(NaturalNews) Anyone looking for effective alternatives to the treatments offered by traditional cancer specialists might want to look at inositol hexophosphate (IP6). It is a very simple and inexpensive treatment that may easily get written off by people, who have been led to believe the cure for cancer can only be found in a laboratory through the complexities of science and only after years of expensive research and testing. Yet it is becoming obvious that one of the most effective cures for cancer already exists in a simple compound found in abundance in many foods. New research continues to underscore the effectiveness of IP6 against cancer.
IP6 is found effective against prostate cancer
In a recent study at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, more specific mechanisms through which IP6 is effective were identified. Scientists had previously found that IP6 increased the activity of genes that control proteins in human prostate cancer cells lacking functional p53, the gene that provides much cancer protection. They sought to determine whether this increased activity plays a role in IP6's anti-tumor effect. They found that the two genes activated by IP6, p21 and p27, play a critical role in mediating the anticancer effectiveness of IP6. Following activation of the genes by IP6, they were able to halt tumor growth and promote the appropriate death of cells in a process known as apoptosis. This study was published in the February edition of Cancer Research.
This study follows on the heels of other research from the University of Colorado that evaluated the efficacy of IP6 against prostate tumor growth and progression. Prostate cancer was induced in mice given either water containing IP6 or plain water. The researchers found that IP6 inhibited the progression of the cancer cells and strongly reduced the incidence of adenocarcinoma. This is of high significance because 95% of prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, meaning the cancer has developed in the lining or inner surface of the gland.
The incidences of well-differentiated and poorly differentiated adenocarcinomas in the group fed IP6 were reduced by 44% and 62% respectively. Analysis of the prostate tissue showed a 3.5 fold increase in malignant cell death. This highly significant finding established for the first time that oral IP6 suppresses prostate tumor growth and progression at the stage of abnormal or uncontrolled growth.
IP6 is non-toxic and produces no side effect
IP6 is a compound found in beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, rice and wheat bran, corn, and sesame. One-half cup of whole kernel corn contains a whopping 650 mgs of IP6. It is composed of an inositol sugar molecule (one of the B vitamins), with six phosphate groups attached. Because it is a sugar molecule, it has a pleasant, sweet taste. Because it is from food and not from a drug laboratory, IP6 has no toxic effects in the body even at high doses.
Although the IP6 compound was identified many years ago, it wasn't until the late 1980's that its ability to control the rate of abnormal cell division was discovered. A scientist from the University of Maryland, Dr. Abulkalam Shamsuddin, found that IP6 was able to halt well developed cancers. While most cancer research centered on killing cancer cells, Dr. Shamsuddin proved that IP6 could normalize the sugar production of cancerous cells, thereby altering their gene expression toward a more healthful state. This discovery has major implications because cancer cells that are well behaved have far less negative consequences to health.
IP6 works in many ways against cancer
Whether from food or from therapeutic supplemental doses, IP6 works against cancer in several ways. Its ability to act as an intracellular messenger means that it is integral in many cellular activities including:
Normalizing the rate of cell growth When cancer cells lose their control mechanisms, rapid and uncontrolled division of malignant cells is often the result. As IP6 repairs the gene mutations and reestablishes control within the cells, their rate of division is slowed
Enhancing natural killer cells Natural killer cells are white blood cells that help protect against infected or cancerous cells. Research has shown that the higher the amount of natural killer cell activity, the lower the incidence of some cancers. A healthy human produces 500 to 1000 cancer cells daily that need to be identified and disposed of by the body. Natural killer cells and natural cell programming result in the vast majority of these cells being destroyed and removed. However, when the body is under stress, including the stress produced by lack of sleep, natural killer cell population is compromised. When the body is under the ultimate stress of being forced to face a diagnosis of cancer and the terrifying toxic treatments that go with such a diagnosis, the natural killer cell population can be reduced at the time it is most needed. IP6 has been documented and proven to increase natural killer cells at such times.
Normalizing cell physiology Because IP6 is able to restore aspects of normality to the cells, it is able to modulate how a cancer cell expresses itself and how threatening it will be. Experiments have shown that IP6 is able to normalize several aspects of cell physiology in spite of the fact that cancer cells have altered DNA. It was demonstrated in the above noted study that IP6 is able to alter gene expression to restore normality. The more a cell can return to its normal state, the more it loses its malignant characteristics.
Increasing tumor suppressor p53 gene activity DNA contains tumor suppressor genes that inhibit pathways and processes that allow cells to become malignant. The p53 gene acts as a control to prevent genetically damaged or cancerous cells from growing and propagating. If the p53 gene becomes damaged or compromised, cancers can establish themselves more easily. IP6 has been shown to greatly increase the amount of p53 gene activity, up to seventeen times. When augmented by IP6, even the toxic treatments offered by traditional medicine become more effective due to its ability to increase p53 gene activity.
