The good news, however, is that following a well-formulated ketogenic diet should help increase HDL while lowering triglyceride levels. LDL will likely remain the same or potentially increase in order to efficiently transport triglycerides to cells to metabolize for energy. Again, LDL will likely become more of the pattern A type which is a highly beneficial shift.
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.
In fact, one study stated that “…the group with the highest risk for cardiovascular events had high LDL-P and LDL-C, while the group with the lowest risk had low LDL-P but higher LDL-C.”  As a result of prior clinical research and their findings, the researchers stated that: “While the low carb, ketogenic diet did not lower total LDL cholesterol, it did result in a shift from small, dense LDL to large, buoyant LDL, which could lower cardiovascular disease risk.” 
Though she returned to her primary care physician repeatedly, he dismissed her complaints as “nerves,” suggesting only a tranquilizer. Eventually, in 1975 she developed a palpable mass the size of a grapefruit in her pelvis, thought by her doctors – finally taking her seriously – to be an indication of obvious recurrent disease. A chest x-ray at the time revealed multiple nodules in both lungs, consistent with widely metastatic cancer.
Since its origin, the ketogenic diet has been effective for raising energy levels, lowering weight, and increasing quality of life. But like any other diet and exercise program, it’s up to you to keep it going long-term. Get in touch with the Diet Doc team today for guidance, tips, and help losing weight with the ketogenic diet or other effective diets.
Fanatic? Someone with T2D, a disease usually claimed to be progressive and a never ending stream of problems and medications, was REVERSED. That’s something to shout from the rooftops. The drop in medication use alone, but the big pharma companies would prefer that people’s stories of reversing (well, putting it into remission) T2D get called fanatical instead of insightful.
Despite the initial warning signs, the media continued its relentless promotion of interleukin-2 for a number of years. In 1992, perhaps due to political pressure more than scientific evidence, the FDA approved the drug for use against cancer, despite the lack of comprehensive controlled trials. Then in the late 1998 a clinical study – completed some 13 years after the initial reporting – showed that interleukin-2, at least with advanced kidney cancer, worked no better than placebo.
Today, you’ll see ketogenic diets promoted to prevent disease, increase energy, boost physical and mental performance, and so much more. But let’s face it: Most people want to try keto to lose weight. While that’s not a bad thing—you can lose weight doing it—ketogenic diets were never designed for weight loss, and done incorrectly, a side effect can actually make you gain weight.
With regard to Dr. Gonzales’ disagreement with Dr. Seyfried regarding ketogenic diets and cancer, it is known that cancer cells use glucose but not fatty acids for energy. Thus depriving cancer cells of glucose by means of a ketogenic diet is a logical approach. Beyond that, at the present time too little known about cancer metabolism to make any definitive statements about proper treatment. As lay people, we will leave the argument to medical professionals.
Red flags or no red flags, it is, of course, possible that Dr. Seyfried is on to something and has let his enthusiasm overwhelm his judgment with respect to whom he associates with and the sorts of statements he makes, many of which sound as though they could have come from Stanislaw Burzynski, Ralph Moss, or Joe Mercola. In actuality, he isn’t totally wrong, but he isn’t totally right, either. As is typical of someone without a medical background, in particular an oncology background, he is, basically, putting the cart before the horse, as you will see.
Jimmy Moore: You as the patient are actually the one in charge. This is one of the themes of my books Leanne, is I want to empower patients to take back control of their own health again. People see doctors, “Oh well they have all the answers about health.” No they don’t. They’ve been given, if there lucky, a week or two worth of nutritional health information in their medical training. Everything else is physiological and pharmacological. They’ve been trained to drug you up.
It’s not clear just how a ketogenic diet works for seizures. But Yellen says seizures are like “electrical storms” in the brain. “There are potassium channels in the brain that, when open, seem to have a quieting influence on this electrical excitation,” he says. “We think these channels work better when the brain is using ketones instead of glucose for energy.” Even when epilepsy medications have failed, a ketogenic diet can work wonders, he says.
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.
A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets.3A study in the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet shows a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, body weight, and blood glucose. Read more on keto and cholesterol >
The ketogenic diet reduces seizure frequency by more than 50% in half of the patients who try it and by more than 90% in a third of patients. Three-quarters of children who respond do so within two weeks, though experts recommend a trial of at least three months before assuming it has been ineffective. Children with refractory epilepsy are more likely to benefit from the ketogenic diet than from trying another anticonvulsant drug. Some evidence indicates that adolescents and adults may also benefit from the diet.
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.
This equates to about 20 grams of carbohydrates on a 2000 kcal diet per day – a more stringent application of carbohydrate restriction use than the meta-analysis above. The second group consumed primarily a low-fat diet with 46%, 24%, and 30% energy from respectively from carbohydrate, protein, and fat per day. Both diets contained an equal number of calories.
Diets aren’t just for weight loss. What, how much, and even when we eat all affect the way our brains work. For people with epilepsy, diet can reduce the likelihood of seizures. Mackenzie Cervenka, a neurologist and director of the Adult Epilepsy Diet Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital, explains what the ketogenic diet is and how it can benefit people with epilepsy.
So what, exactly, does “ketogenic” mean? The name refers to a specific type of energy-carrying molecule, called a ketone. “Most people are always in a state of glucosis, meaning they’re burning glucose from carbohydrates for energy,” Westman says. “But you determine what your body burns for fuel based on what you feed it.” By severely restricting carbs and increasing your fat intake, your body can shift into a state of “ketosis,” which means it’s burning fat instead of glucose. “Ketosis used to be considered abnormal, but it can actually be very healthy,” Westman says.
Although the ketogenic diet has been around for a long time and may be efficacious in many medical conditions, there is a surprising dearth of long-term studies on its safety. The bulk of the information comes from children using a ketogenic diet for epilepsy. Negative effects seen in children on a ketogenic diet long-term (≥2 years) are poor growth (while on the diet), kidney stones, and dyslipidemia (elevated cholesterol and/or triglycerides). Many of these effects can be overcome with careful attention to mineral intake while on the diet and/or termination of the diet.52 Most long-term studies evaluating adults using a ketogenic diet for weight loss have found very few serious adverse effects.53 54 55 56 However it should be noted that these studies only looked at one year duration on the diet, and poor adherence to the diet was frequently noted as a problem.
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“Your liver produces ketones all the time, but the rate depends on carbohydrate and protein intake,” says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of human sciences at Ohio State University. When the majority of your diet is made up of of carbs and protein, ketogenesis slows. Replacing carbs and protein with fat will put your body into ketosis, thus ramping up ketone production. This takes about three days to induce.
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.
The ketogenic diet is designed to allow an individual to feel satisfied easily as a result of optimal insulin and leptin sensitivity. For example, a man weighing 150 pounds should consume 30-50g/day of carbohydrates and less than 70g/day of protein to maintain an optimal state of ketosis. When only a single meal or two is consumed consisting of approved ketogenic foods, this is easy. The ideal blood sugar concentration for weakening cancer cells is between 60-70mg/dl, and ketone levels are recommended between 4-7mM.
There have been a few studies of the modified Atkins Diet in adults with seizure disorders, and the results are similar to studies with children. Interestingly, it was remarked in one of the reports that it was more difficult to keep adults on the diet since they obviously have more control over what they eat. Research is still limited in this area and more trials are needed.
In terms of seizure recurrence among children, the risk of seizures returning in those who are seizure free and stop the diet is 15 to 20%, according to Kossoff. In children who experience less frequent seizures, but are not seizure free, about one-third will have some worsening of seizures when the diet is stopped, though this is sometimes transient.
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.
Another mouse study cited by Seyfried is one in which dietary restriction was reported to promote vessel maturation in a mouse astrocytoma model. Given that tumor angiogenesis is one of my scientific interests and I have a fair number of publications on the topic, I was interested. Unfortunately, I ended up being disappointed. This was another syngeneic model (i.e., a mouse tumor implanted in mice of the same strain from which the tumor was isolated as a cell line, like the one discussed above). Although it showed increased tumor vessel maturation (which is one mechanism by which inhibitors of angiogenesis work), I wasn’t quite convinced, because there was a distinct lack of quantification of the phenomenon, and the microscopy appears not to have been blinded, something that’s critical to avoid unconscious bias in the results. It’s not surprising that this result, which, if more convincing evidence had been obtained, could easily have appeared in Cancer Research, was published in a low tier journal. It’s an OK study, but not fantastic. Certainly it didn’t lead me to smacking myself in forehead and saying, “Of course!”
Fortunately, patients have an alternative—a ketogenic diet. Research indicates that a ketogenic diet improves multiple aspects of metabolic syndrome, inducing significant reductions in body fat percentage, BMI, hemoglobin A1c levels, blood lipids, and blood pressure. (10, 11, 12) The ketogenic diet produces these beneficial effects by reversing the pathological processes underlying metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.
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.
My son has been fighting brain cancer for 18yrs. Started st 15, now 33. He’s otherwise healthy. Never looks sick at all. In the beginning he had 6mos chemo industrial strength. He never got sick, ate 3 meals a day and gained weight. Followed by radiation, that he didn’t feel good, but he still did pretty well. PNET morphed into Ependymoma. What info can you send me specifically for brain cancer. Will the fasting, Keto diet, stop sugar intake work on brain cancer due to the Blood Brain Barrier? He is having his 8th surgery Mar 18. Previous surgery was just 6mos ago. He also was in 2 clinical trials in the last 2yrs (Car T cell therapy directly into the tumor bed area.) We have run out of options and will try anything. Please help.
Disturbing statistics indicate that weight problems have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with nearly 72 percent of American adults 20 and over categorized as overweight or obese. (1) The mandate that overweight and obese individuals should merely “eat less and exercise more” is failing miserably; it does little to correct the underlying metabolic disturbances driving obesity, trapping people in a vicious cycle of weight loss and regain. However, all hope is not lost! The ketogenic diet is emerging as a powerful, sustainable tool for weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.
Notably, there is a relationship between metabolic and epigenetic modifications. Shimazu et al. (2013) observed that βOHB inhibits class I histone deacetylases. During the KD, the elevation of βOHB causes changes in large-scale gene transcription but particularly those linked to oxidative-stress resistance factors. This result emphasizes that the KD has a potential role as a disease-modifying treatment in epilepsy.
Now, there’s even evidence that a low-carb, high-fat regimen (as the keto diet is) helps you live longer, compared to a low-fat diet. In a study by the medical journal The Lancet that studied more than 135,000 adults from 18 countries, high carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality. Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction or cardiovascular disease mortality.
Cholesterol is most commonly transported in the blood by molecules composed of fat and protein called lipoproteins. From least dense to most dense, they come in five forms: chylomicrons, very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Because VLDL, LDL, and HDL cholesterol are frequently used as clinical indicators, we are going to focus on them.
So, what evidence does Dr. Seyfried himself provide to prove his point that the best diet for all cancer patients, whatever the type, is the ketogenic, high fat, no carb diet? Well, very little. Certainly the 400 plus pages of elaborate biochemistry and theory are impressive and informative. But in terms of practicalities, that is, results with actual human patients diagnosed with cancer, there is next to no evidence.
Jimmy Moore: That’s a loaded question. I’ll try to make it a little more pointed. Cholesterol and I’m really happy to hear that you went from what you say around 140 or so, to about 230 or 40. That’s actually a very good thing, and one of the key elements in the body, one of the key roles of cholesterol in the body, is for hormone regulation. A lot of good things about having more cholesterol and when you have less cholesterol in the body you actually take away some of those key things that could be happening and that’s why some people when they tend to have lower cholesterol levels … I used to take Lipitor back before my low carb, keto days, and I got my total cholesterol to around 130?
A more recent clinical trial comparing a ketogenic diet (33.5% protein, 56% fat, 9.6% carbohydrate) to a low-fat diet (22% protein, 25% fat,55.7% carbohydrate) among 55 obese adults, showed that the ketogenic diet resulted in improved cholesterol levels compared to the low-fat diet. More specifically, the group following the ketogenic diet reported higher increases in HDL cholesterol and higher decreases in triglyceride levels compared to the control group (15).