This 3D Printed Smart Pill Can Live Inside Your Stomach for a Month

People are very willing to get creative in the name of our health. We wear FitBits that count every single step we take. We snooze next to SleepScore Max sensors that monitor breathing patterns with echolocation. But would you swallow an ingestible, Bluetooth-enabled sensor that can stay in your stomach for weeks at a time and collect data from the depths of your stomach?

Image courtesy of researchers

In a study published today in Advanced Materials Technologies, a research team at MIT tells Inverse they have developed a prototype that does just that after two years of development.

“It makes it easier for patients to be patients,” explains Giovanni Traverso, a senior author of the study.

Since 2016, Traverso and Yong Lin Kong, now an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Utah, have led a team exploring the idea of long-term ingestibles that can monitor core temperature, detect infections and even dole out medication, all while communicating with an outside device, like a smart phone or tablet.

Image courtesy of researchers
This ingestible sensor is built to last for weeks inside your stomach. 

Kong says the idea for the ingestible grew out of trials for implantable medical devices. More infrequent dosing results in better compliance, so if you can just take one pill that metes out medication gradually, you could theoretically save lots of lives. But the implantation process, he says, can be a painful one and may require a surgical procedure. The risk for complications – infection, rejection – has always been high. Long-term implantations are often unsuccessful because of the body’s inflammatory immune responses. Kong and Traverso decided to try figuring out a way to start leveraging the unique properties of the stomach, a large organ that’s evolved to withstand the presence of foreign objects.

The sensor itself is housed in a swallowable capsule, around the size of fish oil supplement, says Traverso, a gastroenterologist at Brigham & Young Women’s Hospital and medical engineer MIT. The capsule is ingested and settles into the patient’s stomach; the outside coating wears away, leaving the 3-D printed sensor to monitor the body from its core.

Image courtesy of researchers
The sensor is Bluetooth-enabled for wireless communication with an outside device. 

The sensor is currently powered by several minuscule batteries, though the scientists have been considering a model that harvests energy from the G.I. tract.

Potential uses for the sensor are fairly diverse. Perhaps it could be used to keep tabs on soldiers at risk for hypothermia, says Traverso. Cancer patients with compromised immune systems could benefit from internal monitoring for infection; scientists have even built the sensor to house tiny compartments for potential medicine distribution, whose dose could be triggered by a physician’s iPad. Early detection for internal bleeding and high blood pressure are other possibilities.

The ultimate dream is to build smart capsules that can sense, react and serve as platforms for mobile health communication, says Traverso, though human testing for the sensor is still several years away. In the meantime, the team has begun considering ways to house and protect the massive amounts of health data that will be collected. The team is reportedly in talks with several bioinformatics teams.

Of course, even in light of all the promise, ingestibles may still be a tough sell. “We promise it’s not scary to swallow a sensor that will sit inside you and text your doctor” is a lot for a patient to, er. But as both Kong and Traverso point out, there’s already so much data monitoring in our every day lives. What’s a little bit more?

Stomach Cancer: How Immunotherapy and Targeted Therapy are Changing Treatment

The approval of a targeted therapy and an immunotherapy drug for some patients with advanced stomach cancer reflects recent new approaches to this difficult-to-treat cancer that hasn’t had many therapeutic advances in recent years.

Stomach cancer, uncommon in the United States but a leading cause of cancer death globally, causes few definitive symptoms in early stages and is usually diagnosed too late for curative therapy. The main treatment for stomach cancer is surgery to remove the tumor, combined with chemotherapy, which can be given before or after surgery. Radiation therapy may also be used in combination with surgery or chemotherapy.

Investigators led by Dana-Farber's Adam Bass, MD, led to the identification of four subtypes of stomach cancers.

Unlike many other types of cancer, stomach cancer research has seen few developments leading to precision therapies that can home in on molecular weak points to halt or shrink tumors. One such therapy, approved in 2010, targets a protein, HER2, that is over-expressed on the surface of about 20 to 25 percent of stomach cancers. The drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) was approved for use with chemotherapy in patients with HER2-overexpressing metastatic cancer of the stomach or gastroesophageal junction – the area where the stomach and esophagus meet. Other drugs that target HER2, such as lapatinib (Tykerb), pertuzumab (Perjeta), and trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla), are now being studied in clinical trials.

Immunotherapy drugs, which help the patient’s immune system seek out and destroy tumor cells, have proven very effective for some patients with advanced melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, kidney cancer, and other cancer types. In September 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for people with certain advanced cancers of the stomach or the gastroesophageal junction.

