Why the Ketogenic Diet?

23 Apr

Following the positive interest shown in my recipe for cauliflower kugel last week-end – including from “The Ranting Chef”  http://rantingchef.com who described the recipe as “awesome” – I thought I ‘d share with you why the ketogenic diet and food supplements are so important. Let me introduce you to the thoughts of Chris Kresser. For this introduction I must thank my friend, Laurie Bean.

Incidentally, Laurie’s dad is an example we could all follow. How happy I was to see him back at the golf club yesterday. A nonagenarian, just recovering from a shoulder injury. He regularly goes round the course in a score lower than his age – and has recorded seven holes-in-one (so far!).

Chris Kresser, according to his own web site,  is a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine. He did his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, where he was introduced to Eastern spirituality and a wide range of health modalities and practices, from nutrition to meditation to tai chi, yoga and massage. While traveling inIndonesia, he contracted a mysterious tropical illness which became a chronic condition. He saw more than twenty doctors around the world in an effort to diagnose and treat the condition and realized he would have to treat himself. Today, he gathers and analyzes medical research to stay abreast of the latest developments.

Here’s a link to a transcript of one of his latest medical interviews. I’ts long and not exactly in “Queen’s English”. If you’ve got the time and patience – go for it. If not, read my summary underneath.


He reminds us that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and something that works for people who are sick may actually cause harm in people who are well. The interview deals with burning fat, boosting energy, and preventing and reversing disease without drugs – probiotics, stress-relief and antioxidants.  He looks at pancreatic cancer treatment at the Integrative Medical Center in New Mexico.

I’m NOT suggesting you follow him blindly – if at all. But he is apparently extremely knowledgeable and well researched. Here’s an extract:

“The Integrative Medical Center in New Mexico is using a protocol that involves two components: intravenous administration of alpha lipoic acid at 300 mg to 600 mg two days a week and 4.5 mg of low-dose naltrexone, which is the standard low dose of naltrexone.  They also were giving 600 mg per day, of oral alpha lipoic acid; 400 mcg per day of selenium and 1,200 mg per day of milk thistle extract, which is another potent antioxidant. 

Chemotherapy can help people to survive cancer, but you would never give chemotherapy to somebody who doesn’t have cancer, right?  And I think that’s a more extreme example than this, but if someone’s just under extreme amounts of oxidative stress, as you find with cancer, something like high doses of all of these antioxidants might be beneficial, but in someone who’s otherwise healthy, it may have undesirable effects.  In the same way, you know, we get questions about diet.  If somebody has no gallbladder and a lot of difficulty digesting fat, they may have trouble with a really high-fat diet, but that doesn’t mean someone who has an intact gallbladder and good digestion is gonna have trouble with a high-fat diet.  So, we always have to consider who we’re talking about, what the goal is, and even what the length of time is that we’re talking about, you know, short-term versus long-term supplementation, or supplementation for therapeutic uses versus supplementation for longer-term, just kind of indiscriminate, indefinite use”.

Beware, the ketogenic diet may be the answer for me and you – but it’s certainly not easy.



3 Responses to “Why the Ketogenic Diet?”

  1. felicity schwartz at 10:45 am #

    Thanks Mart, you said it really well. I’ll keep and pass that link on.

  2. Karen Abel at 5:48 am #

    L ots of Food for Thought …

  3. Benny Halevy at 2:38 pm #

    I’d like to note the following research paper (on mice) that indicates that a low carbs (high protein, moderate fat) diet is effective at slowing down tumour growth without losing body weight:
    “A Low Carbohydrate, High Protein Diet Slows Tumor Growth and Prevents Cancer Initiation”

    A relevant clinical trial started about a year ago in University of Iowa: Ketogenic Diet With Concurrent Chemoradiation for Pancreatic Cancer (KETOPAN)

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