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Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets may reduce both tumor growth
rates and cancer risk
American Association for Cancer Research ^ | June 14, 2011 |

PHILADELPHIA - Eating a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet may
reduce the risk of cancer and slow the growth of tumors already
present, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal
of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The study was conducted in mice, but the scientists involved agree
that the strong biological findings are definitive enough that an
effect in humans can be considered.

"This shows that something as simple as a change in diet can have an
impact on cancer risk," said lead researcher Gerald Krystal, Ph.D., a
distinguished scientist at the British Columbia Cancer Research

Cancer Research editor-in-chief George Prendergast, Ph.D., CEO of the
Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, agreed. "Many cancer
patients are interested in making changes in areas that they can
control, and this study definitely lends credence to the idea that a
change in diet can be beneficial," said Prendergast, who was not
involved with the study.

Krystal and his colleagues implanted various strains of mice with
human tumor cells or with mouse tumor cells and assigned them to one
of two diets. The first diet, a typical Western diet, contained about
55 percent carbohydrate, 23 percent protein and 22 percent fat. The
second, which is somewhat like a South Beach diet but higher in
protein, contained 15 percent carbohydrate, 58 percent protein and 26
percent fat. They found that the tumor cells grew consistently slower
on the second diet.

As well, mice genetically predisposed to breast cancer were put on
these two diets and almost half of them on the Western diet developed
breast cancer within their first year of life while none on the
low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet did. Interestingly, only one on
the Western diet reached a normal life span (approximately 2 years),
with 70 percent of them dying from cancer while only 30 percent of
those on the low-carbohydrate diet developed cancer and more than
half these mice reached or exceeded their normal life span.

Krystal and colleagues also tested the effect of an mTOR inhibitor,
which inhibits cell growth, and a COX-2 inhibitor, which reduces
inflammation, on tumor development, and found these agents had an
additive effect in the mice fed the low-carbohydrate, high-protein

When asked to speculate on the biological mechanism, Krystal said
that tumor cells, unlike normal cells, need significantly more
glucose to grow and thrive. Restricting carbohydrate intake can
significantly limit blood glucose and insulin, a hormone that has
been shown in many independent studies to promote tumor growth in
both humans and mice.

Furthermore, a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet has the potential
to both boost the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells

4,368 Posts
I haven't read that study but I have heard that tumors feed on glucose. So the higher carb diet you eat the more glucose to feed those tumors. I know Low Carb diet is contraversial in the D community, but boy does it work. If it also prevents cancer, that is great.
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