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IronSmith's Vegan Diet & Exercise Log to Defeat Cancer

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I have posted my background and health concerns in other forums on this site. Please refer to them in the Introduction Forum and the Bodybuilging & Strength Forum. But briefly I'll review them. Last February I began to experience pain and great difficulty urinating. I was sent to the ER by my GP. At that time they found a blocked kidney stone but more importantly a large mass in my lower colon/prostate area. Long story short, after a colonoscopy found no cancer in my colon, the Doctor did find a large mass protruding/pressing into the colon track that my blocking my ability to defecate also. My prostate was very enlarged. I went to a Urologist and had two operations (TURPS) to rotor-router out the insides of prostate. During the second operation a biopsy revealed I had Fourth State Prostate Cancer. On the Gleason Scale I had a 9 out of a possible 10. The higher the number the more aggressive the cancer. Also my PSA had jumped from a 2.0 to a 47.2 in little over a year's time. Anything over a 4.0 is indication of prostate cancer. I was diagnosed as a T2cN1MO which means the cancer has spread outside of my prostate into the nearby lymph nodes but thank God there was no indication it had also metastasized into pelvis bone area. During this initial diagnosis process I had to wear a Foley Catheter for over four months to enable me to urinate. I had several blot clots during that time that blocked the catheter and the catheter had to be replaced several times. An increasingly more painful process every time as the prostate was very swollen and inflamed from both the operations and the repeated removal and reintroduction of the catheters. During this period of time I struggled to remain as positive as I could but at times I was very depressed at the prospect of my own painful and radically shorted live span prospects.


I was immediately scheduled to have 8 1/2 weeks of radiation and to start injections every 6 months of Eligard which lowers the male testosterone hormone. The idea is that testosterone caused the prostate cancer to grow so reducing or eliminating it would help shrink the prostate and stop the cancer from spreading. The radiation was to pin point and kill the cancer.


In addition to the above I started to search the internet for anything else I could do to fight my cancer. I came across Dr. Cambell's China Study. I read the entire book from cover to cover and it changed my life. I also found Dr. Dean Ornish's The Spectrum. Both books strongly recommended from their own scientific research a whole plant based vegetarian and even more so a vegan diet to reduce the spread of prostate cancer and maybe even reverse it. So sometime in the middle of March of last year I became a vegan at the age of 65 years of age. After a life time of being one of the biggest meat and dairy eaters you may find anywhere! After beginning my new vegan diet, I immediately began to feel better. Maybe it was due to it was something I could do to try to help myself and not just given into the despair of a rapidly impending painful death. I could fight back!


Now several months later much has changed. My latest PSA blood test has my reduced from the high of a 47.2 down to a 0.2 well below the 4.0 cut off level that indicate the presents of cancer. Also my CT scan showed that my lymph nodes have reduced down to normal size and my prostate was also greatly reduced. I saw my Cancer Doctor last week and after examining me she said my prostate had completely reduced to normal size. She had another PSA blood test taken and I am still waiting the result of that test. If it remains relatively as low as the last one, she said she would consider me "disease free." That is quite a turn around from almost a year ago! Did the conventional medial approach accomplish this or was it my vegan diet, or combination of both? I can't prove it one way or another but I can say my Doctor is very surprise at the results. The conventional approach just doesn't results in such rapid change or to have my PSA dip so low so fast. I have also lost about 60 pounds down to about 300 pounds and I plan to lose about 80-100 more! I do believe that the vegan diet is the major reason for my turn around. I feel better now that I have in the past 20-30 years. I have hope and new dreams about my future.


And I can now keep my promise to my departed wife Linda that I will pass her love forward to our sons and grandsons at important occasions in their lives. Last year during my dark days, my worst fear was that I would not be able to keep that promise. I think that sacred promise to Linda was what keep me going and fighting for my life. I had that promise to keep that meant more to me that anything else in my life! I also meet a wonderful woman about a year after Linda's passing. Her name is Rita and she has been a real blessing in my life to both help my healing process dealing with the grief of the loss of my wife of 35 years and getting through my cancer scare and recovery. If my vegan diet feed my body, it was Rita's love that feed my soul!


