Brain Health,

#056: Ketosis vs Cancer?

December 13, 2014

In Episode #56, Dr. Thomas N. Seyfried of Boston College stops by to introduce us to his research on cancer as a metabolic disease – not a genetic one. He explains how regular therapeutic fasting can increase mitochondrial respiration, and how caloric restriction can help us effectively “starve out” cancer cells.

We’ll also hear about an experiment in mind-controlled gene expression and learn why it might be smart to use nutmeg in moderation this holiday season.


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Show Notes
  • 00:00:42

    Cancer, a metabolic disease?

  • 00:01:28

    This Week in Neuroscience: Mind-Controlled Gene Expression

  • 00:04:45

    Excellent listener email about Professor Con Stough from Episode #55: Plant-Based Cognitive Enhancers

  • 00:05:31

    Follow-up info from Alan Cash from Episode #52: Mimicking Caloric Restriction With Oxaloacetate

  • 00:06:07

    New website look and apologies for lost user comments

  • 00:07:24

    Introduction to Dr. Thomas N. Seyfried and his work

  • 00:08:44

    Ketosis as epilepsy and cancer treatment

  • 00:10:00

    How does therapeutic fasting work?

  • 00:11:58

    Blood sugar levels

  • 00:13:24

    Can we "starve out" cancer?

  • 00:15:27

    Is cancer a metabolic – not a genetic – disease?

  • 00:20:43

    The pharmaceutical industry's angle on the metabolic theory

  • 00:22:13

    Studies in reduction of tumor size and count

  • 00:22:40

    Dr Seyfried's dream study and downfalls of the medical standard of care

  • 00:25:12

    Alternative therapies and the Coley vaccine

  • 00:26:50

    The difference between human and mouse metabolic rates

  • 00:27:39

    Patient derived tumor xenografts

  • 00:28:38

    How can you manage cancer in a way that doesn't induce toxicity?

  • 00:31:00

    How can increasing mitochondrial respiration help you prevent cancer?

  • 00:33:47

    Dr. Seyfried's personal thoughts on metabolic fasting

  • 00:34:26

    Yearly fasting to raise metabolic efficiency

  • 00:38:04

    Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: A Warning on Nutmeg


  1. JohnnyMac says:

    Loved the episode Jesse…great topic & guest!

    1. Jesse Lawler says:

      Thanks Johnny! Yeah, I gotta say, I loved this episode too. Dr. Seyfried was a really interesting speaker — and wow, what a topic. This episode sort of has sent me down the rabbit-hole of research into ketosis… Probably more on this in the future.

  2. Pete says:

    I’ve read some about this before and was really glad to hear this episode, Jesse. I was wondering why the guest chooses to go multi day fasts rather than go into nutritional ketosis by eating low carb high fat. Fasting for days seems way too daunting to me. The first few days of the keto flu suck but at least you get to eat! I have a couple of months experience eating ketogenic and was thrilled with how it made me feel. I fell off the diet due to living on a remote mountain location but this episode has definitely got me thinking it’s time to get back on it. Thanks for the great show!

  3. Pete says:

    Jesse, have you spent any time on the keto subreddit? It’s an awesome community and is what got me inspired to get into ketosis in the first place.

    1. Jesse Lawler says:

      Thanks for the tip, Pete. I’ll definitely check it out. I’m gonna be trying this 7 day water-fast which should be a pretty high-speed introduction into ketosis… And then I’m thinking I may stay ketotic for a while coming out of the fast, and see how it feels to live that way (while, you know, eating). Needless to say, I’ll sound off on my thoughts on both experiences.

      1. Pete says:

        Wow, good luck with that! That sounds so hard to me. Would you consider doing a fat fast where you at least get some pure fat calories with butter and MCT oil? I’ll definitely be tuning into the results podcast. Love the show and keep it up!

  4. Oliver says:

    Great episode. Re: off topic topics, I binge listen periodically and today’s binge session was because of seeing this episode in the list. Great stuff!

    1. Jesse Lawler says:

      Thanks Oly! Needless to say, it’s nice to get listeners’ approval to venture off-topic now and then. Glad you enjoyed the binge!

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