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Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

Hey, guys. Dr. Axe here, founder of DrAxe.com
and Doctor of Functional Medicine. Today, I’m going to share with you the benefits of
a ketogenic diet and how ketogenic diets can help weight loss, cancer, and even the treatment
of Alzheimer’s disease. Basically, what a ketogenic diet is, it’s
putting your body in ketosis, which means your body is burning fat for energy rather
than carbohydrates. So again, your body will burn its own body fat or fat that you’re consuming
dietarily for its overall energy production. This is very effective. In fact, there are
medical studies now showing that the ketogenic diet is an effective treatment for cancer,
for Alzheimer’s disease, and effective for very fast weight loss. I’ve worked with thousands
upon thousands of patients over the years in my clinic, and I’ve actually found that
the ketogenic is quite possibly the best diet for very fast fat loss. Now, I don’t believe that the ketogenic diet
should be done for typically periods more than three to six months. After that, I think
that you do want to add some good carbohydrates back in. But if your goal is especially fast
fat loss, the ketogenic diet is the perfect diet. The reason why it works so effectively is
that when your body goes into ketosis and starts burning fat for energy, your body is
burning up its own body fat. Your body also stops feeding on sugar. So let’s go into next
in terms of what it does for those three conditions. Let’s start off with cancer, so the ketogenic
diet for cancer. We know that cancer cells feed off of sugar. So when you restrict your
body, a ketogenic diet is essentially a diet that is made up of around typically 80% fat,
10% carbohydrates, and 10% protein or maybe even let’s say 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10%
carbohydrates. The carbohydrates are very, very minimal. So again, you can see your body
is really burning fat for energy. But the reason why the ketogenic diet is effective
in cancer treatment is that the cancer cells are being starved. They have no sugar to feed
off of and so the cancer cells starve to death. That’s why the ketogenic diet is effective
in cancer treatment. The second thing a ketogenic diet is effective
for is weight loss and the reason being, again, your body starts burning its own body fat
for energy. Think about this. Your body will also then continue to burn fat even while
you’re sleeping at night. So your body is burning fat 24/7. It’s not just burning the
fat you consume. It’s burning your own body fat. That’s why it’s the most effective way
to burn fat fast. And last, but not least, the ketogenic diet
is effective for Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, there is a female medical doctor in Florida
who treated her husband, who had dementia and Alzheimer’s, with what she called the
coconut ketogenic diet and said it cured his symptoms completely. The reason why it would
be effective is we know that part of what happens in dementia and Alzheimer’s is the
degeneration of the nerve system in the brain. So you really need to support the brain nerve
system. Well, a diet that has around 70% healthy fats, we know will help the brain, and we
also know that ketosis and your body being able to burn fat for energy or utilize fatty
acids is critical for the brain and for the natural treatment of dementia. Now, if you want to know what a diet would
look like on a ketogenic diet, again it’s going to be specifically you want to add three
types of healthy fats in your diet — healthy saturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and then
healthy fatty acids from things that are omega-9 fats that are going to be found in olive oil,
avocados, and almonds, so sprouted nuts and seeds. The omega-3 fats, so eating a diet
that’s high in things like salmon, chia seeds, and flax seeds. Then also getting good quality
saturated fats from things like coconut oil and high-fat dairy like butter, so again coconut
oil and grass-fed butter or ghee. Those are some of the most effective healthy fats you
want to be consuming as part of this ketogenic diet. So again, I can tell you in working with thousands
of patients over the years, the ketogenic diet is absolutely effective in the treatment
of weight gain as well as cancer, and also it’s effective for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
So again, if you can follow a ketogenic diet, I recommend it. It is beneficial, but I only
recommend it for about a three to six month period of time. You don’t want to do it longer
than that because your body does need carbohydrates long term to function at its absolute best. Hey, guys, this has been Dr. Axe talking about
the many benefits of a ketogenic diet.

