A recent study looked at how a diet called the ketogenic diet (KD) affects cancer patients compared to other diets.
The KD is a diet that is very low in carbohydrates and high in fat.
The study found that the KD can help cancer patients lose weight and body fat, and improve their blood sugar, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), and triglyceride levels.
The KD also increased a substance called β-hydroxybutyrate, which shows that the patients were in ketosis, a metabolic state where the body uses fat as a source of energy.
Emotional functioning was even improved in patients on the KD.
The team looked at clinical controlled trials (CCTs), which are studies where cancer patients were randomly assigned to either a KD or a standard diet control group.
The researchers reviewed the studies and analyzed the data using a statistical method called meta-analysis.
The meta-analysis showed that the KD led to a significant reduction in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and fat mass compared to other diets.
The team also found that the KD led to a significant decrease in glucose, IGF-1, and triglyceride levels.
However, the study did not find strong changes in insulin, C-reactive protein, and cholesterol levels, as well as liver and kidney function.
The quality of evidence in the meta-analysis was moderate.
Based on the findings, the team suggests that KD can have some benefits for cancer patients, such as weight loss and improvements in blood sugar and lipid levels.
However, further research is needed to fully understand the benefits and risks of KD for cancer patients.
Cancer patients should consult with their doctors before starting any new diet or exercise program.
The research is published in Nutrition and Cancer.
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