You may not have heard about this:
I will be posting my notes on this as we go, but first of all, if you ever hear someone present the “asparagus cures cancer” crap to an individual whose family member was recently diagnosed with cancer, as recently happened to my girlfriend, please be so kind as to scream at them for being an ignorant moron causing more harm by encouraging someone to eat a substance WHICH COUNTERACTS ANTICANCER PHARMACEUTICALS!
Several years ago, I had a man seeking asparagus for a friend who had cancer. He gave me a photocopied copy of an article, entitled, `Asparagus for cancer’ printed in Cancer News Journal, December 1979. I will share it here, just as it was shared with me:
Let’s see what kind of crap this is.
“I am a biochemist, and have specialized in the relation of diet to health for over 50 years. Several years ago, I learned of the discovery of Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S. that asparagus might cure cancer. Since then, I have worked with him on his project, and we have accumulated a number of favorable case histories. Here are a few examples.
Well, first note is the name: Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S. This title would be a Doctor of Dental Surgery rather than a biochemist. We also do not get the name of the individual writing this letter. Doing a web search for “Richard R. Vensal” only turns up pages relating to this particular story. If you’d like to know what’s actually in “Cancer News Journal” on December 1979. This is NOT a scientific cancer journal, but an alternative TO medicine journal. Anyway, I found no mention of this article on their website, nor any mention of any other article on any other website. Even as far as altie quacks go, this one is pretty obscure if it even exists.
Case No. 1, man with an almost hopeless case of Hodgkin’s disease (cancer of the lymph glands) who was completely incapacitated. Within 1 year of starting the asparagus therapy, his doctors were unable to detect any signs of cancer, and he was back on a schedule of strenuous exercise.
Are we ignoring the fact that Hodgkin’s has a 98% 5-year survival rate?
Case No. 2, a successful businessman 68 years old who suffered from cancer of the bladder for 16 years. After years of medical treatments, including radiation without improvement, he went on asparagus. Within 3 months, examinations revealed that his bladder tumor had disappeared and that his kidneys were normal.
Again, there is absolutely no reason to consider this true, due to the lack of references, unreliability of the “journal,” and apparent nonexistence of the author. In any event, making the mistake of considering radiation therapy as performed in the 1970s to be anywhere near what is done over three decades is committing an act of intellectual high treason.
Case No. 3, a man who had lung cancer. On March 5th 1971 he was put on the operating table where they found lung cancer so widely spread that it was inoperable. The surgeon sewed him up and declared his case hopeless. On April 5th he heard about the asparagus therapy and immediately started taking it. By August, x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had disappeared. He is back at his regular business routine.
Amazing, also, how the first therapies and surgeries for lung cancers (there are multiple types of lung cancer) weren’t done UNTIL the 1970s. There is no reason to expect success in this surgery, but a physician would at least attempt removing SOME of the tumor.
Case No. 4, a woman who was troubled for a number of years with skin cancer. She finally developed different skin cancers which were diagnosed by a skin specialist as advanced. Within 3 months after starting on asparagus, her skin specialist said that her skin looked fine and no more skin lesions. This woman reported that the asparagus therapy also cured her kidney disease which started in 1949. She had over 10 operations for kidney stones, and was receiving government disability payments for an inoperable, terminal, kidney condition. She attributes the cure of this kidney trouble entirely to the asparagus.
You would think that with all the people that eat asparagus and have skin cancer, (just by statistical coincidence) there would be at least some documentation of this.
I was not surprised at this result, as `The elements of materia medica’, edited in 1854 by a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, stated that asparagus was used as a popular remedy for kidney stones. He even referred to experiments, in 1739, on the power of asparagus in dissolving stones. We would have other case histories but the medical establishment has interfered with our obtaining some of the records. I am therefore appealing to readers to spread this good news and help us to gather a large number of case histories that will overwhelm the medical skeptics about this unbelievably simple and natural remedy.
Oh, look, a book; the book has no mention of experiments. It instead refers to another, less known volume by Theophilus Lobb. Want to see for yourself? It would be a bit better if it was a bit more specific, you know, what VOLUME in that huge ass reference book that citation was in? The research involved putting the kidney stones INTO asparagus juice, not drinking asparagus juice and dissolving kidney stones in vivo.
For the treatment, asparagus should be cooked before using, and therefore canned asparagus is just as good as fresh. I have corresponded with the two leading canners of asparagus, Giant Giant and Stokely, and I am satisfied that these brands contain no pesticides or preservatives. Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree, and store in the refrigerator. Give the patient 4 full tablespoons twice daily, morning and evening. Patients usually show some improvement in from 2-4 weeks. It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink. This suggested dosage is based on present experience, but certainly larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases.
What chemical, exactly, is supposed to do something to CANCER? How does it work? No mechanism of action=not from a biochemist.
As a biochemist I am convinced of the old saying that `what cures can prevent’. Based on this theory, my wife and I have been using asparagus puree as a beverage with our meals. We take 2 tablespoons diluted in water to suit our taste with breakfast and with dinner. I take mine hot and my wife prefers hers cold. For years we have made it a practice to have blood surveys taken as part of our regular checkups.
Biochemist? Wouldn’t this be “dentist?” I’d also expect this to at least be reported by a reputable journal, or even a crank journal, a bit more often. I don’t think I have to explain the fallacy of “what cures can prevent.” Think about antibiotics and MRSA.
The last blood survey, taken by a medical doctor who specializes in the nutritional approach to health, showed substantial improvements in all categories over the last one, and we can attribute these improvements to nothing but the asparagus drink. As a biochemist, I have made an extensive study of all aspects of cancer, and all of the proposed cures. As a result, I am convinced that asparagus fits in better with the latest theories about cancer.
“Nutritional approach to health”=probably a quack. How can normal levels “improve?” This is complete nonsense. The individual here proposes no biochemical mechanism of action. Even if this was written in 1979, the volume of scientific literature on cancer was SO mountainous, no one individual could ever hope to read all of it. I strongly doubt he understood genetic mechanisms and biochemical signaling for angiogenesis. This really seems to be quite a hoax.
Asparagus contains a good supply of protein called histones, which are believed to be active in controlling cell growth. For that reason, I believe asparagus can be said to contain a substance that I call cell growth normalizer. That accounts for its action on cancer and in acting as a general body tonic. In any event, regardless of theory, asparagus used as we suggest, is a harmless substance. The FDA cannot prevent you from using it and it may do you much good.” It has been reported by the US National Cancer Institute, that asparagus is the highest tested food containing glutathione, which is considered one of the body’s most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants.
Here is the part that REALLY makes this seem like a hoax. ALL cellular material contains a large supply of histones. The advantage of glutathione is way overrated. It is an antioxidant, but it reduces the efficacy of anticancer drugs due to its reactivity.