Is Ketogenic diet catabolic?


(Ahmad Luqman) #1

I am having a discussion with medical doctor who is arguing that “Keto is catabolic!”.
I forwarded him the following research Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood “Villains” of Human Metabolism.
He replied to this with “It is a review article. It is not a study or a cohort.”
I forwarded him the following research Metabolic characteristics of keto-adapted ultra-endurance runners
He replied “You think physiology will equate runners”
Anyways I asked him to show me the research which proves his claim “Keto is catabolism!”
He forwarded this research The effect of the ketogenic diet on the developing skeleton. with the following comment to me “Before you say this is not catabolism. Tell me one study with better developmental outcomes in ketone diet except in epileptic.”

Is there any research or argument which counters the above mentioned research on developing skeleton?

(Dan Dan) #2

Your Doctor works for you if he chooses to be disrespectful you should fire him and find a Keto friendly Doctor :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

(Sjur Gjøstein Karevoll) #3

The study he linked to is about a therapeutic ketogenic diet that not only doesn’t have carbs but also restricts protein in order to ensure high ketone levels at all times to combat epilepsy. It’s no wonder you’ll find signs of protein deficiency when you’re putting people on a protein deficient diet. Attributing that to the ketogenic aspect of the diet seems wrong.

Most ketogenic diets aim for a lower level of ketosis and the consequences of accidentally dropping ketone levels too low or even dropping out of ketosis entirely are very small so they don’t restrict protein in the same way. Even moderate protein ketogenic diets often contain higher protein than the average diet, and often it also has a higher percentage high quality animal proteins.

For context, a 4:1 ketogenic diet (as is used to treat epilepsy) is limited to 50g carbs and protein combined on 2000 kcal per day. Most people need 60-100g protein alone, more the more muscles you have and the more active you are.

That said, any diet where you’re losing weight is by definition catabolic. As far as I can tell ketogenic diets are about the same as other weight loss diets as fat as body composition is concerned.

(Ahmad Luqman) #4

Thanks, This makes much more sense now.

(Richard Morris) #5

Actually there is evidence that all low carb diets may be moderately anabolic of lean mass while being catabolic of fat mass. And this study showed that nutritionally ketogenic diets may even be more so

Volek JS, Sharman MJ, Love DM, et al. Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Metabolism. 2002;51(7):864-70

In summary, a 6-week carbohydrate-restricted diet resulted in a favorable response in body composition (decreased fat mass and increased lean body mass) in normal-weight men. Our results indicate that endocrine adaptations may partially mediate the accelerated fat loss, in particular the decrease in circulating insulin concentrations.

Fat mass was significantly (P <or=.05) decreased (-3.4 kg) and lean body mass significantly increased (+1.1 kg) at week 6

And then they end with

Further study of the metabolic and hormonal adaptations associated with carbohydrate restricted diets is warranted considering the potential for favorable
effects on body composition, especially given the widespread frequency of obesity in the United States.

Because that is always the case that there is no money to support proper research into low Carb ketogenic diets which is a crying shame because if there is anything the world needs, it’s more research into a diet that reduces fat while increasing lean tissue and not changing bone mineralization content significantly.

(Dameon Welch-Abernathy) #6

There’s no money to be from a healthy population that doesn’t need the services of doctors or drugs.

(Sjur Gjøstein Karevoll) #7

I’m aware of that Volek study, but I don’t feel like that study alone provides very strong evidence for an advantage to ketogenic diets. The study is just too limited and has too many confounding factors. They did not sufficiently control for exercise since they only told participants to stick to their previous habits, but given the tendency of study participants to change their habits just by being part of a study (as evidenced by the control group in this study lowering their energy intake despite being told to continue on as usual) and the fact that it was not a randomized trial it’s very plausible that the ketogenic group actually increased their exercise, if not in amount then in intensity, due to greater motivation over the control group. The ketogenic group also had greater energy intake and more than double the protein intake over the control, which in the presence of exercise makes it very difficult to attribute with certainty any increase in lean mass to the ketogenic aspect of the diet.

This is not the only study showing an advantage to ketogenic diets in terms of body composition. However, there are also multiple studies showing no difference or a disadvantage to ketogenic diets. If you look at a comprehensive review of the literature, as can be found here, it’s hard to reach any solid conclusion at this point.

As you said, the research on this point is really lacking. Some really common shortcomings of the studies we do have are short duration, too many uncontrolled variables and small cohorts. It’s rare to find a study that only has one of these. In addition just about every body composition study I’ve seen has the issue of using measurements that don’t account for the impact of water retention and glycogen on lean mass estimation, which can really throw many of the measurements way off.

Hopefully we will have some larger studies coming out soon that are better able to answer the question of what the long term impacts are. Low-carb really wasn’t on the radar until about the year 2000 and you start getting short-term studies coming out around 2003-2004. With low-carb steadily gaining popularity, especially around 2010, you continue to see an increasing amount of publications especially after 2012. Now it’s about time for some of the longer term studies started around the same time to mature, so I have hope that in the coming couple of years we’ll have a lot more answers.

(Richard Morris) #8

I agree. However the non-significant change in BMC shown in that study may be relevant to the Doctor’s concern about bone loss on a ketogenic diet.


this post is way old LOL but EVERY HUMAN BODY is this:
Anabolism and Catabolism. Anabolism is the metabolic process that transforms simple substances into complex molecules. Catabolism is where complex and large molecules are broken down into small ones. Anabolism is the constructive one. Catabolism is the destructive phase of metabolism. ( on this think fat cells breaking down) and (think older cells breaking down to ‘renew’ into stronger cells and purging the ‘bad’ which is why they change in their own self to better). Anabolism is an endergonic reaction. —In chemical thermodynamics, an endergonic reaction (also called a heat absorb nonspontaneous reaction or an unfavorable reaction) is a chemical reaction in which the standard change in free energy is positive, and an additional driving force is needed to perform this reaction.

We are both. ALL PHYSICAL BODIES are both at all times on ANY menu one eats. There is no we are only cataboic or anaboic ever from a physical standpoint.

These terms as ‘science’ deemed them are happening 24/7, 365 all thru our lives in the human body constantly so to say that Keto is catablic is correct!! BUT WHAT ‘tone does it give’ and how is it being used? THAT is the question cause if it is deemed ‘hurting people being catabolic on Keto’ then that is BS to the ultimate LOL

we are both at the same time on any menu at all times.

SO??? what out of context views are happening I am not sure on the original post chat on it all but one thing is for sure, we break down and build up ALL the time in our bodies. There is 0 black and white on this eating Keto or XYZ or eating vegan or anything at all. So to say Keto Plan is catabolic is, hmm, yea ‘small’ correct but never is a bad thing ever…so??

ok just chat on it as I read the first post and thought there is no black and white firm stance ever on are we catabolic or anabolic and is all perfect or horrifying on our menu or eating plan. This just does not fit at all.

unless I missed something that was being said in general on it all?
ok…whatever :wink: :sunny: