Methionine Restriction for Cancer / Tumours

Catch Up

After Norway I had a very indulgent Christmas with lots of family. Which was amazing but I let my diet slip quite massively. I remained vegan but ignored protein and calorie restriction. This theme held up for probably 7 weeks into the new year and I ended up putting on over half a stone. Which isn’t the direction I’m supposed to be heading in at all. I usually find when I’ve lost all motivation it’s because I haven’t read the research in a while and my focus turns onto my everyday life and not what I’m eating when really I need to be able to do both. Anyway I delved back into all the research and I’m leaning towards low methionine diets still. Through this I discovered cronometer which I will explain later.
Family Gathering
I'm back at university again, mostly coursework at the moment until February when i go back to clinical for my final clinical assessment. And people have started to get jobs already so I need to start applying soon which involves making a continued professional development folder and CV etc. so lots of work and some big decisions going on. the whole brain tumour world has sort of melted away to the back of my mind so i haven't blogged much, but i am happy enough not to be thinking about it. a few clonic jerks in the middle of the night waking me up here and there and some headaches. but nothing i'm not used too so all calm and boring really when it comes to updates. Some of the bloggers i follow and interacted with turned out to be fakes so that was a shame and puts me off interacting with other blogs a bit.

Methionine Restriction

I may have discussed this briefly before and its not particularly exciting for people who arent looking for that anti-cancer diet but i'm going to include it for the few who are looking for that, I’m going to keep it brief again. Methionine is an amino acid in foods containing protein (all food). But more and more research is being performed regarding this amino acid. A lot of it to do with life extension in healthy mammals. Although they can’t 100% point towards why methionine has this effect it may be to do with protein synthesis and igf-1 in the same way as calorie restriction works. And they believe the reason calorie restriction works is 50% simply due to the natural restriction in methionine this would incur. Anyway, studies show it has a beneficial effect with cancer too. Both on its own and in partnership with regular treatment. Most trials are done with treatment presumably because it would be unethical to take one group off of treatment to see how they do on a dietary approach. Lots of research out there but it only takes a quick search to find it so i won't link it all up here.

Methionine is found in all protein sources. Protein sources are normally judged by their balance of amino acids, so protein sources deemed high quality will have a good distribution of all amino acids, these include meats and fish and dairy and therefore are recommended by traditional nutritional recommendations. These are often pure protein sources or the majority of that food is protein so you can attain large amounts of methionine from these products. Vegan foods are lower in protein because they always come with carbohydrates, fats and fibre attached to it meaning they are natural lower in methionine. 

Some vegan sources also lack good amounts of methionine in comparison to the other amino acids they have, therefore making them low quality protein. On the other hand other vegan foods are high in methionine and low in other amino acids also making them low quality protein. If you combine beans which are low in methionine but higher in other amino acids with grains which are high in methionine they complement each other making a well-balanced protein source. Albeit, still lower in methionine and total protein than meats would be.

So when I ate lots of food over Christmas it tended to be grains such as bread and cereals which are all in the higher methionine category for vegan foods. Still lower than meat but not ideal for what I’m trying to achieve. So the game-plan for now is to drastically reduce the amount of grain and nut products I eat and up the lower methionine vegan foods such as lentils and beans. I’m not going to completely remove them because my diet is already so extremely restrictive.

To help with this I started using cronometer this week which is an internet site that monitors your macro and micronutrients for you including your amino acid profile for the day. You just type in everything you had that day and it gives you all the information. 

So here for example is my average daily amino acid breakdown for this week by percentage of daily recommended minimum. the moment i add grains twice daily to my weekly diet that all balances back out again. i have kept a food diary on and off for years and when i typed in an average day for me from just before diagnosis i had 5.0g of methionine instead of 0.5g for example. so the difference is quite huge when i'm being really strict like i have been this week.

the biggest problem is the diet that helps people with IBS (fodmap diet) is almost completely opposite to the diet that helps with tumours/cancer. although IBS affects my life more day to day it is the lesser of two evils so i'm going down the anti-cancer diet for now.


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