However, this doesn't happen in every case or even most cases. In fact, many people see little to no increase in their LDL cholesterol while experiencing beneficial changes in other markers, such as an increase in HDL cholesterol and a decrease in triglycerides, blood sugar, and insulin levels – all of which are associated with reduced risk of CVD.

Cyclical ketosis means you’re sometimes in ketosis and sometimes aren’t. A few days each week—the night before workout days to build glycogen stores in your muscles—try increasing your intake of berries, higher complex carb veggies (like sweet potatoes), and non-gluten grains. It might knock you out of ketosis temporarily, but it also provides a wealth of nutrients to keep you lean, healthy, and happy. This is also called flexible ketosis, which creates metabolic flexibility—the holy grail of metabolism management. I’ve also talked about cycling ketosis with intermittent fasting, which provides a win-win strategy to reach your health goals.
Infants and patients fed via a gastrostomy tube can also be given a ketogenic diet. Parents make up a prescribed powdered formula, such as KetoCal, into a liquid feed.[19] Gastrostomy feeding avoids any issues with palatability, and bottle-fed infants readily accept the ketogenic formula.[31] Some studies have found this liquid feed to be more efficacious and associated with lower total cholesterol than a solid ketogenic diet.[18] KetoCal is a nutritionally complete food containing milk protein and is supplemented with amino acids, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It is used to administer the 4:1 ratio classic ketogenic diet in children over one year. The formula is available in both 3:1 and 4:1 ratios, either unflavoured or in an artificially sweetened vanilla flavour and is suitable for tube or oral feeding.[51] Other formula products include KetoVolve[52] and Ketonia.[53] Alternatively, a liquid ketogenic diet may be produced by combining Ross Carbohydrate Free soy formula with Microlipid and Polycose.[53]
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.
Jimmy Moore: I did not say that. You see my Instagram account, you know how much I hate processed boxed food. The mono unsaturated fats are avocados, avocado oil, 100% olive oil … that’s key too, make sure your getting olive oil that you know is 100% olive oil, because they can sneak in some of those omega-six facts into there and not tell anybody. That screws people up trying to avoid those. Of course, nuts have mono unsaturated fats as well. You can get a well rounded amount of fat from varying sources and that is really what’s going to help you in controlling your blood sugar, controlling your cholesterol, and controlling your inflammation.

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.)
The goal is to reach a ratio of four portion of fat to one portion of protein plus carbohydrate, described as “4:1.” To achieve this level, one of two approaches, with or without fasting, may be used. In the former approach, the patient must be hospitalized for 12–48 h, or when ketones are present in the urine (Rubenstein, 2008), to prevent the development of hypoglycemia and dehydration. This method tends to accelerate the development of ketosis although it can generate more stress on the patient (Armeno et al., 2014). When ketosis is reached, the meals are calculated to maintain a constant KD ratio, while calories are added until full-calorie meals are tolerated (Kossoff et al., 2009). The latter approach requires no hospitalization and the KD ratio increases weekly, from 1:1, 2:1 and 3:1 to 4:1 (Bergqvist et al., 2005). Most of the literature suggests that there is no significant difference between the two approaches in terms of the time needed to reach ketosis and the occurrence of hypoglycemia (Kim et al., 2004), so nowadays patients tend to not fast.
I also want to be clear that I’m not making any specific recommendation here for treatment of cancer using ketogenic diet or anything else. As I’ve argued earlier in the podcast, I think cancer is a complex multifactorial disease and varies from individual. The ideology and pathology vary from individual to individual, and treatment decisions should be made with the support of an oncologist and other doctors on the care team. Please don’t take anything that I’ve said in this podcast as a recommendation for your particular situation or somebody in your life that’s struggling with cancer.
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. 

The most common side effect encountered is constipation. Many of the children who begin the diet are already prone to this problem because of limited mobility, hypotonia, or spasticity. Constipation can be treated with regular doses of polyethylene glycol, fiber, increased fluids, salt, mineral oil, intermittent pediatric-dose enemas, or magnesium hydroxide . Other more common side effects include hunger, acidosis (during illness), and hypoglycemia (just during the start of the diet). Many children as well can have gastroesophageal reflux, which can be managed with medications. The high fat content decreases gastric emptying, which promotes gastroesophageal reflux.
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.

One theory is that an extreme increase in cholesterol may be common in those undergoing rapid weight loss. This is because the fat cells we have stored in our adipose tissue contain high amounts of both triglycerides and cholesterol. When we begin to break down our stored fat to be metabolized for energy, cholesterol in the blood goes up temporarily.


