Scientists published the first pilot study on the relationship between the ketogenic diet and cancer in 2011. For their study, they recruited 16 patients (12 women and 4 men) with various cancers in advanced stages. They had an average age of 50.4 years (30-65 years). All of them had metastatic tumors, which means that they grew and spread throughout the body.
Being in ketosis can help you feel more alert, avoid sugar crashes that steal your energy, and possibly let you reach your goal weight. I say possibly because it doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re eating too many inflammatory calories you won’t lose weight, and furthermore, some people get bored with the lack of variety on keto diets. That’s where eating more complex carbs can rescue the plan. Try cyclical ketosis.
One of the absolute worst things conventional medicine does is treat type 2 diabetics with insulin. This only exacerbates the problem. The key to treating and reversing type 2 diabetes is to cut down on net carbs, replacing them with high amounts of healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein. Dr. Tim Noakes has researched reversal of type 2 diabetes in South Africans, coming to the same conclusion.

Similarly, in a 2015 study, mice receiving a combination of hyperbaric oxygen and dietary ketone supplementation showed a clear reduction in tumor growth rate and metastasis.20 Also, these mice lived twice as long as control animals. Based on these results, the study authors state that further investigation into the effectiveness of this combination therapy as a potential treatment for late-stage metastatic cancers is urgently required.
In order to be successful, this therapy calls for strict compliance and plenty of patience, especially in the beginning. Most important, patients with epilepsy should only use the diet with the support of a knowledgeable ketogenic diet team, including a doctor and a licensed dietitian who can correctly calculate and monitor the diet for each individual.
If your ketone value is above 0.5 mmol/L first thing in the morning, you’re in ketosis. However, a range of 0.7 to 2.0 mmol/L is optimal for most people. If your value is above 3.0 mmol/L, you may not be eating enough and/or should consider adding some carbohydrates back to your diet. However, in the long run, your goal should not be a specific number on the ketone meter, but an improvement in your symptoms.
Since this is my full-time job, donations really help me keep afloat and allow me to post as much to the website as I do. I really appreciate any donation you want to give, but you can change the price yourself. I’ve added in $15 as the suggested price. I think that’s a very fair price considering other websites are charging in the hundreds of dollars, and I’ve seen what they are like on the inside.
In both patients, levels of blood glucose decreased to low/normal levels and ketones increased by 20 to 30 times within seven days of starting the ketogenic diet.  Results from scans indicated that there was a 21.8% decrease in glucose uptake at the tumor sites in both subjects. Lower glucose uptake is a strong indicator that a tumor is shrinking in size.
In 2006, Strahlman [53, Class III] reported the case of his own wife, whose intractable migraine headaches resolved after a medically supervised low-calorie diet. Husain and colleagues [54, Class III] studied an Atkins diet–like plan in patients with narcolepsy and reported an 18% decrease in daytime sleepiness as measured by a standard questionnaire. The Atkins diet is less restrictive than the ketogenic diet and does not contain as much fat as “classic” ketogenic diets.
Since this is my full-time job, donations really help me keep afloat and allow me to post as much to the website as I do. I really appreciate any donation you want to give, but you can change the price yourself. I’ve added in $15 as the suggested price. I think that’s a very fair price considering other websites are charging in the hundreds of dollars, and I’ve seen what they are like on the inside.
Historically, elevated blood cholesterol levels have been linked to atherosclerosis, a condition involving deposits of plaque that cause the arterial lining to thicken and potentially impair blood flow to the heart. The process of plaque deposition is complex but involves white blood cells, calcium, cholesterol, and other substances converging at the site of inflamed or damaged arteries.
To some ears, last week’s exultation over interleukin-2 has a familiar but discordant ring. Something similar happened about five years ago with a substance called interferon, the “magic bullet” of cancer research, featured on magazine covers and in articles with titles like “To Save Her Life – And Yours.” … But by 1984 the magic bullet had misfired; now the articles were called “The Myth of Interferon.”
Dr. Kossoff is a Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.  He received his medical degree from SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine in New York, followed by a residency in pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. He completed a fellowship in child neurology and then pediatric epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.  He has been at Johns Hopkins since 1998.
