Fighting Cancer with Nutritional Ketosis | Part 2
To watch Part 1 of this presentation, click here.
So who’s ready to give up sugar? Okay hope fully, hopefully. So, here’s a simplistic model of how a ketogenic diet, because how many of you guys have heard of a ketogenic diet, right? And so there’s a lot of myths out there about a ketogenic diet, I’m going to try to dispel those. It’s not a miracle diet, it’s actually an ancestral approach utilizing kind of modern technology and our modern lifestyle. Okay? So our ancestors they didn’t have three square meals a day, did they? They didn’t have refrigerators and pantries. I can literally in my house, we have enough food to last my family like three weeks. We don’t even need to leave, we could just eat all day long every day and have plenty of food. Our ancestors didn’t have that so they would go days sometimes without food. Maybe they had one really, really big meal a week, right? At times that’s possible. And so if they had even a meal a day that was a really great things oftentimes for our ancestors.
So basically what a ketogenic diet does is it’s very, very low in sugar and glucose, right? And we know that that creates a metabolic weakness in the cancer, which can make it more susceptible to our body’s immune system and make it more susceptible to oxidative therapies if you want to go about using those as well. So here’s kind of how it works, your traditional diet, right, we’re eating bread. How many of you guys grew up eating grains and breads pretty much at every meal?
So for me breakfast was Cheerios or cornflakes, lunch was some sort of a sandwich, dinner was like pasta, pizza, things like that. And my mom was health conscious so we’d always get like the whole grains, all the best stuff. We’d always have like our steamed kale on the side, things like that, but we had this higher carbohydrate diet. So my body would produce a lot of insulin, which would then take the sugar, put it in the cell, I’d start creating that energy, but I would be stuck in this sugar burning mode. My body only knew one way to produce energy really well and that was through burning glucose or sugar.
Now when we fast, how many of you guys have ever done a fast before? So growing up my family we would fast one day a year, spiritual purposes, and I always thought it was like the worst day in the world. Okay, I would like lay in bed all day, I was afraid if I got up and I like used energy that I would die or something would happen. And so basically when we fast our body no longer has this continual supply of glucose and so insulin levels go down, which then triggers other genetic pathways that tell the body, “Hey, let’s use fat for fuel.” So we start to breakdown our own body fat and we use that for energy. And that’s really what a ketogenic approach is. Okay?
Now we can also do it by eating, when we do it, eating foods that are very high in healthy fats, right? Ideally healthy fats, and I’ll talk more about that as we go on. And it makes it a little more comfortable when we do that so we’re not just trying to basically fast all the time. So obviously we do need to eat at sometimes. And so a ketogenic diet typically the ratios, the macro nutrient ratios, it’s really a very, very low net carb diet. So when we look at carbs, we’ve got total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols. The starch and the sugar those are the ones that are going to drive up glucose. Fiber does not drive up glucose, for some people sugar alcohols can, it can drive up insulin. For other people they get no insulin response when they consume things like erythritol and xylitol and stuff like that. So technically it’s not a net carb, okay?
And we’re going to eat a lot of fat, and then also moderate protein. A lot of people think it’s a very high protein diet, it’s not a high protein diet. Some people can handle more protein than others, my body fortunately I can handle more protein than other people can, I’ve experimented with it. But for some people we need to keep their protein really low, especially if they have an active cancer growing.
And so when we do this we produce these compounds, acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta hydroxybutyric acid. Now when we test our blood ketones, we’re looking at this BHB, beta hydroxybutyric acid, not technically a ketone but works like a ketone. Okay. Acetone will come out in our breath, and acetoacetic acid if you ever do the urine strips, right? That’s what you’re actually testing is how much of that is bring produced there. And so our body will take these compounds and they go right into the mitochondria, so they’re water soluble. So fat can not cross the blood brain barrier, ketones can. So we used to think that the brain could only survive on glucose, that’s not true. We know today the brain can actually thrive on ketones, they cross the blood brain barrier.
So ketones are a very fast energy source and a very clean energy source for the body to use. So we produce significantly less oxidative stress and metabolic waste when we use ketones for a fuel source compared to glucose. But really we want to have the metabolic flexibility, that’s a key term. Everybody say metabolic flexibility. We want to have the metabolic flexibility to where we can use glucose for an energy source whenever we want to, right? So like if I had you guys all get up right now and we sprinted for two minutes straight, you would be huffing and puffing. Okay? You would need to be using glucose for a fuel source in order to be able to do that. We want to have that survivability, that makes us resilient, to be able to get up and do a lot of things. Lift heavy things, run, do all kinds of activities that demand a lot out of us. That’s where glucose is great. But when we’re sitting down in a seat, we don’t want to be utilizing much glucose for energy. Very, very small percentage. We want to mostly be using fat for fuel and ketones for fuel. And we do that by keeping our insulin levels down.
So a lot of people think or there’s kind of this connotation and people think that if you eat a ketogenic diet a ketogenic diet itself will get rid of cancer and actually rarely is that the case. Sometimes I will, okay? Because the body is strong enough, the immune system if we get the insulin levels down and remove the glucose the immune system goes to work and the body can heal itself. But if you have a fast growing cancer, I wouldn’t count on a ketogenic diet itself to get rid of the cancer. Now it should be a foundation, my opinion it should be a foundational strategy but we actually want something called a press-pull approach, right? And I’ll talk a little bit about that in a second.
But here’s what ketones can do, they’re going to increase cancer cell oxidative stress, why? Because there’s less glucose for the cancer cell to uptake, so they can’t produce as much glutathione. It’s anti-angiogenic so it helps reduce the ability of the blood vessels to grow, right? And to circulate around the cancer cell and drive more blood flow. Obviously lowering insulin level’s going to lower inflammation and it’s going to help improve the immune system. It promotes apoptosis. So ketones themselves, particularly beta hydroxybutyrate, that BHB, is what’s called an epigenetic modulator. Epigenetics means how our environment influences our genes.
And BHB when it’s elevated in our blood stream it’s been shown to actually activate these, well in certain areas, it activates histone deacetylases in other areas like for example around cancer cells, it inhibits them. And what that means is it actually slows down the ability of the cancer cell to proliferate. The cancer cell becomes weaker, can’t release certain molecules that allow it to metastasize and proliferate, so just getting BHB up in the blood stream alone, right? Can have that powerful effect.
But again, we don’t just say, “Okay, I’m going to do a ketogenic diet,” and that’s it. There’s other things we need to do. Now Dr. Thomas Seyfried he came out with this GKI or the glucose ketone index and this is something he looks at. So he does all of this work, all these different studies, Boston University, and working on different rat models and different things like that. They’ve done some different work with humans and he came out with this glucose ketone index. So basically you take your fasting blood glucose, or wherever your blood glucose is if you were to test it right now. Let’s say it’s 76, like in this example, you divide that by 18 and then you divide that by your blood ketone levels, in this case it’s 2.2. And you come up with a number, 1.9 in this case. Now nutritional ketosis, what’s technically nutritional ketosis, is when your blood ketones are at 0.5 millimoles, right? So this person is 2.2, and technically nutritional ketosis if we were to look at the GKI, the glucose ketone index, it’s basically four or less. All right?
So this person is in nutritional ketosis, however, to get the best benefits and he works with these glioblastoma models, right? These really aggressive brain cancer models. To get the best benefits, you want to keep that GKI, now again this is not for somebody that’s healthy and just trying to live a healthy lifestyle, but this is for somebody that wants to get the maximal amount of autophagy and basically set themselves up to help reduce any sort of cancer growth. You want to get that down around one or less. Now for a lot of people, it’s not going to happen unless you do a fast, okay? You’ve got to do an extended fast, three day fast, four or five day fast.
Or do something like eating one meal a day, right? How many of you guys have heard of the term OMAD, one meal a day? It’s actually real popular out there, there’s a lot of people getting great results eating one meal a day. I personally do it twice a week, right? So even though I’m really lean usually Wednesdays and Saturdays I only eat one meal, right? I actually feel amazing. In fact my brain feels the best when I’m doing that. Okay? I feel absolutely amazing. I would actually do it every single day except I lose too much weight. Okay, and I don’t want to do that. But, if you really want to lose weight, and you want to prevent cancer, doing something like eating one really good healthy meal a day. When you eat, you eat till you’re satiated. You don’t try to skip out on calories or eat a smaller meal, you eat till you’re really, really well satiated. That’s the key with that.