Enhancing apoptosis Apoptosis is the orderly programmed process by which cells naturally die off. The process of apoptosis results in the removal of individual cells without affecting the surrounding cells. It is part of the growth and maintenance of healthy tissues. Cancerous cells do not want to die and are resistive to apoptosis. This is one mechanism of tumor formation. IP6 has been shown to restore cancerous cells to normality to the point where they are able to follow through with their programmed death.
Affecting angiogenesis Angiogenesis is the process by which tumors set up their own blood supply, to assure themselves of getting the nutrients necessary to grow. Once this blood supply is set up, tumor growth spirals as more growth leads to more blood supply creation. IP6 has been shown to inhibit this process, resulting in the starvation of cancer cells.
Powerfully chelating heavy metal Tumor cells use iron as a primary growth factor. According to researchers at Wake Forest University, iron chelators are of value in the treatment of cancer since they act by depleting iron and limiting tumor growth. IP6 binds with iron and escorts it from the body. Because IP6 is naturally found in all human cells, it has the ability to get inside tumor cells and remove their iron.
Inhibiting metastasis IP6 inhibits cancer cell migration and invasion by preventing the adhesion of these cells to extra-cellular matrix proteins. This limited adhesion is very important following surgery and biopsy, as these procedures can cause cancer cells to become dislodged. One reason so many breast cancer patients have lymph nodes containing cancer cells is that the squeezing of the breast by the mammography used in diagnosis can dislodge cancer cells which then migrate to the lymph nodes.
Inhibiting inflammation One key indicator used in predicting the survival rate for a cancer patient is the level of systemic inflammation. Inflammation is like a fire going on in the body that will destroy it if not stopped. IP6 helps stop inflammation through chemical messages that halt the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Inhibiting free radical production IP6 acts as an antioxidant in the body. Antioxidants are known to protect against disease states and aging in general. Antioxidants bind with free radicals rendering them harmless. In their free state, these radicals can damage DNA and leave cells susceptible to mutations that can result in the production of cancerous cells. IP6 is significantly more potent as an antioxidant than green tea.
IP6 influences genes to halt colon cancer
In another recent study, more information about the molecular mechanisms through which IP6 acts was revealed. Scientists at the Medical University of Silesia in Poland investigated the influence of IP6 on the expression of genes encoding subunits of NFkappaB and of its inhibitor, IkappaBalpha, in human colorectal cancer cells. The results of their study suggest that IP6 primarily influences p65 and IkappaBalpha expression in colon cancer cells. The amount of activity seen was dependent on the IP6 levels and the amount of time it had been present in the cells.
Populations with diets high in IP6 have low incidences of cancers
Dr. Shamsuddin's studies have shown that tumor regression takes place in people using 8 grams of IP6 daily for three to four weeks. This is the amount that would be found in 12 ounces of whole kernel corn. One of his studies found that after two weeks the tumors of mice treated three times a week with IP6 were 96 percent smaller than the tumors of mice that did not receive IP6. Populations with diets high in IP6 have lower incidences of cancers of the breast, colon and prostate. Dr. Shamsuddin's laboratory experiments with IP6 have been reproduced and extended by scientists around the world, reconfirming his amazing findings. This study is from Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, November through December, 2008.
IP6 is more than a cancer treatment
In addition to the anti-cancer benefits of IP6, research is revealing its benefits in treating diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, and kidney stones. It has recently been shown to help Parkinson's patients because of its ability to chelate excess iron and thereby reduce oxidative stress that results in neuronal degradation.
Treating cancer with IP6
For anyone choosing to use IP6 as a cancer cure or a preventative there are some things to know. IP6 is present in all human cells, and considered quite safe to use. However, IP6 obtained from food is bound to protein. Before it can be absorbed by the body, it must be freed from this protein by the enzyme phytase that is present in food and naturally in the intestinal tract. The power of the phytase enzyme is damaging to IP6 and renders much of it inactive and therefore less effective when obtained in this form. Pure IP6 from a supplement is not bound to protein and is easily absorbed intact and able to provide its complete medicinal properties.
Many holistic healers and naturopaths recommend IP6 as a standard alternative treatment to be used along with others alternative treatments for active cancer. For people with a high risk of cancer or who have had cancer and want to prevent a recurrence, IP6 is also consistently recommended. Some traditional physicians are becoming aware of the benefits of IP6 and although they can't bring themselves to abandon their toxic treatments, they are adding IP6 to their protocols.
For more information see:
Dr. Kin Vanderlinden, Dr. Ivana Vucenik, Too Good to be True?
Dr. Abulkalam Shamsuddin, IP6 Natural Revolutionary Cancer Fighter
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.