Ketosis – Key To Human Babies’ Big Brains?
Prof Noakes is on trial for ‘advising’ a mom to wean her baby onto low carb, high fat foods. Could babies’ innate ketosis – a state more often associated with low-carb, high-fat diets – be an arrow in Prof Noakes’ defence’s quiver? By Tamzyn Murphy Campbell BSc, BSc Med(Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics, RD Did you know that human newborns and exclusively breastfed babies are in ketosis? 1 I am a dietitian, with two years of intensive postgraduate training in nutrition, and I didn’t realise this until just over a month ago. The fact that human babies are naturally in ketosis is an inconvenient truth because it implies that ketosis (which also occurs when fasting or eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet) is not only a natural metabolic state for human infants, but that it’s probably beneficial too. Nature seldom does something without a reason, so it’s likely that ketosis may confer some kind of evolutionary advantage to human infants. Research suggests that it may be one of the main factors behind the development of the large human brain. 2 “Nature seldom does something without a reason, so it’s likely that ketosis may confer some kind of evolutionary advantage to human infants. Research suggests that it may be one of the main factors behind the development of the large human brain. ” A word on ketones and ketosis Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body uses fat as fuel in preference to carbohydrates – as occurs when fasting or eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. The body makes ketones from fat, when dietary glucose (from carbohydrates and sugar) is low. Ketones can be used as fuel to produce the energy your body and brain needs to function. The human brain only has two options for fuel: glucose or ketones. The other body orga Continue reading >>
New Mother Nearly Dies From A Low Carb Diet: 32-year-old Developed Life-threatening Condition After Ditching Bread, Rice And Pasta While Breastfeeding
A new mother developed a life-threatening condition due to eating a low carbohydrate diet while breastfeeding, doctors claim. The 32-year-old Swedish woman was rushed to hospital with nausea and vomiting, heart palpitations, trembling and spasms in her limbs. When questioned, she said she had been following a a strict low carbohydrate high fat diet (LCHF) in order to lose her baby weight, doctors describing her case in the Journal of Medical Case Reports said. The regime saw the woman, who is unidentified, eating less than 20g of carbohydrate day, the equivalent of a medium-sized potato, or a thick slice of toast, while breastfeeding her 10-month-old son. In the UK, adults are advised to get half of their daily energy intake from carbohydrates, according to a report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, who advise the Government. This is the equivalent of 200 - 240g of carbohydrates in a person eating 2,000 calories a day. The woman said she had lost 4kg on the diet but had begun to feel very ill. In hospital, medics carried out tests and discovered she was suffering from ketoacidosis, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition normally seen in people with type 1 diabetes. ‘The primary diagnosis was thought to be ketoacidosis due to starvation induced by the LCHF diet,’ doctors writing in the journal. When a person has raised blood glucose levels, or are eating a low carbohydrate diet, their body may go into a state of 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. In ketosis, the level of ketones in the blo Continue reading >>
Low Carb And Breastfeeding?
I keep toying with the idea of restricting carbs because I still have about half of the baby fat 2 years later (35 of the 70 pounds gained while preggo). I am however still breastfeeding, and the low carb gurus seem to say "don't even think about it" if you're nursing. I have done the occasional day where I just eat meat because that's all I want, and my breasts don't seem to fill up in the same way the next day. So maybe I've answered my own question. I'm just tired of being so jiggly in the middle, and want to know if anyone here has tried it successfully. And if so, did you ease into it, or just dive right on in? 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 >>
Breastfeeding & No Carb Diets
Video of the Day Cutting carbs or calories suddenly can cause your milk supply to dwindle, leaving you struggling to make enough breast milk for your baby's needs. Some moderately low-carb diets have multiple phases, so you might be able to skip the ultra-restrictive early phases and try a diet that gives you some healthy carbs and enough calories to maintain milk production. Aim for slow weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week and avoid dieting at all until around eight weeks after your baby's birth. At this point, your milk supply is fully established, so dieting won't derail that process. When you embark on a drastic diet, your body's fat stores may release stored toxins that could get into your breast milk. If your diet restricts carbs, you could also be missing out on vital nutrients that your body needs to support your own and your baby's health. Women on an extremely carb-restricted diet often begin to produce types of chemicals called ketones, and it is unknown whether ketones can get into breast milk or whether they are a danger to a nursing baby. Continue reading >>
