Cancer is a complex disease, and detailed genetic analysis has shown that there are over 1000 cancer-associated genes in humans. However, new research reveals that cancer mutations affect just three metabolic pathways - the pathways that allow cancer cells to divide and grow out of control. Could it be that cancer is essentially a metabolic disease similar to other chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease or diabetes? Today we're going to take a deep dive into natural health oncology. Our guides on our journey are no strangers to our Nutramedica audience, Dr. David G Harper and Dr. Neil McKinney.
Dr. Harper is a long-time health educator and cancer researcher. He's also an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Fraser Valley. Dr. Neil McKinnie is also with us today. Dr McKinney is a doctor, a teacher, and an author with 35 years of clinical experience. He's a pioneer and leader of naturopathic cancer care.
- CANCER DEATH RATE Cancer is already the leading cause of death in many Western countries since 1971. Global spending on cancer research has exceeded 200 billion dollars. Yet the cancer death rate in the US has decreased by just five percent since 1950.
- OXYGEN & CANCER Cancer cells burn a lot of fuel without oxygen. Most normal cells are quite dependent on oxygen for burning. Our brain will die in minutes without oxygen. It's the most vital nutrient, but it turns out that cancer cells will burn fuel without oxygen. Cancer cells will continue to ferment anaerobic glycolysis, burning fuel without oxygen, even when oxygen is restored.
- AXIS OF ILLNESS The term “Axis of Illness” refers to obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation. This trifecta of degenerative metabolic conditions makes each other worse. Think of it as a circle that's spinning around, and it will spin off as a diagnosis as soon as clinically it exceeds some variable, like blood sugar level. Then we call it diabetes. But is it just diabetes or is it also cardiovascular disease? Is it also Alzheimer's? Maybe these are all the same thing. The root cause is in the cell at the mitochondrial level.
If we look at how we can change our lifestyle to improve mitochondrial health, we will improve our metabolic health.
- INSULIN CONNECTION The Standard American Diet (SAD) is high in carbohydrates and very high in sugar. This oversupplies the cancer cells with the very fuel that they need to survive. When you raise blood sugar levels, you raise insulin levels. And insulin is a very strong cellular growth promoter. So with a high carb, high sugar diet, you're providing the fuel and fertilizer that cancer cells need to grow optimally.
- SUGAR = DEATH Get sugar out of your diet. High fructose is a known toxin. It's toxic to the liver at a certain level. When you exceed that level, you start de novo lipogenesis (DNL) which is how you get fatty liver disease. It increases tumor necrosis factor-alpha, which is a very powerful inflammatory cytokine. Fructose also increases uric acid levels, which can lead to gout and kidney stones.
- CANCER AS A METABOLIC DISEASE Anti-cancer drugs work really well, but only for a short period of time. Then because cancer cells are so adaptable, they work around these drugs. So now we're revisiting cancer as a metabolic disease. It's much simpler. There are only really three metabolic pathways.
- CANCER IS AN INFLAMMATORY DISEASE. It won't work unless it can stimulate inflammation. What our immune system has to do is figure that out. Cancer cells are developing all the time. It's a natural part of the dysfunction of cells. Nothing is perfect. You can see these tumors as moles, if they're benign, lumps or moles that aren't really harmful. But if they start to grow uncontrollably in an unencapsulated environment, they have the ability to take over the metabolism of the body and direct it towards cancer growth and eventually that will wear the body down.
“What's on the end of your fork is the most important lifestyle decision you're making every day about your health. All the exercise in the world is not going to correct an unhealthy diet. You must pay attention to your diet. Part of that is getting the right advice, getting the right supplementation, and being knowledgeable.”
Dr David G Harper PhD
Global spending on cancer research has exceeded 200 billion dollars. Yet the cancer death rate in the US has decreased by just five percent since 1950.
When you raise blood sugar levels, you raise insulin levels. Insulin is a very strong cellular growth promoter. So with a high carb, high sugar diet, you're providing the fuel and fertilizer that cancer cells need to grow optimally.
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