15 Health Conditions That May Benefit From A Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic diets have become incredibly popular. Early research suggests this high-fat, very low-carb diet may benefit several health conditions. Although some of the evidence is from case studies and animal research, results from human controlled studies are also promising. Here are 15 health conditions that may benefit from a ketogenic diet. Epilepsy is a disease that causes seizures due to excessive brain activity. Anti-seizure medications are effective for some people with epilepsy. However, others don't respond to the drugs or can't tolerate their side effects. Of all the conditions that may benefit from a ketogenic diet, epilepsy has by far the most evidence supporting it. In fact, there are several dozen studies on the topic. Research shows that seizures typically improve in about 50% of epilepsy patients who follow the classic ketogenic diet. This is also known as a 4:1 ketogenic diet because it provides 4 times as much fat as protein and carbs combined (1, 2, 3). The modified Atkins diet (MAD) is based on a considerably less restrictive 1:1 ratio of fat to protein and carbs. It has been shown to be equally effective for seizure control in most adults and children older than two years of age (4, 5, 6, 7, 8). The ketogenic diet may also have benefits on the brain beyond seizure control. For example, when researchers examined the brain activity of children with epilepsy, they found improvements in various brain patterns in 65% of those following a ketogenic diet — regardless of whether they had fewer seizures (9). Ketogenic diets have been shown to reduce seizure frequency and severity in many children and adults with epilepsy who don't respond well to drug therapy. Metabolic syndrome, sometimes referred to as prediabetes, is characterized by insulin resistance. Continue reading >>
A Comprehensive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet
If you’re wondering if the ketogenic diet is the best for weight loss, burning fat, building muscle, and increasing your health then this article is for you. The ketogenic diet is based on the concept of ketosis. Ketosis takes place when your body switches from relying mostly on glucose from carbohydrate for its energy to relying on ketones. Ketones are basically fatty energy molecules that are produced by the liver from fat under certain circumstances such as starving, fasting and very low carbohydrate consumption. In fact, the main premise of the ketogenic diet is high-fat and incredibly low-carb. It is designed solely to put your body into the metabolic state of ketosis. It is not a caloric starvation diet. It is carbohydrate starvation diet. Without getting too much into the history, it was initially introduced back in the early 1920’s by a guy by the name of Dr. Henry Geyelin as a treatment for epilepsy. What physicians and scientists had noticed since the beginning of time was that fasting actually prevented epileptic seizures. Fasting was shown to prevent inflammation in the brain, one of the primary causes of epilepsy. Anyway, along comes Dr. Geyelin and he wonders if it can be accomplished without fasting. Low and behold he discovered that restricting carbs and forcing the body into a state of ketosis actually accomplished the similar effect. Later scientists and physicians build upon his work and began to devise macro (protein, carbohydrate, fat) percentages. It was actually a guy by the name of Russel Wilder who worked for the Mayo Clinic who later coined the term ketogenic diet. Wilder’s colleague Mynie Peterman came up with the macro ratios of 1 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight, 10-15 grams of carbohydrate and the rest as fat. This is the ba Continue reading >>
How To Prevent Kidney Stones Naturally
This is a guest post by Laura Schoenfeld, a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Public Health, and staff nutritionist and content manager for ChrisKresser.com. You can learn more about Laura by checking out her blog or visiting her on Facebook. Anyone who’s had a kidney stone will tell you that they’re one of the worst medical problems you can ever experience. Kidney stones are a common and painful chronic condition seen in otherwise “healthy” patients, and one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract. About a million people in the United States are treated for kidney stones each year, and the prevalence in adult men is almost 12% and around 6% in adult women. (1) Stones are most common in caucasian adults between the ages of 20 and 50, and once someone develops a stone, they are far more likely to develop another stone in the future. Like most chronic diseases, the incidence of kidney stones has been increasing over the past 30 years. (2) This is likely due to the variety of dietary and lifestyle changes we’ve made as Americans which aren’t conducive to good health. What are Kidney Stones? Stones can be formed from a variety of substances, but the most common stones are made of calcium and oxalate that has crystalized in the urinary tract. Other types of stones include struvite, uric acid and cystine. While stones themselves are painful enough, they can lead to more serious conditions such as obstruction of the urinary tract, permanent damage to the kidneys, and even life-threatening infections. I’ve seen patients in the hospital who have come in with necrotic kidneys due to obstruction from a stone, so this can become a serious condition if not managed properly. Conventional medical professionals take a multi-pronged approach to tre Continue reading >>
Preventing Seizures With The Ketogenic Diet