This brief review has become rather lengthy. LOL Enough for now. I plan on posting my diet and training logs here on an ongoing basis. Later!

Edited by IronSmith
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Had to go out of town for a few days and it threw off my exercise plan. But back at it. Time to reboot!

I got up this morning and weighted in. 315. Not good as I gained about 10 pounds over the past few weeks. I have been sticking to my vegan diet but without much exercise, so I gained. My metabolism is so low now with the hormone depletion therapy (No Testosterone!), that if I don't exercise, even on a low calorie diet, I still gain. I'm losing an incredible amount of muscle mass and am so much weaker than just one year ago that it could be very discouraging if I let it get to me. I have to do the entire program to keep on track!


Went down to my basement gym this morning and rode my recumbent bike for 30 minutes at a level 7. Drank a glass of green tea with lemon as I rode the bike to help up my metabolism. Then went up stairs to have breakfast. Made a chocolate protein shack with fresh strawberries, chocolate protein power and soy milk. And took my daily supplements. I will try to do some more walking today to keep the calorie burning going. Tomorrow I start my weight training again. Will do my legs and lower back.


A few days ago I received the results of my lab tests from my GP Doctor's appointment. My cholesterol was down to 163 from 178 last year. All of my other tests were within normal limits but my blood sugar was a little too high. Maybe because the blood draw was taken mid afternoon and I had eaten two meals before the office visit. So it was not a fasting measurement. Over all I was pleased with the results.


On the down side my latest PSA testing had risen from a 0.2 to a 8.12. It needs to stay well below a 4.0. I discussed this with my Cancer Doctor and it was a possibility that my bad fall the first week of December when I received my head concussion, may be the cause in the big raise in my PSA. It jarred my entire body and I passed blood in my urine for a few days afterwords. Any trauma to the prostrate, no matter how small can cause a temporary increase of the PSA. Even having sex the night before a PSA test can cause a raise. I'm hoping that the fall was the cause of the increase and the further out I get from the fall, that the PSA will go back down. I have my next PSA testing towards the end of April and I'm hoping for a more positive results.

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I have been reading a lot about Phil Cambell's high intensity cardo approach (Sprint Eight) to increase endurance, raise HGH levels, and increase strength, while increasing weight loss. His approach is backed up by both his and others research.




That is the approach I am going to incorporate into my exercise program. Basically I will do cardio on my recumbent bike three times a week. First I will do a 3-5 minute warm-up then eight cycles of 30 seconds of high intensity pealing with 90 seconds of low intensity pealing recovery between the high intensity intervals. then do a cool down of 3-6 minutes to return my heart pulse slowly back to normal.


I will also do my strength training, basically powerlifting training but not as heavy as I used to do four days a week. This will follow the Westside System as developed by Louie Simmons. I have been using his approach for close to 25 years with great results. I will have to scale down the amount of weight I use on my heavy days due to my lack of testosterone, but otherwise I'm going to keep dancing with the girl I have always brought to the dance!


Mondays: Heavy box squats and lower back exercises.

Wednesdays: Heavy Bench Presses/upper body exercises.

Fridays: Speed Squats and lower back exercises.

Sundays: Speed Bench/upper body exercises.

Ab work four times a week alternating crunch and leg raise type exercises.


Train smarter, not longer!

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LISW-S in Ohio stands for Licensed Independent Social Worker licensed to be an independent supervising Social Worker. That is an independent clinical mental health/social worker professional who is recognized to be qualified to supervise other mental health/social worker professionals.


The ACSW is of course the National Association of Social Workers certification for Academy of Certified Social Workers.

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Rode my Recumbent bike for 10 minutes for a warm-up on level 9.


High Box Squats (Box height at 20 inches) with the Buffalo Bar made by Ironman (relieves stress on shoulders and bicep tendons). I breaking in with a High Box to keep stress off my knees. I will slowly decrease the height of the box over the next several weeks until I'm breaking parallel at the bottom of my squat which would be a legal squat in competition.

Bar weight of the Bullalo Bar is 71 pounds.

First set.

Empty Bar plus 56 pounds of chains hanging off bar to the floor equals 127 pounds at top of squat and deloads to the 71 pounds at bottom of the movement when breaking parallel. Since I'm currently only doing about a quarter squat as I break in and save my knees, the bar weight will only deload to about 100 pounds when sitting on the box. I did eight reps.

Second set

I added two twenty five plates so the bar weight was 121 plus 56 pounds of chains. I did five reps.

Third set

I added two more twenty five pound plates so the bar weight was 171 plus the 56 pounds of chains.


From now on I will notate this in short hand as follows:

71 + 56 = 127 X 8 reps.

121 + 56 = 177 X 5 reps.

171 + 56 = 227 X 3 reps.


A few years ago this would have still been warm-up weight and I would have been squatting down to a parallel box instead of a High Box. Oh, well. I just need to keep this all in perspective. I how have prostate cancer and my treatment has weaken me considerably. So with that all in mind, for a first workout in over a year, I guess that's not so bad. I think I could have pushed myself to do more but I must lift with my head and not my ego and break in slowly!


I also did one set of TKEs (Terminal Knee Extensions) with a Blue Band for each knee. 20 reps. each.


As I slowly break in and tease my conditioning upward without over loading my very weak recovery ability, I will add more exercises to my Monday workouts. I will add powerlifting Good Mornings, Reverse Hyper Leg lifts, Glute/Ham/Calf Raises, and ad work plus more knee rehab work besides the TKEs. Slow goes it for awhile!


My body weight was 312 this morning. Down three pounds from yesterday.

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Off to Columbus this morning for my weekly Chelation & Vitamin I.V. Therapy. This evening I plan on doing the "Sprint Eight" cardio training on my recumbent bike. Feeling very good this morning. So far I'm not suffering any undue fatigue from my workouts. If this remains my status at the end of the week, I'll add a little bit more intensity and exercises to my routine next week. Slow goes it!

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Last evening I tried to do the Sprint Eight on my Schwinn Recumbent bike and I couldn't do it. The programs on my bike couldn't switch so I could follow the 30 second intense phase then the 90 second phase, etc. for eight cycles. So I had to be satisfied with the Interval program. When the regular increase of resistance phase comes on, I just petaled as hard as I could and then backed off when the lower resistance phase came on. Boy was that hard! I only made it about 2/3 through of a 20 minute program when I had to quit because I was gassed! Newer models of the Schwinn Recumbent bikes may be more flexible/programmable but not my older model!


Because of my current lower recovery ability, I was afraid that I may have over trained last evening but I woke up this morning very refreshed so no bad. But I still must watch this real close so as not to over due it. No more set backs. I rather build up slower than over due it and set my self back several weeks. I take my blood pressure and pulse every morning and if there is an increase, that gives me an idea that I may have over done it the day before.

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Thank you for your kind words! I always want how I live my life, personally or professionally, to mean something. I know that for my word to mean anything, I must walk the walk. It's easy to tell people to empower themselves and take control of their own destiny as best they can, but if I'm not following my own advice, then I would be less than genuine. The final results of my journey is unknown. But if hard work, doing everything possible that I'm aware of to do to fight my prostate cancer, is going to make a positive difference, I'm going to do it. My love and true heart felt obligation to be the best Father, Grandfather, husband to both my late wife and current wife, and as strong and true friend as I can to my many friends, is what drives me and motivates me to keep moving forward. Whatever happens, I have promised all my loved ones that I plan on celebrating every day. I refuse to dwelt on my possible early demise. I think that would only cripple me and bring on a poorer results.


So onward and upward my friend. That's the only reality I choose to believe in!

