Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments
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Ketogenic Diet: Its Benefits and Role in Cancer Treatment

A ketogenic diet, which calls for minimizing carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy fats, can help in cancer treatment.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet which forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. If there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source.

Cancer cells consume large amounts of glucose for their survival. Unlike cancer cells, healthy normal cells are able to burn fats if there is insufficient glucose available. Therefore, as cancer cells are inefficient in processing ketone bodies for energy, the ketogenic diet has been suggested as a treatment for cancer. There have been several studies confirming that depriving cancer cells of glucose produces positive results. Fasting can also temporarily produce this effect as it reduces plasma glucose levels, as well as benefiting the immune system and reducing the production of glutamine, insulin and IGF-1.

Without glucose some cancer cells seem to be able to use glutamine as an alternative energy source. Although this may not be the case for all cancers according to some researchers.

The  ketogenic  diet  has  received  considerable  attention  in  the  epilepsy  community  as a first line of  approach, and is recognized as an important component for the management of refractory seizures in children.

Dr. Thomas Seyfried is one of the recognized authorities on the ketogenic diet and its effects on cancer. He has been teaching neurogenetics and neurochemistry as it relates to cancer treatment at Yale University and Boston College for the past 25 years, and has also published a book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer. If you have time (1ht 16mins) you may want to listen to him being interviewed about his cancer research.

According to Dr. Seyfried if the levels of ketones in the blood are equal to or higher than the levels of glucose, then you will have achieved a ketogenic state. He suggests the targeted level of glucose is probably 55 to 65 milligrams per deciliter, and advises that it may be simple in concept but much more difficult in implementation, and should be under professional supervision. Calorie restriction using the ketogenic diet is at the heart of the therapy.

Dr. Seyfried has found that saturated fats containing medium-chain triglycerides - such as coconut oils, butter, macadamia nuts, etc – are converted to ketones much more readily than polyunsaturated fats.

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Study Reveals How Cancer Cells Thrive Using Glutamine in Oxygen-Starved Tumors

Study Reveals How Cancer Cells Thrive Using Glutamine in Oxygen-Starved Tumors | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A new study identifies the molecular pathway that enables cancer cells to grow in areas of a tumor where oxygen levels are low, a condition called hypoxia.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCC) have studied cancer cell growth in areas of a tumor where oxygen levels are low. The study focuses on how cancer cells use the amino acid glutamine, the most common amino acid found free in the bloodstream.

Under normal oxygen levels, healthy cells use glutamine largely to produce energy, with a small amount diverted to make fatty acids and lipids. But when oxygen levels drop in areas of a growing tumor, the hypoxic conditions activate a gene called HIF1, initiating a pathway that shifts the use of glutamine away from energy production and to the synthesis of lipids needed for cell proliferation.

Glutamine is an important neurotransmitter. So blocking glutamine metabolism is not the answer. Instead a strategy may be to redirect the glutamine metabolism of a tumor where oxygen levels are low, to make it follow the normal-oxygen pathway, according to principal investigator Nicholas Denko, PhD, MD, associate professor of radiation oncology at the OSUCCC.

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