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The only treatment I’ve employed is a dietary overhaul, going to a low carbohydrate, high fat ketogenic diet over a year ago.
What I was reallyВ looking for when I started researching dietary interventions for cancer was essentially answers to the classic who, what, when, where, why and how’s of it all.
One of the key things I wanted help with early in my diet was understanding how to know whether what I was doing was working, and the section in the book on Monitoring Progress in Chapter 4 is very well done.
Finally, there is a great deal of valuable information provided as appendices, including recommended supplements, worksheets for calculating calorie requirements and macronutrient levels, food diary templates, etc.
I have already recommended this book and Davis’s website to a number ofВ folks who ask me about my diet, and received feedback that matches my own impressions. My son has followed the ketogenic diet since his diagnosis (Grade 4 GBM with p-net elements) in May 2013. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to let me know of such an incredibly moving organisation; one of the positives of this nightmare has been the people we have met, virtually or in person. Simply adding some uncooked potato starch (not flour) to the diet often reduces BG by 10 points, in addition to the other interesting effects. On the topic of the blood meter, I like playing with mine, but I can be a data junkie and get too absorbed with it and forget that I also can tell when my diet needs reigning in by how I feel and how my body responds.
In fact, cancer cells are so reliant on glucose that physicians use a radioactive glucose analog (a drug that acts like sugar) to locate cancer in the body.
However, this genetic defect idea has started to lose its luster in the past several years, presumably because the Human Genome Project failed to reveal a definitive genetic cause for cancer3. But if we restrict carbohydrate intake and instead eat more protein and fat, then cells have less glucose to burn, insulin levels drop and the body begins to rely more on the ketones produced from dietary fats and stored body fat to fuel cellular energy needs. Getting into and staying in nutritional ketosis is an effective, nontoxic method for creating an inhospitable metabolic environment for cancer cells while at the same time, nourishing and protecting normal tissues.
This ability of the mitochondria in most normal cells to use ketones when glucose is unavailable gives them an metabolic edge that cancer cells don’t have.В As Dr. In addition, elevated insulin levels also set the stage for the elevation of other hormones which support cancer growth. Disclaimer: This information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to be personal medical advice. This is a valuable resource for anyone working on understanding how to make dietary and lifestyle changes in the face of a cancer diagnosis, or that of a loved one. Your son is fortunate to have what sounds like a great support system, I do too, and I always wonder what it must be like for people who don’t have this. I have to take breaks sometimes, or my life would be ruled by finger pricks and digital readouts and I don’t want that, just for my own personal mental balance!

Otto Warburg, a Nobel Prize winning biochemist noticed that the cancer cells he studied exhibited bizarre metabolic behavior. These cells seemed to prefer using sugar to fuel themselves even when the oxygen that normal cells use for energy creation was available. Warburg’s hypothesis became known as the Warburg Effect and although additional research over the past 40 years has confirmed that all cancer cells do indeed exhibit signs of metabolic impairment, the modern oncology industry has continued to stubbornly focus on the idea that cancer is instead a disease caused by genetic mutations.
To the oncology world’s chagrin, all 30,000 or so genes in the human genome were mapped, and not one was identified as a definitive cause of any of the major forms of cancer. And today, despite the billions of dollars spent on cancer research and treatment, we are no closer to a cure than we were 50 years ago. In his book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer4, Dr. Glucose is a product of the starches and sugars (carbohydrates) in our diet, and it is converted into energy in our cells via a process called glycolysis. For example, if we eat large amounts of carbohydrate containing foods, blood sugar levels surge. Ketogenic diets restrict carbohydrate intake to about 5% of calories and promote more fat and protein consumption. The body responds by reducing blood sugar and insulin and increasing the breakdown of fats into ketones.
The ketogenic diet’s inhibition of insulin also inhibits hormones such as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and other metabolic pathways which promote cancer progression.
To fight cancer, it is crucial to achieve lower blood glucose and insulin levels and increase circulating ketone bodies. It presents the scientific support for using a ketogenic diet to fight cancer in an accessible manner that is written with the layperson in mind. From what the diet is and why it can fight cancer, who leading researchers are in the area and what their research shows, to who should NOT follow such a diet, the top of mind questions are all covered in dedicated sections.
I spent about a week finding the same information last year when I started, and arrived at the same blood meter recommended in the book, used in the same manner. Ellen’s book is available at her site, below, in ebook format, which makes following links to other external sources and information easy. Along with us, his family and girlfriend, he is supported by several British charities (Most notably CLIC Sargent and Teenage Cancer Trust) and is lucky to live close enough to The Penny Brohn Cancer Care Centre, Bristol, who I cannot praise highly enough…and they have a shop where we can buy some of the more obscure keto ingredients. This process is called ketogenesis, and it results in elevated amounts of blood ketones while blood sugar and insulin levels fall, a metabolic state called nutritional ketosis. Reducing insulin effectively inhibits the production of other cancer supporting hormones such as IGF-1. This is exactly what a ketogenic diet does.В You can learn more on my website and from my book Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet. And it supports that with links and references to the source materials, for people who want to do a deeper dive. I had to experiment to arrive at a schedule for when to take readings, which Davis sets out for you in this section, and again would have been useful for me.

Eating a high carb diet every day guarantees that the body will be forced to rely mostly on carbohydrate as the main body fuel.
Creating and maintaining a metabolic environment in which blood sugar levels are low and ketone levels are high hampers cancer’s ability to thrive. Because cancer cells have defective mitochondria, low blood sugar levels cause shortages of energy needed to repair this rust-like oxidative stress. In turn, low insulin and low IGF-1 levels inhibit other hormonal drivers of cancer like TAF (tumor angiogenesis factor), a substance that cancer cells secrete in order to build a blood supply network for themselves. How to start, how to monitor progress, how to customize the diet, cooking techniques, it’s all here. In fact, cancer’s metabolic inflexibility is why ketogenic diets are so effective against it. And to top it all off, low glucose supplies leave cancer cells without a way to repair free radical damage. One of the chief challenges I encountered was that so much of the information available online about a ketogenic diet is framed for weight loss. Wheat Belly, by the way, is only a borderline keto diet, but the recipes in the WB cookbooks are easily adapted to full keto.
In a nutshell, by lowering glucose and increasing ketone levels in the blood, the ketogenic diet becomes an effective weapon for starving cancer cells.
Since radiation therapy works by increasing free radical activity around cancer tissue, it’s no surprise that studies have shown that nutritional ketosis seems to enhance this destructive free radical effect.
All in all, a ketogenic diet acts like a metabolic bomb dropped on the supply convoy for cancer cells. I was continually frustrated in trying to navigate through the overwhelming amount of information out there on low carb, Atkins, Paleo, keto diets, and trying to tease out the information that applied to me. With respect to keto-friendliness, I suspect not so much, just because most fruit is sugary, and even more so in a dried form. That’s the entire carb target for a lot of people for a whole day on a strict keto regimen.

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