Calorie Restriction And Cancer Prevention
Chronic daily CR without malnutrition has a powerful effect in preventing spontaneous and chemically induced tumors in animal models. This cancer-protective effect was first discovered in 1942 by Tannenbaum, who demonstrated that CR could markedly reduce the development of mammary tumors in rodents. As reviewed elsewhere, this finding has been consistently replicated in hundreds of CR studies on various tumors, including lymphomas, breast cancers, and skin cancers.- Tumor xenografts in mice are also sensitive to dietary restriction, with the exception of tumors that have PI3K pathway activations. More recently, CR has been evaluated in rhesus monkeys, animals that share a strikingly similar genome to that of humans. Both the University of Wisconsin and National Institute on Aging CR primate trials have shown a 50% decrease in the incidence of spontaneous cancer, most commonly gastrointestinal adenocarcinoma, in monkeys consuming a 30% CR diet compared with ad libitum-fed animals.,
Potential Role And Mechanisms In Treatment Recurrence And Prevention
Intermittent fasting, especially “time-restricted feeding” or “prolonged nighttime fasting” has become very popular, and questions about its potential role in both cancer prevention and treatment have been raised. Early evidence suggests that this strategy has the potential to improve the effectiveness of treatments and reduce side effects, but thus far, only a limited number of studies have been done. With regard to breast cancer, there is evidence that prolonged nighttime fasting may lower the risk of recurrence, a risk we are learning can remain for decades after treatment.
We will take a look at some of the studies that have been done, the potential mechanisms by which it may affect cancer cells, and the potential risks and side effects. Anyone who is living with cancer should talk with their oncologist before considering any dietary regimen, including intermittent fasting.
Glucose Metabolism And The Warburg Effect
During STF, healthy cells, have the metabolic flexibility to cope with nutrient deprivation, since glucose can be replaced by ketone bodies and fatty acids as primary energy source.
In contrast, tumor cells depend on glucose to maintain the high rate of cellular proliferation . Akt stimulates the so called âWarburg effectâ, characterized by an increased rate of glycolysis rather than oxidative phosphorylation even in the presence of oxygen . STF down-regulates anaerobic glycolysis while up-regulating oxidative phosphorylation in tumor cells, and this âanti-Warburg effectâ results in oxidative stress and apoptosis . Also, a counterintuitive increase in protein translation during STF increases unmet energy needs, leading to cell death . Moreover, the 20â40% reduction in circulating glucose during STF may be enough to kill anoxic tumor cells . Thus, a decrease in nutrient availability during STF makes cancer cells more vulnerable to any challenge, including chemotherapy. However, overconsumption after a STF period might accelerate tumor growth, due to high glucose conditions and increased glycolysis .
Also Check: How To Do Intermediate Fasting For Weight Loss
Challenges In The Clinic
The study of periodic fasting or of FMDs in oncology is not devoid of concerns, particularly in relation to the possibility that this type of dietary regimen could precipitate malnutrition, sarcopenia and cachexia in predisposed or frail patients 18,19. However, no instances of severe weight loss or of malnutrition were reported in the clinical studies of fasting in combination with chemotherapy published as of now, and those patients who did experience a weight loss during fasting typically recovered their weight before the subsequent cycle without detectable harm. Nevertheless, we recommend that periodic anorexia and nutritional status assessments using gold-standard approaches18,19,146–150 should be an integral part of these studies and that any ensuing nutritional impairment in patients undergoing fasting and/or FMDs is rapidly corrected.
What Did Jesus Do
You may have seen an ad for a health newsletter that talks about shocked atheists and Gods cure for cancer. Theres actually something to it. In Matthew Chapter 4, Jesus fasts for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness. Then, Satan comes to tempt him.
Satan challenges Jesus, saying, If you are really the Son of God, turn these stones into bread, so you can eat.
The reply Jesus gave Man does not live by bread alone certainly contains spiritual implications. And according to this new cancer research, Jesus reply also has physical implications.
Fasting kills cancer cells.
Read Also: What Does Fasting Mean In The Bible
What This Means For You
The results of this study are very early, but seem promising. Still, its important to remember that its the first time this particular type of diet has been tested in people diagnosed with cancer. More research needs to be done before we know whether intermittent fasting can actually help activate the immune system to work with treatments to fight cancer.
Read more about Clinical Trials if youre interested in being part of a study.
Conventional Therapies And Cancer
Interestingly enough, fasting strategies have actually been shown to improve cancer outcomes when used in conjunction with conventional strategies such as chemotherapy or radiation. This may be because fasting restricts fuel supply to cancer cells and sensitizes them to other stressors. This means that it may be possible to use lower doses of chemo or radiation while achieving greater results and minimizing side effects.
A 2009 case study report documented the experience of 10 patients who were undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and elected to undergo various fasting protocols . The fasting ranges for these patients ranged from 48140 hours leading up to their chemotherapy treatments as well as 556 hours following treatment.
The authors of this report observed that these 10 patients were able to avoid common side effects of chemotherapy such as fatigue, weakness, and digestive upset by fasting leading up to and following treatment. The best part about this is that these patients avoided side effects without lessening the effectiveness of the chemotherapy.
Another 2016 study separated 20 patients into 3 groups:
- 24-hour fast leading up to platinum-based chemotherapy
- 48-hour fast leading up to platinum-based chemotherapy
- 72-hour fast
The authors of this study found that longer fasting windows were associated with lower inflammation markers and DNA damage indicators following treatment. All fasting groups experienced a lower instance of chemotherapy side-effects.
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How Strong Is The Research On Intermittent Fasting And Breast Cancer
This research is in an early phase. There is little research yet on intermittent fasting and cancer that involves humans instead, its what we call pre-clinical research, meaning in mice and other models. The data from pre-clinical research is promising, but it will take rigorous testing to prove whether this will really help people with breast cancer. That research is underway and the data are starting to be reported. One recently published study showed no improvement in weight or fat loss with a specific intermittent fasting approach. Ongoing studies are testing other types of intermittent fasting strategies.
Editors Choice In Cancer
Triple-negative breast cancer is one of the most aggressive breast cancers because of its resistance to treatments. However, recentstudies have shown that fasting-mimicking dietswhich include roughly 50 percent fewer calories and reduced proteins and sugars compared to average dietscan slow tumor growth.
Giulia Salvadori, a postdoc at the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Italy, studied the mechanism behind how fasting affects tumors in biogerontologist Valter Longos lab. Their team experimented with cancer stem cells, both those cultured on nutrient-poor substrates and those in mice given a fasting-type diet. The results showed that lower glucose levels in the nutrient-poor conditions downregulated protein kinase A, an enzyme that promotes cancer cell growth and spread. This resulted in fewer and smaller tumors and longer mouse survival.
The study also examined retrospective data from 81 triple-negative breast cancer patients and found that lower blood glucose levels correlated with higher survival rates, though Longo notes the need for clinical trials to validate the effect. If the combination treatment was also successful in humans, Panda adds, researchers have to make a new drug discovery, but could instead use existing drugs to improve survival.
G. Salvadori et al., Fasting-mimicking diet blocks triple-negative breast cancer and cancer stem cell escape, Cell Metab, 33:224759, 2021.
Also Check: Does Intermittent Fasting Help Lose Weight
What Are The Next Steps For People Interested In Intermittent Fasting
First, talk to your doctor. If you are in treatment for breast cancer, stick with the proven treatments. We know, for instance, that hormone therapy reduces the risk of cancer coming back by 50% for the majority of breast cancer cases. We have to do more research to see if intermittent fasting, or any dietary approach, can definitely reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence.
Ultimately, we hope that there will be several dietary strategies that prove to be successful for reducing fat mass, improving metabolic health, and reducing the risk of breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence in the long run. This would allow people to choose a diet with their oncologist that works well for them and that is compatible with their cancer treatment. For now, we know that it is important to maintain a healthy weight, including healthy body fat levels. More data are needed before we can make specific recommendations.
