Cancer may use a molecule found in animal products to trick our immune system into feeding it with inflammation.
We are now finally able to understand how tumors are able to trick our immune system to feed them with inflammation. When we’re born and grow up we have immune cells that attack everything else but us, because the ones that recognized us were eliminated. Cancer cells may be mutated, but they’re still our cells, so how do they get the immune systems attention? Presumably, any B cell that would recognize them was killed off before birth. That’s where xeno-autoantibodies come in. Xeno means foreign, as in xenophobia. Auto come from the Greek autos, meaning self, as in automobile, a self-moving vehicle—no horse required. But how can something be both xeno and auto, foreign and self. Though many tumors, like breast cancer, thrive on inflammation, thrive on a low-grade immune-response, the problem for the tumor is that since it originated from normal breast tissue, it doesn’t look foreign to the immune system and so the tumor isn’t able to evoke the response it wants. That’s where NeuGc can come in. Evidence for a human-specific mechanism for diet and antibody-mediated inflammation in carcinoma progression. See, “Neu5Gc incorporation by the cancer confers a selective advantage to tumor cells that are best at accumulating Neu5Gc.” By actively accumulating this foreign meat and dairy molecule coming our diet into the tumor, the cancer may use it to trick our immune system into producing autoimmune antibodies—anti-neu5GC autoantibodies, which leads to the release the inflammatory compounds that enable the cancer to grow faster. “[T]he combination of tumor-associated Neu5Gc and our circulating anti-Neu5Gc antibodies promotes tumor growth, by inducing weak inflammation, causing infiltration of inflammatory cells and enhanced angiogenesis, enhanced blood flow to the tumor. Our own tumors use what we feed on to get what they feed on. So, as I talked about before, since cancer in a sense may now be considered an autoimmune disease, what are the dietary implications, given the fact that most animals produce this tumor promoter? Well, we don’t make NeuGc—at least we haven't for a few million years—and neither do plants, so to undermine our tumor’s sneaky strategy I guess it comes down to either cannibalism, or a plant-based diet… or both, I guess. “Importantly, these data are congruent with the decreased cancer risk associated with veganism.”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Ashley Rhinehart, RN.
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Make sure you see the "prequels" to this video Cancer as an Autoimmune Disease and yesterday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day The Inflammatory Meat Molecule Neu5Gc. Why else might those eating plant-based diets have lower risk of all cancers combined? It could be the lack of IGF-1, heme iron, inflammation, viruses, antibiotics, saturated fat, nitrosamines, and arachidonic acid associated with animal product consumption. Or it could be the DNA repair, cellular stress defenses, anti-inflammatory properties, soy, lignans, phytonutrients, and fiber associated with healthy plant food consumption.
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