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Why Is Ketosis Hard On The Kidneys

Does A Ketogenic Diet Cause Kidney Stones?

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 >>

Is The Keto Diet Safe? 10 Myth-busting Arguments For The Safety Of Ketosis

Is The Keto Diet Safe? 10 Myth-busting Arguments For The Safety Of Ketosis

Is ketosis safe? The truth is that we can’t say for certain that it is 100% safe. Humans don’t understand everything under the branch of nutritional science and probably won’t for a very long time. As an individual, the only thing you can do is take a look at the research yourself and form your own conclusion. Personally, through the reading I’ve done and the experience I’ve had with the Keto diet, I’ve formed my own conclusion that ketosis is safe. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But I could also be right. I’m willing to take that risk in order to follow a diet which could maximize longevity, well being and function. My personal conclusion shouldn’t matter to you though. You need to do your own research and come to your own conclusion. I’ve put together this post to organize all of the issues surrounding the safety of ketosis so that you can make your own decision. In trying to prove something to be safe there are two ways to go about it. Disprove the claims of danger Show evidence which may be correlated with safety This article will dispel the top 10 claims people make in an argument to label ketosis as dangerous. Like I said, the science on ketosis is still quite immature. The following data is not meant to 100% prove or disprove the safety of ketosis. It’s merely the information we have available today which can help us form a nutritional strategy we feel is best for ourselves. I’m not a doctor or a researcher. The following information is material I’ve collected in my attempt to feel confident following a Keto diet indefinitely. Most of it is sourced from doctors or authors although I have also included anecdotal accounts from experiences posted on message boards and Reddit. I know, much of the information here isn’t sourced directly from s Continue reading >>

Ketosis & Kidney Failure

Ketosis & Kidney Failure

Ketosis happens when your body resorts to fat for energy after your stored carbohydrates have been burned out. It often occurs when people fast and exercise. But most commonly, ketosis occurs in people who eat low-carb, high-protein diets, which are also called ketogenic diets. There’s some evidence that ketosis can tax your kidneys, leading to kidney stones and low blood pressure. In diabetics, a variant of ketosis can be fatal. However, a small but growing group of health professionals say ketosis is not the poison you’ve been lead to think it was, and it may be better for you than high-carbohydrate eating. Your specific dietary habits are best advised by your healthcare provider or nutritionist. Video of the Day Ketosis happens when you get a buildup of a substance known as ketones, or ketone bodies in your blood. They are released when your body’s carbohydrate stores run out and you have to break down fat stores for energy. Dieters tend to deliberately cause ketosis because it makes you feel less hungry. However, ketosis also makes you feel tired and sluggish, because as "Medical News Today" reports, ketones aren’t the most efficient source of energy, especially for your brain. Ketosis can also harm your kidneys. Annually, more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with kidney failure in the United States, reports the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or NIDDK. The condition is marked by the inability of your kidneys to do their job of eliminating wastes. One treatment for kidney failure is dialysis, a draining and lengthy artificial blood cleansing process. Another option is a kidney transplant. The NIDDK states that the cost of care for patients with kidney failure reached close to $32 billion in 2005. The federal government sub Continue reading >>

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 >>

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 >>

Does Ketosis Cause Kidney Damage?

Does Ketosis Cause Kidney Damage?

The ‘Lean for Life’ program is mildly ketotic, and only for a brief portion of the program. It has not been associated with kidney damage or disease in individuals who have normally functioning kidneys. Concerns regarding undue stress on the kidneys are often aimed at very low carbohydrate, very high protein ketogenic diets. Few studies have shown any actual damage, however. (Note: Although the Weight Loss portion of the ‘Lean for Life’ program is mildly ketogenic, it is not considered to be exceptionally “high protein” for most individuals.) Dietary ketosis is among the most maligned and misunderstood concepts in nutrition medicine. Particularly among researchers who don’t actually treat patients, ketosis (the presence of ketone bodies in the urine) is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening build-up of ketone bodies due to muscle wasting and dehydration as in states of shock or uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes. In the Type 1 diabetic, the absence of insulin leads to a toxic build-up of blood glucose and an extreme break-down of fat and muscle tissue. This condition doesn’t occur in individuals who have even a small amount of insulin, whether from natural production or artificially administered. Whereas patients in ketoacidosis are closely monitored in Intensive Care Units, individuals in ketosis are amongst the healthy, active population. Dietary ketosis is a natural adjustment to the body’s reduced intake of carbohydrates as the body shifts its primary source of energy from carbohydrates to stored fat. The presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that a mild, beneficial ketosis is achieved. Blood glucose levels are stabilized within a normal range and there is no break-down of healthy muscle tissue. It would be diffi Continue reading >>

Is Ketosis Dangerous?

Is Ketosis Dangerous?

Duck Dodgers October 14, 2014 Peter, An article by Per Wikholm was published in this month’s LCHF Magasinet, where Per demonstrates that the Inuit could not have been in ketosis given that the scientific literature is abundantly clear, over and over again, that the Inuit consumed too much protein, and more importantly, Per debunks Stefansson’s claims for high fat with writing from his own books—Stef admitted in the pemmican recipes that Arctic caribou was too lean to make pemmican that supported ketosis. The most popular LCHF bloggers in Sweden, Andreas Eenfeldt/Diet Doctor and Annika Dahlquist have reluctantly agreed with Per’s findings—admitting that the Inuit were likely not ketogenic from their diet. I’ve put together a comprehensive review of the scientific literature regarding the Inuit, encompassing over two dozen studies, spanning 150 years, with references from explorers, including Stefansson. In the comments section of that post, Per gives a brief overview of how he was able to prove Stefansson’s observations on high fat intake were flawed. The post is a review of all the available literature that I could find (over two dozen studies). But, the literature certainly does not in any way support ketosis from the Inuit diet due to such high protein consumption. As Per (and Stefansson) points out, the caribou is too lean and as the many quotes show, the Inuit were saving their blubber and fat for the long dark Winter to power their oil lamps and heat their igloos. Again and again, we see that in the literature, as even Stefansson admits this. As far as glycogen is concerned, their glycogen intake is probably not worth scrutinizing given the well-documented high protein consumption in every published study. It really is besides the point. But, interest Continue reading >>

Do Low Carb Diets Damage The Kidneys? Probably Not

Do Low Carb Diets Damage The Kidneys? Probably Not

Low carb diets, such as Atkins, which are popular for people who want to lose weight, have been found not to cause any noticeable harm to the kidneys, researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine reported in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The authors added that although their study detected no harmful effects on the kidneys, they say further follow-up studies are required to confirm this. Allon Friedman, M.D. and team set out to determine what effects a high-protein low-carb versus a low-fat diet might have on the kidneys. They compared the two diets on a wide range of kidney-related measures. The study involved 307 participants over a two year period. None of them had any kidney problems or diseases before the study began. They found that a high-protein low-carb diet did not appear to have any harmful effects on kidney functions, neither were fluid and electrolyte balances affected. Dr. Friedman said: "These results are relevant to the millions of healthy obese adults who use dieting as a weight loss strategy." In order to determine whether there might be any longer-term effects than the two years in this study, the authors said that further long-term studies are required. Further studies are also needed on patients with certain diseases and conditions, such as those at high risk of developing kidney stones, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. Low-carb diets have become very popular. Some have wondered what effect they might have on the kidneys In an Abstract in the same journal, the authors wrote: "In healthy obese individuals, a low-carbohydrate high-protein weight-loss diet over 2 years was not associated with noticeably harmful effects on GFR, albuminuria, or fluid and electrolyte balance Continue reading >>

Can Ketogenic Diet Be The Cause Of Kidney Stones?

Can Ketogenic Diet Be The Cause Of Kidney Stones?

