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Quack Remedies

Whenever you have a group of people desperate for solutions, you will find individuals and companies eager to capitalize on the situation. This page describes some of the treatments and remedies hawked to brain tumor patients which often share most or all of the following qualities:

  • No supporting research
  • Emphatic, anecdotal testimonials from customers
  • Plentiful research against
  • A "proprietary formula"
  • A high cost
  • Claims of curing multiple illnesses
  • Reliance on invented or hitherto unknown anatomical processes
  • Reliance on magic or faith
  • Claims of zero adverse side-effects

Glyconutrients

Glyconutrients are made up of simple sugars (monosaccharides and polysaccharides). While glyconutrients may be a legitimate topic of some cancer research, the glyconutrient supplement products on the market today are often sold with passionate, emotional claims that their "proprietary" product can cure brain tumors, and other cancers, without side-effects.

The most notorious peddler of glyconutrients is a very large, troubled company called Mannatech which has created and inspired a variety of clever sales gimmicks to convince customers of the value of their products, including a sales site thinly veiled as an index of "research" backing their products. A careful review of their supporting research easily shows that none of their products demonstrate any efficacy whatsoever in treating any type of cancer. While the company never makes anti-cancer claims themselves, their sales network, which is made up of independent "entrepreneurs" who sell the supplement as part of a multi-level marketing scheme (think Amway), consistently use dramatic "personal testimonies" from friends and loved ones who have purportedly survived a terminal cancer diagnosis by purchasing glyconutrients.

But the company, in its SEC filings for its initial public offering in 1999, admitted that it had no idea whether its products worked or caused side-effects, even if used as directed.

Mannatech is under investigation by several government entities and class-action lawsuits. The founder and chairman of Mannatech, coincidentally, has past fraud problems with his previous company too, which sold "pest control devices" that the Texas Attorney General declared were "a hoax." That should be the first hint that things aren't quite right. You can read more about it in the Dallas Morning News.

Glyconutrient supplements are very expensive, but if you want to have your own "sugar pill" with the same constituent substances, you don't have to look further than your own backyard vegetables, fruits, and grains. And before you go loading up on glyconutrients without any specific research showing that these supplements are good for brain tumors, just remember that cancer thrives in a sugar-rich environment, and this is true of brain tumors as well.

Brain neurons and glia use glucose as their prefered form of energy, and brain-glucose levels are proportionate to blood-glucose levels. The oxidation (or use) of glucose is called glycolysis. Brain tumor cells (and cancer cells in general) have an even higher rate of aerobic glycolysis than normal cells. In many common cancers, such as the colorectal cancers, there is a clearly established correlation between blood-glucose levels and tumor proliferation.

For more information on Mannatech's legal troubles, check out these links:

MLMWatch.org
A class-action lawsuit

Chondriana

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Safinur

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Poly-MVA

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Psychic Healing

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