Warburg Effect - the effect of sugar

Warburg Effect - the effect of sugar

Carbohydrates are one of the three major sources of fuel. Proteins, fats, and ketones are the others. Both proteins and carbohydrates convert into glucose when you consume food. You can also convert fat into glucose, but the process is less straightforward.

So what does this have to do with cancer? 

One of the theories surrounding cancer is known as the Warburg effect. The Warburg effect is named after Otto Warburg, a German physiologist and medical doctor.

Generally speaking, when your cells take up glucose (energy), they do so in the presence of oxygen. The Warburg effect, put simply, occurs when a cell can use glucose without oxygen.

The effect is deadly. 

Cancer cells exist in every person. Depending on the circumstances, they proliferate or do not. Energy is a crucial factor in their proliferation.

In this case, glucose supplies energy. If glucose can provide energy even in the absence of oxygen, cancer cells can proliferate without inhibition.

This is why the amount of glucose in your body matters. If the food you eat is either carbohydrate-rich or the quantity of it is more than you need, you will make surplus glucose. Cancer cells will then use glucose to proliferate.

One option, then, is to eat a low-carbohydrate diet. A low-carbohydrate diet decreases the production of glucose. The less glucose there is, the less available it is for cancer cells to grow. 

For this reason, many people recommend a low-carb diet when they are at risk of cancer.

Here's the funny part: A moderate-carb diet, especially low in fast sugars (think white flour or sugar), and a diet that is moderate in calories is in any case extremely good for you. 

So you could do no wrong by following a low-carbohydrate, moderate-quantity diet, regardless of whether you are at risk for cancer or not. 

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