Despite the initial warning signs, the media continued its relentless promotion of interleukin-2 for a number of years. In 1992, perhaps due to political pressure more than scientific evidence, the FDA approved the drug for use against cancer, despite the lack of comprehensive controlled trials. Then in the late 1998 a clinical study – completed some 13 years after the initial reporting – showed that interleukin-2, at least with advanced kidney cancer, worked no better than placebo.

Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin (Sweet’N Low), aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), and sucralose (Splenda) are quite popular among low-carb dieters. However, concerning new research indicates that artificial sweeteners have adverse metabolic effects and may work against your keto efforts by disrupting your gut microbiota and inducing insulin resistance and weight gain. (46, 47) If you want to use a non-caloric sweetener, I recommend either stevia or monk fruit sweetener.
Taken together, results from preclinical studies, albeit sometimes contradictory, tend to support an anti-tumor effect rather than a pro-tumor effect of the KD for most solid cancers. However, even though pro-tumor effects are rare, they cannot be ruled out per se. Most importantly, available preclinical evidence implies that the feasibility of a KD as an adjuvant cancer therapy strongly depends on the type of tumor and its genetic alterations.
If you have a history of hypothyroid issues, you may also struggle with unhealthy cholesterol levels as well — and the keto diet can make them even worse. However, for those of you who are being treated for your hypothyroid condition or who have an autoimmune thyroid condition, you may be able to follow the keto diet without any problems. In fact, many keto dieters with autoimmune thyroid conditions have found that the keto way of eating improved their quality of life more than any other diet.
After reading Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter, I called his office and was able to meet with him in person. When he read my past medical history he confidently prescribed the Ketogenic diet for me and his nutritionist worked to develop just the right set-up for my BMI. It seemed like a big change at first but really it has been much easier than I originally thought it would be. Now, after being on the diet, along with probiotics and supplements, I can say that I have been seizure free for over 4 months for the first time in over 20 years! My whole world is changing! I can work on getting my driver’s license! I can be what my family needs me to be! I believe God has used the Ketogenic diet to heal my epilepsy and I want to make sure everyone out there who is suffering from seizures has the opportunity to know about and try this amazing, risk-free treatment!
The remaining calories in the keto diet come from protein — about 1 gram (g) per kilogram of body weight, so a 140-pound woman would need about 64 g of protein total. As for carbs: “Every body is different, but most people maintain ketosis with between 20 and 50 g of net carbs per day,” says Mattinson. Total carbohydrates minus fiber equals net carbs, she explains.
For patients interested in Ketogenic diet, it is vitally important that you talk with your health-care providers, says Alice Bender, MS, RDN, AICR’s Director of Nutrition Programs. “A dietitian is best positioned to talk with you about what is known regarding the pros and cons – especially to learn if this diet has any research showing the reasonable application with your particular type of cancer and if the ketogenic diet may even be harmful for you.”
Dr. Folkman had developed two drugs, angiostatin and endostatin, that in animal experiments reversed tumor growth by blocking new blood vessel formation, essentially starving out the cancer cells. In a November 1998, presentation of his work at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, Dr. Folkman announced to the world that at least in mice, “we have not seen a tumor we cannot regress.”

