Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: Part 2 – CHTV 148

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Cellular Healing TV. I’m your host, Meredith Dykstra, and this
is episode number 148. Today we have our resident healing specialist,
Dr. Dan Pompa, of course, and today we welcome back Professor Thomas Seyfried. He has been on the show before. It was about a year ago exactly – I checked
the date – that we had him first on Cellular Healing TV. We got so much of an amazing response, and
it was quite an episode where we really delved really deeply into his research and the science
that he’s working on. We asked him back, and he agreed, so here
we are a year later to talk more with Professor Seyfried. So excited to have you on the show, before
we get started. In case you guys missed the first episode,
which was Part 1, which was episode 94, so check that out for sure, I’m going to tell
you guys a little bit about Professor Seyfried, and then we will jump right in. Thomas N. Seyfried is professor of biology
at Boston College and received his PhD in genetics and biochemistry from the University
of Illinois, Urbana, in 1976. He did his undergraduate work at the University
of New England where he recently received the distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. He also holds a master’s degree in genetics
from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. Thomas Seyfried served with distinction in
the United States Army’s First Cavalry Division during the Vietnam War and received numerous
medals and commendations. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the department
of neurology at the Yale University School of Medicine and then served on the faculty
as an assistant professor in neurology. Other awards and honors have come from such
diverse organizations as the American Oil Chemists Society, the Ketogenic Diet Special
Interest Group of the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Seyfried previously served as chair, Scientific
Advisory Committee for the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association and recently
received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Complimentary and Integrative
Medicine. He presently serves on several editorial boards
including those for Nutrition & Metabolism, Neurochemical Research, and the Journal of
Lipid Research, and ASN Neuro. Dr. Seyfried has over 170 peer-reviewed publications
and is author of the book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention
of Cancer. His full list of peer-reviewed publications
can be found on PubMed. Quite an impressive resume, Professor Seyfried. Welcome back to Cellular Healing TV. Professor Seyfried:
Thank you very much, Meredith. It’s nice to be back. Dr. Pompa:
I don’t know if I should – (salutes) – or if I should bow down. I think I’m just going to bow down. What an amazing guy! I’m going to embarrass you, right? I’m going to embarrass you. Professor Seyfried:
Thank you. Dr. Pompa:
That’s quite the resume. Last time you read it, I think I was impressed. This time, I’m even more impressed somehow. Here’s the book. I’m just going to put it right up front
because this book changed my life. It really did. Not that I had cancer, thank God, but it changed
a lot of my teaching. I’m honored and blessed to teach a lot of
doctors around the country that now know your work. I remember, we were sitting around a small
group at the cancer conference in Florida. There was eight of us. I don’t even remember you saying this, but
you were – we were talking about Mercola, and of course, Joe Mercola was in that small
group of this little mastermind group. You said, “Yeah, if it wasn’t for Joe’s
show,” you said, “I might have sold a few hundred books, but after Joe’s show,”
I think you said you sold 4,000 books, right? Professor Seyfriend:
It was more than usual. Let’s put it that way. Unfortunately, the publishers charge quite
a bit of money for this book. I told them I wish they could sell it for
less, but they make it as a textbook, and that makes the price up significantly. Dr. Pompa:
It is a textbook. This book has just years of your study and
so much research. I don’t know a more research-backed book,
and you had to; otherwise they’d be down your back, perhaps, because everything here
that you said is – you did an amazing job citing a lot of this research, and I even
dug into that. Anyway, so at the top of the show, I just
thank you so much for this book. Professor Seyfried:
Thank you. Dr. Pompa:
It changed not just my life, but the doctors, and obviously so many of their patients, and
clients because of this book. Your work is amazing and immense. Hopefully, we’ll talk about some of the
new things that you’re doing. Here’s the question I have right at the
top: People are going to watch this show that either know somebody with cancer or has cancer,
and I promise you if you don’t, this show is even more about not just cancer, but cellular
healing. What works for cancer will make every cell
healthier. Here’s the question: Can we manage cancer
today without the toxicity, meaning the chemo, the radiation, the immunotherapies, all of
which we’re doing with cancer? Can we manage cancer without the toxicity
[00:05:24] good cells? All of that might work for cancer, but it
sure is making people sick. Is it possible, Tom? Professor Seyfried:
Yeah, I think it is, and I’ll talk about that. I should mention at the beginning, I think
at some point in the future, the field and the society will come to know that this period
of cancer treatment will be recognized as the greatest fiasco in the history of medicine. What we are doing to people today to make
them healthy is absolutely incredible. It speaks to a fundamental lack of knowledge
regarding the biology of the disease. There is no other disease that I know of where
you have to poison and irradiate people to make them healthy. It’s just beyond my comprehension. The history of the disease has been this:
Surgically mutilate people, or irradiate and burn them, and poison them to within an inch
of their life with the design, ultimately, of trying to cure them from a biological disease
that in my mind can be managed better without this incredible toxicity. The question is how do you do that? First you have to recognize the very fundamental
issue that cancer is a mitochondrial metabolic disease. It is not a genetic disease. Now, this is a very difficult concept for
people to understand. The therapies that we are using to treat the
disease are based on the gene theory, which says that the genes are responsible for the
dysregulated cell growth, and therefore we must use any treatment we can to stop these
proliferating cells, which is usually some toxic drug, or radiation, or just surgically
remove organs, and things like this. The issue, of course, is, in my view, it’s
