Learning How to Starve a Tumor


Nov. 17, 2021 –The historical recommendation to “feed a cold, starve a fever” has a restricted proof base, however new analysis highlights how feeding fat and sugar to a tumor may gas its development.

Pancreatic tumors in mice develop extra slowly when the animals eat a calorie-restricted weight-reduction plan, findings counsel. The outcomes, published in Nature, don’t imply that anybody with most cancers ought to embark on a particular weight-reduction plan, particularly given that individuals aren’t mice. But extra analysis on this space may determine combos of specifics diets and drug therapies that improve most cancers therapies.

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Scientists have lengthy recognized that most cancers cells are ravenous, consuming a great deal of glucose as they develop. The query is whether or not ravenous them of glucose would sluggish this development with out harming the remainder of the physique. To get a solution, the researchers labored with mice carrying pancreatic tumors. They fed a low-calorie weight-reduction plan to 1 group, a traditional weight-reduction plan to 1 group, and a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic weight-reduction plan to a 3rd group.

Only tumors in animals consuming the low-calorie weight-reduction plan confirmed slower development, implying that the tumors wanted greater than glucose to continue to grow. Glucose ranges have been decrease with each calorie restriction and the keto weight-reduction plan, however lipids additionally have been decrease with calorie restriction.

All cells, together with most cancers cells, use lipids to construct their protecting outer membranes. The elevated lipid ranges within the keto weight-reduction plan could have given tumors all of the lipids they wanted to construct new cell membranes.

The outcomes counsel that the important thing to slowing most cancers in these mice was to starve tumors of each glucose and lipids, as solely the calorie-restricted weight-reduction plan did. The wholesome tissues of the physique nonetheless want these vitamins, one motive sufferers with most cancers shouldn’t change their diets with out scientific steerage. But the findings trace that utilizing weight-reduction plan or medication to limit consumption of some lipids or their use cells could possibly be a path to ravenous a tumor with out ravenous the particular person.

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