Ketogenic Diet




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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison


Even though various cancers appear very different, they all share this feature of mitochondrial damage and can be attacked by means of this defect.


Blood glucose is easily measured. The strategy is to create low blood glucose together with high blood ketones. High blood ketones protect the cells from damage that would otherwise come from low blood glucose.


Chronic inflammation causes cancer. There are many causes of inflammation.


The ketogenic diet is anti-inflammatory.


Sugar and high glycemic foods are inflammatory.


Anti-inflammatory oils include:
- omega 3 oils (flax, chia, sardines, walnuts, pumpkin seeds)
- coconut oil


Pro-inflammatory oils include:
- omega 6 oils (corn, sunflower, safflower, etc.)
- rancid oils
- trans fatty acids (hydrogenated oils)


The Mediterranean Diet is healthy largely because of the balance between omega 3 and omega 6 oils. The omega 3 comes from fish, and the omega 6 comes from olive oil.


FDA moves to ban trans fats from food.


 Fructose and cancer 1, 2, 3


Fantastic Fat
 video by Barbara O'Neill


Breastmilk is high in fat, so newborns spend a lot of time in mild ketosis.


Animal studies indicate that the ketogenic diet "reverses age-related deficits in learning and other cognitive measures".


Ketogenic diet, calorie restriction plus oxygen shrinks tumors


Calorie restriction as a means to augment cancer therapies


Honey has too much sugar, but propolis produced by bees everywhere in the world is a cancer fighter.


Origins of the fat controversy
1, 2, 3


Low Fat and Low Saturated Fat Diet Bad for Health


Eskimos would eat the blubber and feed the protein to their dogs.


While eating their meal, Italians will pour some olive oil and balsamic vinegar into a small bowl, dip their bread in it, and then eat the oil soaked bread.


Organic apple cider vinegar might substitute for the balsamic vinegar.


Instead of olive oil, you might use half and half olive oil and flax oil. Or only flax oil.




Cancer cells crave sugar


Cancer cells have about 10 times more insulin receptors than healthy cells, and cancer cells can even produce their own insulin. When insulin binds to insulin receptors, the result is uptake of glucose by the cell. Compared to healthy cells, cancer cells require an enormous amount of glucose in order to function.


The reason why cancer cells require so much glucose is because their metabolism is inefficient. The defining characteristic of cancer cells is damaged mitochondria. Mitochondria are "power houses" for healthy cells, producing about 30 ATP molecules for every glucose molecule. A cancer cell uses fermentation of glucose to produce only 2 ATP molecules for every glucose molecule. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a molecule that distributes chemical energy throughout the cell. See our oxygen page for expanded discussion of cancer metabolism.


All cells in the body, including cancer cells, have similar total energy requirements in order to remain alive. Since cancer cells produce energy from glucose so inefficiently, they require far more glucose compared to healthy cells.



Cancer cells cannot metabolize fats


The three macronutrients the body can use for fuel are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Both carbohydrates and surplus proteins can be broken down to glucose. Fats are broken down to ketones. Therefore, at the cellular level two fuels are available: glucose and ketones.


Surplus glucose is stored as body fat. This transformation from glucose to fat is done in the liver. However, when the time comes for the body to utilize the energy stored in body fat, the fat is not converted back to glucose. Rather the fat is broken down by the liver to water soluble "ketone bodies" that are transported throughout the body by the blood. These ketone bodies are used by mitochondria in cells to produce energy.


Since the ketones do not ferment, there is no way for cancer cells with their damaged mitochondria to derive energy from ketones.


"Without a doubt the most powerful essential strategy I know of to treat cancer is to starve the cells by depriving them of their food source. Unlike your body cells, which can burn carbs or fat for fuel, cancer cells have lost that metabolic flexibility. Dr. Otto Warburg was actually given a Nobel Prize over 75 years ago for figuring this out but virtually no oncologist actually uses this information." - Dr. Mercola



Ketogenic diet kills cancer cells by starving them


A ketogenic diet is comprised of minimal carbohydrates, moderate protein, and abundant fat. This diet was developed by Johns Hopkins Medical Center as a means to control childhood epilepsy because it has a calming effect on the nervous system. However, variations of the diet are increasingly being used to control other diseases as well, including cancer.


