Keto diet may benefit people with breast cancer Keto diet may benefit people with breast cancer

Keto Diet may benefit people with breast cancer, study finds

 

  • During 2020, the worldwide total of women diagnosed with breast cancer was 2.3 million.

  • Research has indicated that the food we eat has an impact on the likelihood of developing breast cancer.

  • According to a study from the University of Catania in Italy, it appears that a ketogenic diet might be helpful for individuals who have breast cancer. The review found that this type of diet could potentially improve treatment outcomes and reduce symptoms.

Approximately 2.3 million women around the world were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. Age, gender, and family history are known to be risk factors for this form of cancer, as well as certain lifestyle behaviours such as an unhealthy diet.

In contrast, other studies suggest that following a healthy diet can reduce the recurrence of breast cancer and mortality in survivors.

A recent review published by Italian researchers in the journal Nutrients suggests that a ketogenic diet may have therapeutic benefits for people with breast cancer.

 

How diet can affect breast cancer

Scientists have studied the correlation between diet and breast cancer for a long time. Studies have suggested that poor dietary habits can raise the chances of getting breast cancer. A study conducted in September 2023 showed a connection between the ingestion of heavily processed food and a higher risk of breast cancer.

Consuming more sugar has been linked to an elevated risk of developing breast cancer, including drinking soda that is full of sugar.

On the other hand, research has indicated that healthy eating habits may have a positive effect when it comes to preventing and treating breast cancer.

A May 2021 study indicated that increasing intake of fruits, veggies, cheese, and soy products, as well as decreasing intake of red and processed meats, may help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

Additionally, in April 2023, research suggested that following the Mediterranean diet could provide a protective benefit against breast cancer.

Additionally, research published in November 2021 suggested that what a person with breast cancer eats may be able to reduce side effects from cancer treatments and improve their overall outlook.

 

What is the keto diet?

A ketogenic, or "keto," diet involves getting most of your daily calories from protein and healthy fats while reducing carbohydrate intake. In a standard keto diet, only about 5-10% of daily calories come from carbs.

This shift in focus from carbs to fats prompts the body to use fat for energy, putting it in a state called ketosis.

Benefits of the keto diet include potential weight loss, reduced appetite, and support for heart health. It has also shown promise in managing conditions like type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and cancer.

However, there are drawbacks to consider. Some people experience a temporary "keto flu" when they start the diet, as their bodies adapt to burning fat instead of carbs.

Long-term use can lead to issues like kidney stones, vitamin deficiencies, liver problems, and low blood protein levels (hypoproteinemia).

The keto diet is not recommended for individuals with gallbladder, pancreas, liver, or thyroid issues, pregnant women, or those with eating disorders. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet.

 

Summarising current knowledge

In the current review, researchers reviewed the preclinical and clinical studies examining the potential connection between the keto diet and breast cancer. To do this, they conducted an extensive literature search.

Upon analysing the gathered data, the researchers reported that existing studies offer a wide variety of results, with some implying that a ketogenic diet may help impede tumour growth and enhance the reaction to treatment in breast cancer.

The researchers highlighted that further clinical investigations must be completed to confirm the possible advantages of this treatment as the current evidence is conflicting and primarily based on research with small sample sizes.

The scientists added that they have worries about the potential harm and long-term implications of being in a state of ketosis for an extended period for cancer patients.

 

Can The Keto Diet Help People With Breast Cancer?

While some findings suggest potential benefits of the keto diet, experts advise caution when it comes to using it as a preventive or treatment measure for breast cancer.

The research in this area is still in its early stages, and it's not advisable for individuals diagnosed with cancer or seeking to prevent breast cancer to adopt a specific diet based solely on these findings.

What's encouraging is that there are ongoing clinical trials that are carefully comparing the effects of a ketogenic diet to a regular healthy diet in cancer patients. These trials aim to provide more definitive answers about the potential benefits and the extent of those benefits when it comes to using this diet alongside breast cancer therapy.

It's important to await the results of these clinical trials before making any recommendations regarding the keto diet for breast cancer patients.

 

Is the keto diet for everyone?

It's important to understand that the keto diet isn't suitable for everyone, especially those dealing with breast cancer. If following a strict diet like keto causes stress and lowers a person's quality of life, it should be reconsidered.

During cancer treatment, it's crucial to avoid losing a lot of weight and becoming malnourished. If dietary restrictions lead to these problems, the harm might outweigh any potential benefits.

Also, the keto diet, like other extreme diets, can cause deficiencies and issues over time, which can be counterproductive when dealing with cancer.

Remember, any dietary changes should be discussed with healthcare professionals and should work alongside medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. The main goal during cancer treatment is maintaining muscle mass, strength, and overall well-being.

Patients should consult their healthcare providers before making significant dietary changes or extreme measures.

If you have questions or concerns about your diet and its impact on your health, consider consulting with a healthcare professional. Mobi Doctor can provide valuable guidance and support for your specific needs.

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