The Definitive Guide To Micronutrients In The Ketogenic Diet
When excluding particular foods, food categories, or macronutrient groups from the diet, the opportunity for deficiency to present itself increases. Therefore, it is no surprise that pushback against the ketogenic diet cites vitamin, mineral, or other nutrient deficiencies as a reason to think twice before restricting carbohydrate content in the diet. However, a close examination of our foods and their contents strongly supports the consumption of animal products. In fact, removing animal products from the diet poses more of a risk to the development of nutrient deficiencies than removing carbohydrate-rich products. This is particularly true when looking beyond the nutrient content of the food to how the nutrients are absorbed and metabolized. In general, meat and other animal products do not limit or may promote nutrient absorption, while plants can often contain antinutrients like phytates, oxalates, or glucosinolates which reduce nutrient absorption, nullifying any benefits associated with their contents. So... what nutrients are lacking in a ketogenic diet? Vitamins Sources: National Institute of Health, Daily Values National Institute of Health, Recommended Intake Vitamin A Cruciferous vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli), dairy (cheese), and meat (beef liver, fish) are rich in vitamin A. Interestingly, 1 ounce of beef liver would provide nearly 100% of the DV for vitamin A (a tablespoon of butter can also provide over 5%). Vitamin A is NOT lacking in a ketogenic diet. Here we say B “complex,” as this group includes thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folate, and cobalamin. The B vitamin complex is an interesting one because we’re told to eat grains and cereal to get B vitamins. Grains and cereal don’t actually contain much B Continue reading >>
Acetonaemia (ketosis) Of Dairy Cows
Note Number: AG0210 A very distinct problem for dairy cows is the disease of ketosis (or acetonaemia). The occurrence of this disease in dairy cows is related to an increased demand for glucose by the animal. Ketosis also occurs in other animals and the problem is known by various names, eg, pregnancy toxaemia in ewes. Most commonly, ketosis is seen either in high producing cows or cows on a poor diet. Signs of the disease can be seen before calving, but they occur most commonly in the first month after calving and occasionally in the second month. In a herd, ketosis can either be sporadic with only individuals affected, or endemic with many cows affected over a period. Cause The disease is an extension of a normal metabolic process that occurs in most heavily producing dairy cows. The basic problem in ketosis is a deficiency of glucose (or sugar) in the blood and body tissues. Glucose is produced by the cow from carbohydrates which are a major constituent of pastures and other supplementary feeds in varying degrees. In late pregnancy, glucose is directed from normal bodily functions to the nutrition of the developing calf. As lactation starts, glucose is essential for the formation of lactose (milk sugar) and milk fat. The requirement for glucose is at such high levels that the blood becomes low in glucose (hypoglycaemia). Fifty grams of glucose is required for each litre of milk with a 4.8% lactose test and 30 grams for each litre of milk with a 4% fat test. Cows (and other ruminants) cannot be fed glucose in their diet; it has to be made in the rumen from suitable carbohydrates in the diet. If the amount of suitable carbohydrate in the diet is not enough to meet the glucose needs of the cow in full milk, the liver starts to manufacture glucose from other basic compou Continue reading >>
Effect Of The Ketogenic Diet On The Activity Level Of Wistar Rats
Children, adolescents, and adults with epilepsy often also show symptoms associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The ketogenic diet, which is administered to children with epilepsy refractory to drug therapy, seems to improve behavior in individuals with symptoms of ADHD. The basis for this improvement is unknown, although it seems to be unrelated to seizure control. The present research was designed to investigate the effect of two ketogenic diets on the behavior of normal adult male rats. Two experiments were conducted. In experiment 1, 36 subjects were placed on one of three diets: a control diet, a 6.3:1 ketogenic diet, and a 4:1 ketogenic diet. In experiment 2, 20 subjects were placed either on a control diet or on a 4:1 ketogenic diet. The activity level of each subject was measured using an open field test. Time spent immobile, grooming, and in exploratory behavior was measured for 600 s. Subjects were tested once before initiation of the diets and once while on the diets. No significant group differences were found in activity level before initiation of the diets. After initiation of the diets, subjects in both ketogenic groups showed a significantly lower activity level than the rats on the control diet. The ketogenic diet decreases activity level in an animal model. This behavioral change may relate to the improved behavior seen when children with symptoms of ADHD are placed on the diet. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children, adolescents, and adults. The symptoms of the disorder include inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and overactivity (1). The cause of the disorder is unknown, although there is evidence that it is, in part, heritable (2–4). The most common treatment for ADHD is stimulant medication. Regardl Continue reading >>
Ketosis In An Evolutionary Context
Humans are unique in their remarkable ability to enter ketosis. They’re also situated near the top of the food chain. Coincidence? During starvation, humans rapidly enter ketosis; they do this better than king penguins, and bears don’t do it at all. Starvation ketosis Humans maintain a high level of functionality during starvation. We can still hunt & plan; some would even argue it’s a more finely tuned state, cognitively. And that’s important, because if we became progressively weaker and slower, chances of acquiring food would rapidly decline. Perhaps this is why fasting bears just sleep most of the time: no ketones = no bueno..? Animals with a low brain/carcass weight ratio (ie, small brain) don’t need it. Babies and children have a higher brain/carcass weight ratio, so they develop ketosis more rapidly than adults. Is this a harmful process? No, more likely an evolutionary adaptation which supports the brain. The brain of newborn babies consumes a huge amount of total daily energy, and nearly half comes from ketones. A week or so later, even after the carbohydrate content of breast milk increases, they still don’t get “kicked out of ketosis” (Bourneres et al., 1986). If this were a harmful state, why would Nature have done this? …and all those anecdotes, like babies learn at incredibly rapid rates… coincidence? Maybe they’re myths. Maybe not. Ketosis in the animal kingdom Imagine a hibernating bear: huge adipose tissue but small brain fuel requirement relative to body size and total energy expenditure. No ketosis, because brain accounts for less than 5% of total metabolism. In adult humans, this is around 19-23%, and babies are much higher (eg, Cahill and Veech, 2003 & Hayes et al., 2012). For the rest of this article and more, head over to Pat Continue reading >>
Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>
Your Brain On Ketones
The modern prescription of high carbohydrate, low fat diets and eating snacks between meals has coincided with an increase in obesity, diabetes, and and increase in the incidence of many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. In addition, many of these disorders are striking the population at younger ages. While most people would agree that diet has a lot to do with the development of obesity and diabetes, many would disagree that what we eat has much to do with our mental health and outlook. I believe that what we eat has a lot to do with the health of our brains, though of course mental illness (like physical illness) has multifactorial causes, and by no means should we diminish the importance of addressing all the causes in each individual. But let's examine the opposite of the modern high carbohydrate, low fat, constant snacking lifestyle and how that might affect the brain. The opposite of a low fat, snacking lifestyle would be the lifestyle our ancestors lived for tens of thousands of generations, the lifestyle for which our brains are primarily evolved. It seems reasonable that we would have had extended periods without food, either because there was none available, or we were busy doing something else. Then we would follow that period with a filling meal of gathered plant and animal products, preferentially selecting the fat. During the day we might have eaten a piece of fruit, or greens, or a grub we dug up, but anything filling or high in calories (such as a starchy tuber) would have to be killed, butchered, and/or carefully prepared before eating. Fortunately, we have a terrific system of fuel for periods of fasting or low carbohydrate eating, our body (and brain) can readily shift from burning glucose to burning what ar Continue reading >>
