Life in a small town

Diet, Micro-nutrients, and Health … Part Five Cancer & Ageing & other stuff …

Snow”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”  (2013)

Continuing in my series of posts, an overview of what I have found about nutrition and diet over the last 15 months or so, information sources which I have found helpful. As mentioned, your mileage may vary but my goal is to stay healthy, happy, and maybe get wise if I live long enough.  Anyway …

2 Keto Dudes

2 Keto Dudes

Well, life is interesting. I am excited by what I have been reading about the work of Dr. Thomas N. Seyfried at Boston College. First  we take a listen to one of the “2 Keto Dudes” podcasts featuring Dr. Seyfried. It is found at  http://2ketodudes.com/show.aspx?episode=113

This got me so excited that I immediately followed up on Thomas N. Seyfried at Boston College, found at:

https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/schools/mcas/departments/biology/people/faculty-directory/thomas-seyfried.html

Thomas N. Seyfried

Thomas N. Seyfried

Dr. Seyfried’s research program focuses on mechanisms by which metabolic therapy manages chronic diseases such as epilepsy, neurodegenerative lipid storage diseases, and cancer. The metabolic therapies include caloric restriction, fasting, and ketogenic diets.

Dr. Seyfried’s approach is based on the idea that compensatory metabolic pathways are capable of modifying the pathogenesis of complex diseases. Global shifts in metabolic environment can neutralize molecular pathology. In the case of cancer, these therapies target and kill tumor cells while enhancing the physiological health of normal cells.

The neurochemical and genetic mechanisms of these phenomena are under investigation in novel animal models and include the processes of inflammation, cellular physiology, angiogenesis, and lipid biochemistry.

Dr. Seyfried published a groundbreaking treatise entitled, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer (Wiley, 1st ed., 2012). The treatise provides extensive information showing that cancer can be best defined as a mitochondrial metabolic disease rather than as a genetic disease.

This new concept has implications for the development of new non-toxic cancer therapies including the ketogenic diet. Experts in the cancer research field have praised this comprehensive study as one of science’s hottest topics. Amazon customer reviews.

Of the 10 pages of reviews, about 75% are 5 Stars. *****. That is extremely good for a high end medical book which requires significant neurons firing to make headway.

I have to say a little to the negative reviewers. First of all, it is well known that one can’t please everyone and no matter how good the message there are some humans who will find something to bitch about no matter who you are or what you are saying. Look what happened to Jesus Christ, the most perfect Man who ever lived.

As usual, there are always a few panning the book for all the usual reasons – like “It’s too expensive“,, “He is just pushing his diet“, “I didn’t think of this first, Oh Wah!” and so on. In this case I suspect that virtually all the negative reviews are from people who were looking for an authority which agreed with them, or were looking for a quick and easy fix for their particular problem.

For all those reviewers you have the whole established medical paradigm to fall back on. Hope that works for you. I would bet a good Keto meal that most of these nay-sayers never actually read the book all the way through but gave up as soon as the going got tough.

But death is a tough route … cancer sucks BIG TIME … so go with your feelings and see if the genetic cancer model, and radiation, and chemo works for you … who knows, you might get lucky and be cured without having to change your thinking.

I quote just one review here:

*****

“Cancer is an illness that directly or indirectly affects most people at one time or another. Thus, my interest in this book was motivated by a desire to learn more about recent advances in the treatment of the disease and the success that has been achieved especially in recent years with the well chronicled revolution in “precision medicine” and its underlying application of gene therapy.

However, I was stunned and somewhat disheartened to learn of the slow rate of progress in the treatment of cancer in spite of the monumental financial investment and the efforts of so many scientists and other professionals in universities, medical schools, and in the pharmaceutical industry.

As so powerfully and effectively described by the author of this book, slow progress in the “war on cancer” lies not only in the complexity of the disease itself, but also, and perhaps more importantly, on the non-universal recognition of some of the most basic and fundamental aspects of the cause of cancer.

The author takes the position that cancer is a metabolic disease, following up on the pioneering research of Nobel laureate, Dr. Otto Warburg. Seyfried’s review of the Warburg’s work is clear and compelling, even to a non-specialist, although a web search from time to time is helpful to fully grasp some of the more sophisticated concepts in biology.

The presentation and review of the author’s research as well as that of many other leading scientists provides a logical and clearly written account of the impressive body of data that continue to give validity to the “Warburg theory”. Accordingly, metabolic processes in normal and abnormal (cancerous) cells are compared with an emphasis on realistic models based largely on animal studies.

Supporting data are illustrated by figures and images that convincingly implicate metabolic dysfunction and respiratory insufficiency as the essential cause of cancer. Importantly, Seyfried then makes the strong case that it is the metabolic dysfunction that induces gene modification, now commonly recognized in virtually all cancers.

The important take home message, however, is that it is the metabolic dysfunction of the cell that drives genetic modifications-not the other way around. This is profoundly important with far reaching implications, especially for the management and prevention of cancer.

Indeed, in light of these results, it is a mystery to this reviewer why there is presently such universal focus on the genome in the development of drugs to treat what appears to be a metabolic disease. This seems to be a case of the tail wagging the dog, which would be OK, if the stakes were not so high for so many.

The last four to five chapters of the book emphasize the broader aspects of metabolic dysfunction in cancer and how an appreciation of this can lead to more humane treatments than presently is the case. The so-called “standard of care” overwhelmingly used at present emphasizes the application of poisonous drugs and toxic doses of radiation, which, as noted by the author, often engenders in patients a fear that rivals that of the disease itself.

In chapter 20 the author details the beneficial and therapeutic effects in cancer treatment of the ketogenic diet that takes full advantage of strategies logically linked to the scientific principals developed throughout the book.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in the origin and treatment of cancer. It is a challenging book, but one that rewards the reader with knowledge and contemplation about one of the great plagues in modern society with every turn of the page.

*****

Well, I am interested, and I went ahead and bought the book … yes, $120.00 Canadian might seem to some to be a little steep but often in life one gets what one has paid for. I have spent at least that much and more on a good night out on the town so in the big picture it is really chump change.

I will keep you posted on how I feel about this area of research after I have read the book,  or maybe sooner if it goes slower than I expect.

Cheers

Joe

You can always find an upside even in a bad situation. Never Give Up, Never Give Up, Never Give Up!

 

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