Salvestrols: Does Nature Hold the Answer to Cancer?

Elyn Jacobs interviewed Dr. Michael B. Schachter on her radio show, Survive and Live Well in December of 2012. She then posted this written summary of the interview on her website on January 17, 2013. Since this summary is no longer there, having been replaced by her later interview of Dr. Schachter, we have reproduced it here.

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the executive director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. She is also on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and well-being. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

I have long believed that nature does indeed hold the answer to cancer. In November, I spoke with Dr. Michael Schachter on my radio show, Survive and Live Well. We had a fantastic conversation about reducing our risk for cancer and treating it if diagnosed. One recommendation he made for both is the use of Salvestrols, a term I never heard of. Salvestrols, you say, huh? The name was coined by Professor Gerry Potter, being a derivative of the Latin word salvia, the common herb sage, which means to save. Dr. Schachter had suggested we read Salvestrols: Nature's Defense Against Cancer. Intrigued, I contacted the author, Brian Schaefer, and he was kind enough to chat with me. I read the book. I learned much. Simply put, Salvestrols are plant derived compounds that produce anticancer metabolites as a result of their action with a particular enzyme, known as CYP1B1. This enzyme is present only in cancer cells, and when it encounters a Salvestrol, it converts it into a form which is toxic to the sick cell and causes that cell to commit suicide. Because the enzyme is not present in healthy cells, the Salvestrols have no ill effects on them, unlike cancer therapies such as chemotherapy. I found this really exciting.

Salvestrols are also part of the plant's immune system. They are produced by plants to protect themselves from pests and disease. However, the use of many modern fungicides and crop protection chemicals means that plants which are not organically grown will not express high concentrations of Salvestrols because they are not exposed to the attacks which cause the plant to produce them. Plus, Salvestrols are generally produced late in the ripening phase as this is when the plant is most vulnerable to attack, but produce is typically picked well before ripening.

Dr. Schachter explained the importance of organics, but he also said that the way our food is now grown and altered (including organic) has significantly reduced the levels of Salvestrols in our foods. 

I often hear "I eat my organic fruits and vegetables but I still have cancer" or "my mother did everything right and still died from her cancer". I don't have all the answers, sometimes cancer wins. But, as Dr. Schachter said, it may have to do with the integrity of the organic foods we are eating. But, you can maximize the benefit of both diet and Salvestrols by exercising and taking supplements such as biotin. Exercise will help keep you well oxygenated thus boosting CYP1B1 efficacy, and biotin has been shown to boost Salvestrol metabolism as well as inhibit factors that boost tumor survival. (Note: Biotin is not recommended for those receiving chemo as it will decrease the effectiveness of these drugs.) Magnesium and Niacin also support Salvestrol activity, however, a diet rich in produce and whole foods will likely provide a sufficient amount. A reasonable amount of iron is also a good idea. Just don't go overboard as that can have cancer friendly consequences.

A simple shift in diet may not be sufficient for those at risk or already fighting active disease, but incorporating a large amount of fruit and vegetables into one's diet represents a significant step towards good health and can be quite helpful in disabling the cancer cells which form and develop in our bodies daily. Notable sources of Salvestrols are artichokes, mint, basil, parsley, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, avocado, kale and other greens. Supplemental Salvestrol is also an option. Salvestrol activity operates regardless of whether the cell is precancerous, part of a primary tumor or part of the metastases of that primary tumor, so they can be considered as important for prevention as for treatment of full-blown cancers. Just remember, Salvestols are only one part of the equation, so eat a variety of vegetables to take advantage of all the anticancer compounds, and embrace an overall anticancer lifestyle.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post represents medical advice, and I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist or naturopathic doctor. Please note that Salvestrols should not be taken with B17-Laetrile. I have compiled this information sole for those seeking to use natural means to support their body against cancer or enhance cancer treatment. 

                                            -- Elyn Jacobs




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