Human body is in a state of evolution at all times. The process of old cells dying, and regeneration of new ones is a continuous one that keeps our body fit and healthy since it helps removing the toxins that keep accumulating in the living cells.
The entire process is as if the cells were programmed to die at a certain time so that newer ones can take their place. This phenomenon is often termed as “programmed cell death” indicating that this is the way all living organisms were programmed to function.
But what happens when something goes wrong in a program? For example, in this case, what would happen if the old cells do not die?
When the older cells do not die, they tend to accumulate toxins in the body by becoming malignant in the form of tumors. Instead of dying down they restructure the mechanism of metabolism to survive. They end up being accumulated, which hinders the growth of the newer cells that are so vital for the growth of our body.
Cancer cells have a faster metabolism as compared to other normal cells of our bodies. Research has indicated that they tend to consume much more glucose or sugar than normal cells and hence it has been long suspected that there is a link between consumption of glucose and development of cancerous growth.
The sugar cancer link
Researchers have known that there is a link between the consumption of sugar and cancer hence they keep advocating the less consumption of sugar as treatment for cancer.
However the entire process is not as simple as it appears at the first glance. Consuming less sugar will not automatically mean starving the cancer cells!
What is seen is that if we stop cancer cells from feeding on sugar, they would find some other alternative to circumvent and hence deprive the healthy cells of our body from essential fuels for their own growth.
Cancer cells utilize sugar or glucose for their own rapid growth and at the same time they also use sugar to generate molecules guarding against accumulation of toxins and in a way removing the triggers that activate the programmed cell death. Hence, it also points to the fact that glucose is used by these cells as a protector against the natural cell death.
While sugar prevents the older cells from dying; the question still remains as to why lesser consumption of sugar does not lead to the death of cancerous cells?
This is so because even when we consume less sugar the cancerous cells seem to effectively “fill up” from other resources; depriving the natural cells of the same. This happens primarily because of a protein that exists in the cancerous cells and not in the normal cells.
Reasons for growth of Cancer cells
According to the recent studies, a protein called PARP14 is responsible for stimulating the growth of cancer cells by enabling them in using more sugar. It helps them grow by hindering the natural cell death process. Conversely, it has also been demonstrated that reducing the level of this protein i.e. PARP14 would starve them to death. Hence, finally it is also the level of PARP14 that decides the survival rate of a cancer patient.
A ray of hope
All this research finally points to the fact that if somehow we could block the PARP14 from occurring in Cancer cells, it could be an effective mode of treatment for treatment of cancer.
Using PARP14 inhibitors also has a very positive side. While the traditional mode of treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy lead to killing the healthy cells too, if we use PARP14 inhibitors it would harm only the cancer cells because it occurs only it does not occur in the healthy cells.