Principia Ketogenica

Compendium of science literature on the health benefits of low carbohydrate high fat ketogenic diets, carbohydrate restriction and ketosis in general. Get it at Amazon on Kindle or in paperback With hundreds of research papers and scholarly journal articles from over the past century, addressing 15 major health and fitness topics covering over 100 general […]

[CHART] The Principle Of Human Carbohydrate Intolerance – Volek

This is a telling graphic that explains a bunch, and deserves it’s own discussion. Basically – the less carbohydrates an individual has, the more predictable the outcome. In many studies we can determine down to the lowest P number what will happen if carbohydrates are restricted or removed entirely, however if you switch it out […]

Ketone Body Therapy: From ketogenic diet to oral administration of ketone ester – 2014

Ketone bodies (KB), acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, were considered harmful metabolic by-products when discovered in the mid-nineteenth century in urine of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis. It took physicians many years to realize KB are normal metabolites synthesized by the liver and exported into the systemic circulation to serve as an energy source for most extrahepatic tissues. […]

There is no Clear Requirement for Dietary Carbohydrates for Human Adults

Current carbohydrate recommendations are based on
1) preventing ketosis
2) providing glucose beyond minimal needs

However, ketosis is not harmful, and the need to provide glucose above minimal needs has never been demonstrated.

There is no RDA for carbohydrates, probably because the human body can adapt to a carbohydrate-free diet and manufacture the glucose it needs.

There’s no such thing as an essential carbohydrate – Dr Eric Westman

You’ll be reassured to know that you don’t have to eat carbohydrates to live. It’s not an essential nutrient. It’s one of the first things we learn in nutrition is what does the body not make and what you HAVE to eat. You won’t find carbohydrate on this list. Full video:

Ketostix – don’t bother testing urine ketones in the long term

Within days of starting carbohydrate restriction, most people begin excreting ketones in their urine.

Strips that test for ketones in the urine detect the presence of acetoacetate.

After a few weeks, muscle cells take up acetoacetate and reduce it to beta-hydroxybutyrate.

Thus urine ketone testing is a rather uncertain if not undependable way of monitoring ketosis.

VIDEO: Ketogenic Diet Seminar – Dr Eric Westman

I’m also a reformed carbohydrate at 0:03 and I think the discussion you here’s gonna change 0:07 because we’re no longer under a protein 0:10 love it’s a carbohydrate love and 0:14 in my clinical practice I use when I talk about today 0:18 just about all the time so I I’ll give you the […]

Ketogenic diet does not affect strength performance in elite artistic gymnasts. – 2012

We have demonstrated that using VLCKD for a relatively short time period (i.e. 30 days) can decrease body weight and body fat without negative effects on strength performance in high level athletes.

[VIDEO] New Paradigms in Carbohydrate nutrition for athletes – Jeff Volek

From: 5th Annual Low Carb Cruise, Carnival Magic, Galveston, TX, May 2012 Low-Carb Experts: Jeff Volek, MD, R.D., PhD – Segment One (9:23) Low-Carb Experts: Jeff Volek, MD, R.D., PhD – Segment Two (8:09) Low-Carb Experts: Jeff Volek, MD, R.D., PhD – Segment Three (8:40) Low-Carb Experts: Jeff Volek, MD, R.D., PhD – Segment Four […]

Is There a Role for Carbohydrate Restriction in the Treatment and Prevention of Cancer? – 2011

Evidence has emerged from both animal and laboratory studies indicating that cancer patients could benefit further from a very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet.

The Ketogenic Diet: Stoking the Powerhouse of the Cell. – 2007

Summary en route… Abstract OBJECTIVE The full anticonvulsant effect of the ketogenic diet (KD) can require weeks to develop in rats, suggesting that altered gene expression is involved. The KD typically is used in pediatric epilepsies, but is effective also in adolescents and adults. Our goal was to use microarray and complementary technologies in adolescent […]

Very-low-carbohydrate diets and preservation of muscle mass. – 2006

It appears, from most literature studied, that a very low carbohydrate diet is, if anything, protective against muscle protein catabolism during energy restriction, provided that it contains adequate amounts of protein.

The antidepressant properties of the ketogenic diet – 2004

It is concluded that the ketogenic diet may have antidepressant properties.

A Low-Carbohydrate as Compared with a Low-Fat Diet in Severe Obesity. – 2003

Severely obese subjects with a high prevalence of diabetes or the metabolic syndrome lost more weight during six months on a carbohydrate-restricted diet than on a calorie- and fat-restricted diet, with a relative improvement in insulin sensitivity and triglyceride levels, even after adjustment for the amount of weight lost.

