Food for Thought – Ketogenic Diet and Cancer Therapy

Food for Thought – Ketogenic Diet and Cancer Therapy

May 2019—Food for Thought—Application of the Ketogenic Diet in Cancer Therapy

In recent years we have witnessed a groundswell of interest in the ketogenic diet. This concept of consuming certain types of high fat foods (while reducing carbohydrates) to induce a physiological state called ketosis is a form of therapeutic nutrition that has been studied for decades in a variety of conditions. Cancer researchers have become very interested in the potential benefits a ketogenic approach might bring to oncology patients taking certain types of anti-cancer drugs. Why? Because initial experiments conducted in animal models indicate that dietary glucose and fructose, even in relatively moderate amounts, may enhance tumorigenesis. Two leading scientists in this field include Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD and Lewis C. Cantley, PhD. Not only are they assembling a collaborative team to participate in a landmark interventional nutrition study, they are crowdsourcing funds to launch this effort by taking their message directly to the public. This is next-level innovation. Dr. Jeff Bland shares context and his insights in this month’s Food for Thought video.


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Goncalves MD, Lu C, Tutnauer J, et al. High-fructose corn syrup enhances intestinal tumor growth in mice. Science. 2019 Mar 22;363(6433):1345-1349.

Can Altering Diet Enhance Cancer Therapy.

Elsakka AMA, Bary MA, Abdelzaher E, et al. Management of Glioblastoma Multiforme in a Patient Treated With Ketogenic Metabolic Therapy and Modified Standard of Care: A 24-Month Follow-Up. Front Nutr. 2018 Mar 29;5:20.

OK JH, Lee H, Chung HY, et al. The Potential Use of a Ketogenic Diet in Pancreatobiliary Cancer Patients After Pancreatectomy. Anticancer Res. 2018 Nov;38(11):6519-6527.

Weber DD, Aminazdeh-Gohari S, Kofler B, Ketogenic diet in cancer therapy. Aging (Albany NY). 2018 Feb 11;10(2):164-165.

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Zick SM, Snyder D, Abrams DI. Pros and Cons of Dietary Strategies Popular Among Cancer Patients. Oncology (Williston Park). 2018 Nov 15;32(11):542-7. Review.

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