Yesterday’s story from the New York Times on the changing theory of cancer prompted a reader to send in some more interesting information.
Sugar and Cancer (2008):
It puzzles me why the simple concept “sugar feeds cancer” can be so dramatically overlooked as part of a comprehensive cancer treatment plan. I believe many cancer patients would have a major improvement in their outcome if they controlled the supply of cancer’s preferred fuel, glucose.
By slowing the cancer’s growth, patients allow their immune systems and medical debulking therapies — chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to reduce the bulk of the tumor mass — to catch up to the disease.
All of your body’s cells are fueled by glucose. This includes cancer cells. However, cancer cells have one built-in fatal flaw — they do not have the metabolic flexibility of your regular cells and cannot adapt to use ketone bodies for fuel as all your other cells can.
So, when you alter your diet and become what’s known as “fat-adapted,” your body starts using fat for fuel rather than carbs. When you switch out the carbs for healthy fats, you starve the cancer out, as you’re no longer supplying the necessary fuel — glucose — for their growth.
So why exactly do cancer cells revert from aerobic energy generation to anaerobic energy generation? Pete Pedersen, Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins took Dr. Warburg’s theory to the next level, morphologically determining that there’s a radically reduced number of mitochondria in cancer cells.
Typically there are several hundred to several thousand in each cell, comprising about one-third to 50 percent of the volume of the inside of each cell. These generate the ATP, the energy, of your cells. If you have a radical reduction of mitochondria, and the ones that are left are mostly dysfunctional, if they’re working at all, then you’ve got a problem.
These cancer cells have no choice but to revert to this primitive and inefficient metabolism. Healthy mitochondria send these epigenetic signals between themselves and the nucleus. This epigenetic signaling from the mitochondria is actually what’s responsible for initiating a significant percentage of the genetic damage that has been identified from the DNA sequencing project.
hat-tip Joanne Nova