Since the 1920s, doctors have known that a special diet may help control epilepsy seizures in children who don't respond to drug treatments. It’s called a ketogenic diet because it produces substances known as ketones in the urine, a sign that the body is burning fat. In fact, many of the metabolic changes associated with this epilepsy diet are similar to those that occur during starvation. No one knows why a diet like this controls seizures, but numerous studies have documented its effectiveness. Treating Seizures With the Ketogenic Diet Today, experts may recommend the ketogenic diet for children who have tried at least two kinds of medication without success, have had intolerable medication side effects, or have seizures that are very frequent or severe. For children who do not respond to other epilepsy treatments, “it’s worthwhile to try,” says Jacqueline French, MD, a professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City. About two-thirds of those who try the ketogenic diet improve noticeably or even become seizure-free. Children who start the diet while taking medication usually must stay on the drugs, at least initially, although there is the possibility that they can reduce the dosage once the diet starts to have an effect. Eventually, some children can discontinue their epilepsy medication completely. Ketogenic Diet Specifics Basically, 80 to 90 percent of the calories in the diet come from high-fat foods, with protein making up most of the remaining calories, and a very small amount from carbohydrates. Total calories are restricted to about 75 percent of the recommended daily allowance for the patient’s age group. Before starting the ketogenic diet, the child fasts for 24 hours in the hospital under medical supervision. Th Continue reading >>
What is the ketogenic diet? The "classic" ketogenic diet is a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps to control seizures in some people with epilepsy. It is prescribed by a physician and carefully monitored by a dietitian. It is usually used in children with seizures that do not respond to medications. It is stricter than the modified Atkins diet, requiring careful measurements of calories, fluids, and proteins. Foods are weighed and measured. The name ketogenic means that it produces ketones in the body. (keto = ketone; genic = producing) Ketones are formed when the body uses fat for its source of energy. Usually the body uses carbohydrates (such as sugar, bread, pasta) for its fuel. Because the ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, fats become the primary fuel instead. The body can work very well on ketones (and fats). Ketones are not dangerous. They can be detected in the urine, blood, and breath. Ketones are one of the more likely mechanisms of action of the diet, with higher ketone levels often leading to improved seizure control. However, there are many other theories for why the diet will work. Who will it help? Doctors usually recommend the ketogenic diet for children whose seizures have not responded to several different seizure medicines. The classic diet is usually not recommended for adults, mostly because the restricted food choices make it hard to follow. However, the modified Atkins diet does work well. This also should be done with a good team of adult neurologists and dietitians. The ketogenic diet has been shown in many studies to be particularly helpful for some epilepsy conditions. These include infantile spasms, Rett syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex, Dravet syndrome, Doose syndrome, and GLUT-1 deficiency. Using a formula-only Continue reading >>
Dr. Oz: Ketogenic Diet Boosts Weight Loss, Can Prevent Cancer And Alzheimer’s
Dr. Mehmet Oz said the low carb, high-fat ketogenic diet can accelerate weight loss, boost fat-burning, enhance brain power, and prevent diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s on the May 18 episode of the Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Oz’s guest was celebrity fitness expert Drew Manning, who said the ketogenic diet fuels weight loss by forcing the body to burn stored fat for fuel through a metabolic state called ketosis. In 2012, Manning intentionally gained 70 pounds to empathize with his obese clients, as Examiner has reported. Drew then lost all the weight with a ketogenic diet and now has the rippling six-pack abs he had before his weight gain. The ketogenic diet was first used to treat epileptic seizures in children in the 1920s and was later used to manage diabetes before the invention of injectable insulin. The ketogenic diet — which is a low carb high-fat, moderate-protein diet — was first popularized as a weight loss tool in the 1970s, when Dr. Robert Atkins (creator of the Atkins diet) put it on the map. Many celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and LeBron James, have recently used a high-fat, ketogenic-style diet to lose weight. While dietary fat has been demonized for the past 40 years as the cause of obesity and heart disease, scientists now say eating fat does not make you fat. The seismic shift in the health community’s attitudes about dietary fat was spotlighted in the June 2014 issue of Time magazine, which reversed its 40-year stance against saturated fat, as Examiner has reported. Since then, a growing body of scientific research suggests ketogenic-style diets are better than low-fat diets for weight loss and disease prevention. In addition to aiding weight loss, studies show the ketogenic diet can reverse type 2 diabetes and prevent Alzheimer’s beca Continue reading >>
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What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should I Eat To Prevent Ketosis?
