You must know that keeping blood glucose levels in check can help avoid or manage diabetes, but new research shows that restricting blood glucose levels through a keto diet might also keep certain cancers away.
Successful experiment in mice
Researchers gave two groups of mice with lung cancer (1) a diabetes drug that prevents glucose in the blood from being reabsorbed by the kidneys, as well as (2) a ketogenic diet, which is very low in sugar, respectively.
The results showed both the ketogenic diet and the pharmacological restriction of blood glucose prevented the further growth of squamous cell carcinoma tumor in mice with lung cancer. Although blood glucose restriction did not shrink the tumors, they did keep them from progressing.
Many types of cancer cells are suspected to be heavily dependent on glucose, but in the study, only one specific type – squamous cell carcinoma – can be restricted.
"The key finding of our new study in mice is that a ketogenic diet alone does have some tumor-growth inhibitory effect in squamous cell cancer," one of the researchers said. "When we combined this with the diabetes drug and chemotherapy, it was even more effective."
Clinical trials in human
The researchers also examined glucose levels in blood samples from 192 patients who had either lung or esophageal squamous cell cancer, as well as 120 patients with lung adenocarcinoma (another kind of cancer different from squamous cell cancer).
The results showed a robust correlation between higher blood glucose concentration and worse survival among patients with squamous cell carcinoma; while no such correlation was presented among the lung adenocarcinoma patients.
“This is an important observation that further implicates the potential efficacy of glucose restriction in attenuating squamous-cell cancer growth.” Said a researcher.
Having a keto diet, and/or using blood glucose restriction medicine, can help increase the survival of patients with squamous cell cancers. So remember to consult your doctor what type your cancer is and whether you should also take blood glucose restriction medicine, if you are going to apply a keto diet.
Keto diet for beginners
A keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that can help you burn fat more effectively. People usually apply a keto diet for weight loss, health and performance. It can be especially useful for losing excess body fat without hunger, and for reversing type 2 diabetes.
What “keto” means
Our bodies use ketones as an alternative fuel source when blood sugar is in short supply. Ketones are produced when you eat very few carbohydrates and moderate amounts of protein. The liver produces ketones from fat.
When we eat carbs (like bread, pasta, rice), the body transforms the foods into blood sugar for energy supply using insulin. When insulin levels become very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. In that way, it becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off.
When you eat a keto diet, you can jump the process of consuming blood sugar with insulin, and burn your stored fat more quickly – which can help you lose weight.
What to eat on a keto diet
Things you can eat on a keto diet include:
Natural fats, including butter, olive oil, etc.
Fish and seafood
Vegetables that grow above ground (broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.)
Try to avoid:
Vegetables that grow under ground (potatoes for example)
Soda or juice
What you can drink:
Coffee (best sugar free)
Red wine (there are also carbs in red wine, but relatively low)