High-Fat Diet May Slow Cancer

Researchers cut off tumor sugar supply
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2007 7:12 AM CDT
   (Index Stock)
camera-icon View 11 more images

(Newser) – A diet high in fat but devoid of sugars is being tested as a new strategy to fight cancerous tumors. Researchers are exploiting tumors' dependence on sugar fermentation by banning most carbohydrates in the regimen, similar to the Atkins diet, Time magazine reports. Nutrition is supplied by plant oils and soy and animal products. As healthy cells can burn fat, only the cancer should starve.

Despite a promising theory, the study faces some obstacles. Only the sickest patients who have exhausted other treatment options can be enrolled in the study, and some subjects have been unwilling to give up sweets. But early results have been good; tumors were slowed, halted or shrunk in the five patients who stuck to the diet.