Yes, this is an evolving area. Classical (traditional) ketogenic diet, MCT oil ketogenic diet, modified Atkins diet, low glycemic index diet, modified ketogenic diet are currently used worldwide. The amount and type of fat, protein, and carbohydrate characterizes the difference between these diet types. Different ketogenic diet centres may use different versions of the ketogenic diet. Many centres offer more than one option. Your ketogenic diet trained medical team will help you determine which type of diet is best suited for you or your child. Each patient should be treated as an individual and every ketogenic diet should be tailored to meet their particular needs.
Chris, I’m missing the logic here. Even when carbohydrates are restricted, the body is going to take fats and glycogen and turn them back into blood sugar, i.e. glucose. Glucose is also the only fuel the brain can use, and when it is too high or too low, all kinds of alarm bells go off, and the body does everything it can to restore normal glucose levels. Ketogenic diet or not, blood sugar is going to stay pretty steady if all the normal regulatory mechanisms are in place. If there is glucose in the blood, there is glucose in the interstitial fluids, and cancer cells are never going to be starved for glucose. So if restricting carbs has any use in cancer therapy, it has nothing to do with preventing cancer cells from getting glucose. If there is no glucose in the blood, you are dead.
The ketogenic diet achieved national media exposure in the US in October 1994, when NBC's Dateline television programme reported the case of Charlie Abrahams, son of Hollywood producer Jim Abrahams. The two-year-old suffered from epilepsy that had remained uncontrolled by mainstream and alternative therapies. Abrahams discovered a reference to the ketogenic diet in an epilepsy guide for parents and brought Charlie to John M. Freeman at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which had continued to offer the therapy. Under the diet, Charlie's epilepsy was rapidly controlled and his developmental progress resumed. This inspired Abrahams to create the Charlie Foundation to promote the diet and fund research.[10] A multicentre prospective study began in 1994, the results were presented to the American Epilepsy Society in 1996 and were published[17] in 1998. There followed an explosion of scientific interest in the diet. In 1997, Abrahams produced a TV movie, ...First Do No Harm, starring Meryl Streep, in which a young boy's intractable epilepsy is successfully treated by the ketogenic diet.[1]
In fact, one study stated that “…the group with the highest risk for cardiovascular events had high LDL-P and LDL-C, while the group with the lowest risk had low LDL-P but higher LDL-C.” [17] As a result of prior clinical research and their findings, the researchers stated that: “While the low carb, ketogenic diet did not lower total LDL cholesterol, it did result in a shift from small, dense LDL to large, buoyant LDL, which could lower cardiovascular disease risk.” [23]
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).

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She learned about Kelley’s work, began the program, regained her health, and avoided all conventional doctors for many years. In 1984, nine years after coming under Kelley’s care, she returned to her primary care physician who was quite perplexed she was still alive after all this time. A chest x-ray showed total resolution of her once widespread lung metastases.
“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.”
In general, cholesterol is traditionally misunderstood. I am going to show why high cholesterol is not inherently bad, and how to lookout for some real warning signs that you are in an inflammatory state. Knowing how cholesterol works in the body and how to interpret your cholesterol numbers will empower you to move forward on your ketogenic journey with confidence.
In his talk, Dr. Seyfried begins with what he refers to as a “provocative question”: Is cancer a genetic or metabolic disease? Actually, whether he realizes it or not, his question is not quite as provocative as he thinks it is, nor is the answer anywhere near as clear-cut as he thinks it is or as he characterizes oncologists and cancer researchers as thinking it is. I’ll tell you what I think the answer to the question is after I’ve discussed Dr. Seyfried’s hypothesis. In the meantime, not surprisingly, his answer is that cancer is a metabolic disease, while everyone else’s answer—according to him, at least—is that it is a genetic disease, making him the brave maverick doctor, who says things like:

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.


I recommend CBD International to everyone I know who is fighting cancer including the Hospice team taking care of my daughter. All the different nurses always ask, they have many patients asking. If I can save anyone the three months it took me to find you, that time saved could save a life. When you find yourself in a situation like a cancer diagnosis, you are searching for something to help, you really don't know what you are getting. My visits to the medical marijuana shops in Southern California left me frustrated, they are not knowledgeable and kept steering me to edibles and hash oil and trying to find the correct treatment was for me, about the only thing I could do for my daughter that might help her and the only thing she was willing to try. From the very first contact on your website, to the questionnaire to all correspondence, so timely and the integrity and kindness you and your company have shown me, I can't praise you enough. You guys are the real deal.
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.
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.
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)

In fact, some researchers believe that the keto diet may be one of the best diets for preventing the growth of most cancers — especially those that are linked to obesity. This is because restricting carbs is a simple and effective way to improve mitochondrial function and protect our cells from the damage and inflammation that can lead to genetic mutation.


