Mark: I am curious about the information on Methionine restriction - I saw other references to this and from what I could tell it appears to be a problem in the methylation cycle that leads to the proliferation of cancer, is this what you found? Could you expound. Good post btw.
Although numerous cellular mechanisms are involved in food intake, many investigations over the past decades have pointed out defects in the methionine metabolic pathway as cause of carcinogenesis. For instance, deficiencies of the main dietary sources of methyl donors, methionine and choline, lead to the formation of liver cancer in rodents. Methionine is an essential amino acid that must be provided by dietary intake of proteins or methyl donors (choline and betaine found in beef, eggs and some vegetables). Assimilated methionine is transformed in S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) which is a key metabolite for polyamine synthesis, e.g. spermidine, and cysteine formation (see the figure on the right). Methionine breakdown products are also recycled back into methionine by homocysteine remethylation and methylthioadenosine (MTA) conversion (see the figure on the right). Vitamins B6, B12, folic acid and choline are essential cofactors for these reactions. SAM is the substrate for methylation reactions catalyzed by DNA, RNA and protein methyltransferases.