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New Studies Show A Low Carb Diet Can Combat Brain Tumors

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A new study by the researchers University of Florida have shown that eating a diet that is high in fat and low in carbohydrates could have the effect of slowing the glioblastoma tumors, the most common type of brain cancer in humans, based on mice models with a brain tumor diagnosis.

What are Glioblastoma Tumors?

Glioblastoma tumors are the most common type of brain cancer. They come from astrocytes, the connective tissue of the brain, and are usually highly malignant and reproduce and spread rather quickly. These tumors account for 52% of all brain tumor cases. Some of the most common symptoms of glioblastoma tumors include, nausea, mental confusion, headache, and body weakness.

Evidence of Halted Glioblastoma Tumor Progression in Animal Models

According to researchers at the University of Florida, radiology and diagnostic imaging (ultrasounds and MRIs) results of mice models with a brain tumor diagnosis that adopted this high fat low carbohydrate diet, the ketogenic diet, showed a significant slowing of the spread of cancerous cells, even lengthening the life span of cancerous mice by 50%. Considering the aggressive nature of glioblastoma, this is good news.

Ketogenic Diet

This high fat, low carb dietary model is not a new invention. Called the ketogenic diet, it has been used for over a hundred years to prevent seizures in patients with epilepsy. In a normal diet, carbohydrates in food are turned into glucose, which is throughout the body. This glucose is important in executing brain functions. In the low carbohyrdate Ketogenic diet, glucose is replaced by ketone bodies created by the liver as alternative. These increased levels of ketone bodies and fatty acids in the blood known a ketosic. While it is not generally healthy for people of normal health to have these elevated ketone levels in their blood it has been shown to help with epilepsy. It is now being shown in tests to work on glioblastoma brain tumors by pausing the spread of cancer in mice as well. Researchers explain that it deprives the cancerous cells of the glucose energy they need to spread, in effect starving the tumors of glucose.

The Nest Step Human Testing

So far researchers have only attempted the ketogenic diet as treatment for animal models and are quick to explain that it is not being touted as a cure for brain tumors. But the data gained in animal trials has been encouraging enough to begin the process of testing the ketogenic diet as means to halt glioblastoma on humans with a brain tumor diagnosis.

The Ketogenic Diet Can Work Hand in Hand With Radiation and Chemotherapy

In addition to halting the spread of cancer, researchers also have found evidence that a modified version of the ketogenic diet has the possibility of making cancer treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy, more effective.

As always, consult a physician before beginning any new diet or course of therapy

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