In this way, stem cells allow complex life to exist and continue, providing tissue replacements as needed, appropriate for the tissue in which they live. That is, liver stem cells will create new liver cells as needed, bone marrow stem cells will create new bone marrow clones as required, intestinal stem cells will form, as necessary, intestinal lining cells. In this way, the developmental capacity of stem cells seems to be governed by the local environment.

The ketogenic diet’s origin dates back to the 1920s when doctors began using it to control seizures among patients with epilepsy. The history of the ketogetnic diet began with a nutritional plan made of carbohydrates (carbs), fat, and protein forces the body to use fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. Dubbed ketosis, this process creates two acids in the blood, ketones and decanoic acid, that our bodies and brains use for fuel.


As these battles waged in the early 1990s, I had long left Dr. Good’s group, having returned to New York and private practice. Nonetheless, this story had a personal ring to it, as had the interferon story, since Dr. Good had completed the first bone marrow transplant in history, in 1969, and long hoped this technology would be, yes, an answer to cancer.
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More recently, the famed New York diet doctor, Robert Atkins, MD, popularized the ketogenic diet, not for cancer, but as the ultimate weight loss plan with his books over the decades selling in the tens of millions of copies. The original version of the Diet Revolution published in 1972 sold at one point more than 100,000 hard copies a week, in those days the fastest selling book in the history of United States publishing.
“There is an ion channel in the membrane of neurons which makes membrane less excitable; a potassium channel which is activated specifically by adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The more ATP is generated, the more this channel is active and the less excitable the neuron becomes,” said Pavel Klein, MD, of the Mid-Atlantic Epilepsy and Sleep Center in Bethesda, Maryland. “It has also been shown that ketone bodies also act directly to reduce the release of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter. When less glutamate is released by a neuron, neighboring neurons are excited less and less prone to generate a seizure.”
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If you want to take a deep dive, Dr. Gonzalez masterfully dismantles the ketogenic diet for cancer in the lengthy article below. This is not a scientific rebuttal, quibbling over theories about Warburg, glycosis, cell respiration, and ATP, rather it is a thoughtful, well-reasoned reflection from a medical doctor who was in the trenches of nutritional cancer treatment for nearly three decades. His real world experience with patients, insider knowledge, historical perspective and common sense put him head and shoulders above the lab-rat researchers and theorizers, no offense guys/gals.
Calorie restriction, while more difficult than intermittent fasting for some, has shown promising results in preventing and starving cancer for the same reasons as intermittent fasting. Basically, calorie restriction will cause cancer to run itself out of fuel because of its constant need for glucose and lack of metabolic flexibility. Once that happens, the cancer may begin to starve and die off.
In all fairness, you can do these plans without eating all those processed foods, although (let’s face it!) convenience and cravings mean you’ll likely be tempted to try them. And they tap into that weakness for "cheating" by making these options easily available. Who would refuse comfort food that is "compliant" with a diet? You can have your cake and eat it too, literally. I call this pseudo-dieting. Even then, eating potentially reactive foods like dairy (which is allowed from the very beginning on Atkins) can either aggravate or trigger food sensitivities ("no bueno").

On the other hand, higher HDL cholesterol levels have been linked to less carotid artery intima-media thickness. In a large meta-analysis of data from more than 20,000 people, CIMT tended to decrease as HDL cholesterol increased – regardless of LDL cholesterol values (16). Importantly, although LDL response to carb restriction varies from person to person, HDL virtually always increases.
The traditional Atkins’ Diet was certainly high fat, in the range of 70% or more, nearly all from animal sources, and with minimal dietary carbs, less than 10%. Dr. Atkins, famed for his all-encompassing emphasis on ketosis during his early years as a diet doctor, insisted his patients routinely check the levels of ketone bodies in their urine several times a day, using special “ketone strips.”
Jimmy Moore: The good news is even the dietary guidelines committee is acknowledging “oops, we got it wrong when it came to dietary cholesterol.” A lot of people haven’t heard this yet, because they haven’t released the full report but they now have backed away from limiting the amount of cholesterol that you consume in your diet. You know how eggs have always been vilified because of there cholesterol content? They’re now saying, “Okay it’s not dietary cholesterol that’s the enemy. Please start eating cholesterol again.” You still go into stores and “Cholesterol free food.” It’s a natural cholesterol. I’m going “Okay, so something is going to have to happen.” It is happening Leanne.

