Here a little bit more info about my fasting mimicking diet experiments I made last year while on a cancer medication which requires to be taken with food. Water fasting was not possible back then. If you don’t know what fasting mimicking is and why it’s important for cancer patients, please look here. Fasting mimicking replicates the benefits of traditional fasting.
The first day was a preparation day, I have done some more research, created a meal plan with all macros and have set my goals. My goal was to reach a GKI (glucose-ketone index) around 1 and rise my ketones WHILE eating nutritious food. Usually it is only possible to reach such low GKI with traditional fasting which means, no food at all. According to Prof. Thomas Seyfried, the optimal GKI levels for cancer patients are around 2.-0.7, people on standard diets have a GKI around 50-60. Traditional FMD is designed for people who are not on a ketogenic diet, that’s why it takes around 5 days to get a very low GKI. I was already in low level ketosis, a huge advantage.
What is the GKI?
The Glucose Ketone Index, or the GKI, is a ratio that researcher Prof. Seyfried has been using in his studies relating to both fasting and the ketogenic diet. It is just a ratio of blood glucose levels to blood ketone levels. Having high level of ketones is great, but if you also have a high level of blood glucose, you’re not getting any benefits of ketosis. And the real key here is to make sure that the ratio between glucose and ketone levels is as low as possible.
Of course, my FMD had to be ketogenic with green leafy veggies, no dairy and no meat. My meal plan has included foods I enjoy eating and tolerate well. And of course, foods which work well to rise ketones, like MCT oil.
My starting point was: blood glucose 69mg/dl and ketones 0.6 mml/l, GKI was 6.39, level of ketosis low. I have lowered my calories, protein, and carbs (around 1000 kcal, net-carbs 25g, protein around 40g), but I was HUNGRY on the first day.
Day 2: I woke up not hungry at all, that’s always a sign I have reached a deeper level of ketosis. Blood sugar was 60, ketones 1.3, this resulted in a GKI of 2.56. I was doing it right and was already on second day in therapeutic range. To be honest I didn’t expect it that fast(this was all new to me back then, nowadays I’m always in therapeutic range). I went for a longer walk and felt energized and not hungry.
On day 3 my GKI was 1.41, followed by 1.34 on day 4. I have reached my goal; I think I could do even better the next time and get below 1.0. I felt absolutely awesome at this deep level of ketosis, sharp and aware, euphoric and high. No hunger at all. That’s how our ancestors felt when they hunted, no sugar bogging them down, no carbs to make them lazy. We are born in ketosis and we stay in ketosis when we receive mothers’ milk. That’s how our brains were designed to work. In case you think this is all bogus, no it isn’t. There are studies, I have investigated a particular one, a scientist has explored this phenomenon.
“Here I hypothesize that, the mild euphoria often noted with fasting or low-carbohydrate diets may be due to shared actions of BHB and GHB on the brain. Specifically, I propose that BHB, like GHB, induces mild euphoria by being a weak partial agonist for GABA(B) receptors.”
Ketogenic diet has actually been studied to treat bipolar disorder, and my own depression and anxiety have dramatically improved as I have tried keto few years ago. Being in ketosis makes me more stable mentally, no depression, no anxiety and that’s a huge advantage when one has cancer.
So, how does it work? The point of a fasting mimicking diet is to experience both autophagy and apoptosis. Both require that you cut your protein to somewhere in the range of 15 grams per day or less. By limiting protein, it promotes autophagy (deep cleaning of body cells) and apoptosis (getting rid of senescent cells).
Your GKI must be below 1 for best results in autophagy and apoptosis. You do have to watch your protein and carbs, some foods are high enough in protein to stop autophagy, so should be avoided for the duration of your diet. That’s the reason why all animal foods should be avoided, eggs and fish are too rich in protein. Some veggies are rich in protein as well, it’s a little complicated to develop an optimal meal plan for FMD cycles, I’m still working on improving mine. But, I have done few another FMD cycles and was able to reach a GKI at 0,62 after 4 days, WITH FOOD.
Amazing, huh? 😀
Love and light !
Pictures: some of my fasting mimicking meals: a soup made of organic veggies and avocado, a salad with guacamole and avocado mash. Yeah, I had lots of avocado. 😀
Fasting mimicking diet as an adjunct to neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer in the multicentre randomized phase 2 DIRECT trial