HDL cholesterol transfers the extra cholesterol from the blood to the liver for removal from the body and is also referred to as “good” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol transfers the cholesterol within the bloodstream to the parts of the body where cell repair is needed and also inside the arteries. It is also known as “bad” cholesterol. Total cholesterol is HDL and LDL cholesterol combined (4).
Boston Children's Hospital has been named the #1 children's hospital in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for the fifth year in a row! It's an honor that we could not have achieved without you. On behalf of every member of our Boston Children's team, thank you for inspiring us to be bolder, dream bigger, and make the impossible possible for our patients and families.
In retrospect, it makes sense that in the Arctic the Eskimos, in order to survive, would have adjusted to their high fat, moderate protein, no carb diet. With its brief summer and lacking soils suitable for crops, the region provides insufficient plant foods suitable for human consumption but does offer an abundance of fatty animal food both on land and in the sea. If the Eskimos hadn’t adapted to such food, living as they did in such a difficult, extreme part of the world, they simply would have died off.
[46:12] – Why smoking is linked to a high risk of cardiovascular disease even when cholesterol might be low. The key is to find out what it is that makes the vascular system weak or strong. Dave explains why he believes the weak association between cholesterol and atherosclerosis may be due to the body’s response to stress bringing higher levels of cholesterol.
Jimmy Moore: I know right? What they didn’t realize was they were putting me at a greater risk for heart disease and they were putting me at a greater risk for having depression and all these kind of mental health issues. Your brain literally needs that cholesterol to run. If you’re not giving it the cholesterol in your diet, and you’re not allowing the natural progression of cholesterol to take place in the body, you’re actually causing harm to your body. This is the analogy I used in Cholesterol Clarity about the role that cholesterol plays in the body, so you say “What is the real problem that we should be paying attention to if it’s not cholesterol?” It’s the inflammation, stupid. Inflammation is really what we need to be paying attention to.
Only after interviewing 1,000 of Dr. Kelley’s patients, and evaluating 455 of them at length over a five-year period, did I even begin to think about the book that would be written – not a popular potboiler, not a tome expounding his elaborate theories, but a serious academic monograph about our findings. It is just not in my makeup to put out a book with lovely theory and two case reports, however inspiring they might be.
Your child will begin the ketogenic diet within 24 hours of being admitted to the hospital. The diet contains a fixed amount of calories, carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Each meal has to be measured exactly and all the ingredients weighed in this diet. For young infants, pre-made, ready-to-use ketogenic formulas are available for use. Your child may also need supplements such as vitamins and extra calcium.
I knew Bob quite well, and considered him a friend. We first met when I interviewed him for a nutrition story during my journalism days, and later on while I was a medical student, we kept in close contact. During my freshman year at Cornell Medical School – from which Bob had received his own medical degree – I arranged for him to speak as part of a lecture series I had set up on alternative approaches to disease.
Something that makes the keto diet different from other low-carb diets is that it does not “protein-load.” Protein is not as big a part of the keto diet as fat is. Reason being: In small amounts, the body can change protein to glucose, which means if you eat too much of it, especially while in the beginning stages, it will slow down your body’s transition into ketosis.
Your current cholesterol levels l is higher than I would personally feel comfortable with. I would consider making a few dietary changes (i.e., increasing fiber and net carbs, reducing saturated fat, and increasing protein), especially given your lack of improved cognition and decreased ability to work out. I wish you the best of luck going forward. - Franziska

[13:30] – Why Dave had 63 blood tests in 18 months (68 up to this point)? The importance of multiple blood draws in interpreting lab results due to the 3-day window for LDL and HDL cholesterol. The same is true for particle counts (LDL-P), which are also on a 3-day window but with a 2-day gap. How the individual’s diet during that period affects the cholesterol levels significantly.


One of my favorite patients, whom I have discussed at times in my lectures, was diagnosed in August 1991 with stage IV pancreatic cancer, with multiple metastases into the liver, into the lung, into both adrenals, and into the bone. After a lung biopsy confirmed adenocarcinoma, his doctors discouraged chemotherapy, telling him and his wife conventional treatments would only ruin his quality of life while offering no benefit.
Usually the body uses glucose (a form of sugar) from carbohydrates (found in foods like sugar, bread or pasta) for its energy source. Chemicals called ketones are made when the body uses fat for energy (this is called ‘ketosis’). With the ketogenic diet, the body mostly uses ketones instead of glucose for its energy source. Research has shown that a particular fatty acid, decanoic acid, may be involved in the way the diet works. 