When you’re on a low-carb diet, your body kicks into action, breaking down fats into ketone bodies to use for energy. This increase in ketones -- called ketosis -- is a normal adaptation to cutting carbs. In fact, the switch to ketosis is why low-carb diets work. Even though you could eat enough carbs to prevent ketosis, it's important to clarify why you want to avoid it. There's nothing unhealthy about ketosis, so you may just need to correct any misinformation to make the best decision for your weight-loss goals. Video of the Day Deal With Concerns Over Ketosis Ketosis is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is unfortunate -- ketosis is normal, while ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition related to type 1 diabetes. Most people on a low-carb diet tolerate ketosis without any problems. Then after the pounds are dropped, carb intake is gradually increased so you're out of ketosis by the time you reach the maintenance phase. If you decide to stay in an induction phase longer than the low-carb plan recommends, consult your doctor to be safe. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing ketoacidosis from lack of insulin. Due to the complex metabolism of diabetes, they end up with high levels of blood glucose and ketones, which upsets the body's normal acid-base balance. When that happens, ketosis becomes ketoacidosis, causing symptoms like thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, nausea, belly pain, rapid breathing and fruity-smelling breath. If you have symptoms, contact your doctor immediately -- diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency. You may be wary about ketosis because you've heard about "ketosis flu." It's not really flu, but in the first few days or weeks of a low-carb diet, some people experience headaches, dizziness, fatigue, constipation or wea Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Shows Promising Results For All Dementia Stages
Studies show a ketogenic diet can slow and even reverse symptoms of memory loss and cognitive impairment throughout all the dementia stages. You might be asking, “What is a ketogenic diet?” A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet that produces ketones—compounds the body can use to produce energy. Ketones have been shown in studies to be neuroprotective, meaning they “defend” your brain from degenerating. In short, a ketogenic diet is a great way to reverse dementia naturally. Dementia Prevention with a Ketogenic Diet Why does a ketogenic diet show promise? Research clearly establishes a strong link between blood sugar disorders and the various dementia stages, including memory loss, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer’s. The most predominate blood sugar disorders are insulin resistance and diabetes. In fact, the link is so obvious some researchers have labeled Alzheimer’s disease as “type 3 diabetes.” For the majority of Americans, the blood sugar handling system functions poorly thanks to diets heavy on breads, pastas, pastries, cereals, grains, potatoes, sweet coffee drinks, sodas and energy drinks, and desserts of all kinds. The human body simply wasn’t designed to eat sweets and starchy foods in the quantities most people consume today, and the consequences are obvious in the form of overweight and obesity. However, underlying the accumulation of excess body fat is something far more insidious: the swift degeneration and abnormal function of the brain, which leads to the dementia stages of memory loss, MCI, and Alzheimer’s disease. Because glucose and insulin mechanisms in the brain are so impaired by the time one enters into the dementia stages, a ketogenic diet may be a great natural cure for Alz Continue reading >>
Will I Lose Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?
