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Fast-mimicking Diet combined with Vitamin C effective for Hard-to-treat Cancers

May 11, 2020 by Kamran Ahmed

A study by the scientists from USC and the IFOM Cancer Institute in Milan, published in Nature Communications journal, has found that a fast-mimicking diet combined with Vitamin C intake is effective in delaying tumor progression. The investigators conducted multiple experiments on mice, suggesting diseased regression and even delayed tumor progression in some cases.Fast-mimicking diet plus vitamin C effective for hard-to-treat cancers
Photo credit: marcoverch on Visual hunt / CC BY
It is a non-toxic intervention that is great for aggressive cancers as well, said Valter Longo, lead author and the director of the USC Longevity Institute at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.

The combination of Vitamin C and the fast-mimicking diet decreases the KRAS mutation, so vitamin C shows more positive effects. When administered without fast-mimicking, Vitamin C triggers KRAS mutation, which remains a challenge in cancer research, the study noted.

Fast-mimicking diet is a good alternative to fasting, which can be challenging for many people. The former involves a low-calorie, plant-based diet that makes the body believe that it is starving, but in reality, it is not.

Previous studies have shown mixed results on the topic, but some indicate that the diet is highly effective in slowing down the progression of cancer, especially when combined with chemotherapy. It boosts the response of the immune system’s anti-tumor capability, researchers argue.

The USC researchers performed five clinical trials to prove two hypotheses:
  1. The non-toxic intervention works well in mice.
  2. It shows good results in clinical trials.
They conducted clinical trials on prostate and breast cancer patients as well to study the effect of a combo treatment involving fast-mimicking diet and Vitamin C. The successful results show why previous studies with Vitamin C as a potential anti-cancer therapy didn’t work. When administered alone, Vitamin C triggers the KRAS-mutated cells due to an increase in ferritin levels of binding iron.

The researchers successfully reduced the toxicity of Vitamin C by cutting down the levels of ferritin in the body. This helped them to come up with a groundbreaking therapy that can protect normal cells in cancer patients, which can otherwise be destroyed by chemotherapy. The therapy is also effective in treating colorectal cancers and other hard-to-treat tumors, the scientists said.


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