FoodFacts.com is always excited to learn more about how diet is important in the prevention and treatment of serious diseases. In the words of Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” We’ve always taken that quote very seriously here at FoodFacts.com as we try to follow the newest information linking foods and ingredients to new discoveries in staying healthy and fighting disease.
Today we learned that brain cancer researchers at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center have treated brain tumor cells with a new combination of diet and radiation therapy.
A Ketogenic Diet is a diet that is low in carbohydrates, high in fats and features a sufficient amount of proteins. This pioneering study focused on the effects of the ketogenic diet when used in conjunction with radition therapy in the treatment of malignant brain tumors called gliomas. The ketogenic diet changes body metabolism. It is primarily used in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy which is non-respondent to more traditional therapy. It is also a component of popular diet plans like the Atkins Diet.
The research involved mice who were stricken with malignant gliomas. The mice were split into two groups. While both groups received radiation therapy, one group was fed a regular diet and the others were changed to a ketogenic diet.
The researchers found that the mice who were receiving the ketogenic diet had an increased survival rate as compared to those fed the standard diet. In fact, of the 11 mice eating the ketogenic diet and receiving radiation therapy, 9 of them survived with no sign of the tumor returning, even after being switched back to a standard diet for over 200 days. None of the mice consuming a regular diet while receiving radiation survived more than 33 days. Researchers have a few different theories regarding the success of this brand new treatment. One is that the diet helps to decrease inflammation and edema around the tumor.
This study appears to be the first to look at the effect of a ketogenic diet used in combination with radiation treatment. Scientists are excited by the inference of the positive effect of diet on the more traditional treatment. It appears that this diet enhances the effects of radiation and they are looking forward to finding out more about how it may be useful in the treatment of human malignant gliomas. One of the most exciting parts of this research is that this treatment doesn’t need approval from the FDA, like a new drug would. It could be implemented quickly in clinical trials.
Diets can and do affect our health. We’re learning more and more every day about how diets can go further and help science find answers to previously unanswerable conditions. FoodFacts.com will keep you posted on any news related to the results of this fascinating study. You can read more here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204112610.htm