The approval applies to patients with advanced cancers, called adenocarcinomas, that have come back or continued to grow after having at least two previous treatments. The cancer cells must also test positive for the PD-L1 protein, which allows some cells to escape attack by the immune system. The FDA also approved a new lab test to check these cancers for the PD-L1 protein and determine whether the patient is likely to benefit from cancer drugs known as immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Pembrolizumab has also been approved to treat any type of tumor that is so-called MSI-High, meaning its cells exhibit microsatellite instability. A small percentage of stomach cancers have this characteristic.

In an effort to diagnose stomach cancer earlier, researchers are looking at known risk factors, such as mutations that run in certain families that increase the risk of the disease, although these are rare.

The strongest known risk factor for stomach cancer is infection with the H. pylori bacterium, which is found in about 50 percent of the world’s population. H. pylori infection causes chronic inflammation and increases the risk of developing ulcers and stomach cancer. However, most people whose stomachs harbor the bug don’t develop cancer.

Studies are being conducted to see whether antibiotic treatment of people who are chronically infected by H pylori will help prevent stomach cancer. Some studies have found that treating this infection may prevent precancerous stomach abnormalities, but more research is needed.

Another research effort, which has led to the identification of four subtypes of stomach cancers, highlights the complexity of the disease, and may eventually lead to more precise treatments. Investigators led by Adam Bass, MD, reported that analysis of 295 samples of stomach cancers revealed four groups that had distinct features and types of molecular alterations.

Bass, who directs the Center for Esophageal and Gastric Cancer at Dana-Farber, says that grouping the cancers this way will help researchers enroll patients in clinical trials that test drugs aimed at targeting their specific stomach cancer subtype.

Eating potatoes may cut stomach cancer risk.

White vegetables such as potatoes, onions and cauliflower in your diet may reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer, new research has claimed. DH Photo

Including large amounts of white vegetables such as potatoes, onions and cauliflower in your diet may reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer, new research has claimed.

However, beer, spirits, salt and preserved food increase the risk of the disease, researchers said.

Scientists at Zhejiang University in China found that people who ate large amounts of white vegetables were a third less likely to develop the cancer than those who largely avoided them.

Fruits and green-yellow vegetables such as cabbage, kale and celery also seemed to have a protective effect.

Vitamin C is thought to be the key nutrient, which acts as an antioxidant to cut down cellular stress in the stomach as well as fighting a bacterium responsible for causing gastric cancer.

The scientists analysed 76 best studies on diet and stomach cancer, which involved more than 6.3 million people and almost 33,000 deaths from the disease, ‘The Times’ reported.

They found that for every 100g of fruit a person ate each day – roughly equivalent to half an apple – there was 5 per cent reduced risk of stomach cancer.

Having 50mg of vitamin C daily, approximately two potatoes’ worth, brought the risk down by 8 per cent.

Every five grammes or teaspoon of salt consumed each day drove the risk up by 12 per cent. Alcohol in general had a negative effect, although wine did not seem to have any effect on stomach cancer, the researchers said.

Eating excess of pickled vegetables, liver and spinach also resulted in an increased risk of the disease.

Survival for oesophageal, stomach and small intestine cancers in Europe 1999–2007: Results from EUROCARE-5


European regional variation in cancer survival was reported in the EUROCARE-4 study for patients diagnosed in 1995–1999. Relative survival (RS) estimates are here updated for patients diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus, stomach and small intestine from 2000 to 2007. Trends in RS from 1999–2001 to 2005–2007 are presented to monitor and discuss improvements in patient survival in Europe.

Materials and methods

EUROCARE-5 data from 29 countries (87 cancer registries) were used to investigate 1- and 5-year RS. Using registry-specific life-tables stratified by age, gender and calendar year, age-standardised ‘complete analysis’ RS estimates by country and region were calculated for Northern, Southern, Eastern and Central Europe, and for Ireland and United Kingdom (UK). Survival trends of patients in periods 1999–2001, 2002–2004 and 2005–2007 were investigated using the ‘period’ RS approach. We computed the 5-year RS conditional on surviving the first year (5-year conditional survival), as the ratio of age-standardised 5-year RS to 1-year RS.


Oesophageal cancer 1- and 5-year RS (40% and 12%, respectively) remained poor in Europe. Patient survival was worst in Eastern (8%), Northern (11%) and Southern Europe (10%). Europe-wide, there was a 3% improvement in oesophageal cancer 5-year survival by 2005–2007, with Ireland and the UK (3%), and Central Europe (4%) showing large improvements.

Europe-wide, stomach cancer 5-year RS was 25%. Ireland and UK (17%) and Eastern Europe (19%) had the poorest 5-year patient survival. Southern Europe had the best 5-year survival (30%), though only showing an improvement of 2% by 2005–2007.

Small intestine cancer 5-year RS for Europe was 48%, with Central Europe having the best (54%), and Ireland and UK the poorest (37%). Five-year patient survival improvement for Europe was 8% by 2005–2007, with Central, Southern and Eastern Europe showing the greatest increases (⩾9%).


Survival for these cancer sites, particularly oesophageal cancer, remains poor in Europe with wide variation. Further investigation into the wide variation, including analysis by histology and anatomical sub-site, will yield insights to better monitor and explain the improvements in survival observed over time.

Scientific Review Suggests Aspirin Significantly Cuts Cancer Rates

A recent review of several studies confirms that taking a small daily dose of aspirin significantly reduces the risk of developing – or dying from several kinds of cancer.

Several clinical studies have suggested that aspirin can reduce the risk of colon, and other cancer’s of the gastrointestinal tract. (2,3,4) In order to study this further, researchers analyzed all the available evidence from studies and clinical trials evaluating taking aspirin daily for 10 years and confirmed that daily aspirin could reduce bowel cancer cases by around 35 percent and deaths from the disease by 40 percent.  These results were published in the Annals of Oncology journal.(1)

Aspirin, originally developed by the German drug maker Bayer, is a cheap, over-the-counter drug generally used to combat pain or reduce fever.  The drug when taking in smaller doses of 75-100 milligrams per day reduces the risk of clots forming in blood vessels and can therefore protect against heart attacks and strokes, so it is often prescribed for people who already suffer with heart disease and have already had one or several attacks.
The authors found that in addition to reducing the risk of developing colon cancer, the risk of esophageal and stomach cancer were cut by 30 percent and deaths from these cancers reduced by 35 to 50 percent.

The authors of the current study observed that if everyone between 50 and 65 years of age started taking aspirin daily for at least 10 years, there would be a 9 percent reduction in the number of cancers, strokes and heart attacks overall in men, and around 7 percent in women.

There are however some serious side effects of aspirin including a risk of bleeding in the stomach.  Among 60-year-olds who take daily aspirin for 10 years, the risk of digestive tract bleeding increases from 2.2 percent to 3.6 percent, and this could be life-threatening in a small proportion of people. The risk of bleeding has prevented some doctors from advising patients to take aspirin as regularly as every day. This risk of bleeding is well known and should not be ignored especially in individuals at high risk.  In this era of wellness however where many individuals look to alternative medicines, nutritional supplements and foods rich in anti-oxidants, and other nutrients to reduce their caner risk an aspirin a day may be the simplest and most cost effective way to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal cancers.

1.    Cuzick J, Thorat MA, Bosetti C. et al. Estimates of benefits and harms of prophylactic use of aspirin in the general population. Annals of Oncology. 10,2014 doi:10.1093/annonc/md
2.    Burn J, Bishop T, Mecklin JP, et al. Effect of aspirin or resistant starch on colorectal neoplasia in the lynch syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine. 2008; 359: 2567-2578.
3.    Burn J, Gerdes A-M, Macrae F et al. Long-term effect of aspirin on cancer risk in carriers of hereditary colorectal cancer: an analysis from the CAPP2 randomised controlled trial. Lancet. Early online publication October 28, 2011.
4.    Tan X-L, Reid Lombardo KM, Bamlet WR, Robinson DP, Anderson K, Petersen GM. Aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen and risk of pancreatic cancer. Presented at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), April 2-6, 2011, Orlando, FL. Abstract 1902.

Lung Cancer Is Invisible, And Other Reasons The Deadliest Cancers Are So Dangerous

A graph outlining which cancers kill the most people. Photo courtesy of the National Health Service

Cancer is the Boogeyman of the adult world. But unlike its fictional counterpart, cancer doesn’t linger in the shadows of children’s bedrooms, but rather the dark corners of our minds. In modern times, we’ve become better at diagnosing and thus treating cancer, but its death tolls are still in the thousands — some forms of cancer taking a considerably larger amount of lives than others. Here is a list of the deadliest cancers and why.

Little Or No Early Symptoms

Lung cancer is cancer’s heavyweight champion. According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer takes more lives than pancreas, breast, and coloncombined. The reason that lung cancer claims so many lives is that most patients don’t even realize there’s anything wrong until it’s much too late.

The same goes for colon cancer, which is the number two deadliest cancer. According to USC, only about a third of cases are diagnosed in the earliest, most survivable stages.

Breast cancer is the fourth most deadly cancer, according to the UK’s National Health Service. An estimated 10,100 individuals die from this disease each year, even though the cancer is relatively treatable. However, like lung and bowel cancer, the American Cancer Society reports that most breast cancer patients have no early symptoms.

This is why screening tests are so important. The ACA recommends that women aged 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of their regular health exam every three years. However, women of all ages are advised to regularly check their own breast for abnormalities.

Other highly deadly cancers showing little to no early symptoms include:pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, and kidney cancer.

Spread Very Far, Very Fast

While early diagnosis is important for treating all cancers, for some, it’s their rapid spread that makes them truly threatening.

Skin cancer is one of the most treatable of all cancer types, but that doesn’t stop if from taking around 4,820 lives each year. Melanoma is described as the most aggressive form of skin cancer by the ACA. When melanoma spreads to the nearest lymph node to the original tumor, it is able to quickly reach other more distant areas of the body. Once this spread occurs, the cancer is labeled as stage IV, and treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation will most likely be needed.

Leukemia is another one of these quick spreading cancers. Although it starts in the bone marrow, the cancer can quickly spread into the blood. From here, it’s truly limitless and can continue to spread to vital organs, such as the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes. Leukemia is listed as the 11th deadliest cancer and kills an estimated 3,670 individuals each year.

Other cancers known for their rapid spread include, (but of course are not limited to); bladder cancer, lymphoma, and oral cancer.

Difficult to Treat

Other cancers, although detectable and not as quick to spread, are highly dangerous because of how difficult they are to treat. One such cancer is that of the brain. Brain cancer tumors, called glioblastoma, are extremely hard to destroy. Dr. Inder Verma told LiveScience that the cancer often comes back after treatment because “every cell that is left behind has the ability to start all over again.” Although the cancer is relatively rare in the scope of cancers, it does kill around 1,270 people each year.

Stomach cancer is also rather difficult to treat, not because its tumors are incredibly durable, but because there is no specific test for diagnosing the disease. Stomach cancer symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, and nausea, all of which can easily be misdiagnosed as another illness. In order todiagnose stomach cancer, a doctor may perform an upper endoscopy, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, PET scan, and other tests to find abnormalities in the stomach cavity. A biopsy of the cancerous cells will also be done to confirm suspected stomach cancer.

Help Is On The Way

As the case with all cancers, earlier and more accurate diagnosis is intrinsically tied to higher survival rates. A number of companies are working to improve cancer detection technologies. One such company is Vantage Health, whichMedical Daily had the opportunity to speak with. The company is working on commercializing a breath sensor that can detect chemical residue associated with certain cancers, allowing health care providers, and eventually even members of the public, to diagnose cancer with a single exhalation.

Allison Swan, currently the corporate development officer at Vantage Health, explained that while the technology is geared toward early lung cancer detection, it’s possible to reach far beyond this scope. Eventually a simple switch of the technology’s application would allow physicians to detect a variety of cancers, including breast and colon.

“Earliest detection is really what we’re working for — not just about cancer, different types of disease, and narcotics on their breath, what prevalence, and all different types (of uses)” Swan said.

Cancer, Sulfur, Garlic & Glutathione.

What do garlic and glutathione have in common? Sulfur! Sulfur is commonly used in Asia as an herbal medicine to treat inflammation and cancer. Organic sulfur has been studied on oral and other cancers and has been found to have remarkable benefit in anti-cancer therapy.[1]

Descrição: organic_sulfur_MSM
Sulfur is an essential element for all life, and is widely used in biochemical processes. In metabolic reactions, sulfur compounds serve as both fuels and respiratory (oxygen-replacing) materials for simple organisms. Sulfur in organic form is present in the vitamins biotin and thiamine, the latter being named for the Greek word for sulfur. Sulfur is an important part of many enzymes and in antioxidant molecules like glutathione and thioredoxin.
Organically bonded sulfur is a component of all proteins, such as the amino acids cysteine and methionine. Disulfide bonds are largely responsible for the strength and shape of proteins. Since sulfur bonds are required for proteins to maintain their shape, and these bonds determine the biological activity of the proteins, we can see why sulfur is critical for health and life itself. There is no doubt that sulfur helps us battle cancer so it’s a good time to become more familiar with this basic element.
Sulfur is required for the proper structure and biological activity of enzymes. If you don’t have sufficient amounts of sulfur in your body, the enzymes cannot function properly. This can cascade into a number of health problems since, without biologically-active enzymes, your metabolic processes cannot function properly.
Sulfur enables the transport of oxygen across cell membranes.
Because sulfur is directly below oxygen in the periodic table, these elements have similar electron configurations. Sulfur forms many compounds that are analogs of oxygen compounds and it has a unique action on body tissues. It decreases the pressure inside the cell. In removing fluids and toxins, sulfur affects the cell membrane. Sulfur is present in all cells and forms sulfate compounds with sodium, potassium, magnesium, and selenium. Organic sulfur, in addition to eliminating heavy metals, regenerates, repairs and rebuilds all the cells in the body.
Mercury & Sulfur

