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Keto-flu, Ketogenesis, and Carb-tolerance: Part 1

A summary of our research: Ketogenic supplements

Low-carb diets and ketogenic diets are becoming increasingly popular for both lifestyle reasons and for the improvement of health and performance. However, there is little evidence for the superiority of keto- vs less restrictive low-carb approaches in the research. Greater carbohydrate restriction does provide additional benefits for some outcome measures like glucose, triglycerides (TG), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c). There are also specific benefits from keto-diets and the levels of blood ketones they produce, including reduced inflammation, inhibited tumour growth (n some cancers), reduction in neurodegeneration, and increased metabolic flexibility.

But, despite the benefits and popularity of keto, there is surprisingly little consensus in the published research on what nutritional ketosis (NK) actually is!

There is also a complete lack of research on the time taken to achieve the common benchmark of nutritional ketosis ( ≥ 0.5 mmol/L  beta-hydroxybutyrate (BOHB)) and on the symptoms of carbohydrate-withdrawal commonly described in mainstream media as ‘keto-flu’. Dietary supplements and methods to improve ketonaemia (blood ketone levels), time-to-NK, and symptoms of carbohydrate withdrawal and mood during keto-induction are similarly not well understood.

Throughout my masters and doctoral research, my team and I provided, for the first time, a synthesis of research related to the time it takes for people to achieve ketosis and highlighted that there were no studies that had specifically evaluated adverse effects specifically during keto-induction.


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