I mean, they have no real scientific basis for their belief. The idea that high levels of cholesterol is dangerous is known as the Diet Heart Hypothesis. This hypothesis was first put forth by Ancel Keys in 1955. It states that eating high levels of saturated fat will increase your cholesterol, and increased cholesterol will clog arteries and cause heart disease.
While a ketogenic diet (or the Atkins diet done intelligently) can be healthy and create results, too many people make mistakes that can derail their long-term progress on these plans. In my practice, where I work with patients on gut-healing (you can get my free kickstart guide to gut-healing here), I’ve found these seven strategies will help you design and maintain a healthier ketogenic diet plan:
These affect your brain and spine, as well as the nerves that link them together. Epilepsy is one, but others may be helped by a ketogenic diet as well, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and sleep disorders. Scientists aren’t sure why, but it may be that the ketones your body makes when it breaks down fat for energy help protect your brain cells from damage.
Let’s go back to the research assessing how the low-carb, high-fat diets such as the ketogenic diet affect your LDL levels. In the meta-analysis by Bueno et al., low-carb diets were shown to increase HDL twice as much as low-fat diets after randomized controlled interventions. It also showed that there was a small increase in LDL-C in low-carb subjects compared to low-fat diet subjects who experienced no increase.
Ketone bodies, especially β-hydroxybutyrate, can be measured easily, so much work has centered on determining how these molecules may have anticonvulsant effects. Inconsistencies in studies attempting to correlate seizure protection with levels of ketone bodies suggest that another mechanism may be involved in the diet’s beneficial effects on seizures [2–5, Class III]. Several mechanisms have been proposed, including changes in ATP production making neurons more resilient in the face of metabolic demands during seizures; altered brain pH affecting neuronal excitability; direct inhibitory effects of ketone bodies or fatty acids on ion channels; and shifts in amino acid metabolism to favor the synthesis of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA [6,7].
A randomised, parallel-group trial among 307 obese participants demonstrated that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet resulted in lower levels of diastolic blood pressure, triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels in the first 6 months compared to the low-fat diet group. Moreover, the HDL cholesterol increased by 23% after 2 years in the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet group (14).
I also might offer a thought as to why, from a more esoteric, more biochemical perspective, for most people diagnosed with cancer the ketogenic diet might not work. For the past 150 years, researchers have approached cancer as a disease in which perfectly happy, normal mature cells sitting in some tissue somewhere suddenly go awry, lose their normal regulatory restraint, develop a primitive, undifferentiated appearance or phenotype, begin proliferating without restraint, begin invading through tissues and organs, begin migrating, spreading, creating new blood vessels along the way to feed the rapacious appetite of cancer. But over the past 15 years, gradually, a new, more productive, and I believe more truthful hypothesis has emerged, spearheaded particularly by Dr. Max Wicha at the University of Michigan. Scientists such as Dr. Wicha have discovered that cancer may be a little more complicated than we have thought these long decades.
Treatment with MAD was shown to be more effective in seizure control when the MAD was started with lower carbohydrate limits (Kossoff et al., 2010). In a randomized study with 20 children with drug-resistant epilepsy, 60% of them showed fewer seizures in the first 3 months on the MAD, with 10 g/day of carbohydrate intake against 10% of reduction with 20 g/day (p = 0.03). In the same study, after 3 months, an increase in carbohydrate intake to 20 g/day, maintained seizure control and improved tolerability, suggesting that a lower carbohydrate limit is important only in the first 3 months (Kossoff et al., 2007; Kossoff and Dorward, 2008).
On a “strict” (standard) keto diet, fats typically provides about 70 percent to 80 percent of total daily calories, protein about 15 percent to 20 percent, and carbohydrates just around 5 percent. However, a more “moderate” approach to the keto diet is also a good option for many people that can allow for an easier transition into very low-carb eating and more flexibility (more on these types of plans below).
It seems to me that your’re presenting conflicting information. Your series had T. Colin Campbell and his research from the China Study. And the healing benefits of a plant based diet. Animal protein causes inflammation. Is there specific science on the ketogenic diet? I know people doing keto long term and they look awful and seem to be sick all the time. I have heard of the keto flu.
The body excretes more salt on a keto diet than on a standard diet due to reductions in insulin, which normally promotes a certain degree of water retention. Once you’re in ketosis, add an extra three to five grams of Himalayan, sea, or Redmond Real salt to your diet every day. (Five grams is about one teaspoon, but that may vary depending on the type of salt and the size of the grain.)
Cyclical ketosis means you’re sometimes in ketosis and sometimes aren’t. A few days each week—the night before workout days to build glycogen stores in your muscles—try increasing your intake of berries, higher complex carb veggies (like sweet potatoes), and non-gluten grains. It might knock you out of ketosis temporarily, but it also provides a wealth of nutrients to keep you lean, healthy, and happy. This is also called flexible ketosis, which creates metabolic flexibility—the holy grail of metabolism management. I’ve also talked about cycling ketosis with intermittent fasting, which provides a win-win strategy to reach your health goals.
There were adverse effects within all of the studies and for all KD variations, such as short‐term gastrointestinal‐related disturbances and increased cholesterol. However, study periods were short, therefore the long‐term risks associated with these adverse effects is unknown. Attrition rates remained a problem with all KDs and across all studies; reasons for this being lack of observed efficacy and dietary tolerance.
First of all, the “lipoprotein” in this scenario is a special molecule that has one job, transport cholesterol. So when you hear someone talking about HDL or LDL cholesterol, they aren’t really talking about cholesterol, they’re talking about the protein that is wrapped around the cholesterol. These lipoproteins come in different sizes. HDL is a larger protein particle and LDL is a smaller protein particle.
The keto diet also appears to help induce autophagy, which helps clear damaged cells from the body, including senescent cells that serve no functional purpose but still linger inside tissues and organs. In animal studies when rats are put on the ketogenic diet, autophagic pathways are created that reduce brain injury during and after seizures. (21)
I had been working with Dr. Donna Andrews and was able to understand that my seizures had to do with a lot more than the former doctors had explained to me. I was learning about how my blood sugar and stress levels affected my health and had experienced multiple stretches of three months without seizures but it was never consistent. Even though I knew I was headed in a better direction, I didn’t believe I could really be well.
If your child is helped by the diet and seizures are better controlled, your child may remain on the ketogenic diet for 2 to 3 years, or longer. The length of time on the diet will be determined by several factors, including how well the diet helps your child, whether your child can be weaned off seizure medications, and your willingness to continue the diet.
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state where the body uses fat as its primary fuel source. In our studies and others, the ketogenic diet has shown to significantly lower blood glucose. This can trigger anti-inflammatory processes that enhance cellular function and improve overall dog health. The remarkable case studies we saw at the KetoPet Sanctuary indicate that the ketogenic diet can improve outcomes for dog cancer and support overall dog health.
One review looked at how the KD and modified Atkins diet (MAD) helped with seizure control in adults. Across the 5 studies reviewed, 32% of KD-treated patients achieved ≥50% seizure reduction while a slightly lower 29% of MAD-treated patients hit that same target. Even more drastic was the 9% KD-treated and 5% MAD-treated patients that achieved >90% seizure frequency reduction.4
The ketogenic diet (also known as the "keto diet") is a high fat, low carbohydrate, and "just enough" protein for growth and maintenance diet. Typically, it follows a ratio of 3-4 grams of fat for every 1 gram of carbohydrate and protein. This means that about 90% of the calories come from fat, requiring those on the diet to eat mostly fatty foods such as butter and cream. Although it may sound terrible, there are many creative recipes that make this a tasty approach. What distinguishes the traditional ketogenic diet from the modified-Atkins diet is the rigorous attention to food intake and limitation on total calories.
“This is an important area of research that has the potential to significantly improve treatment responses,” said AICR’s Director of Research Nigel Brockton, Ph.D. “There are plausible mechanisms by which the ketogenic diet could help make treatment more effective, but, as we see many times, plausibility alone is not enough; it has to be tested. That’s why we are supporting research in this area.”
"This is something that physicians will want to include in their discussion about the risks and benefits of this particular treatment," the director of Detroit's Henry Ford Comprehensive Epilepsy Program tells WebMD. "But we know that uncontrolled seizures carry all kinds of risks. This remains a useful treatment. But like many treatments, it is not without risks."
One study reported upon the effect of ketogenic diets on quality of life, cognition and behaviour. No difference was found in the quality of life of those following a ketogenic diet and the group receiving care as usual, but participants following the ketogenic diet were found to be more active, more productive and less anxious. More research is needed in these areas.
Though Dr. Folkman’s research was all based on laboratory experiments and animal studies, the powerful NCI publicity machine took up the cause, with the smell of “miracle” again in the air, despite the lack of any evidence that Folkman’s anti-angiogenesis drugs worked against human cancer. Nonetheless, with the NCI and NIH on board, the media, large and small, local and national, seemed transported into a state of frenzy.
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.
Ive been strict keto for over 3 months and have lost 20lbs. I got my test results back yesterday and was shocked to see how my levels had changed: total cholesterol went from 230 to 308!! All the bad went up and all the good went down. But I’ve also heard that it can take a bit longer for cholesterol levels to even out and start going down. Is this true? I don’t want to quit keto because I have another 20lbs to lose, but I don’t want to have a stroke either.
If you are on, or considering going on, a ketogenic diet, you are probably already aware that it is a hugely powerful way to cut body fat quickly, easily and safely. You may also have read about its other health benefits, including its ability to stabilize blood glucose levels, making you feel energetic all day long and cutting out sugar cravings, as well as helping prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. What you may not have heard about yet, is evidence from a recent study that suggests that a ketogenic diet can prevent cancer, and can slow the growth of existing tumors.
However, this doesn't happen in every case or even most cases. In fact, many people see little to no increase in their LDL cholesterol while experiencing beneficial changes in other markers, such as an increase in HDL cholesterol and a decrease in triglycerides, blood sugar, and insulin levels – all of which are associated with reduced risk of CVD.
As you might suspect, this metabolic theory of cancers is controversial in the mainstream cancer paradigm, but there’s already promising initial evidence to support it, and most traditional cancer specialists concede that this metabolic theory has merit, and it may be a piece of the puzzle. I would say that the dominant paradigm idea right now is that metabolic dysfunction is likely one of the pieces of the puzzle, but that cancer is multifactorial and probably does involve genetic mutations that may be independent of metabolic dysfunction and that there are other causes that may not be directly related to metabolic dysfunction.
Bulk buy and cook. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, this is the best of both worlds. Buying your food at bulk (specifically from wholesalers) can reduce the cost per pound tremendously. Plus, you can make ahead food (bulk cook chicken thighs for pre-made meat, or cook entire meals) that are used as leftovers, so you spend less time cooking.
There are three instances where there’s research to back up a ketogenic diet, including to help control type 2 diabetes, as part of epilepsy treatment, or for weight loss, says Mattinson. “In terms of diabetes, there is some promising research showing that the ketogenic diet may improve glycemic control. It may cause a reduction in A1C — a key test for diabetes that measures a person’s average blood sugar control over two to three months — something that may help you reduce medication use,” she says.
Frederick F. Samaha, M.D., Nayyar Iqbal, M.D., Prakash Seshadri, M.D., Kathryn L. Chicano, C.R.N.P., Denise A. Daily, R.D., Joyce McGrory, C.R.N.P., Terrence Williams, B.S., Monica Williams, B.S., Edward J. Gracely, Ph.D., and Linda Stern, M.D., “A Low-Carbohydrate as Compared with a Low-Fat Diet in Severe Obesity,” N Engl J Med 2003; 348:2074-2081. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022637.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital protocol for initiating the ketogenic diet has been widely adopted. It involves a consultation with the patient and their caregivers and, later, a short hospital admission. Because of the risk of complications during ketogenic diet initiation, most centres begin the diet under close medical supervision in the hospital.
Seyfried agrees that there is clear evidence that cancer is a genetic disease, since we can inherit mutations that are clearly associated with increased cancer risk. That’s not at all controversial. That’s well established, and even Seyfried agrees with that. But he argues that many of these mutations that we can inherit are mutations that actually disturb cellular respiration, maybe that the heritable aspect of cancer is not mutation that drives itself—cellular proliferation—but instead are mutations that actually cause mitochondrial dysfunction and defects in cellular respiration. He also points out that many of the non-inherited causes of cancer that have been identified and are clearly recognized, like radiation, impair mitochondrial function. That may be a common mechanism that is shared between these non-inherited causes of cancer and inherited causes of cancer.
Research suggests that cancer cells with low levels of particular enzymes (the ketolytic enzymes 3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase and succinyl CoA 3-oxoacid CoA transferase) are more susceptible to the anticancer effects of a ketogenic diet. Screening a patient’s cancer cells for these enzymes may represent a valuable strategy for determining whether a ketogenic diet may be of use. (39)
Y. Wady Aude, MD; Arthur S. Agatston, MD; Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, MSc; Eric H. Lieberman, MD; Marie Almon, MS, RD; Melinda Hansen, ARNP; Gerardo Rojas, MD; Gervasio A. Lamas, MD; Charles H. Hennekens, MD, DrPH, “The National Cholesterol Education Program Diet vs a Diet Lower in Carbohydrates and Higher in Protein and Monounsaturated Fat,” Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(19):2141-2146. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=217514.
