As Registered Nurse, I can appreciate articles by accredited resources such as Harvard, Mayo, Rush or the Journal of Lipid Research. All have performed great research regarding the positive effects of a high fat diet on neurological disorders. Of the lengthy articles, here are some key points that I found pertinent to justify following a low carb and high fat “diet”:
- KD or Ketogenic Diet is a “broad spectrum therapy” for ‘non-treatable’ or “drug resistent” epilepsy/seizures.
- Restricting sugar, decreases glycolysis (process of breaking down sugar) and increases ketosis (fat burning), causes restoration of neurotransmitters (brain cells) and “helps maintain cellular homeostasis (stable process).” In my opinion, this is great for prevention of seizures, because lack of homeostasis in neurotransmitters is the cause for seizures. There might be benefits to other cells in the body.
- At Rush University, studies were done on starvation and that the result was a reduction in seizures. During this study, they found that the body produced ketones. Knowing that KD also caused a production in ketones, further studies were done to see the effects of KD on individuals with epilepsy/seizures. As found by a Mayo pediatrician, the results were significant. On the contrary, as time went on, it was simpler to order medication than stick to KD.
- Ketones gradually increase in the body as the KD is initiated, and seizures are better controlled. They do not know if ketones specifically cause the reduction in seizures; but “it is known that a break from the diet by ingestion of carbohydrates rapidly reverses the anti-seizure effects of the diet.”
- “A short-term study in healthy men on the KD for 6 weeks found a decrease in fasting serum insulin levels without a change in estimated insulin resistance, as well as a trend toward increased HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) without a change in total and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) concentrations.”
- “A 2012 study in animals by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles indicated a positive relationship between the consumption of fructose, another form of sugar, and the aging of cells, while a 2009 study, also using an animal model, conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Montreal and Boston College, linked excess glucose consumption to memory and cognitive deficiencies.”
- “High blood glucose levels can affect the brain’s functional connectivity, which links brain regions that share functional properties, and brain matter. It can cause the brain to atrophy or shrink. And it can lead to small-vessel disease, which restricts blood flow in the brain, causing cognitive difficulties and, if severe enough, spurring the development of vascular dementia.”
- “Fundamentally, any disease in which the pathogenesis is affected by disturbances in cellular energy utilization, and this could apply to almost every known medical condition, would potentially be amenable to treatments that restore normal metabolism.”
I have been following this way of eating for the last 9 months. I have not gotten a single canker sore during this entire time. Whereas in the past, if I bit my tongue, I would succumb to a canker sore the following day. I have a friend who also states that she has not gotten any cold sores since changing to this way of eating.
The cause of canker sores is unknown, though there are theories. Cold sores are caused by a Herpes Simplex Virus 1 that lay dormant in our nerve cells until our bodies become susceptible for an “outbreak.” My friend and I believe that the ketogenic diet has prevented us from getting these canker and cold sores. Look at the facts above. Limiting the glucose intake keeps the neurotransmitters or nerve cells healthy. If the nerve cells are healthy, this could mean no canker or cold sores.
I hope that more studies are done of this “diet” on individuals that have sustained this way of eating. I think that there is so much to learn, and quite possibly this way of eating could be used by itself for more treatment options (in addition to neurological disorders) or even a cure. This way of eating does not only have to result in weight loss.
Thanks for reading! And please share your stories with me below. Do you follow this way of eating as a form of treatment? I would love to hear about it!
~ The Low Carb Spread ~
Here are the wonderful articles I referenced: