November 26, 2018


Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D.: Controversial discussion—cancer as a mitochondrial metabolic disease? (EP.30)

“The standard of care should never have been written in granite. It should be flexible. If you have something else that comes along that might be better, you'd think there would be enthusiasm.” —Tom Seyfried

by Peter Attia

Read Time 38 minutes

In this episode, Thomas Seyfried, a cancer researcher and professor of biology at Boston College, discusses a controversial view of cancer as a mitochondrial metabolic disease. Many topics related to the causes, treatments, and prevention of cancer are covered in this in-depth conversation.


We discuss:

  • How Tom got interested in cancer research [9:00];
  • Calorie-restricted ketogenic diets, fasting, and epileptic seizures [18:30];
  • Otto Warburg and the Warburg effect [30:45];
  • Germline mutations, somatic mutations, and no mutations [42:00];
  • Mitochondrial substrate level phosphorylation: Warburg’s missing link [51:30];
  • What is the structural defect in the mitochondria in cancer? [1:02:00];
  • Peter’s near-death experience with the insulin suppression test while in ketosis [1:06:30];
  • Insulin potentiation therapy and glutamine inhibition [1:13:15];
  • The macrophage fusion-hybrid theory of metastasis [1:39:30];
  • How are cancer cells growth dysregulated without a mutation? [1:47:00];
  • What is the dream clinical trial to test the hypothesis that we can reduce the death rates of cancer by 50%? [2:03:15];
  • How can the hypothesis be tested rigorously that structural abnormalities in the mitochondria impair respiration and lead to compensatory fermentation? [2:26:30];
  • Case studies of GBM survivors [2:32:45]; and
  • More.


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Thomas SeyfriedBiology Departmentscience

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