Notice he used the word “effective” twice. The word “effective” does not mean cure. It typically only means temporarily slowed growth or temporary tumor shrinkage. To put it in perspective, over 580,000 “effectively treated” cancer patients die in the U.S. each year. The sobering truth is the cancer industry has only improved the overall cancer death rate by 5% in the last 60+ years. “Ineffectively treated” is a more accurate and appropriate way to describe the current state of affairs, but I digress.
I think it was still hard for him to accept that many cancer patients, and many humans without cancer, did best on a plant-based, high carb diet, so foreign to his way of thinking. Though he had heard me expound on the Kelley approach many times over the years, it was to him implausible that humans as a species had adopted to a variety of diets, some high fat, some high carb, some more balanced, and that in medical practice, we as physicians had to be aware that different patients might require completely different diets for optimal health.
In terms of seizure recurrence among children, the risk of seizures returning in those who are seizure free and stop the diet is 15 to 20%, according to Kossoff. In children who experience less frequent seizures, but are not seizure free, about one-third will have some worsening of seizures when the diet is stopped, though this is sometimes transient.
When you eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This typically takes 3 to 4 days. Then you’ll start to break down protein and fat for energy, which can make you lose weight. This is called ketosis. It's important to note that the ketogenic diet is a short term diet that's focussed on weight loss rather than the pursuit of health benefits.
Although many hypotheses have been put forward to explain how the ketogenic diet works, it remains a mystery. Disproven hypotheses include systemic acidosis (high levels of acid in the blood), electrolyte changes and hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose). Although many biochemical changes are known to occur in the brain of a patient on the ketogenic diet, it is not known which of these has an anticonvulsant effect. The lack of understanding in this area is similar to the situation with many anticonvulsant drugs.
Ive been strict keto for over 3 months and have lost 20lbs. I got my test results back yesterday and was shocked to see how my levels had changed: total cholesterol went from 230 to 308!! All the bad went up and all the good went down. But I’ve also heard that it can take a bit longer for cholesterol levels to even out and start going down. Is this true? I don’t want to quit keto because I have another 20lbs to lose, but I don’t want to have a stroke either.
Dominic D’Agostino has argued that the mutations that are often observed in cancer may be secondary to mitochondrial dysfunction because injured mitochondria produce volatile compounds called reactive oxygen species (ROS), and these ROS can damage DNA. In this view, it may be that mitochondrial dysfunction comes first, and then that’s what leads to the mutations that are often observed in cancer.
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.
What about fruits and vegetables? All fruits are rich in carbs, but you can have certain fruits (usually berries) in small portions. Vegetables (also rich in carbs) are restricted to leafy greens (such as kale, Swiss chard, spinach), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, and summer squashes. A cup of chopped broccoli has about six carbs.
The ketogenic diet for epilepsy (KDE) was developed in the 1920s by Dr. Hugh Conklin in Michigan. But once effective medications were developed, the diet was used less frequently. It has regained recognition and study and is now a standard backup plan for children whose epilepsy symptoms are difficult to control with medication. With over 300,000 children in the U.S. with seizure disorders, this has become an important addition to the arsenal of treatments for epilepsy. Researchers are beginning to see how it might help adults and people with a variety of neurologic disorders.
I'm reading this in disbelief. I feel kind of numb to be honest. I'm in collection for thousands because of all the medical treatments, surgeries, and travel. For nearly 8 years my wife has worked two and sometimes 3 jobs and every time I was well enough I worked two jobs trying to catch up and still we fell behind. Call it pride or stupidity, but we never asked for help of any kind. I take care of older neighbors and spend much of my free time working with disabled veterans. I feel like I've given everything I had to help others my whole life. Thank You one and all!
It was late 1985 when the media broke the story about the next cancer miracle. I was sitting in my apartment overlooking beautiful Tampa Bay, when I read the initial front-page newspaper reports. Dr. Steven Rosenberg, already well-known as Ronald Reagan’s surgeon (the President had a malignant polyp), and a highly regarded basic science researcher running a section at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, had just revealed to the world – at a press conference, as I remember – his preliminary pilot study results with a new immune modulator, interleukin-2, that would provoke an extraordinary media frenzy.
Her agent, according to reports at the time, began circulating a book proposal the day after the Times story ran, asking for a $2 million dollar advance! The whole episode raised some eyebrows over a reporter seeking to benefit personally from a subject she was promoting in the news section of the Times. After a fair amount of criticism, Kolata withdrew her book proposal.