What are those lines of evidence? Well, there are drugs which lower insulin and glucose, like metformin. It’s a commonly used drug in diabetes that has shown promising results in cancer treatment. This is not fringe stuff here. Metformin is being studied. There is an article about it for cancer treatment on the NIH Cancer Institute website and on the MD Anderson website, which are two prominent mainstream cancer treatment organizations. There are several studies to support that as well.
With this rationale, VanItallie et al. [39, Class III] performed a feasibility study with PD patients and the ketogenic diet. They explored whether PD patients would be able to prepare the ketogenic diet in their homes and remain on it for at least 1 month. Of seven patients enrolled, five completed the study. They were monitored for ketone levels and weekly Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) scores. All the patients lost weight. Interestingly, the mean decrease in UPDRS scores was 43.4%. A placebo effect is not ruled out, but this result at least suggests that the ketogenic diet was not harmful and certainly invites further study into its role in preserving neuron function in PD and other neurodegenerative diseases. The possibility that the diet may have altered levodopa absorption (and that this factor, rather than an effect of the diet on neuronal function, was responsible for the change) has not been studied rigorously [40].
Some children with epilepsy can have disabling seizures―up to hundreds per day―which can severely limit their quality of life and prevent them from participating in school and social activities. Seizure control is the first step in helping kids with epilepsy achieve otherwise normal lives. When medication isn't working and/or the side effects from it are too much to bear, the ketogenic diet might be offered as a treatment option. In fact, the statistics show that it is often more effective than another, new medication, and frequently also improves alertness and behavior.
Agreed. The big problem is that a person can't (or shouldn't) get a CACS often enough to prove that a dietary change will make a difference. Calcification is usually slow & the radiation from the scan isn't trivial. Medical professionals or patients can jump to a conclusion & remedy/change their diets immediately. I would go with the person's instincts (do you feel better on this diet?) & get the appropriate scanning tests done after a sizeable interval.  
20•. Marsh EB, Freeman JM, Kossoff EH, et al. The outcome of children with intractable seizures: a 3- to 6-year follow-up of 67 children who remained on the ketogenic diet less than one year. Epilepsia. 2006;47:425–430. These long-term follow-up studies from the large Johns Hopkins series outline seizure-free rates and medication use after the ketogenic diet has been stopped. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
If your child is helped by the diet and seizures are better controlled, your child may remain on the ketogenic diet for 2 to 3 years, or longer. The length of time on the diet will be determined by several factors, including how well the diet helps your child, whether your child can be weaned off seizure medications, and your willingness to continue the diet.
Now a report, appearing several weeks ago in the journal Neurology, reveals that in fact, a ketogenic diet is also profoundly helpful in adults as well in terms of treating epilepsy. This research, published by investigators in Maryland, found that there was at least a 50% reduction in seizures in 32% of patients treated with a ketogenic diet as well as in 29% of patients who went on a modified Atkins diet. In fact, 9% of those placed on the ketogenic diet and 5% of those placed on the modified Atkins diet had a greater than 90% reduction in the frequency of their epileptic seizures. These diets were designed such that the bulk of calories, between 67% and 75%, came from fat. The study revealed that “the anticonvulsant effect occurs quickly with both diets, within days to weeks.” Interestingly, the most common side effect was weight-loss which the office indicated “maybe advantageous inpatients with obesity.”
Data on the efficacy of KD and the modified Atkin’s diet (MAD) in children and adults are similar.1 “Approximately one-third of adults with epilepsy that does not respond to medications may have a 50% seizure frequency reduction. Five to 10% of these adults may have a dramatic response, with greater than or equal to 90% seizure frequency reduction. This is similar to the response seen in children,” said Klein.
Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use or store sugar as fuel. Ketogenic diets make you burn through this fuel quickly, so you don’t need to store it. This means your body needs -- and makes -- less insulin. Those lower levels may help protect you against some kinds of cancer or even slow the growth of cancer cells. More research is needed on this, though.

