The ketogenic diet, or even just a higher-fat, low-carb diet, has now gained massive support as a modern-day healing strategy. In fact, our ideas about fats and cholesterol seem to have been almost completely reversed in recent years. That being said, many people see their cholesterol go up after beginning more of a ketogenic lifestyle. Some people get concerned when this happens, so in this article, I am going to address the phenomena of high cholesterol on a ketogenic diet.


A great deal of exciting research is emerging regarding the application of a ketogenic diet in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. (17) Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by brain insulin resistance, a condition that starves neurons of the glucose they normally need to function correctly. Scientists have found that ketones are an excellent alternative fuel for the insulin-resistant brain. In addition, ketones reduce brain oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, two significant factors in the neurodegenerative disease process.
Now that we have a superficial understanding of the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio, let’s look at the results of the meta-analysis. The two findings that the researcher’s highlight most are the effects that lauric acid (found in high quantities in coconut oil) and stearic acid (found in high quantities in animal fats) have on the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio. Both of these fatty acids improved the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio more favorably than carbohydrates [25]. (A similar pattern emerges for blood sugar and triglyceride levels when we replace carbs with fat as well.)
While a growing fetus can utilize ketones to an extent, it still requires a steady glucose supply to support normal growth, including crucial brain development. Reduced glucose availability caused by a maternal ketogenic diet may have long-term adverse effects on infant health, including abnormal growth patterns and alterations in brain structure. (40) If you are pregnant and struggling with blood sugar issues, a low-carbohydrate diet that includes moderate amounts of nutrient-dense carbohydrates, such as fruit and starchy tubers, is a safer choice than a ketogenic diet.

1. West, R., Beeri, M. S., Schmeidler, J., Hannigan, C. M., Angelo, G., Grossman, H. T., … Silverman, J. M. (2008). Better memory functioning associated with higher total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in very elderly subjects without the apolipoprotein e4 allele. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry : Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 16(9), 781–5. PMID: 18757771

Despite what we’ve all heard, there’s actually no such thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol; there is only one type of cholesterol. Your LDL and HDL values refer to how much cholesterol is carried in your HDL and LDL lipoprotein particles. In fact, the same cholesterol is continuously transferred among these and other types of lipoproteins as they make their way through the bloodstream.
However different these diets might be, each of these groups, and the many other traditional peoples Price studied, enjoyed excellent enduring health, free from the diseases of civilization – cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. In his extraordinary and very detailed 1945 book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Price documented his thesis that we humans over the millennium adapted to and thrived on not one, as the experts usually claim, but a variety of different diets.
In terms of weight loss, you may be interested in trying the ketogenic diet because you’ve heard that it can make a big impact right away. And that’s true. “Ketogenic diets will cause you to lose weight within the first week,” says Mattinson. She explains that your body will first use up all of its glycogen stores (the storage form of carbohydrate). With depleted glycogen, you’ll drop water weight. While it can be motivating to see the number on the scale go down (often dramatically), do keep in mind that most of this is water loss initially.
It is vital that anyone using this diet for a seizure disorder do it under the supervision of an experienced physician and dietitian. There are many nuances and individual variations that will influence the exact diet for each person, and coordinating this with medications can be tricky. This is not something that should ever be attempted on your own.
Eliminating all sugars and simple carbohydrates and severely restricting other carbohydrates results in a condition called ketosis, in which the body burns stored fat instead of glucose for fuel. It is not clear why ketosis inhibits seizures, but in an earlier Johns Hopkins study involving 150 children with difficult-to-control epilepsy, more than half had a 50% or greater reduction in seizures and one-fourth experienced a 90% improvement.
As Stefansson and later scientists learned, the Eskimos living on their high fat, ketogenic diet seemed free from the typical degenerative diseases including cancer and heart disease, already becoming rampant in the Western world during the early decades of the 20th century. In 1960, the elderly Stefansson – was quite a celebrity by that time for his adventures to far away places – wrote a book entitled Cancer: Disease of Civilization?, in which he made the case that the typical Eskimo diet offered complete protection from this frightening malady.

The biggest shifts in your daily habits will be how you food shop and how you cook, and recipes that are ketogenic need to be followed rather than just low-carb. You will require the healthy fats in order to get into ketosis and have enough energy without the carbs. And you will be considerably more energetic and healthier when cooking your own keto-friendly food rather than buying supposedly keto foods off the shelf.


However, this diet is gaining considerable attention as a potential weight-loss strategy due to the low-carb diet craze, which started in the 1970s with the Atkins diet (a very low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet, which was a commercial success and popularized low-carb diets to a new level). Today, other low-carb diets including the Paleo, South Beach, and Dukan diets are all high in protein but moderate in fat. In contrast, the ketogenic diet is distinctive for its exceptionally high-fat content, typically 70% to 80%, though with only a moderate intake of protein.
Calorie restriction (CR) and a ketogenic diet (KD) target the same molecular pathways that are also targeted individually by drugs to improve cancer treatment outcomes. Arrows indicate activation, truncated lines inhibition. Carbohydrate (CHO) restriction up-regulates fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis (beneficial for normal tissues) and impairs glycolysis and glutaminolysis (detrimental to tumor cells). Full study here.
The use of the LGIT in the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy was initially reported in 2005 by Pfeifer and Thiele (2005). This alternative diet treatment is based on a ratio 0.6:1 of fat to carbohydrates and protein, containing 60% fats, 30% protein, and 10% carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (GI) (GI<50) (Pfeifer and Thiele, 2005; Payne et al., 2018). The GI measures the tendency of a food to raise the blood glucose levels, compared to an equivalent amount of the reference carbohydrate, usually glucose (Pfeifer et al., 2008). Compared to classic the KD, the LGIT produces a smaller increase in ketone body levels, but has comparable efficacy, better tolerability and easier implementation (Pfeifer and Thiele, 2005; Pfeifer et al., 2008).
Animal proteins (meat, fish, etc.) have very little, if any, carbs. You can consume them in moderate amounts as needed to control hunger. Overall, choose fattier cuts of meat rather than leaner ones. For example, chicken thighs and legs are preferable to chicken breasts because they contain much more fat. We’ve got quick keto diet chicken recipes to help.
I think it was still hard for him to accept that many cancer patients, and many humans without cancer, did best on a plant-based, high carb diet, so foreign to his way of thinking. Though he had heard me expound on the Kelley approach many times over the years, it was to him implausible that humans as a species had adopted to a variety of diets, some high fat, some high carb, some more balanced, and that in medical practice, we as physicians had to be aware that different patients might require completely different diets for optimal health.
I’m following the ketogenic diet and I find it very easy, pleasant and varied. I can even say that my diet today is more varied than the previous one. I do not intend to leave this diet and I cannot really see why. My initial focus was not to lose weight, I’ve always been lean, but to feel better, well disposed. And I got it! I am very pleased, I have read a lot about it (including scientific literature) and I have influenced other people who need to lose weight or improve some aspects of their health. But from the beginning I went on my own way, without the help of a nutritionist because I did not want to suffer the influence of others’ ideas.
You’re transitioning. Your body is equipped to process a high intake of carbs and a lower intake of fat. Your body needs to create enzymes to be able to do this. In the transitional period, the brain may run low on energy which can lead to grogginess, nausea, and headaches. If you’re having a large problem with this, you can choose to reduce carb intake gradually.
Gluconeogenesis is the endogenous production of glucose in the body, especially in the liver primarily from lactic acid, glycerol, and the amino acids alanine and glutamine. When glucose availability drops further, the endogenous production of glucose is not able to keep up with the needs of the body and ketogenesis begins in order to provide an alternate source of energy in the form of ketone bodies. Ketone bodies replace glucose as a primary source of energy. During ketogenesis due to low blood glucose feedback, stimulus for insulin secretion is also low, which sharply reduces the stimulus for fat and glucose storage. Other hormonal changes may contribute to the increased breakdown of fats that result in fatty acids. Fatty acids are metabolized to acetoacetate which is later converted to beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone. These are the basic ketone bodies that accumulate in the body as a ketogenic diet is sustained. This metabolic state is referred to as "nutritional ketosis." As long as the body is deprived of carbohydrates, metabolism remains in the ketotic state. The nutritional ketosis state is considered quite safe, as ketone bodies are produced in small concentrations without any alterations in blood pH. It greatly differs from ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition where ketone bodies are produced in extremely larger concentrations, altering blood ph to acidotic a state.
• Your body is still growing — In one study, epileptic children experienced a reduction in symptoms and improved cognitive performance when a ketogenic diet was introduced.49 However, this may have a negative effect on the growth of their bodies in the long run, according to a study published in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.50
The Modified Atkins diet and modified ketogenic diet (sometimes called 'modified ketogenic therapy') use a high proportion of fats and a strict control of carbohydrates. These are often considered more flexible than the classical or MCT ketogenic diets, as more protein can be eaten, and approximate portion sizes may be used in place of weighed recipes.

