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Can Ketosis Cause Kidney Damage?

Kidney Damage 'reversed' In Diabetic Mice

Kidney Damage 'reversed' In Diabetic Mice

BBC News has reported that “diet can ‘reverse kidney failure’ in mice”. It said that a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrate can repair kidney damage in diabetic mice. The research looked at the effect on kidney function of a “ketogenic diet”, consisting of 87% fat, 5% carbohydrate and 8% protein, compared to a standard carbohydrate-rich diet in mouse models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The diabetic mice, which had abnormal amounts of protein in their urine, indicating poor kidney function, showed improvement in kidney function over eight weeks of being on the ketogenic diet. This was a small animal study and further research is needed to see what aspect of the diet underlies the effects seen. The implications for humans are limited and, as the researchers point out, it is unfeasible for humans to adopt such a high-fat diet in the long term owing to the health risks of consuming so much fat. Follow-up studies are more likely to look at the proteins involved in fat metabolism and their effect on kidney cells, to try to produce drugs that mimic the effect of the diet. As the BBC points out, the diet “mimics the effect of starvation and should not be used without medical advice”. Where did the story come from? The study was carried out by researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. Funding was provided by The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal PLoS One. The research was covered very well by the BBC, which highlighted the preliminary nature of the animal study and that the diet was unlikely to be recommended for people with diabetes. What kind of research was this? This animal study investigated the effect of a “ketogenic” diet on mouse models of type 1 or type 2 diabete Continue reading >>

Long-term High Fat Ketogenic Diet Promotes Renal Tumor Growth In A Rat Model Of Tuberous Sclerosis

Long-term High Fat Ketogenic Diet Promotes Renal Tumor Growth In A Rat Model Of Tuberous Sclerosis

Nutritional imbalance underlies many disease processes but can be very beneficial in certain cases; for instance, the antiepileptic action of a high fat and low carbohydrate ketogenic diet. Besides this therapeutic feature it is not clear how this abundant fat supply may affect homeostasis, leading to side effects. A ketogenic diet is used as anti-seizure therapy i.a. in tuberous sclerosis patients, but its impact on concomitant tumor growth is not known. To examine this we have evaluated the growth of renal lesions in Eker rats (Tsc2+/−) subjected to a ketogenic diet for 4, 6 and 8 months. In spite of existing opinions about the anticancer actions of a ketogenic diet, we have shown that this anti-seizure therapy, especially in its long term usage, leads to excessive tumor growth. Prolonged feeding of a ketogenic diet promotes the growth of renal tumors by recruiting ERK1/2 and mTOR which are associated with the accumulation of oleic acid and the overproduction of growth hormone. Simultaneously, we observed that Nrf2, p53 and 8-oxoguanine glycosylase α dependent antitumor mechanisms were launched by the ketogenic diet. However, the pro-cancerous mechanisms finally took the ascendency by boosting tumor growth. Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a multi-system genetic disease caused by autosomal dominant mutations in the tumor suppressor genes encoding hamartin (TSC1) or tuberin (TSC2). Mutations in these genes result in the development of mostly non-neoplastic lesions which are found in many organs1. These benign tumors can eventually develop into neoplastic ones. For example, a subependymal giant cell astrocytoma develops from hamartomous subependymal nodules2. Neoplastic lesions in TSC can also be found in the lungs and kidneys3. Renal neoplasms such as angiomyolip Continue reading >>

Does A Ketogenic Diet Cause Kidney Stones?

Does A Ketogenic Diet Cause Kidney Stones?

I remember the first time I learned about the connection between a diet high in sugar and gout, kidney stones and heart disease. I was reading a book (I don’t remember which one) that was laying out the evidence that showed a clear link between sugar consumption and those diseases and it immediately peaked my interest because I didn’t know that gout was still a thing. I had only heard of old French monarchs having it and honestly didn’t know it was still around until just a few weeks before reading that book. Just a few weeks prior to reading that, I learned that my son’s Father in Law had gout and occasional kidney stones and as I read that passage in the book, I thought about calling him and telling him what I read. I decided against it and figured I would bring it up the next time I saw him at church. Unfortunately, before I ever got a chance to say anything to him, he had a heart attack. He’s fine now but I have always felt bad I didn’t immediately make a call. I realize it wouldn’t have done much given how quickly it all happened but still, I should have said something. Since then, probably the most common question I get about the ketogenic diet is whether or not it will cause kidney stones and there is definitely a connection but possibly not how you think. First let’s go over how kidney stones are formed. How Kidney Stones are Formed At one point in time it was thought that uric acid was produced solely from the breakdown of purines found in foods like liver, pork, mushrooms, anchovies, mackerel and dried beans which is why most patients that were susceptible to kidney stones or gout were put on a low purine diet. Unfortunately those diets didn’t work too well and almost always had to be supplemented with additional medications that controlled t Continue reading >>

Can A Ketogenic Diet Repair Damaged Kidneys?

