Ketogenic Diets May Protect Against Oxidative Damage

mouse 1In today’s post, I’ll review a recent study proposing a possible mechanism for the benefits of a ketogenic diet. This post builds on my previous post about epigenetics.

In the research paper “Suppression of Oxidative Stress by β-Hydroxybutyrate, an Endogenous Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor,” researchers investigate the role of β-Hydroxybutyrate (βOHB) in preventing damage by oxidative stress. βOHB is a product of fat oxidation and serves as the major source of energy during prolonged exercise, under fasting conditions, or when following a ketogenic diet.  Continue reading

A Primer on Epigenetics and Diet

ImageIn the last decade, epigenetics has become one of the hottest topics in science. Epigenetics is the study of how genes are up- or down-regulated without modifying the actual DNA itself. Before the discovery of epigenetic marks, it was thought that a person’s genetics were set in stone at birth. Now we realize that there are a broad range of epigenetic marks that can be added to the DNA strand and alter gene expression.  Continue reading

Why haven’t we cured cancer yet? Part 3

ImagePart 3: The future of cancer research and treatments

While we have not yet cured cancer, we have amassed a great amount of knowledge of about how cancerous tumors operate. Hopefully, these new insights will lead to treatments in the future. 

One very interesting finding is that tumors have stem cells just like normal human organs. Previously, we believed that cancer cells were all basically the same- cells growing out of control. We believed that any of these cells would be capable of producing a tumor when implanted into a compatible tissue. In the last decade, this idea has shifted and most scientists agree that there are “stem” cancer cells and “trans-differentiated” cancer cells.  Continue reading