with enormous budgets devoted to it, brilliant minds working on it,
and an earnest desire by those
researching it to end the cancer
plague, little of significance has been accomplished in the last 30
years to reduce cancer's spread. Today, nearly half of Americans
will contract cancer in their lifetimes, despite the plethora of lifestyle
and nutritional changes that have been advocated by cancer specialists
and eagerly followed by the public. Could the cancer research community
be looking in the wrong place?
New Hope – It's
Most people currently believe cancers are caused by the activation of oncogenes – genes
that predispose the individual toward cancer. Unfortunately, this theory was
called into question by its original proponent. That's right. Dr. Robert
A. Weinberg of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the discoverer
of the so-called oncogene (cancer-causing gene), reversed himself almost ten
years ago. After discovering that "[F]ewer than one DNA base in a million
appears to have been miscopied," he concluded that is not enough of a
defect to mutate the cell! His exact words: "Something was very wrong.
The notion that a cancer developed through the successive activation of a series
of oncogenes had lost its link to reality."1 In addition, over 35 years
ago, Professor Henry Harris and coworkers took normal tissue cells and fused
three types of cancer cells to them. It was thought that the cancer cells would
take over the normal cells and "convert" them into cancer. Surprisingly,
they grew normally, showing cancer is genetically recessive, not dominant.2
Furthermore, in 2005, the heads of the world's largest cancer research
center in Houston, Texas, announced that cancer's prime cause is not
genetic. Dr. John Mendelsohn, president of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center,
stated: "Any claims that this [genetic research] is going to be the key
to curing cancer are not appropriate."3 However, the positive side to
this announcement is that even if cancer apparently "runs in your family," there
is real hope, since cancer has nothing to do with genes.
Recommendations Often "Called into Question"
Many people diligently follow the experts' recommendations, hoping to
beat cancer. Yet the inability of the medical and dietary professions to curb
the rising level of cancer over the last sixty years bears exploring. Consider
the following list of anti-cancer recommendations accompanied by the date that
the findings were questioned or reversed as reported in the world's foremost
medical journals: Fruits and vegetables protect us from cancer (called into
question 2001);4 mammography detects initial cancer growth (called into question
2000);5 fiber protects against colon cancer (called into question 1999, 2001);6,7
fish oil alone is anti-cancer (called into question 2000);8 omega-3 alone prevents
cancer (called into question 2006);9,10 soy is a positive addition to our diet
(called into question 1946, 1960);11,12 low-fat diets are the anti-cancer answer
(called into question 2006).13 Are there any developments relating to cancer
that have withstood the test of time? The answer is an emphatic YES.
Dr. Otto Warburg's Seminal Anti-Cancer
Ralph W. Moss, PhD, wrote about Warburg's seminal discovery in the Townsend
Letter ("War on Cancer," May
2007). Otto Warburg, MD, PhD, has
been referred to as the greatest biochemist of the twentieth century; the sheer
number and magnitude of his discoveries qualify him as the most accomplished
biochemist of all time. Despite the fact that much of his groundbreaking work
on cancer has been overlooked by the large research institutes, no scientist
or researcher has ever disproved the validity, correctness, or applicability
of Warburg's important discoveries as they relate to the prevention and
cure of cancer.
The Prime Cause of Cancer
We have become so accustomed to having almost every discovery in the battle
to defeat cancer, after a time, be called into question that the following
strains credibility. Otto Warburg discovered, then clearly and simply stated,
that the prime cause of cancer is oxygen deprivation at the cellular level. "We
find by experiment about 35% inhibition of oxygen respiration already suffices
to bring about such a transformation during cell growth,"14 he stated
at a 1966 conference of Nobel laureates in Lindau, Germany. "…Summarized
in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration
of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar. Because no cancer
cell exists, the respiration of which is intact, it cannot be disputed that
cancer could be prevented if the respiration of the body cells would be kept
intact.... If it is so much decreased that the oxygen-transferring enzymes
are no longer saturated with oxygen, respiration can decrease irreversibly,
and normal cells can be transformed into facultative anaerobes".14 It is that simple: with just one-third less cellular oxygen than
normal, you contract cancer. Based on meticulous experiments that he and
many others verified numerous times, Dr. Warburg discovered the prime cause
of cancer is sustaining a 35% inhibition of cellular respiration.14 You won't
feel the decreased cellular oxygenation, and you won't know it is happening.