100 thoughts on “Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

  1. Interesting. Will give it a try. I want to lose another 14 kg and I'm done. Just going through a weight loss plateau at the moment using a 80 percent raw diet and 20 percent protein along with fruits.

  2. Cancer cells feed on sugar? Where did you get that? All cells in the body feed on glucose, normal and cancer cells feed on the same thing. Keto diet seems to work and has scientific studies that prove it, but please, don't make up shit like that as people will start to disbelieve.

  3. all you people on here bragging about chemo need to do their homework chemo kills 1 in 5 and is only 2.1%adjunct cure. look it up do some homework!!!!!!

  4. Thanks Doc for this vid – well done! Keep educating society about the benefits of ketosis and keto. 🙂 Lets update our knowledge.

  5. Did first day of this diet specifically for cancer treatment. I felt so dizzy and weak the next morning. Hardly slept. The extreme dizziness is very scary. . For me I guess I should have started gradually lowering carbs instead of going "cold turkey" as they say. I will certainly study more about this diet and be careful about carbs. But with anything …learn as much as you can before jumping in. Especially for hose of us with cancer. Of course we want the magic cure…so be wise. Best to everyone !!

  6. Hi Dr I have a sister who is suffering from stroke, high blood pressure and fibroid, will the ketogenic diet work for her?

  7. Your liver can produce all the carbs (very small amount) that you will ever need- you do not need to consume grains at all ever.

  8. I'd like to see studies about how it helps with depression and anxiety. I was able to go off my antidepressants with keto and I feel better than I did with them 🙂

  9. What kind of diet would you recommend someone who has been on a Ketogenic life style for 6 months already? What is the reason you don't recommend Ketogenic eating for more than 6 months? Thanks

  10. Hey guys, I hate to self promote, but I’m offering free dietary phone consultations because of my experience with the ketogenic diet. I’ve researched for hundreds of hours watching lectures by David Diamond & Jason Fung, listening to "The Ketogenic Athlete" and Vinnie Tortorich’s "Fitness Confidential” podcasts, read several relevant books on the subject, and I’ve taken it upon myself to live on a well balanced ketogenic diet. It has changed my life, and I want you to experience the same feeling. I don’t count calories, and can eat as much as I want while retaining my weight. I know the science very well as to why ketogenic diets work, and how to properly implement them into your lifestyle. The reason I’m offering this for free is because I want to build up a positive reputation and have success stories that I can point to for credibility. If your goal is to lose fat and/or get fit, this will be a win–win for both of us.
    Thanks for reading,

  11. I'm 54, postmenopausal, of course, and I've lost 170lbs. I've been obese since puberty. I had PCOS. I got to goal and, unfortunately, I didn't stay eating well. I have a sugar addiction and once I let myself have some, I binged for almost 2 months and gained 10lbs and appears to be all in my stomach. will this diet target the fattest area? I'm super thin through the hips and legs, but have fat deposited on my stomach pad.

  12. Can this work as a pescatarian? I have diverticulosis and have to eat low fiber so wanna try it but can it work without other meat except fish?

  13. if you should only stay on this ' diet' ( in my opinion not a diet but a lifestyle), then why are newborn babies already in ketosis?

  14. Agree with benefits of keto diets but… LOL @ your emphasis of being a "female medical doctor" at 3:00 as if it is an anomaly for a woman to be a doctor or somehow strengthens your argument.

  15. After the 3-6 month period on the Keto diet would I just up the carbs? Instead of 5% carbs what would I increase it to?

  16. I have been keto for 2 almost 3 weeks and have lost weight but my blood pressure has gone up to where it is 160/90 do you have any suggestions

  17. The combination of lipids and carbohydrates is very fat. When eating a lot of carbohydrates, it is better to reduce the lipid.
    I succeeded in a 20 kg diet with a ketogenic diet.

  18. What about cholesterol? Because this diet is high in fat, does that cause heart problems? I'm on keto and try to stick to avocado and salads with chicken and fish but I don't want clogged arteries. Can someone answer what fats to eat?

  19. The Atkins Diet and the Ketogenic diet , recommends a high intake of meat and dairy products combined with carbohydrate restriction, has enabled many persons to lose weight. But There is evidence that a high intake of red meat may cause an increase in both cancer and heart attacks.
    "Leukemia" has been observed to increase in direct proportion to the amount of animal protein in the diet. Dr. W. A. Priester of the National Cancer Institute has noted that squamous cell cancer of the eyes in cattle experiences accelerated growth when the cattle's food was supplemented with animal protein.
    High iron intake from meat is strongly immunosuppressive. This means that persons eating large amounts of meat will have trouble killing cancer cells, and may be expected to have a higher death rate from cancer. The blacks of Africa have very little iron in their diets, which may explain their freedom from cancer. Bacteria and cancer cells have a great need for iron. Patients with prolonged infections frequently develop iron deficiency anemia as their iron reserves are consumed. The white cell immunocytes, which fight both cancer cells and bacteria, learn to detect both bacteria and cancer cells by the presence of iron in these tumor cells and bacteria. Immunocytes are attracted to iron stores in the body and become attached to these iron deposits. Therefore, persons with excessive stores of iron will have a lack of working immunocytes to kill tumor cells and bacteria.

    Dr. William B. Coley, a New York surgeon, did an extensive review of hospital records of cancer patients in the 1890s to see if he could identify any factor that might lead to recovery from cancer. He discovered that an illness with fever often was followed by remission of cancer. This led him to develop a killed vaccine (Coley's toxins) from the streptococcal bacteria that causes erysipelas. These bacterial toxins were quite successful in treating cancer. By 1980 there were 449 well-documented cases of recovery[2] from cancer resulting from bacterial infections that produced fever. One reason these patients recovered was felt to be the development of iron deficiency during the infection. This freed up immunocytes to kill cancer cells.

    In 1984 E. D. Weinsberg of Indiana University issued a long report showing that the withholding of iron[3] from the diet was a good way to avoid cancer. He also felt that it was vital to place cancer patients on a low iron diet (meat free). Dr. R. G. Stevens of the U.S. National Cancer Institute found that males with high body stores of iron had more cancer than males with normal body iron reserves. Natives eating vegetarian foods in Africa are consuming only 20% of the quantity of iron found in our high meat diet.

    More than 50,000,000 U.S. women are nearly completely free from heart attacks during their menstruating years. Dr. Jerome L. Sullivan, of the Pathology Department of the South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, thinks that the menstrual bleeding prevents the accumulation of toxic stores of iron in the heart[4].

    Metals including iron, lead, cadmium, and mercury are known to accumulate below the lining membrane (endothelium) of arteries. This accumulation causes an inflammatory reaction that interferes with the normal flow of oxygen into tissues and the removal of waste products from tissues. This is associated with "patching" of artery walls where the collagen structure is lacking due to a deficiency of vitamin C (Dr. Linus Pauling). In this vitamin C depleted state, the weak portions of arteries where the arterial stream strikes an artery becomes coated with lipoprotein (a) in an attempt by the body to strengthen the damaged artery. Lipoprotein (a) is a very sticky substance that promotes clotting of blood with platelet deposition. This often occurs in areas of an artery where an arterial blood stream entering the artery forcefully strikes the artery wall. The resulting buildup of clot, fibrin, and calcium produces plaques that narrow the arterial stream and slow blood flow. When a sudden clot occurs, patients may experience a heart attack depending on the extent of their extra blood vessels (collateral circulation).

    Chelation therapy using EDTA and other beneficial substances such as contained in Essential Daily Defense (malic acid, garlic, carrageenan, betaine, papain, B6, MSM, red yeast, hawthorn berry, silica, beta sitosterol, niacin) slowly and steadily removes these toxic metal deposits at the same time creates a less viscous more freely flowing blood (carrageenan red algae has anti-clotting effects) which prevents new heart attacks and strokes. Over years, arteries can again become wide open.

