Keto diet plan might have anti-cancer effect, new research study discovers

 New preclinical research study from a group at the University of Texas, Dallas suggests that restricting blood glucose levels through the keto diet plan might avoid cancer.

To come to this conclusion, scientists restricted distributing glucose in mice with lung cancer by feeding them a ketogenic diet plan, which contains hardly any sugar. They also gave the mice a diabetes drug that avoids blood glucose from being reabsorbed into the kidneys.


The ketogenic diet plan includes high fat foods, foods that consist of a sufficient quantity of protein, and a very low quantity of carbohydrates.

Typically, the human body gets its main source of energy (sugar) from carbohydrates.


However, the ketogenic diet plan denies the body of glucose, inducing a state of “ketosis.”.

Throughout ketosis, the body is forced to break down kept fat rather of sugar to produce an alternative source of energy.


The ketogenic, or “keto,” diet plan has been around for centuries. Generally, some have actually used it as a therapy for conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy.

More recent research studies have started to analyze the therapeutic potential of the keto diet for other conditions, such as cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Alzheimer’s illness.


“ Both the ketogenic diet plan and the pharmacological restriction of blood sugar on their own prevented the further growth of squamous cell carcinoma growths in mice with lung cancer,” said corresponding author Dr. Jung-Whan “Jay” Kim, an assistant professor of biological sciences at UT Dallas, per the research study published in Cell Reports. “While these interventions did not shrink the tumors, they did keep them from advancing, which suggests this type of cancer may be susceptible to glucose restriction.”.

Numerous forms of cancer cells are believed to be dependent on glucose (sugar) for their energy supply. However, as Kim and his coworkers discovered, one specific type of cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, is more reliant than others.


“ The essential finding of our brand-new research study in mice is that a ketogenic diet alone does have some tumor-growth repressive effect in squamous cell cancer,” Kim stated. “When we integrated this with the diabetes drug and chemotherapy, it was a lot more effective.”.

It must be noted that glucose restriction did not have any effect on non-squamous-cell cancers. “Our results suggest that this technique is cancer-cell-type specific. We can not generalize to all types of cancer,” Kim stated.


Kim and his team also analyzed glucose levels in blood samples drawn from 192 patients impacted by either lung or esophageal squamous cell cancer, as well as 120 patients with lung adenocarcinoma. These blood samples were categorized into those containing glucose concentrations higher or lower than 120 mg/L— one clinical step of diabetes. None of the clients were identified with diabetes.

“ Surprisingly, we discovered a robust correlation between greater blood-glucose concentration and worse survival among clients with squamous cell carcinoma,” Kim said. “We discovered no such connection amongst the lung adenocarcinoma patients. This is a crucial observation that more links the potential effectiveness of glucose limitation in attenuating squamous-cell cancer development.”.


Of course, more medical studies are required to identify if glucose restriction is an efficient cancer treatment, however the outcomes he and his team found are still appealing.

“ Manipulating host glucose levels would be a new technique that is various from simply trying to eliminate cancer cells directly,” Kim stated. “I believe this is part of a paradigm shift from targeting cancer cells themselves. Immunotherapy is a fine example of this, where the human body immune system is activated to go after cancer cells.”.


“ Maybe we can manipulate our own biological system a bit or activate something we already have in place in order to more successfully battle cancer.”.

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