Since metabolism is a universal cellular process found in all our cells, the ability to modify aspects of metabolism in cancer cells can afford us the chance to change the behavior of the cancer. The three main forms of cellular metabolism that our cells use to produce energy are anaerobic glycolysis (without oxygen) and aerobic (with oxygen), tricarboxylic acid (TCA) and the electron transport chain. Cancer cells almost exclusively use glycolysis for energy needs.
Ketones are produced from fatty acid metabolism and all our cells can use ketones as metabolic fuel in the aerobic metabolic pathways. Interestingly, because ketones can’t be used in anaerobic glycolysis, metabolism preferred by cancer cells, we can essentially starve cancer cells if we block the glycolytic enzymes (see MetaBlox protocol) or deprive cancer cell glycolysis of its fuel source called glucose and other sugars. Another way to say this is that if we eat a carbohydrate restricted diet and lots of essential fatty acids, we will increase the use of ketones for fuel in non-cancer cells while the cancer cells can not readily use ketones as a fuels source.
In addition to difficult to adhere to carbohydrate and sugar free diets, we can increase the amounts of ketones in our body through some dietary supplements. The use of nutriceuticals to boost ketones in the body and thus affect cancer growth is the topic of exciting new research and even some FDA approvals for some nutraceuticals as medical foods indicated for treating cancer.