Volume 2, Issue 5
January 29, 2009

Eliminate your risk for stomach cancer with these two nutrients

In the February issue of Real Cures, I show you an easy way to cure an infection that can lead to stomach cancer. This infection is so common, that it's causing stomach cancer cases to increase at an alarming rate. But this infection isn't the only risk factor for stomach cancer. And, fortunately, there are two nutrients that can reverse these factors and prevent the disease.

You probably know that the most common risk factor (next to infection) is a family history. This goes up if you have a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with stomach cancer. Men are more at risk than women. The older you are, the greater your risk. There is a sharp increase in risk after the age of 50.

Another risk factor comes from foods high in nitrates and nitrites. These include smoked foods, salted fish and meat (such as bacon), and pickled vegetables. Nitrates and nitrites can make an infection an even higher risk factor. This is because certain bacteria, such as H. pylori, can convert them into compounds that cause stomach cancer in animals.

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Smoking doubles your risk. A history of stomach ulcers increases your risk. People with the medical condition called pernicious anemia are at greater risk. And for reasons that are not known, people (like me) who have type-A blood, are more likely to get it.

While this list of risk factors is a little overwhelming, it doesn't have to be. You can easily reduce your risk from all of these factors by taking either vitamin C or beta-carotene. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that you can eliminate the increased risk (and then some) simply by taking more of these supplements.

The study was a prospective study. This is the best kind of nutritional study. For the study, the researchers looked at a group of people living in an area in the Andes mountains in Columbia. This group is statistically much more likely to develop stomach cancer than the general population.

From this group, the researchers then selected patients who had biopsy evidence of precancerous disorders of the stomach, which further increased their risk. So what they ended up with was a sample of people who were at a very significant risk of getting stomach cancer. Then the researchers followed the patients for six years.

Some of these patients took vitamin C supplements regularly. Others took beta-carotene supplements. And others took a placebo.

At the end of the six years, the researchers examined all of the patients for their precancerous lesions. What happened was good news for anyone who regularly takes either of these two vitamins.

Both of the vitamin groups were five times more likely to have seen an improvement in their precancerous lesions than those who did not receive the vitamins. The authors concluded that the results indicated that taking either of these vitamins is "an effective strategy to prevent gastric carcinoma."

Whether you're at high risk for stomach cancer or not, make sure you're taking plenty of vitamin C (at least 1,000 mg daily) and beta-carotene (5,000-10,000 IU daily). If they help prevent stomach cancer, you can be sure they help prevent other cancers as well. And if you'd like to know how to stop the common infection that causes stomach cancer, you can read all about it on my website.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

REF: Correa P, Fontham ET, Bravo JC, et al.Chemoprevention of gastric dysplasia:
randomized trial of antioxidant supplements and anti-helicobacter pylori therapy. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Dec 6;92(23):1881-8.


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