Eat to live
While I was the associate medical director at The Atkins Center–working alongside Dr. Robert Atkins himself–we treated many, many cancer patients. And with great success, too.
The truth is that, contrary to what conventional “wisdom” dictates, diet does have an influence on the progression of this disease. And in this area, my mentor was truly a pioneer.
Which is why I’m thrilled to see that, yet again, his work will be vindicated.
This past January, the review board at North Carolina’s Duke University approved a randomized, controlled trial of calorie restriction as a treatment for cancer. The very first randomized clinical trial of its kind.
Duke is a leader in the field when it comes to nutritional research and disease. So it comes as no surprise to me that this institution is participating in such groundbreaking work.
Meanwhile, similar studies on breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer are in their early stages at Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Iowa, already.
In fact, interest in the metabolic activity of cancer cells has spiked considerably over the last ten years. And with it, the role that exercise and diet could potentially play in the fight against cancer becomes more and more powerful.
All of which must have drug companies quaking in their boots.
Plenty of laboratory science supports the idea that a low-carb diet could stall cancer growth. Why? Because at the end of the day, carbohydrates are the same as sugar. And sugar is cancer’s favorite food.
If you’ve ever had a PET scan, you might know this already. Unlike healthy cells, malignant cells rely on a steady stream of glucose in the blood to thrive and grow quickly. That’s why PET scans use radioactive glucose to find cancer.
But these same cells can’t metabolize fatty acids or ketones (which help your body break down fat)–both of which are hallmarks of low-carb diets. Which means that eliminating carbohydrates effectively starves cancer cells to death.
It’s a smack in the face to advocates of a low-fat lifestyle. In fact, more fat–and of course, less sugar–is what could end up saving a cancer patient’s life.
In order to prove this hypothesis, the upcoming Duke study will look closer at calorie restriction in men with prostate cancer. And it will focus specifically on extreme carbohydrate restriction.
Researchers haven’t started enrolling patients yet. But the National Cancer Institute is providing the funds–along with the Atkins Foundation, I’m proud to say.
The study has a projected end date of 2016. And you can bet that I’ll be at my keyboard sharing the results with you the second they come in.
Source: Calorie Restriction to Treat Cancer: The Time Is Now. Medscape. Feb 01, 2013.