Cancer Hijacks the Microbiome to Glut Itself on Sugar

Cancer Hijacks the Microbiome to Glut Itself on Glucose

Source: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Cancer needs energy to drive its out-of-control growth. It gets energy in the form of glucose, in fact consuming so much glucose that one method for imaging cancer simply looks for areas of extreme glucose consumption — where there is consumption, there is cancer. But how does cancer get this glucose? A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in the journal Cancer Cell shows that leukemia undercuts the ability of normal cells to consume glucose, thus leaving more glucose available to feed its own growth.

“Leukemia cells create a diabetic-like condition that reduces glucose going to normal cells, and as a consequence, there is more glucose available for the leukemia cells. Literally, they are stealing glucose from normal cells to drive growth of the tumor,” says Craig Jordan, PhD, investigator at University of Colorado Cancer Center, division chief of the Division of Hematology and the Nancy Carroll Allen Professor of Hematology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Like diabetes, cancer’s strategies depend on insulin. Healthy cells need insulin to use glucose. In diabetes, either the pancreas under-produces insulin or tissues cannot not respond to insulin and so cells are left starved for energy while glucose builds up in the blood. The current study shows that leukemia goes about creating similar conditions of glucose buildup in two ways.

First, tumor cells trick fat cells into over-producing a protein called IGFBP1. This protein makes healthy cells less sensitive to insulin, meaning that when IGFBP1 is high, it takes more insulin to use glucose than it does when IGFBP1 is low. Unless the supply of insulin goes up, high IGFBP1 means that the glucose consumption of healthy cells goes down. (This protein may also be a link in the chain connecting cancer and obesity: The more fat cells, the more IGFBP1, and the more glucose is available to the cancer.)

Of course, cancer has a second strategy that ensures insulin production does not go up to meet the need created by increased IGFBP1. In fact, cancers turn insulin production down. In large part, they do this in the gut.

“In the course of doing this systemic analysis, we realized that some of the factors that help regulate glucose are made by the gut or bacteria in the gut. We looked there and found that the composition of the microbiome in leukemic animals was different than in control mice,” Jordan says.

One major difference in the guts of leukemic mice was the lack of a specific kind of bacteria known as bacteroids. These bacteroids produce short-chain fatty acids that in turn feed the health of cells lining your gut. Without bacteroids, gut health suffers. And the current study shows that without bacteroids, gut health suffers in ways that specifically aid cancer.

One way is the loss of hormones called incretins. When blood glucose gets high, for example after you eat, your gut releases incretins, which tamp down blood glucose, reducing it back into the normal range. Working through the gut, leukemia inactivates these incretins, allowing blood glucose to remain higher than it should. Leukemia also nixes the activity of serotonin. Serotonin is well-known as a “feel good” chemical that helps to regulate mood and is found in many antidepressants. But serotonin is also essential for the manufacture of insulin in the pancreas, and by attacking serotonin, leukemia reduces insulin production (and thus, down the line, glucose use).

The result of less insulin secretion and less insulin sensitivity is that cancer undercuts healthy cells’ use of insulin from both sides: Healthy cells need more insulin, just as there is less insulin available. Less insulin use by healthy cells leaves more glucose for the cancer.

“It’s a classic parasite trick: Take advantage of something the host does and subvert it for your own purposes,” Jordan says.

Interestingly, just as a parasite might eat a host’s food leading to malnourishment, cancer’s energy theft may play a role in the fatigue and weight loss common in cancer patients.

“The fairly prevalent observation is that cancer patients have a condition called cachexia, basically wasting away — you lose weight. If cancers are inducing systemic changes that result in depletion of normal energy stores, this could be part of that story,” Jordan says.

However, Jordan and colleagues including first author Haobin Ye, PhD, not only showed how leukemia dysregulates healthy cells’ glucose consumption, but also showed how to “re-regulate” this consumption.

“When we administered agents to recalibrate the glucose system, we found that we could restore glucose regulation and slow the growth of leukemia cells,” Ye says.

These “agents” were surprisingly low-tech. One was serotonin. Another was tributyrin, a fatty acid found in butter and other foods. Serotonin supplementation replaced the serotonin nixed by leukemia and tributyrin helped to replace the short-chain fatty acids that were absent due to loss of bacteroids.

gut

The group calls the combination Ser-Tri therapy. And they show that it is more than a theory. Ser-Tri therapy led to the recovery of insulin levels and reduction of IGFPB1. And leukemic mice treated with Ser-Tri therapy lived longer than those without. Twenty-two days after leukemia was introduced in mice, all of the untreated mice had died, while more than half of the mice treated with Ser-Tri were still alive.

The continuing line of work shows that cancer may depend on the ability to out-compete healthy cells for limited energy. Healthy tissues have strategies to regulate insulin, glucose and other factors controlling energy consumption; cancer cells have strategies to subvert this regulation with the goal of making more energy available for their own use.

“We now have evidence that what we observed in our mouse models is also true for leukemia patients.” Ye says.