Ketosis Also known as: Acetonemia, Fat Cow Syndrome, Hypoglycemia and Pregnancy Toxemia. Primary ketosis, or acetonemia, is a metabolic disorder and is largely a disease that is influenced by management of dairy cows in early lactation. Ketosis is an important clinical and subclinical disease, as there are several metabolic disorders and diseases that commonly occur in the calving and the early lactation period that are linked to ketosis (including milk fever, retained foetal membranes and displaced abomasum). Hypoglycemia is the major factor involved in the onset and development of clinical ketosis. There is a gradual loss of body condition over several days or even weeks. There is also a moderate to marked decline in milk yield (up to 5 liters per day) over five to six days before the onset of obvious clinical signs (Edwards and Tozer, 2004). This can persist for up to two weeks after diagnosis (Rajala-Schultz et al., 1999). The disease is most commonly seen in high-yielding dairy cows in early lactation. Secondary ketosis due to lack of appetite as a result of another disease can be seen at any stage of lactation. Beef cows may also suffer from ketosis during pregnancy, although this is less commonly recognized. Primary ketosis in dairy cows To satisfy the requirements of milk production, the cow can draw on two sources of nutrients – feed intake and body reserves. During early lactation, the energy intake is insufficient to meet the energy output in milk and the animal is in a negative energy balance. In conventional farming, this is considered to be a normal metabolic situation in high-yielding dairy cows. Cows in early lactation are, therefore, in a vulnerable situation, and any stress that causes a reduction in feed intake may lead to the onset of clinical keto Continue reading >>
Animal Models Of The Ketogenic Diet: What Have We Learned, What Can We Learn?
Abstract Despite its clinical use as a therapy for refractory epilepsy for more than 75 years, the ketogenic diet (KD) remains a therapy in search of an explanation. The mechanism of action of the KD is unclear and the optimal indications for its clinical use are incompletely defined. Animal models could help to elucidate these questions. Surprisingly, there have been very few animal studies of the KD, and those that have been performed are difficult to compare because of wide discrepancies in experimental methods. Earlier models concentrated on the effect of the KD on acute seizure threshold in normal (i.e. nonepileptic) animals. Recent studies are beginning to examine the longer term effects of the KD and its role in epileptogenesis. Some features of clinical experience have been replicated in animal models, including the role of ketosis, elevation of seizure threshold by both classic ketogenic and medium chain triglyceride diets, better effectiveness at younger ages, and rapid reversal of the seizure protective effect when the diet is discontinued. These parallels raise hope that pertinent clinical questions can be addressed in the more controlled setting of the research laboratory. As in the clinical arena, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in pursuing basic questions related to the ketogenic diet, using techniques of modern neuroscience. Experimental approaches such as brain slice neurophysiology, genetic models, dissection of metabolic pathways, and neurohistological techniques hold much promise in the effort to understand this intriguing alternative to standard anticonvulsants. Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Vegetarianism: Can They Coexist?
The interest in the hot, but controversial ketogenic diet has been growing on a daily basis. The diet consists of mostly fat (generally 70% of the diet or more), with generally lesser amounts of protein and a minimal amount of carbohydrates. During this carbohydrate-restricted diet, blood glucose (sugar) levels eventually fall. Glycogen, which is a form of sugar that is stored in muscle (the body stores most of its accessible energy as fat), is used for energy. After a certain period of time, the body begins to burn its fat stores and the liver begins producing ketones to provide energy to our cells. Ketones are not the dangerous poisons that some tend to describe them as, nor are they magic beings that cure every disease and ailment known to man, something that more and more people seem to be claiming these days. Ketone bodies are nothing more than sources of energy that can feed cells throughout the body and can also cross the blood-brain barrier to keep our neurons firing throughout the day (and throughout the night, where many of us have already experienced ketosis). These sources of energy kept the human race intact and alive over its lifetime, especially during periods of limited food supplies and in the winter when we relied on a high-fat and low carbohydrate diet. Ketones are normal aspects of human physiology that allow the body to function close to its normal physiologic state, which may help fight diseases like cancer,1–4 and has certainly been shown to fight diabetes and obesity.5,6 However, many controversies exist regarding a ketogenic diet: Who would benefit most from a ketogenic diet? What is the correct macronutrient ratio? How positively (or negatively) does a ketogenic diet affect athletic performance? Can it enhance the treatment of cancer? Are som Continue reading >>
Complete Guide To Fats & Oils On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet
The main focus of the ketogenic diet is to get the macronutrient ratio right. Ideally, you should be eating 5-10% calories from carbs (net carbs), 15-30% of calories from protein and 65-75% calories from fat (or even more) in order to benefit from ketone bodies produced by your liver. So, what is the ideal fat intake on the ketogenic diet? The amount of fat varies for all individuals and depends on your goal. In general, you won't need to precisely count fat intake or calories on a ketogenic diet, because eating food naturally low in carbs will keep you sated for longer. Based on studies, proteins and fats have been shown to be the most sating nutrients, while carbohydrates the least sating. Fat provides a steady supply of energy with no insulin spikes. That's why, you won't experience any cravings or energy and mood swings. However, in some cases counting calories and keeping track of your macros make help you break through a weight loss plateau. If you want to find out your ideal fat intake, have a look at KetoDiet Buddy, a free online keto calculator we have developed for our blog. All the recipes on my blog and in KetoDiet and KetoDiet Basic include detailed nutrition data to help you track you food intake. Furthermore, the macronutrient ratio is not the only aspect you should consider. When increasing your fat intake, it's critical to understand which fats are beneficial and which may damage your health. Simply put, the type and quality of fats matter. When deciding which oils and fats you should use, follow these rules: You can download a print-friendly version of this guide here! 1. Use Saturated Fats for Cooking Saturated fats have been cursed and deemed to be really bad for our health. We've been brainwashed for the last 50 years that saturated fat and choleste Continue reading >>
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 >>
The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?
Disclaimer: First things first. Please note that I am in no way endorsing nutritional ketosis as a supplement to, or a replacement for medication. As you’ll see below, data exploring the potential neuroprotective effects of ketosis are still scarce, and we don’t yet know the side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. This post talks about the SCIENCE behind ketosis, and is not meant in any way as medical advice. The ketogenic diet is a nutritionist’s nightmare. High in saturated fat and VERY low in carbohydrates, “keto” is adopted by a growing population to paradoxically promote weight loss and mental well-being. Drinking coffee with butter? Eating a block of cream cheese? Little to no fruit? To the uninitiated, keto defies all common sense, inviting skeptics to wave it off as an unnatural “bacon-and-steak” fad diet. Yet versions of the ketogenic diet have been used to successfully treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children since the 1920s – potentially even back in the biblical ages. Emerging evidence from animal models and clinical trials suggest keto may be therapeutically used in many other neurological disorders, including head ache, neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, autism and brain cancer. With no apparent side effects. Sound too good to be true? I feel ya! Where are these neuroprotective effects coming from? What’s going on in the brain on a ketogenic diet? Ketosis in a nutshell In essence, a ketogenic diet mimics starvation, allowing the body to go into a metabolic state called ketosis (key-tow-sis). Normally, human bodies are sugar-driven machines: ingested carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is mainly transported and used as energy or stored as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue. When deprived of d Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet - A Connection Between Mitochondria And Diet
