Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Branched chain amino acids, the ketogenic diet pill, and ketosis

Recently I have been combining exogenous ketones with BCAAs on my restricted protein ketogenic diet protocol to see how I react over time. Nutritional ketosis produces an increased ratio of plasma branched chain amino acids to aromatic amino acids which is one of its main proposed mechanisms of action for seizure control. 




It has been suggested that the high ratio of plasma BCAAs/ARAAs could be useful for epileptics as it results in decreasing ARAAs- (ARAAs supposedly increase the excitability potential of the brain entering the central nervous system (Jirapinyo et al., 2004)). This shift resulting in a rise of BCAAs to ARAAs means that a state of ketosis will decrease the excitability potential of the brain and increase seizure threshold. The brain becomes more resilient to stress you could say and brain chemistry in general is more balanced as a result. I feel pretty good today but its just one day, one experiment, and the type I am taking also includes resveratrol and L-carnitine (which may have its own benefits). Resveratrol readily crosses the blood brain barrier and modulates the Wnt signalling pathway to impair glioma stem cell proliferation and inhibit angiogenesis (Cilibrasi et al., 2017)

I have been taking the BCAAs at the same time as my exogenous ketones because I have held the belief for a while now that exogenous ketones could improve drug delivery to the brain (much like the combination of aspirin and caffeine) and research already suggests that brain amino acid metabolism is more efficient in a ketotic state (Yudkoff et al., 2007). 

These branched chain amino acids compliment ketogenesis nicely and leucine and lysine in particular are strictly ketogenic amino acids which have shown potent anticonvulsant effects. Its complicated, I know, and the ratio of individual amino acids are important, so I'm still learning and testing blood ketones and blood glucose to assess efficacy.

I am particularly interested in this amino acid supplement from Dr. Heinz Reinwald, who has used it in some very interesting studies for the metabolic management of cancer and to compliment immunotherapy treatments such as in the study below.

Amino acid product and study:

https://www.drreinwald.de/fileadmin/media/downloads/MAP-Product_Info-Basic-E-Web.pdf


http://thescipub.com/abstract/10.3844/ajisp.2016.91.98


IMG- Glucogenic and Ketogenic amino acids:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluconeogenesis

The effects of all this, and nutritional ketosis in general, can be similar to that of the 'ketogenic diet pill' developed by researchers in Japan. The drug, sitipentol, works primarily by enhancing central Gaba neurotransmission and by inhibiting lactate dehydrogenase, an important enzyme involved in the energy metabolism of neutrons (Sada et al., 2015)

IMPORTANT!!! In cancer, lactate dehydrogenase expression is enhanced as a result of the Warburg Effect (Hirschhaeuser, Sattler, and Mueller-Klieser, 2011) so sitipentol could indeed be very useful not just for seizure control of drug resistant epilepsy, but also to compliment a metabolic protocol for cancer management to take advantage of this metabolic defect. 


IMG- Targeting Lactate Dehydrogenase A inhibits tumourigenesis and tumour progression in mouse models:
(Xie et al., 2014)
The side effects could be irritating, as with other anticonvulsants, but if you have active cancer the pay-off would be worth it in my opinion and I would take the drug in a heartbeat if I ever have a recurrence. It could be taken in cycles. I have back up plans as I have mentioned a few times, and this is near the top of my list of things I would add to my protocol to hit the cancer hard if the situation arises (hopefully not). 

I believe it would likely be effective at therapeutic doses that go beyond seizure control. I would even be more comfortable taking stiripentol than metformin for brain cancer management even though I think they both show great potential. I would simply be more confident of stiripentol offering the specific neurological effects I would be hoping for despite the side effects. I am not entirely convinced that metformin crosses the blood brain barrier at appreciable amounts despite its ability to lower blood glucose so I see sitipentol as being potentially more suitable for brain cancer specifically in theory. It just makes sense to me.


