Ketogenic Diet to Reduce Hunger, Diabetes and Obesity

Ketogenic Diet to Reduce Hunger, Diabetes and Obesity

It is known that intake of monounsaturated fat increases the concentration of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and reduces the glucose concentration1 and the degree of insulin resistance, at least in patients with diabetes mellitus. Replacing dietary carbohydrate with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat decreases the risk of coronary heart disease, as predicted by favorable changes in the concentrations of triglyceride and HDL cholesterol.


The primacy of insulin as a control element is the basis of popular weight-loss diets based on carbohydrate restriction. Such regimens allow dieters to regulate fat and calorie intake by appetite alone as long as carbohydrate intake remains minimal. ketosis metabolic state is characterized by extremely low insulin levels, as would occur during periods of fasting or starvation or while consuming a low-carb diet, such as the popular Atkins diet model.

Ketone is produced in the liver during starvation. The ketogenic diet causes molecules called ketone bodies to be produced as fat is broken down. Ketone bodies are appetite-suppressing and they may have an effect on the appetite centers in the brain. It's also well known that protein itself is very good at making people feel full-up.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have completed the largest and longest-ever comparison of four popular diets, and the lowest-carbohydrate Atkins diet came out on top. Of the more than 300 women in the study, those randomly assigned to follow the lowest-carbohydrate Atkins diet for a year not only lost more weight than the other participants, but also experienced the most benefits in terms of cholesterol and blood pressure.

The premise of the ketogenic diet is to lower endogenous insulin levels and promote the use of body fat as fuel. During partial fasting with carbohydrate restriction, insulin declines, and glucagon increases. This shift in the insulin-to-glucagon ratio results in mobilization of free fatty acids from adipose tissue, increased mobilization of amino acids from muscle, and increased fatty acid oxidation by the liver.

Strict use of a ketogenic diet high in fats and extremely low in carbohydrates is sometimes used for treatment of refractory epilepsy, and is effective about half of the time. It has been suggested that a ketogenic diet might be used as a mood stabilizer in affective disorders. A report published in the peer-reviewed, open access journal Nutrition and Metabolism, showed that a brain protein, amyloid-beta, which is an indicator of Alzheimer's disease, is reduced in mice on the so-called ketogenic diet.

Results from a Mayo Clinic study that analyzed medical records of epilepsy patients also suggest a ketogenic diet, which mimics the effects of starvation, can be successfully implemented with children on an outpatient basis.

A low-carbohydrate ketogenic with fish, borage and flaxseed oil supplementation led to weight loss, a reduction in VLDL, and increase in HDL-cholesterol and a change from small to large LDL cholesterol. Due to these favorable effects on weight, VLDL and HDL, this approach may be useful to treat the metabolic syndrome.

A important comparative study shown that subjects on a low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight and had greater improvements in the triglyceride concentration and insulin sensitivity than those on a low-fat diet. These metabolic benefits were clinically meaningful and occurred independently of weight loss; an exparts at Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Study confirms that symptoms of negative affect and hunger improved to a greater degree in patients following an low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet (LCKD) compared with those following an low-fat diet (LFD) and significant improvement of weight loss.

Individual research confirmed that the ketogenic very low diet (VLCD) is very effective, in the short term, for treating obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes.

Another study directed by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine suggests a ketogenic- high caloric diet may prevent the progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).This may be due to the ability of ketone bodies to promote ATP synthesis and bypass inhibition of complex I in the mitochondrial respiratory chain.

When the diet is extremely low in starches and sugars, blood sugar levels drop substantially so that muscle and brain have to turn to alternative fuels. Consequently, fatty acids are broken down in the liver and converted to ketones, which then serve as a major fuel source. Diets that limit carbohydrates and eliminate transfats, and at the same time emphasize fiber and good fats, appear to be healthiest, especially among individuals who are predisposed to developing diabetes.

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have demonstrate that a liver hormone known as FGF21 is required to oxidize fatty acids -- and thereby burn calories. Diets that limit carbohydrates and eliminate transfats, and at the same time emphasize fiber and good fats, appear to be healthiest, especially among individuals who are predisposed to developing diabetes"; they stated.

Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet program had better participant retention and greater weight loss. During active weight loss, serum triglyceride levels decreased more and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level increased more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with the low-fat diet; according to Pub Med.

Scientists at Aberdeen's Rowett Research Institute have shown that a high protein, low carbohydrate diet is most effective at reducing hunger and promoting weight loss, at least in the short term. Their work has just been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Healthy, obese men were given two different diets during their stay in the Rowett's specialised Human Nutrition Unit. Both diets had a high protein content (30% of total energy value of the diet) but they differed in the amount of carbohydrate: One diet was low in carbohydrate (4%) and the other contained a moderate amount of carbohydrate (35% total energy value).

"Our volunteers found both diets to be equally palatable, but they felt less hungry on the high-protein low-carbohydrate diet compared with the diet which contained high-protein but moderate amounts of carbohydrate," said Dr Alex Johnstone, the Rowett's weight-loss expert who led the study.

"Weight loss during the two four week study periods was greater on the high-protein low-carbohydrate diet, averaging 6.3 kg per person, compared with 4.3 kg on the moderate carbohydrate diet," said Dr Johnstone.

"In this study, we showed that on the high-protein low-carbohydrate diet the volunteers became ketogenic within 1-2 days of starting this diet and so it may be that high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are particularly effective because of the combined effect of the protein and the ketone bodies," said Dr Johnstone.

"We showed that the volunteers on the ketogenic diet reduced their energy intake without increasing their hunger and this was a very important factor in their ability to stick to the diet."

When the phase of the study which involved the volunteers finished in October 2004, it attracted considerable interest because of its celebrity volunteer, Cameron Stout, who lost just over 12 kg during his nine week stay at the Rowett Institute. At the time, Cameron mentioned his surprise at not feeling hungry during the study and said he had adjusted to eating smaller portions. How does he feel now, three years later?

"I had a great experience with the nutrition study at the Rowett. The food was excellent and the staff looked after us very well. Because I have such an irregular lifestyle I don't find it easy to stick rigidly to all that I learnt while I was at the Institute, but I try to make an effort most of the time. For me it was mainly about breaking bad habits and I guess we all have food vices we need to deal with!" said Cameron.

However there are some negative results also found :

Dr Johnstone sounds a note of caution about her findings: "A paper published last year from the same study showed that low carbohydrate diets may have consequences for the health of the gut by dramatically reducing the numbers of particular types of bacteria. So we will be looking in more detail at the complex way in which we respond to changes in our diet before we can say whether low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets are a suitable tool for everyone who wants to lose weight."

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and, most recently, in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association published a research and uncovered that the ketogenic diet may increase bone loss because of an increase in acid in the body and not enough intake of alkalizing minerals, such as potassium, to neutralize this effect. In addition, a higher percentage of calcium was found in the urine of those on the KLC diet, leading the researchers to believe that the bones are “leaching” calcium.

The low-carbohydrate high-protein Atkins diet is not safe and should not be recommended for weight loss, state researchers in issue of The Lancet.

In a Case Report Klaus-Dieter Lessnau (New York School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA) and colleagues describe a life-threatening complication of the Atkins diet in a 40-year-old obese woman. The patient, who had strictly followed the Atkins diet, was admitted to hospital for a condition called ketoacidosis due to high levels of acids called ketone build up high levels of acids called ketone build up in the blood.

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