At the Ancestral Health Symposium, not only were there practical application talks but some more hard core science talks. One of those revolved around cancer and diet. Most cancers have a very high glycolytic rate, despite normal oxygen levels. This means they burn glucose primarly for fuel, and have a type of metabolism referred to as fermentation. In fact, tumors do not need intact mitochondria for energy. Contrary to popular belief, genetic mutations may not be primary cause for some cancers, but may be secondary to mitochondrial dysfunction and chronic inflammation (high stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, bad gut health) in development of cancer.
Since insulin and IGF-1 promote tumor growth, cancer cells are very vulnerable to low glucose diets. Tumor cells actually secrete signals in the body which go to the liver, and muscle, causing cells to become insulin resistant, so that there is more glucose available for the tumor cells. By feeding a cancer patient a low carb diet, fat and ketone bodies provide fuel for muscle cells, so that there is a stoppage of weight loss, with the additional effects of blocking glycolysis, which starves tumor cells.
So, a primal diet is optimal for treating cancer, since it can be a ketogenic diet. One would want to focus on quality of foods, not quantity, make sure they eat more Omega 3 fatty acids, and less Omega 6, avoid gluten and grain lectins entirely to avoid inflammation, as well as a glucose source, and eat lots of coconut oil (high in Medium chain triglycerides which are immune system boosting). Along with a high nutrient dense diet, comes an increase in the amount of vitamins one consumes, along with secondary plant substances which have other potential protective mechanisms.
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