In the study, Barbara A. Gower, Ph.D., and her colleagues analyzed data from 45 women diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancers. The women were randomly assigned to either a ketogenic or a standard, healthy diet group. The ketogenic group was asked to consume 70 percent of calories from fat, 25 percent from protein and 5 percent from carbohydrates. The comparison diet was one recommended by the American Cancer Society, high in whole grains and fruit and low in added sugar.


Just wanted to share with you that I have been ordering oil for my sister-in-law who had a Glioblastoma Multiform Brain Tumour. After surgery, 6 weeks of radiotherapy and 3 months of chemo (plus your amazing M10P treatments), my sister-in-law is tumour free as of today! Thank you so much for the service you provide. Feel free to share this story with other members who need a boost and some good news! Thanks again
There is such a worth of practical information in Ellen’s book that we are sure you would find something about weight management, but we do not know if it would be specific enough to help you. We suggest that you go to Ellen’s website, (http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com), which is a valuable resource for implementing a ketogenic diet. There you can get a great deal more information and help about the book. More important it will put you in touch (if you wish) with dedicated and knowledgeable professionals who have hands-on experience working with and treating people who have cancer.
Importantly, cholesterol doesn’t travel around your bloodstream on its own. As a hydrophobic (water-repelling) substance, it must be packaged within lipoproteins to move around the bloodstream. So that means when we talk about blood cholesterol levels, we’re referring to the amount of cholesterol contained in different lipoprotein particles. In addition to cholesterol, these lipoprotein particles also contain special proteins called apolipoproteins, triglycerides and other compounds.
I enjoyed reading this book. The book takes you from the fact that cancer cells addict glucose to why and how ketogenic diet (low carbohydrate high fat diet) can help to fight and cure cancer. It also helps patients to customize their diet and provides cooking techniques. As I lost my uncle due to cancer, I felt Ellen Davis words "I wish with all my heart that I had known then what I know now"

In other words, clinical data should be rolling in fairly soon, and that’s a good thing. In the meantime Dr. Seyfried and other advocates who so passionately believe that ketogenic diets will greatly help patients with brain cancer do no one any favors by claiming unequivocally that cancer is a metabolic disease and saying that ketogenic diets are more beneficial than chemotherapy for patients with brain tumors.

Jimmy Moore: 300 is the normal. Yes. That’s 100 points higher than authorities today would say is “normal”. Yet if they put them on cholesterol lowering medication, do you know they would have been at greater risk for heart disease if they took that pill then they’re total cholesterol being 300. I think it all circles back around to it’s not about the cholesterol people, it really is about the inflammation.


This describes me, too. I am not a doctor, but after months and years of research, have decided to follow the ketogenic lifestyle and the naturopathic cancer treatments prescribed by my physician. It took a few months to find a doctor who embraced this, but he is worth it. Keto had my diabetes under control long before we realized that cancer was trying to get me as well. I take no chemical drugs for anything. Diet, exercise, and a few supplements take care of my health needs. You don’t know me, but three years ago, I needed a walker and a wheelchair. Today at 60, I walk under my own power and ride a bicycle as much as possible. Go as natural as you can, it helps. Stay away from “products” and just eat fresh, whole, natural food. (The article shows these.)
Regular readers of SBM should know the problem with this sort of approach. No IRB worth its salt would approve such a trial because it would be ethically dubious, but, even worse, it would be ethically dubious and it wouldn’t really tell us anything unless those few patients either had near-miraculous responses or died very quickly. Anything else would simply tell us that the diet is probably doing no harm. More numbers would be needed, particularly if the comparison is to historical controls, to get even an inkling of whether there might be benefit. In that case, you might as well do a proper phase I/II clinical trial, which is what is happening. For instance:

Because epilepsy is a metabolic disease (Clanton et al., 2017), interest in studies of alterations of metabolism by anticonvulsants such as the KD has increased, as has their importance for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy. This contribution reviews the use and effects of the KD and its variants for the treatment of adults and children with intractable epilepsy.
Chronic ketosis may play a role in the KD anticonvulsant properties, since it has been shown that chronic ketosis elevates the brain energy reserve via stabilization and reduction of excitability of synapses (Devivo et al., 1978). The energy reserve is directly associated with mitochondria, which is an important element to consider in the antiepileptic effect of KD. Bough et al. (2006) demonstrated an increase in mitochondria biogenesis in an experimental model of rats fed with KD, indicating an increase in the energy stores (Bough et al., 2006). The increase in mitochondrial metabolism leads to an increase in ATP production, which activates KATP, in turn attenuating neuronal excitability. This activation may be associated with adenosine A1 receptors (Li et al., 2010) and GABAB receptors (Mironov and Richter, 2000).
You want to keep your cheats to none. Be prepared, make sure you’re eating what you need to be satiated (“full”), and make sure you’re satisfied with what you’re eating. If you have to force yourself to eat something, it will never work out in the end. This is just a guideline on how you can eat on a ketogenic diet, so you’re very welcome to change up what kind of foods you eat!
Based on this logic, the keto diet appears to be a safe, inexpensive, easily implementable, and effective approach to selectively target cancer cells. Promisingly, multiple studies show that the keto diet reduces tumor growth and improves survival in animal models of multiple cancers, along with enhancing the effects of other forms of anticancer therapy.11,15 Similarly, fasting has been shown to enhance responsiveness to chemotherapy, along with reducing some of the side effects in preclinical cancer therapy models.11
It’s a habit to enjoy a brie cheese for desert instead of a piece of chocolate cake but each are favored deserts in France. I’m personally more satisfied after a 350 calorie sized wedge of brie than the same number of calories of cake.. which will give me sugar crash and .. really I’d like two slices of cake(I’ve got a sweet tooth that once I get going it wants to keep being fed)
One study assessed the effect of dietary interventions on quality of life, cognition and behavioural functioning, reporting participants in the KD group to be more active, more productive and less anxious after four months, compared to the control group. However, no significant difference was found in quality‐adjusted life years (QALYs) between the KD group and control group at four or 16 months (GRADE rating very low).

Thanks for this inputs. 20 years ago I gain 17 pounds a year for 5 years. I was healthy but my dr told me start diet, any diet just come back in a month I want to see you start loosing… I started Atkins and lost 7 pound in a month. She was checking my progress every six months and checking my condition. I lost 64 pounds in 3 years. Now I started eating out of control. I am eating healthy but too much… I gain 40 pound back after 20 years. Now I will start again my Atkins to take off 30 pounds…
The role of gut microbiota has recently been studied for its effect on several diseases, especially those with some inflammatory involvement. Several metabolic pathways are known to be modulated by the gut microbiota. Olson et al. (2018) demonstrated the impact of gut microbiota on the anti-seizure effect of KD. She found that KD modifies the gut microbiota, with a decrease in alpha-diversity and increases in the putatively beneficial bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila and Parabacteroides spp. This microbiota transformation leads to changes in the colonic luminal metabolome, with a decrease in gamma-glutamyl amino acids. This increases the GABA/glutamate content in the brain by decreasing gamma-glutamyl amino acids in the blood (Olson et al., 2018). In an acute electroshock model, it is reported that KD confers protection against seizures. Moreover, KD decreases the frequency of spontaneous seizures in Kcna1 knockout mice (Kim et al., 2015). In summary, changes in the gut microbiota seem to be important for the KD-mediated seizure protection.

In the study, Barbara A. Gower, Ph.D., and her colleagues analyzed data from 45 women diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancers. The women were randomly assigned to either a ketogenic or a standard, healthy diet group. The ketogenic group was asked to consume 70 percent of calories from fat, 25 percent from protein and 5 percent from carbohydrates. The comparison diet was one recommended by the American Cancer Society, high in whole grains and fruit and low in added sugar.
The Swiss herders did just fine living on raw pastured cow milk and cheese accompanied by a nutrient-dense, whole grain bread. The Polynesian diet centered around coconut in all its incarnations, the milk, meat, and cream, creatively used in a variety of ways, along with fish, some wild animal meat, and fruits. These diets could not be more different; an Eskimo never drank milk or ate a coconut, the Inca descendents never saw a coconut or whale blubber, a Masai never ate coconut or grains, the Polynesians never consumed grains, never drank milk, and never ate cheese.