Stiripentol by Diatomit enhances beneficial effects of the therapeutic ketosis for cancer management by inhibiting lactate dehydrogenase and offers neuroprotection and increased seizure threshold by enhancing central Gaba neurotransmission: http://www.diacomit.eu/en/64-check

I had already undertaken extensive research into leucine after learning about its very promising results for drug resistant epilepsy in animals. I wrote a long article on this a while ago, but it was deleted which is a little frustrating, however there is a decent summation here of the potential of these ketogenic amino acids, even in isolation for seizure control.- https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/news/news/amino-acid-good-rescue-medication-64819

Supplementation with L-carnitine may be especially useful for patients taking valproic acid (Epilim) as an anticonvulsant because it can result in hormonal dysregulation in both females AND males. These effects in males are rarely documented or even discussed. Men taking VPA display significantly lower free carnitine/total carnitine but it also makes your sperms weaker swimmers (lower motility), lowers testosterone, and raises insulin and C-peptide concentrations (YIKES!) (Røste et al., 2005)

Carnitine also aids fatty acid metabolism of course being an essential cofactor required for long chain fatty acids to enter mitochondria. It aids oxidation of palmitic acid (Seim, Kiess and Richter, 2002) so one could potentially argue (I don't know, just a theory) that maybe that if this palmitic acid is used and not stored as body fat (which would promote systemic inflammation), that these studies suggesting palmitic acid promotes carcinogenesis (Pasqual et al., 2017) may be invalidated from a well constructed dietary perspective. It is also worth noting that the study looked at CD36, which is a fatty acid receptor for oxidised low density lipoprotein (the 'bad' cholesterol), which is often linked to atherosclerosis (Endemann et al., 1993) and shouldn't be a problem on a well structured ketogenic diet. Quite the opposite in fact.


IMG- Oxidation of fatty acids: carnitine (Flanagan et al., 2010)

People have different opinions on this, and it is likely that it is actually the ratio of LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol is more important or simply HDL on its own (if its too low this is the main problem it seems). On a well structured ketogenic diet LDL cholesterol is unlikely to change much (it may be a little elevated but particle size is the important consideration) but high density lipoprotein (the 'good' cholesterol), usually increases and insulin is normalised. 

This would mean that CD36 is unlikely to be expressed to respond, forming a 'foam cell' as shown below. This is called a foam cell because macrophages are recruited to the location of these fatty deposits on blood vessel cell walls. It is a pro-inflammatory response causing the cell to be filled with lipids and this action creates a 'foamy' appearance. 


IMG- Foam Cell https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foam_cell
A well structured ketogenic diet is anti-inflammatory and also is unlikely to increase thrombosis and platelet aggregation. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease for example are actually improved being on a ketogenic diet, as is the lipid profile as a result. The ketogenic diet improves triglyceride levels, HDL, and LDL particle size- measures that have been seen as indicating risk. More information with a comprehensive list of references can be found here:



IMG- (Lüscher et al., 2014)

IMG- https://www.spectracell.com/clinicians/products/lpp/

The ketogenic diet is about using fat for energy and it is excess carbohydrates and trans fats which will cause this type of fat to be stored, creating inflammatory responses. I remain unconvinced that palmitic acid from foods such as ghee and coconut oil will promote carcinogenesis, especially when the fatty acid profile is balanced appropriately and the diet is personalised. Palmitic acid from grass fed and grain fed animals may also be different of course, just a thought. I am no expert of course (I'm always learning, nobody is a true expert), but the basic idea seems to make sense to me.


IMG- (St-Pierre et al., 2017)
Other anti-epileptic drugs have similar issues. As with everything though, it is always my belief that we can adjust these variables to bring endocrine functioning back to normal parameters AND allow the drugs to do exert their positive effects IF it is working for the patient to maintain seizure control. I was on VPA (Epilim) at one point when I took AEDs, and it does have survival benefits, but it is my firm belief that any micronutrient deficiencies the medication causes and any negative hormonal responses must be accounted for to achieve the best results not only for seizure control, but also quality of life and potential survival for improved survival.

Maybe I'll have amazing cognitive abilities and be superhuman in some way. It would be good to just feel more normal as I still feel like crap a lot of the time. Telekinesis would be pretty fun though or the ability to read a whole book on a complicated subject in a single day. Kind of like Doctor Strange, that was a cool film, enjoyed it. I like superheroes with intelligence rather than the meathead types.


