The role of intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet in cancer disease: can they replace the Mediterranean diet?
The global prevalence of cancer is on the rise, making it the second leading cause of death. Emerging research highlights the pivotal role of nutrition in influencing cancer risk. Furthermore, alterations in the gut microbiota have been linked to cancer risk and are crucial for maintaining a robust immune system. Several studies have suggested that intermittent fasting, the ketogenic diet, and the Mediterranean diet can be effective strategies for modifying the gut microbiota, preventing cancer, and enhancing tolerance to cancer treatment.
While there is insufficient evidence to definitively establish the ketogenic diet’s capacity to reshape the gut microbiota in a manner that prevents cancer, intermittent fasting, and the Mediterranean diet have demonstrated the potential to positively affect the composition of the intestinal microbiota, thereby potentially reducing cancer risk. Moreover, based on current scientific evidence, these dietary approaches, including the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, and the Mediterranean diet, hold promise in activating anticarcinogenic pathways, which might contribute to improve quality of life of cancer patients.
In this context, we present a comprehensive review to reveal the effects of intermittent fasting, the ketogenic diet, and the Mediterranean diet on cancer disease. In our paper, we reveal and make a compelling case for recent scientific findings concerning the intricate interplay between intermittent fasting, the ketogenic diet, the Mediterranean diet, intestinal microbiota, cancer prevention, and cancer treatment. Moreover, we argue whether intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet can replace the Mediterranean diet, a healthy dietary approach recommended by health institutions, in cancer prevention and cancer treatment.
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