The Ketogenic Diet: What’s All the Hype?

You’ve probably heard about the Ketogenic diet by now. Celebrities are losing weight and touting its benefits. If you haven’t heard, the ketogenic diet is a way of eating that restricts carbohydrates, includes moderate protein and high fat.

There are a growing number of physicians who don’t think a well-formulated keto diet is a fad but actually a very safe and effective way to not only lose weight, but to reverse diabetes. More than 1.4 million people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every day in the US. One in every 10 adults who are 20 years or older has diabetes. For seniors 65 years and older, that figure rises to more than one in four. It appears that a low carbohydrate diet is a safe and effective way to treat Type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Sarah Hallberg, a physician at the University of Indiana, has published one-year data from a study* for which she is the primary investigator where 349 patients were enrolled in either the study arm (262 people) or chose usual care (87 people). Patients in the study had type 2 diabetes for an average of 8.4 years and the average BMI was 40. After 12 months the average HgbA1c for study patients decreased from 7.6 to 6.3. Patients in the usual care arm had no change. Also, patients in the study arm lost an average of 30 pounds (13.2% of body weight). 94% of patients in the study arm either discontinued or reduced their insulin need and many of their other diabetes medications. Patients in the usual care arm increased their insulin requirement by an average of 15 units/per day.

One of the questions many physicians have about the keto diet is what happens to biomarkers for cardiovascular risk? While the LDL–C (“bad cholesterol”) went up slightly in patients in the study, the LDL-P (particle size) decreased and APO-B remained the same. HDL (“ good cholesterol” ) was increased and triglycerides went down.

Dr. Hallberg and her group hope to publish the two-year data sometime in early 2019. Stay tuned!

* Hallberg SJ, McKenzie AL, Williams P, et al. Effectiveness and Safety of a Novel Care Model for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes at One Year: An Open Label, Non-Randomized, Controlled Study. Diabetes Therapy. 2018; 9(2): 583-612. doi: 10.1007/s13300-018-0373-9

Please contact Holladay Pharmacy at 1-800-848-3446 if you have questions regarding the Ketogenic Diet.

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