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Thread: protein - gluconeogenesis page

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    halloweenbinge's Avatar
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    protein - gluconeogenesis

    Something I'm still not clear about is if, in ketosis, only excess protein gets converted to glucose, or all protein, or 58% of any and all protein that's eaten?

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    halloweenbinge's Avatar
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    Bump. Does anyone know or have any info on this? Especially if you're not in full-on ketosis yet (<3 weeks) but have started eating zero-carb?

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    Fatkid's Avatar
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    I will pass this question on to my brother... he isn't Primal but is a nurse and is very health conscience (read: knowledgeable in these areas) ... Maybe he can help...

    I believe it is only excess protein but I'm not 100% on it...

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    As much as it takes to supply your brain/blood with glucose. I've read somewhere between 30 - 100 grams. Not sure exactly. That's why when you're doing very-low-carb, you have to eat more protein in order to provide for these needs. Otherwise you will be sacrificing muscle to create glucose.
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    How low is very low carb? I ate what I think was way too much protein today, and so I'm wondering about this myself!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rphlslv View Post
    As much as it takes to supply your brain/blood with glucose. I've read somewhere between 30 - 100 grams. Not sure exactly. That's why when you're doing very-low-carb, you have to eat more protein in order to provide for these needs. Otherwise you will be sacrificing muscle to create glucose.
    Yep.

    And I believe protein is only 58 percent convertible to ketones.

    But then again you should be out of gluconeogenesis after the first week or so, once you deplete the glycogen storage, and convert, you're set. The brain isn't fully adapted to ketones (75 percent) until 3 weeks I believe.

    In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

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    Another thing to mention is that if you're eating lots and lots of fat, the left-over glycerol molecules can be converted to glucose, sparing some of your amino acids.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

  8. #8
    Fatkid's Avatar
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    Even though this topic has gone much further since I have replied... as promised here is my brother's response...


    Your question is impossible to answer without more information. I will do my best to answer it anyway, and hopefully provide enough information for you to figure this out.

    First and foremost, your body will convert protein to glucose only to the extent to which it is needed or deemed metabolically efficient. It takes a lot of energy to do the conversion so the body won’t do it “just for fun.” That means that if you are doing more strenuous activity, thinking harder (brain loves glucose), or are under stress (remember cortisol and the catecholamines?) you will convert more protein into glucose than under more ‘ideal’ situations. Also remember from PB that the body first uses ingested proteins for structural and repair purposes. So if your body needs 50g to repair and build structures, and you eat 50g, you will have (albeit too simple) 0g conversion. If you eat 100g then your body might use 50g to make glucose, if it’s needed. (That is an oversimplification, but I’m sure you get the point that your general question is insufficient to beget a specific answer). Note: your body won’t build your muscles at the expense of feeding your brain, so if you dip too low in protein ingestion to cover your structural needs AND providing fuel for the brain, guess what: your body will eat your muscles.

    Ok, so that covers the “all protein” part of your question. No, not all protein is converted to glucose when in ketosis. If that were the case, ketosis would not be muscle-sparing, as it is. It also touches upon the “only excess protein gets converted” portion of you question because, as stated above, gluconeogensis is costly to the body, and your body won’t do it if it doesn’t provide a metabolic advantage. If you are fully converted to ketosis, at which point your brain has switched over to using ketones for the majority of its energy needs, then your liver won’t both converting the excess protein to glucose. The excess protein will just be metabolized as is. However, if you are in the beginning stages of ketosis and your brain relies heavily upon glucose yet, then the liver will convert more. So in short: it depends on what your body needs at the time as to how much of your excess protein is converted into glucose.

    Now for the last option: 58%. Where did you get this number? The only place I’ve found it was in reference to Lyle McDonald, and it was mentioned along with his 10% carb conversion. If that is the case, then I’m going to assume that you read it wrong. The 10% carb conversion (to fat) doesn’t mean that 10% of ingested carbs are converted, rather that once your fat intake dips below 10% of total daily calories, your body will convert ingested carbs into fat, otherwise, it’ll just burn/store the excess carbs at the expense of burning fat (http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...e-get-fat.html). If this is a similar reference as your 58% protein conversion, then it simply refers to what percentage of the diet needs to come from carbs (58%) in order to prevent gluconeogenesis, but it does NOT discuss how much of ingested protein is converted to glucose. However, this analysis is purely speculation based upon what I could assume of the source of your 58% ratio.

    As for ketosis overall, here’s a quote from Lyle:

    “Journals are old and out of date and wrong.
    keto ratios only matter for epileptic children and will end up shorting you on protein if you use them.

    How to set up a keto diet
    a. set calories: 10-12 cal/lb
    b. set protein: 0.9-1 g/lb LBM. *4 to determine calories from protein
    c. set carbs: figure on 10 g/day minimum * 4 to determins cals from carbs. If you're doing a TKD, this value will be higher (50 g/day or what have you).
    d. figure fat by differences in a and 'b+c'. Subtract cals from protein and carbs from total cals to get cals from fat. Divide by 9 to get grams.

    Example.
    180 lb male, 10% bodyfat, 18 lbs fat, 152 lbs LBM.

    1. 180 X 10 = 1800 cal/day
    2. 152 * 1 = 152 g protein * 4 cal/g = 600 cal
    3. 10 g carbs * 4 cal/gram = 40 cal
    4. 1800 cal - 600 cal - 40 cal = 1160 cal from fat / 9 cal/g = 128 g fat.

    Daily diet =
    1800 cal
    152 g protein
    10 g carbs
    128 g fat

    If you eat more calories (12 cal/lb), raise fat intake (total cals go to 2160, fat goes to 168 g/day). If you have to cut claories further, reduce fat. Protein should never change.

    Basically, you set calories, protein should never change and fat and carbs are used as the caloric ballast to get total cals high enough.

    Lyle”

    I would also like to recommend that you check out some of his books (The Protein Book, The Ketogenic Diet, etc.) as well as his website http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/ for a log of articles to sift through.

    Ok, so now that I fell like I’ve babbled way too much to be coherent to anyone, let me sum all this up: who knows how much your body converts based upon the data you’ve given us. Basically, it converts as much as it needs. Increase its needs and it increases its conversion. Decrease its needs and, well, you get the idea.

    Peace.
    I hope that proves useful

  9. #9
    Russ's Avatar
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    Interesting read, thanks for posting. Are there detrimental effects of eating to much protein? If so, what are they?

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    Fatkid's Avatar
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    I'm not aware of any detrimental effects of eating too much protein (assuming your calorie quantity is in check)... they do tend to make your system more acidic (I do believe) ...

    For me I tend to error on the side of too much protein instead of too little... then I eat my veggies and balance my satiety with fats more or less...

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