Friday, 4 November 2011

Ketosis and why lowcarbing works.

Ketosis occurs when your intake of carbs drops below the point where there is enough glucose coming in to fuel your brain. Your brain cannot burn fuels other than glucose or ketones. When your carb intake drops below that point your liver starts to make ketones from fat. Your brain can get 75% of its energy from ketones. The remaining 25% can come from glucose which is also produced in the liver (from protein). The muscles will burn fat or ketones. There are actually very few tissues that must have glucose. These include the renal cortex, red blood cells and lens of the eye. All their needs can be supplied by the liver. This is why there is actually a zero requirement for dietary carbohydrates. Most people need to get below 100 gm of carbs per day to achieve ketosis. For people with severe insulin resistance, the carbs would need to be much lower to achieve normal blood sugars and to get off the meds. I avoid meds by eating less than 50 gms and usually well below that.

Unlike low fat diets, low-carb is very effective at burning off the fat around the middle. Properly done it will also spare muscle loss and may even cause muscle growth along with fat loss. For type 2 diabetics, I recommend the most recent Atkins book which was authored by three scientists who do research on ketogenic diets (Westman, Phinney and Volek). I get the best results by staying on the induction phase of the diet indefinitely. I have done this for over 8 years. I asked the authors why they didn't recommend this in the book. They said that they actually had written a chapter on this but that the publisher removed it for fear it might confuse people. Phinney and Volek have recently written a guide for physicians on how to properly administer a low-carb diet. It will be published as an e-book and will be available soon via Amazon.

The words of Dr. Jay Wortman. Type two diabetic and lowcarb expert.

1 comment:

  1. In Type2 diabetic patients a low carb diet improved glycemic control to such an extent that diabetes medications were discontinued or reduced in most participants.

    Yancy, W.S., Foy, M., Chalecki, A.M., Vernon, M.C., Westman, E.C., 'A low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes', Nutrition & Metabolism, 2005, 2:3

    In Type 2 diabetic obese patients a low carb diet had a lasting effect on bodyweight and glycemic control.

    Nielsen, J.V., Joensson, E., 'Low-carbohydrate diet in type 2 diabetes. Stable improvement of bodyweight and glycemic control during 22 months follow-up', Nutrition & Metabolism 2006, 3:22