Causes of Cellular Damage
There are many things that can damage a cell and its mitochondria. These include oxygen deprivation, nutritional imbalances, physical trauma, toxic chemicals, allergic reactions, radiation, infections, parasites, and more. Lack of essential fatty acids directly damages cell membranes because cell membranes are made of these lipids. When the essential fatty acids are missing from the diet, cells have no choice but to substitute inappropriate fats into their structure, resulting in type II diabetes and perhaps cancer. If the cellular damage involves mitochondria, thereby interfering with production of ATP, then this can cause significant damage to the cell because ATP is needed for important cellular processes such as membrane transport, lipogenesis and protein synthesis. With damaged mitochondria, for its very survival the cell has no choice but to revert to the more primitive system of anaerobic respiration that is characteristic of cancer cells. Sometimes the damage is reversible, in which case the cell can be healed. Sometimes the damage is irreversible, and a way must be found to destroy the cell. Also, the causes of harm to the cells must be removed to prevent repeated damage or damage to additional cells. For more information, do an Internet search for mitochondrial damage, tissue injury, etc.
Nutrients for Healthy Mitochondria
Oxygen is necessary for cellular respiration and energy production, but it must be carefully handled within the cell or the mitochondria will be damaged. Five nutrients necessary to restore and maintain healthy mitochondria are:
- L-carnitine - for the proper oxidation of fats within cells
- Coenzyme Q10 - is necessary for the synthesis of ATP, and prevents free radical damage within the cell
- Alpha lipoic acid - helps regenerate vitamins E and C after they are oxidized
- Vitamin E - protects cell membranes from free radical damage. Try to get non-synthetic vitamin E.
- Vitamin C - inhibits the oxidation of cholesterol and supports production of the antioxidant glutathione.
These nutrients should be available in your local health food store. Dr. Stephen Sinatra frequently writes about these nutrients in his newsletter. His website is www.DrSinatra.com. Dr. Sinatra recommends Earthing and considers Earthing to be the original anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. By regularly grounding the body to the earth, the body is provided with a lifetime supply of free electrons that neutralize free radicals.
L-carnitine is made in the body from the amino acid lysine. Lysine is destroyed by heat, so you will only get it from raw foods. Cold-processed whey powder is a good source of amino acids. Coenzyme Q10 is found in sardines, eggs, whole grains, spinach and many other foods. If you take coenzyme Q10 supplements, look for Ubiquinol which is the form that the body uses rather than the less effective Ubiquinone which the body must convert to Ubiquinol in order to use it. Food sources of Alpha lipoic acid include spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peas, Brussels sprouts, and rice bran. Vitamin E is found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, asparagus, spinach and other green leafy vegetables. Vitamin C is found in fruits, berries, and tomatoes.
Many drugs deplete coenzyme Q10.
Vitamin C is needed for the synthesis of carnitine, which is required for long-chain fatty acids to enter mitochondria where they are used for energy production. - Annals of Internal Medicine 114:909-910, 1991. Most cancer patients are deficient in vitamin C.
The conversion of vitamin C into carnitine takes place in the liver. If you have cancer, your liver is probably not functioning properly. Charlotte Gerson claims that people do not get cancer until liver function has been reduced to about one third. There are things you can do to restore liver health.
Read more about healthy mitochondria.
Cellular Metabolism is Controlled by Thyroid Hormones
The rate of cellular metabolism and energy production is regulated by thyroid hormones. These hormones are deficient in many people because their body has insufficient iodine to produce them. The result is fatigue, depression, overweight, dry skin, cold hands or feet, hair loss, brittle nails, puffy eyes, constipation, brain damage and a lower IQ. There is a simple way to correct iodine deficiency that you can read about here.
However, even if you have enough iodine, you may still have insufficient thyroid hormones due to the presence of iodine blockers in your diet. Chlorine and fluoride are iodine blockers commonly added to municipal drinking water. Bromide is an iodine blocker used to bleach white flour for bread. These chemicals compete with the uptake of iodine and slow the production of essential thyroid hormones. Certain foods have the same effect, such as soy products that can interfere with the absorption and assimilation of iodine. For healthy cellular metabolism, you need a healthy thyroid gland producing abundant thyroid hormones.
