Sunday, January 10, 2010

Low carb to fight breast cancer?

Ok, again I know it is in rats, but it is interesting.

(The full text is available here)

The idea is that reducing the carbohydrate:protein ratio reduces the development of breast tumors. The hypotheseis is that this is due to reduced post-meal insulin release potentially reducing the "proliferative" environment needed for breast tumors to progress.

I've had a few this up in the past - for example here - about the potential benefits of low carb / ketogenic diets when it comes to preventing or treating caner.

A high protein moderate carbohydrate diet fed at discrete meals reduces early progression of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced breast tumorigenesis in rats

Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in American women. Dietary factors are thought to have a strong influence on breast cancer incidence. This study utilized a meal-feeding protocol with female Sprague-Dawley rats to evaluate effects of two ratios of carbohydrate:protein on promotion and early progression of breast tissue carcinomas. Mammary tumors were induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) at 52 d of age. Post-induction, animals were assigned to consume either a low protein high carbohydrate diet (LP; 15% and 60% of energy, respectively) or a moderate protein reduced carbohydrate diet (MP; 35% and 40% of energy, respectively) for 10 wk. Animals were fed 3 meals/day to mimic human absorption and metabolism patterns. The rate of palpable tumor incidence was reduced in MP relative to LP (12.9 1.4 %/wk vs. 18.2 1.3 %/wk). At 3 wk, post-prandial serum insulin was larger in the LP relative to MP (+136.4 33.1 pmol/L vs. +38.1 23.4 pmol/L), while at 10 wk there was a trend for post-prandial IGF-I to be increased in MP (P = 0.055). There were no differences in tumor latency, tumor surface area, or cumulative tumor mass between diet groups. The present study provides evidence that reducing the dietary carbohydrate:protein ratio attenuates the development of mammary tumors. These findings are consistent with reduced post-prandial insulin release potentially diminishing the proliferative environment required for breast cancer tumors to progress.

1 comment:

donny said...

I dunno... it says they fed them three discrete meals to mimic normal human feeding patterns. But with a rat's metabolism, it would probably take a much shorter time for the food to work its way through the system and for the rat to return to the fasting state. A different feeding pattern of the same foods might yield less or no blood sugar advantage to the high protein fed rats.

The study illustrates an important point, though; protein increasing cancer in one context doesn't mean that it will do the same in another.