Why The Ketogenic Diet May Help Fight Diabetes, Cancer
A diet extremely high in fat may not seem like the best way to lose fat. But there’s a growing body of research showing that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet is not only good for weight loss, but also may help in preventing disease. The ketogenic diet, or keto, relies on using your fat as fuel, instead of glucose from carbohydrates or protein. Simply put, the daily ketogenic diet consists of 75 percent fat, 20 percent of protein, and a teeny allotment of carbohydrates, about 5 percent. This balance of macronutrients is intended to put your body in a state of ketosis, which suppresses the release of insulin and blood glucose levels. The benefits of ketosis to your health are improvements in biomarkers like blood glucose, reduction of blood pressure and decreased appetite due to fullness linked to consumption of fats. You might think this sounds a lot like the Atkins diet — it’s not. The main difference lies in the protein content of the diet. Atkins tends to be very high in protein, while ketogenic is moderate. Getty Images stock It's not the easiest plan to follow, but the theory of ketosis as a possible prevention against disease is gaining attention from cancer specialists. Tumor immunologist Dr. Patrick Hwu, one of the leading cancer specialists in the U.S., has followed the keto diet for four years, although he prefers to call it the fat-burning metabolism diet, or fat-burning diet. More research is needed to prove its benefits, but Hwu, the head of cancer medicine at MD Anderson in Houston, believes in it after seeing improvements in his own health. Why keto works The body’s first and preferred fuel of choice is glucose — stored as glycogen. Anytime you eat a carbohydrate, be it lentils or licorice, the body turns it into glucose, or sugar. B Continue reading >>
Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose. It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon. Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes. In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed. For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>
Farming: Why Are Most Cows Fed Corn Instead Of Grass?
Most cows are not fed corn. As a matter of fact most cattle aren't even on a high-grain diet for most, if not all, of their lives. Most cattle are actually grass-fed. Just not grass-finished. There's around 89 million beef cattle in the US, 9.3 million dairy cattle and 12.1 million cattle currently in the feedlot being finished (that according to USDA statistics from July 1, 2015). The 89 million beef cattle are breeding cattle: Beef cows, replacement heifers, and bulls. The 9.3 million dairy cattle are primarily dairy cows used in milk production. And the 12.1 million cattle and calves in the feedlot are both beef and dairy of various ages. Now, look at the 89 million number again. That's 95% of the total cattle herd inventory of the United States (which is currently sitting at 93.4 million cattle). That equates to "most cows/cattle." And what most people don't know (nor have most acknowledged here, except for one) is that those 89 million cattle are grass or forage-fed. That means that those cattle are on pasture or range from spring until fall and fed hay in the winter. They are being fed and eating grass and forbs on either an extensive or intensive (all depending on grazing management, most operations choose an extensive to a happy medium between extensive and intensive) grazing system. Corn or other grains are optional, and only fed when and if the animals need it if feed supplies are low and straw is only to be fed (cattle can do quite well on straw if supplemented with grain for added carbohydrate and protein) but never as a main constituent of their diet. Certainly not like finisher or dairy cattle. The other interesting thing most people miss is that cattle in the feedlot have not been raised in the feedlot. Most cattle, which are largely beef with only maybe Continue reading >>
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Are There Different Types Of Ketosis?
