Monday, December 19, 2011

Will this system help to prevent cancer? by Jerry Brainum

Researchers and scientists are loath to tell the truth about cancer treatment.This refers to the fact that there has been little progress in the "war" on cancer since Nixon formally declared war on the disease back in the 70s. Cancer is still the number 2 killer in the world, just behind cardiovascular disease. If you are unlucky enough to acquire a cancerous disease, your best hope is that they catch it early, before the cancer has spread from its initial site, or metastasized.Once it has spread, your chances of survival plunge by 90%. This is what makes pancreatic cancer so deadly; by the time it's diagnosed, the tumor has spread throughout the internal organs, leading to a 5% survival rate after 5 years.
    Clearly, it would be better to focus on techniques that would both prevent cancer, as well as stop it in its tracks before it has the chance to kill. In relation to prevention, diet and consuming certain nutrients, as well as exercise, all play prominent roles. It's been estimated that 40% of all types of cancer could be avoided through a proper diet. But right now, I'd like to talk about a possible way of stopping cancer before it has a chance to take hold.
       Cancer cells, more so than normal cells, are dependent on a process called glycolysis, or the breakdown of glucose into lactate. Doing so provides tumors with the ATP they need to proliferate and spread throughout the body. This process can occur either without oxygen being present (anaerobic) or with the presence of oxygen (aerobic glycolysis). The latter is referred to as "The Warburg effect," after the scientist who first described it in the 1930s. Warburg surmised that interfering with a tumor's energy supply would starve the tumor. Since normal cells are less susceptible to glucose deprivation compared to tumors, which rely exclusively on glucose, lowering glucose availability would be especially fatal to cancer cells. Normal cells can survive on other fuels, including lactate and ketones from fat. Imaging of the cancerous tissues of patients show that tumors do indeed accumulate glucose more readily than do normal cells. Cancer cells are limited to glucose because of damage to cellular mitochondria in the cancer cells, which prevents them from using other fuels.
      Depriving cancer cells of glucose leads to increased oxidative stress in the cells in test-tube studies, and often results in the death of the cancer cell. Cancer cells use glucose to produce ribose, another sugar that is important for the rapid proliferation of cancer cells. Based on this, it appears plausible that consuming a very low carbohydrate diet would provide less glucose to tumor cells. Indeed, recent studies have shown beneficial effects of a low carb diet in helping to prevent cancer. You could lower glucose levels by injecting insulin, but that would also block ketone production in the liver, which is needed to fuel normal cells during glucose deprivation, as would occur with a ketogenic, or very low carb diet (less than 50 grams a day of carbs).Insulin itself also acts as a growth factor, and can promote the release of insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which is known to speed cell division. Since the basic process of cancer involves uncontrolled cell division, you can see what the problem would be here. Another method would involve just enough insulin to lower blood glucose, followed by an infusion of glycerol. Glycerol, which serves as the backbone of the triglyceride or fat structure, can be converted into glucose in the liver, so you would be again supplying the tumor with glucose if you used glycerol.
    The best technique would be to lower blood glucose through a ketogenic diet, and control the production of glucose made in the liver. Doing this would involve using a drug called metformin, which is used to treat diabetes and insulin insensitivity.  Metformin works to reduce the production of glucose in the liver, which results in lower blood glucose levels. But metformin does more than just that. It also interferes with the actions of mTOR, a protein that is involved in protein synthesis, but is also involved in tumor spread and survival in the body. Various recent studies show that lowering mTOR seems to control some types of cancer. Indeed, other studies have shown that metformin itself seems to offer preventive effects against several types of cancers. Lowering glucose in this manner would not produce bad effects, such as hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. The body will still produce ketones, which can be used as an energy source by most tissues in the body. Tumors themselves upgrade the production of lactate because of their reliance on anaerobic glycolysis. The lactate keeps the other cells alive while the tumor cells hoard all the glucose. Metformin is a relatively safe drug, with the main risk being a possible vitamin B12 deficiency when used long-term. This has to do with metformin interfering with the uptake of B12 into the body. It's a problem that can easily be managed by simply ingesting a sublingual B12 supplement a few hours prior to taking  metformin.

©,2013 Jerry Brainum. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited.

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