Typically, cancer nutritionists recommend that patients eat a plant-based diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limits red meat. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to put the body into ketosis. Cancer cells use more glucose than normal cells to maintain their growth. Since the ketogenic diet deprives the body of glucose, scientists have proposed that it might also keep cancer cells from getting the energy they need to grow. Currently, two small clinical trials are looking at the effect of the keto diet in patients receiving standard treatment for metastatic breast cancer and glioblastoma. A recent study found the diet inhibited the growth of cancer cells in mice with non-small cell lung cancer, which relies heavily on glucose for its growth. Jocelyn Tan, an oncologist with Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, has conducted research on how the keto diet affects cancer patients. Q: How did you become interested in the keto diet? A: In , I found two papers that looked at the effect of a low carbohydrate diet in cancer patients.
KDs target the Warburg effect, a biochemical phenomenon in which cancer cells predominantly utilize glycolysis instead of oxidative phosphorylation to produce ATP. Furthermore, some cancers lack the ability to metabolize ketone bodies, due to mitochondrial dysfunction and down-regulation of enzymes necessary for ketone utilization [ 2 ]. Thus, the rationale in providing a fat-rich, low-carbohydrate diet in cancer therapy is to reduce circulating glucose levels and induce ketosis such that cancer cells are starved of energy while normal cells adapt their metabolism to use ketone bodies and survive. Furthermore, by reducing blood glucose also levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor, which are important drivers of cancer cell proliferation, drop. Numerous preclinical studies have provided evidence for an anti-tumor effect of KDs [ 1 ] Figure 1. However, caloric restriction, despite its anti-tumor effect and potential to sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy, would be contraindicated in a range of cancer patients, particularly those with cachexia. Thus, we further focused on optimizing the KD composition to address this issue.
Opinion keto diet and cancer treatment yet
To date, evidence from randomized controlled clinical trials is lacking, but needed, to answer the question of whether an adjuvant KD would benefit specific cancer patients. Donate Blood. Mechanisms of action were thought to be reduced reactive oxygen species and increased central adenosine levels. Many of them were overweight. The passing of Alex Trebek has brought pancreatic cancer into the public consciousness. Top 10 tips to cut your cancer risk Vegetables and exercise may not be glamorous, but they could save your life, expert report confirms May 24,