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Bench Press:

Warm-up 45 x 10 X 2 sets

90 X 5

125 X 2 (Boy oh boy! Used to part of my warm-up! Long way to go to get back to normal.)

65 X 12


Triceps push downs on Lat Machine:

50 X 12

70 X 10

90 X 8

100 X 6


Dumbbell curls:

20's x 12

25's x 10

30's x 8


Dumbbell Lateral Raises;

10's x 12

12's x 10

15's x 8


Ab Bench Crunches:

10 x 20

15 x 18

20 x 15

25 x 12


Just need to keep my head straight and not get disappointed. I'm starting my come back journey. Not doing anything is death. Keep moving is life. I choose life!

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Box Squats: A half inch lower than last Monday = 19 1/2 inches high.

Bar weight + chain weight = Total weight at top.

71 + 56 = 127 x 10 reps.

161 + 56 = 217 x 5 reps.

211 + 56 = 267 x 3 reps.

231 + 56 = 278 x 3 reps.


A lot more weight than last week. Still way below my past heavy duty squat weights. But I'm very happy with the weight. This was a lot more than I thought I would be doing my 2nd week back under the present circumstances, i.e. my health problems.


Good Mornings:

71 + 56 = 127 x 10 reps.

161 + 56 = 217 x 8 reps.


Good to add this back into my routine. Builds up hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. One of my favorite exercises and one that has always helped me build up my squats and deadlifts. When the weight goes up in this exercise, my other lifts go up accordingly!



2 sets of 20 reps per leg. Helps stabilize my knees and actually makes my lockouts on my squats feel more solid.


Felt good today. Feeling like I can do this once again. I may not get back up to my old competing weights but it feels good to be under the iron once again!

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A quick up date. Ever since my last squat workout I have had very low energy. I just feel so lethargic. I think I may have over done it. I just want my weights to go back up so bad, I think I rushed it. My ability to recover from an intense workout (relatively speaking) is just so poor right now, I have to be very patient and ease into it. No ego. Just use my head! Since that workout, I have just been doing some walking every day. Nothing very long but just to get my blood circulating. I am just so shocked how poor my recovery system is right now. I used to have so much endurance and could do one intense workout after another for months before I felt the need to back off for awhile. I also notice that stress and worry drains me now. Between my own health concerns, I have the major responsibility for the care of my elderly Mother who is an Alzheimer's unit. She's getting great care but it is so hard to see my Mom like this. She was a dynamo all her life and one of the most intelligent people I know. My Father suffered from the same disease also before he passed away and he was the original "Ironman" in our family. There was nothing he couldn't do. He was the "Jack of all trades and quite a Master of most of them!" My experience with my late wife and my parents and their devastating diseases and my inability to be able to "fix" them has been a very humbling lesson to me. Now I am facing my own health challenge and trying to remain positive and empowered to fight back with everything I've got and more! I think even going into this "over trained" state this past few days also has an effect on my usual optimism. Fighting my cancer is a physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual challenge and all my love of my family and friend is my drive to keep at it. So enough of this pity party! Back at it with just more patients and reasonable restraint from trying to make too much progress too soon!

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Been walking, walking, walking the past few days. I'm feeling a lot better. I plan on starting my recumbent bike again on Tuesday, but regular interval program and no "Sprint Eight" intensity adjustments for awhile. Wednesday I will begin with some light upper body weight lifting. Break in slower this time. I thought I was breaking in slow enough the last time but I need to go even lighter for awhile. I have to tease my conditioning up with out over extending my current limited recovery abilities. I have to practice patients. Not always my strong suit! LOL

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Recumbent bike 20 minutes on Level 7. Felt good.


Bench Press 45 x 10, 90 x 6, 135 x 5, 155 x 2

Close grip bench press 155 x 8, 90 x 10

Lat pull downs 90 x 12, 140 x 10, 160 x 8

DB hammer curls 20s x 12, 25s x 10, 30 x 8

Ab bench 20 x 20, 30 x 15, 40 x 12


Recumbent bike 20 minutes on Level 7


All felt good. Humble weights but OK!

Weighted 308 this morning. Slow loss but as long as its moving down, I'm happy.