The total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio is found by dividing your total cholesterol level by your HDL-C, and it is essentially the same thing as an LDL-to-HDL cholesterol ratio since most non-HDL cholesterol is LDL cholesterol [26]. The researchers of the 2003 meta-analysis used this ratio because it is a better cardiovascular risk predictor than total cholesterol levels [25].
Y. Wady Aude, MD; Arthur S. Agatston, MD; Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, MSc; Eric H. Lieberman, MD; Marie Almon, MS, RD; Melinda Hansen, ARNP; Gerardo Rojas, MD; Gervasio A. Lamas, MD; Charles H. Hennekens, MD, DrPH, “The National Cholesterol Education Program Diet vs a Diet Lower in Carbohydrates and Higher in Protein and Monounsaturated Fat,” Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(19):2141-2146. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=217514.
Similar results were reported by a telemedical guided weight loss program among 200 overweight adults, where triglyceride and HDL-cholesterol levels were lower at month 6 in the keto diet group compared to the low-fat group. The conclusion was that a low-carb diet has more benefits in reducing cardiovascular risks compared to the low-fat diet (12).

In a recent review of studies of the MAD, there were 31 studies completed from multiple centers with a total of 423 children and adults enrolled across those studies. Adding everyone together, 47% of patients had a >50% reduction in their seizures, which is comparable to the results found for the ketogenic diet. It is important to understand that for children under the age of 2 years and those who receive formula-only nutrition the classic ketogenic diet is preferable. For older adolescents and adults, the MAD is often a better option due to increased tolerability.
The ketogenic diet keeps this process going. It forces the child’s body to burn fat round the clock by keeping calories low and making fat products the primary food that the child is getting. In fact, the diet gets most (80 percent) of its calories from fat. The rest comes from carbohydrates and protein. Each meal has about four times as much fat as protein or carbohydrate. The amounts of food and liquid at each meal have to be carefully worked out and weighed for each person.
Protein consumption can also stimulate a little protein present in the body called mTOR (short for mammalian target of rapamycin) which helps regulate cell growth, proliferation, survival, and protein synthesis (among other things). Something as simple as a big juicy steak will cause our body to upregulate (stimulate the increase of) mTOR — and when this happens, the cells can “forget” to do some very important things (like controlling and preventing cancer growth).
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 >

Sleep enough – for most people at least seven hours per night on average – and keep stress under control. Sleep deprivation and stress hormones raise blood sugar levels, slowing ketosis and weight loss a bit. Plus they might make it harder to stick to a keto diet, and resist temptations. So while handling sleep and stress will not get you into ketosis on it’s own, it’s still worth thinking about.
Rezaei, S., Abdurahman, A. A., Saghazadeh, A., Badv, R. S., and Mahmoudi, M. (2017). Short-term and long-term efficacy of classical ketogenic diet and modified Atkins diet in children and adolescents with epilepsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr. Neurosci. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2017.1387721 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2017.1387721
After some 40,000 women underwent the procedure – at a time when 10-30% of patients died from the treatment itself – it was eventually proven to be worthless. The one glowing positive study from 1995, the infamous South African study of Dr. Bezwoda, turned out on closer examination to be a complete fraud, with the creative researcher simply making up the data. The wonderful and frightening book False Hope describes the bone marrow transplant-breast cancer fiasco in great detail, for those with an interest.
Over 8–10 mmol/l: It’s normally impossible to get to this level just by eating a keto diet. It means that something is wrong. The most common cause by far is type 1 diabetes, with severe lack of insulin. Symptoms include feeling very sick with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and confusion. The possible end result, ketoacidosis, may be fatal and requires immediate medical care. Learn more

I would receive further support for my thinking during the summer of 1981, after completing my second year of medical school. That July, through one of my journalism contacts from my previous life, I had the opportunity to meet the controversial alternative cancer practitioner, the dentist Dr. William Donald Kelley. Over a 20 year period beginning in the early 1960s, Kelley had developed a very intensive nutritional approach to cancer that came under harsh public scrutiny and media attention when he agreed to treat Steve McQueen.