We’re also going to keep it simple here. Most of the time, it’ll be salad and meat, slathered in high fat dressings and calling it a day. We don’t want to get too rowdy here. You can use leftover meat from previous nights or use easy accessible canned chicken/fish. If you do use canned meats, try to read the labels and get the one that uses the least (or no) additives!
“However, we did not find a clear correlation between how much they preferred fat and how well they later did with either the KD or MAD. There was a slight hint that those with seizure freedom with the KD or MAD were those with the highest fat preference, but it wasn’t statistically significant overall,” said Kossoff. “Although interesting, the idea of fat preference being a screening test for going on the KD or MAD doesn’t appear to be valid. However, tt also tells us that if a child does not prefer fat, it does not mean they shouldn’t go on the KD or MAD.”
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In short, a well-formulated ketogenic diet will likely increase your cholesterol. The reason for this is that keto emphasizes a large amount of saturated fat in the diet, and high levels of saturated fat will increase cholesterol. Now, because of Ancel Keys, we’ve be taught that high cholesterol is a problem. However, putting it bluntly, Ancel Keys was wrong. In this meta-analysis of 21 well-formulated studies the conclusion was that there is absolutely no relationship between high levels of cholesterol and heart disease or cardiovascular disease.
PD is a neurodegenerative condition in which the impairment of mitochondrial complex I activity is hypothesized to play a role in the death of the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta. Various investigators have hypothesized that ketones could bypass complex I to provide an alternative fuel source for neurons at risk. Alternatively, ketone bodies may enhance mitochondrial function and thus ATP production, thereby protecting cells against various insults that demand high levels of usable energy.
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They included participants who were 35-75 years of age and who were not born in Canada but had lived there for at least 5 years. Subjects who suffered from moderate to severe medical conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, and active cancer were not included. Subjects of all different weights and BMIs were included as long as they were considered healthy.

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.

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).
One study reported upon the effect of ketogenic diets on quality of life, cognition and behaviour. No difference was found in the quality of life of those following a ketogenic diet and the group receiving care as usual, but participants following the ketogenic diet were found to be more active, more productive and less anxious. More research is needed in these areas.
I had some eggs and some meat and all this stuff. Then they tested me literally every 30-60 minutes for five hours. I got to see literally what was happening real time after a low carb meal. I think that’s where having the right nutrition really is the basis for knowing where you stand. The other thing for people that are worried about this morning reading, check your A1C. That’s the average of the last 3 months worth of all of your blood sugars, not just the ones in the morning that you’re testing and freaking out about. By the way, when you freak out that also raises your blood sugar.
The ketogenic diet initially was developed in the 1920s in response to the observation that fasting had antiseizure properties [1]. During fasting, the body metabolizes fat stores via lipolysis and then the fatty acids undergo beta-oxidation into acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone—ketone bodies the cell can then use as precursors to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The ketogenic diet, which is very high in fat and low in carbohydrates, is thought to simulate the metabolic effects of starvation by forcing the body to use primarily fat as a fuel source. The ketogenic diet fell out of favor with the development of new anticonvulsant agents, starting with phenytoin in 1938, but it has experienced a resurgence in use over the past 20 years, particularly in the treatment of refractory epilepsy.
David Book graduated with a PharmD from Drake University. After completing a Drug Information Residency in the greater Atlanta area with Mercer University's College of Pharmacy and InpharmD, he now works full time at an independent pharmacy. Drawn towards innovation and entrepreneurship, his interests include the business of pharmacy, healthcare advocacy, diet & nutrition, and health information technology.
A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials following overweight and obese participants for 1-2 years on either low-fat diets or very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets found that the ketogenic diet produced a small but significantly greater reduction in weight, triglycerides, and blood pressure, and a greater increase in HDL and LDL cholesterol compared with the low-fat diet at one year. [10] The authors acknowledged the small weight loss difference between the two diets of about 2 pounds, and that compliance to the ketogenic diet declined over time, which may have explained the more significant difference at one year but not at two years (the authors did not provide additional data on this).
Our normal healthy cells, be they situated in the brain or the skin of our feet, do prefer glucose as their primary energy source, obtained from the sugar circulating in the blood. That “blood sugar” comes from a variety of sources, including dietary carbohydrates occurring in fruits, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and grains. The complex carbohydrates in such foods are broken down into glucose during the digestive process, catalyzed by a variety of carb-specific enzymes like amylase.
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The conventional view of cancer is that it is caused by DNA mutations in the cell nuclei. However, the metabolic theory of cancer proposes that some cancers are caused by a dysfunction of cellular respiration and that the restriction of glucose in the diet may prevent and even reverse some cancers. Today I’ll review the research supporting this theory and explore how the ketogenic diet may impact cancer tumor growth.

