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Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Diabetics?

Is “keto” The Key To Reversing Diabetes?

Is “keto” The Key To Reversing Diabetes?

SEATTLE -- A wave of recent studies show that in many cases, type 2 diabetes is partly or wholly reversible with high fat, very low carb ketogenic diets. Speakers at the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute 5th annual Thought Leaders Consortium urged the clinical community to radically re-think the received wisdom about this common disorder, and start applying diet and lifestyle programs that actually address the root causes of the condition. Fresh data from an ongoing study of 232 overweight or obese women and men with type 2 diabetes (average age 54 years, average BMI of 41), provide evidence that after 10 weeks on a carefully-formulated low-carb ketogenic diet, 36% were able to stop insulin therapy completely, while an additional 51% were able to significantly lower their doses. Mean hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) measures dropped from 7.5% to 6.5%, with 56% of the participants reaching A1c levels below the diagnostic threshold for diabetes. This was accompanied by clinically significant weight loss in 71% of cases (McKenzie A, et al. JMIR Diabetes. 2017 2 (1): e5). Though many clinicians and researchers have long predicted the possibility, this is the first large-scale study to show that major biomarkers of type 2 diabetes can be consistently shifted in the right direction via dietary interventions. “We are very pleased with what we are seeing,” said Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of Virta Health, a San Francisco based clinic specializing in lifestyle-based treatment of diabetes and related metabolic diseases. “And all of this is based on eating to satiety. There are no additional medications, no calorie counting, no anxiety.” Dr. Phinney told PLMI attendees that while he hesitates to say ketogenic diets can “cure” diabetes, Continue reading >>

Virta Health: Reversing Type 2 Diabetes With Low-carb Diets & Coaching

Virta Health: Reversing Type 2 Diabetes With Low-carb Diets & Coaching

By Ben Pallant, Abigail Dove, and Adam Brown Study shows a 1% A1c reduction in ten weeks with reduced or eliminated medications in most participants. Is it the real deal? Read on for the details! A brand new company called Virta Health launched this week with a bold vision to "reverse" type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery. The Virta model relies on extremely low-carb diets – less than 30 grams of carbs per day – paired with a diet high in fat and moderate in protein (learn more below). Virta calls itself an “online specialty medical clinic” because participants get access to a health coach and physician, online peer support, and ongoing information and feedback on their health. Along with the launch, Virta published a 10-week study showing that its approach drives strong outcomes: 1% improvement in A1c (from 7.6% to 6.6%), significant medication reductions (especially in insulin users), and an average 7% body weight loss. Is this the real deal? Read on below for more details on the study, the program, and a Q&A with Virta. Virta is currently available to people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes as a covered benefit through some employers/health plans, as well as to people able to pay out of pocket (cash pay). Financial assistance is available, as the typical cost is roughly $400 per month for the first year. Those interested in Virta can get more info here and apply for a free consultation here. What kind of outcomes has Virta demonstrated? Virta just published the results of its first 10-week study. The trial involved 262 people with type 2 diabetes, and the results are very encouraging so far: In ten weeks, the average participant’s A1c dropped by 1% from an average starting A1c of 7.6%. By the end of the study, over half of the participants had Continue reading >>

Research On Type 2 Diabetes/ Prediabetes

Research On Type 2 Diabetes/ Prediabetes

Below you will find a growing collection of dietary research on type 2 diabetes treatment. JUMP TO: Overview | Blood sugar & A1c | Diet Recommendations | Low Carb vs. Low Fat | Weight Loss & A1C Diet Comparison | Carbohydrates | Fat & Cholesterol | Protein | DMP Blog Overview Most people think that when people get diagnosed with diabetes, that’s it, they’re destined to get progressively worse, take more meds and suffer bad health. That’s simply not the case! While type 2 diabetes is not reversible from a diagnostic standpoint (once a person has it, they have it), diabetes can be reversible from a physiological standpoint in many. That is, a person can work to gain excellent control of their blood sugar levels, keeping them within a normal healthy range so that they are functioning like a non-diabetic person. Research shows this is true and in our experience with members and subscribers, people are achieving this everyday, even if they’ve had diabetes for 20 years! NOTE: The majority of the research that follows is around type 2 diabetes treatment. It's important to differentiate ‘reduction of diabetes risk' from ‘diabetes treatment.' These are often lumped into the same category but they are two very different concepts. Here our main focus of research is on diabetes treatment, along with prediabetes diet and lifetsyle interventions. Blood Sugar & A1C BLOOD SUGAR: Blood sugar is a measure of glucose/ sugar in the blood at any one time. Throughout the day blood sugar can fluctuate in response to numerous factors, mainly food but also exercise, stress, sleep, medications and so forth. The body is designed to maintain blood sugar levels in a healthy range. And it is well established that diabetics and prediabetics should work toward the goal of having blood suga Continue reading >>

