Specifics relating to the development of cancer and disease mechanisms
Previous studies in this laboratory with young Fischer 344 male rats have shown that the post-initiation development of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-inducedgamma-glutamyltranspeptidase positive (GGT+) hepatic foci was markedly inhibited by low protein feeding, even though the energy intake was greater. This dietary effect, however, did not necessarily apply to hepatic tumor development. Thus, the present investigation was undertaken to examine this dietary effect upon the development of hepatic tumors and, is so doing, to determine the correlation of foci development with tumor development.
Increased plasma levels of adiponectin, metformin therapy of diabetes, rapamycin administration in transplant patients, and lifelong consumption of low-protein plant-based diets have all been linked to decreased risk for various cancers. These benefits may be mediated, at least in part, by down-regulated activity of the mTORC1 complex, a key regulator of protein translation.
Nutrition is generally investigated, and findings interpreted, in reference to the activities of individual nutrients. Nutrient composition of foods, food labeling, food fortification, and nutrient recommendations are mostly founded on this assumption, a practice commonly known as reductionism. While such information on specifics is important and occasionally useful in practice, it ignores the coordinated, integrated and virtually symphonic nutrient activity (wholism) that occurs in vivo.
Animal studies and human observational data link energy restriction (ER) to reduced rates of carcinogenesis. Most of these studies have involved continuous energy restriction (CER), but there is increasing public and scientific interest in the potential health and anticancer effects of intermittent energy restriction (IER) or intermittent fasting (IF), which comprise periods of marked ER or total fasting interspersed with periods of normal eating. This review summarizes animal studies that assessed tumor rates with IER and IF compared with CER or ad libitum feed consumption.
Mice and humans with growth hormone receptor/IGF-1 deficiencies display major reductions in age-related diseases. Because protein restriction reduces GHR-IGF-1 activity, we examined links between protein intake and mortality. Respondents aged 50–65 reporting high protein intake had a 75% increase in overall mortality and a 4-fold increase in cancer death risk during the following 18 years. These associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant derived.
Occasionally, but not often, positive things happen in the field of cancer prevention science to popular, good-tasting foods. Cruciferous vegetables have been the subject of intense study, but these foods might be—to modify the expression—an easy pill but a hard food for the public to swallow. By contrast, tomatoes (scientifically classified as a fruit) have overcome their earlier reputation as an inedible and possibly toxic food to become one of the most heavily consumed fruits or vegetables in the Western diet—mostly in the form of pizza, salsa, chili, pasta sauce, and ketchup.
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