HDL cholesterol transfers the extra cholesterol from the blood to the liver for removal from the body and is also referred to as “good” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol transfers the cholesterol within the bloodstream to the parts of the body where cell repair is needed and also inside the arteries. It is also known as “bad” cholesterol. Total cholesterol is HDL and LDL cholesterol combined (4).
In the first week, many people report headaches, mental fogginess, dizziness, and aggravation. Most of the time, this is the result of your electrolytes being flushed out, as ketosis has a diuretic effect. Make sure you drink plenty of water and keep your sodium intake up.6One of the fathers of keto, Dr. Phinney, shows that electrolyte levels (especially sodium) can become unbalanced with low carb intake.
Of course, there are plenty of cancer therapies that are effective and non-toxic, but they are not covered by insurance companies in the U.S., and most of them are not approved by the FDA, so one must go south of the border into Mexico or travel to another country to receive the best non-toxic cancer therapies. (See: Cancer – The Forbidden Cures and Why Medicine Won’t Allow Cancer to Be Cured)
Dr. David Jockers is a functional nutritionist, corrective care chiropractor, exercise physiologist, and certified strength & conditioning specialist. He runs one of the hottest natural health websites: DrJockers.com and is the author of "SuperCharge Your Brain," the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory, and mindset, and the "SuperCharged Recipe book" with over 180 full-color recipes to help you take back control of your health. He is a regular contributor to thetruthaboutcancer.com and has well over 1,200 professionally published natural health articles on the web and in print magazines. Dr. Jockers is a sought after speaker around the country on such topics as weight loss, brain health, functional exercise, natural detoxification, and disease prevention. He currently owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Chapter 6 continues with advice on customizing the diet, foods that are allowed or disallowed, meal preparation, and how to follow the diet when away from home, such as restaurant or travel dining. Chapter 7 presents a number of diverse topics of great practical importance especially to a cancer patient but seldom mentioned in popular diet books: alcohol consumption: how to handle incidental illnesses; sick days and menstrual cycles; stress; exercise; acidity and alkalinity; and vegetarianism. Finally there are 12 appendices that provide convenient worksheets and a wealth of advice and information that will save many telephone calls, and trips to the library or internet.

Compared to TBI, the amount of scientific literature documenting the beneficial effects of a ketogenic diet for epilepsy is vast. The ketogenic diet was first introduced as a therapy in the 1920s, when doctors learned it could successfully treat seizures in children with refractory epilepsy. (27) Interest in the ketogenic diet waned when antiepileptic drugs were introduced in the 1960s and ’70s; however, the ketogenic diet has experienced a recent resurgence in popularity in the epilepsy community, particularly among those suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy.
Further, the authors revealed that only 60 to 65% of patients with epilepsy become seizure free using medication while 35% are resistant to the effects of medication. And they used these statistics to justify this study. They further stated that there has been an “exponential” growth in interest in using the ketogenic diet for the treatment of epilepsy.
In terms of our specific discussion, diet as cancer treatment, Dr. Kelley demonstrated more recently in his Dallas, Texas, and Winthrop, Washington offices, no one diet suits all patients diagnosed with the disease, quite the contrary. Over a 20 year period working in the trenches treating many thousands of people, Dr. Kelley came to learn that each patient who walked into his office required a diet designed specifically for his or her metabolic needs, and these dietary requirements could vary enormously from patient to patient.
Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.
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.
Let me say out front I have no problem with scientists who propose a theory, in short papers or in the case of Dr. Seyfried, in long, detailed books. I do have a problem when scientists go a step further, insisting in the absence of any significant human data or even impressive case histories they have unraveled the mystery of cancer. I am also quite surprised, in the case of Dr. Seyfried, that both alternative and conventional practitioners have risen up in a loud chorus of enthusiasm, as if indeed Dr. Seyfried’s theories are correct, and that he has solved the cancer riddle.
The ketogenic diet may have a role in treating disorders of cellular proliferation, especially cancer. Just as chemotherapy selectively targets tumors based on differences in the way they divide compared with normal cells, investigators have proposed targeting tumors on the basis of differences in their metabolism. Normal tissue can adapt readily to using ketones (instead of glucose) as a substrate, but malignant cells probably do not have the same degree of metabolic flexibility [23]. One case report in 1995 [24, Class III] described the use of the ketogenic diet in two girls with advanced astrocytomas, based on the idea that brain tumors are less able than healthy brain tissue to use ketones as an energy source. In this report, PET studies demonstrated a 20% reduction in glucose uptake by the tumors following the initiation of the ketogenic diet. One of the patients actually showed improvement during the course of the study and has continued to be well, without evidence of tumor progression (T. Seyfried, personal communication, 2008). 

You may be given a diary to record the number and type of seizures you or your child has while on the diet. As food can affect how we feel or act, you may be asked to note any changes in your or your child’s mood, alertness and overall behaviour. It usually takes at least three months to see whether the diet is effective. The length of time the diet is followed may vary, but if an individual remains seizure-free, has fewer seizures, or maintains other benefits, such as improved quality of life, they may consider (with their medical team), slowly coming off the diet after two years.
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.

