Optimal Cancer Diet

Dr. Weeks’ Comment: What is the optimal cancer diet? Macrobiotic? Paleo? Methionine sparing? Anti-Inflammatory? The choices can bewilder the most diligent cancer patient. But clear thinking comes to our aid if we pause and consider. We can all agree that our human body, our life-support system for our time on earth, has a practically infinite wisdom as regards self-correction and self-repair. We benefit from its huge momentum towards health restoration. Therefore job #1 is stop the junk food! Eat only things which you can see come from nature. For example, no bread or pasta (never see bread or pasta growing on trees) no rolled oats, (groats are OK),  no orange juice  (oranges are OK), no canned soup, (imagine what is added!) no chicken nuggets (anything could be in that lump !) but chicken wings are ok. Shop the periphery of the supermarket where you can see the real untreated food. And only eat things you can see once were alive. But again, I stress,  no GMO and make certain it is organic. But most importantly eat foods free of the cancer causing glyphosates. Once you are clear about stopping the junk and avoiding all GMO and pesticided foods and glyphosate toxicity, then the wisdom is to eat plenty of good oils (unadulterated seed oils) and a small amount of protein (1/4 your plate at the most) (or eat seed proteins) while enjoying plenty of organic, non-GMO and glyphosate-frree vegetables (all colors especially dark leafie greens!) and organic non-GMO seeds and nuts while avoiding starches (grains and pasta and cereal especially wheat). Dairy is also out – even organic grass fed milk.  See this link.  To summarize: Eating more healthy oils, less protein and more vegetables and whole crushed organic, non-GMO, glyphosate-free seeds creates an anti-inflammatory diet with strong paleo features. It also represents a low methionine diet which a considerable amount of research suggests offers anti-cancer benefits. See article abstracts below.

But more importantly that what to eat is how to eat.  To speak plainly, I would prefer my patients eat junk food with a grateful heart than healthy food with a bitter, resentful defeated heart.

Nutritional guidelines

The goal is to nourish yourself by eating wisely

1) pause before eating and imagine with appreciation all the good people who contributed to your meal – the farmers, the truckers, the grocer, the shopper, the cook (even if that is you!) – Say a Grace or have a moment of silence. Pause and prepare to be nourished not just with the food but with the love and care which went into the meal. That is the real nourishment!

2) Don’t overeat – feed yourself with small bites and taste with appreciation.

3) CHEW CHEW CHEW   (physiologic appreciation) ask me how to “drink the solids and chew the liquids”

4) avoid food you are intolerant of or allergic to. The typical problem foods are wheat and dairy and sugar – take a break from these immediately)

5) keep yourself well hydrated by drinking good quality water 5 minutes BEFORE and 30 minutes AFTER meals butdo not drink a lot of water with meals as it dilutes your digestive juices.

6) Avoid processed, refined, stabilized, enriched foods. Eat living foods which will rot within a couple of weeks.

7) eat organic foods- especially green leafy veggies (rich in magnesium and potassium) and eat less animal proteins;

8) raw foods are fabulous – try “sprouting” them – groats are excellent in this way )seeds and nuts are great but avoid “dry roasted” as their beneficial oils are destroyed;

9) I recommend blending up whole organic foods into smoothies, soups, using a blender that will pulverize foods called the Vitamix (www.vitamix.com or the Magic Bullet (at Target stores). The advantage over juicers is 1) you get all the food (not just the sugar rich juice) 2) easy cleaning; If you want to order directly, see www.vitamix.com or call 800-VITAMIX

10) Eat the Seed  – seeds are the most nutrient-dense food on earth. Eating seeds gives your 30x more nutrients than what you get by eating the flesh of the fruit or vegetable. Don’t throw away the seeds. Cold press or freeze them and then finely grind the frozen brittle seeds in a coffee grinder and eat those powdered, DNA and RNA rich seeds – husk and all.  (Don’t settle for extracted seed oils, eat the whole seed!).  Or just “rip and sip” concentrated organic, non-GMO, glyphosate-free seed drinks at www.safalab.com/seedsofeden!


Nutr Cancer. 2002;42(2):158-66.

Nutrient intake and nutritional indexes in adults with metastatic cancer on a phase I clinical trial of dietary methionine restriction.

