Cancer and Insulin

There are many books and news about diabetes, yet the number of people who struggle with diabetes has never dropped. Also, tremendous money has been invested into cancer research for many decades, but cancer still takes 2nd place as a leading cause of death in the United States. Many believe that those two diseases are not related, but actually there is a strong link, specifically insulin and cancer.  A 2012 study shows that Individuals in the highest percentile of serum insulin had a 62% higher risk of cancer mortality and 161% higher risk of gastrointestinal cancer mortality. But why insulin?   

This link has been known for quite some time, and the paradigm of cancer as a metabolic disease has begun to be more seriously considered in recent years.  Now the researchers know that it is quite simple to grow breast cancer cells in a lab. The recipe has been used successfully for decades. Take breast cancer cells, add glucose, growth factor (EGF) and insulin. Lots and lots of insulin. The cells will grow like weeds after a spring shower.   

Insulin helps remove sugar (glucose) from the blood into cells where it is used to power energy or is stored as surplus fat, but it also stimulates the growth and proliferation of a variety of cells. So, the higher the insulin levels inside cells, triggers more rapid cell division.  In 1990, researchers found that breast cancer cells contain over 6 times the number of normal insulin receptors as normal breast tissue. That makes sense that the reason why Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) is developed as an intravenous cancer therapy.  IPT uses insulin to treat cancer with low-dose chemotherapy. Donato Perez Garcia, a medical doctor from Mexico, who developed IPT in the early 1930’s, believes that because cancer cells have more insulin receptors than normal cells, when insulin is released into the bloodstream in response to a change in blood sugar levels, the insulin attaches to these cells and allow nutrients to enter the cell. When the excess insulin receptors on cancer cells are activated, it’s theoretically easier to specifically target them for treatment. He (and now his grandson) argued that IPT targets cancer cells and requires less chemotherapy to get the same results. Less chemo drugs, then, mean fewer or less severe side effects.   

As you know I am not a big fan of Chemotherapy, so I personally do not promote IPT. But I would like you to understand 1) cancer cells have more insulin receptors, and 2) high levels of insulin, which is a condition called “insulin resistance” promotes cancer growth.   

Now we need to understand “insulin resistance,” and how it is developed.  People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells don’t use it as well as they should. Doctors call this insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes more insulin to try to get glucose into the cells. But eventually it can’t keep up, and the sugar builds up in your blood instead. Obviously, it is caused by consuming the Standard American Diet (SAD). Not only processed food that’s loaded with sugar and refined grains, but also, fatty foods such as processed meat, dairy, fried foods provide more metabolic fuel. A combination of both would definitely lead to serious health danger. Clean eating is always the key to keep the body healthy. If you are seriously concerned about cancer prevention, I strongly suggest a clean, non-processed low-fat vegan diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. Ketogenic diet will reduce post-meal insulin levels, but it can negatively impact long-term glucose management. A high-fat diet has long been linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance. Researchers warn that a diet high in fat appears to disrupt important cell signaling that results in reduced sensitivity to insulin.  

Please don`t ignore the fluctuation of A1C especially if you have high triglyceride and high blood pressure. Make up your mind on changing diet and lifestyles as soon as you read this!   

Reference:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15297079/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16319806/

https://www.masteringdiabetes.org/high-carb-foods-reverse-insulin-resistance/

https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/eating-fat-raise-insulin-7239.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190813080206.htm

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11892-002-0098-y

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