Catalyst: Blog: My six week ketogenic diet experiment - ABC TV Science
Pleased To Meet You Northbridge Menu - View the Menu for Pleased To Meet You Perth on Zomato for Delivery, Dine-out or Takeaway, Pleased To Meet You. However, these foods tend to be carbohydrate rich, calorically dense, and nutritionally poor., Second, although food pantries were originally established to meet limited . or “diabetes supplies so that you would have money to buy food. .. Health Affairs is pleased to offer Free Access for low-income. Knowing there was no prospect of a cure for diabetics on medication In this interview, recorded at Sugarland Studios in Perth, I decided to take Dr To listen , you can head to Rare Air 26 – Dr Michael Mosley on . But, the stuff in there is still unbelievably topical, so, that is kind of what I am pleased about.
From a personal point of view, I have always been interested a bit in the bowel, but it was also what happened. I decided to pitch the idea of the history of medicine told through self-experiment. I was then, actually, a director, I was behind the camera and I pitched this idea for about 20 years. So, all of it goes way back to that original Horizon with Barry and Robin.
As I mentioned in the introduction, you were inundated with response from that documentary that was nominated for an Emmy and a BAFTA, as you say, ten years before that Nobel Prize appeared, what were the main perspectives in those responses?
Well, I talked to an awful lot of gastroenterologists and other doctors while making the documentary, and broadly speaking, they still thought it was nonsense, but, there were a lot of people who responded to the documentary and they did not want to go on taking the pills, or they did not want to have a partial gastrectomy, which was the alternative being offered, you would have part of your stomach removed, which obviously is pretty radical.
So, they wanted to try something which promised the possibility of a cure, so, yes, we had something between 5, and 10, This was int he days before emails, so, it was 5, to 10, letters and things like that. We had to employ somebody full-time for a while just to produce a fact sheet and send it out, and yes, it went on, the documentary went on selling all over the world, so, I continued to get letters for the next 10 years.
Normally you make a documentary and it goes out and that is it, and maybe win an award, maybe you do not, but you move on to something else but this one lingered. Your enthusiasm for the topic remained? I mean, I went off and I did loads of other things.
I made some dramas, I made a whole host of other things, but I kind of maintained an interest, I tried to keep in contact with Robin and Barry, I kept reading stuff about the gut, and I kept on reading about new discoveries in the gut. So, that is partly a product, as I say, of the technology. It was kind of like Galileo looking up at the heavens, he has go the telescope and then suddenly, there is a vast universe out there which no-one ha suspected.
The same is kind of true of the gut. We now have the tools, the means to investigate it in a way which was not previously possible. No that scientists can do that they have discovered all these extraordinary links between the gut and particularly the microbiome and things like mental health, immune system, weight, all sorts of things that people really did not imagine.
What does it mean to you to be the interface between all of this really important research that is going on and delivering it to the public in a way that we can actually do something with that information?
Hopefully I do it in a sort of interesting, accessible way, because the counter side of it is there is an awful lot of nonsense as well, because when you get these discoveries and lots of people jump on the bandwagon, there is lots of stuff sold as probiotics now in supermarkets and other places, most of which are completely and utterly useless.
So, that is the other side of it. So, they are very open about what they are up to and in some cases they also tell me about stuff which is coming up, which is also great if you are writing a book like Clever Guts. But, the stuff in there is still unbelievably topical, so, that is kind of what I am pleased about.
Unfortunately not, because you know, medical training— I went through medical school, my wife went through medical school, my son has just qualified as a doctor, and none of us really learned anything about nutrition. They do not teach it in the UK, they do not teach it in Australia either.
Therefore, you find that you struggle to keep up to date along with everything else. So, I hope I am, to some extent, a trusted guide on this. I try to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly when I write these books, and I also have a website, cleverguts. Because things do change, I mean, broadly speaking, the message of the book really is as good as we have got at the moment, but I am conscious that there are areas which will evolve, and so, I want to interact with the audience. The joy of books is that you reach a wide number of people and it can be very influential.
