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the lowdown on ketogenic diets


Ketogenic Diets

“Several diseases involving alterations in mitochondrial metabolism, including type II diabetes, obesity and cancer, are exceptional candidates to benefit from dietary therapeutic strategies, such as ketogenic diets. These diets were shown to reverse redox signalling pathways that increase the malignancy of tumors, and to possess anticonvulsant effects in humans that could be related to increased mitochondrial mitochondrial biogenesis. In fact, ketogenic diets can also constitute a first line of treatment for mitochondrial myopathies.  They are effective and potentially nontoxic metabolic therapies for the treatment of chronic neurological disorders, also exerting a protective action against brain tumor angiogenesis and ischemic injuries [strokes].”From the March, 2016 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation (Ketogenic Diets: From Cancer to Mitochondrial Diseases and Beyond)

“An increasing number of data demonstrate the utility of ketogenic diets in a variety of metabolic diseases as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. In regard to neurological disorders, ketogenic diet is recognized as an effective treatment for pharmacoresistant epilepsy but emerging data suggests that ketogenic diet could be also useful in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Alzheimer, Parkinson’s disease, and some mitochondriopathies.”  Cherry picked from the abstract of the journal BioMed Research International (Ketogenic Diet in Neuromuscular and Neurodegenerative Diseases)

“Very-low-carbohydrate diets or ketogenic diets have been in use since the 1920s as a therapy for epilepsy and can, in some cases, completely remove the need for medication. From the 1960’s onwards they have become widely known as one of the most common methods for obesity treatment. Recent work over the last decade or so has provided evidence of the therapeutic potential of ketogenic diets in many pathological conditions, such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, acne, neurological diseases, cancer and the amelioration of respiratory and cardiovascular disease risk factors.”    From the August 2013 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Beyond Weight Loss: A Review of the Therapeutic Uses of Very-Low-Carbohydrate (Ketogenic) Diets)

“The inability of current recommendations to control the epidemic of diabetes, the specific failure of the prevailing low-fat diets to improve obesity, cardiovascular risk, or general health and the persistent reports of some serious side effects of commonly prescribed diabetic medications, in combination with the continued success of low-carbohydrate diets in the treatment of diabetes and metabolic syndrome without significant side effects, point to the need for a reappraisal of dietary guidelines. The benefits of carbohydrate restriction in diabetes are immediate and well documented. Concerns about the efficacy and safety are conjectural rather than data driven. Dietary carbohydrate restriction reliably reduces high blood glucose, is best for weight loss, and leads to the reduction or elimination of medication.”  A group of 25 MD / Ph.D researchers writing in the January 2015 issue of Nutrition (Dietary Carbohydrate Restriction as the First Approach in Diabetes Management: Critical Review and Evidence Base).  I wrote an article on this study a few years ago (HERE).

In the very early 1900’s, French physicians discovered that putting people with Epilepsy on a vegetarian diet that was interrupted by periods of fasting, dramatically alleviated their seizures.  Shortly after this, American doctors began researching variations such as hardcore fasting and the “water diet” and “cream diet”.  Then, nearly a century ago, researchers at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic discovered the reason they all, to some degree, worked.  They determined that when people ate an extremely low carbohydrate / high fat diet, their bodies produced high levels of a metabolic byproduct called “Ketone Bodies”. 

By 1921, the “Ketogenic Diet” diet was being used on children with EPILEPSY to great benefit.  Shortly before the outbreak of WWII, new anticonvulsant drugs were developed (Dilantin being the most well known) that rapidly took the place of said diet. I do not have to tell those of you who struggle in this area that these drugs, despite the fact they can arrest (or at least decrease) most seizures, turn people into zombies and generally make them feel like crap.  Because there is an increasingly urgent message about the overarching dangers of drugs, we are seeing a Renaissance of the Ketogenic Diet being used for Epilepsy and other Seizure Disorders.  But what about those who don’t have Seizure Disorders — the vast majority of the population?  Is there any benefit of a Ketogenic Diet for you?  

