A high carbohydrate intake can exacerbate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by feeding opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria in the gut. (29) These microbes ferment dietary carbohydrates, producing gases that increase intraabdominal pressure, a driving force behind acid reflux and GERD. The gas manufactured by these bacteria also contributes to bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in IBS.
Tumors did not progress at all at all in the five patients that successfully completed the ketogenic trial. This is a positive outcome given the advanced stage of their cancer. Additionally, some of these patients experienced favorable changes in glucose, HDL:LDL ratio, triglycerides, and healthy levels of weight-loss. These findings further support the healthy impact a ketogenic diet may have on cancer.

For centuries, fasting has been used to treat many diseases, including seizures. Water diets without food for days to weeks were used in the 1800s and early 1900s by many physicians treating epilepsy, but these diets and fasting could only be done for short periods of time. Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic suggested in July 1921 that a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates could maintain ketosis (a metabolic state in which the body burns fat for energy – instead of carbohydrates – and turns them into ketone bodies) longer than fasting alone. In addition, Wilder suggested this metabolic state could be maintained on a long-term basis. He was the first to name this regimen “The Ketogenic Diet.”
Ketone bodies, especially β-hydroxybutyrate, can be measured easily, so much work has centered on determining how these molecules may have anticonvulsant effects. Inconsistencies in studies attempting to correlate seizure protection with levels of ketone bodies suggest that another mechanism may be involved in the diet’s beneficial effects on seizures [2–5, Class III]. Several mechanisms have been proposed, including changes in ATP production making neurons more resilient in the face of metabolic demands during seizures; altered brain pH affecting neuronal excitability; direct inhibitory effects of ketone bodies or fatty acids on ion channels; and shifts in amino acid metabolism to favor the synthesis of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA [6,7].
Solomon L. Moshe, MD. Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience and Pediatrics, Director of Clinical Neurophysiology and Child Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York; past president of the American Epilepsy Society. William R. Turk, MD. Division Chief, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology, The Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida.
During a seizure, networks of neurons fire when they are not supposed to. This can happen because the brain cells are more excitable and are releasing lots of excitatory neurotransmitters, like glutamate. Or it could be that neighboring brain cells aren’t able to suppress the spread of excitability like they normally would using inhibitory neurotransmitters like gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA.
A survey in 2005 of 88 paediatric neurologists in the US found that 36% regularly prescribed the diet after three or more drugs had failed, 24% occasionally prescribed the diet as a last resort, 24% had only prescribed the diet in a few rare cases, and 16% had never prescribed the diet. Several possible explanations exist for this gap between evidence and clinical practice.[34] One major factor may be the lack of adequately trained dietitians, who are needed to administer a ketogenic diet programme.[31]
In AD, ingestion of carbohydrates may worsen memory [42]. Patients with cognitive impairment lacking the APO-ε4 allele (one of the risk factors for AD) showed improved scores on the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale–Cognitive Subscale after ingesting a medium-chain triglyceride shake, which induces low but measurable levels of ketosis [43, Class I]. Scores on this test for those with the APO-ε4 allele (as well as scores for all patients on some other tests administered in this study) were not improved after ingestion of the medium-chain triglyceride shake, making the generalizability of these findings to other patients with cognitive impairment (including AD) an area for further investigation.
Typically known as the “bad cholesterol” to its healthy counterpart HDL cholesterol, increased levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). [14] Some studies show a strong correlation between LDL cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular diseases in both men and women. [15] Evidence also suggests that decreasing blood levels of LDL-C reduces the risk of CVD. [16]
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.
So what do you do about GBM? Standard treatment begins with surgery. After surgery, you are given radiation and chemo. In the meantime, you take other medications to control the side effects. Tick, tick, tick, GBM makes you acutely aware of clocks ticking. You start searching for medical trials. There are many rules to qualify, most extend life by only a few months. Some have a substantial chance of killing you.
Thank you, Dr. Jockers. I really appreciate your reply. I was wondering if insulin resistance would make my cholesterol go up on the ketogenic diet from a total of 220 before I went on it to 378 after being on it for six months. I have always been in a healthy weight range for my height, but I have always been extremely hungry most of the time. I really got on the ketogenic diet hoping that this would be regulated after being on it for some time, but it hasn’t helped that much. Would this signify that insulin resistance may be the culprit for my sudden rise in cholesterol even though I am following the ketogenic diet perfectly?
Despite what we’ve all heard, there’s actually no such thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol; there is only one type of cholesterol. Your LDL and HDL values refer to how much cholesterol is carried in your HDL and LDL lipoprotein particles. In fact, the same cholesterol is continuously transferred among these and other types of lipoproteins as they make their way through the bloodstream.
Spices are an easy way of adding more flavor, vitamins and antioxidants into your food. Furthermore, they are low in carbohydrates. Make sure that you're using fresh, organic spices for maximum flavor and nutrients. Some spices sold in packets found at the local grocery should not be used, as they often contain fillers that can increase your carbohydrate consumption, thus putting you out of ketosis.26

On the other hand, higher HDL cholesterol levels have been linked to less carotid artery intima-media thickness. In a large meta-analysis of data from more than 20,000 people, CIMT tended to decrease as HDL cholesterol increased – regardless of LDL cholesterol values (16). Importantly, although LDL response to carb restriction varies from person to person, HDL virtually always increases.
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.
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.)