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Background & aims: Ketogenic diets (KDs) have been proposed as complementary nutritional treatments for cancer patients. Because it is important to gain knowledge about the safety of KDs adopted during cancer therapy, we studied the effects of KDs on quality of life and blood parameters in women with early-stage breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy.
Methods: A total of 29 patients consuming a KD were compared to 30 patients consuming their standard diet (SD) with respect to EORTC-QLQ30 questionnaire scores and different metabolic and hormonal blood parameters that were obtained prior to, in the middle of and at the end of radiotherapy. Baseline-to-end differences were assessed using Wilcoxon tests, and longitudinal changes were analyzed using linear mixed effects models.
Results: Compared to the SD, women consuming a KD experienced significant improvements in emotional functioning, social functioning, sleep quality, future perspectives and systemic therapy side effects (all p-values <0.01). While breast symptoms increased significantly in both groups, the increase was less pronounced in the KD group. There was no hint of a detrimental effect of the KDs on either liver or kidney function; in contrast, biomarkers of metabolic health (gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase, creatinine, triglycerides, IGF-1, free T3) significantly improved in the KD, but not the SD group.
Conclusions: These data support the hypothesis that consuming a KD during radiotherapy is safe for women with breast cancer and has the potential to improve quality of life and metabolic health.
Rainer J Klement
Rainer J Klement
Rainer J Klement,Michael M Weigel,Reinhart A Sweeney