Can A Ketogenic Diet Repair Damaged Kidneys?

Doing some research for another subject we will be talking about on this blog very soon, I cam across a very interesting paper from 2011 titled, Reversal of Diabetic Nephropathy by a Ketogenic Diet. What the paper shows was a group of mice were given both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, then half the mice were switched to a ketogenic diet for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks the mice were dissected to determine what happened and here are the results the paper showed. Diabetic nephropathy, as indicated by albumin/creatinine ratios as well as expression of stress-induced genes, was completely reversed by 2 months maintenance on a ketogenic diet. However, histological evidence of nephropathy was only partly reversed. What this means is that the blood markers for kidney disease were completely reversed but the actual kidneys themselves still showed evidence of the damaged caused by the poor diet, but there was still some improvement. I would assume that staying on the ketogenic diet for longer than 8 weeks would show further improvement but no actual evidence of this was presented in this paper. Although more research is definitely needed, especially to see just how advanced kidney damage can be until they are too far gone for even a ketogenic diet to be able to heal them back to at least a basic function, this is more evidence that the body just works better on a LCHF diet that produces ketones for energy instead of glucose. You can also find an article on Does a Ketogenic Diet Cause Kidney Stones here. Don’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for out daily email! Need more info about the ketogenic diet? Sign up for our 28 day training program and weekly ketogenic meal plans! Continue reading >>

Kidney Disease Healing Naturally

Kidney Disease Healing Naturally

I just have to tell you, just to remind you, I am a type 1 diabetic and have been for 34 years. My kidney function has been going down gradually for several years including 4 points from June of this year to August. My GFR score was 42 in August, which I was told was stage 3 kidney failure. As of October 24 — I just got the results today — but as of October 24 my GFR score was 57 — 60 is considered normal. My kidney doctor said that he has never seen anything like that before and wanted to know what I was doing. I told him that I was doing a combination of a ketogenic diet and daily coffee enemas. He couldn’t believe his ears. I had to explain what each one of those things were. Anyway, I just thought I would let you know. Everyone is shocked that my kidney disease healing the way it is. And by the way, my HgA1C was 5.7 as of a week ago. Again almost into normal range which is my goal. Now, that is due to the ketogenic lifestyle. Oh, and by the way, I am going to see my “local” (80 minutes away) Maximized Living Chiropractor and getting great care. I have been really impressed with his office and “bed-side-manner.” I can’t believe all the things that he is doing to help improve my health. I have been to a few chiropractors before, but none ever even suggested they could do that. I told him that I had purchased your material on the ketogenic diet. He said that he knew you. His name is Dr. Josh Johnson. You may have heard of him. He said that he went to school with you. I thought that was pretty cool. Small world sometimes. Thanks again for all your help! Pastor Eric Sawyer Continue reading >>

New Research: Atkins Is Safe For Your Kidneys

New Research: Atkins Is Safe For Your Kidneys

Although there are no studies that show that Atkins causes kidney or liver problems in healthy individuals, there are still ill informed health professionals who equate Atkins with excessively high protein intake and the potential for kidney function decline. Those of us here in the community know that Atkins is not a very high protein diet; we recommend a protein intake that is no more than 25 to 30% of total calories, which is optimal. There are already research trials that examined liver and kidney and heart function on participants who followed ketogenic diets (Atkins approach) in which no negative effects were observed up to two years after. Also, follow-up on patients at Dr. Atkins' medical practice (Dr. Atkins used his diet in private practice for 30 years) found no adverse effect on their kidney and liver functions. Now there is more good news! A new study conducted by the American Diabetes Association supports the safety and efficacy of a low-carb diet like Atkins. This latest study compared a low-carb diet with Mediterranean or low-fat diets and their impact on preserving and/or improving renal (kidney) function of 318 moderately obese folks with or without type-2 diabetes. These participants were followed over the course of two years during a randomized and controlled trial, and a low-carb diet like Atkins was found to be just at effective and safe at preserving or improving kidney function as a Mediterranean diet or a low-fat diet. The researchers believe that any improvement in kidney function was most likely due to the positive effects of weight loss from these diets, including improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. This type of research is always encouraging because it continues to show that if you are doing Atkins, not only will it help Continue reading >>

