Cancer and Ketogenic Diet: Everything You Should Know

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Ketogenic diet

Ketogenic diet and cancer are two topics that are quite popular in their worlds. The ketogenic diet popularly called the keto diet is a fad diet. This diet has gained popularity over some time. And that’s because it promises amazing health benefits like weight loss. Cancer on the other hand has also gained popularity. Over the years, more types of cancer have been discovered. And cancer is one health condition that many people dread hearing. Interestingly, there’s a correlation between the ketogenic diet and cancer. So what exactly do these two have to do with each other? Well, to find out you have to keep reading as we take a look at ketogenic and cancer.

So over the years, it is believed that diet can also affect the growth of cancerous cells. That’s why some doctors advise their patients to have a change in diet when they are diagnosed with cancer. But the big question is do they work? Some people can testify to the fact that they got a bit better after changing their diet. Would a diet like a keto diet work for cancer? As of now some doctors still believe that a keto diet isn’t a good diet. And with that, they do not recommend their patients to try out this diet.

What Is A Ketogenic Diet All About

This diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet. Protein consumption is moderate in this diet. And it is well known for offering amazing health benefits. Many studies have proven that it helps with weight loss and improving overall health.

In this diet, carb foods are gradually reduced and replaced with fat. When this happens your body would go into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is the state wherein your body burns fat for energy to produce ketones. And this only happens when carb consumption is low and when there is no glycogen left in the liver.

So once your body is in a state of ketosis, fat would be burn easily. And this why losing weight is quite easy with this diet. At the same time, this diet helps reduce the level of insulin and blood sugar. Which makes it beneficial for managing certain medical conditions like diabetes.
In this diet foods such as grains, fruit, sugary foods, legumes, beans, low-fat foods, alcohol, and unhealthy fats are avoided. While foods like meat, eggs, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, healthy fat, and low-carb vegetables are consumed.

What Is Cancer? 

This is the abnormal growth of cells in the body. It’s also known as malignancy. There are different types of cancer. It is believed that any part of the body can have cancerous cells. The common types of cancer are skin cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.

Here’s an interesting thing about the cells in our body. They have a specific lifespan. So, cell death is a normal process in the body. And the main aim of cell death is to prevent any further growth and multiplication of those cells. Once the cells die they are replaced with new ones.

But in cancerous cells that isn’t the case. These cells lack the component that would make the cells die. Because of this, the cells keep dividing, and with that, they multiply and spread. With this, there’s a buildup of cancerous cells in the body.

The thing with these cells is that they use up the oxygen and nutrients needed by other cells. Usually, they disrupt the function of the immune system. With that, the immune system can’t function as it should. That’s why many cancer patients feel very weak and tired most times.

Ketogenic And Cancer

A study showed that with cancer cells things go the opposite way. In normal cells, a small amount of glucose would produce a large amount of energy. But with cancer cells, that’s not the case. There’s increased consumption of glucose and then energy being produced is very small. So, metabolism is affected when a person has cancer.

So where does a keto diet come into the picture? A ketogenic diet helps change metabolism. And it does this by reducing the levels of glucose and other nutrients in the body. One of the important nutrient being hindered is insulin and insulin-like growth factor. When this happens, it becomes quite difficult for cancer cells to keep growing.

The ketogenic diet indeed seems to be very helpful for cancer. But one question people keep asking is, “is it safe?’ Well, there are a few considerations you have to take note of. For example, the type of cancer would determine if the ketogenic diet is a good idea.

Remember that a ketogenic diet isn’t completely an angel. It comes with certain side effects when it’s followed. Some of the side effects have a great impact on your overall health. Such as nausea and diarrhea. Also, people tend to lose their appetite during the treatment of cancer. And people that don’t eat much at all can become hypoglycemic. This would have great effects on a person’s health.

One thing though is that the keto diet is not recommended for a long-term basis. It’s usually advised that you do the diet for a short while. And since managing cancer takes a long time there’s a missing link. Well, for the time you would do the keto diet you would most likely see a bit of improvement. Then you would have to stop the diet for a while. After some time you can continue with the diet again.

There are very few studies on ketogenic and cancer. So many people don’t know what the relationship is between these two. But the thing you must bear in mind is that there’s a lot you have to consider when doing a ketogenic diet for cancer.

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