The core of the diet is the ratio. The ratio of fats to carbohydrates and protein is based on the age, size, weight, and activity level of the patient. Infants, children younger than 2 years of age and adolescents often receive a 3:1 diet to provide additional protein for growth and increased carbohydrates to improve compliance. Children aged 2–12 years will typically be started on a 4:1 diet. Some studies suggest that a 4:1 ratio diet may be better during the first few months.
So, what evidence does Dr. Seyfried himself provide to prove his point that the best diet for all cancer patients, whatever the type, is the ketogenic, high fat, no carb diet? Well, very little. Certainly the 400 plus pages of elaborate biochemistry and theory are impressive and informative. But in terms of practicalities, that is, results with actual human patients diagnosed with cancer, there is next to no evidence.

Around this time, Bernarr Macfadden, an American exponent of physical culture, popularised the use of fasting to restore health. His disciple, the osteopathic physician Dr. Hugh William Conklin of Battle Creek, Michigan, began to treat his epilepsy patients by recommending fasting. Conklin conjectured that epileptic seizures were caused when a toxin, secreted from the Peyer's patches in the intestines, was discharged into the bloodstream. He recommended a fast lasting 18 to 25 days to allow this toxin to dissipate. Conklin probably treated hundreds of epilepsy patients with his "water diet" and boasted of a 90% cure rate in children, falling to 50% in adults. Later analysis of Conklin's case records showed 20% of his patients achieved freedom from seizures and 50% had some improvement.[10]
Studies generally show that about a third of patients will have at least a 90 percent reduction in seizures, and another third will experience a 50 percent to 90 percent reduction. This is remarkable, considering that these patients are generally those whose seizures are not well-controlled with medications. Note that the term "epilepsy" encompasses a group of disorders with different causes that are not all fully understood, which is part of the reason different people respond to different treatments.
One of the most vocal proponents of the keto-diet-as-cancer-treatment theory has been Dr. Thomas Seyfried, a cancer researcher and professor at Boston College. Several years ago, Seyfried said that the keto diet actually beats chemotherapy for some types of cancer, a claim founded in his rather controversial belief that cancer is primarily a mitochondrial metabolic disease. In a recent paper, Seyfried outlined a cancer-treatment approach that he thinks could be the "blueprint for the destruction of cancer," as he told U.S. News & World Report:

A: The amount of weight you lose is entirely dependent on you. Obviously adding exercise to your regimen will speed up your weight loss. Cutting out things that are common “stall” causes is also a good thing. Artificial sweeteners, dairy, wheat products and by-products (wheat gluten, wheat flours, and anything with an identifiable wheat product in it).


The findings below have been limited to research specific to the ketogenic diet: the studies listed contain about 70-80% fat, 10-20% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrate. Diets otherwise termed “low carbohydrate” may not include these specific ratios, allowing higher amounts of protein or carbohydrate. Therefore only diets that specified the terms “ketogenic” or “keto,” or followed the macronutrient ratios listed above were included in this list below. In addition, though extensive research exists on the use of the ketogenic diet for other medical conditions, only studies that examined ketogenic diets specific to obesity or overweight were included in this list. (This paragraph was added to provide additional clarity on 5.7.18.)
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 nerve impulse is characterised by a great influx of sodium ions through channels in the neuron's cell membrane followed by an efflux of potassium ions through other channels. The neuron is unable to fire again for a short time (known as the refractory period), which is mediated by another potassium channel. The flow through these ion channels is governed by a "gate" which is opened by either a voltage change or a chemical messenger known as a ligand (such as a neurotransmitter). These channels are another target for anticonvulsant drugs.[7]
This diet is not without its side effects, so it is very important to become well informed when considering ketogenic diet therapy. Do not attempt the ketogenic diet without medical supervision from a properly trained ketogenic diet team, especially if you are taking anti-seizure medications. This ketogenic diet team includes a neurologist, a registered dietitian and nurse and sometimes a nurse practitioner, pharmacist, social worker and other specialists. 

The ketogenic diet may also worsen some mitochondrial diseases, pyruvate carboxylase deficiency, or organic acidurias. In general a metabolic screen, including urine amino and organic acids, serum amino acids, lactate, pyruvate, and carnitine profile, should be performed before starting the ketogenic diet to make sure children do not have a contraindication to using it.
This review aimed to investigate the effect of ketogenic diets on seizure control, cognition (e.g. learning, concentration and academic performance in children; learning, concentration and memory in adults) and behaviour. We also investigated the side effects of the diet and the number of participants who dropped out of the studies and the reasons for this. 