Press Pulse Method To Metabolically Restrict Cancer Growth
Dr Thomas Seyfried is top cancer researcher at Boston College and the author of the groundbreaking book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease. He developed the Press-Pulse treatment for cancer in which the individual weakens cancer cells by restricting glucose while targeting cancer with powerful oxidative therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, hyperbaric oxygen or IV vitamin C.
A suggested protocol based on the Press-pulse method proposed by Dr. Seyfried is to:
Another expert in the field of natural cancer treatment, Dr. Nasha Winters, has some great protocols. Here are some ideas based on her work:
- Following a 13-hour fast on a daily basis
- Implementing 2, 1618-hour fasts on 2 non-consecutive days out of the week.
- Implementing a 3-day fast, once per month
- Fasting for 3 days , leading up to chemotherapy and radiation treatment
- For very thin patients, following a partial fast or Fasting Mimicking Diet can be great around cancer treatments to prevent cachexia while lowering the side effects of cancer treatment
- Very thin patients can also benefit from supplementing with essential amino acids or partaking in bone broth fasting around times of treatment
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Fasting Strategies For Cancer
There are a number of ways to fast. Fasting strategies can vary depending on what the intended goal is. Shorter duration fasts have benefits for inflammation, digestion, and metabolism.
Longer term fasts are where profound autophagy and deep ketosis are achieved to promote larger therapeutic benefits.
The Interrelationship Of Fasting With Oxidative Stress: Exemplification Of Hormesis
Although fasting intervenes in the redox balance, the clinical relevance is elusive mainly due to the two-faced profile of the reactive oxygen species , the key player of oxidative stress. ROS are chemically reactive species containing oxygen. Superoxidethe precursor of most other reactive oxygen speciesis formed by the univalent reduction of triplet-state molecular oxygen enzymatically H oxidases) or nonenzymatically. ROS are generated from endogenous sources , antioxidant defenses , and exogenous sources . Recognized less than 50 years ago, ROS were initially incriminated for subverting the genome stability and the cellular integrity, contributing to aging and numerous diseases, including cancer. Increased intracellular ROS levels foster acquisition of the hallmarks of cancer and increased extracellular ROS levels favor the multifocality and the metastatic potential of tumors . However, low/moderate levels of ROS are crucial for physiological functions, including modulation of vascular tone, sensing of oxygen tension, regulation of oxygen concentration, signal transduction from membrane receptors , and responses to oxidative stress, resulting in maintenance of redox homeostasis .
Beyond glucose deprivation, another mechanism increasing ROS levels is the AA starvation, resulting in activation of GCN2. GCN2 couples the AA sensing with the control of clearance of oxidized proteins and the recycling of the damaged mitochondria through autophagy .
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Study Shows Fasting Kills Cancer Cells Of Common Childhood Leukaemia
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found that intermittent fasting inhibits the development and progression of the most common type of childhood leukaemia.
This strategy was not effective, however, in another type of blood cancer that commonly strikes adults.
“This study using mouse models indicates that the effects of fasting on blood cancers are type-dependent and provides a platform for identifying new targets for leukaemia treatments,” said Dr. Chengcheng “Alec” Zhang, Associate Professor of Physiology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, published online today by Nature Medicine. “We also identified a mechanism responsible for the differing response to the fasting treatment,” he added.
The researchers found that fasting both inhibits the initiation and reverses the progression of two subtypes of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, or ALL – B-cell ALL and T-cell ALL.
The same method did not work with acute myeloid leukaemia , the type that is more common in adults.
ALL, the most common type of leukaemia found in children, can occur at any age.
Current ALL treatments are effective about 90 percent of the time in children, but far less often in adults, said Dr. Zhang, who also holds the Hortense L. and Morton H. Sanger Professorship in Oncology and is a Michael L. Rosenberg Scholar in Medical Research.
The two types of leukaemia arise from different bone marrow-derived blood cells, he explained.
The spleen filters blood.
Cancer Cells Destroyed In Just 3 Days With New Technique
Cancer cells are relentless, possessing the vexatious ability to develop resistance to current therapies and making the disease hugely challenging to treat. However, an exciting new study may have identified cancers weak spot the discovery has already led to the near-eradication of the disease in cell cultures.
The which was recently published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering reveals how altering the structure of chromatin in cancer cells could make them easier to destroy.
In the cell nucleus, DNA is wrapped around proteins called histones. Together they form chromatin.
Chromatins job is to package the genetic code neatly into the cells nucleus. Chromatin can also regulate which genes are switched on and off. In cancer cells, however, chromatin helps them to evolve and adapt to cancer therapies, thereby allowing them to survive.
If you think of genetics as hardware, explains study co-author Vadim Backman, of the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, then chromatin is the software.
Complex diseases such as cancer, he adds, do not depend on the behavior of individual genes, but on the complex interplay among tens of thousands of genes.
So, Backman and his colleagues set their sights on chromatin as the key to combating cancer drug resistance, and an imaging technique they developed last year helped them to learn more about this intricate set of macromolecules.
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You Cant Starve Cancer But You Might Help Treat It With Food
There is no single cancer diet.
Cancer cells grow in distinctive patterns that defy normal limitations.
That growth activity requires energy, and so cancer cells metabolize nutrients in different ways from the healthy cells around them. In an attempt to kill the tumor without killing the normally functioning cells, chemotherapy drugs target these pathways inside of cancer cells. This is notoriously difficult, expensive, and prone to toxic side effects that account for much of the suffering associated with the disease.
Now doctors are starting to think more about specific nutrients that feed tumor cells. That is, how what we eat affects how cancers growand whether there are ways to potentially starve cancer cells without leaving a person undernourished, or even hungry.
For a long time, the prevailing thought was that altered metabolism in cancer cells was the result of genes and mutations that determined metabolism, says Jason Locasale, a cancer biologist at Duke University. Now, as we know, its a complex interaction of environment and genes, and one of the major factors at play is nutrition.
Thats, uh, yeah, he attempted to patiently explain. Its basically saying we can quantify whats happening in the cells.
And so now I have begun referring to food as metabolic therapy.
The Science Behind Fasting And Cancer
Weight loss is just one benefit of intermittent fasting for a normal healthy adult. Recent animal studies and a few preliminary human trials have shown a decrease in risk for cancer or a decrease in cancer growth rates. These studies indicate this may be due to the following effects from fasting:
- stem cells triggered to regenerate the immune system
- balanced nutritional intake
Also Check: What Can I Have While Fasting
Fasting To Slow Cancer Growth
Had anyone here tried fasting or rigorous ketogenic diet to slow cancer growth?
Welcome to Cancer Chat. If you are currently undergoing treatment, it’s always best to discuss any dietary changes with your doctor or specialist.
We have a section on our website about diet and cancer here, which is worth taking a look at.
Our nurses have previously said the following on this topic:
“We would always recommend that people try to have a balanced diet throughout and after cancer treatment when possible. There is no scientific evidence that a high protein low carbohydrate diet has an effect on cancer. If you are thinking of making any changes to your diet always check it out with your doctor first.”
If you’d like to discuss further with them, you can reach them on 0808 800 4040 – Monday-Friday, 9-5.
All the best,
Thank you, Ben!
Thank you, Lorraine, for responding!
Not taking any treatment at the moment so no damage done by chemo or radiation at this time.
Everything I’ve read says that glucose and glutamine feed cancers. If you take those sources away, the cancer slows it’s growth is my understanding.
I am interested in hearing from anyone who has tried fasting or ketogenic diet to treat cancer whether it worked or not.
When it comes to alternative medicine, there is none that cures cancer. There is no hidden cure that’s available only to the rich .
Be wary of misinformation.
Thank you, telemando! I appreciate your comments very much.