If ALL cancer cells require glucose/fructose for proliferation and metastasis, eliminating these carbohydrates are simple and wonderful strategies(Warburg). Questions are whether ALL cancer cells require carbohydrates? Are there any cancer cells known which do not depend on glucose/fructose
and which can proliferate on ketone bodies?
If there are such cancer cells, I would like to know which cancers such that I can devise alternative strategies to prevent.
I work as a primary cancer researcher with an interest in metabolism and cancer. Glucose is definitely used by cancer cells for fuel. The fructose story is a little more unsettled. One paper got a lot of press on this, but needs more work. It should also be pointed out this paper can not be interpreted as 'fructose causes cancer'. Glutamine can be used as cancer fuel also. Raises question on glucosamine supplementation.
Researchers have noticed a connection between cancer and sugar for a while but it is not completely understood, and it depends on the type of cancer cell. It was once believed glucose was the main feeder of cancer but researchers are discovering fructose also works as a cancer feeder. This does NOT let glucose off the hook, however; it still feeds cancer! And there are good reasons not to eat glucose-forming foods to excess and cancer is only one of those reasons.
Otto Warburg's idea that sugar causes cancer is in dispute (see also here and the related talk page) but no one's denying there's a connection between sugar and cancer, even if the former doesn't cause the latter.
A lot of attention is given to the idea of genetic mutations being involved in cancer. This is a nice little mythology for people wanting to make money from biotech. I suppose there's some validity, maybe, but for example, the second link I gave you cites the "breast cancer genes" as "proof" of genetic mutation being the cause of cancer. How many women with breast cancer actually have those "breast cancer genes"? Very few. Most of them aren't carriers. I think that if genetic mutation is related to cancer, it doesn't necessarily have to exist in the original DNA code. We know radiation contributes to cancer, so that's mutation after the fact, so to speak, not mutation in the original genes.
Well, the fact is we're exposed to mutagens every day. They even exist in the natural world. You may have heard that AIDS patients and other immunocompromised people are more susceptible to cancer. That's because their immune systems are their front line of defense against developing a malignancy. Same for us. On a world that receives daily radiation and also contains radioactive minerals, we need some way to keep rogue cells in check.
I'd say the key to reducing risk is twofold: one, keep your immune system healthy; two, cut way down on sugar sources. Fructose is a gimme, pretty easy to avoid if you're not eating junk food, but if you're intaking glucose-forming foods over and above your energy requirements, that's something to look at critically as well. Possibly it won't matter as much in the absence of fructose. But if you're paranoid, cutting back on glucose production and consumption will at least let you feel like you have some control over possibilities.
There is no one singular cancer so generalizing cancer is impossible. That is the single biggest problem in cancer research and what makes it challenging - each type of cancer is different and each case of the same cancer is nuanced by individual factors. Causes are manifold and multifaceted.
There are cancers that like glucose, some fructose, others neither. Some might even favor ketone bodies (there goes that blanket recommendation for ketogenic diets for cancer patients).
What ive read said Glucose is the food. Whether thats dietary or gluconeogenesis derived. but Fructose is the Lighter Fluid. The Cancers studied didnt MULTIPLY until fructose was introduced...
All seems a bit far fetched to me.
As far as I know there are no in vivo studies looking at fructose, and very few in vitro. The main study people site states that fructose was found equal to glucose in cancer proliferation, but uses a different pathway.
So it amazes me how people extrapolate this to crazy notions of 'fructose lighter fuel', and 'glucose is fine but fructose is deadly'.
Lets get back to basics here - cancer cells need fuel and building blocks to grow. Given their adaptable nature, I wouldn't be surprised to see that they can feed off many different substances. We can't starve them out - even if we stop all glucose, our body generates it as fuel for our cells.
It seems to me a much better use of time to focus on nutrients that selectively attack cancer cells, repair DNA damage, turn off cell proliferation, turn on programmed cell death and cut off the blood supply - and generally bolster the immune system to enable it to do it's job.
The immune system deals with cancer cells every single day of our lives.
So instead of focusing on cutting every last fructose molecule from our diets, would it not be wiser to focus on flooding our systems with things like turmeric, sulphurofane, cruciferous vegetables, medicinal mushrooms, astragalus, resveratrol, and lots of other cancer fighting nutrients - as well as of course sunshine, sleep, exercise and reduced exposure to carcinogens?
Sugar kills cancer!
Authors: S. Paiva, G.; A. Taft, Carlton; A. de Souza, Ivone
"In this work we studied the tumor effect of fructose and glucose on the mice xenotransplant model of sarcoma 180 (S180) in in vivo. The experimental results suggest that for dosages of 14 mg/kg and 28 mg/kg glucose (and fructose in a lower rate) show a great inhibitory behavior on tumors".
Source: Letters in Organic Chemistry, Volume 8, Number 8, October 2011 , pp. 596-598(3)
The immune system is highly efficient at clearing transformed cells. People should not be surprised to see individuals developing cancer but rather be surprised that there are not many more of them. The topic of what drives cancer genesis and progression is highly debated. One hypothesis (the one I believe in) is that cancer is a metabolic disease. Warburg recognized that fact (although there were a few flaws in his reasoning) and researchers such as T. Seyfried in Boston support that notion as well. But whether you believe that the genomic instability that preceded cell transformation is due to environmental carcinogen or due to mitochondrial insufficiency, it is well accepted that every cancer cell is highly glycolytic and a 'sugar-burning-beast'. Its primary fuel is usually glucose, but some tumors can rely on glutamine as well. That being said, I cannot believe that glucosamine supplementation would have any significant detrimental effect on disease progression. BTW, radio-labelled glucose is routinely used for in vivo imaging of tumor masses (i.e. you ingest a radio-labelled sugar analog solution and the tumor masses will show up on a PET).
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