Is Keto an Effective Cancer Fighting Diet?

Is Keto an Effective Cancer Fighting Diet?

“Is Keto an Effective
Cancer-Fighting Diet?” Blood sugar, also known
as blood glucose, is the universal go-to fuel for
the cells throughout our bodies. Our brain burns through a
quarter pound of sugar a day, it’s preferred metabolic fuel. Our body can break down proteins
and make glucose from scratch, but most comes from our diet in
the form of sugars and starches. If we stop eating carbohydrates,
or stop eating altogether, most of our cells switch
over to burning fat, but fat has difficulty getting
through the blood-brain barrier. But our brain has this constant
massive need for fuel, one organ accounting for up
to half of our energy needs. Without it, the lights
go out…permanently. To make that much
sugar from scratch, our body would
need to break down about a half pound
of protein a day. That means we’d cannibalize ourselves
to death within two weeks, but people can fast for months. The answer to the puzzle
was discovered in 1967. Harvard researchers
famously stuck catheters into the brains of obese
subjects who had been fasting for over a month and
discovered that ketones had replaced glucose as the
preferred fuel for the brain. Your liver can turn
fat into ketones, which can then breach
the blood-brain barrier and sustain your brain if you’re
not getting enough carbohydrates. Switching fuels has such
an effect on brain activity that it has been used to
treat epilepsy since antiquity. The prescription of
fasting for the treatment of epileptic seizures
dates back to Hippocrates. In the Bible, Jesus
seems to have concurred. To this day it’s
unclear why switching from blood sugar to ketones
as a primary fuel source has such a dampening effect
on brain overactivity. How long can you fast though? To prolong the fasting therapy,
in 1921 a distinguished physician scientist at the Mayo
Clinic suggested trying what he called a “ketogenic diet,” a high-fat diet designed to be
so deficient in carbohydrates it could effectively
mimic the fasting state. “Remarkable improvement”
was noted the first time it was put to the test—efficacy
that was later confirmed in randomized, controlled, trials. Ketogenic diets started to
fall out of favor in 1938 with the discovery of
the anti-seizure drug which would become known as Dilantin, but ketogenic diets are still in use today as a third- or fourth-line treatment for drug-refractory epilepsy in children. Oddly, the success of ketogenic
diets against pediatric epilepsy seems to get conflated
by “keto diet” proponents into suggesting a ketogenic
diet is beneficial for everyone. But you know what else sometimes
works for intractable epilepsy? Brain surgery. But I don’t hear people
at the gym clamoring to get their skulls sawed open. Since when do medical therapies translate into healthy lifestyle choices? Scrambling brain activity
with electroshock therapy can be helpful in some
cases of major depression. So what…pass the electrodes? Ketogenic diets are
also being tested to see if they can slow the growth
of certain brain tumors. Even if it works, you know what else can help slow cancer growth? Chemotherapy. So why go keto when you
can just go chemo? Promoters of ketogenic diets for cancer, paid for by so-called
“ketone technology” companies that will send you salted
caramel bone broth powder for a hundred bucks a pound. Or companies that
market ketogenic meals report “extraordinary” anecdotal
responses in some cancer patients, but more concrete
evidence is simply lacking. Even the theoretical underpinnings
may be questionable. You know, a common refrain
is that “cancer feeds on sugar.” But all cells feed on sugar. Advocating ketogenic diets for cancer
is like saying Hitler breathed air— so let’s boycott oxygen. Cancer can feed on ketones too. Ketones have been found to
fuel human breast cancer growth and drive metastases in
an experimental model, more than doubling tumor growth. Some have even speculated
that may be why breast cancer often metastasizes to the liver, the main site of ketone production. If you drip ketones
on breast cancer cells in a petri dish directly, the
genes that get turned on and off make for a much
more aggressive cancer, associated with a significantly lower five-year survival in
breast cancer patients. Researchers are even considering
designing ketone-blocking drugs to prevent further cancer growth
by halting ketone production. And think about what eating a
ketogenic diet might entail. High animal fat intake may
increase the mortality risk among breast cancer survivors
and potentially play a role in its development in the first
place through oxidative stress, hormone disruption, or inflammation. Men, too. A strong association has been found between saturated fat intake
and prostate cancer progression. Those in the top
third of consumption of these kinds of
fat-rich animal foods appeared to triple their risk
of dying from prostate cancer. Not necessarily fat in general—
no difference in breast cancer death rates based
on total fat intake— but saturated fat intake
may negatively impact breast cancer survival,
a 50 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer. There’s a reason the official
American Cancer Society and American Society of Clinical Oncology
Breast Cancer Survivorship Care Guidelines recommend a dietary pattern
for breast cancer patients that’s essentially the
opposite of a ketogenic diet: “high in vegetables, fruits,
whole grains, and legumes, meaning beans, split peas,
chickpeas and lentils, and low in saturated fats.” So far, not a single
clinical study has shown a measurable benefit
from a ketogenic diet for any human cancer. There are currently at least
a dozen trials underway, however, and the hope is that at least
some cancer types will respond. Still, even then that
wouldn’t serve as a basis for recommending ketogenic diets
for the general population any more than recommending
everyone go out and get radiation, surgery, and chemo for kicks.

