Thursday, April 10, 2008

Low Carb and Cancer

I've posted a few times in the past about the science suggesting that a low carb / ketogenic diet may be a treatment for cancer.

If you are interested in this topic there are several related articles here, e.g.

Low Carb & Cancer

Many aggressive cancers depend on anaerobic glycolysis for ATP production, as has been known since first described by Otto Warburg in the 1920’s. The remarkable success of modern PET scanning in the detection, staging and prognosis of many cancers using F-18 Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) reflects this dependence. Very low carbohydrate ketogenic (VLCK) diets have inhibited cancer growth in animal studies [1] [2] [3] and in a human case study [4]. Ketone bodies in culture media have inhibited cancer growth in cell culture studies [1], [5], [6]. While the mechanism of cancer inhibition is unlikely to be simple glucose deprivation, several plausible mechanisms have been proposed. VLCK diets cause tonic reductions in hormones that are supportive of tumor growth including insulin, IGF7, IL6 and other inflammatory cytokines. Other metabolic effects include apoptosis due to increased plasma fatty acids, and inhibition of fatty acid synthase, a target of chemotherapeutic agents.

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