Some Basic Precautions
All of your medications must be closely monitored by your physician because this diet can significantly affect required dosages. For example, if you are taking a diuretic, you may no longer need it, if you are taking insulin or any blood sugar lowering medicines for diabetes, you are likely to need much lower doses rather quickly. This diet will not work if you are taking steroid medications such as dexamethasone (Decadron), because steroid medications raise blood sugar. It can be very dangerous not to pay attention to these factors. Blood tests may be needed to monitor electrolytes and other important medical values.
Designing a nutritionally adequate ketogenic diet for medical purposes, is not easy, so make sure you take advantage of the experience of others who know how to do it properly. You may even want to hire a nutritionist with expertise in medical ketogenic diets.
Dr. Seyfried says that medically supervised Ketogenic diets, aiming at producing high levels of ketones and very little glucose, are very challenging. They should not be undertaken without sufficient education, preparation, support, and medical monitoring.
Emerging evidence indicates that cancer is primarily a metabolic disease involving disturbances in energy production through respiration and fermentation. Cancer is suppressed following transfer of the nucleus from the tumor cell to cytoplasm of normal cells containing normal mitochondria.
These findings indicate that nuclear genetic abnormalities cannot be responsible for cancer despite commonly held beliefs in the cancer field. The genomic instability observed in tumor cells and all other recognized hallmarks of cancer are considered downstream epiphenomena of the initial disturbance of cellular energy metabolism.
The disturbances in tumor cell energy metabolism can be linked to abnormalities in the structure and function of the mitochondria. Cancer growth and progression can be managed following a whole-body transition from fermentable metabolites, primarily glucose and glutamine, to respiratory metabolites, primarily ketone bodies. This transition will reduce tumor vascularity and inflammation while enhancing tumor cell death.
A novel “press-pulse” therapeutic strategy is in development for the non-toxic metabolic management of cancer.
Summary of Dr. Seyfried’s Recommendations for Cancer Patients
People following strict medically supervised ketogenic diets to control seizures or manage cancer need to weigh and measure everything they eat, and monitor their blood sugar and blood ketones daily. Special meters are required for home ketone testing. The meters themselves are very inexpensive, but the test strips are very expensive.
Dr. Seyfried writes: “However, the ketone strip cost is much less if they are purchased from Canada (http://www.universaldrugstore.com/medications/Precision+Xtra+Ketones+Test+Strips). Also, we are now using the Glucose Ketone Index Calculator (GKIC) for measuring the therapeutic action of ketogenic diets."
Dr. Seyfried recommends 12g of carbohydrate per day, and strict protein restriction too. Blood sugar levels should be allowed to fall into the 55-65 mg/dL range, and that ketones rise to at least 4.0 mM. He refers to this combination of values as, “the zone of metabolic management.”
To give you an idea of the average person’s values when eating a typical diet, blood sugar levels tend to be in the 80’s and 90’s, and ketones are usually 0.3 mM or lower. On a Banting diet, at 25g to 50g of carbohydrate per day, blood sugar levels tend to be in the 70’s, and ketones are usually 0.6 mM to 2.5 mM.
The quickest way to get into the therapeutic zone is by fasting (water only) for 3-5 days. During the induction phase, (harmless) carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms may occur, which typically include lightheadedness, nausea, and headaches.
Dr. Seyfried writes: “We now know that cancer is not caused by mutations. The mutations arise effects of abnormal cellular energy metabolism and are not the drivers of the disease. The disease arises from a disturbance of mitochondrial energy metabolism. The tumor cells are dependent on glucose and the amino acid glutamine for growth. Cancer patients can now use ketogenic diets and certain procedures that block availability these metabolites to the tumor. Cancer patients can be empowered to help manage their disease. We described this process in our new Press-Pulse therapeutic strategy paper (full text available). I should also mention that stress management is an important part of the metabolic therapy. Many cancer patients suffer anxiety as the result of their illness, which can elevate blood glucose levels. This is discussed in our Press-Pulse paper. It is our view that cancer can be managed without toxicity."