The Ketogenic Diet has been used, with great success, since the 1920’s by John Hopkins Hospital and the Mayo Clinic for the management of brittle diabetes and seizures. However, it has not been a widely accepted standard medical therapy after the introduction of insulin and seizure medications. It became a less known, almost forgotten diet until recently.
The latest scientific studies indicate that the Ketogenic Diet can also be used effectively as a complementary cancer therapy with a new understanding of the metabolism of cancer cells. This article is mainly focusing on Dr. Thomas Seyfried’s idea of the Ketogenic Diet as a main nutritional therapy for cancer management based on science and biochemistry.
All cancer cells rely on glucose (glycolysis fermentation) as the predominant source of energy for survival. This is often referred to as the Warburg Effect. Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D. published a book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, in 2012. His book is a ground breaking new approach to understanding and treating cancer based on Dr. Otto Warburg’s Warburg Effect and the Ketogenic Diet. If you have cancer, you need to read his book. It may save your life.
Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize in 1931 for his discovery of oxygen transferring enzymes and the mode of action of the respiratory enzyme. He was nominated for a second Nobel Prize for his work on Nicotinamide and discovering flavin (the yellow enzyme) but it was denied by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime. His most important work was on cancer cell metabolism. He proved that aerobic glycolysis fermentation is the hallmark of cancer regardless of the tissue origin. But his work was challenged, dismissed, and forgotten by mainstream medical academic institutions.
Previously, many medical doctors tried to bring his ideas back into the mainstream by applying a low carb/low sugar diet. This diet mimics the Ketogenic Diet to curb the growth of tumors. This has met with limited acceptance and success because the mainstream did not fully understand the Ketogenic diet and metabolism of cancer cells. Chemo, radiation, and surgery became the main stream therapy for cancer management for the last 60 years.
If I mention Ketogenic Diet to my patients, most of my patients have no idea what I’m talking about. They think it is too medically esoteric for them to understand or they are terrorized with a gruesome dangerous starvation diet. Fasting is the fastest way to go into the ketogenic state but fasting does not mean starvation. I previously wrote an article, “40 day Fast for Parasite Eradication” (available on my website). A 40 day fast is the ultimate Ketogenic Diet.
Metabolically, cancer behaves like metabolic parasites according to Dr. Tim Guilford, MD. He presented a lecture on glutathione, cancer, and the Warburg Effect at the 8th International Alternative Medical Conference in St. Louis. We are always looking for a new diet for a new cure. If you get tired of hearing of the Ketogenic Diet and are looking for an exotic fancy diet, how about we modify the name “Ketogenic Diet” and call it the Genghis Kahn Diet? Genghis Khan Diet is battle proven, starving and terrorizing the enemy called cancer, the metabolic parasite.
Thomas Seyfried’s book extensively covers the metabolic management of cancer with the Ketogenic Diet. His book is technical with lots of biochemistry and not an easy to book to read. For the general public, you may want to start first with, The Cantin Ketogenic Diet, by Elaine Cantin.
Dr. Seyfried covers much more in depth on the origin, management, and prevention of cancer. Read his book. It may save your life. The highlights of his major conclusions of the book include:
1. No real progress has been made in the management of advanced or metastatic cancer for more than 40 years.
2. Most of the conceptual advances made in understanding the mechanisms of cancer have more to do with non-metastatic tumors than metastatic tumors.
3. Most cancer, regardless of cell or tissue origin, is a singular disease of respiratory insufficiency coupled with compensatory glycolysis fermentation as a primary cause of cancer.
4. Secondary causes of cancer include age, viral infection, hypoxia, inflammation, rare inherited mutations, radiation, and carcinogens.
5. Genomic instability seen in tumors is a downstream epiphenomenon and makes cancer cells vulnerable to metabolic stress.
6. Cancer cells do not have a growth advantage over normal cells.
7. Cancer progression is not Darwinian but Lamarkian.
8. Most cancer is not a genetic disease. Therefore, gene research into the causes of cancer is no longer credible.
9. Respiratory injury can explain Szent-Gyorgyi’s oncogenic paradox.
10. Most metastatic cancers arise from respiratory injury in the myeloid origin of macrophages.
11. Cancer cells depend on glucose and glutamine metabolism for survival and growth.
12. Restricted access to glucose and glutamine will compromise cancer cell growth and survival.
13. Enhanced glycolysis fermentation is largely responsible for tumor cell drug resistance.
14. Protection of mitochondria from oxidative damage will prevent or reduce risk of cancer.
15. Lifestyle changes will be needed to manage and prevent cancer
16. Mitochondria enhancement therapies administered together with drugs that target glucose and glutamine metabolism will go far as a nontoxic, cost effective solution to the cancer problem.
17. A new era will emerge for cancer management and prevention, once cancer becomes recognized as a metabolic disease.