Katogenic diets can be used for more than just losing weight. It is low in carbohydrate content enough to push the body’s metabolism into using ketones that break down products of fats into energy. Another purpose of this diet is cancer treatment along with some other conventional and natural therapies.
This lady Elaine Cantin started to do some research regarding this diet and begun to modify it in order to suit her own needs after she had so many loved ones decease after chemotherapy and radiation, and her own experience, too.
Is there any other evidence which supports this diet as a cancer treatment?
There are a lot of studies on mice which discovered that this diet can dramatically slow and possibly reverse tumor growth, with in vitro research finding that besides sugar deprivation, the ketone bodies have direct antitumor effects. One study which involved mice which were on low-calorie ketogenic diet had tumors that were 48% lower in weight than catrols, while those on the glucose inhibitor known as –deoxy-d-glucose saw a reduction of 80% in tumor weight compared to controls.
Another study where mice have been on a KetoCal diet showed that the tumor growth has been slowed, the blood vessel growth has decreased, and survival has increased, and mice which have been on the calorie-restricted version survived the longest. Moreover, the density of the tumor had been significantly reduced.
A human study in which there were 297 patients that underwent resection surgery for glioblastoma were examined for hyperglycemia (high blood pressure) in relation to survival time, thus the administration of corticosteroids and the chemotherapy drug Temodar were associated with lower survival time, besides age and higher tumor grade.
How the ketogenic diet can protect cells from aging?
The exact opposite of this diet is persistent hyperglycemia and it was defined as at least 3 measurements of blood glucose yielding a result over 180 mg/dL in 1-3 months after surgery. Such patients were found to have a survival time of 5 months as opposed to 11 on average, while the recurrence group had as well as survival time of 5 instead of 9 months. Patients without recurrences had average survival times of 8 months with hyperglycemia and 13 with normal blood sugar levels.
Another study which involved 191 people who were undergoing radiation discovered that those with blood glucose levels of under 94 mg/dL, 94-109 mh/dL, 110-137 mg/dL and over 137 mg/dL had median survival times of 14.5, 11.6, 11.6 and 9.1 months respectively.
In one meta-analysis which involved 20 papers and over 13,000 patients showed that metformin increases survival rates in cancer patients due to its ability to reduce blood sugar levels. One more research on the ketogenic diet found that enhanced quality of life in patients who stayed on this diet even though it had some differences compared to Elaine’s diet, because it contained dairy products.
Prevention of cachexia is a very important benefit of ketogenic diet. This is a condition where the muscles and the fat are degraded and appetite is obliterated that is responsible for 20% of cancer related deaths. Ketone bodies protect against the pro-cachezia metabolic changes, reduce glutamine uptake and reduce energy in pancreatic cancer cells. They have as well inhibited glucose uptake into cancer cells which caused some of the cancer cells kill themselves and protect against the breakdown of fat and muscles.
This ketogenic diet seems promising, but there needs to be some more human research on the Cantin version. It may seem restrictive and unpleasant because of the limits on carbohydrates, however, a wide range of recipes ca be found throughout the web.