The Art of Qi: More on Nutrition and Cancer

Dr. Amir Farid IsahakThe Art of Qi - By Dr Amir Farid Isahak

In the previous article, Nutritional Healing For Cancer, I wrote about the foods and nutrients that should form part of a daily diet that may help fight cancer when taken in higher amounts, especially through supplements. 

This article discusses nutritional elements which are specifically meant for cancer treatment, although they are also beneficial for treating other chronic diseases, and for general health. 

I must stress that these nutritional therapies do not replace medical treatment. Those who opt for chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy can safely take these as they are extracts of food, and thousands of cancer patients on conventional therapy have consumed them without adverse effects.

As a medical doctor, I must mention that although some research has been done on these nutritional therapies, many do not have the same kind of scientific studies equivalent to that required of drugs.

With that proviso, there is sufficient experience in their use to safely recommend them as adjunct/complementary (for those on medical treatment). If you are a cancer patient considering nutritional therapy, you should get the advice of a health professional experienced in treating cancer patients with nutrition. 

Whatever your choice, the monitoring should still be done by your doctor or oncologist, as the effectiveness of nutritional therapy cannot be assumed without objective proof of regression, remission or total cure by medical examination and tests. 


Agaricus blazei murill is a mushroom native to Brazil, but its healing properties are most studied and utilised by the Japanese and Koreans. In ordinary doses, it is a potent health supplement, with immune-boosting effects. For cancer- fighting ability, it is 15 times stronger than Lingzhi, which is perhaps the most famous mushroom health supplement. 

For cancer, concentrated liquid Agaricus (or even Lingzhi) extracts are used. Some doctors in Japan even use purified Agaricus extracts intravenously. 

Arabinoxylane compound 

Arabinoxylane is produced by hydrolysing rice bran using enzymes from mycelia of shiitake mushroom. This is a classic example of a powerful nutritional therapy obtained from a simple source. It qualifies as a biological response modifier, or BRM, which is the definition for any material entering the body that boosts the immune system, does not cause any toxic side effects, and is completely safe. 

This polysaccharide has powerful immuno-modulation effects, causing overall stimulation of the immune system, like T-cell function, B-cell function and especially, natural killer cell (NKC) activity. NKCs constitute about 15% of our white blood cells, and are the first line of defence against cancer and viral infections. 

It has been extensively researched by Dr Mamdooh Ghoneum of the Department of Immunology, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science Los Angeles, California, US. 

According to him it is useful for early and advanced cancers, especially if the patients have undergone chemotherapy or radiotherapy, as it can help rescue the immune system damaged by these treatments. It is most beneficial for leukaemias and multiple myeloma. 


Beta-glucans are complex polysaccharides found in oats, barley and mushrooms. They are the active ingredients in mushroom extracts that give them their immune-boosting powers. 

Like arabinoxylane, they stimulate immune cells, including NKCs, and are anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-cancer. 

Agaricus has stronger cancerfighting ability than Lingzhi because of the higher content and types of beta-glucan it contains. 

Pure beta-glucan is now available, and is used in high doses to fight cancer. The most notable is yeast-derived 1,3/1,6 beta-glucan because it is the most biologically active, has many other health benefits, and is also the cheapest to produce! 

Marine extract 

This is a remarkable product from Vanuatu islands in the Pacific. It is an extract of several marine species, including the sea-cucumber (gamat). Although gamat health supplements have flooded the market over the last decade, we do not have documented evidence of its usefulness in cancer. 

The Vanuatu marine extract was featured in an Australian news report after a lady fully recovered from terminal leukaemia, while a set of twins (children) also suffering from leukemia were both cured after taking the extracts. The report rightly included a caution from a medical doctor that no extensive study has been done on the product, and that the several successful cures reported cannot be generalised. 

My opinion is that when a nutritional therapy can repeatedly do what modern medicine fails to do, it should be encouraged. 

Although no double-blind studies will ever be possible, the several documented cases are enough to justify ra ecommendation, with no promises of course. When many have tried, that itself will become an informal study. 

Probiotic paste 

Probiotics ( friendly or good bacteria ) are important requirements for our continued good health. High doses of probiotics have benefitted many cancer patients. 

For cancer therapy, the high dose required makes it more practical to use concentrated probiotic paste. I recommend a paste that is further enhanced by Papua Red Fruit (Buah Merah/Pandanous conoideus), which is a huge red fruit traditionally used in Indonesia for various ailments, and recently found to have anticancer properties. 

Another nutritional cancer therapy formula combines probotics and enzymes. Invented in Canada and backed with some promising studies, it is however much more expensive than the local probiotic therapy. 

Transfer Factor (TF) 

Transfer factors, which are small molecules carrying “inherited memory” of disease-fighting information from mother to child, are the fruits of modern technology when applied to nutritional science. 

TFs are extracted from colostrum or eggs and have been found to be the most powerful in stimulating NKC activity, when compared to many other immune-enhancers that work through NKC stimulation. 

TF products have been available in Malaysia for several years as a health supplement. Although many have claimed that they attained various health benefits, the results in treating cancer have not commensurated with the claimed increase in NKC activity. 

I suspect that the main reason is that insufficient doses have been used. For most nutritional supplements used for nutritional cancer therapy, I have advocated the highest safe doses. TF, like many other nutritional products, does not have a toxic dose, and therefore there is no worry of overdose. So those who hope to find cure in such products should take the highest affordable doses, because these products are also not cheap. 

This, however, does not apply to all supplements or nutritional therapies, as many also cause toxicity if taken too much. The best is to seek the advice of an expert on the products or therapies you are considering. 

There are many more nutritional products used to treat cancer, and I don’t claim to know all of them. There are even cancerfighting supplements that utilise the healing properties of zeolites, which are naturally occurring crystalline alumino-silicate minerals that can be found in rock deposits. 

Qigong – the most important holistic strategy 

In my opinion, the first step in the holistic fight against cancer is to recharge your cells and body with qi (life-force) so that all the oxygen, water, and nutrients you take to fight the cancer cells and enhance the health of the noncancer cells will be fully utilised. 

Qi is the key to cell survival and healing. Qi can jump-start the defunct healing mechanisms of the sick and dying cells, and kill the robust mutant cancer cells. Cancer can be defeated. That is my belief.

Dr Amir Farid Isahak is a medical specialist who practises holistic medicine and has been teaching qi gong for more than 10 years. He is the former president of the Guolin Qi Gong Association, Malaysia.