Diet-Based Interventions Against Cancer

Potential Adjuvants to Standard Cancer Therapy

  • James Sung Jun Choi University of Victoria
Keywords: diet-based therapy; complications; adjuvant; fasting; cancer intervention


Different diet-based approaches have been studied as potential adjuvants to standard cancer therapies in human clinical trials. However, these diets have been shown to have complications such as non-compliance and adverse side effects. This paper investigates four different types of diet-based approaches used in human clinical trials and compares their complications. The four diet-based approaches evaluated in this paper are ketogenic diet (KD), protein restriction, fasting and fasting mimicking diets (FMD), and combined interventions. Research shows that KDs have large reports of non-compliance from subjects, with subjects also experiencing significant weight loss, constipation, and fatigue. Protein restriction diets have greater levels of adherence from subjects but may lead to harmful hematological toxicities. Fasting and FMD showed greater adherence than subjects on KDs, and lower toxicities than subjects on protein restriction diets, but had a greater number of complaints of headaches, hunger, and dizziness. Finally, combined interventions have the fewest reports of side effects and non-compliance but suffer from a limited number of case studies. Given these results, diet-based interventions require further research to minimize side effects and non-compliance before becoming an accepted adjuvant to standard cancer therapy.

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