Episode 62: Feeding Your Immune System with Dr. Karthik Varanasi

by | Oct 13, 2022 | Podcasts | 0 comments

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Episode 62: Feeding Your Immune System

Your immune system is an essential system within your body that keeps you healthy… and more importantly, alive! But none of us is born with a manual of the proper care and feeding of your immune system.

What feeding your immune system means.

Feeding your immune system is not separate from feeding the rest of your body. It’s all part of one entity. What feeds your skin, your heart, and your muscles, also feeds your immune system. The foods are broken down into nutrients which are then used by all cells of the body. This is a simplified version of cellular metabolism.

Feeding your immune system, starving cancer.

This is the million-dollar question of the century! How do you make your normal cells do one thing while making cancer cells do something else? Especially, when they are competing for the same nutrients.

Researchers all over the world are studying the effect of diet on cancer, specifically cancer metabolism, and this is exactly what we set out to find the answer to in this episode.

The Warburg Effect

You may have heard of the Warburg Effect. It was a finding by Otto Warburg, that elucidated that normal cells can run on fatty acids (fats) by converting them into ketones. Including brain cells! But cancer cells do not like using fats, and hence ketones, to get their energy and therefore grow slower or shrink altogether.

From this information is where we get the ketogenic diet. The premise is that with a substantial amount of calories coming from fat a person can stop the growth of cancer and lose weight, it’s better for people who suffer from neurological disorders, etc, etc…

But what about all the fiber and nutrients you get from fruits and vegetables?

Well as it turns out, Dr. Varanasi shared some interesting results from his work and it kind of took me by surprise a bit! If you’re interested, hit the play button on the episode.

We also talked about methionine, an essential amino acid, that is highly prevalent in animal foods, but in much smaller amounts in plant foods. What makes it essential is that it has to be derived from the foods you eat. Your body cannot make it, unlike some other amino acids that your body can synthesize on it’s own.Why is methionine significant? Because it is a driving factor in cancer.

So, what is the right diet for feeding your immune system?

While also keeping back cancer?…. It’s worth a listen.

Here are some of my favorite moments from this episode:

  • 2:30 Why Dr. Varanasi decided to study cancer.
  • 4:34 The definition of metabolism.
  • 6:38 The work of Otto Warburg in cancer metabolism.
  • 8:53 The ketogenic diet and cancer metabolism.
  • 15:29 The right fats vs. the wrong fats.
  • 21:15 Bile acids and their effect on cancer.
  • 33:25 The effects of methionine on cancer.
  • 39:57 Covid and cancer.
  • 44:00 The best diet for your immune system.

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Scientific paper on lipid (fat) oxidation affect on T-cells (immune cells) by Dr. Varanasi

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Want more?

If you’re stressed about what to eat check out episode 34 with Cathy Leman, RD, or episode 35 where I talk about food rules vs. food values. Episode 19 and episode 30 were about balancing components of an anti-cancer lifestyle. Episodes 25, 31, and 32 were about helping you find ways to heal your soul through Reiki and healing touch, writing, and art therapy. Funny episode 16 with Dr. Shari Fox.

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