Here at United Patients Group, we are always searching for alternative treatments that can augment or supplement mainstream cancer treatments like chemotherapy and pharmaceuticals. Medical cannabis is one that we talk about a lot, of course, but whenever we run across other alternative treatments, we like to share them for your consideration. We recently heard about one treatment that may help kill tumors or, at a minimum, help the body rid itself of dead cancer cells after chemo is complete: enzymes.
Enzymes are substances produced by the body to cause chemical reactions. The most famous are digestive enzymes, which help our bodies break down food. Taking enzyme supplements to aid digestion is a widely accepted practice, but using enzymes for more serious health issues is controversial. Some alternative healers believe that the right combination of enzymes will attack and kill cancerous tumors. The American Cancer Society, however, remains unconvinced. What’s behind the idea of fighting cancer with enzymes, and does it have any merit? Let’s take a look.
In the early 1900s, Scottish doctor John Beard, DSc, came up with the theory that pancreatic enzymes would kill cancer cells. He performed several experiments in which he injected pancreatic fluid, or trypsin, into mice and then humans. Despite his claims of curing cancer with these injections, the medical establishment remained skeptical, and by 1911 his work had been largely dismissed.
Still, the idea that enzymes can be helpful in cancer treatments hasn’t entirely disappeared. More recent scientific studies have found it to be, if not a miracle cancer cure, effective in helping the body process side effects and heal more quickly. Here are some highlights from the medical literature:
- A 2000 study found that “systemic enzymotherapy is capable of improving the quality of life and results of treatment of oncological patients” with seven types of cancer
- A 1998 small-group study found that systemic enzymes improved chemotherapy effectiveness and reduced side effects and complications
- A 1995 study of polyenzymes used in adjuvant (post-initial) treatment of cancer found that they increased the release of cancer-fighting reactive oxygen species
- An in-vitro study from 1994 showed that certain enzymes produce tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which can kill cancerous cells
If you’re thinking about using enzymes as part of your cancer-treatment protocol, make sure you work with your doctor—unsupervised use of systemic enzymes can be dangerous.
If you have any experience with treating cancer with enzymes, we would love to hear about it! Leave your story in the comments or send us an email.