Yet if cellular oxygen can be kept above this deprivation threshold, cancer
cells will not be able to form.15
Exercise supplies additional oxygen to the blood; however, this doesn't
address transfer of oxygen through the cell membrane. That's why elite
athletes still develop cancer. Warburg stated: "To be sure, cancer development
takes place even in the presence of free oxygen gas in the atmosphere, but
this oxygen may not penetrate in sufficient quantity into the growing body
cells, or the respiratory apoenzymes of the growing body cells may not be saturated
with the active groups." Warburg addressed the danger of impaired cellular
oxygen transfer even in the presence of oxygen.
Dr. Warburg's discovery has been verified over and over again (never
called into question), both as to how normal cells turn cancerous and in showing
that cancer doesn't develop in highly oxygenated areas. Two American
physicians conclusively proved this in 1953, and two more investigators confirmed
this finding in 1955. Goldblatt and Cameron noted in the Journal
of Experimental Medicine that once damage is too great to the cell, then no amount of oxygen
will return the cell's respiration back to normal: it is forever doomed
to a cancerous life.15 However, they confirmed that it is possible to prevent
a "respiration impacted" precancerous cell from becoming permanently
cancerous if oxygen deficiency is stopped early enough. In 1955, Malmgren and
Flanigan confirmed the oxygen/cancer cause in an ingenious experiment with
tetanus spores.16 Consequently, prevention is the ultimate solution to conquering
Greater Oxygen Deprivation = Worse Prognosis
Articles in cancer journals confirm the decreased oxygen/increased
cancer prognosis. "Tumor
hypoxia [too little oxygen in the cell] adversely affects the prognosis of
carcinoma of the head and neck".17 "[A]nalysis
showed significantly lower survival and recurrence-free survival for patients
with a median pO2 of £ 10 mmHg compared to those with better oxygenated
tumors (median pO2 > 10 mmHg). [M]edian pO2 and the clinical stage according
to the FIGO are independent, highly significant predictors of survival and
recurrence-free survival".18 "Tumor oxygenation
predicts for the likelihood of distant metastases [cancer spreading] in human
soft tissue sarcoma".19 Greater cellular oxygen deprivation/hypoxia
is directly correlated with a worse prognosis, shorter lifespan, and greater
risk of metastases.
A New Hypothesis: Cancer Develops
When Cell Membranes' Oxygenation
Capability is Compromised
With Warburg's observations as the basis of this hypothesis,
we posed the question of what could cause cells to become oxygen-deficient
to the degree
(35%) that they would become cancerous, and what dietary commonalities or deficiencies
might have come to exist over the last 50 years that would predispose an ever-increasing
number of people to develop cancer.
Cell Oxygenation and Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
We focused on the primary oxygen-absorption function of cells. The body requires
special fats which, among other important functions, make it possible for
sufficient oxygen to reach the cells via the cell membranes. These special
fats are highly oxygen-absorbing entities called essential fatty acids (EFAs)
and must be consumed daily, because the body can't manufacture them
on its own. Consumption of two primary or "parent" forms of EFAs
allow the body to make whatever EFA "derivatives" it needs from
them. These two primary forms are parent omega-6, termed linoleic acid (LA),
and parent omega-3, termed alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Supplemental EFA-derivatives
like EPA and DHA, though available, are not required because the body makes
them as needed.
Parent Omega-6 Increases
Oxygen Transfer Like Miniature "Oxygen
Campbell et al. found that LA (parent omega-6) can associate with oxygen and
dissociate the oxygen at relatively high oxygen pressure in cellular membranes.
These researchers also found that fatty acids (in particular, LA) affect the
permeability of cell membranes to molecular oxygen by increasing
cellular oxygenation by up to 50%.20 This supplies the next piece of the puzzle.
Insufficient EFAs in the diet can reduce the oxygen absorption of cells sufficiently
to cause cancer. Additionally, Campbell et al. concluded that interference
with the movement of oxygen can occur at any cell membrane in any tissue.20
This is the reason that we can state, regardless of where the cancer occurs,
the cause is the same.14,20 This bears repeating. Warburg unequivocally
showed all cancers occur for the same reason.14 Moreover, EFA deficiency can
cause the body to substitute into the cell membranes non-oxygenating fats that
impair oxygen transport (such as the ubiquitous hydrogenated fats and trans
fats), exacerbating the cancer-causing state.