Why Dka & Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same

Why Dka & Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same

There’s a very common misconception and general misunderstanding around ketones. Specifically, the misunderstandings lie in the areas of: ketones that are produced in low-carb diets of generally less than 50 grams of carbs per day, which is low enough to put a person in a state of “nutritional ketosis” ketones that are produced when a diabetic is in a state of “diabetic ketoacidosis” (DKA) and lastly, there are “starvation ketones” and “illness-induced ketones” The fact is they are very different. DKA is a dangerous state of ketosis that can easily land a diabetic in the hospital and is life-threatening. Meanwhile, “nutritional ketosis” is the result of a nutritional approach that both non-diabetics and diabetics can safely achieve through low-carb nutrition. Diabetic Ketoacidosis vs. Nutritional Ketosis Ryan Attar (soon to be Ryan Attar, ND) helps explain the science and actual human physiology behind these different types of ketone production. Ryan is currently studying to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in Connecticut and also pursuing a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition. He has interned under the supervision of the very well-known diabetes doc, Dr. Bernstein. Ryan explains: Diabetic Ketoacidosis: “Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), is a very dangerous state where an individual with uncontrolled diabetes is effectively starving due to lack of insulin. Insulin brings glucose into our cells and without it the body switches to ketones. Our brain can function off either glucose or fat and ketones. Ketones are a breakdown of fat and amino acids that can travel through the blood to various tissues to be utilized for fuel.” “In normal individuals, or those with well controlled diabetes, insulin acts to cancel the feedback loop and slow and sto Continue reading >>

Why The Ketogenic Diet May Help Fight Diabetes, Cancer

Why The Ketogenic Diet May Help Fight Diabetes, Cancer

A diet extremely high in fat may not seem like the best way to lose fat. But there’s a growing body of research showing that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet is not only good for weight loss, but also may help in preventing disease. The ketogenic diet, or keto, relies on using your fat as fuel, instead of glucose from carbohydrates or protein. Simply put, the daily ketogenic diet consists of 75 percent fat, 20 percent of protein, and a teeny allotment of carbohydrates, about 5 percent. This balance of macronutrients is intended to put your body in a state of ketosis, which suppresses the release of insulin and blood glucose levels. The benefits of ketosis to your health are improvements in biomarkers like blood glucose, reduction of blood pressure and decreased appetite due to fullness linked to consumption of fats. You might think this sounds a lot like the Atkins diet — it’s not. The main difference lies in the protein content of the diet. Atkins tends to be very high in protein, while ketogenic is moderate. Getty Images stock It's not the easiest plan to follow, but the theory of ketosis as a possible prevention against disease is gaining attention from cancer specialists. Tumor immunologist Dr. Patrick Hwu, one of the leading cancer specialists in the U.S., has followed the keto diet for four years, although he prefers to call it the fat-burning metabolism diet, or fat-burning diet. More research is needed to prove its benefits, but Hwu, the head of cancer medicine at MD Anderson in Houston, believes in it after seeing improvements in his own health. Why keto works The body’s first and preferred fuel of choice is glucose — stored as glycogen. Anytime you eat a carbohydrate, be it lentils or licorice, the body turns it into glucose, or sugar. B Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Successfully Managed With The Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Successfully Managed With The Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet

Abstract Introduction: Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) patients are usually instructed to follow a low fat/high carbohydrate diet. A few studies in literature, however, reported metabolic benefits and sustainability of carbohydrate restricted diets. Case Report: Herein, we present a case of a 19-year-old male with newly diagnosed T1DM. The patient was first put on an insulin regime. Twenty days later, he shifted towards the paleolithic ketogenic diet and was able to discontinue insulin. Strict adherence to the diet resulted in normal glucose levels and a more than three-fold elevation of C-peptide level indicating restored insulin production. Currently, the patient is on the paleolithic ketogenic diet for 6.5 months. He is free of complaints, and no side effects emerged. Conclusion: We conclude that the paleolithic ketogenic diet was effective and safe in the management of this case of newly diagnosed T1DM. Marked increase in C peptide level within two months indicates that the paleolithic ketogenic diet may halt or reverse autoimmune processes destructing pancreatic beta cell function in T1DM. of chronic medical illnesses including diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases and epilepsy for ve Continue reading >>

