Friday, January 2, 2009

Sugary diets and cancer

I've posted stuff previously (here and here) about sugar and cancer the idea being that starving cancers of sugar can kill them. Other cells can be fuelled in other means but tumours need sugar, so if you cut off the supply then they struggle to grow:

unlike healthy cells, which generate energy by metabolizing sugar in their mitochondria, cancer cells appeared to fuel themselves exclusively through glycolysis, a less-efficient means of creating energy through the fermentation of sugar in the cytoplasm. The theory is simple: If most aggressive cancers rely on the fermentation of sugar for growing and dividing, then take away the sugar and they should stop spreading. Meanwhile, normal body and brain cells should be able to handle the sugar starvation; they can switch to generating energy from fatty molecules called ketone bodies — the body's main source of energy on a fat-rich diet — an ability that some or most fast-growing and invasive cancers seem to lack.

Here is another side to it. Two new studies that say that sugary diets promote gut cancer in mice by other mechanisms too:

Dietary carbohydrate source alters gene expression profile of intestinal epithelium in mice.

High Sucrose Diets Promote Intestinal Epithelial Cell Proliferation and Tumorigenesis in APC(Min) Mice by Increasing Insulin and IGF-I Levels.


darwinstable said...

Yes I read that cancer cells grow by fermentation?

Anonymous said...

Great research. Just realize that glycolysis occurs from glucose circulating in the blood stream. Using the term sugar is misleading, because starches are actually worse in that they are pure glucose, and they cause elevated glucose levels throughout the day. If you wanted to fight cancer in this way you would have to eliminate all sources of glucose, not just sugar.

You'd want to eat lots of coconut oil to give your body lots of ketosis energy. But eliminate all starches like potatoes, rice, bread, pasta etc.