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Ketogenic Diet: The classic Low-Carb clinical Therapy

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The ketogenic diet has been used for almost 100 years to treat a variety of clinical conditions, the most well known of which is childhood epilepsy. The primary goal is determined that a diet high in fat, low in carbohydrate and providing the minimal protein needed to sustain growth could maintain starvation ketosis for long periods of time.
The keto diet is virtually a no- or low-carb diet. In a normal diet, the body uses the carbohydrates supplied as an energy source. In the keto diet, the body is switched to lipid metabolism.

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This is how the ketogenic diet works

The classic ketogenic diet begins with fasting, and only fluids excluding carbohydrates are consumed.

In this form of diet, the carbohydrate content in the diet is radically reduced. For the fat and protein content is increased significantly. Thus, the body is trained to convert the fat into so-called ketone bodies, which then serve as “replacement glucose”.

The result is an increased metabolism and increased performance. Due to the lack of minerals and vitamins in the ketogenic diet, they must be given to the body additionally.

Some endurance athletes use a ketogenic diet plan for the pre-competition training phase in order to mimic the metabolic effects of fasting while food is being consumed.

What’s the principle behind Ketogenic Diet?

Actually, this diet is a therapy for the treatment of severe epilepsy . Scientists and physicians suggest that the increased levels of ketone bodies produced by the breakdown of fat reserves have a positive effect on the disease.

Ketone bodies are acidic, therefore, while fasting or while on the KD, the overall “acid load” is increased. Ketone bodies also suppress our appetite and it is often difficult to get a lethargic, acidotic, dehydrated child to eat a 90% fat meal without vomiting.

The aim of the Treatment is to significantly reduce the seizure frequency and duration, as well as the dose of the required antiepileptic drugs. However, as this form of nutrition requires a drastic change of body , it should always be accompanied by a doctor.

A regular review of the state of health is indispensable. In addition, the ketogenic diet is also not suitable as a permanent diet , but should be interrupted on a regular basis. Otherwise there is a danger of acidification of the body.

Studies of glucose utilization in cancer,, including studies of metabolism and cancer cachexia (Fearon et al., 1988;
Tisdale et al., 1987) demonstrated that dietary- induced ketosis decreased the availability of glucose to the tumor without causing a decrease in patient weight or overall nutritional status.

What’s the Difference betwen both Ketone bodies: Ketosis and Ketoacidosis?

Ketosis_KetoacidosisThe ketogenic diet (KD) is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that results in ketosis, modulation of glycemia, relative caloric restriction, and elevations in the levels of certain fatty acids.

Ketone bodies are alternate energy substrates to glucose and thus they have the potential to restore energy balance via stabilization of ATP supply. They are thought to be more efficient energy substrates to glucose for utilization by brain.

Ketosis (or the state of ketosis) has been shown to be neuroprotective following oxidative stress and metabolic challenges, such as those associated with stroke, ischemia, injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, glucose transporter deficiency, and seizures.

In severely uncontrolled diabetes, KBs are produced in massive quantities, which is described as ketoacidosis. Two
pathological and potentially fatal metabolic states during which ketosis occurs are diabetic ketoacidosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis is defined as any ketone concentration above 7 mmol/dl. Diabetic and alcoholic ketoacidosis result in ketone concentrations up to 25 mmol. This level of ketosis will never occur in non-diabetic or alcoholic individuals.

All ketotic states ultimately occur for the same reasons. The first is a reduction of the hormone insulin and an increase in the hormone glucagon both of which are dependent on the depletion of liver glycogen. The second is an increase in FFA availability to the liver, either from dietary fat or the release of stored bodyfat.

Possible side effects of Keto Diet

In general, the ketogenic diet (KD) is well tolerated. On average, 60% of patients remain on the diet for over 6 months. Those who stop the diet typically do so due to lack of efficacy rather than tolerability.

Fine-tuning of ketogenic therapy will aim to alleviate side effects where possible, and to optimize
seizure outcomes. Different ingredients, individually tailored to the particular type of seizure or epilepsy syndrome, belong to the standard treatments.

More significant side effects are rare, but the treated patient must always count on corresponding side effects. A variety of nutritional substances may have an impact on ketosis including water,alcohol, caffeine, citric acid and aspartame, and fiber.

Including, but not limited to, fatigue, attention or memory disorders, as well as nausea. Inadequately or not at all, about one third of the patients treated in this way respond.

reported beneficial effects

  • Improved cognition
  • Improved mood
  • Weight loss (when desired)
  • Increased alertness
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced depression
  • Improved quality of life
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Decreased tension
  • Decreased length or severity of seizures

Reported adverse effects

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Temporary lipid elevations
  • Impaired concentration
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Possible growth restriction
  • Kidney stones
  • Skeletal fractures

Ketogenic diet effective to counter cancer

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Cancer has long been recognized as a genetic disease involving mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes that reside in the tumor cell nucleus. The nuclear gene mutations found in nearly all types of tumors are considered the primary cause of the cancer’s hallmarks.