Low Carb-high Fat Diet And Diabetes: A Detailed Guide For Beginners

Low Carb-high Fat Diet And Diabetes: A Detailed Guide For Beginners

If you are a regular reader of our site, you would already know that we highly endorse the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet for reversing diabetes, losing weight and improving your overall health and well-being. The reason why a low carb diet for diabetes comes highly recommended by doctors and nutritionists alike is the fact that carbohydrates are the main culprit behind elevated blood sugar levels. Once you eat fewer carbs, it automatically becomes much easier for the body to attain stable blood sugar levels. Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) Diet for Diabetes: Why It Works? Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars during digestion. These sugars enter the blood stream and elevate blood sugar levels. As a diabetic, your body either doesn’t produce insulin at all, or doesn’t produce enough insulin to minimize this blood sugar spike before it causes irreplaceable damage to internal organs. This is the reason why your body’s dependence on insulin goes down when you eat lesser carbs. A UK study tried to understand the short-term effects of severe dietary carbohydrate-restriction advice in type 2 diabetes. It found that restricting carbohydrate intake is an effective method to lose weight as well as improve HDL ratios. This was a randomized controlled trial studying 102 patients over a course of 3 months, and the results were published in the Diabetic Medicine in September 2005. Another research group from Duke University Medical Center studying the effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients, found that 95.2% patients had managed to reduce or eliminate their glucose-lowering medication within 6 months of being on a LCHF diet. A low carb diet works very well in lowering blood sugar and insul Continue reading >>

Low Carb Ketogenic Diet & Diabetes: Is It Safe?

Low Carb Ketogenic Diet & Diabetes: Is It Safe?

You might be surprised to know that the ketogenic diet has been around for over 80 years. It was originally used to treat people with epilepsy. The ketogenic diet is very high in fat, extremely low in carbohydrate with a moderate amount of protein. The severe restriction of carbohydrate resulted in improvements in the seriousness and frequency of seizures. The diet is also associated with weight loss, improvement in risk factors for diabetes and enhanced brain health. How the Ketogenic Diet Works Carbohydrate is the body’s primary source of energy. When following a very low carbohydrate diet, the body is forced to burn stored fat for energy. But fat isn’t clean fuel: it leaves an acidic waste in your blood stream called ketones. Your body can get rid of some, but not all, of the ketones by excreting them in the urine. This process is known as nutritional ketosis. It is not the same as diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. In diabetic ketoacidosis, ketones build up to much higher levels than those found with nutritional ketosis. The blood glucose levels are also extremely high in diabetic ketoacidosis due to insufficient insulin. Research shows when the body is in a state of nutritional ketosis there is a decrease in hunger and longer satiety after eating, resulting in weight loss. Are Low Carb Ketogenic Diets Safe? Before the discovery of insulin therapy in the early 1920s a ketogenic type diet was used for people with diabetes. However, after the discovery of insulin therapy and oral hypoglycemic medications, recommendations for carbohydrate intake gradually increased. Today the question about how much carbohydrate is a source of controversy. Some diabetes experts say limit carbohydrate for better diabetes control and others say higher carbohydrate—noting co Continue reading >>