Sulfur is very complicated topic because:
Thiol poisons, especially mercury and its compounds, reacting with SH groups of proteins, lead to the lowered activity of various enzymes containing sulfhydryl groups. This produces a series of disruptions in the functional activity of many organs and tissues of the organism.
– Professor I. M. Trakhtenberg[2]
– Russia
Mercury, in its various forms, has a great attraction to the sulfhydryls or thiols—these sulfa bonds. A thiol is any organic compound containing a univalent radical called a sulfhydryl and identified by the symbol -SH (sulfur-hydrogen).
Enzymes are proteins, and like all proteins they consist of chains of amino acids. These chains have to be faulted in a specific way to give the enzyme its activity. The structure of many enzymes is ensured by cross-bonding of the amino-acid chains. These cross-bonds consist of double sulfur bonds. Sulfur bridges are covalent S-S bonds between two cysteine amino acids, which tend to be quite strong. These sulfur bonds are damaged when poisonous substances that are not naturally present are added to the cellular and blood environments. Mercury binds to the -SH (sulfhydryl) groups, resulting in inactivation of sulfur and blocking of enzyme functions while producing sulfur metabolites with high toxicity that the body has difficulty handling. Sulfur is essential in enzymes, hormones, nerve tissue and red blood cells. These sulfur bonds are crucial to human biology.
If the geometry of insulin has been changed by mercury, the message that insulin has arrived to give glucose to the cell is not received.
Descrição: structure_insulin
Amino Acid Structure of Insulin
Yellow lines indicate disulfide bonds.
Various molecules or atoms will affect the rate of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction by binding to the enzyme. Some bind at the same site as the substrate (the active site) and prevent the substrate from binding. Others bind at sites on the enzyme remote from the active site and affect activity by modifying the shape of the enzyme. Many of these molecules reduce the activity of the enzyme and are referred to as inhibitors.
Mercury is the most potent enzyme inhibitor that exists; it is in a class of its own and well deserves its title as the most toxic non-radioactive element. Since mercury and lead attach themselves at these highly vulnerable junctures of proteins, they can readily provoke biochemical shifts and then morphological changes in the body. Transsulfuration pathways in the body are fundamental for life. When mercury blocks thiol groups, cellular proteins lose their reactive properties and lose their ability to carry out their routine function.
Because glycemic regulation is one of the body’s most central homeostatic mechanisms, mercury’s attack is most problematic, even at low concentrations, and indicates that it is playing a great role in the dramatic rise of diabetes.
Insulin has three sulfur-containing cross-linkages and the insulin receptor has a tyrosine-kinase-containing sulfur bond; these are the preferred targets for binding by both mercury and lead. Should mercury attach to one of these three sulfur bonds, it will interfere with the normal biological function of the insulin molecule. The average adult inhales thousands of trillions of mercury atoms a day from a mouthful of amalgams; fish provides trillions more, the air more, and in children, vaccines provide surges of trillions of mercury molecules per day in the form of ethyl-mercury, which is vastly more toxic than metallic mercury. Insulin molecules are directly assaulted as are insulin receptor sites.
We are all receiving, just through our air, water and food, about a microgram of mercury a day. Sounds like very little until you calculate that a microgram contains 3,000 trillion atoms each of which hold the potential to deactivate insulin and the receptor sites crucial to their function. Then you have to add the amount leaking from each of your dental amalgams, the mercury injected with your flu shot, and your proximity to a coal-fired plant or other mercury-contaminating source point like crematoriums and municipal incinerators.
Sulfur is present in all proteins, which makes it universally available throughout the body for binding with mercury. Some of the important biochemical sulfur-containing compounds of the body besides insulin are glutathione, prolactin, growth hormone, and vasopressin.
The bottom line is that no other element including oxygen has more of an ability to combine with other elements than sulfur. All the metals except gold and platinum combine with sulfur to form inorganic sulfides. Sulfur combines with aluminum to form aluminum sulfate, it combines with barium to form barium sulfate, and it combines with strontium to form strontium sulfate.
If you not getting the hint, I will say it outright! Sulfur is crucial for detoxification and chelation of heavy metals and radioactive particles, which behave like heavy metals chemically.
Sulfur & Garlic

Descrição: C:UsersClaudiaPicturesfresh garlic4.jpg
As early as 1550 B.C., Egyptians realized the benefits of garlic (a high-sulfur food) as a remedy for a variety of diseases. Many epidemiological studies support the protective role of garlic and related allium foods against the development of certain human cancers. Natural garlic and garlic cultivated with selenium fertilization have been shown in laboratory animals to have protective roles in cancer prevention.[3]
Dr. Budwig fed terminal cancer patients a mixture of skim milk protein (a sulfur-containing protein) and flaxseed oil. The Budwig diet and the Gerson Therapy diet are two leading anti-cancer diets. The badly needed sulfur protein L-methionine is found in cottage cheese. L-methionine is the essential amino acid responsible for breaking down omega-3 fatty acids.
Sulfur is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates. Sulfur is required for proper assimilation of the alpha amino acids methionine and cysteine. There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sulfur, though it is believed that most of us ingest about 9 gm/day from our diets with more needed in cancer treatments.[4] There are no known toxic effects from organic sulfur.
The first scientific report to study sulfur-laden garlic and cancer was performed in the 1950s. Scientists injected allicin, an active ingredient from garlic, into mice suffering from cancer. Mice receiving the injection survived more than six months whereas those that did not receive the injection survived only two months.[5]
The National Cancer Institute found that individuals who ate the most allium vegetables (red onions, scallions, garlic, chives and leeks) had a nearly 50% lower cancer risk than those who ate the least.[6]
A large-scale epidemiological Iowa Women’s Health Study looked at the garlic consumption in 41,000 middle-aged women. Results showed that women who regularly consumed garlic had 35% lower risk of developing colon cancer.[7]
Descrição: C:UsersClaudiaPicturesraw egg yolk.jpg
Sulfur-rich foods help to give you healthy hair, skin and nails. Sulfur foods are important as this mineral is present in every one of your cells. Sulfur deficiency is a big threat to vegans and vegetarians who do not consume any eggs or dairy food. Sulfur foods are primarily found in unprocessed animal foods and seafood. It is also found in great abundance in raw egg yolks.
Sulfur Deficiency Symptoms
Fatigue and sluggishness
Brittle nails and hair
Hair loss and slow growth of hair
Poor growth of fingernails
Joint problems like arthritis
Skin problems like rash
Dermatitis and eczema
Skeletal and growth problems
Varicose veins and poor circulation
Increased aging of skin
Inability to digest fats
Blood sugar problems
Inability to digest food
Increased allergies
Parasitical infestations
Several population studies show an association between increased intake of garlic and reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas and breast. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) concluded that higher intakes of onion and garlic were associated with a reduced risk of intestinal cancer.[8]
Several studies conducted in China cantered on garlic consumption and cancer risk. In one study, investigators found that frequent consumption of garlic and various types of onions and chives was associated with reduced risk of esophageal and stomach cancers, with greater risk reductions seen for higher levels of consumption. Similarly, in another study, the consumption of allium vegetables, especially garlic and onions, was linked to a reduced risk of stomach cancer. In another study, greater intake of allium vegetables (more than 10 g per day vs. less than 2.2 g per day) was associated with an approximately 50% reduction in prostate cancer risk.
Evidence also suggests that increased garlic consumption may reduce pancreatic cancer risk.[9] A study conducted in the San Francisco Bay area found that pancreatic cancer risk was 54% lower in people who ate larger amounts of garlic compared with those who ate lower amounts.
In addition, a study in France found that increased garlic consumption was associated with a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer risk.[10] After considering total calorie intake and other established risk factors, breast cancer risk was reduced in those consuming greater amounts of fiber, garlic and onions.
Sulfur, Glutathione & Selenium