a mitochondrial metabolic disease, and as such, you have to simply ask, “What are
these cells using as a fuel to maintain their state of proliferation?” Dr. Pompa:
Hold that thought for one minute. We have so many doctors that watch this show,
and we have, obviously, the layperson looking for answers. Mitochondria is where our cells produce energy,
and the cells can use fat as an energy source. Your theory has been that cancer cells – this
is the problem. This is disrupted. [00:08:10] just as an explanation of this
is where the problem is. The mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell
where energy is produced, this is what’s broken. Professor Seyfried:
Yes. The issue, of course, is that if you look
at the data from a broad range of cancers whether it’s breasts, colon, brain, bladder,
you name it, they all have defects in the structure, function, and numbers of mitochondria
in that diseased tissue. How people can say the mitochondria are not
damaged in cancer is beyond my comprehension. The evidence is overwhelming. When you look at the electron microscopes,
when you look at biochemical information, you can see in the tissues themselves the
mitochondria are damaged. If you’re looking at tissue with damaged,
few mitochondria, structurally abnormal, those cells cannot respire effectively. They cannot get energy from the typical way
we get energy, which is breathing in air and using fuels to respire. If you can’t respire and breathe to get
energy, the way those cells stay alive is they ferment. It’s a very ancient process of energy metabolism. It existed in all cells on the planet before
oxygen came into the environment. Those ancient pathways exist in all of our
cells, but they play a very minor role under normal conditions, but a major role in cancer
to keep those cells alive. They’re not respiring; they’re fermenting. If they are fermenting, the question then
becomes, “What are they fermenting to generate the energy to sustain rapid proliferation?” The answer is glucose and glutamine. The evidence to support that is overwhelming
in the scientific literature. Top papers and the top scientific journals
have repeatedly shown over and over again that glucose and glutamine are the prime drivers
of the proliferation of tumor cells. Dr. Pompa:
Tom, this isn’t something new. Otto Warburg went back – I mean, I think
new in the sense that you and now others have proven that this gentleman, Otto Warburg – the
early 1900s, this was his theory. Now, we fast-forward – Professor Seyfried:
Warburg’s major contribution was that respiration was damaged in tumor cells, which a lot of
people still can’t comprehend. Even those in the metabolism field have difficulty
understanding what Warburg actually showed and what he did. Warburg never discussed the issue of amino
acid metabolism or glutamine. He discussed primarily in the terms of lactic
acid production from carbohydrates, which is the waste product of carbohydrate or sugar
fermentation. He didn’t talk much about the amino acid
fermentation. We brought that on. We’re the ones that are doing that along
with some other people. Now, the issue, of course, is that glutamine
is a prime fuel for tumor cells as well as glucose. The question then becomes, “How do you stop
glutamine?” People think glutamine is being respired,
which means it’s being broken down according to normal methods. That can’t be because these cells are fermenting. They have damaged respiration, so they’re
not going to be able to get energy from glutamine using respiration. Glutamine has to be giving us energy through
another mechanism, which is amino acid fermentation. That still goes back to Warburg’s theory
that the respiration of the cell is damaged, so therefore, the way the cell has to survive
is through fermentation. Because glucose is so abundant, a lot of tumor
cells will be burning glucose as an energy source and fermenting glucose. All right? This is one form. However, there are some tumor cells where
you can take away all the glucose, and they still survive. The question is, “What are they using to
survive?” They are invariably using glutamine, the amino
acid. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid
in our body. It’s the most abundant amino acid in the
bloodstream and in our tissues. The muscle is loaded with glutamine. This whole concept of cachexia, where the
cancer patient starts to – looks like they’re starving even though they’re eating, the
wasting away of the muscles is the form of the tumor using glutamine from the muscles
to survive. They’re taking the proteins out of the muscle,
and they’re converting them into both glucose and glutamine. This cancer cell is surviving. Now, you have to ask yourselves, “Of all
of the different therapies that we’re using to treat cancer patients, what are the therapies
that are targeting glucose and glutamine simultaneously?” The answer is none. There are no therapies that are being used
anywhere in the world to treat cancer by targeting the two prime fuels that they’re using to
ferment. Does it make sense that we’re not going
to manage this disease if we allow these cells to have access to those two fermentable fuels? Most of the treatments that we use to treat
cancer free up more glucose and glutamine in the microenvironment. It is unbelievable that the field cannot comprehend
this simple message. They continue to persist – that’s why
I call it a tragedy. It’s a tragedy of monumental proportions
that we know what the cells are using to survive, and very, very few of the treatments – well,
some of the targeted therapies shut down the insulin-like growth factor receptor signaling
pathway, which is essentially the glucose pathway, which is what Warburg said a long
time ago. Those so-called [00:13:59] medicines are targeting
some aspects of what Warburg had proposed. The cells – they say, “Oh, they’re tough,
and they can escape that.” Yeah, they burn glutamine. If you’re not targeting glutamine, they’re
going to be burning that, and they’re going to look like they’re escaping. They’re not escaping. These cells are damaged. They’re only looking for the fermentable
fuels in the environment to stay alive. As long as they’re there, they have a real
chance to continue to grow. It’s not a complicated problem. Dr. Pompa:
I want to talk about – I want to get into some of these things that you’re studying
that we, as a group of practitioners around the country are doing, that I believe more
doctors and people should be aware of. Let’s go back. Your study is genetics. Someone like you with a background, years
of studying, you’re saying, “Wait a minute. This isn’t the answer.” Tom, billions of dollars are being spent. Watch television right now. If I were the public, if I were the person
sitting out there, I would say, “Surely they’re going to cure my cancer because