When the body receives a diet of minimal carbohydrates, moderate protein and abundant fat, the result is low blood sugar and high blood ketones. After three to four days the cells of the body adapt to this new situation and begin to metabolize the ketones for energy.


Healthy fats include:
- olives and olive oil
- coconuts and coconut oil

- palm oil

- sesame oil
- butter and ghee made from raw grass-fed organic milk
- organic raw nuts, particularly macadamia nuts
- organic pastured egg yolks and pastured meats
- avocados

- of particular importance are sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as chia, flax and fish oil.


For more information see our healthy fats page.


At the cellular level, it makes no difference if the ketones come from body fat or diet. Therefore, at the cellular level this type of metabolism is the same as during periods of starvation or fasting, which have been a normal occurrence throughout human history. The advantage of using a ketogenic diet is that the state of ketosis can be maintained for an extended time without harming the body. However, cancer cells cannot adapt to the lack of glucose and quickly starve. Elaine Cantin 1, 2, 3 reports that her breast cancer disappeared within two weeks of beginning her ketogenic diet.


There is a moderate ketogenic diet to prevent disease and a strict ketogenic diet to treat disease.


The Benefit of Intermittent Fasting

"What we're talking about is: how do you prevent yourself from getting cancer? And what you're saying is exactly what I've said in the book. As long as you can keep the mitochondria healthy - which is when you're burning fat and ketones - oxygen free radicals within the mitochondria go down.

Also, there is a stimulation of autophagy within the cells. The dysfunctional mitochondria are consumed within the cell. And the biomolecules within those dysfunctional mitochondria are then distributed to the healthy mitochondria and the healthy components of the cell. So, we're actually eliminating the dysfunctional mitochondria and replacing them with a highly efficient energy system within the cell. This happens on therapeutic intermittent fasting...

...This not only targets and kills cancer cells. I mean, this makes neurons in the brain healthy to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular disease. This is all linked to the same basic general phenomenon that too much glucose in the bloodstream is not healthy. It leads to inflammation. It leads to cardiovascular disease, which is linked to triglyceride accumulation. It's linked to a lot of things. It's also linked to dysfunctional mitochondria, which is the origin of cancer." - Dr. Thomas Seyfried pages 10 - 11.

(Intermittent fasting is eating every other day. On the eating day, most people will not eat two days worth of food, so over two or more days of intermittent fasting the total food consumption is reduced.)




Flax Oil and Cottage Cheese


"The Budwig formula is so simple and easy to make it seems ridiculous. You simply combine two-thirds of a cup of cottage cheese (ideally low-fat, organic) with one-third of a cup of fresh, refrigerated flax oil and mix it in a blender. Or you can mix it with a hand-blender (also called an "immersion blender"). Stirring isn't good enough. To mix it properly, you have to blend it.

Once you've mixed it, you can add - if you wish - whatever kind of fruit you want: strawberries, blueberries, or whatever is your favorite. You can also add something like almonds or walnuts." - Henderson, page 24. Here are some helpful videos 1, 2




It is the experience of Gerson Therapy that flax oil is the ONLY oil cancer patients should eat. Watch this video by Charlotte Gerson where she describes cancer tumors growing back when the cancer patient eats other fats and oils. Search the Internet for more information regarding Gerson Therapy and flax oil. Another name for flax oil is linseed oil.


The Gerson Therapy uses two tablespoons of flax oil daily (one tablespoon at lunch and one at dinner) for the first month, and one tablespoon daily thereafter for the remainder of the treatment.


Dairy is a common allergen, and the Gerson Therapy excludes all dairy for the first 6 to 10 weeks of therapy. After this time, yoghurt and salt-free defatted cottage cheese are permitted. This suggests that for cancer patients it might be best to start with plain flax oil, and begin the cottage cheese/flax oil mixture after 6 to 10 weeks.


Dr. Johanna Budwig spent a lifetime researching the healing properties of flax oil. Her restoration diet for cancer patients consists of oil, protein, fruit and vegetables. Her book The Oil Protein Diet Cookbook provides over 500 delicious recipies utilizing the healing power of flax oil. 




Dr. Budwig (pages 1 - 24) writes that when viewed through an electron microscope "the only substance which characterised the cancerous cells, as opposed to healthy ones, was isolated fat". She goes on to say that when living tissue rejects a fat, the body isolates it. She also discusses heart disease where the normally lean heart muscle is encircled and confined by solid fat, and rheumatic disease where "the only factor which distinguishes the diseased muscles from healthy ones is isolated fat".


Dr. Budwig is highly critical of fats that have been "destroyed by industrial handling methods" of the "fats solidification industry". These fats "which are not water soluble and cannot associate with protein are no longer capable of circulating through the fine capillary networks. The blood thickens and circulation problems arise." These alien fats "block the metabolism of other fat in the delicate glands, capillaries and filter stations." She relates this to diabetes, problems with the brain and nerve functioning, heart problems, hardening of the arteries, liver and gall bladder problems, reproductive problems and sterility, loss of hair, problems in "those body areas which normally host many growth processes, such as in the skin and membranes, the glandular organs, for example, the liver and pancreas or the glands in the stomach and intestinal tract..." The commercially created "saturated fats and the semi-saturated fats are inert and are of no use to your body."


In order for fat to be transported to cells via the blood it must first become water soluble. Ketone bodies are made in the liver and are water soluble. A ketone body is a molecule made of fatty acids and protein.


According to Dr. Budwig, naturally occurring fatty acids such as butter, coconut butter and palm nut oil "cannot be turned into energy by the body without the presence of essential fatty acids".


Her prescription to remedy this situation is "to use threefold unsaturated fats prepared from flax seed oil, together with the substance which easily dissolves them, and that is cottage cheese." Also she says, "fish or liver oil is ideal for the body..." providing it has not been solidified or otherwise damaged during processing.


Regarding olive oil, she states "There are unsaturated fatty acids in, for example olive oil, which has itself only one unsaturated connection. This fat is not harmful, but neither is it the most beneficial..."






Cell membranes are made primarily of phospholipids. A phospholipid is a healthy fat (lipid) combined with a protein. The main phospholipid in cell membranes is phosphatidylcholine which forms up to 90% of our cellular membranes when we are born, but can fall to 10% as we age. When only unhealthy fats are available, then these will be incorporated into the cellular membrane of newly formed cells. How can such a cell be healthy?


Look for dietary sources of "phospholipids", which are necessary to form healthy cell membranes. Phospholipids are found in lecithin, milk fat, butter, fatty fish (salmon, sardines, trout), seafood, caviar and unsalted fish roe, fish oil, krill oil, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, nuts, legumes, chicken eggs, animal brain, meats, vegetables and human breast milk. Lecithin is by far the richest dietary source of phosphatidylcholine. Sunflower lecithin is 25% phosphatidylcholine, plus it contains a variety of other phospholipids. Sunflower lecithin can be added to smoothies.  



Use Keto Sticks to monitor ketosis


Surplus ketones will be discarded in the urine. Keto sticks offer a simple way to measure the amount of ketones in the urine.


Keto SticksKeto Sticks are available from drug stores,, and other sources on the Internet. Follow the instructions on the package carefully. Try to maintain a moderate or higher level of ketosis.


During the first few days most of your ketones may be discarded in the urine, resulting in a deep purple color on the Keto sticks. As the body adapts to the new diet and begins producing enzymes needed to utilize ketones, then more will be used and less will be discarded.


According to Dr. Seyfried, the "ketogenic state" is when the amount of ketone in the blood is greater than or equal to the amount of glucose. Most people will be able to get their blood sugar down to 2.5 or 3 millimolars (45 to 55 milligrams per decaliter mg/dl) and ketones up to 3 or 4 millimolars (55 to 70 milligrams per decaliter mg/dl). When using the ketogenic diet to treat disease, it is helpful to measure both glucose and ketones daily. There are meters available to measure both blood glucose and blood ketone.




