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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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Low Carbohydrate High Fat Ketogenic Diet May Reverse Kidney Failure In People With Diabetes
Share Share Share Health Impact News Editor Comments: Here we have yet another study showing the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet, which is a very strict diet that eliminates almost all carbohydrates and consumes very large amounts of fat, especially saturated fat. This diet has baffled those in the medical community for years, because of their presupposition that saturated fat is bad and leads to cardiovascular disease, and should be avoided in our diet. The ketogenic diet has been effective in preventing seizures in children with epilepsy, often when all other drugs fail. The medical community, while admitting that the diet works, usually state that they don’t know why it works. They are often blinded by their own bias and presuppositions that believe a high saturated fat diet is detrimental to one’s health. So I was surprised when I learned that the ketogenic diet was studied in relation to kidney failure among those with diabetes, and that the funding came from traditional allopathic sources. It suggests that kidney failure due to diabetes has become a serious concern, and that current medical practices and drugs are not all that effective. Unfortunately, as studies like this continue to support the data and research that our bodies need saturated fat, and other studies showing our need for cholesterol, the prevailing belief against the benefits of saturated fat apparently still hold fast. Note the quote by the head of the research team, Dr. Charles Mobbs, at the end of this press release: “Knowing how the ketogenic diet reverses nephropathy will help us identify a drug target and subsequent pharmacological interventions that mimic the effect of the diet,” said Dr. Mobbs. So the motivation in funding such as study was not to change dietary beliefs and pra 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Everyone?
Is a ketogenic diet safe for you? Is a ketogenic diet safe? Before you try this at home… First and foremost, if you pick up a copy of Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman’s excellent new book, Keto Clarity (which I highly recommend–see my review here) and feel (understandably) inspired to immediately embark on a ketogenic diet, I would caution anyone with a serious chronic health problem, especially anyone who is taking prescription medications, not to attempt a ketogenic diet on his/her own without medical supervision. Medications and Early Ketosis Even though I personally believe in the power of ketogenic diets to improve and even reverse many chronic illnesses, from diabetes to chronic fatigue to mood disorders, the diet does this by causing very real shifts in body chemistry that can have a major impact on medication dosages and side effects, especially during the first few weeks. Examples of problematic situations include sudden drops in blood pressure for those on blood pressure medications (such as Lasix, Lisinopril, and Atenolol), and sudden drops in blood sugar for those on diabetes medications (especially insulin). These changes in blood pressure and blood sugar are very positive and healthy, but the presence of medications can artificially intensify these effects and cause extreme and sometimes dangerous reactions unless your dosage is carefully monitored by you and your clinician in the first month or so. Another important example of a medicine that would require careful monitoring is Lithium, an antidepressant and mood stabilizing medicine. The ketogenic diet causes the body to let go of excess water during the first few days, which can cause Lithium to become more concentrated in the blood, potentially rising to uncomfortable or even toxic levels. These 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 >>
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 >>
Is The Current Rise In Kidney Disease Due To Our Over-consumption Of Animal Source Foods?
I periodically get asked about concerns regarding the growing rates of kidney disease and concerns about kidney health in general in relation to a diet based in animal source foods. The worry is that consuming animal protein might somehow put a strain on kidneys and even lead to kidney damage over time. Here are the facts: In the United States, approximately one in three adults aged 65 years and older currently has chronic kidney disease. Certain mainstream sources are determined to find every which way to blame and further vilify animal source foods in this equation (and innumerable others), while extolling the supposed virtues of a plant-based diet. This is a pervasive misinformation trend, and one that I take on in my newest book, Primal Fat Burner. For starters, I don’t see the rise in kidney disease as necessarily being unrelated to the rise in metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the result of insulin resistance (which, in turn, is overwhelmingly the result of excess carbohydrate consumption—not fat or protein consumption). As my friend, Ron Rosedale, MD has aptly pointed out (and I’m paraphrasing somewhat), the development of obesity, in some respects, is technically the price your body pays to try and keep you from becoming diabetic. Excess sugars continually get stored through the efforts of insulin in your fat cells until the day your fat cells are no longer able to respond to insulin and there’s no place else for the sugar to go. Among the tissues unfortunate enough to lack the capacity for insulin resistance include your nerve cells and brain tissue, which may become chronically bombarded with excess tissue-damaging insulin and glucose and undergo degenerative changes. Nerve cells are readily damaged by glycation and through this process eventua Continue reading >>
Does A Ketogenic Diet Cause Kidney Stones?
I remember the first time I learned about the connection between a diet high in sugar and gout, kidney stones and heart disease. I was reading a book (I don’t remember which one) that was laying out the evidence that showed a clear link between sugar consumption and those diseases and it immediately peaked my interest because I didn’t know that gout was still a thing. I had only heard of old French monarchs having it and honestly didn’t know it was still around until just a few weeks before reading that book. Just a few weeks prior to reading that, I learned that my son’s Father in Law had gout and occasional kidney stones and as I read that passage in the book, I thought about calling him and telling him what I read. I decided against it and figured I would bring it up the next time I saw him at church. Unfortunately, before I ever got a chance to say anything to him, he had a heart attack. He’s fine now but I have always felt bad I didn’t immediately make a call. I realize it wouldn’t have done much given how quickly it all happened but still, I should have said something. Since then, probably the most common question I get about the ketogenic diet is whether or not it will cause kidney stones and there is definitely a connection but possibly not how you think. First let’s go over how kidney stones are formed. How Kidney Stones are Formed At one point in time it was thought that uric acid was produced solely from the breakdown of purines found in foods like liver, pork, mushrooms, anchovies, mackerel and dried beans which is why most patients that were susceptible to kidney stones or gout were put on a low purine diet. Unfortunately those diets didn’t work too well and almost always had to be supplemented with additional medications that controlled t Continue reading >>