Amino acid restricting diet could ‘starve’ cancer

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Eating a diet that restricts certain amino acids could be used as an additional treatment in some cancer cases, says Cancer Research UK.

Researchers at the Cancer Research UK Beaston Institute and the University of Glasgow found that removing the amino acids serine and glycine from the diet could slow the development of some cancers. Additionally, the controlled diet also made some cancer treatments more effective.

The findings were published in the journal Nature.

The researchers found that lymphoma and intestinal cancer development was slowed in mice fed the modified diet. The diet also made some cancer cells more susceptible to chemicals called reactive oxygen species.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy boost levels of reactive oxygen species in cells, so the team hope the diet could make these treatments more effective at killing cancer cells.

However, the authors of the report have warned against patients taking a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach.  

Professor Karen Vousden, study co-author and Chief Scientist for Cancer Research UK (CRUK), said: ...