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Dynamic Method Box Squats:

Warm Up 71 bar plus + 56 lbs chains = 126 x 10 reps

121 bar + 56 Chains = 177 x 2 speed reps X 8 sets.

60 seconds rest in between sets.

Focus was speed off the box. I used a 17 inch box today. Lower than I have currently been using.

Power Good Mornings: 121 + 56 Chains =126 X 8 reps x 3 sets.

TKEs three sets of 20 reps per knee.

Shin lever raises: 25 pounds x 20 reps x 3 sets.

Ab Bench: 25 pounds x 3 sets of 25 reps.


Felt good.

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This is head check time. Poop or get off the pot! I need to keep my focus and stead go its in my vegan diet and recovery training plan. The diet has been good for almost a year now. Changing over to a whole plant based diet from my past meat/dairy/fat laden based diet has been relatively easy. I would never had imagined that if someone had told me I would be doing that just a few months before I switched over. While most of my prior SAD (Standard American Diet) was not the most healthy, I did always like vegetables and fruit, and I also avoided white breads, rice, and potatoes (except for lots of french fries!). So there was at least some prior appreciation of whole plant foods. With all the physical pain I was experiencing beginning last February, I was highly motivated to do anything to help myself. After about two months of testing, two operations (TURPS), and wearing a Foley Catheter all during that time, (plus two more months before it was finally successfully removed) I was given the bad news that I had Fourth Stage Prostate Cancer. If someone could have told me that there was scientific evidence that eating bull manure would save my life, I would have done it! Whatever it would take!


Luckily I discovered lots of scientific evidence about the benefits of a vegan diet in fighting cancer. Beside the "Intellectual" understanding about vegan diet and fighting cancer, physically I "knew" I was on the right path almost immediately the first few weeks of my new diet. My energy, my feelings of having a clearer head and thinking, and even my bowels elimination process had greatly improved! And I just felt more empowered in fighting my cancer. This was something I could do instead of passively waiting around to die!


Now I also decided to trust my Doctors and accept conventional medicine approach to treat my cancer. I agreed to undergo the 8 1/2 weeks of radiation treatment and I also started my hormone (Testosterone) depletion therapy. I knew going into it that this was going to make me very weak but I really had no idea how much! I went from being one of the world's most strongest men for my age Masters Class (60- 65 yrs) SHW (Super Heavy Weight) to barely able get up off a chair with great effort.


Even though I was a big man, my body was very solid a year ago but now I am very flabby. I have lost so much muscle mass and replaced it with fat! I have lost about 55-60 pounds over the past year but I think most of that was muscle! This has at times been very discouraging to me but I have been able to wrap my head around it and decide I can fight back against that too! When I was first diagnosed with my cancer, I was in so much pain, I couldn't exercise. Also wearing the Foley Catheter prevented me from doing anything except for some short walks but even that was very uncomfortable! My treatments were leaving me feel so weak, even if I didn't have that catheter I could not have done much more than that anyways. The last two months I was wearing the catheter, my Urologist tried to slowly try to get me off the catheter. Every time he removed it, I was unable to urinate on my own and had to go back on it within a few hours. I was also having a lot of blood clots that blocked the catheter that were very painful so I had to have the catheter changed several time to remove the blockage. I also learned how to unblock them myself by injecting sterile solution back up the tube to break loose the clot in my bladder so I could pass my urine again! What an ordeal! At this point after more than a year dealing with all of this, I can hardly believe all of this has happened to me and I have somehow muddled my way through it all!


I think my taking stock of all of this and realizing how much I have been able to over come is very vital in my gathering my resolve to continue on my path to recovery! And my recovery has been a roller coaster ride. Many successes and many relapses or set backs. My wife and I went on a Cruse at the end of November for a week to celebrate my progress recovering. We had a great time and was a real affirmation of life and our hope for the future! And a week after we got back is when I had my big fall and had my major concussion that set me back so far. But back up and at it again. I gain some physical conditioning back for awhile and then I'm set back. I did a lot of walking in preparation for our cruse and of course a lot of walking while we were on it. Then I'm unable to walk hardly at all while I was recovering from my concussion. My sensitivity to light, noise, and nausea keep me house bound sitting in a dark room for several weeks. I couldn't take any of my supplements and my PSA went back up somewhat. From my low of .5 this past Fall up to 8.12 in February. That was a real blow to my confidence that I was beating my cancer. But at least that is way lower of my high of 47.2 last March! My cancer Doctor had even told me that she thought I was "disease free" in my last office visit with her if my PSA came back as low as it had been in the Fall. Then a week later she called me with the bad news that my PSA was back up. Talk about a roller coaster ride!


