Alternatives & Traditional

Posts tagged ‘sutherlandia’

Is “Oleander Soup” Effective for HIV or AIDS?

Is “oleander soup” effective for HIV or AIDS?

The claims of “oleander soup” being effective for cancer have already been debunked.

These are not the only questionable claims that have been made by Tony Isaacs.  Mr. Isaacs has also claimed that oleander has been shown to be effective against HIV/AIDS as well.  As “evidence” he posted a link to an article he wrote for his sales site.  Isaacs article then makes reference to a “100% successful double blind placebo controlled study”, which he claims the complete trial report can be found at:

http://www.tbyil.com/HIV_OPC_Trial.pdf

This is not the actual study, it is a person’s dissertation.  And there are no references to this study, nor can I find the study on Medline.  This calls in to question if the study actually exists and if it does was it conducted and interpreted properly.

Another problem with the claim that this proves oleander is effective is the fact that if this study is for real it was not for oleander alone.  On page 5 of the dissertation it clearly states that they used a mixture of sutherlandia and oleander.  Unlike oleander, there are studies showing strong potential for sutherlandia as an effective treatment for diseases such as cancer.  Here are some journal articles discussing the antiviral activity of sutherlandia:

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/4/1/19

http://journals.lww.com/aidsonline/fulltext/2005/01030/impact_of_african_herbal_medicines_on.13.aspx

To claim that the oleander was effective component is like claiming if someone takes a morphine tablet for pain with water that the water killed the pain.  The only component of the mixture that has shown any significant anti-retroviral activity is the sutherlandia, not the oleander.

The dissertation also states that this study was about raising CD4 counts in a total of 10 HIV+ people.  HIV+ though DOES NOT mean HIV infected.  The HIV antibody test is notoriously inaccurate with over 65 known causes of false positives.

A common cause of low CD4 cell counts in people testing HIV+ is the anti-retroviral drugs they are put on, which the dissertation does mention on page 3. Even though they state that participants could not be currently on anti-retroviral drugs it does not state that they could not have been used previously. And it is known that simply getting off of anti-retroviral drugs can allow the bone marrow to heal, which in turn will allow CD4 counts to come up.  So without knowing if these people were on anti-retroviral drugs before hand it is impossible to say if the herb mixture or simply getting off the anti-retrovirals was really responsible for the increase in CD4 counts.  This is why larger, well designed studies are needed, which have not been done.

On page 29 they mention that the sutherlandia in the formula contains canavanine, which is considered toxic.  It not only raises blood pressure, but it can also aggravate autoimmune conditions like lupus.  And according to this report the long term use can cause symptoms mimicking AIDS (page 2):

http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/Assets/Images/Pdf/Sutherlandia.pdf

Toxicity of the canavanine in sutherlandia starts of page 4 of the link I posted.

On page 32 of the link supplied by Mr. Isaacs it clearly states that the active components in oleander are polysaccharides as I kept pointing out to Mr. Isaacs.  I also repeatedly pointed out to him that there are many non-toxic sources containing immune stimulating polysaccharides that do not need to be processed to render them non-deadly like oleander.  These include medicinal mushrooms, seaweeds, schisandra, astragalus, echinacea, birch, yeasts, etc.  Many of these sources also contain other anticancer and antiviral compounds.  For example, turkey tail mushrooms contain anticancer and antiviral organic germanium.  Birch bark contains antiviral and anticancer betulinic acid.  Betulinic acid is concentrated in even higher amounts in chaga mushrooms that grow on birch trees.  So why would anyone bother with having to render a toxic plant nontoxic when so many non-toxic sources of polysaccharides exist? Especially when these other things also provide other antitumor compounds.

A cardiac glycoside found in oleander called oleandrin has shown some anti-cancer effects against some cancer cell lines in culture studies, but not in human studies.  Even though Mr, Isaacs has repeatedly claimed this is an active component in “oleander soup” and ignores the fact that oleandrin is lipid soluble and therefore is not extracted in to “oleander soup”, which is a water extract.

