The ketogenic diet, also known as the ketogenic protocol, is a high-fiber, low-fat diet which in traditional medicine is commonly used to treat children with epilepsy. The diet causes the body to use fats instead of glucose to provide fuel. Because the ketone bodies cause the brain to release a large amount of dopamine, a hormone that regulates both appetite and mood, the child’s behavior is often reported to be more manic or more depressive. However, this benefit has not been well established in any formal test. In addition, children on this diet have often been observed to have higher energy levels than other children.
The ketosis diet also has some benefits for weight loss. During the ketotic state, ketones are used as a form of energy due to their ability to enter the liver quickly and utilize its stored glucose. Ketones can also be used as an alternative to glucose when energy needs are met by the brain or from fat.
Scientists have speculated that the ketogenic diet may have some potential for treating certain cancers. Research published in Nature Medicine in August 2008 reported that laboratory mice showed a higher level of activity in the ketone metabolism (a process that allows cells to break down sugars) than in the control group. Another research paper reported that mice on the ketogenic diet had increased tumor cell proliferation relative to controls. One study found that patients with mesothelioma who were prescribed the ketogenic diet had a better prognosis than those given a chemotherapy protocol. One study found no significant effect of the ketogenic diet on pancreatic cancer. However, these initial findings should be confirmed by additional studies.
As ketosis occurs, ketone bodies build up in the liver and must be removed before they do any good. Removing the ketones is accomplished through the process of dehydration and is done by drinking large amounts of water. Some healthful fats are also removed during this process because the liver cannot store them. The most commonly used method of removing ketones is through the use of oral medications that are not absorbed into the bloodstream. Ketone diets that eliminate all carbohydrates are beneficial in the treatment of certain diseases in which the disease symptoms are similar to ketoacidosis: heart disease and diabetes.
If one wishes to go the swipe route in trying to make use of Keto to lose weight, there are some important things to consider. First, as with any invasive procedure, there is the risk of side effects. There have been several reports of seizures, chest pain, and diarrhea in patients taking insulin. And although the short term results from the diet can be satisfactory, long term success is not known. It has been reported that some people on high protein diets, such as meat, eggs and fish have suffered kidney failure as a result of their high protein consumption.
To conclude our brief discussion on the Atkins Diet, it is clear that the Atkins Keto Acidic Diet is not without its critics but most doctors support the diet for its short-term use in the treatment of severe cases of ketoacidosis and weight loss. The long term effect is unknown and will most likely depend on how you respond to the diet. Some people may find it helpful but others may find it an uncomfortable burden. We recommend you seek a more sustainable solution to losing weight that does not rely on severely limiting your carbs intake!