Online resources such as the Charlie Foundation provide a wealth of information about the diet therapy for epilepsy and can connect patients with diet clinics, providing keto-friendly product information and offering diet training and family support. Online forums allow families to support one another, share information about keto-friendly foods and swap recipes.
Research suggests that cancer cells with low levels of particular enzymes (the ketolytic enzymes 3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase and succinyl CoA 3-oxoacid CoA transferase) are more susceptible to the anticancer effects of a ketogenic diet. Screening a patient’s cancer cells for these enzymes may represent a valuable strategy for determining whether a ketogenic diet may be of use. (39)
If pricking your finger regularly isn't for you, you can also use ketone strips, which measure ketones in your urine. Some critics argue they aren’t as accurate as checking blood levels, but they can provide some indication of whether you’re in ketosis, they’re less expensive than glucose meters, and you don't have to prick your finger multiple times daily.
The end result of the “ketone diet” is staying fueled off of circulating high ketones (which are also sometimes called ketone bodies) — which is what’s responsible for altering your metabolism in a way that some people like to say turns you into a “fat-burning machine.” Both in terms of how it feels physically and mentally, along with the impact it has on the body, being in ketosis is very different than a “glycolytic state,” where blood glucose (sugar) serves as the body’s energy source.
We are brazilian, living in Brazil. My daughter, Isabel, 21y. o., born in 1996, has syndrome of deficiency of Glut1. She was diagnosed around her first year of life. At that time her baby bottle, her begining diet meal, was 50ml water plus 50ml oil plus vitamin. Since then, which means, for 20 years, she is under this diet. For almost 18 years under 4:1 proportion. At this right moment 3:1. The only problem she had since started the diet were kidney stones in 2002. Nothing else. Grateful to the diet she doesn’t take any kind of medicine to avoid seizures. Her health is perfect, no colesterol at all. We are at your will for any issues related to her health.
• High-protein ketogenic diet — This method is a variant of the SKD. In a high-protein diet, you increase the ratio of protein consumption to 10 percent and reduce your healthy fat consumption by 10 percent. In a study involving obese men that tried this method, researchers noted that it helped reduce their hunger and lowered their food intake significantly, resulting in weight loss.11
Then you’ve got "keto-approved" junk foods like cookies, candy, and bread that promise to keep you in ketosis even as you indulge in your favorite comfort foods. The flip side is ketogenic diets that include almost no plant foods, focusing instead on meat, meat, and more meat. Bring on the bacon. Slather your steak in butter. Who needs vegetables? (Hint: You do!) Ketogenic diets are a practical invitation for vegetable-phobic people, and when you skip out on gut-healing plant foods, you create microbiome mayhem.
To test whether energy reserves in hippocampal neurons were enhanced with the KD, they counted the number of energy "factories," or mitochondria, within cells using electron microscopy. They found that KD treatment significantly increased the number of mitochondria per unit area in the hippocampus. This finding, along with the concerted increase in the expression of genes encoding energy metabolic enzymes, led them to conclude that KD treatment enhances energy production in the hippocampus and may lead to improved neuronal stability.
Unknown to most, even within the alternative world, my friend Bob Atkins tried the ketogenic diet for some 12 years on many of his cancer patients, with no significant success as he reported to me. As a telling point, under the name “Dr. Robert Atkins” on Amazon, one will find dozens of books he authored including his original diet book, its many incarnations and editions, along with books on vitamins, minerals – but glaringly absent, no book on cancer. Yes, the ketogenic diet has been tried before, with cancer patients, and without success.
Cholesterol serves a number of important roles in the body. First of all, cholesterol is a critical structural element in certain tissues such as our brain and nervous system. In fact, it is estimated that around 25% of our cholesterol can be found in the brain. Just to highlight our failed fat philosophy over the years, higher saturated fat intake and high cholesterol levels are associated with better mental function in old age (1)!
Stock up: Jet.com's new City Grocery service (available in select markets) makes it easy to ensure you always have keto-friendly veggies in the fridge. We love their delivery scheduling tool; simply fill your cart, then decide which day and timeframe you'd like your groceries delivered. One of our faves: Urban Roots Green Squash Veggie Noodles are great for whipping up low-carb "pasta" dishes.