Fasting lipoprotein and postprandial triacylglycerol responses to a low-carbohydrate diet supplemented with n-3 fatty acids. – 2000

Serum triglycerides (fat levels in blood) were measured fasted and after a high fat meal, then subjects were put on a ketogenic diet and fasting trigs tested throughout for eight weeks.

After the keto intervention both the fasting and post-prandial response to the high-fat meal showed the serum triglycerides had decreased by about half, demonstrating a profound improvement in metabolizing dietary fat.

The low fat / low cholesterol diet is ineffective. – 1997

The commonly-held belief that the best diet for prevention of coronary heart disease is a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet is not supported by the available evidence from clinical trials. In primary prevention, such diets do not reduce the risk of myocardial infarction or coronary or all-cause mortality.

Similarly, diets focused exclusively on reduction of saturated fats and cholesterol are relatively ineffective for secondary prevention and should be abandoned.

Early insulin and glucagon responses to different food items. – 1996

Subjects were fed either a high carbohydrate, high fat, or high protein meal.

The carbohydrate and protein meals increased insulin levels significantly, however not with the fat meal.

The protein meal was also followed by an increase in glucagon, whereas the carbohydrate meal reduced it significantly.

Effects of unbalanced diets on cerebral glucose metabolism in the adult rat. – 1995

Rats fed a low protein (10%) diet which is high in fat (90%) retained normal brain glucose utilisation even in a low blood glucose scenario.

However in a low protein and low fat scenario where the fat is swapped out for carbohydrates (78%) it results in the rats depressed ability to use glucose in the central nervous system, to a degree seen in brain disorder levels.

Effects of a ketogenic diet on tumor metabolism and nutritional status in pediatric oncology patients: two case reports. – 1995

Two young girls with brain cancer were put on a ketogenic diet, within a week a decrease of 22% glucose uptake was noted at the sites of the tumor.

One subject continued the ketogenic diet for an additional year, remaining free of disease progression.

The transient hypercholesterolemia of major weight loss. – 1991

Cholesterol fell significantly during the first months of significant weight loss, after which it rose above baseline as weight loss continued. With weight maintenance, cholesterol fell again and stabilised.

We conclude major weight loss was associated with a late rise in serum cholesterol, possibly from mobilization of adipose cholesterol stores, which resolved when weight loss ceased.

Influence of dietary carbohydrate-to-fat ratio on whole body nitrogen retention and body composition in adult rats. – 1989

Adult rats were fed diets of either high carb or high fat, final body weight was lower in rats fed the high fat diet, and also had the highest protein gain.

[Keto vs Colon Cancer] Reduction of weight loss and tumour size in a cachexia model by a high fat diet – 1987

An attempt has been made to reverse cachexia (muscle wasting/fatigue/etc) by depriving tumours of energy by feeding a ketogenic regime.

Mice were implanted with a form of colon cancer which produces extensive weight loss without a reduction in food intake.

When mice were fed on diets in which up to 80% of the energy was supplied as medium chain triglycerides (MCT) weight loss was reduced in proportion to the fat content of the diet, and the tumour contributed less to the final body weight.

The human metabolic response to chronic ketosis without caloric restriction: physical and biochemical adaptation. – 1983

To study the metabolic effects of ketosis without weight loss, nine lean men were fed a balanced diet for one week followed by four weeks of a ketogenic diet.

  • Weight and whole-body potassium did not vary significantly during the five-week study.
  • Nitrogen balance was regained after one week on keto.
  • Fasting blood glucose remained slightly lower during keto, glucose oxidation rate fell significantly.
  • Serum cholesterol levels rose, while triglycerides fell.
  • No disturbance of liver or kidney function was noted at the end.

Hormonal and metabolic changes induced by an isocaloric isoproteinic ketogenic diet in healthy subjects. – 1982

During a ketogenic regimen concentrations of fat derived substrates rise significantly and glucose levels decrease, hormonal patterns switch towards a catabolic mode with a fall in insulin levels and a rise in glucagon concentration, levels of gluconeogenic amino acids are reduced while those of the branched chain amino acids increase.

These changes also reproduce those observed after a few days of total fasting, suggesting it is the carbohydrate restriction itself which is responsible.

The regulation of ketogenesis. – 1982

Ketone bodies accumulate in the plasma in conditions of fasting and uncontrolled diabetes. The initiating event is a change in the molar ratio of glucagon:insulin. Insulin deficiency triggers the lipolytic process in adipose tissue with the result that free fatty acids pass into the plasma for uptake by liver and other tissues. Glucagon appears to […]

Loss of weight, sodium and water in obese persons consuming a high- or low-carbohydrate diet. – 1981

Weight loss observed during the carbohydrate-restricted diets was significantly greater than during the high-carbohydrate diet.

Electrolyte excretion during the first 7-14 days was significantly greater on the low-carbohydrate diet, whereas after 28 days it was not significantly different from the high-carbohydrate diet.

Capacity for Moderate Exercise in Obese Subjects after Adaptation to a Hypocaloric, Ketogenic Diet. – 1980

To study the capacity for moderate endurance exercise and change in metabolic fuel utilization during adaptation to a ketogenic diet, six moderately obese, untrained subjects were fed a eucaloric, balanced diet (base line) for 2 wk, followed by 6 wk of a protein-supplemented fast (PSF), which provided 1.2 g of protein/kg ideal body wt, supplemented […]

Effects of high-protein, low-carbohydrate dieting on plasma lipoproteins and body weight. – 1980

High-protein, low-carbohydrate dieting resulted in substantial weight loss. Plasma triglycerides fell as well.

Dietetic treatment of obesity with low and high-carbohydrate diets: comparative studies and clinical results. – 1979

In comparative studies, obese patients given a [1000 kcal] low-carbohydrate diet lost ~14kg and those given a high-carbohydrate diet lost ~9.8kg. The degree of weight loss was significantly different. Daily weight losses were ~362 g and ~298 g respectively.

Chronic ketosis and cerebral metabolism. – 1978

Rats on a high fat diet for (only) 3 weeks had significantly better concentrations and binding of various compounds in the brain, along with an increase in cerebral energy reserves and charge.

Effect on body composition and other parameters in obese young men of carbohydrate level of reduction diet. – 1971

On the 1,800-kcal reduction diet of either 104g, 60g, or 30g of carbohydrate/day, weight loss, fat loss, and percent weight loss as fat appeared to be inversely related to the level of carbohydrate in the isocaloric, isoprotein diets.

Any of the low carbohydrate levels in the reduction diet under study were effective in controlling hunger.

Diet and the Genesis of Diabetes Mellitus – 1947

Before the discovery of insulin the best results were obtained with dietary methods. During this period the patients usually received fairly abundant quantities of a diet poor in carbohydrates, and rich in proteins and fat.


When an equivalent amount of glucose is derived from protein, the blood sugar curve remains flat.

The Threshold of Ketogenesis. – 1922

It is recognized that diets so unbalanced as to contain greatly disproportionate amounts of fat lead to the formation and excretion of acetoacetic acid, p-hydroxybutyric acid, and acetone.

Studies on the Acetonuria Produced by Diets Containing Large Amounts of Fat. – 1922

A method has been suggested for expressing the ketogenic balance of any diet mathematically.

Lectures on dietetics – Einhorn – 1922

In no disease does diet form a more important part of the treatment than in diabetes mellitus. As it is possible to live on meat and fat alone without carbohydrates, it was natural to exclude this latter group of food-stuff from the diabetic diet.

Antiketogenesis I. an in Vitro Analogy. – 1921

It has long been common knowledge that if any human subject fasts, or merely omits carbohydrate from his food for a few days, acetone appears in his breath, and acetone and acetoacetic and beta-hydroxybutyric acids are excreted in his urine. The precursors of the acetone bodies are known to be chiefly the fats and certain of the amino-acids of protein.

Determination of the Acetone Bodies in Urine. – 1921

The present article contains the description of a method which has been found convenient for the determination of acetone from preformed acetone plus acetoacetic acid and from fl-hydroxy-butyric acid on the same sample of urine, even when they are present in very small amounts.

The use of a high fat diet in the treatment of diabetes mellitus: Second paper: blood sugar. – Newburgh – 1921

We discussed in outline the advantages of the use of a high fat diet in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. It was shown that with such a diet, glycosuria was avoided in severe diabetics, and that acidosis was not produced.

In addition to the previous high fat regime, sufficient protein and minimal carbohydrate are added to make the diet satisfying and sustainable over the long-term.

The use of a high fat diet in the treatment of diabetes mellitus: First paper – Newburgh – 1920

As of 1920 the treatment of diabetes had been greatly improved, from basically starvation to avoid carbohydrate which is not tolerated, to a diet comprised mostly of fat.

Since carbohydrate cannot be used, we have dared to ignore the belief concerning the danger of fat in the diet of diabetics, and have investigated in the clinic the effect of a diet whose energy comes largely from fat.