One of the statements that I found particularly funny in the dissertation was on page 35 where is states the participants were given soy formula fortified with vitamins and minerals.  Mr. Isaacs has bashed me numerous times for posting the benefits of consuming soy, yet he posts this dissertation where soy was used and that could have accounted for many of the benefits seen in the study.  Soy has been shown in numerous studies to be anti-cancer, and cancer is a common symptom in AIDS.  The vitamins and minerals as well as having some actual food in the form of soy would have also boosted their immune systems of the participants.  Then there is the fact that soy contains antiviral protease inhibitors.  So this puts the entire study in to question since there were several compounds used that could have accounted for any positive effects.

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Is “Oleander Soup” for Cancer A Scam? Part 1

I first ran across a product called “oleander soup” when reading posts on Curezone where it was being promoted for cancer, AIDS and hepatitis.  When I first read about it the posts really concerned me because one of the promoters of oleander soup was telling people to just use oleander soup for their cancer with no mention of safety or preparation.  This really concerned me because simply saying oleander soup could leave some people to assume that they simply boil up some oleander leaves in to a soup and ingest, which would be deadly.  Oleander is an extremely poisonous plant with all parts of the plant and even the honey made from the plant being poisonous.

When I pointed out my concerns about simply telling people to ingest oleander soup was highly dangerous I instantly became public enemy #1 to another oleander soup promoter named Tony Isaacs.

Mr. Isaacs is a self-proclaimed expert on oleander.  Although, exchanges with Mr. Isaacs clearly show a different picture.  For example, Mr. Isaacs repeatedly claims that oleander is an effective cancer treatment and that the oleander phase 1 trials proved it was effective in the treatment of cancer.  The truth though is that every study on oleander tested on humans has shown it to be ineffective.  This includes the recent study Mr. Isaacs claimed proved oleander effective was funded by the manufacturer of the oleander product, tested at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  Despite the fraud that appears to be perpetrated in the study I discussed in my last blog post

http://medproductreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/quackery-alert-oleander-cancer-treatment/

the study still showed the oleander extract was ineffective for cancer.

I have not seen any evidence that oleander has been shown effective for hepatitis nor AIDS either as has been claimed.  When asked for evidence to the oleander being proven effective for AIDS,  I was directed to a sales site that is not even close to being evidence of effectiveness.

When dealing with such dangerous diseases, such as cancer, it is essential that people get proper information.  Especially considering that time is essential for cancer patients.  If a cancer patient wastes time with a proven ineffective treatment like oleander soup they may not have time for a second chance with a therapy that actually works.  That is if they do not kill themselves by assuming oleander soup is simply oleander leaves boiled in water.  This is why I am so passionate about exposing the truth behind oleander soup.

Many of the exchanges between Mr. Isaacs and I were hidden or deleted from Curezone since Mr. Isaacs is a moderator on the Cancer forum where many of the posts were made.  Luckily I made copies of much of this information and other information from Curezone before it was deleted.  The following is a compilation of some of the comments made by Mr. Isaacs and my responses so people can decide for themselves if Mr. Isaacs really is an expert on oleander as he portrays himself.  Comments made by Tony Isaacs that I have not responded to previously will be italicized:

Tony Isaacs:  I may not be as scientifically well versed as you when it comes to discussing individual compounds or the minutaie of what does or does not constitute a cardiac glycoside or whether it is technically redundant to call something a “long chain” polysacharride, but I nevertheless do know oleander.

Tony Isaacs:  Here is a parial list of the cancer fighting compounds in oleander:

Oleandrin and a number of other cardiac glycosides including Neriin,  Oleandrinogen, Oleandrigenin, Uzarigenin and others; several long-chain polysacharrides such as Beta-sistosterol; Quercitin, Linoleic-acid, Oleic-acid, Adynerin, Alpha-amyrin,  Betulin, Foliandrin, Folinerin, Gitoxigenin, Isoquercitrin, Lauric-acid,  Oleanolic-acid,  Rutin, Stigmasterol, Ursolic-acid

James Sloane:  And how do the other compounds you mention work? I am not familiar with foliandrin so I looked it up with cancer.  No research available whatsoever. Alpha-amyrin again no research for cancer, but it is listed as a potent irritant. Presence of does not mean they have anticancer activity, so I would like to the research to back these claims.

