Articles, Blog

Keto Diet & Insulin Resistance

October 15, 2019


– Does the ketogenic diet have an effect on insulin resistance in a negative way? Well, in order to answer this question I have to first address what
insulin resistance actually is. And then we’ll dive into some studies that take a look at the short term effects of the ketogenic diet
on insulin resistance, but then the longterm effects. Does the ketogenic diet actually effect our ability to process glucose and could it make us insulin resistant? Well, we’ll dive into all of that. I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo and we’re going to get
down to the nitty gritty of insulin resistance and sensitivity. So, first and foremost,
insulin resistance is where your cells are essentially not able to process insulin anymore. They become resistant to it. So, in essence, when you
consume some carbohydrates what normally happens in your body is your pancreas secretes insulin and this insulin tells the cell to open up and let glucose in. Well, if someone’s been consuming
tons and tons of glucose to the point of ultimately
making themselves diabetic what happens is the cells
no longer open the door when glucose knocks. So glucose comes to the cell, knocks, says “Hey, can you let this sugar in?” and the cell just never opens the door. That’s insulin resistance. Insulin sensitivity is the opposite. That’s where the cell just opens the door for anybody and everybody. Not quite that extreme,
but essentially the cell is just very sensitive. So, in order to make some
sense of insulin resistance as it pertains to the ketogenic diet, let’s take a look at a
study that was published in “Annals of Internal Medicine”. So, this took a look at 10 obese patients. Okay, these 10 obese patients
had type two diabetes, and for one week they had
them eat their normal diet. Then, after that one week was up, they had them go on a ketogenic
diet for two weeks, okay? After the ketogenic diet they found that the test subjects had
lost about 1.65 kilograms, which was just a positive
side effect, I suppose, but they found that their
insulin sensitivity went up 75%. What that means is their
insulin resistance reduced 75%. So, type two diabetic
patients that were having a serious issue with insulin resistance had much less insulin resistance after being on a keto
diet for just two weeks. This is powerful ’cause
it shows that simply by reducing the carbohydrate intake and switching over to
using ketones as fuel the body didn’t need the glucose as much so it was able to sort of
relax and recover a little bit. But the question that comes to mind, a question that actually
comes up quite a bit, is if someone is on a keto diet
for a longer period of time could it make them insulin resistant, too? And the reason that that question comes up is because people realize that if you go a long period of time
without eating carbohydrates, does your body sort of lose the machinery, does it sort of lose the
ability to process glucose? Well, there’s a study that was published in the journal Endocrinology
that took a look at this. Now, the interesting thing
is this study looked at rats, but full disclaimer, when
you’re looking at sort of the cellular level like
this it’s really still close to comparing apples to apples. It’s not entirely, it’s maybe
a gala apple to a jazz apple, but it’s still pretty darn close, okay? So this study was looking at peripheral and central insulin levels in response to the keto diet for a
longer period of time. So, what it is, it took
two groups of rats. One group of rats just
went on a regular diet and another group of rats went on a ketogenic diet for eight weeks, okay? At the end of the eight
weeks they had the rats go back on a normal diet. And what they found is
when they came off keto, went back on a normal diet, they had a big spike in blood glucose and a big spike in insulin, okay. At first glance that sounds bad. We’re like uh oh. Okay, we found out that when these rats went on a keto diet for
awhile and they came off keto they were somewhat insulin resistant, their bodies weren’t processing it. They weren’t processing the glucose. Now, what was interesting, though, is after just one week it normalized. So, right when they came off keto their body was kind of like whoa, what’s going on with these carbohydrates, we don’t know what this is, and it sort of lacked the
ability to process it, but within one week the
levels had come back down to those of the group that
didn’t do the keto diet. So, it only took a week for
everything to balance back out. Now, what’s really cool
with this is central insulin resistance balanced back out the way that it should, but
peripheral insulin resistance might have stayed elevated
for a little while. Now, what does that mean? Peripheral insulin resistance is at the individual cell level. Basically what ended up happening, after just eight weeks of
being on the ketogenic diet the rats now had the ability, or their bodies had the ability, to sort of dictate what
cells needed glucose and what cells didn’t. Rather than just having it
be a systemic master switch, it was auxiliary switches at
the individual cell level. So, in a way, although
we did have a little bit of insulin resistance for
a short period of time upon cessation of the keto diet, we really made the body
more, I don’t know, flexible. So, the ketogenic diet
has some powerful effects when it comes down to insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance. We can’t always look at insulin
resistance as a bad thing. If you’re always insulin
resistant, yeah, that’s bad, but if you have the ability
to toggle it on and off especially at the individual
cell level throughout the body that can be a very powerful thing. You don’t always need to be bombarding your body with glucose. So, either way, the ketogenic diet seems to still be paving
the way when it comes down to helping out all kinds
of different ailments but also just helping our
bodies become more normalized when it comes down to energy metabolism. So, if you’re looking
to see where you’re at in the ketogenic spectrum, you
want to measure your ketones, you’re always going to
want to make sure you leave the guesswork out of the equation and see where you’re really at and leave the measuring to the Keto-Mojo meter. The gold standard when it
comes to ketone measurement. As always, keep it locked
in here with Keto-Mojo. I’m Thomas DeLauer and I’ll
see you in the next video.

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