How The Ketogenic Diet Weakens Cancer Cells
Chronic disease continues to ravage our world today despite tremendous advances in health care. Therapeutic approaches to treating this wide-range suffering cannot be met by technological growth in pharmacology, genetic therapy, or surgery. It should be obvious that the real solution for treating cancer and disease is not found in a man-made pill but rather is found in regulating the metabolic functions within our bodies. Western cultures today enjoy a diet rich in the delicacies that our ancestors did not consume on a regular basis such as grain, sugar, and starch. Research continues to show that sugar is the main source of fuel which feeds cancer and contributes to an inflammatory environment. Sugar essentially increases the risk for cancer and disease. How the Ketogenic Diet Works What is the Ketogenic Diet? The Eskimos and Maasai group are cultures we often look at to learn how their scant consumption of carbohydrates sustained their bodies through harsh weather conditions. It turns out that their low carb diet switched their metabolism to burn fat instead of sugar or glucose. This created a metabolic state known as ketosis, a process in which the body burns ketones to make energy, instead of relying on sugar or carbohydrate. Ketones are metabolized by fatty acids in the liver for energy. (This source of fuel is capable of crossing the blood brain barrier and is an excellent form of energy for neurons.) When the body lacks glucose, which is its first source of fuel, ketones are created in its absence. Ketosis was a beneficial process the human body developed as an adaptation to times when food was unavailable (such as for these hunter-gatherers). However, you can effectively produce ketones too by limiting the carbohydrates in your diet to less than 80 grams daily a Continue reading >>
Scientists Studying Effect Of Ketogenic Diet On Brain Cancer
Scientists are tracking the effects of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet for its potential to starve brain tumours and treat cancer patients. The ketogenic diet was developed in the 1920s to help people with epilepsy. It works by forcing the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the body converts carbohydrates into glucose. But a low-carbohydrate diet causes the body to convert fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies; the latter acts as a replacement for glucose. High levels of ketone bodies are associated with reduced seizure frequency. It is theorized that the ketogenic diet could be used to "starve" some forms of cancer. Cancer cells use to glucose to grow, and they’re inefficient at using ketone bodies for energy So far, the diet’s effects on cancer cells has only been examined in animals and noted only anecdotally in human cases. A 2012 study on mice found that the ketogenic diet "significantly enhances" the anti-tumour effect of radiation. Dr. Jong Rho, head of pediatric neurology at the Alberta Children's Hospital, previously used the diet to treat patients with epilepsy and was part of the 2012 study. Rho has also been monitoring the case of 15-year-old Adam Sorenson. More than two years ago, the Calgary teen was diagnosed with Stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer. The average time of survival after diagnosis is 12 to 15 months. Following Adam’s diagnosis, doctors performed surgery to remove a baseball-sized brain tumour. Sorenson then received radiation treatment. Chemotherapy was an option, but tests suggested he might not benefit. With few options left on the table and a real chance the cancer would return, Sorenson's parents did some research and put their son on the ketogenic diet. "You f Continue reading >>
Cancer Treatments: Is A Ketogenic Diet Better?
