By Jerome Burne, medical journalist
How about this for a crazy, irresponsible idea? If you’ve got cancer, cut the amount of carbohydrates you’re eating down to no more than 25 grams a day (that’s just under an ounce) as a way of shrinking the tumour and boosting your health into the bargain. Out go pasta, rice, all sugars – cakes and biscuits of course – along with most root vegetables, and replace them with fatty foods such as cheese, meat, eggs, coconut and avocado oils.
Of course the very idea of such a switch is enough to give conventional nutritionists, not to mention oncologists, heart attacks, before they’ve even had time to condemn it as irresponsible, evidence-free and dangerous.
However there is some sensible science behind the idea, which has already been successfully tested on American patients in a small trial published last year. This found this sort of diet either slowed right down or stopped tumour growth in five out of 10 seriously ill cancer patients who didn’t want to or couldn’t have any more chemotherapy.
(Targeting insulin inhibition as a metabolic therapy in advanced cancer)