Ketogenic diets have become incredibly popular.
Early research suggests this high-fat, very low-carb diet may benefit several health conditions.
Although some of the evidence is from case studies and animal research, results from human controlled studies are also promising.
Here are 15 health conditions that may benefit from a ketogenic diet.
Epilepsy is a disease that causes seizures due to excessive brain activity.
Anti-seizure medications are effective for some people with epilepsy. However, others don’t respond to the drugs or can’t tolerate their side effects.
Of all the conditions that may benefit from a ketogenic diet, epilepsy has by far the most evidence supporting it. In fact, there are several dozen studies on the topic.
2. Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome, sometimes referred to as prediabetes, is characterized by insulin resistance.
You can be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if you meet any 3 of these criteria:
- Large waistline: 35 inches (89 cm) or higher in women and 40 inches (102 cm) or higher in men.
- Elevated triglycerides: 150 mg/dl (1.7 mmol/L) or higher.
- Low HDL cholesterol: Less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) in men and less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women.
- High blood pressure: 130/85 mm Hg or higher.
- Elevated fasting blood sugar: 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or higher.
3. Glycogen Storage Disease
People with glycogen storage disease (GSD) lack one of the enzymes involved in storing glucose (blood sugar) as glycogen or breaking glycogen down into glucose. There are several types of GSD, each based on the enzyme that is missing.
Typically, this disease is diagnosed in childhood. Symptoms vary depending on the type of GSD, and may include poor growth, fatigue, low blood sugar, muscle cramps and an enlarged liver.
GSD patients are often advised to consume high-carb foods at frequent intervals so glucose is always available to the body.
However, early research suggests that a ketogenic diet may benefit people with some forms of GSD.
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