You may find it easy to eat less when all you can eat is protein and fat. But after a while, you may grow tired of bringing your own whole salmon to parties, and wonder what the other 95% of the grocery store is up to. You may start to have fantasies about a threesome: you, Oreos, and chocolate sauce. Not only that, you may be getting some serious scurvy and other nutrient deficiencies.
[13:30] – Why Dave had 63 blood tests in 18 months (68 up to this point)? The importance of multiple blood draws in interpreting lab results due to the 3-day window for LDL and HDL cholesterol. The same is true for particle counts (LDL-P), which are also on a 3-day window but with a 2-day gap. How the individual’s diet during that period affects the cholesterol levels significantly.
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I think we obsess about numbers because we have been given a range that is supposedly the healthy, right range. Unfortunately there are a lot of mechanisms that we don’t know a lot about right now, that could be going on that makes that happen for some people in the mornings. I’ve just talked to too many of the experts, who say “Don’t worry about that. It’s really not the big deal. Keep an eye on your fasting insulin levels in the morning and even if you want to do a five hour glucose tolerance test, it’s call a 5 hour GTT, could go down to your doctor, please don’t drink that crappy glucose serum, because that will mess you up.” I actually did it one time with my co-author, he actually ran it with me … I wanted to see what would happen to my blood sugar and insulin levels when I had a low carb meal.

For someone who has cancer and a big battle ahead, I would recommend Miriam Kalamian's book for getting started, and cronometer.com for tracking what you eat. Then, The Metabolic Approach to Cancer by Nasha WInters, doctor of Naturopathy, is really good - 350 pages from her experience coaching cancer patients. These two women come from a place of their own life-and-death struggles with Keto diet and cancer and it shows in the intensity of their studies. I go back to these two books again and again. They are fine works and for them, I'd pay double what I did if I had to.

Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): If you find it difficult to stick to a very low-carb diet every day, especially for months on end, you might want to consider a carb-cycling diet instead. Carb cycling increases carbohydrate intake (and sometimes calories in general) only at the right time and in the right amounts, usually about 1–2 times per week (such as on weekends).
More research is needed to determine whether the kind of extreme carb restriction associated with keto diets is necessary to unlock all these benefits, especially if you’re healthy. “Ketogenic and other very-low-carbohydrate diets can be quite challenging to follow over the long term, and the possibility of adverse effects has not been ruled out,” says Dr. David Ludwig, a professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. “Usually, such severe restriction isn’t necessary.” He points out that not all carbs are equal, and that the speed with which a carbohydrate food affects your blood sugar—what’s known as its glycemic index—makes a difference.
Keto flu symptoms and side effects can include feeling tired, having difficulty sleeping, digestive issues like constipation, weakness during workouts, being moody, losing libido and having bad breath. Fortunately, these side effects don’t affect everyone and often only last for 1–2 weeks. (And yes, you CAN build muscle on keto.) Overall, symptoms go away as your body adjusts to being in ketosis.
Fairly recently, the diet was introduced as a weight-loss diet by an Italian professor of surgery, Dr. Gianfranco Cappello of Sapienza University in Rome. In his 2012 study, about 19,000 dieters received a high-fat liquid diet via a feeding tube inserted down the nose. The study showed an average weight loss of more than 20 pounds in participants, most of whom kept it off for at least a year. The researchers reported a few minor side effects, like fatigue.
Despite these associations between high concentrations of LDL particles and heart disease, research has consistently shown that keto diets help reduce heart disease risk factors in people with diabetes and other insulin-resistant conditions. Granted these are not outcome trials, showing an actual reduction in heart attacks, but those trials simply don’t exist one way or the other. Yet the reduction in risk factors certainly suggests that we may eventually see those beneficial results.

Yes, they're technically a fruit, but we think olives deserve a shout-out all of their own, since they're also a great source of healthy fats and are one of a few keto-approved packaged foods. Plus, they're a great source of antioxidants, will satisfy your craving for something salty, and are blissfully low-carb. “About a palm's worth only has 3 grams of net carbs,” Sarah Jadin, RD, told Health in a previous interview.
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