    Post-menopausal women and men can probably reduce their risk of heart disease and cancer by donating blood every three months or by curtailing red meat intake. Monitoring blood iron stores will show if the 3-month blood donating frequency is adequate to lower iron storage levels. Curtailing meat intake will lead to a greater quantity of carbohydrate in the diet. Be sure these carbohydrates are not high glycemic (potatoes, white rice, white bread, pasta, sweets, and bananas), because foods that quickly elevate blood sugar values (highly glycemic) cause the release of large amounts of insulin. This increased output of insulin accelerates aging by causing arteriosclerosis, leading to a shortened life span.

    The conventional medical view is that lack of the female hormones after menopause is the cause for women starting to have heart attacks at the same rate as men. The iron explanation appears to make more sense, particularly when there is no convincing evidence that restoration of female hormones has decreased heart disease. Certainly the use of pharmaceutical estrogen (Premarin) and progesterone (Provera) has been proven to be dangerous by increasing the incidence of malignancies.

    Make sure your vitamin preparation contains no iron and that you are not getting iron from white bread, baked goods, and cereals, which are often fortified with iron. Whole grain bread and Shredded Wheat contain no iron.

    Persons with the hereditary hemolytic anemia (thalassemia major) often have massive iron deposition due to needed blood transfusions. This iron depositing in heart muscle can be fatal at a younger age.

    European physicians caring for native patients in Africa are prone to correct "iron deficiency anemia" with prescriptions for iron. This supplemental iron often leads to bacterial infections and malaria because of the immunosuppressive effects on killer white cells.

    Biochemist Wayne Martin points out that low-grade vegetable protein[5] such as that eaten in Africa and India may be just as important in preventing cancer as the low iron content seen in these diets. Mark F. McCarty of Pantox Laboratories explains that low-grade vegetable proteins from vegetable diets are lacking in the essential amino acids and high in the non-essential amino acids. This has always been considered to be undesirable in conventional medical thinking. However, the non-essential amino acids found in vegetable proteins cause more glucagon[6] to be produced. This glucagon has anticancer activity.

    Glucagon is a hormone produced in the pancreas, which causes the liver to convert glycogen into sugar and to convert the amino acids absorbed from high protein meals into sugar. This capability of glucagon to raise blood sugar values has led many physicians to encourage patients taking insulin to keep injectable glucagon in their refrigerator for emergency use in case of a low blood sugar from a severe insulin reaction.

    Glucagon has a favorable influence in cancer patients because it induces the production of cyclic AMP. This increase in cyclic AMP causes cancer cells to regain contact inhibition[7] which makes them less invasive and more benign. The increasing levels of cyclic AMP tend to inhibit IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor) a substance that has caused concern because it may speed up the growth and spread of tumor cells. Glucagon also appears to promote normal death of cancer cells (apoptosis) which tend to be long lived.

    Three forms of cancer (breast, prostate, and colon) appear to be prevented by use of a vegan's protein diet. Chinese women in the city of Singapore were studied for breast cancer. The women eating a western diet had a three fold greater risk for developing breast cancer when compared to women eating the vegan's typical diet of northern China (soya, millet).

    Discontinuing or decreasing the intake of meat – particularly beef – appears to be a sensible health measure as it could improve immune function leading to more effective resolution of infections and killing of cancer cells. Current concepts about cancer believe that all persons are identifying and killing multitudes of cancer cells as long as their immune system is healthy. Removing the detrimental immunosuppression caused by excessive iron deposition in the body seems likely to improve the performance of our immune systems. Persons not wishing to give up eating meat can probably stay out of trouble by donating blood regularly, which should remove the excess dietary iron. Decreasing the intake of meat – particularly beef – may decrease the risk of both heart attack and cancer.