This article is written by Dr Gabriela Segura, Consultant Cardiologist, and published here with her permission. Mitochondria are an essential part of good cardiac function. Numbers in square brackets refer to references at the bottom of the article. Contents 1 Introduction 2 Mitochondrial Dysfunction 3 Ketosis – Closer Look 4 References 5 External links Ketosis is an often misunderstood subject. Its presence is thought to be equal to starvation or a warning sign of something going wrong in your metabolism. But nothing could be farther from the truth, except if you are an ill-treated type 1 diabetic person. Ketones – contrary to popular belief and myth – are a much needed and essential healing energy source in our cells that come from the normal metabolism of fat. The entire body uses ketones in a more safe and effective way than the energy source coming from carbohydrates – sugar AKA glucose. Our bodies will produce ketones if we eat a diet devoid of carbs or a low carb diet (less than 60 grams of carbs per day). By eating a very low carb diet or no carbs at all (like a caveman) we become keto-adapted. In fact, what is known today as the ketogenic diet was the number one treatment for epilepsy until Big Pharma arrived with its dangerous cocktails of anti-epileptic drugs. It took several decades before we heard again about this diet, thanks in part to a parent who demanded it for his 20-month-old boy with severe seizures. The boy’s father had to find out about the ketogenic diet in a library as it was never mentioned as an option by his neurologist. After only 4 days on the diet, his seizures stopped and never returned. The Charlie Foundation was born after the kid’s name and his successful recovery, but nowadays the ketogenic diet is available to th Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet Does Not Affect Growth Of Hedgehog Pathway Medulloblastoma In Mice
Abstract The altered metabolism of cancer cells has long been viewed as a potential target for therapeutic intervention. In particular, brain tumors often display heightened glycolysis, even in the presence of oxygen. A subset of medulloblastoma, the most prevalent malignant brain tumor in children, arises as a consequence of activating mutations in the Hedgehog (HH) pathway, which has been shown to promote aerobic glycolysis. Therefore, we hypothesized that a low carbohydrate, high fat ketogenic diet would suppress tumor growth in a genetically engineered mouse model of medulloblastoma. However, we found that the ketogenic diet did not slow the growth of spontaneous tumors or allograft flank tumors, and it did not exhibit synergy with a small molecule inhibitor of Smoothened. Serum insulin was significantly reduced in mice fed the ketogenic diet, but no alteration in PI3 kinase activity was observed. These findings indicate that while the ketogenic diet may be effective in inhibiting growth of other tumor types, it does not slow the growth of HH-medulloblastoma in mice. Citation: Dang MT, Wehrli S, Dang CV, Curran T (2015) The Ketogenic Diet Does Not Affect Growth of Hedgehog Pathway Medulloblastoma in Mice. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0133633. Editor: Jingwu Xie, Indiana University School of Medicine, UNITED STATES Received: April 6, 2015; Accepted: June 29, 2015; Published: July 20, 2015 Copyright: © 2015 Dang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper. Funding: Funded by National Institutes of Health T32NS007413 and R25NS06 Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And Vitamin C: The 101
Written by Amber O’Hearn (MSc Computer Science). Find more of her writings at www.ketotic.org The Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) for different nutrients were developed on Western diets, and therefore, high-carb diets. Given that a ketogenic metabolism uses different metabolic pathways and induces cascades of drastically different metabolic and physiological effects, it would be astonishing if any of the RDAs are entirely applicable as is. One micronutrient that seems to be particularly warranting reassessment is vitamin C, because vitamin C is biochemically closely related to glucose. Most animals synthesize it themselves out of glucose. It shares cellular uptake receptors with glucose. Some argue that because we don’t make vitamin C, we need to ensure a large exogenous supply. I will argue the opposite: so long as we are eating a low-carb diet, we actually need less. On our way, we’ll briefly re-examine the relationship between vitamin C deficiency and insulin resistance. Table of Contents Micronutrients matter Micronutrients matter There are particular nutrients people need to develop normally and stay healthy, that we can’t make in our own bodies, and so we have to get them from our diets. We only started recognizing this at the end of the 19th century. Before that, the germ theory of disease was new and exciting, and we wanted to explain all maladies as infections. However, we ultimately learned that some diseases come from malnutrition. The best exemplifiers of this are when people or other animals die for lack of one specific ingredient, as in pellegra, beriberi, rickets, and scurvy. These ingredients were named, initially, “vitamines”, meaning vital amines, but when it turned out they weren’t all amines, the name was shortened to “vitamins” Continue reading >>
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