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Keto Diet And Parkinson’s

Are There Other Methods Of Treatment

Parkinson and Keto – The Journey begins

Medications are the best option for the treatment of Parkinsons. There are complementary therapies that can help curb symptoms and slow the diseases progression. Acupuncture, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy are a few of the therapies used to help. Nutrition is another and That my friend is where Keto comes in.

Can A High Fat Diet Be Healthy

According to David Diamond PhD, Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: Coronary heart disease is a chronic condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions. We have known for 150 years that a high carbohydrate diet contributes to fat in the blood and contributes to obesity. He goes on to say, the poor science that was used to support the idea that increased fat intake increases cholesterol and damages arteries was authored by Ancel Keys who had no background in nutrition, but did have a BA in Economics and a PhD in Fish Physiology. Keys theory that fat in diet causes increased risk for high cholesterol and heart attack was based on extremely flawed science and became dogma without ever being rigorously assessed. A generation of citizens has grown up since the Diet/Heart Hypothesis was launched as official dogma. They have been led by the greatest scientific deception of our times: the notion that consumption of animal fat causes heart disease. George Mann MD, Nutrition Today, 1985. The belief that atherosclerosis is due to high cholesterol has been perpetuated by powerful forces using tactics to preserve the profits and reputations of those who promote them. Paul Rosch M.D, Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal, 2008. The diet heart hypothesis is sustained by social, political and financial institutions which have little to do with science and established success in public health. Uffe Ravnskov MD PhD, 2008.

Ketogenic Diet Dramatically Improves Parkinsons Disease

Ask any neurologist how Parkinsons disease is treated, and youre sure to get a long list of medications. Truth is, none of the medications actually treats the disease. The medications that are used are clearly effective, but only focus on the management of symptoms, not the underlying disease.

It turns out that Parkinsons disease is characterized by failure of the mitochondria to make energy, and this occurs in a very specific part of the brain. That said, researchers decided way back in 2005 to explore the possibility of improving mitochondrial function by placing patients on the ketogenic diet.

Their results were phenomenal, to say the least. The study only included five individuals and doesnt appear to have gained much traction in the world of neurology. Im hoping this changes moving forward.

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Study 3 Krikorian Et Al

The third study, conducted in 2019, aimed to investigate the effects of a low carbohydrate, ketogenic intervention on cognitive performance in participants with Parkinsons disease-associated mild cognitive impairment. 14 participants with Parkinsons were randomised to either a high-carbohydrate or low-carbohydrate diet for 8-weeks. Ketone levels were measured during weeks 2, 4 and 6. Each diet provided a different amount of calories and protein. A target of 20 grams of carbohydrate per day was provided for the low-carbohydrate group.

Outcomes: the low-carbohydrate group demonstrated enhanced cognitive performance in aspects of executive ability and memory. There was no benefit observed for motor function in this trial.

For those on the low carbohydrate diet, calorie intake declined significantly with reductions in weight and waist circumference observed. In contrast, these measurements were unchanged for those on the high-carbohydrate diet.

Limitations: the short duration of the trial and small sample size were limitations noted by the authors who also suggested benefits in motor function may have been observed with a longer intervention period.

The observed change in body weight was strongly associated with cognitive benefit.

Study 2 Phillips Et Al

Information About the Ketogenic Diet

The second study, conducted in 2017, randomised 47 participants with Parkinsons to either the keto diet or low-fat diet for 8-weeks to determine if symptoms could improve on either diet. 38 participants completed the study. Blood ketones were measured daily by both groups. Each diet was designed to provide a similar amount of calories and protein. Protein intake was approximately 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. The keto diet contained 75-80% of total calories as fat whereas the low fat diet contained 20-25% of total calories as fat.

Low-fat diet
279 grams total carbohydrate27 grams total carbohydrate

Outcomes: both groups showed small but significant improvements in motor and non-motor symptoms. Those on the keto diet experienced a greater improvement in non-motor symptoms especially for urinary problems, pain, fatigue, daytime sleepiness and cognitive impairment. The average participant in both groups lost 4-5 kg but remained overweight at week 8.

Limitations: the group on the keto diet experienced a transient exacerbation of tremor and/or rigidity which resulted in 2 participants dropping out of the study after week 1. This adverse effect was improved or resolved in many participants in weeks 5 to 8. Study authors speculate the abrupt change in fat intake may have accounted for this effect.

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How Do I Get Into Ketosis

There are two methods to make the metabolic shift from using glucose to ketones as your main source of energy.

