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Supplement Answers to Curbing Cancer

The word cancer scares the bejesus out of most of us. People don’t like hearing it, especially when it comes out of the mouth of their doctor. That’s the reason most sit up and take notice when an expert on the disease speaks out on ways to prevent it.

Lise N. Alschuler is a board-certified naturopathic oncologist and is the coauthor with Karolyn A. Gazella of The Definitive Guide to Cancer—an Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment and Healing. Alschuler says that ideally, reducing cancer risk starts when you’re a child—eating a diet of colorful, unprocessed fruits and vegetables, for example, with seeds, nuts and enough protein to help the body fight off the disease.

Exercise is important: “Add at least 30 minutes of daily exercise to this healthful diet, and you will reduce your cancer risk significantly, even up to 50 percent for some cancers.” You also need adequate sleep—at least eight hours every night for most—so your body can repair damage and balance hormones.

What about key supplements? Four top Alschuler’s list:

1) Green tea—eight cups a day have been shown to lower the risk of almost all cancers; green-tea-extract supplements may be a good alternative if you can’t drink that much.

2) Essential fatty acids—from fish, nuts and seeds to ratchet down inflammation.

3) Antioxidants—help boost immunity, especially glutathione.

4) Probiotics—beneficial bacteria, often associated with the live cultures in yogurt, keep the digestive and immune systems fine-tuned. “Healthy digestion is foundational to cancer prevention, as is a strong immune defense.”

Note: The above information is adapted from interviews at and in the March ’11 Better Nutrition.


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