For patients interested in the keto diet, a more moderate approach may be advised. There is evidence that cutting down on the amount of refined carbohydrates in typical diets and increasing the amount of healthy fats consumed can be beneficial to one’s overall health. Before altering your diet in any way, you should always consult with your doctor and registered dietitian.
This device measures the amount of acetone (another ketone) you release in your breath when you are in ketosis. (Acetone is also the ketone responsible for bad breath when you’re in ketosis.) There are a number of kits on the market. One study showed they are as effective as ketone strips for testing ketone levels, but critics argue both have drawbacks including testing for only one specific ketone.
I wanted to put it out there that I made this meal plan specifically with women in mind. I took an average of about 150 women and what their macros were. The end result was 1600 calories – broken down into 136g of fat, 74g of protein, and 20g net carbs a day. This is all built around a sedentary lifestyle, like most of us live. If you need to increase or decrease calories, you will need to do that on your own terms.
A ketogenic diet typically leads to a broad range of improvements in blood lipids as well as other cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure and inflammation. However, the changes we see in total and LDL cholesterol levels are much less predictable than the changes in other blood lipids such as triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. For some people, calculated LDL cholesterol goes down, and for others it goes up, sometimes quite a bit. This tendency for some people to see an increase in their LDL cholesterol has been a focus of research over the last decade because the question remains – “What, if anything, does this tell us when assessing one’s risk of heart disease?”
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.

As far back as the 5th century, Hippocrates noted that fasting reduced seizures, and in the 1920s a diet was developed to mimic changes brought on by fasting that could be maintained long-term, specifically to treat seizures, and thus the ketogenic diet was born.1 This original ketogenic diet was very low in carbohydrates and protein and supplied 80-90% of the calories as fat.2 3 While the original ketogenic diet was successful in treating intractable childhood epilepsy, it fell out of favor when the modern antiepileptic drugs became available. In the 1990s the diet began to see a resurgence as people once again turned to it for difficult-to-treat cases of childhood epilepsy, such as those that do not respond to medication, and as a weight loss tool. The most recent research on the benefits of the ketogenic diet and ketones, in particular, have expanded to examine its possible therapeutic effects on other neurological diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even cancer.
In the absence of glucose, which is normally used by cells as a quick source of energy, the body starts to burn fat and produces ketone bodies instead (it’s why the keto diet is often referred to as the ketone diet). Once ketone levels in the blood rise to a certain point, you enter into a state of ketosis — which usually results in quick and consistent weight loss until you reach a healthy, stable body weight. See this keto diet review, a before and after trying keto for 30 days.
These affect your brain and spine, as well as the nerves that link them together. Epilepsy is one, but others may be helped by a ketogenic diet as well, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and sleep disorders. Scientists aren’t sure why, but it may be that the ketones your body makes when it breaks down fat for energy help protect your brain cells from damage.
Fairly recently, the diet was introduced as a weight-loss diet by an Italian professor of surgery, Dr. Gianfranco Cappello of Sapienza University in Rome. In his 2012 study, about 19,000 dieters received a high-fat liquid diet via a feeding tube inserted down the nose. The study showed an average weight loss of more than 20 pounds in participants, most of whom kept it off for at least a year. The researchers reported a few minor side effects, like fatigue.
Nevertheless, anti-angiogenesis as the answer to cancer remains a big driving force in “biotech” companies, who have developed a whole slew of angiostatin and endostatin offspring, including the drug Avastin, costing up to $10,000 a month, though it doesn’t work particularly well. The clinical studies aren’t impressive, usually reporting several months of improved survival in patients diagnosed with a variety of advanced cancers.
I am very encouraged by this recent study, published in January 2014, looking at the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting as an adjunct nutritional therapy to be administered to cancer patients undergoing standard radiation therapy in cancer treatment. The study provides “dietary interventions” to be used along side “radiotherapy”. Therefore, this is not really a study that lends itself to developing more pharmaceutical drugs. However, will physicians in the allopathic medical field seriously consider rigorous diet therapy?
Dr. Campos, it is so discouraging to see that you disparage the ketogenic diet based on your assumption that it is very heavy in poor quality processed meats. No diet that relies on processed foods can be viewed as “healthy”. Become better informed by getting up to speed with what Jeff Volek, RD, PhD, calls a “well-formulated ketogenic diet.” Also, learn more about the potential of the diet to slow cancer progression (my specialty). You owe it to your patients who are depending on you for advice. Present them with facts, not opinions.
Initial studies indicate that the ketogenic diet appears effective in other metabolic conditions, including phosphofructokinase deficiency and glycogenosis type V (McArdle disease). It appears to function in these disorders by providing an alternative fuel source. A growing body of literature suggests the ketogenic diet may be beneficial in certain neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In these disorders, the ketogenic diet appears to be neuroprotective, promoting enhanced mitochondrial function and rescuing adenosine triphosphate production.
For many years, LDL-C tests have been used as the primary method of measuring LDL in the blood. It is cheaper and easier to measure. Recent research has called into questioning how effective LDL-C is compared to LDL-P in precisely assessing cardiovascular risk. After reviewing cross-sectional data, a recent peer-reviewed paper from the world-renowned Framingham Heart Study stated that
Jimmy Moore: The good news is even the dietary guidelines committee is acknowledging “oops, we got it wrong when it came to dietary cholesterol.” A lot of people haven’t heard this yet, because they haven’t released the full report but they now have backed away from limiting the amount of cholesterol that you consume in your diet. You know how eggs have always been vilified because of there cholesterol content? They’re now saying, “Okay it’s not dietary cholesterol that’s the enemy. Please start eating cholesterol again.” You still go into stores and “Cholesterol free food.” It’s a natural cholesterol. I’m going “Okay, so something is going to have to happen.” It is happening Leanne.
My son has been fighting brain cancer for 18yrs. Started st 15, now 33. He’s otherwise healthy. Never looks sick at all. In the beginning he had 6mos chemo industrial strength. He never got sick, ate 3 meals a day and gained weight. Followed by radiation, that he didn’t feel good, but he still did pretty well. PNET morphed into Ependymoma. What info can you send me specifically for brain cancer. Will the fasting, Keto diet, stop sugar intake work on brain cancer due to the Blood Brain Barrier? He is having his 8th surgery Mar 18. Previous surgery was just 6mos ago. He also was in 2 clinical trials in the last 2yrs (Car T cell therapy directly into the tumor bed area.) We have run out of options and will try anything. Please help.
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.)

