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. [NCBI, “Tumor cell metabolism: an integral view”]
The precise mechanisms behind the physiological effects of the ketogenic diet and ketones are not fully understood. It is believed that the ketogenic diet is anti-inflammatory, that it decreases free radical production while enhancing production of the body’s own natural anti-oxidants, and it improves metabolic efficiency.8 9 10 11 12 Specific conditions a ketogenic diet may benefit include:

It is important to emphasize, however, that the ketogenic diet had a variable response. Some patients were able to comply with it better than other patients were. Additionally, of those that completed the trial, some had changes that are more favorable in certain parameters such as CRP. This suggests that the ketogenic diet is not suitable for everyone.


Physicians of ancient Greece treated diseases, including epilepsy, by altering their patients' diet. An early treatise in the Hippocratic Corpus, On the Sacred Disease, covers the disease; it dates from c. 400 BC. Its author argued against the prevailing view that epilepsy was supernatural in origin and cure, and proposed that dietary therapy had a rational and physical basis.[Note 3] In the same collection, the author of Epidemics describes the case of a man whose epilepsy is cured as quickly as it had appeared, through complete abstinence of food and drink.[Note 4] The royal physician Erasistratus declared, "One inclining to epilepsy should be made to fast without mercy and be put on short rations."[Note 5] Galen believed an "attenuating diet"[Note 6] might afford a cure in mild cases and be helpful in others.[11]
For the latest update we searched the Cochrane Epilepsy Group's Specialized Register (11 April 2017), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) via the Cochrane Register of Studies Online (CRSO, 11 April 2017), MEDLINE (Ovid, 11 April 2017), ClinicalTrials.gov (11 April 2017) and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP, 11 April 2017). We imposed no language restrictions. We checked the reference lists of retrieved studies for additional reports of relevant studies.
Here are a few of the most common side effects that I come across when people first start keto. Frequently the issues relate to dehydration or lack of micronutrients (vitamins) in the body. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water (close to a gallon a day) and eating foods with good sources of micronutrients. To read more on micronutrients, click here >
Mitochondria generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) during their metabolic activities. In normal cells, the production of ROS and their elimination by antioxidants are kept in balance.10 Intriguingly, a higher incidence of errors, or mutations, in mitochondrial DNA have been observed in many human cancers, likely as a result of uncontrolled ROS production and oxidative stress.11

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.
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.
LDL is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because high levels have been linked to increased heart disease risk. By contrast, HDL is frequently called “good” cholesterol. One of HDLs main functions is to carry cholesterol back to the liver to be used as needed. Higher levels of HDL have been associated with decreased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.
I also might offer a thought as to why, from a more esoteric, more biochemical perspective, for most people diagnosed with cancer the ketogenic diet might not work. For the past 150 years, researchers have approached cancer as a disease in which perfectly happy, normal mature cells sitting in some tissue somewhere suddenly go awry, lose their normal regulatory restraint, develop a primitive, undifferentiated appearance or phenotype, begin proliferating without restraint, begin invading through tissues and organs, begin migrating, spreading, creating new blood vessels along the way to feed the rapacious appetite of cancer. But over the past 15 years, gradually, a new, more productive, and I believe more truthful hypothesis has emerged, spearheaded particularly by Dr. Max Wicha at the University of Michigan. Scientists such as Dr. Wicha have discovered that cancer may be a little more complicated than we have thought these long decades. 

Low-carbohydrate high fat diets (LCHF diets) consistently improve all other markers of cardiovascular risk — lowering elevated blood glucose, insulin, triglyceride, ApoB and saturated fat (especially palmitoleic acid) concentrations, reducing small dense LDL particle numbers, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, blood pressure and body weight while increasing low HDL-cholesterol concentrations and reversing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

A short-lived increase in seizure frequency may occur during illness or if ketone levels fluctuate. The diet may be modified if seizure frequency remains high, or the child is losing weight.[19] Loss of seizure-control may come from unexpected sources. Even "sugar-free" food can contain carbohydrates such as maltodextrin, sorbitol, starch, and fructose. The sorbitol content of suntan lotion and other skincare products may be high enough for some to be absorbed through the skin and thus negate ketosis.[31]

GBM is the most aggressive cancer of the brain and is difficult to treat by using the conventional therapy of radiation and chemotherapy. The median survival of people with GMB with intensive, standard treatment is an average of 15 months.  Both patients in this case study also had advanced stage brain tumors called “astrocytomas” that were unresponsive to conventional treatments.
This diet is not without its side effects, so it is very important to become well informed when considering ketogenic diet therapy. Do not attempt the ketogenic diet without medical supervision from a properly trained ketogenic diet team, especially if you are taking anti-seizure medications. This ketogenic diet team includes a neurologist, a registered dietitian and nurse and sometimes a nurse practitioner, pharmacist, social worker and other specialists.
The premise of the ketogenic diet for weight loss is that if you deprive the body of glucose—the main source of energy for all cells in the body, which is obtained by eating carbohydrate foods—an alternative fuel called ketones is produced from stored fat (thus, the term “keto”-genic). The brain demands the most glucose in a steady supply, about 120 grams daily, because it cannot store glucose. During fasting, or when very little carbohydrate is eaten, the body first pulls stored glucose from the liver and temporarily breaks down muscle to release glucose. If this continues for 3-4 days and stored glucose is fully depleted, blood levels of a hormone called insulin decrease, and the body begins to use fat as its primary fuel. The liver produces ketone bodies from fat, which can be used in the absence of glucose. [1]

A growing body of research indicates that ketogenic diets are more effective than low-fat diets for sustaining long-term weight loss in obese adults. (2, 3) Furthermore, the weight loss observed on a ketogenic diet is primarily visceral fat, the hard-to-lose fat located deep in the abdominal cavity; lean body mass, on the other hand, is preserved. (4)
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.
When there is ample glucose available (derived from dietary carbohydrates), the body will use that glucose as its main fuel source for producing ATP (the body’s main energy currency). Small amounts of glucose can be stored, but once incoming glucose has been used up and those stores run out, the body shifts gears and increases the use of fatty acids (derived from body fat stores or dietary fats) to produce energy. While most cells can directly use free fatty acids in order to produce sufficient energy, fats cannot cross the blood-brain barrier making them inaccessible to the brain as a fuel source. To overcome this, the liver converts fat into acetoacetate, acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate (a.k.a. ketone bodies or ketones) which can be used by red blood cells and cells of the central nervous system (including the brain) as an alternative energy source when glucose levels are low. Importantly, the vast majority of other bodily tissues can also use ketones to produce energy. In fact, ketone production is a normal part of healthy metabolism and small amounts of ketones are produced regularly—such as during extended exercise or during an overnight fast. If glucose supplies continue to remain low, the body will increase its production of ketones. Using ketones as an alternative energy source reduces muscle protein breakdown, when carbohydrate is low. In addition to being used for energy, ketones have signaling functions that positively regulate genes related to aging, oxidative stress and healthy sympathetic nervous system activity. 6 7
I’m 46 and just had my cholesterol checked for the first time since I was 30. When I took it at 30 I hadn’t fasted and it was 133. Todays results came in at 242! Ive been doing Keto now for almost 2 years. I freaked out at first but after reading some articles I’m starting to feel better about my numbers. I won’t bore you with them but from all I’ve read I’m not at risk for heart disease as I first thought. Thanks for everyone who commented above, you’ve helped calm me 🙂
Overall, cancer is a complex disease with many causes and contributors, but it is becoming less mysterious and more understandable as more research is done. Cancer can develop multiple traits that make it more and more resilient, but we also keep making more and more discoveries that provide us with clues as to how we can prevent, manage, and treat various types of cancer — even those that are the most sinister.
Ketone bodies, acetoacetate, and β-hydroxybutyrate (βOHB), are byproducts of fatty acid oxidation in the mitochondrial matrix of the hepatocytes. There are many theories about the role of KB, but the existence of an anticonvulsant effect is controversial. Some authors have found no relationship between KB and synaptic transmission and seizure control.

