Can the Ketogenic Diet Cause Brain Tumors (Glioblastomas)?

Can the Ketogenic Diet Cause Brain Tumors (Glioblastomas)?

Can the Ketogenic Diet Cause Brain Tumors (Glioblastomas)?

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so is the ketogenic diet now causing brain tumors now recently there was a study done on the ketogenic diet increasing tumor growth specifically the growth of glioblastoma which is a specific type of aggressive tumor that grows in the brain and I want to discuss the study so I reached out to Professor Thomas Seyfried to get his opinion on it and I copied his response in the description below the entire thing so you can check it out this abstract or data about this study was presented before the peer review okay so that’s point number one so it really wasn’t reviewed before it was published and if you don’t know anything about Thomas Seyfried he is a professor when researching cancer for decades at Boston College and he is author of this book cancer as a metabolic disease an amazing amazing book the research that he is doing using the ketogenic diet with fasting is amazing and it’ll blow you away I put some links down below so you can get more data on that so the success rate on different types of cancer including glioblastoma is remarkable but what I want to talk about is basically the most important factor it’s the type of mice that they use in the study it was a u-87 – mg xenograft Mouse okay specifically n OD s CI D what does it stand for non obese diabetic severely compromised immuno deficiency mice that’s a mouthful so in other words they chose a type of mouse that has no relevance to either normal humans or normal mice at all what’s really important to mention is not only do these mice have compensated innate and or adapted immune systems okay there’s two parts of the immune system that we have innate and they adapted well they had weaknesses within both parts okay but they also Express characteristics of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and then he also mentioned these findings are inconsistent with other studies that show opposing data so how they recommend that you read the entire correspondence because the news will take this and blast it out there and distort it and people won’t ever understand the study they won’t read the study they don’t know it’s on types of mice that have nothing to do with our human bodies okay they don’t know the research of Professor c3 what they’re gonna look at is this and that’s going to discourage them from doing the exact diet that is going to help them avoid cancer or tumors in the future and I also put a link down below of an interview that I did with Professor Seyfried when he gets into the actual cause of cancer itself and it has to do with the mitochondria the respiration or the normal machinery that burns fuel is altered to a completely different mechanism because cancer cells ferment glucose they also ferment glutamine but mainly glucose and they do this anaerobically or without oxygen so when the mitochondria get damaged the cell to survive flips to a different type of machinery that can burn a different type of fuel and that happens to be the mechanism for cancer which he talks about extensively in this book right here and you’ll see it also in the video so it just makes logical sense oh it’s running on glucose so let’s go low-carb right and there’s also a factor about glutamine that he’ll talk about as well which is the type of amino acid and that is why you would want to do low-carb keto within a minute fasting so we can then have the combination of lowering the glucose and that specific type of amino acid so anyway I wanted to point this out you do not have to worry about the ketogenic diet causing brain tumors unless you are a non obese diabetic severely compromised immuno deficiency Mouse thanks for watching so if you want more knowledge on how to create a healthy body subscribe now and get daily notifications 

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Can the Ketogenic Diet Cause Brain Tumors (Glioblastomas)?

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There was a study done on the ketogenic diet and brain tumors. Let’s discuss that study.

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Interview with Professor Thomas Seyfried:
Dr. Seyfried’s book:

Dear Eric,
This journal presents data before peer-review. The journal is good, however, because it accepts comments from scientists before the paper is published. The article was removed from the internet after we posted the comments below. It appears that none of the authors were familiar with the details cancer energy metabolism. They will need to reevaluate their data and experimental design.

Comment on Sperry et al., “Metabolism of fatty acids and ketone bodies for glioblastoma growth: Implications for Ketogenic Diet Therapy” (doi:

Sperry et al., have provided another interesting study showing how a ketogenic diet fails to manage glioblastoma growth in the U87-MG xenograft mouse model. The results are consistent with the previous findings of Dang et al (PLoS One. 2015 Jul 20;10(7):e0133633, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133633), and Kalaany and Sabatini (Nature. 2009 Apr 9;458(7239):725-31. doi:10.1038/nature07782.) showing that neither caloric restriction nor ketogenic diet have any therapeutic effects on brain tumor growth when the tumors are grown in the brains of Non-Obese Diabetic/Severely Compromised Immuno Deficiency mice (NOD/SCID). It is important to mention that NOD/SCID mice not only have a compromised innate and/or adaptive immune system but also express characteristics of both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes (Chaparro et al, PNAS, 2006; DOI:10.1073/pnas.0604317103). These findings are inconsistent with other studies showing that caloric restriction and restricted ketogenic diets can reduce U87-MG growth when the tumors are grown in mice that do not have characteristics of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes (DOI 10.1007/s11060-013-1154-y; DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-04-0308; doi:10.1186/1743-7075-4-5). Although Sperry et al were careful in their in vitro experiments to maintain normal glucose physiology, they chose a mouse host for their in vivo studies that has no relevance to either normal human or mouse physiology. It remains unclear whether glucose and ketone levels would be linked to tumor growth in this mouse host. The sensitivity of some tumors to metabolic therapy is dependent on host energy metabolism and microenvironment, which are abnormal in NOD/SCID mice.

Comment on Sperry et al., “Metabolism of fatty acids and ketone bodies for glioblastoma growth: Implications for Ketogenic Diet Therapy” (doi:
In their recent study, Sperry et al conclude that the U87-MG model of glioblastoma can utilize fatty acids and ketone bodies for growth. However, their data presented in Figures 1C & 1D argue against this conclusion. It is clear that neither supplementation with fatty acids (Fig. 1C) nor B-OHB (Fig. 1D) could replace glucose as a fuel for maintaining U87 proliferation under lower glucose conditions. If fatty acids and B-OHB could be utilized for growth, then FA & B-OHB supplementation should be able to replace glucose for U87 growth under low glucose conditions. Their data do not show this.

It is also important to mention that human GBM express abnormalities in mitochondrial number, structure, and function all of which will compromise energy production through OxPhos (DOI: 10.1177/1759091418818261). These abnormalities will force the tumor cell to rely more heavily on fermentation then on OxPhos for growth. Neither fatty acids nor ketone bodies are fermentable fuels and cannot replace either glucose or glutamine, which are fermentable through substrate level phosphorylation in the cytoplasm and mitochondria, respectively (DOI: 10.1177/1759091418818261). The data presented in Figures 1C and 1D support this view in showing that neither fatty acids nor B-OHB could replace glucose for maintaining U87 growth rate. Hence, their data do not support their main conclusion that U87 can utilize fatty acids and ketone bodies for growth.

Thomas N. Seyfried

Dr. Eric Berg DC Bio:
Dr. Berg, 53 years of age is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of The New Body Type Guide and other books published by KB Publishing. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media.


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