with terminal disease who take a daily cocktail of vitamins could
extend their lives by two years or even longer, claim researchers.
Three out of
four in a pilot study survived an average of five months longer
than the expected one year, and some were still alive three years
after treatment started.
Dr Bob Lister,
co-author of the study by British and Danish researchers, said the
results were similar to the survival gains from new drugs and in
some cases better.
But the important
difference was there were no side effects reported by patients taking
vitamins, he said.
chairman of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition
at London Metropolitan University, said: ‘We believe these results
are meaningful and justify trying to get backing for a proper clinical
cancer are constantly asking what can we do, not necessarily to
beat the cancer but to have a better quality of life whatever the
length of survival.
taking these supplements is extremely safe, and there were no adverse
reactions among the patients.’
The study followed
patients suffering from breast, lung, brain, colon and other forms
of cancer in Denmark between 1990 and 1999 who continued taking
conventional cancer medication.
nine-year period, the patients were treated with coenzyme Q10 –
a vitamin-like compound-essential for producing energy made naturally
in the body – and six other antioxidants including vitamins A, C
and E, selenium, folic acid, and beta carotene (which was not given
to lung cancer patients for safety reasons).