The ability to simultaneously gain muscle and lose fat is a rather controversial topic amongst those in the fitness industry; however, this seems to be the desired goal of anyone looking to optimize body composition. One of the biggest conundrums we face is that in order to shed body fat, we tend to cut calories so much that we lose muscle mass, and in order to build muscle mass, we tend to bring along some fat gain for the ride. These changes in body composition can happen for a number of different reasons, a few of which we will touch on in this article. In any case, the evidence is clear that a properly implemented ketogenic diet exhibits a protein sparing effect, which may allow one dieting to preserve more muscle mass than if he/she hadn’t been ketogenic. This means that we can ideally shed off that pesky lower abdominal fat, all the while keeping those prized muscles we have worked so hard to build. In this article we are going to discuss some of the mechanisms of fat loss and muscle maintenance on a ketogenic diet and why a ketogenic diet may be more ideal for attaining these goals than a traditional low fat diet. One particular piece of dietary advice that people tend to give is the “calories in, calories out,” hypothesis which indicates that it doesn’t matter what you eat or how you eat it, just as long as you eat less than you expend. This is true to a certain degree, but far too often we tend to simplify what both of those equations mean without taking into account other variables (e.g. fiber, thermogenic effect of protein, brown adipose tissue, etc.). If you put yourself in a caloric deficit, it is likely that you will experience weight loss; however, it is possible that some of this weight loss will not come strictly from body fat, and that some of Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet In A Patient With Congenital Hyperinsulinism: A Novel Approach To Prevent Brain Damage
Abstract Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) is the most frequent cause of hypoglycemia in children. In addition to increased peripheral glucose utilization, dysregulated insulin secretion induces profound hypoglycemia and neuroglycopenia by inhibiting glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis and lipolysis. This results in the shortage of all cerebral energy substrates (glucose, lactate and ketones), and can lead to severe neurological sequelae. Patients with CHI unresponsive to medical treatment can be subjected to near-total pancreatectomy with increased risk of secondary diabetes. Ketogenic diet (KD), by reproducing a fasting-like condition in which body fuel mainly derives from beta-oxidation, is intended to provide alternative cerebral substrates such ketone bodies. We took advantage of known protective effect of KD on neuronal damage associated with GLUT1 deficiency, a disorder of impaired glucose transport across the blood-brain barrier, and administered KD in a patient with drug-unresponsive CHI, with the aim of providing to neurons an energy source alternative to glucose. A child with drug-resistant, long-standing CHI caused by a spontaneous GCK activating mutation (p.Val455Met) suffered from epilepsy and showed neurodevelopmental abnormalities. After attempting various therapeutic regimes without success, near-total pancreatectomy was suggested to parents, who asked for other options. Therefore, we proposed KD in combination with insulin-suppressing drugs. We administered KD for 2 years. Soon after the first six months, the patient was free of epileptic crises, presented normalization of EEG, and showed a marked recover in psychological development and quality of life. KD could represent an effective treatment to support brain function in selected cases of CHI. Background Continue reading >>
A Beginner’s Guide To The Ketogenic Diet: An Effective Way Of Optimizing Your Health
Many Americans suffer from various chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and the main culprit is usually the food they eat. The standard American diet contains excessive amounts of protein and carbohydrates, neither of which is good for your health because it eventually causes you to develop insulin and leptin resistance. As a result, you gain excess weight, develop inflammation and become prone to cellular damage. To avoid this problem, significant changes in your diet are necessary, and the best way is inducing your body into a state of nutritional ketosis, a condition where your body burns fat as its primary fuel instead of sugar. In order to reach nutritional ketosis, you must follow a ketogenic diet. But what exactly is a ketogenic diet? This guide will tell you everything you need to know about a ketogenic diet – how you can apply it to your lifestyle and what positives you can reap from it. The Various Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet A ketogenic diet is a dietary approach that focuses on minimal carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and high healthy fat consumption — the three keys to achieving nutritional ketosis. In fact, it’s what I recommend for most people who would like to optimize their health. There are many reasons why you should try a ketogenic diet. It can be very beneficial for people suffering from chronic conditions, or for people who would simply like to be healthier than their current state. You’ll be excited to know that a ketogenic diet can help with the following: • Weight loss If you’re trying to lose weight, then a ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to do it, because it helps access your body fat so that it can be shed. Obese people in particular can benefit from this method. In one study, obese test subjects were Continue reading >>
Gallstones - What Are They And Can They Be Prevented?
