Targeting energy metabolism in brain cancer with calorically restricted ketogenic diets

Epilepsia. 2008 Nov;49 Suppl 8:114-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01853.x.


Information is presented on the calorically restricted ketogenic diet (CRKD) as an alternative therapy for brain cancer. In contrast to normal neurons and glia, which evolved to metabolize ketone bodies as an alternative fuel to glucose under energy-restricted conditions, brain tumor cells are largely glycolytic due to mitochondrial defects and have a reduced ability to metabolize ketone bodies. The CRKD is effective in managing brain tumor growth in animal models and in patients, and appears to act through antiangiogenic, anti-inflammatory, and proapoptotic mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / diet therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Diet, Ketogenic*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ketone Bodies / metabolism


  • Ketone Bodies