27 thoughts on “Is Keto an Effective Cancer Fighting Diet?

  1. “Keto” has been the most-searched keyword on for months, and I didn’t have much specific to offer…until now. Be sure to subscribe to the channel to be notified of the remaining 6 videos.

  2. fasting 2-4 days before chemo has been reported to increase effects of chemo. some studies suggest keto might also help chemo work better too.

  3. I am in nursing school and I have been having trouble figuring out why my professors think that we “need” to eat protein before our exams. One of my professors always states, “It’s been proven.” Then the go and teach us that our brain runs on glucose…why do they think that we need protein to get good grades???

  4. I wonder if we should not compare keto and carbohydrates based diets, instead of keto vs plantbased because who says that keto means inevitably animals… To be more clear if needed : your argumentation against keto seems to be based of the unhealthy effects of meat, but not on keto itself… doesn't it? Looking forward for a comparison of what is comparable, without any preference a priori. Greetings from France

  5. This was misguided. Less propaganda, cherry-picking, hyperboles… avoid the argumentum ad passiones… more science and rationality please. When you try to produce a review of existing literature on the effects of the ketogenic diet on health, try to eliminate confounding factors and concentrate on the ketogenic part, not the animal part (or the part where you draw conclusions from studies on saturated fat in diets other than the ketogenic). One can follow a ketogenic diet that is also a vegan diet you know.

  6. I think its unfair when people make the absolute worst assumptions
    concerning a diet they don't prefer while assuming the best scenario
    of a diet that they do choose.
    the anti-keto people assume that this is all about meat, cheese
    fried foods, etc etc etc.
    I eat keto and my daily diet is FULL of veggies. Its devoid of sugar
    processed anything, wheat flour and potatoes but massively full of
    zucchini, eggplant, onions, peppers, garlic, broccoli, brussel sprouts
    cauliflower, among others, and all sorts of green leafys, tree nuts.
    I don't drink milk or eat milk products
    I make my own sauerkraut and fermented onions and garlic
    I also make my own natto
    I get my protein from pea protein, from eggs and fish
    lots of avocado and olives and olive oil based dressings.
    The results from switching from my vegan diet of 3 years to keto as
    described above….i reversed my pre-diabetes, and my HDL increased by
    about 6 points, my LDL dropped by 43 points.
    so the cholesterol and pre-diabetes improved when switching from
    a vegan diet (with admittedly too much sugar in retrospect) to a
    "clean keto" diet
    I'm also eating in a time restricted manner (eat during a 6 hour window)
    The point is….if you define keto as meat meat meat meat meat then
    you're not being completely honest when discussing the topic

  7. Keto hit piece. Cancer cells require like 30 times as much sugar as functional cells, and apoptosis is restored while in ketosis. No one responsible would suggest fighting cancer with only ketosis, but it has been a successful supportive diet. The usual bullshit that you have to eat meat, and that meat is bad is vegan political-based propaganda. Your "science" is based on surveys and population studies, and is trash pseudoscience. AHA and ACS practices are based on empty politics.

  8. Man, people would like to believe what they want. I mean for example, i found out that my best friend's boyfriend was having sex with another woman, i provided the evidence and my bf still didnt want to believe it when it was in front of her eyes. In that case, you have people that are severely gluttonous, would literally prefer to die instead of cutting down meat consumption, they literally prefer a burger over oxygen. So even when you have a video like this full of evidence and 0% anecdotes people are still gonna do whatever they want because they dont give a fck about themselves, the rest of the world and basically anything or anyone, they just want to believe what they want. This is the reason the we are deadenders.

  9. Chemo is suicide. Modern medicine a growing cancer, I choose to die without treatment, I give no money to the corrupt pharmaceutical industry.

  10. I love the comments from half-wit "keto" trolls who don't understand that atherosclerosis takes years to build up – so a calcium score a few months after they start eating grease isn't a sign that grease is healthy.

  11. Why go "keto" when you can go the full hog and live off paint stripper? Many people have lived off paint stripper for hours and feel just fine.

  12. Keto is a deathwhish, before going wfpb i tried it… I did it for 7 days and never felt so sick before. And trust me i did it 'right', fasted 3 days before starting the diet, drinking coffee with mct oil, eating lots of fat and low glycemic foods… at day 7 i was a walking zombie. And obstipated like a brick in my gut.

  13. I'm 71 y.o. and on keto for two years. My last three HsCRP have been 0.07, 0.06, 0.09. Very low levels of systemic inflamation. All blood markers excellent. I feel 20 years younger. Google Dr. Marry Newport to see the power of ketones to reverse some alzhiemers. Google Dr. Jason Fung to see the power of keto to reverse T2D. and obesity. It works for me and I am spreading the word. If veganism works for you, God bless. You do a diservice to patients by your vegan biased video. How about all those young women vegan YouTubers who have lost their periods and dropped veganism?

