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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson features the best Big Ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time to help you live your greatest life. (Learn more at optimize.me.)
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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time
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Now displaying: Page 1
Apr 30, 2018
In our last +1, we talked about our 80/20 180 phase in which we implemented a number of high-leverage lifestyle changes.
 
After that stabilization and Optimizing process, we went deep into what research shows to be a REALLY powerful targeted therapy for cancer: a ketogenic diet.
 
In fact, we hired the woman who literally wrote the book on it.
 
That book is called Keto for Cancer. Its author, Miriam Kalamian has been my brother’s day-to-day nutritionist for the last x weeks. She and her book are AMAZING.
 
If you’re wondering what nutritional approach we’re following, THAT’s it.
 
I’m laughing as I type this but my brother went from pretty much eating whatever he wanted whenever he wanted in whatever quantity he wanted to following a nutritional plan with the precision of an Olympic athlete such that he knows, in his words, whether or not he can have a couple more walnuts with lunch. (HAH!)
 
All of which begs a few questions.
 
First, you may wonder: What’s a ketogenic diet? And, why is it relevant?
 
Well, a therapeutic ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, adequate protein, high healthy-fat, nutrient-dense diet that shifts your body’s primary source of energy metabolism from glucose to what’s known as “ketones.” 
 
The ketones produced in a therapeutic ketogenic diet are relevant because THIS is how we strike cancer where it’s weak.
 
Here’s the deal. Remember our chat about the fact that “cancer loves sugar”? Well, cancer cells don’t just love sugar, cancer cells pretty much literally (!!!) can’t live without sugar. (I have goosebumps as I type that.)
 
Know this: You don’t need to rewind that far in our 1.5-million-year evolutionary history to arrive at a time when the next meal wasn’t guaranteed (let alone arriving as “edible foodlike substances” that was made in a factory and available in your fridge all day every day — all consumed with basically no effort, etc.). 
 
Know this: We evolved to not just survive during times of food scarcity but to THRIVE.
 
This fact required what’s known as metabolic flexibility.” Healthy cells had to be able to burn either glucose or ketones for fuel. 
 
(Side note: Here’s a little known fact that all dieticians know but nearly all keep secret: We can function just fine with ZERO carbs. We NEED fats and proteins. We do NOT NEED carbs.)
 
But…
 
And might just be THE most important point in our entire discussion about how to conquer cancer so let’s pay attention here:
 
CANCER CELLS ARE METABOLICALLY INFLEXIBLE.
 
Which means that cancer cells can’t make the switch from using glucose for fuel to using ketones. (Whereas healthy cells easily can.)
 
And THAT is how you checkmate the seemingly immortal cells and their out-of-control growth.
 
Leverage their metabolic inflexibility. Cut off their fuel source. Step on their Achilles heel. 
 
Practically speaking, what that means is we need to drastically reduce carb intake (in the range of around 20 net carbs per day). When done with precision (ideally with the guidance of a nutrition pro) within the healthy fat, adequate protein, nutrient-dense parameters Miriam maps out in her book, you radically change your energy metabolism — nourishing your healthy cells with ketones while starving your cancer cells of glucose. 
 
This is why my brother measures his glucose and ketones all day every day. 
 
He’s driven the glucose down: now in the 80s — which, again, is an epically awesome drop from the 145 diabetic, cancer-feasting-on-glucose zone to the optimal, “where’s the glucose?!” cancer cell starvation diet zone WHILE driving his ketone levels up. Again, nourishing the metabolically flexible healthy cells while exploiting the metabolically INflexible cancer cell’s Achilles.
 
THAT is how we use targeted nutritional therapy to win the war on cancer. 
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