IMG- http://www.twincities.com/2016/11/03/doctor-strange-review/

References:

Acharjee, S., Boden, W.E., Hartigan, P.M., Teo, K.K., Maron, D.J., Sedlis, S.P., Kostuk, W., Spertus, J.A., Dada, M., Chaitman, B.R. and Mancini, G.J., 2013. Low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increased risk of cardiovascular events in stable ischemic heart disease patients: a post-hoc analysis from the COURAGE Trial (Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation). Journal of the American College of Cardiology62(20), pp.1826-1833.

Cilibrasi, C., Riva, G., Romano, G., Cadamuro, M., Bazzoni, R., Butta, V., Paoletta, L., Dalprà, L., Strazzabosco, M., Lavitrano, M. and Giovannoni, R., 2017. Resveratrol Impairs Glioma Stem Cells Proliferation and Motility by Modulating the Wnt Signaling Pathway. PLOS ONE12(1), p.e0169854.

Endemann, G., Stanton, L.W., Madden, K.S., Bryant, C.M., White, R.T. and Protter, A.A., 1993. CD36 is a receptor for oxidized low density lipoprotein. Journal of Biological Chemistry268(16), pp.11811-11816.

Flanagan, J.L., Simmons, P.A., Vehige, J., Willcox, M.D. and Garrett, Q., 2010. Role of carnitine in disease. Nutrition & metabolism7(1), p.30.

Hirschhaeuser, F., Sattler, U.G. and Mueller-Klieser, W., 2011. Lactate: a metabolic key player in cancer. Cancer research71(22), pp.6921-6925.

Jin, J.X., Lee, S., Taweechaipaisankul, A., Kim, G.A. and Lee, B.C., 2017. Melatonin regulates lipid metabolism in porcine oocytes. Journal of Pineal Research62(2).

Jirapinyo, P., Kankirawatana, P., Densupsoontorn, N., Thamonsiri, N. and Wongarn, R., 2004. High plasma branched-chain amino acids: aromatic amino acids ratio in children on the ketogenic diet: a mechanism in controlling epilepsy. JOURNAL-MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND87(4), pp.432-437.


Lüscher, T.F., Landmesser, U.L.F., von Eckardstein, A. and Fogelman, A.M., 2014. High-density lipoprotein. Circulation research114(1), pp.171-182.

Pascual, G., Avgustinova, A., Mejetta, S., Martín, M., Castellanos, A., Attolini, C.S.O., Berenguer, A., Prats, N., Toll, A., Hueto, J.A. and Bescós, C., 2017. Targeting metastasis-initiating cells through the fatty acid receptor CD36. Nature541(7635), pp.41-45.

Prospective Studies Collaboration, 2007. Blood cholesterol and vascular mortality by age, sex, and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of individual data from 61 prospective studies with 55 000 vascular deaths. The Lancet370(9602), pp.1829-1839.


Røste, L.S., Taubøll, E., Mørkrid, L., Bjørnenak, T., Saetre, E.R., Mørland, T. and Gjerstad, L., 2005. Antiepileptic drugs alter reproductive endocrine hormones in men with epilepsy. European journal of neurology12(2), pp.118-124.

Sada, N., Lee, S., Katsu, T., Otsuki, T. and Inoue, T., 2015. Targeting LDH enzymes with a stiripentol analog to treat epilepsy. Science347(6228), pp.1362-1367.

Schwalb, M. et al. 2016. Clinical Observation of a Novel, Complimentary, Immunotherapeutic Approach based on a Ketogenic Diet, Chondroitin Sulfate, Vitamin D3, Oleic Acid and a Fermented Milk and Colostrum Product. American Journal of Immunology. Vol 12(4). pp.91-8.

Seim, H., Kiess, W. and Richter, T., 2002. Effects of oral L-carnitine supplementation on in vivo long-chain fatty acid oxidation in healthy adults. Metabolism51(11), pp.1389-1391.

St-Pierre, V., Courchesne-Loyer, A., Vandenberghe, C., Hennebelle, M., Castellano, C.A. and Cunnane, S.C., 2017. Butyrate is more ketogenic than leucine or octanoate-monoacylglycerol in healthy adult humans. Journal of Functional Foods32, pp.170-175.


