A study led by the University of Wisconsin School of Health and Public Health has reported promising findings regarding the treatment of a virulent form of breast cancer. The research primarily revolves around the compound Methionine, which is largely found in meat and fish, and is an essential nutrient for tumor cells.
The broad takeaway from the research is that a meatless diet, and consequently, a diet lower in Methionine, shows promise in helping to fight the growth of cancer cells.
Going one step further, scientists at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center have suggested that diets high in vegetables and fruit, such as a vegan diet, may help to starve tumor cells in patients with virulent “triple-negative” breast cancer.
At this stage, the research is strong enough to invoke a clinical trial to determine if and just how much survival rates of triple-negative breast cancer will be increased with a low-methionine diet, according to lead researcher, Vincent Cryns.
What makes this type of breast cancer difficult to treat is that these specific tumor cells do not have the common receptors normally found in cancer cells that are targeted in hormone or chemotherapy. By removing methionine, the molecular pathway into these cells becomes more vulnerable to a targeted treatment therapy, consequently making more triple negative cancer cells vulnerable to the treatment.
Research suggests that while cutting out meat, fish, eggs and dairy products from one’s diet will dramatically help lower Methionine intake, certain other foods that are deemed vegan, such as nuts (Brazil nuts in particular), certain legumes such as soybeans (including soy-based protein powder) and Sprirulina, are also high in Methionine, and should be avoided or taken in moderation.