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Otto Warburg, cancer and the fermentation of sugar

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According to science and the media, cancer is caused by a wide range of factors. It's effectively a matter of pot-luck whether a person gets it or not. Genetic history and the environment play a major role and it's all very much outside the control of the individual. To put it bluntly, we can't do anything about it; it's just a roll of the genetic and environmental dice. To quote from the Wikipedia page on cancer:

The majority of cancers, some 90–95% of cases, are due to genetic mutations from environmental factors. The remaining 5–10% are due to inherited genetics.

And yet there is a lot of scientific evidence that what we eat and drink has an enormous influence on whether or not we get cancer, and how we can survive it. The excellent documentary 'Forks over Knives' puts forward a thorough case that a diet high in meat or animal protein is strongly linked to heart disease and cancer. Also, the known effectiveness (for certain cancers) of the Ketosis Diet, in which the patient switches to a diet almost entirely free of carbohydrates and sugars, shows that cancer and our diet are strongly linked.

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This relationship between sugar and cancer has actually been known for a long time. It was pointed out and defined as a theory by a Nobel Prize-Winner, the brilliant physiologist Otto Warburg. He won the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1931. During his life, Warburg had a very straightforward view of the cause of cancers. To quote from his Wikipedia entry:

"Warburg hypothesised that cancer growth is caused by tumour cells generating energy (as, e.g., adenosine triphosphate / ATP) mainly by anaerobic breakdown of glucose (known as fermentation, or anaerobic respiration). This is in contrast to healthy cells, which mainly generate energy from oxidative breakdown of pyruvate. Pyruvate is an end product of glycolysis, and is oxidised within the mitochondria. According to Warburg, hence, cancer should be interpreted as a mitochondrial dysfunction."

And to quote from the man himself:

Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarised in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.


Nowadays, biochemists regard genetic problems as the cause of cancer, and yet if our bodies do have such a serious genetic predisposition for cancer, why has this not been weeded out through natural selection? A more likely scenario is that our bodies have been developed, over millions of years, to digest small amounts of fresh meat, along with sugars locked up in starches and fibrous plant material. In this situation, they run fine but if they are swamped with excessive amounts of refined, raw sugar and alcoholic drinks (partly and fully fermented sugars), they are in a very unnatural situation. In such a situation, sugar fermentation takes place in their cells and cancers develop. It's worth noting that the appearance of cancers in our body is actually normal. Micro-cancers appear all the time and our immune system gets rid of them on a regular basis. But it is the unstopped development of these micro-cancers into macro-cancers that is unnatural. The presence of sugar fermentation in our cells could be the key to why this happens. That creates an unnatural cellular environment which supports those unnatural cellular activities.

After many years of drinking socially (and getting drunk), I cut back because I realised that alcohol is a 'sweet death'. It is a way to lose yourself in a warm but poisonous fog. It would seem, if Warburg is right, that sugar and alcohol may be the 'sweet death' for our bodies too.