🔑 Key Takeaways
- A traditional diet, with an emphasis on organic foods, can help prevent cancer. Understanding the role of diet and lifestyle in cancer prevention is key to functional medicine.
- Our diet and lifestyle play a significant role in determining our risk of cancer, and identifying the factors that trigger cancer cell growth can help prevent the disease. Nutrient-rich foods and lifestyle changes can help prevent cancer growth.
- Avoid hyper-processed foods, especially sugar, and consider intermittent fasting to reduce insulin secretion and minimize the risks of chronic Western diseases caused by insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. Traditional diets with fewer meals and less snacking may also help.
- Fasting can lower insulin levels and promote cellular maintenance and repair through autophagy, which can potentially aid in preventing diseases like cancer. It may also be beneficial for overall health by allowing the body to shift into a maintenance and repair mode, and reintroducing fasting can potentially help prevent modern health issues like obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Fasting and following a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet can aid in cellular repair and reduce insulin levels for effective cancer treatment, while consuming sugar, carbohydrates, and starch can be a life-threatening practice.
- A personalized approach combining functional medicine, traditional oncology, nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, and complementary therapies can greatly improve cancer outcomes by optimizing nutrient status, reducing inflammation, and enhancing the body's natural healing and repair mechanisms.
- Functional medicine's team approach combining traditional cancer treatments with customized dietary interventions like the ketogenic diet and fasting mimicking diet can starve and kill cancer cells. Catching cancer early and addressing underlying systems impacting cancer development through diet can positively impact outcomes.
- Cancer prevention should focus on addressing underlying biological factors rather than just treating acute stages. Nutritionists should recommend healthy options like cruciferous vegetables over sugary dairy. Women can reduce their risk of breast cancer by consuming cruciferous vegetables.
- A healthy diet rich in folate and B vitamins, along with exercise and stress reduction, can balance hormone levels and reduce the risk of estrogen sensitive cancers. Avoid synthetic folic acid in supplements and maintain a healthy body fat percentage.
- Toxins, microbiome imbalance, and oxidative stress can all contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer. A comprehensive approach to treatment should include addressing these root causes, such as through a phytonutrient-rich diet and reducing exposure to toxins.
📝 Podcast Summary
Functional Medicine for Cancer Prevention through Diet and Lifestyle
The environment, especially diet and nutrition, plays a huge role in the development of cancer. Studies show that about 30% of cancer is caused by diet, making it almost as high as tobacco smoke. Functional medicine seeks to change the conditions that lead to cancer and create a healthy immune system and soil to prevent the growth of cancer. The analogy of seed in soil reveals that genetics only talk about the seed, and not the environment in which the seed is in. Traditional lifestyles that involve a traditional diet result in low rates of cancer. Therefore lifestyle changes, like eating organic and traditional diets, are important in preventing cancer.
Diet and Lifestyle a Major Factor in Cancer Risk
The biggest determinant of cancer is diet and lifestyle, not genetics. As seen in examples like African and Inuit populations who changed their diets and lifestyles to westernized ones and began experiencing higher rates of cancer. Similarly, Japanese women living in San Francisco have double or triple the rate of breast cancer compared to those living in Japan. Research should focus on identifying what in our diets and lifestyles leads to cancer, rather than just genetics. Insulin is a key growth factor and hormone that signals the presence of nutrients and can lead to the growth of cancer cells. Nutrient-rich foods and lifestyle changes can create a hostile environment that prevents cancer growth.
Reducing Insulin Signaling for Better Health
Reducing insulin signaling in the body can be achieved by reducing nutrient availability through avoiding hyper processed foods, especially sugar. Intermittent fasting is a strategy to reduce insulin secretion. Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia are two sides of the same coin and cause many chronic Western diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and high blood pressure. Eating a highly refined processed carbohydrate diet and snacking are modern inventions that contribute to this phenomenon. Traditional diets with fewer meals cause a lower level of insulin and therefore minimize the risks. The increase in snacking in modern times is a gradual change in attitude due to the promotion of snack food companies and not necessarily based on scientific evidence.
Potential benefits of fasting for overall health and disease prevention.
Fasting, whether through time-restricted eating or longer fasts, can help lower insulin levels and promote cellular maintenance and repair through autophagy. This can have potential benefits for diseases like cancer, which are linked to high insulin levels and insulin resistance. Additionally, shifting the body from a growth mode to a maintenance and repair mode can be beneficial for overall health, and fasting can aid in this process. Prior to the widespread availability of food, people naturally fasted for around 14 hours every day, which may have helped prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, in modern times, constant snacking and eating has become the norm, leading to these health issues. Reintroducing fasting into our diets can potentially offer benefits for overall health.
Balancing Growth and Repair for Optimal Health
Maintaining a balance between growth and cellular maintenance repair is crucial for optimum health. Fasting can help achieve cellular repair and aids in undergoing chemotherapy with fewer side effects. Sugars play a significant role in causing hyperinsulinemia and acts as a pro-growth and pre-cancer agent. Dr. Luke Cantley's discovery of PI three K pathway has opened up new avenues in cancer research. Ketogenic diets and fasting can significantly reduce insulin levels and help in cancer treatment. A low carbohydrate ketogenic diet can be sustained for years, unlike fasting. Nutritionists advise cancer patients to consume sugar, carbohydrates, and starch to keep weight up, but it is a life-threatening practice.
An Integrated Approach to Cancer Management and Prevention
A comprehensive integrated approach combining functional medicine, traditional oncology, nutrition, and other therapies tailored to personal needs can greatly improve cancer management and prevention. Avoiding foods that spike blood sugar and insulin resistance, and opting for a high-quality nutrient-dense diet full of phytochemicals, good omega-3 fats and low sugar and starch is crucial. Regular exercise, stress reduction, and optimizing nutrient status with supplements like Vitamin D and B vitamins can also help. Modalities such as ozone, hyperthermia, and immunotherapy, high dose vitamin C, and compounds derived from marijuana plants can complement conventional treatments and enhance the body's natural healing and repair mechanisms. Personalization and collaboration among a team of experts can improve cancer outcomes and quality of life.
Personalized Dietary Interventions Can Improve Cancer Treatment Outcomes
Functional medicine treats the soil in which cancer grows, not just the cancer itself. A team approach combining traditional cancer treatments with personalized dietary interventions such as ketogenic diets and fasting mimicking diets can improve outcomes and have higher cure rates. Cancer cells only run on sugar and cannot survive on fat, which makes a ketogenic diet or fasting mimicking diet effective in starving and killing cancer cells. The approach to tackling cancer should be personalized, focusing on the different systems in the body that impact the development of cancer such as microbiome, detoxification, stress, insulin resistance, and diet. Catching cancer early, making dietary changes, and having a team approach can make a huge difference in cancer treatment.
Traditional Medicine and Nutritional Misconceptions in Cancer Treatment
Traditional medicine focuses on treating cancer at the acute stage, but ignoring preventative measures that address the underlying biology of cancer development. Nutritionists in cancer centers offer terrible dietary advice, recommending ice cream over tofu, when in reality sugar and dairy can fuel cancer cells. Cancer is an inflammatory disease that could be caused by various factors such as high insulin, high blood sugar, imbalances in the microbiome, exposure to toxins, and more. BRCA gene is a high impact gene, but low impact genes together could increase the risk of cancer when influenced by the environment. Women can minimize their risk of breast cancer by consuming cruciferous vegetables from the broccoli family.
Strategies for Reducing the Risk of Estrogen Sensitive Cancers
A healthy diet with folate rich foods and methylated B vitamins can influence certain genes and help with estrogen metabolism, which can reduce the risk of estrogen sensitive cancers like breast cancer. Functional medicine can help in assessing and balancing hormone levels through strategies like exercise, stress reduction, microbiome management, nutrient intake, and reducing exposure to environmental toxins and xenoestrogens. Obesity, insulin resistance, and fat cells can also increase estrogen levels, so maintaining a healthy body fat percentage is important. It is essential to look for methylated forms of folate in supplements instead of synthetic folic acid, which has been associated with increased risk of cancer.
Understanding the Impact of Toxins on Breast Cancer Risk and Treatment
Toxins in extremely low doses have a macroscopic effect and exposure to hundreds and thousands of different toxins affects our ability to detoxify them, leading to an increased risk of cancer. The comprehensive approach to treating an individual patient must include looking at the toxic load, oxidative stress, microbiome imbalance, and other root causes and systems of the body. Antibiotics cause breast cancer and multiple rounds of antibiotics as a kid along with genetic predispositions and toxins may lead to the body not working in an optimal way. A phytonutrient-rich diet, measuring the imbalances in the microbiome, and reducing exposure to toxins are important ways to prevent and heal from breast cancer.