On Myra's continued journey to conquer lymphoma, it will be important to feed her a diet that is designed to feed her good nutrition while trying to starve the cancer cells. Studies have been ongoing for decades to discover what cancer cells need to survive so that we can feed the body, but not the cancer. Early studies by Greg Ogilvie DVM, showed that cancer cells easily metabolize simple carbohydrates (including sugar), and use them to produce energy and reproduce. He found that tumor cells could not readily use fats or protein. So, a diet low in carbs and high in quality protein and fats would hopefully help to starve the cancer cells. However, more recent studies have indicated that some cancers, particularly those that are slow growing, may utilize fats as their preferred food source. Ketogenic diets are becoming popular, in which the pets are fed a high fat, protein-based, carbohydrate-free diet to treat cancer. Until more research is completed, we continue to struggle with finding the optimum diet.
With all that said, here is the diet I have designed for Myra. Keep in mind that she has severe allergies, so I would make some significant changes for pets without those allergies. Hue made a crock pot with the following ingredients:
- Six pounds of duck (pieces on bone) - cooling protein, Yin and Qi tonic. High in niacin (vitamin B3) which supports cellular genetic processes and decreases DNA damage. High in zinc, which boosts the immune system.
- Four pounds of duck hearts - Blood tonic, support heart function. Higher in fat that other muscle meat, which raises the fat content in the diet.
- Four ounces of organic kale - Studies in animals and experiments with cells grown in the laboratory have identified several potential ways in which compounds in kale and other cruciferous vegetables may help prevent cancer: They help protect cells from DNA damage, help inactivate carcinogens, have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory effects, cause cell death (apoptosis), inhibit tumor blood vessel formation, and inhibit tumor cell migration which is needed for spread of the cancer. Contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Five ounces of organic Shiitake mushrooms - cooling and draining. Mushrooms contain polysaccharides, especially Lentinan, powerful compounds that help in building immunity. They also have a protein called lectin, which attacks cancerous cells and prevents them from multiplying. These mushrooms can stimulate the production of interferon in the body.
- One small organic butternut squash - rich in beta carotene, which has been shown to protect against heart disease and help as a deterrent against some cancers. Important source of fiber, vitamin A, folic acid, magnesium, and potassium.
- One small head of organic broccoli - see the anti-cancer effects of kale; contains sulforaphane which targets cancer Stem cells.
All ingredients were cooked on low in the crock pot for 8 hours. After cooking, the duck was de-boned and all ingredients were processed (pureed) through the blender.
At each meal, the following are added:
- Organic ground eggshell for calcium/mineral supplementation. She is allergic to the usual supplement I use.
- 1/2 teaspoon organic flax seed oil - contains antioxidants and Omega fatty acids. In animal studies, the plant omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed, called ALA, inhibited tumor incidence and growth. Flax seed lignans also help protect against cancer.
- 1 teaspoon virgin, cold pressed, organic coconut oil - contains medium chain fatty acids. When MCFAs are metabolized, ketone bodies are created in the liver. The metabolism of fatty acids results in ketones that normal cells can utilize but cancer cells cannot. These ketone bodies provide a great anti-inflammatory fuel source for the body that also starves the cancer cells from their nutrient demands. MCFA's also help maintain the thyroid gland’s optimal control of metabolism. They help increase cardiovascular function and heal damaged cells that can lead to cancer and other disease. Coconut oil is also rich in immune boosting lauric acid which is converted in the body to monolaurin. Monolaurin contains antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Unlike man-made antibiotics and antivirals these fatty acids pose no danger to the body. This is especially helpful since pets with cancer have dysbiotic guts that are contributing to the chronic inflammation that may have caused the genomic instability to begin with. (Myra's coconut oil intake will increase, depending on how well she handles the high fat in the diet.)
- 5 drops Vitamin D3 - boosts immunity; may inhibit proliferation, invasiveness, and metastasis of cancer cells. Helps with absorption of calcium.
- 1 scoop of probiotics - support immune system and gut health.
This is the starting point for Myra's diet. I'm sure it will be modified many times as we move forward, depending on her response. Right now, she thinks eating Daddy's home made food four times a day is AWESOME!