If you’ve decided to move forward in trying the keto diet, you will want to stick to the parameters of the eating plan. Roughly 60 to 80 percent of your calories will come from fats. That means you’ll eat meats, fats, and oils, and a very limited amount of nonstarchy vegetables, she says. (This is different from a traditional low-carb diet, as even fewer carbs are allowed on the keto diet.)
Leanne: Yeah. My HDL from eating plant-based … before I started this, so I was eating a ton of plants … my HDL was 86. Now it’s 108. It’s increased since eating high fat. Everyone says, “How is it even possible because you’re not…” Then my triglycerides before were 37 and now they’re 59, so they were really low. In fact, my doctors were like, “Okay Leanne, you really actually need to increase your LDL and triglycerides.” When I was eating plant-based because even my LDL was like 48, it was too low.
Dr. Campos, it is unfortunate that you retain the medical community’s negative stance on the ketogenic diet, probably picked up in medical school when you studied ketoacidosis, in the midst of an obesity and type II diabetes epidemic that is growing every year, especially among populations who will never see the Harvard Health Letter. The medical community has failed in reversing this trend, especially among children, and the public is picking up the tab, in the form of higher health insurance premiums to treat chronic metabolic diseases which doctors cannot cure. The ketogenic diet does not bid its adherents to eat unhealthy processed meats, and the green leafy vegetables that it emphasizes are important in a number of nutritional deficiencies. People lose weight on the ketogenic diet, they lose their craving for sugar, they feel more satiety, they may become less depressed, their insulin receptors sensitivity is improved, and these are all the good outcomes you fail to mention. There is a growing body of research which demonstrates the neuroprotective effects of the ketogenic diet to slow cancer progression, as well as diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, for which there are no effective medical treatments. Please respect your patients by providing them with evidence-based medical outcomes, not opinions.
Ketogenic diet for cancer patients must be followed to weaken cancer cells. When evaluating any cancer, regardless of the stage or faction, it is vital to pinpoint the cause. Although there are varying ideas afloat, you’ll be hard-pressed to find those who do not agree that the immune system is the catalyst between cancer development and its reversal. In the words of Dr. Ben Johnson, “With every cancer patient, their immune system has missed cancer.” We can see the way in which the general public and Orthodox Medicine alike, are unknowingly depleting the supply of immune cells and creating a chronic state of susceptibility. Aside from chemotherapy and radiation being strong-armed into the American Public, we are personally killing our natural defenses while fueling cancer cells every day.
Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet is not an academic exercise in what a ketogenic rendition of an anticancer diet should be. The information is firmly based on the science and research of Dr. Thomas Seyfried, who proposes that cancer is a metabolic disease, and on consultation with both Drs. Seyfried and Dominic D’Agostino on design and implementation of a ketogenic diet. Sound biochemical and physiological sciences support the book’s explanations and recommendations.
The Modified Atkins Diet (MAD) is one of these alternative diets. It is a less restrictive form of the ketogenic diet. Adults and adolescent patients are restricted to 20 grams of carbohydrates per day and children to 15 grams per day. This diet can be easier to tolerate especially in older children and adults who eat a normal diet. In the MAD, there are no restrictions on protein and calories (and the biggest difference is probably the protein compared to the ketogenic diet). Increased fat intake is encouraged to increase ketosis.
The ketogenic diet is a natural, nontoxic metabolic therapy being studied and utilized for cancer prevention and treatment. It works because cancer cells are dependent upon a constant supply of blood sugar (glucose) to stay alive. Normal cells can make energy from both glucose and ketones (metabolic by-products of burning fat), but most cancer cells can only use glucose. Avoiding carbohydrates (starch and sugar) while enjoying delicious and healthy protein and fats will lower blood glucose and increase blood-ketone levels, resulting in a normal body state called nutritional ketosis. Research has shown that nutritional ketosis starves cancer cells while nourishing normal cells and strengthening total body health.
Societies have lived off whole meats, vegetables, and fruit for our entire existence with very little known disease; including multiple cultures that are essentially carnivores. Diseases increased exponentially in the western world once sugar was added to everything and the junk food boom took place. Our bread is even so processed now that it has the same effect on your blood sugar as eating a tablespoon of sugar. (Yes, the average age some lives is greater today than it was before the sugar boom but that is because infant mortality has decreased 200+% in the same timespan and is now in the single digits. The lifespan of someone who made it to adulthood was the same as it is now. Even Socrates lived to be 77 without modern medicine{‘throw drugs at everything”} before being executed.
I’m not going to shell out 20k to know my LDL-P. I’d rather assume that I’m part of the 30% who reacts to saturated fat with elevated LDL-P. Should I be worried, considering all my other markers point to the right direction? Expert after expert say that we don’t know what these mixed signals mean until there is a study of people doing low-carb high-fat diets, correlating their lipid profiles with incidence of cardiovascular disease.
The only issue with keto, is really that I’m afraid that it might be hard to up my calories to a maintenance weight now that I’ve gotten a taste preference for the rich assortment of foods with no carbs in them. I’m satisfied with less calories than I will need after my excess fat is burned off… but , maybe I bet my body will send more hunger signs once there isn’t anymore body fat in the cupboard to use instead of what goes down my throat.