  20. Dr. As always great video! I'm on the keto diet, I'm doing very well, no headaches, I'm feeling energized and I'm losing weight. The only problem I have with the diet is that pain in the right shoulder because of some nerve connected to the gallbladder or something like that. What do you recommend to eliminate that pain? Can I take some natural supplements for the gallbladder health? I really don't want to stop the diet, I'm in my 3th week. Thanks and regards from Panama City, Panama (Central America).

  21. Brilliantly informative video! The Ketogenic diet is an incredible cure for so many of today's ills (obesity, cancer, automimmune disease, adhd, inflammatian, ms) which are partly caused by the way people eat! Out with sugar and in with the fat! 🙂

  22. Your body does not need any carbohydrates long term. All you need you get from non-starchy vegetables which are staple on ketogenic diet as long with tons of healthy fats and some protein. Did you ever hear of a term essential carbohydrate? I haven't, because it DOES NOT EXIST. All our bodies need are essential fatty acids and essential amino acids. All the glucose we need our body makes with gluconeogenesis from fats.

  23. When you state to not do it long term and to add carbs after 6 months or so, what carbs are you referring to? Vegetables, or like whole wheat bread and brown rice? Thanks in advance

  24. Where did this clown become a Dr McDonald's university? The body DOES NOT NEED carbs to thrive. Ketones are cleaner and more efficient energy than glucose. This guy is reckless with his misinformation.

  25. Please list some large scale scientific researches that show the results that you are claiming. For the use of the Ketogenic Diet on Cancer, please list the clinical trial that has proven that.

  26. is Keto Good for low T…
    Carbs like Oatmeal and Sweet Potatoes are good for T production. Keto says dont eat these

  27. hey Dr Berg I've been following your channel a little passed a year now and I think ur amazing. I weigh 301 pounds, been diagnosed with fatty liver disease and I've been having high blood pressure sice I was 16 years old (I'm 23 now) and I'm really interested in this diet. Do you by any chance sell a book on this diet and how to properly start it. I would prefer if it's a book in ur name or maybe one that you can recommend that would best explain how to do this diet.

  28. Dr. Axe can you please elaborate on why you would recommend a Keto diet for only 6 months? You stated " carbs are needed," but carbs are not essential. Amino acids and fatty acids are. Thanks.

  29. Hi dr Josh axe. I noticed you didn't mention diabetes… Are there significant benefits for type 1 diabetics? I know there are great benefits for type 2. I'm just trying to get my dad on this diet to see if it will help him avoid the extreme high and low blood sugar levels? Thanks

  30. Thank you for posting this. I have been battling epilepsy since a car accident about 10 years ago. I am eating ketogenically as and adjunct to seizure medication and feel much better! It is a challenge, because I am also trying to eat vegan for spiritual and personal reasons.. I am just now being treated for partial complex seizure disorder and and seeing positive differences in my life. I am actually making YouTube videos on the subject of my battles with TBI, epilepsy and myeloma. I discuss how much of a benefit the ketogenic diet has been in improving my quality of life! This is well needed! Thanks for posting this…epilepsy sucks!

  31. Dear Dr.Josh Axe

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    We saw your video on youtube and found it helpful for our audiences in Twiwan

    We would like to ask for your permission to use your video and share it to more audiences.

    We would need some Chinese translation and we’ll publish it on Facebook, with credits and sources in the post, allowing more audiences to see your videos.

    It would mainly be on our main healthy-related fan page (facebook.com/health.tw/) and other fan pages that my company owns.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

  32. When eating a low carb or ketogenic diet, you have to make sure you're getting enough potassium.

    A high potassium low carb diet is a smart way to control your weight and stay healthy. Eating foods that are low in carbohydrates and sugars while high in potassium can be difficult to maintain.

    Leafy green vegetables are a good example of foods that are high in potassium, low in sugars and low in net carbs.