Nowadays, often we either suffer from kidney stone problem or we hear that our familiar persons are suffering from kidney stone. Most of us even believe that the diet habits of low-carb can be the cause of this problem. Before going into the arguments we must know why do we have kidney stones? Reason for kidney stones Generally, kidney stones are the crystal hard mass that get its form in our urinary tract. Obviously, it is tremendously painful, especially when it goes by the thin ureter in the body. Kidney stones are of different types, but the exact cause of kidney stones are still unknown. It is also true some people are prone to get the kidney stones in their body. Thus, we are not sure that ketogenic diet kidney stones are interlinked. What is the ketogenic diet? A low-carb diet is also known as the ketogenic diet. In these diets, we get protein and fat. The ketogenic diet produces ketosis and this is a condition of the body in which it uses the ketones and fat to burn the fat molecules to make the fuel in the body. This is the basic source of energy or fuel. These diets control your appetite and support to burn the fat, as a result you lose your weight. Benefits of ketogenic diet The ketogenic diet means controls of protein, fat, and carbohydrates which you take as you can only consume maximum fifty grams of carbohydrates per day. These diets not only help to reduce your body weight, but it also helps in certain diseases like epilepsy or malignant brain cancer, etc. However, after having too many ketones in the body, your urine changes into acidic and this gives stress to your kidneys which ultimately changes into kidney stones. Thus, ketogenic diet kidney stones are having the link to each other. Some people who intake too much of meat, fish or poultry protein al 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 >>

Ketones, Ketosis, And Ketogenic Diets

Ketones, Ketosis, And Ketogenic Diets

An understanding of ketones and ketosis is essential for understanding how some high protein-low carbohydrate diets (also called Ketogenic Diets) such as Atkins diet works. Ketones are mild acids, a sort of reserve fuel released from burned fats for survival under conditions of starvation. When we go without food for even a few days our bodies begin living off our stored fats, and these release ketones. During ketosis, the body switches from using glucose for energy (sufficient dietary carbohydrates are not available) to using fat. Fatty acids are then released into the bloodstream and converted into ketones. The ketones themselves are produced by the metabolism of fat. Ketosis refers to the process of the conversion. The ketones are used by your muscles, your brain, and other organs as an energy source. Excess ketones are then eliminated during urination. Ketosis occurs when the amount of carbohydrate fuel- the fuel that is needed to run the body - drops below a critical level, forcing the body to turn first to protein and then to fat reserves to do the work carbohydrates normally do. When protein is deflected in this manner, it releases nitrogen into the blood stream, placing a burden on the kidneys as they try to excrete excessive urinary water due to sodium loss. When fat is likewise deflected, the breakup releases fatty acids, or ketones, into the bloodstream, further burdening the kidneys. If ketosis continues for long periods of time, serious damage to the liver and kidneys can occur, which is why most low-carbohydrate, or ketogenic diets recommend only short-term use, typically 14 days. Many nutritionists caution their patients-especially women in the early stages of pregnancy-against following them at all. Fasters experience a sensation of improved well-being a Continue reading >>

Can A Ketogenic Diet Repair Damaged Kidneys?

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 >>

Could A High-fat, Low-carb Diet Someday Replace Dialysis?

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)

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 >>

Reversal Of Diabetic Nephropathy By A Ketogenic Diet

Reversal Of Diabetic Nephropathy By A Ketogenic Diet

Go to: Introduction While intensive insulin therapy and other interventions slow the development of diabetic complications [1], 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 [2]. 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 [3]. In addition to glycolytic enzymes that would be expected to produce oxidative stress [3], glucose metabolism also induces a variety of molecular responses such as thioredoxin-interaction protein [4] and p65 [5] 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 [6]. Furthermore, based particularly on detailed analysis of the hysteretic behavior of the lac operon [7], [8], 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 [3]. While examining basic mechanisms mediating molecular respo Continue reading >>

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