A study of 89 obese adults who were placed on a two-phase diet regimen (6 months of a very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and 6 months of a reintroduction phase on a normal calorie Mediterranean diet) showed a significant mean 10% weight loss with no weight regain at one year. The ketogenic diet provided about 980 calories with 12% carbohydrate, 36% protein, and 52% fat, while the Mediterranean diet provided about 1800 calories with 58% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 27% fat. Eighty-eight percent of the participants were compliant with the entire regimen. [12] It is noted that the ketogenic diet used in this study was lower in fat and slightly higher in carbohydrate and protein than the average ketogenic diet that provides 70% or greater calories from fat and less than 20% protein.
Taking your first step into the ketogenic diet is an exciting phase for your health. But before coming up with an actual ketogenic diet food list, it's important to first take a look at what you're eating now and take out anything that's unhealthy. This means that you have to remove sugars, grains, starches and packaged and processed foods from your diet. Basically, anything that won't add to your new eating regimen has to go. This is what I call a "pantry sweep."
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.
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.)
Meat products make up a big part of the keto diet, but experts stress the importance of choosing quality. "Since the keto diet is based a lot on animal proteins, it's important to buy organic poultry and grass-fed, organic beef," says Aimee Aristotelous, RD. "Not only do organic selections help with limiting environmental toxins, but grass-fed options of red meats even change the composition of fats." The result, she explains, is that your body is able to better absorb those healthy fats.
Selecting the right food will be easier as you become accustomed to the Keto approach. Instead of lean meats, you’ll focus on skin-on poultry, fattier parts like chicken thighs, rib-eye steaks, grass-fed ground beef, fattier fish like salmon, beef brisket or pork shoulder, and bacon. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and lettuce, along with broccoli, cauliflower and cucumbers, make healthy vegetable choices (but you’ll avoid starchy root foods like carrots, potatoes, turnips and parsnips). You can work in less-familiar veggies such as kohlrabi or daikon.
Collectively, these findings suggest that LDL particle size is a more precise indicator of future cardiovascular illness than total LDL cholesterol even when people have high levels of one but not the other. That being said, LDL-C is still a useful indicator for future cardiovascular illness and ideally you want to have both low LDL-C and LDL-P. (Click here to find optimal ranges for LDL-C and here for LDL-P)
• Reducing appetite — Constant hunger can cause you to consume more calories than you can burn, which can eventually lead to weight gain. A ketogenic diet can help you avoid this problem because reducing carbohydrate consumption can reduce hunger symptoms. In one study, participants who were given a low-carbohydrate diet had reduced appetites, helping them lose weight easier.2
The original therapeutic diet for paediatric epilepsy provides just enough protein for body growth and repair, and sufficient calories[Note 1] to maintain the correct weight for age and height. The classic therapeutic ketogenic diet was developed for treatment of paediatric epilepsy in the 1920s and was widely used into the next decade, but its popularity waned with the introduction of effective anticonvulsant medications. This classic ketogenic diet contains a 4:1 ratio by weight of fat to combined protein and carbohydrate. This is achieved by excluding high-carbohydrate foods such as starchy fruits and vegetables, bread, pasta, grains, and sugar, while increasing the consumption of foods high in fat such as nuts, cream, and butter.[1] Most dietary fat is made of molecules called long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). However, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)—made from fatty acids with shorter carbon chains than LCTs—are more ketogenic. A variant of the classic diet known as the MCT ketogenic diet uses a form of coconut oil, which is rich in MCTs, to provide around half the calories. As less overall fat is needed in this variant of the diet, a greater proportion of carbohydrate and protein can be consumed, allowing a greater variety of food choices.[4][5]
Animal data suggest a role for the ketogenic diet in protection against trauma and ischemia, as ketones may be a preferred fuel in the injured brain [27]. Prins et al. [27] studied the role of the ketogenic diet in a controlled cortical impact model in rats. Young rats of varying postnatal ages underwent a small craniotomy and then, with the dura intact, were subjected to a standardized piston cylinder injury. Immediately after the impact, the rats started a standard diet or the ketogenic diet. After 1 week, a postmortem measurement of cortical contusion area was performed. The contusion area was significantly decreased in postnatal day-35 and day-45 rats that had been fed the ketogenic diet, but not in younger or older rats.

So far the research has found energy restriction to significantly reduce growth and progression of numerous cancers including mammary, brain, colon, pancreas, lung, and prostate cancer. However, it is important to note that the best results are achieved from severe calorie restriction (<1,000 calories per day). If you are considering using calorie restriction along with your cancer treatment, make sure you consult your cancer care team first.

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