Ketogenic State

Ketone(mM) ≥ Glucose(mM)

in the blood


Ketone(mg/dl) ≥ Glucose(mg/dl)

in the blood




"This type of diet, in which you restrict all but non-starchy vegetable carbs and replace them with low to moderate amounts of high-quality protein and high amounts of beneficial fat, is what I recommend for everyone, whether you have cancer or not. It's a diet that will help optimize your weight and all chronic degenerative disease. Eating this way will help you convert from carb burning mode to fat burning." - Dr. Joseph Mercola



romaine lettuce, leaf lettuces, kale, collards, Swiss chard, cabbage, spinach, bok choy.

artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, peas, green peppers, string beans, zucchini.

beets, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, peppers, water chestnuts, cauliflower, squash, carrots.

red kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, black beans.

apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, all melons, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries, tangerines.


See Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Nutritarian Pyramid




Alkalize For Health endorses the "nutritarian" diet advocated by Dr. Joel Fuhrman 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.






Watch the movie "First Do No Harm" free on the Internet.  In this 1997 movie, Meryl Streep portrays a mother with an epileptic child. After drugs failed to help, the doctors wanted to operate on the child's brain. At this point the mother learns about the ketogenic diet and asks the child's doctor if it would be worth a try. The doctor refuses. The mother tries to remove her child from the hospital without the doctor's consent and the possibility arises that the child may be removed from the mother's custody. However, Meryl Streep prevails and the child is helped by the diet.


The website has a list of doctors using the ketogenic diet with their patients. List of low-carb doctors




Online Articles (from list at

Cancer as a Metabolic Disease (Seyfried and Sheldon, 2010)
Ketogenic Diet and Radiation for Brain Tumors (Abdelwahab et al. 2012)
Metabolic Management of Brain Cancer (Zuccoli et al. 2010)
Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer (Review) (Champ et al, 2012)
Ketogenic Diet and Related Dietary Treatments
Ketogenic Diet Preserves Muscle
Ketones and Brain Metabolism
Fasting and Brain Metabolism
Ketone Bodies: Potential Therapeutic Uses (Richard Veech)
What Causes Cancer?



More Online Information

Ketogenic Diet Resource

Starving Cancer: Ketogenic Diet a Key to Recovery
Cancer & Sugar

Ketogenic Diet May Be Key to Cancer Recovery

An Introduction: A Ketogenic Diet for Cancer

Cancer Treatments: Is a Ketogenic Diet Better?

Can a High Fat Diet Beat Cancer?

The Anti-Cancer Diet
The Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet and Its Role in Cancer Treatment
Ketogenic Diet in Combination with Calorie Restriction and Hyperbaric
     Treatment Offer New Hope in Quest for Non-Toxic Cancer Treatment

The Ketogenic Diet: Cancer Breakthrough or Madness?





Cantin, Elaine, et al, "The Cantin Ketogenic Diet for Cancer, Type 1 Diabetes and Other Ailments", CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012. Elaine Cantin avoided glucose/fructose and allergens such as dairy, soy, grains, and red meat. The healthy natural oils she ate were extra-virgin olive oil and organic extra-virgin coconut oil, plus her diet included fish which is a source of omega-3 oil.


Gerson, Charlotte, Healing The Gerson Way, Totality Books, Carmel, California, 2009.


Seyfried, Thomas, "Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer", Wiley, 2012. Watch a video of Dr. Seyfried on this page.


Budwig, Dr. Johanna, The Oil-Protein Diet Cookbook, Apple Publishing Company Ltd., Vancouver, 1994.


Budwig, Dr. Johanna, Flax Oil As a True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer and Other Diseases, Apple Publishing Company Ltd., Vancouver, 1996.


Budwig, Dr. Johanna and Nexus Hirmeise, Cancer - The Problem and the Solution, Nexus Gmbh, 2008.


