Scientists have known what causes cancer since the 1920’s.
In fact, Otto Warburg received a Nobel prize for his discovery way back then.
Cancer is caused by mitochondrial dysfunction.
Mitochondria are the powerhouses inside of our cells that produce energy. When the mitochondria in a cell fail, that cell will become cancerous.
Cancer is not a single disease but a collection of 100+ diseases all with mitochondrial dysfunction at the center.
So what causes the mitochondria to fail? That’s the big question.
The answer is…any number of things.
Study after study shows that only 5-10 percent of cancer is caused by damaged DNA. The remaining 90-95 percent of cancer cases are caused by poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles that also damage mitochondrial function.
Cancer is a mitochondrial disease or more precisely, a metabolic disease.
Metabolism is how the body uses the food we eat to obtain energy.
Everybody Has Cancer
Even healthy people produce 500 to 1000 new cancerous cells every day.
It’s scary to think about, but all of us have cancer cells in our body. All it takes is one big push and our body’s normal processes of eliminating those cancer cells becomes impaired and cancer gets the upper hand.
Cancer can take over due to:
- an impaired immune system
- unbalanced hormones
- chronic inflammation
- blood sugar imbalance (this is a big one)
- an unhealthy microbiome (the microbes that live within our body)
- toxin exposure
- genetic or epigenetic mutations
It takes regulation of ALL of these factors to prevent and treat cancer.
No two people have the same toxin exposure, immune system, metabolism, or microbiome. And, certainly, no one has the exact same genetic makeup.
That’s why everyone needs to be on a different treatment program depending on their individual physiology and their particular cancer.
Sugar is Enemy Number One
Up to 80% of cancers are driven by the effects of glucose (sugar) and insulin (the hormone that regulates blood sugar).
Insulin resistance is a hallmark of cachexia, the wasting from within syndrome that kills 50-80% of all patients. Cachexia involves muscle wasting and extreme weight loss.
Cancer cells use glucose to create the energy they need to sustain their exponential growth.
Cancer cells consume blood sugar 50 times faster than normal cells.
When cancer cells use up all the glucose from the carbs we eat, they turn to the modest stores of glucose in the liver. When that is used up, they signal the body to start breaking down muscle and bone to convert that protein into glucose.
Sugar feeds cancer.
That’s why drinking Ensure or Boost supplements, which are loaded with sugar, is a very bad idea during a battle with cancer. Sadly, these supplements are commonly recommended by many oncologists.
Ketones, the Alternative Fuel
Ketones are a source of fuel that is more difficult for cancer cells to consume than glucose is.
Ketones are made from healthy fats like coconuts, avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, butter, ghee, lard, etc.
These types of healthy fats not only make ketones, an alternative fuel source, but they make food taste good!
Ketones give us long-lasting energy because they can be stored, whereas there are only limited stores of glucose.
Healthy fat WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT, despite what you may have been told. Excess sugar is what makes us fat.
A ketogenic diet includes high healthy fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrates.
Dr. Nasha Winters, ND, cancer survivor and noted cancer doctor, recommends 70-75% of calories from healthy fats, 20-25% from quality proteins and 5-10% from carbohydrates.
Healthy fats have no effect on blood sugar and insulin levels.
If too much protein is consumed, that excess protein can be converted to glucose in the body which increases insulin levels. However, Dr. Winters recommends that patients who choose to undergo chemotherapy may need as much as 50% more protein than usual.
Sources of complete proteins are meat, poultry, eggs and fish.
Carbohydrates have the biggest impact on glucose levels. Carbohydrates should be from nutrient-dense vegetables and no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Most people can achieve a 10-vegetable a day goal while following a ketogenic diet. Nutrient-dense vegetables are very low carb.
How many vegetables did you eat yesterday? It’s not that easy to eat that many veggies.
It takes considerable planning and effort to achieve these goals, but the results are life-
The Metabolic Approach to Cancer
Switching over from a sugar-burner metabolism to a fat burner metabolism is at the foundation of preventing and treating cancer.
The metabolic approach to cancer involves:
- Practicing a ketogenic diet
- Intermittent fasting (either limiting the hours in which you consume food daily or eliminating food entirely for a short period)
- Balancing amino acids (quality protein)
- Increasing methyl-donor foods (e.g. beets, spinach, wild shrimp, scallops, turkey, eggs, pasture-raised chicken, organ meat)
- Increasing folate-rich foods (e.g. dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, avocado)
- Optimizing Vitamin B12 levels (e.g. liver, kidney, eggs and fish)
- Consuming specific plant-derived phytonutrients (nutrients from veggies, especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower)
Avoid the pesticides and herbicides in conventional fruits and vegetables. Select grass-fed meat, pasture-raised poultry and eggs, and wild-caught seafood.
Buying pasture-raised meat, eggs and chicken and organic vegetables can be expensive.
But so is cancer.
It Takes More Than Just Modifying Your Diet
There is more to fighting cancer than just diet modification, however.
Work with a qualified healthcare practitioner to ensure that appropriate lab testing is done to assess other areas of imbalance.
- Balancing hormones is a big part of cancer avoidance.
- Boosting our immune system and reducing chronic inflammation are also important factors.
- Taking a look at our genetic makeup with tools like 23 and Me can reveal our potential genetic vulnerabilities. Clues can be obtained from the BRCA and the MTHFR gene mutations, for example. This will allow us to modify our nutrition and lifestyle to account for these genetic factors.
- Removing toxins from our environment is extremely critical for cancer avoidance.
The personal care products we slather on our bodies and hair daily, the household cleaning products we use and even the water we drink and bathe in can impart toxic chemicals that may overwhelm our detoxification systems.
We know what causes cancer. It’s a metabolic disease and needs to be treated like one.
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Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals. No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
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The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, Dr. Nasha Winters and Jess Higgins Kelley, 2017