As cancer death rates drop overall, doctors have noted a frightening anomaly: deaths from colorectal cancer in people under 55 appear to be creeping up. According to the American Cancer Society, deaths in this younger group increased by 1 percent between and A new study led by Salk Institute scientists suggests that high-fat diets fuel colorectal cancer growth by upsetting the balance of bile acids in the intestine and triggering a hormonal signal that lets potentially cancerous cells thrive. The findings, which appeared in Cell on February 21, , could explain why colorectal cancer, which can take decades to develop, is being seen in younger people growing up at a time when higher-fat diets are common. The research, conducted in a mouse model, suggests how lifestyle and genetics converge. The researchers found that animals with an APC mutation, the most common genetic mutation found in humans with colorectal cancer, developed cancer faster when fed a high-fat diet. The intestine and colon commonly lumped together as the “gut” are hard-working organs. As you eat, your gut needs to constantly regenerate its lining to undo the damage done by digestive acids. To do this, the gut houses a population of stem cells that can replenish lining cells when needed. Scientists have found that colorectal cancers often originate from mutations in these stem cells. The most common colorectal cancer-linked mutation is in a gene called APC, which normally acts as a “tumor suppressor” gene because it controls how often cells divide.
Typically, cancer nutritionists recommend that patients eat a plant-based diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limits red meat. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to put the body into ketosis. Cancer cells use more glucose than normal cells to maintain their growth. Since the ketogenic diet deprives the body of glucose, scientists have proposed that it might also keep cancer cells from getting the energy they need to grow. Currently, two small clinical trials are looking at the effect of the keto diet in patients receiving standard treatment for metastatic breast cancer and glioblastoma. A recent study found the diet inhibited the growth of cancer cells in mice with non-small cell lung cancer, which relies heavily on glucose for its growth. Jocelyn Tan, an oncologist with Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, has conducted research on how the keto diet affects cancer patients. Q: How did you become interested in the keto diet? A: In , I found two papers that looked at the effect of a low carbohydrate diet in cancer patients.
Dieting is of concern to cancer patients worried about additional weight loss. A low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet was thought to be an alternative to fasting or starvation, having many of the same desired effects while continuing to nourish healthy cells. Reduction of weight loss and tumour size in a cachexia model by a high fat diet. Retrieved November 9, from Ergo: A pilot study of ketogenic diet in recurrent glioblastoma. The Warburg effect is the target of ketogenic dietary therapy for cancer, as such diets aim to limit energy sources for cancer cells by restricting carbohydrates, while providing fatty acids and ketone bodies as an energy source for healthy cells [ 5 ]. In this study, we found that dietary management with Ketonformula resulted in the successful maintenance of both body weight and muscle mass. Ketogenic dietary therapy has been reported to result in vitamin or mineral deficiency based on the fact that available foods for the therapy are limited [ 6, 35 ]. The safety and feasibility data suggest that cancer patients can tolerate KD use.