A ketogenic diet may be an option for some people who have had difficulty losing weight with other methods.  The exact ratio of fat, carbohydrate, and protein that is needed to achieve health benefits will vary among individuals due to their genetic makeup and body composition. Therefore, if one chooses to start a ketogenic diet, it is recommended to consult with one’s physician and a dietitian to closely monitor any biochemical changes after starting the regimen, and to create a meal plan that is tailored to one’s existing health conditions and to prevent nutritional deficiencies or other health complications. A dietitian may also provide guidance on reintroducing carbohydrates once weight loss is achieved.


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.
Proponents of the super-high-fat, low-protein approach argue that protein kicks the body out of ketosis by supplying amino acids for gluconeogenesis (simply put, turning non-carbs into fuel); however, research indicates that the impact of dietary protein on gluconeogenesis and glucose flux is nearly negligible, making this argument irrelevant. (42) In my practice, we have found that usual protein intakes (15 to 20 percent of calories) do not have appreciable effects on blood ketone levels. Besides, a super-high-fat, low-protein diet typically has more drawbacks than benefits—it may cause weight gain, muscle loss, fatigue, and chronic hunger. Don’t be afraid of including plenty of protein in your ketogenic diet; protein is a powerful tool that will satiate your appetite while facilitating fat loss and preventing muscle loss.
In the 1960s, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) were found to produce more ketone bodies per unit of energy than normal dietary fats (which are mostly long-chain triglycerides).[15] MCTs are more efficiently absorbed and are rapidly transported to the liver via the hepatic portal system rather than the lymphatic system.[16] The severe carbohydrate restrictions of the classic ketogenic diet made it difficult for parents to produce palatable meals that their children would tolerate. In 1971, Peter Huttenlocher devised a ketogenic diet where about 60% of the calories came from the MCT oil, and this allowed more protein and up to three times as much carbohydrate as the classic ketogenic diet. The oil was mixed with at least twice its volume of skimmed milk, chilled, and sipped during the meal or incorporated into food. He tested it on 12 children and adolescents with intractable seizures. Most children improved in both seizure control and alertness, results that were similar to the classic ketogenic diet. Gastrointestinal upset was a problem, which led one patient to abandon the diet, but meals were easier to prepare and better accepted by the children.[15] The MCT diet replaced the classic ketogenic diet in many hospitals, though some devised diets that were a combination of the two.[10]
It’s also interesting that the cancers used to produce the basic science cited by Dr. Seyfried are virtually all brain cancers and that virtually all the evidence comes from rodent tumor models. For one thing, if there is a tumor type that exhibits the Warburg effect and a high degree of metabolic derangement, it’s brain tumors. It’s no coincidence that dichloroacetate was first tested in brain tumors. In this study, VM/Dk mice were used, and a mouse histiocytoma cell line resembling human glioblastoma multiforme with macrophage/microglial properties derived from that same mouse strain (VM-M3) was implanted subcutaneously. This cell line has the property of metastasizing quickly and widely when implanted under the skin and allowed to grow, which actually makes it not very much like brain tumors, which seldom metastasize and usually kill through local invasion and taking up increasing volume in the closed space of the skull, something the brain most definitely does not like. The results showed that a ketogenic diet increased mean survival time by over 56%, while a combination of a ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) increased survival time 78%. The result is interesting, but it is a mouse tumor model, not a human tumor model, and that makes its applicability to humans tenuous, particularly given the nature of the murine tumor, but probably worth investigating further.
In a recent meta-analysis, eight studies were identified that used the MAD in adult patients with refractory epilepsy, aged between 15 and 86 years, with treatment times ranging from 3 to 36 months. In these studies, the proportion of patients who showed >50% seizure reduction ranged from 20 to 70% and the rate of seizure freedom ranged from 7 to 30%. The rate of abandonment of the diet varied between 12.5 and 82% of the patients (Liu et al., 2018).
Epilepsy can be caused by a variety of different conditions including head trauma, infection, brain tumor, and stroke, but by and large most cases of epilepsy have no readily identifiable cause. Epilepsy affects some 2.3 million adults in America and close to half a million children. Further, about one in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point in their lives. It’s been estimated that there are approximately 150,000 new cases of epilepsy diagnosed in the United States each year and overall about $15.5 billion in medical costs as well as lost earnings and production are attributed to this disease.

Some would argue, however, that these cut-off points are arbitrary and do not apply to all individuals depending on their baseline metabolic health and overall health. For instance, far too many examples exist of people with low LDL levels having heart attacks and those with high LDL having improved longevity. So while these numbers make sense for whole populations, tremendous individual variation exists.

