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Friday, September 7, 2007

Calorically Restricted Ketogenic Diet Might Prolong Life Of Brain Cancer Patients

This article is about the research done by the Department of Biology, Boston College, USA and it is an eye opener.

“Malignant brain cancer persists as a major disease of morbidity and mortality in adults and is the second leading cause of cancer death in children. Many current therapies for malignant brain tumors fail to provide long-term management because they ineffectively target tumor cells while negatively impacting the health and vitality of normal brain cells. In contrast to brain tumor cells, which lack metabolic flexibility and are largely dependent on glucose for growth and survival, normal brain cells can metabolize both glucose and ketone bodies for energy. This study evaluated the efficacy of KetoCal®, a new nutritionally balanced high fat/low carbohydrate ketogenic diet for children with epilepsy, on the growth and vascularity of a malignant mouse astrocytoma (CT-2A) and a human malignant glioma (U87-MG).”

Studies were carried out on mice that were implanted orthotopically with malignant brain tumors. One group was given KetoCal® in regular or restricted amounts to reduce calories and the other group was fed an unrestricted high carbohydrate diet like the usual American diet. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the restricted ketogenic diet, proving that this diet is beneficial in starving the cancer cells, reducing further growth and reducing the size of the tumors. It would appear that the cancer cells are less able to use ketones for energy than glucose. Glucose levels in the blood were greatly reduced and ketone levels were increased.

My Conclusion: If a ketogenic (low-carb) diet starves cancer cells in the brain, surely it would starve any other cancer cells in the body as well? Would that then make this a good diet for people with colon or breast cancer, or lymphoma for instance? This also makes one think that such a diet would be beneficial in preventing such cancer cells from forming in the first place in susceptible individuals. The low-carb, ketogenic diet could then perhaps be called a “cancer prevention diet”.

This was an amazing study with very interesting and hopeful results for those people suffering from cancer. Kudos to those clever people who carried it out!!