Clearing Up Kidney Confusion: Part Deux
Its funny how our mental state really affects how we write and what we are interested in. When I wrote the introduction to this piece I was just getting settled into our new place in Santa Fe, NM and was looking at over a month at home to work and write. Then a number of wacky events happened and Ive been home about 7 days out of the last month and Ive only made it about 70 pages into Kon-Tiki. Now Im home for 8 days and will then be gone for a project that will take me completely off the grid for nearly 3 weeks. No phone, emailnada. When I sat down to do this kidney piece it was with a mindset that I had a ton of time and could really sink my teeth into it. Now Im time crunched and anxious that I will get it done at all! Up front here Id like to thank Mat The Kraken Lalonde with his help on some literature for this piece. Any inaccuracies however are my own tomfoolery. If I wanted to cut to the chase I could boil this whole thing down to the following: 1-Dietary protein DOES NOT CAUSE KIDNEY DAMAGE. 2-Chronically elevated BLOOD GLUCOSE levels DO cause kidney damage. 3-Dietary fructose REALLY causes kidney damage. 4-Many kidney issues have either a hyperinsulinemic characteristic, an autoimmune characteristic, and or a combination of autoimmunity or hyperinsulinism. A standard, low-ish carb paleo diet can fix most of these issues. 5-For serious kidney damage a low-protein, ketogenic diet can be remarkably therapeutic. 6-If you get kidney stones that are from oxalates, reduce your green veggie intake (spinach for example) and have other types of veggies. 7-If you get kidney stones that are from urate salts, you are likely NOT following a low-ish carb paleo diet, you likely have insulin resistance and your liver is not processing uric acid. As much as Id like to leave it Continue reading >>
High-protein, Low-carb Diets Explained
High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets, like The Atkins Diet, have been widely promoted as effective weight loss plans. These programs generally recommend that dieters get 30% to 50% of their total calories from protein. By comparison, the American Heart Association, the National Cholesterol Education Program, and the American Cancer Society all recommend a diet in which a smaller percentage of calories come from protein. Normally your body burns carbohydrates for fuel. When you drastically cut carbs, the body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis, and it begins to burn its own fat for fuel. When your fat stores become a primary energy source, you may lose weight. Some experts have raised concern about high-protein, low-carb diets. High cholesterol.Some protein sources -- like fatty cuts of meat, whole dairy products, and other high-fat foods -- can raise cholesterol, increasing your chance of heart disease. However, studies showed that people on the Atkins diet for up to 2 years actually had decreased “bad” cholesterol levels. Kidney problems. If you have any kidney problems, eating too much protein puts added strain on your kidneys. This could worsen kidney function. Osteoporosis and kidney stones. When you're on a high-protein diet, you may urinate more calcium than normal. There are conflicting reports, but some experts think this could make osteoporosis and kidney stones more likely. If you're considering a high-protein diet, check with your doctor or a nutritionist to see if it's OK for you. They can help you come up with a plan that will make sure you're getting enough fruits and vegetables, and that you're getting lean protein foods. Remember, weight loss that lasts is usually based on changes you can live with for a long time, not a temporary diet. Continue reading >>
Reversal Of Diabetic Nephropathy By A Ketogenic Diet
Go to: Introduction While intensive insulin therapy and other interventions slow the development of diabetic complications , there is far less evidence that these interventions reverse diabetic complications. For example, tight glucose control prevented the development of nephropathy (as indicated by proteinuria) in a rat model of Type 1 diabetes, but did not reverse nephropathy once proteinuria had developed . Thus there is a general consensus that diabetes is associated with progressive and cumulative processes that are much more amenable to retardation than to reversal. Nevertheless, from a clinical perspective, reversing pathologies associated with diabetes would be far more valuable than simply delaying their onset. We have proposed that both diabetic complications and age-related pathologies develop due to a progressive and cumulative effect of glucose metabolism that produces