Why Do Cancer Cells Create An Acidic Environment In The Human Body?

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We know cancer is a dangerous disease in terms of death rates across worldwide and naturally people tend to have fear towards cancer, but if we try to know about the mechanism of cancer cells and its style of spreading, we can easily prevent incidence of cancer and also in treatment process in addition to the recurrence of cancer.

When we look deeply into cancer metabolism, the warburg effect, the most prominent one, explains cancer cells always follow less energy efficient glycolysis pathways even glucose and oxygen are available in the body. It utilises the glucose for the rapid growth and progression of cancer cells.

Not only glucose, cancer cells metabolise glutamine, fatty acids and amino acids due to competition with other cells. With the glycolysis pathway large amounts of lactic acid are produced in the body as it provides a significant survival advantage to the cancer cell.

In the growth of cancer, newly formed cancer cells are away from the blood supply that gives oxygen and removes waste products. Non availability of enough oxygen in farther cells creates a hypoxic zone that activates hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF).

  • HIF releases a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that helps in new blood vessel formation referred to as angiogenesis and is a hallmark of cancer.
  • HIF makes normal cells mobile and its anchor cells and basement membranes are degraded so it helps in invasion and metastasis and is another hallmark of cancer.
  • HIF reprograms cancer cell’s metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis for the warburg effect, yet another key hallmark of cancer.

With the HIF, a low oxygen environment is created, so the cancer cells produce more lactic acid by glycolysis pathway and it dumps to the surroundings that creates an acidic environment.

Normally human cells live in an alkaline pH of 7.2 to 7.4, whereas cancer cells make the surrounding environment to an acidic pH of 6.5 to 6.9.

Effects of increased lactic acid:

  • Suppressing normal cell function
  • Extracellular matrix degradation that helps in invasion
  • Induces inflammatory response that helps in secretion of growth factors
  • Lowers the immune responses
  • Increase of angiogenesis

As a final point, lactic acid provides a beneficial environment for the progression of cancer. We can reduce lactic acid levels by controlling excess calorie food intake and frequent regular workouts.

Every person should culminate the habit of Regular Exercise that makes them healthy and this type of awareness has to be given dynamically for creating a cancer less and a healthy society.

Also Read: How Do I Choose A Better Treatment For Cancer?