Sea Cucumber Alternative Cancer Treatment: Your Complete Guide
Updated: Dec 23, 2022
The ancient Chinese medicine sea cucumber has potent anti-cancer and pro-metabolic effects in animals and in people, without causing any harm or side effects. Whether you wish to treat cancer or other symptoms and diseases, in this article, you'll learn the science behind sea cucumber medicine, and where to obtain some so you can begin healing today.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
· Cancer Success Stories Using Sea Cucumber
· Sea Cucumber vs. Cancer Scientific Research
· Powdered Sea Cucumber Cancer Treatment
· 8 Studies Show Fucoidan Can Treat Cancer
· Triterpene Glycosides: 11 Studies Showing Powerful Cancer Treatment Potential
· 5 Studies Using Frondoside A to Treat Cancer
· Frondanol A5: Sea Cucumber Extract for Cancer
· Other Sea Cucumber Extracts Against Cancer
· Where to Buy Sea Cucumber Powder or Other Sea Cucumber Extracts?
Sea cucumbers are squishy, boneless saltwater creatures found on the bottom of oceans worldwide, whose bodies are shaped like cucumbers and wrapped in a soft, leather-like casing.
Sea cucumbers offer an array of uniquely medicinal substances which are proven effective against cancer and other diseases. Seaweeds such as kombu, limu and mozuku also contain many of these rare medicines as well as algae, sea urchins, and sea snails. In many asian countries, sea cucumber is considered a delicacy.
There are around 1,250 different species of sea cucumber, and National Geographic informs us that they feed on “tiny particles like algae, minute aquatic animals, or waste materials, which they gather in with 8 to 30 tube feet that look like tentacles surrounding their mouths.” When threatened, certain types shoot sticky white threads at predators to entangle and confuse them, and others, in a sharp blast of fierce muscular contraction, discharge their internal organs out of their anus, like a form of Jujitsu or other martial arts for ocean creatures used for self defense purposes. Any body parts missing from the quarrel are quickly regenerated.1
Sea cucumbers are select food sources for fish, crabs and other marine life and are considered a delicacy by humans in Asian countries. They are a source of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer compounds2 that have been used to treat cancer in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years.3 Modern research has found that sea cucumber can relieve joint pain and other symptoms of arthritis4, and a report published in the Journal or oral science in 2003 even showed that toothpaste made with sea cucumber extract was effective at treating gum disease.5
Cancer Success Stories Using Sea Cucumber
In 1991, New York author and entrepreneur Walter Levine was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, mylanoma, and bladder cancers. After almost a year of conventional treatments, amounting to more than $440,000 in medical bills, his condition worsened. Walter's doctor told him that over 90% of his body had cancer, and said hopelessly, “I’m afraid there’s nothing more we can do.”
Walter’s response was priceless…
I looked him in the eye and very slowly and firmly said, Listen, I’m going to ask every person I know to help me hunt down the right doctor and the right treatment for me. I hope to God there’s someone out there who can help me, and if I find out that there is someone somewhere who could’ve made a difference and you’re not telling me, you can bet that I will come back here and take you with me.
The doctor immediately picked up the telephone and arranged for Walter to have a stem cell transplant from the top doctor at Arkansas Cancer Research Center. Following his transplant, a friend brought Walter two boxes of sea cucumber and made him promise to “take two everyday”. Skeptical, but willing to try anything at this point, Walter began the treatment. In just days he noticed that his symptoms were improving, and they continued to improve over the coarse of the next year as he self-administered the treatment. Doctor’s tests confirmed what Walter had been feeling - his cancer was in remission. Walter is now cancer free and has remained that way for 20 years until the present day.6
Sea Cucumber vs. Cancer Scientific Research
Sea cucumber has shown selective toxicity towards cancer cells while maintaining health in normal functioning cells. A number of properties of the sea cucumber could be responsible for this effect. It is likely that a synergy between the many therapeutic substances found within the sea cucumber is at play.
Medicinals that we will explore in this section include powdered sea cucumber, fucoidan, frondoside A, triterpene glycosides, frondanol A5, and a few others.
Powdered Sea Cucumber Cancer Treatment
The advantage of using powdered sea cucumber as medicine is that it contains all substances that have ever been discovered and proven effective, as well as potentially many more that have yet to be discovered. The question is - is powdered sea cucumber potent enough to have therapeutic value against cancer? In my review of the research, I found one study which used powdered sea cucumber to treat cancer, and that study brought forth great promise that it can. In just 10 days, tumor weights in animals treated with powdered sea cucumber were “remarkably decreased” 1.
