How Tumors Use Meat to Grow: Xeno-Autoantibodies

How Tumors Use Meat to Grow: Xeno-Autoantibodies
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Cancer may use a molecule found in animal products to trick our immune system into feeding it with inflammation.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

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 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 system’s attention?

Presumably, any B cell that would recognize us 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 this 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. So, the tumor isn’t able to evoke the response it needs and wants.

That’s where NeuGc can come in. “Evidence for a human-specific mechanism for diet and antibody-mediated inflammation in carcinoma [cancer] 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 from 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 of inflammatory compounds that enable the cancer to grow faster.

“[T]he combination of tumor-associated Neu5Gc and [our] circulating anti-Neu5Gc autoantibodies promotes tumor growth, by inducing weak inflammation, causing infiltration of inflammatory cells and [enhancing] 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 be now considered an autoimmune disease, what are the dietary implications—given the fact that most animals produce this tumor promoter?

Well, we don’t make Neu5Gc—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.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to Pulmonary Pathology via flickr, and Ilmari Karonen via Wikimedia

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

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 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 system’s attention?

Presumably, any B cell that would recognize us 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 this 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. So, the tumor isn’t able to evoke the response it needs and wants.

That’s where NeuGc can come in. “Evidence for a human-specific mechanism for diet and antibody-mediated inflammation in carcinoma [cancer] 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 from 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 of inflammatory compounds that enable the cancer to grow faster.

“[T]he combination of tumor-associated Neu5Gc and [our] circulating anti-Neu5Gc autoantibodies promotes tumor growth, by inducing weak inflammation, causing infiltration of inflammatory cells and [enhancing] 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 be now considered an autoimmune disease, what are the dietary implications—given the fact that most animals produce this tumor promoter?

Well, we don’t make Neu5Gc—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.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to Pulmonary Pathology via flickr, and Ilmari Karonen via Wikimedia

Nota del Doctor

Make sure you see the “prequels” to this video: Cancer as an Autoimmune Disease and The Inflammatory Meat Molecule Neu5Gc. Why else might those eating plant-based diets have lower risk of all cancers combined (see EPIC Findings on Lymphoma)? It could be the lack of IGF-1 (see The Answer to the Pritikin Puzzle); heme iron (see Risk Associated With Iron Supplements); inflammation (see The Leaky Gut Theory of Why Animal Products Cause Inflammation); viruses (see Carcinogenic Retrovirus Found in Eggs); antibiotics (see Chicken Dioxins, Viruses, or Antibiotics?); saturated fat (see Breast Cancer Survival, Butterfat, and Chicken); nitrosamines (see When Nitrites Go Bad); and arachidonic acid (see Inflammatory Remarks About Arachidonic Acid)—all of which are associated with animal product consumption. Or, it could be the DNA repair (see Kiwifruit and DNA Repair); cellular stress defenses (see Plant-Based Diets and Cellular Stress Defenses); anti-inflammatory properties (see Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants); soy (see Breast Cancer Survival and Soy); lignans (see Breast Cancer Survival and Lignan Intake); phytonutrients (see Broccoli Versus Breast Cancer Stem Cells); and fiber (see Relieving Yourself of Excess Estrogen)—all of which are associated with healthy plant food consumption.

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: How Tumors Use Meat to GrowAvoiding Dairy to Prevent Parkinson’s; and Flax and Breast Cancer Survival.

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