Men with prostate cancer may be able to slow tumour growth by following a low-carbohydrate diet, such as the Atkins, GI and Montignac methods.
Researchers have discovered that insulin - which is released to control the level of glucose, created when we eat carbohydrates - can feed tumours, and speed their growth.
Mice that were fed a high fat/no carbohydrate diet prolonged their lives by 50 per cent compared with those fed either a high or a moderate carbohydrate diet.
A trial with humans is expected to begin in the next few weeks.
Although carbohydrates are a vital source of energy, the Montignac and GI diets bar complex carbohydrates as refined starches, as found in white bread, biscuits and pastries, and simple carbohydrates as refined sugars in biscuits, cakes, soft drinks, and sweets and fast foods. Both these increase the production of insulin.
(Source: Cancer Prevention Research, May 26, 2009: doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0188).