25-30 grams a day is about my max with carbs, which my avocado … when I have avocado, that’s about half of that allotment. I have to be real careful with that. My protein is about 80-100 grams. Doesn’t sound like a lot, I’m 6 foot 3, I’m doing my standing work desk here … 6 foot three in a big guy, 80-100 grams doesn’t sound like a lot but if I go over that I start having that gluconeogenesis kick in, and I can see it on my blood sugar monitor and I can see it on my blood ketone monitor. They go in the wrong direction. You have to be real mindful. Then you’re like, okay you cut the carbs, you moderate the protein, well then what do you eat? Hmm.
Also, consider supplementing with the amino acid leucine, as it can be broken down directly into acetyl-CoA, making it one of the most important ketogenic amino acids in the body. While most other amino acids are converted into glucose, the acetyl-CoA formed from leucine can be used to make ketone bodies. It’s also present in keto friendly foods like eggs and cottage cheese.
Health Impact News has published many articles about the low-carb high-fat ketogenic diet, and its favorable influences on several diseases or dysfunctional health conditions. The ketogenic diet was originally developed at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1920s to stop seizures in children with epilepsy, when pharmaceutical drugs did not work. More recently, the ketogenic diet has been used successfully for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Recently, there have been efforts by some researchers and medical practitioners to explore the potential of ameliorating schizophrenia, a major brain disorder that affects one out of a hundred, with the aid of the ketogenic diet.
Leanne: I went to my naturopath, and she’s like this is awesome, this is exactly what we want to see. My issue was hormones, so I want cholesterol so that my body can build hormones, because without that cholesterol good luck. When I went to my regular GP, he was like “Statins, put you on statins. Oh my gosh it’s way too high.” What do you say to people, you’re saying 200 is always thrown out there with cholesterol. What you’re saying is that cholesterol is not really all that important in the grand scheme of things if you’re looking at your number. It’s more important to look at triglycerides in that ratio?
As the authors write, “the protocol was not designed to reverse tumor growth or treat specific types of cancer.” The researchers also acknowledge the patient numbers were too small to allow for meaningful statistical evaluation, even for the avowed purposes. Overall, the discussion centers on the practicalities of implementing the diet and the results of the PET scans.
The biggest shifts in your daily habits will be how you food shop and how you cook, and recipes that are ketogenic need to be followed rather than just low-carb. You will require the healthy fats in order to get into ketosis and have enough energy without the carbs. And you will be considerably more energetic and healthier when cooking your own keto-friendly food rather than buying supposedly keto foods off the shelf.
The ketogenic diet for epilepsy is a very high-fat diet, with just enough protein for body maintenance and growth, and very low amounts of carbohydrate. In the ketogenic state, the body generates molecules called ketones (also called ketone bodies) when fats are metabolized. The goal of the KDE is for the brain to use ketones for energy rather than glucose as much as possible. Ketones are (largely) water-soluble, so they are easily transported to the brain. The brain cannot use fatty acids for energy, but it can use ketones for a large portion of its energy requirements.
In the present study, 83 obese patients (39 men and 44 women) with a body mass index greater than 35 kg/m(2), and high glucose and cholesterol levels were selected. The body weight, body mass index, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, urea and creatinine levels were determined before and after the administration of the ketogenic diet. Changes in these parameters were monitored after eight, 16 and 24 weeks of treatment.
Currently, after more than 25 years in practice, I am writing a two-volume set consisting of detailed case histories of our own patients, like the two mentioned above, to make the point that the therapy works in practice. For those diagnosed with poor-prognosis solid tumors, many now alive in excess of 10 years, I have prescribed a high carbohydrate diet, in total contradiction to what Dr. Seyfried proposes as the ideal anti-cancer approach.
You will be meeting with the ketogenic diet team when your child is admitted to the hospital, and frequently while your child is on the diet. The team is made up of a neurologist, a registered dietitian, and a registered nurse (ketogenic diet coordinator). The ketogenic diet should never be started without being supervised by a team of professionals.
Jimmy Moore: The thing here is I also always had high cholesterol. Cholesterol goes to … think of cholesterol like a fire fighter and inflammation is the fire. If a fire fighter goes to the scene of a fire, blows the water onto … you burning the house and it puts it out. Let’s say the neighbors house is on fire, and there’s no fire fighter that comes, what happens? Destruction, right?
Anticonvulsants suppress epileptic seizures, but they neither cure nor prevent the development of seizure susceptibility. The development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis) is a process that is poorly understood. A few anticonvulsants (valproate, levetiracetam and benzodiazepines) have shown antiepileptogenic properties in animal models of epileptogenesis. However, no anticonvulsant has ever achieved this in a clinical trial in humans. The ketogenic diet has been found to have antiepileptogenic properties in rats.
A ketogenic diet is a very high-fat low-carbohydrate diet that is designed to induce fat metabolism. When the body is depleted of glucose stores, it shifts to metabolizing fat and fatty acids, which produces compounds called ketones. Ketones cross through the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain, where they’re used as an alternative energy source.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to produce beneficial metabolic changes in the short-term. Along with weight loss, health parameters associated with carrying excess weight have improved, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. [2,7] There is also growing interest in the use of low-carbohydrate diets, including the ketogenic diet, for type 2 diabetes. Several theories exist as to why the ketogenic diet promotes weight loss, though they have not been consistently shown in research: [2,8,9]
Now, Week 1’s shopping list is going to be long. I have to make the assumption you have nothing in your house. Many of the items are common items that most people will have already. These are all staples in my everyday cooking for keto, and should be considered an investment for your health. Once you have all of the items from week 1, there won’t be too much else to buy.
About 20% of children on the ketogenic diet achieve freedom from seizures, and many are able to reduce the use of anticonvulsant drugs or eliminate them altogether. Commonly, at around two years on the diet, or after six months of being seizure-free, the diet may be gradually discontinued over two or three months. This is done by lowering the ketogenic ratio until urinary ketosis is no longer detected, and then lifting all calorie restrictions. This timing and method of discontinuation mimics that of anticonvulsant drug therapy in children, where the child has become seizure-free. When the diet is required to treat certain metabolic diseases, the duration will be longer. The total diet duration is up to the treating ketogenic diet team and parents; durations up to 12 years have been studied and found beneficial.
Jimmy Moore: This is where the fat, fat, fat comes in. That’s why I add butter and add coconut oil and the full fat dairy, and all the things that you can add fat to your diet and it makes it taste good. That’s the thing, people are like “Well, it’s not supposed to taste good, I’m on a diet.” I’m like “no, you’re on a live-it. Please live it up and have the fat.”
I won’t sugar coat it. The diet can be hard to start. The first two weeks can be terrible. You give up a lot of comfort foods. Plus, you will need new cookbooks. So, switching to a ketogenic diet isn’t the first thing that pops into your head when you hear cancer. But the diet works. I steadily lost weight without substantial hunger or changes to my limited exercise program. My overall health improved, I slept better, felt better and hopefully look better.
Editors responded with disbelief, claiming the results couldn’t be real since a non-toxic nutritional therapy could never be useful against advanced cancer. I found the logic, “it couldn’t be true because it couldn’t be true” perplexing, for editors of scientific journals. In any event, the book would finally be published, in a rewritten and updated form, in 2010.
Drink lots of water. This is especially crucial on a low carb or keto diet. Why? When you eat carbohydrates, your body stores the extra as glycogen in the liver, where they are bound to water molecules. Eating low carb depletes this glycogen, which allows you to burn fat – but it also means you are storing less water, making it easier to get dehydrated. Instead of the traditional recommendation of 8 cups of water per day, aim for 16 cups when following a low carb lifestyle.
The ketogenic diet is indicated as an adjunctive (additional) treatment in children and young people with drug-resistant epilepsy. It is approved by national clinical guidelines in Scotland, England, and Wales and reimbursed by nearly all US insurance companies. Children with a focal lesion (a single point of brain abnormality causing the epilepsy) who would make suitable candidates for surgery are more likely to become seizure-free with surgery than with the ketogenic diet. About a third of epilepsy centres that offer the ketogenic diet also offer a dietary therapy to adults. Some clinicians consider the two less restrictive dietary variants—the low glycaemic index treatment and the modified Atkins diet—to be more appropriate for adolescents and adults. A liquid form of the ketogenic diet is particularly easy to prepare for, and well tolerated by, infants on formula and children who are tube-fed.
Cholesterol serves a number of important roles in the body. First of all, cholesterol is a critical structural element in certain tissues such as our brain and nervous system. In fact, it is estimated that around 25% of our cholesterol can be found in the brain. Just to highlight our failed fat philosophy over the years, higher saturated fat intake and high cholesterol levels are associated with better mental function in old age (1)!
Here’s what happens when you eat low carb, high fat, keto. The small LDLP number goes way down. Along with the triglycerides dropping, along with the HDL going up, along with all those other great markers that improve that nobody’s paying attention to in the medical profession, your small LDL goes down. The question that comes into play here is “What about the number of total particles?” That’s the debate that nobody’s going to answer until we do some studies on it.