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B-Metro: B Yourself - Barbara A. Gower, PhD

July 5th, 2016
B-Metro by Angela Karen


Photograph and interview by Angela Karen
Name: Barbara A. Gower, PhD
Age: 57
Occupation: Professor

What is your research study focus? 

Diet and disease. My current grant is funded by the American Institute for Cancer Research. The goal of the study is to determine if a low-sugar diet –also called a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet – improves cancer-related outcomes and quality of life in women with ovarian cancer.

Do you have any participants that have had success from your research study? If so, can you tell us the success rate?

Yes, from this cancer study, we have several success stories. The very first patient in the study lost 30 pounds. She feels terrific. After she completed the study, she decided to continue with the diet on her own, and she put her whole family on it. And this is a verbatim quote from the project coordinator regarding our most recent patient: “She is thrilled with her results! She’s lost 22 pounds, and has had improved blood sugar values, lower blood pressure readings, and apparently an improvement in her clinical eye exam! She stressed that she thinks of this as her (lifestyle) and not just a ‘diet.’”

When we look over the results from all of our patients who have completed the study so far, we see that, for those on the ketogenic diet, insulin decreased by an average of 28 percent; body fat decreased an average of 12 percent; visceral fat decreased by 16 percent; and markers of angiogenesis decreased dramatically, indicating that the tumor is less able to grow new blood vessels, and therefore less able to gain nourishment.

We also have success stories from our clinic, where we use the same diet as in the cancer study to treat obesity and diabetes. One of our patients came up to me in the hallway one day and literally thanked me for changing her life. She is a 70-year-old woman with long-term type 2 diabetes.  She joined our “low carb” diet program. She lost a lot of weight, but more important, she was able to discontinue most of her medication, including her insulin injections. She can now manage her diabetes primarily with diet. She feels great, looks great. She looks like a slender, energetic, 16-year-old girl. I don’t even recognize her when I see her from a distance. The transformation is phenomenal. She is not our only case. I had another patient, who suffered from overweight and depression, join our program. After a few months, she told me that the “black cloud she had been living under for 40 years” had lifted. She is now happy, slim, enjoying life, with always with a smile on her face. Eating the wrong food can also exacerbate depression.

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