Home » Lung Cancer » About keto diets and cancer

About keto diets and cancer

Debates arise frequently in the lung cancer community about reducing sugar intake to prevent and/or treat cancer. Some people claim a ketogenic diet is an effective cancer treatment, but rarely provide objective, scientific evidence to support this claim.

A recent article explored claims about the value of ketogenic diets for cancer patients. It was published in an open access journal and written by researchers at the University of Manchester in the UK. The article found high-quality evidence regarding ketogenic diets for cancer patients is lacking:

“High‐quality evidence on the effect of ketogenic diets on anthropometry, metabolism, QoL [quality of life] and tumour effects is currently lacking in oncology patients. Heterogeneity between studies and low adherence to diet affects the current evidence. There is an obvious gap in the evidence, highlighting the need for controlled trials to fully evaluate the intervention.”

You can read the full article here:

A systematic review of the use of ketogenic diets in adult patients with cancer

2 thoughts on “About keto diets and cancer

  1. Thanks for sharing. As a health care provider and someone who lives on “macro-manipulated” diets, I try to stay up on solid research findings and outcomes (lots of biased bunk out there). The heterogeneity of allowed macros across diets in this review (up to 70g carbs/day isn’t ketogenic) and high noncompliance muddy the results, but there did seem to be some benefit in the patients who were in objectively ketotic states.

    The problem is that eating high fat diets like these isn’t pizza, donuts, and burgers. It’s eggs, meat w/no buns, avocados, green veggies, no fruit, etc. It’s hard (and not particularly tasty) to eat high fat WITHOUT carbs, which may not work with chemo-impacted taste buds, anorexia, stomatitis, etc. In addition to wasting/weight loss, the impact on QoL is real for many.

    Would be interesting to look at premorbid diets and preferences (carb lovers vs. savory). Some people seem to adapt to ketogenic/LGI diets more easily than others.


  2. The KetoLung trial was supposed to be the USA trial we needed to see, but it got terminated without publishing results. That might mean, as was claimed, that it was just too hard to find people who would comply to the strict diet, or it could mean it wasn’t working and they didn’t think anyone would publish it or pay to have that written up.


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