Clams found on Kodiak Island, AK

Clams and other bivalves hold clues to beating cancer and the flu, as well as aiding in bone regeneration. Researchers at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science in Maine recently exposed oysters to human bacteria and viruses and they fought off the pathogens without antibodies, which are the proteins that immune systems in mammal use to attack disease.  Likewise, clams could contract a contagious cancer, but they also cured themselves without antibodies.

“Clams don’t have chemotherapy or radiation, and somehow they are able to get rid of cancer. How on earth do they do it?” the researchers asked in their study published in the journal Developmental and Comparative Immunology.

Studying bivalve immunities could provide an alternative to antibiotics, which are becoming more resistant to pathogens. And mimicking the antimicrobial compounds that mussels produce may also yield new drugs for both humans and livestock.

The bivalve study was funded by grants from the Saltonstall-Kennedy Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Health.

Bivalves are not the first to connect with cancer sufferers. Effects of sea cucumbers on cancer cells have been studied for nearly 20 years. In his book Cancer: Step Outside the Box author Ty Bollinger called sea cuke extracts “miraculous.”

                   March 28-30 in Kodiak

“Number one it’s cytotoxic, which means it kills cancer cells. It is also immunomodulatory. So it has both sides of the cancer equation, which I like to call the cancer killing coin. If you going to defeat cancer you have to have something that up regulates or down regulates your immune system to where it works properly so that your body, but you have to also have something that is going to kill those cancer cells. The sea cucumber does both.”

Sea cucumber extracts also are used as an adjunct treatment for those undergoing chemotherapy because it helps mitigate the side effects of the cancer treatment.