So it goes. No one gets better in a straight line! There will be the ups and downs but hopefully gradually upward.


So I must remember how far I have come. I must keep striving to improve even if I had new bumps in the road. I can't let this defeat me. I must slowly add my physical exercises to support my gains from my diet. I got to keep putting it all together to win! I must regain some of my muscle mass to speed up my metabolism once again. I know a few guys who have gone on the hormone depletion therapy who gain lots of weight besides loss of their muscle mass and ended up having heart attacks and one even had a stroke. I must slowly lose more weight for many health reasons. So it goes! So it goes!

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Things are finally going together both diet and exercise wise. My weight is dropping and I seem to be building up my conditioning and strength. Nothing spectacular but encouraging nevertheless! I weighted 303 this morning down 12 pounds since Feb. 19th. My goal is to get down to at least 220 and then reassess at that point if I need to lose any more. The more weight a man carries, especially if most of it is in his belly, tends to convert his testosterone into estrogen. High estrogen for a man is harmful for a man for many reasons but the top of my concern is that there are studies out there that point to that as a major source of prostate cancer in men. With my hormone depletion therapy (No testosterone!), my ratio of testosterone to estrogen would be way off anyways! So losing weight while keeping or build up my muscle mass is one of the best things I can do aid my recovery!


My workouts the past several days have been good. Lots of walking everyday! I have been riding my stationery recumbent bike every other day for 20 minutes. I have also been hitting the iron on alternating days. I try to do two leg workout a week, one being maximum effort day and the other focusing on speed. Same thing on upper body days. One maximum effort and the other dynamic effort. That is based on Louie Simmons Westside Powerlifing method that I had so much success with in my competition days. My maximum effort days are really pitiful in comparison to my past workout even a year or two ago, but I must say everything considered, I am pleased to finally be putting a little more weight on the bar and gradually adding a few more exercises in to round out my workouts. I just need to not get too enthusiastic and over train again! My ability to recover from hard workouts is still very poor so I must monitor my self and keep going slow but steady!


Yesterday I went for my weekly chelation and vitamin therapy I.V. This clears out any harmful heavy metals and helps build up my immune system. I'm trying to be as comprehensive as possible to fight my cancer on all fronts!

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Had a few good workouts the past few days. Riding my bike and a good upper body workout. Nothing specular but still making slow progress. I'm looking forward to my leg workout tomorrow. I feel my enthusiasm coming back as my weights slowly but steadily increase.


I sent for my heirloom vegetable seeds from the "Seed Savers Exchange" a few days ago. My son-in-law and I are planning on raising healthy non GM vegetables this summer. Then I will know that my vegetables are the most healthy that I can get. Also good exercise. I'm really looking forward to that!


For those who may be interested, my current chelation and vitamin therapy I.V. is as follows. I get one bag of sterile water (250 cc) every Tuesday. It contains:

Vit. C 10 cc

Vit. K 1 cc

Mag Sulfate 2 1/2 cc

Sodium Bicarb 5 cc

Folic Acid 1 cc

Vit. B6 2 cc

Vit. B1 2 cc

Vit. B5

Niaceinimide 1 cc

EDTA 10 cc (This is slowly being increased every week until I get about 18-20 cc per week)

Aminos 75 cc

Other nutrients will be added in the next few weeks. Such as NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine), AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound), and Glutathione.


This is all to clear out toxins (heavy metals, free radicals, etc.) from my system and to build up my immunities.

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