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Epilepsy and vitamin D

‘Antiepileptic drugs cause vitamin D deficiency through induction of hepatic microsomal enzymes that metabolise vitamin D.’ http://aop.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/38/6/1002 I believe this is one of the main causes of lethargy and break through seizures for individuals with epilepsy but neurologists will often dismiss this suggestion in my experience and tell you to increase medication instead. They do not study nutrition in enough depth at medical school so usually they don’t know this.  You can get a free vitamin D test from your GP. If vitamin D is low you will need to supplement with vitamin D3. The type of vitamin D you get through diet is D2 which is not adequate. It is very difficult to get enough vitamin D3 from the sun to reach optimal levels in the blood (typically 100-150mmol/l).  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so you will also want to eat plenty of quality fats with enough vitamin A which works together with vitamin D. We typically already get enough calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in our diets so this consideration is less important. I hope this information helps people to control seizures better and to have more energy, less muscle weakness, better moods, etc. contact me if you have any questions. 🙂  This is the best vitamin D3 supplement I know of. It is completely natural and contains no corn, soy, gluten, sugar, starch, or any nasty ingredients to fill it up.   

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Eating brains for brain cancer

Yesterday I added grass fed lamb’s brains to my ketogenic diet. Because we are squeamish about eating brain in this country my local butcher gave me 6 quality sheep’s brains for free! I read an interesting article recently about this recently… http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/11364723/Eating-offal-will-the-British-ever-fall-in-love-with-brains.html I also found some videos of Gordon Ramsey (with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) and and another video from Heston Blumenthal cooking brains. I understand brain is a delicacy in many top restaurants around the world so I was even more interested in trying it. Here are the videos: http://youtu.be/hb1YFPLany0 http://youtu.be/X4tItqWIKe4 Obviously I would make KETO versions of these recipes! Let’s think about this… Sometimes the unorthodox approach is perhaps the most sensible. Consider this:  Brains are built from large amounts of selected fatty acids and specialist components that when eaten could have a potent healing effect to manage/reverse neuroinflammation and improve cognitive functioning.  Brain is very high in omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory and phosphatidylserine lipids in cell membranes play a significant role in apoptosis, blood clotting, and so could be beneficial in combating neurodegenerative disease.  Numerous studies with Alzheimers over the years have produced some very interesting results. Phosphatidylserine made from cow brains seems to improve attention, language skills, memory in ageing people with declining thinking skills. http://www.cell.com/biophysj/abstract/S0006-3495(14)02208-5 As the brain is mostly fat I feel it compliments my ketogenic diet perfectly and tastes brilliant with egg and ghee.  Here are some videos I made of me cooking and eating brain for Brain Tumour Research’s Wear a Hat Day yesterday! Enjoy!… Part 1 http://youtu.be/J4fjfstAzyo Part 2 http://youtu.be/oRNatOteSbU Part 3 http://youtu.be/RlP23z0P3zk

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Surviving Terminal Cancer with Q & A on Health

My local screening of a patient led documentary film project by Dominic Hill Featuring a live Q & A session with:  Adam Afriyie- MP Windsor, Maidenhead Andrew Scarborough (host)- 2 year brain cancer Survivor, ketogenic diet trials patient advisor at Charing Cross Hospital. Jane Mclelland- 16 year stage 4 cervical cancer survivor and patient advocate for access to medicines. And more including the Brain Tumour Charity, Brain Tumour Research, and health professionals!  Adam Afriyie has recently shared his thoughts on this event and on the current situation with brain cancer. Please read: http://adamafriyie.org/index.php/2015/03/18/bravery-in-the-face-of-an-awful-disease/ Also please sign this petition if you can to give terminal brain cancer patients more treatment options.  http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/74463

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The London Football Awards- Willow Foundation

I haven’t updated my blog in a while as I have been busy collecting my thoughts from a busy few weeks while planning some exciting future endeavours.  The other consequence of having been so busy is that I’m suffering more from fatigue at the moment, meaning that sustained concentration can become challenging, but I digress… This past month has been especially eventful, productive, and exciting. I have decided to detail a summary of my experiences in a short series of posts.  I had the immense pleasure of attending The London Football Awards and delivering a speech about my special day with Willow in August last year. The difference in how I feel mentally and physically now compared to then is astonishing to me when I look back. I love football so I was in heaven at such a grand event surrounded by such recognisable faces.  Football has always been a great escape to me at times when I felt like a zombie thanks to neurological issues and side effects from epilepsy medication. My special day really helped to maintain my sanity and make me smile while I was still loaded up on a cocktail of rather potent sedatives so I was more than happy to do all I could as a massive thank you to Willow!  I’m on next to no medication now (I stay on a small amount of anticonvulsants just in case), so I was able to stay awake during my speech. I was having one of my good days that day so I felt quite alert for most of the evening. This was just as well as I was delighted my Mum was able to attend and I wanted to make her proud.  Life deals some cruel blows at times, my Mum was diagnosed with oesophogeal cancer…

