For decades, conventional wisdom said cancer was a “mutation.”
When “broken” strands of DNA in the nucleus (center) of your cells were unrepairable, the cell became cancerous and started to grow out of control.
That’s still the official explanation.
But decades of research from Nobel Prize-winning scientists present a different picture. Turns out, cancer has little to do with your genes.
Why aren’t mainstream institutions listening?
Today, I’ll show you why cancer is really a metabolic disease, and how you can prOtect yourself from one of the most feared diseases of our time.
Cancer Genes “Turned Off” When Placed in a Healthy Cell
To test the “mutation theory” of cancer, researchers came up with a novel experiment. Their thinking went like this: If gene expression alone causes cancer, then putting the nucleus of a cancerous cell in a healthy cell would make it cancerous. (The nucleus being the location of those “mutated” genes.)
But… when they placed the cancerous nucleus into a healthy cell, the cancerous genes turned off.1
If the mutation theory is tRue, that would be impossible.
Digging deeper into this mystery, they reversed the experiment. Next, they took the nucleus of a healthy cell and put it into a cancerous cell. You would think a healthy nucleus would repair a cancerous cell.
But when the healthy nucleus was placed inside a cancerous cell, the healthy nucleus became cancerous.
These results might sound like a revolutionary breakthrough. In reality, they revealed that Nobel-prize winning scientist Otto Warburg may have been right decades earlier.
Otto Warburg: Lack of Oxygen Causes Cancer
In 1923, Otto Warburg and his team made a big discovery. Tumor cells used glucose (sugar) instead of oxyGen for energy, a process called glycolysis. Warburg realized that when oxygen levels in the cell dropped below a certain point, the cell started using glucose for fuel.
When this change occurred, normal functions inside the cell started to shut down… over time, the cell became a sort of “zombie” that started clumping together with other oxygen-deprived cells to form tumors.
But his discovery in 1923 was only the first of many in an illustrious career. By 1956, Otto Warburg argued that disruption in cellular respiration — a process driven by mitochondria — caused cells to become cancerous.2
Is Cancer a Metabolic Disease?
I’ve explained in the past how mitochondriA are your cells’ power plants. Through the process called cellular respiration, they produce all the energy (ATP) that your cells use to drive the energy-making process.
Some cells have few mitochondria, others like brain and muscle cells can have thousands. Regardless of how many, when they work right, so do your cells.
And now, this new research together with Otto Warburg’s discoveries suggest a definite relationship between mitochondrial function and cancer.
That’s why the experiment I mentioned earlier makes sense… it’s the mitochoNdria that determine cancer risk.
When the cell is healthy, the mitochondria are strong. That’s why a cancerous nucleus turns off the cancerous genes in the presence of healthy mitochondria and plenty of oxygen.
For the same reason, a healthy nucleus becomes overwhelmed and cancerous in the presence of sick mitochondria… the lack of oxygen in the cell sickens a healthy nucleus.
How to Keep Your Mitochondria Healthy and Active
There are three specific nutrients that bolster the health of your mitochondria, and support oxygen-based metabolism.
1. Get to know your B vitamins
All B vitamins play key roles in cellular health and energy production. Vitamin B3, for example, is essential in the production of NAD+, a key factor in cellular respiration and mitochondrial health.
Unfortunately, the modern dIet often lacks adequate amounts. Recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are also quite often too conservative, meaning even if you take a multi-vitamin for support, you may still not get enough.
I highly recommend trying to get the majority of your B vitamins by eating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables along with naturally raised grass-fed meat. Foods with high levels include chicken, red meat, salmon, dark green leafy vegetables, beets, black beans, bananas and eggs.
If needed, you can also take a B-complex supplement. I recommend finding one with methylcobalamin for vitamin B12; niacinamide for B3; folate for B9. These are the most bioavailable forms of these B vitamins.
2. Magnesium — the “must have” mineral
Most Americans do not get enough magnesium.3 A key nutrient in more than 300 different metabolic functions, one of its many roles involves being a cofactor for B vitamins. Without enough magnesium, you can’t make use of your dietary or supplemental B vitamins.
Most foods high in B vitamins are also excellent sources of magnesium. Other good sources inClude oatmeal, almonds and legumes.
You’ll find a variety of magnesium supplements. Some like magnesium orotate offer exceptional bioavailability, but also have a higher price-point. Magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate both offer good bioavailability at a lower cost.
Depending on your need, I recommend 500 mg daily. People with a severe magnesium deficiency can take up to 2,500 mg safely. If your bowels become loose (a side effect of too much), you’ll want to reduce your dose.
3. Insist on the “reduced” form of CoQ10 — ubiquinol
The best source of CoQ10, ubiquinol ensures your mitochondria get a steady supply of this key nutrient. CoQ10 is a critical part of the energy-making process inside the mitochondria. Without it, your mitochondria malfunction putting you at a much higher risk for cancer.
I’ve recommended CoQ10 for decades as one of the best ways to support and protect your mitochondrial function. Take at least 50 mg daily, up to 200 mg if you’re dealing with health concerns. Ideally, combine it with PQQ, the only known nutrient that helps make more mitochondria.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
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Sources & References
1. Seyfried TN. “Cancer as a mitochondrial metabolic disease.” Front Cell Dev Biol. 2015;3:43.
2. Otto AM. “Warburg effect(s)—a biographical sketch of Otto Warburg and his impacts on tumor metabolism.” Cancer Metab. 2016;4:5.
3. DiNicolantonio JJ, et al. “Subclinical magnesium deficiency: A principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis.” Open Heart. 2018;5(1):e000668.