The Ketogenic Diet and Anti-aging

The Ketogenic Diet and Anti-aging | Mr Vitamins
Scientists have just accomplished quite a feat: extending the lifespan of mice by 20 percent simply by manipulating one single gene. A report published in the August 2013 ofCell Reports’, shows scientists have discovered that the "mTOR gene", appears to be a significant regulator in the aging process—at least in mice. This gene is thought to be involved, in some capacity, with insulin signaling.

mTOR gene and longevity

The mTOR gene is known to play a role in cellular metabolism, and researchers believe it's also somehow involved in the effects of calorie restriction which is associated with longevity. It's been known for nearly a century that animals consuming less food live longer, probably as a result of improved insulin regulation, as insulin resistance is a major factor in many chronic illnesses. Researchers are optimistic that targeting this gene may someday be part of an anti-aging strategy. Until scientists know more, your best bet is to use diet and exercise to optimize your mTOR pathway, which is part of your insulin pathway. This research is backed by experiments on worms! By adding just a tiny amount of glucose to worms' diets, their lifespan was shortened by 20 percent. Consuming lots of sugar and grains is the equivalent of slamming your foot on your aging accelerator.

A Radical Ketogenic Diet Experiment

Let's take a look at Dr. Peter Attia, a Stanford University trained physician who decided to use himself as a lab rat—with incredible results. Although Dr. Attia has always been active and fit, he did not have genetics on his side. His natural tendency was toward metabolic syndrome, in spite of being very diligent about his diet and exercise. So he decided to experiment with a ketogenic diet, to see if he could improve his overall health.. For a period of 10 years, he consumed 80 percent of his calories from fat and continuously monitored his metabolic markers, such as blood sugar levels, percentage body fat, blood pressure, lipid levels and others.  He experienced improvement in every measure of health, as well as a loss in visceral fat, the most detrimental kind of body fat.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

Dr. Attia ate according to a ketogenic diet which is one that shifts your body's metabolic engine from burning carbohydrates to burning fats. Many types of cancer cells do NOT have this adaptability and require glucose to thrive, which makes the ketogenic diet an effective therapy for combating cancer. A ketogenic diet requires that 50 to 70 percent of your food intake come from beneficial fats such as coconut oil, grass-pastured butter, organic pastured eggs, avocado, and raw nuts. One of the fastest ways to prevent nutritional ketosis is by consuming sugar or refined carbohydrates. He consumed a moderate amount of protein, and the rest of his foods—80 percent of them—were fats. But his approach, as radical as it was, really proves that a ketogenic diet can have profound health benefits—not to mention blowing the saturated fats theory of heart disease out of the water, once again.

Activate your fat-burning engine to benefit from the Ketogenic Diet

The problem is that most Westerners, whose diets are typically heavy in sugars and carbs, have lost their ability to burn ketones efficiently.  Their fat-burning engine has been switched off. When eating the standard Western diet, the body has lost its ability to burn fat, despite carrying around an enormous supply of it! However all is not lost!  You can easily switch your fat burning engine back on by changing your diet to reduce or eliminate your sugar and grain intake, whilst increasing the good fats we mentioned. Don’t forget to include some carbohydrate – the low GI (Glycaemic Index) kind. Here are some examples:
  • Sweet Potato
  • Quinoa
  • Lots of fresh vegies in salads or steamed or stir-fried in Coconut oil
  • Avocado and olive oil dressings
For more information and clarification come in and ‘ask a Naturopath’ at Mr Vitamins.