· 1. In a study from Shandong University in Jinan, China in 2008, researchers examined the effect of freeze-dried sea cucumber powder on tumor-bearing mice. After feeding the mice sea cucumber powder for 10 days, “the weights of tumor were declined and the inhibition rates of tumor were remarkably decreased in the treated groups.” Enhanced immune system function was also observed. (Wei, et al., 2008) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18421858
8 Studies Show Fucoidan Can Treat Cancer
The sea cucumber extract Fucoidan has a superb resume. It has been found to trigger cell death in prostate cancer cells1, two types of colon cancer cells2, lung cancer cells and skin cancer cells3 in vitro. In two separate studies in vivo, Fucoidan triggered apoptosis in mouse breast cancer cells and in mice induced with breast cancer4,5. Also in cancer-induced mice, Fucoidan enhanced immune system function3 and inhibited the spread of liver cancer6. Fucoidan has been demonstrated to enhance the cancer-killing effect of toxic chemotherapy drugs7 and one of the most incredible findings was that Fucoidan “markedly reversed” intestinal damage caused by the highly toxic and insidious chemotherapy treatment.8
· 1. In a study from Jeju National University in 2013, Korean scientists applied Fucoidan to prostate cancer cells and observed it cause cancer cell death (apoptosis). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23966032
· 2. Two types of colon cancer cells were treated with Fucoidan in a study by Korean researchers at Hallym University in 2010. After various concentrations of Fucoidan were added to colon cancer cell cultures, substantial reductions in cancer cell numbers were observed. Experimenters confirmed that “fucoidan induces apoptosis in HT-29 and HCT116 human colon cancer cells.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931458
· 3. Scientists from the Technical University of Denmark conducted a 2011 study investigating the influence of Fucoidan on lung and skin cancer cells (in vitro) and in mice (in vivo). Fucoidan induced apoptosis in the cancer cells, and boosted the immune systems of mice, as evidenced by an increase in natural killer cell activity. “This study provides substantial indications that crude fucoidan exerts bioactive effects on lung and skin cancer model cells in vitro and induces enhanced natural killer cell activity in mice in vivo,” concluded researchers. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21624396
· 4. In 2012, Chinese researchers tested the effects of Fucoidan on mouse breast cancer cells and in mice with breast cancer. In cell cultures, Fucoidan triggered apoptosis and “significantly decreased” the amount of cancer cells. Researchers concluded that crude Fucoidan “may serve as a potential therapeutic agent for breast cancer.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3423341
· 5. A team of Chinese researchers exposed mouse breast cancer cells to Fucoidan in a 2013 study and discovered that “fucoidan significantly inhibited cell growth” and “increased cell death.” Injection of fucoidan in tumor-bearing mice "reduced the tumor volume and weight”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23530646
· 6. In 2013, a study from Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital in Tianjin, China, found that Fucoidan “significantly inhibited the tumor growth” in cancer-induced mice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23737842
· 7. At Kyushu University in Japan a study was conducted to determine if Fucoidan could improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment. Tested on two types of human breast cancer cells, Fucoidan administered in combination with chemotherapy drugs was found to retard cancer cell growth in some cells and induce cancer cell death in others. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23303302
· 8. Scientists from Ocean University, China induced painful inflammation and ulceration (intestinal mucositis) in rats by administering a chemotherapy drug then treated them with Fucoidan to assess its protective effects. Oral administration of fucoidan “markedly reversed” chemotherapy-induced damage in the mice and researchers stated that “Sea cucumber fucoidan may be used as a potential food supplement to prevent chemotherapeutic mucositis.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25407449
In many Asian countries, sea cucumber is considered a delicacy.
Triterpene Glycosides: 11 Studies Showing Powerful Cancer Treatment Potential
Triterpene Glycosides - a family of substances found in the sea cucumber - impart their therapeutic effects by halting the replication of DNA inside cancer cells and by activating enzymes that trigger cancer cell death via apoptosis1.
Numerous Triterpene Glycosides found in the sea cucumber have demonstrated anti-cancer effects in vitro, including:
· Holothurin A3 and Holothurin A4 both triggered apoptosis in mouth and liver cancer cells2
· Intercedenside B triggered apoptosis in stomach and colon cancer cells3
· Stichoposide C triggered apoptosis in leukemia and colon cancer cells4
· Echinoside A and DS-echinoside A triggered apoptosis in human and mouse liver cancer cells5
· Colochiroside A triggered cell death in 6 types of tumor cells6
· Scabraside A and Scabraside B triggered apoptosis in four types of human tumor cells7
· Philinopside A “manifested strong anti-tumor activities both in vitro and in vivo.”8
· Philinopside E and Philinopside F triggered apoptosis in ten types of cancer cells9
· Intercedensides A, Intercedensides B, and Intercedensides C triggered apoptosis in ten types of human tumor cells10
· And seven other sea cucumber extracts triggered apoptosis in five types of cancer cells11
In animal models, certain Triterpene Glycosides have been found to markedly reduce tumor growth in rats4, including Stichoposide C, which shrank tumors by 55%5. Also found was significantly reduced tumor growth in mice with lung and connective tissue cancers11 and inhibition of cancer growth in mice with liver and connective tissue cancers10. In rat aorta’s and chick embryo’s, sea cucumber extract Philinopside A was found to suppress the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) necessary for cancer development, while simultaneously sparking cancer cell death in cancer-induced rats8.
