Certain diets would help prevent up to a third of cancers

The food we eat has a decisive influence on our state of health and an inadequate diet can contribute to the appearance of diseases, while a good diet is a key factor in avoiding health problems; in fact, research carried out by Spanish scientists has shown that certain types of diet help to prevent up to a third of the most common cancers.

The researchers, who belong to the Growth Factors, Nutrients and Cancer group of the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), led by Nabil Djouder, have verified that diet influences the incidence, growth and development of cancer, and that a third of the most common cancers can be prevented, at least in part, by introducing changes in the diet. “Incorporating dietary interventions into cancer therapies will open ‘a new era’ in cancer treatment”Djouder has stated.

In preclinical studies that have used food as a tool against cancer, promising results have been obtained that, however, have not reached the clinic. The CNIO scientists have now carried out a review on the use of diet in cancer treatment and have come to the conclusion that it is essential to take diet into account in the treatments, as they explain in an article in Trends in Molecular Medicine.

Caloric restriction, ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting

The new study has analyzed how certain dietary patterns can influence the appearance and development of tumors; specifically: caloric restriction, the keto or ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. The authors have extensively reviewed preclinical studies and recent or ongoing clinical trials of these diets to provide new insight into the physiological underpinnings behind them.

“Diets can directly target cancer metabolism, by depriving the tumor of the nutrients it needs”

Data suggest that the growth of some types of cancer may be highly dependent on specific amino acids, and that avoid foods rich in these amino acids could restrict the growth of tumors. “Diets can directly target cancer metabolism, depriving the tumor of the nutrients it needs, or they can affect other key elements for cancer survival and development, such as growth signaling, oxidative stress, or patient immunity. Djouder explains.

Obesity, microbiome, immune system and cancer

They have also found that many of the pathways related to tumor proliferation are related to hormones sensitive to certain nutrients, which could explain the relationship between obesity and canceras a consequence of an increase in the signaling of estrogens (hormones) produced by adipose tissue (fat).

Researchers have also reviewed publications linking gut flora to cancer. The intestinal flora or microbiome is made up of the population of microbes present in the intestinal tract and is one of the main responsible for the interaction between the food a person consumes and their health.

“Many of the oncogenic effects that are attributed to the intestinal microbiome –explains the first author of the work Carlos Martinez-Garay– are related to inflammation of the digestive tract and, in fact, the presence of certain populations of bacteria is linked to chronic inflammation that is associated with gastrointestinal cancers such as gallbladder, bile duct, and stomach cancers.”

The interactions between cancer cells and the patient’s immune response is a very important factor in tumor growth and in the efficacy of selected therapies to combat each type of cancer, and diet also influences this, since most of the Human immune cells are found in the intestine to establish a defensive barrier against toxic compounds or pathogens that we may ingest.

“Certain components of the diet can provoke important responses in the immune system –says Martínez-Garay– and this can cause a dysfunction in our defenses that makes us more vulnerable to the formation of tumors”.

Personalized diets to enhance cancer treatment

Researchers have highlighted the need to develop the precision nutrition, a novel approach that proposes to use targeted dietary regimens to treat specific tumors based on the metabolism of the tumor and the patient. It is currently possible to analyze tumors in depth and classify them based on their molecular profile, which has made it possible to improve the efficacy of therapies to combat them.

“This can also be applied to nutrition if clinical data, microbiome examinations, molecular diagnostics, nutrigenomics and metabolomics are combined to develop specific dietary regimens aimed at treating cancer patients on an individual basis. The preclinical studies and clinical trials that we have reviewed show the powerful effects of dietary interventions and this makes us think that a new era in cancer therapy is coming”, concludes Nabil Djouder.

Fuente: National Center for Oncological Investigations (CNIO)

Source: www.webconsultas.com

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