The somatic mutations in tumor cells arise randomly during DNA replication in normal nontumorigenic stem cells and are thought to be the origin of cancer.

Cancer cells ferment to gain energy, in contrast to healthy body cells, increased glucose in the cytoplasm. In return, their cell power plants are throttled the more aggressively the cells work. Considerations are being taken to turn the sugar cells off the cancer cells in order to prevent them from further growth.

By about 20%, the sugar intake of the cancerous tissue could be reduced under the diet.

Also people with brain tumors were treated this way. More than ten years ago, two girls were treated for ketogenic diet. Through this therapy, the tumor growth could be brought to a standstill.

Many of our body cells use the glucose obtained from carbohydrates as fuel in conventional mixed diet. When carbohydrates are removed from the body, most cells are able to switch to fat as an energy source. However, brain cells are excluded because under normal circumstances the blood-brain barrier is not permeable to fat.

In general, about 70 percent of energy needs are covered by ketone bodies, which are produced by the liver from fat. The remaining 30 percent are composed of glucose, which is made up of kidneys and the liver from glycerine and proteins.

Undoubtedly, the added benefit of the ketogenic diet is that, unlike fasting, there is no risk of protein loosing the muscles. The sufficient protein content of the ketogenic diet has a positive effect on it.

Additionally, other treatment measures were also used, such as chemotherapy, radiation and in one of the two girls, several operations were added. Both experienced positive effects through the ketogenic diet, which related in particular to the tumor metabolism.

A low number of participants still makes it difficult to make precise statements, even though, according to first appearance, the reduced growth of tumors could be identified in a not insignificant part of the patients. Also, given that growth could not be stopped, the general condition of the patients improved, which increased their well-being.

Sport and muscle building on ketogenic Nutrition

Keto_nutritionBefore Implementing the Nutrition ketogenic diet, it is necessary to first know some general concepts which relate to body composition, metabolic rate, dieting, and fat loss.

Most dieters tend to focus on bodyweight as the only measure of a diet’s effectiveness. This is an incomplete approach and may be partly responsible for the failure of many mainstream weight loss approaches.

Rather the prospective dieter needs to change focus to look at body composition: the ratio of body fat to total body weight. Experience has shown that most dieters tend to reduce calories excessively.

While this causes rapid initial weight loss, a plateau occurs as metabolic rate slows. This drop in metabolic rate may increase the chance for weight regain when the diet is ended.
A discussion of the various components of metabolic rate is followed with equations to estimate maintenance calorie levels as well as how to estimate caloric intake for fat loss and muscle gain.

Most dieters, especially those who are used to starving themselves to lose weight, are surprised to learn how much they should eat for optimal fat loss.

Some triathletes and marathon runners are now taking advantage of the ketogenic diet to prepare better and more effectively for their competitions.

During the preparation they completely change their diet and train their body to gain energy from the fat stores.

During the competition, the athletes then return to a carbohydrate-rich diet. Thus, the body receives fast energy in the form of sugar, but continues to run on the fat metabolism and can therefore withstand long loads.

Discipline is required

Basically, the patient must assume a two-year duration of treatment, which must be carried out consistently and demands a high degree of discipline from the individual sufferer. In close collaboration with dietitians , special diets are designed that also allow children to enjoy access to ketogenic food.

One of the principles of successful therapy is not only strict adherence to the nutritional plan, but also a permanent control over the course, which must be carefully monitored and documented.

Exemplary is the children’s hospital in Zurich, where in about 50 percent of the treated children, the diet did not bring the desired result, achieved in the other but serious achievements. In one third of the young patients, the seizure frequency was reduced by 75 to 90 percent. Completely seizure-free, at the end of therapy even proved to be around 10
percent.

Worldwide successes

The triumphal procession of the ketogenic diet was not limited to the US, but also attracted worldwide attention. In about 45 countries, it has taken on renowned clinics of this diet and predominantly successfully treated especially children.

More successful work is currently being done in the USA in this field. The resounding successes, it is believed, are due to the fact that children are put on the ketogenic diet much earlier. Successes at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore prove to be exemplary .

After just one year of diet, nearly half of the children treated in this way reduced the
frequency of seizures by more than 90 percent. A summary conference showed that drug studies in the sector did not reflect the positive results over the comparable period as in the ketogenic diet.

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