a bistable hysteretic effect on gene expression . In addition to glycolytic enzymes that would be expected to produce oxidative stress , glucose metabolism also induces a variety of molecular responses such as thioredoxin-interaction protein  and p65  that could plausibly contribute to nephropathy. Indeed, the latter induction is persistent, even after normalization of glucose, thus exemplifying glucose-induced hysteresis and its clinical correlate, metabolic memory, including in nephropathy . Furthermore, based particularly on detailed analysis of the hysteretic behavior of the lac operon , , we have hypothesized that sufficiently prolonged and robust reduction in glucose metabolism or molecular responses to glucose metabolism may reverse this bistable molecular state, leading to reversal of pathology . While examining basic mechanisms mediating molecular respo Continue reading >>
Low-carb Dieting And Kidney Health: Setting The Record Straight
A s I walk down my hospital unit, on my way to the lunch room, I try to not be so conspicuous. The aroma of crisp fatty bacon leaves a trail of evidence that I simply can’t cover. In normal situations, I wouldn’t care if people saw me eating bacon. However, I’m a dietitian, and unless you are caught up on research, registered nutritionists should NOT be eating bacon. Explaining myself sometimes takes a lot of energy, and the last thing I need on my lunch break is a headache. Thus, I often chose my battles when it comes to explaining my low-carb, high-fat lifestyle. For clinical workers who are not up to speed, I may be viewed as a clinician who lacks integrity. Those of us who follow Carb Nite® or Carb Backloading™, know that simply isn’t the case, and in fact, quite the opposite. One of the biggest misconceptions I find is the thought that higher protein, or low-carb diets, cause damage to the kidneys. As I chomp on my bacon people often look at me with a dumbfounded look and ask, “Isn’t all that protein bad on your kidneys?” I thought this topic was old news. I was incorrect. It’s actually one of the most common questions, next to the saturated fat topic, that seems to keep resurfacing with whoever questions the low-carb lifestyle. It’s time to set the record straight. • Higher protein diets are safe for the general population. • There is a small population who may need to keep their protein intake at a minimum. • High-fat, moderate protein diets may have a protective effect in those with insulin resistance. It’s important to note the researched reviewed was not done on athletes; the recommendations made are for the average population. Higher protein diets are safe, for most people Research shows that high-protein diets may be harmful for Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, But Is It Safe?
A new twist on extreme weight loss is catching on in some parts of the United States. It’s called the "keto diet." People promoting the diet say it uses the body’s own fat burning system to help people lose significant weight in as little as 10 days. It has also been known to help moderate the symptoms of children with epilepsy, although experts are not quite sure why it works. Proponents say the diet can produce quick weight loss and provide a person with more energy. However, critics say the diet is an unhealthy way to lose weight and in some instances it can be downright dangerous. Read More: What is the “Caveman Diet?” » What Is Ketosis? The “keto” diet is any extremely low- or no-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when people eat a low- or no-carb diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream. Low carbohydrate levels cause blood sugar levels to drop and the body begins breaking down fat to use as energy. Ketosis is actually a mild form of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. In fact, it is the leading cause of death of people with diabetes who are under 24 years of age. However, many experts say ketosis itself is not necessarily harmful. Some studies, in fact, suggest that a ketogenic diet is safe for significantly overweight or obese people. However, other clinical reviews point out that patients on low-carbohydrate diets regain some of their lost weight within a year. Where It’s Helpful The keto diet was created by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello, an associate professor of surgery at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. He claims great success among thousands of users. In his study, more than 19,000 dieters experienced significant, rapid weight loss, few side Continue reading >>
How Does Keto//os Affect Kidneys And Liver And The Role In Metabolizing Ketones?
