CLL Support Association
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Everyone knows cancers need sugar to grow right? Well that's not necessarily true!

Everyone knows cancers need sugar to grow right?  Well that's not necessarily true!

'Like other tumors, gliomas have been thought to rely upon glycolysis for energy production, yet recent results from human NMR spectroscopy studies suggest that glucose contributes to <50% of acetyl-CoA production in gliomas. While the metabolic substrates preferred by these tumors have not been identified, other cancers have been shown to utilize alternative fuels for energy production and synthesis of raw materials. Fatty acid chains can be used to produce energy within a growing tumor; prostate and breast cancer cells in particular have been specifically shown to employ fatty acid oxidation as a metabolic strategy.'

From the Neuro-oncology paper 'Fatty acid oxidation is required for the respiration and proliferation of malignant glioma cells' (a common brain cancer): neuro-oncology.oxfordjourna...

Gizmag reporting on above:

And we all know that 'sugar feeds cancer' is a myth right? 'Our body doesn’t pick and choose which cells get what fuel. It converts pretty much all the carbs we eat to glucose, fructose and other simple sugars, and they get taken up by tissues when they need energy.': scienceblog.cancerresearchu...

Most of us likely eat too much sugar, so reducing our sugar consumption will likely improve our health - but don't expect to slow down your CLL progression or cure your CLL by doing so...


Photo: Honeyeaters like this white plumed honeyeater, certainly do well on the sugars they find in flower nectar!

6 Replies

Thank you. Not having many extra sugars in my diet I did wonder/worry about sugar and CLL. So, eat a healthy diet and don't worry about the odd sweet treat then. Perfect!


A bit off topic but how many honeyeaters (species) do you have in Australia?

Probably wrong butI think we all need a bit of sugar.


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I've no idea, but there certainly are plenty of different varieties. I do know that there are no hummingbirds; all our birds know their songs!


Thanks Neil.



Thanks for sharing.

PET scans use a glucose trace to highlight the locations of some cancer tumors, NOT CLL until late stages. I had a CT scan (no glucose trace used) to check the spleen & lymph nodes. So I assume restricting carbs/sugars would be a VERY VERY VERY long shot for controlling CLL.

I prefer not to risk possibly damaging my liver with the therapeutic dosage of green tea extract and turmeric. I am slowly increasing both but only to levels that are characteristic to the cultural norms of India & Japan.

I AM doing the ketogenic diet (low carb/high fat) for 2 other reasons.

Long term: Alzheimer's & diabetes in the extended family. I'd like to avoid any other comorbidities to my & family systems.

Short term: to fight the CLL fatigue. Endurance athletes (100 miles races) are starting to use the ketogenic diet to improve their performance and long term health. I'm not interested in running any marathon or ultramarathon. I just want to get back the energy level I had before CLL. Every month is getting better. More days a week are close enough to normal, that I consider this a win.


PET scan are used to see metabolism, they are used sometimes in CLL if Richter's transformation is suspected...otherwise CTscans are the norm.

Dr. Sharman on scans and when and why



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