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Cachexia is common with most cancers at later stage. It is not caused by tumour growth, but by cytokines which induce a chemical imbalance, resulting in high levels of inflammation in the body and lack of protein metabolism. 

No matter how many calories are consumed, this will not deal the condition; instead, you need to deal with the root cause.

Cytokines are over-expressed in Cachexia. These are proteins secreted into the body because of an inflammatory response. 

Cytokines involved:


Inhibitors: curcumin, green tea, milk thistle, omega 3 fish oils with high DHA, eugenol found in cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, basil and bay leaf and Acupuncture.




Reduce copper levels. 


  • Beta-carotene
  • Metformin
  • Omega 3 fish oils 2000mg EPA to 1000mg DHA if combined
  • Melatonin
  • Curcumin
  • Cabbage
  • Milk thistle
  • Plant sterols
  • Acupuncture
  • Low dose naltrexone
  • Taurox (BRAND NAME) from Allergy Research Trust
  • Soy isoflavones.


TNFa (cachectin)

Inhibitors: R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, Cat’s Claw. 

Interferon y (INF-y)

Berberine inhibits Interferon y, however andrographaites paniculata is found in berberine and this increases inf-y.   

Leukemia inhibitory factor (D-factor)

Prostagnandin E2 (PGE2)


  • Aloe vera
  • Curcumin
  • Echinacea (potent inhibitor)
  • Eugenol in cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, basil and bay leaves
  • Flaxseed
  • Gamma linolenic acid
  • Melatonin
  • Oleic acid
  • Olive oil (especially important in prostate cancer where cells convert arachidonic acid to PGE2 at 10 x the rate)
  • Omega 3 fish oils 2000mg EPA to 1000mg DHA if mixed
  • Quercetin

In animal studies, administration of neuropeptide Y and peptide YY increased high-carbohydrate intake.

With Cachexia comes satiation (Feeling full/satisfied).

A number of gastric and pancreatic hormones are responsible for this:

  • Bombesin peptide (BBN)
  • Gastrin-related peptide
  • Somatostatin
  • Amylin
  • Glucagon

Dynorphin is a kappa-opiate receptor agonist that stimulates food ingestion. Kappa is NfKb

Serotonin and Leptin are anorexigenic agents which contribute to cachexia. These are stimulated by IL-1beta. This will suppress food intake through appetite reduction. 

Stress and inflammation will stimulate the release of cortisol which then releases IL-6 and TNFa cytokines.

Cytokines working together.

IL-4 and IL-10 are regulatory cytokines that will inhibit the release of IL-1, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-a.

IL-10 can down-regulate IL-6 and PGE2 pro-inflammatory interleukins. 

CBD increases IL-10 activity.

Dietary changes are required to reduce inflammation. Omega 6 is an inflammatory fat, so all sources should be avoided. Linoleic acid causes inflammation too. Flaxseed oil, chai seeds and hemp seeds contain the most linoleic acid. 

Pro-inflammatory foods to be avoided are Alcohol. Butter. Canola Oil. Cheese. Milk. Red Meat. Sunflower oil. Simple Sugars. Tofu. Walnuts. 

Protein is needed to build up the muscles, but this must be from very specific sources:  undenatured whey isolate twice daily, plus at least three other food sources such as egg whites, cold-water fish and coconut oil in the form of MCT. 

EPA in fish oils inhibits NKfB which in turn stops production of the pro inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and IL-6. 

EPA is more effective than DHA in regulating the inflammation pathways COX and LOX.

Omega 3 fish oils with 95% EPA also stop protein breakdown via the NKfB and ATP pathways. 

EPA also reduces TNF-a which is responsible for muscle mass loss. 

Cachexia is a serious condition and must be corrected. You are not feeding the body with fats by using Omega 3 fatty acids. You are correcting the imbalances. Fatty acid oxidation is increased in patients with cachexia, causing a decrease in muscle glucose metabolism and muscle waste.

Dream Protein (US and Canada) undenatured whey isolate

Pink Sun website for UK source of undenatured whey isolate

Patricia Peat’s supports (

With kind permission from a patient who consulted with her. In addition, kind permission has been received from Patricia via her assistant Hayley Conway to quote her work.

Turmeric and Boswellia liposomal (Relevium) 5mls 3 x daily in juice or water. With or without food. 

Energy Lipids Powder 1 scoop or 5ml teaspoon twice a day

Alpha- Ketoglutarate (AKT) 1 taken 3 times daily with food…/alpha-ketoglutaric…/

Dr Neil McKinney’s Supports

With kind permission to quote from his book Naturopathic Oncology

Green tea EGCG

Omega 3 can return the metabolic switch back to normal. Best results with marine oils with EPA.2000-4000mg per meal. 

Food sources: Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds.

MCT oil from coconut 10-20ml every 1 -2 hours

L Carnitine 500mg -1000mg per meal

Melatonin 60mg


Appetite stimulation with cannabis, herbal bitters and thiamine B1.

Dexamethasone is often prescribed

Keith Block MD has a wonderful protein shake and has kindly given permission for content from his book Life Over Cancer to be shared on this site. 

Permission to quote was granted via Leni Kass at The Block Institute.


  • 1 ½ cups rice, soy or oat beverage
  • 6 tablespoons protein powder (denatured whey isolate or egg white powder)
  • 2g Chlorella (optional)
  • 2g free-form USP L-Glutamine (optional. Take in a capsule instead)
  • 2g L-leucine (optional. Take in a capsule instead)
  • 6g medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil (If you use for an extended period, you can substitute almond or hazelnut oil).
  • 8-12g high-quality, high-potency fish oil (optional as capsules)
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 tablespoon of agaveCombine the ingredients in a blender and chill. Contains 3 servings of protein.Replacing 2 meals with this shake will provide up to half of your daily calorie needs.See www.lifeovercancer for other recipes.

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