Health: Cancer and Fasting

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, Jan. 20, 2020
6 week old puppy

There are numerous studies of fasting and ketogenic diet in cancer prevention and arrest in both humans and animals. It is remarkable that some forms of cancer have been significantly reduced in rats through fasting. Furthermore, strict calorie reduction has shown promising results in a certain type of monkey.

Here is a quote from the linked study in this post:
"It therefore seems reasonable to assume that dietary carbohydrates mainly fuel malignant cells which express the insulin-independent glucose transporters GLUT1 and GLUT3, while muscle cells are more likely to benefit from an increased fat and protein intake."

It is my strong opinion that dogs are no different than humans in this regard and IF this information is correct, a diet rich in protein and FAT with periodic incidences of fasting will great benefit the overall health of our dogs.

Interestingly enough, this recommendation closely resembles the diet we see in wolves and coyotes. They eat a diet rich in protein and FAT. The choice meats, such as the heart and liver, are generally reserved for those higher in rank and some have suggested that these animals consuming a much higher fat content in their diet emit a different smell which signals the others in the pack. (See: The Man Who Lived with Wolves)

In regard to this, a raw based diet rich in fatty meats and bone with regular moments of short-term fasting would be the closest diet to both mimic a species specific diet as well as fulfill the findings of the newest research on cancer prevention and reduction.

Grain-free kibble based diets cannot attain the same benefits as they are much less equipped with the higher protein and fat needed to fulfill the diets consumed with wolves in the wild. Furthermore, grain-free kibble

based diets have quite a bit of added carbohydrates, despite the elimination of grains. Peas, lentils, sweet potatoes, potatoes, etc. are all high in carbohydrates and spike insulin levels in the body.

Therefore, a raw or BARF diet coupled with regular short-term fasts is the ideal for our beloved canines. If you can, I would recommend a raw diet. If you can't, until there is a low carbohydrate/high protein and fat kibble option, I would supplement the no-grain kibble with added protein and fat. You can increase these ingredients by adding meat drippings, cooked meats, canned dog food, etc. Not only will it be more palatable to your pet, but it will also be increasing the protein and fat that your pup needs.

A great book to read is Pukka's Promise. You will be amazed at what goes into your dog's dry kibble.

Fasting Cycles Retard Growth of Tumors and Sensitize a Range of Cancer Cell Types to Chemotherapy

Caloric restriction delays disease onset and mortality in rhesus monkeys.

Roles of Caloric Restriction, Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting during Initiation, Progression and Metastasis of Cancer in Animal Models: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Caloric restriction reduces growth of mammary tumors and metastases

Fasting Cycles Retard Growth of Tumors and Sensitize a Range of Cancer Cell Types to Chemotherapy

Energy restriction and the risk of spontaneous mammary tumors in mice: a meta-analysis.

Fasting and Caloric Restriction in Cancer Prevention and Treatment.

Is there a role for carbohydrate restriction in the treatment and prevention of cancer?

A 2-Year Randomized Controlled Trial of Human Caloric Restriction: Feasibility and Effects on Predictors of Health Span and Longevity.

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10 Ways to Alter Your Dog's Diet for Immediate Health Results

Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.