While there have not been large studies that show the relationship between the ketogenic diet and cancer, we will be publishing a case study about that topic. The author failed to comment that pediatric patients with epilepsy are on the diet for usually about 2 years with no harmful effects. Before the false studies about heart disease and fat, the low carb diet was a respected way to lose weight. Studies into our metabolism show we can use both fat and carbohydrate as fuel. So stepping away from our high carb diet- I am sorry to say that we eat more carbs since the 70s with most of it processed and we now use high fructose corn syrup to sweeten products and we have a wide spread childhood obesity problem. If cholesterol is a concern try plant sterols and stenals to block cholesterol from the receptors in the body. So much more can be said about a keto diet than this article states
With regard to Dr. Gonzales’ disagreement with Dr. Seyfried regarding ketogenic diets and cancer, it is known that cancer cells use glucose but not fatty acids for energy. Thus depriving cancer cells of glucose by means of a ketogenic diet is a logical approach. Beyond that, at the present time too little known about cancer metabolism to make any definitive statements about proper treatment. As lay people, we will leave the argument to medical professionals.

It is possible to combine the results of several small studies to produce evidence that is stronger than that available from each study alone—a statistical method known as meta-analysis. One of four such analyses, conducted in 2006, looked at 19 studies on a total of 1,084 patients.[23] It concluded that a third achieved an excellent reduction in seizure frequency and half the patients achieved a good reduction.[18]
When the researchers examined the effect of the diet on mice that didn't have any gut bacteria — either because the mice were raised in a sterile environment, or because they were treated with antibiotics — they found that the keto diet no longer protected against seizures. "This suggests that the gut microbiota [bacteria] is required for the diet to effectively reduce seizures," study lead author Christine Olson, a UCLA graduate student in Hsiao's laboratory, said in a statement.
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).
My point here is that the warnings about the ketogenic principles are well taken and well documented. My concern is implications that this is a fad. I don’t use the word diet with my patients and I’m concerned that the principles behind the label and the real results that these readers have commented on might get minimized. I have found it best to encourage patients to read authors like: Stephen Phinney, Jeff Volek, Patricia Daly, and Charles Gant and the be partners with their doctors and check blood work as they move along. I am not for or against the article. If ketogenic principles offer people enduring, satisfying, and cohesive change then why not read about its potential and flexilbity?
The ketogenic diet is not a benign, holistic, or natural treatment for epilepsy; as with any serious medical therapy, complications may result.[28] These are generally less severe and less frequent than with anticonvulsant medication or surgery.[28] Common but easily treatable short-term side effects include constipation, low-grade acidosis, and hypoglycaemia if an initial fast is undertaken. Raised levels of lipids in the blood affect up to 60% of children[38] and cholesterol levels may increase by around 30%.[28] This can be treated by changes to the fat content of the diet, such as from saturated fats towards polyunsaturated fats, and if persistent, by lowering the ketogenic ratio.[38] Supplements are necessary to counter the dietary deficiency of many micronutrients.[18]
If seizures are well controlled with antiseizure medications and the medications are well tolerated, many people would not wish to consider trying a ketogenic diet. However, in cases where seizures are not well controlled with antiseizure medications, or where the medications result in difficult side effects, or in cases where surgery is not an option, a ketogenic diet may be recommended.
This review aimed to investigate the effect of ketogenic diets on seizure control, cognition (e.g. learning, concentration and academic performance in children; learning, concentration and memory in adults) and behaviour. We also investigated the side effects of the diet and the number of participants who dropped out of the studies and the reasons for this.

So sugar feeds the cancer cells- you dont have to go full keto just stop eating sugar? I keep reading meat causes cancer and a vegan diet is best! When you cut out sugar and all grains you end up eating dairy and meat, with nuts for a treat. Friut is off the list, honey and some root veg like potatos so if you cut down on meat what the feck are we left with? you can only eat so many eggs,avocados and spinach. I also am yet to find a keto dessert I like, coconut flour and stevia dosent make a cake.
I’m following the ketogenic diet and I find it very easy, pleasant and varied. I can even say that my diet today is more varied than the previous one. I do not intend to leave this diet and I cannot really see why. My initial focus was not to lose weight, I’ve always been lean, but to feel better, well disposed. And I got it! I am very pleased, I have read a lot about it (including scientific literature) and I have influenced other people who need to lose weight or improve some aspects of their health. But from the beginning I went on my own way, without the help of a nutritionist because I did not want to suffer the influence of others’ ideas.

Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin (Sweet’N Low), aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), and sucralose (Splenda) are quite popular among low-carb dieters. However, concerning new research indicates that artificial sweeteners have adverse metabolic effects and may work against your keto efforts by disrupting your gut microbiota and inducing insulin resistance and weight gain. (46, 47) If you want to use a non-caloric sweetener, I recommend either stevia or monk fruit sweetener.


This was a great read. I aim to restrict carbs always because I believe most are why the American population is obese. I would very much like to hear more about carb restriction excluding the discussion on processed meats and processed high salt content foods because I consume neither. I also don’t consume dairy or eggs. So can you provide some substance.

Well, I am going to give this another try. I have great difficulty in eating greens , or drinking them, also I am not fond of fats, years and years of low fat diets have totally screwed my metabolism,and taste buds. I will read this page every day to keep my mind focused. Start tomorrow when I get up …… I work nights which can cause me problems as well. When I tried this diet before, I got terrible cramp, now I realise I wasn’t drinking enough water. Anyway.here goes.
Physicians of ancient Greece treated diseases, including epilepsy, by altering their patients' diet. An early treatise in the Hippocratic Corpus, On the Sacred Disease, covers the disease; it dates from c. 400 BC. Its author argued against the prevailing view that epilepsy was supernatural in origin and cure, and proposed that dietary therapy had a rational and physical basis.[Note 3] In the same collection, the author of Epidemics describes the case of a man whose epilepsy is cured as quickly as it had appeared, through complete abstinence of food and drink.[Note 4] The royal physician Erasistratus declared, "One inclining to epilepsy should be made to fast without mercy and be put on short rations."[Note 5] Galen believed an "attenuating diet"[Note 6] might afford a cure in mild cases and be helpful in others.[11] 

Another difference between older and newer studies is that the type of patients treated with the ketogenic diet has changed over time. When first developed and used, the ketogenic diet was not a treatment of last resort; in contrast, the children in modern studies have already tried and failed a number of anticonvulsant drugs, so may be assumed to have more difficult-to-treat epilepsy. Early and modern studies also differ because the treatment protocol has changed. In older protocols, the diet was initiated with a prolonged fast, designed to lose 5–10% body weight, and heavily restricted the calorie intake. Concerns over child health and growth led to a relaxation of the diet's restrictions.[19] Fluid restriction was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of constipation and kidney stones, and is no longer considered beneficial.[18]
Kidney stones have occurred in about 6 percent of patients and may be increased in younger patients (<3 years of age), and those with hypercalciuria and low urine volume. Oral potassium citrate as a preventative supplement results in urine alkalinization, decreasing the prevalence of kidney stones. Universal supplementation appears to drop the risk of stones to nearly zero.
An overwhelming majority (90%) of parents said that they would. Even though the keto diet is extremely restrictive, time consuming, and requires rigid maintenance, most parents found the potential benefits outweighed its drawbacks. Many parents in the study were more concerned about the side effects of the medications―and were grateful for the opportunity to explore an alternative option. Further, 55% would consider trying the diet again.
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).
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).
Steve McQueen was diagnosed with advanced mesothelioma, a particularly deadly form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure, sought out Kelley after the conventional approaches, radiation and immunotherapy, failed to halt the progression of his disease. Though he seemed to rally initially, McQueen, according to accounts of those involved with his care, was not particularly compliant, and appeared at the time he first consulted Kelley too sick for any therapy to work. He would eventually die at a Mexican clinic under the condemning gaze of the media for his choice of an alternative method. 
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