For people interested in the health food movement, it is not uncommon to come across some new or rare fruit from the Amazon Rainforest that is said to cure everything from pimples to bad digestion to cancer. After reading of the supposedly numerous natural cures for cancer and other serious illnesses, one logically becomes skeptical and incredulous of the embellished claims that are too often associated with superfoods and other types of diets.
With this word of caution in mind, we will begin by affirming that the best way to effectively treat different types of cancer is through chemotherapy and radiation treatments along with the subsequent surgical procedures recommended by cancer specialists1.
Nonetheless, studies have shown that cytotoxic chemotherapy treatments alone, for example, may only contribute 2% to five-year survival in adult cancer patients2. Combining chemotherapy treatments with other treatment options such as hormone therapy, precision medicine, and nutrition therapy can help to increase the overall odds of beating cancer.
What about the Keto Diet?
A 2017 study by the International Journal of Preventive Medicine discovered that targeted cancer therapies via metabolic pathways might be effective in treating internal cancerous tumors that were dependent on glucose uptake for their growth3. Furthermore, a person suffering from cancer would most likely not be able to naturally metabolize ketones due to enzyme deficiencies caused by the tumor itself. The study suggests that the increasing dependence on glucose and the absence of ketones is one of the main metabolic changes in malignant cancer cells.
A thorough research of serious clinical trials found that of 13 cases where the Keto Diet was used as a targeted nutrition-based cancer treatment, nine cancer patients had an extended survival time and a noticeable decrease in tumor growth.
How Can the Keto Diet Help Cancer Patients?
The Keto Diet focuses on strictly limiting the carbohydrate intake of our diet. Carbohydrates are broken down by the body to form glucose, which then becomes the main energy source our bodies use.
When carbohydrates are not present, however, our metabolism naturally produces ketones, which then become the main energy source for our bodies. Proponents of the Keto Diet point to the varied health benefits associated with increased ketone levels in the body, namely controlled insulin levels, opportunities for weight loss, improved cognitive function, a natural treatment for epilepsy, among others.
Since cancer cells are known to “feed” off the glucose in our bodies, the Keto Diet might be able to “starve” cancer cells from their main source of food that fuels their growth4. Additionally, by limiting the carbs in our diet, our blood sugar levels will most likely decrease, thus further decreasing the sources that fuel the growth of malignant cells.
While ketones do provide energy, along with several other health benefits, studies have shown that cancer cells are simply not able to use ketones as fuel for their growth5. Thus, while it might be too much to say that a Keto Diet actually kills off cancer cells, there is certainly scientific evidence that shows that a Keto Diet can be used to help limit the growth of malignant cells and tumors while other treatments are used to eliminate the cells and tumors that already exist.
The content on this website should not be taken as medical advice and you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. We provide nutritional data for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. We use Total Keto Diet app software to calculate the nutrition and we remove fiber and sugar alcohols, like erythritol, from the total carbohydrate count to get to the net carb count, as they do not affect your blood glucose levels. You should independently calculate nutritional information on your own and not rely on our data. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. This website shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on the Website or actions you take as a result. Any action you take is strictly at your own risk.
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