The benefits of ketosis are well documented.
Some of these benefits are:
Doctors have treated obese patients with low carb/high fat diets for centuries. In fact a booklet on the subject first appeared in 1863. In this booklet he explained how he had slimmed down by eating a diet high in fat void of carbs. A diet (high fat/low carb) based on this booklet was used for decades by people trying to lose weight.
This diet wasn’t exactly a ketosis diet, but it had many traits of the ketogenic diet. Such as, suppressed appetite coupled with lowered insulin levels by avoiding carbohydrates, which reduces body fat ratios.
When consuming a higher fat/lower carb diet you train your body to use fat as an energy source. Typically, your body is used to burning carbohydrates for fuel, when those carb sources are depleted or unused, your body turns to its store of fat for another ‘hit.
One way of lengthening your lifespan is reducing oxidative stress in the body. When you lower insulin levels, a reduction in oxidative stress results. The keto diet pares down insulin levels triggering the manufacture of ketones for fuel.
According to some experts, ketogenic diets slow down aging. This is an up and coming specialty of science.
Lower Blood Sugar
On the subject of reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, generating and using ketones for energy offers you a way to control, and lower your glucose (blood sugar) level. If you are a pre-diabetic or even a type 2 diabetic, you don’t need to worry about high blood sugar levels and the need to supplement insulin when utilizing fat and ketones as fuel for your body.
In a 1976 study, Type 2 Diabetic patients on a ketogenic diet no longer needed insulin and they lost a lot of weight.
A 2012 study, of obese diabetics following a ketogenic diet for a year returned the similar results. The researchers found reduced fasting glucose levels, better cholesterol markers, and improved A1C readings. Remember, carbs and glucose are not required when on a ketogenic diet, as stable, Since energy is sourced from fat when on a ketogenic diet, you have no need of carbs and glucose and controlling blood sugar levels is almost foolproof.
Improved Brain Function
Besides fat loss, another reason ketogenic diets attract fans is improved brain function, memory, and learning as well as clarity of thought.
Study results agree. One rat study found a ketogenic diet boosted cognitive performance in aged rats. Another study on rats showed the keto diet didn’t cause the same cognitive impairment as eating the standard western diet. A ketogenic diet boosted ATP concentrations and the number of hippocampal (involved in memory, learning and emotion) mitochondria in mice brains up to 50%.
In a human study, even for a short while, the keto diet may improve memory function in seniors. One expert specialist says that the brain (and heart) run at least 25% more efficiently on ketones than blood sugar. Remember your brain uses nearly 20% of your total energy.
Another of the benefits of ketosis gives endurance performance athletes a significant edge over their competition.
Compared to a standard carb diet, the studies done on ketosis and endurance sports performance found those on a ketogenic diet had more mitochondria than the control group, lower oxidative stress, lower lactate load. Most dramatic was the fat-filled athletes achieved a much higher intensity performance. In fact, Numerous studies show how ketones in the blood resulted in increased power output over a 30 minute period.
Ketones reduce oxygen consumption because they generate more cellular energy per liter of oxygen burned.
Stabilized Energy Levels
If you have recently switched from a Standard Western diet to a ketogenic diet, you will soon notice how stable your energy levels are throughout the day. You don’t have those mid-afternoon crashes with the cravings for a transfusion of sugar or caffeine.
Fat, along with the ketones produced from fat, is an easily accessible source of fuel. Once you are fat adapted (in ketosis), you can easily go hours (even days) without food without significant swings in your energy level.
Epilepsy & Alzheimer’s treatment
The ketogenic diet was first developed and primarily used in 1921 to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children. How ketosis helps with epilepsy has been the subject of many studies throughout the years since.
Evidence exists that epileptic children continued to be seizure free long after they stopped their ketogenic trials.
Many scientific experts call Alzheimer’s ‘type 3’ diabetes. With the condition, the brain loses its ability to use glucose (insulin resistant) producing high levels of inflammation.
We previously mentioned under the right circumstances your brain can run off ketones, thus a ketogenic diet may assist with Alzheimer’s. Current study findings support this link. For example, one documented “a significant clinical improvement in Alzheimer’s patients fed a ketogenic diet.”
Cancer prevention and treatment
Ketosis is gaining popularity for cancer treatment (and prevention). Many cancer patients on a keto diet are reporting important benefits on a keto diet, such as numerous types of cancer cells can only use glucose as a fuel source and survive.
By depriving a cancer cell of glucose, a ketogenic diet starving cancer resulting in its death. Oncology experts believe all cancer is a disease of energy metabolism.
And science is now catching up, a review paper on ketogenic diets as a form of cancer therapy concluded: ketogenic diets demonstrate anticancer effects.
Cancerous mice models under ketone supplementation decreased tumor cell viability and extended survival rates.
In 2012, 10 cancer patients with no other options followed a keto diet for 28 days. The study found 1 patient experienced a partial remission of their cancer, 5 stabilized and 4 continued progressing. 60% of them stalled or improved their cancer rates on a ketogenic diet for a month.
