The Ketogenic Diet

Current theory in oncology today is that cancer is a genetic disease driven by damaged and mutated DNA. However, only 5% to 10% of all cancers are linked to genetic and hereditary predispositions.  According to Thomas Seyfried PhD, genes are not the enemy and they are not in the driver's seat of cancer.  Our environment, toxic exposures, viruses, bacteria and fungal exposure along with a stressful lifestyle weaken the already overloaded immune system to the point of mitochondrial damage and mutation.

In order to survive the damaged cell bypasses the damaged mitochondria and switches from normal cell respiration (using oxygen with a byproduct of H2O and water = 28/32 ATP) to a insufficient  fermentation form of energy production which does not require oxygen (Fermentation of sugars with a byproduct of Lactic acid and ammonia  = 2 ATP). Cancer cells use lactic acid fermentation even in the presence of oxygen to survive. They are unable to utilize the oxygen around them because the mitochondria are so damaged. This is called the Warburg effect. Named after Otto Warburg who won the Nobel prize for this discovery.

Cancer cells need glucose for energy. They get that from simple and complex carbohydrates from food we eat. Cancer cells can also use glutamine. Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid found in the blood and is stored in limited quantities in the skeletal muscles. Also, It is one of the few amino acids that can cross the blood brain barrier. It is an essential amino acid meaning most glutamine must come from our food or in the form of protein supplements. As a dietary source it's found largely in animal products such as beef, chicken, pork, fish, shellfish, dairy products such as eggs, milk, yogurt, and all cheeses. To a lesser degree it is also found in grains such as wheat germ, oats, and in vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and parsley. It's abundant all right! Cancer cells require glucose or the amino acid glutamine for energy as opposed to normal healthy cells that can use carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

This brings us to a very important question. If cancer cannot use ketones from fat for fuel, can this be used to treat and control cancer? This is where the ketogenic diet comes in. The ketogenic diet is a high fat, no carb (Low carb), Low protein diet. Unlike the Atkins diet, the ketogenic diet for cancer focuses on healthy fats from sources such as avocados, coconut oil, coconut cream, olives and olive oils. The goal of this diet is to switch the primary source of fuel for the cells to ketones from fats. Again healthy cells can thrive on ketones but cancer cells are unable to utilize them and therefore are starved to death. Research studies by Thomas Seyfried Phd. support that a ketogenic diet is an effective approach when coupled with calorie restriction and used in conjunction with oxygen therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen, exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT), or ozone therapy. They also supplement with oral ketones and drugs like DCA to enhance response. The studies have shown this therapy to be a more effective approach than the standard of care ( chemo/radiation) and is a powerful non-toxic approach to cancer treatment. To learn more about this therapy please go to and watch the first lecture given by Thomas Seyfried PhD and second, the interveiw with Dr. Mercola and Thomas Seyfried PhD in My Wellness Theater. Also available in my book store for purchase is Dr. Seyfried's book, "Cancer as a Metabolic Disease". For a practical guide in the ketogenic dietary approach for cancer treatment, look to Elaine Cantin, "The Cantin Ketogenic Diet: For Cancer, Type 1 Diabetes and Other Ailments".

"Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food,"- Hippocrates.