Healthy Beginnings

Holiday sugar — a bad idea for cancer patients

A “Ketogenic Diet” focuses on as little sugar as possible — which is important for cancer patients to focus on during the holiday season.

After almost 10 years of research, Belgian scientists are reporting that they have “discovered” that sugars stimulate tumor growth.

As reported in the journal Nature Communications, this has helped unravel what has been a “scientific mystery” to medical researchers. They are saying, “the new understanding could help lead to new ways to combat cancer, through diet and other modifications of sugar intake.”

Talk about being late to the ballgame.

Otto Warburg got a Nobel Prize in 1931 for proving that all cancer cells use “anaerobic” metabolism to burn sugar without using oxygen. He further proved that this way of burning sugar requires 18 times more sugar than our normal cells using “aerobic” metabolism to burn sugar using oxygen. This is a proven fact, not a theory.

The researchers behind the new study observed yeast cells in the lab, and found that their fermentation process (the same one cancer cells use) actually stimulates tumor growth.

Their findings suggest that the most common cancer-causing genes, called Ras proteins, fuel aggressive tumors with their sugar intake. In short, sugar “awakens” existing cancer cells, making them multiply and expand more rapidly.

One of the researchers said, “the findings are not sufficient to identify the primary cause of this effect.” This is true, but do you need to know the exact mechanism to put this info to use if you or a loved one is currently a cancer patient? Of course you don’t.

Couple this with the fact that PET scans (where IV radioactive sugar is used to find the location of the cancer) are used every day in current oncology because the sugar always concentrates in the tumor first.

A recent Google search about sugar and cancer revealed that the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Stanford and others of the “Big Boys” in cancer treatment continue to claim that diet and sugar have “nothing whatsoever to do with tumor growth.”

The facts are that these “targeted” diet therapies already exist and have been in use by Integrative Cancer Physicians for years.

Start with a “Ketogenic Diet.” This diet is high in healthy fats, a controlled amount of protein and very low carbohydrates. The reason is that all carbohydrates (grains, pasta and bread) turn into sugar in the blood stream. Ketones form in the liver when it burns fats for energy instead of sugar.

Research dating back to 2012 has shown that this type of diet can weaken cancer cells because they cannot burn ketones for energy, while all our normal cells can.

Coupled with a therapy called IPT (Insulin Potentiated Therapy), that has been in use since first developed in Mexico in the 1920s, this treatment can be a very powerful tool in the fight against cancer.

If you are a cancer patient and you want to wait until the proof of the exact mechanism is in before you put this information to use, be my guest. On the other hand, you can start using it right now!

Dr. Robert A. Eslinger, D.O., H.M.D., specializes in cancer and chronic disease and is an integrative cancer doctor licensed to practice in California, Idaho and Nevada. He is head doctor at the Reno Integrative Medical Center. Visit or call 775-829-1009 to learn more.