A Cure for Cancer? Part II
By Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
You cannot prevent or cure cancer just by avoiding sugar. All carbohydrates are made up of chains of sugars, and the only known way to deprive your body of sugar is to starve yourself to death.
Sugar will always be available. The researchers’ goal is to prevent sugar from entering cancer cells.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF CANCER CELLS WERE UNABLE TO OBTAIN SUGAR?
A possible cure for cancer was presented this month by Philipp Mergenthaler and Andreas Meisel, of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, and McMaster University, Canada.
They showed that depriving a cell of the sugar, glucose, while giving it plenty of oxygen at the same time, blocks glycolysis and therefore forces the cell to revive its mitochondria and use the Krebs Cycle for energy.
Reviving the mitochondria also revives apoptosis, the process of programmed cell death, and therefore would stop cancer cells from growing and spreading through the body.
This breakthrough research studied what happens to nerve cells when they are deprived of sugar.
The brain has no way to store energy. It gets almost all of its energy from sugar in the bloodstream.
When a person has a stroke, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and sugar because of blocked blood flow. The brain cells respond to a stroke by producing an enzyme called hexokinase II, which helps protect nerve cells from dying by driving any available sugar into cells.
Hexokinase II is produced in large amounts when brain cells are deprived of sugar.
CELLS GET THEIR ENERGY FROM:
* The Krebs Cycle: a series of chemical reactions to produce energy from sugar, fats or proteins in the mitochondria; requires oxygen
* Glycolysis: breaking down sugar in cells outside the mitochondria; does not require oxygen
Normal cells have a programmed cell death called APOPTOSIS, which means that cells divide so many times and then they die.
CANCER CELLS ARE DIFFERENT because they do not have apoptosis and try to live forever. They kill by invading other tissues. For example breast cancer cells can invade your brain cells, and kill you by destroying your brain.
Cancer cells lack apoptosis because they have defective mitochondria, so they are forced to use glycolysis for energy.
GLYCOLYSIS REQUIRES SUGAR AND THE KREBS CYCLE REQUIRES OXYGEN
Blocking hexokinase II, the enzyme that drives sugar into cells, prevents sugar from entering cells and being used for energy by glycolysis.
Also giving the cells plenty of oxygen encourages the Krebs Cycle and revives mitochondria.
This combination of blocking glycolysis (a cell’s ability to use sugar for energy) and forcing the cells to use the Kreb’s cycle (needs oxygen) revives the inactive mitochondria of cancer cells.
KREBS CYCLE WHICH USES OXYGEN
Reviving the mitochondria should revive apoptosis and cause cancer cells specifically to die, without killing normal cells.
Thus cancer should be cured by depriving cancer cells of sugar while providing them with oxygen, which should revive their mitochondria and regain their ability to use the Krebs Cycle.
Now that the mechanism is understood, researchers will work to find ways to target cancer cells, or to prevent the abnormal cell changes from occurring in the first place.
Meanwhile, realize that anything that raises blood sugar levels INCREASES YOUR RISK FOR CANCER: being overweight, not exercising, being diabetic, eating sugar or refined carbohydrates when you are not exercising, lack of vitamin D, not having enough muscle, eating read meat, storing fat in your belly, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and so forth.
Also, at this time, EXERCISE is the best way we have to increase the number and efficiency of mitochondria in cells.
WHAT ARE MITOCHONDRIA?
In the 1970s, Lynn Margulis proposed that mitochondria were originally bacteria that invaded living cells billions of years ago and set up a symbiotic relationship. The bacteria could supply the most efficient source of energy for cells, and the cells would give these bacteria a place to live and multiply.
We know this because mitochondria have genetic material, DNA, which is similar to that of bacteria and is much different from the DNA of other parts of cells in the human body.
Dr. Pinna says:
This is very new research in the area of cancer treatment. We will follow it closely to see what transpires.