The health challenges today are much more complicated than those from the past centuries. Many of them are linked to each other and may have various factors included in their development. Consequently, their treatment is complicated. Perhaps the best example of this is cancer therapy.
According to statistics, cancer is one of the top killers around the world. The chances of success in its treatment vary from person to person. In addition, the types and forms of cancer also play a role in determining the success rates and life expectancy of the person.
At the moment, there is an increase in research on different types of cancers. Scientists and health professionals are now looking at various new possibilities.
This includes the role of other variables in its treatment as well as alternative treatments. One of such new studies explores how the diet of a person may affect his or her cancer therapy.
Previously, researchers have confirmed diet and nutrition play a mandatory role in overall better health. Secondly, they can also have an impact on the development and treatment of many health conditions.
For instance, health problems such as hypertension and obesity can be both prevented and treated with diet. Now, the researchers in the new study are looking at cancer in a similar way.
The senior author Jason Locasale states this paper fills the gap in research on a diet in cancer. The findings of the study appear in the journal Nature.
What Was the Research Method?
The diet of a person matters a lot in making a person’s health better or worse. This is why doctors suggest switching to healthy diets to patients of all health conditions. In addition, people with certain health issues have to make different dietary interventions.
This means that they may also have to leave foods that are otherwise healthy. For instance, people with conditions like gluten intolerance have to avoid all items containing the protein.
In the case of cancer therapy, the researchers also go in the same depth. More specifically, the researchers look at the effects of the amino acid Methionine.
Methionine is an amino acid that cannot be made by the human body. It is dependent on obtaining these acids from food. Doctors suggest taking foods rich with these amino acids to all healthy people.
This is because methionine is fundamental in the proper functioning of the cells. The two main sources of it are meat and eggs. Previously, different studies show methionine negative and positive effects.
The researchers were interested in its effect on cancer therapy because it is a part of many cellular functions. This also includes those that cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy target.
In order to know more about this, two cancer models were looked at. The researchers started by grafting cancer-resistant tissues from participants into mice. Then they divided mice into two models.
The first model included two groups of mice. One had a normal diet and second had a low-methionine diet. In another model, the mice were given small doses of anti-cancer medicines and kept on a low-methionine diet.
What Were the Results?
In the first model, the researchers found that cancer therapy worked better in the group with low-methionine. In the second one, there was not much improvement due to low-dosage of drugs.
The scientists explain this could be due to metabolic changes caused by low-methionine. In doing so, they also did a third experiment. They looked at the effects of a low-methionine diet in six healthy people. The impact on metabolism was similar.
Although these findings are positive, researchers state further research is needed. In fact, they say that this is only the first step into a very thorough, future research.