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)

The first few days of keto can be difficult as your body adjusts to a low carbohydrate intake; you may experience symptoms such as brain fog, headache, insomnia, irritability, and digestive issues. These symptoms are commonly referred to as the “keto flu” and are caused by the glycogen loss, low insulin levels, and dehydration that frequently occur when you suddenly cut back on carbs. Know that these symptoms will pass, especially if you make sure to drink plenty of water, replenish your electrolyte levels, and eat sufficient protein and calories. At the most, it may take a couple weeks for the keto flu to subside, but for most people, this uncomfortable period passes within a few days.
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!
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.
Anecdotally, I’ve spoken with some cancer researchers who claim to be virtually curing cancer in animals using a combination of ketogenic diet and PI3K or mTOR, like rapamycin, but these data aren’t published. Again, we need to be cautious about accepting these claims until they’ve gone through the legitimate scientific channels and people have had a chance to review this research.
To determine whether you’re in ketosis and what degree of ketosis you’re in, test your ketones each morning. Blood ketone testing is the most accurate method—I do not recommend breath or urine ketone monitoring. In our practice, we recommend the Precision Xtra Blood Glucose Meter Kit, which can be purchased on Amazon (you can buy test strips for this meter in bulk on eBay for a lower cost). Keto Mojo is another good meter with affordable test strips.
"The keto diet is primarily used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. While it also has been tried for weight loss, only short-term results have been studied, and the results have been mixed. We don't know if it works in the long term, nor whether it's safe," warns registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Dr. Gonzalez and his colleague Dr. Linda Isaacs MD have had remarkable success treating cancer patients with a non-toxic nutritional protocol that incorporates some of the principles of the late Dr. Max Gerson MD along with the late Dr. William Donald Kelley’s protocol which includes high doses of pancreatic enzymes and individualized diets depending on body type and cancer type. I have huge respect for them, not because of their theories, but because they are getting RESULTS, including reversing “incurable” stage four cancers. Two volumes documenting 112 of their successful case studies can be found here.
Intermittent fasting, an eating style in which you eat within a specific period each day and fast the rest of the time, is a great way to reduce the amount of time your body needs to enter nutritional ketosis. (48) Intermittent fasting accelerates the time to ketosis by keeping insulin levels low and raising ketone levels. If you’re new to intermittent fasting, start by limiting your eating to an eight- to 10-hour window each day and fasting for the remaining 14 to 16 hours of the day (and night).
As the Atkins diet makes abundantly clear, problem foods like gluten and dairy can slip into the strictest low-carb or keto plans. I often see patients "doing keto" with massive amounts of cheese or processed meats full of fillers, which is a terrible idea. These potential top food sensitivities increase inflammation and create problems with gut permeability, leading to leaky gut syndrome.
“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.”
In Asia, the normal diet includes rice and noodles as the main energy source, making their elimination difficult. Therefore, the MCT-oil form of the diet, which allows more carbohydrate, has proved useful. In India, religious beliefs commonly affect the diet: some patients are vegetarians, will not eat root vegetables or avoid beef. The Indian ketogenic diet is started without a fast due to cultural opposition towards fasting in children. The low-fat, high-carbohydrate nature of the normal Indian and Asian diet means that their ketogenic diets typically have a lower ketogenic ratio (1:1) than in America and Europe. However, they appear to be just as effective.[54]
Mitochondria are the main power generators in our body’s cells and also play a prominent role in antioxidant activities and calcium buffering. The number of mitochondria present in any cell is directly related to its metabolic requirements, and can range from a solitary mitochondrion to thousands of them. In fact, mitochondria enable cells to generate up to 15 times more ATP than they could otherwise!
They need to make a lot of ATP, and quickly, to support their high requirements for energy. Adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP, is a compound that provides energy to drive hundreds of thousands of biochemical processes in living cells. Found in all forms of life, ATP is often referred to as the chemical energy “currency” that powers metabolic activity.
The body needs bile to break down and digest dietary fat, and the gallbladder is responsible for storing bile before its release into the small intestine. Removal of the gallbladder and gallbladder disease cause fat malabsorption and may make it difficult to follow a ketogenic diet. If you have had your gallbladder removed or have existing gallbladder disease, consult with your doctor before trying a ketogenic diet.

