Just in 2018, in the U.S, it is estimated that approximately 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer. More than a third will die as a result of this disease. The fact that there are still natural ways of preventing and managing it being discovered brings hope that one day it will become a thing of the past.
More and more studies suggest that cancer is a metabolic disease, that diet and lifestyle actually play an important role in how the illness appears and develops. There is plenty of evidence showing how cancer cells metabolize glucose for energy, to a greater extent than normal ones. This is where the ketogenic diet comes in. By increasing ketone in the blood as an alternative to glucose there is, theoretically, a reduced risk of cancer.
The body requires three types of macronutrients for energy: protein, fats and carbohydrates. The keto diet is basically a low carbohydrate daily regime. A recent study showed that by controlling carb intake, noticeable changes could be observed in patients with ovarian and endometrial cancers.
Between October 2015 and April 2017, a number of 182 participants were included in the program. Two groups were established, one followed a ketogenic diet, the other an American Cancer Society diet (ACS – high in fiber and low in fat). The KD regime was structured for 70% fats (from olive oil, cheese, avocado, butter), 25% protein (poultry, eggs, fish) and 5% carbs (nonstarchy vegetables – salad, greens, broccoli etc.).
While both groups presented weight loss and no significant lean mass loss, there were differences in other markers. The women that followed KD presented increases in β-hydroxybutyrate and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). “Elevated serum β-hydroxybutyrate may reflect a metabolic environment inhospitable to cancer proliferation” concludes the study.
While more testing needs to be done in order to establish parameters and evolution over a longer period of time, the authors are hopeful that their results will open the way to new and natural ways of preventing cancer.