Three Popular Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Treatments

New research shows that flaxseed and ginseng have something to offer to cancer patients.

At the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting this weekend, researchers presented dozens of studies of high-tech approaches for fighting cancer.

ginsengThree popular complementary and alternative therapies for cancer and cancer-related conditions— flaxseed, ginseng and shark cartilage—came up for review in rigorous trials.

The first two showed surprisingly promising results. The third, shark cartilage, failed, but that in itself will have major implications, since cartilage is sold widely in health-food stores across the country.

Here’s the lowdown on all three studies, and what they mean for the future of cancer treatment.

Nutritionists and alternative-medicine practitioners alike are enamored of flaxseed.

High in omega-3 fatty acids, it also has “800 times more lignan than anything else you could stick in your mouth,” says Duke University cancer researcher Wendy Demark-Wahnefried.

Lignan, a chemical found in the cell walls of plants, binds to testosterone in the body—and in many prostate-cancer patients, testosterone is what fuels tumor growth.

Read the rest of the information at Newsweek.