Multiple Myeloma an incurable disease, but I have spent the last 25 years in remission using a blend of conventional oncology and evidence-based nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle therapies from peer-reviewed studies that your oncologist probably hasn't told you about.
Click the orange button to the right to learn more about what you can start doing today.
“Along with maintaining a healthy attitude, avoiding illness and infection, and exercising regularly, research shows that (MM) cancer nutrition can influence cancer progression, recurrence risk, and survival.…”
I have survived an “incurable cancer,” multiple myeloma, (MM) since 1994. I can tell you without a doubt that my diet is a critical component to beating my MM. The article linked and excerpted below talks about different nutrition, including the ketogenic diet and fasting and cancer. I recommend you read the article.
The one tip I want to mention regarding my own system for uber nutrious foods is a daily smoothie. My wife gave me a Nutri Bullet 12-Piece Hi-Speed Blender/Mixer System for Christmas in 2013. I blend a smoothie every school-day morning for me and my son before I take Alex to school.
(Ed. Note- as of today 8/10/19, I am still making smoothies with my Nutri Bullet though Alex is in college now…)
A smoothie is nutrious, delicious (my son is a picky eater), fast and easy to clean up.
My version of “fast, easy, delicious?” Chop a banana (texture) and add whatever is in the fridge, berries, apples, nuts, whatever. Add some frozen fruit if you want to make the smoothie frosty. To make it tart, add orange juice. To make it sweeter, add coconut water.
My version of protein and antioxidants? Garden of Life RAW Organic Protein Powder and Navitas Naturals Organic Antioxidant Superfruit Blend, 8-Ounce Pouches. The fresh fruit or veggies will carry the flavor. The powders do the heavy nutritional lifting.
Certainly the other meals during your day are important in pursuing anti-myeloma nutrition. My goal is to start my day with a leg up on keeping my MM in complete remission. I do this with a daily dose of anti-angiogenic foods, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein, etc.
For more information about cancer nutrition scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply ASAP.
Evidence that diet can prevent cancer (MM) or the recurrence of cancer is mounting. In the Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS), involving breast cancer patients who were on curative therapy, a low-fat diet was associated with reduced risk for cancer recurrence, particularly in those with estrogen-receptor negative cancers. “This is an important study,” comments Suzanne Dixon, “because women with estrogen-receptor negative cancer have fewer treatment options. The low-fat diet had a profound effect on recurrence in this group.”
In the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) study, however, an intense plant-based diet high in fruits and vegetables did not appear to improve survival, but did reduce recurrence when combined with moderate, regular exercise. Still, women with breast cancer often struggle to shed excess weight. “Even if you don’t buy into a dietary effect on survival or recurrence, these are still healthier diets,” remarks Dixon. “Getting cancer isn’t a ‘get out of jail free card’ for heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and other chronic diseases.”
In The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Second Edition: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery spends little time talking about what foods patients should avoid.
“My philosophy is that people hear enough about what they shouldn’t eat. They hear a lot of don’ts. The book is an invitation to shift that thinking.” Katz views the book and its recipes as something that patients and family members can do to combat cancer, at a time when helplessness is a common feeling.
Along with maintaining a healthy attitude, avoiding illness and infection, and exercising regularly, research shows that what cancer patients eat can influence cancer progression, recurrence risk, and survival. Foods have many cancer-fighting properties, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and proimmune system effects. The right foods can stimulate appetite, aid in digestion, and relieve gastrointestinal side effects, all of which are important in preventing involuntary weight loss.
Food is a key part of a risk-reduction strategy for cancer, says Katz. In The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, she provides an important tool for incorporating cancer-fighting foods into the diet. The chapter “The Culinary Pharmacy” is an A-to-Z resource detailing the evidence-based cancer-fighting properties of foods, herbs, and spices. These compounds are the foundation of the book’s recipes, which, by combining many of the cancer-fighting foods, increase the chances of yielding benefit.
Katz emphasizes whole foods in her recipes for cancer patients. “Whole foods provide the most nutrient density,” explains Katz. “When patients are going through multiple myeloma, every bite counts. From day to day, they don’t know how much they will be able to eat. Whole/organic foods provide the most bang for their buck. Furthermore, organic foods usually contain fewer toxins, so for the patient who is exposed to the toxic effects of chemotherapy, organic foods don’t add to this burden.” Although organic might be optimal, eating conventional produce is preferable to eating no produce at all. This important message should be conveyed to patients who may not have access to organic foods, or who may not be able to afford them.
In recent years, interest in dietary manipulations in the treatment of cancer has increased, but the optimal strategies are not known. In preclinical studies, metabolic dietary therapies, such as calorie restriction, fasting, and ketogenic diets, have been shown to slow the growth of cancer, but few human clinical trials have been conducted. Calorie restriction has been shown in murine models of breast cancer to repress tumor growth in an additive manner during radiation therapy.
The ketogenic diet, which is very high in fat, involves eliminating nearly all carbohydrates from the diet, because cancer cells consume glucose derived from carbohydrates. Used for many decades to treat pediatric epilepsy, this very-low-carbohydrate diet strategy is aimed at starving cancer cells that are dependent on glucose, which has both direct and indirect effects on tumor proliferation.
Dixon comments that experimental aggressive diet interventions, such as the ketogenic diet, are not yet officially recommended in cancer guidelines. “Tumor biology is very complicated. What works for one tumor type is not necessarily going to be helpful for another. Moreover, the ketogenic diet is quite extreme. We need to make sure that patients will benefit, and not be harmed by it, before we recommend this diet.”
Another intervention, which has shown promise in murine studies, is fasting before undergoing chemotherapy. Explains Dixon, “This involves the patient fasting for a day or two before chemotherapy, on the day of chemotherapy, and for a day or two afterwards. Fasting generally means drinking only water; no calories are ingested. The theory is that cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth and replication, so that by fasting and putting the body into a calorie-deficit state, the healthy cells become quiescent and go into ‘housekeeping mode.’ Only basic functions are carried out, but no growth or replication. This protects the healthy cells from the effects of chemotherapy, so patients will experience fewer or reduced side effects. The effect on the cancer cells is to sensitize them to chemotherapy, so that they are more susceptible to it.”
However, Dixon emphasizes that “this is not yet a proven strategy, and it has mostly been patient-driven. It may be effective only for certain tumors; we don’t know yet. But patients are reading about it online and want to try it. It’s not being officially recommended, but some patients are doing it.”
Does fasting work? Anecdotally, patients are reporting fewer side effects, such as mouth sores, diarrhea, and skin issues, says Dixon. An obvious question, however, is whether fasting is safe in patients who are at high risk for weight loss and cachexia. “We need to figure out how to do it safely,” agrees Dixon. “In tumor types where it is unlikely that the patient will lose a lot of weight, we wouldn’t be as concerned about short-term fasting. Most patients with such cancers as breast and prostate aren’t losing a lot of weight doing it. And even if fasting does turn out to be safe, it will be important for patients to load up on fluids and keep the kidneys functioning. We need clinical trials — in the next few years, we will have more data to sort out who will benefit and who shouldn’t do it.”