HBOT and Ketogenic Diet Used to Treat Cancer

Cancer is one of the greatest public health challenges worldwide. Despite all the medical advances we have today we still lack complementary approaches to significantly enhance the efficacy of standard anti-cancer therapies or alternatives with high efficacy rates.  Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and The ketogenic diet, a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet with adequate amounts of protein, appear to sensitize most cancers to standard treatment by exploiting the reprogramed metabolism of cancer cells.  The results displayed in multiple studies are making HBOT and the keto diet promising candidates as adjuncts to conventional cancer therapy.

During HBOT, the patient is placed in a chamber that allows the body to be brought to greater-than-normal atmospheric pressure. Under this greater-than-normal atmospheric pressure, the patient breathes 100% oxygen, which first fills the red blood cells in the bloodstream, then continues to flow into the bloodstream and is absorbed directly into the plasma (one of the components of blood). The increased atmospheric pressure facilitates oxygen absorption. The dissolved oxygen in the plasma is more readily available for use by the cells in the body, as little is required to remove the oxygen from the red blood cells. HBOT is a process that floods the body with oxygen so that it may more readily heal itself.

The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, high fat diet which decreases blood glucose and elevates blood ketones and has been shown to slow cancer progression in animals and humans. Abnormal tumor vasculature creates hypoxic (low oxygen) pockets which promote cancer progression and further increase the glycolytic (sugar) dependency of cancers. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy saturates tumors with oxygen, reversing the cancer promoting effects of low oxygenated tumors. The high levels of oxygen as a result of HBOT also produce reactive oxygen species, which can damage tumors by inducing excessive oxidative stress.

The addition of HBOT and the Keto diet into the regimen of a cancer patient can ultimately improve both the prognosis and quality of life. Certain contraindications may apply to some cancer patients who may want to utilize hyperbaric oxygen therapy that are taking the following drugs: Bleomycin, Disulfiram (Antabuse®), Cis-Platinum, Mafenide Acetate (Sulfamylon®).

To learn more about how HBO can benefit you, please contact us.


  • Kohshi, K., Y. Kinoshita, H. Imada, N. Kunugita, H. Abe, H. Terashima, N. Tokui, and S. Uemura. “Effects of Radiotherapy after Hyperbaric Oxygenation on Malignant Gliomas.” Br J Cancer British Journal of Cancer 80.1-2 (1999): 236-41. Web.
  • Moen, Ingrid, and Linda E. B. Stuhr. “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Cancer—a Review.” Targeted Oncology Targ Oncol 7.4 (2012): 233-42. Web.
  • J. Klement. “Fasting, fats, and physics: combining ketogenic and radiation therapy against cancer.” Complementary Medicine Research, 25 (2018), pp. 102-113