High fat diet increases cancer spread

High fat diet increases cancer spread

According to a groundbreaking new study, a high fat diet increases cancer spread.

In the study partly funded by UK charity Worldwide Cancer Research, a protein called CD36 was identified on cancer cells. CD36 is found in the cell membrane of tumor cells, and is responsible for taking up fatty acids.

Cancer is most deadly when it spreads, as it makes treatment much more difficult. Scientists and medical researchers are trying to find out how cancer cells spread so they can find new ways to treat it effectively.

Professor Salvador Aznar Benitah the lead researcher and his team found that CD36 was on different types of cancer cells, including oral tumours, melanoma skin cancer, ovarian, bladder, lung and breast cancer.

To confirm the role of CD36 in cancer spread, they added it to cells that were not spreading, and they began to spread.

Although we have not yet tested this in all tumour types, we can state that CD36 is a general marker of metastatic cells, the first I know of that is generally specific to metastasis,” says Professor Benitah, Head of the Stem Cell and Cancer Lab at IRB Barcelona.

We expect this study to have a big impact on the scientific community and to further advances in metastasis research, and we hope to be able to validate the potential of CD36 as an anti-metastasis treatment. Things like this don’t happen every day.”

The researchers then investigated how fat intake affects cancer spread. They fed mice a high fat diet, then injected them with cancer cells. The high fat diet significantly increased cancer spread in the mice.

In mice inoculated with human tumour cells, there appears to be a direct link between fat intake and an increase in metastatic potential through CD36. More studies are needed to unravel this intriguing relationship, above all because industrialised countries are registering an alarming increase in the consumption of saturated fats and sugar,” warns Professor Benitah. “Fat is necessary for the function of the body, but uncontrolled intake can have an effect on health, as already shown for some tumours such as colon cancer, and in metastasis, as we demonstrate here.”

So the key is to eat only healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. Some of the best healthy fats are avocados, eggs, fish, nuts, chia seeds, olive oil, and coconut oil.

The study showing that a high fat diet increases cancer spread was published in the journal Nature.

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1. “Ground-breaking Evidence That Cancer Spread Is Increased by a High Fat Diet as Researchers Discover New Cancer-spreading Protein.” Worldwide Cancer Research. Worldwide Cancer Research, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2016.
2. “Targeting Metastasis-initiating Cells through the Fatty Acid Receptor CD36.” Nature.com. Nature, n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.

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