Before reading this, if you haven’t already, I suggest reading What is a Ketogenic Diet and Understanding Ketosis so you will have a stronger understanding of what it means to be in a state of ketosis. The next step necessary in comprehending the ketogenic diet is learning the different types of ketosis that can occur. For this article, we will refer to three different forms of ketosis: fasting ketosis, nutritional ketosis, and pathological ketosis. The different types of ketosis vary in their degree of ketone production as well as their method of induction. Fasting Ketosis The idea of fasting has been around for hundreds of years and played a major part in the origins of the ketogenic diet. In fact, many great philosophers, such as Hippocrates, Socrates, and Aristotle, all praised the many benefits of fasting. Paracelsus, physician and father of toxicology, was quoted saying, “Fasting is the greatest remedy—the physician within.” While these early scientists and philosophers were definitely ahead of the game in recognizing the potential of fasting, the mechanisms were still yet to be understood. Ketosis tends to occur when insulin and blood glucose levels decrease to an extent that allows for increased fat oxidation, which is ultimately followed by greater ketone production. A minor state of ketosis can occur following periods of complete food restriction, such as an overnight fast. This may produce ketone levels around 0.1 mmol/L to 0.03 mmol/L. Shorter duration fasts typically will not raise ketone levels above these levels because the rate of ketone metabolism matches ketone synthesis. As the fast continues, the rate of ketone production exceeds ketone clearance, resulting in an increase in blood ketone levels (1). While a minor state of ketosis can occur du Continue reading >>
Ask Allison: What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
Q: What is a Ketogenic/Keto diet? A: A ketogenic (keto) diet is a very high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet. It has many medical benefits for children with epilepsy, and some people follow a keto diet for its potential weight loss benefits. A keto diet results in ketosis—a state in which ketones, formed from fatty acids, are burned as the main energy source by the body and brain rather than glucose (glucose, or blood sugar, is the broken down, usable from of carbohydrates). Q: What is ketosis? A: Ketosis is the result of a ketogenic diet in which the body produces ketones for fuel instead of using glucose. While in ketosis the body switches to fat for almost all energy needs. Q: What are ketones? A: Ketones are an alternative fuel to blood sugar (glucose) for the body. There are three different ketones (or “ketone bodies”) used by the body for fuel (acetone, acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate). Ketones are produced in the liver from fat as a byproduct formed during the conversion of fatty acids to fuel. Q: What do you eat on a ketogenic diet? A: Someone following a ketogenic diet will consume moderate amounts of protein, high amounts of fat, and very low amounts carbohydrates (less than 50g/day); a rough macronutrient ratio would be 15-25% protein, 70%+ fat, and 10% carbs. This usually includes natural fats (butter, olive oil), meat, seafood, eggs, cheese, and primarily green vegetables. People on a keto diet will avoid sweet, sugary, and starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread. Q: What’s the difference between keto and low carb? A: They are very similar; in most low carb diets, however protein is not restricted whereas for a keto diet protein is restricted to moderate amounts. Additionally, many low carb diets don’t require the majorit Continue reading >>
Tweet Ketosis is a state the body may find itself in either as a result of raised blood glucose levels or as a part of low carb dieting. Low levels of ketosis is perfectly normal. However, high levels of ketosis in the short term can be serious and the long term effects of regular moderate ketosis are only partially known at the moment. What is 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. Is ketosis the same as ketoacidosis? There is often confusion as to the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketosis is the state whereby the body is producing ketones. In ketosis, the level of ketones in the blood can be anything between normal to very high. Diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA, only describes the state in which the level of ketones is either high or very high. In ketoacidosis, the amount of ketones in the blood is sufficient to turn the blood acidic, which is a dangerous medical state. When does ketosis occur? Ketosis will take place when the body needs energy and there is not sufficient glucose available for the body. This can typically happen when the body is lacking insulin and blood glucose levels become high. Other causes can be the result of being on a low carb diet. A low level of carbohydrate will lead to low levels of insulin, and therefore the body will produce ketones which do not rely on insulin to get into and fuel the body’s cells. A further cause of ketosis, less relevant to people with diabetes, is a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Is ketosis dangerous? The NHS describes ketosis as a pote Continue reading >>
Ketosis-prone Type 2 Diabetes
Background The original schema for classifying diabetes mellitus (DM) consisted of 2 categories known as type 1 diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes was also known as insulin-dependent diabetes. Patients with this type of diabetes were considered prone to develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Patients with type 1 diabetes were found to have an absolute insulin deficiency due to autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells. Patients with type 2 diabetics, or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, were not considered to be at risk for DKA. Type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with obesity and a family history of diabetes. These patients have peripheral insulin resistance with initially normal or elevated circulating levels of endogenous insulin. Practice Essentials Type 2 diabetes mellitus consists of an array of dysfunctions characterized by hyperglycemia and resulting from the combination of resistance to insulin action, inadequate insulin secretion, and excessive or inappropriate glucagon secretion. See the image below. See Clinical Findings in Diabetes Mellitus, a Critical Images slideshow, to help identify various cutaneous, ophthalmologic, vascular, and neurologic manifestations of DM. Signs and symptoms Many patients with type 2 diabetes are asymptomatic. Clinical manifestations include the following: See Presentation for more detail. Diagnosis Diagnostic criteria by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) include the following  : Whether a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level of 6.5% or higher should be a primary diagnostic criterion or an optional criterion remains a point of controversy. Indications for diabetes screening in asymptomatic adults includes the following [2, 3] : Overweight and 1 or more other risk factors for diabetes (eg, first-d Continue reading >>
Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works
Ketosis is a process that the body does on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body adapts to what is put in it, processing different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs can all be processed for use. Eating a low carb, high fat diet just ramps up this process, which is a normal and safe chemical reaction. When you eat carbohydrate based foods or excess amounts of protein, your body will break this down into sugar – known as glucose. Why? Glucose is needed in the creation of ATP (an energy molecule), which is a fuel that is needed for the daily activities and maintenance inside our bodies. If you’ve ever used our keto calculator to determine your caloric needs, you will see that your body uses up quite a lot of calories. It’s true, our bodies use up much of the nutrients we intake just to maintain itself on a daily basis. If you eat enough food, there will likely be an excess of glucose that your body doesn’t need. There are two main things that happen to excess glucose if your body doesn’t need it: Glycogenesis. Excess glucose will be converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Estimates show that only about half of your daily energy can be stored as glycogen. Lipogenesis. If there’s already enough glycogen in your muscles and liver, any extra glucose will be converted into fats and stored. So, what happens to you once your body has no more glucose or glycogen? Ketosis happens. When your body has no access to food, like when you are sleeping or when you are on a ketogenic diet, the body will burn fat and create molecules called ketones. We can thank our body’s ability to switch metabolic pathways for that. These ketones are created when the body breaks down fats, creating Continue reading >>
Escaping The Fat Trap
Once you’ve been heavy for some time, your high insulin levels can make it hard to succeed in losing weight. Trying diet after diet and failing on each and every one is depressing. But when you discover the perfectly natural bodily process called lipolysis, hope can replace despair. To a person longing to lose weight, Nirvana is the definition of lipolysis: the process of dissolving fat. When you burn fat, it breaks down into glycerol and other fatty acids. How does the process actually work? Are there any drawbacks? There are plenty of laypersons and even physicians who think there must be. Burning off one’s fat sounds like a faddish trick. These folks give a skeptical shrug and say, "I’m sure people lose some weight with the Atkins approach, but don’t they gain it right back again?" The interesting thing is that if you adhere to the four phases the Atkins approach—which includes finding your Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium (ACE), meaning the amount of carbohydrates you can still consume and neither gain nor lose weight—you won’t regain the weight. The phase known as Lifetime Maintenance, though more indulgent, evolves naturally from the three weight-loss phases, thereby gradually teaching you a permanent way of eating that still moderates carbohydrate intake to the degree that is necessary for your individual metabolism. Many controlled carbohydrate regimens have been proposed over the years. They work with some degree of effectiveness for some people. However, many of them do not bring carbohydrate intake down to a level that will permit lipolysis. For people who suffer from metabolic obesity and have great difficulty losing, that is a grave weakness. Atkins, on the other hand, starts you off consuming 20 grams of carbohydrates. You then proceed at your Continue reading >>
Beyond Weight Loss: A Review Of The Therapeutic Uses Of Very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) Diets
Very-low-carbohydrate diets or ketogenic diets have been in use since the 1920s as a therapy for epilepsy and can, in some cases, completely remove the need for medication. From the 1960s onwards they have become widely known as one of the most common methods for obesity treatment. Recent work over the last decade or so has provided evidence of the therapeutic potential of ketogenic diets in many pathological conditions, such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, acne, neurological diseases, cancer and the amelioration of respiratory and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The possibility that modifying food intake can be useful for reducing or eliminating pharmaceutical methods of treatment, which are often lifelong with significant side effects, calls for serious investigation. This review revisits the meaning of physiological ketosis in the light of this evidence and considers possible mechanisms for the therapeutic actions of the ketogenic diet on different diseases. The present review also questions whether there are still some preconceived ideas about ketogenic diets, which may be presenting unnecessary barriers to their use as therapeutic tools in the physician’s hand. During recent years, an increasing amount of evidence has accumulated in the literature, suggesting that very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets (VLCKD) could have a therapeutic role in numerous diseases. The use of VLCKD in treating epilepsy has been well established for many decades and these diets have become even more widely known, as they became popular in the 1970s for weight loss—especially as the ‘Atkins Diet’.1 More recently, the therapeutic use of ketogenic diets in other diseases has been studied with positive results—it is an important direction for research because, clearly, Continue reading >>
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When My Boyfriend Drinks Alcohol He Smells Like Oranges. Is There A Reason For This?