You also list oleandrin and folinerin, which different names for the same compound. This really reduces credibility when you list the same compound multiple times making it appear that there are more active components than there really are.

Another mistake I see is in your quote “several long-chain polysaccharides such as Beta-sitosterol”. First of all polysaccharides are long chain. Poly means many, saccharides refer to sugars. Thus polysaccharides are long chain sugar molecules. For example beta glucan, fructooligosaccharides, even cellulose. And they are found in a number of sources: seaweeds, mushrooms, schisandra, echinacea, myrrh, birch, yeasts, astragalus….. Secondly, beta sitosterol is not a polysaccharide, it is a plant sterol. These are natural steroidal compounds found in plants that help them to adapt to stresses.

Tony Isaacs: Likewise the well known and highly respected (outside the FDA) owner of Alpha Omega Labs had his choice of any ingredients in the world when he formulated his new Cansema III tonic.  He and his medical professionals chose oleander as the main ingredient, along with graviola and chaparral.

James Sloane: I did not respond to this bogus claim earlier, but will here.  I went to the Alpha Omega Labs website to look up the product:

http://www.altcancer.com/products/cansema-tonic-tm

And looked at the list of ingredients:

Ingredients: Aloe vera (as a base medium), bioenergized extracts of the following cancerolytic botanicals: graviola (Annona muricata) from the Amazonia, Andrographis paniculata, neem (Azadirachta indica A. Jus), chapparal (Larrea mexicata), and hydronium solution (H3O) to enhance and preserve contents. Contains no alcohol or artificial chemicals.

Note that not only is oleander not the main ingredient in Cansema III as Tony Isaacs claims, but oleander is not in the product whatsoever.

James Sloane:  We have different views on curcumin and turmeric. It has many of the same compounds as in your oleander soup, but offers additional cancer fighting mechanisms not found in oleander. And as I pointed out it is readily available, safe, and extremely cheap.

Tony Isaacs:  Yes, curcumin is readily available, cheap and safe.  It also is not water soluable and has very poor bioavailibility because only a tiny fraction of raw curcumin is absorbed in the body. Most importantly, despite all the excitement about cucumin, it is simply not nearly as effective as oleander and to state that it is might well be advice that would keep someone from otherwise beating cancer and THAT, rather than arguing the finer points of individual compounds, is what I am all about.  Thus far, in over five years, no one who has followed my advice regarding oleander and fighting cancer, HIV or Hep-C is not still alive.  Can you say the same?

James Sloane:  First of all turmeric has more active compounds than just curcumin that work synergistically. Therefore, large amounts are not required or a strong effect

In addition, keep in mind that not all compounds are required in large amounts to have a significant effect on the body. For example, it does not take a large amount of oleander to kill an adult human.

Just because curcumin is poorly soluble in water is irrelevant.  Fish oil is insoluble in water but still has plenty of health benefits. This is because oil soluble compounds are made water soluble for absorption in the intestines from the lecithin in bile.

Funny though that Tony Isaacs would try to use that as an argument though being that the main compound he claims is active in oleander, oleandrin, is not water soluble. Therefore, using his same argument his “oleander soup” would not contain what he claims is the active component from the oleander leaves.

And how does Mr. Isaacs know who is still alive after his protocol and who is not?  He has posted this supposed treatment all over the internet where numerous strangers that he has no contact with could have followed his advice.  The fact is that Mr. Isaacs has no clue how many people may have died following his advice and using this proven bogus therapy.

Even if someone is still alive this dos not prove oleander was effective.  If we read the various protocols for oleander, including those by Mr. Isaacs himself, they include other therapies and/or supplements that have shown effectiveness against cancer.  This is like saying if someone takes an oral antibiotic for a bacterial infection that it was the water they washed the pill with that treated the infection.

Tony Isaacs:  Listing or debating the known actions of individual compounds is misleading.  Isolating and concentrating on individual compounds is one of the great fallacies of mainstream medicine.

