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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

New Ways To Boost Immunity

Updated: May 15th, 2024

I recently received a question about a product called Beres Drops, named after the designer, Joszef Beres.  This is a liquid which is designed to deliver adequate amounts of trace minerals in a favorable form.

In a discussion of cancer, the most relevant aspect of these drops are the effects on the immune system.

This is a good opportunity to stress the importance of immune stimulation in the fight against cancer, in treatment and prevention.  So let’s look at cancer and immunity first.

Cancer is made of abnormal cells.  These cells lack of apoptosis, which is defined as a normal, healthy death of cells whose time it is to die.  Apoptosis allows new, young, vital cells to restore health, replacing abnormal, damaged or diseased cells.

For more helpful information and tools to help your dog with cancer, get a copy of this informative guide

Cancer cell keep on multiplying, damaging the body and robbing resources.

The body is designed to find abnormal cells and remove them, whether foreign or from the body.

The white cells are busy, patrolling for viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.  The while cells are also supposed to find abnormal body cells and remove them.

Cancer is quite good at evading these immune responses.  Cancer cells lack certain molecules on their surface that the body uses to tell if the cell is abnormal or not.

Cancer cells are also able to literally suppress the immune system by sending out certain chemical signals that turn down the healthy immune protection.

So one aspect of a Full-Spectrum Care strategy is to attempt to boost the immune system, in particular NK cells and cytotoxic T cells, the main players in cancer patrol immunity. Activity of these types of white cells is very important.

I have discusses different ways to accomplish this in the Guide. Previous blogs have looked at beta glucans, PSK, PSP, cordyceps, shitake,maitake, Bio Bran and more.

Beres drops supply to body with trace minerals, the most well studied being zinc.  I feel zinc is important enough to include it in Apocaps, the dietary capsules being advanced by Functional Nutriments.

In spite of the fact that it appears the exact formula is proprietary, the makers of Beres drops do have some publications showing effects.  When zinc is removed from their formula, the beneficial effects are lost, at least in the study where they took out the zinc.

Short story: the body is usually zinc deficient when there is a systemic cancer growing. These low levels of zinc limit the production of a hormone that stimulates the very white blood cells needed to combat cancer.  This hormone is called thymulin.

You want these this hormone active!

Read more about zinc and immunity here and her.

I use about 4 mg of zinc gluconate per 40 lbs of body weight, once a day, with a small amount of food.

As with most outside-the-box therapies I discuss, my advice is to rotate between members of a single group.  Use the zinc for a couple of weeks, then go to beta glucans, then maybe Bio Bran, and then back to zinc.  You get the idea.


Dr D

Leave a Comment

  1. Patricia Foley on February 10, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Hello, I live in New York City and had a consultation with Dr. Dressler spring 2020 for my 11 year old chihuahua named Cassie that was diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma in 2/20.

    I recently heard about a drug called low does naltrexone that is supposed to helpful in fighting cancer and I was wondering if you would recommend this drug or if I should not go down that road.

    Thanks so much,
    Patricia Foley 917-345-9167

  2. Brad on November 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    My nine yr old am staff Maddie just got a chest x ray and found she is loaded with various size tumors around her lungs, liver and diaphragm. She was put on 20 mg of pred but I went ahead and got her on essiac tincture, artimissinin, cellular forte and veterinary immune tabs along with a grain free diet with lots of fresh protein.
    After 10 days, her spirit seems ok but breathing is starting to scare me. I’m tapering off the pred and just ordered your apocaps with hope.
    Do you see any of the other supplements interfering with the apocaps?
    I’m not expecting a cure, just want some quality of life and quality time with her..
    Thank you.

  3. Kimberly on June 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    How do I purchase LDN? I am in San Diego California.
    My cocker spaniel service dog has liver cancer and I would really love to see if this will help her.

    I just sent your site to my vet as he had not heard of LDN and won’t perscript for me w/out more info.

    Help Help Help I lover her so.

    Kimberly and Hayliegh

  4. Clou on September 27, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Hi Dr. Dressler:
    I read your article on breast cancer in dogs and I am concerned about my 8 year old female Shih Tzu. I adopted her about a year ago and she was a breed dog from a puppy mill. She is very sweet and just recently I discovered a clump of bumps under her skin about two inches down her side from her 4th nipple.They appear to me purplish in color. I should get her to my vet to get this verified. I hope it’s not cancer. What would you suggest I do? I am frightened by the thought of losing her as she has been through so much and is finally settling in and enjoying her new home and family?..Thanks for any information regarding this.

