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Thread: Ketones and Saturated Fats, Additional Resources? page

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    Ketones and Saturated Fats, Additional Resources?

    Primal Fuel
    Good morning all,

    I stumbled across the paleo/primal phenomenon a little over a week ago and, although skeptical at first, I am pretty convinced that the PB is the way to go. However, my sister, who is currently studying pharmacy, has brought up some arguments that I haven't been able to counter well using the information on MDA alone. First is the matter of ketones and ketosis, which she claims are beneficial in the short-term but very harmful if maintained for a long period of time. The other issue is the health-effects of saturated fat consumption, and the way increased fat and protein in one's diet can cause increased acid secretion from the pancreas causing harm to the GI tract and possible even rectal/colon/esophageal cancer.
    I've spent the past week perusing MDA and have read at least most of Mark's posts about ketones and saturated fat, but I am having trouble finding more specific information in this regard that doesn't necessarily come from MDA. Could anyone provide further information or relevant sources that explain these topics in more detail? (Of course, not so much that a non-professional can't comprehend them)

    Thanks!

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    Yeah, you won't find much on MDA, because the level on Mark's Carbohydrate Curve that would correspond to ketosis is understtod to be only for an occasional excursion. Not a focus of interest here.

    The most readable account seems to be Volek & Phinney's book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. It's interesting and worth getting and reading. I'd say that outside specific applications -- epilepsy, Alzheimers, endurance sports, etc. -- it's not clear that ketogenic diets are a must. However, to state that they're known to be harmful seems like going out on a limb to me. I don't know of any evidence that that's so. Steve Phinney himself has been on a ketogenic diet for 7 years. Since he's a well qualified medical doctor and researcher with a range of equipment and tests available to him I guess he'd have noticed by now if it was affecting his health negatively.

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    It is possible that ketosis could be harmful over time, as some people may not adapt as well to very low carbohydrate and can become glucose deficient: Carbohydrate Deficiency | Perfect Health Diet

    Some smart people, however, know they are able to adapt to ketosis for extended periods of time (like Dr. Phinney or Dr. Attia) and/or know they are carbohydrate intolerant anyways and so keep the carbs low (maybe in ketosis, maybe not, as lewis stated it's not a requirement for optimal health unless you have a neurodegenerative disease).

    As for saturated fat's health effects, there aren't any, it's just fuel of a different kind. Whether your calories come from satfat or carbohydrate matters little if you're eating quality meat or starchy veggies, unless you have problems digesting carbohydrates whilst controlling your blood sugar (which is why going low carb for a bit and increasing it when more insulin sensitive can be beneficial).

    As for bile secretion due to fat/protein, that's how the body breaks down those foods into absorbable compounds, it's a natural process. The stomach and digestive tract is made to handle a variety of pH's, like pH 2 for the hydrochloric acid of the stomach. Acid released in response to food by the stomach is neutralized by bicarbonate to keep the pH within the desired range. Actually, the pancreas doesn't release the acid - it releases bile (alkaline/basic solution) with digestive enzymes in response to CCK, which itself responds to fat/protein: Pancreatic juice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Thus, fat/protein are digested in a mainly basic environment, not an acidic one - I think your sister mixed up the "acidifying effect of food" where foods like dairy and meat are acid-forming in and of themselves, with the body's secretion of acid. As for that acid-diet (meat) vs. base-diet (plants) there is little evidence to support it being an issue, either for causing GI damage or osteoporosis (which is often brought up).

    What your sister may be referring to, however, is that excess acid can certainly worsen GI damage that's already present, such as ulcers, but I haven't been able to find an example of dysregulation of the acid-response due to diet (does she have any studies for that - epidemiological/observational studies about how red meat = pancreatic cancer with the hypothesis of increased acid don't count). In those big observational studies, meat (and thus fat) and protein always seem to cause GI cancers, but there is no causation.

    I would suggest that diets that promote poor digestive gut flora or possess GI-damaging elements such as gluten, lectins, and prolamines (present in grains, legumes) may start the issues, and then the overabundance of acid, for whatever reason, can add to those issues and it can develop into a full blown ulcer/cancer.. perhaps :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitefox View Post
    It is possible that ketosis could be harmful over time, as some people may not adapt as well to very low carbohydrate and can become glucose deficient: Carbohydrate Deficiency | Perfect Health Diet
    Wow, someone on the internet claims it is. There's a surprise.

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    He said it's possible, but I get the point haha. I wouldn't expect it to be, but I'm always expecting there to be a downside to everything

    Anyways, after further review, but ignoring the glucose deficiency theories of Jaminet, I'd say it's healthy as per studies like this one Long Term Effects of Ketogenic Diet in Obese Subjects with High Cholesterol Level - Springer and because the biochemistry works out. You have any cool papers on ketosis Lewis?

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    Peter Attia just started a series on Ketosis over on EatingAcademy.

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    Yeah I'm excited

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
    Yeah, you won't find much on MDA, because the level on Mark's Carbohydrate Curve that would correspond to ketosis is understtod to be only for an occasional excursion. Not a focus of interest here.

    The most readable account seems to be Volek & Phinney's book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. It's interesting and worth getting and reading. I'd say that outside specific applications -- epilepsy, Alzheimers, endurance sports, etc. -- it's not clear that ketogenic diets are a must. However, to state that they're known to be harmful seems like going out on a limb to me. I don't know of any evidence that that's so. Steve Phinney himself has been on a ketogenic diet for 7 years. Since he's a well qualified medical doctor and researcher with a range of equipment and tests available to him I guess he'd have noticed by now if it was affecting his health negatively.
    But, but, but, don't you know that ketosis is going to make your hair fall out and your penis fall off?

    Phinney and Volek also wrote "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" which puts to rest the myths that all athletes must have massive amounts of carbs or "bonk".

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    Maybe you can find something in this website to answer your questions.
    HEALTHY DIETS AND SCIENCE
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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