The cancer doctors were wrong about telomerase activators and antioxidants!

veggies and telomeresI can’t tell you how many times I heard this from cancer doctors (oncologists): “Don’t give my patients antioxidants; you’ll blunt the effect of the chemo and help the cancer!”

I always found it ironic that, before the cancer occurred and after they had done whatever they did, which in many cases did not save the patient, the person again became “my patient”.

I also found it ironic that, even though these doctors are very bright and well meaning, they somehow forgot that cancer breaks all the rules of normal cellular behavior and that cancer cells do not behave at all like other normal cells.

The same argument has been applied to telomerase activation.  Because 80+% of human cancers hijack telomerase, there is still a prevailing belief that telomerase causes cancer. This is in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. It is also in spite of two of the recipients for the Nobel Prize in medicine saying otherwise, with regards to the now famous case of a cancer in a person taking a telomerase activator.

So, I thought I would tell you about a study that was released about 6 months ago, that showed exactly the opposite, in hopes of changing people’s views about the specific actions of supplements which, like telomerase activators, remain subject to debate, in spite of the research.

I will give you the reference below, but let me sum it up for you here.

1)     Increasing fruit and vegetable intake is an easy strategy to reduce some types of cancer, if not all.

2)     Dietary flavonoids have been found to have anti-cancer effects and chemo protective effects against cancer.

3)     Many polyphenols and flavonoids may work IN CONCERT with chemotherapy agents, to improve outcomes.

4)     The example of a specific dietary supplement with these features is quercetin.

Here is a list of some foods that are high in quercetin:

Brewed, black or green tea

Red Delicious Apples

Sweet Potato



Red Onion


Most berries!

Specifically, ORGANIC grown tomatoes have much higher content than conventionally grown.

Adding these foods to your diet may indeed help you stay much healthier for a ton of reasons. As I look at this list, I see the mainstay of what I eat on a daily basis.

I would be remiss if I didn’t add in fish oil, not for the quercetin, but for the documented effect on cancer!

To your health!

Dr Dave




Reference article: Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012 Jul;1259:95-103. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06599.x.

Dietary polyphenols in cancer prevention: the example of the flavonoid quercetin in leukemia.

Spagnuolo CRusso MBilotto STedesco ILaratta BRusso GL.


Istituto di Scienze dell’Alimentazione, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Avellino, Italy.


Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables can represent an easy strategy to significantly reduce the incidence of cancer. We recently demonstrated that the flavonoid quercetin, naturally present in the diet and belonging to the class of phytochemicals, is able to sensitize several leukemia cell lines and B cells isolated from patients affected by chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), in addition to apoptotic inducers (anti-CD95 and rTRAIL). Further, it potentiates the effect of fludarabine, a first-line chemotherapeutic drug used against CLL. The proapoptotic activity of quercetin in cell lines and B-CLL is related to the expression and activity of Mcl-1-antiapoptotic proteins belonging to the Bcl-2 family. Quercetin downregulates Mcl-1 mRNA and protein levels acting on mRNA stability and protein degradation. Considering the low toxicity of the flavonoids toward normal peripheral blood cells, our experimental results are in favor of a potential use of quercetin in adjuvant chemotherapy in CLL or other types of cancer.

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