Brenda Spriggs, MD, MPH, MBA
Cellfood is a popular dietary supplement that has been commercially available for more than 40 years. Marketing materials and consumer reports claim that Cellfood helps relieve symptoms associated with cancer treatments, such as chemo-radiation therapy, and may help prevent and cure cancer. As of 2011, there is not adequate scientific research to validate these claims. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved of Cellfood as a non-toxic substance, consult your doctor before including the product in your nutritional regimen.
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Cellfood is a nutritional supplement manufactured by the NuScience Corporation. According to the company’s promotional materials, Cellfood contains 78 minerals, 34 enzymes and 17 amino acids, and is engineered to deliver increased amounts of oxygen to the cells. Cellfood is marketed as an antioxidant that helps protect your body from harmful environmental free radicals, and its makers additionally claim that the product aids in balancing pH levels and in body detoxification.
Cellfood and Cancer
According to its manufacturers, Cellfood may offer protection from cancer and help cancer patients to recover from the damage associated with invasive therapies. A study published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology” in June 2011 examined the potential protective effects of Cellfood in vitro. The researchers, based at the University of Urbino, Italy, found that Cellfood served as an effective antioxidant and protected cells from oxidative damage. They conclude that Cellfood may provide benefits to the treatment and prevention of conditions related to oxidative stress, such as cancer. While other studies have presented similar findings, they have been sponsored by the NuScience Corporation and may offer biased results.
In a review of Cellfood, experts from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center report that the product’s claims to treat and prevent cancer are based on unsubstantiated research and contradict known principles of biochemistry. The review points out that oxygen, when consumed as an oral supplement, is not absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and does not affect the oxygen balance in the cells. The American Cancer Society maintains that oxygen-based therapies, such as Cellfood, do not offer an effective form of cancer treatment or prevention and may even pose health risks.
Antioxidants and Your Health
While antioxidants, such as vitamins E, C, carotene and lutein, may play a powerful role in disease prevention, research suggests that nutritional supplements are not as effective as food in delivering nutrients to your body and supporting cellular health. According to a June 2009 statement from the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of eating an antioxidant-rich diet outweigh those of taking a nutritional supplement. Foods high in antioxidant properties include berries, beans, cabbage, spinach, artichokes, avocados, pears, pineapple and green teas.