Xie, H., Hanai, J.I., Ren, J.G., Kats, L., Burgess, K., Bhargava, P., Signoretti, S., Billiard, J., Duffy, K.J., Grant, A. and Wang, X., 2014. Targeting lactate dehydrogenase-a inhibits tumorigenesis and tumor progression in mouse models of lung cancer and impacts tumor-initiating cells. Cell metabolism19(5), pp.795-809.

Yudkoff, M., Daikhin, Y., Melø, T.M., Nissim, I., Sonnewald, U. and Nissim, I., 2007. The ketogenic diet and brain metabolism of amino acids: relationship to the anticonvulsant effect. Annu. Rev. Nutr.27, pp.415-430.



Friday, 9 December 2016

Future endeavours, talks, societies, ketosis and mood stabilising drugs.

Ok, so I haven't updated for a while which isn't ideal as I like to try and share what I've been up to lately. My shyness gets the better of me sometimes as well as that voice in my head that constantly says I'm never good enough and I don't deserve anything good to happen so why am I still doing well when others have tried their very best and they are no longer around. I know that I like to push things and think outside the box with every little thing that I try to be happy and to continue to keep the cancer beast away while controlling the epilepsy, but despite feeling very content I feel there is still something missing. Other days I feel deliriously happy for no reason, its just cool being alive and you realise what a gift that is, just feels like a selfish thought at times but keeps me sane.

I've lost a lot of friends to brain cancer recently and it makes me feel numb because the sad fact is that I am getting used to hearing sad news. Personally I have countless backup plans of novel approaches I have been researching that compliment metabolic approaches to managing this disease should the worst ever happen in future...ever the optimist eh? ;)

I am well aware of the effect of different emotional states on physiological systems so keeping my thoughts and feelings in check is something I definitely prioritise. It is of course partly why the placebo effect exists and why there is even a science dedicated to how our emotional state changes our biology. I don't get stressed, eustress yes but not distress.

How emotions are mapped in the body.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131231094353.htm

"When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well." https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162546.htm

Eustress and distress- adapted versions of the Yerkes–Dodson curve for a difficult task https://www.researchgate.net/figure/236527629_fig3_Figure-3-Alternative-Presentation-of-Yerkes-Dodson-Curve-for-Difficult-Tasks-direction
https://www.projecttimes.com/articles/managing-stress-in-project-management.html

There is still no detectable sign of cancer on MR Spectroscopy but I believe this is a disease that needs to be managed indefinitely. I am often too fearful to completely relax, but at the same time being proactive brings me comfort.

This actually reminds me that I need to try and get hold of Innovate Pharmaceuticals to see if they can answer a few queries about their 'world's first' truly soluble liquid aspirin product which has incredibly promising applications for brain cancer treatment. I made a series of videos related to this on my Youtube channel so I could teach myself a bit more and share what I have learned. It is proposed that this specific product will be fast tracked into clinical trials as the safety profile is well established and preliminary data is so compelling.

I mentioned this in my second video on the subject here (2/3):


More recently I have been working on a few little projects since my last post, some have been more successful than others. I must admit I feel pretty frustrated at the lack of progress I am experiencing relating to my Research Project at university. I am focusing on a complex area of course with many differing opinions so it was never going to be straightforward but I am determined to succeed. It will require a lot of patience and some degree of persistence to push this through I imagine. I submitted my proposal at the start of this academic year and things have been progressing even if it has been stagnant at times. The research involves combinations of ketone esters and different mood stabilising drugs tested on glioblastoma cell lines in vitro.

beta-Hydroxybutyric acid. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-Hydroxybutyric_acid

Mood stabilising drugs can act as HDAC inhibitors.
Synergistic benefits with the ketogenic diet have yet to be explored to my knowledge.
https://www.scienceopen.com/document_file/f6db0986-f342-468f-8f68-948b47bfbbe7/PubMedCentral/f6db0986-f342-468f-8f68-948b47bfbbe7.pdf


(Left) the inhibition of histone deacetylases (hDACs) causes both transcriptional
and non-transcriptional effects, leading to profound alterations in cell homeostasis. Middle: the re-acetylation of histones upon hDAC inhibition stimulates gene transcription. (
Right) As a result of hDAC inhibition, NKG2D ligands (NKG2DLs) such as MhC class I-related chain A and B (MICA/B) or uL16-binding proteins (uLBPs) are upregulated, rendering glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) susceptible to recognition and lysis by natural killer (NK) cells. 