As with all medium chain triglycerides, the MCT powder portion of the product will largely be converted to ketones by the liver within a few short hours of consumption. MCT create a readily supply of Ketone production for the liver to use for ketones. The BHB-salt portion should simply be absorbed into the blood as ketones. The BHB supplies another source, which doesn’t require the liver to produce ketones. There is no reason that the ketones produced by the product will affect the kidneys or liver any differently than ketones produced from exogenous fats (such as when eating a ketogenic diet) or ketones produced from stored fats (such as when calorie restricting or losing weight). Exogenous ketone scientific literature does not suggest that either kidney or liver function is negatively affected by ketosis. The major role of the kidneys when it comes to ketones is to excrete excess ketones in the urine. This excretion will likely be highest during the first few days of keto-adaptation (either in eating the keto diet or consuming KETO//OS), but the body will retain more and the tissues will begin to preferentially burn the ketones as consumption continues. The liver is the major site of endogenous ketone production, so taking exogenous ketones with KETO//OS would provide another source besides the liver to make ketones. Remember, KETO//OS and exogenous ketones are a source of calories; so be sure to consider it in your daily goals. KETO//OS and exogenous ketone supplementation is not hard on the liver. Continue reading >>
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 >>
Diabetes, Kidney Damage, And Ketogenic Diets
Take a look at this PBS video sent to me by one of our readers – and try not to punch your monitor near the end: So close … Okay, let’s focus on the positive for now. I was delighted to hear one of the on-screen experts explain that high glucose levels appear to cause repeated injury to the kidneys. Well-meaning people have tried to warn me over that a “high protein” diet is hard on the kidneys. Why? Because damaged kidneys leak protein. But that doesn’t mean protein is causing the damage. If your kitchen pipes start leaking water, do you assume the damage was caused by water? Of course not. The kidneys are damaged by excess glucose, and then they leak protein. I was delighted again to hear a researcher explain that ketones can be used as an alternate energy source by most cells in the body, and that on a ketogenic diet the body switches from being primarily a glucose-metabolizing machine to a fat-and-ketone metabolizing machine. As I like to explain it to people, you can be sugar-burner or a fat-burner. I find life as a fat-burner much more pleasant … more consistent energy, better mood, no more creeping weight gain, and no more ravenous hunger if I skip a meal. As I write this, I’m 23 hours into a 24-hour intermittent fasting day, and I feel fine. I was delighted yet again when the researchers speculated that removing glucose from the picture might help the kidneys recover, then discovered that putting mice on a ketogenic diet did indeed reverse the kidney damage caused by diabetes. Sure, it’s just a rodent study with results that may or may not apply to humans, but as the researcher said, it’s a proof of principle, an avenue to be explored. All right! Cool! Great story so far. I was anxiously waiting for the part where he suggests we try the same Continue reading >>
High Fat Diet May Be Able To Reverse Kidney Failure
Scientists, in experiments with mice, have demonstrated for the first time that a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet called the ketogenic diet can reverse kidney failure caused by type 1 or type 2 diabetes. See also: A new exercise prescription for diabetes. If the findings can be replicated in humans, the diet would have profound implications for personal health and for the nation's health care, says neuroscientist Charles Mobbs of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. "This is the first study to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes," says Mobbs, senior author of a paper published online in PLoS One on April 20. The mice, bred to develop type 1 or type 2 diabetes, were allowed to develop kidney failure, known as diabetic nephropathy. Then half were fed a standard high-carbohydrate diet while the other half ate a high-fat ketogenic diet, typically used to control epilepsy in children. After eight weeks, kidney failure was reversed in the mice on the ketogenic diet. Their blood glucose returned to normal and the presence of the protein albumin in urine, a strong predictor of the progression of kidney disease, also was corrected. Controlling blood glucose and blood pressure slows the progression of diabetic kidney disease, but once the kidneys are damaged there currently is no way to repair them. If they fail, dialysis or a kidney transplant is the only option, experts say, which means that reversing the disease would be far more valuable than simply delaying it. "I believe that glucose metabolism in the cells drives diabetic complications," says Mobbs. "But controlling blood glucose levels alone doesn't correct the complications. We had to go beyond simply correcting blood glucose." In monitoring the Continue reading >>
Does Ketosis Cause Kidney Damage?
The ‘Lean for Life’ program is mildly ketotic, and only for a brief portion of the program. It has not been associated with kidney damage or disease in individuals who have normally functioning kidneys. Concerns regarding undue stress on the kidneys are often aimed at very low carbohydrate, very high protein ketogenic diets. Few studies have shown any actual damage, however. (Note: Although the Weight Loss portion of the ‘Lean for Life’ program is mildly ketogenic, it is not considered to be exceptionally “high protein” for most individuals.) Dietary ketosis is among the most maligned and misunderstood concepts in nutrition medicine. Particularly among researchers who don’t actually treat patients, ketosis (the presence of ketone bodies in the urine) is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening build-up of ketone bodies due to muscle wasting and dehydration as in states of shock or uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes. In the Type 1 diabetic, the absence of insulin leads to a toxic build-up of blood glucose and an extreme break-down of fat and muscle tissue. This condition doesn’t occur in individuals who have even a small amount of insulin, whether from natural production or artificially administered. Whereas patients in ketoacidosis are closely monitored in Intensive Care Units, individuals in ketosis are amongst the healthy, active population. Dietary ketosis is a natural adjustment to the body’s reduced intake of carbohydrates as the body shifts its primary source of energy from carbohydrates to stored fat. The presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that a mild, beneficial ketosis is achieved. Blood glucose levels are stabilized within a normal range and there is no break-down of healthy muscle tissue. It would be diffi Continue reading >>
Could A High-fat, Low-carb Diet Someday Replace Dialysis?