they’re going to find that gene, and they’re going to be able to do something about it
with a drug. It’s going to affect my gene because I have
cancer because of the gene.” What do you say about that? You’re a geneticist here. [00:15:16] Professor Seyfried:
It’s misinformation. It’s based on the gene theory of cancer. If the gene theory of cancer is not correct,
it’s not the right theory underlying the disease. How is that information – how are those
strategies ever going to work if the disease is not a genetic disease? The people say, “Well, how do you know it’s
not a genetic disease?” The nuclear transfer experiments clearly showed
that it cannot be a nuclear-driven genetic disease. Dr. Pompa:
Okay, wait. You did one of those studies. [00:15:48] Professor Seyfried:
No. I didn’t do any of those studies. Dr. Pompa:
Okay. I thought you [00:15:54]. Professor Seyfried:
No. Dr. Pompa:
Okay. I misread that, but speak to that [00:15:58]
in simple terms, very simple terms [00:16:00] meant by that for the public. Professor Seyfried:
What I simply did was bundle and gather those studies up from across several decades, just
put them all together in one report, in one group. They had always existed in the literature,
but each one of those studies was considered an anomaly. None of those studies were designed to test
the gene theory of cancer. They were done in a very unbiased way, which
makes them even more powerful. Dr. Pompa:
In simple terms, explain what they did to show this can’t be genetic because this
is very simple [00:16:39] public can understand it. Professor Seyfried:
They were testing whether or not the nucleus of a tumor cell could direct development,
not testing whether cancer was a genetic disease or not. They were very unbiased experiments. You take the nucleus out of a tumor cell and
you put it into a new cytoplasm that can – Dr. Pompa:
Where the DNA is. The nucleus is where the DNA is. Professor Seyfried:
They take a cancer nucleus, the nucleus of a cancer cell, and put it into a cytoplasm
of a normal cell to see whether or not the cancer nucleus can develop an organism or
what would happen if this were done. Dr. Pompa:
Stop right there. If it were genetic, if you took the DNA in
the nucleus and put it in this cell, that cell then, therefore, would and should develop
cancer. Correct? Professor Seyfried:
Yes, according to the theory. The theory says that neoplasia is due to defects
in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Therefore, the disease is a genetic disease. It comes from the oncogenes, which drive the
dysregulated cell growth. The tumor cell also has defects in tumor suppressor
genes that are supposed to suppress proliferation. The combination of these defects together
is what ultimately drives the disease. The nuclear transfer experiments are a direct
test of that theory, and this – Dr. Pompa:
What happened? Did it develop a cancer cell? Professor Seyfried:
No. In none of those cases did it do that. They did it in vivo, and in vitro, and they
looked at – and the important issue here is that the studies were done by the best
scientists in the world in those particular areas of expertise. They were repeated over and over. The conclusion from each one of these experiments
is basically the same. The nucleus of the tumor cell is not responsible
for driving the disease. I can tell you these guys that did these experiments
were the best there are. When people say, “Oh, those experiments
need to be repeated,” they were repeated over and over again by the best people in
the field. Dr. Pompa:
Tom, how are billions still being spent here then? If the greatest scientists did these, how
are the billions being spent on this genetic therapy? Professor Seyfried:
People refuse to acknowledge this information. They ignore it. It’s too devastating to deal with. What are you going to say if a multi-billion-dollar
industry is – the concepts which driving the industry are flawed? Also, it’s the dogma. It’s the dogma that cancer must be a genetic
disease. It can’t be anything other than that because
Nobel Prize winners have proven that it is a genetic disease. They never tested the alternative hypothesis
that it might be a metabolic disease. Their results are just – the data that they
found are solid data. The difference is how you interpret those
data in light of the other observations that are associated with this. When you begin to put all this together, it
becomes very clear that cancer cannot be a genetic disease. Therefore, any of the therapies that are being
used based on that theory are not going to give you the kind of results that you would
expect. Think about it. Every year, the number of dead people in cancer
goes up. The new cases are going up. If all of this stuff is going to work and
it’s going to be right, you’d expect a dramatic drop in the number of people dying
from cancer. Dr. Pompa:
Absolutely. Professor Seyfried:
All right. Why is that? The theory used to treat the disease is flawed. It’s a fundamentally flawed theory. Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, no doubt. [00:20:35] Professor Seyfried:
Who’s going to come to understand this? How long is it going to take the people to
come to understand this? Dr. Pompa:
That’s where my passion lies in this topic. Look, there’s billions being spent on the
new immunotherapies. Explain to our listeners and viewers what
the immunotherapies are and what’s going on there. This is where the hope lies right now. Professor Seyfried:
Yeah. The immunotherapies are based on what they
call checkpoint inhibitors. The cancer cells have these abnormal gene
expressions which inhibit the T cells from killing them. They’re going to make antibodies against
these cancer-related proteins on the surface and also on some of the killer T cells to
allow the T cell to now start to target and kill the cancer cells. The problem is those same antibodies do a
job on all kinds of immune cells in your body. Your body starts to attack itself. You could create autoimmune diseases. Yes, there are going to be some people that
are going to have spectacular recovery from this. There’s no question about it. The problem is that these people are few and
far between, and you’re going to kill more people than you’re going to cure with these
kinds of therapies because they’re not based on the fundamental issue that the tumor cells
are fermenting. Sure, you can use those other things. Sure, you can irradiate people. Sure, you can poison people with toxic drugs. Yes, there will be people that will survive,
but wouldn’t it be easier to target the common problem in all the cells of the tumor? Why is nobody – they’re not doing that
because they’re locked into the dogma, thinking that this is a genetic disease. Once this dogma is correct – and believe
me. Dogma is something that is so hard to convince