Diet And Kidney Health: Protein Vs. Sugar

Diet And Kidney Health: Protein Vs. Sugar

When it comes to chronic diseases, the big names are cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Chronic kidney disease doesn’t really get much press – which is weird, because about 10% of the population has it. Kidney disease is painful and exhausting to live with, and most people eventually need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. Like most chronic diseases, kidney disease is affected by diet. There’s an old warning, born in the 1980s, that eating protein damages the kidneys, but the evidence actually proves otherwise: healthy people don’t need to worry about protein hurting their kidneys. Sugar, on the other hand, is really not your kidneys’ best friend. Meet your Kidneys The kidneys don’t have a particularly glamorous job. They filter out waste from your blood and direct it into your urine to get it out of your body. If this job didn’t get done, you wouldn’t be able to regulate the balance of salt and other electrolytes in your body, keep your blood at the right pH, or maintain a normal blood pressure. It’s pretty important stuff, even if it’s not something most people spend a lot of time thinking about it. The kidney is kind of like the highway repair crew of your body. If it’s working right, you barely notice it and everything just hums along smoothly and feels automatic. But if it’s not working right, you’re in trouble. So how does diet play into that? Protein and the Kidneys Before handling anything else, let’s tackle the old myth that protein is bad for your kidneys. The idea that protein causes kidney damage sounds logical on the surface. When you break down protein, your body produces certain waste products in the process. If those waste products stay in the blood, they’re very dangerous, so the kidneys filter them out in Continue reading >>

Will A Low Carb Diet Damage My Kidneys? Ketogenic Diet And Diabetic Nephropathy

Will A Low Carb Diet Damage My Kidneys? Ketogenic Diet And Diabetic Nephropathy

Will a Low Carb Diet Damage My Kidneys? Anyone who has low carbed for any length of time has heard the litany of dire health predictions: “You’ll get heart disease!” “It will weaken your bones!” “You won’t have any energy!” Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. One of the most persistent among these is the threat of kidney damage. Never mind that repeated studies have demonstrated this not to be the case. Never mind that decades of ketogenic diets used for controlling intractable seizures in children have resulted in remarkably few kidney problems, and that those few were largely kidney stones reported to be caused by the restriction of fluids on that admittedly extreme version of the diet, and were cleared up by liberalization of fluids. No, no, we’re all destroying our kidneys. This made a recent study all the more interesting. In April, the medical journal PloSOne published the results of a mouse study of the effects of a ketogenic diet on diabetic nephropathy – the diabetes-caused kidney damage that is the leading cause of kidney failure, and the most common cause of death in diabetics between 50 and 70 years of age. Specifically, the researchers wanted to know if one particular ketone, called ketone 3-beta-hydroxybutyrate (3-OHB), was actually protective of kidneys. Here’s the deal: They took three kinds of mice: “wild type mice,” whom I assume served as controls, and two kinds of mice bred to be predisposed to diabetes, one group to type 1 diabetes, often called juvenile onset diabetes, the other to type 2, or adult onset diabetes. All of the mice were fed a standard chow for the first 20 weeks of their lives, giving the diabetes-prone mice time to develop diabetes. They monitored the diabetic mice’s urine for something called the albumin-to-cr Continue reading >>

Is Keto And Ketosis Safe?

Is Keto And Ketosis Safe?

The ketogenic diet and ketosis are safe. Not only are they safe, but they are useful in helping people with many different conditions. The ketogenic diet has helped cancer patients, people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2), women with polycystic ovary syndrome, people with heart disease, and many others. So, where does the rumor that the ketogenic diet and ketosis may not be safe come from? Well, it starts with ketones. Rumors Spread Like Ketones in an Insulin Deficient Body One of the primary goals of the ketogenic diet is to enter ketosis (a normal metabolic process when ketones are produced for fuel). Ketosis is primarily regulated by the liver, which helps produce enough ketones to meet the body’s needs. However, ketone production can get out of hand when insulin is deficient, leading to ketoacidosis. This may be where the rumor that keto and ketosis are not safe came from. Ketoacidosis — A Serious Condition That Is Not Caused By The Ketogenic Diet Ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes. It is brought on by being born without the ability to produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or living a lifestyle that promotes insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes). In both cases, there isn’t enough insulin to tell that cells that energy is available (insulin deficiency). The lack of insulin signaling causes the fat cells and liver cells to go into starvation mode, even after a calorically dense meal. The fat cells begin to dump triglycerides into the blood to provide the other cells with energy because the cells are perceiving that there is no fuel available. Meanwhile, the liver starts mobilizing stored glycogen and using gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis to provide the body with sugar and ketones that it doesn’t need. All of this causes bloo Continue reading >>

Do Low-carb Diets Increase Kidney Stone Risk? Let’s Ask The Low-carb Experts

Do Low-carb Diets Increase Kidney Stone Risk? Let’s Ask The Low-carb Experts

People have all sorts of ideas about low-carb diets based on what they’ve heard somewhere or just on what they think they know about them. It’s why concepts like “artery-clogging” saturated fats still pervade our culture despite all the scientific evidence to the contrary. It doesn’t help that these myths surrounding healthy carbohydrate-restricted diets are perpetuated on a daily basis by so many so-called health “experts” in both the medical and nutrition fields and the general public is none-the-wiser to contradict any of it since they are merely living their lives and trusting the sources of information they are paying attention to. It’s what makes the idea of creating a cultural shift in thinking in favor of low-carb living that much more difficult–but it won’t deter me or the many others who are out here fighting the good fight to educate, encourage and inspire others to give livin’ la vida low-carb a try for themselves. I literally receive hundreds upon hundreds of e-mails daily from readers who are searching for answers to their questions about their low-carb lifestyle, help with weight loss, or managing some chronic disease they are dealing with. Although I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, I’m always happy to share from my own experiences to see if that information can be beneficial to the person who wrote to me. It’s my pleasure to hear from readers and to offer up assistance in any way that I can. However, from time to time I’ll receive an e-mail from a reader who has an interesting question that is beyond my scope of full understanding enough to share a detailed explanation of what’s possibly going on. It’s okay that I don’t know everything there is to know about nutrition and it’s relationship to being healthy. The good Continue reading >>

Low Carb Dieting Myths

Low Carb Dieting Myths

The myths about low carb dieting and specifically ketogenic diets abound in the American collective consciousness. These are just a few of the most pervasive myths I've encountered, with explanations as to why they are incorrect and simply don't make sense, scientifically: Myth 1: Carbs are an essential nutrient for good health. Some nutrition professionals still believe that carbohydrates are necessary to provide glucose to fuel the brain and avoid hypoglycemia. It's an old way of thinking, and it's just not true scientifically. Essential nutrients are nutrients which your body cannot make, so they have to be obtained on a daily basis from your food sources. There are essential proteins, and essential fatty acids, but there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. When the body is in ketosis, it has a “glucose sparing” effect. First, the skeletal muscles burn fatty acids preferentially which spares glucose for the brain to use. Second, once a person is keto-adapted, the brain switches to using ketone bodies for over half of the fuel it needs, and less glucose is needed since ketone bodies are being used as an alternative fuel. This small amount of carbohydrate (glucose or blood sugar) needed to fuel the brain during keto adaptation can be generated internally. Your liver can make all the glucose needed for brain function from glycogen stored in the liver. And if need be, the body can also make glucose from the protein in your food. Hence, carbohydrates are NOT essential nutrients, and many people, such as the Inuit of Alaska and the Masai of Africa live without them for long periods of time without any effect on health and well-being. The “brain needs carbs” idea is only true if you consistently eat a high carb diet (as most registered dietitians will tel Continue reading >>

Top 14 Low-carb & Keto Fears (and Whether You Should Be Worried)

Top 14 Low-carb & Keto Fears (and Whether You Should Be Worried)

