Total Access Medical - Direct Primary Care Blog

Dieting To Treat Cancer

Posted by William Kirkpatrick on Sep 21, 2016

executive-health-exams.pngIn 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease. Although a few patients diagnosed with cancer can attribute their illness to a hereditary abnormal gene, most people believe their cancer was a result of a DNA mutation possibly caused by a handful of external factors such as environmental radiation, toxins, and poor diet. However, this may not be the case, as some bouts of cancer may be linked to the manner in which cancer cells produce energy.

Cellular respiration is the process in which healthy cells produce energy to function and survive. The thousands of mitochondria, which are called the cell's "power house" because they're responsible for energy production, rely on oxygen to help break down sugar into energy and store it. 


Related article: These Foods Can Help Save Your Memory


However, there is one defect common to all cancer cells, which is that the mitochondria do not work properly. This causes cancer cells to find an alternative method of converting the energy in sugar. This process is called glycolysis and it is a metabolic activity that converts sugar into a usable form of energy. And while glycolysis is inefficient for healthy cells, the mutations in cancer cells dramatically increase the ability of cancer cells to use sugar to make the energy needed to continue rapidly growing. The science behind cancer cells and glycolysis is very complex but it stands to reason that if you have cancer, you will fare better if you deprive your tumor cells their primary fuel source – sugar. 

The Ketogenic diet may be the cure to cancer recovery. To some, a ketogenic diet amounts to nothing less than a drug-free cancer treatment. The diet calls for eliminating carbohydrates, replacing them with healthy fats and protein. 


Related article: How To Prevent Unhealthy Food Cravings 


The premise is that since cancer cells need glucose to thrive, and carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body, then cutting out carbs literally starves the cancer cells. 

This type of diet, in which you replace carbs with moderate amounts of high quality protein and high amounts of beneficial fat, is actually recommended for everyone, whether you have cancer or not. It's simply a diet that will help optimize your weight and health overall, as eating this way will help you convert from carb burning mode to fat burning.

If you have trouble scheduling times with your doctor to talk about cancer treatment alternatives than consider becoming a member of a direct primary care practice. With direct primary care you will be granted longer appointments with you doctor to get all of your questions answered, routine physicals, same day appointment scheduling and 24/7 access to your doctor's personal cell phone. 

New Call-to-action

Topics: Wellness, Recent Research, Nutrition, Diet, Healthy Eating