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Throughout his talks, both here and elsewhere, Dr. Seyfried presents mouse studies that are interesting and suggestive that there might be something to this whole ketogenic diet thing, at least in brain tumors, such as this one. However, this is what we in the oncology biz would call pretty preliminary data, worthy of further investigation but not supporting the grandiose claims that Dr. Seyfried makes.
My latest blood work showed great HDL, VLDL, my LDL is just a bit high and my doc is saying we should do something about it. I don’t want to go on cholesterol meds they gave me leg cramps and other side effects I didn’t like. I think if he lets me give it more time that number could come down as well. I’ve lost 23lbs since January when I started Keto, my sugars are back to normal all other blood work is great! I’m going to try to add more of the avocado, coconut and olive oil and see what happens.
If I was diagnosed with cancer or one of my relatives or friends were diagnosed, I would certainly put the ketogenic diet and fasting at the top of the list of potential treatments to investigate because I see a high potential for benefit and very little downside. You can’t say that about many cancer therapies. As we talked about earlier, the goal with cancer treatment is to find something that inhibits the growth of cancer cells but doesn’t damage healthy cells. Again, there just aren’t that many therapies out there that do that.
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.
Senior moments. They joke about, “Oh you’re just getting older so you’re going to get dementia, you’re going to get Alzheimer’s, that’s just normal of getting older.” No! No it’s not. They’re taking these very drugs that are robbing the body of exactly what it needs to stay mentally sharp. I’m in my early forties now, I’m hoping twenty, thirty years from now … having all that butter I eat, and healthy fats is going to keep this noggin sharp. I think it will and I’ll be danged if I ever take anything that will take away the very key element that’s making my brain sharp.
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.
There are three instances where there’s research to back up a ketogenic diet, including to help control type 2 diabetes, as part of epilepsy treatment, or for weight loss, says Mattinson. “In terms of diabetes, there is some promising research showing that the ketogenic diet may improve glycemic control. It may cause a reduction in A1C — a key test for diabetes that measures a person’s average blood sugar control over two to three months — something that may help you reduce medication use,” she says.
In both patients, levels of blood glucose decreased to low/normal levels and ketones increased by 20 to 30 times within seven days of starting the ketogenic diet. Results from scans indicated that there was a 21.8% decrease in glucose uptake at the tumor sites in both subjects. Lower glucose uptake is a strong indicator that a tumor is shrinking in size.
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.
Similar trends in adverse events have been noted in children. One key concern is the high risk of osteoporosis, which reaches as high as 20% in KD cases. Along with osteoporosis come growth issues. “Children on the classic KD do often grow slightly slower than children not on the diet. When the diet stops, there is ‘catch-up’ growth, usually to normal,” said Kossoff.
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.
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”]
Weight loss was also irresistible. I actually tried not to lose weight. Based on advanced bro science, I was supposed to maintain my weight if I ate at least 2,000 calories a day. Yet my efforts to stuff myself with gloriously fatty food were futile. I lost 10 kilos and got abs — “blurry” ones though. You still need a bit of imagination to count six.
A clinical trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2008, and other studies since then, showed that the diet significantly reduced the number of seizures in a proportion of children whose seizures did not respond well to AEDs. After three months, around 4 in 10 (38%) children who started the diet had the number of their seizures reduced by over half, and were able to reduce their medication. Although not all children had better seizure control, some had other benefits such as increased alertness, awareness and responsiveness.
Online resources such as the Charlie Foundation provide a wealth of information about the diet therapy for epilepsy and can connect patients with diet clinics, providing keto-friendly product information and offering diet training and family support. Online forums allow families to support one another, share information about keto-friendly foods and swap recipes.
You’re very welcome, Judy! I’m glad it’s helpful. If you are keto (as opposed to low carb), unfortunately peaches would not allow you to stay in ketosis. You can check my keto food list to help determine what is keto friendly. Of course, there are worse things than fresh fruit 🙂 but in the end our bodies still see the sugar. That being said, it doesn’t mean you sabotaged the whole day. Just pick up again – you got this!! (And for next time, try some fresh berries in moderation when you’re craving fruit.)
Neither is the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), which bills itself as the “voice of integrative medicine,” where he’s given a major talk, the sort of organization a legitimate scientist wants to associate himself with if he wants to be taken seriously. Don’t believe me? Just peruse the ACAM website, where you will find lots of chelation therapy, including a program to “certify” in chelation therapy and detoxification, as well as other quackery. There’s a good reason that ACAM has appeared in many SBM posts throughout the years, and not in a favorable light. I emphasize again, this is not an organization with which a scientist who wishes to be taken seriously by oncologists associates himself.
The second is called LDL-P which measures the number of LDL particles in the blood. Sometimes, there is a correlation – more LDL particles means that you can have higher levels of LDL-C. However, larger LDL molecules can grow and carry more cholesterol – leading to a discordance in which LDL-C and LDL-P are not necessarily proportional. When this happens, LDL-C and LDL-P are said to be “discordant.”
Boston Children's Hospital has been named the #1 children's hospital in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for the fifth year in a row! It's an honor that we could not have achieved without you. On behalf of every member of our Boston Children's team, thank you for inspiring us to be bolder, dream bigger, and make the impossible possible for our patients and families.
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.
Researchers also observed that the size of VLDL particle size did not change in either of the groups. However, they noted that the total number of VLDL particles decreased by 19% from 76.2 nmol/L to 61.7 nmol/L.  More specifically, large VLDL particles reduced by 40.2% from 3.33 nmol/L to 1.74 nmol/L, medium VLDL particles decreased by 4.8% from 46.2 nmol/L to 44 nmol/L. 
My uric acid is way high at 7.6 with last test at 3.5 and this is obviously a big deal. I am putting strong efforts into fixing this and the bubbles in my urine likely uric acid although previous testing of 24 hour urine showed protein in the urine. No doctor will see my as a kidney patient. I am back to juicing and going low protein since I sense I have kidney issues with kidney pains and too much urination. Maybe it is all just the mold?
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.
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
When a person first starts onto a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, it takes the body several days to a few weeks to shift from relying on glucose to instead rely on fat. During this transition, people may experience what is sometimes referred to as the “keto-flu”—muscle cramps, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and sugar and carbohydrate cravings.49 There may also be increased urination which can result in a loss of minerals, such as sodium and potassium. To counter these effects one should strive to get more minerals and in particular, more sodium and potassium, drink plenty of water, get some exercise and ensure adequate caloric intake. Once the body becomes keto-adapted, these symptoms largely resolve, and many people report increased energy, decreased cravings and weight loss.