A viral image stating that three Nobel Prize winners concluded that cancer can be cured without any medications and with a few lifestyle changes is misleading.
The image has been attributed to Dr. Shahed Baig from Hyderabad.
Dr. Shahed Baig , a Hyderabad based physiotherapist and alternative medicine practitioner claims that Nobel laureates Dr. Otto Warburg, Dr. Ferid Murad, and Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi proved through their research that any stage of cancer could be cured without medicine.
The image has 3 claims:
Using Dr. Warburg's study which says that cancer cells cannot survive in environments with oxygen, the image says regular exercise should be mandatory to increase the levels of oxygen.
Dr. Warburg never stated cancer cells cannot survive in environments without oxygen.
His study states that they carry out anaerobic glycolysis even when oxygen is present. Anaerobic glycolysis is a metabolic pathway wherein glucose breaks down into lactate and not into pyruvate as it normally would in the presence of oxygen. The glucose breaks down into pyruvate in order to provide energy for the cell to function.
In anaerobic glycolysis as observed by Warburg, the glucose molecules, even in the presence of oxygen, behave as they would in the absence of oxygen, where in they convert into lactate, cells create energy by fermentation. This leads to the growth of cancer cells.
The claim that exercise will lead to more oxygen entering the body and leads to reduction in cancer cells is not scientifically backed and is misleading.
Dr. Murad's Nobel winning study says that blockages in the arteries can be removed by eating raw vegetables and fruits as they have nitric oxide. The image claims that eating plenty vegetables and fruits will lead to the removal of blockages in the arteries and lead to better blood supply to healthy cells.
The role of nitric oxide in cancer treatment is quite unclear. A study conducted in 2016 states that nitric oxide can act as a tumour suppressor as well as a cancer promoting agent.
The image speaks about blood flow and blockages in the artery while not discussing the impact of the same on cancer.
Dr. Ohsumi's study concerns Autophagy where cells when starved eat damaged and cancerous cells. The image interprets that fasting increases immunity and can kill cancerous cells. It thus advises people "Be fast" at least once a week to increase immunity.
Autophagy means self-eating. Cells when starved of nutrients tend to search for damaged cells and consume them.
While fasting has been studied for its advantages, there is not enough research backing the theory stating practicing it once a week, could affect carcinogenic cells. Just like nitric oxide, autophagy can also either suppress or promote tumours on the basis of the environment and the developmental stage of the tumour. This was proved in a study in 2018.
Dysfunctional autophagy can lead to cancer.
Dr. Baig's Perspective
BOOM contacted Dr. Baig to understand his reasons for making the picture.
He is a chiropractor and physiotherapist based out of Hyderabad and is a proponent of alternative medicine.
"There are more than 2 millions doctors in our country though they unable to cure simple disorder that is BP and advise medicine for life Time to make business. BP can be cured with simple technique such as eating raw food and walking for 10 to 15 minutes. But no doctor tells you because they did not study nutrition they study only medicine", said Dr. Baig.
"Do not get advise from medical professionals who are indirectly controled by pharma companies. if you need correct information study the great personalities who are working for human kind," he concluded.
What Do Oncologists Say?
BOOM contacted Dr. Murad Lala, Consultant Oncosurgeon, PD Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mumbai to understand these theories.
"Cancer is sort of a multi-step process and not as simplistic as the image makes it seem. High pressure oxygen chambers are being experimentally used but there isn't complete evidence," Dr Lala said about the oxygen theory.
For the other two theories, he mentioned that a few statements have been taken out of context and the studies have been misinterpreted.
"People should give context to everything on Google before making decisions on their own and consult their physicians and specialists for further treatment," Dr. Lala concluded.