Ketogenic Diet

Effects on Obesity and Cholesterol

  • In 2004 Experimental & Clinical Cardiology published a study in which 83 obese individuals went on a ketogenic diet for 24 weeks. The results showed decreases in LDL, triglycerides and total cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol with a significant decrease in body mass. [Source]

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

  • In 2005 Nutrition and Metabolism published a 6-month pilot study in which 11 obese women with PCOS were instructed to limit their carbohydrate intake to 20 grams per day for 24 weeks. The 5 women that completed the study saw significant reductions in body weight, LH/FSH ratio (Luteinizing hormone to Follicle-stimulating hormone; a measurement that is elevated in women with PCOS) and free testosterone. Two of the women became pregnant despite past fertility troubles. [Source]

Dravet Syndrome and Epilepsy

  • In 2005 Epilepsia published a study to test the effect of a ketogenic diet on children with dravet syndrome. After one year 13 of the original 20 children were on the diet. Of these 13, two were seizure free, 8 had a 75-99 percent reduction in seizures and the remaining 3 children had a 50-74 percent decrease in seizures. The authors recommend that children with DS should be offered treatment with a ketogenic diet after 3 trials of anti-epilepsy drugs have failed. [Source]
  • In 1998 Archives of Neurology published a study in which 41 children with more than 10 seizures per week were placed on a ketogenic diet. At 6 months 55 percent of the children had at least a 50 percent decrease in seizures and at 1 year 10 percent (5 patients) were free of seizures. [Source]

Type 2 Diabetes

  • In 2005 Nutrition and Metabolism published a 16-week study in which 21 patients adhered to a low-carb ketogenic diet with a goal of consuming less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Ten patients were able to discontinue their diabetes medication and 7 were able reduce medication. Average body weight decreased by 6.6 percent. The authors note that, due to its efficiency at lowering blood glucose, diabetic patients should only attempt a ketogenic diet under medical supervision. [Source]
  • In 2012 Nutrition published a 24-week study which included 360 obese participants, 102 of whom had diabetes. The researchers advised participants to choose a conventional low-carbohydrate diet or a ketogenic diet. The results showed that while both diets were effective in reducing risk factors for diabetes (cholesterol, blood glucose, body mass) the ketogenic diet showed greater benefits. [Source]
  • In 2014 the Public Library of Science published a pilot study comparing the effect of a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat, non-calorie-restricted diet with a moderate carbohydrate, low-fat, calorie-restricted diet on individuals with diabetes or prediabetes. Forty-four percent of the low-carbohydrate (LC) group discontinued one or more medications compared to 11 percent in the medium carbohydrate (MC) group. The LC group lost over 12 lbs compared to just under 6 lbs for the MC group. [Source]

Ketogenic Diet Vs Low-Fat Diet

  • In 2004 Annals of Internal Medicine published a 24-week study comparing a low-fat diet with a ketogenic diet in 120 overweight individuals. The individuals on the ketogenic diet lost significantly more weight and showed greater decreases in triglyceride levels and greater increases in HDL (good) cholesterol. [Source]
  • In 2013 The British Journal of Nutrition published a meta-analysis of 13 studies which found that ketogenic diets produced greater long-term weight loss than low-fat diets, while also reducing blood pressure, insulin levels and C-reactive proteins – a measure of inflammation in the body. [Source]
  • In 2007 Obesity published a study designed to observe the effect of a low-fat diet compared with a ketogenic diet on mood and hunger in 119 overweight participants. The result was an improvement in mood and hunger in both groups over the course of the trial, though the ketogenic diet group reported fewer negative effects and less hunger than the low-fat group. [Source]

Ketogenic Diet Vs Low-Glycemic-Index Diet

  • In 2008 Nutrition and Metabolism published a 24-week study in which 84 volunteers with type 2 diabetes were randomized to a low-calorie ketogenic diet or a low-calorie glycemic index diet. Fort-nine participants completed the study. Diabetes medication was reduced or eliminated in 95 percent of the ketogenic group and 62 percent of the low glycemic index group. The ketogenic group saw greater improvements in body weight, blood sugar and HDL cholesterol. [Source]

Weight Loss

  • In 2012 the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a study which found that a very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet produced a significant decrease in body weight and fat mass without a significant loss of muscle mass in elite gymnasts. [Source]

Metabolic Risk Factors -LC PAGE

  • In 2012 the American Journal of Epidemiology published a meta-analysis of 23 trials comparing the effect of low-fat diets to low-carbohydrate diets on various risk factors. Both diets lowered weight and improved metabolic risk factors. The data showed that low-carb diets produced greater increases in HDL (good) cholesterol and greater reductions in triglycerides while low-fat diets produced greater slightly greater reductions in total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol. [Source]

Long-term Effects on Cholesterol

  • In 2006 Molecular and Cellular Biology published a study in which 66 obese but otherwise healthy adults with either elevated cholesterol or normal cholesterol adhered to a ketogenic diet for a period of 56 weeks. Both groups (elevated and normal cholesterol) saw significant reductions in body weight, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and significant increases in HDL cholesterol. The researchers concluded that low-carbohydrate diets are safe for long-term use. [Source]


  • In 2003 the Journal of Child Neurology published a pilot study which observed the effects of a ketogenic diet on 30 children with autism. Of the 18 children who completed the study, 2 saw significant improvement, 8 saw average improvement and 8 saw minor improvement. The researchers concluded that based on this preliminary data there is some evidence that a ketogenic diet may have potential as an additional or alternative therapy for autistic children. [Source]

Quality of Life in Cancer Patients

  • In 2011 Nutrition and Metabolism published a study which found that a ketogenic diet had positive results on quality of life of patients with advanced stage cancer. [Source]

Keto Vs High-Protein Medium-Carb Diet

  • In 2008 The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a 4-week study which found that, in 17 obese men assigned to either a high-protein, low-carb diet or a high-protein, medium-carb diet, hunger was significantly lower and weight loss was significantly greater in the low-carb group. [Source]

Body Fat Reductions in Women

  • In 2010 Nutrition and Metabolism published a study in which 18 overweight women were assigned to either a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet or a regular diet – both diets combined with resistance training twice a week for 10 weeks. The ketogenic group saw a 12 pound weight reduction with all of the weight lost being fat mass and no significant change in lean body mass. The regular diet group saw no significant change in fat mass. [Source]

Low Calorie Keto Diet Vs Standard Low-Calorie Diet

  • In 2014 Endocine published a study comparing a very low-calorie ketogenic diet (VLCK) to a standard low-calorie diet in a group of obese individuals. At two months the VLCK group lost an average of 30 pounds compared 10.6 pounds in the standard group. After one year the VLCK group lost an average of nearly 44 pounds with almost no loss of muscle mass and the standard group lost 15.4 pounds. [Source]
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