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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Preventing Cancer and other Noxious Stuff...

Remember last time in talking about cancer screenings I said I opt for preventing cancer rather than screening for it (as tho it were inevitable).  That's because cancer (and a lot of other health disasters) are diseases of civilization.  By that I mean we know that a "civilized" diet causes them.  Our Paleolitic ancestors did not get cancer or heart disease or arthritis or alzheimers or get depressed or a million other things.  Granted, they may have been eated by lions, tigers and bears, but they didn't get the diseases of civilization because their diet wasn't civilized. 

Generally anyone with a brain, the time to look into this stuff and no agenda from agriculture, pharmaceuticals or other monied interests, has figured this out.  That's why there is such a strong (non-mainstream but vocal and persuasive) movement toward Paleo, Primal or Ancestral diet. 

Still, the powers that be must do studies and justify their existence and budgets.  So here's a new one in Nutrition & Metabolism 2011, 8:75, by Klement RJ, et al, titled " Is there a role for carbohydrate restriction in the treatment and prevention of cancer?"

Well, duh! 

Ok, my temper tantrum is over.

Here's what they conclude (the abstract of the paper):

Over the last years, evidence has accumulated suggesting that by systematically reducing the amount of dietary carbohydrates (CHOs) one could suppress, or at least delay, the emergence of cancer, and that proliferation of already existing tumor cells could be slowed down. This hypothesis is supported by the association between modern chronic diseases like the metabolic syndrome and the risk of developing or dying from cancer. CHOs or glucose, to which more complex carbohydrates are ultimately digested, can have direct and indirect effects on tumor cell proliferation: first, contrary to normal cells, most malignant cells depend on steady glucose availability in the blood for their energy and biomass generating demands and are not able to metabolize significant amounts of fatty acids or ketone bodies due to mitochondrial dysfunction.

Second, high insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 levels resulting from chronic ingestion of CHO-rich Western diet meals can directly promote tumor cell proliferation via the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway. Third, ketone bodies that are elevated when insulin and blood glucose levels are low, have been found to negatively affect proliferation of different malignant cells in vitro or not to be usable by tumor cells for metabolic demands, and a multitude of mouse models have shown anti-tumorigenic properties of very low-CHO ketogenic diets. In addition, many cancer patients exhibit an altered glucose metabolim characterized by insulin resistance and may profit from an increased protein and fat intake. In this review, we address the possible beneficial effects of low CHO diets on cancer prevention and treatment. Emphasis will be placed on the role of insulin and IGF-1 signaling in tumorigenesis as well as altered dietary needs of cancer patients.

If that's hard to understand, what they've said in a nutshell is that carbohydrates makes us sick.  As I've said here and elsewhere, blood sugar and insulin cause most of the chronic inflammation that causes all disease.  The body is a self healing, self regulating system that WILL stay healthy and functional if you give it what it needs and do not screw it up with anti-nutrients and toxins. 

Our ancestors ate a low glycemic diet for thousands or perhaps millions of years.  That enabled them to survive.  Chances are high that your diet today (if you're a typical American) is a VERY high glycemic diet.  That raises blood sugar to toxic levels and then raises insulin to toxic levels.  THAT CAUSES DISEASE.
Ok, I know, I'm shouting, sorry, forgive me.  If you want to figure out your chances of being sick, non functional and complaining about the aging process, look up the glycemic load of everything you put in your mouth for about three days. There's a handy site for looking up foods.

Here's the thing.  Glycemic load of 10 or below will not raise blood sugar into the red zone.  Anything over 10 is progressively more and more toxic.  Glycemic load is additive.  If you eat a cup of chopped broccoli with a glycemic load of 4 you're good.  But if you add a cup of brown rice with a glycemic load of 22, not only is your load not low but it's now into the high zone (over 20) at 26, and highly toxic. 

Your ancestors didn't eat grains (grass seeds).  You're not adapted for grains.  They make you sick.  The hype all over the media about WHOLE grains is the biggest lie ever perpetrated on the Ameirican public.  And don't get me started on sugar and vegetable oils that are just toxic as all get out!!!

So I suggest you read Dr. Briffa's post for yourself, here:
but I will excerpt below his explanations for why (high glycemic) carbohydrates make you sick.  In case you want to know the mechanisms...

1. Cancer cells feed preferentially on sugar (glucose)
Glucose (from sugary and starchy foods) provides the prime fuel for cancer cells, so a diet lower in carbohydrate may therefore reduce tumour development or progression.

2. Insulin and IGF-1 can stimulate tumour cell growth
High carbohydrate diets increase levels of insulin and what is known as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which stimulate tumour cell growth. A lower carbohydrate diet may reduce tumour proliferation as a result.

3. Ketones suppress cancer
Very low carbohydrate diets can lead to the production of ‘ketones’ (mainly produced from fat) that suppress tumours.

4. Low-carbohydrate and ‘ketogenic’ diets ‘starve’ cancer
Low-carbohydrate diets mimic caloric restriction and ketogenic diets mimic starvation – and caloric restriction/starvation is linked to reduce tumour development and progression.

5. Low carbohydrate diets can reduce inflammation
Inflammation is believed to be a risk factor in the development of cancer, and high-carb diets encourage inflammation. Low-carbohydrate diets have been found to be more effective than low-fat ones in terms of reducing markers of inflammation.

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