One of the hallmarks of cancer is that cancer cells have impaired metabolism. It was found in the 1920’s, by nobel laureate Dr. Otto Warburg, that caner cells are in a state of aerobic glycolysis. This has become known as the “Warburg effect”. What this means is that cancer cells do not use glucose, one of the forms of cellular energy, the same way as normal cells. Cancer cells use this fuel source inefficiently and in doing so this is what allows them to grow quickly, invade and metastasize. It is even hypothesized that cancer develops due to damaged mitochondria which are the energy producing organelles in our cells. This is the reason you may have heard that cancer cells cannot function without glucose. While this is not completely true it has been found that affecting cancer cell metabolism may reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells.

In the past 10 years there has been much research into the metabolism of cancer cells and therapies that target this. By interfering with how cancer cells produce energy we may be able to stop their growth and make them vulnerable to conventional therapies. Naturopathic therapies such as alpha lipoic acid, the ketogenic diet,  and others can interfere with how cancer cells produce energy. These may make cancer cells more susceptible to cell death by other naturopathic therapies and conventional therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy. Metabolic therapies are not indicated in all situations which is why it is important to work with a member of our naturopathic CancerCare team to determine what treatments may benefit you.

Some of the metabolic therapies we offer at OWIC:

  • Dietary recommendations
  • Ketogenic diets and fasting
  • IV Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Metformin and Dichloroacetate, provided in conjunction with a prescribing pharmacist
  • Targeted supplementation