Enjoy this free DigiVision Lecture from the ACAM 2013 conference in Hollywood Florida
The belief of medical experts seems to be that cancer is a genetic disease. A belief that is expressed in our college education, biology textbooks, medical education, and top scientific journals. The belief is extended to suggest that if there is any metabolic component to the cause of cancer, then it is due to some genomic instability.
The origin of these beliefs dates back to 1914 with the work of Theodor Heinrich Boveri, a German biologist. However it turns out that he never actually studied cancer himself. Today many scientists have a different view of cancer and do not subscribe to the theory that cancer is genetic in origin. Cancer cells also are metabolically abnormal. Research has shown that transferring the nucleus of cancer cells into normal cells does not result in the normal cells becoming cancerous. Further research indicates that transferring normal mitochondria into cancer cells can also suppress the development of the cancer. This suggests that abnormalities which may exist in the nucleus, such as various genomic instabilities, are not the drivers of the cancer. These findings contradict the theory that the genes are driving the cancer.
So what does drive cancer? Typically the mitochondria in cancer cells are damaged and the integrity of their structure, and therefore function, is compromised. Some studies have shown that many tumor cells have no mitochondria. Thomas Seyfried , PhD, asserts that if the respiration function within the cell becomes damaged it can give rise to the development of cancer. Compromised respiration gives rise to increased fermentation which allows the cell to survive with defective respiration. His work, together with preclinical and case report studies, has led him to the conclusion that restricted diet can be an effective metabolic therapy for cancer, in place of the normal standard of care that involves radiation and chemotherapy.
Specifically he has found that the ketogenic diet is able to restrict and reduce cancer growth. It involves calorie restriction through lack (or severe restriction) of carbohydrates in the diet. The absence of glucose as a result of lack of carbohydrates is replaced by high fat content. The combination of lack of carbohydrates and high fat encourages the liver to make ketone bodies from the fats. The ketones become the food supply for the brain cells and other important organs such as the heart. Tumor cells cannot metabolize ketones so they gradually die off from lack of glucose.
However it is important that the ketogenic diet is maintained within restricted amounts. Unrestricted consumption of fats can have the effect of compromising the effect of insulin, and therefore result in high glucose levels which will then feed the cancer cells. Further, Dr. Seyfried has established that hyperbaric oxygen therapy together with the ketogenic diet has been found to have a very beneficial synergistic benefit on the reduction of cancer.
The process first involves getting people into the right metabolic state where their ketone production is increased and their glucose is reduced. This may involve a 3-day therapeutic fast, and then transition to a ketogenic diet. In this state the cancer cells become vulnerable to attack, and the normal cells are protected.
To learn more refer to Dr. Seyfried’s book “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease”.