MORE A type of low-carb, high-fat diet that's typically used to manage seizures for children with epilepsy could reverse kidney disease in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics, a new animal study suggests. If successful in humans, the so-called ketogenic diet could have the potential to replace dialysis, which is a procedure that artificially filters blood in place of a damaged or failed kidney, said study researcher Charles Mobbs, professor of neuroscience and geriatrics and palliative care medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. "I speculate that this may be useful to completely cure diabetic kidney failure , and I hope that it's possible," Mobbs told MyHealthNewsDaily. "If it's possible, we can potentially not require dialysis. That's a big deal." However, a lot more research in mice is needed before any studies can be done in humans, Mobbs said, let alone determine if the diet can reverse advanced kidney disease in humans, he said. "That's the first thing we want to establish in mice: Can we truly reset the clock? Can we completely correct the [kidney] impairments?" Mobbs said. Other experts say the finding is promising for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics with earlier-stage kidney disease, but more research must be done to provide evidence that the diet can make an impact on end-stage kidney disease , or kidney failure. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin (needed to move blood sugar into cells for energy) to control blood sugar levels, according to the National Institutes of Health. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels. Overweight and obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet are risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, according to the N Continue reading >>
Ketones, Ketosis, And Ketogenic Diets
An understanding of ketones and ketosis is essential for understanding how some high protein-low carbohydrate diets (also called Ketogenic Diets) such as Atkins diet works. Ketones are mild acids, a sort of reserve fuel released from burned fats for survival under conditions of starvation. When we go without food for even a few days our bodies begin living off our stored fats, and these release ketones. During ketosis, the body switches from using glucose for energy (sufficient dietary carbohydrates are not available) to using fat. Fatty acids are then released into the bloodstream and converted into ketones. The ketones themselves are produced by the metabolism of fat. Ketosis refers to the process of the conversion. The ketones are used by your muscles, your brain, and other organs as an energy source. Excess ketones are then eliminated during urination. Ketosis occurs when the amount of carbohydrate fuel- the fuel that is needed to run the body - drops below a critical level, forcing the body to turn first to protein and then to fat reserves to do the work carbohydrates normally do. When protein is deflected in this manner, it releases nitrogen into the blood stream, placing a burden on the kidneys as they try to excrete excessive urinary water due to sodium loss. When fat is likewise deflected, the breakup releases fatty acids, or ketones, into the bloodstream, further burdening the kidneys. If ketosis continues for long periods of time, serious damage to the liver and kidneys can occur, which is why most low-carbohydrate, or ketogenic diets recommend only short-term use, typically 14 days. Many nutritionists caution their patients-especially women in the early stages of pregnancy-against following them at all. Fasters experience a sensation of improved well-being a Continue reading >>
Ketosis & Kidney Failure
Ketosis happens when your body resorts to fat for energy after your stored carbohydrates have been burned out. It often occurs when people fast and exercise. But most commonly, ketosis occurs in people who eat low-carb, high-protein diets, which are also called ketogenic diets. There’s some evidence that ketosis can tax your kidneys, leading to kidney stones and low blood pressure. In diabetics, a variant of ketosis can be fatal. However, a small but growing group of health professionals say ketosis is not the poison you’ve been lead to think it was, and it may be better for you than high-carbohydrate eating. Your specific dietary habits are best advised by your healthcare provider or nutritionist. Video of the Day Ketosis happens when you get a buildup of a substance known as ketones, or ketone bodies in your blood. They are released when your body’s carbohydrate stores run out and you have to break down fat stores for energy. Dieters tend to deliberately cause ketosis because it makes you feel less hungry. However, ketosis also makes you feel tired and sluggish, because as "Medical News Today" reports, ketones aren’t the most efficient source of energy, especially for your brain. Ketosis can also harm your kidneys. Annually, more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with kidney failure in the United States, reports the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or NIDDK. The condition is marked by the inability of your kidneys to do their job of eliminating wastes. One treatment for kidney failure is dialysis, a draining and lengthy artificial blood cleansing process. Another option is a kidney transplant. The NIDDK states that the cost of care for patients with kidney failure reached close to $32 billion in 2005. The federal government sub Continue reading >>