A Life Saving Diet – The Ketogenic Diet

A Life Saving Diet – The Ketogenic Diet


this is a story about a scientist whose fascination with one thing aging led him to a surprising discovery about another diabetes that might one day save thousands of lives I’m extremely curious person I’m curious about everything there is something extremely satisfying about discovering something new my favorite cells were the yes I know right sure so at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York Charles mob’s has spent years investigating a basic question why do our bodies wear out as we grow old he’s identified what may seem to be an unlikely culprit the very substance that we along with most animals use as our primary energy fuel the simple sugar called glucose this one molecule is the universal source of energy all biological creatures have evolved to optimize the use of glucose but mob’s was intrigued by the fact that when you reduce the amount of glucose that lab animals use by feeding the fuel calories they live much longer than animals on standard diets sometimes twice as long and he knew that when we get too much glucose in our bloodstream we get a life-threatening disease diabetes we know on the one hand dietary restriction is protective we know on the other hand diabetes is highly toxic and the defining feature of diabetes is too much glucose so even though it’s mysterious why too much glucose should be toxic we know that that’s the case mobs growing interest in glucose led him to focus more on diabetics and one of the most dangerous complications they face kidney failure a condition long thought to be irreversible the basic job of the kidneys is to filter out toxins from the blood kidney failure is very serious because you can’t live without your kidneys and basically without the kidneys to regulate all these different components of your body your cells can’t work and your body can’t function and you’ll die some 20 million Americans suffer from kidney disease the most common cause is diabetes the high glucose levels in some way are a repeated injury to the kidney not far from mob’s lab Mount Sinai’s dialysis center treats diabetic patients like Leonel Melendez the Machine next to me on my right is what does the functions of my kidneys the machine does all the cleaning for me I have no function of my own this is a means to keep you alive this is not something that’s going to get you off dialysis and improve your kidney function but mob’s thought there might be a way to help the kidneys recover by getting glucose out of the picture according to my theory based on our research I thought we could actually reverse at least one diabetic complication kidney failure nobody had ever reversed kidney failure before Bob’s idea was to switch diabetics to a different kind of biological fuel a molecule called a ketone Jason mastitis was a part of mobs research team a ketone is a type of molecule that can be used as an energy source in place of glucose like glucose it’s used by virtually all cells of body but it’s only produced in either periods of starvation or if you’re on a special diet that say doesn’t have any carbs to test their theory mobs and his team did two studies with diabetic mice the first was to see if ketones could help them lower their elevated glucose levels the animals were placed on what’s called a ketogenic diet high in proteins and especially fats it stimulates the liver to make ketones the body has to switch from being primarily a glucose metabolizing machine to a fat and keto metabolizing machine and so we had mice that were extremely diabetic we put the mice on the ketogenic diet and we found much to our surprise their glucose levels in their blood fell substantially overnight and by one week the glucose levels were completely normal mobs then did a second city to test the bigger question could ketones help reverse diabetic kidney damage the tell-tale sign of kidney failure is the presence of protein in the urine we saw that the control mice on the regular diet had more and more protein in the urine and the mice on the ketogenic diet had less and less protein in the urine and by two months they had no protein in their urine the ketogenic diet so completely corrected the kidney function of the diabetic mice that they were totally normal the degree of the change that we solved the mice on the diet was it was simply amazing although this is a preliminary observation in mice so we don’t know for sure this would work in people I believe that this is proof of principle that diabetic complications can be reversed the publication of mobs findings attracted international attention this study suggests that those changes that occur in the kidney which we thought previously might be irreversible could potentially be made better but the researchers are quick to point out that what happened to the mice does not mean that people with kidney disease should switch to a high-fat diet which could cause other health problems we don’t want to put anyone on the diet itself we just want to figure out how the diet works so that we can replicate the effects of the diet in a drug even for animals there’s a lot more work to be done to understand how this diet is doing what it’s doing it’s still in the investigative stage so we must be cautious I think all human beings have a predisposition to put ourselves in a narrative and my narrative is I’m a scientist who’s discovering new things that’s going to reduce a lot of people’s suffering and that’s just amazingly satisfying to me

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