In retrospect, it makes sense that in the Arctic the Eskimos, in order to survive, would have adjusted to their high fat, moderate protein, no carb diet. With its brief summer and lacking soils suitable for crops, the region provides insufficient plant foods suitable for human consumption but does offer an abundance of fatty animal food both on land and in the sea. If the Eskimos hadn’t adapted to such food, living as they did in such a difficult, extreme part of the world, they simply would have died off.
A clinical trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2008, and other studies since then, showed that the diet significantly reduced the number of seizures in a proportion of children whose seizures did not respond well to AEDs. After three months, around 4 in 10 (38%) children who started the diet had the number of their seizures reduced by over half, and were able to reduce their medication. Although not all children had better seizure control, some had other benefits such as increased alertness, awareness and responsiveness.
For most people, a ketogenic diet leads to improvements in cholesterol, but there are sometimes transient rises in cholesterol levels during weight loss. During rapid weight loss, cholesterol that you had stored in your adipose tissue (ie, body fat) is mobilized, which will artificially raise serum LDL as long as the weight loss continues. To avoid being misled by this, the best time to check blood lipids is a couple of months after weight loss ceases. Total cholesterol includes HDL (the so called ‘good cholesterol’), which usually goes up 10-15% on a ketogenic diet. That said, some people have high calculated LDL cholesterol values even after weight loss stops. If this occurs, you should discuss further diagnostic tests with your doctor. Current research is looking at LDL cholesterol as a mix of different particle sizes, where the small ones are dangerous and the larger ones are not. With a well-formulated ketogenic diet, we see a shift away from the small dangerous LDL even when the total LDL goes up.
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.
Meat products make up a big part of the keto diet, but experts stress the importance of choosing quality. "Since the keto diet is based a lot on animal proteins, it's important to buy organic poultry and grass-fed, organic beef," says Aimee Aristotelous, RD. "Not only do organic selections help with limiting environmental toxins, but grass-fed options of red meats even change the composition of fats." The result, she explains, is that your body is able to better absorb those healthy fats.
It is possible to combine the results of several small studies to produce evidence that is stronger than that available from each study alone—a statistical method known as meta-analysis. One of four such analyses, conducted in 2006, looked at 19 studies on a total of 1,084 patients. It concluded that a third achieved an excellent reduction in seizure frequency and half the patients achieved a good reduction.
Tony, I'm not sure how you were only eating 20 grams of fat on a keto diet; in fact, if this is true, that may be the reason. A keto diet should provide a minimum of 70 grams of fat daily, but generally 100+ grams for most people, especially men. Be sure to include nuts, olive oil, avocados, fatty fish, and other healthy sources of fat in your diet on a daily basis in order to prevent problems. - Franziska
After I finished my conventional immunology training under Dr. Good, in 1987 Bob graciously offered me a job in his clinic, not to work with patients seeking dietary or general nutritional advice, but to help supervise a cancer unit he was then in the process of establishing. Though I was grateful for the proposal, I turned him down, determined to set up my own practice.