For more information and videos, search the Internet and for "ketogenic diet cancer" and "Dr. Johanna Budwig". Dr. Budwig wrote 15 books and many articles, however they are all in the German language. Unfortunately, not much of her work has been translated into English.


This Vedic text is over a thousand of years old:







Taila (oil) is suited in diseases like tumors...

- Volume 1, page 210




Ayurvedic therapies make extensive use of herbalized oils. The particular herbs used in each oil are suited to the needs of the person being treated. Oils used in Ayurvedic treatments include sesame oil, coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, ghee (clarified butter), plus essential oils from many plants. Here are some of the therapies: 


Abhyanga - full body massage with herbal oil


Shirodhara - warm herbal oil is streamed over the Ajna Chakra (third eye)


Anuvasana Basti - herbal oil enema


Nasya - herbal oils used to clean and purify the sinuses


Internal oleation is generally required as preparation for Panchakarma (Ayurvedic treatments). The actual procedure will be personalized to your needs. However, it will be something like this. For a week to ten days prior to beginning Panchakarma, you will consume some oil or ghee each day. The first day you start with one tablespoon of oil, the second day two tablespoons, increasing by one tablespoon each day until the end of the preparatory period. Plus, during this time you will eat only warm, oily food such as kitchari (half and half rice and lentils with herbs and ghee). People who have done a gall bladder cleanse will have experienced something very similar to this Ayurvedic internal oleation. However, the Ayurvedic procedure is meant to benefit the entire body and to prepare the body for Panchakarma.


Ayurveda also makes use of heat therapies. Swedana, for example, is an herbal steam treatment that generally follows Abhyanga. 



Question: Cosmic Awareness is asked if the following information channeled by a spiritual medium is valid, who states: "For the greatest bane of all, the cancer, here to you I give the answer, -- ketone."





Page Summary


Cancer loves sugar. The modern cancer-causing diet favors carbohydrates (sugar, grains and starchy vegetables such as potatoes). The cancer-preventing ketogenic diet favors healthy fats and minimizes carbohydrates. Both diets require a moderate amount of protein.


When following the ketogenic diet it would be wise to have a good look at Dr. Budwig's findings. Dr. Johanna Budwig spent a lifetime studying fats and their role in health and disease. Ketone bodies are made of fat and protein. Dr. Budwig found that flax oil blended with cottage cheese creates a health building food that would be of great benefit to everyone. Most people consuming the typical modern diet will be deficient in the essential omega-3 oils found in flax oil. This is perhaps the most wide-spread and dangerous nutritional deficiency today.


Carbohydrates, fats and protein are the three macro-nutrients in the diet and it is important to find the right balance for your health condition. However, in addition to the three macro-nutrients there are thousands of micronutrients that the body requires for good health. We suggest the micronutrient-dense diet advocated by Dr. Joel Fuhrman is an ideal companion to a ketogenic diet. Plus, the micronutrient-dense fruits and vegetables advocated by Dr. Fuhrman make the wonderful juices used in Gerson therapy.


A word of caution here. Fruits and vegetables contain sugar. So we are not really talking about an entirely sugar-free diet. Rather, the sugar in fruits and vegetables comes along with incredible nutrition. This nutrition builds up the body and increases the body's ability to fight cancer. The sugar we are avoiding is the junk sugar, the carbohydrate rich foods that contribute nothing to health.


Furthermore, we are not proposing that the ketogenic diet is going to cure cancer all on its own. Dr. Robert Atkins tried treating cancer with the ketogenic diet alone and the results were unimpressive. However, the ketogenic diet should help prevent cancer. As a cancer treatment, the ketogenic diet should work well with hydrazine sulfate. Plus, Dr. Atkins found the ketogenic diet to be effective to successfully treat obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypoglycemia, and metabolic syndrome. What we are looking for is a healthy balanced diet to accompany the 8 step program that we offer on this website. The balance is carbohydrates from nutrient dense foods, healthy fats, and moderate protein.






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