    • DemianDressler on September 29, 2010 at 8:13 pm

      Dear Clou,
      please get your little to to the vet promptly. Get the masses checked out thoroughly. Being proactive in a case like this is the best approach!

  5. David on September 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I found this on an LDN board in regards to a person taking LDN and Curcumin together…

    Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
    Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2004 19:19:38 EST
    Subject: Re: LDN for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

    I also have been taking 4.5 mg. of naltrexone for nhl for about 5 months,
    along with 4500 mg. of organic curcumin and 10 mg. of bioperine daily. I had a
    scan six months after my diagnosis which reported a significant decrease in the
    size and intensity of my nodes. I cannot differentiate which of these
    treatments has been most helpful, but intend to continue with both.

  6. David on September 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Hello Dr. Dressler. My dog was diagnosed with Lymphoma about 3 weeks ago. (stage 3-4) He’s a 10 year old Rott/German Shepherd mix. I’ve been researching on dog cancer for the past 3 weeks like crazy!!! Your information has been awesome.

    As of now, my dog has been on Prednisone for almost 3 weeks. Aside from some extra panting and weakening in his leg muscles, he is acting like a puppy with much energy and very alert. 3 weeks ago I changed his diet to Blue Buffalo High protein/low carb food, purified water, K9 Immunity, ES Clear (Essiac Extract), probiotics and Krill Oil. I was reading about Curcumin, and decided to get your Apocaps. I have not started to give them to my dog yet, because of the Prednisone. I let my vet Dr. know about the Apocaps, and she was going to read up on them, then decide when to start my dog on them. In about 8 days my dog is going to start being tappered off the Pred. on a lower dose, and was thinking that would be a good time to start giving him the Apocaps 2 times a day then later 3 times a day once he is off the Pred. I have also been reading a lot about LDN Low Dose Naltrexone. It seems to be an amazing wonder drug with little to no side effects. I found a compounding pharmacy up north from me that sells them in 1.5 mil to 4.5 mil. bottles. So, would it be safe to give LDN and Apocaps to my dog at the same time? They say LDN should be given between 9pm and 10pm only.

    One other thing. Do yo know of any natural remedies to strengthen the muscles in my dogs legs that have been affected by the Pred.?

    Thank you Dr. Dressler.

  7. Shirley on May 19, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Dear Dr.Dressler,
    I wrote to you in late December right after Lucille was first diagosed and I can only thank you for your help, support and the suggestions that you gave then. To recap, our Lucille, who was diagnosed with Mast Cell, Grade II, Intermediate Stage in late December 2008.Surgery was done to remove the tumor located on her tail by amputaing her tail.She will be finishing three months of chemotherapy next week. At this time she is being given Prednisolone 5mg once per day, K9-Immunity, K9 Transfer Factor, 8000mg Fish Oil(any higher dose and she becomes nauseous, I also tried Krill oil and the same thing happened)she is also taking Vit E 400iu with Selenium. Once her chemo is finished her Pred will be decreased to 5mg EOD for about three more weeks and then can hopefully be stopped. At that time I will be starting her on the Zinc gluconate and also the Beta glucan. This will be given as you suggested on an alternating pattern. As Beta glucan is derived from therapeutic mushrooms as is the K9 Immunity do you feel that this combination would be ok if given together? Also regarding supplemention for a dog that has Mast Cell Grade II, has had chemotherapy treatment an now appears “clear” of that diagosed cancer through ultra-sound and bloodwork what other supplements would do well for using on her to keep her immune system strong to fight off any other attacks? Lucille is doing so wonderfully, feels good and if it weren’t for the loss of her tail you would not know that there was anything wrong in her life she is such a happy girl and for that we could not be any happier ourselves.
    Once again thank you so much for all your help. Shirley & Lucille

  8. Janice on May 9, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I have just purchased your book which has given me so much information.

    I cannot afford the cost of chemo. I would like to give my dog a chance rather than putting her down. At this stage, you wouldn’t you know she has it. Do you have an opinion on using Essiac to treat cancer in animals? My Jack Russell has just been diagnosed with leukemia.

    Thank you

    • Dr. Dressler on May 11, 2009 at 10:02 pm

      my impression thus far is that Essiac seems to have a paucity of published data on it. There is some rationale to the components, and there are anectodal success stories. From a logician’s viewpoint, not the strongest evidence. The flip side is who knows, it could help in your particular dog.

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