A ketogenic diet may be an option for some people who have had difficulty losing weight with other methods. The exact ratio of fat, carbohydrate, and protein that is needed to achieve health benefits will vary among individuals due to their genetic makeup and body composition. Therefore, if one chooses to start a ketogenic diet, it is recommended to consult with one’s physician and a dietitian to closely monitor any biochemical changes after starting the regimen, and to create a meal plan that is tailored to one’s existing health conditions and to prevent nutritional deficiencies or other health complications. A dietitian may also provide guidance on reintroducing carbohydrates once weight loss is achieved.
In contrast to the safe application of KDs reported in various cancer models, our research group recently reported that mice bearing renal cell carcinoma xenografts and with signs of Stauffer’s syndrome experienced dramatic weight loss and liver dysfunction when treated with a KD . Another study investigating the effect of long-term KD treatment on kidney cancer described a pro-tumor effect of the KD in a rat model of tuberous sclerosis complex . Most concerning is the observation that, in a mouse model of BRAF V600E-positive melanoma, tumor growth was significantly increased under the KD . Moreover, the study also demonstrated that the ketone body acetoacetate stimulated the oncogenic signaling of the BRAF pathway. In contrast, the KD had no effect on the progression of NRAS Q61K-positive or wild-type melanoma xenografts . Notwithstanding these observations, in a feasibility trial involving a limited number of patients with advanced malignancies, a patient with BRAF V600E-positive/BRAF-inhibitor resistant melanoma seemed to benefit from the KD .
Fairly recently, the diet was introduced as a weight-loss diet by an Italian professor of surgery, Dr. Gianfranco Cappello of Sapienza University in Rome. In his 2012 study, about 19,000 dieters received a high-fat liquid diet via a feeding tube inserted down the nose. The study showed an average weight loss of more than 20 pounds in participants, most of whom kept it off for at least a year. The researchers reported a few minor side effects, like fatigue.
HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and its primary role in the body is actually to sweep up LDL particles and return them to the liver for recycling. This is because LDL is actually very susceptible to oxidation so it must be cleared from the blood efficiently. This means when LDL is exposed to chronic inflammation, it becomes damaged. The longer LDL remains in the blood stream and the higher your inflammation levels are, the higher your risk of heart disease.
While dietary saturated fat and cholesterol do not impact blood cholesterol levels in most people, they may raise total and LDL cholesterol in a subset of the population referred to as “hyper-responders.” If you are a hyper-responder (this is something you’ll need to determine with the help of your doctor), I recommend following a Mediterranean Paleo-style diet, an approach that is lower in fat and higher in Paleo-friendly carbohydrates, rather than a ketogenic diet.
Contemporary researchers like Dr. Thomas Seyfried and Dominic D’Agostino have argued that this dysregulated cellular energy production, or cellular metabolism, is actually what induces malignancy and that by extension, if we limit the fuels available for this process of fermentation, and the fuels are glucose, which is derived from carbohydrate in the diet, and glutamine, which is derived from protein in the diet, then we can actually starve cancer cells and either improve the results of conventional treatment or perhaps even address some cancers independently without conventional treatment.
Ketosis was a beneficial process the human body developed as an adaptation to times when food was unavailable (such as for these hunter-gatherers). However, you can effectively produce ketones too by limiting the carbohydrates in your diet to less than 80 grams daily and protein to no more than 1.2 grams of protein/per kg lean body mass. As the body adapts to the use of ketone metabolism over time, the hormone in the liver that is essential to ketone metabolism (known as FGF21) becomes more efficient.
The precise mechanisms behind the physiological effects of the ketogenic diet and ketones are not fully understood. It is believed that the ketogenic diet is anti-inflammatory, that it decreases free radical production while enhancing production of the body’s own natural anti-oxidants, and it improves metabolic efficiency.8 9 10 11 12 Specific conditions a ketogenic diet may benefit include:
Determining who will respond well to KD is a topic still ripe for research. Researchers have previously explored the use of electroencephalogram, but results from a recent study were not statistically signifigant.3 Other studies have explored a patient’s preference for certain foods, but neither have been very effective strategies to determine the success of KD.
