Collectively, these findings suggest that LDL particle size is a more precise indicator of future cardiovascular illness than total LDL cholesterol even when people have high levels of one but not the other. That being said, LDL-C is still a useful indicator for future cardiovascular illness and ideally you want to have both low LDL-C and LDL-P. (Click here to find optimal ranges for LDL-C and here for LDL-P)
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!”
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.” [17] 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.” [23]
For most children with epilepsy, medications are the primary treatment modality and provide good seizure control in over half of the children. However, more than 25 percent of children with epilepsy have either difficult-to-control seizures despite medications or suffer treatment-limiting side effects. Only a limited number of these children are candidates for surgical therapy to cure their epilepsy and their caregivers look for other options. Neurostimulation (vagus nerve stimulation or VNS) is one choice. Dietary therapy is another.
High levels of triglycerides in the blood are thought to be a sign of poor metabolism. Poor metabolism, or metabolic disorders, are associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Often times, elevated triglycerides are a byproduct of insulin resistance. In these cases, a ketogenic diet is an excellent strategy to improve those numbers.
On the other hand, higher HDL cholesterol levels have been linked to less carotid artery intima-media thickness. In a large meta-analysis of data from more than 20,000 people, CIMT tended to decrease as HDL cholesterol increased – regardless of LDL cholesterol values (16). Importantly, although LDL response to carb restriction varies from person to person, HDL virtually always increases.
That plan didn’t allow much variety or leeway. Eggs, two small green salads a day, gelatin for dessert, cheese (up to 4 ounces daily), bone broth, no-calorie liquids, and lots of meat: That was pretty much it for the first week. After level one, you added vegetables like broccoli. Yes, you would be in ketosis doing the original Atkins diet, but for most people, that spartan plan would get boring quickly.
Another study from 2014 suggests that the ketogenic diet is a safe, effective treatment to manage aggressive cancers when used with conventional therapies. For their retrospective study, researchers reviewed 53 patients with glioma, a tumor that starts in glial cells in the brain and spinal cord. These patients were treated with chemoradiotherapy and other standard treatments from August 2010 to August 2013. Six of these patients also consumed a ketogenic diet while on treatment.
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.
The diet can be started as an outpatient and many physician and dietician team centers do this successfully. However, it is important to ensure close proximity of the child to the medical team during the initiation period in case of difficulties. The intense educational process afforded by inpatient initiation may be preferable for some families and ketogenic diet centers. Also, it allows the families time to review the overall medical treatment, spend additional time with their treating neurologist familiarizing him/her with the epilepsy, and also to meet other families starting the diet at the same time (if admissions are done in a group). Most importantly, inpatient initiation allows observation of the child during this big change in metabolism.
The research on how extended intermittent fasts affect cancer patients backs up our biochemical understanding as well. In initial case studies, cancer patients who were undergoing chemotherapy voluntarily fasted for anywhere between 48 to 140 hours (much longer than the intermittent fasts that keto dieters typically do). Each person reported fewer side effects and an improved quality of life regardless of how long they fasted.
Jimmy Moore: Just removing the infections that were in the mouth and the mercury amalgam poisoning that was probably happening. Was raising my cholesterol because it was trying to be that fire fighter to put out the fire. Of course it never showed up in my inflammation because the cholesterol was taking care of it, had I been taking a Staten drug Leanne, I would have been at great risk. I would have been in really bad shape. Anyway, I thought okay that was maybe an anomaly, that was in October. Let me have it run again, I had it run again last month … 289 again. Not a fluke, and that’s one of the things we did in Cholesterol Clarity, was you said, “why aren’t doctors asking why the cholesterol is high?” All they know is that it’s high. Therefore you have a Staten deficiency and please take this drug.
Eliminating all sugars and simple carbohydrates and severely restricting other carbohydrates results in a condition called ketosis, in which the body burns stored fat instead of glucose for fuel. It is not clear why ketosis inhibits seizures, but in an earlier Johns Hopkins study involving 150 children with difficult-to-control epilepsy, more than half had a 50% or greater reduction in seizures and one-fourth experienced a 90% improvement.

The vast majority of claims regarding the ketogenic diet and cancer are drawn from lab and animal studies. Findings from animal studies are revealing. A study published in July’s Nature found that in mice, the ketogenic diet enhanced the effects of a specific cancer treatment. The drugs in that treatment targeted a signaling network guided by an enzyme (abbreviated P13K), which is commonly mutated in cancers.
The ketogenic diet achieved national media exposure in the US in October 1994, when NBC's Dateline television programme reported the case of Charlie Abrahams, son of Hollywood producer Jim Abrahams. The two-year-old suffered from epilepsy that had remained uncontrolled by mainstream and alternative therapies. Abrahams discovered a reference to the ketogenic diet in an epilepsy guide for parents and brought Charlie to John M. Freeman at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which had continued to offer the therapy. Under the diet, Charlie's epilepsy was rapidly controlled and his developmental progress resumed. This inspired Abrahams to create the Charlie Foundation to promote the diet and fund research.[10] A multicentre prospective study began in 1994, the results were presented to the American Epilepsy Society in 1996 and were published[17] in 1998. There followed an explosion of scientific interest in the diet. In 1997, Abrahams produced a TV movie, ...First Do No Harm, starring Meryl Streep, in which a young boy's intractable epilepsy is successfully treated by the ketogenic diet.[1]

However, in most cases, avoiding all foods that contain cholesterol (like eggs or cheese) isn’t necessary to support heart health, especially since some sources of cholesterol can be nutrient-dense foods. What’s important is practicing moderation and finding balance in your diet, as well as eating a combination of natural foods that fight inflammation.


We have solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised about the possible benefits for other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and even brain cancer. However, there are no human studies to support recommending ketosis to treat these conditions.
In summary, I think the metabolic theory on cancer is really interesting and there’s already some good evidence to support it. Clearly, we need more research. Whether or not this research will get done is the big question because as we know, two-thirds of medical research is sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. It can be difficult for researchers like Dominic D’Agostino to get funding to do this kind of research because nobody can patent the ketogenic diet and fasting. There’s not as much money as there would be in a kind of miracle drug that targets gene therapy and things like that. That’s one of the reasons there isn’t as much research as there might be otherwise.

Here are a few of the most common side effects that I come across when people first start keto. Frequently the issues relate to dehydration or lack of micronutrients (vitamins) in the body. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water (close to a gallon a day) and eating foods with good sources of micronutrients. To read more on micronutrients, click here >
If your LDL cholesterol has significantly increased on a keto or low-carb diet, it's completely understandable if you're at least somewhat concerned. However, you might be reluctant to make any changes to your diet given the benefits you've experienced. On the other hand, you may decide that you want to try to lower your LDL values while still following a keto/low-carb lifestyle.

In a recent review of studies of the MAD, there were 31 studies completed from multiple centers with a total of 423 children and adults enrolled across those studies. Adding everyone together, 47% of patients had a >50% reduction in their seizures, which is comparable to the results found for the ketogenic diet. It is important to understand that for children under the age of 2 years and those who receive formula-only nutrition the classic ketogenic diet is preferable. For older adolescents and adults, the MAD is often a better option due to increased tolerability.
A short-lived increase in seizure frequency may occur during illness or if ketone levels fluctuate. The diet may be modified if seizure frequency remains high, or the child is losing weight.[19] Loss of seizure-control may come from unexpected sources. Even "sugar-free" food can contain carbohydrates such as maltodextrin, sorbitol, starch, and fructose. The sorbitol content of suntan lotion and other skincare products may be high enough for some to be absorbed through the skin and thus negate ketosis.[31]
We have solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised about the possible benefits for other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and even brain cancer. However, there are no human studies to support recommending ketosis to treat these conditions.
The ketogenic diet for epilepsy (KDE) was developed in the 1920s by Dr. Hugh Conklin in Michigan. But once effective medications were developed, the diet was used less frequently. It has regained recognition and study and is now a standard backup plan for children whose epilepsy symptoms are difficult to control with medication. With over 300,000 children in the U.S. with seizure disorders, this has become an important addition to the arsenal of treatments for epilepsy. Researchers are beginning to see how it might help adults and people with a variety of neurologic disorders.

Weight loss is the primary reason my patients use the ketogenic diet. Previous research shows good evidence of a faster weight loss when patients go on a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet compared to participants on a more traditional low-fat diet, or even a Mediterranean diet. However, that difference in weight loss seems to disappear over time.
As of the moment, there is no industry standard as to how many calories should be consumed in a restricted ketogenic diet, but there are published studies that provide estimates. In one example, a 65-year-old woman who was suffering from glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive type of brain cancer, was put into a restricted ketogenic diet that started with water fasting and then proceeded to consuming 600 calories a day only.
In conclusion, clinical application of KDs as an adjuvant therapy for cancer patients first requires that the KD be evaluated for its anti-tumor effect for each single type/genetic subtype of cancer in a preclinical setting, as the safety and efficacy of the KD strongly depend on the tumor entity and its genotype. Based on the results of rigorous preclinical and clinical studies performed thus far, the KD would appear to be a promising and powerful option for adjuvant therapy for a range of cancers. Cancer-specific recommendations await the findings of randomized controlled clinical trials.
In recent years stem cells have been a hot topic in the research world, and a hot topic, for better or worse, in the media. These headline-grabbing stem cells are primitive undifferentiated cells, located as nests in every tissue and organ in the body, that serve as a reserve supply to replace cells in the tissue or organ lost due to normal turnover (as in the bone marrow or along the intestinal lining), disease, injury, or cell death.

H. Guldbrand, B. Dizdar, B. Bunjaku, T. Lindström, M. Bachrach-Lindström, M. Fredrikson, C. J. Östgren, F. H. Nystrom, “In Type 2 Diabetes, Randomisation to Advice to Follow a Low-carbohydrate Diet Transiently Improves Glycaemic Control Compared with Advice to Follow a Low-fat Diet Producing a Similar Weight Loss,” Diabetologia (2012) 55: 2118. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-012-2567-4.
20•. Marsh EB, Freeman JM, Kossoff EH, et al. The outcome of children with intractable seizures: a 3- to 6-year follow-up of 67 children who remained on the ketogenic diet less than one year. Epilepsia. 2006;47:425–430. These long-term follow-up studies from the large Johns Hopkins series outline seizure-free rates and medication use after the ketogenic diet has been stopped. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
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.
Fat is the primary source of fuel on a ketogenic diet, and supplementing with specific types of fat, particularly coconut oil and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, can help you get into ketosis faster. MCT oil is unique in that it increases ketone levels in a linear, dose-dependent manner and allows for the induction of ketosis with lower amounts of total fat in the diet. (44)
Unfortunately, thanks to the widespread prevalence of the standard American diet (SAD) – characterized by high consumption of red meat, processed meat, pre-packaged foods, butter, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, refined grains, potatoes, corn, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and high-sugar drinks – the incidence of obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many forms of cancer are skyrocketing in the U.S.
Thanks for this article. I just started a Keto diet so found it appropriate to my current lifestyle. Though I don’t believe your bottom line is strong enough since you simply stating that the diet is “hard to follow” and food is “notoriously unhealthy” without evidence going deeper into why those “notoriously unhealthy” foods are worse than keeping carbohydrate-heavy food that are addictive and give the body a quick sugar high for energy. I believe “hard to follow” is your opinion only, since acceptable Keto foods are found at all restaurants easily and also all grocery stores. All the foods you mention: “rich in very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water” are all Keto-friendly. Many people have been on a Keto-diet for years. A healthy lifestyle is a healthy mindset change and making right choices – it’s not going to be easy.
A recent study found that ketone supplementation extended survival in mice with metastatic cancer. But while it’s true that most cancers have a highly anaerobic metabolism, this in not universal. If proven to be effective, it’s likely that ketone supplementation would be an additional treatment rather than a stand alone treatment for cancer, because of its robust nature.

This describes me, too. I am not a doctor, but after months and years of research, have decided to follow the ketogenic lifestyle and the naturopathic cancer treatments prescribed by my physician. It took a few months to find a doctor who embraced this, but he is worth it. Keto had my diabetes under control long before we realized that cancer was trying to get me as well. I take no chemical drugs for anything. Diet, exercise, and a few supplements take care of my health needs. You don’t know me, but three years ago, I needed a walker and a wheelchair. Today at 60, I walk under my own power and ride a bicycle as much as possible. Go as natural as you can, it helps. Stay away from “products” and just eat fresh, whole, natural food. (The article shows these.)
While I would like to offer a magic bullet for all cancers, a ketogenic diet is not that. The diet does not “cure” cancer. It should not be used to replace traditional treatment. But the diet has shown promise for some cancers especially GBM. So why would a diet help? On a simplistic level, cancer “eats” glucose and needs 20 times more glucose compared to normal cells. Cancer cells cannot make the transition to using ketones, especially in the brain, making them more vulnerable to chemo and radiation.
Unfortunately, that path isn’t so clear-cut and will differ among individuals. The transition to a ketogenic diet might also differently affect hormones than maintaining the plan long-term. Hormones are complicated, and other factors beyond diet—including sleep quality, stress levels, circadian rhythm nutrient status, and your overall health—dramatically affect whether they become balanced or unbalanced.
1. West, R., Beeri, M. S., Schmeidler, J., Hannigan, C. M., Angelo, G., Grossman, H. T., … Silverman, J. M. (2008). Better memory functioning associated with higher total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in very elderly subjects without the apolipoprotein e4 allele. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry : Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 16(9), 781–5. PMID: 18757771

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.


Disclaimer: The content of this website is based on research conducted by TTAC Publishing, LLC, unless otherwise noted. The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe for any medical or psychological condition, nor to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure such conditions. The information contained herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a doctor or qualified healthcare professional. Therefore, this information is not intended as medical advice, but rather a sharing of knowledge and information based on research and experience. TTAC Publishing encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your judgment and research in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Leanne: Okay. Let’s chat a little bit about cholesterol in relation to high fat living. If somebody is planning to go high fat, low carb, keto, a lot of people say “What can I expect my cholesterol?” For me, it went up. Can it go down? What sort of things can we expect when we transition from maybe a plant-based, maybe we’re vegan, maybe we’re just eating paleo or something, to this specific high fat, low carb, keto eating style.
What about fruits and vegetables? All fruits are rich in carbs, but you can have certain fruits (usually berries) in small portions. Vegetables (also rich in carbs) are restricted to leafy greens (such as kale, Swiss chard, spinach), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, and summer squashes. A cup of chopped broccoli has about six carbs.
Dousing your steak with butter, swigging MCT oil out of the bottle, and putting grass-fed butter and MCT oil into your coffee may be more fat that your body can handle, actually leading to the opposite effect than intended—inflammation. Even on a high-fat diet, too much dietary fat can—and often will—stall fat loss. Dial down that excess dietary fat and include more fiber-rich vegetables, berries, legumes, and non-gluten grains for a healthier, more diverse gut microbiome to keep your weight within a healthy range.
In addition to sodium, levels of magnesium and potassium can also drop on a ketogenic diet due to its dehydrating effect on the body. Make sure to eat plenty of magnesium- and potassium-rich foods. Some of the best keto-friendly sources of magnesium are dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and cacao. Keto-friendly potassium sources include spinach, kale, avocados, and mushrooms.
A study of 39 obese adults placed on a ketogenic very low-calorie diet for 8 weeks found a mean loss of 13% of their starting weight and significant reductions in fat mass, insulin levels, blood pressure, and waist and hip circumferences. Their levels of ghrelin did not increase while they were in ketosis, which contributed to a decreased appetite. However during the 2-week period when they came off the diet, ghrelin levels and urges to eat significantly increased. [11]

Taking your first step into the ketogenic diet is an exciting phase for your health. But before coming up with an actual ketogenic diet food list, it's important to first take a look at what you're eating now and take out anything that's unhealthy. This means that you have to remove sugars, grains, starches and packaged and processed foods from your diet. Basically, anything that won't add to your new eating regimen has to go. This is what I call a "pantry sweep."
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