Ketogenic Diet To Prevent Cancer Recurrence?

Ketogenic Diet To Prevent Cancer Recurrence?

Patients with cancer of the head or neck who eat the most carbohydrates reduce their chances of survival and increase those of recurrence.

Cancers of the head and neck collect tumors affecting the lips, mouth, tongue, larynx, pharynx, throat … These cancers difficult to treat are often poor prognosis, with a survival at five years quite low ( in the order of 40%), hence the value of studying lifestyle interventions that could improve the longevity of patients.

What the study shows

An article in the International Journal of Cancer suggests that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat (so ketogenic diet ) reduces the risk of cancer recurrence and mortality of patients suffering from cancer of the neck and head .In this study, researchers from the University of Illinois, Alabama and Michigan analyzed the diet of 414 patients before and after their treatment. On average, patients, with an average age of 61, were followed for 26 months after diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the head or neck. The most common cancers were those of the mouth, tongue and oropharynx. Two-thirds of the patients were at fairly advanced stages of their illness.

Participants responded to food questionnaires for one year after their treatment.The consumption of simple sugars (refined cereals, desserts, sugary drinks) varied between 1.3 servings per day and 4.4 servings.

During the follow-up, there were 70 deaths and 72 recurrences of cancer. Researchers were able to relate to carbohydrate consumption: patients who ate the most carbohydrates and sugars in the year prior to treatment had an increased risk of all-cause mortality. Compared to those who ate the least carbohydrate, those who ate the most carbohydrates doubled their risk of death from all causes.Consumption of significant amounts of carbohydrate in the year prior to treatment for this cancer would also be related to a higher risk of recidivism.

These results suggest that limiting her carbohydrate intake may help increase her chances of survival after cancer.

In practice

There is not enough scientific evidence of the benefit of the ketogenic cancer diet even though there are more and more studies and the empirical results are very encouraging. Setting up this type of diet is not easy, so you should take advice from a dietician if you want to follow.

A ketogenic diet essentially consists of vegetables low in carbohydrates (spinach, salads, zucchini, cabbage, eggplant, cucumber, radish …), “good” fats (olive oil, rapeseed, coconut, organic butter …), eggs, organic meats, oily fish, nuts and oilseeds … On the other hand, it requires the elimination of sweet products, the majority of fruits, potatoes, pasta, bread and all grain products.

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