Adverse effects of the dietary interventions were experienced in all studies. The most commonly reported adverse effects were gastrointestinal syndromes. It was common that adverse effects were the reason for participants dropping out of trials (GRADE rating low). Other reasons for dropout included lack of efficacy and non‐acceptance of the diet (GRADE rating low).
Like any normal tissue or organ, in a tumor these cancer stem cells generate a variety of cell types that can mature to some extent, but the stem cells remain always primitive, undifferentiated, capable of replicating endlessly, capable of killing eventually. Most standard therapies fail, Dr. Wicha and his associates believe, because they attack the more mature tumor line, not the essential tumor stem cells, the actual engines of cancer creation.
So what, exactly, does “ketogenic” mean? The name refers to a specific type of energy-carrying molecule, called a ketone. “Most people are always in a state of glucosis, meaning they’re burning glucose from carbohydrates for energy,” Westman says. “But you determine what your body burns for fuel based on what you feed it.” By severely restricting carbs and increasing your fat intake, your body can shift into a state of “ketosis,” which means it’s burning fat instead of glucose. “Ketosis used to be considered abnormal, but it can actually be very healthy,” Westman says.
Adhering to a keto diet can be challenging and may be particularly so for cancer patients, many of whom may be enduring side effects from treatment. Entering a state of ketosis requires following a strict diet-plan, comprised of high fat foods such as bacon, heavy cream, and butter, while simultaneously restricting other categories of food, such as starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, whole grains, and certain fruits. This dramatic change in eating habits can lead to nausea and digestive upset in addition to unintentional weight loss and increased risk of malnutrition.
I have been on keto for past 7 months. Triglycerides improved from 117 to 86 and HDL from 53 to 55, VLDL from 23 to 17 compared to last year. My problem is, LDL has been increasing by an average of 20 points every year for past 5 years, it was 130 in 2014, My metabolic panel is normal. Below is my lipid panel done a couple of days ago. Could you please advise me on how to improve my LDL level?
A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets.3A study in the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet shows a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, body weight, and blood glucose. Read more on keto and cholesterol >
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)
I have been a member around a year maybe less, but I just need to tell you how much I appreciate you all. I have 3 kids and husband and was crippled with my health problems and drugs from all the doctors, I had to take. I am so much better off today. I can now contribute to my family. I feel hope for the first time for a future with them. Thank you, God Bless You!
It is an oversimplification that cancer cells use anaerobic fermentation all the time. Tumors have hypoxic zones and normoxic (aerobic) zones, with a symbiotic relationship between the two. Hypoxic cancer cells derive energy from fermentation of glucose, and secrete lactate. Normoxic cancer cells prefer and attract lactate as fuel for the TCA cycle, sparing glucose for the hypoxic cells. Cancer cells can switch fairly quickly between hypoxic and normoxic states, and may oscillate between the two. [NCBI, “Tumor cell metabolism: an integral view”]
The low glycaemic index treatment (LGIT)[49] is an attempt to achieve the stable blood glucose levels seen in children on the classic ketogenic diet while using a much less restrictive regimen. The hypothesis is that stable blood glucose may be one of the mechanisms of action involved in the ketogenic diet,[9] which occurs because the absorption of the limited carbohydrates is slowed by the high fat content.[5] Although it is also a high-fat diet (with approximately 60% calories from fat),[5] the LGIT allows more carbohydrate than either the classic ketogenic diet or the modified Atkins diet, approximately 40–60 g per day.[18] However, the types of carbohydrates consumed are restricted to those that have a glycaemic index lower than 50. Like the modified Atkins diet, the LGIT is initiated and maintained at outpatient clinics and does not require precise weighing of food or intensive dietitian support. Both are offered at most centres that run ketogenic diet programmes, and in some centres they are often the primary dietary therapy for adolescents.[9]
• how and why a low carb, ketogenic diet works to stop cancer cells • how to implement the diet and how to monitor your progress • blood glucose and ketone level targets recommended to destroy cancer • what foods to choose and how much to eat • why certain foods must be restricted • use of calorie restriction and fasting • whether alcohol is allowed • the debate between acidity vs alkalinity • appropriate supplementation and much more.
Clearly, ketogenic diets are not ready for prime time as a treatment for cancer, either alone or in combination with conventional therapy. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped it from being touted by all manner of alternative cancer practitioners (i.e., quacks) and others as a cancer cure that “they” don’t want you to know about or saying things like, “…it’s nothing short of medical malpractice and negligence to fail to integrate this type of dietary strategy into a patient’s cancer treatment plan,” as Joe Mercola did. Dr. Seyfried himself has contributed to the hyperbole quite a bit as well. For example:
Feel free to practice cyclical ketosis (maybe doing a ketogenic diet five days a week and going higher in healthy carbs the other two days) or whatever works for you. I’ve never heard an expert say you should be in ketosis 24/7, and militantly sticking with this plan can ultimately stall your goals. Once you’re in a state of ketosis, you can transition to a more flexible ketogenic plan. You can rotate complex carbs, like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and butternut squash, into the diet every three to four days to maintain your glycogen stores if you work out and lift weights regularly.