Oxyradicals are involved in multiple mutational events and can contribute to the conversion of healthy cells to cancer cells. Glutathione (GSH) and the GSH-replenishing enzymes keep the antioxidant status of normal cells at a level where they can avert oxyradical-derived mutations. When we talk about sulfur pathways and sulfur sufficiency we are at the same time touching on glutathione because glutathione is a sulfur enzyme.[11]
Selenium compounds have been shown to have powerful anticarcinogenic activity. In view of certain similarities between selenium and sulfur biochemistry, scientists tested selenocystamine/cysteamine, semethylselenocysteine/S-methylcysteine and seleno­betaine-sulfobetaine. In these sulfur compounds only cysteamine and S-methylcysteine produced anticancer activity. These sulfur-selenium compounds are active in cancer protection and may have a multi-modal mechanism in preventing cellular transformation as well as in delaying or inhibiting the expression of malignancy after carcinogen exposure.[12]
Garlic also contains selenium, which is crucial for glutathione enzymes.
Glutathione, the most important antioxidant in the body, is that place where sulfur and selenium meet up to protect us from cancer. The immune system cannot function properly without it and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E rely on it to function properly within the body. The glutathione and cancer connection has been well established. Patients with cancer, serious chronic illness, AIDS and over 60 other diseases have reduced glutathione levels. Glutathione plays a specific role in the detoxification of many well-known cancer-causing and cell-damaging substances in our environment.
A Japanese study showed that even low concentrations of DMSO (sulfur) had radio-protective effects through the facilitation of DNA double-strand break repair, providing protection against radiation damage at all cellular levels in the whole body.[13] Boosting your body’s antioxidant levels is a key to surviving cancer. DMSO can be used for various medical applications.
In my Natural Allopathic protocol I suggest two principle products for sulfur supplementation. The first is organic sulfur and I have found a company with the best-priced and highest-quality product. Second I am recommending a new product from LL Magnetic Clay—magnesium oil with MSM (sulfur) added. It is a very nice transdermal way of injecting sulfur into our systems and it makes the magnesium oil even oiler and better for the skin.
Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Ultra ecorporates the unique synergistic benefits of MSM and magnesium. MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) has long been revered as a superior form of sulfur supplementation, but as a topical it enhances cell membrane permeability and facilitates more efficient uptake of magnesium ions. Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Ultra contains approximately 1.6 g elemental magnesium and 3.6 g of MSM per fl oz. I’m sure my readers will like this new magnesium oil formula. It’s gentler on the skin—the MSM counteracts the itching and it’s being offered at 40% off with the rest of the Ancient Mineral magnesium line of products until the end of June 2012.

[1] Toxicology in Vitro.
[2] Trakhtenberg, I.M. From Russian translation. Chronic Effects of Mercury on Organisms. In Place of a Conclusion
[3] J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):864S-869S.
[4] Daily intake is usually 800-900 milligrams of sulfur per day. Certain health conditions, such as arthritis and liver disorders, may be improved by increasing the intake of sulfur to 1,500 milligrams per day in supplemental form (most commonly as methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM). Sulfur-rich foods include eggs, legumes, whole grains, garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage according to Dr. Michael T. Murray.
[5] Researchers once thought that the chemical called allicin was responsible for garlic’s benefits, as well as its distinctive smell. But we now know that it is the other chemicals in garlic, including the sulfur-containing compounds, that may help lower cholesterol, fight heart disease, and help prevent cancers.
[8] Gonzalez CA, Pera G, Agudo A, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of stomach and oesophagus adenocarcinoma in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-EURGAST). International Journal of Cancer 2006; 118(10): 2559–2566.
[9] Chan JM, Wang F, Holly EA. Vegetable and fruit intake and pancreatic cancer in a population-based case-control study in the San Francisco bay area.Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 2005; 14(9):2093–2097
[10] Challier B, Perarnau JM, Viel JF. Garlic, onion and cereal fibre as protective factors for breast cancer: A French case-control study. European Journal of Epidemiology 1998; 14(8):737–747.
[12] Carcinogenesis. 1992 Jul;13(7):1167-70.Comparison of selenium and sulfur analogs in cancer prevention. Ip C, Ganther HE. Department of Surgical Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263
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H. Pylori Eradication Might Reduce Recurrent Gastric Cancer After Surgery.


Thirty-six months after subtotal gastrectomy for gastric cancer, patients who were H. pylori-free had less glandular atrophy and intestinal metaplasia than infected patients.

Intestinal metaplasia (IM) and glandular atrophy (GA) have been identified as preneoplastic conditions in patients infected with Helicobacter pylori. The role of H. pylori eradication in improving these conditions after subtotal gastrectomy for gastric cancer is unclear.

To investigate this issue, researchers in Korea randomized 190 patients with gastric cancer and H. pylori infection to receive 7 days of proton-pump inhibitor–based triple therapy or placebo prior to surgery. The greater and lesser gastric curvatures were biopsied prior to surgery and at 12 and 36 months after surgery and evaluated according to the updated Sydney criteria. H. pylori infection was determined by both a rapid urease test and histologic examination of endoscopic biopsies. Histological findings of GA and IM were scored to indicate presence and severity (absent, 0; mild, 1; moderate, 2; severe, 3).

At 36 months, 75% of patients in the treatment group were free of H. pylori compared with 41% of the placebo group. The mean GA and IM scores did not differ between the two groups. However, compared with H. pylori-infected patients, those without H. pylori had less atrophy (P=0.005) and IM (P=0.03).


