Author Topic: Nutritional ketosis in rats?  (Read 312 times)

Offline BigBen

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Nutritional ketosis in rats?
« on: June 15, 2017, 01:16:58 PM »
I have been learning about the science of human nutrition lately, and one of the researchers referred in a lecture to a controlled study of mice, in which half of the group were fed a normal diet of lab blocks, and half a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet to induce nutritional ketosis.  Apparently the control group all died on schedule around the two-year mark or so, but almost all of the ketotic mice were still alive after 900 days, when the experiment ended.  Has anyone heard of any similar studies involving rats, and what kind of diet would it take to get rats into nutritional ketosis?  If it could extend a rat's life even by three or four months, it would certainly be worth exploring.
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Offline Vonda Z

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Re: Nutritional ketosis in rats?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 12:16:28 AM »
I don't know of any studies in rats so I can't answer your question, but I am really glad to hear of the results because I think my whole family may have just gone on a similar diet.

Due to a recent diagnosis in our family, we have decided to adopt the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The diet eliminates all complex carbohydrates (no polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, or disaccharides allowed - only monosaccharides like those found in fruits and vegetables and honey). So no grains, no starches, and no table sugar or milk products that contain lactose. No processed foods, additives, or preservatives. But lots of meats and fatty foods like avocados, real butter, coconut oil, cheese (aged at least 30 days to consume the lactose), homemade yogurt made from whole milk or cream that has fermented 24 hours to consume the lactose, nuts and nut butters and nut flours. I was worried what this diet will do to my cholesterol, but maybe all will be good in the end. I feel healthier at any rate.

So here's hoping that humans (and rats) show similar results.

Offline BigBen

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Re: Nutritional ketosis in rats?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 01:09:35 AM »
The presumed connection between dietary fat and heart disease has been shown lately to have been based on faulty science.  The real problem appears to be the vast quantity of sugar and refined grains that has replaced fat in the Western diet.  As long as you keep the percentage of protein in your diet the same, you can replace as much of the carbohydrate with fat as you want, with no ill effects.  When the percentages of carbohydrates and proteins in the diet are kept below certain maximum levels, the body shifts from burning glucose to burning fat as its main source of energy.  The advantage is that then you don't need to count calories, since you will feel satiated when you've eaten enough.  People with a lot of weight to lose often find that they end up eating less this way, getting the rest of the calories they need from the body's store of fat.

I've been off added sugar for four weeks now, and though I am by no means ketotic I've already tightened my belt by three notches.  It encourages me to try to reduce the other carbs in my diet now.


ETA-- From what I've been learning, it seems that the real numbers to worry about are the HDL/triglyceride ratio (the higher in favor of HDL, the better), and the amount of VLDL (very low-density lipoproteins), which you want to keep as low as possible.  The other LDL's, they now think, have no effect on heart health.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 01:17:15 AM by BigBen »
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Offline Vonda Z

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Re: Nutritional ketosis in rats?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2017, 11:48:50 AM »
Thanks, BigBen! This is all very good news for me. My LDL and triglycerides have always been high but my HDL has been almost normal. I run 3 miles a day and I have tried low-fat diets and they never change my numbers at all. Docs have prescribed meds on and off, but they have usually caused me problems so I would always stop taking them and stick with diet and exercise (which hasn't worked). Recently, Crestor at very low doses has worked for me, but the insurance would make me jump through many hoops in order to get it. But now, there is a generic available, so I am on 5 mg a day. I was concerned that this higher fat diet would send my numbers through the roof and they will want to up my dosage.

At any rate, the triglycerides should go way down on this diet as I am not consuming any carbs except for those in fruits and vegetables and honey (in recipes only - I don't care for honey straight). And reading posts from others on this diet on the IBD forums, those with cholesterol problems pre diet are sometimes seeing improvement post diet. I have only been cooking this diet for a few weeks (my son is on EEN - entire enteral nutrition - formula diet - right now, so I am learning how to make the proper foods for when he comes off), but my weight has dropped down to 117 (I have averaged around 130 since having kids, with 125 being my norm after starting running). The funny thing is exactly as you have said, I have felt full during the day and don't feel the need to snack. I haven't been trying to lose weight - I have just been changing what I eat but eating whenever I want. I just feel full more often.

Hopefully, this won't hurt my son as he needs to gain weight heading into puberty, but we will see.