James Sloane: Yet this is exactly what Mr. Isaacs did when it fit his needs.  I was talking about the effects of turmeric and one of its constituents curcumin.  Yet, Mr. Isaacs decided to focus only on the curcumin in his response ignoring the other synergistic compounds in turmeric.

James Sloane: Though I would not rely on any plant solely for cancer.  No plant is going to address all of the aspects that need to be addressed with cancer.  For example does oleander address the Cori cycle?   ATP formation?  Angiogenesis?   Hyaluronidase inhibition? Fibrinolysis?  Do you even have a clue why these are so important to address?  By the same token do you even understand how the various compounds you list as being active work?

Tony Isaacs: (No response ever given.)

Tony Isaacs:  I have already stated that I like and recommend curcumin – in fact I think it is great (and I take it every day myself), the same as does highly respected alternative cancer authority Webster Kehr of the reknown Cancer Tutor site (http://www.cancertutor.com/).  He states on his site that he considers curcumin among the top 50 cancer fighters, though it has not yet made the cut to be listed among his top Stage IV, Stage III and other alternative treatments on the title page of his website.  Oleander on the other hand is listed in his top 5.

James Sloane:  Renowned is a matter of opinion.  Among other things that are recommended at this site include the so-called “liver flushes” that have been proven bogus and coffee enemas that weaken the immune system by taxing the adrenals, which also puts more stress on the thymus and decreases white blood cell activity.  In addition, coffee has been shown to contain various carcinogens, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PACs) and anti-nutrients such as tannins. Coffee should not be put in to the body in any form if a person has cancer. Other sources of caffeine or other stimulants should also be avoided.

Just because a site reports the sales hype of various alternative cancer therapies without understanding the chemistry or other factors behind the treatment this does not make the site renowned.

Since Tony Isaacs brought this site up though let’s look at his claims. Isaacs claims that oleander is in the top 5 for stage III and stage IV cancers.  So what does the site really say?:

http://www.cancertutor.com/Other/RuleOfThumb.html

As we can see under the listing for stage III treatments the top recommendations are:

“Checklist 1a of 11: Exactly ONE of the “Strong Stage III” Treatments

There are five treatments in this category:

1) The Frequency Generator (aka “Rife Machine”) [actually a Stage IV Treatment],
2) The Bill Henderson Protocol [actually a Stage IV Treatment],
3) The Brandt Grape Cure using red, black or purple grapes [actually a Stage IV Treatment],
4) The Brandt Grape Cure using a vegetable juice, which includes carrot juice, beet juice, and other specific juices [a Strong Stage III Treatment]
5) Amazon Factor Protocol [a Strong Stage III Treatment] “

Notice that not only is oleander not part of the 5 recommendations for stage III cancer, but it is not even mentioned at all in the recommended treatment protocols on the page as Mr. Issacs claimed.

There is a brief mention of oleander as a stage IV treatment, but again nothing about it being in the top 5. 

The site does claim that oleander works for AIDS, which I have been unable to find any evidence of.  They also claim various beneficial effects from oleander that have not been shown to occur in the human body.  Again, the site is just regurgitating the same sales hype and misinformation they are presented or read on sales sites rather than researching the claims to find out if they are factual before presenting the claims.

Tony Isaacs:  Another top alternative cancer site is the Minnesota Wellness Directory.  They too consider oleander to be one of, if not THE, best cancer fighters and often refer people to me for advice.

James Sloane:  I looked at the site and again nowhere do they state that oleander is a top recommendation as Mr. Isaacs claims.  I did find a few interesting statements though such as:

The simple fact is that the ethanolic extraction method used by the Russians only gets a small amount more oleandrin than the water extraction method, but loses the vital polysaccharides and other synergistic compounds that make Anvirzel and the folk remedy version so effective.”- From an email sent to the Minnesota Wellness Directory by Tony Isaacs

The problem with Mr. Isaacs’ claim is that oleandrin is soluble in alcohol, but insoluble in water.  Therefore, there would be a high level of oleandrin, what he claims is the most active component, in the alcohol extract.  The water extract though, such as “oleander soup” would have little to no oleandrin.

