There appears to be a wide range of potential benefits to ketones, and one of the authors of the study below (Dr. D’Agostino) has many papers people can read on his professional page HERE if interested.

What’s the possible mechanism by which Ketones could help treat some cancers? Chemist Pat Arnold sums up what’s likely the basic mechanism via his blog which has additional discussion of this study below and the possible benefits of Ketone supplementation:

“The concept is relatively simple.  Cancer cells can generally only use glucose to energize their growth, while normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to use fatty acids and ketones in addition to glucose.  So by starving tumors of glucose via calorie and/or carbohydrate restriction – while simultaneously providing abundant alternative fuels for the body and brain (the ketogenic diet) – you may halt the cancer without side effects.

The concept may be quite bold, but it is not new.  A Nobel Prize physicist named Otto Warburg first conceived of the general idea back in the 1920s.  Unfortunately, after the discovery of the structure and function of DNA in 1953, the popular view of cancer was that it was a disease of purely genetic origin.  As a consequence, Warburg’s hypotheses were largely discarded.   Hopes were high that a cure for cancer was just around the corner back then, but as we all know that was not to be.   Luckily, within the last few decades some researchers have taken a second look at Warburg’s work and the “‘metabolic theory of cancer’”

FYI, Pat’s company produces a product called KetoForce people may want to look into .*


Ketone supplementation decreases tumor cell viability and prolongs
survival of mice with metastatic cancer.

Int J Cancer. 2014 Oct 1;135(7):1711-20.
Poff AM1, Ari C, Arnold P, Seyfried TN, D’Agostino DP.


Cancer cells express an abnormal metabolism characterized by increased
glucose consumption owing to genetic mutations and mitochondrial
dysfunction. Previous studies indicate that unlike healthy tissues, cancer
cells are unable to effectively use ketone bodies for energy.

Furthermore, ketones inhibit the proliferation and viability of cultured
tumor cells. As the Warburg effect is especially prominent in metastatic
cells, we hypothesized that dietary ketone supplementation would inhibit
metastatic cancer progression in vivo. Proliferation and viability were
measured in the highly metastatic VM-M3 cells cultured in the presence and
absence of β-hydroxybutyrate (βHB).

Adult male inbred VM mice were implanted subcutaneously with firefly
luciferase-tagged syngeneic VM-M3 cells. Mice were fed a standard diet
supplemented with either 1,3-butanediol (BD) or a ketone ester (KE), which
are metabolized to the ketone bodies βHB and acetoacetate. Tumor
growth was monitored by in vivo bioluminescent imaging.

Survival time, tumor growth rate, blood glucose, blood βHB and body
weight were measured throughout the survival study. Ketone supplementation
decreased proliferation and viability of the VM-M3 cells grown in vitro,
even in the presence of high glucose. Dietary ketone supplementation with
BD and KE prolonged survival in VM-M3 mice with systemic metastatic cancer
by 51 and 69%, respectively (p < 0.05).

Ketone administration elicited anticancer effects in vitro and in vivo
independent of glucose levels or calorie restriction. The use of
supplemental ketone precursors as a cancer treatment should be further
investigated in animal models to determine potential for future clinical

BrinkZone Conclusion: More research is clearly needed but these early studies are exciting

* = ketoforce makes no claims that it can treat, prevent, or cure a disease and any opinions/advice that of this web page.



Will Brink is the owner of the Brinkzone Blog. Will has over 15 years experience as a respected author, columnist and consultant, to the supplement, fitness, bodybuilding, and weight loss industry and has been extensively published. Will graduated from Harvard University with a concentration in the natural sciences, and is a consultant to major supplement, dairy, and pharmaceutical companies.


His often ground breaking articles can be found in publications such as Lets Live, Muscle Media 2000, MuscleMag International, The Life Extension Magazine, Muscle n Fitness, Inside Karate, Exercise For Men Only, Body International, Power, Oxygen, Penthouse, Women’s World and The Townsend Letter For Doctors.


Will is the author of the popular e-books, both accompanied by private members forum access , Bodybuilding Revealed & Fat Loss Revealed.


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