There is news of a health breakthrough that may help diabetics who have impaired kidney function. It comes in the form of healing foods. Researchers have for the first time found that a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet may reverse that impaired kidney function. Those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes might be interested in learning more about the “ketogenic” diet.
Researchers evaluated mice that were genetically predisposed to have type 1 or 2 diabetes. The mice were allowed to develop “diabetic nephropathy”, a.k.a. kidney failure. Half the mice were put on the ketogenic diet, while the control group maintained a standard high-carbohydrate diet. After eight weeks, kidney failure was reversed in the mice on the ketogenic diet.
This is the first health news to show that using diet alone can be enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes. And it may be very positive for adults diagnosed with diabetic kidney failure.
What is a ketogenic diet? It is a low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high-fat diet typically used to control epileptic seizures. “Ketones” are molecules produced when blood glucose levels are low and blood fat levels are high. When cells use ketones instead of glucose for energy, it means blood glucose is not used. The researchers believed that a ketogenic diet could block the toxic effects of glucose.
It is a relatively extreme diet and should not be used over the long term. But exposure to the diet for as little as a month may be sufficient to reset the entire process that led to kidney failure. In the study, they also found an array of genes that are expressed during kidney failure as a result of stress. The expression of these genes was reversed in the mice on the ketogenic diet.
The researchers believe that this special diet could help treat other neurological diseases and retinopathy — a disease that results in vision loss. It is a promising natural remedy that may make the news more and more in the coming years. For now, speak to your doctor about possibilities with this diet.