It is not at all uncommon that people are skeptical of a low-carb diet in the beginning, especially since we’ve been flooded with bad high-carb, low-fat advice for decades. Of course, we don’t want any unsubstantiated fears of the past get in the way of people reaping the benefits of a low-carb diet. So here’s a short Q&A explaining why most of these fears are nothing to worry about. We also want to make low carb simple, and this includes being very upfront and honest about potential problems and how to handle them. Some problems actually can occur on low carb, and it can be very helpful to know what they are and what can be done about them. Here are the most common fears about low carb, and whether they are true or false. Does a low-carb diet cause high cholesterol? Low-carb diets tend to improve the cholesterol profile by increasing levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol, and decreasing levels of harmful triglycerides. These are both good changes, associated with improved health. Regarding the “bad” LDL cholesterol, most people experience no significant changes on low carb. However, some people can lower or (more often) increase LDL levels somewhat. Note that studies show that at least people over 60 years of age tend to live longer with higher LDL levels. Taken together, studies show that low-carb diets generally improve risk factors for disease, including cholesterol. For a small minority of people however, cholesterol may go up abnormally high on an LCHF diet. In those situations it could be worth adapting the diet to normalize the cholesterol levels. The bottom line: Low-carb and high-fat diets on average improve the cholesterol profile and reduce most risk factors for disease. The effect of this has been demonstrated in a 2010 study that showed a redu Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Side Effects

Ketogenic Diet Side Effects

Although the adverse effects related to the ketogenic diet are generally less serve than those of anticonvulsant medications used to treat epilepsy, individuals following the diet may experience a number of undesirable effects. Short-Term Side Effects There are several short-term side effects that are most evident at the beginning of therapy, particularly when patients commence the diet with an initial fast. Hypoglycemia is a common side effect in this instance, and noticeable signs may include: Excessive thirst Frequent urination Fatigue Hunger Confusion, anxiety and/or irritability Tachycardia Lightheadedness and shakiness Sweating and chills Additionally, patients may also experience some constipation and low-grade acidosis. These effects tend to improve when the diet is continued, as the body adapts to the new diet and adjust the ways in which it sources energy. Alteration in Blood Composition As a result of the changes in dietary consumption and the body’s adaptive mechanisms to cope with the reduced carbohydrate intake, there are several changes in the blood composition of individuals following the ketogenic diet. In particular, the levels of lipids and cholesterol in the blood are commonly higher than what is considered to be normal. More than 60% of patients have raised lipid levels and more than 30% have high levels of cholesterol. If these changes are profound and there is some concern about the health of the child, slight changes to the diet can be made for the individual patient. For example, saturated fat sources can be substituted for polyunsaturated fats. In some cases, it may be necessary to lower the ketogenic ratio and reduce the proportion of fat to carbohydrate and protein in the diet. Long-Term Effects When the ketogenic diet is continued for exte Continue reading >>

Treating Kidney Disease With Diet And Keto Acids

Treating Kidney Disease With Diet And Keto Acids

A low protein diet is needed to manage chronic kidney disease, but what if you take too little protein? Most people are probably aware that we all have two kidneys that filter out waste products from our body in the form of urine. But many might not be aware that these bean-shaped, fist-sized organs can actually take a great deal of punishment before showing any noticeable symptoms. In fact, we can live a fairly normal life with just one kidney, as both kidney transplant recipients and donors can attest to. The downside however, is that we are often unaware that anything is wrong with our kidneys until it is too late. According to consultant nephrologist Dr Chong Yip Boon, around 30-40% of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients who come to see him for the first time already have such advanced conditions that most of their kidney function cannot be salvaged. “Most patients with CKD do not have symptoms, or only mild to moderate symptoms; that is why it is called ‘a silent killer’,” he says. Many of the symptoms are also fairly generic, like loss of appetite and weight, nausea and vomiting, itchiness, fatigue, swollen legs and frothy urine, making it a tough job to correctly diagnose CKD. And even these symptoms only tend to manifest in the later stages of the disease, often when patients are just a step away from needing dialysis. By then, it is a fighting action to maintain the remaining kidney function, rather than curative, which can be undertaken at the earlier stages. Causes and management According to Dr Chong, the causes of CKD include diabetes, hypertension, glomerulonephritis (i.e. inflammation of the glomerulus), kidney stones, autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), genetic conditions like polycystic kidneys, recurrent kidney infect Continue reading >>

How Does The Ketogenic Diet Impact The Kidneys? Is A Ketogenic Diet Safe For Kidneys?

How Does The Ketogenic Diet Impact The Kidneys? Is A Ketogenic Diet Safe For Kidneys?

This concern mainly comes from people believing a ketogenic diet is high in protein, which can increase the occurrence of kidney stones and kidney damage. But this is not true. The ketogenic is high in fat and only recommends an adequate intake of protein. If you do have kidney problems, discuss these changes with your healthcare professional and monitor the situation because everybody is unique and can respond differently. The kidneys clean the blood and flush out toxins and by products from metabolism, during ketosis it is important to keep well hydrated to keep the kidneys functioning optimally. Continue reading >>

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