A Review: The Use of Antioxidants and Cancer Therapy
The latest issue of Alternative and Complementary Therapies features the first article of its kind to provide direction and answers regarding the use of antioxidants during chemotherapy. You can read the article here. -Editor
It is always inspiring to meet people who have been through and survived cancer, and especially those who have undergone the Western medical treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy. There is no doubt that these types of treatment are uncomfortable, and while their efficacy has been questioned, I have met many who have received benefit. If something as little as adding antioxidants to the regime of cancer treatments provides some relief, then it is a good thing.
The most common chemotherapy agents act by killing the rapidly-dividing cells. Unfortunately, chemotherapy also does harm to normal cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract, and hair follicles. This results in the most common side effects of chemotherapy: myelosuppression (decreased production of blood cells, immunosuppression), mucositis (inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract), and alopecia (hair loss). Damage to specific organs is also possible, such as heart damage, liver damage, kidney damage, or brain dysfunction, to name a few.
Scientific research is about the search for the truth. The goal is to learn whether facts can be established which will be recognized as facts by others, and which will support hypotheses. In the course of experimental procedure, the investigator will come across results that either support the hypothesis or not. When faced with hard evidence, scientists must be ready to surrender to the facts.
The interview with Dr. Keith Block is delightful and informative, as he uses the power of scientific research and his personal experience to show that antioxidants can be beneficial during chemotherapy.
Block further makes recommendations that are not unlike the approach used in Maharishi Ayurveda, such as the use of a full-spectrum antioxidant that is plant based, and the use of a specific diet. Of course, a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables which contain antioxidants, and the use of specific spices according to the nature of the individual, will help correct any imbalances. Many spices such as turmeric have been shown to have antioxidant and health-promoting effects.
Amrit Kalash is the primary antioxidant formula in Maharishi Ayurveda. Research has indicated that this concentrated synergy of herbs and ingredients can help with side effects of medical treatment. It is a supreme antioxidant and does not create its own side effects. Amrit Nectar Paste (tablets are also available for those who need to watch their sugar intake) is full of phytochemicals and bioflavonoids, which are antioxidants and are known to have many health benefits. Previous studies on Amrit have demonstrated that it supports healthy function. Additional studies have demonstrated Amrit’s benefits in modifying the side effects of chemotherapy, showing improvements in areas such as decreased anorexia (loss of appetite), decreased vomiting, greater ability to perform daily activities during chemo, and improved well being
The goal of those in the Western approach to cancer is the same as that in alternative medicine: make people well, and while making them well, ensure a good quality of life. Evidence has shown that the addition of antioxidants such as Amrit can improve the quality of life of cancer patients who are undergoing conventional cancer treatment.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.