Breastfeeding While In Ketosis: Round 2
Since my baby has been growing great, no issues breastfeeding, etc, and I found myself trending lower and lower in my daily carb counts; I decided I was going into full-on Keto again. I tend to average between 20 and 40 carbs per day. After a couple of days with this limit, I noticed Natalie wanted to nurse practically all day long. It seemed like a small drop in supply, as expected. However, the very next day my letdowns seemed normal, and I got the usual breaks between feedings. If some one else is consuming a high carb diet and wants to make the change with younger babies (~4+ months old), I would recommend starting at 100g carbs per day, and cutting 5g each day and monitoring your supply as you go along. More important than carb count while breastfeeding is your water and caloric intake. Be sure to be constantly drinking water; if you feel thirsty then you are already a little bit dehydrated. If you are having trouble with your calorie counts, I highly recommend MyFitnessPal. Great, intuitive site (and love the app!) with an extensive food database. Above all else, I recommend going gradually into ketosis and calorie restriction while breastfeeding, especially if your baby is young, and if you are not at home with the baby for unlimited nursing during the potential conversion. Check out my previous posts on breastfeeding while in ketosis - Low Carb or Keto While Breastfeeding Keto and Breastfeeding Introduction Keto While Breastfeeding: Days 1-5 Keto and the Breastfeeding Diet TIPS Continue reading >>
Babies Thrive Under A Ketogenic Metabolism
Some people, even some scientists who study ketogenic metabolism, have the idea that ketogenesis is somehow abnormal, or exceptional; an adaptation for emergencies only. We disagree. One reason we think a ketogenic metabolism is normal and desirable, is that human newborns are in ketosis. Despite the moderate sugar content of human breast milk, breastfeeding is particularly ketogenic. This period of development is crucial, and there is extensive brain growth during it. Although the composition of breast milk can be affected by diet , it is reasonable to assume that breast milk has always been ketogenic, and this is not an effect of modernisation. When the brain is in its period of highest growth, and when the source of food is likely to be close to what it evolved to be for that period, ketones are used to fuel that growth. If nothing else, this suggests that learning is well supported by a ketogenic metabolism. It is also consistent with the ability of ketogenic diets to treat a variety of seemingly unrelated brain disorders and brain trauma. Newborn infants are in ketosis. This is their normal state. Breastfeeding is particularly ketogenic (compared to formula feeding). Breastfeeding longer (up to a point) is associated with better health outcomes. This suggests the hypothesis that weaning onto a ketogenic diet would be healthier than weaning onto a high-carb diet. (Mark-up ours) Human babies are in ketosis Soon after birth, human babies are in ketosis, and remain so while breastfeeding . They use ketones and fats for energy and for brain growth. When this has been studied, in the first couple of hours after birth, babies aren't immediately in ketosis. There is a short delay . During that brief period before ketogenesis starts, lactate (confusingly not to do Continue reading >>
Here’s What Research Says About Keto While Breastfeeding
Did you know that soon after babies are born they enter a natural state of ketosis? Yep, you read that right — research shows that newborn infants are in ketosis and remain in this normal, healthy state while breastfeeding[*][*]. Furthermore, research confirms that breast milk from healthy mothers is actually made up of 50-60% fat, and the cholesterol in breast milk supplies babies with almost six times the amount that most adults consume in their diets [*]. So, if babies are naturally born in ketosis and benefit from using fat and ketones for fuel, then why would it be an issue for a breastfeeding mother to follow a ketogenic diet/lifestyle? What Does the Research Say About Keto While Breastfeeding? Unfortunately, the current scientific literature surrounding the ketogenic diet and breastfeeding is extremely limited. However, one study performed in 2009 compared a low-carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) diet to a high-carbohydrate, low fat (HCLF) diet in breastfeeding women[*]. Results from this study showed the following: Regardless of the diet, daily breast milk production and daily infant breast milk intake remained the same. Neither diet had an effect on milk lactose or protein concentration; however, milk fat concentration and the energy content of milk were higher during the LCHF diet than the HCLF diet. Infants’ energy intake (kcal/day) was higher during the LCHF diet than during the HCLF diet. The estimated average maternal energy expenditure and the sum of maternal energy expenditure plus milk energy content were higher during the LCHF diet than during the HCLF diet. Based on these results, researchers concluded that breastfeeding mothers could lose more weight while consuming a LCHF diet than a HCLF diet without affecting milk production and still supplying the Continue reading >>
Is Safe While Pregnant And/or Breastfeeding?
