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Suppression of insulin with a ketogenic diet improves the efficacy of cancer drugs known as PI3K inhibitors and shrinks tumors in several different animal models of cancer.

Insulin activates the PI3K pathway is usually which then leads to cell proliferation and tumor growth. Drugs inhibiting the PI3K pathway have not been very effective due to an insulin feedback response. A ketogenic diet lowered the insulin response and made the drugs more effective.

The researchers point out that this study doesn’t suggest a ketogenic diet alone would treat cancer. Their data showed in a leukemia model, the ketogenic diet seemed to make cancer more aggressive in mice who were not also given a PI3K inhibiting drug. However, the combination of a PI3K inhibitor and ketogenic diet showed efficacy in many different cancer types (in mice).

Talk of a pilot clinical study in humans is underway.

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