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According to the American Cancer Society, over 1,600 people in the United States die from cancer every day, many of whom were receiving the current standard of care, which is radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of both. Thomas Seyfried is a professor in the biology department at Boston College and strong proponent of using metabolic therapy as a form of treatment for every type of cancer, arguing that it’s more effective and less toxic than radiation and chemotherapy.

So, what exactly does metabolic therapy entail? It’s based on a simple concept: growth requires fuel, so in order to stop the growth of cancer cells, their sources of fuel–namely glucose and glutamine–must be reduced or eliminated. Reducing the availability of glucose and glutamine results in an increase in ketones, which can be effectively used by the body’s normal cells but not by cancer cells. Seyfried explains how the primary difference between cancer cells and normal cells makes this an effective form of treatment for cancer, discusses how to achieve a state of therapeutic ketosis, and describes what to do once a state of therapeutic ketosis has been achieved.

He also explains what’s standing in the way of widespread implementation of metabolic therapy in modern medicine, and the main problem with the gene theory of cancer and personalized targeted therapy for cancer. “The whole paradigm has to change, the whole concept of what people view cancer as has to change before we understand how much more effectively we can build therapies that don’t harm anybody,” says Seyfried. Tune in for the full conversation, and check out his book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer.

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