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NMU 108 – Anti-Cancer Nutrient (Artemisinin) Shows Impressive Results in Human Clinical Study

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No 108 (October 11, 2018)

with Dr. James Meschino

 

Topic: Anti-Cancer Nutrient (Artemisinin) Shows Impressive Results in Human Clinical Study

Source: EBioMedicine (2015)

 

 

A human clinical study published in EBioMedicine in 2015 showed very encouraging anti-cancer properties for a natural agent known as Artemisinin or Chinese Wormwood. The leaves of the plant known as Artemisia Annua contain an anti-cancer nutrient known as artemisinin. Recommended by the World Health Organization as an effective treatment for uncomplicated cases of malaria, experimental and animal studies have shown that artemisinin also kills many types of human cancer cells in a similar manner as it destroys red blood cells in the human body that are infected with the malaria parasite. Essentially, experimental and animal studies show that artemisinin binds with iron within cancer cells, generating massive amounts of free radicals that ultimately cause cancer cells to commit suicide or undergo programmed cell death (apoptosis). Normal, healthy cells have antioxidant defenses to protect themselves against these free radicals and so only the cancer cells die, and the normal cells of the body are spared.

It all sounds good except that human clinical studies were lacking to see if it really works in real life situations. In 2015 the first human cancer study using artemisinin was published, and it showed very promising results. In this study patients who were about to undergo surgery for diagnosed colorectal cancer were given an artemisinin supplement or a placebo pill each day for 2-weeks prior to the surgery (200 mg per day). The tumor samples were analyzed after the surgery and the pathology report showed that those ingesting the artemisinin prior to surgery had more cancer cells that had committed suicide than those who ingested the placebo. As well, tumor cells from those ingesting the artemisinin showed less metastatic tumor markers (indicators that the tumor would likely spread to other tissues). This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study involving 20 colorectal cancer patients; 9 in the artemisinin group and 11 in the placebo group. Although being a small study it is noteworthy that 42 months after the surgery only one of nine patients in the artemisinin group had a return of their cancer, whereas 6 patients out of 11 patients in the placebo group experienced a recurrence of their colorectal cancer.

I have included the reference to this study in the text below. As someone who follows the peer-reviewed published studies on nutritional factors and cancer, I think that using artemisinin supplementation as an adjunctive measure to support conventional cancer treatments is something that can be considered in many cancer cases.

If this applies to you or someone you know then I suggest you print or forward this research paper to the attending physician to solicit their potential support for this adjunctive measure.

Reference:

Krishna S, Ganapathi S, Ster IC et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of oral artesunate therapy for colorectal cancer. EBioMedicine 2015): 82-90 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6102173/

 

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

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