We decided to join a ketogenic diet study. Not something you would have expected for cancer treatment. This wasn’t a random decision because there are many studies looking at how diets might improve cancer outcomes. I joined Alina as a coach and chef. You probably have heard about the “ketogenic” diet. It consists of lots of fat, some protein, and minimal carbs. Using this diet, our body switches from glucose as a fuel source to ketones. Carbs are strictly for those must-have nutrients.
Epilepsy – Using a ketogenic diet for seizures in children is a well-established treatment. In a 2010 study done at Johns Hopkins, one-third of children with difficult-to-treat epilepsy became either seizure-free or had a greater than 90% reduction in seizure frequency, and 44% of them were free of medications.13 A Cochrane review found that the classic ketogenic diet led to seizure freedom in as high as 55% of participants and seizure reduction in up to 85%.14 Results are similar for adults, and one review found that 32% of patients on a ketogenic diet and 29% on a modified Atkins diet had a greater than 50% reduction in seizures with 9% and 5% experiencing a greater than 90% reduction respectively. 15 For many patients, the benefits of the diet often extend for years, even after the diet is discontinued.16 17

As individuals in general, we never hesitate to gorge on pounds of sugar with, before, and after every meal. Sugars and carbohydrates should rarely be included in our diets. One century ago, the average US citizen consumed 5 pounds of sugar per year; today, we consume an inconceivable average of 150 pounds per year. This becomes even more horrifying when we realize it only takes 100 grams of sugar to restrain our white blood cell’s ability to kill the bad cells in our body by 90% for several hours; this happens within 15 minutes of digestion. Founder of the American Anti-Cancer Institute (AACI), Bob Wright, adds, “One can of [soda] has enough sugar to shut down 50% of our immune system for a minimum of 4 hours.” When we consume sugar, we are simultaneously shutting off our defenses while pouring gasoline on the fire that is cancer. When we take into account that “50 to 70% of our total immune system cells cannot see cancer … even on our best day,” the notion of adding it to our diet seems even more blasphemous.
A study of 89 obese adults who were placed on a two-phase diet regimen (6 months of a very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and 6 months of a reintroduction phase on a normal calorie Mediterranean diet) showed a significant mean 10% weight loss with no weight regain at one year. The ketogenic diet provided about 980 calories with 12% carbohydrate, 36% protein, and 52% fat, while the Mediterranean diet provided about 1800 calories with 58% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 27% fat. Eighty-eight percent of the participants were compliant with the entire regimen. [12] It is noted that the ketogenic diet used in this study was lower in fat and slightly higher in carbohydrate and protein than the average ketogenic diet that provides 70% or greater calories from fat and less than 20% protein.

Additionally, they are composed of higher lipid and lower protein content than LDL. Because of their physical properties and functional purposes, VLDL particles are more likely than other lipoproteins to clog vessels and impair vascular functions. Research studies have noted that high levels of VLDL are associated with increased risk of artherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. [20] VLDL is also considered to be a more precise indicator than LDL-C for a variety of metabolic conditions. [21]
Fasting continues until dinner on day 1 of the admission. At this time, half of the calculated diet is provided as an ‘eggnog’ (or ketogenic formula). A ketogenic eggnog looks and tastes like a milkshake and can be sipped, frozen as ice cream, or cooked as scrambled eggs. Excess ketosis at this time, which may cause vomiting, can be relieved with a small amount of orange juice. Once the child begins eating, serum glucose checks are unnecessary and are discontinued.
Pattern B LDL, on the other hand, has a much smaller particle size and is much more prone to oxidation. Another thing about pattern B LDL is that it is small enough to enter into the endothelial lining of the artery where it can become oxidized and more likely to form plaque.  There is a high association between these small dense particles and cardiovascular disease.
Recent animal studies suggest a role for the ketogenic diet as a potential therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS results from the death of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. A small number of cases are caused by an inherited mutation in the gene encoding the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase I (SOD1). Mice expressing the mutated gene recapitulate the progressive muscle weakness and death due to respiratory failure seen in humans with ALS. Various lines of evidence suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction may play a role in the pathogenesis of ALS. A recent study suggests that ketosis induced by the ketogenic diet might affect progression of the disease [47]. Transgenic SOD1 mice fed a high-fat diet (60% of calories from fat, compared with < 10% fat in standard rodent chow and > 90% of calories from fat in a typical rodent ketogenic diet) preserved their performance on a standard rotorod test longer than those fed a regular diet. Mice were fed ad lib, and mice fed the high-fat diet gained more weight than those on the standard diet, so overall caloric restriction was unlikely to be a factor in this study. When spinal cords were examined, significantly more motor neurons were preserved in the mice fed the ketogenic diet than in those fed a regular diet. However, the ketogenic diet did not significantly prolong survival.