If you then tie that in with website, then you get the best of both worlds. A website can also respond, people can write in, they can become part of a community, they can do all those other hugely valuable things which are vitally important for moving this stuff on, but also for health. From that early inspiration about the gut, I am really interested because you have been producing television for a really long time and really exploring the science around health in various different aspects, but was fasting the first thing that really got you excited as it being a new frontier in some ways?
So, I could see that was a road that I might be traveling down. I went off to find something I could do about it, because I did not want to start on medication, because I know where that journey ends. So, I was fortunate, I can ring up lots of people, and that pointed me towards intermittent fasting and led to me making a documentary, Eat, Fast, Live Longer, which was all about intermittent fasting and I met some really influential, important, exciting scientists who really inspired me because they had been working this field for a while and it was not something I knew anything about.
As I said, prior to that, I barely had an interest in nutrition. So, this was the beginning of my education, if you like.
Blog: My six week ketogenic diet experiment
But, you were very serious and very pensive about some of the information that was being given to you at the time about what the state of your body was and what you could do to fix it, and whether you were prepared to undertake that.
Do you remember those-? Yes, I remember it very clearly, because as you said, it was very serious. But for me, it was very serious because it was the first time that I Had seriously questioned my long-term health, and as I said, the back of my brain was echoing thoughts about my dad, and I did not want to go down that road.
So, for me, it was wholly serious, and I guess, as a documentary, part of its power comes from that. Also, from the fact that I had no idea how it was going to turn out, so, I set off with some ideas and some research, and the researchers on Horizon are very good and they point to indirections, but to be honest, none of us had any idea where the film was going to go to and how it would end.
So, I end up effectively inventing a diet, The 5: But, as I said, it also inspired me to go on looking more at what was going on, what was going on inside me, what was going on inside the health service, looking at things like diabetes and what you can do about it. So, yes, it really triggered a lot of things. About the myriad, the raft of health benefits that can be achieved through fasting. We have known that all the great religions have advocated fasting, and mainly for spiritual reasons rather than for health response, although, I imagine the two are sort if entwined.
But, this was a coming together, if you like, of religion and science. There were plenty of people I came across who had been doing a lot of research, particularly in animals because that is where a lot of the basic research starts.
More recently, it has been in monkeys, they have demonstrated that, and you know, humans are under investigation and there are a couple of big trials but to be honest, you are going to have to wait a long time because humans live 80 years. So, to actually demonstrate the impact of that sort of thing- But that is kind of where I started with looking at calorie restriction, long-term calorie restriction, but I realized that there was no way that I was going to stick to two thirds of my normal calories for the rest of my life, so, that led me to intermittent fasting where scientists said that actually, certainly on the animal research, there was good evidence that that would give you similar benefits.
So, it kind of went from long-term calorie restriction to intermittent fasting. Mark Mattson, I think, is a classic example. It seems to me that the scientists who are involved in understanding how beneficial fasting can be, either for mental or physical health, really walk that talk as well, they live it out because they really believe in it.
Absolutely, and he is pretty skinny. He does quite a lot of running, he tends not to eat until two in the afternoon, and he is also an advocate, and several of them are, of a different form of fasting which you might call He has a sort of understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms. His preoccupation is, he is sort of a pure scientists, he is a pure neuroscientist, over publications, you know, massively cited. So, he was delighted that I promoted this stuff because suddenly, people are getting interested in it, they are starting to, perhaps, put a bit of money research into it, it becomes something which is not just some rats, but you can actually see the potential impact on human health.
If we were to adopt it part of it would be that we would have to really change our perspective on what a normal looked like. I remember Luigi [unintelligible They are slightly cadaverous looking. Certainly some of them are super skinny, you do not have to be super skinny. I mean, the benefits of intermittent fasting are clearest in people who are obese or overweight.
So, as a way of losing weight, and clearly when you lose weight you get lots of other benefits, there was interesting stuff, as I said, around the brain and I know Mattson has a big trial going on at the moment looking at people who are at risk of dementia and who have been on 5: You can, basically, be normal weight and decide that this is a way you want to live, which clears you to pump up the calories on the five days to make sure you are not going to lose weight.
You do not have to be super skinny, and not all of them are. Some of the researchers look more like you and me, and I am certainly not super skinny. So, I did go a bit skinny and my wife said it was not a good look, so, I balanced out. That was kind of an absolute fast. What Valter does is that he has developed, over the last 20 years, a sort of a different variant. There are lots of different variants of intermittent fasting out there, what they have in common is there is a reduction in calories for a while, and the mechanism seems to be that by doing this you start to produce keto embodies, you start to burn fat and the keto embodies, there is some decent evidence about the benefit for brain health and things like that.
So, he has something he calls The Fast Mimicking Diet, where you basically go on about calories for five consecutive days and you do that once a month.
He has done some pretty convincing evidence trials of that, again, in animals, and now in humans in two or three centers, looking at the impact on a range of things from cancer survival to Type-2 diabetes, to regeneration of the immune system. So, he is another fantastic scientist who is really pushing the boundaries on this stuff. As I said, the thing he advocates, he is pretty much a vegan, so, his belief is very much that we should be cutting down on the animal protein and eating far more vegetable protein and legumes and things like that.
Well, that was leading me to my next question, really, because I wanted to ask you about an explanation for IGF1 and how that accelerates, or decelerates the aging process? So, insulin is this incredibly powerful and important hormone which has entered center-stage, particularly in the debate around carbs, so, when you eat a meal which is quite rich in starchy foods, what happens is your blood sugars go up and then your pancreas starts to pump out insulin and that will make them go down again.
But, insulin is also a fat storage hormone, it is also a cancer promoting hormone. So, having high levels of insulin in your system is not a great idea. IGF1 is a bit like insulin and what Valter argues, quite compellingly, is that if you eat large amounts of animal protein then this pushes your IGF1 levels up quite high and that puts you at greater risk of various cancers.
Nicole - 14 Nov This seems slightly different than the paleo diet, so I can't really refer to that. But where is the info for a keto diet? Also none of the links on the bottom of the Catalyst page for the main story work?? George - 14 Nov Bernstein a Dr with T1 diabetes who helped write that paper.
Very low carbohydrate intake with more fat for a type 1 diabetic means that you can lower the dose of insulin, and have fewer hypoglycaemic episodes. Dr Bernstein and his patients have lived like this for many years I think he's about 80 now. See point 11 in this paper. My weight dropped to 84kls.
Was advised not to eat that way, so stopped. I am 81 yrs down the years I have had a triple bi-pass followed by 2 strokes. In the last two weeks I decided to go back to eating a low carb diet.
Then last night I view your program. Yes I agree it's ba good way to eat whatever age we are. Sarah - 14 Nov I think its great to hear real details about these sorts of diets as its this info no one talks about, but I'm sure plenty of people are living it. Keep up the great work, would love a more detailed post - weekly as suggested: Jenni Dean - 14 Nov 8: Whoo Ooh it works.
If it has worked for you for 3 years it is obviously well trialled. Thanks Joan Danny - 20 Nov 5: Good place to start. Julie - 10 Jan Um, not even girls on steroids can put that much muscle on. Ive been a PT since Extensive knowledge of anabolic steroid use amongst athletes. Look up 'Banana Girl' on youtube. She is pure carb focused with one incredible body and mid 30's. John L - 19 Nov 1: Suspicious muscle gain by a woman in a short amount of time and then "one incredible body" is recommended by our reader here.
The reader here may think an "incredible body" is a whole lot of fun and fair enough too but we should expect more from the ABC. Clearly the ABC is now appealing to a new demographic, a viewer base that prefers "exciting results" to a balanced approach to medical reporting.
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I suggest that you read some of it instead of only relying on what you were taught in and what you read or learn from mainstream literature. I do not deny that one can achieve great results on a high carb diet. But it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best and healthiest way.