  33. I love the automated versions of things for simplicity & better accuracy – see these two great apps which work together (Lose It! and KetoCalc) that make planning ketogenic meals ridiculously fast and easy. Simplest 4-step process clearly described: http://www.flexibleketogenic.com/2017/10/how-to-use-ketocalc-app-simplest-4-step.html

  34. I just started trying Keto Dieting. I am currently on my 3rd day. With all the benefits that you have mentioned… Why is Keto Diet only good for 3-6 months? Why not have all those benefits forever? Thank you for your reply. I appreciate and value your response!

  35. I really admire you a lot Dr Axe, but please start with the benefits of keto-diet first of all on the type 2 diabites and last but not lesst mention also epilepsy, hypertension and hypothyroidisme!

  36. I was on this diet possibly 8-9 years and never took a break. You have to this diet carefully or you can mess up your body and health. I want to try the diet again because the side effects of the medicine I'm on is starting to get in the way of my life.

  37. I just saw the following article posted on Facebook and now I am so conflicted. I wanted your opinion: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/04/health/keto-worst-diet-2018/index.html

  38. Why would you go back to eating the things that made you sick in the first place?  That makes no sense at all, do no take that piece of advice.

  39. Glad you are addressing us to for cancer. Have you heard of the Budwig Diet? Keto would be perfect coupled with the Budwig protocol.

  40. I've been full blown KETO for a little over 3 months. had blood work done and had some surprises. Maybe the tools were out of calibration who knows. My sugar lever was 174 (non-fasted) and my good cholesterol was low (37). I did the KETO strip the next morning and was in ketosis (moderate) so what's the deal with the high sugar? I haven't had more than 20 carbs a day since I started and absolutely no sugar. The only sweetener I have is about a tsp of stevia in the morning with my bullet proof coffee.  This test was a finger prick for a work place health check up, going to my regular MD in a couple weeks to have blood drawn and sent to a lab for test, will wait until I get that done before I start worrying.

  41. Long term use of keto is fine. – latest research on this here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716748/

  42. Is it good to work out while starting to do a Keto diet? or should I wait until im a little more adapted to the diet plan before adding in work outs?

  43. I would like to see the results from the labs and studies done on this. He doesn’t cite any proper proof with his examples. I also find it odd to promote the use of A) heavy saturated fats, which clog arteries B) excess meat when it has been proven to be carcinogenic (causes cancer). It does make sense to cut back on processed foods/carbs, but otherwise this seems like it would do more harm than good.

  44. Keto is what our ancestors ate exclusively , they had no choice . Not just a few months , but all their lives ! They hunted and ate what they killed , ate edible plants when they found them . Keto is not a diet , it’s a lifestyle , the true human diet !

  45. What am I doing wrong when I am eating Keto diet. Doesn’t work for me. Why, I must be doing something wrong. Help! I’m vegan btw

  46. Hello Dr Axe, I am such a huge fan of yours! You content has blessed me and my husband far greater then you could ever know! I would love if you and your wife could check out my New Keto Bread Mix! I would be honoured to send some your way to try out! https://youtu.be/eHbqPUZZZro

  47. I so want to share this video but I can't because then you said only do keto for about 6 months and my feeling on that is a little different. But the beginning part has great information. thanks

  48. I've been on keto following the proper macros meticulously, and after 6 months I am still having a lot of trouble with diarrhea. After a lot of researching online and a process of elimination, I am quite certain I am one of those rare people whose digestive system just can't handle such a high volume of fat. I plan to cut back my % daily until I find what works for me because I can't give up on keto. I've never had such promising results – 35 lbs in 4 months. I am willing to fight through this to the bitter end because this works. But in cutting back on fats, I have two concerns — how far back can I cut and still lose weight? 2. By cutting out my fats I am finding it difficult to get enough carbs having to stay under 50 per day, or eating enough protein to get to 1300-1400 calories per day. I depended on my fats for that. Any suggestions? I did find I can switch out 2 egg whites for 1 egg in baking. That will help, but not solve everything. I am faithfully doing IF with occasional OMAD.

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