Only after interviewing 1,000 of Dr. Kelley’s patients, and evaluating 455 of them at length over a five-year period, did I even begin to think about the book that would be written – not a popular potboiler, not a tome expounding his elaborate theories, but a serious academic monograph about our findings. It is just not in my makeup to put out a book with lovely theory and two case reports, however inspiring they might be.
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.

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.
The ketogenic diet has been studied in at least 14 rodent animal models of seizures. It is protective in many of these models and has a different protection profile than any known anticonvulsant. Conversely, fenofibrate, not used clinically as an antiepileptic, exhibits experimental anticonvulsant properties in adult rats comparable to the ketogenic diet.[58] This, together with studies showing its efficacy in patients who have failed to achieve seizure control on half a dozen drugs, suggests a unique mechanism of action.[56]

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”]
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.
Cancer cells are unlike normal cells in many ways, but one of their traits that is most unique regards insulin receptors. They have ten times more insulin receptors on their cellular surface. This enables cancer cells to gorge themselves in glucose and nutrients coming from the bloodstream at a very high rate. As you continue to consume glucose as your primary diet source, cancer cells will continue to thrive and spread. It is no surprise that the lowest survival rate in cancer patients is among those with the highest blood sugar levels.
In 2012, Dr. Thomas Seyfried, a PhD basic science researcher, published the book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, announcing to the world that a high-fat, no carbohydrate ketogenic diet represents the solution to cancer prevention as well as to cancer treatment. His monograph has been greeted with much acclaim, though not yet at the level reached at the height of the interleukin-2 hysteria in 1985.

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.


Multiple mechanisms of action may explain why the modification of the KD can be effective even without ketosis. Importantly, the KD systemic action can have a broad spectrum of effects that may be beneficial in the treatment of different types of epilepsy and associated comorbidities such as cognition impairment, psychiatric disturbance, and sudden unexplained death.


In contrast to the safe application of KDs reported in various cancer models, our research group recently reported that mice bearing renal cell carcinoma xenografts and with signs of Stauffer’s syndrome experienced dramatic weight loss and liver dysfunction when treated with a KD [4]. Another study investigating the effect of long-term KD treatment on kidney cancer described a pro-tumor effect of the KD in a rat model of tuberous sclerosis complex [5]. Most concerning is the observation that, in a mouse model of BRAF V600E-positive melanoma, tumor growth was significantly increased under the KD [6]. Moreover, the study also demonstrated that the ketone body acetoacetate stimulated the oncogenic signaling of the BRAF pathway. In contrast, the KD had no effect on the progression of NRAS Q61K-positive or wild-type melanoma xenografts [6]. Notwithstanding these observations, in a feasibility trial involving a limited number of patients with advanced malignancies, a patient with BRAF V600E-positive/BRAF-inhibitor resistant melanoma seemed to benefit from the KD [7].
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
Most of the DNA errors that lead to cancer appear to modify cellular metabolism in cancer cells, by targeting a dozen or so signaling pathways. Metabolism is a term used to describe chemical reactions that help to keep our cells and, by extension, our body, alive. Many of these metabolic changes are absolutely essential for cancer cell formation and survival.
But what surprised me – and what began to concern others I knew in the medical community – was some time later the deafening silence about the trial’s outcome, and what seemed to be a blackout about the actual data. Eventually, the study results were published indicating that 42 subjects had been ultimately recruited for the trial, not the planned 70, and not a single one of these had responded to the drug.

Other genetic disorders caused by mutations limit the availability of energy substrates but do not necessarily cause seizures. One such disease is phosphofructokinase (PFK) deficiency. PFK is the rate-limiting enzyme in glycolysis for the conversion of fructose-6-phosphate to fructose-1,6-bisphosphate. Patients with mutations in the muscle isoform of PFK demonstrate exercise intolerance with myalgias and stiffness. There also are rare infantile forms, such as a case reported by Swoboda et al. [21, Class III], with myopathy and arthrogryposis. This patient displayed marked gains in muscle strength and improvement in his developmental milestones after being placed on the ketogenic diet.
Advocates for the diet recommend that it be seriously considered after two medications have failed, as the chance of other drugs succeeding is only 10%.[9][31][32] The diet can be considered earlier for some epilepsy and genetic syndromes where it has shown particular usefulness. These include Dravet syndrome, infantile spasms, myoclonic-astatic epilepsy, and tuberous sclerosis complex.[9][33]
• 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
Hi, I’m still a bit skeptical, I have seen some of my friends do the keto diet, and have had good results. Though I am still not sure about the idea of the fats being eaten. They say they eat meat with the fat and must do so, is this correct? Also isn’t this not good for the body especially for the kidneys? Second, can a diabetic do this diet? There are many questions running through my head.
With renewed use of the ketogenic diet has come heightened interest in its potential use for other conditions (Table 1). Over the past few years, there has been an explosion in speculation about the diet’s potential applications in a variety of metabolic, oncologic, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric disorders. This review examines data supporting the potential use of the ketogenic diet in each disorder and considers potential mechanisms of action in each disorder, using these data to shed light on the diet’s disease-modifying effects. Both the human and animal studies discussed used standard ketogenic diets unless otherwise specified.
In summary, I think the metabolic theory on cancer is really interesting and there’s already some good evidence to support it. Clearly, we need more research. Whether or not this research will get done is the big question because as we know, two-thirds of medical research is sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. It can be difficult for researchers like Dominic D’Agostino to get funding to do this kind of research because nobody can patent the ketogenic diet and fasting. There’s not as much money as there would be in a kind of miracle drug that targets gene therapy and things like that. That’s one of the reasons there isn’t as much research as there might be otherwise.

