May 2018 update: The answer to my question at the end of this post is “Yes it seems that you can get into ketosis on a plant-based diet.” Check out Miriam Kalamian and her “Keto for Cancer” book here. Long overnight fasts seem to be a good way to kickstart the process. Lupper, anyone?
For more on the metabolic approach to cancer, start with this very short summary of the New York Times’ recent piece.
Meet the Moses of the metabolic movement, Dr. Thomas Seyfried.
He’s leading a tribe of distinguished scientists who are looking at cancer with a new lens. Their anti-cancer approach treats cancer as a metabolic disease.
Cancer cells metabolize, or burn, fuel for energy in a faulty manner. They have a defective engine, their mitochondria, and burn glucose and glutamine, an amino acid, in a way that supports cancer cells’ eternal growth. Their cell messaging systems–the pathways through which cells send messages to multiply and divide and ultimately die, like all normal cells should– have gone kerflouey.
That’s what happens in cancer, say Seyfried and others. And here’s how they suggest treating aggressive tumors, including metastatic cancers and your glioblastoma.
1/ Get your body into ketosis–the state in which your cells burn fat bodies (ketones) for fuel. While normal cells can survive on fats, ” (t)umor cells have difficulty using ketone bodies and fats for fuel when glucose is reduced,” he says.
2/ Get metabolic health practitioners on board, and add drugs (such as 2 deoxy-D-glucose) and dietary changes to reduce glucose and glutamine. Reach out to
Dr. Adrienne Scheck, PhD, a brain tumor researcher in Phoenix
Dr. Craig Thompson, the president and chief executive of the Memorial Sloan Kettering ancer Center, or his colleague, Dr. Lewis Cantley, director of the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College, or Dr. Chi Van Dang, director of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Jeanne Wallace, PhD, a nutritional consultant who has been treating patients with brain cancer for two decades. She’s got many success stories. Remember Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, the MD/PhD author of “Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life” who survived 19 years with a deadly form of brain cancer? Wallace was his guru.
- a calorie-reduced, low carbohydrate, high fat ketogenic diet–in which you eat fats only, and a small amount, and/or
- intermittent fasting–such as fasting a few days a week or long, overnight fasts (16 hours a day of fasting, to hedge your bets, leaving an 8 hour window for food. )