She is 47 and has a body many 20 year olds can only dream of. With so many blogs and unscientific information available I do question why a national broadcaster feels the need to replicate a single person opinion piece. If the abc don't continue to be the group that present facts rather than reporters individua lexperience and opinion who is left Jenny - 15 Nov The science is out there why not use it John L - 19 Nov Hype, exaggeration, extreme and shallow medical concepts and that all important eye on ratings.
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Is this the only post on the Keto diet by this reporter? I was assuming that it would be maybe a day by day or week by week blog. Thanks for your message. If there is anything specific you would like to know about my experience please just ask. Thanks for reading Roslyn Reg - 13 Nov You identified some issues I've been having. That extra info will definitely help me. Ross - 13 Nov Chris - 15 Nov 6: They are a nutritionally poor recent addition to the human diet that has ushered in the era of obesity and diobesity.
Big food has enjoyed the use of sugar and refined carbs to bolster their profits and destroy public health. The pharmaceutical jackets have then moved in to reap the rewards of this nutritional catastrophe.
Mirrorgirl - 18 Nov I went LCHF 5 years ago. I have never tried to achieve Ketosis, however I did lose 35 kilos and I have not regained a single ounce. I think you are looking at this from an old paradigm. This is a change for life and one that is so easy to maintain it's almost a joke. The only people who disagree with this nutritional lifestyle are those who have not tried it. I have never been happier or healthier, after a lifetime of stupid yo-yo dieting because I followed the 'recommended' approach of Low-fat and lots of Carbs.
I will never go back. Once you have gained the taste for high fat then ANY sugar could be a catastrophe. The question I have is, "What is your body's natural equilibrium weight? Have your blood measurements remained at healthy levels, have these been properly monitored, do you intend to do this regularly for the rest of your life?
Are you getting proper levels of fibre and looking after long term bowel health? I find it odd that you are giving advice in regard to "Once you gained the taste for high fat then ANY sugar could be a catastrophe.
This provides your body a great way to burn fat while keeping muscle and keeping your metabolism high. I would suggest that you lookup Cyclical Ketogenic diet. Helen Lloyd - 18 Nov 8: Sure I have a slice of toast or an apple occasionally, but the insulin rush and blood sugar crash after is not really worth it.
Stick to good quality proteins, higher fat and non starchy vegetables. The only fruit I can get away with now is frozen berries. So it's a permanent change and if you keep at it, it ends up just being a normal part of your life. VanD - 19 Nov 9: You don't have to change anything if you don't want to - you can stay in ketosis for years if you enjoy the food and the lifestyle - why not?
If you prefer to reintroduce some foods that you previously cut out, that's up to you It's up to you to decide how strict you want to be. If you go back to eating junk then you'll put every back on Nadine - 13 Nov All I do 24 hours a day, which includes the 8 hours she's sleeping is test her blood sugar to make sure she doesn't fall too low, become Hypoglycemic, shaking, dizzy, confused, damage her brain or fall into a hypoglycemic coma or her sugars aren't too high, which results in Hyperglycaemia, which can damage her heart, kidneys, eye sight, circulation or put her into a Ketoacidosis state - nauseous, vomiting, abdominal pain or a coma.
Then to read that you do all of this to YOUR body on purpose so you can loose a couple of kilos?
It just makes my eyes well up with tears in the disbelief of what I'm reading. Not only are you doing this on purpose you are recommending it, it seems, to other young people that would like to destroy their bodies. Harold Crews - 14 Nov They find it much easier to control blood sugar by restricting carbohydrates instead of injecting insulin. Aranja - 14 Nov Something you learn asa you dive into the subject.
Aimee - 14 Nov As someone who has been on a LCHF or "Ketogenic Diet" for 4 months and lost 18 kilos it's hard to see posts like this. I don't believe but doing this diet I am in any way abusing my body by manipulating ketone production in my favour "just to lose a few kilos".