I recently applied for life insurance after following the ketogenic diet for about six months. I was initially quoted the lowest rate based on the fact that I have no health issues whatsoever. However, my cholesterol readings were very high so they came back and said that I had elevated total cholesterol readings of 378 which alarmed me. They have now doubled my life insurance rates because of it. Even though my total cholesterol was high everything else seems good according to this article. LDL – 272, HDL – 92, Triclycerides – 70. This all translates to an LDL/HDL ratio of slightly under 3:1 and a Triglyceride/HDL ratio of close to 1:1. I don’t know if I should be concerned that my total is well over the 300 that is sited in this article. Does anyone know?
Though most of our cells can utilize fatty acids of all stripes via beta oxidation to create ATP energy, our central nervous system is at somewhat of a disadvantage. In fact, long chain fatty acids with 14 or more carbons, which can yield the most ATP from beta oxidation, do not cross the blood-brain barrier. However, in a state of prolonged dietary carbohydrate depletion, the liver begins converting acetyl coenzyme A into various ketone bodies, such as acetoacetate and beta hydroxy butyric acid, which easily penetrate into the brain and which can, like acetyl coenzyme A, be shunted into the citric acid cycle and then the electron transport chain, providing the brain with ATP.
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state where the body uses fat as its primary fuel source. In our studies and others, the ketogenic diet has shown to significantly lower blood glucose. This can trigger anti-inflammatory processes that enhance cellular function and improve overall dog health. The remarkable case studies we saw at the KetoPet Sanctuary indicate that the ketogenic diet can improve outcomes for dog cancer and support overall dog health.
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:

Feldman believes that his findings thus far demonstrate that the combination of higher energy demands, lower body fat stores, and lower glycogen stores in LMHRs trigger increased production of LDLs for the purpose of carrying energy (triglycerides) to cells that need them, with cholesterol mainly along for the ride but also used by the cells for repair and other purposes, as needed.
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)
Ketosis: What is ketosis? Ketosis is a metabolic process, and it involves the body burning stored fat instead of glucose. Some people try to induce this with a low-carb diet, which can be healthy. However, ketosis also produces acid, and high levels of this can cause severe complications, especially for people with diabetes. Learn more here. Read now
Energy Deprivation. By its nature, the ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates (typically 20 to 50 grams/day) and naturally restricts calorie consumption. This restricts the amount of fuel that cancer cells receive, even for the cancer cells that are able to thrive off of multiple substrates. Furthermore, almost all cancer cells seem to lack the ability to use the ketones produced when carbs consumption is restricted. Thus, cancer patients who are keto-adapted will probably be the most effective at starving cancer cells.
Ketogenesis has existed as long as humans have. If you eat a very low amount of carbohydrates, you starve your brain of glucose, its main fuel source. Your body still needs fuel to function, so it taps into your reserve of ketones, which are compounds the liver creates from fat when blood insulin is low. This process is known as ketosis: It’s like when a hybrid car runs out of gas and reverts to pure electricity.
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).
In addition to seizures, the KD has been suggested to treat neurodegenerative disorders (eg, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), metabolic defects, migraines, and other disease states.3 Although the KD isn’t a mainstream form of treatment, the possibility that there may be clinical significance in using dietary means for certain medical conditions can’t be ruled out. This isn’t an endorsement for the KD as much as an expression of interest that, depending on nutritional intake, the body can make astounding adaptations to help control debilitating conditions.

We know now that plaque formation is a culmination of inflammation at the plaque formation site along with a white blood cell mediated interaction between calcium, cholesterol and other biological substances. In fact, it is thought that cholesterol is actually used by the body as a kind of internal bandage when our arterial lining becomes damaged by inflammation. This means that cholesterol build up in the arteries may actually be a protective mechanism.
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!

