Breast cancer. Chemo & radiotherapy.

Wheatgrass helps overcome adverse effects of chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is notorious for causing adverse effects that can sometimes be life-threatening. One of the more serious consequences is myelotoxicity or damage to the bone marrow resulting in significant reduction of red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells (reduced resistance to infection) and platelets (increased risk of bleeding). These effects can be reduced with erythropoietin (EPO) but it is expensive and side effects are common.

In 2007, a clinical study compared 60 chemotherapy patients being treated for breast cancer – one group taking wheatgrass (WGJ) juice daily, the other receiving supportive therapy only. 50% of the non-WGJ group had to terminate treatment compared with only 15% of the wheatgrass group.

Wheatgrass has helped many of my patients overcome adverse effects of chemotherapy and accelerated recovery because it can help stimulate red and white cell production.

Wheatgrass reduces X-Ray caused skin toxicity

Deep X-ray therapy commonly causes skin toxicity – inflamed, painful blisters that often burst and become infected so the patient then has to wait for the skin to recover before resuming treatment. Wheatgrass can help overcome this problem.

In this controlled, double-blind study, 29 breast cancer patients applied either sorbolene (current best practice) or a commercially produced wheatgrass-based cream (Dr Wheatgrass Antioxidant Skin Recovery Cream) to the irradiated area three times a day.

Wheatgrass extract reduced the severity of acute radiation skin toxicity.

Comment

These results are not surprising because wheatgrass also rapidly accelerates healing of second degree burn wounds and reduces pain.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.

References:

  1. Bar-Sela G. et al. Wheat grass juice may improve hematological toxicity related to chemotherapy in breast cancer patients: a pilot study. Nutr Cancer.  2007; 58(1):43-8 (ISSN: 0163-5581)
  2. Coulter, K. et al. Wheatgrass extract as a topical skin agent for acute radiation skin toxicity in breast radiation therapy: a randomised controlled trial.(Clinical report)
    J. Aust. Trad. Med. Soc. 2006.