Yes. There is growing evidence showing its usefulness in controlling seizures in adults with medically refractory epilepsy. While some adults may be started on classic ketogenic diet, others will be trained in the modified ketogenic or atkins diet which allows more freedom in dietary choices, and affords them the ability to still enjoy going out to restaurants while maintaining this diet therapy. With proper training and motivation, adults can successfully remain on this diet and gain good control of their seizures. Despite some of the adult ketogenic diets offering a little more flexibility it is still considered a medical therapy and should be initiated and maintained by your medical team.
Health Impact News has published many articles about the low-carb high-fat ketogenic diet, and its favorable influences on several diseases or dysfunctional health conditions. The ketogenic diet was originally developed at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1920s to stop seizures in children with epilepsy, when pharmaceutical drugs did not work. More recently, the ketogenic diet has been used successfully for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Recently, there have been efforts by some researchers and medical practitioners to explore the potential of ameliorating schizophrenia, a major brain disorder that affects one out of a hundred, with the aid of the ketogenic diet.
Close attention to growth measurements, laboratory data, and medical supervision is indicated in infants on the ketogenic diet. A prospective cohort study of 237 children, with an average length of follow-up of 308 days, analyzed height and weight measurements over time on the ketogenic diet. A small decrease in height scores was observed in the first 6 months, with bigger changes by 2 years. There was a drop in weight in the first 3 months; after this, the weight remained constant in children who started the diet below the 50th percentile for their weight, while it continued to decrease in children starting above the 50th percentile. Very young children (0–2 years) grew poorly on the diet, while older children (7–10 years) grew almost normally. Recent studies of children who discontinued the diet suggest that growth will catch up once the diet is discontinued.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder, and it affects women of reproductive age. Symptoms include obesity, hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. A pilot study took 11 women through 24 weeks of a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (20 grams or less per day). Among the five who completed the study, they lost 12 percent of their weight on average and reduced fasting insulin by 54 percent. Additionally, two women who previously experienced infertility problems became pregnant. (6)
My son has been fighting brain cancer for 18yrs. Started st 15, now 33. He’s otherwise healthy. Never looks sick at all. In the beginning he had 6mos chemo industrial strength. He never got sick, ate 3 meals a day and gained weight. Followed by radiation, that he didn’t feel good, but he still did pretty well. PNET morphed into Ependymoma. What info can you send me specifically for brain cancer. Will the fasting, Keto diet, stop sugar intake work on brain cancer due to the Blood Brain Barrier? He is having his 8th surgery Mar 18. Previous surgery was just 6mos ago. He also was in 2 clinical trials in the last 2yrs (Car T cell therapy directly into the tumor bed area.) We have run out of options and will try anything. Please help.
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
For cells to maintain a healthy status, oxidants and antioxidants have to be in balance with each other. When this equilibrium is tilted toward an oxidized state, it leads to oxidative stress, in which an excess of oxidants can damage cellular structures and affect the health of the cell. Even cancer cells need to safeguard themselves against this.
As far back as the 5th century, Hippocrates noted that fasting reduced seizures, and in the 1920s a diet was developed to mimic changes brought on by fasting that could be maintained long-term, specifically to treat seizures, and thus the ketogenic diet was born.1 This original ketogenic diet was very low in carbohydrates and protein and supplied 80-90% of the calories as fat.2 3 While the original ketogenic diet was successful in treating intractable childhood epilepsy, it fell out of favor when the modern antiepileptic drugs became available. In the 1990s the diet began to see a resurgence as people once again turned to it for difficult-to-treat cases of childhood epilepsy, such as those that do not respond to medication, and as a weight loss tool. The most recent research on the benefits of the ketogenic diet and ketones, in particular, have expanded to examine its possible therapeutic effects on other neurological diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Many factors can negatively affect cholesterol levels — such as genetics, inactivity, diabetes, stress and hypothyroidism — but an unhealthy diet that includes lots of processed foods and is low in nutrients is the biggest contributor. The “standard American diet” is highly inflammatory, which elevates LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL (good cholesterol), while a “clean keto diet” tends to have the opposite effect.