But no fear, there’s always a new miracle around the corner, and in 1998 the newspaper reporters and TV newscasters, having effortlessly drifted away from interferon and interleukin-2 and the bone marrow transplant craze, were all in a tizzy over the newest “final” solution to cancer, anti-angiogenesis, based on the pioneering work of the late Dr. Judah Folkman of Harvard. Dr. Folkman had spent decades studying the process of angiogenesis in cancer tissues, the formation of new blood vessels that allow tumors to grow quickly and invade through normal tissues and organs with deadly effect.
Getting back to the ketogenic diet, which was Kelsey’s original question, both ketogenic diet and fasting restrict the availability of glucose to tumor cells. When you eat a ketogenic diet, you’re dramatically limiting the amount of carbohydrate, and thus the amount of glucose, that comes into your body. From this metabolic theory of cancer, that would be why a ketogenic diet, and fasting, of course, which limits not only carbohydrate but everything else, and fasting produces ketones. This is why these two approaches would help with cancer if this theory is correct, because when our energy metabolism shifts to fat or ketones away from glucose, cancer cells cannot utilize ketones, but our healthy cells can. One of the main goals with cancer treatment, as I’m sure you know, is how do we address the cancer cells without also killing the healthy cells. That’s really the Shangri-La when it comes to cancer treatment, and the ketogenic diet is really interesting from that perspective because it offers a possibility of doing that. It’s a change that simply the shift in metabolism from glucose to fat means that the cancer cells won’t thrive, but the healthy cells can thrive.
As far back as the 5th century, Hippocrates noted that fasting reduced seizures, and in the 1920s a diet was developed to mimic changes brought on by fasting that could be maintained long-term, specifically to treat seizures, and thus the ketogenic diet was born.1 This original ketogenic diet was very low in carbohydrates and protein and supplied 80-90% of the calories as fat.2 3 While the original ketogenic diet was successful in treating intractable childhood epilepsy, it fell out of favor when the modern antiepileptic drugs became available. In the 1990s the diet began to see a resurgence as people once again turned to it for difficult-to-treat cases of childhood epilepsy, such as those that do not respond to medication, and as a weight loss tool. The most recent research on the benefits of the ketogenic diet and ketones, in particular, have expanded to examine its possible therapeutic effects on other neurological diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even cancer.
Long-term compliance is low and can be a big issue with a ketogenic diet, but this is the case with any lifestyle change. Even though the ketogenic diet is significantly superior in the induction of weight loss in otherwise healthy patients with obesity and the induced weight loss is rapid, intense, and sustained until at least 2 year, the understanding of the clinical impacts, safety, tolerability, efficacy, duration of treatment, and prognosis after discontinuation of the diet is challenging and requires further studies to understand the disease-specific mechanisms.
Adhering to a keto diet can be challenging and may be particularly so for cancer patients, many of whom may be enduring side effects from treatment. Entering a state of ketosis requires following a strict diet-plan, comprised of high fat foods such as bacon, heavy cream, and butter, while simultaneously restricting other categories of food, such as starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, whole grains, and certain fruits. This dramatic change in eating habits can lead to nausea and digestive upset in addition to unintentional weight loss and increased risk of malnutrition.
Once the body is adapted to ketosis, constipation and/or diarrhea are the most commonly reported side effects along with increased urination. Continuing to keep your mineral intake high and ensuring adequate water and fiber intake will help to counter these effects. People in ketosis may also notice a sweet or fruity odor on their breath, which is the result of increased production of the ketone acetone, which is a very volatile compound that is eliminated mainly through respiration in the lungs. 50
Understandably, most have become concerned, since elevated LDL is typically considered a major heart disease risk factor. However, the reason for this response - and whether it poses significant health risks – isn't completely understood or agreed upon by experts. This article takes a balanced look at the issue and its potential implications for cardiovascular disease and overall health.
Fat quantity matters with keto diets, but so does quality. Omega-6 fatty acids, prevalent in popular keto foods like grain-fed beef, farmed salmon, vegetable oils, and roasted nuts and seeds increase inflammation that hijacks your fat-loss plans and promotes systemic disease. Nix those common offenders and focus on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, freshly ground flaxseed, and (if you’re not sensitive) omega-3-enriched organic pasture-raised eggs.
Ketogenic diet is one of the oldest forms of medical treatment for epilepsy. Most ketogenic diet centres have traditionally specialized in treating children ages 0 to 18 years of age. However, there is growing evidence that shows its usefulness in controlling seizures in adults. In the content below, you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the benefits and challenges of this diet therapy. Please note, the ketogenic diet should never be attempted on your own. It should only be attempted with the support of a trained medical team.
There have been so many advancements in the cholesterol panels and we haven’t even talked about particle size, which we can get into in a minute. Some of the variations that have happened we’re now … we’ve progressed to if your triglycerides are under 70, you’re pretty much guaranteed that that’s the best possible heart health risk marker that you could even look at. Make it your goal to drop the triglycerides to under 70, and you do that with a low carb, high fat, keto diet.
I’m not going to shell out 20k to know my LDL-P. I’d rather assume that I’m part of the 30% who reacts to saturated fat with elevated LDL-P. Should I be worried, considering all my other markers point to the right direction? Expert after expert say that we don’t know what these mixed signals mean until there is a study of people doing low-carb high-fat diets, correlating their lipid profiles with incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Calorie restriction (CR) and a ketogenic diet (KD) target the same molecular pathways that are also targeted individually by drugs to improve cancer treatment outcomes. Arrows indicate activation, truncated lines inhibition. Carbohydrate (CHO) restriction up-regulates fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis (beneficial for normal tissues) and impairs glycolysis and glutaminolysis (detrimental to tumor cells). Full study here.
I’ve been Keto for over a year now. I’ve lost 60 lbs. I’m off Metformin for type 2 diabetic and my LDL has improved significantly. In my experience, Keto will show some quick results in some but for others it will take longer. It depends on how long you’ve been on the standard American diet. It will take time for your body to fix “self-heal”. Not everyone will have the same results in the same amount of time.
Look, the good doctor is right – he only forgot to stress “portion control” which is why many fanatical dieters are so kee-jerk reactive to any discussion – odds are you over ate like a hog before your keto diet, and are weak and insecure in your diet plans. Eat EVERYTHING in small amounts, and you will live long and prosper. The only thing to avoid are processed foods. Cook your meals from scratch using quality ingredients.
Keep eating low carb to continue losing weight, feeling good and becoming healthier!Try making any of our hundreds of recipes available on the site. We make sure each and every recipe is delicious, nutritious and will keep you under your daily carb limit, even if you go for seconds. In addition, we provide step-by-step instructions to make the process as easy as possible. If you ever run into any issues or have any questions, be sure to leave a comment or contact us directly! We’re always happy to help.
The bottom line here is that the ketogenic diet is a powerful metabolic tool for treating a wide range of illnesses. It is not a fad diet, and if it is implemented correctly, it corrects metabolic function at the cellular level. This website discusses in detail the mechanisms of a ketogenic diet, including side effects, benefits and other information.
When you’re eating the foods that get you there (more on that in a minute), your body can enter a state of ketosis in one to three days, she adds. During the diet, the majority of calories you consume come from fat, with a little protein and very little carbohydrates. Ketosis also happens if you eat a very low-calorie diet — think doctor-supervised, only when medically recommended diets of 600 to 800 total calories.
To identify which genes might be involved, the researchers used microarray "gene chips" to examine changes in gene expression for more than 7,000 rat genes simultaneously. They focused on the hippocampus, a region of the brain known to play an important role in many kinds of epilepsies. More than 500 of the genes they examined were correlated with treatment with the KD. The most striking finding was the coordinated up-regulation of genes involved in energy metabolism.
With the exception of the myeloma patient, all the other six patients, both Kelley’s and mine, followed a high carb, plant-based diet, replete with frequent servings of fruit and multiple glasses daily of sugar-rich carrot juice. I challenge, for the benefit of science, Dr. Seyfried to match these seven simple straightforward cases. In my experience, no one else has been able to meet the challenge, so I question whether Dr. Seyfried can either.
In subsequent months, reports of enormous toxicity, even patient deaths began to filter through the research community, serving to temper the initial hysteria. And it wasn’t cheap, as miracles go – the very toxic drug was so potentially dangerous it had to be administered in a hospital setting under very close supervision, with costs running in excess of $100,000 for a several-week course of treatment.
Weight Loss – Part of the resurgence in interest in the ketogenic diet is due to the work of Dr. Atkins and his low-carb diet for weight loss. There is strong evidence to support the use of a ketogenic diet as a weight loss therapy.18 19 People following a low-carb diet tend to lose more weight in the first 3-6 months than those following a more traditional diet.20 Part of the benefit likely comes from the fact that ketogenic diets tend to suppress appetite and lead to a natural decrease in calorie intake.21 But even in studies where participants on a low carb diet ate the same number of calories per day as those on a lowfat diet, significant differences in weight loss were observed.22 This is likely due to the fact that ketosis relies on fat from the diet and body fat to produce ketones for energy.
So went KETO LCHF about 16 months ago combined with daily intense aerobic/resistance exercise (run 4 miles in 30 minutes, get heart rate up to 160 bpm, loose about 3 lbs/workout). My resting heart rate about 50 bpm. I am very strict keto, zero carbs other than above ground veggies, no dairy, sugar, fruit. All my fats are NATURAL: avocado, EVOO, tree nuts. I also do 18/6 Intermittent Fasting, and my average BHB blood ketones around 2.0 mmol/L at 18 hr mark. I only eat marine protein (chicken every once in while), so no red meat, pork, etc. Very low saturated fat. I also take about 3 g/day DHA/EPA to get my OMEGA-3 index above 10%. Also take Vitamin A, B6/B12, C, D, K2 + resveratrol and Curcumin.
In both patients, levels of blood glucose decreased to low/normal levels and ketones increased by 20 to 30 times within seven days of starting the ketogenic diet. Results from scans indicated that there was a 21.8% decrease in glucose uptake at the tumor sites in both subjects. Lower glucose uptake is a strong indicator that a tumor is shrinking in size.
Just this week as I write this, one of my newer patients, a wonderful, creative inventor and computer whiz from the Washington, DC area, came into my office for his regularly scheduled six month re-evaluation appointment. When he started with me in January 2010, three and a half years ago, he had been diagnosed with stage IV metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, with multiple tumors in both lungs and with evidence of metastases in his ribs. His local doctors in DC had explained he had terminal disease, for which chemotherapy would be useless.
Preclinical research suggests that a ketogenic diet may also benefit those with Parkinson’s disease. In animal models of Parkinson’s, a ketogenic diet improves motor function, and in humans with Parkinson’s, it improves nonmotor symptoms such as daytime sleepiness and cognitive disorders. (22, 23) While more research is needed, a ketogenic diet may be a powerful intervention well worth a try for both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.
Leftovers will be another thing we will take into consideration. Not only is it easier on you, but why put yourself through the hassle to cook the same food more than once? Breakfast is something I normally do leftover style, where I don’t have to worry about it in the morning and I certainly don’t have to stress about it. Grab some food out the fridge, pre-made for me, and head out the door. It doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?