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Page Update 04/24/2020

Can we starve cancer cells to death?
Dr. Ashraf Girgis ND 

In my previous articles about cancer prevention, I have highlighted how to eliminate cancer-causing products in everything from your make-up to your cookware to your environment.

In this article I would like to emphasize how you can impact cancer cell growth by avoiding eating certain foods that feed cancer cells. The concept of cancer cells feeding on sugar has been around since Otto Heinrich Warburg, a German scientist, received the 1931 Nobel Prize in Physiology for discovering that malignant tumor cells depended largely on sugar consumption for their metabolism. He wrote The Prime Cause & Prevention of Cancer in 1931.

Only in recent decades has attention to The Prime Cause been renewed. According to Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, MD (who passed away recently in July 2016), Dr. Atkins tried a ketogenic diet on his cancer patients and he was not successful in changing the cancer course.

Dr. Gonzales and his colleague Dr. Linda Isaacs MD, on the other hand, apparently successfully treated many cancer patients with non-toxic nutritional protocol. One might postulate that the reason for Dr. Atkins’s failure could be that animal fat was used instd fats such as avocado, olives, nuts, et

Ricotta Spinach Lasangna

   ..It is intersting to hear about practitioners who are now successfully using the ketogenic diet. The theory behind this diet is that it basically starves cancer cells to death. Cancer cells survive by the consumption of sugar. What we eat is used by our cells as fuel. So, when we follow a diet high in fat with moderate amounts of protein and extremely small amounts of carbohydrates (as is the case with the ketogenic diet), cancer cells die because they are unable to use ketones as their main food source. Healthy cells, on the other hand, can digest ketones and use them as fuel.

Dr. Bryan G. Allen conducted a study in which he fed the ketogenic diet to rats, and concluded, “…Although the mechanism by which ketogenic diets demonstrate anticancer effects when combined with standard radio-chemo-therapies has not been fully elucidated, preclinical results have demonstrated the safety and potential efficacy of using ketogenic diets in combination with radio-chemo-therapy to improve responses in murine cancer models. These preclinical studies have provided the impetus for extending the use of ketogenic diets into phase I clinical trials that are currently ongoing”.



In another study at the University of Würzburg, Germany, cancer patients who failed to respond to the traditional cancer treatments responded positively to the ketogenic diet after being on it for three months. Preliminary results indicated tumor shrinkage and a slowing of tumor growth.

At the University of Iowa there is an ongoing study of the effects of the ketogenic diet on pancreatic, head, and neck cancer patients.

In another study published in November 2016 in Front Mol Neurosci. (wolf et al 2016), use of the ketogenic in a invivo study concluded: “Thus, while we are only beginning to understand the pluripotent mechanisms through which the KD affects tumor growth and response to conventional therapies, the emerging data provide strong support for the use of a KD in the treatment of malignant gliomas. This has led to a limited number of clinical trials investigating the use of a KD in patients with primary and recurrent glioma”.

This article, published March 7, 2016 indicated that cancer cells’ rapid growth depends on fuel that is provided from glucose and fructose (the two components of sucrose or sugar).

 According to Matthew Vander Heiden, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, professor of Eisen and Chang Career Development, and an associate professor in the Department of Biology:

“If you want to successfully target cancer metabolism, you need to understand something about how different pathways are being used to actually make mass”.

There are currently 62 different trials looking into the ketogenic diet as an adjuvant treatment for cancer patients. The ketogenic diet details can be obtained from KetoCal©. The ratio of fat to protein to carbohydrates is 7:4:1.

The ketogenic diet’s effectiveness in weight loss and seizure control has also been recognized.

An increase in cholesterol levels has been noticed after a year of being on the ketogenic diet. In addition, there have been mineral deficiencies noted, requiring an addition of zinc, copper, and selenium to one’s diet. Various sites, such as and have recipes of how to make food while on the ketogenic diet. If you are a cancer patient, it is important to talk with your doctor regarding the ketogenic diet. If you are lucky enough to be in an institution that has ND on board of your medical team, make sure to consult them. If not, be sure to talk with your dietician. If you would like to schedule a consultation with me, please feel free to call our office and make an appointment. 




Thanks for visiting

anks for visiting

Ashraf Girgis N.D.



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