Isocaloric Ketogenic Diet in Adults with High-Grade Gliomas: A Prospective Metabolic Study

Andrea Foppiani, Ramona De Amicis, Chiara Lessa, Alessandro Leone, Simone Ravella, Emilio Ciusani, Antonio Silvani, Giulio Zuccoli, Alberto Battezzati, Elena Lamperti, Simona Bertoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of the ketogenic diet (KD) as an adjuvant therapy in high-grade gliomas (HGG) is supported by preclinical studies, but clinical data on its effects on metabolism are currently lacking. In this study, we describe the effects of a KD on glucose profile, ketonemia, energy metabolism, and nutritional status, in adults affected by HGG. This was a single-arm prospective study. An isocaloric 3:1 KD was administered for 1 mo. Glucose profile was assessed by using fasting glycemia, insulin, and glycated hemoglobin. To evaluate ketonemia changes, a hand-held ketone meter was used from home. Energy metabolism was assessed by indirect calorimetry. Nutritional status was evaluated through changes in body composition and in lipid and hepatic profile. No changes in fasting glycemia were observed; however, insulinemia dropped to half of baseline levels. The KD shifted the metabolism, rising ketonemia and decreasing glucose oxidation rate to a quarter of the initial values. Moreover, the KD was generally safe. One-month intervention with the KD was able to act upon key metabolic substrates potentially involved in HGG metabolism. The lack of a significant reduction in fasting glycemia should be investigated in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


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