people. It’s like trying to convince a person of
one religion that the other religion is the true answer. It’s almost impossible to do this. Dr. Pompa:
You’re right. Professor Seyfried:
The argument is that, “Well, we’re going to have to wait for the people who think cancer
is a genetic disease to die off, and then the new, young people who come in to the field
will recognize what we’re saying, and then we’ll change the paradigm.” The problem is why do we need to sacrifice
the lives of millions of people because a few people can’t understand the concepts? This is the tragedy that I’m speaking about. I don’t think it’s necessary to sacrifice
the lives of millions of cancer patients because a few people locked into a dogma can’t understand
the real nature of the disease. This is the tragedy in my [00:23:07] You need to demonstrate that metabolic therapy
can manage the disease better than can chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Now, of course, people would love to have
the hybrid system where we combine chemotherapy with metabolic therapy or radiation therapy
with metabolic therapy. I don’t have time to waste on all that,
okay? I’m not going to sit around for 45 years
before we finally shift – it’s like going from sails to sails to steam to eventually
to steam, and now nuclear power. I’m not ready to waste my – and saying,
“Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Let’s wait around for another 15, 20 years.” The issue here is that if you target glucose
and glutamine, the probability of success will be infinitely greater than the stuff
that we’re doing right now. The question is who wants to be the first
group to go out and say, “Let’s target glucose and glutamine?” Now, I don’t want to make it sound like
it’s that simple. If you take away glutamine, you could certainly
damage your immune system. You have to know it’s not so much whether
targeting glutamine will work; yes, it will work. It will work remarkably well. In fact, you got to be careful that it doesn’t
work so well that it causes tumor lysis syndrome and kills the patient because it was so therapeutically
successful. You just simply have to strategize with dosage,
timing, and scheduling to how you’re going to target glutamine without harming the immune
system. The immune system uses glutamine. We’re working on that now. That’s what we’re doing. Dr. Pompa:
Let’s pull the conversation into two areas that [00:24:52] practitioners are doing, and
it’s at the heart of a lot of your science and studies. Someone just sent me over the other day this
article from Science Daily. “Fasting kills cancer cells of the most
common type of childhood leukemia, studies show.” They can’t see it there, but anyways, I
read the headline to you. Fasting kills cancer cells. This is a new study, Tom. Hey, this was just out December 12th, 2016. Your studies are showing this, so fasting
is one of these things. Ketosis, it changes your cells from using
glucose, forcing it to use fat as an energy. You just said yourself – Professor Seyfried:
Wait. We can’t use fat. The problem is the tumor cells – to burn
fat for energy, you have to have good mitochondria. Okay? The cancer cell has bad mitochondria, so how
is it going to use fat for energy? Besides, the cancer cells are living hypoxic
environments. You need a good oxygen-respiring system to
burn fat for energy. Dr. Pompa:
[00:25:58] Professor Seyfried:
Cancer cells are not going to [00:25:58]. They’re not going to [00:26:00] ATP from
the fat, a large amount. Some may get a little bit. It depends on what stage the mitochondria
are at in their degenerative state. Again, fat can’t be fermented. Remember, ketones cannot be fermented. Fat can’t be fermented. Therefore, ketones and fat cannot be used
successfully to keep cancer cells alive. Dr. Pompa:
Therefore, something like fasting or ketosis will force – Professor Seyfried:
Listen. Fasting will lower blood sugar and force an
alternative fuel, okay, but it doesn’t stop glutamine. It will kill those cells, those cancer cells
that are heavily dependent on carbohydrates for their survival. If you have a tumor cell – we know this. We did these experiments ourselves. We have metastatic cancer – metastatic cancer
is part of the immune system. They’re macrophages that had destabilized
energy metabolism. Those cells survive on glutamine. We can fast the hell out of somebody with
metastatic cancer, and you’re not going to cure his cancer. Dr. Pompa:
[00:27:08], Tom? Professor Seyfried:
Oh, that’s the challenge. There are drugs that – that’s the challenge. We’re working on that right now. There are drugs, but these drugs can also
be very toxic. It’s not what works; you know what works,
but how do you allow that to work without creating toxicity? The strategy for managing cancer is how do
you kill the cell with the minimal amount of toxicity to the body? That involves scheduling, timing, and dosages
of drugs, and diets, and procedures that all work together in a beautiful harmony to target
and kill tumor cells in a gradual way, not in this altogether poisonous way. You’re going to degrade the tumor gradually
over time while maintaining the health and vitality of the cells in the body. Dr. Pompa:
We know that we can utilize fasting and ketosis to force the cells into the fat thing, and
cancer cells can’t make that transition, but many of the cancer cells can make the
transition. “Okay, [00:28:15] fat, but I’m going to
go and utilize this glutamine. I’m going to break the body’s muscle down,
and I’m going to take this glutamine. I’m going to survive [00:28:23].” What’s on the forefront there? We have the [00:28:26] on the one side to
control the glucose. What are we doing to control the glutamine? We can control the glucose but not the glutamine. What are we doing there? Professor Seyfried:
That’s the challenge. That’s what a lot of companies are interested
in, and they’re trying to target specific pathways on the glutaminolysis side of the
coin. The problem with that is there are many receptors
of glutamine. There are many pathways by which glutamine
can get into the cell. The most likely, in my view at this point
in time, would just be using something that binds up the – or prevents the cell from
taking in glutamine. That’s basically blocking glutaminolysis. As I said, this can be toxic, as well. In the past, people have used some of these
drugs. The problem is they were using them in the
wrong concentrations, the wrong scheduling, and they weren’t targeting glucose. If you shut off all the glutamine and you
haven’t targeting glucose, the cells simply gobble up the glucose, and they survive. This misconception about tumor cells being
very hardy, and tough, and adaptable – they always like to use the term, “adaptable.” They’re adaptable because you never shut
off their fermentation. Dr. Pompa:
That’s it. Professor Seyfried:
They’re not adaptable. How can you call a cell that has all these
broken chromosomes so tough and adaptable? I don’t know of any genetic organism that
can survive and be so adaptable when its genome is shot to hell. It has mutations and broken chromosomes. What you have is an environment full of fermentable
fuels. As long as those fermentable fuels are in
the environment, this cell doesn’t need much. It can fall back on the ancient pathways that
existed in all cells on the planet before oxygen came on the planet. These cells are simply falling back on their
ancient pathways to ferment in an oxygen-depleted environment. What are they using? They’re using glucose and glutamine. Why glucose and glutamine? They’re the most abundant fuels in the microenvironment. Can a cancer cell ferment other amino acids? Yes, it can. How do we target those? We don’t have to worry about those because
they don’t exist in the microenvironment in very large amounts. If you’re going to fuel a cell that’s
dysregulated, you have to have plenty of fuel in the environment to give to that. Otherwise, it’s going to choke and die. Yes, it can ferment aspartame, and asparagine,
and these other amino acids. The problem is there’s so little of that. They’ll go through that in a day, and then
what? Then there’s nothing left, so they’re
going to die. They’re going to die because they can’t
ferment. Now, there are some cells that have this unique
capacity to eat other cells. Oh, this is a new – this is wonderful. I’m taking away all their fermentable fuels,
and these cells will turn around and gobble down another cell, and then strip off the
glutamine and glucose from the other cell, and ferment that inside its own – some of
these cells can do this. You just have to know about that. There are drugs that will completely shut
down that process. The issue is we have a way to shut down every
way that cell can try to squirm out of the restriction of the fermentable fuels. It’s just that very few – we’re the
only ones doing that. There’s nobody else out there that’s doing
this because they think cancer’s a genetic disease. Go figure. If you do this, in my view, we will be successful. We will manage this disease without toxicity
once this information becomes known, accepted, and tried in the clinical trials and things
like this. Dr. Pompa:
Tom, listen. Right now, we don’t have the glutamine thing
completely controlled, but just what we have in control, controlling the glucose with fasting
and ketosis has already been a massive success. Professor Seyfried:
Yes. Dr. Pompa:
[00:32:21] to these types of cancers that have the ability, like these metastatics,
to grab onto the glutamine. We’re close if we can get more funding. I don’t know how you came up with the funding
you do. Professor Seyfried:
Fortunately, Travis Christofferson’s foundation has been very generous. George Yu’s foundation has been generous. We have private foundation funds that support
– they’re not enough, no, but they keep the program going. The idea is once – and we’ve also developed
– you have to realize, also, it’s very important to recognize that we’ve developed
the best pre-clinical models of glioblastoma and systemic metastatic cancer that exists. The research that we’re doing is based on
model systems that replicate all of the conditions that we see in the human. The issue here is most of the investigators
in cancer don’t have these models. They’re using models that don’t represent
the real world, taking human cells and growing them in an immune-compromised mouse. This is nonsense. You can get some information from this, but
it’s not going to – they say, “Oh, people cure cancer in mice all the time.” No, they don’t. Believe me. I’ve never cured cancer in the mice that
I have. If they’re using bogus models, you’re
going to cure it. A lot of these models don’t represent what
really happens. Try to stop cancer that’s spread into your
kidney, and your liver, and your lymph nodes, and your lung, and your brain. Try to stop those kinds of cancers and see
how successful you are. You’re not going to be very successful any
more so than you have in the clinic with the human. Once you have human cancer spreading into
your bone marrow, into your brain, into your liver, and lung – this is a very serious
disease. You’re not going to win a disease by poisoning
the patient to death as the result of this. How many cancer patients are dying from the
treatments rather than the disease itself? This is nonsense what we’re doing out there
to these poor people. Dr. Pompa:
Even the immunotherapy, I’ve heard you say, basically, they’re killing five for every
one that gets a good result, literally decimating them. It’s very sad. Let’s bring it to a positive light. Our audience loves fasting. Let’s talk about some of your studies with
fasting and what you’ve seen with cancer. Let’s talk about some of that. Professor Seyfried:
We published the paper in 2002 showing that calorie restriction – which is comparable
to therapeutic water-only therapeutic fasting because the basal metabolic rate of the mouse
is so fast, eight times faster than that of the human. If you restrict his food by 40%, the biomarker
changes in the mouse’s body, parallels the biomarker changes in the human body with water-only
therapeutic fasting. Now, we were able to show that this killed,
massively killed, these tumor cells and was anti-inflammatory. It was pro-apoptotic, killing the tumor cells. It was anti-angiogenic. It shut down the blood vessels. We did all this stuff, and it was very clear. We thought this alone would be the major way
to stop cancer, and it’s based on Warburg’s central theory that the cells, they’re mitochondria-defective. Therefore, the cells need glucose. If you remove glucose, they can’t ferment
it, and they would die. Our eyes became very opened when we developed
the metastatic models of cancer. We were not able to cure or stop systemic
metastasis using fasting or even shutting off the glucose. We tried 2-deoxyglucose. We tried a lot of things. We couldn’t stop metastatic cancer. I said, “Of course you make it better. Of course the animals live longer, just like
humans will live longer,” but we could not cure metastatic cancer using fasting alone. I’m surprised because humans do so much
better than the mice. I’m astonished that when humans engage in
these activities – case after case of people doing therapeutic fasting have had remarkable
results in the human clinics. We’ve never seen this in the mouse. This gave us the idea, there’s something
else going on here. I can shut off all the glucose on these mice,
and I can’t stop the metastatic cancer completely. I can shut it down a little bit, but I can’t
stop it. That’s what gave us the idea it was glutamine. When we started targeting glutamine, these
