Your Diet and the Spread of Cancer

Most of the topics I discuss here relate to different aspects of heart health. But as we have realized, what you do to help your heart helps the rest of your body as well. A most recent study has added still more evidence that the food you eat affects how your body functions;this current study looked at specifically how your diet relates to the growth and spread of cancer.


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Asparagine is an amino acid found in asparagus, from whence comes its name, as well poultry, seafood, and many other foods. In the study, it was found that breast tumours deteriorated and failed to spread when the diet lacked asparagine. Does cancer grow or fail to thrive based on what we eat?

It seems so. A separate study in lymphoma and intestinal cancers showed that cutting out dietary amino acids glycine and serine slowed cancer development. Apparently different cancers need different components of our diets to flourish.




Cancer growth

For all the devastation cancer wreaks on a body, it is somewhat amazing that it can start at all.  The initial cancer is rarely deadly but when the cancer spreads – metastasizes –somehow surviving the bloodstream to take up residence elsewhere and continue to grow, that is generally when it becomes fatal. It is this process of metastases that the researches think is where dietary asparagine, or the lack thereof, comes into play.




Animal vs. human studies


These studies were performed in animals and don’t translate directly to humans. Still, they provide clues that point research in new directions. In the future, modifying a diet could become therapy or drugs that change how cancer, or another disease, accesses nutrients could improve patient outcomes may be developed. Food is medicine!




Now is not the time to exclude a food group without discussing it first with your physician. Eat a varied diet of vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. Your heart will thank you.


Dr. James Kneller treats atrial fibrillation, arrhythmia, and other heart conditions.  He is an internationally recognized authority on cardiovascular health and personal development.





Knott, S.R.V., Wagenblast, E., Khan, S., Kim, S.Y., Soto, M., Wagner, M., Turgeon, M-O., Fish, L., Erard, N., Gable, A.L., Maceli, A.R., Dickopf, S., Papachristou, E.K., D’Santos, C.S., Carey, L.A., Wilkinson, J.E., Harrell, J.C., Perou, C.M., Goodarzi, H., Poulogiannis, G., & Hannon, G.J. Published online February 2018. Asparagine bioavailability governs metastasis in a model of breast cancer. Nature.