Open Future HealthKetogenic Restricted Diets to "Press" Cancers

Cancer cells hide from the immune system and apoptosis, by becoming anaerobic. They avoid oxygen which slows fermentation. Cancer cells are bad at burning fat, because fat burning requires healthy mitochondria, and the use of oxygen for respiration. Cancer cells cannot burn ketones.

Cancer cells adapt to ferment glucose and/or an amino acid called glutamine. Most cancer cells grow best when they have access to a combination of glucose and the amino acid glutamine. That's why the "press" on the cancer requires careful dietary control of both carbohydrate and protein.


The Big "C"

The above findings indicate that nuclear genetic abnormalities cannot be responsible for cancer despite commonly held beliefs in the cancer field. The genomic instability observed in tumor cells and all other recognized hallmarks of cancer are considered downstream epiphenomena of the initial disturbance of cellular energy metabolism.

The disturbances in tumor cell energy metabolism can be linked to abnormalities in the structure and function of the mitochondria. Mitochondria produce energy in the cell. Damaged mitochondria are partially disabled.

Cancer growth and progression can be managed following a whole-body transition from fermentable metabolites, primarily glucose and glutamine, to respiratory metabolites, primarily ketone bodies.

Fear of cancer is partly due to the potentially deadly nature of the condition, and partly due to the misery associated with most conventional cancer treatments—surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

If you’re told you have a complex genetic disease that even doctors don’t understand, you are placed in a position of powerlessness—you may feel like a helpless victim.

Cancers are usually identified by PET scans that are able to find many tumors hiding in normal tissues. PET scans follow radioactive glucose as it travels through the bloodstream. Radiolabeled glucose accumulates in tumor tissue more than in the normal tissues surrounding it, and lights up on the scan.

If that makes sense to you, it also demonstrates that cancer cells are strong consumers of glucose. They seek glucose to fuel their rapid growth. Now you have a tool to fight cancer.

The Failure of Standard Dietary Recommendations

There is tremendous confusion around the simple question of what people with cancer are supposed to eat. The people in my life who have cancer are told they should eat lots of cancer-fighting, antioxidant-rich vegetables, low-fat protein sources, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and colorful fresh fruits. Many people believe that a low-fat vegan diet is the healthiest diet for cancer.

As soon as chemotherapy starts causing scary, rapid weight loss, people are told to eat whatever they can to keep to keep up their calorie intake and maintain their strength—everything from sweetened energy drinks and smoothies to carbohydrate-rich comfort foods. Some patients are even fed high-sugar solutions through I.V.’s or G-tubes. Dr. Seyfried’s extensive work, demonstrates that nothing could be worse for you if you have cancer.

Attacking Cancer by Denial of Glucose

Since nearly all tumors depend heavily on glucose for survival, the first strategy is to cut-off the glucose supply. This is best done under medical supervision, we need to achieve a much higher level of ketone production than people would normally achieve on a ketogenic diet. The secret here is to control BOTH carbohydrates (close to nill), and protein consumption to 0.8gm to 1.2gm per kilogram of body weight.

The purpose is to achieve a production of ketones above 4mM and blood glucose in the 55-65 mg/dL range (Normal is 80-90 mg/dL). This will put the cancer under considerable stress. Growth will probably stop, and the cancer itself will be weakened.

Depending on where the cancer is, we might wait and see if the cancer is so weak that the normal process of apoptosis will begin and remove it. Or if not an mix of traditional therapies might be useful. The Press-Pulse Therapy is an option.

Understanding Cancer

There is a strong connection between high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), diabetes, and cancer. It is well-documented that the growth of brain tumors is more accelerated and prognosis is worse in animals and humans with higher blood glucose levels.

High blood glucose raises insulin levels, which stimulates cancer cells to take in and use more glucose—this makes it easier for cancer cells to nourish themselves. Insulin also turns up the activity of the fermentation pathway, and fermentation leads to additional cellular damage.

High blood glucose also raises levels of another circulating hormone called IGF-I (Insulin-like Growth Factor I). Cancer cells with receptors on their surfaces for this hormone grow more rapidly. IGF-I turns on a chemical pathway that drives tumor cell growth. This pathway sets the stage for cells to multiply, escape death by “apoptosis,” and recruit their own blood supply (“angiogenesis”). Angiogenesis is required for tumors to grow beyond 2 millimeters in size (2 mm is a little less than 1/10th of an inch).

To make matters worse, the genes for this growth pathway are also turned up by the fermentation process. More glucose allows more fermentation AND more insulin AND more IGF-I, and more tumor growth now has triple reinforcement.

In short, cancer is a disease of growth, and insulin is the mother of all growth hormones, but if there's little or no glucose insulin can't get started.

Cancer’s Achilles Heel

Mitochondria are tiny energy producing structures within your body cells. Dr. Seyfried says that the hallmark of all cancer cells is damaged mitochondria. According to Dr. Seyfried, cancer is one disease— a mitochondrial disease —and diseased mitochondria prefer glucose and glutamine for fuel. This is cancer’s Achilles’ heel.

Healthy cells with healthy mitochondria are flexible and can adapt to just about any fuel source, but in fact, the majority of cells in our body function best when they burn fat or ketones for energy.

Cancer cells hide from the immune system and apoptosis, by becoming anaerobic, they adapt to ferment glucose and/or an amino acid called glutamine. They avoid oxygen which slows fermentation. Cancer cells are bad at burning fat, because fat burning requires healthy mitochondria, and the use of oxygen for respiration. Cancer cells cannot burn ketones.

How to Starve Cancer Cells

Food restriction reduces the incidence of both inherited and acquired cancers in laboratory animals.

Most cancer cells grow best when they have access to a combination of glucose and the amino acid glutamine. However, there are some types of cancer cells which do just fine without any glucose as a food source, because they are especially good at burning glutamine. Dr. Seyfried argues that this is why BOTH glucose (from dietary carbohydrates) AND glutamine (from dietary protein) need to be restricted in order to best target cancer cells.

Dr. Seyfried recommends a specially-formulated low-calorie “ketogenic” diet consisting of 80% fat, with the rest (20%) being made up of protein + carbohydrate. This diet forces your cells to burn fat for energy. It contains enough protein for your cells to function properly, but no more.

The goal of this diet is to shift your body from burning mostly glucose (sugar) to burning mostly ketones (fat). Fat molecules get broken down into 3 fatty acid chains plus one molecule of glycerol. The fatty acids can be turned into ketones, and the glycerol backbone can be turned into glucose.


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