Epner DE1,


Animal studies have shown that dietary methionine restriction selectively inhibits growth of a variety of human tumor xenografts but has relatively few deleterious effects on normal tissues.…We conclude that enteral dietary methionine restriction is safe and tolerable in adults with metastatic solid tumors and results in significant reduction in plasma methionine levels.


Prostate. 2014 Dec;74(16):1663-73. doi: 10.1002/pros.22884. Epub 2014 Sep 22.

Dietary methionine restriction inhibits prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia in TRAMP mice.

Sinha R1,



Prostate cancer (PCa) is a major aging-related disease for which little progress has been made in developing preventive strategies. Over the past several years, methionine restriction (MR), the feeding of a diet low in methionine (Met), has been identified as an intervention which significantly extends lifespan and reduces the onset of chronic diseases, including cancer, in laboratory animals. We, therefore, hypothesized that MR may be an effective strategy for inhibiting PCa.


Overall, these findings indicate that MR is associated with a reduction in prostate cancer development in the TRAMP model and supports the continued development of MR as a potential PCa prevention strategy.


Br J Cancer. 2014 Mar 4;110(5):1328-33. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.17. Epub 2014 Jan 30.

Intakes of folate, methionine, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 with risk of esophageal and gastric cancer in a large cohort study.

Xiao Q1,



Nutrients in the one-carbon metabolism pathway may be involved in carcinogenesis. Few cohort studies have investigated the intakes of folate and related nutrients in relation to gastric and esophageal cancer.


Low intake of folate was associated with increased risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.


Nutr Cancer. 2013;65(5):659-67. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.789114.

Dietary intake of B vitamins and methionine and colorectal cancer risk.

Bassett JK1,



B vitamins are involved in 1-carbon metabolism, which is necessary for DNA replication, DNA repair, and regulation of gene expression. Recent studies suggest inverse associations between folate and vitamin B6 intakes and colorectal cancer risk but associations with other B vitamins and methionine have not been widely studied. For colon cancer, we observed a reduced risk associated with low methionine/high folate, HR = 0.63 (0.49, 0.80) and an increased risk associated with high methionine/high folate, HR = 1.36 (1.06, 1.74) (P interaction < 0.0001). Our study suggests a U-shaped association between colon cancer risk and vitamin B6 intake and an inverse U-shaped association between rectal cancer risk and vitamin B12. Adequate folate intake might protect against colon cancer risk in those with low methionine intake.


Cancer Treat Rev. 2012 Oct;38(6):726-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2012.01.004. Epub 2012 Feb 17.

A review of methionine dependency and the role of methionine restriction in cancer growth control and life-span extension.

Cavuoto P1,


Methionine is an essential amino acid with many key roles in mammalian metabolism such as protein synthesis, methylation of DNA and polyamine synthesis. Restriction of methionine may be an important strategy in cancer growth control particularly in cancers that exhibit dependence on methionine for survival and proliferation. Methionine dependence in cancer may be due to one or a combination of deletions, polymorphisms or alterations in expression of genes in the methionine de novo and salvage pathways. Cancer cells with these defects are unable to regenerate methionine via these pathways. Defects in the metabolism of folate may also contribute to the methionine dependence phenotype in cancer. Selective killing of methionine dependent cancer cells in co-culture with normal cells has been demonstrated using culture media deficient in methionine. Several animal studies utilizing a methionine restricted diet have reported inhibition of cancer growth and extension of a healthy life-span. In humans, vegan diets, which can be low in methionine, may prove to be a useful nutritional strategy in cancer growth control. The development of methioninase which depletes circulating levels of methionine may be another useful strategy in limiting cancer growth. The application of nutritional methionine restriction and methioninase in combination with chemotherapeutic regimens is the current focus of clinical studies.


Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Oct;65(10):1133-40. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.99. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Folate and related micronutrients, folate-metabolising genes and risk of ovarian cancer.

Webb PM1,



Folates are essential for DNA synthesis and methylation, and thus may have a role in carcinogenesis. Limited evidence suggests folate-containing foods might protect against some cancers and may partially mitigate the increased risk of breast cancer associated with alcohol intake, but there is little information regarding ovarian cancer. Our aim was to evaluate the role of folate and related micronutrients, polymorphisms in key folate-metabolising genes and environmental factors in ovarian carcinogenesis.


Our data provide little evidence to support a protective role for folate in ovarian carcinogenesis but suggest further evaluation of the joint effects of folic acid and alcohol is warranted.


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