Ketogenic diet improves metabolic flexibility and helps prevent metabolic conditions

Metabolic syndrome: keto to the rescue

To many people »metabolic syndrome« might sound quite exotic, but unfortunately it’s a condition that is by far not that rare. Metabolic syndrome is a complex ailment of different clusters of risk factors: diabetes and raised fasting plasma glucose, abdominal obesity, low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides and high blood pressure.

Unfortunately, the diagnosis is elusive until the syndrome has set in and has already caused a lot of damage to a person’s health. Scientists and researchers believe that the metabolic syndrome is more widespread than official numbers: a lot of the cases are left undiagnosed.

Good news about the metabolic syndrome

One of the more optimistic news in recent years is the fact that all of the diseases, which are part of the metabolic syndrome, can be »reversed«.

Recently, the results of the research carried out at the Bethel University in Minnesota have been published, which have reaffirmed these optimistic claims.

The study involved 30 people between 18 and 65 years who had:

  • diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes,
  • an body weight index above 25 and waist circumference greater than 80 cm (female) or 94 cm (male),
  • fat content above 30%
  • and who regularly engage in physical activity.

They were divided into three groups: a group that was on a standard ketogenic diet (less than 30 g of carbohydrates a day), a group fed by its normal regimen, and a group that was eating in their normal regimen and also exercised three times to five times a week for at least 30 minutes.

The measurements performed at baseline, between and at the end, included: triglyceride levels, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C), maximum aerobic capacity (VO2 max), body mass index, basal metabolism, blood ketone levels, and fat levels.

The results of the research

The “ketogenic” group achieved statistically significant improvements in weight measurements, fat levels, body mass index, glycated hemoglobin, and ketone concentration. In triglyceride measurements, improvements were dramatically better than the other two groups; same applies to their basal metabolism.

It all proves that metabolic flexibility can be recovered with a ketogenic diet. Metabolic flexibility consequently means more health: lower weight, better glycemic control, prevention of insulin function irregularities, less inflammation, and in addition to improving brain health and possibly rheumatic diseases as well (Gibas et al., 2017).

Ketogenic diet improves metabolic flexibility and helps prevent metabolic conditions

GIBAS, M.K. and GIBAS, K.J. 2017. Induced and controlled dietary ketosis as a regulator of obesity and metabolic syndrome pathologies. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, vol. 11, no. Supplement 1, pp. S385-S390.

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