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Ketogenic Diet Could Benefit Ovarian, Endometrial Cancer Sufferers

Cancer cells mainly metabolize glucose to proliferate, so that they are more vulnerable in glucose-depleted environments, which can be triggerred by a ketogenic diet.

For women with endometrial or ovarian cancer, a keto diet can lead to a decrease in cancer-related growth factors, loss of total and visceral fat, and maintenance of lean body mass, based on a study posted in the Journal of Nutrition.

A group of research workers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham conducted a randomized managed clinical trial to decide whether a keto diet (energy from fat, proteins, and carbohydrate in a 70:25:5 ratio, respectively) would develop body composition and decrease serum levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and whether these adjustments would impact endometrial and ovarian cancer cells.

Eligible candidates were aged ≥19 years without pre-existing health conditions affecting body weight (excluding cancer and associated remedies), were not aggressively trying to lose or gain weight, and had a body mass index (BMI) of ≥18 kg/m2. Women with type 2 diabetes were eligible for participation.

Of the 73 ladies randomly assigned to either a keto diet or the American Cancer Society (ACS) diet (rich in fiber, low in fat), 45 completed the study: 20 ladies in the ACS diet cohort and 25 ladies in the keto diet cohort . At baseline and at 12 weeks, body composition, fasting serum insulin, IGF-1, and β-hydroxybutyrate were calculated.

At baseline, the average total fat mass was 44.1 kg in the ACS group and 37.9 kg in the keto group. At week 12, participants of the keto diet cohort (vs the ACS diet cohort) had considerably less total body fat, android fat, and visceral fat; the percentage of change in visceral fat was higher in the keto diet cohort compared to the ACS diet cohort (–21.2% vs –4.6%). Adjusted total lean mass did not vary considerably between the 2 groups.

Additionally, the fasting serum insulin concentration was lesser in the keto diet cohort compared to the ACS diet cohort at week 12; on the other hand, the β-hydroxybutyrate concentration was considerably higher in the keto diet group. Adjusted average IGF-1 levels did not vary considerably between the 2 groups at week 12.

"To sum up, among women with ovarian or endometrial cancer, a 12-week keto diet generated selective loss of total and visceral fat, maintenance of lean body mass, and voids in cancer-related growth factors,” the authors concluded. “Further research in a clinical setting is required to decide whether the keto diet may be a powerful nonpharmacologic adjuvant therapy for cancer."