The Diet That Destroys Cancer:
Despite the massive growth in genetic therapies, pharmaceutical and surgical technologies chronic disease is crippling mankind. We have clearly not addressed the underlying causative factors for many conditions such as cancer. The true solutions for cancer and many other degenerative disease processes lie in the nutritional and metabolic functions of the body.
Sweet foods and starches are not genetically congruent to eat on a regular basis. Our ancestors looked at these as rare delicacies. Most people in our society today are raised on a steady diet of sugars, grains and other starches. Studies have shown that sugar is the fuel source for cancer and creates an environment of chronic inflammation that leads to other degenerative disease processes (1, 2).
Traditional Cultures and Ketone Usage:
Many traditional cultures such as the Eskimos and Maasai tribesman consumed very little carbohydrates and survived from effective ketone formation in the body. Ketones are a form of energy that is produced by the liver through the metabolism of fatty acids. Ketones are able to cross over the blood brain barrier to provide energy for neurons. Ketones are able to support life in the absence of available glucose.
During times of fasting, which were quite common for our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors, the stores of glucose drop and high levels of ketones are formed (3). Diets that are very low in carbohydrates (50-80 grams daily) and moderate in protein (0.8-1.2g/kg) are able to produce ketones in higher levels.
Research has shown that the body adapts to ketone metabolism and improves the efficiency of this fuel source over time (4). The specific liver hormone, FGF21, which is critical for the oxidation of the liver’s fatty acids, is upregulated in individuals who are on a ketogenic diet over time (5). This allows for a greater use of ketones as an energy source in the body.
Cancer and Glucose Metabolism:
Famous cell biologist and cancer researcher Otto Warburg discovered that cancer cells have an altered metabolism and are unable to produce energy through cellular respiration (6). They drive all of their energy from substrate level phosphorylation through glucose fermentation.
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Feeding Cancer or Starving It:
Cancer cells contain ten times the amount of insulin receptors as normal cells. This allows them to gobble up glucose and other nutrients from the blood stream at an accelerated rate. As long as an individual continues to provide this form of fuel the cancer will continue to grow. Those cancer patients who have the highest blood sugar readings after eating have the lowest survival rates.
Cancer cells have damaged mitochondria and are unable to produce energy through aerobic respiration so they are unable to metabolize fatty acids for energy. They depend entirely on glucose or amino acid metabolism. So any method that restricts glucose and amino acids has the ability to starve off cancer cells.
High protein diets will continue to feed the cancer growth as will consistent eating habits. In our culture, most people eat 3-5 times a day when you include traditional meals and snacks. The constant flow of nutrition elevates blood sugar and insulin levels and allows plenty of substrate for the cancer to continue to grow.
Fasting and Cancer Prevention:
Creating a lifestyle around intermittent fasting is particularly effective at creating ketones and starving cancer cells (10). Highly motivated individuals with advanced cancer diagnosis may do a three to seven day cleanse where they consume nothing but water with lemon.
Others may choose to incorporate a regular fasting lifestyle in which they only eat for a 4-8 hour period each day. They may choose to eat only between the hours of 3pm and 7pm and do a 20 hour fast each day. This will force the body to make ketones to fuel the brain and body deep into the fasting period. Individuals with a cancer diagnosis should do the daily 20 hour fast while individuals without a cancer diagnosis can do more of a 16 to 18 hour fast for optimal ketone metabolism.
Cancer Killing Meal Plans:
Meals should be focused on good fats like coconut oil, avocados, olive oil and raw nuts and seeds. Very low carbohydrate vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus, kale, collard greens, spinach, celery, cucumbers & cabbage among others should be staple parts of the diet. Clean proteins in moderation such as grass-fed beef, grass-fed raw cheese and fermented dairy, organic poultry and wild game are great.
Fresh squeezed lemon/lime, apple cider vinegar and other low-sugar fermented food/drink and fresh or dried herbs should be used in abundance. These help to provide organic acids, enzymes and anti-oxidants into the body. Organic acids produce an alkaline ash once metabolized. These alkaline elements that neutralize the excess acidity that cancer produces and improve cellular oxygenation which helps destroy cancer.
Optimal Hormone Sensitivity:
This diet allows for optimal insulin and leptin sensitivity which leads the individual to feel satisfied easily. A 150lb man should keep his carbohydrates around 30-50g/day and his protein under 70 g/day for optimal ketosis. This is fairly easy when only 1-2 meals are eaten consisting of the foods listed above.
Optimal blood sugar levels for cancer starvation should be between 60-70 mg/dl and ketone levels should stay around 4-7mM. The ketogenic diet is often deficient in anti-oxidants so it is important to supplement with a whole-food based multi-vitamin and probiotics. High quality omega-3 supplementation is also extremely beneficial and synergizes the anti-tumor effects of the ketogenic diet.
Sources For This Article Include:
- University of Utah Health Sciences. “Does Sugar Feed Cancer?.” 18 August 2009.
- University of California – Los Angeles. “Glucose deprivation activates feedback loop that kills cancer cells, study shows.” ScienceDaily, 26 June 2012.
- Balasse EO, Féry F. Ketone body production and disposal: effects of fasting, diabetes, and exercise. Diabetes Metab Rev. 1989 May;5(3):247-70. PMID: 2656155
- Westman EC, Feinman RD, Mavropoulos JC, Vernon MC, Volek JS, Wortman JA, Yancy WS, Phinney SD. Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Aug;86(2):276-84. PMID: 17684196
- Domouzoglou EM, Maratos-Flier E. Fibroblast growth factor 21 is a metabolic regulator that plays a role in the adaptation to ketosis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011;93(4):901S-905S.
- Koppenol W, Bounds P, Dang C. Otto Warburg’s contributions to current concepts of cancer metabolism. Link Here
- Boston College Thomas Seyfried Link Here
- Seyfried T, Shelton L. Cancer as a metabolic disease Link Here
- Science Direct Metabolic Management of Brain Cancer Link Here
- Klement RJ, Kämmerer U. Is there a role for carbohydrate restriction in the treatment and prevention of cancer? Nutrition & Metabolism. 2011;8:75.