Historically, elevated blood cholesterol levels have been linked to atherosclerosis, a condition involving deposits of plaque that cause the arterial lining to thicken and potentially impair blood flow to the heart. The process of plaque deposition is complex but involves white blood cells, calcium, cholesterol, and other substances converging at the site of inflamed or damaged arteries.

If you have a history of hypothyroid issues, you may also struggle with unhealthy cholesterol levels as well — and the keto diet can make them even worse. However, for those of you who are being treated for your hypothyroid condition or who have an autoimmune thyroid condition, you may be able to follow the keto diet without any problems. In fact, many keto dieters with autoimmune thyroid conditions have found that the keto way of eating improved their quality of life more than any other diet.


Jimmy Moore: One year ago my, I guess this about a year and a half ago now, time flies when you’re having fun … my total cholesterol was over 400. A lot of people, and of course I talked to lipidologists and heart people all the time on my podcasts, and I was throwing the numbers out there and one of the lipidologists “Oh you need the highest dose of Staten drug possible because you’ll not be able to get that down without it.” In writing Cholesterol Clarity, I determined that I had some other things that were raising the cholesterol and it’s not that I have a Staten drug deficiency. It’s that I have something underlined inside of me somewhere that the cholesterol was going to try to take care of.

David Book graduated with a PharmD from Drake University. After completing a Drug Information Residency in the greater Atlanta area with Mercer University's College of Pharmacy and InpharmD, he now works full time at an independent pharmacy. Drawn towards innovation and entrepreneurship, his interests include the business of pharmacy, healthcare advocacy, diet & nutrition, and health information technology.
Jimmy Moore: Exactly. You’re already have a propensity for insulin resistance. It should not surprise you that as you get into this that you’re going to run into some of the manifestation of that, which is this thing called Don Phenomena, where in the morning you have a higher level of blood sugar, that’s totally normal. What tends to happen though, and certainly the people that have asked that question of you, I hope they’re testing later in the day as well. What you’ll see is later in the day, totally normal.
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.

Cancer cells are unlike normal cells in many ways, but one of their traits that is most unique regards insulin receptors. They have ten times more insulin receptors on their cellular surface. This enables cancer cells to gorge themselves in glucose and nutrients coming from the bloodstream at a very high rate. As you continue to consume glucose as your primary diet source, cancer cells will continue to thrive and spread. It is no surprise that the lowest survival rate in cancer patients is among those with the highest blood sugar levels.


It is possible to discuss two aspects of the diet: known or “direct” properties (high ketone-body levels, high fat, and restriction of calories from carbohydrate) and potential indirect effects (eg, effects on neurotransmitters, ion channels, or mitochondrial biogenesis) (Table 2). Ketone bodies provide alternative substrates for use in the tricarboxylic acid cycle and enhance mitochondrial function (evidenced by increased ATP production and decreased effects of reactive oxygen species). Fatty acids and calorie restriction may have beneficial effects by themselves. The potential indirect effects have been studied in epilepsy but have not been investigated to the same degree in other illnesses. Formal studies of the efficacy of the ketogenic diet in epilepsy should serve as a model for future clinical investigations in other diseases [12••].
Since my numbers were high my doc ordered a calcium scoring test which shows some mild calcium increase in my lower depending artery which is not normal for a female of my age and health.  Initially he wanted me to abandon the diet and follow a Mediterranean low fat diet.  I suggested I eat more monounsaturated fats but stay on the low carb diet and he agreed. I have seen a great deal of benefit from the low carb diet and am unwilling to give it up at this time.
Hello, following a Keto diet with IF but cholesterol ratios not proper. Diet fats come mainly from olive oil, avocado oil, once a week beef, no butter, bacon etc. Had to go back on statins. Goal is stay away from drugs. Is there a doctor/clinic in the Boston area that you can recommend that understands/tests what you explain in this article? Please advise. 

A ketogenic diet derives approximately 90% of dietary calories from fat, 8% from protein, and just 2% from carbohydrates.1 In comparison, the standard American diet derives 35%, 15%, and 50% of calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrates, respectively. Although it is rising in popularity, the ketogenic diet is not a new dietary intervention. It is an established nutritional treatment approach — first developed in the 1920s — for patients who have epilepsy that is not well controlled with antiepileptic agents. The keto diet later remerged as an acceptable intervention in the 1990s.
Dr. Gonzalez wrote an eight part article series for Natural Health 365 on the history and failure of the ketogenic diet for cancer. Dr. Gonzalez’s nutritional cancer treatment expertise is much deeper than ANYONE currently promoting the ketogenic diet for cancer, because unlike anyone else promoting it, he actually treats cancer patients with nutrition every day.

There were some commonalities among the diets, of course; all these traditional people ate some animal products, and all consumed a fair amount of fat, whether from plant or animal sources. All the food was, of course, locally grown, locally harvested, or locally hunted, since these isolated groups lacked access to the industrialized food of modern “civilization.”

