Low-fat diet may help stop cancer growth

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Researchers from the University of Adelaide and other institutions have found new insights into the role of food in cancer growth, particularly in cancers harboring IDH1 gene mutations.

Their findings suggest that depriving such cancers of lipids, or fats, can impede their growth, paving the way for new dietary interventions in cancer treatment.

The IDH1 gene mutation is known to reprogram cells and is commonly associated with various cancer types including acute myeloid leukemia, chondrosarcoma, bile duct cancer, and low-grade glioma, a form of brain cancer.

Researchers found that unlike typical cancers that predominantly feed on sugars, tumors with IDH1 mutations are reliant on fats.

Researchers compared the growth of cancers with IDH1 mutations under a regular diet against a completely fat-free diet.

The study revealed that when deprived of lipids—found in foods like butter and ice cream—the growth of tumors with IDH1 mutations was halted.

This discovery underscores the potential of lipid deprivation as a strategy to curb the progression of these specific cancer types.

While more research is required to validate these findings in humans over the long term, avoiding foods high in saturated fats could be crucial for individuals with IDH1 mutant cancers.

The insights from this study may augment cancer treatment methods like proton therapy or radiotherapy, potentially increasing survivorship in patients in remission after undergoing treatments for IDH1 cancers, without the need for excessive chemotherapy.

This development is particularly timely with the impending establishment of the country’s first proton therapy facility at the Australian Bragg Center.

For additional insights into cancer and nutrition, consider studies on the correlation between low-carb diets and increased overall cancer risk, the impact of vitamin D supplements on reducing cancer death, and other ongoing research in cancer causes and potential treatments.

The study, conducted by Dr. Daniel Thomas and colleagues and published in Cancer Discovery, uncovers a novel potential dietary intervention in the treatment of IDH1 mutated cancers.

By highlighting the importance of lipid deprivation in halting the growth of such cancers, the study opens up new avenues for improving cancer treatment and survivorship, presenting a beacon of hope for those affected by these types of cancers.

The research conducted by Dr. Daniel Thomas et al was published in the journal Cancer Discovery. For a more in-depth understanding of the study and its implications, readers are encouraged to refer to the original publication.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrients that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

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