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Exercise and brain cancer

Exercise and brain cancer is a very complex subject that I would like to revisit later. I am able to function fairly well now but it was a very long journey with many uncertainties. Walking up and down the hall at home used to be strenuous exercise for me not long ago and stairs was a nightmare. I still can’t believe what I can do now. I continue to be wary of tumour recurrence after being informed by my oncologist it would probably be ‘sudden, unexpected, and will likely leave me with right sided paralysis because of where the tumour was located’ but that is why I’m trying all I can to keep it away! I seem to be doing alright so far, let’s hope that continues.  Ketosis has become an exciting journey and I love how it alleviates and manages a lot of my symptoms when I get it right but exercise can be a challenge (trying to maintain ‘therapeutic ketosis for cancer management). This morning I decided to do a little experiment (my meds often send me into a deep sleep and I wake up ridiculously early)… So here it is, my workout experiment this morning- I performed a series of slow to medium tempo, perfect form, wide grip pull-ups and filmed it. I made sure go all the way up and all the way down following very strict form from a hanging position, my feet never touch the ground. I managed to stabilise blood glucose and ketones throughout the exercise session and pushed myself with the aim of increasing strength long term. Recovery time between sets was 5minutes over 10 sets of 5 repetitions. Cancer patients are advised not to push themselves with exercise because it usually increases blood glucose and reduces blood ketones which I have…

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Surviving Terminal Cancer- finally in the news!

This is finally in the news thanks to the Surviving Terminal Cancer film!  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/wellbeing/healthadvice/11424747/The-professor-who-cured-his-cancer-with-a-cocktail-of-everyday-pills-and-20-years-on-remains-disease-free.html Please sign this petition so we can save more lives like this.  We want to ensure innovative therapies get to brain tumour patients as quickly as possible.  http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/74463?dm_t=0,0,0,0,0

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Can a dark skinned black person get brain cancer?

Have you noticed the similarities between skin cancer and brain cancer? The darker a person’s skin, the less likely they are to get both cancers. You are unlikely to see a dark skinned black person with a brain tumour. Both cancers have temozolomide as treatment. I have seen cases where a certain drug that is used primarily for skin cancer has had a beneficial response for brain cancer. The same is true for immunotherapy. Vitamin D3 has profound anticonvulsant properties when you have the correct amount for your body, if you are deficient you do worse. It is a well known fact that many Asians and North Africans are deficient in vitamin D so the earlier fact about skin pigmentation is largely ignored for brain cancer when you look at the stats. Just a few thoughts I’ve had that I wanted to share. Some ‘controversial’ opinions I have. Here is some possible evidence for this:  ‘The risk for primary brain tumors in Caucasians is higher, as much as two-fold with gliomas, than in people of other races.’ http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/brain-tumor-adults/risk-factors.html Ethnicity – Interestingly, in the US, whites are more prone to gliomas and less prone to meningiomas than blacks. People of northern European descent have double the chance of developing brain tumors than the Japanese. http://www.brain-surgery.com/are-brain-tumors-hereditary/ I have met over a thousand brain cancer patients now and none of them would have been considered ‘black’. I have black African background on my mother’s side (she is mixed race), but upon diagnosis I was severely deficient in vitamin D and followed a low fat diet for years which is obviously not helpful.  Researchers I have discussed the race issue with only mention cultural diets, which is certainly a major factor, but I believe vitamin D which we mainly get from the sun and how we…

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Experiments paying off but feeling guilty for a good day.

I feel terrible writing this after hearing desperately sad news yesterday about a friend but today I have felt phenomenally good, better than even before I had cancer at times. I hope this isn’t a one off and I hope this post doesn’t upset anyone else with a BT. Maybe it can give some people hope and encourage them to keep persevering by taking control. My mind suddenly feels very sharp, my speed of thought has dramatically improved and I feel more alert, being able to maintain concentration and sustain greater clarity of thought throughout the day. I have also been fairly active physically as well as mentally.  This improvement has coincided with a few alterations I made to my diet recently, I didn’t expect this kind of dramatic response if I’m honest. I was drowning in a sea of despair for so long thinking I would never get my life back due to these invisible disabilities but I’m starting to feel more and more like the old me again. I hope I’m not tempting fate but if this carries on I will see it as a huge step forward. 

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Matthew’s Friends Keto Conference from the end of last year

I’ve been thriving on my own version of a restricted ketogenic diet recently and learned a lot from attending this event last year so I thought I would share one of the videos (they have just become available online). 🙂 http://youtu.be/F3VQlWWDtiw The only difficulty I noticed personally when adapting to strict keto is that humans can have many more food intolerances than mice and many brain cancer patients are on anti convulsants so you have to play around with the diet (and often medication!) to find out what works for the individual. It is also easier to control a mouse’s external environment.  I noticed a number of migraine triggers relating to commonly recommended foods on the diet (eg. Cheese, double cream, dark chocolate, ground almonds, even coconut oil!). With most of these foods I am actually quite concerned that they are recommended in the first place but I won’t go into that! Since I eliminated those foods and replaced them with different animal fats from grass fed animals I have been doing exceptionally well (ketones and blood glucose steady at therapeutic levels) and I feel this is the better path with these foods being more nutritionally dense. I also believe that the food replacements were more effective at combatting ‘keto flu’. The foods generally recommended can actually make this phenomenon worse in my opinion. I do think that there should be more mouse studies where anti convulsants are used together with the ketogenic diet because many posess anti tumour properties with different modes of action. The action that Lamotrigine exhibits on glutamate would be interesting to see in a mouse model together with the ketogenic diet. 

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