Cancer is a terrifying disease, when single cells become cancer cells and begin to divide uncontrollably almost anywhere in the body. The transformation of single cells to cancer cells happens when specific genes, called oncogenes, that cause cells to divide, are over-activated. However, because oncogenes often also cause cell death, activation of a single oncogene within a cell is not enough for it to become a cancer cell. That is why several other oncogenes, along with cancer-suppressing genes, need to be activated.

One of the possible ways to treat cancer is to limit the cell division, but not the cell death. So you need to know which oncogenes are responsible only for cell division and which one for cell death to focus the cancer treatment on those, responsible for cell division. A recent study has done that.

The study had a closer look at 4 oncogenes, the gene Src, the gene p38, the gene JNK and the slpr gene. All of them turned to have their own specific role in cancer development.

The study showed that oncogene Src promotes cell division and cell death independently and simultaneously via parallel pathways.

The gene p38 turned to be involved only in cell division and the gene JNK was only involved in cell death.

The slpr gene seems to activate simultaneously both p38 and JNK, that are controlled by other oncogenes.

Once the researchers identified that the activated gene p38 is key for cell division, they realized that the activity of gene p38 can be controlled by nutrients in the diet! To prove it, the researchers investigated the relationship between the food and cell division. They found that reducing the amount of the amino acid methionine in the diet prevented cell division, which is controlled by the gene p38.

These findings are based on the oncogenes of the fruit fly. Since the process of cell division is known to be the same in both fruit flies and people, the researchers believe that their findings can be applied to some human cancers, which activate the Scr gene.

As a reminder, high methionine foods include turkey, beef, fish, pork, tofu, milk, cheese, nuts, beans, and whole grains like quinoa. The recommended daily intake for methionine is 10.4 mg per kilogram of body weight (4.5mg per pound). More than that will do any good and, as you know now, even will contribute to cancer.

Curious? HERE is the source

Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

On my website you can find the latest scientific findings related to lifestyle and its influence on your brain health.

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