Gallstones are becoming more prevalent among the population. Some blame the rise of the obesity epidemic as the root of all other diseases. However, research is starting to shed light that the problem with gallstones may be due to us following a low-fat diet. Research published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal  has shown that individuals who follow a low-fat diet are at a risk of developing gallstones. Following a moderate to high fat diet has been shown to have a preventative effect in the formation of gallstones. Gallstone formation The gallbladder is an organ which collects and stores the bile salts produced by the liver. The bile salts are released into the gut to help digest and absorb fat-soluble vitamins, omega-3 fats, CoQ10 and other antioxidants. The amount of bile released depends on the amount of fat consumed in the diet. When following a low-fat diet, the bile stored in the gallbladder is not used regularly. This leads to the bile salts becoming stagnate and forming crystals and one day gallstones. Fat & a Healthy Gallbladder Current dietary guidelines focus on limiting all forms of fat (even the good ones!) from the diet. So following a standard “healthy” meal according to mainstream guidelines may be problematic for your digestive health and gallbladder. The low-fat content of these meals fail to properly activate the gallbladder. It is important to remember that fat is not the enemy. Fat plays an essential role in a healthy lifestyle as it provides energy, is involved in vitamin A, D, E and K absorption, as well as being involved in hormone production. References: 1. Caroline S. Stokes, Lise Lotte Gluud, Markus Casper, Frank Lammert. (2013) Ursodeoxycholic Acid and High-fat Diets Prevent Gallbladder Stones During Weight Loss: Continue reading >>
Why Ketogenic Ketosis Diet Plan? Understanding Its History, Process, And Benefits
The ketogenic diet or ketosis diet plan is one of the most popular methods of losing weight. It does not only bring several health benefits to our body but it also improves the emotional and mental state of a person. The diet was started in the 1920s to treat patients with epilepsy. It is believed that the cure must start in the food they take such as changing the amount of food or fasting. However, fasting for a long period of time brings danger to patients such as making them dizzy and giving them low levels of energy. Thus, the ketogenic diet was developed. The researchers of Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland have found out that if patients reduce their carbohydrate intake, seizures will less likely to occur. The researchers have found the ketogenic diet to be effective and they also introduced it in patients suffering from diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. The ketogenic diet requires low-carb, adequate protein, and high-fat while it burns body fats. It has three types which are the standard, cyclical, and targeted ketogenic diet. Most of us live in high levels of carbohydrates to function and our bodies use glucose or sugar as energy. Glucose cannot be produced by our body therefore, we eat foods that have glucose. Our body can only store glucose good for 24 hours in our liver and tissues. Once we stop consuming foods with glucose, our body will burn fat instead. ‘Ketosis’ happen when the liver breaks down fat into glycerol and fatty acids (or beta-oxidation). This allows the production of acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate which are ketone bodies or ketones. These three types of molecules are water-soluble. When a person is in ketosis, he gets fueled up using the ketones rather than glucose by burning the fat. To unders Continue reading >>
Tweet Ketosis is a state the body may find itself in either as a result of raised blood glucose levels or as a part of low carb dieting. Low levels of ketosis is perfectly normal. However, high levels of ketosis in the short term can be serious and the long term effects of regular moderate ketosis are only partially known at the moment. What is ketosis? Ketosis is a state the body goes into if it needs to break down body fat for energy. The state is marked by raised levels of ketones in the blood which can be used by the body as fuel. Ketones which are not used for fuel are excreted out of the body via the kidneys and the urine. Is ketosis the same as ketoacidosis? There is often confusion as to the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketosis is the state whereby the body is producing ketones. In ketosis, the level of ketones in the blood can be anything between normal to very high. Diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA, only describes the state in which the level of ketones is either high or very high. In ketoacidosis, the amount of ketones in the blood is sufficient to turn the blood acidic, which is a dangerous medical state. When does ketosis occur? Ketosis will take place when the body needs energy and there is not sufficient glucose available for the body. This can typically happen when the body is lacking insulin and blood glucose levels become high. Other causes can be the result of being on a low carb diet. A low level of carbohydrate will lead to low levels of insulin, and therefore the body will produce ketones which do not rely on insulin to get into and fuel the body’s cells. A further cause of ketosis, less relevant to people with diabetes, is a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Is ketosis dangerous? The NHS describes ketosis as a pote Continue reading >>