I was very overweight before starting this diet and have tried multiple other ways over the years to get this under control.
I was heading for type II diabetes Nutritional Ketosis is far different from Ketoacidosis and I think if you research this further you will be able to see that for people with low blood glucose from a low carbohydrate diet the production of ketones is a normal response to eliminating carbs and increasing fat intake.
I know your daughter had no choice in the card she was dealt, as did you, but I on the other hand did. If this diet could prevent other people from going through the heartaches you have been forced to deal with on a day to day basis, surely that is a valid enough reason?
I am so glad that Catalyst has published this and their latest episode on Low Carb diets as I want as many people as possible who are struggling with weight and the medical issues associated with weight to get the information they need to start to live a better life. I think it would benefit you greatly to read more into the scientific research of a low carb high fat diet and see that weight and vanity are not the only reasons people should be eating this way. Major Tom - 14 Nov WHen a diabetic person becomes ketoacidotic it is, as you stated, due to hyperglycaemia which is dangeroud in the long-term in terms of micro and macrovascular damage with signficant ketoacidosis leading to the other unpleasant symptoms you mentioned.
A ketogenic diet in a healthy person results in mild ketosis, which as the blog states is a natural function of the body. THis is what the body does when times are tough and the harvest fails, the winter is long and the stores are low, etc. It is not harmful in and of itself and is not the smae as diabetic ketoacidosis. Catalyst does not endorse the views expressed in posts and recommends consulting a medical practitioner for medical advice.
Jade - 14 Nov 1: I am so sorry to hear that your daughter at such a young age has to go through with this.
I am just about to graduate as a Dietitian, and reading this blog is really off-putting. Sure, all these fad diets will make people loose weight in the short term.
However there is a reason why our Dietary Guidelines are what they are, they are based on thousands upon thousands of participants undergone randomised control trials in order to best formulate the guidelines we now have for Australians.
What people don't realise is that the new Guidelines have actually reduced the serve size of breads and cereals from 2 slices of bread down to now 1 slice of bread constitutes a serve size. This keto diet, in terms of it's biomedical mechanisms makes sense.
And works, however the unnatural mechanistic pathways it is putting vital organs through such as the pancreas and liver, is alarming. As you said Nadine, those effects of Hypoglycaemia are dangerous. The Keto diet's frequent occurrences of Hypos shaking, fainting etc not only cause long-term damage to the pancreas it can cause the long-term damage seen in Diabetic patients such as deterioration in eye sight, poor foot health ulcers and in very severe cases gangrene.
As someone who is passionate about research and change, until extensive credibly standardized human intervention trials are undertaken on the safety and long-term effects of the keto-diet and others alike, I would not recommend them to anyone or patients. They aren't the same state. Ketoacidosis results from the body not being able to use glucose via insulin production for energy.
When the body can't use glucose it switches to fat, however, it still needs some insulin in order to utilize the ketones. Type 1 diabetics do not produce enough insulin for their bodies to manage those ketones. Those with normal insulin function and Type 2 diabetes are perfectly safe in ketosis. Type 2 diabetics especially because their condition is the opposite of Type 1.
They have far too much glucose in the blood and their bodies are producing insulin overtime in order to get rid of it. Ketosis is a normal function. In fact, when you wake up in the morning you are in a mild ketogenic state because you've been in a carbohydrate fasted state for several hours. Julian - 14 Nov 3: Diabetes is an intolerance to carbohydrates. ANy other dietary intolerance the doctor would say don't eat that food.
But for diabetes they say eat more carbohydrates and just balance it with insulin.
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This goes against commonsense! Slowly remove some carbohydrates and add more saturated fats. He has started imitating. He is learning more in early intervention. He can indicate four body parts: Dare I hope he will one day be toilet trained, or even, be able to speak? A ketogenic state is not necessarily right or healthy everyone, such as your poor daughter. Tique - 14 Nov 5: Recommendations for practitioners or published material is counter to the ABC's editorial policy with regard to advertising and cannot be included.
