This uncoupling of glycolysis from the citric acid cycle and electron transport, and the supposed fundamental dependency of cancer cells on anaerobic metabolism, has been studied extensively since Warburg’s day, with many scientists around the world claiming to confirm, then adding to, Warburg’s hypothesis. As Dr. Seyfried correctly points out, in more recent times, cancer researchers have begun drifting away from the study of disordered cellular physiology, enamored as they are of genetic abnormality as the primary and only driving force in cancer formation and growth.
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.
Dr. Gonzalez wrote an eight part article series for Natural Health 365 on the history and failure of the ketogenic diet for cancer. Dr. Gonzalez’s nutritional cancer treatment expertise is much deeper than ANYONE currently promoting the ketogenic diet for cancer, because unlike anyone else promoting it, he actually treats cancer patients with nutrition every day.
Disclaimer: The content of this website is based on research conducted by Chris Beat Cancer, LLC unless otherwise noted. The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe for any medical or psychological condition, nor to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure such conditions. The information contained herein is not intended to replace a one-to-one relationship with a doctor or qualified healthcare professional. Therefore, this information is not intended as medical advice, but rather a sharing of knowledge and information based on research and experience. Chris Beat Cancer, LLC encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your judgment and research in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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.
Quite the contrary, as I discussed in a previous article, I met Kelley through a journalist friend who thought he might make an excellent subject for a potboiler, a wealth-generating best seller. After only a few days in Kelley’s Dallas office, I quickly realized that he, as odd as he may have seemed to some, as peculiar as his therapy might be to conventional researchers, had put together a potentially useful, non-toxic, nutritional cancer treatment.
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.
The ketogenic diet may seem like the Jekyll to the Hyde-like low-fat craze of the 1990s. The bulk of current research finds that the middle ground between the two extremes is more beneficial for overall health. Make it easy for yourself: Eat at least two servings a week of fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel) and cook with a variety of quality fats (olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil) throughout the week.
The digestion of carbohydrates (sugar and starch) releases sugar (glucose) into the bloodstream. Greater carb intake results in rising blood sugar and insulin, a pancreatic hormone that manages blood sugar. Going keto replaces dietary carb with fat and protein. Over time, your cells switch metabolic pathways, and burn stored and dietary fat as a primary energy source instead of sugar. As more fat is burned, some of it is converted into ketone bodies. As blood glucose and insulin levels fall, and ketone levels rise, your muscles (skeletal and heart), use the fats in the bloodstream as fuel, while your brain uses the ketones. The result is more energy, clearer thinking and better health. Ketones are beneficial in many different ways, and being in this metabolic state of "nutritional ketosis" (where blood sugar is low and ketone levels are moderate) has some powerful effects on your metabolism. There is strong research evidence that these metabolic-affecting diets can be used to treat the following medical conditions:
On a “strict” (standard) keto diet, fats typically provides about 70 percent to 80 percent of total daily calories, protein about 15 percent to 20 percent, and carbohydrates just around 5 percent. However, a more “moderate” approach to the keto diet is also a good option for many people that can allow for an easier transition into very low-carb eating and more flexibility (more on these types of plans below).
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.
In one study, a variant of the ketogenic diet was applied to children with autism [51, Class III]. This diet was a modified John Radcliffe diet, which substitutes medium-chain triglycerides for some fat, but it was administered for only 4 of every 6 weeks during this 6-month trial (ie, cycles of 4 weeks “on diet” and 2 weeks “off diet” were used for the duration of the study). This group studied children on Crete, an island with a relatively isolated population and a significant number of autistic children. Behavior was rated on the standardized Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) by a blinded child psychiatrist. Of the 18 children who completed the study, 2 demonstrated significant improvement (ie, CARS score reduced by > 12 points), 8 had moderate improvement (CARS score reduced by 8–12 points), and 8 showed minor improvement (CARS score reduced by 2–8 points). Children with lower starting CARS scores (less severe autism) appeared to respond better than those more severely affected. These findings should be interpreted with caution for a number of reasons. Given the geographic isolation of Crete, there may have been a strong genetic contribution to autism in this population. Methodologically, the CARS score was not designed as a longitudinal test, making its meaning in this study unclear. Additionally, intermittent administration of the ketogenic diet has not been examined in other disorders, making it difficult to compare this intervention with other studies of the ketogenic diet. Finally, any structured intervention may be associated with improved performance in patients with autism. Further study with appropriate controls (structured diet plans, vitamin administration) is needed to confirm these findings.
The KetoPet Sanctuary was started in 2014 to rescue shelter dogs with terminal cancer and give them a forever home. Once at KetoPet, each dog was placed on a raw ketogenic diet (high fat, adequate protein, very low carbohydrates). We then did something that was never done before: we used PET (positron emission tomography) to image disease and validate our nutrition-first approach. While not a cure, we found a raw ketogenic diet to be effective in improving outcomes for dogs with cancer. Even more, these case studies support our belief that all dogs should eat a raw ketogenic diet optimal health.