Supplements (nutraceuticals) can help and have helped dogs with cancer. They can improve survival time and quality of life in some dogs, whether used alone (palliative) or as an adjunct to conventional cancer treatment.
Natural substances exert anti-cancer effects via:
- direct cytotoxic effect: killing cancer cells directly, and/or
- immunomodulatory action: enhancing the immune system to destroy cancer cells
Chemotherapy can cause debilitating side effects such as bone marrow suppression (significant drop in white blood cells) and impaired liver function, thus disrupting cancer treatment. Some supplements can help to alleviate and possibly eliminate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This improves the outcome of treatment and enhances your dog’s quality of life.
Supplements For Dogs With Cancer
Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) is an extract obtained from hybridization of several species of Basidiomycetes mushrooms. The bioactive compounds of AHCC are aplha 1–4 glucans and their acetylated forms. Alpha glucan has a low molecular weight, thus making it easy to digest and absorb. This unique property of alpha glucan accounts for the powerful immune-stimulating activity of AHCC.
AHCC does not kill cancer cells directly. Instead, it enhances the immune system by increasing the activity and/or the number of immune cells to attack cancer cells. As a complementary cancer therapy, AHCC enhances the tumour killing effects of chemotherapy and reduces its side effects.
Read more about AHCC and cancer here –> Mushroom Extract: Japan’s Popular Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapy
2. Ganoderma Lucidum
Ganoderma lucidum (G. lucidum), commonly known as reishi (in Japan) or lingzhi (in China), is an edible mushroom widely used in Asian countries for promoting health and longevity for over 2000 years. No wonder it is also called “mushroom of mortality”!
Polysaccharides and triterpenes are the 2 major groups of bioactive active compounds in Ganoderma lucidum mushroom that contribute to its anti-cancer activity.
Polysaccharides enhances the immune system to destroy tumour cells and suppress tumour growth while triterpenes have the ability to kill tumour cells directly.
Check out this post on–> Medicinal Mushroom For Cancer: Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi/Lingzhi)
Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP6) is a naturally occurring polyphosphorylated carbohydrate and antioxidant found in high fiber foods such as legumes, wheat bran/germ, whole kernel corn, brown rice and soy. IP6 plays an important role in regulating vital cellular functions.
The anti-cancer action of IP6 is via:
- direct cytotoxic effects: interrupting several main pathways of malignancy ie. reduce cell proliferation, induce differentiation or apoptosis of malignant cells, inhibit metastases and angiogenesis
- immune enhancement function
IP6 enhances anticancer efficacy and reduces side effects of chemotherapy, thereby improving quality of life in cancer patients.
Read more about IP6 and cancer here –> IP6 For Dogs With Cancer
4. Modified Citrus Pectin
Modified citrus pectin (MCP) is pectin derived from citrus fruit peels and pulps that has been modified by PH, temperature and enzymatic process. This modification breaks down the long carbohydrate chains of pectin into shorter, non-branched chains that dissolve easily in water. MCP is better absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body. As a result, MCP is a potentially powerful, natural cancer fighter.
Excess Galectin-3 (a type of carbohydrate-binding protein) has been implicated in cancer development and progression. It is specifically involved in tumor metastasis and angiogenesis.
MCP is a natural Galectin-3 blocker. It binds to Galectin-3 on the surface of cancer cells, thereby inhibiting aggregration, adhesion and metastasis of cancer cells. By blocking the activity of Galectin-3, MCP prevents the formation of new blood vessels that feed tumors. Without angiogenesis, tumors cannot keep growing and spreading.
Find out more about MCP here –> Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) Fights Cancer
5. Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid (plant cannabinoid) with numerous therapeutically beneficial effects, derived from hemp.
Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to promote regulatory and homeostasis in the body. The ECS is an important modulatory system in the function of brain, endocrine and immune system.
Endocannabinoid receptors are distributed throughout the body: brain, nerves, skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney and gastrointestinal tract. Cannabinoids interact with these receptors to regulate bodily functions, and establishing and maintaining health.
Cell culture and animal studies suggest that CBD is a potent inhibitor of cancer growth and spread. CBD has pro-apoptic, anti-proliferative, anti-migratory, anti-invasive, anti-metastatic and anti-angiogenic properties.
Cannabinoids are used in human cancer patient to palliate wasting, vomiting and pain associated with cancer.
For dogs with cancer, CBD may help to alleviate pain and inflammation, and stimulate appetite. This makes your dog feel more comfortable and improves its quality of life.