Monday, March 11, 2013

Ketogenic Diet and Cancer Recovery


Ketogenic Diet and Cancer Recovery

To some, a ketogenic diet amounts to nothing less than a drug-free cancer treatment. The diet calls for eliminating carbohydrates, replacing them with healthy fats and protein.
The premise is that since cancer cells need glucose to thrive, and carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body, then cutting out carbs literally starves the cancer cells.
This type of diet, in which you replace carbs with moderate amounts of high quality protein and high amounts of beneficial fat. It’s simply a diet that will help optimize your weight and health overall, as eating this way will help you convert from carb burning mode to fat burning.

Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D, leader in genetics and neurochemistry profession at boston college, details of how to treat cancer nutritionally. Professor Seyfried discusses how, as a metabolic disorder involving the dysregulation of respiration, malignant brain cancer can be managed through changes in the metabolic environment.

“In contrast to normal neurons and glia, which transition to ketone bodies (beta-hydroxybutyrate) for respiratory energy when glucose levels are reduced, malignant brain tumors are mostly dependent on non-oxidative substrate level phosphorylation due to structural and functional abnormalities in mitochondria. Glucose and glutamine are major fuels for malignant cancer cells.
The transition from glucose to ketone bodies as an energy source is an ancestrally conserved adaptation to food deprivation that permits the survival of normal cells during extreme shifts in nutritional environment. Only those cells with a flexible genome, honed through millions of years of environmental forcing and variability selection, can transition from one energy state to another.
We propose a different approach to brain cancer management that exploits the metabolic flexibility of normal cells at the expense of the genetically defective and metabolically challenged. This evolutionary and metabolic approach to brain cancer management is supported from studies in orthotopic mouse brain tumor models and from case studies in patients. 

Calorie restriction and restricted ketogenic diets (R-KD), which reduce circulating glucose levels and elevate ketone levels, are anti-invasive, anti-angiogenic, and pro-apoptotic towards malignant brain cancer.”1

Current conventional cancer treatment typically involves chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is a cytotoxic poison, and radiation is devastating to the human body. More often than not, the treatment is what eventually kills the patient. This can no longer be accepted as “the best we can do.” As Dr. Seyfried says:

"The reason why we have so few people surviving is because of the standard of care. It has to be changed, if it's not changed, there will be no major progress. Period."


Dr. Dominic D'Agostino who, along with a team of researchers at the University of South Florida studies metabolic therapy. They found that when lab animals were fed a carb-free diet, they survived highly aggressive metastatic cancer better than those treated with chemotherapy.

“'We have dramatically increased survival with metabolic therapy,' [Dr. D’Agostino] said. 'So we think it's important to get this information out.' It's not just lab mice. Dr. D'Agostino has also seen similar success in people - lots of them. 'I've been in correspondence with a number of people,' he said. 'At least a dozen over the last year-and-a-half to two years, and all of them are still alive, despite the odds. So this is very encouraging.'”

How Does Ketogenic Diet Starve Cancer Cells?
All of your body’s cells are fueled by glucose. This includes cancer cells. However, cancer cells have one built-in fatal flaw – they do not have the metabolic flexibility of your regular cells and cannot adapt to use ketone bodies for fuel as all your other cells can.

So, when you alter your diet and become what’s known as “fat-adapted,” your body starts using fat for fuel rather than carbs. When you switch out the carbs for healthy fats, you starve the cancer out, as you’re no longer supplying the necessary fuel – glucose – for their growth.

"Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. But cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility.

Eliminating sugar/fructose and grains (ie carbohydrates) In order to be effective, you must first STOP doing that which is promoting cancer growth (or poor health in general), and then all the other preventive strategies have the chance to really have an impact.

You CAN Beat 'the System'...

Cancer is the second most lethal disease in the US after heart disease (not counting iatrogenic mortality, aka “death by medicine”). We all know that the war on cancer has been a dismal failure. Tragically, conventional wisdom is blind when it comes to cancer prevention and treatment and hundreds of thousands die prematurely every year as a result.

The ketogenic diet, which can be summarized as a high-fat, moderate-protein, no-grain-carb diet, has brought many back to health, even after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer, and given no hope of survival.

Severely limiting sugar/fructose, processed foods of all kinds, sweetened beverages (as well as diet versions), and replacing carbs with healthy fats and high quality protein can do what no medicine can – it can prevent disease from setting in, and may even be the U-turn you’re looking for if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or other chronic disease. Add to that appropriate sun exposure, sleep, effective stress management, and regular exercise, and you’ll be well ahead of the rest of the population.

Story at-a-glance

Many cancer patients have reportedly overcome the disease by adopting a ketogenic diet, which calls for eliminating carbohydrates, replacing them with healthy fats and protein. 

Animal studies have shown that mice fed a carb-free diet survived highly aggressive metastatic cancer even better than those treated with chemotherapy. 

Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. Cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility, so when you eliminate carbs, which turn into sugar, you effectively starve the cancer. 

Eating fat is NOT bad for your heart. Particularly beneficial fats include coconut oil, butter, organic pastured eggs, avocado and raw nuts. Most people need as much as 50-70 percent healthful fat in their diet to optimize health

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