The lack of difference in glandular atrophy or intestinal metaplasia between study groups at 36 months might be explained by a type II error. Histological scores for both were lower in the treatment group, but these differences did not reach statistical significance, possibly because of the low eradication rate in the treatment group, the high spontaneous remission rate in the placebo group, or the relatively large number of patients lost before the final analysis. As the authors concluded, the findings suggest that successful H. pylori eradication might reduce the preneoplastic changes in the gastric remnant after gastric surgery, but the clinical significance of the histologic changes remains to be determined.

Source: NEJM

Chinese herbal medicines for induction of remission in advanced or late gastric cancer.

BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer is difficult to cure once it progresses to an advanced or late stage. Although some chemotherapies or bio-therapies have made progress in the remission of this disease, the mortality from gastric cancer remains high. A variety of Chinese medicinal herbs have been used to treat gastric cancer.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of Chinese medicinal herbs in the short-term remission of advanced or late gastric cancer. SEARCH
METHODS: We searched the The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, AHMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine Database) and CBM (Chinese Biomedical Database) from the first year of the databases to June 2011. We handsearched a number of journals.
SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised clinical trials of Chinese herbs for advanced or late gastric cancer were included.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently extracted the data, which were analysed using RevMan 5.1 software (RevMan 2011). For dichotomous data, we estimated the relative risk. For continuous data, we calculated the weighted mean difference.
MAIN RESULTS: Eighty-five trials with 6857 advanced or late gastric cancer patients were identified for inclusion, most were of low quality and used traditional Chinese medicinal herbs (TCMHs) plus chemotherapy compared with the same chemotherapy alone (65 trials). Apart from 23 trials of four different kinds of TCMHs, we could not pool the results because no more than two used the same intervention or outcomes.TCMHs with or without chemotherapy, in 57 trials, showed statistically significant differences for the improvement of mortality in nine trials, quality of life in 16 trials, rate of remission in 11 trials, and leukopenia in five trials. The pooled results from the four injected TCMHs, Huachansu, Aidi, Fufangkushen, and Shenqifuzheng showed statistically significant differences for the improvement of leukopenia, but no significant difference in the rate of short-term remission.
AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: This review did not provide assured evidence concerning the effectiveness of TCMHs in improving quality of life or rate of remission, alleviating the toxicity or side effects of chemotherapy, or reducing short-term mortality. Limited, weak evidence showed that Huachansu, Aidi, Fufangkushen, and Shenqifuzheng improved leukopenia when used together with chemotherapy; and Huachansu, Aidi, and Fufangkushen were of benefit for adverse events in the digestive system caused by chemotherapy. These TCMHs did not improve the rate of short-term remissions. Large, well designed clinical trials are required urgently before any definite conclusions can be drawn about the value of TCMHs for advanced or late stage gastric cancer.

Source: Cochrane

Gastric Cancer with Epstein-Barr Virus Is Less Deadly.

EBV tumor positivity was associated with lower tumor stage and longer survival.


In a small but significant percentage (9%) of gastric cancers, tumor cells contain Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). To assess whether EBV positivity is associated with cancer outcomes, investigators pooled data on 4599 patients with invasive gastric cancer from 13 case series.

Median follow-up was 3.0 years. The prevalence of EBV-positive cancer was 8.2%. In multivariate analysis, EBV positivity was associated with lower tumor stage (odds ratio, 0.79 per unit change in stage; 95% confidence interval, 0.69–0.91). In unadjusted regression analysis, higher tumor stage was associated with higher mortality, with hazard ratios of 3.1 for stage II, 8.1 for stage III, and 13.2 for stage IV when compared with stage I. Median survival was higher in patients with EBV-positive tumors than in patients with EBV-negative tumors (8.5 years vs. 5.3 years; P=0.0006). After adjusting for stage and other potential confounders, EBV positivity was associated with lower mortality (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.61–0.86). Heterogeneity among studies was low.

Comment: Findings from this large study support previous data showing a better prognosis for gastric cancers that contain Epstein-Barr virus. However, because these results are from a pooled analysis of case series rather than a meta-analysis of published studies, it is possible that inclusion of other case series could affect the results. In addition, results are limited by the lack of data on treatment. Nevertheless, by focusing on these studies, the investigators were able to evaluate a relatively homogeneous dataset, minimizing confounding between series. As the authors note, the mechanism for improved outcomes with EBV positivity requires additional study, as does the possibility that EBV-positive gastric cancer might represent a distinct disease entity.


Source:Journal Watch Gastroenterology

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