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This month’s issue of the Journal of Lipid Research features studies examining how fats in the diet affect health, including whether the ketogenic diet is a reasonable cancer therapy; how the type of unsaturated fats in a mouse’s chow affects inflammation; and how cells respond to nutrient signals.

When swapping sugar for ketones doesn’t treat cancer

At present, there are 15 studies on clinicaltrials.gov recruiting or preparing to recruit cancer patients to test the ketogenic diet as a therapy. This diet, high in fat and very low in carbohydrates, is said to induce a fasting state without the actual fast. It dramatically lowers the amount of glucose in circulation and increases fatty ketone bodies. The change in energy source is proposed to cut off the sugar supply to metabolically active cancer cells. But preclinical results are surprisingly mixed. A paper in the Journal of Lipid Research explained some of the variability observed in models of ketogenic therapy for cancer. The researchers, led by Jie Zhang and Ping-Ping Jia of Huai’an Hospital in Jiangsu, China, found that some types of cancer are unlikely to respond well to the diet because their cells are well prepared to use ketone bodies as

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