Differences between ketosis and ketoacidosis Ketosis and ketoacidosis both involve increased levels of ketones in the body. However, they are not the same thing. Nutritional ketosis is the aim of the ketogenic diet, and it is generally safe, whereas ketoacidosis is a complication of type 1 diabetes that can be life-threatening. Learn more here. Read now
This describes me, too. I am not a doctor, but after months and years of research, have decided to follow the ketogenic lifestyle and the naturopathic cancer treatments prescribed by my physician. It took a few months to find a doctor who embraced this, but he is worth it. Keto had my diabetes under control long before we realized that cancer was trying to get me as well. I take no chemical drugs for anything. Diet, exercise, and a few supplements take care of my health needs. You don’t know me, but three years ago, I needed a walker and a wheelchair. Today at 60, I walk under my own power and ride a bicycle as much as possible. Go as natural as you can, it helps. Stay away from “products” and just eat fresh, whole, natural food. (The article shows these.)
A study of 39 obese adults placed on a ketogenic very low-calorie diet for 8 weeks found a mean loss of 13% of their starting weight and significant reductions in fat mass, insulin levels, blood pressure, and waist and hip circumferences. Their levels of ghrelin did not increase while they were in ketosis, which contributed to a decreased appetite. However during the 2-week period when they came off the diet, ghrelin levels and urges to eat significantly increased. 
No single food can cure cancer, but some research has shown a link between the keto diet and slowed growth of some types of tumors in mice. A few studies in humans with certain types of brain tumors have also shown promise. On the contrary, a very low-fat diet has been found to reduce risk of recurrence for certain types of breast cancer. Some researchers are conducting more clinical trials with cancer patients, looking at how diet affects patients, along with chemotherapy and radiation. We hope that this research, as well as future research, will help us better understand the role that the keto plays in cancer.
The medical community has known about cancer cell’s preference for glucose for quite some time. In fact, one of the ways they get an image of a tumor is essentially by injecting a glucose-based “dye” into the body and using some sort of machine to see that “dye.” The area that lights up the most when taking the image is where the cancer tumor is – that’s because of the cancer cell’s overwhelming desire for glucose.
When in the hospital, glucose levels are checked several times daily and the patient is monitored for signs of symptomatic ketosis (which can be treated with a small quantity of orange juice). Lack of energy and lethargy are common, but disappear within two weeks. The parents attend classes over the first three full days, which cover nutrition, managing the diet, preparing meals, avoiding sugar, and handling illness. The level of parental education and commitment required is higher than with medication.
Certainly Dr. Seyfried has put together a most impressive achievement, chronicling in great detail his belief that cancer does not develop from genetic alterations – as is generally believed – but as a result of changes in fundamental cell physiology, specifically changes in energy production, that in turn lead to the cancer phenotype. In essence, the genes remain intact, but metabolism goes awry.
[13:30] – Why Dave had 63 blood tests in 18 months (68 up to this point)? The importance of multiple blood draws in interpreting lab results due to the 3-day window for LDL and HDL cholesterol. The same is true for particle counts (LDL-P), which are also on a 3-day window but with a 2-day gap. How the individual’s diet during that period affects the cholesterol levels significantly.
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.
Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): If you find it difficult to stick to a very low-carb diet every day, especially for months on end, you might want to consider a carb-cycling diet instead. Carb cycling increases carbohydrate intake (and sometimes calories in general) only at the right time and in the right amounts, usually about 1–2 times per week (such as on weekends).
We have a dedicated dietitian who provides patients with individualized nutrition education, meal planning and resources, as well as recipes including some for ketogenic-friendly breads and desserts. Cooking classes and demonstrations for patients are also currently under development. Patients on dietary therapy will be closely monitored by a neurologist, Dr. Elizabeth Felton, who was trained in adult dietary therapy at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Another group at increased CVD risk are those with one or two copies of the apoE4 allele (gene). These individuals tend to have higher VLDL cholesterol but lower HDL cholesterol. In addition to heart disease, they have greater risk for Alzheimer's disease, cancer and other diseases (9). The Apo-E4 forums provide helpful information, guidance and support for those with the apoE4 allele.
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.
32••. Qin W, Ho L, Zhao Z, et al. Neuronal SIRT1 activation as a novel mechanism underlying the prevention of Alzheimer disease amyloid neuropathology by calorie restriction. J Biol Chem. 2006;281:21745–21754. This study demonstrates that sirtuins link calorie restriction with disease-modifying effects in a neurodegenerative disorder. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
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.
By the time I began medical school in 1979 I had read the pioneering work of Weston A. Price, DDS, the American dentist and researcher. Beginning in the late 1920s, Dr. Price, accompanied by his wife, spent seven years traveling the world evaluating isolated groups of people living and eating according to long-standing tradition. Today such a study would be impossible, since just about everyone everywhere has adopted the “Western” way of living and eating, down to jeans and junk food.
