Ketogenic diet or keto diet has become a diet fad among fitness and weight loss enthusiasts. However, members of the medical and healthcare professional have warned about its drawbacks and associated negative health effects. It is important to note that before it has become a diet fat, keto diet was originally developed for medical and therapeutic applications.
The Medical and Therapeutic Applications of Keto Diet
1. Pediatric Epilepsy Management: The keto diet was developed in 1921 as a diet system for managing epilepsy in children. Studies showed that the diet increases the levels of ketone bodies in the blood, thus resulting in less frequency of epileptic seizures in children.
2. Metabolic Therapy: Another medical application of keto diet centers on managing or addressing metabolic disorders. Research revealed that the diet could help in weight loss and manage diabetes mellitus by restricting intake of carbohydrates.
3. Specific Weight Management: Keto diet induces a state of ketosis that in turn, leads to a reduction in body fat percentage and thereby, improvement in body composition. Note that the diet also involves restricted consumption of carbohydrates. The diet has also shown to reduce hunger pangs.
4. Congenital Metabolic Diseases: Doctors have prescribed diets as a first-line of therapy for children with congenital metabolic diseases such as pyruvate dehydrogenase disease or PDCD and glucose transporter 1 deficiency syndrome or De Vivo disease
5. Controlling Neurodegenerative Disorders: The positive effects of a keto diet in metabolism also translate to cellular protection and better energy utilization in the brain. Nevertheless, clinical studies are currently investigating and testing the application of the keto diet in preventing or controlling Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease,
6. Managing Depression and Anxiety: Keto diet has other neurological benefits. Studies have suggested that it can be used to manage clinical depression and anxiety disorders. Although the underlying mechanism remains unknown, some theories suggest that a state of ketosis or more provides a more efficient fuel for the brain while also reducing the negative neurological effects of carbohydrates.
This article is derived from two detailed and long-form versions about the science behind the keto diet and its benefits and risks that both appear on Profolus.com authored by Ethan Hoffmann with the titles “Keto 101: The Science Behind Ketogenic Diet” and “Pros and Cons of Ketogenic Diet.”