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“Benefits of the Keto Diet”

The ketogenic (keto) diet and other low-carb eating plans have gained steam in the battle against obesity. Although these diet strategies are effective at inducing weight loss, there is concern about possible repercussions—especially when such diets are followed for long periods of time. The keto diet is best known for weight loss, but studies show it may help certain diseases. Very low-carbohydrate diets (i.e., ketogenic diets or KDs) limit carbohydrate consumption to fewer than 50 grams per day, which are typically derived from non-starchy vegetables. After a few days on a keto diet, the production of energy switches to burning fat. This switch yields ketone bodies, which takes the place of glucose as an energy source for the central nervous system. People on ketogenic diets experience weight loss because of lower insulin levels, a diuretic effect, and a decreased sense of hunger.” Negative effects include light-headedness, fatigue, dizziness, and constipation; this temporary condition is known as the “keto flu.” Evidence that bridges nutrition and cancer immunosurveillance is limited. KD and 3HB slowed natural tumor progression in the absence of additional therapeutic intervention, but they also accelerated and improved the efficacy of cICB (combination immune checkpoint blockade) against established and aggressive orthotopic melanoma, lung, and renal cell cancers. In clinical trials, the ketogenic diet has proven effective in those with adult epilepsy, adult malignant glioma, and Alzheimer disease. According to the authors of a review published in Brain Sciences, “As each of these pathophysiologic factors can be influenced through diet manipulation, it is logical and reasonable that diet could alter the course and outcomes of these and other neurologic disorders that share common pathways.

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