Fasting the method of complete cessation of caloric intake for a prolonged period of time has been used to treat disease as far back as 400 B.C. when Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, employed the method for a myriad of ailments. Though this should be done under medical supervision, fasting is a safe, effective way to get into ketosis, quickly. For the average adult, a 48-hour fast will generally result in ketosis. After this fast, adopting a Ketogenic Diet will allow you to stay in ketosis. We recommend starting the fast at least 3 hours before bedtime on the first day, and eating at the same time 2 days later. While fasting means many things to many people, we define it here as the total restriction of macronutrients. We recommend boosting water consumption in order to avoid dehydration, and many find black coffee or plain tea to help maintain focus and performance during the fast. Children go into ketosis much faster and therefore can be started on the diet without fasting.

The Keto Diets Connection To Parkinsons

Researchers are also exploring the relationship between so-called ketogenic diets and Parkinsons disease. Simply put, a Keto Diet emphasizes fat, along with a moderate amount of protein, with very few carbohydrates. The diet makes us burn fats instead of carbs.

One clinical study of Parkinsons patients put low-fat, high-carb diets head-to-head with a high-fat, low carb ketogenic approach. Participants in the study were given shopping lists, menus, recipes and forms to keep track of blood glucose and ketone levels. Both groups showed improvement in both motor and non-motor symptoms. However, the ketogenic diet group scored better in symptoms like urinary issues, fatigue, pain, sleepiness and cognitive abilities. It is thought that keeping the body in ketosis might promote beneficial chemical reactions. Many researchers believe ketogenic diets are safe for Parkinsons patients for up to two months.

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The Keto Diet’s Connection To Parkinsons

Researchers are also exploring the relationship between so-called ketogenic diets and Parkinsons disease. Simply put, a Keto Diet emphasizes fat, along with a moderate amount of protein, with very few carbohydrates. The diet makes us burn fats instead of carbs.

One clinical study of Parkinsons patients put low-fat, high-carb diets head-to-head with a high-fat, low carb ketogenic approach. Participants in the study were given shopping lists, menus, recipes and forms to keep track of blood glucose and ketone levels. Both groups showed improvement in both motor and non-motor symptoms. However, the ketogenic diet group scored better in symptoms like urinary issues, fatigue, pain, sleepiness and cognitive abilities. It is thought that keeping the body in ketosis might promote beneficial chemical reactions. Many researchers believe ketogenic diets are safe for Parkinsons patients for up to two months.

What Is Parkinsons Disease

Ketogenic Diet and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsonâs disease is chronic and debilitating. It is whats called a ânervous system disorderâ. What that means is that it affects the brain and nerves causing irreversible damage1.

Disorders such as this are unmappable and those who suffer from it are likened to a snowflake, every patient can have unique symptoms.

What are the common symptoms of Parkinsonâs Disease?

  • Tremors
  • Walking and balance problems.

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How The Ketogenic Diet Changes Brains With Parkinsons Disease

One of the first studies that provided validity to the idea that the ketogenic diet can help with Parkinsons disease was a study conducted on mice treated with MPTP. MPTP is a toxin that specifically targets the neurons involved in Parkinsons disease, leading to neuronal damage and symptoms that mimic the disease.

To test the effects of the ketogenic diet, the scientists fed the mice with Parkinsons disease the ketogenic diet and looked at what it did to their brains. They found that the ketogenic diet was protective against the damage done by MPTP and reduced inflammation in the relevant areas of the brain.

To confirm that these positive effects are transferable to humans, the scientists decided to put the diet to the test in Parkinsons disease patients. In this study, seven patients with the disease volunteered to follow a ketogenic diet for 28 days at home.

Only 5 out of the 7 completed the 28 days, but the results showed a positive impact on many common Parkinsons disease symptoms. This included a reduction in resting tremors and rigidity and improved balance, gait, mood, and energy levels.

Although this is a very promising study, it is too small of a sample size to assume that everyone affected by the disease will get the same benefits.

However, the ketone levels didnt seem to matter as long as the subjects were in ketosis.

Evidence For Beneficial Effects Of Kd In Neurological Diseases

Many claims have been made about the benefits of the KD for overall health. However, the only well-established use of the KD for managing a neurological disease is for seizure reduction in pediatric epilepsy . Intriguingly, evidence for neuroprotection in other neurologic diseases from the classic and modified KD has been reported in pilot clinical studies and in pre-clinical laboratory models, as described below and summarized in Tables 1, 2. Note that studies using ketogenic-like diets that deviated from high fat/low protein/low carbohydrate content ratio, such as diets with excess fat but with normal carbohydrate levels, are not included in the summary below.

Table 1. Beneficial effects of the KD or ketone bodies in animal models.

