In June 2011, a fascinating study was published in Cancer Research by the highly regarded Gerald Krystal Ph.D. The British Columbia Cancer Research Institute study concluded that low carb high protein (LCHP) diets actually inhibit the growth rate of certain cancers, and in some cases may prevent it altogether. Conversely, “Western Diets”, which are higher in carbs and lower in protein showed increased rates of spreading cancer, and risk of cancer being developed in the first place.
The “Western Diet” consisted of 55% carbs, 23% protein, and 22% fat, whilst the Low Carb High Protein diet consisted of 15% carbs, 58% protein, and 26% fat. Interestingly, Loren Cordain, author of the the Paleo Diet, estimates hunter gatherers would have gained above 50% of their calories from animal proteins.
The findings are remarkable;
Mice pre-dispositioned to breast cancer
High Carb Western Diet -> almost 1/2 developed breast cancer within the first year
LCHP Diet -> NONE developed breast cancer within the first year
High Carb Western Diet -> Only 1 reached it’s normal life span of 2 years
LCHP -> 85% reached or exceeded their normal life span of 2 years
High Carb Western Diets -> 70% Died from Cancer
LCHP -> 30% developed cancer, but 1/2 of these reached or exceeded their normal lifespan
Low Carb High Protein diets:
- Slowed tumour growth
- Boosted the effectiveness of a number of anti-cancer drugs
- Boosted ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells.
High Carb Diet (Western Diets)
- Gained lots of weight
- Quickened tumour growth
Dr. Krystal believes that the reason for the findings is because the vast majority of tumours need more glucose than normal cells to survive. High carb diets elevate glucose levels throughout the body. The scientists involved were surprised to discover that a simple change in diet could have such a dramatic consequences.