A study published in Clinical Nutrition found that women who consumed a ketogenic diet during radiotherapy for breast cancer may have improved quality of life and metabolic health.
Ketogenic diets have been proposed as complementary nutritional treatments for patients with cancer. Researchers assessed the effects of the ketogenic diet on quality of life and blood parameters in women with early-stage breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy.
Researchers compared 29 patients consuming a ketogenic diet versus 30 patients consuming a standard diet. Patients completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaire, and researchers also assessed various metabolic and hormonal blood parameters before, during, and after radiotherapy.
Compared with a standard diet, women consuming a ketogenic diet had significant improvements in emotional functioning, social functioning, sleep quality, future perspectives, and adverse events (AEs) related to systemic therapy (P<0.01 for all).
Breast symptoms increased significantly in both groups, but the increase was less pronounced in the ketogenic diet cohort. Women consuming a ketogenic diet did not appear to have AEs related to liver or kidney function. Biomarkers of metabolic health (gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase, creatinine, triglycerides, IGF-1, free T3) were significantly improved in the ketogenic group, but not the standard diet group.
“These data support the hypothesis that consuming a ketogenic diet during radiotherapy is safe for women with breast cancer,” the researchers concluded.