Table 2. Summary of key published clinical studies examining the beneficial effects of the KD in neurological diseases.

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Is The Keto Diet Right For Me

The keto diet can cause appetite suppression and as seen in all 3 studies weight loss. For some people with Parkinsons who are carrying extra weight this may be appropriate but for many struggling with poor appetite and unplanned loss of weight this dietary pattern may not be suitable.

If not well formulated the keto diet can lack fibre. A lack of dietary fibre can lead to or exacerbate constipation. to learn how to get an adequate amount of fibre on a keto diet.

The keto diet is very high in fat. If you suffer from gastroparesis or slow stomach emptying consuming very high-fat meals can cause symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain and bloating. As fat empties more slowly from the stomach this dietary pattern may not be suitable.

How Long Should I Be On The Diet

Keto Diet for Parkinson

We at the Charlie Foundation believe that a 3-month commitment to the diet is a minimum commitment to allow your body to fully acclimate to the new fat based fuel source. Since most people following a western diet are not proficient at metabolizing fat optimally, this period allows the body time to become fat-adapted, utilizing dietary fat efficiently and effectively. There are a variety of nutritional plans that will enable a ketogenic lifestyle, and flexibility is one of the hallmarks of the diet that make it easy to adopt as a life-long tool to enhance your health. Our nutritionists can help figure out both the short and long-term options best suited for you and your lifestyle.

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Ketogenic Diet In Parkinsons Disease

by Jo Mak | 4 May, 2020 | Dietetics

A ketogenic diet means high-fat and very low-Carbohydrate diet. It is a type of metabolic therapy which means the body is using mainly ketones as an energy source instead of glucose. The aims of metabolic therapy are to optimize neuron metabolism, growth and repair, and protect neurons.

A pilot randomized controlled trial in 2018 had compared the effects of a low-fat diet and ketogenic diet on Parkinsons Disease. The low-fat diet consisted of vegetables, meats, whole grains and fruits with ~25% calorie intake from fat. Whereas the Ketogenic diet consisted of vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, oils and nuts with ~80% calorie intake from fat. The results showed that both diets improved the motor symptoms of Parkinsons Disease. Interestingly, the ketogenic diet also showed significant improvements on non-motor symptoms of Parkinsons Disease, e.g. Urinary problems, pain, tiredness, cognitive impairments and daytime sleepiness. In conclusion, the ketogenic diet is feasible and safe for Parkinsons Disease and it showed greater improvements in both motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinsons.

My Rehab Team Dietitians are able to help people with Parkinsons Disease to develop a tailored nutritional program. Contact us on or for more information.

Ketogenic Diet And Parkinsons Disease

In recent years, the Ketogenic diet has gained a lot of interest for its positive effects across a variety of conditions. The Ketogenic diet was first used as a treatment for epilepsy in the 1920s. Over the past two decades, there has been a burst in research and in the use of the Ketogenic diet for many conditions.

There is supportive evidence from research studies that the Ketogenic diet can offer symptom relief, and also protect the nerves in neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinsons disease.

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Ketogenic Diet Positively Impacts Parkinsons Disease

Keto Diet & Parkinson’s Disease with William Curtis

Parkinsons disease is a chronic disease that affects a part of the brain called the substantia nigra, the nerves, and the nervous system. Anything that can protect or add health to the brain, the nerves, and nervous system can benefit individuals diagnosed with Parkinsons disease.

In a study of a small sample of Parkinsons disease patients, there was a 43% improvement in the Unified Parkinsons Disease rating scale following 1 month of implementing the ketogenic diet.

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Controversies And Adverse Effects Of The Kd

The mechanisms of neuroprotection described above have often been studied in a single animal model and the generalizability to other sources of neuronal injury and different neuronal tissues are unknown. Notably, the effect of ketone bodies on antioxidants has been shown to differ across brain regions and exhibit age-specific effects , which may underly variations in outcomes of the KD among different studies. As noted above, high concentrations of BHB were found to induce pro-inflammatory signaling which is the opposite effect of lower concentrations because of this dose-dependent BHB effect on inflammation, it is important to measure serum and/or tissue BHB levels to properly assess the effect of the KD. Additionally, beneficial effects of the KD in animals have been shown to not always translate to a benefit in humans, for example, motor improvements were shown in rat models of PD but not patients with PD. Therefore, extrapolating the results of studies from animals to humans must always been done cautiously. Furthermore, it is important to consider that molecular mechanisms that lead to reduced inflammation and lower oxidative stress may change with longer durations of the diet, and the reported short-term mechanisms of neuroprotection may not necessarily contribute to its long-term effects.

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