· 1. In a Russian review of the anti-cancer effects of triterpene glycosides, specific mechanisms behind their apoptotic effects were illucidated. Activating enzymes responsible for initiating cell death and halting replication of genetic information were among two of them. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25756523
· 2. A study from the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology in 2007 tested the effects of two novel compounds from the sea cucumber on two different types of cancer cells. Both compounds – Holothurin A3 and Holothurin A4 - were discovered to be “strongly cytotoxic to both cancer cell lines”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18087805
· 3. Researchers isolated two substances from sea cucumber and tested their effects on cancer cells in a study from Shanghai, China in 2007. Both Intercedenside B and an unnamed substance “exhibited significant cytotoxicity” against stomach and colon cancer cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17493770
· 4. In 2012, South Korean researchers examined the effects of sea cucumber extract Stichoposide C on leukemia and colon cancer cells and in mouse models. The extract induced apoptosis in the cancer cell lines and "markedly reduced tumor growth" in rats. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23132899
· 5. At Ocean University, China, researchers tested two sea cucumber extracts on human liver cancer cells and in mice with liver cancer. Both Echinoside A and ds-echinoside A exhibited "marked anti-cancer activity” in human cancer cells and “reduced the tumor weight [in mice] by 49.8% and 55.0%, respectively.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22012678
· 6. Chinese researchers tested the anti-tumor activities of sea cucumber extract Colochiroside A on both cell cultures and in mice. The substance “exhibited significant cytotoxic activity against 6 types [of] cultured tumor cell lines”, and “exhibited high inhibiting activity” in mice with liver and connective tissue cancers. Researchers concluded the cancer-growth inhibiting effects of sea cucumber extract Colochiroside A were “remarkable” both in vivo and in vitro. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21598553
· 7. In a 2009 study researchers isolated two new compounds from the sea cucumber and tested their effects against cancer. Scabraside A and Scabraside B both “had significant in vitro cytotoxicity against four human tumor cell lines”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19598081
· 8. In 2005, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China assessed the effects of sea cucumber extract Philinopside A on tumor growth and observed it manifest “strong anti-tumor activities both in vitro and in vivo.” Their results stated "Philinopside A is a promising anti-cancer agent that possesses dual cytotoxic and anti-angiogenic effects.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15645493
· 9. After two novel extracts were isolated from the sea cucumber - Philinopside E and Philinopside F - and applied to cancer cells, scientists discovered that Philinopside E expressed “significant cytotoxicity” to ten different types of cancer cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16644536
· 10. When Intercedensides A, Intercedensides B and Intercedensides C were extracted from the sea cucumber in 2003, all three substances “showed significant cytotoxicity against 10 human tumor cell lines”. Additionally, Intercedensides A significantly slowed tumor growth in mice with lung and connective tissue cancers. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12932123
· 11. In a 2015 study from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, seven substances were isolated from the sea cucumber and their cytotoxic effects were evaluated. All seven compounds “showed potent cytotoxicity on five tested cancer cell lines.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26099533
5 Studies Using Frondoside A to Treat Cancer
Scientific investigations have confirmed that Frondoside A can trigger apoptosis in leukemia cells1, skin cancer cells, breast cancer cells, liver cancer cells and three types of lung cancer cells.2 In rat models, it has been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of multiple types of tumors2,4,5. It can also synergistically enhance the effects of chemotherapy drugs3. While chemotherapy destroys all cells in its path - cancerous or not - Frondoside A selectively targets cancer cells “without any obvious side effects”2. Furthering the case for the safety of Frondoside A, another study found that it decreased tumor growth in mice “without manifest toxic side-effects.”5
· 1. A group of Korean scientists studied the effects of Frondoside A and Frondoside A(2)-2 on cancer cells in 2009. Their results indicated that “Both Frondoside A and A(2)-2 strongly induced apoptosis of leukemic cells” and “Frondoside A-induced apoptosis was more potent and rapid than A(2)-2-induced apoptosis.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19162021
· 2. Cancer cells and lung tumor-bearing mice were treated with Frondoside A by a group of scientists at United Arab Emirates University in 2013. Frondoside A triggered apoptosis in skin cancer cells, breast cancer cells, liver cancer cells and 3 types of lung cancer cells. In tumor-bearing mice the growth and spread of cancer was inhibited without any obvious side effects. They also found that treating lung tumors with Frondoside A, in addition to chemotherapy agent Cisplatin, “enhanced the inhibition of lung tumor growth.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23308143
· 3. Swedish researchers performed a study in 2014 to find out if Frondoside A could enhance the ability of chemotherapy drug gemcitabine in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. While rapid tumor growth was observed in placebo-treated animals, “Tumor growth was significantly reduced in all treatment groups.” The study concluded that “gemcitabine, combined with Frondoside A was significantly more effective than with either drug alone.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24462376