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Consider These Essential Nutrients in Your Fight Against Breast Cancer

Susanna Sisson's picture
Breast cancer sign

You’ve just found a lump in your breast or perhaps gotten a diagnosis of breast cancer. You’re stunned and wondering – what’s next? Is there anything you can do at this point? Could your breast cancer have been prevented? How will this change your life? What most women and doctors don’t realize is there are essential nutrients you should be consuming if you are fighting breast or any other type cancer.


What do you know about iodine?

Iodine isn’t just necessary for optimum functioning of your thyroid, it is essential to protect every cell in your body. Without adequate amounts of iodine the immune system cannot function properly which can lead to diseases – even cancer. Iodine is essential for endocrine function. The endocrine system includes the thyroid, breasts, ovaries, uterus, prostate and testes, hypothalamus, pituitary, parathyroids, adrenals, pineal body, and the pancreas. The endocrine system is responsible for hundreds of chemical reactions that take place in the body and without adequate amounts of essential nutrients these reactions are not optimized.

Dr. David Brownstein, a renowned expert in iodine deficiency has tested over 6,000 patients and says, “About 96% of people we test are iodine deficient and many are significantly deficient.” What is even more significant is that about 80% of women who develop fibrocystic breast tissue which is a precursor to breast cancer are iodine deficient. [Brownstein D. (2009). Iodine why you need it why you can’t live without it. West Bloomfield. Michigan. Medical Alternatives Press]

Iodine raises saliva pH and reduces our risk of cancers by neutralizing the low pH environment where cancers thrive, while strengthening our body’s defenses. In a recent survey of 1478 cancer patients, 93% had a low or acidic saliva pH.

There is an epidemic of iodine deficiency in the United States and around the world. Iodine deficiency is one of the most important public health issues globally. An estimated 2.2 billion people live in iodine-deficient areas. It is also one of the most easily corrected with iodine supplementation.

Iodine Uptake

Breast tissue, as well as thyroid and prostate tissue, require more iodine than other parts of the body and act as reservoirs by concentrating iodine. If there are insufficient stores of iodine, the breasts, thyroid, and prostate will compete for what is available. In this deficient state, illnesses such as goiter, autoimmune thyroid disease, hypothyroidism, cystic breast disease, thyroid, breast and other cancers such as prostate and ovarian may develop. The ovaries contain the second highest concentration of iodine.

Women who are pregnant or lactating require higher amounts of iodine which is necessary for development of the brain in babies. Human milk contains four times more iodine than what is taken up by the thyroid. Iodine deficiency is especially problematic during pregnancy and can lead to neurological problems, developmental delays, and lowered IQ.

Blue Zones

Japan is considered a Blue Zone, where people live longer and without much of the disease seen in the western world. Japanese women rarely get breast cancer or develop thyroid disease which is attributed to their high intake of iodine and fucoidan rich seaweed. On average people in Japan eat about 12 milligrams per day, 83 times higher than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 150mcg in the Unites States.

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The incidence of breast cancer in Japan is half that of the U.S. while the general cancer rates were about one third of ours. There is a direct link between iodine deficiency and increased incidence of disease. With adequate iodine you will boost your metabolism, increase your energy and stamina, lose weight and, in many cases, reduce your dependency on other medications such as thyroid replacement, and lower your risk of cancer. One of the simplest ways to get iodine is by taking Iodarol.

Iodine and apoptosis

Apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death, is a normal, controlled, and regulated process of the development of healthy cells. However apoptosis does not take place in cancer cells so they grow and proliferate rampantly.

Studies on iodine and cancer reveal treatment with iodine can reduce tumor size even in highly aggressive estrogen receptor negative and p53 mutant breast tumors. Additionally iodine treatment activates a caspase-independent and mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway in breast carcinoma.

Correlation between iodine and cofactor deficiencies
Most nutrients need co-factors in order to work effectively and iodine is no different. One of the most important cofactors is selenium which along with an iodine deficiency may lead to thyroid imbalance.

The cofactors for using Iodine are:
• Selenium 200 – 400 mcg per day
• Magnesium 400 – 1200 mg per day
• Vitamin C 3,000 – 10,000 mg per day
• Vitamin B - All of them
• Salt (Celtic or Himalayan) – 1 tsp a day minimum
Vitamin A -
• Iron

Other Nutrients to consider in addition to iodine with breast cancer

• Fucoidan – Like iodine, fucoidan is found in seaweed and has potent anticancer effects by modulating the immune system, increasing killer T cells, inducing apoptosis and anti-angiogenesis, preventing metastasis, and mobilizing stem cells.
• Turkey Tail Mushrooms (Trametes versicolor) – there are anecdotal instances of the efficacy of turkey tail mushrooms in the treatment of breast cancer. In 2012 a Phase I clinical trial on the benefits of these mushrooms indicated that Trametes versicolor represents a novel immune therapy with significant applications in cancer treatment. Tedx VIDEO with Paul Stamets
• Cannabadiols (CBD) – Due to direct antitumor effects, non-psychoactive CBD, may be promising tools in combination therapy for breast and prostate cancer as well as their ability to improve the efficacy of conventional antitumor drugs and their usefulness as palliative treatment.

Sources of Iodine and fucoidan

Seaweed is rich both iodine and fucoidan, a polysaccharide which has multiple mechanisms of action in cancer and is used in Japan especially with older patients who may not want to undergo chemo and radiation or it may be used concomitantly with chemotherapy drugs to modulate adverse effects without causing any toxicity or decrease in chemotherapy drug concentration.

Whether you choose traditional therapy for your treatment of breast cancer or decide a more natural approach, these nutrients will improve your immune system, and improve your chances of winning the battle.