Insulin, carbohydrate restriction, metabolic syndrome and cancer

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Abstract

We propose that dietary carbohydrate restriction, particularly ketogenic diets, may provide benefit as a therapeutic or preventive strategy in cancer, alone or as an adjunct to pharmacology. The argument derives from several points of evidence: There is a close association between cancer and both diabetes and obesity. Extensive evidence shows that low carbohydrate diets are the most effective dietary treatment of Type 2 diabetes and dietary adjunct in Type 1. Such diets also target all the markers of metabolic syndrome. Finally, de facto reduction in carbohydrate likely contributes to total dietary restriction, which is effective in the prevention and treatment of cancer. The idea is consistent with recent interest in treating cancer with drugs that target diabetes. To move forward, we must understand obesity and diabetes as response to a hyperglycemic state rather than simply a cause of downstream effects.

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