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Old 03-09-2013, 08:03 AM   #1
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A Low Carb Diet Starves Cancer Cells

Received this in my email today from my wife. She forwarded it from a Fred Pescatore, MD email message. Another vindication for the Low Carb Diet!
[COLOR=black]Dear Reader,

While I was the associate medical director at The Atkins Center--working alongside Dr. Robert Atkins himself--we treated many, many cancer patients. And with great success, too.

The truth is that, contrary to what conventional "wisdom" dictates, diet does have an influence on the progression of this disease. And in this area, my mentor was truly a pioneer.

Which is why I'm thrilled to see that, yet again, his work will be vindicated.

This past January, the review board at North Carolina's Duke University approved a randomized, controlled trial of calorie restriction as a treatment for cancer. The very first randomized clinical trial of its kind.

Duke is a leader in the field when it comes to nutritional research and disease. So it comes as no surprise to me that this institution is participating in such groundbreaking work.

Meanwhile, similar studies on breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer are in their early stages at Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Iowa, already.

In fact, interest in the metabolic activity of cancer cells has spiked considerably over the last ten years. And with it, the role that exercise and diet could potentially play in the fight against cancer becomes more and more powerful.

All of which must have drug companies quaking in their boots.

Plenty of laboratory science supports the idea that a low-carb diet could stall cancer growth. Why? Because at the end of the day, carbohydrates are the same as sugar. And sugar is cancer's favorite food.

If you've ever had a PET scan, you might know this already. Unlike healthy cells, malignant cells rely on a steady stream of glucose in the blood to thrive and grow quickly. That's why PET scans use radioactive glucose to find cancer.

But these same cells can't metabolize fatty acids or ketones (which help your body break down fat)--both of which are hallmarks of low-carb diets. Which means that eliminating carbohydrates effectively starves cancer cells to death.

It's a smack in the face to advocates of a low-fat lifestyle. In fact, more fat--and of course, less sugar--is what could end up saving a cancer patient's life.

In order to prove this hypothesis, the upcoming Duke study will look closer at calorie restriction in men with prostate cancer. And it will focus specifically on extreme carbohydrate restriction.

Researchers haven't started enrolling patients yet. But the National Cancer Institute is providing the funds--along with the Atkins Foundation, I'm proud to say.

The study has a projected end date of 2016. And you can bet that I'll be at my keyboard sharing the results with you the second they come in.

In the meantime, here's another glowing testament to the healing power of a low-carb lifestyle...
[/COLOR]

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Start - 240 lbs. (44" waist) --- / Currently 237lbs. (44" waist) / --- Goal 165 lbs. (32" waist?)
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:41 AM   #2
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AWESOME!! Thank you!
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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Do you know if sweeteners feed cancer cells? I always wondered about that.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:34 AM   #4
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Love to read articles like this!!!
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali girl View Post
Do you know if sweeteners feed cancer cells? I always wondered about that.

If you are talking about artificial sweetners, such as aspertame, splenda, etc. I wondered this myself, but I don't know the answer. It might also be interesting to know if a natural sugar substiutute, such as Stevia, would feed cancer cells? Good question! I hope someone can enlighten us
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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If you've ever had a PET scan, you might know this already. Unlike healthy cells, malignant cells rely on a steady stream of glucose in the blood to thrive and grow quickly. That's why PET scans use radioactive glucose to find cancer.

If you have ever seen a PET scan, the heart and brain also light up - much brighter than cancer does actually - because they both use a ton of sugar to support their high metabolic rates.

I'm skeptical of the no sugar diet curing cancer for two reasons:

1) Your body will always maintain a normal blood sugar level, by making its own sugar out of protein if it needs to. On the most extreme ketogenic diet, blood sugar will always be normal in levels (you start to feel it if its doesnt , and would lose consciousness if it got extremely low). So there isnt really a way to totally eliminate sugar from the body for the cancer cells to use.

2) I have a feeling that cancer cells are able to mutate so easily that just like cells in the brain become better at using ketones as time goes on.... if you have a bunch of ketones floating around, the cancer cells that mutate to use ketones effectively will survive (the ones not as good at it will die off (natural selection), and you will be left with a growing ketone using cancer. Same things happens when cancer cells develop resistance to drugs.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:41 PM   #7
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It says the study will be looking at severe calorie restrction as well, which would go along with the studies that have been coming out about cancer and IF It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this particular study is!
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyDude View Post
If you are talking about artificial sweetners, such as aspertame, splenda, etc. I wondered this myself, but I don't know the answer. It might also be interesting to know if a natural sugar substiutute, such as Stevia, would feed cancer cells? Good question! I hope someone can enlighten us
Most of the time, when we think of a link between diet and cancer, we think of additives that cause cancer in the first place - like the (later disproven) link between saccharine and cancer.

With the glucose/cancer link, though, it's more about feeding the cancerous cells once they develop. So artificial sweeteners wouldn't be expected to provide an energy source that will let the malignant cells grow.

(BTW, Gary Taubes's Good Calories, Bad Calories has a whole chapter on how blood glucose levels interact with cancer - I recommend it!)
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
...
I'm skeptical of the no sugar diet curing cancer for two reasons:
First off, It's good you are skeptical, we all should be skeptical

Secondly, I don't think it's talking about a no sugar diet. A low carb diet is, in effect, not the same as a no sugar diet, becuase vegetables do convert to some glucose.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biancasteeplechase View Post
Most of the time, when we think of a link between diet and cancer, we think of additives that cause cancer in the first place - like the (later disproven) link between saccharine and cancer.

With the glucose/cancer link, though, it's more about feeding the cancerous cells once they develop. So artificial sweeteners wouldn't be expected to provide an energy source that will let the malignant cells grow.

(BTW, Gary Taubes's Good Calories, Bad Calories has a whole chapter on how blood glucose levels interact with cancer - I recommend it!)
Good to know. I am trying to give up artificial sweeteners. The last three days I only put HWC in my coffee. It's not to bad. It's tastes better than sweeteners without HWC!
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:19 PM   #11
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Secondly, I don't think it's talking about a no sugar diet. A low carb diet is, in effect, not the same as a no sugar diet, becuase vegetables do convert to some glucose.
Good point, I should have phrased it as "low carb" diet. My main point is that you cant totally prevent cancer cells from having access to sugar because your blood sugar is always maintained at a normal level by the body, using whatever fuel sources it has - vegetables or protein from your own muscles, etc.


Calorie restriction also seems odd.... In early stage cancers, peoples metabolic rates are basically normal, so most doctors probably wouldnt have a problem with calorie restriction in those cases.
But in more advanced stages, the cancers take away nutrients from the body, and the cytokines made by the body as part of the inflammatory response reduce appetite significantly (cancer cachexia), and people lose weight, typically muscle wasting. It becomes a challenge to keep up good nutrition in these patients. They naturally calorie restrict themselves. Those who arent given good nutrition do more poorly than those who are given more nutrition at this stage.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:50 PM   #12
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Strawberry, I agree the writer makes some extreme conclusions to the clinical tests. But I think the gist of the email was that Low Carb diets, such as Atkins, that are low in carbohydrates and hgh in fat are better at fighting cancer cells than a high carbohydrate diet that is low cal and low fat. No?
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:14 PM   #13
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after you posted this i hunted around and found another article. it says that cancer cells cannot use ketones, which is one reason why a ketogenic diet is helpful. i will post the link if i can find the article again...
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