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Probiotics: Help For Chemo Patients?

When you get all caught up in medical news mumbo-jumbo, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s true or not.

But if you stop and think about it logically, the truth reveals itself.

That happened this week, thanks to, one of the news services we appreciate that shares our views about diet-related health.

Essentially, they reported that a substance called “Rspo1” was found to help cancer-induced mice survive otherwise-lethal doses of chemotherapy.

The beauty of it is that Rspo1 occurs naturally in the human gut — as long as your gut is healthy.

All kinds of things can lead to an unhealthy gut. Gluten can flatten the tiny nutritional receptors in your colon, causing nutrient deficiency and bacterial imbalance.

Worse yet, antibiotics wipe out all bacteria, giving the green light for new, bad bacteria to wreak havoc without good bacteria to balance the ratio.

But chemotherapy is the worst for gut health.

People often think of chemotherapy as a good thing because it is given to cancer patients as “medicine.” Sure, it attacks the cancer cells, but it’s indiscriminate. In other words, it may attack other cells, too — including those in your immune system (80% of which resides in your gut).

And because chemo can damage the immune system, it leaves a cancer patient open to infection. And how does modern medicine address infections?

Antibiotics, of course!

This leads to even more bacteria-destroying immune suppression that can make subsequent rounds of chemo deadly.

Unless, that is, you have a way to keep your gut producing that important “Rspo1” substance like the mice did in the chemo experiment…

… which means you need to maintain a healthy gut…

… which can be accomplished using probiotics!

Probiotics promote the growth of “friendly flora” or good bacteria. And since there’s only so much room in your gut for bacteria, if you give good bacteria the upper hand, there’s literally no room for bad bacteria to grow.

The result? You have a healthy gut that produces its own Rspo1, which is especially important to help chemo patients weather the toxicity of their treatments.

Do probiotics interfere with chemotherapy?

Only your doctor can tell you for sure.

But probiotics don’t interfere with antibiotics. In fact, studies suggest they’re quite helpful; while antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria in the gut, probiotics promote only good bacteria, the kind of bacteria that keeps your immune system healthy.

So, while the antibiotics are destroying the bad bacteria, taking probiotics at the same time will keep your immune system healthy so that you don’t fall prey to another ailment while you’re on the meds.

If you’re considering chemotherapy, ask your doctor if you can take probiotics to keep your immune system as healthy as possible while you’re undergoing treatment.

It may help to keep you healthy — and may even open your doctor’s eyes to complementary medicine!

[quote]Would you do chemo? Why or why not?
Scroll below the related articles to comment![/quote]


  1. My response to taking chemotherapy is I would most likely not. I think it does more damage than good. Sure it attacks the bad, but it also attacks the good, thus making a already serious sickness worse. The cancer isn’t what kills, its the chemo. I try to eat healthy and supplement the best I can. I would first go to the Lord in prayer and ask His direction. He has never failed me and by faith I will trust Him. Another thing, I don’t trust doctors (their just legalized drug pushers anyway) and the drug manufacturers (they have their interest at heart, not mine). If I live a shorter life because I didn’t take chemo, I will be with the Lord in Glory and there’s no better place to be.

    • Amen to you Linda!! You gave me a good chuckle with your boldness to speak the truth about “legalized drug pushers”. I watch everyone around me taking meds & they get sicker & sicker; while I am overcoming major things like 40 years of amalgam mercury poisoning & all its devestation upon me, without a single med. It is hard for me to understand how SO MANY people can be so dupped to believe the Medical profession is really for their health & well-being. Shalom

  2. Let me see, now … a double-gloved nurse comes at me with a bag of something so poisonous that (s)he knows (s)he is in danger of “second-hand chemo poisoning” and wants to pour it into my already-sick body … a body which has already had a failure of its immune system … NOT!!!

