Friday, June 28, 2013

Mercola on Cancer and Ketogenic Diets 20130616
The Mercola "story at a glance":
·   A ketogenic diet, which calls for minimizing carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy fats and moderate amounts of high-quality protein, can offer hope against cancer, both for prevention and treatment
·     Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. Cancer cells lack this ability so when you reduce carbs to only non-starchy vegetables, you effectively starve the cancer
·     Cancer can be more accurately classified as a mitochondrial metabolic disease. Few people inherit genes that predispose them to cancer (most inherit genes that prevent cancer), and inherited mutations typically disrupt the function of the mitochondria
·     The mitochondria—the main power generators in your cells—are believed to be the central point in the origins of many cancers. Your mitochondria can be damaged not only by inherited mutations, but also by a wide variety of environmental factors and toxin
·      Fasting has remarkable health benefits and strengthens your mitochondria network systems throughout your body. As long as your mitochondria remain healthy and functional, it’s very unlikely that cancer will develop

Does sugar play a role in the ability of a cancer cell to thrive and displace healthy cells?  In many cases, this seems to be the case.  Thus, intermittent fasting would seem a valuable tool in stopping the growth cycle of cancerous cells, as would carb restriction.  There seem to be many factors in cancers, and once they reach the growth stage some do not respond well to ketogenic diets, but seem to suffer when glucose and fructose are in short supply.  
It's all pretty simple until one tries to indulge an activity like CrossFit which requires higher carb intake if one hopes to be at one's best, due to the relatively low amounts of glycogen which the body will store  when carb levels are kept at ketogenic leves (seemingly 75g/day or less for me).  At that point, intermittent fasting, carb loading once per day, and perhaps weekly carb binges may be necessary.  However, even without those, CF performance can be passable when in a ketogenic state, and most life activities are well enhanced by cyclic ketogenic eating, and as the linked article points out, this approach may hold significant protective elements for cancer prevention.   

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