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What Everyone Needs To Know About Cancer with Professor Thomas Seyfried

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  September 20, 2023

When I started medical school in 1995, we were taught that one in four people was likely to develop cancer in their lifetime. Today, that statistic has changed to one in two – a rapid rise that can’t be explained by genetics. But if our modern diet and lifestyles are the cause, we have more control than we might think.

That’s the message my guest, Professor Thomas Seyfried, has worked tirelessly to prove and communicate over his four decades as a cancer researcher. Professor Seyfried is a professor of biology, genetics and biochemistry at Boston College, Massachusetts, and author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, as well as the 2012 book Cancer As A Metabolic Disease.

Through his research, and in this conversation, he sets out to explain how it’s a malfunction in our mitochondria – the energy powerhouses in each of our cells – that’s at the root of every cancer he’s studied. Normal-functioning mitochondria, he explains, use oxygen to make energy. In cancer, this process is disrupted. Cancer cells cannot use oxygen, so they fall back on a primitive form of energy creation known as fermentation.

It follows then, explains Professor Seyfried, that if we can somehow stop this fermentation process, then cancer cells will die. Cancer uses glucose and glutamine to fuel fermentation. While we don’t want to block glutamine, as it has other uses in the body, we can drastically lower our glucose levels to stop driving cancer growth.

We discuss some of the ways in which we can start doing this – for example, using specific low-carb diets and nutritional ketosis. Professor Seyfried also talks us through his ground-breaking ‘metabolic therapy’ protocols for treating cancer – sometimes, alongside conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Professor Seyfried has spent decades researching and proving a metabolic cause for this devastating disease. This a compelling and optimistic conversation, packed with actions we can all take to reduce our risk not just of cancer, but all the chronic conditions driven by metabolic disruption.

CAUTION: This podcast discusses ketogenic diets and water-only fasting. Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before making any drastic changes to your diet or before going for prolonged periods without eating.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of the conversation here:

Connect with Prof Seyfried:

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Prof Seyfried’s book:

Cancer as a metabolic disease: On the origin management and prevention of cancer – Kindle edition

Also available at

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP