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  • Is Ketosis Harmful?

    So I was about to send this to Mark until I realized that I should probably post it on here first, hence why it goes from being addressed to mark to being address to "y'all."

    Hey Mark!
    A few weeks back I discovered De. Eades blog and started trying out a low carb diet, and more recently I discovered your blog and have been experimenting with the primal fitness plan.
    Needless to say, I have been subject to A LOT of new information in the past month or so. Here is the thing, I am a nutrition student studying to become a dietitian and my nutrition teacher, who is a biochemistry major, assured me that, if your body is in a state of ketosis for too long, kidney damage WILL ensue due to the high pH of ketones. Of course, after reading all the information I had, I was pretty sure this wasn't true. I set out on a quest to find studies demonstrating that ketosis wasn't harmful to the kidneys.
    Unfortunately, no luck. Every single study and article I have come across talk about high protein, not ketosis specifically. Can y'all help me out?
    Thanks!
    -Zach

  • #2
    Your teacher is confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis.
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    • #3
      zach...you need to ready mark's post from today. it covers almost this exact situation that someone else had to deal with.

      check this out

      long story short...ketosis is just fine.
      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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      • #4
        I did. Actually, I saw it and was like, hot dang! What luck! But it doesn't mention ketosis once, just high protein intake.
        Unless I totally missed it entirely.

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        • #5
          You didn't miss it. It's just a similar situation of CW getting the pertinent facts wrong.

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          • #6
            Crap. I've been in ketosis for 2 years already.

            I wonder why my diabetes has disappeared along with my 40" waistline... Maybe my kidneys ate them up and are in the process of failing...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by chickenbackside View Post
              Crap. I've been in ketosis for 2 years already.

              I wonder why my diabetes has disappeared along with my 40" waistline... Maybe my kidneys ate them up and are in the process of failing...
              Kidneys are tricky like that. You have to keep an eye on them. I recommend installing a camera.

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              • #8
                As nice as it would be to point out that a bunch of people are doing this with no harm done, I need something more concrete than personal testimony.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by z90xhccs View Post
                  As nice as it would be to point out that a bunch of people are doing this with no harm done, I need something more concrete than personal testimony.
                  Did you even read my post???
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                  • #10
                    The following is from the comment section of THIS post on Dr. Eades' blog. A question very much like yours from a reader and the Doc's answer to that question.

                    From: Doug
                    I heard that ketosis is very hard on the kidneys. I have a friend who was born with one kidney, and her doctors expressly forbade her from doing any ketogenic type diets.

                    What is your view on ketosis and kidney function.

                    Hi Doug–

                    It’s not ketosis that is supposedly “very hard on the kidneys,” but a ketogenic diet. The part of the ketogenic diet that is supposedly damaging to the kidneys is the higher protein content of that diet. Much research has shown that dietary protein DOES NOT have an adverse effect on normally functioning kidneys, even if it just one normally functioning kidney. The idea that protein damages kidneys is what I call a vampire myth, one that keeps coming back to life no matter how many times it has been killed by the light of good research.

                    If you want to read a good summary paper on this issue, click here.

                    Hope this helps.

                    MRE
                    Last edited by brahnamin; 03-02-2011, 10:14 AM. Reason: to re-insert Dr. Eades' link which went gone when I cut and pasted - erm - and to remove snarkiness

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                    • #11
                      I've been in ketosis regularly for the past six years, since I started low carbing. When I started low carbing, I had badly damaged kidneys from type 1 diabetes, now I don't and my kidneys are completely normal. I'm not crediting the low carbing for curing the kidney problems as it was something else (juice fasting) but I know Doctor Bernstein and other diabetics have completely reversed kidney damage from going from a high carb, CW diet, to a very low carb one where they were in ketosis for a lot of the time. And yes, your teacher is confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis, a very common mistake that even a lot of health "professionals" make. I do realise that this is a personal testimony and not the concrete evidence that you were looking for, but if you google Doctor Bernstein and ketosis you might be able to find something more.

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                      • #12
                        Along the same line of thought, a biochem friend of mine was VERY concerned when I first told her I was doing VLC -- her protests centered around the Krebs cycle and the fact that gluconeogenesis does not produce TCA (or is it OAA?), but the metabolizing of carbs does. Personally, I don't stay in ketosis very long because it seems to stall my progress, but I was wondering if any other biochem nerds wanted to chime in on the subject?
                        5'6" 27 y/o female, Primal 6 months and counting.

                        CW: 160 -- in single-digit dress sizes for the first time in 12 years!

                        GW: 150 -- for swimsuit season

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by darkersolace View Post
                          Along the same line of thought, a biochem friend of mine was VERY concerned when I first told her I was doing VLC -- her protests centered around the Krebs cycle and the fact that gluconeogenesis does not produce TCA (or is it OAA?), but the metabolizing of carbs does. Personally, I don't stay in ketosis very long because it seems to stall my progress, but I was wondering if any other biochem nerds wanted to chime in on the subject?
                          Read (or have her read) this: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...=402559&page=2
                          Basically, on a VLC diet your body has a high demand for oxaloacetate because you need it both for getting acetyl-CoA into the Krebs cycle AND for making glucose out of protein, so you'll never really have as much as your body "wants" and acetyl-CoA will build up.... but it doesn't really matter because that acetyl-CoA will get turned into ketones which are a wonderful fuel. So it all comes back to: if you don't have an irrational fear of ketones, there's nothing to be afraid of. =]
                          "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                          I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.

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                          • #14
                            Oh man I am so sorry dragonfly! I accidentally skipped over yours! Thanks guys, my bad! I wasn't trying to come off sounding as rude or anything. Thanks for all the info, I will definitely send this her way.
                            And admitidely, I'm still not an expert at reading these types of articles. I can get most of it but some of it goes over my head.
                            Last edited by z90xhccs; 03-02-2011, 08:05 PM.

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