The whole point about being back at university is so that I can do my own research to add to the metabolic jigsaw of these approaches. I feel as though I need to contribute by having my own research paper published on this to spread the word about my ideas and findings from the many theories I have that make logical sense based on what we already know and understand. My brain never shuts up, its constantly thinking and trying to solve problems. I'm a problem solver and always have been, obstacles are to be overcome, they are no dead ends. If I don't know something I will make sure I know it and I'm not afraid to admit ignorance about even the most basic subjects. I genuinely believe that true intelligence is realising how stupid you are.

Speaking of problem solving, I am experiencing a certain amount of trepidation as we come closer to the date of the Metabolic Therapeutics Conference I have been invited to speak at in February. I feel truly humbled to be doing this and part of me thinks I don't deserve to be there when there are so many people speaking who I have admired greatly and have inspired me to experiment with their work and ideas on my personalised path to managing my disease and the epilepsy I acquired as a result from a messy brain haemorrhage.

Details of the conference can be found here: http://metabolictherapeuticsconference.com


My talk will be titled- 'Beyond Ketosis: Managing Anaplastic Astrocytoma and Brain Tumour Related Epilepsy with Metabolic Therapies.'

A bit of a mouthful, but I feel it describes my story well in a scientific way. Difficult to be concise with complicated subjects. I am a little anxious I must admit. I seriously need to get over this shyness, but it comes from a feeling of wanting to be a perfectionist and that nothing I do will ever be good enough. This is both a strength and a weakness as it motivates me to 'push the envelope' and see what novel approaches to the ketogenic diet I can come up with to optimise this approach for my personal requirements.

Biochemical individuality (more specifically nutritional individuality) is very important I feel, its just a shame I can't afford all of the lab tests I wish I could have to test a few more theories. I will always take calculate risks of course, nothing crazy. I was skeptical of the ketogenic diet from day 1 and the initial idea was to manage the epilepsy better as the medication wasn't working well and my quality of life was suffering. Thankfully my version of the diet worked well for me, I don't know if it will work for others but I do believe some aspects of it might when you look closer at brain cancer metabolism and human physiology.

On a completely separate note (well, not entirely), I have had some frustrations with exercise once more as the work has piled up. I get into nice routines where I start to get fitter but then my seizure threshold lowers as I progress. Hard to tell whether its a nutrition issue, sleep, or work load at university, but I'll get the answer soon I'm sure. Because the epilepsy was initially caused by my brain haemorrhage it can even be more complicated than 'tradional' brain tumour related epilepsy. Mine is a complex type of 'reflex epilepsy' caused by damaged nerves that will never fully heal. I adopt the plaster over a wound approach using diet, supplements, maintaining stable emotions and getting good quality sleep.

Being able to run now is a welcome progression so I can't get too dispirited about this. Yes, it is quite a conundrum and something I need to play around with to work out the most suitable approach but I'll find a way as I always do, I'm just keen to not make mistakes of forcing myself to do it at innapropriate times (for example after sunset, which is quite early at this time of year).

http://www.headway.ie/publications/introduction-to-the-brain/
I have some localised brain damage that runs quite deep accompanied by haemocidirin from the brain haemorrhage resulting from what was a very vascular brain tumour. When blood rushes to the area too quickly or the internal environment changes by any other means I can get increased seizure activity. I have learned how to manage this effectively but at times this can be a tricky balancing act. 
http://koalasleepcenters.com/tmj-disorder/
To complicate matters further my operation to remove most of the tumour involved cutting through tissues and bone in line with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This means the area is still fairly sensitive 3 1/2 years on. There are however unexpected benefits from this in terms of understanding seizure triggers and its great for understanding physiology. ;) Silver linings...

Moving on... I had the pleasure of attending an event with Yes to Life a few weeks ago which was pretty special as I got to meet Patricia Daly and Travis Cristofferson whom I have tremendous respect for. If you haven't read their excellent books you really should.