Lchf For Type 1 Diabetes

Lchf For Type 1 Diabetes

I spend a great deal of time in my clinic dealing with the problems of type 2 diabetes. But occasionally, people ask about type 1 diabetes (T1D) as well. The reason why it is so rare for me is that I treat adult patients where T2D outnumbers T1D by at least 9:1. I was looking at a fascinating study that my friend, Ivor Cummins (The Fat Emperor) had alerted me to a few months ago. Dr. Richard Bernstein is a fascinating character. He had developed T1D as a child of twelve and began to have complications by his 30s. He eventually went to medical school in order to learn better how to treat his own disease. Eventually he decided that the proper treatment was a low carb diet. This was in direct contradiction to the prevailing wisdom of the time (1990s), which included treating patients with insulin and a diet high in carbs. Dr. Bernstein opened up a controversial clinic to treat T1D with a low carb diet and also wrote several best selling books discussing the same topic. Over the years, it has proven to be a safe treatment for T1D. While there are few long-term studies, Dr. Bernstein himself is living proof of the low carb T1D paradigm. In many ways, T1D and T2D are exact opposites of each other. T1D typically affects children who are usually quite skinny. T2D typically affects adults who are usually quite obese. This is not absolute, and we are seeing much more T2D in children as their weights have increased. There are also cases of normal or even underweight patients with T2D. But in general, that is the case. T1D is the severe deficiency of insulin where as T2D is the severe excess of insulin. Nevertheless, people often treat both types of diabetes in the same manner. Both are treated with medications or insulin to keep blood glucose in acceptable levels. Wait, you might Continue reading >>

Paleo Vs Keto Diet: Which One Is Right For You?

Paleo Vs Keto Diet: Which One Is Right For You?

When it comes to burning fat more efficiently, accelerating weight loss, and living an all-around healthier lifestyle, two diets have been on the radar of health enthusiasts: the Paleo diet and the Ketogenic diet. While both diets include many of the same foods and have overlapping similarities and benefits, each has a different purpose. Let’s take a look at how the Paleo vs Keto diets measure up against one another, which one is right for you, and why. Paleo vs Keto: Here’s What You Need to Know Before we compare the similarities and differences of the Paleo vs Keto diets, it’s helpful to know why a person may choose to follow each one. What is the Paleo Diet? When it comes to the Paleo diet — which is based on eliminating grains and legumes due to their phytic acid content — it’s more of a lifestyle choice to focus on eating quality foods that support digestive health (1). Most dairy products are also off limits on the Paleo diet because they contain lactose, which is hard for most people to digest (although some people do include ghee or grass-fed butter). By removing the most difficult foods to digest, the Paleo diet can be therapeutic for gut health, autoimmune conditions, blood sugar balance, and weight loss (2)(3). What is the Keto Diet? On the other hand, the Keto diet is targeted primarily towards those who want to experience dramatic weight loss. However, the Keto diet can also help improve medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (4). In fact, the initial purpose of the Keto diet was to prevent and treat seizures, when it was first discovered in the 1920s (5). But today, the Keto diet is best known as a rapid weight loss and fat burning strategy. The reason the Keto diet promotes accelerated Continue reading >>

Maria Mind Body Health

Maria Mind Body Health

Another Maria Momentthis one was with DIABETES. I myself have had my own success story with Marias eating styleso I decided to introduce her recipes to my very picky, very diabetic father in-law. I spend the summers at the lake with my in-law and decided that this year I was going to cook out of Marias cookbook exclusively. I made some of my favorite banana walnut muffins and almond waffles and asked my father in-law if he would please try some. He is not fond of trying new foods maybe due to being picky but also because he has had terrible diabetes for over 30 years. My father in-law has large blood sugar swings even with his insulin pump. He tried the waffles and muffins and loved them. Keep in mind he had butter on both and sugar free syrup on the waffle. As we stood in the kitchen discussing how many units of insulin he should calculate for the food he ate, we come to the conclusion that he should take 5 units. normally for the food he had just consumed he would have needed to take 8 but since Marias food is different we shot it on the lower side my father in-law left for about 1 hr and came back out of sorts. My mother in-law said Tom are you okgo check your blood. He went and checked his blood and it had taken a huge nose divehe had a blood sugar level of 45! Now at this time only 2 units had gone into his bodynot 5 and he had to stop the rest of the insulin from entering his system. We couldnt believe it! Here he had taken almost 4 times less than he normally would have and his levels were too low. Ok, fast forwardabout a week later his blood sugar was too low so my mother in-law said tom why dont you have 2 almond waffles with butter and syrup to bring your blood sugars up a bit. He decided he would do this but they had to decide how much insulin he should take Continue reading >>

Short-term Safety, Tolerability And Efficacy Of A Very Low-calorie-ketogenic Diet Interventional Weight Loss Program Versus Hypocaloric Diet In Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Short-term Safety, Tolerability And Efficacy Of A Very Low-calorie-ketogenic Diet Interventional Weight Loss Program Versus Hypocaloric Diet In Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

