Can Keeping Yourself Alkaline Help Fight Cancer?
Medical history of treating diseases used to deal with only the pathological aspect of disease. However, nowadays, a new approach has been adopted which is known as pathophysiological approach of treating diseases so that the functioning state of the body can be reserved without disturbing other systems. An example is using bubble beds for preventing bed sores. This is a method based on pathophysiological knowledge.
When term cancer is generally coined, the first thing that comes in mind of a medical man is uncontrolled division of abnormal cells. These cells consume more energy of the body and at the same time cause harm producing no specific signs and symptoms, therefore being known as “the great imitator”. In 2008, 7.6 million deaths (13% of all deaths) were caused due to cancer, which included lung, stomach, breast and colon cancers. It is expected that the deaths from cancer will be continuously rising with an estimated 13.1 million deaths in 2030 according to W.H.O.
In 1931,noble prize in physiology was awarded to Otto H.Warburg. His work was related to metabolism and respiration of tumor cells. He was nominated on behalf of his hypothesis, which he investigated that cancer could have countless secondary causes but the prime cause according to him was the replacement of reparation of oxygen (anaerobic respiration) in normal cells by fermentation of sugar or anaerobic respiration inspite of presence of oxygen.
Therefore, cancer is caused by mitochondrial insult that occurs in cells and causes cells to respire abnormally. This concept is accepted worldwide. The fundamental difference found between normal cell and cancerous cell was ratio of glycolysis to respiration, which is named as Warburg effect. This concept further proved to be true when chemicals like DCA (dichloroacetic acid ) and over expression of Frataxin caused inhibition of cancer as a result in a study both worked by mechanism of promoting oxidative respiration and normal functioning of mitochondria.
Normally the damaged cells in the body are discarded by apoptosis but in cancer cells mitochondria are shut down. Therefore apoptosis cannot take place as it involves mitochondria. Researchers are still going on in order to find a break through. Otto Warburg also discovered the relationship between oxygen to the PH of the cancer cells’ internal environment in which he reported that due to production of lactic acid and carbon dioxide, the cancer cells maintain a pH of approximately 6.0.
One of the recent methods for detection of cancer metastasis, Positron Emission Tomography (PET), also works on the same phenomena of detecting the biologically active molecule FDG, an analog of glucose, used as a tracer, which indicates tissue metabolic activity, by virtue of the regional glucose uptake. There are many hypothesized theories, which emphasize that cancer and pH have a strong link but no evidence study has been put forward to prove it. Some believe that an increase in pH causes cancer whereas some hypothesize opposing this concept. Other theories suggest that due to increase metastasis of cancer cells pH reduces in cancer patients.
The concept that supports “acidic PH causes cancer” includes the link between carcinogens and their potency to develop cancer as risk factors. For example, long term smoking causes slight decrease in pH of the mouth making it acidic and prone to ulcers and cancers. Also, soda drinks (having acidic pH) are linked with stomach and esophageal carcinomas.
Dr.Keiichi Morishita, Director of the Ochanomizu clinic in Japan and the Head of the International Natural Medicine Association, in his book, “Hidden Truth of Cancer” ( dated 02-07-12) has an opinion that, when blood becomes more acidic this acidic waste starts disposing inside the body. If this acidic condition stays steady for a longer duration years after years, the areas where acidity is being accumulated end up being abnormal but still manage to survive and get transformed, becoming malignant. Whereas malignant cells do not respond to brain commands and this gives rise to cancer. He believes that modern science is not treating the cause the way it should be treated, like malignant cells are being treated like viruses or bacteria using radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but it all goes in vain until the internal environment of the body is acidic or in other words, friendly for cancerous cells to continue metastasis.
It’s important that blood pH should be maintained between 7.2-7.4 to transport oxygen to tissues as well. There are also a link between alkaline diet and prevention of cancers or carcinogens, but the mechanisms are not known and no change in blood pH is evident due to change in diet. Alternative medicine practitioners have promoted a diet regimen called “alkaline diet” and are using it for treating cancer as well. Alkylating agents are also used in chemotherapy known as Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Oxaliplatin.
They act by impairing the cell function by forming covalent bonds with biologically important molecules that contain functional groups, which are alkylated by the drugs. Hence, implementing a good alkaline diet is a better way to prevent cancer. Therefore, keep yourself alkaline and fight cancer!
1-WHO cancer updates (http://www.who.int/cancer/en/)
2-Cancer history ,hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer)
3-Chemotheraputic agents (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemotherapy#Alkylating_agents)
4-Otto Wanburg hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warburg_hypothesis)
5- Alkaline diet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkaline_diet)
6- Dr. Keiichi Morishita ( http://humanbodyworks.com/kangen-water-doctors-scientists-nutritionists)
7-Effects of smoking (http://www.virtualmedicalcentre.com/healthandlifestyle/how-smoking-affects-the-mouth/239)
About the Author: Sana Sohail Anwari is a medical student currently studying in 4th year M.B.B.S and wants to work further in field of research and preventive medicine. She can be reached at [email protected]
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