CAN ALKALINE DIET CURE CANCER? A COMPLETE ANALYSIS
What is cancer?
Cancer is a collection of more than 100 diseases. In fact, it is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. It develops when the normal control mechanism of the body is not working properly. During cancer, old cells do not die and become uncontrolled and form new abnormal cells. These abnormal cells then develop into a tissue more appropriately called as tumors.
What is the current Indian scenario with respect to cancer?
The report of Indian Council of Medical Research or ICMR has recently announced the possibility of over 17 lakh new cases of cancer and 8 lakh death because of it by the end of 2020. The ICMR has even shortlisted the cancer types which are most prevalent in India. The three toppers in this regard are breast cancer, lung cancer, and cervical cancer.
What is the cancer capital of India?
Earlier Punjab was considered as the cancer capital of India with the highest incidence rates of cancer in India. But, with the passage of time and change in India, this position can now safely be given to the northeastern part of India. The cancer incidence rates in these regions are double the national average, so it is better to call it as cancer capital. Where the national average stands at 80-110 cases per lakh population, the average of northeastern region is somewhere between 150-200 cases per lakh. Aizawl in Mizoram and Papumpare in Arunachal Pradesh are the two regions with the highest number of such cases. The state of Nagaland acquires a prominent place in this regard with 1300 reported cases of cancer among a population of 20 lakhs every year.
The reasons for such a huge cancer rate in these regions are many:
- Lifestyle pattern including excessive tobacco consumption, raw betel nuts, spicy foods, beverages, etc.
- Unhealthy environment leading to many hygiene risks
- Lack of proper medical treatment to detect and operate the diseases
How can an alkaline diet cure cancer?
Our body is supposed to have a fixed acid level, or more appropriately termed as pH level. Each organ in the body has a fixed pH. If we alter this pH level, it can both positive as well as negative response. The theory of the alkaline diet is based on the assumption that altering the pH level of the body will have a positive impact on the health of an individual.
The pH of blood is around 7.35-7.45 which is slightly alkaline. The cells of this fatal disease develop and flourish in an acidic environment. In fact, the tumors grow faster in an acidic environment as well as create an acidic environment themselves.
There is a significant link between the alkaline diet and cancer. Studies and researches all across the globe have pointed out that cancer cells grow and flourish in an acidic environment. So, if we consume a diet rich in alkaline foods and low in acidic foods, it will raise the level of pH in the body, making the body alkaline. So, naturally in an alkaline environment cancer cells will not flourish.
The composition of an alkaline diet is somewhat like this: 80 percent alkaline forming foods and 20 percent acid forming foods. Some food products forming the alkaline diet include green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, citrus fruits, sea salt, root vegetables, nuts, onion, garlic, ginger, etc.
Can ketogenic diets help in cancer treatment?
Well, this is yet another popular diet plan for fighting cancer. The normal cells of an individual possess metabolic flexibility which can help them in adapting from using glucose to using ketone bodies. However, cancerous cells lose this ability or capacity. But, when one reduces the consumption of carbohydrates and increase the intake of non-starchy vegetables, these cancerous cells do not get their required food. They starve and resultantly may die.
The ketogenic idea is based on the abovementioned philosophy. It involves the reduction of carbohydrate intake in the body and replacing it with healthy fat and an appropriate amount of high-quality protein. When the carbohydrate intake is minimized, it will reduce the level of glucose in the body. Glucose is the most important fuel that feeds the cancer cells and facilitates its growth. Doing this will put the body into the state of ketosis. This will actually help in obstructing the energy supply of cancer cells. This is how it can treat cancer well. It can have dual effects. It can prevent as well as treat cancer.