Understanding these mechanisms that cancer uses to unbalance the body’s system of energy in their favor is helping doctors and researchers learn to thumb the scale in favor of healthy cells.

“This furthers the notion that you can do things systemically to disfavor leukemia cells and favor normal tissue,” Jordan says. “This could be part of limiting growth of tumors.”

ABOUT THIS NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH ARTICLE

Source: Garth Sundem – University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Publisher: Organized by NeuroscienceNews.com.
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Abstract for “Subversion of Systemic Glucose Metabolism as a Mechanism to Support the Growth of Leukemia Cells” by Haobin Ye, Biniam Adane, Nabilah Khan, Erica Alexeev, Nichole Nusbacher, Mohammad Minhajuddin, Brett M. Stevens, Amanda C. Winters, Xi Lin, John M. Ashton, Enkhtsetseg Purev, Lianping Xing, Daniel A. Pollyea, Catherine A. Lozupone, Natalie J. Serkova, Sean P. Colgan, and Craig T. Jordan in Cancer Cell. Published September 27 2018.
doi:10.1016/j.ccell.2018.08.016

Foods for Monocyte Health – prevent ALS progression – Omega 3

Foods for Monocyte Health

BY  SHARON PERKINS 
Foods for Monocyte Health

Monocytes, large white blood cells that turn into macrophages in tissue, help control infection by gobbling up bacteria, but have a less beneficial side. Monocytes can cause inflammation that damage tissue. In blood vessels, inflammation can damage the vessels and increase atherosclerosis, a build-up of debris inside blood vessels that can decrease blood flow to the heart. Certain foods may help keep your monocyte count within healthy limits.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel and in fish oil supplements have anti-inflammatory properties that appear to protect against atherosclerosis and heart disease. Taking fish oil supplements or consuming fish high in omega-3 fatty acids daily may help decrease monocyte-activated inflammation. In a British study reported in the 2007 issue of “The Journal of Nutrition,” researchers reported that people taking fish oil supplements were less likely to have inflammatory responses in the blood vessel walls. This effect was not as pronounced in people already taking medication to treat peripheral artery disease.

Foods in the Mediterranean Diet

Monounsaturated fats found in oils such as olive oil and foods such as seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits and whole grains, included in the widely disseminated Mediterranean diet– may have a protective effect against inflammatory responses caused by monocytes, according to Dr. Victoria Drake of the Linus Pauling Institute. Pass on trans fats and saturated fats, often found in processed foods.

Alcohol Intake

A moderate amount of alcohol daily may help reduce dangerous inflammation caused by monocytes. But in large amounts, alcohol can also stimulate inflammation. The key with alcohol consumption is to keep your intake moderate, which is one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. Purple grape juice may have the same protective benefits as alcohol, according to the Mayo Clinic, so don’t start drinking if you don’t already consume alcohol.

Sugar Intake

Diabetes and high blood glucose levels in the blood are associated with an increase in monocyte release and inflammation, and it may make sense to cut refined sugars from your diet to decrease inflammation and the risk of heart disease. However, a study conducted by researchers from the University of California, Davis and reported in the January 2007 “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” did not find an increase in monocyte release after meals with a high glycemic load compared to meals with a low-glycemic load in overweight women. This was contrary to expected results: that high-glycemic meals would stimulate higher release of monocytes. More research into this area is necessary, the researchers concluded, since obesity, insulin resistance and heart disease are often associated with a high-glycemic load diet, which includes refined sugars and processed foods.

Root causes of chronic illness

During the last 20 years, your body is exposed to inflammation such as over consumption of sugar, stress and trauma, gut bacteria/parasites/fungus/virus, lack of sleep and other chronic disease which can be prevented before it becomes Type 2 diabetes, depression, hypertension and even cancer.

  1. As we age , we are 10k times more prone to attacks from parasites and cancer.
  2. If we don’t get our 8 hour night time sleep, we are slowly breaking down the barriers in our cell mucosa making it possible for unhealthy microbes to travel to other sites from liver to blood and then brain.
  3. It takes cancer to overpower our cells at least 20 years.
  4. Know signs, detox your body starting with your liver and use whole foods such as apples with 100 million healthy bacteria to help fight invading pathogens. Do avoid these environmental toxins feeding on weakened cells invaded by parasites, fungus and virus.

 

MS drug may be linked to increased risk of leukemia and colorectal cancer

cancer cells

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Toxins in popcorn bag and DIY 5 min home cooked popcorn

We want quicker time to cook and we go to the restaurant where they still use styrofoam. In most places in California, styrofoam use is not allowed. Popcorn bag contains harmful chemicals. Microwave is using high temperature and some foods , especially with sugar should not be microwaved.

Connie

The bag almost all microwave popcorn varieties come in is lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This chemical is the same toxic stuff found in teflon pots and pans. It can stay in the environment and in the human body for long periods of time. This chemical when heated has been linked to infertility, cancer and other diseases in lab animals. No long term studies have been conducted on humans, but the EPA lists this substance as a carcinogen.

The Contents

Here’s a snapshot of several popular popcorn brands and the ingredients they contain.

