Quitting sugar in an attempt to get the emergency stress system going is misguided, but unfortunately there are plenty of ways to manipulate people with what can look a lot like right information. And it’s easy to think that the information you’re handing out is right, when you’ve been sold faulty foundations.
On the other hand, although largely ignored, there is good quality biological evidence demonstrating the relationship between the intentional promotion of a ketogenic state, and disease progression. Particularly when examined in the context of other known stressful and inflammatory physiological responses to sugar restriction, these kinds of warnings appear to be logically consistent and convincing.
Ketones and lactate “fuel” tumor growth and metastasis. Cell Cycle 2010 Sep 1; 9(17): 3506–3514.
…our…observations may…explain the close and emerging association between diabetes and cancer susceptibility…diabetes and fasting/starvation…are known to be highly ketogenic and…consistent with our…hypothesis that ketone production fuels tumor growth…given our current findings that ketones increase tumor growth, cancer patients and their dieticians may want to re-consider the use of a “ketogenic diet” as a form of anti-cancer therapy.
Sugar restriction is well understood to promote exposure to cortisol and free fatty acids (ffa’s) throughout the system, and these two factors (with regard to ffa’s, particularly when polyunsaturated in composition) play a significant role in the development and advancement of many inflammatory conditions, including diabetes and cancer.
But because the ‘stress sprinkler system’ is obviously designed to protect in the short term, it isn’t difficult at all to design studies or misinterpret reasonably short term results, showing the impact of the sugar restricted stressful ketogenic state, in such a way that makes it look like a good thing to intentionally promote.
The sugar restricted state, especially when combined with increased cortisol and ffa circulation, gradually (sometimes rapidly) interferes with thyroid metabolism and digestive function, and this combination promotes increases in bacterial endotoxin levels, lactic acid production, and nitric oxide, estrogen, adrenaline, and serotonin levels. All of these inflammatory stress substances, in excess, work together to encourage disease. Yes they have a basic physiologically protective role temporarily and at a local level, but none of these biochemical substances are safe in excess, and when systemic. Hence the confusion.
You can take a snapshot of all sorts of harmful circumstances, and frame them in a positive light, but it doesn’t follow that evidence showing the serious harmful impact that often eventuates, doesn’t exist or that it should be disregarded as irrelevant.
The claim often put forward that sugar promotes cancer and diabetes is unscientific, and this is easy to understand once you look at the high quality science showing the ways that cortisol and the polyunsaturated ffa’s promote both these disease states.
The idea that ‘sugar feeds cancer’ doesn’t make sense when you know the role that fat and amino acids play in cancer growth and spread, and when you understand how sugar helps to reduce stress substance exposure. If you want more details regarding this there are plenty of studies attached to longer articles I have previously written, published on this blog.
There will always be stories about people who have done well on ketogenic diets, but just keep in mind that you are often just looking at one moment in time, rather than following what happens over the long term. People can often feel good for a while when exposed to high levels of protective stress substances, and test results can also be misleading when you don’t understand the context. Later when things aren’t going well, it is common for that to be framed in such a way, so as to place the blame on anything but the original treatment or preventative approaches used. You don’t have to take my word for it, just think about it, and try and look at it from this perspective.
I’m not a doctor or health professional of any kind, and this is not intended as advice in any way, shape, or form. Try to remember that there are people who benefit from promoting one view over another, and not all ‘scientific’ studies, or interpretations of studies, are a reflection of the truth.