Show me the Science – Podcast #69

A concise list of science we like to cite

On episode #69 of the 2 Keto Dudes podcast, we cited a few key studies and some other science supporting the ketogenic diet that we like. This is not a definitive list, but it is enough for one to digest in a couple hours. It’s also good to bring to your doctor, or show to anyone who’s support you are looking for.  You can get to this blog post from the url

Sugar and Carbs

Just because it’s NOT sweet doesn’t mean it’s low-carb.  Here’s a good example of a science experiment being done on public TV and dressed up like an interview.

Hope Warshaw served on American Association of Diabetic Educators (AADE) Board of Directors, 2011-2013, served as president during 2016.  These are the people who teach all American diabetics how to minimize their diabetic complications. 

Hope Warshaw

  1. “The research says that low carb diets don’t work, people can’t stay on them long term and they simply aren’t a healthy way of eating”
  2. “Diabetics deserve to eat healthy and enjoy food”
  3. “The carb issue today is not a quantity issue, it’s a quality issue”

Dr Richard Bernstein

“Hold my beer” …. as he proceeded to do an experiment right in her face to show amylase in saliva turning the starch in bread into sugar.

Measuring carbs in terms of teaspoons of sugar

This is a technique used by “That Sugar Film” to teach kids how much glucose is in food.

4g carbs = 1 tsp of sugar
Vermont Whole Wheat Soft Bread 14g = 3.5 tsp per slice
Baked potato with no butter or sour cream or anything 36g = 9 tsp sugar
1 oz of fat free potato chips  23g = almost 6 tsp of sugar
1 cup (28g) of corn flakes  24g = 6 tsp of sugar
1 cup 2% low-fat milk  12g = 3 tsp sugar
½ cup muesli 32g = 8 tsp of sugar
1 cup Organic Valley Fat Free Skim Milk 12g = 3 tsp of sugar
1 orange (131g) 12g = 3 tsp sugar
1 cup orange juice 26g = 6.5 tsp sugar
1 cup of all purpose flour 95g = 23 tsp of sugar!

Randomized Controlled Trials Comparing Low-Carbohydrate Diets Of Less Than 130g Carbohydrate Per Day To Low-Fat Diets Of Less Than 35% Fat Of Total Calories

57 Randomized controlled trials

48 Showed that Low Carbohydrate diets were better, 29 were significant

7 Showed that Low Fat diets were better, 0 were significant

Ketogenic diets: Evidence for short- and long-term efficacy

Study of both animal and human subjects following a ketogenic diet for more than six years with nothing but good results.

The [ketogenic] diet appears to maintain its efficacy in humans when provided continuously for several years. Interestingly, benefits may be seen long term even when the diet is discontinued after only a few months of use, suggesting neuroprotective effects.

This study showed the biomarkers that can predict the progression of Diabetic Kidney disease – are the same ones that a ketogenic diet fixes

This observational retrospective study investigated whether diabetic dyslipidemia—that is, high triglyceride and/or low HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels—contributes to this high residual risk for diabetic kidney disease.

This study showed that Saturated Fat in the diet does not correlate with coronary risk

76 observational and randomized controlled studies with more than 650,000 participants that found those with a high saturated fat intake did NOT have an increased risk of heart disease.

This study showed that ketogenic diets are treatments for diseases beyond obesity

Recent work over the last decade or so has provided evidence of the therapeutic potential of ketogenic diets in many pathological conditions, such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, acne, neurological diseases, cancer and the amelioration of respiratory and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

The 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee Report states the following:

“Previously, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that cholesterol intake be limited to no more than 300 mg/day. The 2015 DGAC will not bring forward this recommendation because available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol, consistent with the conclusions of the AHA/ACC report. Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

If the USDA doesn’t consider dietary cholesterol to be a problem, why is everyone still so afraid of eating it?

This study showed that LDL, so called “Bad” cholesterol, is a lousy marker for heart disease

138K people admitted to US hospitals with a heart attack. Cholesterol was measured. Average was 105!! Non-correlation = non-causation = high LDL is NOT a marker for heart disease.

This massive/very expensive study showed that changing dietary Saturated fat to Poly-unsaturated increases the risk of Death – so it was hidden for 40 years.

This study was conducted by one of the key proponents of the diet heart hypothesis that has informed our dietary guidelines since the 70s, Ancel Keys.  This study showed that the advice to replace dietary Saturated fats with Polyunsaturated fats did indeed lower serum cholesterol, but that did not decrease the risks of Cardiovascular disease or all cause Mortality.  In fact this re-evaluation has been able to show that for every 30 mg/dL reduction in serum cholesterol there was a 22% higher risk of death.

The study results were only published 18 years later in 1989 in minor journals without statistics and effectively buried until this 2016 re-evaluation uncovered them.  For that entire time since Ancel Keys joined the Nutrition committee of the AHA in 1961, their official advice has been to replace Saturated fat with Polyunsaturated fat to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of Heart disease.  This study and the Sydney Diet Heart study ( Use of dietary linoleic acid for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and death: evaluation of recovered data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and updated meta-analysis.-Ramsden(2013)) showed in 1973 that advice to be not only incorrect, but deadly.

Richard’s favourite study

We might have a lot of body fat in our “bank account” but we have a daily transaction limit.

This study used Ancel Keyes Minnesota Starvation experiment data and basic calculus to derive the value of (290±25) kJ/kg day  or  (31.5053±2.72) kCal/lb day as the maximum rate that energy can be drawn from body fat.

Richard’s other two favourite studies

This study was able to give diabetic dogs atherosclerosis in just one leg.

This shows if you give insulin directly to the arteries in just one leg of a dog, you give just that one leg cardiovascular disease.

This shows that one of the reasons why type 2 diabetics have a higher incidence of Cardiovascular disease is due to the chronic high insulin they subject their blood vessels to over decades as their disease progresses.

Insulin is sufficient for heart disease

This study protected rabbits from heart disease by making them diabetic

We’ve known, since the work of Russian scientist Nikolay Anichkov in 1913, that rabbits fed cholesterol rapidly become atherosclerotic and develop cardiovascular disease in a linear relationship – the more cholesterol they ate the faster they became atherosclerotic (unlike humans).

In 1949 it was discovered (Duff & McMillan “The effect of alloxan diabetes on experimental cholesterol atherosclerosis in the rabbit” ) that Rabbits exposed to the chemical alloxan became rapidly diabetic, but they appeared to be protected against the progression of atherosclerosis when fed cholesterol.

This study (Cook – 1953) showed that it was only the absence of insulin in the diabetic animals that protected them against atherosclerosis in an otherwise highly atherosclerotic milieu.  In other words insulin is necessary for blood vessels to become atherosclerotic.

We hope these findings will get one thinking and re-thinking the conventional wisdom around diet, insulin, heart disease, fat consumption, and cholesterol.

Carl Franklin and Richard Morris


Notable Replies

  1. She’s crazy, nuts are healthy too but some people have adverse reactions, sometimes severe. Is it harder to eat a diet without nuts? Yes, do you recommend eating nuts anyway and just epi-pen yourself daily? No, that would be insane.
    But they deserve to eat healthy nuts too!

  2. exactly … but if you made epi-pens you might have a different view.

  3. Re the bank account / fat storage access issue… won’t this vary depending on various factors such as the individual’s metabolism / activity level / sheer amount of fat / insulin resistance / etc? I ask because I lost 1/2# of fat per day (1# total weight loss per day) nonstop for the first several weeks of keto, which this equation suggests is not possible… or am I just misunderstanding it?

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