Popular Popcorn Brands

Even though there are no sources of genetically modified popcorn kernels being produced (that’s saved for other varieties of corn), there are several other GMO ingredients in the form of oil or emulsifiers to be found in these popcorn flavors. GMOs have never been tested long term on human beings and are linked to a slew of health issues that are rising in this country. All of these brands do not use organic corn either, so you can be sure they contain harmful pesticides.

Brands like PopSecret and Jolly Time still use trans fat, which is considered one of the most deadly fats available because it is associated with 20,000 heart attacks a year and over 7,000 deaths according to the CDC.

Proply Gallate that is found in PopSecret is one of those ingredients that’s being phased out in the rest of the world, but still being used here for a preservative in food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It’s linked to all sorts of health issues like skin rashes, stomach issues and breathing problems.

TBHQ that is found in Smart Balance, stands for “Tertiary Butylhydroquinone.” It’s a dead giveaway that you shouldn’t be eating this, if food companies have to use an acronym for a long chemical name on the ingredient label.

TBHQ is a chemical made from butane (a very toxic gas) and can only be used at a rate of 0.02 percent of the total oil in a product. Why is there a limit to this? Maybe because eating only 1 gram of this toxic preservative has been shown to cause all sorts of issues, from ADHD in children, to asthma, allergies and dermatitis to dizziness and even has caused stomach cancer in laboratory animals.

Limiting TBHQ to a certain percentage, is the same logic the FDA made when allowing a product to still contain 0.5 grams of transfat and be labeled “transfat free.” If you are consuming processed foods, eating at fast food restaurants or chains that use processed foods you are consuming an overload of preservatives and other chemicals. The accumulation of eating all these different preservatives and man-made chemicals at once has not been studied by the food companies or the FDA for safety.

The Hidden Ingredients

Even though natural flavors and artificial flavors are listed on the ingredient label of microwave popcorn, we have no way of knowing what’s actually in these ingredients. Food manufacturers won’t tell you and they hide things in there like MSG, beaver’s anal glands and diacetyl butter flavoring. What’s so wrong with a little bit of artificial butter flavoring? Well a lot. This stuff is seriously toxic, which forced Conagra Foods to remove it from their Act branded Microwave popcorn recently because it causes lung issues in workers. This ingredient is also linked to brain issues which cause Alzheimer’s Disease too. Dr. Mercola reports:

“Researchers conducting test-tube studies revealed that diacetyl has several concerning properties for brain health. Not only can it pass through the blood-brain barrier, which is intended to help keep toxins out of your brain, but it can also cause brain proteins to misfold into the Alzheimer’s-linked form known as beta amyloid. It also inhibits mechanisms that help to naturally clear the dangerous beta amyloid from your brain.1

It’s not known at this time whether eating diacetyl-containing foods (it’s used not only in microwave popcorn but also in other snack foods, baked goods, pet foods, some fast foods and other food products) increases your risk of Alzheimer’s, but the finding that it may contribute to brain plaques linked to Alzheimer’s at very low concentrations is concerning, to say the least.

Orville Redenbacher’s label explicitly says they do not use this flavoring anymore, but there are popcorn varieties that still do, so watch out, if you see the words “artificial flavor” on the label of any processed food, back up far away!

Make Your Own (It Takes 5 mins!)

Making your own popcorn from scratch is so EASY and you can avoid all of these health pitfalls. If you need to take some to the office or where ever you are going (like sneaking it into the movie theatre), I recommend making it in advance and throwing it in a reusable bag.

This recipe takes 5 mins. The extra 2 minutes (over microwave popcorn) is time definitely worth committing to.

I call this recipe “Superfood Popcorn” because it contains three amazing ingredients:

  • Coconut oil that is great for your metabolism
  • Hemp seeds that are full of omega 3 fatty acids
  • Red palm oil that contains the highest amounts of vitamins A and E of any plant-based oil

I have to say, the red palm oil took this popcorn from about an 9 to an 11 on a scale from 1 to 10. It looks and tastes like yummy comforting butter (and the color matches that movie theatre popcorn without all the added chemical ingredients). Also, the added texture of the hemp seeds combined with sea salt is so good and crunchy.

I made a bowl of this last week and it was heavenly! It’s seriously amazing – I can’t wait to hear your reports.

Please note red palm oil is different from palm kernel oil (that is grown in SouthEast Asia and killing orangutans). Red palm oil comes from Ecuador and harvested sustainably. Dr. Oz does a great job of explaining the difference between red palm fruit oil and palm kernel oil here if you’d like to learn more. 

Food Babe’s Superfood Popcorn
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a pot, stir together coconut oil and popcorn kernels and heat pot on stove to high
  2. Cover pot with lid and let popcorn pop until you hear less popping per second
  3. Once popcorn is done popping, remove from pot into a bowl
  4. Using a blender or food processor, blend hempseed and salt until fine
  5. Top popcorn with melted red palm oil and hempseed salt mixture
Notes
***Please buy all organic ingredients if possible.***
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