Probiotics and Tarceva

I am have been taking Tarceva for about 3 weeks and heard that you should take a probiotic pill if you are on antibiotics, which I am. Will they counteract each other? Is it something I should ask my doctor before taking?

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My husband has been on Tarceva for 18 months and he takes numerous supplements including probiotics and inulin to support immune health. Our Naturopathic Oncologist works with our traditional Oncologist on all our supplements.
Probiotics shouldn't be a problem. We have added a supplement call DIM from Bioresponse, which has been studied and used in combination with Tarceva appears to be more effective as an anti tumor agent then either drug used alone. This is the web link: 2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDoc Sum
Since Tarceva is absorbed in the gut, taking with food, smoking or eating grapefruit will change the amount of drug available and for how long it has to work, blocking the cancer activity. Be sure to take 2 hrs after meals or 1 hr before and avoid Grapefruit. If your husband is currently smoking, ask the Doctor about increasing the dose. Smokers need more medicine for optimum effect.

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Dayplace - what is DIM and how do I obtain it? What does the probiotic do? I take Tarceva 150mg but I do not take any supplements or antibiotics. I need some education. Help - Pat

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Dayplace, thank you for the information. I bought some probiotics this morning but just wanted to be sure. Isn't it ironic that before cancer I ate, drank just about anything without worrying too much. Now I am second guessing everything! I just got the book, Beating Cancer With Nutrition and am trying to learn alot in a little amount of time. thanks for your help with the website. Krista

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Patty Lynn, The website for the mfg of DIM is
Mike takes the 3 capsules twice daily of the 75mg strength. The information about the cancer research is also posted on their website.

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Daysailor, I have a personal theory about optimum nutrition... sort of Caveman meets Dr. Atkins. I've always been fascinated by diet as it applies to genetics. My mother is native american/hispanic mix with all the genetic tendency of diabetes and high blood pressure. This genetic predisposition is brought on by our western diet high in sugar and flour. In fact our genetics haven't evolved much in 10,000 years, yet in the last 100 years we have drastically altered our natural diet... If we go back to the hunter gatherer's we would be eating fruits and veggies in the summer and fall, happily putting on weight for the lean winter. Our bodies would be storing the excess sugar (with the help of insulin) as fat. In the winter and spring we would be hunting, mostly surviving on our fat stores and the protein and fats from meat. (Side note: toxins are also stored in the fat cells. When we don't seasonally burn off the fat stores we accumulate the toxins. Can't be good.) This is why our bodies have the ability to burn carbs for fuel or to switch over to burn fat for fuel. Carbs are easily and quickly converted to fuel. Your body can only store about 48 hrs worth of this sugar fuel (glycogen) in the liver. If you don't consume enough calorie carbs for energy your body will burn the stored glycogen. When that’s gone your body reluctantly switches over to converting fat stores or consumed fat for energy. Your body is built to burn either sugar or fat, not both at the same time. There will be an adjustment period where you will feel tired and maybe irritable as the sugar stores are used up, before the body makes the switch. This is a normal part of the process, but not understanding it can cause people to give up before they get started. Once you are burning fat for fuel, you will feel much better. Problems like heartburn or gas completely disappear. I believe following a seasonal nutrition plan with natural whole foods would be the optimum diet for a healthy body.
Cancer is a mutated organism and it has a major flaw we can and should exploit. Research and studies of cancer cells have determined that they cannot use fat for energy. It must have sugar to feed and grow. When I found that out, it gave us hope we could starve the cancer.... with our diet. Our oncologist doesn't believe it, because it hasn't been double blind tested. Yet there are research studies that point to its success. I've read so many books on Cancer and Nutrition and they make me crazy. Some say white sugar is bad, use natural honey. I wonder if Cancer cells can tell the difference once our liver converts it to glycogen? Some recommend drinking lots of juiced fruits for the nutritional compounds that they contain. Do you suppose the nutritional compounds can counteract the fruit sugar the cancer is sucking up? This is about chemistry. A potato is converted to 'sugar', a slice of whole wheat bread .... sugar, a carrot, a tomato, an onion... sugar. Flour, sugar in fact if it isn't protein, fat or fiber it will be digested and broken down by the body into SUGAR to be used for fuel. We try to feed the body with cancer high calorie diets because of the weight loss, but they are still dying of malnutrition because we are feeding just the cancer. I suspect we could slow the cancer down by denying it as much fuel as we can. I'd love to start a support group for my Ketogenic Cancer Diet Plan. It's simple, but it takes a commitment. My husband and I have found it very empowering and now when he wants that Danish or nice slice of warm French bread we tell each other we are feeding the cancer. I have some very satisfying recipes for 'faux' French toast and fudge brownies, but mostly we eat grilled meat and steamed veggies with a side salad for lunch and dinner and we have a protein shake for breakfast. I think we save enough on food to pay for his nutritional supplements.

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My oncologist said that I should be taking a probiotic while I was taking an oral antibiotic while on Tarceva. The reason for the probiotic was that the antibiotic kills all the bacteria in the body and you need the good bacteria to fight off diseases like MRSA. Since I am in a hospital and Dr.'s office so much and those are popular places for MRSA staff infection to hang out, I thought the probiotic was a great idea.


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My doctor never said anything about taking a probiotic but I have started taking them. I will ask him when I see him in a few weeks.

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