what is a ketogenic diet for cancer? Cancer is one of the deadly diseases and is avoided by everyone. This disease occurs due to abnormal growth of body tissue cells then turned into cancer cells. Terrible, these cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body.
Cancer can affect anyone without knowing body parts, sex, or age (although most cancer patients are over 40 years old and above). Many types of cancer such as blood cancer (leukemia), liver cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer melanoma, stomach cancer, tongue cancer, mouth cancer, eye cancer, brain cancer and thyroid cancer.
Treatment also varies, usually involving the use of drugs and medical equipment. But lately, there is the issue that there is one type of diet that can help treat cancer, namely ketogenic diet or better known as keto diet. What is a ketogenic diet for cancer?
What Is A Ketogenic Diet for Cancer Vs the Growth of Cancer Cells
The keto diet is popular today thanks to its ability to lose weight fast. The origin of keto diet comes from ketones. Ketones are compounds produced from the breakdown of fat produced in the liver. When the body lacks carbohydrate and sugar intake, the liver will break the fat into fatty acids. These fatty acids (ketones) will be fueled energy for the body as well as the brain. Ketones are too much in the body called ketosis. Ketosis is the goal of the keto diet.
Due to the need to reduce the intake of carbohydrates and sugar, this diet requires you to eat foods with high content of fat, medium protein content, and low carbohydrate content. Of course, the fat in question is healthy fats, good fats for the body such as fat in meat, olive oil, fish oil, butter, eggs, cheese, seeds, and much more.
Many studies have proven that this diet is effective in losing weight and treating seizures in epilepsy. In addition, this diet also helps regulate the lifestyle of diabetics so that blood sugar levels return to normal, improve the body’s metabolic system and maintain heart health. Then what about cancer?
The growth of every cell that is in the body has been well managed. Various transcription factors and molecular mechanisms ensure that the cells in the body only grow and divide at the right time. It’s the usual cells, unlike the cancer cells. Both are different in many ways. Something contained in the regulatory mechanism has been damaged so that the cells begin to grow and divide at an abnormal speed, that’s cancer cells. These cells begin to accumulate the energy obtained from the blood and then manipulate the things around it to support rapid growth. Interestingly, these cancer cells depend on glucose in the metabolic process. This glucose acts as fuel or energy for cancer cells.
Normal body cells usually have a metabolic flexibility. If insulin levels are low, the cells of the body can still provide energy by using both fatty acids and ketones. Fortunately, cancer cells do not have the ability to do so. Cancer cells require glucose to gain energy. From here arises various opinions about keto diet that can reduce the availability of glucose as a fuel for cancer cells. Keto diet is believed to make cancer cells do not get energy intake
How Ketogenic Diet Help to Treat Cancer?
How does the keto dietary mechanism help in treating cancer? The availability of glucose is very important for cancer cells as the main ingredient for developing and guessing to other body parts. By undergoing keto diet, blood glucose levels decreased, which can cause cancer cells in the body to become weak. The purpose of this diet is to make the body into ketosis conditions and reduce the glucose level to be low.
In addition, keto diet can also lead to insulin-like levels of insulin and IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1) circulating in the body to be low. This condition will cause cancer cells do not get a strong signal to grow and divide. Ketone body has also been proven to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the body.
Research conducted in 1995 against two children with astrocytoma proves that keto diet can reduce the intake of glucose by tumor cells in both children. After a ketogenic diet was applied for seven days, blood glucose levels decreased and glucose absorption in the tumor area decreased to as much as 21.8%. One child is declared cured after 1 year and can survive until the age of 10 years. From the study finally proved that keto diet can help reduce tumor volume and increase the potential life expectancy in cancer patients.
Another study conducted on 16 patients with end-stage cancer, showed that keto diet performed for 12 weeks has improved the quality of life and stop the growth of cancer cells in five patients with cancer.
Keto diet is a diet by regulating a diet high in fat, medium protein, and low carbohydrates. For that, this diet requires that you consume lots of healthy fats in the daily diet and reduce the carbohydrate intake as little as possible so that the body can enter ketosis conditions. Daily fat intake should be consumed is about 75% of daily calories, while carbohydrates as much as 5% and 25% protein.
Fats can be obtained from vegetable oils, olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, avocado, butter, cheese, eggs, nuts and seeds. While the protein can be processed from meat, fish, and dairy processed. For carbohydrates, because it only takes a little (about 10-20 grams), can be obtained from vegetables with low carbohydrate content. Usually vegetables that can be consumed are green vegetables such as asparagus, spinach, broccoli, beans, spring onion, cabbage, cabbage, mustard, lettuce and celery. In addition, fruits can also be a source of good carbohydrates such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
So, what is a ketogenic diet for cancer? In some studies, prove this diet can indeed weaken cancer cells in the body. But if you want to try this diet, you should consult with your doctor to get good advice. Keto diet is not the only treatment for cancer, because this diet is not to cure cancer in total, but to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body. This keto diet can also be used in conjunction with conventional therapies to treat cancer such as radiation and chemotherapy in order to get better results.