Steve - 14 Nov 5: As a father of a 33 yr old Type 1 diabetes daughter I can appreciate your concerns. Fortunately there is a difference between ketosis which is the body converting fat to ketones to be used as energy, which is a normal process and not harmful to a healthy person. It is not ketoacidosis which is the body breaking down protein, like muscle, because it can't use either the glucose or ketones in the blood due to too much glucose in the blood.
You are not alone in confusing the two, many doctors and dietitians don't know the difference either. I suspect, but don't know because my daughter hasn't tried it, that low carb meals would not be harmful to your daughter. Do some research and don't believe all of what medical professionals tell you without being able to back it up with research evidence. I found that many doctors who treated my daughter in hospitals knew less than I did about Type 1 diabetes.
Remember carbs mean blood glucose, fats aren't converted to body fat and insulins job is to remove excess glucose from the blood by converting it into fat in the body's cells. All the best for what can be a stressful time ahead but you and your daughter will manage it. Unfortunately people are ignorant of Type 1 Diabetes and until it affects them people don't care which sadly is peoples nature, but for people willing to put themselves through this is crazy. Hopefully we see a cure Nadine very soon ,I wish you and your Daughter all the best.
Luke - 14 Nov Those that do not have type 1 diabetes can be in ketosis without causing ketoacidocis. As you pointed out, ketoacidocis is caused when there is high blood sugar and ketones, not when there is low blood sugar and ketones.
This is confirmed on this page on the Diabetes Australia website. As it states there, ketoacidocis is also rare in type 2 diabetics, but it can happen. In people with normal insulin function, and normal blood glucose levels, having ketones in your blood will not cause ketoacidocis unless there is some other medical condition.
This is the number one issue with nutritional ketosis - which is a symptom of normal blood glucose and high ketones.
People constantly confuse it with ketoacidosis - which is a symptom of high glucose and high ketones In fact in some people with normal insulin function, if the time between their final meal on one day and the first meal the next day i. When people undergo fasting, say for 24 hours, again they can enter ketosis. All of this is normal and perfectly safe. I wish you and your daughter all the best. Tamsyn Tabuyo - 15 Nov Ketosis is safe and quite natural for the body as it is a default mechanism when glucose supplies are low, but, as you say, ketoacidosis is extremely dangerous and potentially fatal.
Please don't be upset by this article, the author isn't suggesting we live on the edge of a razor in order to look better! Although it may seem like a fad this type of eating regime has been utilized as a cure for epilepsy for decades check out the Meryl Streep movie 'First do no harm'. Unfortunately, it isn't as successful in the fight against your daughter's form of the disease.2 Days & 1 Night - Season 3 : Pretty Boys Winter Camp Part 1 [ENG/THA/2016.12.25]
Please have a look at all the wonderful information that is available now online for more in depth details of the science of this form of energy production in the body. I wish you all the best with your daughter and her fight with diabetes, and much love.
Alejandro - 15 Nov 1: I've been on keto for two months now and i feel better than I have in a long time. It has noticeably improved my quality of life. Jackie - 15 Nov 7: Mark Symons - 15 Nov According to doctors most diseases are incurable and of unknown cause. I call BS on that. I am living proof of of reversal of arteriosclerosis via changing what I eat. It's not just about losing weight its about eating whats best for our health which is deteriorating because of our diet and environment.
Let food be your medicine. I find that astounding. Doctors and dieticians should be beating down your door and you should be subjected to at least a case study in the medical journals.
Tell your cardiovascular specialist to get writing. I'm interested at least. Mich - 15 Nov 4: It's the sugars and trans fats and excessive carbs in the diet that are usually the issue. Good fats can actually help As demonstrated by someone addressing their diabetes through the program thru the guidance of Dr Zeeshan Arian.
Good fats have vitamin A that are crucial in the developmental years of children. Type 1 is a whole other kettle of fish as you know. When I worked in health promotion we did a lot of damage by putting Aboriginal people with type II diabetes on low fat diets, as was the advice then.