Simple Health Exercises

Benefits of Nutritional Yeast for Cancer

"Benefits of Nutritional Yeast for Cancer" In an article entitled "The Treatment
of Inoperable Cancer," it was noted that "200 years ago, it
was observed that a certain number of malignant growths disappeared after
an attack of (a type of strep infection)" and that was 200 years before
1901, when this was published. A disproportionate number of cases
of spontaneous tumor regressions have followed various infections. The thought is that an infection may
kind of so rile up the immune system, the cancer may get caught
in the cross-fire, a phenomenon that
may have inspired healers dating back to the ancient
Egyptians thousands of years ago. But you don't know
until you put it to test, though it wasn't formally
studied until the 1800's, when doctors started intentionally
infecting cancer patients. The most famous proponent
was William Coley, the so-called "Father
of Immunotherapy" at what would eventually become
Memorial Sloan Kettering.

He "was convinced that having a severe
infection could cause cancer to regress," so with a great deal of courage he
started injecting cancer patients. The problem, of course, is that causing
infections is quite dangerous and two of his patients died;
however, their tumors did shrink! If only there was a way we could boost
the immune system without killing people. Well, that's the theory behind
therapeutic cancer vaccines, one of which has been
in practice for decades: squirting a weakened bovine tuberculosis
bacteria into the bladders of patients with bladder cancer to make
the immune system attack, boosting long-term survival up to 36%. OK, but is there something we can
eat that can boost immune function? In my videos on countering
stress-induced immune suppression and preventing common childhood
infections, I reviewed evidence about a type of fiber in baker's,
brewer's, and nutritional yeast, called beta-glucans, which are considered
immunomodulatory compounds, suggested to enhance the defense against
infections, and potentially cancer.

Beta-glucans themselves do not appear
to have a direct cytotoxic effect in terms of killing cancer cells, but may boost anti-tumor immunity
by activating our immune cells. For example, if you take freshly excised
tumors of breast cancer patients and let loose natural
killer cells upon them, they can kill off a small
percentage of the tumor cells. But first, prime them in vitro
with some yeast beta-glucans, and they become about 5 times
more effective at killing cancer cells. What if you just eat it though? When 23 women with metastatic
breast cancer were given just a 16th of a teaspoon of nutritional
yeast worth of beta-glucans, they experienced a 50% increase in the
number of monocyte white blood cells in their bloodstream, which are
part of our natural defenses, as well as a significant increase
in their activation, but it was just a two-week study.

The clinical significance
of this finding is unclear. What we want to know
is if they actually live longer? The only English language, randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of breast cancer patients and beta-glucan
was more of a wound healing study, where they found that the women taking
beta-glucans healed so much faster after surgery that the tubes could be
removed from their chests and armpits, in some cases days earlier. This was the first clinical
study to demonstrate improved wound healing
using oral beta-glucans. The other two—showing benefits
for pediatric burns and leg ulcers— were performed using topical
beta-glucan preparations, putting it on the skin directly, something that did not appear to
reverse pre-cancerous skin lesions better than placebo. But that's because the placebo
cream worked so well, too. Both groups showed a
significant reduction. They speculated that since each
patient acted as their own control, putting the beta-glucan
cream on one arm and the placebo cream
on the other, that the application of beta-glucans on one
arm may have been absorbed into the system and helped on the other arm, given
that systemic effects have been noted following topical administration.

But what effect might
oral beta-glucans have on the progression
of internal cancers? Yeah, oral yeast beta-glucans can cause
dramatic tumor shrinkage—in mice, but there appears to be only one
human study published in English. Twenty patients with advanced
cancer on chemo were given a beta-glucan supplement in an
open label, uncontrolled trial. Sixty percent of the patients supposedly
reported a sense of well-being while taking the beta-glucan and
asked to remain on the treatment after the completion of the study, but that
just sounds like classic placebo effect. Same thing with reporting
being less tired. But this is interesting: "one patient with lymphoma
and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck who delayed his standard
chemotherapy for 4 weeks during the study…noted
a marked reduction in the size of the nodes while
taking [supplement] alone." So this one kind of anecdotal case
is interesting, especially since there are no side effects, but
not exactly revolutionary.

In Japan, there have been more than
20 randomized controlled trials on the use of beta-glucans as
an adjunct cancer treatment, which evidently show an enhancement
of chemo or radiation therapy, resulting in "a positive effect on
survival and quality of life…" For example, there was evidently a study
on taking a yeast beta-glucan supplement to help cancer relapse after surgery. There were no relapses
in the treated group, compared to about 1 in 5
in the control group. Even more intriguing, yeast beta-glucans
for inoperable cancer patients, end-stage cancer, since only about
1 in 20 patients made it 3 months, and by 6 months they were all dead, whereas in the treated group, most
survived for more than 3 months, not 1 in 20, but most, and 43%
were still alive after 6 months. Now evidently, it's not clear
how patients were divvied up into treatment vs. control groups. If they weren't randomly assigned, they
may have inadvertently cherry picked healthier patients for the treatment
group, which could explain the results.

Now, I've looked for this study
everywhere so I could get it translated, but even the National Library
of Medicine couldn't find it. If anyone out there can though,
I'll do a follow-up video. But the amount of beta-glucans they
used is what you'd find in a single pinch of nutritional yeast, which
would cost less than a penny, and the only side-effect would be tastier
popcorn, so why not give it a try?.

As found on YouTube

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