Unfortunately that’s wrong. Unfortunately total cholesterol doesn’t tell the whole story. It includes one number that you want to have higher. That is you HDL good cholesterol. When you start eating low carb, high fat, keto, one of the tell tale signs that you’ve done it very well is your HDL, especially you ladies, you’re lucky Leanne … you ladies can make your HDL just go really high. I have to work hard as a guy to get mine in the 70-80 range, which is pretty good for a guy. Most people walking around their HDL is sub 40, and most of them probably sub 20 if they’re not eating enough fat. You have to eat saturated fat in order to raise that good HDL cholesterol. Okay?
Use fat as a lever.  We’ve been taught to fear fat, but don’t! Both keto and low carb are high fat diets. Fat is our source of energy as well as satiety. The key to understand, though, is that fat is a lever on a low carb or keto diet. Carbs and protein stay constant, and fat is the one you increase or decrease (push the lever up or down) to gain or lose weight, respectively. So if your goal is weight loss, eat enough fat to be satisfied, but there’s no need to “get your fats in” once you’re satisfied.
Thank you very much, Betsy, for mentioning Dr. Gonzales and his views on the ketogenic diet. We had not heard of Dr. Gonzales before this. In preparing for our reply to you, we found your and your husband Bruce’s website dedicated to healing and restoring personal relationships. We mention this because we do not recall ever receiving a comment from anyone other than health care professionals or people concerned about their own nutrition.
Although the high-fat, calorie-restricted ketogenic diet (KD) has long been used to prevent childhood epileptic seizures that are unresponsive to drugs, physicians have not really understood exactly why the diet works. New studies by a research team at Emory University School of Medicine show that the diet alters genes involved in energy metabolism in the brain, which in turn helps stabilize the function of neurons exposed to the challenges of epileptic seizures. This knowledge could help scientists identify specific molecular or genetic targets and lead to more effective drug treatments for epilepsy and brain damage.
On a “strict” (standard) keto diet, fats typically provides about 70 percent to 80 percent of total daily calories, protein about 15 percent to 20 percent, and carbohydrates just around 5 percent. However, a more “moderate” approach to the keto diet is also a good option for many people that can allow for an easier transition into very low-carb eating and more flexibility (more on these types of plans below).

Any recommendations on cookbooks? I just purchased Simply Keto and the author uses what seems an abundance of processed meats which have highly toxic cancer causing sodium. Also, the sweeteners suggested rather then sugar are also highly toxic cancer causing…and so on. I am trying to cancel my order so I can research more on recipes, using foods that truly are healthy and not causing cancer in itself, losing weight is not my priority and seems these cookbooks are more focused on losing weight not fighting cancer. The list of foods provided could not be complete, so if you are going to guide people to Keto lifestyle (I hate using the word “diet”) please provide more information such as those in the know and can trust recipes and guidance with complete list of foods and so on. Thank you in advance.
The problem with this is that it’s the B particles that cause the biggest problems. Remember, since particle B molecules are very small, they are the ones that get stuck in nooks and crannies of the arterial and vascular walls. Having more B particles will be bad. But, having more A particles won’t necessarily be bad. But if all you get is the TOTAL LDL (which is typical), you have no idea of your actual particle composition. So it’s possible that a high LDL number, without any context or further testing is not a problem at all.
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.
Practitioners from hospitals both in the U.S. and abroad who wish to start a ketogenic diet center at their institutions can participate in one of our 1- or 2-week training sessions for a fee. The training covers both the ketogenic and modified Atkins diets. Professionals affiliated with centers already using ketogenic diet programs are welcome to attend our monthly ketogenic diet follow-up clinics.
Vegan ketogenic diet or vegetarian diet: Yes, both are possible. Instead of animal products, plenty of low-carb, nutrient-dense vegan and/or vegetarian foods are included. Nuts, seeds, low-carb fruits and veggies, leafy greens, healthy fats and fermented foods are all excellent choices on a plant-based keto diet. There’s also a similar plan called ketotarian, which combines keto with vegetarian, vegan and/or pescatarian diets for supposedly greater health benefits.
She learned about Kelley’s work, began the program, regained her health, and avoided all conventional doctors for many years. In 1984, nine years after coming under Kelley’s care, she returned to her primary care physician who was quite perplexed she was still alive after all this time. A chest x-ray showed total resolution of her once widespread lung metastases.
Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from processed foods, with very few fruits and vegetables. Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious because this diet could worsen their condition. Additionally, some patients may feel a little tired in the beginning, while some may have bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.
The length of time that arteries are exposed to high levels of LDL particles is believed to play a significant role in the development of atherosclerosis. Smaller LDL particles typically spend more time in the bloodstream than larger particles do, making them easier targets for oxidation and incorporation into plaque. Moreover, people who have a lot of small LDL particles tend to have low HDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides – all of which are markers of insulin resistance and reflect increased cardiovascular disease risk.
All trials applied an intention‐to‐treat analysis with varied randomisation methods. The 11 studies recruited 778 patients; 712 children and adolescents and 66 adults. We assessed all 11 studies to be at low to unclear risk of bias for the following domains: random sequence generation, allocation concealment and selective reporting. For the other domains (blinding, incomplete outcome data, other bias) assessments were varied (low, unclear and high risk of bias). We could not conduct a meta‐analysis due to the heterogeneity of the studies and the quality of the evidence was low to very low (GRADE ratings).
In 1920 a New York physician, Dr. Galen, reported at the American Medical Association convention that he had had significant success in treating epilepsy by initiating a program of fasting. At that time the only pharmaceutical interventions that were available included phenobarbital and bromides. Interestingly, the patient he treated was actually a young cousin who had aggressive seizures. On the second day of fasting the child’s epilepsy abated and did not return over the next two years of follow-up. Further studies appearing in 1923, 1926, 1928, all confirmed the effectiveness of fasting as an effective treatment for seizures.
There have been so many advancements in the cholesterol panels and we haven’t even talked about particle size, which we can get into in a minute. Some of the variations that have happened we’re now … we’ve progressed to if your triglycerides are under 70, you’re pretty much guaranteed that that’s the best possible heart health risk marker that you could even look at. Make it your goal to drop the triglycerides to under 70, and you do that with a low carb, high fat, keto diet.
As you might suspect, this metabolic theory of cancers is controversial in the mainstream cancer paradigm, but there’s already promising initial evidence to support it, and most traditional cancer specialists concede that this metabolic theory has merit, and it may be a piece of the puzzle. I would say that the dominant paradigm idea right now is that metabolic dysfunction is likely one of the pieces of the puzzle, but that cancer is multifactorial and probably does involve genetic mutations that may be independent of metabolic dysfunction and that there are other causes that may not be directly related to metabolic dysfunction.
You will need to learn how to prepare meals differently, which takes time and work. There also may be some difficulty adapting to the new meals. However, with creative meal planning and sensitivity to your difficulties, along with support from your ketogenic diet team some of these obstacles can be overcome. In time you will adapt with the significant changes and meal preparation and meal time will become easier. Many families cope well with the challenges and would agree that the hard work is worth it if the diet significantly reduces the seizures.