Unless you have some very specific health issues (I’ll talk about these in Part II), the Ketogenic Diet can likely benefit you.  As a short primer to today’s post, I want to introduce you to Dr. Charles Mobbs.  Dr. Mobbs of New York’s Icahn Mount Sinai Medical School holds professorships in numerous areas including Geriatrics, Neuroscience, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease.  His research interests include Aging, Obesity, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, life extension, and dietary restriction.  Listen as he explains how all of these things (including Alzheimer’s) are related to dietary carbohydrates and BLOOD SUGAR. https://www.youtube.com/embed/7T0DKUWq_gQ?wmode=opaque If that doesn’t get you stirred up, I’m not sure what will.  Mobbs isn’t selling anything here.  He’s simply showing you that there’s hope.  And even though he is specifically dealing with kidney failure due to Diabetes (as well as life-span extension) in this video, the peer-reviewed scientific literature is chocked full of studies on the benefits of a Ketogenic Diet for all sorts of other health-related problems (all results are cherry-picked due to time and space constraints).

In similar fashion to the way we learned that the majority of the symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity are neurological (HERE), you are going to quickly notice is that most of the benefits (at least ‘studied‘ benefits) of the Ketogenic Diet tend to be neurological as well.  Look at this quote from last October’s issue of the journal Appetite (Brain and Behavioral Perturbations in Rats Following Western Diet Access).  “Energy dense “Western” diets are known to cause obesity as well as learning and memory impairments, blood-brain barrier damage, and psychological disturbances.  In contrast, ketogenic diets have been shown to be neuro-protective.”   In a nutshell, what Americans eat (and the rest of the world is eating more like us every day) screws up the brain, and the Ketogenic Diet works to repair it!  Need more proof?  Roll up your sleeves and dig in.    

