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Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet Treats Epilepsy and Cancer

The ketogenic diet prevents and reduces epileptic seizures.

Scientists say the ketogenic diet effectively prevents epilepsy-induced seizures and manages metastatic cancer.

The ketogenic diet dramatically reduces epileptic seizures among children who don’t respond to drugs, said Dr. John Freeman, author of Ketogenic Diets, widely considered the definitive guide for the dietary management of children’s epilepsy.

In a new study reported in Epilepsy Today, scientists tracked 15 children who had been diagnosed with Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a rare and severe form of early onset epilepsy, between 1990 to 2013.

The children were placed on a LCHF ketogenic diet for at least 16 months. The results were promising. Three children became 100% seizure-free.

The other 12 children experienced dramatic reductions in seizures: Three reported a 75 to 99 percent reduction in seizures, while two experienced a 57 to 74 percent reduction. The remaining seven reduced their seizures by about 50 percent.

6-Year-Old Boy Now Seizure-Free on Keto Diet

The study confirms previous clinical as well as anecdotal success stories. Charlie Smith, a 6-year-old British boy, recently made headlines after revealing the ketogenic diet has changed his life.

Smith used to suffer up to 300 epileptic seizures a day, but has not had a single seizure since switching to the keto diet two years ago.

“The ketogenic diet has changed our lives for the better,” Smith’s mom told MetroUK. “As soon as Charlie switched to it, it was as if a cloud had been lifted. Charlie has his life back, and has not had an attack since he started the diet two years ago. It’s a miracle.”

Emma Williams, founder of Matthew’s Friends, a ketogenic diet foundation, hopes more people will embrace ketogenic diet therapy to manage epilepsy.

“In an ideal world, ketogenic therapy should be considered for all children whose seizures fail to respond to the first two appropriate medications,” said Williams. “The longer any child waits for effective seizure management, the higher their risk of long-term impairments in all aspects of life.”

Keto Diet Can Treat Advanced Metastatic Cancer

The ketogenic diet has also proven effective for reversing type 2 diabetes, promoting rapid weight loss, and treating metastatic cancer, renowned cancer scientist Dr. Thomas Seyfried told me.

“The ketogenic diet is a single metabolic approach to a multitude of different diseases,” said Dr. Seyfried, whose decades of cancer research at Boston College indicates that cancer is a metabolic — not a genetic — disease.

Dr. Seyfried, widely considered the godfather of the nutritional treatment of cancer, joins a growing number of researchers who say the ketogenic diet can treat most forms of cancer.

This is because nearly all the healthy cells in our body have the metabolic flexibility to use fat, glucose and ketones to survive, but cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility and require large amounts of glucose and cannot survive on ketones. So by limiting carbohydrates (as the keto diet does) we can reduce glucose and insulin, and thus restrict the primary fuel for cancer cell growth.

Meanwhile, there are many anecdotal success stories of cancer patients fighting the deadly disease with the LCHF ketogenic diet. Joe Mancaruso, a 56-year-old Texas man, told me he is battling terminal lung cancer without chemotherapy using the LCHF ketogenic diet.

Similarly, Dr. Elaine Cantin discussed how she used the ketogenic diet to manage her son’s type I diabetes and her own aggressive breast cancer in her book, The Cantin Ketogenic Diet.

Dr. Seyfried says the time has come for the medical community to publicly acknowledge the viability of the ketogenic diet as an inexpensive, non-toxic way to treat cancer.

“The standard of care has been an abysmal failure for cancer,” said Dr. Seyfried. “The ketogenic diet may one day replace the standard of care for most cancers. To those who doubt me, I say: ‘Prove me wrong.'”

‘Carb Restriction Is Silver Bullet’

Studies also suggest the ketogenic diet can curb depression and bipolar disorder. This isn’t surprising to Dr. Jeff Volek, a professor at the University of Connecticut.

Volek has followed a ketogenic diet for the past two decades, and credits it for his excellent physical and emotional health. “It was nothing short of an epiphany when I changed to a ketogenic diet,” Dr. Volek told me. “I felt better, more satiated, and had more consistent energy.”

Volek, author of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, said the ketogenic diet can produce optimal health, for both elite endurance athletes and the average sedentary individual.

“There are very few people that a ketogenic diet could not help,” said Volek, a registered dietitian. “Carbohydrate restriction is the proverbial ‘silver bullet’ for managing insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.”

Related: Ketogenic diet beats chemotherapy for almost all cancers, says scientist