Unfortunately, the scientific community has yet to find reliable ways to identify the nature of different cancers so that we can know for certain if a keto diet is indicated for specific cancer patients. For this reason, it is best to make dietary changes in conjunction with standard cancer treatments. Treating cancer with diet alone is risky and not recommended at this point.


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.

Mitochondria are the main power generators in our body’s cells and also play a prominent role in antioxidant activities and calcium buffering. The number of mitochondria present in any cell is directly related to its metabolic requirements, and can range from a solitary mitochondrion to thousands of them. In fact, mitochondria enable cells to generate up to 15 times more ATP than they could otherwise!
In 2008, two randomized, controlled studies (one double-blinded) were published demonstrating that the ketogenic diet controlled seizures. In addition, a consensus statement from 26 dietitians and neurologists at worldwide ketogenic diet centers was published in Epilepsia to help guide clinical management of ketogenic diet patients. Lastly, the first international biannual ketogenic diet conference was held in Phoenix, Arizona to bring together researchers and clinicians. This conference has continued every other year.

A systematic review in 2018 looked at 16 studies on the ketogenic diet in adults. It concluded that the treatment was becoming more popular for that group of patients, that the efficacy in adults was similar to children, the side effects relatively mild. However, many patients gave up with the diet, for various reasons, and the quality of evidence was inferior to studies on children. Health issues include high levels of low-density lipoprotein, high total cholesterol, and weight loss.[24]
In some ways, it’s similar to the Atkins diet, which similarly boosts the body’s fat-burning abilities through eating only low-carb foods, along with getting rid of foods high in carbs and sugar. Removing glucose from carbohydrate foods will cause the body to burn fat for energy instead. The major differences between the classic keto and the Atkins diet is the former emphasizes healthier keto fats, less overall protein and no processed meat (such as bacon) while having more research to back up its efficacy.

Because the ketogenic diet alters the body's metabolism, it is a first-line therapy in children with certain congenital metabolic diseases such as pyruvate dehydrogenase (E1) deficiency and glucose transporter 1 deficiency syndrome,[35] which prevent the body from using carbohydrates as fuel, leading to a dependency on ketone bodies. The ketogenic diet is beneficial in treating the seizures and some other symptoms in these diseases and is an absolute indication.[36] However, it is absolutely contraindicated in the treatment of other diseases such as pyruvate carboxylase deficiency, porphyria, and other rare genetic disorders of fat metabolism.[9] Persons with a disorder of fatty acid oxidation are unable to metabolise fatty acids, which replace carbohydrates as the major energy source on the diet. On the ketogenic diet, their bodies would consume their own protein stores for fuel, leading to ketoacidosis, and eventually coma and death.[37]

Type 1 Diabetes: Lowering carb intake and increasing fat intake is also beneficial for people with Type 1, Type 1.5 diabetes and LADA. A low carb diet can help reduce the number and severity of hypoglycemic episodes, lower HbA1c test results and minimize future diabetic complications. Learn more in The Ketogenic Diet for Type 1 Diabetes e-Book or click on the book cover.  These benefits are also possible for children with Type 1 and their parents should know that they have options.


However, our glycogen supplies in the liver and muscle are quite limited, providing only an 8-12 hour emergency supply. So during a fast, or starvation, or on a diet providing no carbohydrates in any form, we quickly run out of glycogen. In this situation, through a variety of neural and hormonal signaling, our fat cells, or adipocytes, begin releasing free fatty acids into the blood stream. These fatty acids can in turn be used by our cells in the alternate ATP producing process of beta oxidation.

