Science

Could ketogenic Diets Be Helpful with Brain Cancer?

A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells in the brain. There are several types of brain tumors. But, sadly, they have a very low survival rate, due to this, any advances are extremely important to higher the chances of survival to those with cancer.  Diets and cancer might not always be thought to be related, but recent studies have shown different. 

A ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. This means that it is low on sugar. These cancer cells rely on glucose (sugar) to divide and grow, and since the diet is low in sugar, the body changes what it uses for energy.  The body uses carbohydrates as energy in the body, what this diet does is that it changes what the body normally uses for energy (carbohydrates) and instead uses what are called Ketones. Normal brain cells survive on Ketones but the theory is that cancer cells can not use ketones for energy, meaning that they die. 

 They followed exactly a type of Ketogenic diet that modified the Atkins diet with intermittent fasting, for a period of 8 weeks.  Changes in the metabolism in the body and the brain were seen in this study. Hemoglobin A1c levels, insulin levels, and fat body mass all decreased. Lean body mass increased. Specialized brain scans that detect changes in brain metabolites showed an increase in concentrations of ketones and metabolic changes in the tumor. 

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