I am greatly encouraged that I was able to signpost the event to some of my friends at university who are all studying nutrition. We are starting to gather some real momentum to educate other students and staff about ketosis and the many applications of metabolic therapies. Unfortunately students on my particular course (Human and Medical Science) are not as enthusiastic as we don't tend to even cover nutrition in sufficient context. We skim over nutrigenomics and metabolic biochemistry, it is far from comprehensive and the foundations are based on some flawed data with very little coverage of fatty acid metabolism. We are even still being taught by some that the brain can only use glucose for energy which is certainly not true. Energy from fatty acids actually acts as a far more efficient fuel source for the brain, heart, and other organs and they thrive on it.

I am delighted to announce that my friend Isabella and I have set up a Ketogenic Diet Society at my university to discuss the mechanisms, history, and applications of the diet and to dispell a few persistent myths relating to saturated fat, cholesterol, red meat and any other questionable topics that pop up from time to time when discussing nutrition. Isabella is very knowledgable and has started to shake things up on her course by provoking further thought to challenge outdated information that is still being taught. This is no easy feat as I realised last year so as a result I have adapted my approach by engaging in respectful, quite and considered conversations with others who have differing views, even if they speak in a provocative tone. Your argument is stronger if you remain calm and lay out all the evidence.

With the society I am very keen to promote real food in the eating areas at university. Junk food is very convenient, students and lecturers are some of the unhealthiest people I have known with only a few rare exceptions. I may sound as though I am bashing the university, but it has a number of bonuses. For a start, it is the place where I first learned about the ketogenic diet before my diagnosis. Admittedly they appear to have regressed somewhat with the teaching, but there is no reason why we can't go back to move forward. I would also say that the university allows people to speak out and have a voice, being able to set up a ketogenic diet society and have these conversations is a great thing.

Overall despite my perhaps overly introspective thoughts on life, the universe and everything in it, I feel reasonably pleased with how things are going and I feel content, satisfied with my lot.

I have recently focused more attention on researching mood stabilising drugs as an adjunct treatment for brain cancer with a secondary interest of fasting with ketogenic amino acids. I have been playing around with leucine and lysine which are strictly ketogenic. If we can structure appropriate, considered protocols for these agents and manipulation of amino acids we could see some very interesting results. The promise of mood stabilising drugs for brain cancer management (significantly improved survival) is nothing new but it is still something that is under-utilised and the benefits are underappreciated. You can't make much money from these of course.

Ketogenic and glycogenic amino acids. Some are both of course.
https://amit1b.wordpress.com/the-molecules-of-life/about/amino-acids/

Going back to the importance of the amino acid profile of ketogenic diets, this reminds me of the 'hyperketogenic diet' approach proposed by Dr. Heinz Reinwald. I believe this could have even greater relevance for pancreatic cancer, whereby protein requirements would likely need to be reduced even further so to make up the deficit amino acids that are not providing energy for the tumour to grow would be supplemented. I believe he also uses Bravo yoghurts to support gut health, which is critical for immune system support and overall healthy functioning. Keeping those trillions of bacteria in the gut happy is always worth prioritising. I would need to look into this more but it appears to make sense. I'm obviously going to be skeptical of anything at first before I know everything about it and then I will probably remain skeptical until I see something that truly amazes me but its certainly very interesting.

Bravo yoghurt- https://www.bravo-europe.com

Details of the 'hyperketogenic diet'- I wouldn't normally share articles from other blogs, but the background is interesting. Always look into information written about in articles very stringently. This definitely provokes thought however.- https://bisforbananascisforcancer.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/fulda-conference-4-master-amino-acid-pattern-map-and-the-hyper-ketogenic-diet-in-cancer-and-epilepsy-dr-heinz-reinwald/#more-2358

Interestingly I have often suspected that in the early stages of my ketogenic approach I may have benefited greatly from being on such high doses of two anti-epileptic drugs- Sodium Valproate (Epilim) and Levetiracetam (Keppra). As well as being established drugs that have proven efficacy, these drugs are the most commonly prescribed for brain tumour related epilepsy largely due to the clear survival benefits. Incredibly, while this is clear, it is not really communicated or even understood by most neurologists I contacted at the time. They also did not understand all of the micronutrient deficiencies caused by continuous use of these drugs that can be easily remedied through supplementation of certain nutrients.