Polysaccharides, which are found in numerous non-toxic plants, can help stimulate white blood cell activity.  If that is the only real active compound in oleander soup though then why not just use polysaccharides from plants that you do not have to process to render them non-poisonous such as astragalus, seaweeds or medicinal mushrooms?

I also pointed out to Mr. Isaacs a while back that the polysaccharides do increase white blood cell activity.  The immune system has a very difficult time finding and killing cancer cells though, so stimulating white blood cells with polysaccharides cannot kill cancer cells directly.  Instead, the stimulation of white blood cells help fight cancer by killing cancer pathogens such as cancer viruses, which account for the vast majority of cancers.  When I brought this up to Mr. Isaacs he went haywire on me attacking me over and over in posts and encouraging others to do the same.  His problem was that Isaacs did not believe viruses were the primary cause of cancer.  In fact, to prove it to me he ran a Google search and came up with zero hits.  Yet, I type in “cancer viruses” and it comes up with about “20,900,000 results”.  Honestly, I cannot figure out for the life of me how he ever managed to write a book with such poor research skills!!!  I am currently working on a book about alternative cancer therapies.  In one of the chapters I have already included 63 medical journal references on cancer viruses, which is only a small portion of the articles I have found. But not only does Isaacs not believe viruses are a primary cause of cancer, Isaacs not believe that microbes cause any disease as evidenced by this article he wrote:

http://curezone.org/forums/am.asp?i=1691964

Ironically, Mr. Isaacs happens to sell a colloidal silver product on his website, which Isaacs claims kills viruses, bacteria and fungi. If the germ theory is wrong, and thus microbes don’t cause disease why is he selling $24.00 bottles of colloidal silver to kill microbes that he does not even believe cause disease?

The Minnesota Wellness Directory did post the findings from the Phase 1 study of the oleander extract Anvirzel, which is the same study Tony Isaacs claimed proved the effectiveness of oleander:

Summary  Anvirzel™ is an aqueous extract of the plant Nerium oleander which has been utilized to treat patients with advanced malignancies. The current study reports a phase 1 trial to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and safety of Anvirzel™ in patients with advanced, refractory solid tumors. Patients were randomized to receive this agent by intramuscular injection at doses of 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 ml/m2/day with subsequent patients receiving 0.8 or 1.2 ml/m2/day sequentially. Eighteen patients were enrolled and completed at least one treatment cycle of three weeks. Most patients developed mild injection site pain (78%). Other toxicities included fatigue, nausea, and dyspnea [labored breathing]. Traditional dose limiting toxicity was not seen, but the MTD was defined by injection volume as 0.8 ml/m2/day. No objective anti-tumor responses were seen. Anvirzel™ can be safely administered at doses up to 1.2 ml/m2/day, with the amount administered intramuscularly limited by volume. The recommended phase II dose level is 0.8 ml/m2/day.

As we can see from the study findings though it clearly states that the product had no real effect on the tumors.  Therefore, once again Mr. Isaacs misrepresented the facts to make it appear that oleander was effective for cancer when the studies have clearly demonstrated that it is not.

Tony Isaacs:  Marc Swanepoel, the cancer and HIV researcher and crusader who developed the OPC supplement has studied a great number of natural substances to help the HIV sufferers and indigent cancer victims in his native South Africa.  His choice of major ingredients was oleander.

James Sloane:  Marc Swanepoel recommends Sutherlandia OPC along with various other supplements for cancer.  Sutherlandia OPC also contains sutherlandia (“cancer bush”), which unlike oleander has been backed as being effective for cancer in studies.

Tony Isaacs:  how about you show me where curcumin has been over 90% successful against a broad range of cancers or 100% effective in reversing AIDS symptoms.  Or show me studies where an extract of curcumin was found to have six times the immune stimulating activity of the most powerful patented immune stimulators known to man.

James Sloane:  Why should I?  I never claimed that curcumin was that effective.  And oleander has never been shown to have anywhere near that kind of success rate either. Unlike oleander though, there is numerous research studies showing the effectiveness of turmeric and its extract curcumin against cancer.

For related information see:

http://medproductreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/quackery-alert-oleander-cancer-treatment/

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