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Here we have yet another study showing the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet, which is a very strict diet that eliminates almost all carbohydrates and consumes very large amounts of fat, especially saturated fat. This diet has baffled those in the medical community for years, because of their presupposition that saturated fat is bad and leads to cardiovascular disease, and should be avoided in our diet. The ketogenic diet has been effective in preventing seizures in children with epilepsy, often when all other drugs fail. The medical community, while admitting that the diet works, usually state that they don’t know why it works. They are often blinded by their own bias and presuppositions that believe a high saturated fat diet is detrimental to one’s health.

So I was surprised when I learned that the ketogenic diet was studied in relation to kidney failure among those with diabetes, and that the funding came from traditional allopathic sources. It suggests that kidney failure due to diabetes has become a serious concern, and that current medical practices and drugs are not all that effective. Unfortunately, as studies like this continue to support the data and research that our bodies need saturated fat, and other studies showing our need for cholesterol, the prevailing belief against the benefits of saturated fat apparently still hold fast. Note the quote by the head of the research team, Dr. Charles Mobbs, at the end of this press release: “Knowing how the ketogenic diet reverses nephropathy will help us identify a drug target and subsequent pharmacological interventions that mimic the effect of the diet,” said Dr. Mobbs. So the motivation in funding such as study was not to change dietary beliefs and practices, but to develop more drugs.

The ketogenic diet has been around for 80 years, and it works. It has been used to get kids with epilepsy off of drugs through diet alone. But because it is so restrictive and because people are brainwashed into thinking saturated fat is bad, medicine is considered a better option by doctors. Look at this quote from a physician on ABC news who uses the ketogenic diet to stop seizures, when asked “How does the diet work?” Her response:

“How the diet works is a very big question, because when children are on this diet, they’re restricted from having birthday cake, from having French fries, from having potato chips, from having Halloween candy. So you’re taking a child who’s already living with epilepsy, and you’re further restricting their world. So it would be much easier if we could figure out how this diet works and put it in a pill form so people could take it that way. Because it’s so extremely effective, and it continues to be more effective than any medicine we have, there’s an increasing amount of interest in the basic science community about what the mechanism of the diet is. And the diet is also expanding in other areas, especially neurologic disease, and there’s increasing interest of using a similar diet in cancer. So obviously, understanding the mechanisms of the diet would help further help its utility in these other areas.”


So if you don’t want to wait around for the drugs that “mimic the effect” of a low carb high fat diet, you could just follow the diet principles yourself (not necessarily the very strict ketogenic diet.) The best book covering the concepts of the low-carb high-fat dietary principles is Gary Taube’s book:

Good Calories, Bad Calories
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Here is the full press release on the kidney failure from diabetes study:

Newswise — Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have for the first time determined that the ketogenic diet, a specialized high-fat, low carbohydrate diet, may reverse impaired kidney function in people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They also identified a previously unreported panel of genes associated with diabetes-related kidney failure, whose expression was reversed by the diet. The findings were published in the current issue of PLoS ONE.

Charles Mobbs, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and Geriatrics and Palliative Care Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and his research team evaluated mice that were genetically predisposed to have Type 1 or 2 diabetes. The mice were allowed to develop diabetic nephropathy, or kidney failure. Half of the mice were put on the ketogenic diet, while the control group maintained a standard high carbohydrate diet. The researcher founds that after eight weeks, kidney failure was reversed in the mice on the ketogenic diet.

“Our study is the first to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes,” said Dr. Mobbs. “This finding has significant implications for the tens of thousands of Americans diagnosed with diabetic kidney failure, and possibly other complications, each year.”

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high-fat diet typically used to control seizures in children with epilepsy. Many cells can get their energy from ketones, which are molecules produced when the blood glucose levels are low and blood fat levels are high. When cells use ketones instead of glucose for fuel, glucose is not metabolized. Since high glucose metabolism causes kidney failure in diabetes, researchers hypothesized that the ketogenic diet would block those toxic effects of glucose. Considering the extreme requirements of the diet, it is not a long-term solution in adults. However, Dr. Mobbs’ research indicates that exposure to the diet for as little as a month may be sufficient to “reset” the gene expression and pathological process leading to kidney failure.

The researchers also identified a large array of genes expressed during diabetic nephropathy not previously known to play a role in the development of this complication. These genes are associated with kidney failure as a result of the stress on cellular function. The team found that the expression of these genes was also reversed in the mice on the ketogenic diet.

Dr. Mobbs and his team plan to continue to research the impact of the ketogenic diet and the mechanism by which it reverses kidney failure in people with diabetes, and in age-related kidney failure. He believes the ketogenic diet could help treat other neurological diseases and retinopathy, a disease that results in vision loss.

“Knowing how the ketogenic diet reverses nephropathy will help us identify a drug target and subsequent pharmacological interventions that mimic the effect of the diet,” said Dr. Mobbs. “We look forward to studying this promising development further.”

This study was funded partly by the National Institutes of Health and by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Full Press Release here:

See also: A Low-Carb High-Fat Diet with an 80 Year History of Curing Epilepsy: Could it Cure Other Diseases?