I’m 50 and have been working out with weights and cardio for over 30 years, 6-7 days per week. I have always had controlled weight in the 180’s for 5′ 9″ due to strength training. I went on a “version” of the Keto diet—per day goals: 35 net carbs/85-95 grams protein/35-40 grams fat. I didn’t want to go all-in with high fats. I weighed 188 at the start and in 6 months dropped 26 lbs to 162, and bodyfat at 9%. My cholesterol levels have mostly been 220 with 50-75 HDL.
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.
Conklin's fasting therapy was adopted by neurologists in mainstream practice. In 1916, a Dr McMurray wrote to the New York Medical Journal claiming to have successfully treated epilepsy patients with a fast, followed by a starch- and sugar-free diet, since 1912. In 1921, prominent endocrinologist Henry Rawle Geyelin reported his experiences to the American Medical Association convention. He had seen Conklin's success first-hand and had attempted to reproduce the results in 36 of his own patients. He achieved similar results despite only having studied the patients for a short time. Further studies in the 1920s indicated that seizures generally returned after the fast. Charles P. Howland, the parent of one of Conklin's successful patients and a wealthy New York corporate lawyer, gave his brother John Elias Howland a gift of $5,000 to study "the ketosis of starvation". As professor of paediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital, John E. Howland used the money to fund research undertaken by neurologist Stanley Cobb and his assistant William G. Lennox.[10]
Can’t you take ketone supplements? No. While it is possible to elevate ketones by taking them, “without the low-carb stimulus, there is no net increase in ketone production, no decrease in insulin, and no net increase in fat oxidation,” says Volek. Don’t trust trainers or “body hackers” who say you can induce ketosis quickly without changing your diet.
Just this week as I write this, one of my newer patients, a wonderful, creative inventor and computer whiz from the Washington, DC area, came into my office for his regularly scheduled six month re-evaluation appointment. When he started with me in January 2010, three and a half years ago, he had been diagnosed with stage IV metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, with multiple tumors in both lungs and with evidence of metastases in his ribs. His local doctors in DC had explained he had terminal disease, for which chemotherapy would be useless.
Notably, there is a relationship between metabolic and epigenetic modifications. Shimazu et al. (2013) observed that βOHB inhibits class I histone deacetylases. During the KD, the elevation of βOHB causes changes in large-scale gene transcription but particularly those linked to oxidative-stress resistance factors. This result emphasizes that the KD has a potential role as a disease-modifying treatment in epilepsy.
• Cyclic ketogenic diet (CKD) — Whereas TKD is focused on fitness enthusiasts, CKD is focused more on athletes and bodybuilders. In CKD, you cycle between a normal ketogenic diet, and a short period of high carb consumption or "re-feeds."8 The idea here is to take advantage of the carbohydrates to replenish the glycogen lost from your muscles during athletic activity or working out.9
The "classic" ketogenic diet is a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps to control seizures in some people with epilepsy. It is prescribed by a physician and carefully monitored by a dietitian. It is usually used in children with seizures that do not respond to medications. It is stricter than the modified Atkins diet, requiring careful measurements of calories, fluids, and proteins. Foods are weighed and measured.
32••. Qin W, Ho L, Zhao Z, et al. Neuronal SIRT1 activation as a novel mechanism underlying the prevention of Alzheimer disease amyloid neuropathology by calorie restriction. J Biol Chem. 2006;281:21745–21754. This study demonstrates that sirtuins link calorie restriction with disease-modifying effects in a neurodegenerative disorder. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
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. 
There are numerous benefits that come with being on keto: from weight loss and increased energy levels to therapeutic medical applications. Most anyone can safely benefit from eating a low-carb, high-fat diet. Below, you’ll find a short list of the benefits you can receive from a ketogenic diet. For a more comprehensive list, you can also read our in-depth article here >
"The message is not that children with [uncontrollable] seizures should not be on this diet, because it can be remarkably effective and most children only stay on it for a few years," Kwiterovich tells WebMD. "But our findings suggest the distinct possibility that anyone who eats a very high-fat diet may be setting themselves up for later [blood vessel] disease."
×