Mainstream cancer treatments are expensive, have some pretty debilitating long-term and short-term side effects and for some people and some cancers, not as effective as advertised. What if a ketogenic diet can help improve the outcome of mainstream treatment, and if so, how does it work? The effect that ketogenic diets have on cancer is rooted in how cells make energy to sustain themselves. Most normal cells can make energy by burning sugar or glucose in a pathway called glycolysis. Normally, glycolysis makes products which feed into mitochondria, tiny "powerhouses" in each cell. The main job of mitochondria is to make and regulate the production of ATP, the energy source that runs all living things. In order to stay alive, cells have to be able to make ATP and maintain the “free energy” of ATP at a specific level common to all cells. If there is too little ATP, a cell will become apoptotic (suicidal) and die. If there is too much ATP, cellular respiration gets interrupted in the mitochondria and this can also kill the cell. Normal, healthy cells have metabolic flexibility to make and regulate free energy levels through glycolysis or through mitochondrial pathways which require oxygen. Healthy cells are able to utilize all fuels, including glucose, oxygen, fatty acids, and ketones to make ATP and regulate energy flow through the cell. In contrast, most cancer cells have mitochondria which are broken in some way. They are unable to use mitochondrial energy pathways to burn oxygen dependent fuels such as fatty acids and ketones. To maintain free ATP at the necessary levels, they must rely on glycolysis even when oxygen is available. They do this by "fermenting" glucose into a product called lactate. This lack of flexibility means cancer cells are dependent upon and m Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Cancer
With the increasing incidence of cancer in the general population, it is important for us to look beyond traditional cancer therapies towards nutritional & other therapies, not only as a measure to prevent cancer but also as an alternative to standard cancer therapies or an additional tool used in conjuction with those therapies. One nutritional therapy that is picking up momentum both in the research and oncology communities is the ketogenic diet. While this is not a cure for all cancers, there are many cancers that are responsive to this dietary change. Before we dive straight into why the ketogenic diet is increasingly being looked at as a primary or at least supportive treatment for cancer, let’s take a brief look at what cancer is so that we can get a better understanding of the role of a ketogenic diet & other nutritional therapies in preventing or treating cancer. The Metabolic Link With Cancer While there is not a scientific consensus on exactly what causes all cancers, there does seem to be common factors in cancers. Each of these factors or “hallmarks of cancer” has to do with the way a cancer cell seems to “go wrong” as compared to the way normal cells work . Self sufficiency in growing signals Insensitivity to grown inhibitory signals Evasion of programmed cell death Limitless replicative potential Sustained vascularity Tissue invasion & metastatis In other words, a normal cell works with the rest of the body like a good, law abiding citizen. It gets its “growing signal” from the body as well as the signal to stop growing. It also dies when it’s given the signal to do so. The body is so good at giving those signals that the cell won’t grow beyond what it should and won’t reproduce uncontrollably. This keeps the cell exactly where it’ Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet For Cancer
“Cancer is not a collection of unrelated diseases that each need to be treated individually. Cancer is one disease—a mitochondrial disease—and diseased mitochondria prefer glucose and glutamine for fuel. Healthy cells with healthy mitochondria are flexible and can adapt to just about any fuel source, but not cancer cells. In fact, the majority of cells in our body function best when they burn fat for energy. Cancer cells are bad at burning fat, because fat burning requires respiration, which requires healthy mitochondria.” Thomas Seyfried This post details two testimonials~ Dr Fred Hatfield (stage 4 prostate cancer), and Elaine Cantin (breast cancer) Dr Fred Hatfield is a man with a long list of accomplishments; they include weight-lifting champion, author, millionaire-businessman, and husband. But his greatest accomplishment of all has been healing from stage 4 prostate cancer that had spread to the bone. “The doctors gave me three months to live because of widespread metastatic cancer in my skeletal structure,” he recalled. He also heard that same prognosis from 3 different doctors. His wife Gloria recollects, “It’s a horrible, horrible feeling to have someone tell you that the person that you love only has three months to live and you’re not going to be with him any more,” she said. It was early 2012 when Hatfield was given this devastating news. As he prepared to die, he happened to hear about a metabolic diet therapy that might possibly help his body to heal from the cancer. With nothing to lose, he says that he decided to give it a try and was shocked when it actually worked. “The cancer was gone!” he exclaimed. “Completely. To this day there’s no trace of it. And it’s been over a year.” Cancer cells love glucose and need it so badl Continue reading >>
What Are Ketogenic Diets? Can They Treat Epilepsy And Brain Cancer?