The safety and tolerability of very low-calorie-ketogenic (VLCK) diets are a current concern in the treatment of obese type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients. Evaluating the short-term safety and tolerability of a VLCK diet (<50 g of carbohydrate daily) in an interventional weight loss program including lifestyle and behavioral modification support (Diaprokal Method) in subjects with T2DM. Eighty-nine men and women, aged between 30 and 65 years, with T2DM and body mass index between 30 and 35 kg m−2 participated in this prospective, open-label, multi-centric randomized clinical trial with a duration of 4 months. Forty-five subjects were randomly assigned to the interventional weight loss (VLCK diet), and 44 to the standard low-calorie diet. No significant differences in the laboratory safety parameters were found between the two study groups. Changes in the urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio in VLCK diet were not significant and were comparable to control group. Creatinine and blood urea nitrogen did not change significantly relative to baseline nor between groups. Weight loss and reduction in waist circumference in the VLCK diet group were significantly larger than in control subjects (both P<0.001). The decline in HbA1c and glycemic control was larger in the VLCK diet group (P<0.05). No serious adverse events were reported and mild AE in the VLCK diet group declined at last follow-up. The interventional weight loss program based on a VLCK diet is most effective in reducing body weight and improvement of glycemic control than a standard hypocaloric diet with safety and good tolerance for T2DM patients. Medical nutritional therapy aiming at weight loss is a mainstay of treatment for obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).1 An interplay between human obes Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is it safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss. What is a ketogenic diet? In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones. Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet May Benefit Some People With Type 2 Diabetes

Ketogenic Diet May Benefit Some People With Type 2 Diabetes

People who have type 2 diabetes, are overweight, or want to enhance their metabolic health might benefit from going on a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet, sometimes called “keto” for short, involves cutting back on carbohydrates, eating more fat, and a reasonable amount of protein. This diet puts us in a state of ketosis where the body is burning fat for energy, in contrast to glycolysis where blood glucose provides most of our fuel. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process and should not be confused with ketoacidosis, a toxic buildup of ketones in the bloodstream that can occur in people with diabetes— though it’s rare in those with type 2. Keto Benefits A study completed in partnership with Indiana University Health provides evidence that a ketogenic diet improves insulin sensitivity and promotes weight loss in adults with type 2 diabetes. The 262 people in this study were both overweight, and had type 2 diabetes; 90 percent of them were on at least one diabetes medication. For ten weeks their carb intake was restricted to 30 grams per day, plus fat and protein consumption were increased. The participants continued their medications, and made no other lifestyle changes. At the end of the ten-week trial: Participant A1C levels averaged a 1.0 percent drop; 147 of the participants showed A1C readings below 6.5 percent. Participants lost about 7.2 percent of their body mass. More than half the participants, 56.8 percent, had lowered one or more diabetes medications, or eliminated one medication altogether. There were no reports of severe hypoglycemia during the trial period. Supervision and Support Earlier studies, many of them smaller, also suggest a ketogenic diet improves insulin sensitivity, and helps with weight management. The diet may also lower heart diseas Continue reading >>

Pills Or Paleo? Preventing And Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Pills Or Paleo? Preventing And Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

The incidence of type 2 diabetes continues to skyrocket, but current drug treatments are inadequate and potentially dangerous. The Paleo diet offers a safe and effective alternative. This article is the first in an ongoing series that compares a Paleo-based diet and lifestyle with medication for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Stay tuned for future articles on high blood pressure, heartburn/GERD, autoimmune disease, skin disorders, and more. Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes have reached epidemic proportions. In the U.S. today, someone dies from diabetes-related causes every ten seconds, and recent reports suggest that one-third of people born in 2010 will develop diabetes at some point in their lives. Find out how the Paleo diet can prevent and even reverse diabetes naturally. What is particularly horrifying about this statistic is that many of those who develop diabetes will be kids. Type 2 diabetes used to be a disease of the middle-aged and elderly. No longer. A recent Yale study indicated that nearly one in four kids between the ages of four and eighteen have pre-diabetes. And some regional studies show that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children and young adults has jumped from less than 5 percent before 1994 to 50 percent in 2004. It’s clear that type 2 diabetes is one of the most significant and dangerous health problems of our times, and we desperately need safe and effective treatments that won’t bankrupt our health care system. With this in mind, let’s compare two possible ways of addressing type 2 diabetes: conventional medication, and a Paleo diet. Conventional Medication for Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is typically treated with the following (impossible to pronounce!) classes of drugs: These medic Continue reading >>

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