Methionine Restriction: An Anti-Cancer Diet

Did You Know…that restricting your intake of this essential amino acid can starve cancer cells and increase your lifespan?

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.  They provide structure to our cells, assist in wound healing and tissue repair, help store and transport nutrients, and impact virtually all of our bodily functions.  There is one amino acid, however, that may be doing more harm than good when it is consumed in abundance.  Methionine, one of the eight essential amino acids, has been shown to play an active part in cancer cell proliferation and malignant tumor growth.  Methionine restriction may be the key to stopping cancer in its tracks and adding many more healthy years to your life!

Starve Cancer Cells with a Low Methionine Diet 

A little over 40 years ago scientists discovered that cancers, including breast, colon, ovary, prostate, and skin cancers, depend on methionine to survive.  When cells grown in a petri dish were deprived of methionine, normal, healthy cells thrived, while cancer cells died, leading researchers to surmise that cancer cells need methionine to persist.

Testing this theory on fresh tumors removed from cancer patients yielded the same results—many cancers that don’t respond well to traditional chemotherapy seem to have a biochemical defect that renders them methionine dependent.  Researchers from Bayor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas showed that methionine restriction offers promise as a treatment for advanced cancers of the prostate, lung, and gastrointestinal tract.


Eat a Low Methionine Diet

You can easily lower your intake of methionine by choosing the right foods.  It appears that plant-based diets are the most supportive, as animal-based foods such as chicken and fish contain the highest levels of methionine.  Milk, red meat, and eggs fare a bit better, with fruits, nuts, veggies, legumes, and grains the lowest in methionine.  A vegan diet, however, is not entirely protective, as certain nuts and beans are deceptively high in methionine.  Avoid Brazil nuts, soy beans, and wheat germ, and opt for lentils and almonds instead.

Want to practice methionine restriction?  Remember, methionine is an essential amino acid that we need for protein building, so don’t go overboard.  Animal studies have shown that without methionine the body is susceptible to fatty liver disease, anemia, and drastic and life-threatening weight loss.