  • CANCER:  There are hundreds of studies on the ability of the Ketogenic Diet to effectively treat Cancer.  Last month’s issue of the Cancer journal Oncology Letters provided a true mind-bender for those chemo-doctors still living in the DIET-DOESN’T-MATTER world.  “Since the initial observations by Warburg in 1924, it has become clear in recent years that tumor cells require a high level of glucose to proliferate. Therefore, a ketogenic diet that provides the body with energy mainly through fat and proteins, but contains a reduced amount of carbohydrates, has become a dietary option for supporting tumor treatment and has exhibited promising results.  In conclusion, the results from the present case series in general practice suggest that it may be beneficial to advise tumor patients to adopt a ketogenic diet, and that those who adhere to it may have positive results from this type of diet.”  For those who don’t know, Dr. Otto Warburg was the German physician / scientist who won the Nobel Peace Prize back in 1931 for figuring out that SUGAR feeds CANCER
  • CANCER PART II:  The title of the study that appeared in last March’s issue of Medical Hypothesis (Starvation of Cancer Via Induced Ketogenesis and Severe Hypoglycemia) is so incredible, I had to share the abstract with you.  I have tried to beat into people’s heads (HERE, HERE, and HERE are a few) that despite the fact that this idea is largely pho-phoed by heavy hitters in the “Cancer Treatment Industry” like Johns Hopkins, MD Anderson, and others, sugar really does feed Cancer.  “Neoplasms are highly dependent on glucose as their substrate for energy production and are generally not able to catabolize other fuel sources such as ketones and fatty acids. Thus, removing access to glucose has the potential to starve cancer cells and induce apoptosis. Unfortunately, other body tissues are also dependent on glucose for energy under normal conditions. However, in human starvation (or in the setting of diet-induced ketogenesis), the body “keto-adapts” and glucose requirements of most tissues drop to almost nil. Exceptions include the central nervous system (CNS) and various other tissues which have a small but obligatory requirement of glucose. Our hypothesized treatment takes keto-adaptation as a prerequisite. We then propose the induction of severe hypoglycemia by depressing gluconeogenesis while administering glucose to the brain. Although severe hypoglycemia normally produces adverse effects such as seizure and coma, it is relatively safe following keto-adaptation. We hypothesize that our therapeutic hypoglycemia treatment has potential to rapidly induce tumor cell necrosis.”  So, even though you’ll end up with HYPOGLYCEMIA, it doesn’t matter because the body has switched over and is running off Ketone Bodies — something that Cancer cells cannot effectively do.  To repeat; the purpose of the Ketogenic Diet is to dramatically reduce Blood Sugar by inducing “severe” Hypoglycemia, thereby forcing your body to burn Ketones for energy.
  • AUTISM:  No one can argue that AUTISM rates are exploding here in America (1 in 32 is the latest — HERE).  Listen to what the current issue of Behavioral Brain Research has to say about Autism and the Ketogenic Diet.  “Amongst the diverse hypotheses regarding the pathophysiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), one possibility is that there is increased neuronal excitation, leading to alterations in sensory processing, functional integration and behavior. The high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (KD), traditionally used in the treatment of medically intractable epilepsy, has already been shown to reduce autistic behaviors in both humans and in rodent models of ASD.  We found that BTBR [Autistic] mice had lower movement thresholds and larger motor maps indicative of higher excitation / inhibition compared to controls, and that the KD reversed both these abnormalities.”  This is almost identical to a study published three years ago in PLoS One (Ketogenic Diet improves Core Symptoms of Autism in BTBR Mice) that stated, “Our results suggest that a ketogenic diet improves multiple autistic behaviors in the BTBR mouse model. Therefore, ketogenic diets or analogous metabolic strategies may offer novel opportunities to improve core behavioral symptoms of autism spectrum disorders.
  • MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS:  The December  2015 issue of Multiple Sclerosis International carried a study called The Therapeutic Potential of the Ketogenic Diet in Treating Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.  The study stated that, “MS has traditionally been viewed as an immune-mediated inflammatory disease. An immune response is thought to be responsible for causing the spontaneously remitting relapses in RRMS. Immune cells migrate across a compromised blood brain barrier [Leaky Brain Syndrome; similar to LEAKY GUT SYNDROME] and cause focal and disseminated inflammation. The traditional view of MS as an inflammatory disease has resulted in almost all therapeutic strategies taking an immuno-suppressive approach.  Neurodegeneration may play a more central role in its pathogenesis.  Mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to play a central role in the neurodegenerative disease process and a growing body of evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction may also be of great importance in the pathogenesis of MS.  The neurodegenerative process underlying progressive MS may also result in glucose hypometabolism. This would suggest a potential therapeutic advantage in boosting energy supply through an alternative route, such as ketone metabolism.  The ketogenic diet has the potential to treat the neurodegenerative component of progressive MS.”  The truth is, I could almost quote this entire study.  Bottom line; if you have MS, you must read THIS STUDY in its entirety!
  • NERVE & BRAIN REGENERATION:  It seems that kidneys aren’t the only organs / tissues being regenerated by the Ketogenic Diet (see Dr. Mobbs’ incredible video above).  There are any number of studies showing the potential for the Ketogenic Diet to help in Spinal Cord regeneration following traumatic injury.  This is not surprising in light of studies like this one from the November 2014 issue of Nutritional Neuroscience (Sciatic Nerve Regeneration in Rats Subjected to Ketogenic Diet).  “Besides its anticonvulsant properties, many studies have shown its neuroprotective effect in central nervous system…   Regeneration of sciatic nerves was improved in Ketogenic Diet preconditioned rats. These results suggest a neuroprotective effect of KD on peripheral nerves.”  This is reminiscent of the study conclusions of the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Lipid Research (The Collective Therapeutic Potential of Cerebral Ketone Metabolism in Traumatic Brain Injury) that described using a Ketogenic Diet to treat TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES.  “Preclinical studies employing both pre- and post-injury implementation of the ketogenic diet have demonstrated improved structural and functional outcome in traumatic brain injury (TBI) models, mild TBI / concussion models, and spinal cord injury.”  We will get to Migraines in a moment, but it’s important to realize that the bell-tower of Ketogenic therapy is the successful treatment of Epilepsy.  As an interesting lead-in, the March 2014 of Current Pain and Headache Reports (Migraine and Epilepsy in the Pediatric Population) stated that, “Individually, childhood epilepsy and migraine are two of the most common conditions seen in pediatric neurology. What complicates matters is that there can be marked similarities between migraine and epilepsy as well as a variety of underlying conditions that predispose children to both seizures and headache.”  I’ll give you two quickies — GLUTEN SENSITIVITY and UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR.
  • EPILEPSY:  This month, the COCHRANE REVIEW did one of their famous meta-analysis on using the Ketogenic Diet to solve adult Epilepsy.  Despite the fact that the Ketogenic Diet has been used by the medical profession to treat Epilepsy in children for 100 years (Johns Hopkins actually has a Ketogenic Diet Center for this very purpose), there are less than a dozen good studies pertaining to adults. “It is currently used mainly for children who continue to have seizures despite treatment with antiepileptic drugs. Recently, there has been interest in less restrictive KDs including the modified Atkins diet (MAD) and the use of these diets has extended into adult practice.  The randomised controlled trials discussed in this review show promising results for the use of Ketogenic Diets in [adult] epilepsy.”  The authors said that many people dropped out, mostly because they could not maintain the strict diet, or due to “GI disturbances“.  I will warn you that if you have been eating a SAD, converting to a KD will cause some temporary issues in this area.  By the way, there are literally hundred upon hundreds of studies touting the safety and efficacy of the Ketogenic Diet in children (and even infants).  Reputable sources are now touting it as a first line of defense against Epilepsy as opposed to a last resort (HERE).
  • INFANTILE SPASMS SYNDROME:  Despite having “inadequate data to recommend the diet as a sole first-line therapy,” the October 2015 issue of Translational Pediatrics said of Ketogenic Diets, “The ketogenic diet is used often in intractable or profound epilepsies, including infantile spasms, with or without the concurrent use of medications. Spasm freedom has been reported in 14-65% of patients within 1-3 months. Some patients had improved seizure control, were able to reduce medications, and had cognitive improvements, even without cessation of spasms. Ketogenic formula and young age make the diet an attractive option.”  Sounds like a viable option (one of those what-have-you-got-to-lose sort of things) considering that, “Infantile spasms syndrome is a frequently catastrophic infantile epileptic encephalopathy.  Prognosis is generally poor, with the majority of patients having some or profound neurocognitive delays.
  • GLUT1 DEFICIENCY SYNDROME:  Not being able to get Glucose (Blood Sugar) into the cells where it can be used as energy to make ATP in the MITOCHONDRIA is bad news.  GLUT1 is the protein that facilitates the movement of Glucose across the cell membranes and into the cells.  Not only do TRANS FATS have a profoundly detrimental effect on this molecule (it’s why they are so heavily associated with Diabetes), but a deficiency of GLUT1 can lead to Diabetes as well (Blood Sugar levels continue to climb because the body cannot move it out of the blood and into the cells).  There are dozens upon dozens of studies on Glut1 Deficiency Syndrome and Ketogenic Diets, but I’ll leave you with just one.   This month’s issue of Seizure states that, “GLUT-1 deficiency syndrome is a neurologic disorder manifesting as epilepsy, abnormal movements, and cognitive delay. The currently accepted treatment of choice is the classic ketogenic diet.  Nearly all patients surveyed were on dietary therapies for long duration with reported excellent seizure control, often without anticonvulsant drugs. Several different ketogenic diets were utilized with similar efficacy.”  Among other things, Glut1 Deficiency Syndrome has been associated with MIGRAINE HEADACHES.  The title of a study from the July 2011 issue of Cephalalgia (Ketogenic Diet in Migraine Treatment: A Brief But Ancient History) reveals that the practice of treating Migraine Headaches with a Ketogenic Diet is nothing new.
  • MIGRAINE HEADACHES:  Speaking of Migraine Headaches, a study published in the January 2015 issue of the European Journal of Neurology (Migraine Improvement During Short Lasting Ketogenesis…) looked at, “Ninety-six overweight female migraineurs“, who did the Ketogenic Diet for six months, and compared them to women who simply did a “standard low-calorie diet” (actually, this second group was Ketogenic for the first month, shifting over to low cal for the next five).   Here’s what happened.  Both groups showed marked improvement during the first month — the month they were both on the Ketogenic Diet.  Then, despite a some worsening between the first and second months, the Ketogenic group showed that,  “baseline attack frequency, number of days with headaches, and tablet [medication] intake were significantly reduced after the first month of diet….. with continuous improvement up to month 6.  The underlying mechanisms of KD efficacy could be related to its ability to enhance mitochondrial energy metabolism and counteract neural inflammation.