Unfortunately, there’s no long-term data on ketogenic diets versus other diets. In a 2015 Italian study, those on a ketosis diet lost 26 pounds in three months. About half of the participants stayed on the diet for a year but lost little additional weight in the next nine months. People in a 2014 Spanish study who followed a very-low-calorie ketogenic diet lost an average of 44 pounds in a year—but a third of them dropped out, possibly because it was too hard to maintain.
The ketogenic diet is a great thing for your health and biomarkers, as shown by research. However, there are many ways you can do it wrong and thus damage yourself. New research is showing that our understanding of cholesterol may be disrupted slightly but it doesn’t mean that too much cholesterol can’t damage your health. It’s still involved in the process of atherosclerosis.
Über-quack Dr. Mercola? Oh, dear. His evident pride at having been interviewed by Dr. Mercola does not reflect well on Dr. Seyfried’s critical thinking skills and knowledge of medicine. Dr. Mercola sells quackery. He has promoted antivaccine views, breast cancer pseudoscience, and the rankest cancer quackery, such as that of Tullio Simoncini, who believes that all cancer is a fungus and that baking soda is the way to treat it, and the Gerson therapy, which involves massive doses of supplements and, of course, twice-a-day coffee enemas. Seriously, this is not the sort of person a legitimate scientist wants to associate himself with—ever—if he wants to be taken seriously. I can see a naive researcher making a mistake and, not realizing who Dr. Mercola is, agreeing to an interview, but that’s the sort of thing that a reputable scientist would do his best to disavow and distance himself from.
The ketogenic diet is a natural, nontoxic metabolic therapy being studied and utilized for cancer prevention and treatment. It works because cancer cells are dependent upon a constant supply of blood sugar (glucose) to stay alive. Normal cells can make energy from both glucose and ketones (metabolic by-products of burning fat), but most cancer cells can only use glucose. Avoiding carbohydrates (starch and sugar) while enjoying delicious and healthy protein and fats will lower blood glucose and increase blood-ketone levels, resulting in a normal body state called nutritional ketosis. Research has shown that nutritional ketosis starves cancer cells while nourishing normal cells and strengthening total body health.
The Swiss herders did just fine living on raw pastured cow milk and cheese accompanied by a nutrient-dense, whole grain bread. The Polynesian diet centered around coconut in all its incarnations, the milk, meat, and cream, creatively used in a variety of ways, along with fish, some wild animal meat, and fruits. These diets could not be more different; an Eskimo never drank milk or ate a coconut, the Inca descendents never saw a coconut or whale blubber, a Masai never ate coconut or grains, the Polynesians never consumed grains, never drank milk, and never ate cheese.

In the 1920s, a German biochemist named Otto Warburg observed that most cancers get their fuel differently than normal cells, a phenomenon dubbed the "Warburg effect". The difference, in simple terms, is that cancer cells consume a lot more glucose than healthy cells. So, because cancer relies heavily on glucose, the idea is that putting your body in a state of ketosis — which lowers blood sugar levels — might effectively "starve" cancer cells because there's less glucose to consume.
I had some eggs and some meat and all this stuff. Then they tested me literally every 30-60 minutes for five hours. I got to see literally what was happening real time after a low carb meal. I think that’s where having the right nutrition really is the basis for knowing where you stand. The other thing for people that are worried about this morning reading, check your A1C. That’s the average of the last 3 months worth of all of your blood sugars, not just the ones in the morning that you’re testing and freaking out about. By the way, when you freak out that also raises your blood sugar.
Jimmy Moore: What we’re talking about here, is genetics versus epigenetics. I have major genetics in my family, my full blood brother Kevin, 4 years older than me, at the age of 41 in 2008 he died of heart disease, diabetes, morbid obesity, it killed him. My dad had a heart attack at 48 and 50, I’m now 43. I have a genetic pre-disposition … oh, and my grandfather on my dad’s side died at 54 of a heart attack. My grandfather on my mom’s side died at 52 of a heart attack. A little bit of genetics that say I’m supposed to have a heart attack at a early age. The thing that you’re doing when you shift your nutrition is you’re changing the genetics and you’re taking an external approach to dealing with that, that’s where the epigenetics come into play.

Now that we have discussed the role of the primary cholesterol molecules, you should have a better understanding of how they work together. Having high LDL isn’t necessarily bad, given that you have adequate HDL to help clear it from the blood stream and that you are not dealing with chronic inflammation. It is also important to have large particle LDL (pattern A) rather than small particle LDL (pattern B).
Fortunately, patients have an alternative—a ketogenic diet. Research indicates that a ketogenic diet improves multiple aspects of metabolic syndrome, inducing significant reductions in body fat percentage, BMI, hemoglobin A1c levels, blood lipids, and blood pressure. (10, 11, 12) The ketogenic diet produces these beneficial effects by reversing the pathological processes underlying metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.

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The study also found that two types of bacteria, called Akkermansia muciniphila and Parabacteroides, were elevated by the diet. When these two types of bacteria were given in combination to mice that didn't have their own gut bacteria, the anti-seizure effect of the keto diet was restored. What's more, this combination of bacteria protected against seizures even if the mice were fed a nno-keto diet.
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.
The vast majority of claims regarding the ketogenic diet and cancer are drawn from lab and animal studies. Findings from animal studies are revealing. A study published in July’s Nature found that in mice, the ketogenic diet enhanced the effects of a specific cancer treatment. The drugs in that treatment targeted a signaling network guided by an enzyme (abbreviated P13K), which is commonly mutated in cancers.
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]
Often caused by lymph node removal or damage due to cancer treatment, lymphedema occurs because there’s a blockage in the lymphatic system and results in the swelling in leg or arm. A 2017 study involved patients who suffered from obesity and lymphedema and who embarked on a 18-week ketogenic diet. Weight and limb volume was significantly reduced. (5)

Hi Barb, That can definitely be it. Losing when you are close to goal can be more difficult. It could also be that your body’s healthy weight is a little higher than what you’d like – which doesn’t mean you can’t lose, but makes it more difficult. If just eating Keto foods isn’t working, double check the macros for your weight and see if the amount you’re eating needs to be adjusted. You’ll find more help and support in our support group here.

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