Cancer inflammation link found

August 05, 2004 Printer Friendly
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Cancer-inflammation link found


Chronic inflammation

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Cancer-inflammation link found
A genetic link between cancer and inflammation has been discovered by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. Scientists had long suspected a relationship between cancer and inflammation caused by chronic infection, but did not have proof. The finding was published in the August 6, 2004 issue of the journal Cell.

UCSD professor of pharmacology, Michael Karin PhD, and colleagues discovered that the proinflammatory gene I-kappa-B kinase (IKK beta), acts differently in two cell types to initiate cancer, and that deletion of the gene in mice decreased the incidence of cancer as well as tumor growth. IKK beta is necessary for the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), a protein that promotes cancer in epithelial cells by inhibiting apoptosis. In myeloid cells, the protein induces the expression of proinflammatory molecules that increase tumor size by stimulating cell division. Nuclear factor kappa B also turns on inflammation in bacterial and viral infections.

In a mouse model of colitis associated cancer (a cancer associate with recurrent inflammation) the research team tested the effects of administering a carcinogen and a proinflammatory substance on mice bred to lack IKK beta in their intestinal epithelial cells and in mice lacking the gene in their myeloid cells. (Myeloid cells are involved in immune function.) Although the compounds induced inflammation followed by the development of tumors when given to normal mice, animals lacking IKK beta in their intestinal epithelial cells experienced an 80 percent reduction in tumor formation compared to the normal group, despite the initiation of inflammation. It was found that apoptosis, or programmed cell suicide, was responsible for this reduction. In the mice lacking IKK beta in their myeloid cells, tumor incidence was reduced by one half, and tumors were one-fourth the size of tumors in the normal mice. In this group, apoptosis was not increased, but rather there was a decrease in the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules such as cyclooxygenase and interleukins 1 and 6.

Dr Karin commented, “We've shown how tumors arise from chronic infection and inflammation that act together with chemical carcinogens. In response to chronic infection, the interplay between immune cells and the epithelial cells of the intestinal tract, which become genetically transformed to give rise to malignant cells by the carcinogen, results in increased tumor growth and suppression of apoptosis, whose role is to reduce cancer incidence. Our studies show how NF-kB acts very early in the carcinogenesis process, in two different ways."


Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is also involved in diseases as diverse as atherosclerosis, cancer, heart valve dysfunction, obesity, diabetes, congestive heart failure, digestive system diseases, and Alzheimer's disease (Brouqui et al. 1994; Devaux et al. 1997; De Keyser et al. 1998). In aged people with multiple degenerative diseases, the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein, is often sharply elevated, indicating the presence of an underlying inflammatory disorder (Invitti 2002; Lee et al. 2002; Santoro et al. 2002; Sitzer et al. 2002). When a cytokine blood profile is conducted on people in a weakened condition, an excess level of one or more of the inflammatory cytokines, e.g., TNF-a, IL-6, IL-1(b), or IL-8, is usually found (Santoro et al. 2002).

For those who have multiple degenerative diseases, the cytokine profile blood test and the C-reactive protein blood test are highly recommended. This may be done through your own physician or the Life Extension Foundation. If your cytokine test reveals excess levels of cytokines such as TNF-a, IL-1(b), or both, nutritional supplementation, dietary modifications, and low-cost prescription medications such as PTX are advised.

The following supplements are suggested:

The docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) fraction of fish oil may be the most effective nonprescription supplement to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a precursor of PGE1, a potent anti-inflammatory agent. A product called Super GLA/DHA provides 920 mg of GLA, 1000 mg of DHA, and 400 mg of EPA in 6 capsules.

DHEA is a hormone that decreases with age. DHEA has been shown to suppress IL-6, an inflammatory cytokine that often increases as people age. Typical doses of DHEA are 25-50 mg daily, although some people take 100 mg daily. Refer to the DHEA Replacement protocol for suggested blood tests to safely and optimally use DHEA.

Nettle leaf has been shown to suppress the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-a. Take 1000 mg daily.

Vitamin E and N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) are protective antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E that contains gamma-tocopherol and tocotrienols provides the most broad-spectrum protection. Take 1-2 capsules daily of Gamma E Tocopherols/Tocotrienols. NAC is an amino acid with antiviral and liver protectant properties. One 600 mg capsule daily is recommended.

Vitamin K helps reduce levels of IL-6, a pro-inflammatory messenger. Vitamin K also helps in the treatment of osteoporosis by regulating calcium and promoting bone calcification. One 10-mg capsule daily is recommended for prevention purposes. Do not take vitamin K if you are taking Coumadin or some other type of anticoagulant medicine.

Consuming at least 1000 mg a per day of carnosine and/or 300 mg of the European drug aminoguanidine can inhibit pathological glycation reactions in the body.

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Supplementation with the right proportions of fatty acids can maximize the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (E1 and E3), while suppressing pro-inflammatory prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4. In addition to avoiding saturated fats and high glycemic foods that contribute to chronic inflammation, eating omega-3 foods, and consuming supplements that provide GLA, DHA, and EPA can help control inflammation by bringing balance to the essential fatty acids.

The essential fatty acids in Super GLA/DHA have been concentrated and standardized in order to ensure quality, potency, and biological activity.

Gamma E Tocopherol Capsules

One or more members of the vitamin E family may:

  • Maintain cell membrane integrity and reduce cellular aging.
  • Inhibit the potentially damaging peroxynitrite radical.
  • Maintain healthy platelet aggregation.
  • Synergize with vitamin A to protect the lungs against pollutants.
  • Protect nervous system and retina.
  • Delay cognitive decline.
  • Enhance immune function.

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For longer life,

Dayna Dye
Editor, Life Extension Update
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