Colon cancer: New study shows dietary changes can shrink tumors

Colon cancer: New study shows dietary changes can shrink tumors

Quentin Oliver Lee, 34, died of colon cancer on December 1, 2022. A Broadway actor and singer, Lee announcement that he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer just six months ago.

Lee’s devastating and untimely death follows bad news: Colorectal cancer rates, especially among young people, have been rising in the United States and other countries in the industrialized world, according to a recent report by the American CancerSociety. report.

Colon cancer in the United States accounted for 7.9% of new cancer cases in 2022 and 8.6% of deaths, According to the National Cancer Institute. An estimated 52,580 people will die of colon cancer this year.

The good news is that we have a growing body of evidence – both high-quality scientific studies and personal patient experiences – that shows diet and lifestyle changes can effectively stop cancer cells. in their tracks.

One of the most recent and promising of these studies was carried out on mice by a team of ten researchers from the University of Michigan.

The study, “Dysregulated Amino Acid Sensing Drives Colorectal Cancer Growth and Metabolic Reprogramming Leading to Chemoresistance,” was published in November in the journal Gastroenterology. For this study, scientists investigated how low-protein diets affect the growth of colon cancer cells.

Specifically, they studied what is called mTORC1 activation in animal and human tissues.

What is mTORC1?

mTORC1s are nutrient-sensitive molecules thought to be overactivated when people have cancer. These molecules are involved in 70% of human cancers, including colorectal cancers.

Other animal studies have shown that inhibiting mTORC1 also appears to inhibit tumor growth. Certain drugs that interfere with mTORC1 signaling pathways have also been shown to inhibit tumor growth. However, these cancer pharmaceuticals are of “limited use”, according to Medical News Todayboth because of their negative immunosuppressive side effects and because of the return of tumors once the drugs are stopped.

At the same time, a 2015 study showed that restriction of protein intake decreased mTORC1 tumors in mice.

This study, which was carried out by an international team of researchers from the United States and Italy, mentioned that “reduced dietary protein intake and intermittent fasting (IF) are both linked to healthy longevity. in rodents and are effective in inhibiting cancer growth”. Scientists have speculated that the reason could be the “downregulation” of mTORC1 pathways. Although the study focused on breast cancer, the authors concluded that their work suggested that protein restriction “could represent a highly translatable option for the treatment of not only cancer, but also other breast-related diseases.” ‘age”.

Restrict protein to inhibit colon cancer

For this new research, the scientists discovered that in the presence of amino acids, the activation of mTORC1 was higher. They then looked at how colon cancer tumors in mice would respond to two weeks of a low-protein diet followed by four weeks of chemotherapy.

Mice are usually fed a diet consisting of 21% protein. For this experiment, the researchers fed the mice diets containing only 4% protein.

They found what they expected: mice fed low-protein diets had less mTORC1 activation and less tumor growth than controls.

Specifically, reducing consumption of two amino acids – leucine and cystine – appeared to nutritionally signal mTORC1 deactivation.

This effect is not just in mice. When scientists tested human colon cancer, they found that samples with the most mTORC1 genetic markers tended to have the worst results.

Hungry Cancer

Cancer cells grow exponentially. To proliferate so quickly, they need nutrients. Some of the nutrients they need are synthesized inside the cells themselves, but other nutrients, including amino acids, come from a person’s diet.

The reason a low-protein diet appears to be effective in limiting tumor growth in the colon is that starving colon cancer cells of protein essentially starves them.

“Feeding or starving cancer cells is…complicated,” Jeffrey Nelson, surgical director of the Center for Inflammatory Bowel and Colorectal Diseases at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, told Medical News Today. “But this research shows that deprivation of certain amino acids influences mTORC1 pathways leading to cell death.”

The study of China

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., a Cornell-trained biochemist and director of the Center for Nutrition Studies, has published over 350 research papers, most of which are Peer-reviewed. In his landmark book, “The China Study,” which was first published in 2005, Campbell and his son Thomas, a physician, explored why the protein fad diets so popular in the 1970s (and beyond), are not optimal for humans. health.

Instead, the research presented in the book, which was based in part on several longitudinal nutritional studies of large numbers of adults and their families that were conducted in China and Taiwan from 1983 to 1990, showed that a plant-based diet, which was lower in protein and higher in dietary fiber and whole foods, appeared to provide the best health outcomes. A 55 minute movie“The China Study Documentary,” is also available on the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies YouTube channel.

People in China who lived in places where the usual diet included small amounts of animal protein were less likely to get diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Chris beats cancer

Chris Wark was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer when he was just 26 years old. After undergoing colon surgery to remove the cancer, he made the controversial decision not to follow his conventional doctors’ recommendations regarding chemotherapy. Instead, Wark turned to nutritional and alternative healing, a journey he documents in his bestselling 2018 book, Chris Beats Cancer.

As detailed in the book, Wark’s cousin Jeff was also diagnosed with colon cancer: stage IV. Jeff learned that cancer was not curable. With chemotherapy, he could live up to two years. Without it, he would die in six months, doctors said. Although Jeff’s mother urged him to talk to his cousin, Jeff told his mother that he and Chris were very different people and that he “didn’t buy into fads or self-help books. assistance”.

Although the surgery to remove the cancer appeared to be successful, the chemotherapy left him sick and depressed. Tumors began to grow in his liver and abdomen. Jeff died three months after his diagnosis. He was 49 years old.

But the idea of ​​poisoning himself using chemotherapy didn’t make sense to Wark. Instead, he adopted an organic raw diet of only whole foods, found a holistic oncologist who was willing to treat him using a natural, non-toxic approach, and also researched alternative treatments, including counseling. , acupuncture and chiropractic care. Nearly two decades later, Wark is cancer-free, father of two, author of three bestselling books and host of a popular podcast.

“I eliminated everything in my life that could have contributed to my [cancer]”Wark tells The Epoch Times.

Takeaway meals

“Cancer cells are not alien invaders,” Wark reminds his readers. “Cancer cells are your cells with your DNA. The cancer is not just in you, it is you. The presence of cancerous tumors is the result of a breakdown in the normal functioning of your body…Cancer is a condition created by the body which the body can resolve, if given proper nutrition and care.

Research from the University of Michigan suggests that dietary and lifestyle changes – limiting protein intake as well as limit calories— can help thwart the growth of cancer and make chemotherapy more effective.

Whether you choose a conventional treatment plan or an alternative plan, it seems that in order to prevent colon cancer from growing in your body, limiting your exposure to known carcinogens (including glyphosatesome volatile organic compoundsand certain pharmaceutical drugs and injections), as well as a diet low in protein, will help you regain your health.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Epoch Times. Epoch Health welcomes professional discussions and friendly debates. To submit an opinion piece, please follow these guidelines and submit via our form here.

Jennifer Margulies


Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an award-winning journalist and author of “Your Baby, Your Way: Taking Charge of Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting Decisions for a Happier, Healthier Family.” A Fulbright scholar and mother of four, she has worked on a child survival campaign in West Africa, advocated for an end to child slavery in Pakistan on hourly television prime time audience in France and taught postcolonial literature to non-traditional students in the interior. -city of Atlanta. Learn more about her at

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