Cancer cells demonstrate increased glucose metabolism compared with normal cells, with a shift toward lactic acid production despite the presence of oxygen, a mechanism also referred to as the Warburg effect.1,2 Glucose is an important precursor to mitochondrial respiration, which results in the production of energy as ATP. In normal cells, the ultimate conversion of glucose to ATP requires the presence of oxygen; if oxygen is not present, lactic acid is produced. Cancer cells, however, convert glucose to lactic acid in the presence of oxygen.2 In addition, cancer cells harbor mitochondrial DNA mutations that result in impaired mitochondrial respiration. Therefore, cancer cells require a large amount of glucose to satisfy their energy needs.
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.
Chapter 4 mentions specific issues related to use of a ketogenic diet in cancer treatment. It discusses goals, benefits, potential side effects, and monitoring progress of treatment. Chapter 5 discusses the details of planning a ketogenic diet, including the contribution of the macronutrients plus a section on fasting and intermittent fasting. The section on macronutrients includes definitions of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. This book’s acknowledgment of the importance of the inflammatory properties of omega-6 fatty acids and advice that the omega-6 and omega-3 in the diet should be balanced are worthy of note. To our knowledge, there are no popular diet books that mention the nutritional requirements for essential fatty acids. Imbalances in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 could negate the benefits of a ketogenic diet.
You have to keep the protein under control, it can get out of control and people then wonder “Well I’m eating next to no carbs, why am I so hungry? Why is my blood sugar all whack-a-doodle? I thought this Leanne lady with the glasses on YouTube said it wasn’t going to be that way?” Unfortunately, you need to pay attention to the protein as well. Just to give you an example of how mine looks, I can have about 25-30 grams of carbohydrates. I often joke Leanne that I’ve had all the carbs I’m allowed to have my entire life, the first 32 years of my life. Okay, it may not be true but it’s probably closer to true than not, that I have to limit them the rest of my life.

Leanne: Billion. Okay, let’s talk a little bit about Staten, I can’t remember what book it was but they were saying that cholesterol is really important for brain health. You mentioned that too, the cholesterol uses the nutrient and moves it up to your brain, it’s really important. What I was reading is that as we age our cholesterol actually increases slightly to help with that aging process. You often meet people that are in their 40s, 50s, I know a lot of people in my family are now on Staten because their cholesterol is increasing. I always say, “Maybe that’s your body’s way of protecting yourself against aging.”
I knew Bob quite well, and considered him a friend. We first met when I interviewed him for a nutrition story during my journalism days, and later on while I was a medical student, we kept in close contact. During my freshman year at Cornell Medical School – from which Bob had received his own medical degree – I arranged for him to speak as part of a lecture series I had set up on alternative approaches to disease.
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