Women with ovarian or endometrial cancer who followed the ketogenic diet for 12 weeks lost more body fat and had lower insulin levels compared to those who followed the low-fat diet recommended by the American Cancer Society, according to a new study published by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The study, A Ketogenic Diet Reduces Central Obesity and Serum Insulin in Women with Ovarian or Endometrial Cancer, was published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Researchers studied 45 overweight or obese women with ovarian or endometrial cancer. The participants were not actively attempting to lose weight and were not on special diets at the time of enrollment. Each was randomly assigned to either the ketogenic diet or the American Cancer Society-recommended diet.

“Compared to the diet recommended by the American Cancer Society, which is moderate- to high-carbohydrate, high-fiber and low-fat, 12 weeks on a ketogenic diet, which is low-carbohydrate, high-fat, produced significantly lower levels of fat mass,” said Kevin Fontaine, PhD, co-author of the study and chair of the Department of Health Behavior in the UAB School of Public Health. “The ketogenic diet group also had significantly lower levels of fasting insulin.”

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