metastatic cancer cells were blasted out of existence. I said, “Oh, my god!” These cells will use glucose and glutamine. Yes, fasting, calorie restricting, ketogenic
diets done the right way can be remarkably therapeutic for patients, but will they ultimately
resolve the disease long-term? That’s the question. I don’t think so unless you shut down that
glutamine pathway – unless you can shut down the glutamine highway. Only then will I think that we could get long-term
resolution of this disease. Once we do that, I think we’re going to
see remarkable long-term resolution for a lot of people that have these diseases. This is my view – Dr. Pompa:
One of the things – Professor Seyfried:
This is what I think. Dr. Pompa:
Yeah. That’s interesting and [00:37:42], for sure. One of the things that we look for as practitioners
is, in a fasting state or even in an intermittent fasting daily state, is we want to see ketones
rise, and we want to see glucose drop. If we don’t get that glucose to drop, we
don’t get the therapeutic benefit even on a non-cancer patient where we’re just trying
to – we’re getting their mitochondria to adapt and to become healthier. Why is that, Tom? Have you found the same thing? Professor Seyfried:
Glucose, you have to realize – Dom D’Agostino is working with a ketone supplement. Dr. Pompa:
Yeah. We’ve had him on the show. Professor Seyfried:
I’ll tell you, you can shut down the – a body can live without glucose for the most
part as long as you transition over to ketones. If you don’t transition over to ketones,
it’ll kill you. If you take away your glucose, you’re going
to go into – you’re going to drop dead. Again, everything has to be staged, scheduled,
and doses. You bring the patient into a state of therapeutic
ketosis. We know from the work that I’ve done with
Dominic, and Angela Poff, and others, that if you can raise those ketones high, the tumor
cells choke on them. They can’t use them for energy. The key thing is the body will use ketones
for energy as long as you can keep the blood sugar low. The lower you can get the sugar and the higher
you can get the ketones, the more metabolic stress you’ll put on the tumor cells. Dr. Pompa:
Tom, I think that’s what we see. In other words, you don’t know – you almost
don’t get the full benefit of the ketones without the glucose dropping. We want to see this trend of glucose dropping
[00:39:12] they feel the benefits of the ketones. If the glucose stays up, it seems to not have
the same effect [00:39:18] Professor Seyfried:
If glucose stays up, insulin is on. The hormone insulin stays on, and as long
as insulin – glucagon, which mobilizes fats – if insulin stays high, you’re going
to pee out the ketones. That’s why you need to measure blood glucose
and ketones. People say, “Oh, look at. I do an Atkins diet. Look at this. I pee in ketones.” Yeah, sure you are, but much are in the blood? You’re peeing those ketones out of your
body. You’re not keeping them in. If you lower the blood sugar, the ketones
will stay in your body. You’re going to need them for energy for
your brain. As long as glucose is high, you’re not going
to be adapting to ketones as readily as you could if glucose were low. That’s the key. If you can get the glucose low – but then
you have to use certain kinds of – not all ketogenic diets are the same. Some are much, much better than the others. We patented, actually, a formulation that
we were shocked to find that works so much better than some of these other – so all
ketogenic diets are not the same. It’s the ratios of the types of fats that
you have in there, the fats with – saturated fats, monounsaturated, these kinds of fats,
certain kinds, certain ratios. They seem to be much better. The ketogenic diet is totally – not totally,
but very, strongly different from Atkins diets. Atkins diets are just, “Eat as much fat
and protein as you can, no carbohydrate.” Some of those proteins are not good. They’ll drive cancer up. Some of the fats in meat can be pro-inflammatory,
like arachidonic acid 24. That’s a pro-inflammatory fatty acid that’s
loaded in meats. You don’t want that. That’s not part of what you need. Now, will you throw out ketones? Sure, you’ll throw out ketones. People who say that Atkins diets don’t work,
they’re right. Atkins diets don’t work to manage cancer,
but ketogenic diets will work so much better, and you have to restrict them. People eating high-fat diets can provoke metastasis. Listen, we’ve seen it. It’s unbelievable. You eat a high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet,
there’s nothing that can make those tumor cells grow any faster than that. These guys going out there saying, “Oh,
yeah” – yeah. You got to lower glucose. You got to elevate ketones. You got to do a lot of things. It’s not simple, but it’s not super complicated,
either. Dr. Pompa:
Tom, you threw out a word, “restriction,” and that’s something that we [00:41:47]
well. We don’t eat less. That only works short-term. Eat less often. That’s where the combination of utilizing
fasts, even intermittent fasting daily, with ketotic states, there’s magic there. Professor Seyfried:
Yeah. Dr. Pompa:
The restriction we can get from eating less often actually brings us into where the body
doesn’t think it’s starving, and then we get that what you just said. The restriction allows the body to actually
utilize the ketones [00:42:16] the glucose. Professor Seyfried:
The other thing we have to be also very cognizant and aware of is fasting and ketogenic diets,
these are weight loss conditions. They’re called therapeutic weight loss as
opposed to pathological weight loss. In the cancer community, the oncology community,
people always fear that, “Oh, cancer patients are losing weight, and therefore you can’t
pile on a therapy that’s going to cause them to lose more weight when they’re also
losing weight.” Again, you have to know that therapeutic weight
loss is very, very different than pathological weight loss. Dr. Pompa:
Tom, let me tell you something. My son is a great example, Meredith, right? He started intermittent fasting. The bodybuilders are doing this now where
they’re eating in a four- to six-hour window. They’re fasting 18 to 20 hours, and he’s
gaining muscle. He’s saying, “Why?” He’s in an anabolic growth hormone rise,
so it’s actually not what these regular doctors are saying here. When you’re fasting like this in a form
of restriction, but yet able to hold your muscle – why? It doesn’t allow gluconeogenesis because
the growth hormone rises. Professor Seyfried:
Yeah. Again, the management of the disease will
involve all of these situations. There’ll be a fasting component; there’s
a ketogenic diet component; there’s a ketone supplementation component; there’s a hyperbaric
oxygen component; there are drugs that are going to lower and target glucose even more
once the body is in ketosis, and there’ll be drugs that target glutamine. Also, stress management is also part of the
package. We’re working on a big paper right now with
several of my collaborators called Press Pulse: A Metabolic Therapy for Cancer. It’s a combination of diets, and drugs,
and procedures that all work synergistically together to achieve the management of the
disease while enhancing the health and vitality of the body. This is what I think is going to be, ultimately
in the long run, once people come to realize that this is a metabolic disease, will be
the way that cancer will be managed. It’s going to be a strategy, but you have
to have physicians that understand, and you have to have nurses that understand, dieticians,
and nutritionists that understand. Right now, very few people understand. Food will be used as medicine. Dr. Pompa:
We had a short conversation that day in the mastermind group in Florida. I do something, and I’ve written articles
about diet variation. I’m a firm believer. Bad cells don’t adapt. You made the point earlier. Cancer cells adapt? What, are you kidding me? These are weakened cells. The whole point of fasting and doing some
of these therapies is bad cells don’t adapt. We’ve learned moving people in and out of
ketosis, in and out of different fasts – and unhealthier people can do shorter fasts, but
each fast, they seem to get more efficient through the fact that what’s happening is
bad cells are dying, autophagy. Good cells are getting stronger. Moving people in and out of these different
states, it’s all about adaptation. What’s your thought [00:45:36] Professor Seyfried:
Yes. No, no, I think that’s – I wrote about
that. If you constantly change the metabolic environment,
only cells that have a good genome will be able to adjust and adapt to these changes. A cell with a bad genome is going to be eliminated. Absolutely, moving people in and out of these
conditions will absolutely be essential for the management of the disease. That’s part of our Press Pulse strategy. You have certain parts of the therapies that
are pressing constantly on the tumor cells, and then you have pulses that come in and
out at the same time. Dr. Pompa:
I love that. Professor Seyfried:
You’re pressing and you’re pulsing in an in and out strategy. When do you use hyperbaric oxygen? When do you use a drug that will target glutamine? When do you use the glycolysis inhibitor together
with the ketones in the diet? How do you manage the stress of the patient? How do you integrate exercise into this process? How do you do all this to have a synergy? A symphony of synergies is basically what
you’re trying to do. This can be done once – we’re working
on that exact scenario right now in our strategy. We have to demonstrate that this can work. Dr. Pompa:
Yeah. Keep me involved because this is my theory. Meredith will tell you, I get overwhelmed. I’m coming out of my chair right now. You’re the scientist; I’m the clinical
guy, and I can tell you that when you move in and out of these states, you do. You create an adaptation issue. All we have to do is look at ancient cultures
and know that they were forced into being in ketosis, and not, and these different things
happening at different times. It forced adaptation. Bad cells don’t adapt. I’m telling you, there’s magic in the
variation. You saw me turn Joe Mercola’s mind on that,
and he ended up writing and adding in his book the feast/famine cycle. It’s more of what you’re saying, the Press
Pulse philosophy, and I’m with you on it. Professor Seyfried:
I think it’ll be eventually – and I always keep the saying, “eventually.” It’ll eventually be the way we’re going
to manage the disease. It will be because it’s based on sound scientific
fact. We’re going after the weakest point of these
cells, and we’re doing it while we’re enhancing the health and vitality of the body. It will be the way to go. It’s just that we have to train physicians
to do this. None of this is being trained in the medical
schools. Food is not viewed as medicine. These kinds of therapeutic strategies are
not viewed at all. The very individuals whose job it should be
to implement these are not being trained to do it. They’re just simply not being trained. This is because people think cancer’s a
genetic disease, and you’re going to have to go after the personalized medicine. You can change personalized – metabolic
therapy can be personalized. Metabolic therapy is precision medicine. It’s just that it’s not related – the
gene mutations are largely irrelevant. They’re effects; they’re not causes for
this. Once these concepts become more widely – my
view is let’s show the evidence. Let’s show in pre-clinical models that the
strategy that we’re talking about actually works. If you can show it works in pre-clinical models
and dogs – let’s be honest. Dogs are suffering the same way humans are. We’re using dogs as therapy. My friends are using dogs. Dogs are responding remarkably well to these
therapies. If dogs and mice with metastatic cancer can
respond, humans can respond. Who’s going to force the change? It’s certainly not going to come from the
top medical schools. It’s got to come from the grass roots. People want to live. People want to live, and they don’t want
to be poisoned. If there is a way that they can live without
being poisoned, they’re going to want to do it. They’re the consumers. Remember, the patient is the consumer. If the consumer no longer wants the product
you’re offering, change will have to occur. It’s just that simple. How do you [00:49:52] Dr. Pompa:
No doubt. [00:49:52] Professor Seyfried:
You educate people. Basically, you demonstrate. Dr. Pompa:
Listen, that’s why we need you at our conference. Put him there, Meredith. We got 300, probably, doctors at that event
that need – we’re training doctors around the country in what I call a multi-therapeutic
approach. All of [00:50:14] we’re talking about is
a part of that, like you said. It’s not one thing. We’re utilizing these things, and it’s
remarkable to me how few doctors are – even understand this adaptation principle that
you and I are discussing right now. [00:50:27] amazing things that we are doing,
and yet so few know about it. We need you at the conference, doc. Meredith, I know you have some questions,
so I’m going to turn it over to you. Meredith:
Thanks so much. This episode has been an incredible wealth
of knowledge. I do have a number of questions, but I know
we’re at the top of the hour. The discussion on glutamine is so fascinating
to me. I think, “Well, gosh, I’ve taken glutamine
as a supplement a lot to support my gut health.” How does that fit in with this? Professor Seyfried:
Glutamine is very important for gut health. Glutamine is important for our overall health
because our immune cells use glutamine. Glutamine is a major fuel for our lymphocytes,
