help starve cancer cells. See here.
What’s the best anti-cancer diet? What is the best diet for a cancer patient?
They will have no clue; sorry, but this is the sad reality of modern cancer care in the UK and further afield. What they should be saying is a low carb, mainly plant based diet with raw organic fruits and vegetables, green juicing, probiotic and prebiotic foods and sprouted seeds e.g. broccoli seeds, with at least 80% of the diet coming from raw, uncooked foods.
Are there any foods that I should avoid?
They will probably reiterate what they said above and that was to eat anything you like. Instead they should be saying, NO grains e.g. wheat, cereals, corn, rice etc., NO sugar, NO refined vegetable oils, NO alcohol, NO processed or junk foods, NO charred foods.
How many patients do you treat per year? How many do you see per day?
He or she may say, “I treat a thousand patients a year, or something.” By the way, you’re setting them up for the next question. You want to ask this one first.
How many patients have you cured of my disease?
He or she may have just been boasting about how many patients he treats, and now you’re saying, “How many of them have you cured?” You can follow this up with…
I’m just really nervous about this. I’d like to get references. Can I speak to five patients with the same cancer as me that you’ve cured that are cancer free after five years? Is that possible?
They will probably say that we can’t give that information out, since it is confidential. Then you can say well could you call them and ask if they would talk with me directly; I’m sure they would only be too happy to sing your praises if you helped them back to health.
Do you have any former patients that have been in remission for over 10 years? That’s even better. I would really love to speak to them if you have any.
This may sound a bit much, but think about it logically; if you were having a new roof on your house or a new kitchen fitted, you would want references from the tradesmen surely.
This is your health, which trumps every other part of your life so you will want some kind of references into the oncologist’s success rates. There is nothing unreasonable about it.
What about Insulin Potentiated Therapy
They won’t have a clue in all probability since it is not part of their training and it would never be considered as such, since it only uses 10% (in a highly targeted fashion) of the standard drug doses; one tenth is not a lot of drug, which would equal a fraction of the chemo drug profits compared to the profits that would be reaped when the standard doses of drugs are administered.
You can make the point that there is much less collateral damage to healthy cells due to the highly targeted (directly to the tumours) delivery system and then ask them, would that not be in line with the Hippocratic Oath, which states that doctors should firstly do no harm?
You can say to your oncologist, if you would like some time to research it, I can point you in the right direction and you can give them this article to read.