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A Brief Discussion on Oleander's Effectiveness Against Cancer

by Tony Isaacs

(The Best Years in Life) In a recently published article*, Naturopathic PhD Marc Swanepoel discussed how mainstream chemo and certain alternative cancer therapies used the mechanism of increasing Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) to put cancer cells under oxidative stress and why he believed such a course was doomed to failure for cancers which had advanced beyond a very early stage. In this follow-up discussion from the Yahoo Oleandersoup group, Dr. Swanepoel and I discuss how Oleander ties in to ROS and how it actually fights cancer in multiple ways.

Dr. Swanepoel:

Oleander, in my opinion, has TWO modes of action. The one mode, which is what one normally reads about, is through the cardiac glycosides of which OLEANDRIN is the main one. The cardiac glycosides have the effect of increasing ROS, similar to some of the chemo treatments (as described in the article here: ). The production of ROS is just another way of describing "oxidative stress". In that way, oleander reacts like a milder type of chemotherapy where the production of ROS leads to apoptosis of cancer cells. However, in a properly prepared and filtered oleander extract, there is only a minute quantity of these cardiac glycosides and, again in my opinion, the production of ROS and the resultant apoptosis of cancer cells can NOT be the main anti-cancer action of oleander. There is simply not enough oleandrin or other cardiac glycosides to do this.

BUT, the oleander extract can contain more than 2% URSOLIC ACID which results in its SECOND, and more effective, mode of action against cancer and many other systemic diseases. The ursolic acid increases the important enzymes superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, glutathione s-transferase and glutathione peroxidase AND actual glutathione levels in the body substantially. This, in turn, can reverse the disrupted stage V of the Oxidative Phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system in the mitochondria. It is this disruption of ATP (cellular energy) production which causes cells to revert to a much more primitive way of producing energy - enzymatic ATP production through aerobic glycolysis in the cytoplasm - a process that converts normal cells to cancer cells. And it is the increase in the enzymes and the Glutathione which helps to reverse this disrupted process back to normal.


Tony Isaacs:

I agree with Dr. Swanepoel completely.  Properly prepared oleander extract has more than just increasing ROS going for it. Much more in fact. Oleander has reportedly had over 500 compounds identified thus far, many of which are noted for their cancer fighting as well as immune boosting and other health promoting qualities.

In addition to ursolic acid and oleandrin, oleander also contains beta-sitosterol and quercitin - to name just two important compounds which contribute to the overall synergistic effects of oleander againist cancer and other conditions. Other cancer fighting and/or immune boosting compounds which have been identified in oleander include:

Linoleic-acid, Oleic-acid, Alpha-amyrin, Betulin, Gitoxigenin, Isoquercitrin, Lauric-acid, Oleanolic-acid, Rutin, Stigmasterol and Ursolic-acid.

I also think it is important to note that, while the small amount of cardiac glycosides in oleander may act to increase ROS similar to chemo, unlike chemo oleander has not been found to do any damage whatsoever against healthy cells. Possibly that may be due to the many other healthy compounds in oleander preventing any such damage and one also notes that oleander has been found to either eliminate or greatly alleviate the side effects of chemo when used in conjunction with chemo.

Likewise unlike chemo, oleander does not cause lethargy but instead usually boosts a person's energy level (though there might be some initial Herxheimer type effect from cancer cell die-off).

*See also:

Apoptosis/Necrosis versus Cancer as a Defense Mechanism - And  Why N-Acetyl Cysteine is Essential for Beating Cancer

A Rational Theory of Cancer

About the authors

Marc Swanepoel is a Naturopathic PhD and longtime cancer and HIV pioneer, researcher and crusader.  Among many notable achievements, he is the developer of the oleander-based Sutherlandia OPC supplement line which has been used around the world against cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis-C and much more.

Tony Isaacs is a natural health advocate and researcher and the author of books and articles about natural health including Cancer's Natural Enemy.  Mr. Isaacs articles are featured at Natural News, the Health Science Institute's Healthiertalk website, CureZone, the Crusador, AlignLife, the Cancer Tutor, the American Chronicle, The New Zealand Journal of Natural Health and several other venues. Mr. Isaacs also has The Best Years in Life website for baby boomers and others wishing to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. In addition, he hosts the Yahoo Oleandersoup Health group of over 2500 members and the CureZone Ask Tony Isaacs - Featuring Luella May forum.


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