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Alternative Medicine Can Alleviate Cancer Therapy Side Effects

November 19, 2009 by  

Alternative medicine can alleviate cancer therapy side effects Researchers have been searching for a long time for ways to minimize the side effects of radiation therapy, and there are signs they may have found a natural solution that can help cancer patients tolerate their treatments better.

According to a study published in The International Journal of Low Radiation, extracts of gingko biloba may protect cells from radiation damage.

To arrive at this conclusion, researchers collected white blood cells from healthy donors between the ages of 18 and 50. Half of the cells were then treated with gingko biloba and the rest were subjected to a saline solution.

After subsequent exposure to radiation, the scientists found the cells treated with gingko biloba had a lower rate of apoptosis, or cell death.

Subsequent laboratory studies on animals confirmed the results.

The leaves of gingko biloba—which naturally grows only in Zhejiang province in Eastern China—contain antioxidant-rich compounds which are believed to protect cells from damage by free radicals and other reactive oxidizing species.

It has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years and is one of the most popular herbal supplements in the U.S, according to the Mayo Clinic. Gingko is believed to have a host of health benefits, including preventing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other memory problems, treating altitude sickness and reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

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  • Patsy Cochran

    I have read many of the posted comments and am very surprised at the anger in them. There are a great many problems in our medical system, but we still have in America the best medical care available in the world. So much medical service is donated by doctors and nurses to people that cannot afford medical care. People from all over the world come to America for medical care that they cannot get in their own countries either because they have socialized medicine and it is rationed or it is just not available otherwise. My husband was in the Air Force for 23 years and we have lived in some of those countries. The medical service in Europe leaves a lot to be desired. I am also a cancer survivor and am very grateful for the doctors that I have had for my treatment. All of the doctors on my crew as well as the nurses were caring and loving. Perhaps it was because I was in a cancer treatment center that only deals with cancer patients and they realized how special and scared these patients are. I was fortunate to be able to have the cancer removed surgically and had no chemo or radiation. Thinking back, I wonder if the insulin treatment would have been good in my case. I do know that when people hear the words, “You have cancer”, at that moment, you are scared enough that you will do anything you can to survive it and hopefully the people you are listening to are educated intelligent people that know what they are doing. That being said, it is also the individual’s responsibility to educate themselves to what is best for them.


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