Tony, I'm not sure how you were only eating 20 grams of fat on a keto diet; in fact, if this is true, that may be the reason. A keto diet should provide a minimum of 70 grams of fat daily, but generally 100+ grams for most people, especially men. Be sure to include nuts, olive oil, avocados, fatty fish, and other healthy sources of fat in your diet on a daily basis in order to prevent problems. - Franziska
I too am a lean mass hyper responder and have FH with very high levels of LDL and HDL but have never had the tests to separate out the different types of LDL. I thought my relatively low fat diet with high fibre would be good for me and help prevent plaque build up, although I have read some excellent articles and books relating to the link between high cholesterol and heart disease being very fabricated. When I recently had a well-man check up and discovered that I was pre type II diabetic, I thought, WTF! I have been so careful for so many years not to have simple sugars in my diet and only complex carbs with plenty of fibre - and yet, there I am with my Dr telling me I'm on the verge of diabetes! So, I'm going on the side of plenty of good fats are really good for me - even with really high cholesterol levels - and am now two weeks into a Keto diet - lost a bit of weight, so boy am I skinny now - but feeling great with much more energy and clarity of thought / consciousness. My gout is subsiding, my eczema is not flaring up so much and not so itchy in other areas either! Also the keto diet feels and tastes so good - I love eating fish and meat and avocados and love to simply eat teaspoons of coconut oil. I tend to snack on nuts and seeds during the day after a morning fast so I only eat between midday and about 6-7pm in the evening. Who knows whether or not I will have a heart attack in my late fifties like my mum or a stroke at 65 like my father!
Disclaimer: The content of this website is based on research conducted by Chris Beat Cancer, LLC unless otherwise noted. The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe for any medical or psychological condition, nor to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure such conditions. The information contained herein is not intended to replace a one-to-one relationship with a doctor or qualified healthcare professional. Therefore, this information is not intended as medical advice, but rather a sharing of knowledge and information based on research and experience. Chris Beat Cancer, LLC encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your judgment and research in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
The ketogenic diet is indicated as an adjunctive (additional) treatment in children and young people with drug-resistant epilepsy.[26][27] It is approved by national clinical guidelines in Scotland,[27] England, and Wales[26] and reimbursed by nearly all US insurance companies.[28] Children with a focal lesion (a single point of brain abnormality causing the epilepsy) who would make suitable candidates for surgery are more likely to become seizure-free with surgery than with the ketogenic diet.[9][29] About a third of epilepsy centres that offer the ketogenic diet also offer a dietary therapy to adults. Some clinicians consider the two less restrictive dietary variants—the low glycaemic index treatment and the modified Atkins diet—to be more appropriate for adolescents and adults.[9] A liquid form of the ketogenic diet is particularly easy to prepare for, and well tolerated by, infants on formula and children who are tube-fed.[5][30]
The most convincing piece of evidence can be found in a 2003 meta-analysis. In this meta-analysis, researchers compiled the data from sixty trials that quantified the effect that feeding different types of fats to humans had on the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio [25]. But before we look through the results, we must first understand what this ratio is.
When you first embark on a ketogenic diet, your goal is to be in nutritional ketosis consistently. Over time, as you train your body to function on fewer carbohydrates, you may enter the fat adaptation phase. While ketosis can be achieved after just a few days of the diet, at least three to four weeks of strict adherence to the diet is required in order to reach the fat adaptation state. This is also the time frame during which you’ll likely begin to notice benefits of the diet.
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.
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.
When I was six years old, I was diagnosed with temporal lobe, partial-complex epilepsy.  Over the years, I have seen multiple doctors and neurologists and I have been on every medication created to treat epilepsy, but I still continued to have seizures about every 6-8 weeks. For the most part, I have been able to lead a normal life achieving my college degree, getting married and having two happy, healthy kids but every time I had a seizure it was a cruel reminder that I was not everything I needed to be for my family. Many times after a seizure, I would be unable to work and care for them for days at a time.
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.
The brain is composed of a network of neurons that transmit signals by propagating nerve impulses. The propagation of this impulse from one neuron to another is typically controlled by neurotransmitters, though there are also electrical pathways between some neurons. Neurotransmitters can inhibit impulse firing (primarily done by γ-aminobutyric acid, or GABA) or they can excite the neuron into firing (primarily done by glutamate). A neuron that releases inhibitory neurotransmitters from its terminals is called an inhibitory neuron, while one that releases excitatory neurotransmitters is an excitatory neuron. When the normal balance between inhibition and excitation is significantly disrupted in all or part of the brain, a seizure can occur. The GABA system is an important target for anticonvulsant drugs, since seizures may be discouraged by increasing GABA synthesis, decreasing its breakdown, or enhancing its effect on neurons.[7]
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.