KETO//OS is quite safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. It is recommended to choose the caffeine free Keto//OS and drink plenty of water. Ketones naturally exist in the body, and are created as a normal process of fat metabolism. KETO//OS simply provides these ketones from an exogenous source, but they have the same beneficial impact. However, if you suffer from any medical conditions, it is always safe to consult your health care provider prior to starting any new nutritional supplement. Continue reading >>
Breastfeeding On A Ketogenic Diet
Breastfeeding on a ketogenic diet: my personal experience Having a baby is one of the most exciting and nerve wracking times in your life, one great big cocktail of emotions. With nine months to prepare, trying to absorb as much information as possible can make you panic rather than put your mind at ease. There’s an abundance of general information on the internet but a lot of this is conflicting and very confusing! I’ll seek to answer the question I know you’ll all be wondering. Breastfeeding on a ketogenic diet: Is it safe? I began my ketogenic journey during pregnancy in preparation for our daughter being born. Searching the internet for information on the ketogenic lifestyle and new mothers, I found the information on breastfeeding on a ketogenic diet was limited and very conflicting. Every mother wants to do what’s best for their child – I desperately wanted to give myself the best chance of breastfeeding our daughter as possible. My ultimate concern was that the keto lifestyle may prevent my ability to do this. I wanted to share my story with you in the hope that it may provide some of that missing resource that i was desperately seeking when my journey first began. The darkness After 12 weeks of being fully keto adapted, I was feeding my baby one afternoon and noticed that she was becoming very frustrated. She had only been feeding for a short while and began pulling at my boob, becoming very restless. Whilst looking for the cause of her frustration, to my horror I realised that my milk had completely dried up! I was immediately overwhelmed with blind panic. A moment of weakness, fuelled by sheer panic and a lack of sleep, resulted in me finding an excuse to get my hands on the forbidden foods – refined carbs and sugar! The cravings part of my brain h Continue reading >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Diabetes medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- The effect of high-intensity breastfeeding on postpartum glucose tolerance in women with recent gestational diabetes
Is Being In Ketosis Safe And What Are The Potential Side Effects
Sign up for updates to receive one week FREE of my low carb and gluten free meal plans: CHECK OUT SOME OF MY OTHER FAVORITE LOW CARB KETO RESOURCES: Is being in ketosis safe? Some people think that ketosis is extremely dangerous. However, they might be confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is completely different. While ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a natural metabolic state. In fact, ketosis and ketogenic diets have been studied extensively and shown to have major benefits for weight loss (1, 2). Ketogenic diets have also been shown to have therapeutic effects in epilepsy, type 2 diabetes and several other chronic conditions (3, 4, 5, 6). Ketosis is generally considered to be safe for most people. However, it may lead to a few side effects, especially in the beginning. An Overview of Ketosis First, it’s necessary to understand what ketosis is. Ketosis is a natural part of metabolism. It happens either when carbohydrate intake is very low (such as on a ketogenic diet), or when you haven’t eaten for a long time. Both of these lead to reduced insulin levels, which causes a lot of fat to be released from your fat cells. When this happens, the liver gets flooded with fat, which turns a large part of it into ketones. During ketosis, many parts of your body are burning ketones for energy instead of carbs. This includes a large part of the brain. However, this doesn’t happen instantly. It takes your body and brain some time to “adapt” to burning fat and ketones instead of carbs. During this adaptation phase, you may experience some temporary side effects. These are generally referred to as the “low-carb flu” or “keto flu.” Bottom Line: In ketosis, parts of the body and brain use ketones for fuel instead o Continue reading >>
Case Study: Low Carb Diets And Breastfeeding Mothers
I recently had an interesting experience helping a mother with a breastfeeding situation. I received her permission to share her story here as a case study to help other mothers/breastfeeding counselors. Helping situation: The mother contacted me because her baby was experiencing poor weight gain. Baby was three months old and after having gained steadily during the first two months had not gained weight in a month and was still at nine and half pounds. In addition to talking about signs of dehydration, we explored a ton of possibilities during the hour-long call, including the fact that baby started daycare and then weight gain stopped. Towards the end of the call, I asked a couple of questions about the mother’s diet, mentioning that sometimes certain proteins in foods can cause sensitivities in the baby. Mother paused and then said, “so protein might possibly be related to this?” She then shared that she has been on a high protein/low-carb diet that she started last month. My brain tickled with a memory and sure enough in the conference notes from Diana West’s presentation at the 2011 LLL of Missouri conference, I found the note that, “Low carb diets have been observed to significantly decrease milk production.” I suggested mama go back to eating the way she used to do. Follow-up results: At the beginning of this month, the mother emailed me to let me know that she’d discontinued the low-carb diet and baby gained a pound in a week. A second follow-up email reported another pound of weight gain and a third email showed pictures of a happy, chubby breastfeeding baby. I was fascinated at the potent results from this seemingly small/possibly unrelated change. LLLI has additional information about low-carb diets and breastfeeding women here, but it does not Continue reading >>
Keto During Pregnancy
I get a ton of emails a few months after these consults telling me that they are ecstatic and are now pregnant but are wondering on what to eat now. As if this diet of REAL food would be harmful to a fetus. There are many reasons why to not add in certain foods like gluten and dairy. Many times when cravings get the best of pregnant clients and they consume these foods, the auto-immune response can result in a miscarriage. But even if the clients are committed about staying away from gluten and dairy, they often worry that too low of carbs is bad for the fetus. You will never find evidence of this, but you will read it all over the web. The information that clients read have a few flaws: 1. A huge mistake is when people and doctors compare benign dietary ketosis to diabetic ketoacidosis. You can produce ketones in a starvation state. So instead of using a well-formulated low carb diet, they starved pregnant rats to get them into ketosis. The flaw in that evidence should be obvious. 2. The last form of this “evidence” is when they sliced up the brains of rat fetuses and saturated them in ketones. What happened was that the brain cells lived but it stopped producing new brain cells. This is thought to be evidence that ketosis causes retardation. Now let’s dive into the facts. The lean human body is 74% fat and 26% protein by calories. Fats are a structural part of every human cell and the preferred fuel source of the mitochondria, the energy-burning units of each cell. A fetus naturally uses ketones before and immediately after birth. Many studies done on pregnant pigs that are placed on ketogenic diets have fetuses with “increased fetal brain weight, cell size and protein content. In the early stages of pregnancy there is an upsurge in body fat accumulation, whic Continue reading >>
Lose Weight Postpartum Intermittent Fasting While Breastfeeding
Lose Weight Postpartum | Intermittent Fasting While Breastfeedimg I was warned off immediately from fasting while breastfeeding even intermittent fasting such as eating during a 6 or 8 hour window (fasting for 18 or16) or a full 24 hours once/twice a week. As for intermittent fasting while breastfeeding, since I wanted to begin IF while nursing, I first considered things like established milk supply and breastfeeding history. I was oddly lucky in that no matter how much I exercised, or how little I ate, I kept a steady oversupply of milk. I also wondered about the fact that there are women who have breastfed just fine during famines. I personally think the whole you must eat an extra 500-800 calories while breastfeeding is slightly over exaggerated. And I think trying to eat that way contributed to my having a hard time losing the baby weight. I probably could have maintained my normal eating of around 2200 calories and still nursed. But of course, this is all based off my personal experience with breastfeeding, I definitely wouldn’t recommend this for a mom who may have trouble with nursing. Source Here is a link to my first week’s experience in Intermittent Fasting while breastfeeding. And my personal journey to lose weight postpartum The benefits of intermittent fasting such as Lean Gains and Eat Stop Eat method are inticing to me. Since I wanted to begin intermittent fasting while breastfeeding, I decided to research what the possible effects would be to my milk and milk production as this is my first concern. Intermittent Fasting While Breastfeeding: Milk Consistency It seems like many people suggested my milk would turn to crap or poison if I began a fast that was longer than 16 hours. I decided to look at some studies that studied the makeup of lactose/milk a Continue reading >>
I Am Breastfeeding My Baby And I Want To Lose Weight. Is A Low Carbohydrate Diet Safe For A Breastfeeding Mother?
Many women are anxious to get back in shape after childbirth, but we must remember that pregnancy weight wasn’t gained overnight, and won’t disappear quickly, either. It is wise for mothers to wait until two months postpartum to purposely lose weight, as the mother’s body needs time to recover from childbirth and establish a good milk supply. Many mothers find that by following a sensible diet they are able to lose weight steadily while breastfeeding. Anyone who wants to start a weight loss diet should consult with their physician to rule out any health problems that would contraindicate the diet. If a breastfeeding mother is interested in any type of weight loss diet, there are several factors she should consider. Nutritional balance-- A breastfeeding mother should receive adequate and balanced nutrition, for her breastfed baby’s sake, and the sake of her own health. Otherwise, she risks depleting her body’s nutritional stores. A malnourished mother may have inadequate levels of vitamins A, D, B6 and B12 in her milk, and may risk decreased milk supply. Hunger-- Inadequate caloric intake results in feeling weak, tired, and drained. When a mother feels this way, taking care of a baby is very difficult, and these very real feelings can result in lowered milk supply and inhibited milk ejection (letdown) reflex. The Subcommittee on Nutrition during Lactation advises breastfeeding mothers to take in 1500-1800 calories per day. Rate of weight loss-- Gradual weight loss has not been found to affect either the mother’s milk supply or the baby’s health. However, there are documented concerns when a breastfeeding mother loses weight rapidly, defined as more than a pound (.45 kg) per week. Toxins, such as environmental contaminants PCBs and pesticides, are stored in Continue reading >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Can a Newborn Baby Have Diabetes from Mother?
- The interpretation and effect of a low-carbohydrate diet in the management of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials