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Are You Low Carb, Very Low Carb, Or Ketogenic?

Written by Wellness Club on July 1, 2017 – 8:09 am -

Are We Still Standing Behind Our Low Carb Diet Advice?

Nurse Mark says:

Every now and then someone writes us with what they really hope will be a "Gotcha!" that will simultaneously demonstrate their genius and place our ignorance on display for all the world to see.

Most of the time it is obvious that these folks have either spent far too much time studying at The University of Google, or that they have a particular agenda and "axe to grind" with their questions or comments.

We are not quite sure which of those is the case with the following letter we received since it is a little disjointed and hard to understand with its lack of punctuation and grammar. However, we think that the writer is taking us to task for favoring a Very Low Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet.

An "Anonymous" writer recently asked:

"It’s 2017 lol do you still stand by the ‘carbs are bad for you’ ex-trend?
You know your articles written by some ‘doctors’ who got their degrees in some third-rated universities looks like word play on middle school science combined with things people promise in elections, right?"

(Here’s a request from us to you: If you are going to write us to tell us why we are wrong about something, please supply some supporting evidence and references – not just "everybody knows", or "I saw it on the internet." Real, actual citations like you will find at the end of all our scientific articles will be appreciated and will help support your case. Oh, and insults rarely achieve anything positive in swaying opinions – remember how well that recent "Basket of Deplorables" comment worked out…)

Dear Anonymous,

Welcome back from your year-long meditation retreat in the Himalayas! I can only assume that you have been in a cave the past year without television or internet connection. You are right, it is 2017.  And we stand by our recommendation of a ketogenic diet now more than ever.

Not only do we stand by our low carb dietary advice, we are finding more and more conventional scientific and clinical research and studies in the medical news every day that tells us that Dr. Myatt has been on the right track for 28 years. We recommend not just ‘low carb’ – but an out-and-out Very Low Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet (VLCKD). I’ll let the Ketogenic Diet guru, Dr. Myatt, get you up to speed on the most recent science.

Dr. Myatt says:

Do we still stand by the low carb (ketogenic) diet in 2017?  You Betcha!  Evidence confirming the many health benefits of a VLCKD continues to unfold by the day. The use of a ketogenic diet is actually becoming well known in conventional medicine. Here’s what science shows to date.

For weight loss:

For weight loss, ketogenic diets have performed as well or better than low calorie/high carb diets. (1-4) The ketogenic diet is more effective than a low calorie diet for those with insulin resistance (IR), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NFLD), atherogenic dyslipidemia (AD) – a blood fat profile that predisposes to coronary artery disease. Many overweight and obese individuals exhibit one or more of these problems. (5)

Many people find a ketogenic diet easier to stick with to than a low calorie diet because of the appetite-curbing effect of ketosis. A ketogenic diet has a stimulating effect on our appetite control hormones. Ketones may also have a direct appetite-suppressant action. Staying on a ketogenic diet will keep ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and appetite levels low as long as the dieter stays in ketosis A VLCKD causes a reduction in lipogenesis (fat cell creation) and increased lipolysis (fat cell "burning").
A VLCKD reduces the resting respiratory quotient and gives the body greater metabolic efficiency in consuming fats.

Because the ketogenic diet contains higher protein intakes than the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet), muscle tissue is typically well-preserved while weight is lost. Increased metabolic costs of gluconeogenesis (the process of making glucose from protein) and the thermic effect of proteins means that a VLCKD makes the body use more energy to process the food it takes in.

A one-year study of 311 overweight/obese premenopausal women comparing various weight loss diets found the that weight loss over the long-haul (12 months) was better in Atkin’s (a ketogenic diet) than all others compared, as follows:

Atkins solidly beat out the Zone, the Ornish, and the LEARN (55–60% carbohydrate, 10% saturated fat, energy restricted) diets. After 12 months, weight loss in the Atkins group was −4.7 kg compared with −1.6 kg on the Zone Diet, −2.2 kg on the Ornish and −2.6 kg on the LEARN groups. Blood HDL and  triglyceride concentrations were improved more in the Atkins group compared with all other diet groups.(6-7)

Type II Diabetes:

Multiple studies have shown that a ketogenic diet lowers blood sugar and improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients better than a calorie restricted, low glycemic diet. Weight loss was also more substantial in the ketogenic diet group.(8-10)

More participants in the ketogenic diet group were able to discontinue all diabetic medications. (7)

Cardiovascular disease:

A VLCKD lowers both cholesterol and triglycerides in obese patients and increases the size and volume of the low-density lipoprotein molecules, such as triglycerides and LDL ("bad") cholesterol. A ketogenic diet was also found to protect the heart and improve recovery after a heart attack. Compared to a low calorie diet, the ketogenic diet has been seen in numerous studies to lower cardiac risk factors better. (11-14)

In one study of healthy college age male athletes researchers found that while total cholesterol increased in the VLCKD group, it was an increase in HDL (the “good cholesterol) that caused this response and that other values, such as testosterone levels and insulin response, improved significantly in the VLCKD group and the researchers praised the safety of the VLCKD. (104)

Ketogenic diets decrease small LDL particles (the size that causes atherosclerosis) and increases large LDL particles (the kind that doesn’t contribute to atherosclerosis). (15-20)

Epilepsy:

Having been used clinically since the 1920′s, the role of ketogenic diets in epilepsy treatment is well established. (21-22)

Cancer:

This is a red-hot “emerging” topic. Remember you probably heard it here first.

[Nurse Mark notes: There are so many references and substantiation for use of a ketogenic diet in cancer that Dr. Myatt is writing a book on the subject.]

Here’s the short-course. A ketogenic diet is beneficial in treating cancer by a number of different mechanisms including:

  1. Decreasing the glucose substrate required for cancer cell metabolism. Most tumors express abnormalities in the number and function of their mitochondria. (23-28) Such abnormalities prevent the bioenergetic utilization of ketone bodies, which require functional mitochondria for their oxidation.
  2. Decreasing insulin, a secondary growth factor for cancer cells. (29-30)
  3. Decreasing inflammation. Inflammation acts to promote cancer by altering cell-to-cell communication and delaying local detoxification.(31-41) Metabolic ketosis has significant anti-inflammatory effects. (25, 42-45)
  4. Decreasing ROS production. Reactive Oxygen Species are known to promote cancer (46-48); metabolic ketosis decreases ROS production. (49-52)
  5. Reversing cachexia (the extreme wasting and weight loss of cancer) while simultaneously decreasing tumor weight. (53-55)
  6. Decreasing angiogenesis. (56-57)
  7. Inducing apoptosis. (27,45, 53)
  8. Suppressing the p53 oncogene, the most common point mutation observed in human cancer; more than 50% of all human tumors examined to date have identifiable p53 gene point mutations or deletions. A ketogenic diet has been shown to suppress the p53 oncogene in animal models. (43)
  9. Acting synergistically with chemotherapy and/or specific nutritional supplementation. (58-61)

Ongoing research into the use of ketogenic diets for cancer is very quickly proving that ketosis can have a profound, positive effect on slowing cancer growth even in advanced cancers. (62-82)

Neurological diseases:

Feared neurologic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, brain trauma and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) have all been demonstrated to respond favorably to the metabolic changes created by a ketogenic diet. (83-101)

Other conditions which may benefit from a ketogenic diet include acne (102) and polycystic ovary disease. (103)

In Summary:

Not only is the medical use of ketogenic diets not an “ex-trend” as our questioner believes, it is actually an “emerging” trend that you will continue to hear more and more about. In fact, don’t be surprised if your doctor prescribes a ketogenic diet to you one day soon.

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