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Feeding Pets For Cancer

There is an enormous body of research dating back to the middle of last century which clearly demonstrates that cancer victims - human, feline, or canine, should be fed a low carbohydrate diet. This may and often is, taken to the extremes of a no carbohydrate or strict "Atkins type" ketogenic diet.

The reason that ketogenic diets have the ability to combat cancer is because cancer cells, particularly those in the more advanced stages of malignancy, feed preferentially on glucose as a source of energy. Malignant cancer cells have limited or no ability to burn fat for energy and they can only use protein for energy, once it has been processed by the liver, to form glucose. This type of calorie-dense diet can be particularly beneficial, in the extreme situation where cancer cachexia has taken hold.

There is some evidence to show that some types of fats promote cancer (the omega 6's) and there is no question that obesity can promote cancer. On the other hand, extremely low weight individuals are definitely more prone to develop cancer. There is much evidence to support the view that some types of fats inhibit or actively fight cancer - the so-called Omega 3 group. Saturated fat almost certainly exerts its bad influence in promoting carcinogenesis via obesity, insulin resistance (which follows obesity) and free radical production, which accompanies obesity. There is much anecdotal evidence for particular nutraceuticals and herbs as beneficial and effective anti-cancer agents.

If you consider the above information in relation to cancer, it becomes clear that the standard evolutionary diet for dogs and cats forms the basic recipe for the ideal canine cancer prevention and treatment diet. In other words, a diet of meat, bone, organ meat with other healthy foods such as eggs (and other healthy protein sources), probiotic sources and various supplements (nutraceuticals and herbs) should be adopted for any dog or cat with cancer.

Having established the basic diet type, the most important questions remaining to be answered are - what proportion of these will best suit each individual, what particular meats, bones, and organ meats should be chosen and which nutraceuticals, will best suit the pet in question. Clearly, the overall mix of foods will depend largely on the on the degree of obesity vs cachexia of the patient and how advanced or malignant the cancer in question happens to be.

In general, because cancer is a disease of 'inflammation,' the choice of meat type is best described as for any other inflammatory condition. That is, 'white and wild.' That means chicken, rabbit, and fish for the white and low-fat game or organic range-fed red meats like venison and bison, for example.

The most important nutraceuticals or functional foods to be chosen, include Omega 3 essential fatty acids (fish oils), Conjugated linoleic acid, B complex vitamins, Coenzyme Q10, IP6, Selenium, Zinc, Chromium piccolinate, Arginine, and Carnitine. High doses of probiotics are beneficial, as are sea vegetables, and organs from pasture fed ruminants