Despite so many highly publicized breakthroughs in medical science, cancer remains a formidable disease. Deaths from cancer are actually continuing to rise, at a rate of 3.5 to 4% each year.
My interview today is with Dr. Thomas Seyfried. Dr. Seyfried believes cancer isn’t primarily caused by damage to the genes living in the nucleus of the cell, a widely held belief, but rather represents a problem of how cells produce energy from their mitochondria. Ultimately, this defective energy production leads to increased free radical production which may then go on to damage the DNA of the cell nucleus as a secondary event.
What is so elegant and compelling about his theory is that it lends itself to a powerful interventional approach centered on simply shifting the energy source of the mitochondria to products derived from fat, as opposed to carbohydrates.
Dr. Seyfried received his Ph.D. in Genetics and Biochemistry from the University of Illinois and also holds a Master’s degree in Genetics from Illinois State University He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Neurology at the Yale University School of Medicine, and then served on the faculty as an Assistant Professor in Neurology. Prior to receiving full professorship, Dr. Seyfried was an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Boston College. Other awards and honors have come from such diverse organizations as the American Oil Chemists Society, the National Institutes of Health, The American Society for Neurochemistry, and the Ketogenic Diet Special Interest Group of the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Seyfried previously served as Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association and presently serves on several editorial boards, including those for Nutrition & Metabolism, Neurochemical Research, and the Journal of Lipid Research. Dr. Seyfried’s research program focuses on gene environmental interactions related to complex diseases, such as epilepsy, autism, brain cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Seyfried investigates many of these diseases from the perspective of, genetics, and energy metabolism. Much of his work, gratefully, also has direct translational benefit to the clinic.
This is a somewhat science-based discussion, but hang in there as there are some critically important gems of information that we get from Dr. Seyfried. Finally, in the broadcast, Dr. Seyfried mentions a book on this subject that’s geared to a less scientifically minded community. The book is entitled, Tripping Over the Truth, by Travis Christofferson.