    • My cancer was so advanced I didn’t have time to say no to chemo. However I continued to juice and eat raw and take all my supplements. My ovarian cancer is considered one of the deadliest. However when I go to the cancer treatment center everyone comments on how much energy I have and how great I look. I have been in several magazine articles about how to stay fit during chemo. My battle continues and I am doing everything I know including taking probiotics to keep me strong. I didn’t want to choose chemo but my family I was told I only had a 30 percent chance of living had I not. At first I said no but when your children are crying it is tough. At this point as I still and fighting cancer I am also doing workshops on nutrition and preventing disease. I think I have been so persuasive because people cannot believe I have stage 3 ovarian cancer. I have been able to kayak and play in the snow and dance. My energy and outlook continue to stay positive

  3. I always try to look for natural, herbal and homeopathic ways of healing before turning to Western medicine. At times, it seems that prescriptions create more problematic side effects than the cures they handle.

    Regarding this matter for Chemo, I absolutely believe that probiotics assist in system recovery. I have an even greater thought/idea on the matter. We are still in our infancy regarding learning of and understanding all the strains in our microbiota. Just as the mice did so well with the introduction/ reintroduction of Rspo1, why don’t we do “gut microbial transplants” where we take a population/sample of our own gut microbes before the chemo and then reintroduce/repopulate the microbes back into our system and they can repopulate themselves for a full system biotic recovery. Chemo treatments could probably be spaced out to allow a full system recovery before the next treatment, or after the barrage of treatments, then reintroduce the existing healthy microbes and bacteria.

    It would seem that our gut, flora, microbes and healthy bacteria are what sustains us. If we lose it, then we die, whether it be faster or slower, it’s the beginning of the end. If we ‘transplant’ the microbials back in so it can repopulate itself, in theory, I would think we could be able to make a full system recovery with a little time.

    Just a thought. Let the comments fly…

    • As I pondered this more, it made me research a concept. Please be aware that this may be a bit more graphic than some may want to read so be warned.

      I had heard that fecal matter contains much of your microbials. Btw, the most healthy and dense healthy bacteria can be found in the fecal matter from babies and children as they haven’t been exposed to all the degenerative elements as of yet that we do over time as adults. But even for one’s own healthy bacteria, I wanted to research if there was a concept of reintroduction. I found this Wikipedia page regarding “Fecal bacteriotherapy” talking about “Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT)”. I wonder if this may also be a good solution to Leaky Gut syndrome, helping to repair the the gut mucosa epithelium naturally/ homeopathically. Leaky gut I think is what happens after all the antiboitics & chemo, food poisonings that kill the healthy flora, etc. I think this eventually happens to everyone over time and is the beginning of the end.

      You have to admit, this concept is way better than the other thought of how to get the fecal matter back into your system, hahaha!

      • Jocelyn August 26, 2013

        I was diagnosed with “aggressive, metastic stage 3 Her-2 positive breast cancer . . . in March, 2010. I felt railroaded into surgery, and submitted to the breast-conserving lumpectomy, but believing that my body is designed to heal itself, declined the prescribed 5 weeks of radiation, 5 months of chemo, and 5 years of Tamoxifen. Instead, I did a 5-month vegan diet with a super-juice cleanse, bolstered my immune system with probiotics, digestive enzymes, medicinal mushrooms and good vitamins besides getting help from a doctor specialized in balancing hormones. Halleluia Acre’s 90 day challenge supported me in learning new ways to eat and think about food.

        I haven’t been back to the oncologist, but have had alternative testing done, which reveals perfectly balanced blood profiles including sugars, and unmeasurable inflammation scores. I’m 47, 5’5”, 118 lbs, and full of energy for which my husband and 7 children are grateful. There wasn’t a single “magic pill” that made me well; I am just so full of health now that there is no room for disease. Praise God.

  4. Joel Chudnow, Wellness Coach August 29, 2013

    Please rethink this recommendation to take probiotics while taking antibiotics. Your article is true that antibiotics kill all good and bad gut bacteria. So, only take probiotics after you’ve completed the prescription of antibiotics, thus allowing your inner garden to grow without compromise. Thank you.

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