Interviewer: You're an expert in nutrition, Doctor. Can you talk about
sugar's role in cancer?
Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS: Cancer is an obligate glucose metabolizer,
which means cancer is a sugar feeder. And so this has been known for about
Otto Warburg won a Nobel prize. He was an MD, PhD in Europe who found that
clearly, cancer cells are fermentative. They prefer burning sugar; glucose.
And they have roughly four to ten times the number of glucose receptors on
their cell membranes.
Therefore, what we find is diabetics, because they have elevated blood
glucose, have a higher incidence of cancer. Elevated intake of white sugar,
elevated blood glucose levels, even if you're not diabetic, increases the
risk for cancer.
Animal studies have been shown where they give the animals a diet that will
induce low, or normal, or high levels of blood glucose with cancer. And
they find it's a dose-dependent response. If you can lower blood glucose,
the animals stay alive longer. So sugar and cancer are definitely linked in
the PET scan, positron emission tomography. It's a multimillion dollar
hospital implement in which they inject radioactively labeled glucose into
the cancer patient's veins. And then they use a Geiger counter-like device
to track where the sugar went, because that's where the cancer is, because
cancer is a sugar feeder. And then they walk away from this procedure and
say, "Eat whatever you want." That doesn't make any sense at all. Cancer is
a sugar-feeder and we can use that as one of the tools to help beat cancer.
For instance, intravenous vitamin C, ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, and
glucose are nearly identical in molecular structure, and so cells share
receptor sites for vitamin C and glucose. So when the cancer cell thinks
it's sucking in glucose, it's taking in intravenous vitamin C which can
then become a pro-oxidant, cause hydrogen peroxide. Cancer cells do not
have an enzyme that allows that to be neutralized, and essentially you can
give a selective anti-neoplastic agent, intravenous vitamin C, that does
zero harm and can help many cancer patients.
Interviewer: All right. So the big question would be, why isn't that used
more often? Why don't we hear more about that?
Dr. Quillin: What we have is time delays, time lags. For instance, around
1860, Ignaz Semmelweis was a physician in Vienna, Austria. And at that
time, puerperal fever, or maternal fever, was up to 90% of all mothers. So
what would happen is, doctor delivers a horse in a stable, wipes his hands
off, and goes in and delivers a baby in the hospital bed; doesn't wash his
hands thoroughly. Well, of course you have fecal contamination and all
Dr. Quillin: The incidence of fever and death in delivering a baby in a
hospital was very high. Dr. Semmelweis said, "What if we wash our hands?"
So he washed his hands in a dilute solution of chlorine, which is a very
good cleanser, and he found he could reduce puerperal fever to almost zero.
And his colleagues, now think about this, it costs nothing, there were zero
side effects, no toxicity, but he couldn't explain why it happened. And his
colleagues said, "What are we to expect this is coming from, Dr.
Semmelweis? Is it spooks?" And they laughed him out of the medical
profession. And about two or three decades later, Louis Pasteur came forth
and said, "We have found Dr. Semmelweis' spooks."
And so there's a time lag going on right now. We know this stuff works. We
just can't get people to use it yet. But it will come.