Keto for Cancer: Ketogenic Metabolic Therapy as Targeted Nutritional Strategy

 In Book Reviews, Education

Greg Eckel, ND, LAc


Medical Resources for NDs: A Review of Current Publications for the Naturopathic Industry

Miriam Kalamian’s book Keto for Cancer comes with high recommendations from both Thomas Seyfried, PhD (author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease) and Dominic D’Agostino, PhD – 2 heavyweights in ketogenic research in cancer therapies. Ms Kalamian has first-hand experience with the ketogenic diet and shares her heartfelt stories throughout the life of her son, Raffi, who passed at the age of 13. But she has also written a comprehensive and science-based guide for patients and practitioners alike.

Ms Kalamian launches her discussion by presenting an understanding of cancer as a metabolic condition. She then provides a detailed understanding of ketones and their role as energy sources, and reviews the specifics of mitochondrial activity in normal cells versus cancer cells. Because cancer cells feed on glucose, a ketogenic diet – which emphasizes healthy fats for ketone production and eliminates sugars and other sources of easily digestible carbohydrates – represents a powerful metabolic strategy for cancer patients, their caregivers, and providers. She also offers suggestions for how to talk to conventional team members about individual dietary choices, in the process dispelling many conventional cancer myths and concerns, such as “diet doesn’t matter, eat what you want” or “my doctor doesn’t want me to lose weight.”

Ms Kalamian differentiates nutritional and therapeutic ketosis (including an extensive discussion about taking exogenous ketones), and provides a thorough explanation of the glucose ketone index (GKI) and how to simply calculate it, as well as how to target optimal levels of glucose and ketones.

Fasting for health is clearly discussed in a chapter by itself. In it she answers common questions about topics such as intermittent fasting and its effects on the body, and short-term fasting as an adjunct to chemotherapy.

Is the ketogenic diet right for you? Ms Kalamian emphasizes that 1 size doesn’t fit all; however, she makes a compelling case for the diet and provides a clear step-by-step roadmap for how to implement it.

Her recommended steps in successful pre-planning will help ensure success for anyone interested in implementing this diet. Examples include consulting good cookbooks (she provides many resources), how to shop (she provides convenient shopping lists), experimenting with new recipes (to keep it interesting), eating plenty of fat (she also cautions about consuming too much protein), and getting your house in order (eg, clearing out the cupboards to reduce temptation).

Keto for Cancer is comprehensive and covers all the angles. Whether you are new to the concept or have already implemented a ketogenic diet into your clinical setting, this book has you covered. By providing information and tips that are both simple enough for the layperson but technical enough for the practitioner, Ms Kalmian has done us and our patients a huge favor by producing this book.

Book Facts

  • Title: Keto for Cancer: Ketogenic Metabolic Therapy as Targeted Nutritional Strategy
  • Author: Miriam Kalamian, EdM, MS, CNS
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Available from: Amazon, Powells
  • Pages: 313
  • Style: Soft cover
  • Copyright: 2017
  • MSRP: $29.95
Image Copyright: <a href=’’>thitarees / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Dr. Greg Eckel is a naturopathic physician specializing in natural immunology with a focus on allergies and asthma.  In practice since 2001, his purpose is to help as many people as he can to achieve optimal health through integrative care. Every year he is amazed at how the body is able to heal with the aid of removing obstacles to cure and Naturopathic and Chinese medicine. He co-founded the clinic, Nature Cures Clinic, in downtown Portland, back in 2001, where people fly in from around the globe for his intensive programs.  In addition to a thriving practice, Dr. Eckel is busying raising his five children and being in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds us!



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