Solomon L. Moshe, MD. Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience and Pediatrics, Director of Clinical Neurophysiology and Child Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York; past president of the American Epilepsy Society. William R. Turk, MD. Division Chief, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology, The Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida.
A high carbohydrate intake can exacerbate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by feeding opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria in the gut. (29) These microbes ferment dietary carbohydrates, producing gases that increase intraabdominal pressure, a driving force behind acid reflux and GERD. The gas manufactured by these bacteria also contributes to bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in IBS.

Ketogenic diets (KDs), being high in fat and low in carbohydrates, have been suggested to reduce seizure frequency in people with epilepsy. At present, such diets are mainly recommended for children who continue to have seizures despite treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) (drug‐resistant epilepsy). Recently, there has been interest in less restrictive KDs, including the modified Atkins diet (MAD), and the use of these diets has extended into adult practice. This is an update of a review first published in 2003 and last updated in 2016.
A randomised, controlled clinical trial among 120 overweight adults with high levels of cholesterol compared the effects of a ketogenic diet against a low-fat diet. After 24 weeks, the group following the keto diet reported greater weight loss and declines in the triglyceride levels and higher increases in the HDL cholesterol levels compared to the low-fat group (11).
Though Dr. Folkman’s research was all based on laboratory experiments and animal studies, the powerful NCI publicity machine took up the cause, with the smell of “miracle” again in the air, despite the lack of any evidence that Folkman’s anti-angiogenesis drugs worked against human cancer. Nonetheless, with the NCI and NIH on board, the media, large and small, local and national, seemed transported into a state of frenzy.
Jimmy Moore: Quite frankly. They’ve not been trained to teach you how to do nutrition, and then if they turn to nutrition they either leave it to the dietitian who has been trained in low fat, high carb diets or they’ll just “Well, the USDA my plate says blah blah blah.” They’re just parading what someone else has said. They’ve not done their own research. Just assuming that your doctor knows everything about what it takes nutritionally to make you healthy is a bad mistake.

What this shows is that there is very little difference in heart disease risk relative to total cholesterol above and below 200. In fact, no significant increase in risk was measured until total cholesterol reached an excess of 240. There also seems to be a protective role that having a total cholesterol above 180 serves both for heart disease and healthy mental function.
Dr. Chris Masterjohn postulates that this ratio is an accurate marker for the amount of time that LDL particles spend in the blood [26]. This is an important thing to take note of because the LDL particles are more likely to become oxidized and cause atherosclerosis when they are in the blood for longer periods of time. This gives us a deeper explanation of why the authors of the 2003 meta-analysis looked at the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio rather than total cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is a type of molecule known as a “steroid alcohol.” Every cell in your body needs cholesterol. 75% of all your average required cholesterol is produced by the body. The rest (25%) is consumed through food. Only animals use cholesterol. The average human body contains roughly 30 to 40 grams of cholesterol, most of which resides in cell membranes. Pretty much every cell can make cholesterol.

Keto diets, like most low carb diets, work through the elimination of glucose. Because most folks live on a high carb diet, our bodies normally run on glucose (or sugar) for energy. We cannot make glucose and only have about 24 hours’ worth stored in our muscle tissue and liver. Once glucose is no longer available from food sources, we begin to burn stored fat instead, or fat from our food.


Kidney stones have occurred in about 6 percent of patients and may be increased in younger patients (<3 years of age), and those with hypercalciuria and low urine volume. Oral potassium citrate as a preventative supplement results in urine alkalinization, decreasing the prevalence of kidney stones. Universal supplementation appears to drop the risk of stones to nearly zero.
“This is an important area of research that has the potential to significantly improve treatment responses,” said AICR’s Director of Research Nigel Brockton, Ph.D. “There are plausible mechanisms by which the ketogenic diet could help make treatment more effective, but, as we see many times, plausibility alone is not enough; it has to be tested. That’s why we are supporting research in this area.”
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