Let’s be honest. Frequent, moderate exercise during your active cancer therapy for breast cancer probably won’t be easy. Radiation or chemotherapy may make you feel tired, sick or just plain depressed. But the studies linked and excerpted below indicate that moderate exercise will make you feel better and most importantly, will help you live longer.
If you want to add a healthier diet or anti-cancer supplementation to your therapies you may improve your outcomes even more. Supplementation such as curcumin, green tea extract and/or omega 3 fatty acids have evidence-based studies demonstrating their ability to enhance conventional therapies while reducing toxicity.
Though my personal cancer experience is anecdotal (a sample of one), I walk the walk and talk the talk. On the way home from dropping my son off at school I stop by my local LifeTime Fitness, exercise moderately on an elliptical while watching a bunch of different T.V. screens and I’m home for my bagel and coffee by 9:15. Cheap, easy and I’m still here after a diagnosis of multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer, in 1994.
For more information or specifics based on your diagnosis, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply ASAP.
“Conclusions Physical activity after a breast cancer diagnosis may reduce the risk of death from this disease. The greatest benefit occurred in women who performed the equivalent of walking 3 to 5 hours per week at an average pace, with little evidence of a correlation between increased benefit and greater energy expenditure. Women with breast cancer who follow US physical activity recommendations may improve their survival...”
“A brisk walk or a slow jog on a regular basis may be the key to improved cancer treatments. Research also has shown that moderate exercise can help cancer patients counteract some of the side effects of treatment — such as low blood count, fatigue, cachexia and lost muscle mass — which has led to many researchers labeling this as “aerobic exercise therapy” for patients with cancer…
Brad Behnke, associate professor of exercise physiology, and collaborators have shown that moderate exercise on a regular basis enhances tumor oxygenation, which may improve treatments in cancer patients…
An intervention like exercise has almost universally positive side effects versus other treatments that can have deleterious side effects. Exercise is a type of therapy that benefits multiple systems in the body, and may permanently alter the environment within the tumor.“
But the key is moderate exercise, said Behnke. Too little exercise may have no effect, but too much exercise may have a negative effect and may shut down blood flow to the tumor region or impair the immune system.
Moderate exercise is an activity that uses 30 to 60 percent of someone’s aerobic capacity, Behnke said. The activity is nonstrenuous and is something that most people can perform, such as a brisk walk or a slow jog…”
“Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin (CU) products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism”
A search of the Pubmed database for the word curcumin yields 601 studies spaning health topics from multiple myeloma and colorectal cancer, to chemotherapies that synergizes with CU, to Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis and more. Based on years of reading studies and personal accounts, I think it is safe to say that CU supplementation is safe and relatively inexpensive.
I have read about myeloma patients taking daily doses of CU from 400 milligrams to 8 grams (1000 milligrams = 1 gram). By almost any measure, CU is a safe, inexpensive wonder drug.
The only challenge is that CU is famously difficult to absorb in the body. In other words, a person has to mix curcumin with some sort of fat (coconut oil, chocolate, etc.) or take a brand of curcumin capsule that is already formulated to be more “bioavailable” in order to derive the full benefit of CU.
The study linked and exerpted below reviews different formulations of CU. The study itself lists the three most bioavailable formulation/brand of CU and I’ve added an excerpt from a further review from Consumerlab.com that lists four additional bioavailable brands of CU.
“CU is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is sold as an herbal supplement, cosmetics ingredient, food flavoring, and food coloring.“
“Curcumin is a widely studied natural compound which has shown tremendous in vitro therapeutic potential. Despite that, the clinical efficacy of the native CU is weak due to its low bioavailability and high metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract. During the last decade, researchers have come up with different formulations with a focus on improving the bioavailability of curcumin. As a result, a significant number of bioavailable curcumin-based formulations were introduced with the varying range of enhanced bioavailability.
The purpose of this review is to collate the published clinical studies of CU products with improved bioavailability over conventional (unformulated) CU. Based on the literature search, 11 curcumin formulations with available human bioavailability and pharmacokinetics data were included in this review. Further, the data on clinical study design, analytical method, pharmacokinetic parameters and other relevant details of each formulation were extracted.
Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism. The review hopes to provide a quick reference guide for anyone looking information on these bioavailable curcumin formulations.
Based on the published reports,
exhibited over 100-fold higher bioavailability relative to reference unformulated CU. Suggested mechanisms accounting for improved bioavailability of the formulations and details on the bioanalysis methods are also discussed.”
According to Consumerlab.com:
“Novasol has the highest bioavailability (185 x compared to unforumulated CU), followed by Curcuwin (136 x), Longvida (100 x), Meriva (48 x), BCM-95 (27 x), Curcumin C3 Complex + Bioperene (20 x), and then Theracumin (16 x).”