A recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School proclaims that a cut-down on proteins could prevent cancer cells resisting treatment to breast cancer cure. The switch to low-protein diet could help to generate a key hormone as a therapy drug. The researchers claim that by cutting down on meat, fish and dairy could reduce the chances of the disease recurring or spreading.
Experiments suggest an “unexpected” relationship between the nutrient ingredient, leucine and cancerous tumors. It was discovered that lucine is present in rich amounts in animal proteins and dairy products and tumors. This developed resistance to the drug tamoxifen. It is a medication that is used to prevent breast cancer in women. The drug is also used in the treatment of breast cancer in women and men. In addition, Tamoxifen is studied for potential cure of other types of cancer. It was also observed that patients resistant to tamoxifen had poor life expectancy.
The recent findings are yet to be confirmed, but they raised the possibility of a diet switch, mainly a diet with higher portions of vegetable proteins. Since it was discovered that plants have less concentrated amounts of lucine in comparison, a subsequent increase in consumption of greens, could leave open the opportunity of a curb in the levels of leucine which could in turn help to keep tamoxifen effective for longer. Experts added that soy beans and nuts are also rich sources of leucine. However, reports suggest that early stage cancer patients should not cut anything from their diet without medical advice.
The findings also shed light on the fact, that roughly four out of five breast cancer patients are sensitive to growth signals from the female hormone oestrogen (ER+). Tamoxifen is thus useful to block these signals and prevent future occurrence or metastasizing of cancer to other parts of the body. The research was published in the journal, Nature on Wednesday. It showed that laboratory tests with lowering leucine levels decreased the growth of new cancer cells, while a 10-fold increase enhanced it.