Patients diagnosed with the immune based “blood cancers” like leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, as well as the sarcomas, a type of connective tissue malignancy, required a lower carb, high animal fat, moderate animal protein diet. Other patients, usually with problems other than cancer, thrived on a more “balanced” diet, incorporating a variety of plant and animal foods.
The most common side effects are constipation that can be supported with some dietary adjustments and laxatives. Other side effects that may occur that are relatively minor and transient include: kidney stones, low sugars, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sleepiness. There are some reports of longer term side effects that may include higher cholesterol, reduced bone health, kidney stones, slower linear growth velocity and abnormal heart rhythm.
The anti-angiogenesis love affair not only affected conventional researchers and oncologists, but infiltrated deeply into the “alternative” cancer world. During the late 1990s, I read numerous articles lauding the anti-angiogenic effect of various herbs. Some ten years ago or more, a number of alternative physicians began promoting artemesinin, an herb from Africa long used as a treatment for malaria, as a “natural” anti-angiogenesis supplement.

This review aimed to investigate the effect of ketogenic diets on seizure control, cognition (e.g. learning, concentration and academic performance in children; learning, concentration and memory in adults) and behaviour. We also investigated the side effects of the diet and the number of participants who dropped out of the studies and the reasons for this. 

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.

If you lift weights on a ketogenic diet, you might fear losing muscle mass taking in lower amounts of protein. That doesn’t seem to be the case since your body preferentially utilizes fat rather than protein during ketosis. Growth hormone, an anabolic hormone sometimes called your fountain-of-youth hormone because it keeps you lean and toned, plays a major role in regulating muscle growth and development, stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Researchers find a very-low carbohydrate diet with sufficient protein does not affect growth hormone levels, at least in the short-term. If you’re a regular lifter, you might want to consider slightly increasing your protein intake during workout days and supplementing with a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement. Cyclical keto, where you would eat a higher-carbohydrate diet during your workout days, also makes for a smart strategy to maintain muscle.
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.
3. The Low Glycemic Index Treatment (LGIT, uses a liberalized but still low carbohydrate intake, with carbohydrates supplied only in the form of low-glycemic index foods (glycemic index of less than 50 relative to glucose). Of the 20 patients initially studied on this diet in 2005, 10 experienced a greater than 90% reduction in seizure frequency. The LGIT can be started as an outpatient without a fasting period. An updated study in 2009 included 76 children, of which 50% of those remaining on the diet at 3 months had a >50% seizure reduction.
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
Hi, I’m still a bit skeptical, I have seen some of my friends do the keto diet, and have had good results. Though I am still not sure about the idea of the fats being eaten. They say they eat meat with the fat and must do so, is this correct? Also isn’t this not good for the body especially for the kidneys? Second, can a diabetic do this diet? There are many questions running through my head.
The second is called LDL-P which measures the number of LDL particles in the blood. Sometimes, there is a correlation – more LDL particles means that you can have higher levels of LDL-C. However, larger LDL molecules can grow and carry more cholesterol – leading to a discordance in which LDL-C and LDL-P are not necessarily proportional. When this happens, LDL-C and LDL-P are said to be “discordant.”

The ketogenic diet is a great thing for your health and biomarkers, as shown by research. However, there are many ways you can do it wrong and thus damage yourself. New research is showing that our understanding of cholesterol may be disrupted slightly but it doesn’t mean that too much cholesterol can’t damage your health. It’s still involved in the process of atherosclerosis.
In 1920 a New York physician, Dr. Galen, reported at the American Medical Association convention that he had had significant success in treating epilepsy by initiating a program of fasting. At that time the only pharmaceutical interventions that were available included phenobarbital and bromides. Interestingly, the patient he treated was actually a young cousin who had aggressive seizures. On the second day of fasting the child’s epilepsy abated and did not return over the next two years of follow-up. Further studies appearing in 1923, 1926, 1928, all confirmed the effectiveness of fasting as an effective treatment for seizures.
We are brazilian, living in Brazil. My daughter, Isabel, 21y. o., born in 1996, has syndrome of deficiency of Glut1. She was diagnosed around her first year of life. At that time her baby bottle, her begining diet meal, was 50ml water plus 50ml oil plus vitamin. Since then, which means, for 20 years, she is under this diet. For almost 18 years under 4:1 proportion. At this right moment 3:1. The only problem she had since started the diet were kidney stones in 2002. Nothing else. Grateful to the diet she doesn’t take any kind of medicine to avoid seizures. Her health is perfect, no colesterol at all. We are at your will for any issues related to her health.
A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials following overweight and obese participants for 1-2 years on either low-fat diets or very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets found that the ketogenic diet produced a small but significantly greater reduction in weight, triglycerides, and blood pressure, and a greater increase in HDL and LDL cholesterol compared with the low-fat diet at one year. [10] The authors acknowledged the small weight loss difference between the two diets of about 2 pounds, and that compliance to the ketogenic diet declined over time, which may have explained the more significant difference at one year but not at two years (the authors did not provide additional data on this).
When a person first starts onto a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, it takes the body several days to a few weeks to shift from relying on glucose to instead rely on fat. During this transition, people may experience what is sometimes referred to as the “keto-flu”—muscle cramps, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and sugar and carbohydrate cravings.49 There may also be increased urination which can result in a loss of minerals, such as sodium and potassium. To counter these effects one should strive to get more minerals and in particular, more sodium and potassium, drink plenty of water, get some exercise and ensure adequate caloric intake. Once the body becomes keto-adapted, these symptoms largely resolve, and many people report increased energy, decreased cravings and weight loss.
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