Cardiovascular Disease and Metabolic Syndrome
Eating a fat-rich/carb free diet may reverse cardiovascular disease.
The contributors to heart disease: above normal blood sugar, high blood triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure are improved when following a low carb, keto diet.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS often occurs along with Insulin resistance often accompanies Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) causing female hormonal issues.
A ketogenic diet with extremely low carb intake improves insulin resistance and in turn improving PCOS. In a pilot study, the keto diet produced significant improvement in body weight, fasting insulin, LH/FSH ratio in women with PCOS and testosterone markers. There were even 2 pregnancies among the women during the study.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS (chronic diarrhea, stomach discomfort, bloating) think the thought of eating a high-fat low carb diet. Increasing the amount of fat you eat can increase diarrhea at first. The long-term effects of a ketogenic diet appeal to IBS patients since low sugar consumption can assist with IBS symptoms like abdominal pain, stool habits, and improve the quality of life in IBS patients.
Increased Mitochondrial Function
Mitochondria are the energy factories of our cells without them in your cells, you would be dead. A lot of your health, energy, sports performance, and immune function depends upon how your mitochondria are functioning.
The mitochondria function better on a ketogenic diet by increasing energy levels in a stable, efficient, and long-burning steady way. The Keto diet induces changes, which reduce the production of free radicals, and favors the production of GABA”
They are designed to use fat for energy, which decreases the toxic load, energy producing genes increase, and the amount of inflammatory end-products decreases.
Fat metabolism and the generation of ketone bodies (beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate) by the liver only occur within the mitochondrion. Chemicals inside the cell but surrounding the mitochondria stimulate powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidants. The state of your mitochondria is the key to optimal health.
Decreased Pain & Lowered Inflammation
Ketosis has anti-inflammatory properties besides aiding in pain relief. Reducing glucose metabolism influences pain.
A recent study found a reduction in acidity in the esophagus (linked to heartburn) after less than a week on a ketogenic diet. Study subjects with GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) reported a reduction in their heartburn; just from avoiding carbohydrates and boosting the amount of fat eaten.
Fatty Liver Disease
Like in the case of heartburn, studies found a ketogenic diet has beneficial effects for those with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. For 6 months, a low-carb, keto diet led to significant weight loss and improvement of blood markers and fatty liver disease.
Those who suffer from migraines report positive results when switching from a Standard American Diet (high carb) to ultra-low carb keto diet. Recent studies uncover a beneficial connection between ketosis and migraine treatment.
Ketogenic diets (KD) ease frequency and severity of headaches and reduces drug consumption in migraine patients.
Cleaner Burning Fuel for the Body
The reason why humans store hundreds of thousands of calories in body fat, and only around 2000 calories as glucose (with only a small amount of this useable by the brain) is your body prefers fat as a fuel source.
When glucose is broken down by cells for fuel, it generates more oxidized materials than fat. fat. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. Restrict carbohydrates, eat more fat and operate off clean burning ketones instead!
Mood Stabilisation (Autism & Bipolar etc.)
Do a Google search of autism + ketosis; you will find 100’s of people sharing experiences about the keto diet improving autism articles where people share their tales of improving autism with a ketogenic diet.
Research conducted on 30 autistic children following the ketogenic diet comprised of 30% Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil for 6 month displayed moderate improvements among patients. MCT are fatty acids that bypass the liver and are used for quick energy by the brain and muscles. Those children with the milder autistic symptoms experienced the greatest improvement. These benefits to symptoms resulting from the ketogenic diet remained after the trial was over.
Research accounts credit ketosis with assisting in mood stabilization among patients suffering from bipolar.
Makes It Easier to Fast
A quick and easy method of achieving a state of ketosis is by fasting. Most who are accustomed to eating a standard high carb diet find the idea of going 12 hours or longer without food very unattractive if not downright unpleasant.
Fasting becomes extremely easy for those who are fat adapted and in nutritional ketosis.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
The most famous anecdotal evidence of ketosis retarding the progression of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Dr. Terry Wahls’ experience. After trying conventional therapies without success, Dr. Wahls improved enough to leave her wheelchair behind and lives an active life through dietary changes (including the keto diet). Mice studies also show the benefits of ketosis in easing the symptoms of MS.
Emerging science reveals ketosis may clear acne. It is well documented that high glycemic foods trigger acne outbreaks. Since the keto diet avoids simple carbs it is logical that acne improves.
Persuasive clinical and physiological evidence shows the ketogenic diet may reduce the severity and progression of acne.
Overall General Health
We have already looked at the relationships between ketosis and diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and fatty liver disease, amongst others. Study findings reveal following a ketogenic diet results in:
- Lower triglyceride levels
- A reduction in weight
- Lowered fat mass
Most importantly, this diet produces no side effects over long periods (6 months+). Conventional treatments (primarily drugs) used to achieve similar results cannot make the same claims. Essentially, Ketosis produces significant benefits to your health.