Sunday, October 15, 2017

The First case of Diet destroying a brain tumor

About five years ago, I read a study that started my interest in the ketogenic diet as a cure for cancer. In the study, a woman had a brain tumor, a Glioblastoma (GBM), completely disappear in two and half months on the diet. I learned about GBMs while living in Los Alamos, New Mexico in the 1990’s while serving on a community cancer study.  GBMs were the cancer of greatest concern because even with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, a quick death (usually with in 6 months) was certain. The study piqued my interest in how a keto diet could irradicate this deadly cancer. 

The study was done in 2008 at the Arcipedaule S. Maria Nuova Hospital in Reggio Emilia,  Italy (a Province between Florence and Milan). It described how a 65 year old woman started having nausea, headaches, and memory loss. Upon examination, several GBM tumors were discovered on each side of her brain. Surgery was performed to remove the tumors, but was not able to remove all the cancer.(GBM tumors are like blobs of jello and all the tiny globs of cancer sticking to the brain cannot be removed by surgery.) 

The patient was put on a water-only fast followed by a calorie-restricted ketogenic diet of 600 calories a day for 14 days prior to beginning the standard treatment of radiation and chemotherapy. The diet consisted of a ratio of 4 calories of fat to 1 calorie of protein or carbohydrate. The ketogenic diet, a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet causes low blood glucose levels and high blood ketone levels. The reduction in carbohydrates and high fat puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

After six weeks on the diet, the patient developed high levels of uric acid in the blood (gout) so she was slowly moved to a 600 calorie a day, non-keto diet. The low calorie diet continued to keep her blood glucose level low (in the 60mg/dl range though never under 45mg/dl.)  Nine weeks later an MRI showed the brain tumor was gone. A PET scan was performed 12 weeks later and showed no sign of cancer. After 6 months the calorie restriction was stopped. Eight weeks after her calorie restriction ended, the tumor reoccurred.

The study concluded that low blood glucose in conjunction with high ketones in the blood greatly reduces cancer cells’ ability to survive. 

This is considered the first case of a GBM tumor being killed off with the help of a diet. It also inspired my two year adventure in researching how ketogenic diets  kill deadly cancers and may greatly improve your health.

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