Does a low(ish) carb diet prevent cancer? (biochemists required)

by 17816 · May 07, 2011 at 03:52 AM

I know there are some smart biochemists around here and I have a question about a phenomeon of free palmitate acting as an agent of apoptosis as in the links below.

Would this mean that a diet high in saturated fat and lower in carbohydrates would be protective against cancers by virtue of elevated free palmitate levels inducing apoptosis? Thanks in advance, I could be flat-out wrong and wasn't your time but I thought it was worth a go.

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8 Replies

3576 · March 04, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Can you answer if you're not a biochemist? :P

Not all saturated fat is palmitate, of course. You'd have to specifically seek it out to benefit from it, obviously.

But the cool thing about the type of diet you suggest is that not only does it contain the palmitate, it removes most sources of glucose, which feeds cancer cells that have shut off their mitochondria or don't have them in the first place. Not every cancer falls into that category but quite a few do. On top of that, less glucose means less insulin response which means less encouragement of tumor growth. So you've got three traits of this diet which discourage cancer growth, not just the one.

It's not a guarantee. You could get all the dietary stuff aligned to discourage cancer growth and still be waylaid by environmental toxins. But it's a start. I watched an online friend die from late-stage breast cancer which she fed with a macrobiotic diet. Tried to warn her, it did no good. And she might have died anyway, as far along as she was.

25189 · March 04, 2011 at 11:24 PM

If you read chapters 15-19 of Power Sex and Suicide the answer is yes. Jury is out but based upon the science that we know and how NF Kappa Beta is signalled from the first cytochrome from a variety of sources......yes I think so.

375 · May 07, 2011 at 03:09 AM

keeping insulin low and gut healthy has many benefits, one being regulation of apoptosis (programmed cell death) which helps prevent cell replication errors, which lead to cancer. Alot more to it, but yes it is your best bet for avoidance of cancer.

2285 · May 07, 2011 at 02:56 AM

I've got into an argument with one of my biochem friends about the effects of ketosis on cancer growth. I'm saying that ketosis starves cancer of glucose, and he says that cancer can still get enough glucose from what's circulating in the blood stream to survive. One thing you should know about cancer metabolism, is that in 90% of cancers, the cancer cells only use glycolysis for energy production, and don't/can't use fatty acids (via beta-oxidation). This idea has been floating around for a while (since the 1930s), and is known as the Warburg hypothesis (Wikipedia Link). There's also a review of sorts written in 2009, if you have uni access to PubMed you can get it here.

If you want more information, I'd suggest a Google Scholar search of "ketosis glycolysis cancer" or "ketogenic diet cancer", with most of the articles I found in a quick search not needing special access.

I really think ketosis has some good potential in being cancer preventative, and inhibitive to cancer growth. I actually just heard/read about it earlier today, and I'm surprised why this isn't a "big deal". Cancer growth inhibition with a (in my opinion) relatively easy diet change? Yes.

The research also kind of shows that paleo/keto people are at least barking up the right tree. Not a bad thing also.

4753 · May 07, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Yes. There are likely multiple mechanisms but this is probably one of them.

18236 · April 13, 2011 at 04:39 PM

I know the info on the below site isn't really Paleo, but Kent Rieske's approach is so different and so radical that I still like reading some of his stuff every now and then just to chuckle if anything. He is as 'low-carb' as they come. He believes carbs cause cancer, and that a low carb diet prevents cancer (among other things). He takes no prisoners.

I do NOT agree with everything he is all about. One of the things he is against is organic farming. He gives his reasons why, and I don't agree. But since Rieske was the guy that scared the bejeezus outta me at the very beginning, he has become somewhat of a household name. We crack up about it actually. He is so over the top, so outlandish and strongarm in his approach that I felt like I was developing a disease right in front of my computer screen.

Have a looksee. He puts loads and loads of info on here about cancer. It gets really good about half way down the (long) page. Take some, leave some.

5216 · April 13, 2011 at 04:10 PM

It cuts off the glucose fuel supply that many cancers use incredibly preferentially.

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