Reversing the Warburg effect to control cancer: a review of diet-based solutions


  • Hassan Bahrami Independent Health/Nutrition Researcher
  • Majid Tafrihi Molecular and Cell Biology Research Laboratory, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran
  • Sorayya Mohamadzadeh Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zanjan, Iran


The Warburg effect, Cancer prevention, Acid-base disorder, Hypoxia, Balanced diet


Warburg effect is a form of cellular metabolism commonly used by cancer cells, in which, consumption of glucose and production of acidic cell metabolic wastes take place at a considerably higher rate. The effect is well described in the literature, however, the applications for cancer prevention and treatment have not been resolved effectively yet. According to the Warburg effect, anaerobic cellular respiration and the resulting acidic cellular environment are linked to the development of cancerous tumors. But an oxygen-rich environment with optimum alkalinity at the cellular level can result in retaining healthy cells and inhibiting cancer cell growth. As an alternative or complementary solution for cancer treatment based on the Warburg effect, a healthy balanced diet with alkalizing (but not alkaline) properties helps maintain acid-base balance in the body and also provides optimum metabolic rate and sufficient hydration for more effective health improvement. This paper presents a review of the key concepts related to links between cancer and dietary and environmental factors, with the main focus on the Warburg effect and energy metabolisms in cancer cells. In addition, some practical diet-based solutions are summarized that may potentially control cancer by utilizing the reversed Warburg effect by which, optimum pH levels and sufficient oxygenation may be provided at the cellular level.



How to Cite

Bahrami, H., Tafrihi, M., & Mohamadzadeh, S. . (2022). Reversing the Warburg effect to control cancer: a review of diet-based solutions . Journal of Current Oncology and Medical Sciences, 2(3), 234–248. Retrieved from