  14. you know if people on social media start talking about a "diet" 99% of the time its a fad

    thats why you cant beat beans rice greens and healthy plant based carbohydrates and fat.

  15. Litterally just finished talking with a keto maniac. Said carbs are not necessary. Also said the UN IPCC report 2019 wasn't correct either. This is what we are up against.

  16. Thank you for the video. Animal foods have a remarkable glamour and positive health associations. Keto is like a craze, so this article is timely. You must have seen this about choline:-
    Vegan footsoldier has put out a video debunking it
    I'm sure you would be aware of these. Perhaps you could consider making a video on the subject? If you think that's a good idea.


  17. Michael Gregor, you are a liar and a charlatan. You cherrypick these shit studies like Kaiser Sosa in an interrogation room.

    1. You posit (falsely) that a ketogenic diet is expensive and requires supplementation. Bullshit. I eat a traditional seasonal agrarian diet that relies on zero cereal grains, beans or tubers of any kind. My diet consists mostly of meats (some raised, some hunted by me) poultry, eggs, and whole raw dairy with some fragrant herbs thrown in for good measure. I eat a little bit of Alaskan game and halibut that I trade with a cousin by weight for dressed chickens. I consume an average of 30 lbs of meat and 3 to 5 pounds of fresh raw butter and cream a month, butcher my own livestock annually (every week or so in the case of chickens). I use zero supplements, and I spend less than $100 in any given months on “food.” In point of fact, most of my actual spending is on sea salts, peppercorns, cloves, heirloom plants and tree shoots for my orchard. Almost everything consumed in this house is grown and raised within ten miles of my front door. But even in the city, I could source the same easily and cheaply, and have done so in the past. So do others.

    2. You claim that ketones and a ketogenic diet and the consumption of saturated fats exacerbate and proliferate metastatic cancers…and leave out that nice little nugget about phytoestrogens in the proliferation of breast and ovarian cancer diagnoses…you and I both know that this is absolute horseshit. In 1900 when the U.S. had more than twice as many dairy cattle as we do today, the average American consumed 18 to 20 lbs of butter every year, almost as much meat as we do today, commodity cereal grains did not exist, yet, nor did seed oils for cheap “food” (we have USDA Secretary Rusty Butz, circa 1972, to thank for that ever-profitable sham), and still, somehow, cancers and CVDs combined accounted for only a whopping 10% of all cause mortality. That’s not my statistic. Oh, no. That belongs to the US Census, the US Department of Commerce, and the USDA, along with a bored researcher at Chapel Hill…. You lie.

    3. “Why do keto when you can just do chemo?” Are you for real??? Jesus Fing Christ, man, just how stupid do you take people for??? Why eat a diet that results in a smaller carbon footprint, less waste and far less expense ((in actual fact, the average adult eating a carnivore-based ketogenic diet consumes less than 1,000 lbs of nutrient dense food every year, whilst the average vegan consumes well over a full ton – more than 2,000 pounds – of food in the same period [I shudder at the waste])) when you can just destroy yourself eating the same damned inflammatory commodity diet that CAFOs use to fatten up livestock and get them to slaughter weight within two years instead of four to six on pasture??? Why eat a diet that, by your own admission, has been used at least the since the days of Hippocrates to prevent and cure disease when you can instead spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to cut, poison and burn an inflammatory disease that results from shitty food and lifestyle choices, and spent what might remain of your life – if you survive the chemo – limping towards an early death, exhausted, maimed, immune-impaired??? Oh, yeah, that sounds like a brilliant plan, you sadistic, inhumane hack. But, kudos! Morons will take your advise, no matter what it costs them, even their health.

    You’re a liar. You keep skewing reality to fit your sick agenda, and it’s made you very popular amongst a certain subset of the SMI populace, but your misinformation is a crime, and you should be ashamed. Just look in the mirror, Michael, your own health is suffering greatly for the bullshit lunacy you’ve adopted as a life plan. You’re younger than I am, for crying out loud, and you actually manage to look and act more aged than my 73 year old active mountain man father.

    Catch a clue, people! This man is a con artist. An “MD” who has never treated a patient in his life because he’s so contrarian to logic and truth that he was expulsed from his residency programme before he even began a career. He preys on your fears and ignorance. You follow him to an early grave.

  18. This video is filled with biased misinformation.Why go with keto when you can go with chemo,well because chemo is extremely expensive and can leave the patient with serous side effect.Keto has no side effects and is a natural thing for humans and it wouldn’t even cost a fraction of chemo

  19. But what about the other claims of keto proponents that it has actually benefits for anti aging and general health? These claims were not addressed here.

  20. I'd like to ask Dr. Greger about autophagy and the nobel prize it got…. if he can share with us his opinion. I'm really curious about that…

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