An Unexpected Benefit of Ketosis

graphThe ketogenic diet is unique in its ability to simultaneously put cancer cells under metabolic stress while ‘supercharging’ normal cells capacity to deal with a variety of insults.

Chemotherapy is responsible for numerous side effects that significantly detract from the patient’s quality of life, leaving people sick and exhausted.  To date, few therapies have been able to attenuate the side effects of chemotherapy.

Recent work by Longo and colleges provide preliminary evidence that entering ketosis through fasting may ameliorate the deleterious side effects of chemotherapy.  In the study, the authors describe 10 cases in which patients diagnosed with a variety of malignancies had voluntarily fasted prior to (48-140 hours) and/or following (5-56 hours) chemotherapy.  The average patient response shows a reduction of side effects in virtually every category reported – with the only side effect from the fasting itself being hunger and lightheadedness.

Although the 10 cases presented in the study suggest that fasting in combination with chemotherapy is feasible, safe, and has the potential to ameliorate side effects caused by chemotherapies, the authors are careful to point out the study is not meant to establish practice guidelines for patients undergoing chemotherapy.  Only controlled-randomized clinical trials will determine the effect of fasting on clinical outcomes including quality of life and therapeutic index.

6 thoughts on “An Unexpected Benefit of Ketosis

  1. Mike McDaniels

    Before Fluorouracil (chemo) was invented, in the mid 1950’s. Cancer pioneers used Sugar Deprivation to kill cancer cells. It went like this: Place patient on a Ketogenic Diet for four days. Then use insulin to lower their blood sugar level. This put the patient into a hypoglycemic coma. Hold the patient there for a few hours, then revive. The cancer cells, with their high metabolic rate, died from starvation. The normal patient’s cells could survive on Ketone Bodies. Cancer cells can not live on ketone bodies. I don’t know why this therapy hasn’t been revived considering medical advancements like “real time” blood sugar level monitoring, etc. In the old days, the patient could end up dead. The problem with this was angry relatives in the office. This is not like modern day oncologists, who simply send you home to die. Also, today, they don’t have to see you die; because, you are in Hospice. Look how clean and modern we have become! Bunch of Fucking Assholes who “Research Cancer” but obviously don’t have it themselves. I’m sick of the entire “research field”. “Research”… my ass.

    • Peg Futrell

      I have never heard of this treatment of the 50’s. Hopefully we can return to this type of treatment now that we have improved the method of treatment.

  2. Sarah

    I recently finished chemotherapy to treat breast cancer. I fasted. Well, mostly fasted. In the beginning, I was on many drugs to battle potential side effects, I was told to take them with food – and told the small amount of food wouldn’t harm the fast, but the side effects of not eating would be horrible. I believed them.

    The first round was rough. Not knowing much about fasting or why fasting worked, I ate rice. The second round I still couldn’t find very much information on fasting, but I ate chicken instead and things went better. By the 3rd round I found more information and began only eating chia seeds with the medications given for my non-existent side effects.

    After that I just fasted totally with even fewer side effects.

    The ‘better’ my fast, the fewer side effects.

    I was given a reduced dose of chemo, and fewer rounds. My cancer shrunk, and disappeared completely, much faster than expected. By the 4th round of a proposed 8 my lump was gone. Because I had virtually no side effects, I agreed to continue chemo for 6 rounds, but even the oncologist had to admit there would be no need for the other 2 rounds I was originally supposed to take.

    • Peg Futrell

      That is wonderful!! Were your doctors aware that the keto-adapted state of your body was responsible for your recovery? To think that ketones themselves provide the healing, not just the cessation of glucose intake / metabolism, is wonderful news. They repair and restore.

  3. Mary lou

    This is absolutely fascinating information. I am going to read up as much as possible . Why is this not on the news more often. A cure for cancer should be more newsworthy.

  4. Marian McAfee

    Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart. After reading “Tripping Over The Truth” I came here. So far I’ve refused radiation & chemo in favor of drastic lifestyle change (including water fasting “The Tao Od Detox” by Daniel Reid. All organic, remove chemicals from the home, etc. it’s been difficult but my last mammogram came up clear. Now they believe I had a misdiagnosis of a herniated disc from 5 years ago and probably have bone cancer. That said, I had a tumor removed, a biopsy in my sacrum and a cyst removed. Unfortunately, the protocol changed in the last few days since I came home and they refuse now to release my records or even call me with results. I must drive (several hours away) to meet with the doctor in person and wait a couple weeks for that. Meanwhile, my next read will be about this Ketogenic diet (although the fasting without a doubt has benefited me).


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