This is a chapter from my Surviving Cancer Compendium and is a continuation of my work on mitochondrial medicine. The mitochondria are everything to a person who has cancer because what is happening to our mitochondria colonies inside of our cells is happening to us. Whether we live or die is up to our mitochondria so the last thing we want to do is take mitochondrial poisons (most pharmaceuticals).
Mitochondria play a unique role in cellular physiology. They are responsible for energy production, regulation of Ca2+ concentration in the cytoplasm and in programmed cell death called apoptosis. The mitochondria are the power stations of our cells. They are as important to our lives and health as electrical power stations are to modern civilization. We just cannot get along without them. If mitochondria are severely damaged, they die. If cells lose their mitochondria, they lose their power source, and they die. When enough cells die, we die.
On the way to dying we get cancer, in this scenario, because as the cells lose the basics they need, magnesium, bicarbonate and oxygen, the cells adapt to the low energy production by changing their metabolism to fermentation. As this happens the cells become cancerous and infected with the full range of microbes, depending on how far their energy levels and oxygen decline.
The mitochondria are referred to as the body’s energy furnaces because it is here that the nutrients extracted from our foods are converted into energy. This happens through a complex set of interactions known as the Krebs cycle (named after its discoverer, Sir Hans Krebs), in association with the electron transport chain, which completes the work started by the Krebs cycle.
“The German cancer researcher Dr. Paul Gerhard Seeger demonstrated in 1938 that in most cases cancer starts in the cytoplasm, the jelly-like outer part of the cell, and especially in the energy-producing mitochondria. Here food fragments are normally oxidized in a series of enzymatic steps called the ‘respiratory chain’. Seeger showed that in cancer cells this respiratory chain was more or less blocked, especially at the site of the important enzyme cytochrome oxidase. Without it the cell can produce energy only anaerobically like a fungal cell. This is very inefficient and the resulting overproduction of lactic acid makes the cell and the whole body overly acidic.
Magnesium bicarbonate is the ultimate mitochondria cocktail. Magnesium and bicarbonate together work to combat the drop in energy within the mitochondria during constant bombardment from toxins. First, magnesium bicarbonate protects the natural organic and inorganic phosphate buffers in the cytoplasm of cells. Second, magnesium bicarbonate neutralizes the acid produced as a result of metabolic processes and ATP hydrolysis. This allows more ATP to be hydrolyzed, or more energy to be made. Magnesium bicarbonate buffers the mitochondria in body cells from excess acid concentrations, which improves mitochondrial function and increases ATP.
Essentially the Krebs cycle (also known as the citric acid cycle) involves a series of enzymatic reactions that transform proteins (in the form of their constituent amino acids), fats (as their constituent fatty acids) and carbohydrates (as glucose) into intermediate substances. These intermediates are then passed into the electron transport chain where they undergo a further series of reactions – receiving and donating electrons down the chain – to produce energy, in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), CO2 and water. The presence of sufficient oxygen within the cells is essential to the success of this entire process, as the term oxidation itself indicates.
Dr. Seeger and others found that cancer cells utilize only between 5 and 50% of the oxygen of normal cells. The virulence of cancer cells is directly proportional to their loss of oxygen utilization, and with this to the degree of blockage of the respiratory chain. In 1957 Seeger successfully transformed normal cells into cancer cells within a few days by introducing chemicals that blocked the respiratory chain.
Dr. Seeger’s most important discovery was the certainty that certain nutrients, mainly from the vegetable kingdom, could restore cellular respiration in low-virulence cancer cells and, with this, transform them back into normal cells.
Hypoxia (low oxygen conditions) is a critical hallmark of solid tumors and involves enhanced cell survival, angiogenesis, glycolytic metabolism, and metastasis. Healthy cells need oxygen to survive. Even the cells in the deepest, darkest parts of our body cannot live without oxygen.
This book, available online in eBook form, is at the printers in New York
The Krebs cycle stops running when there is no oxygen because of the intimate link it shares with the electron transport chain. A lack of oxygen creates a giant backlog of electrons, which prevent NAD+ from being regenerated. This stops the Krebs Cycle, and forces anaerobic respiration to supply ATP.
Dr. Gregg Semenza, the C. Michael Armstrong professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine explains that in order to move, cancer cells need to initiate a number of changes to their internal structures. Dr. Semenza says that “low oxygen levels often occur in breast cancers.” As tumor cells multiply, the interior of the tumor begins to run out of oxygen because it isn’t being fed by blood vessels. The lack of oxygen activates the hypoxia-inducible factors, which are master control proteins that switch on many genes that help cells adapt to the scarcity of oxygen.”
Biologists from Johns Hopkins found that low oxygen conditions prompted increased production of proteins called RhoA and ROCK1. High levels of these proteins are known to give cancer cells the ability to move and spread, leading to poorer outcomes for cancer patients. RhoA is also important in mitochondrial distribution regulation
It has been known for many years that cancer cells produce excessive amounts of lactic acid. Some researchers confuse things suggesting that dysfunctional mitochondria—not oxygen insufficiency—cause the large quantities of lactic acid produced by cancer cells. Cancer cells do have dysfunctional mitochondria, which prevents their use of the citric acid [Krebs] cycle. Consequently, pyruvic acid, the product of glycolysis, which normally would enter the mitochondria for its total combustion into energy, is instead converted to lactic acid.
It is reported that cancer cells can produce 40 times more lactic acid than normal cells. Their metabolism is dirty and poisons the cells around them with increasing acidity so the body becomes starved of bicarbonates and carbon dioxide in addition to oxygen.
In the 1920s Dr. Otto Warburg carried out a great deal of work on cancer’s basic mechanism and was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1932. Warburg’s work clearly demonstrated that cancer is, fundamentally, a relatively simple disease where cell oxygen levels fall to a level sufficiently low enough for the cell to change in nature.
Without a dependable supply of oxygen, the cells in our bodies cannot function properly. Poor oxygenation comes from stress, poor breathing habits (too fast breathing), muscular tension, from living in cities where oxygen levels are reduced, and especially from a buildup of carcinogens and other toxins within and around cells, which block and then damage our cellular oxygen respiration mechanisms. Lack of exercise will do us in also because both our oxygen and carbon dioxide levels suffer.
As more acid wastes back up (bicarbonate deficiency), and the body slowly stews in its poisonous wastes, a chronically over acidic body pH corrodes body tissue, slowly eating into the 60,000 miles of our veins and arteries like acid eating into marble. The capillaries get inflamed under low oxygen conditions so high levels of oxygen (Anti-Inflammatory Oxygen Therapy) is needed to resolve that.
One has to wonder if western doctor will ever really understand cancer. Though in hospitals oxygen is the most prescribed medicine oncologists overlook the possibility of using oxygen to cure cancer by increasing the oxygen supply to the cells and their mitochondria.
Part Two of this Essay is entitled: Killing Cancer with Oxygen and Ketogenic Diet and will be published in the next day or two. Here we will explore the magical combination of denying cancer cells the glucose they need as we bombard the cancer with both oxygen and bicarbonates.
Dr. Mark Sircus
- The only book available in English is Seeger, P.G. and S. Wolz: Successful biological control of cancer by combat against the causes. Neuwieder Verlagsgesellschaft, Neuwied, Germany 1990. The most important book is Seeger, P.G: Krebs – Problem ohne Ausweg? (“Cancer – Problem without Solution?”) Verl. f. Medizin Fischer, Heidelberg, Germany 1974, 2nd ed 1988
- PROTEINS THAT HELP CANCER CELLS GROOVE; Johns Hopkins News Release, Dec. 2013; http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/rock_and_rho_proteins
- Regulation of mitochondria distribution by RhoA and formins; Alexander A. Minin et al;Cell Sci; 119, 659-670; February 15, 2006; http://jcs.biologists.org/content/119/4/659.long