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Is Ketosis Hard On The Kidneys?

Is Ketosis Really Bad For You?

Is Ketosis Really Bad For You?

A patient recently asked me how bad being in nutritional ketosis was for her. I responded that the worse problem I’ve seen recently is the patient that broke his toe when he slipped on bacon grease. Are there risks with a ketogenic diet? Yes, but these usually only occur when you cheat or fall off the wagon. What problems can arise? Lets talk about them individually. First, as I stated above, make sure you don’t slip on bacon the grease. It really can be an issue if you’re not used to using increased amounts of fat in your kitchen. So, be prepared for how to cook and use fat. Grandma understood this well, we could learn a great deal from her if you ask her about using bacon grease. Second, let’s define the difference between ketosis and keto-acidosis and try to clarify the misinformation that is being spread around the blogosphere. A ketone is a molecule the body produces from the breakdown of fat (specifically triglycerides) and some proteins (amino acids). There are specifically three types of ketones: beta-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetic acid and acetone. If ketosis was “bad,” then why would our bodies produce these molecules? They are not bad, and in fact, multiple studies show that the body is often more efficient in weight loss, inflammatory reduction, bowel function, epigenetic influence and maintenance of lean body mass more effectivly when it functions on ketones rather than glucose as its primary fuel source. You can see these studies here, here, here and here. The body can only supply a limited amount of sugar or glucose for fuel. If you talk to runners, marathoners or triathletes, they will tell you that after about 45-90 minutes of continuous endurance exercise the glucose supply runs out and they will experience what is termed a “bonk” (ha Continue reading >>

Metabolism And Ketosis

Metabolism And Ketosis

Dr. Eades, If the body tends to resort to gluconeogenesis for glucose during a short-term carbohydrate deficit, are those who inconsistently reduce carb intake only messing things up by not effecting full blown ketosis? If the body will still prefer glucose as main energy source unless forced otherwise for at least a few days, is it absolutely necessary to completely transform metabolism for minimal muscle loss? Also, if alcohol is broken down into ketones and acetaldehyde, technically couldn’t you continue to drink during your diet or would the resulting gluconeogenesis inhibition from alcohol lead to blood glucose problems on top of the ketotic metabolism? Would your liver ever just be overwhelmed by all that action? I’m still in high school so hypothetical, of course haha… Sorry, lots of questions but I’m always so curious. Thank you so much for taking the time to inform the public. You’re my hero! P.S. Random question…what’s the difference between beta and gamma hydroxybutyric acids? It’s crazy how simple orientation can be the difference between a ketone and date rape drug…biochem is so cool! P.P.S. You should definitely post the details of that inner mitochondrial membrane transport. I’m curious how much energy expenditure we’re talkin there.. Keep doin your thing! Your Fan, Trey No, I don’t think people are messing up if they don’t get into full-blown ketosis. For short term low-carb dieting, the body turns to glycogen. Gluconeogenesis kicks in fairly quickly, though, and uses dietary protein – assuming there is plenty – before turning to muscle tissue for glucose substrate. And you have the Cori cycle kicking in and all sorts of things to spare muscle, so I wouldn’t worry about it. And you can continue to drink while low-carbing. Continue reading >>

Ketosis And Ketogenic Diet Symptoms

Ketosis And Ketogenic Diet Symptoms

There are many symptoms and adverse effects reported by study groups on low carbohydrate diets such as the ketogenic diet. The main ketogenic diet symptoms are: headache, dizziness, presence of diarrhea and constipation, weakness, loss of concentration, bad breath, low blood pressure, increased heart rate, among many others. According to Dr. Mauro DiPasquale, a respected member of the international sports community as an athlete, administrator and physician, and author of the famous book “The Anabolic Diet”, he originally created this diet for bodybuilders and athletes, but since then he has developed other versions for the general public. This is a very interesting article about ketogenic diet from ncbi. about “Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients”. He says that in the first week of the ketogenic diet the body is going through the metabolic shift from being a carb and muscle-burning machine to being a fat burner, and that can be very difficult. This is called the induction phase and people may have some symptoms including lethargy, dizziness, mental fogginess, irritability, and irregular bowels, depending on how your body reacts to the radical shift in macronutrients. Some people will suffer few symptoms, others will be very affected. Your energy can also drop and there might be a frequent feeling of you being hungry. That’s because the body is going through a readjustment phase. Due to the low amount of nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals, may also occur weakening of the immune system, leaving the body more susceptible to several infections. So, the discipline and persistence during the first week of the ketogenic diet is very important to experience the benefits later. The energy will come back and you will feel better. This will 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 >>

Diabetic Kidney Failure May Be Reversed With Low-carbohydrate Diet

Diabetic Kidney Failure May Be Reversed With Low-carbohydrate Diet

Researchers have found that by administering a low-carb, high-fat diet in mice, that diabetic kidney damage was reversed, and also uncovered an array of genes associated with kidney failure. Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have for the first time determined that the ketogenic diet, a specialized high-fat, low carbohydrate diet, may reverse impaired kidney function in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They also identified a previously unreported panel of genes associated with diabetes-related kidney damage, whose changes in expression were reversed by the diet. The findings were published online in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE. Charles Mobbs, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and Geriatrics and Palliative Care Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and his research team evaluated mice that were genetically predisposed to have Type 1 or 2 diabetes. The mice were allowed to develop diabetic nephropathy, or kidney damage. Half of the mice were put on the ketogenic diet, while the control group maintained a standard high carbohydrate diet. The researchers found that after eight weeks, molecular and functional indicators of kidney damage were reversed in the mice on the ketogenic diet. Microscopic analysis showed that kidney pathology in the model of Type 2 diabetes was partially reversed. "Our study is the first to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes," said Dr. Mobbs. "This finding has significant implications for the tens of thousands of Americans diagnosed with diabetic kidney failure, and possibly other complications, each year." The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high-fat diet typically used to control seizures in children with epilepsy. Many cells can get their e Continue reading >>

High-protein, Low-carb Diets Explained

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 >>

Bring In The Research Supporting The Blood Sugars You Want To Achieve Will Work.

Bring In The Research Supporting The Blood Sugars You Want To Achieve Will Work.

One of the worst things high blood sugars do to your body is that they slowly destroy your kidneys. Unfortunately, as is the case with so many "diabetic" complications, this organ destruction also appears to begin long before many people are given a diabetes diagnosis. The landmark UKPDS study found that one out of eight people diagnosed with diabetes already were leaking small amounts of protein into their urine. This symptom, called "microalbuminuria." is an early sign that kidneys have been damaged. Though there is no total agreement as to why this occurs, some factors that promote kidney damage are: 1. High blood pressure. When blood pressure is high, large protein molecules, including those that are glycosylated (covered with sticky excess sugar molecules) are pushed through the pores of the kidney's filtration units, damaging them. 2. High blood sugar. When normal glucose regulation fails, the kidneys must remove excess glucose from the blood, leading to high concentrations of glucose in the kidneys. These glucose molecules clog up tiny capillaries in the kidneys as they do those elsewhere in the body. Eventually this clogging destroys the glomeruli, the filtration units of the kidney. An eleven year study of over 1800 people with diabetes found a straight line relationship between the risk of developing chronic kidney disease and the A1c. The risk began to increase significantly when the A1c rose over 6.0%. Poor Glycemic Control in Diabetes and the Risk of Incident Chronic Kidney Disease Even in the Absence of Albuminuria and Retinopathy: Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Lori D. Bash et al. Arch Intern Med. Vol. 168 No. 22, Dec 8/22, 2008 Another study, that followed people with Type 1 diabetes for more than a decade found that those who had achi Continue reading >>

Do High-protein Diets Cause Kidney Disease And Cancer?

Do High-protein Diets Cause Kidney Disease And Cancer?

It seems like every other week there is a media uproar about the dangers of any number of foods. Lately, the target has been meat – specifically high-protein diets – and its supposed connection to a range of chronic diseases and early death. I’ve discussed high-protein diets a couple times on my podcast (here and here), but with the recent press surrounding a new study on high-protein diets and cancer risk, there’s been yet another upsurge in concern over their safety. In this article, we’ll take a look at the research behind three of the most common concerns about high-protein diets: kidney health, cancer, and longevity. By the end of this article, you’ll know what the real danger underlying high meat consumption may be, and how you can easily avoid it by eating a Paleo diet. Will a high protein diet give you kidney disease and cancer? Find out here! #Paleo #mythbusting High-protein diets don’t cause kidney disease in healthy people Before getting into this, I want to make something clear. Research does show that high-protein diets can be harmful for people who already have chronic kidney disease, and low-to-moderate protein diets are generally advisable for these patients. However, just because a low-protein diet can be therapeutic for those with kidney disease, doesn’t mean a high-protein diet causes kidney disease in the first place. (This is the same distinction I made when critiquing Dr. Perlmutter’s broad recommendation for a low-carb diet to prevent neurological disorders.) What I’m addressing here is the notion that high-protein diets cause kidney disease in healthy people—which is not, as you’ll find out, supported by research. Since one of the main biological roles of the kidney is to metabolize and excrete nitrogen byproducts from pro Continue reading >>

Ketogenic: Contraindications And No-no’s

Ketogenic: Contraindications And No-no’s

Ketogenic – or keto as it is more commonly known – is really a lifestyle: a way of eating, thinking about and experiencing food. The Ketogenic Kitchen shows you how to approach this lifestyle – you can get into it slowly or dive straight in; it’s up to you. The main goal of the ketogenic diet is to teach the body to run on fat instead of glucose, so all carbohydrates are severely restricted and are instead replaced with fats in the form of oils, dairy, oily fish, avocadoes, nuts and seeds. But as with any regime that brings change on this scale, there are important points to note and also some key contraindications. And while many of the contraindications are pretty obscure, it’s essential to know what they are, just in case. The book summarises them, but we look at them in closer detail below. High fat, not high protein Keto is a clinically proven method of weight loss, but it also holds much promise for patients suffering from cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, neurological disorders like Multiple Sclerosis, and cardiovascular disease. But when people hear ‘low-carb’, they immediately think ‘high-protein’, but that’s not the case with keto. Most of what keto-ers eat is fat – in its many (and delicious!) forms. Proteins are kept at a moderate level because – and few people know this – the body will turn excess protein into sugars. Why keto is different Keto is unlike other ‘diets’ in one very important respect. If it is to do its job properly and switch your body to burning fat, you can’t take a ‘break’ or a ‘day off’. It’s not an 80:20 diet; it’s a metabolic therapy. Very simply, your body is either in ketosis (burning fat) or it’s not. There’s no middle ground. And it can pose dangers, especially if it isn’t implemented corr Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Kidney Damage, And Ketogenic Diets

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 >>

Keep Yourself In Ketosis

Keep Yourself In Ketosis

When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain. Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors. Ketones do more than just that though. They increase glutathione, a powerful, brain-protective antioxidant. Ketones facilitate the production of mitochondria, one of the most important actors in the coordinated production that is the human body. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our bodies are said to enter ketosis at the point when blood sugar levels are low and liver glycogen are no longer available to produce glucose as a fuel for cellular energy production. At this point, not only is the body doing the natural thing, and burning off fat, it’s also powering up the brain with a super efficient fuel. We can jump start ourselves into ketosis with a brief fast, allowing our body to quickly burn through the carbs that are in our system, and turn to fat for fuel. A ketogenic diet is one that derives around 80% or more of of its calories from fat, and the rest from carbs and prote Continue reading >>

What Is The Ketogenic Diet And Is Ketosis Safe?

What Is The Ketogenic Diet And Is Ketosis Safe?

Any diet, by definition, is a group of foods consumed for a certain period of time. A “diet” can be as simple as an average daily meal or it can also be part of a treatment program for specific medical conditions. The ketogenic diet, which allows someone to enter a state of nutritional “ketosis”, has long been used in the treatment of epilepsy in children – but its benefits go way beyond this. As you’ll learn, recent studies show that a ketogenic diet can have many uses and benefits – including weight loss, reduced inflammation, cancer-prevention, as more. History of Ketogenic Diets The ketogenic diet was first introduced in 1924 at the Mayo clinic by Dr. Russel Wilder who started the diet to treat epileptic patients. He put his patients on a “fast” and found that epileptic symptoms became less frequent. The popularity of this diet as a means of controlling epilepsy has decreased since this time since powerful anticonvulsant drugs have been invented, but this doesn’t mean that ketogenic diets are not promoted for better health any longer. Since its introduction in the 1920s, the ketogenic diet and entering ketosis remains controversial until today. Although it has many benefits and is a natural approach to controlling disease in some cases, many doctors and patients often find it easier to administer pills than to adhere to a ketogenic diet that they find “strict’ and restrictive. The exact mechanism by which the ketogenic diet works still isn’t 100% known, but the results of ketosis that have been researched for years are staggering. What is A Ketogenic Diet? Today ketogenic diets get the most attention when it comes to weight loss and blood sugar control. “Burn fat by eating more fat” is one simple way to describe the approach that allows Continue reading >>

Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

Introduction Kidney stones are a painful disorder of the urinary tract, affecting about 10% of Americans. Stones occur two times more often in men than in women. The pain of having a stone has been compared to that of childbirth. The stones grow slowly over several months or years and are made of hard deposits of various minerals, including calcium, uric acid, and oxalate. Signs and Symptoms Asymptomatic stones may be found by an x-ray for an unrelated condition. Or you may have symptoms such as: Sudden onset of excruciating pain in the buttocks area Abdominal pain Nausea and vomiting Constant movement to relieve the pain Pain in the genital area as the stone moves Fever and chills Increased age Obesity What Causes It? People develop kidney stones because: Their small bowel absorbs too much calcium Their diets are too high in calcium or another mineral They have intestinal problems Urinary tract infections They may have inherited a certain disorder that makes their bodies more likely to form kidney stones Other factors that increase the risk of kidney stones include: Not drinking enough fluids (especially in the summer) Not exercising enough, or a sedentary lifestyle Hypertension, which makes people nearly 3 times more likely to develop kidney stones Stress Poor dietary habits Metabolic syndrome Obesity Family history of kidney stones Continual exposure to high temperatures, which makes people nearly 8 times more likely to form kidney stones Other medical conditions, such as gout, chronic diarrhea, certain cancers, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) What to Expect at Your Doctor's Office If you are in extreme pain, your health care provider may give you a strong pain reliever. Your provider will need a urine sample to check for infection and to see if your urine is ac Continue reading >>

The Hidden Dangers Of A Low Carbohydrate Diet

The Hidden Dangers Of A Low Carbohydrate Diet

If you’re a frequent visitor to this website, or listener to the BenGreenfieldFitness podcast, you’ve probably gotten the idea that I’m a pretty big fan of limiting your carbohydrate intake. And you’d be right. To understand why low carbohydrate eating can bestow some significant health and performance advantages, check out my Perfect Health Diet interview with Paul Jaminet, or listen to the perils of constantly elevated blood sugar levels in this episode with Nancy Appleton: Which Foods Contain Hidden Sugar That You Didn’t Even Know About. Or go read about how physically active individuals may be able to actually benefit from strategic low carbohydrate intake in my article 4 Reasons To Think Twice About Eating Carbohydrates Before A Workout or (if you’re a Rock Star Triathlete Academy member) you can read 5 Ways to Get A Big Carbohydrate Restricting Performance Advantage. In a nutshell, pun intended, as you begin to increase carbohydrate consumption above the levels that you need for survival or periods of intense physical activity, you lose your ability to rely on fat burning mechanisms, and you experience the damaging effects of chronically elevated blood sugars, including neuropathy (nerve damage), nephropathy (kidney damage), retinnopathy (eye damage), increased cardiovascular disease risk, potential for cancer progression (tumor cells feed on sugar) and bacterial or fungal infection. Unfortunately, whether due to a misinterpretation of what low carbohydrate dieting actually is or an “all-or-nothing” approach to restricting carbohydrates or perhaps the influence of low-carbohydrate-done-wrong diets like Atkins, many people (and especially athletes) try or attempt to try a low carbohydrate diet and end up messing the whole thing up, experiencing the Continue reading >>

High-fat Diet Helps Kidneys

High-fat Diet Helps Kidneys

Not only is diabetes a difficult disease in and of itself, but it also brings some terrible complications, some of which are life-threatening — including kidney damage, long thought to be irreversible. But maybe it’s not… I just read a fascinating new study showing that there is a way to reverse kidney damage from diabetes (type 1 and type 2), and believe it or not, the key is eating a high-fat diet! Is This for Real? It’s not quite as simple as dining regularly on marbled steaks and rich ice cream, however. This research focused on what’s called a ketogenic diet, a type of diet that has been used for decades to control seizures in children with severe epilepsy. It’s a rigid eating plan in which people typically eat about four times as much fat (described in detail later) as carbohydrates and protein, for a diet that is 75% to 80% fat. Charles V. Mobbs, PhD, professor of neuroscience, geriatrics and palliative medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, told me that this study is the first one ever to suggest that dietary intervention can turn around kidney damage and possibly other diabetes-related complications as well. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Mobbs and his team examined the effects of a ketogenic diet in mice bred to have diabetes. They allowed the diabetic mice to develop kidney failure and put half on the diet (in this case 87% fat, 8% protein, 5% carbohydrates) and half on a high-carbohydrate control diet of standard mouse chow (11% fat, 23% protein, 64% carbohydrates). After eight weeks, kidney failure was reversed — meaning that urine analysis showed normal, healthy levels of albumin and creatinine — in mice on the ketogenic diet. (Sadly, the mice on the control diet died.) Here’s how the ketogenic diet works: Similar to the low-ca Continue reading >>

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