Low-Carb Diet Slows Cancer Growth

Low-Carb Diet Slows Cancer Growth
Cancer cells rely on glucose (blood sugar) for fuel. A study on cancerous mice from the British Columbia Cancer Research Center found that tumors grew more slowly when the animals were fed diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates, compared to animals fed a mixed Western-type diet. The low-carbohydrate-fed mice showed lower levels of blood sugar, insulin and lactate. Researchers used mice that were genetically prone toward developing cancerous tumors. Animals fed the low-carbohydrate diet from birth showed no cancer at one year, while 50 percent of animals fed the Western diet developed tumors. Also, 50 percent of mice in the low-carbohydrate diet group lived longer than expected (typically, mice live two years). It is difficult to extrapolate the results of studies on mice to humans. Human cancer cells also use mainly glucose as fuel, so consuming a low-carbohydrate diet might slow cancer growth in people with the disease. (Cancer Research, 71: 4484-4493, 2011)

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