I have written about this previously so I won't go over it too much but ironically many of these micronutrients are actually anticonvulsive so supplementation to lessen the inevitable side effects of the drug should be standard procedure in my opinion. It is important to note that Epilim and Keppra are mood stabilising drugs because there is a clear pattern that emerges when you take a closer look at the potent anti cancer benefits of this class of drugs and their mechanisms of action in different types of brain cancer and neurodegenerative disease.




Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Metabolic Therapeutics: the science behind exploiting weaknesses in cancer metabolism.

In the third episode of the Beating Brain Cancer podcast we had the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. Angela Poff, Research Associate in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida.


Dr. Angela Poff


Dr. Poff works in the Laboratory of Nutritional and Metabolic Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Dominic D'Agostino. Her research focuses on the development and testing of non-toxic metabolic therapies for cancer and neurological disorders.

Dr. Poff's research focuses primarily on vivo research using rodent models with metastatic cancer derived from human glioblastoma cell lines.

The aim of her work is to observe the effects of nutritional ketosis, exogenous ketones and hyperbaric oxygen therapy and outline the underlying synergistic anti-cancer mechanisms behind these treatments.

The audio recording of this interview is available here: http://www.braincanceroptions.com/metabolic-therapeutics

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Cannabinoids and Cancer: a hot topic often surrounded by controversies

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Wai Liu at St. George's University Hospital to talk about cannabinoids and cancer. More details of the interview can be found on my website here:

Monday, 26 September 2016

Exercise updates, photodynamic therapy and the iKnife.

Exercise was a huge seizure trigger for me since acquiring brain tumour related epilepsy. Over time my seizure threshold has improved thanks to a high DHA ketogenic diet. Yesterday I was able to run for the first time in 4 years. I managed 20 minutes plus a light resistance workout. Today I ran 30 minutes without stopping at a decent pace. 


I never thought this would be possible when I look back at where I've come, suffering those horrible grand mal seizures and now being on no medication with complete seizure control. 

Never forget that our brains are made of fat and cholesterol. As I have written on several occasions, in and around malignant brain tumours we see dysregulated lipid composition when compared to healthy, disease free brains. This is often how neurosurgeons actually identify tumour tissue for resection, as described from the study below and from use of the iKnife, which identifies malignant tissue and can be combined with a form of photodynamic therapy. 

Photodynamic therapy- 5-ALA: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/glow-in-the-dark-brains-aid-tumour-surgery
The tissue that 'glows' represents diseased tissue and the differences in lipid composition are clear. The smoke coming from the iKnife during resection of the tumour can analyse the lipid composition of tissue using a mass spectrophotometer http://publishing.rcseng.ac.uk/doi/full/10.1308/rcsbull.2016.88


Epilepsy and neurodegerative diseases can all me managed more effectively with manipulation of dietary fatty acids. I believe this has been an essential part of my strategy to manage my disease and the epilepsy I have acquired as a result. I have been fine-tuning this approach over time and I have regular blood tests to monitor the efficacy of this approach. I wrote about this in more detail in my post on fatty acids and brain tumours which can be found here: http://mybraincancerstory.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/fatty-acids-and-brain-tumours.html 




The iKnife:







Sunday, 7 August 2016

Mornings are fun.

Despite exercise being a seizure trigger I enjoy my morning walks. Its at a pace which doesn't overstimulate my brain and I find it very calming. Walking allows me to reflect and to enjoy natural beauty. We have so many beautiful green spaces in this country and its a beautiful, sunny day today. The shorts will be on later and I'll do some sunbathing to top up the vitamin D. :)


Friday, 5 August 2016

Aspirin for brain cancer. Evaluating efficacy

Some new videos on my Youtube channel evaluating the efficacy of different forms and doses of aspirin for brain cancer management and as a potential anticonvulsant:

I'm trying to get used to recording presentations using my computer. I'm not sure how to edit videos yet without hassle but I tried my best here. I hope people find this interesting, there are 3 videos in the series.

Aspirin for brain cancer- part 1

Aspirin for brain cancer- part 2



Aspirin for brain cancer- part 3