In the body, iodine is displaced by fluorine, chlorine and bromine. These four minerals are known as “halogens”. The smaller the atomic weight, the more reactive is the element. Here are the atomic weights of the four halogens:
“Fluoride causes more human cancer, and causes it faster, than any other chemical.”
- Dean Burk, Chief Chemist Emeritus, U.S. National Cancer Institute
“CDC and ADA Now Advise to Avoid Using Fluoride”
“Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is as much as 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.”
- U.S. Council Of Environmental Quality
“In the 1960s mandated iodine containing dough was equivalent to the RDA of 150 ug per slice of bread. At that time the incidence of breast cancer was only 1 in 20. In the past 20 years the use of iodine supplementation in bread was eliminated and a goiter producing substance toxic to the thyroid gland (bromine) was introduced as replacement for iodine. The risk for breast cancer is now 1 in 8 and this risk is increasing by one percent each year.”
- Dr. James Howenstine, MD
“There is growing evidence that Americans would have better health and a lower incidence of cancer and fibrocystic disease of the breast if they consumed more iodine. A decrease in iodine intake coupled with an increased consumption of competing halogens, fluoride and bromide, has created an epidemic of iodine deficiency in America.”
- Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD
“It is of interest to note that breast tissue contains lactoperoxydase which is capable of oxydation and organification of iodide and bromide. The breast needs iodine for normal function and protection against breast cancer. High bromide levels in breast tissue would compete with iodine, interfering with the cancer-protecting role of iodine in the breast.”
- Guy. E. Abraham, MD
“An intake of 150 µg/day of iodine will prevent goiters and the other recognized iodine deficiency disorders, but not breast disease. Prevention of breast disease requires higher doses of iodine. Indeed, a reasonable hypothesis is that, like goiters and cretinism, fibrocystic disease of the breast and breast cancer are iodine deficiency disorders (also uterine fibroids).”
- Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD
“Iodine also induces apoptosis, programmed cell death.”
- Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD
“…iodine in the extra-cellular fluid outside of the cells is the main surveillance system for abnormal cells…The name of this process is apoptosis…Carefully documented descriptions of the cancer process at different places in the body reveals most cancers have similar stages through which it passes. The cancers are not really cancer until the cells start to move by invasion through the nearby connective tissue. Cells develop abnormalities for a variety of reasons and can continue to become abnormal all the way up through atypical cells and to carcinoma in situ…Iodine in correct doses will reverse all of the changes up to and including the carcinoma in situ.”
- David M. Derry, MD, PhD
“Dr. Abraham has proposed that the optimal daily dose of iodine for a person is approximately 12.5 mg, which is 100 times the RDA of 0.125 mg…Japanese women, who have one of the lowest breast cancer rates in the world, ingest more than 13 mg of iodine daily from seaweed without suffering any adverse consequences…Dr. Abraham notes that research has shown that the thyroid gland prefers to utilize the iodide form of iodine, while other organs, such as the breast and ovaries, prefer the elemental form of iodine. Both of these forms are present in Lugol’s solution…The dosage of about 12.5 mg of iodine daily can be obtained with 2 drops of Lugol’s solution or as an identical over-the-counter solution. This same dosage is also available over-the-counter in tablet or capsule. Each capsule or tablet or 2 drops of the Lugol’s solution contains 5 mg of the reduced elemental form of iodINE (preferred by the breast, ovary and prostate) and 7.5 mg in the iodIDE form (preferred by the thyroid gland). Numerous testimonials indicate that many patients improve many symptoms with optimal supplementation of this supplement.”
- Michael B. Schachter, MD
“Of all the elements known so far to be essential for human health, iodine is the most misunderstood and the most feared. Yet, iodine is the safest of all the essential trace elements, being the only one that can be administered safely for long periods of time to large numbers of patients in daily amounts as high as 100,000 times the RDA.”
- Dr. David Brownstein
“…our modern agriculture decreased potassium and iodine in our nutrition, precisely the minerals essential for prevention of cancer.” - Max Gerson, M.D. page 142.
Nutrients That Help Restore Apoptosis
A diet high in nucleotides will increase cellular metabolism and the production of energy. Essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6 in equal quantities) increase oxidation, energy levels, and stamina. There are other suggestions in our discussion of physical exercise.