For an estimated 25 to 30% of people – whether weight loss occurs or not – LDL cholesterol goes up significantly in response to very-low-carb diets, sometimes by 200% or more. Many of these folks seem to belong to a group that Dave Feldman at Cholesterol Code refers to as lean mass hyper-responders (LMHRs). These often healthy people are sometimes shocked to discover that their LDL cholesterol has soared above 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L) after going keto.
Normal dietary fat contains mostly long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are more ketogenic than LCTs because they generate more ketones per unit of energy when metabolised. Their use allows for a diet with a lower proportion of fat and a greater proportion of protein and carbohydrate, leading to more food choices and larger portion sizes. The original MCT diet developed by Peter Huttenlocher in the 1970s derived 60% of its calories from MCT oil. Consuming that quantity of MCT oil caused abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting in some children. A figure of 45% is regarded as a balance between achieving good ketosis and minimising gastrointestinal complaints. The classical and modified MCT ketogenic diets are equally effective and differences in tolerability are not statistically significant. The MCT diet is less popular in the United States; MCT oil is more expensive than other dietary fats and is not covered by insurance companies.
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. A multicentre prospective study began in 1994, the results were presented to the American Epilepsy Society in 1996 and were published 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.
Salad mixes, fermented things like sauerkraut and kimchi, unsweetened yogurt, unsweetened coconut yogurt, coconut oil, cultured cottage cheese and cultured sour cream. I am not eating meat or carbs except what is present in some vegetable juices. I started exercising a little and hot baths, having less pain and feeling like I have control over symptoms. Of course using some supplements. For me, dessert will be surviving long enough to see old friends and make new ones.
Seyfried agrees that there is clear evidence that cancer is a genetic disease, since we can inherit mutations that are clearly associated with increased cancer risk. That’s not at all controversial. That’s well established, and even Seyfried agrees with that. But he argues that many of these mutations that we can inherit are mutations that actually disturb cellular respiration, maybe that the heritable aspect of cancer is not mutation that drives itself—cellular proliferation—but instead are mutations that actually cause mitochondrial dysfunction and defects in cellular respiration. He also points out that many of the non-inherited causes of cancer that have been identified and are clearly recognized, like radiation, impair mitochondrial function. That may be a common mechanism that is shared between these non-inherited causes of cancer and inherited causes of cancer.
One review looked at how the KD and modified Atkins diet (MAD) helped with seizure control in adults. Across the 5 studies reviewed, 32% of KD-treated patients achieved ≥50% seizure reduction while a slightly lower 29% of MAD-treated patients hit that same target. Even more drastic was the 9% KD-treated and 5% MAD-treated patients that achieved >90% seizure frequency reduction.4
A number of patients previously refractory to multiple anticonvulsant medications become seizure-free or maintain a significant reduction in seizure frequency even after the ketogenic diet has been discontinued, suggesting the diet may have disease-modifying effects in some people with epilepsy [19,20•, Class III]. No clinical factors have been identified that predict which patients will benefit most in this regard.
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.
Although Kelley did prescribe a variety of diets for his cancer patients, these two exemplary patients followed a plant-based eating plan, high in carbohydrates with a minimum each day of four glasses of carrot juice, dense in nutrients but also dense in natural sugar. Each of these diets allowed considerable fruit and whole grain products, foods again loaded with carbs. According to Seyfried’s hypothesis, both should have died quick miserable deaths.
Usually the body uses glucose (a form of sugar) from carbohydrates (found in foods like sugar, bread or pasta) for its energy source. Chemicals called ketones are made when the body uses fat for energy (this is called ‘ketosis’). With the ketogenic diet, the body mostly uses ketones instead of glucose for its energy source. Research has shown that a particular fatty acid, decanoic acid, may be involved in the way the diet works.
Kossoff, E. H., Zupec-Kania, B. A., Ephane Auvin, S., Ballaban-Gil, K. R., Bergqvist, A. G. C., Blackford, R., et al. (2018). Optimal clinical management of children receiving dietary therapies for epilepsy: updated recommendations of the International Ketogenic Diet Study Group. Child Neurol. Soc. Epilepsia Open 3, 175–192. doi: 10.1002/epi4.12225
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.
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.
In its strictest form, the ketogenic diet provides more than 90 percent of its calories through fat (as compared to the 25 to 40 percent usually recommended for children). When we burn fat for energy, rather than glucose from carbohydrates, we produce compounds known as ketone bodies—hence the name “ketogenic diet.” The increase in ketones—referred to as ketosis—is thought to have an anticonvulsant effect in the brain, although how this works is still something of a mystery.