  • ADD / ADHD, ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, & BIPOLAR DISORDER:  In a fascinating study done with canines, researchers determined that dogs with problems in three distinct areas, “excitability, chasing, and trainability,” were analogous to ADHD in humans, and could be helped via a Ketogenic Diet.  This month’s issue of Epilepsy Behavior went on to say that, “The MCTD [a version of a Ketogenic Diet] resulted in a significant improvement in the ADHD-related behavior compared with the placebo diet. The latter effect may be attributed to previously described anxiolytic effects of a KD.  These data support the supposition that dogs with IE [Idiopathic Epilepsy] may exhibit behaviors that resemble ADHD symptoms seen in humans and rodent models of epilepsy, and that a MCTD may be able to improve some of these behaviors, along with potentially anxiolytic [anti-anxiety] effects.”  As for Bipolar Disorder, a study done three years ago for the journal Neurocase concluded that, “Two women with type II bipolar disorder were able to maintain ketosis for prolonged periods of time (2 and 3 years, respectively). Both experienced mood stabilization that exceeded that achieved with medication; experienced a significant subjective improvement that was distinctly related to ketosis; and tolerated the diet well. There were no significant adverse effects in either case. These cases demonstrate that the ketogenic diet is a potentially sustainable option for mood stabilization in type II bipolar illness.”  And the granddaddy of all of these; DEPRESSION.  The December 2004 issue of Biological Psychiatry published a study called Antidepressant Properties of the Ketogenic Diet whose title tells the story.
  • ALZHEIMER’S AND PARKINSON’S DISEASE:  With the explosion of ALZHEIMER’S being heavily linked to jacked Blood Sugar, mostly due to LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE, it should come as no surprise that the Ketogenic Diet shows promise in this area as well.  Last month’s issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Can Ketones Compensate for Deteriorating Brain Glucose Uptake During Aging?  Implications for the Risk and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease) revealed that, “Brain glucose uptake is impaired in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A key question is whether cognitive decline can be delayed if this brain energy defect is at least partly corrected or bypassed early in the disease. The principal ketones (also called ketone bodies), are the brain’s main physiological alternative fuel to glucose. Three studies in mild-to-moderate AD have shown that, unlike with glucose, brain ketone uptake is not different from that in healthy age-matched controls. Published clinical trials demonstrate that increasing ketone availability to the brain via moderate nutritional ketosis has a modest beneficial effect on cognitive outcomes in mild-to-moderate AD and in mild cognitive impairment. Nutritional ketosis can be safely achieved by a high-fat ketogenic diet…..”  For those who are interested (ME, FOR ONE), a similar benefit has been seen for Parkinson’s Disease (HERE).
  • SCHIZOPHRENIA:  About 25 million people world wide are thought to have Schizophrenia — a form of mental illness that along with any number of other neurological disorders (including many on this page), has been heavily linked to Gluten / wheat protein (HERE).  The December 2015 issue of Schizophrenia Review (Ketogenic Diet Reverses Behavioral Abnormalities in an Acute NMDA Receptor Hypofunction Model of Schizophrenia) concluded that, “Here we demonstrated for the first time that ketogenic diet normalized pathological behaviors in an animal model of Schizophrenia.”
  • POST-STROKE REHAB:  What have we done as far as treating problems like Heart Disease, Strokes, and HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE here in America?  We’ve told people that red meat and saturated fat are the problem (THEY’RE NOT), and that if we’ll all just AVOID SALT and TAKE OUR STATINS like good little boys and girls, everything will be OK.  Forget this model!  The December 2014 issue of the journal Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Ketogenic Diet Provides Neuroprotective Effects against Ischemic Stroke Neuronal Damages) says, “Ischemic stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the world. Many mechanisms contribute in cell death in ischemic stroke. Ketogenic diet which has been successfully used in the drug-resistant epilepsy has been shown to be effective in many other neurologic disorders. The mechanisms underlying of its effects are not well studied, but it seems that its neuroprotective ability is mediated at least through alleviation of excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and apoptosis events.”  By the way, “apoptosis” is the fancy way to say cellular death.  If you want to see a wild article on “excitotoxicity” as a mechanism for all sorts of health problems, including Obesity, check THIS out.
  • PCOS / INFERTILITY:   Ladies, I’ve shown you repeatedly that if you want to get pregnant, you’ve got to get serious about controlling your Blood Sugar (HERE is the last thing I wrote on this topic).  Furthermore, when you understand how intimately PCOS — America’s number one reason for INFERTILITY — is so closely related to jacked Blood Sugar, treating with a Ketogenic Diet is only logical.  Listen to the conclusions of a study that was published eleven years ago, in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (The Effects of a Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet on the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Pilot Study).  “Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age and is associated with obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance.  There are no known curative therapies for PCOS, though anti-diabetic medications do improve many of the metabolic abnormalities.”  For those of you keeping score at home, Insulin Resistance is “PRE-DIABETES“.  Make sure to pay close attention to the following numbers.  “Recent studies have shown that a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet can lead to weight loss and improvements in insulin resistance.  From baseline to week 24, there were statistically significant reductions in percent free testosterone (from 2.19 to 1.70), LH/FSH ratio (from 2.23 to 1.21), and fasting serum insulin (from 23.5 to 8.2).  A reduction in serum insulin while maintaining fasting serum glucose and HgbA1c suggests an overall improvement in insulin resistance. During the 24 week period, the average systolic blood pressure decreased 6.3 mm Hg and average diastolic blood pressure decreased 9.6 mm Hg from baseline.  No subject dropped out due to reported symptomatic adverse effects.  Two women became pregnant during the study despite previous infertility problems.
  • INFLAMMATION & CHRONIC PAIN:  The August 2013 issue of the Journal of Child Neurology carried a study simply called Ketogenic Diets and Pain carries some interesting (cherry-picked) tidbits as well.  “Pain is one of the most commonly indicated health-related factors leading to poor quality of life. Not surprisingly, persons suffering from pain are more likely to also suffer from anxiety or depression compared to the normal population.   Many types of pain and painful or progressive conditions involve chronic inflammation. As noted above, several mechanistic threads support the hypothesis that a ketogenic diet will reduce inflammation, compared to glucose metabolism.  Inflammation is increasingly appreciated as part of the epileptogenic process, and becomes ever more strongly associated with neurological problems in young and old alike.  Data suggesting positive effects of a ketogenic diet itself on inflammation or associated inflammatory processes have been accumulating recently.  Recent reviews have highlighted the potential for ketogenic diets in diverse disorders. Aside from disease-based processes, cognitive impairment has been observed alongside prediabetes even in adolescents, thus underscoring the ability for altered metabolic homeostasis to affect brain function throughout the lifetime.”  In light of the typical diet eaten by the typical teenager (HERE), go back and re-read the last sentence about a dozen times.   By the way, there are lots of studies showing the ability of Ketogenic Diets to modulate the Immune System (INFLAMMATION, if you remember, is an Immune System response).
  • DIABETES AND NEUROPATHY: Because the Ketogenic Diet dramatically reduces Blood Sugar, it’s a natural for helping TYPE II DIABETICS (with or without NEUROPATHY).  Interestingly enough, I have talked to Diabetic patients who were told by their doctor that they could not be on a Ketogenic Diet because it causes Blood Sugar to go too low — a condition known as Hypoglycemia.  That, folks, is exactly the point!  Sort of like converting your pickup to run on LPG instead of gasoline; you are forcing your body to run on Ketone Bodies instead of Glucose.  Thus, you don’t need much Blood Sugar to keep things up and running.  Although there is an immense body of research pertaining specifically to Ketogenic Diets for Diabetes, I will leave you with one — again from the July 2013 issue of the Journal of Child Neurology; this one called Treatment of Diabetes and Diabetic Complications With a Ketogenic Diet.  “Accumulating evidence suggests that low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets are safe and effective to reduce glycemia in diabetic patients, without producing significant cardiovascular risks. Diets that limit protein as well as carbohydrates, entailing a composition very high in fat, appear even more effective to reduce glucose and whole-body glucose metabolism in humans.”  Despite the fact that in America, our government cannot get it through their heads that the WAR ON DIETARY FAT SHOULD BE LONG OVER, England seems to have less trouble with this fact.  Diabetes dot co dot UK (“The Global Diabetes Community”) has an article called Low Carb Diet and Diabetic Neuropathy Prevention that actually touts things like the Atkins Diet and a Ketogenic Diet.  It’s not really rocket science.  “It is hypothesized that being on a low carbohydrate diet may be used as a method for potentially limiting or reversing the progression of diabetic neuropathy.  This is due to the fact that a main contributing factor to neuropathy is prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels.  By reducing carbohydrate content, and in turn blood glucose levels, symptoms of nerve damage may be reduced.  Diabetic neuropathy is the name given to nerve damage that can occur in a diabetic as a result of high blood glucose levels or hyperglycemia.
  • OBESITY:  If something helps solve Diabetes, it’s only logical to assume it will likely benefit Obesity as well (this goes for the millions of you who are of a “normal” weight, but clinically Obese — HERE).  Not only is the Ketogenic Diet beneficial for Obesity, there are more studies backing this up than you could likely read through in a day.  For instance, a study from last month’s issue of Obesity Review (Do Ketogenic Diets Really Suppress Appetite? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis) showed that at least part of, “the clinical benefit of a ketogenic diet is in preventing an increase in appetite, despite weight loss“.   If you are a person who has fallen into extreme (morbid) Obesity, a study from the June 2015 issue of Obesity Research and Clinical Practice (Aggressive Nutritional Strategy in Morbid Obesity in Clinical Practice: Safety, Feasibility, and Effects on Metabolic and Haemodynamic Risk Factors) might be right up your alley.  “In morbid obesity, an aggressive nutritional cycle comprising a short-term ketogenic EN followed by an almost carbohydrates-free ON [liquid diet through a nasal tube] may be feasible, safe, and highly effective in reducing body weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, and insulin resistance.”  As you may have learned from the ahead-of-his-time cardiologist, ROBERT ATKINS, clear back in the 1990’s that low carb diets are not only the best thing going for WEIGHT LOSS, but for normalizing blood work (Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, A1C, etc) as well.
  • PSORIASIS:  Depending on whose stats you choose to hang your hat on, Psoriasis (an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE) affects somewhere between 8 and 16 million Americans.  This past November’s issue of the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice says, “Psoriasis is a chronic disease associated with overweight/obesity and related cardiometabolic complications. The link between these diseases is likely the inflammatory background associated with adipose tissue, particularly the visceral one. Accordingly, previous studies have demonstrated that in the long-term weight loss may improve the response to systemic therapies. Accordingly, through rapid and consistent weight loss, ketogenic diet may allow restoring a quick response to systemic therapy in a patient suffering from relapsing psoriasis.”  The point of this study was to prove that the Ketogenic Diet caused weight loss that  people with Psoriasis that allowed them to better-respond to their IMMUNO-SUPPRESSIVE MEDICATION.  While this is probably accurate, the goal of most therapies should be to provide an EXIT STRATEGY — i.e. getting off the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND completely. 