Is there more confirmation of EFAs' oxygenating ability? Yes. For example,
Harper's Illustrated Biochemistry (26th edition, 2003: 93, 191, 418)21;
Postgrad Med J (1980 Aug;56(658):579-84); Principles
of Biomedical Chemistry (1998:226)22; and Sinclair,23,24 to name a few, all confirm oxygenating ability.
Food Processors Ruin EFAs
My decade-long research strongly suggests that the cellular hypoxia, which
Warburg showed is a fundamental cause of cancer, occurs primarily from consumption
of adulterated polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are incorporated
into cell membranes and interfere with cellular oxygen transmission.
Natural oils in prepared foods turn rancid over time. Likewise, so do oils
used in both restaurant and commercial deep fryers. Food processors, for economic
reasons, must stop the oxidation of unsaturated fats that result in spoiled
food. They use only two approaches: remove the oil or convert the unsaturated
fats into entities such as trans fats and interesterified fats. Their second
solution for a longer shelf life is a prime cause of the unstoppable cancer
epidemic. As long as food processors continue to find creative but dangerous
ways to reduce oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, which result in adulterated
PUFAs, unwitting consumers should be terrified. The only plausible choice for
us is to incorporate unadulterated oils in our diets by way of a dietary supplement.
What Are the Tissue Parent Omega-6/3 Ratios?
It is necessary to understand the EFA composition of various tissues and organs,
like your brain, skin, heart, and muscle, to discover the overall EFA requirement
of the body. A little-known but vital fact about muscle structure is that
muscle contains from 5.5 to 7.5 times more parent omega-6 than parent omega-3,
depending on the degree of physical condition. Extremely fit individuals
require less omega-6 because their oxygen-transferring efficiency, including
an increased number of cell mitochondria, is greater than in non-exercising
individuals. Skin contains no omega-3, only parent omega-6. Body fat contains
20 times more parent omega-6 than omega-3. Table 1 presents parent omega-6/3
ratios of major organs along with the respective weights.
Table 1: Omega-6:3 Ratios in Body Tissues25-28
Organs and Other Tissues
Adipose Tissue (Body Fat)
% of total
We see from the Tissue Composition Chart (Table 1)
the abundance of parent omega-6 throughout the body. If tissues and
organs are not supplied through
diet with undamaged parent EFAs, either those damaged EFAs or even non-EFA
oils such as omega-9 (as in olive oil), causing de-oxygenation of the cells,
are utilized, since the body has no choice.29
In view of current omega-3 recommendations, when the supply of EFAs – in
particular, unprocessed parent omega-6 – is less than the body's
total requirement, the body prioritorizes delivery, feeding the organs it considers
most important first: the brain, heart, lungs, and kidneys. This deprives "less
important" organs like breast and prostate glands from receiving adequate
EFAs and oxygen. Breast and prostate tissues are predominately fat, requiring
lots of functional parent omega-6 EFAs. They are both the #1 cancers worldwide
for the respective sexes. Is that merely a coincidence?
Are We Overdosing on Omega-3?
In "What is the role of alpha-linolenic acid [parent omega-3] for mammals?" (Lipids.
2002 Dec;37(12):1113-23), we discover that the major metabolic route of ALA
(parent omega-3) in the body is beta-oxidation – burning for energy,
not incorporation into tissue structure.30 Despite the fact that a high proportion
of ALA is metabolized for energy, overdoses of this EFA are likely to be injuriously
incorporated into tissue structure.29 In view of this, we should proceed cautiously
with omega-3 supplementation.
We are told that we require lots of omega-3 derivatives, such as EPA and DHA.
This, too, is called into question because "Alpha-linolenic acid conversion
revisited," by Norman Salem and his colleagues in the PUFA
Newsletter (www.fatsoflife.com, December 2003) explains why only about five percent of
the parent ALA (parent omega-3) is converted into derivatives. Pawlosky et
al. calculate that less than a mere one percent goes to derivatives.31
Food sources rich in omega-3, such as flax seed, fish oil, and seafood, can
overload the body with both parent and derivative omega-3 EFAs. Fish, especially
farmed fish, contains almost entirely omega-3 derivatives. Because of this,
fish oil supplements originally thought to help prevent cancer have been called
into question.8,24 Never forget that supra-physiological doses of omega-3 series
oils cause an abnormal pattern of EFAs to be incorporated into cell tissue.29
In light of this information, we may have an explanation for the rampant rise
in skin cancer. As the chart highlights, our skin has no omega-3 in its structure.
Could a factor be a supra-pharmacological omega-3 overload that the body, in
desperation, dumps into the skin, or conversely, a shortage of the functional
parent omega-6 component of the skin?
In spite of these issues, nutritional recommendations still often advocate
consumption of quantities of omega-3 that, based on human physiology and biochemistry,
are far too large. The problem is compounded when they overlook supplementation
of unprocessed (and therefore non-oxygenating) parent omega-6. This may play
a significant role in the increase of the incidence of skin cancer.
How Much Omega-6 Are We Consuming?
Many nutrition writers state that the US population is consuming 15, 20, or
even 30 times more omega-6 than omega-3 in its diet. However, their analyses
ignore the fact that meats like beef, chicken, and pork contain lots of omega-3
(although cooking denatures some of it). This unaccounted-for omega-3 in
foods decreases overbalanced omega-6 ratio dramatically. For example, depending
on the specific diet of the animal, steak and hamburger will contain a ratio
typically between 2:1 to a high of 10:1 in favor of omega-6. A grain-fed
chicken produces eggs that contain a ratio of from 1:1 to as much as 10:1
in favor of omega-6. But fish, shrimp, and shellfish – a primary protein
in many people's diets – contain more omega-3 series than omega-6 – usually
from 2:1 to a high of 20:1 in favor of the omega-3 series EFAs. Therefore,
the average American's omega-6 to -3 ratio for consumption can't
be above 12:1. Of the 12:1, at least half (conservatively) of the parent
omega-6 in most processed foods has lost its oxygenating ability. For example,
margarine and most supermarket cooking oils (olive oil excluded) have no
appreciable oxygenating ability; they won't oxidize and become rancid
and consequently will remain unspoiled even when kept outdoors for years.
They are so unappealing that given a choice, no animal will even attempt
to eat them. Tragically, the widespread commercial use of preservatives and
other de-oxygenating additives have become the norm.
Rethinking EFA Supplementation Ratios and Amounts
The current message to eat more omega-3 or fish is dangerously simplistic.
What dieticians should be telling us is to replace the adulterated omega-6
(e.g., trans fatty acids/partially hydrogenated oils, etc.) with unadulterated,
organic, minimally processed sources such as organically processed oils, nuts,
and seeds, while adding moderate supplements of parent omega-3.
We are warned about "overdosing" on omega-6 in our diets and told
that we must take lots of oils containing omega-3 to compensate. Because the
body requires significantly less parent omega-3 than parent omega-6 overall
(see Table 1), and because little of the parent omega-3 we eat is damaged (for
example, we don't fry or cook with omega-3, nor do commercial food processors),
a key to better health is to increase supplemental sources of undamaged parent
omega-6 instead of exclusively taking excess omega-3 supplements that the tissues
My research strongly supports the use of an unprocessed, organic supplement
with a ratio of greater than 1:1, up to 2.5:1 of parent omega-6 to parent omega-3.
With this ratio, suggested use of this combination is 725 mg per 40 lb. of
body weight (e.g., a 160-lb. person requires 3 grams on a daily basis). For
complete details of how this specific ratio is arrived at, please see "The
Scientific Calculation of the Optimum Omega-6/3 Ratio," available at
www.BrianPeskin.com (click on "EFA Report").
How Well Does This Omega-6:3 Ratio Work?
In my research, I commissioned an experiment using mice to study the relationship
between cancer growth rates and supplementation with Peskin Protocol EFAs.
Mice metabolize EFAs like humans.32 The experiment showed, that
in spite of tumor implantation simultaneously with two million cancer cells
there was a statistically significant 24% reduction in tumor growth rate
in the longer four-week pretreated mice compared to the control mice that
received no EFA supplementation. In the last ten days of the experiment,
there was a 42.8% lower growth volume of the tumors in the four-week pretreated
mice compared to the untreated mice. These results clearly show the increasing
value of a longer pretreatment period of EFAs. This experiment conclusively
shows that EFA-based oils are modifying the cells' internal structure
in an epigenetic fashion, making them more cancer-resistant; the desired
increased cellular oxygenation anti-cancer solution is accomplished in agreement
with Warburg's findings. For my original work on this subject, I encourage
you to visit my website and review the Peskin Protocol as implemented in
both an animal experiment and a dramatic case study with a 62-year-old-patient.
You will find them at: http://brianpeskin.com/studies-experiments/macphailcasestudy-1.pdf (106KB
.pdf) and http://brianpeskin.com/studies-experiments/mouse-experiment.pdf (345KB
.pdf) The effects of Peskin Protocol EFAs go far beyond solely cancer treatment
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