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– Hi, Dr. Joel Kahn at the Kahn Center For Cardiac Longevity, a cardiologist in suburban Detroit. I'm pleased to talk to you
for a couple of minutes about the topic, can a
meat heavy ketogenic diet be healthy long term? Very concerning, but
let's talk about terms because a few years ago, you
didn't open every website and every magazine and
read about ketogenic diet, particularly with
Hollywood stars and such. You can go back decades and find some important medical
data that if you're dealing with a child that has refractory epilepsy, before there was medication or even after when there wasn't a good response, that putting a child on
a water fast sometimes improved their seizures, but
it wasn't very well tolerated, obviously, by growing children.

Then people tried a low-carb,
high-fat diet to induce the creation of chemicals in
the body called ketone bodies that can be an alternative
fuel to the brain in addition to glucose. There was a response in
30 to 40% of children, but these medical reports indicated many, many potential side effects
including some scary reports of death during ketogenic diets, cardiac issues during
ketogenic diets and such. But somehow, in the last five to 10 years, this medical therapy
with an unnatural diet that has no really long term
use in any healthy community in the world has become the
darling of Silicone Valley, become the darling of Hollywood, become the darling of
athletes; Lebron James, Halle Barry, the Kardashians,
Hugh Jackman all come to mind.

Well, we have an independent
way to asses this that's outside of my own opinions which is the US News and World Report
put together a list every year of the top diets for
health and other conditions that you're trying to strive for, reversal of heart disease
and diabetes and such. And the ketogenic friendly
diets like Whole 30, Paleo and the Ketogenic
diet itself are always at the very bottom of the
list of recommended diets, with one exception. US News and Word Report
considers the Ketogenic Diet to be a rapid weight loss diet. There are many other
rapid weight loss diets, some unhealthy like
influenza and chemotherapy, but there are some healthy
versions like a whole food, plant based, no salt, oil, sugar diet.

You can use various kinds
of fasting mimicking diets. There's many ways to induce
a more rapid weight loss, but Ketogenic is one. What about long term? We're gonna bring the carbohydrates down, so there go whole
grains, there go legumes, good bye dairy, which is
fine by me, of course. We're gonna get rid of most fruits, maybe leave some leafy greens in, and we're gonna bring the
fat content very high. That might be with meats and cheeses, might be with butters and such, and that's gonna induce
ketosis or ketogenic diet. Well, the data is
concerning that long term, this may be a very unhealthy program. And this is a topic
that's not being addressed by proponents in the medical
community, dietician community, and certainly the lay community
about the Ketogenic diet. There are, as I count now,
nearly 10 published studies, these are scientific studies. These are not just on
a blog on the internet that are in what we call
peer review journals. In total, these studies involve more than one million subjects
who answered information on their diet and if their
diet fit into a low-carb, high-fat program, LCHF,
they were followed.

And there was an important
finding in the studies and these are what are
called association studies, but a low-carb, high-fat
diet was associated with an increase risk of early mortality. Let's say that again, early
mortality, early death. In following people that
describe their diet, and these were healthy
people at the beginning, increase risk of death. There's one study from the
Harvard School of Public Health that particularly concerns
me as a cardiologist. Over 4,000 people have had a heart attack. They answer food questionnaires. Their diet is described as
a low-carb, high-fat diet, and they follow these people and there's an increased risk of
dying, post heart attack, compared to people that describe
their diet as high-carb, whole-food, plant based diets, the right diet to eat for a heart patient.

Then we get into some data,
finally, from Dr. Valter Longo. If you don't know Dr. Valter L-O-N-G-O of the University of Southern California, one of the world's leading
scientists, biochemist, nutritionist, an incredible guy
who's been pumping out data, he calls any diet that
jacks up animal protein and animal fat, it will
trigger aging pathways. Many of these pathways he
was involved in elucidating a pathway called the IGF-1
pathway, the mTOR pathway. It's not just guess work. There actually is basic
biochemistry, epidemiology, not many randomized clinical studies. There's also data from what
we call Centenarian Studies. Show me in the blue zones
if you know what that is and if you don't, please read about it, where people are following
long term ketogenic diets other than in periods of
famine and starvation.

Overall, do you wanna do a
meat heavy ketogenic diet? Everybody respond with me, N-O, no. It's associated with an increased
risk of early mortality. We presume it's associated with an increased risk of heart disease. There isn't enough data to declare that, except in these post heart attack groups. And it's bad for the environment and it's certainly bad for the animals. Stick with whole food, plant diets. My favorite for 42 years of my life.

Bye, bye..

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