Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Jan 2000

Q & A

I3C as a cancer fighter, SAMe’s purity and more.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, on January 2021.


Q: I did a Medline search and discovered that I3C, the extract from cruciferous vegetables that is supposed to prevent breast cancer, causes cancer in fish. Could you please comment?

A: The studies you refer to were done in trout at Oregon State University. They are very misleading. The fish that didn't respond well to I3C were given huge amounts-far in excess of what a person would, or could, take on a daily basis. At these huge amounts, I3C appeared to promote, rather than impede, cancer that had already been generated by cancer-causing chemicals. At lower doses, I3C protected the fish against cancer, and in one case inhibited DNA damage by 77%. If the fish were given I3C before or during cancer-causing chemicals, I3C protected them against cancer. It was only if huge amounts were given after cancer was in progress that problems occurred. From a scientific standpoint, these studies have little or no relevance to humans since fish metabolize chemicals very differently than humans.

Rodents are a much better model for humans. In rodent studies, I3C inhibits cancer and stops DNA damage. Humans are the best model yet. In human studies, I3C neutralizes estrogen, reducing it to a less powerful form. In studies on human breast cancer cells, I3C works better than tamoxifen to stop growth. And in a test of 90 different potential cancer inhibitors, I3C scored at the very top. Don't be put off by fish studies! A majority of the data says I3C is powerful protection against cancer.

Q: A chain health food store claims that it is the only one selling the type of SAMe used in clinical studies. Is there truth to such a claim?

A: No. Life Extension sells the same SAMe used in clinical trials. We were the first to sell it, and we continue to be leaders in this area. Also, be aware that the version of SAMe that you take is not as important as the purity. We have assayed several other brands and found them to be deficient. Life Extension's SAMe is consistently within purity standards set by pharmaceutical companies.

Q: I suffer from herpes keratitis, and would like to inquire about prevention of recurrence. I had the first breakout of five or six so called "cold sores" on my face, either from stress or sun exposure. Since I did not know what it was, I spread it to my eye. I have had recurrences ever since. I have heard of an antibiotic that also prevents recurrence, but my doctors said that the drug has too many side effects. Another physician did not believe the drug was "that bad," but suggested that I find out whether there was a vitamin or natural supplement that could help. He though I should give natural therapies a try first.

A: The amino acid L-Lysine can be used to help reduce the recurrence of herpes outbreaks. Generally, during an outbreak, around 2000 mg per day are recommended; 500 mg a day for maintenance. However, this item is not effective for all individuals. Maintaining healthy immune function is the key to keeping herpes infections in remission.

Q: Do you know of any studies that combine hypnosis with herbal/micronutrients for the purpose of achieving a more youthful appearance and improved health?

A: We are not aware of any studies performed showing the efficacy of a combination of hypnosis and herbal/ micronutrients as an effective anti-aging therapy. We obviously advocate the use of nutrients and micronutrients for the purpose of prevention and adjuvant treatment, as has been shown in thousands of studies. We do not track hypnosis studies at this time.