macrophages, natural killer cells, for dendritic cells. When patients are burned, when people are
burned, large doses of glutamine are given because we open our body to infection from
bacteria. Our immune system needs to kill the bacteria,
and glutamine is a powerful fuel for our immune system to kill the bacteria. The issue, of course, is that cancer cells
are also using the glutamine. How do you balance this? How do you walk this fine line between needing
glutamine for the immune system and knowing the cancer cells need the same fuel to keep
them going? This is our challenge right now. This is what we are doing right now. We are defining what that fine line is, and
we are coming across the fine line to strike hard at the tumor cells, and then back off,
and rebuild the immune system. Strike and rebuild. Strike and rebuild. You do this under a physiological program
that keeps the body healthy, or you minimize toxicity to the greatest. No one is doing this. We’re the only ones that are doing this
right now. Meredith:
If someone doesn’t have cancer, then it would probably be a fairly safe supplement
to rotate into the regime. Professor Seyfried:
Oh, yeah. I think so. I don’t think there’s any problem with
it at all. It’s good for people. It’s an important supplement if you know
how to use it the right way. Meredith:
What are your thoughts on exogenous ketones? You mentioned them briefly, but therapeutically,
are you using them? Are you not using them? Why? Professor Seyfried:
No, no. We’re working on them. There’s a lot of different products on the
market for this. You have to be careful. Some of them have too much glucose in the
product. My view is use your glucose ketone meter and
see what it does to your GKI, your glucose ketone index. If it makes your glucose ketone index really
low, which is what you want, then that’s good. If it doesn’t – from my experience, the
ketones are horrible-tasting. The really good ones that work, we got to
make them taste – as Dominic says, “They taste like jet fuel.” This stuff, you have to choke down. To make a ketone supplement that tastes sweet
and nice, you got to be careful. I don’t know what it’s going to do. I’m not willing to commit myself to any
kind of a product or any kind of a – all I know is that the body makes ketones naturally,
but that only comes when you do therapeutic fasting. Getting back to the really health benefits
of therapeutic fasting, is we make natural D-beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is the ultimate
enhancer of mitochondrial function. Can you take a supplement that will do the
same thing? People are trying to do this because everybody
wants things in life to be easy. They don’t want to fast. They just want to drink some sort of a slurry
and get the same benefit. Sometimes it doesn’t work as well. If you do fasting with ketone supplements,
oh, boy. If you get the right ketone supplement with
a fast, that could be lights out for a lot of tumor cells, I can tell you that. Again, this all has to be worked out, and
evaluated, and that needs to be – and the food industry is very interested in this. The food industry is moving into the space
that the pharmaceutical industry should be in. We’ll see what happens with that as things
progress. Dr. Pompa:
I appreciate that. Here it is, Tom. “Fasting kills cancer cells.” This is December 12th, 2016. Professor Seyfried:
Who did that study? Who is that? Was it Longo’s group? Dr. Pompa:
It’s [00:54:53] Southwest Medical Center summary. “Intermittent fasting inhibits the development
and progression of most common types of childhood leukemia, researchers have found.” Who did it? Let’s see. Professor Seyfried:
If they’re glucose-dependent, they’re going to die. Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, no doubt. I’ll send it to you. Professor Seyfried:
[00:55:13] leukemia. We know this. We’ve done so many studies in this already. We’ve published a lot on that, so [00:55:21]
surprising to me. Dr. Pompa:
No, I know. Professor Seyfried:
It would be surprising if it didn’t work. Dr. Pompa:
[00:55:26]. Meredith, I’ll send it to you, and you can
make sure Tom gets it, okay? Professor Seyfried:
Yeah. Meredith:
Sounds great. Dr. Pompa:
I thought it was great because it proves something that you’ve already proven. Professor Seyfried:
We’ve seen that a long time ago. I tell you, it works better in humans than
it does in the mice. I can tell you that much. Dr. Pompa:
Yeah. Tom, listen. We so appreciate your work. Everyone [00:55:52] Cancer as a Metabolic
Disease. Doctors, if you’re watching this, if you
don’t have this, shame on you. This should be on your shelf right here. I tell you what. I refer to it. It’s always in reach. I tore this thing apart. You can see every little thing. I’m constantly grabbing it even to reference
a study. Professor Seyfried:
Okay. Thank you. Meredith:
Awesome. Thank you so much. In closing, Professor Seyfried, I’d just
like to ask if you have any words for someone who’s watching the show today and has cancer. What would you say to them? Professor Seyfried:
I’d say to them that there’s hope for the future. It’s the real kind of hope, not the false
hope that some of these other therapies are delivering. Unless the cancer moon shot all the money
that President Obama just signed in on the basis of Vice President Joe Biden effort – unless
that money is going to understanding cancer as a metabolic disease, I would say it’s
going to be largely wasted, just as it’s been for decades. I would say that the future of cancer management
will come to be when they realize it’s a metabolic disease. This will be, in my view, the way we’re
going to manage this disease. When are people going to come to understand
this, and how fast will all these smart guys for the first time do something that is actually
smart? Dr. Pompa:
Amen. [00:57:32] Professor Seyfried:
It’s just going to take time. Dr. Pompa:
Billions being spent on a false dogma. That’s a shame. Professor Seyfried:
Yeah, that’s basically what it comes down to. Until the dogma is changed, we’re pretty
much going to have the same old same old. Only the statistics will show you that. As I said in the book, if you want to know
how the war on cancer is going, read the obituary pages in your local newspaper, and then you’ll
know. Dr. Pompa:
Bingo. Yep. We better change our philosophy, that’s
for sure. Thanks, doc. Professor Seyfried:
Okay. Meredith:
Thanks, everyone. A sobering ending, but there is hope with
all of these different strategies you guys employ along with the multi-therapeutic approach,
that there are answers and solutions. Thanks so much, Professor Seyfried. Thank you, Dr. Pompa. Thanks for tuning in, guys, and we’ll see
you next week. Professor Seyfried:
Thank you. Bye now. Meredith:

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