Ketogenic diets are back in the news with claims they are a “cure-all”. Research shows that in epilepsy not controlled by current treatment, around 50% of children and adults following ketogenic diets have a reduction in seizures. For brain cancer, most research has been in animals. A number of human trials are underway testing safety, tolerance, interactions with other treatments, side-effects and the impact on cancer progression, quality of life and survival. So what are ketones? Although the main source of energy for the body is usually carbohydrate, which gets converted to blood glucose during digestion and metabolism, the body can also burn fat for energy. Ketone bodies, or ketones for short, are molecules produced by the liver when fat is metabolised. Ketones are used as the fuel source to produce energy for the body when glucose is not available. The three ketone bodies resulting from fat metabolism are acetoacetate, β-Hydroxybutyrate and acetone. Acetoacetate spontaneously converts to acetone, which is easily vaporised. Acetone crosses lung membranes and gets expired on your breath. That’s why people who are ketotic, meaning ketones are their primary fuel source, often have a “nail polish” odour. As blood levels of ketones rise, acetoacetate and β-Hydroxybutyrate cross the blood-brain barrier to become the main source of fuel for the brain. Ketones also appear in urine. Their presence is tested for using “keto” strips that change colour from buff to pink to maroon, depending on the concentration. It’s thought the metabolic changes associated with being “ketotic”, in combination with lower blood levels of glucose, are the important issues in epilepsy and cancer. What is a ketogenic diet? Ketogenic diets should only be used as part of medical Continue reading >>
Using A Ketogenic Diet To Stop Brain Tumor Growth
Pablo received devastating news at age 25: He had a terminal brain tumor and only between 6 and 9 months to live. Doctors suggested chemotherapy – despite no hope of a cure in his case. After studying online, Pablo chose to implement a ketogenic diet instead. Two years later, he’s still miraculously alive. What’s more, the tumor is apparently not even growing. Plymouth Herald: Pablo, 27, Says His Survival After Terminal Diagnosis Is down to a Special Diet The idea behind using a ketogenic diet to stop tumor growth is that you can starve it by not feeding it sugar. Plus, lowering growth factors like insulin may also slow down growth. It might work in some instances, and in some not, as outlined in this article which we wrote a few weeks back: Can Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets Be Helpful in Treating Cancer?. Note that Pablo is a case where conventional chemotherapy would have a moderate effect at best, with no hope of a cure. In many other situations conventional cancer treatment is very effective, offering excellent odds of beating the disease. Turning down treatment in such cases would be a very bad idea. However, a ketogenic diet might be a potent weapon to use alongside other cancer treatments, at least in some cases. There would probably be much more research going on if it were a patentable drug instead of a simple diet. More More about keto and cancer Video Top videos about ketosis Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And Brain Cancer
Brain cancers accounts for 1.8% of all cancers worldwide (1). The number of new diagnoses made annually is 2 to 3 per 100,000 people in the US and Europe. Brain and other CNS tumors are the 11th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 3% of all new cases (2). Types of Brain Cancers Primary brain tumors are a varied group of both benign and malignant tumors. There are over 120 types of brain and central nervous system cancers. Some tumors are often given a grade to signify the rate of growth (3). Grade I is classed as the least malignant with grade IV being classed as the most malignant. Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive type of brain tumor. The average lifespan of patients diagnosed with GBM is between 12-18 months, with less than 10% surviving at 5 years. The survival for low-grade gliomas ranges from 7 to 14 years (4). Standard Treatment Approaches The treatment of brain cancers generally involves a multifactorial approach of surgery followed by chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy. Conventional treatment options for GBM are more regarded as palliative and rarely curative due to their aggressive nature. Likewise, complete surgical resection is often impossible due to GBM’s ability to infiltrate normal brain tissue. Due to this, other types of treatments are being looked at to help with the overall prognosis of these types of cancers. Proposed Mechanism of the Ketogenic Diet in Cancer The way in which cancer cells work in the body are very different to that of normal cells. Namely, cancer cells have been shown to exhibit an altered metabolism. Compared to normal cells, cancer cells appear to have a greater glucose uptake, even when oxygen is present. Certain tumors function and thrive purely on glucose. Image source: Role of ketogeni Continue reading >>
Vegan Ketogenic Diet For Cancer
What is a vegan ketogenic diet and how can it help people being treated for cancer? Why is this diet so important to help maintain and restore our health? Is the vegan ketogenic diet scientifically proven and could it help people being treated for cancer? We are going to cover all these questions here for you. Individuals will visit us and ask if we have research and proof that what we do at An Oasis of Healing works? Where on the other hand, these individuals will never ask the white coats or doctors at Dana Farber if they have the research and proof that the cancer treatments they are about to receive will work? There is a large amount of scientific proof on whether a vegan ketogenic diet is effective. If you’re interested in the research and scientific proof of how this works, buy the book by Thomas Seyfried Ph.D., “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease”. What is a vegan ketogenic diet? The word keto is derived from ketosis or ketones. People have fatty acids which is used to store energy. When those fatty acids are utilized for energy, they go through a process of being broken down into what’s called ketone bodies. These ketone bodies are ushered into cells and are then broken down further and transformed into fuel for the human body. This process is efficient and works perfectly in the storage of fats for conversion into energy. This process stores double the energy of carbs. When someone fasts they are actually on a ketogenic diet. The reason to be on this diet is to produce ketones. When ketones are produced we are able to get into a metabolic condition which is called ketosis. Water happens to be the best form of a ketogenic diet. However, it’s not great for someone who had cancer because they would become to weak. They need the fat and nutrients that come wit Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet & Cancer: Interpreting The Research For You
We recently covered the science and clinical research behind using keto to treat pediatric epilepsy. Recently, scientists, doctors, and dietitians have assessed how the ketogenic diet can be utilized to manage symptoms of cancer. Below we report the findings of their preliminary research. While it’s a stretch to say that keto cures cancer, in some cases, it might be a useful complement to conventional cancer treatments. The Basic Facts of Cancer Before delving into the clinical research between carbohydrate restriction and cancer, let us review the basic facts about cancer. Cancer is a broad disease group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. These cells grow unchecked and start to inhibit the function of healthy cells. Over time, this may eventually take a toll on the human body and lead to life-threatening symptoms. Cancer can start in most parts of the body where there is cell growth. Cancer cells typically form a lump called a neoplasm. People commonly call neoplasms “tumors.” Scientists refer to tumors that do not spread to other parts of the body as “benign tumors.” These are not cancerous. Tumors that do spread to other parts of the body are cancerous and called “malignant tumors.” There are over 100 documented forms of cancer with the five most common worldwide being lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, and stomach.  In 2012, over 14 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed worldwide (excluding some forms of skin cancer).  It inflicted about 8.2 million human deaths, or about 14.6% of human deaths, worldwide in 2012.  Sugar & Cancer: The Warburg Effect Cancer is a complex disease with many different underlying causes and contributing factors. One of the first observations about the disease was that cancer cells produce en Continue reading >>
Can A Ketogenic Diet Treat Cancer?
Can a ketogenic diet treat cancer? And could a low-carb diet over the long term reduce the risk of ever getting cancer? Here’s a segment of my earlier interview with cancer researcher Professor Eugene J. Fine. Transcript Watch it You can watch the full, much longer, interview on our member site: Can a Ketogenic Diet Treat Cancer? – Full interview Start your free membership trial to watch it instantly – as well as over 120 video courses, movies, presentations, other interviews, Q&A with experts, etc. Continue reading >>
Starving Cancer: Ketogenic Diet A Key To Recovery
Many people are frustrated with today's cancer treatments. They are expensive, painful and often just don't work. However, there is a new cancer treatment that is free, has virtually no side effects, and can be used in conjunction with other cancer treatments. It involves cutting out carbohydrates, beginning with the worst carb of all - sugar. Killing Cancer Dr. Fred Hatfield is an impressive guy: a power-lifting champion, author of dozens of books, a millionaire businessman with a beautiful wife. But he'll tell you his greatest accomplishment is killing his cancer just in the nick of time. "The doctors gave me three months to live because of widespread metastatic cancer in my skeletal structure," he recalled. "Three months, three different doctors told me that same thing." His wife Gloria remembers it well. "It's a horrible, horrible feeling to have someone tell you that the person you love only has three months to live and you're not going to be with him any more," she said. While Hatfield was preparing to die, he heard about an anti-cancer diet, also known as metabolic therapy. With nothing to lose, he gave it a try and was shocked when it actually worked. "The cancer was gone!" he exclaimed. "Completely. To this day there's no trace of it. And it's been over a year." Starving Bad Cells Although it wasn't easy, Hatfield stopped eating carbohydrates, which turn into glucose inside your body. Cancer cells love glucose and need it so badly, that if you stop giving it to them, they die. "It just absolutely amazes me that medical science is just now finding this out," he said. Hatfield's cancer recovery, however, was not a surprise to Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, who researches metabolic therapy. When he and his team of scientists at the University of South Florida removed car Continue reading >>
Woman Battles Brain Cancer Using Low-carb Ketogenic Diet Without Chemo
Share Share Share Health Impact News Editor Comments Some of the most exciting research to come out in the past few years regarding the high-fat low-carb ketogenic diet has been in the area of cancer treatment. The results are so promising that new “ketone” drugs are in the pipeline. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb, and moderate-protein diet that was first developed in the 1920s at John Hopkins hospital to treat epilepsy. Some children with seizures saw great success on the diet, often where drugs had failed. Today, the ketogenic diet principles — particularly using coconut oil as the main fat — are being used to treat neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, as well as successfully treating cancer. The primary motivation to develop drugs that mimic the effects of the diet is because it is considered “difficult” to follow the diet. We have a whole generation now that is addicted to processed sugar and carbs, so if one can take a pill instead, that is seen as preferable. (See: Ketone Body Therapy: From ketogenic diet to oral administration of ketone ester.) Sadly, the principles of the ketogenic diet were once common knowledge, as this clip from the popular 1960s Andy Griffith show portrays. Aunt Bee’s apple pie is seen as something to limit or even skip because of the dangerous “carbohydrates and glucose,” while meatloaf was seen as healthier. Excerpts: Alix Hayden has brain cancer, but instead of undergoing surgery and grueling chemotherapy, she’s fighting it with the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet and has been doing great so far. In an exclusive interview March 14, Hayden discussed her metabolic diet therapy and navigating cancer with a positive attitude. Alix, director of operations at biochemistry research firm Phenomenome Disco Continue reading >>
Can A Ketogenic Diet Cure Cancer?
I’ve recently received a number of queries from patients and practitioners who are curious about a handful of studies and anecdotal reports that indicate a ketogenic diet may help to curtail cancer growth. For those not familiar with the ketogenic diet, it’s a very low carbohydrate diet that contains moderate amounts of protein and a high percentage of fats. I prefer to think of foods in their whole, natural forms (for example, almonds, apples, asparagus, blueberries, oatmeal, olives, potatoes, rye, and salmon) instead of in reductionist terms of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Keeping this in mind, the primary purpose of dietary carbohydrates is for fuel—the body converts carbohydrates via the liver into glucose, which is used for everything from powering muscles to brain function. When confronted with a lack of carbohydrates, the body switches to burning fats for energy by converting fats (again via the liver) into ketone bodies. Here’s why cutting back on carbohydrates appears to curtail cancer growth: Cancer cells primarily use glucose for fuel, but healthy cells primarily use oxygen and secondary glucose, fatty acids, and ketone bodies. The idea behind the ketogenic diet is to starve cancer cells by depriving them of glucose, while continuing to provide healthy cells with ketone bodies for energy. On the surface, the ketogenic diet makes sense. But I don’t recommend it, because although a ketogenic diet may be an improvement over a nutritionally poor diet, it’s not what I consider to be an ideal diet. For one thing, if deprived of glucose, cancer cells can adapt, diversify, and hijack our metabolic system, altering fatty acids and certain amino acids like glutamine for energy production. They can also make glucose through the catabolic breakdown of h Continue reading >>
Using A Ketogenic Diet To Fight Cancer
(Chris Woollams) This article goes in depth into the Ketogenic diet - a diet of low or no glucose, high ´good fat´ and lowish protein, which is claimed to have the potential to manage even advanced cancer cases. Preliminary research shows it can stop cancer progression, inhibit metastases and kill off cancer cells. However, research to date is restricted mainly to animal studies. One cancer of particular interest is Brain cancer. Limited research on two specific cases and 30 others concluded that it did have merit. But then brain cells do seem to be more prone to glucose effects anyway, high glucose levels being linked to some cases of Dementia; and a ketogenic diet has been used with success in cases of Epilepsy. A product (high fat, lowish protein, very low carbs) called KetoCal was developed a number of years ago for just such cases. And healthy brain cells seem more ready to adapt to ketosis (See: Colorectal cancer has also been shown to be better treated with a low sugar diet by Johns Hopkins. Professor Thomas Seyfried of Boston is a biologist and, after years of extensive research, he fervently believes cancer is a metabolic disease, not a genetic one. Dr. Dominic D´Agostino Assistant Professor at South Florida University concurs. Both have been involved with treating patients with advanced cancer using a ketogenic diet. However, before we get carried away by the euphoria, there is cautionary evidence that this effect may depend on the cancer type (see ´Caveats´ below), and nothing has been firmly established as yet. In the UK, a Charity called Mathew´s Friends offers expert advice on the diet. ** ** ** ** ** ** The Ketogenic Diet has received great interest since we first wrote about it in 2006. The Simple Theory of the Ketogenic Diet Cancer cells love gluc Continue reading >>