Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Taubes: Ketogenic Metabolism Is Good

When I interviewed ketosis experts, however, they universally sided with Atkins, and suggested that maybe the medical community and the media confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis, a variant of ketosis that occurs in untreated diabetics and can be fatal. ''Doctors are scared of ketosis,'' says Richard Veech, an N.I.H. researcher who studied medicine at Harvard and then got his doctorate at Oxford University with the Nobel Laureate Hans Krebs. ''They're always worried about diabetic ketoacidosis. But ketosis is a normal physiologic state. I would argue it is the normal state of man. It's not normal to have McDonald's and a delicatessen around every corner. It's normal to starve.''
Simply put, ketosis is evolution's answer to the thrifty gene. We may have evolved to efficiently store fat for times of famine, says Veech, but we also evolved ketosis to efficiently live off that fat when necessary. Rather than being poison, which is how the press often refers to ketones, they make the body run more efficiently and provide a backup fuel source for the brain. Veech calls ketones ''magic'' and has shown that both the heart and brain run 25 percent more efficiently on ketones than on blood sugar.
Back in the dark ages, they used to say eating too much protein is bad for the kidneys.   However, like the sasquach, there's no evidence this is true.  There never was.  And recent testing shows the opposite - those in kidney failure do well on a ketogenic diet.  What absolutely WILL wreck the kidney's however is a high carb diet leading to metabolic syndrome and progressing to type II diabetes; which is why you see the kidney dialysis centers so many places these days.

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