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  • Low-Methionine Diet Might Help Starve Cancer Cells?

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    There is some evidence that eating a diet that is rich in methionine and folate (a type of B vitamin) might help to prevent colon cancer, especially in people with a family history of colon cancer and in people who drink large amounts of alcohol.

    In designing an antibiotic, you couldn’t create a drug that destroyed DNA because that’s something that both humans and bacteria share in common. It would kill bacteria, but it might kill us, too. Instead, many antibiotics work by attacking bacterial cell walls, which is something bacteria have that we don’t.

    Similarly, antifungals can attack the unique cell walls of fungus. Pesticides can work by attacking the special exoskeleton of insects. But fighting cancer is harder because cancer cells are our own cells. So fighting cancer comes down to trying to find and exploit differences between cancer cells and normal cells.

    Forty years ago, a landmark paper was published showing for the first time that many human cancers have what’s called “absolute methionine dependency,” meaning that if you try to grow cells in a Petri dish without giving them the amino acid methionine, normal cells thrive, but without methionine, cancer cells die. Normal breast cells …

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    michael

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