Originally printed by The Alternative Research Foundation
It puzzles me why the simple concept "sugar feeds cancer" can be so dramatically overlooked as part of a comprehensive cancer treatment plan.
Of the 4 million cancer patients being treated in America today, hardly any are offered any scientifically guided nutrition therapy beyond being told to "just eat good foods." Most patients I work with arrive with a complete lack of nutritional advice.
I believe many cancer patients would have a major improvement in their outcome if they controlled the supply of cancer's preferred fuel, glucose.
By slowing the cancer's growth, patients allow their immune systems and medical debulking therapies -- chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to reduce the bulk of the tumor mass -- to catch up to the disease.
Controlling one's blood-glucose levels through diet, supplements, exercise, meditation and prescription drugs when necessary can be one of the most crucial components to a cancer recovery program. The sound bite -- sugar feeds cancer -- is simple. The explanation is a little more complex.
The 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, Ph.D., first discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells.
The crux of his Nobel thesis was that malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in anaerobic glycolysis -- a process whereby glucose is used as a fuel by cancer cells with lactic acid as an anaerobic byproduct -- compared to normal tissues.
The large amount of lactic acid produced by this fermentation of glucose from cancer cells is then transported to the liver. This conversion of glucose to lactate generates a lower, more acidic pH in cancerous tissues as well as overall physical fatigue from lactic acid buildup. Thus, larger tumors tend to exhibit a more acidic pH.
This inefficient pathway for energy metabolism yields only 2 moles of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy per mole of glucose, compared to 38 moles of ATP in the complete aerobic oxidation of glucose.
By extracting only about 5 percent (2 vs. 38 moles of ATP) of the available energy in the food supply and the body's calorie stores, the cancer is "wasting" energy, and the patient becomes tired and undernourished. This vicious cycle increases body wasting.
It is one reason why 40 percent of cancer patients die from malnutrition, or cachexia. Hence, cancer therapies should encompass regulating blood-glucose levels via diet, supplements, non-oral solutions for cachectic patients who lose their appetite, medication, exercise, gradual weight loss and stress reduction. Professional guidance and patient self-discipline are crucial at this point in the cancer process. The quest is not to eliminate sugars or carbohydrates from the diet but rather to control blood glucose within a narrow range to help starve the cancer and bolster immune function.
The glycemic index is a measure of how a given food affects blood-glucose levels, with each food assigned a numbered rating. The lower the rating, the slower the digestion and absorption process, which provides a healthier, more gradual infusion of sugars into the bloodstream.
Conversely, a high rating means blood-glucose levels are increased quickly, which stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin to drop blood-sugar levels. This rapid fluctuation of blood-sugar levels is unhealthy because of the stress it places on the body
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