Thanks for the A2A. He may be experiencing ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your body does not have sufficient glucose to use as fuel, and starts to use alternatives such as proteins and fats instead. It's not necessarily harmful (low carb diets will induce ketosis) but it can be associated with conditions such as diabetes and over-active thyroid. He should discuss this with a doctor. More What Is Ketosis? Ketosis Continue reading >>
What is ketosis? Ketosis is the physiological state where the concentration of ketone bodies in the blood is higher than normal. This is generally agreed to be at beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations greater than 0.5 mM. How to achieve ketosis? Ketosis occurs either as a result of increased fat oxidation, whilst fasting or following a strict ketosis diet plan (ENDOGENOUS ketosis), or after consuming a ketone supplement (EXOGENOUS ketosis). When in a state of ketosis the body can use ketones to provide a fuel for cellular respiration instead of its usual substrates: carbohydrate, fat or protein. Why does ketosis exist? Normally, the body breaks down carbohydrates, fat, and (sometimes) proteins to provide energy. When carbohydrate is consumed in the diet, some is used immediately to maintain blood glucose levels, and the rest is stored. The hormone that signals to cells to store carbohydrate is insulin. The liver stores carbohydrate as glycogen, this is broken down and released between meals to keep blood glucose levels constant. Muscles also store glycogen, when broken down this provides fuel for exercise. Most cells in the body can switch readily between using carbohydrates and fat as fuel. Fuel used depends on substrate availability, on the energy demands of the cell and other neural and hormonal signals. The brain is different as it is dependent on carbohydrates as a fuel source. This is because fats cannot easily cross the blood-brain barrier. The inability to make use of energy within fat poses a problem during periods where there is limited carbohydrate in the diet. If blood glucose levels fall to low, brain function declines. Relatively little energy is stored as carbohydrate (2,000 kCal) compared to fat (150,000 kCal). The body's store of carbohydrates runs Continue reading >>
Keep Yourself In Ketosis
When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain. Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors. Ketones do more than just that though. They increase glutathione, a powerful, brain-protective antioxidant. Ketones facilitate the production of mitochondria, one of the most important actors in the coordinated production that is the human body. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our bodies are said to enter ketosis at the point when blood sugar levels are low and liver glycogen are no longer available to produce glucose as a fuel for cellular energy production. At this point, not only is the body doing the natural thing, and burning off fat, it’s also powering up the brain with a super efficient fuel. We can jump start ourselves into ketosis with a brief fast, allowing our body to quickly burn through the carbs that are in our system, and turn to fat for fuel. A ketogenic diet is one that derives around 80% or more of of its calories from fat, and the rest from carbs and prote Continue reading >>
What Are The Dangers Of The Ketosis Diet?
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the "Atkins" and low carb dieting thing was just coming on in a big way, there was a terrific number of idiotic claims made about the dangers of it -- many of them confusing (as the questioner points out) diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious condition, with voluntary nutritional ketosis, even though there is no relation whatever. But, leaving all that aside, some caution is in order. The diet seems to stress the adrenals. This has been noted anecdotally by many people who've followed the diet. It was also noted by Dr Wolfgang Lutz, one of the early pioneers of the diet, who personally practiced the diet for 40-odd years, as well as advocated the diet to thousands of his patients. He noted in his book on the subject ("Life Without Bread" was the title, though it was published later I believe under a different title) that some patients would suffer mild autoimmune reactions that required small doses of corticosteroids to control. This sounds like what would happen if the adrenals are failing to produce a normal amount of steroids. You can find a lot more of a mostly-anecdotal nature by searching for "ketogenic jaminet". Paul Jaminet is a popular health blogger who has written about what he perceives to be problems with the ketogenic diet, including the possibility of deficiency of mucus and other key glycoproteins. He has some scientific backing for what he is saying, but it is far from air-tight. Read and judge for yourself. You can also learn a lot from the comments below his posts. Jaminet and others have also written about the risk of kidney stones on the ketogenic diet, and this is a serious concern, albeit a rare occurence. As far as the kidney stress goes: this would I believe be easy to avert simply by taking some alkali during Continue reading >>
Results Weight loss Most people can lose weight if they restrict the number of calories consumed and increase physical activity levels. To lose 1 to 1.5 pounds (0.5 to 0.7 kilogram) a week, you need to reduce your daily calories by 500 to 750 calories. Low-carb diets, especially very low-carb diets, may lead to greater short-term weight loss than do low-fat diets. But most studies have found that at 12 or 24 months, the benefits of a low-carb diet are not very large. A 2015 review found that higher protein, low-carbohydrate diets may offer a slight advantage in terms of weight loss and loss of fat mass compared with a normal protein diet. Cutting calories and carbs may not be the only reason for the weight loss. Some studies show that you may shed some weight because the extra protein and fat keeps you feeling full longer, which helps you eat less. Other health benefits Low-carb diets may help prevent or improve serious health conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. In fact, almost any diet that helps you shed excess weight can reduce or even reverse risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Most weight-loss diets — not just low-carb diets — may improve blood cholesterol or blood sugar levels, at least temporarily. Low-carb diets may improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride values slightly more than do moderate-carb diets. That may be due not only to how many carbs you eat but also to the quality of your other food choices. Lean protein (fish, poultry, legumes), healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and unprocessed carbs — such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products — are generally healthier choices. A report from the Ame Continue reading >>