Ketogenic Diet for Cancer- Myth Or Fact?

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Ketogenic Diet for Cancer- Myth Or Fact?

With the advent of cutting edge technology, new findings on cancer treatment are being being published daily around the world. The Internet is flooded with information, both true and false, making it difficult to find anything useful, particularly when it comes to ketosis and cancer.

With some hailing it as the chemo-free cure for cancer and others dismissing it as fraud, how can you know what information to trust? This article discusses merely the facts about ketosis and it’s uses while discussing how these nutritional facts can benefit a person suffering from cancer.

Facts about Ketosis

Ketosis is a metabolic process that essentially replaces glucose with fats for cellular fuel. The liver breaks down fatty acids into molecules known as ketone bodies that are then carried through the bloodstream to tissue cells.

The ketone bodies then assist the cell in producing energy. Ketosis has been found to be useful in weight loss because by utilizing fat instead of glucose your body will draw on it’s fat stores in order to create fuel, depleting your fat deposits. It is also helpful for world-class athletes because ketosis requires less oxygen for energy production than glucose, allowing an athlete to push harder for longer.

People achieve this state with what is known as nutritional ketosis. This means that they eat a diet high in fat and nearly devoid in carbohydrates to cause their body to go into ketosis. This diet can be maintained for a short period to achieve a desired physical or performance goal, or it can be a lifelong dietary change if done safely.

Ketosis can also be achieved with the use of exogenous ketones, or ketone body supplements. These supplements cause an elevation of blood ketone bodies without changing a person’s diet, and are mainly used for athletic performance.  

The benefits of nutritional ketosis are only achieved in what is known as ‘optimal ketosis’. Elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood stream can lead to a high blood acidity (known as ketoacidosis) that can be potentially fatal. Because healthy insulin production is necessary for ‘optimal ketosis’, individuals with diabetes should not try a ketogenic diet menu.

Cancer Cells

Though cancer cells throughout the body have different symptoms and processes, they are all essentially operating the same way. Cancerous cells use the same fuel primary source as healthy cells: glucose. The difference is that while healthy cells can adapt to the presence of ketone bodies for fuel, existing data implies that cancer cells cannot.

Without glucose and other sugar molecules such as fructose the cancer cells will starve.  This means that ketosis is a metabolic state that is inhospitable for existing cancer cells and should discourage tumor growth. Ketosis, in theory, could be a legitimate treatment in the eradication of cancer.

Low Carb Diet Fights Cancer

Adopting a Ketogenic Diet is a safe lifestyle change that can make your body less hospitable for thriving cancer cells. In order to achieve ketosis, your ketogenic diet menu must follow these 3 simple requirements:

  • Carbs: 50 grams or less
  • Protein: Varies. You can consume up to 1.5 grams of protein per kg of body weight, but ideally no more than 120 grams
  • Fats: As much as you desire
  • Courtesy of Peter Attia, M.D. ( Blog)

This may seem like a very imbalanced meal plan, but like the ketogenic diet for weight loss plan, ketosis for cancer must achieve virtually zero carbohydrate consumption. This will cause the drop in your blood sugars and an elevation of ketone bodies needed to signal to your body that it must switch from glucose fuel to ketone fuel.

It is also important to reduce the number of calories consumed from proteins, as there is a possibility that excess protein in the body will be synthesized into sugars. For more information on the ketogenic diet for cancer and ketogenic diet for cancer recipes, visit this site

When would a ketogenic diet not work?

The one drawback of ketosis as a source of fuel is that most ketone bodies cannot pass through the blood brain barrier. This is the gateway through all molecules pass through to get to brain cells.

If you have a type of brain cancer and you are concerned with the ketogenic diet not working, speak with your physician or nutritionist on other tweaks that can be made to the ketogenic diet for brain cancer.




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One Comment

  1. Jim Jozwiak October 23, 2015 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    My understanding is that fatty acids greater 10 carbons, i.e. longer than medium-chain fatty acids, can’t pass the blood/brain barrier, but ketone bodies can. A special case is lauric acid from coconut oil, which goes directly to the liver to be metabolized, usually as ketone bodies, which the liver cannot use and therefore releases into the blood. This is why both MCT oil and coconut oil are helpful to produce extra ketones. The brain the can turn the MCT oil into ketones, and the liver handles the 12-carbon lauric acid from coconut oil.

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