Cancer is an ugly word and an even more hideous disease. Cancer is the number 1 killer in the western world. Formally, it has no cure. But many have argued that only treatments are researched and that cures are pushed to the wayside for fears of losing profit. Chemotherapy is a huge business, and there are a lot of people with vested interests who would prefer it not goes away. But that hasn’t stopped some less funded, less accepted alternative health research teams from digging in pharma’s sacred grounds.
Pharma will have you believe that cancer is caused by random circumstances, or at most, by DNA. Cancer is synonymous with a sort of randomness that asks many to conclude there is nothing preventative they can do to help prevent it. Aside from smoking or chewing tobacco, the rest is relatively discounted. Sugar has long been considered a factor in cancer. Many believe that cancer uses sugar as a fuel source and that by using a ketogenic diet approach, a person can stop cancer in it’s tracks. A ketogenic diet means that one’s body runs primarily from fat. For the body to swing into ketosis, a person must eat a minimal amount of sugar or glucose foods per day.
German physician Otto Warburg was one of the first to comment on this potential. Warburg believed that cancer cells prefer the anaerobic, or oxygen-free, process of fermentation. You can imagine how buried Warburg’s work has been; that is until now. Boston College biology professor Dr. Thomas Seyfried believes in the metabolic theory of cancer. He thinks Warburg was on to something and that cancer is a metabolic disease and that it uses sugar as fuel, as well, he believes chemicals and exterior environmental contribute to cancer’s evolution. A recent article in NPR discusses exactly this.
Seyfried argues that decades of research, including his own, support the idea that aberrant metabolism can somehow induce malignancy. Further, he believes that research supports at the idea that limiting the fuels available for fermentation — that is, the sugar glucose and the amino acid glutamine — is an overlooked approach to aid treatment.
He specifically implicates mitochondria, our energy-producing organelles, in spurring on malignancy.
This belief is in part based on work from the ’70s and ’80s showing that if the cytoplasm (the buoyant cellular goo that contains the mitochondria) is transferred from a normal cells to a tumorigenic cell (one with the potential to develop into a cancer) the tendency toward cancer is suppressed. Conversely, animal research has shown that transferring the nucleus of a malignant cell into the cytoplasm of a normal cell inhibits the tumor potential of that initially malignant cell, implying, according to Seyfried, that whatever is causing the cancer lies in the cytoplasm, not the nucleus.
I’d suggest everyone take the time to read the NPR article.
Also, check out Seyfried’s youtube video discussing the matter.