Ketogenic diet is one of the oldest forms of medical treatment for epilepsy. Most ketogenic diet centres have traditionally specialized in treating children ages 0 to 18 years of age. However, there is growing evidence that shows its usefulness in controlling seizures in adults. In the content below, you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the benefits and challenges of this diet therapy. Please note, the ketogenic diet should never be attempted on your own. It should only be attempted with the support of a trained medical team.


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.
Anticonvulsants suppress epileptic seizures, but they neither cure nor prevent the development of seizure susceptibility. The development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis) is a process that is poorly understood. A few anticonvulsants (valproate, levetiracetam and benzodiazepines) have shown antiepileptogenic properties in animal models of epileptogenesis. However, no anticonvulsant has ever achieved this in a clinical trial in humans. The ketogenic diet has been found to have antiepileptogenic properties in rats.[56]
The next case report is from 2010. It describes the case of a 65-year-old woman who presented with progressive memory loss, chronic headaches, nausea, and a right hemisphere multi-centric tumor seen with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Following incomplete surgical resection, the patient was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Now here’s the kicker: The patient underwent standard therapy plus the ketogenic diet. A day after her surgery, she underwent a two-day fast, followed by a three day fast beginning a week after surgery, followed by a restricted ketogenic diet (only 600 Cal/day). Three weeks after her surgery (and two weeks after starting the ketogenic diet) she began standard of care treatment, concomitant radiation plus chemotherapy (temozolomide), “according to standard procedures,” which lasted six weeks. The patient also had a gene mutation in her tumor that produces increased sensitivity to temozolomide. The conclusion? Fortunately for the patient, she had what appears to have been a complete response, after which she went on a less restrictive ketogenic diet. Unfortunately, the patient recurred eight months later. By that point, the patient was off of the ketogenic diet. The authors’ conclusion? Because it was “unlikely” that the tumor would have responded this well on standard therapy alone, it must have been adding the ketogenic diet that done it. Worse, in the talk, Dr. Seyfried strongly implies that the tumor recurred because she had gone off the ketogenic diet two and a half months before her recurrence.
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Ketogenic diets often fall into the same processed-food trap as Atkins. Today you’ll find keto bread, cookies, and pasta. You’ll find exogenous ketone supplements that promise you can get into ketosis in 30 minutes. Don’t fall for the hype: Eating a whole foods diet high in quality fats but also nutrient-dense plant foods creates the best avenue to get you into ketosis and promote health.
The diet is also effective for children with infantile spasms. For this condition, about 70% of children will have seizure reduction with 35% becoming seizure-free. There has been one study using the ketogenic diet as initial treatment for infantile spasms. At the end of 1 month, 8 of 13 (62 percent) infants were seizure-free. Time to spasm freedom was 6.5 days, suggesting that, if the ketogenic diet is used as initial treatment, a 2-week trial period is sufficient to judge efficacy for infantile spasms.
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
We also maintain a certain amount of stored sugar as glycogen, found in the liver and muscle and formed when glucose molecules link up to one another in complex chains. In times of need and if deprived of dietary carbohydrates, our liver and muscle cells can break down glycogen into glucose for release into the bloodstream. Our liver cells can also, when necessary, convert certain amino acids such as alanine into glucose.
Also, consider supplementing with the amino acid leucine, as it can be broken down directly into acetyl-CoA, making it one of the most important ketogenic amino acids in the body. While most other amino acids are converted into glucose, the acetyl-CoA formed from leucine can be used to make ketone bodies. It’s also present in keto friendly foods like eggs and cottage cheese.
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