I have shown you repeatedly that regularly jacking your Blood Sugar — even though your doctor keeps telling you that all is well — is tied to virtually every disease you can name (as well as any number you can’t).  Furthermore, I have also shown you that what we call “normal” blood sugar levels here in America are too high — many experts believe way too high.  This is probably due to the fact that when it comes to blood work, clinical “normals” are nothing more than population averages.  In a population where between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 citizens has Pre-Diabetes, and 1 in 10 has Diabetes (not to mention the 80% of the population that is either Obese or FUNCTIONALLY OBESE) do you think Blood Sugar “normals” might be skewed a bit?  Darn straight they are!  And if we play the law of averages, it’s likely they’re affecting your health.

As a side note to this post, various studies have shown that Ketogenic Diets can sometimes, over long periods of time, interfere with mineral absorption — the most commonly studied deficiency being CALCIUM (click the link to see the best and worst calcium supplements).   It makes me wonder if at least a portion of this might be related to HYPOCHLORHYDRIA or a lack of DIGESTIVE ENZYMES

On a similar note, because both digestion as well as most of the problems mentioned on this page are intimately related to ONE’S MOCROBIOME, it also leaves me to wonder if at least part of the effects of the Ketogenic Diet are because “good” bacteria prefer Ketone Bodies as their food source (we already know that “bad” bacteria prefer glucose — HERE).  I would love for GUT HEALTH expert, DR. ART AYERS, to chime in with his two cents on this matter.


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