Thomas DeLauer Talks Ketosis & Diabetes
This is Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo, and this is purely an educational video to help you understand the relationship between ketosis and diabetes. Now I’m going to reference a couple of studies, they’re going to make a lot of sense and help you understand this relationship. Let’s get down to the science. In this video, I want to start off by breaking down what insulin does in the body, then I want to talk about the various forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, and finally I’m going to give you a breakdown of how the ketogenic diet and insulin plays a role when it comes down to diabetes, because it’s really important that we have an understanding there.
What are Beta Cells?
So, let’s dive in and talk about insulin really quick. Within our pancreas we have these cells that are known as beta cells. What beta cells do is produce insulin as a response to any kind of carbohydrate that our body sees. Basically, when we have glucose that is derived from food that we eat, our beta cells produce these insulin molecules. These insulin molecules flow around through the body, they allow the cell to absorb that glucose. They allow liver cells, muscle cells, and fat cells to absorb the glucose, to ultimately be used for fuel. Then we take the next step, to look at diabetes, we can understand how diabetes and insulin work together. The first one I want to talk about is type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is not traditional, type 1 is a little bit more rare and it is an autoimmune condition.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
You see, what happens with this autoimmune condition is that your body is actually fighting off beta cells. Those beta cells that produce insulin, your body’s own immune system is fighting them off, and it’s making it so that they’re not able to produce insulin. That’s why a type 1 diabetic needs to take exogenous insulin, to make sure that their blood sugar doesn’t go through the roof from foods that they eat. Here’s the other thing, without insulin, the body can start to essentially starve because it’s not able to see that glucose. The insulin is never allowing the glucose into the cells and the body starts to break down proteins and fats. That’s why often times, type 1 diabetics are a lot thinner than a type 2 diabetic. It’s not the conventional way that we would look at diabetes as just being an issue with overweight people.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Then we move in to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the more common one, and this is sort of the opposite, in a sense. It happens on the other end of the spectrum. Our bodies cells, our liver, our fat, our muscle cells, no longer can receive insulin very well or they get very desensitized to it. They get so much insulin at one point in time, that they don’t respond to it nearly as well. This means that blood glucose stays elevated and the pancreas tries it’s best to produce more insulin. Those beta cells try really hard because they see blood sugar rising, but they can only do so much so they try and eventually become exhausted, sometimes even fully shutting down which gets to the point where you cannot produce enough insulin to handle the glucose. So, you either have to take medications to lower your glucose or you have to take exogenous insulin if it gets too bad.
Type 2 and the Ketogenic Diet
Let’s go in to the ketogenic diet, and how this works because this is pretty interesting. Now initially, on the surface, we can look at the ketogenic diet, the reduction of carbohydrates, and how it would reduce our need for insulin, because we don’t need as much insulin, because we don’t have as many carbs. I wanted to look at a couple of studies, and I found one that was extremely interesting, and this one breaks down the exact effect of the ketogenic diet on type 2 diabetes. This study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research publications, and it took a look at 262 people that had type 2 diabetes. What they found was that when they put them on a ketogenic diet, under 30 grams of carbohydrates per day, and increased fat intake, they started to have some pretty remarkable results.
The main things that they were looking at, were A1c levels. See A1c is basically an aggregate of your blood glucose over a period of time. So if you have a lower level of A1c, it means that your blood glucose has been getting lower and lower, that’s a very good thing. What they found is at the end of a 10-week period of time, on a ketogenic diet, those that had type 2 diabetes ended up reducing their A1c levels on average by 1%. Now I’m not talking about 1% as a total, I’m talking about 1% on their lab tests. To put this into perspective, I’ll tell you another part of the study. They found that the number of people at the end of the study that ended up having healthy levels of A1c, under 6.5%, had increased by 56%, we should be under 6.5 percent for our A1c, and that’s a healthy range. Well, after this study, being in ketosis for 10 weeks, there was an increase in 56% of the participants that were able to get their numbers below that six and a half percent. Pretty darn amazing. Now, the other thing, 90% of the participants were taking some form of diabetes medication during the study. What they found is at the end of the 10-week period, over 50%, again, were able to reduce at least one of their diabetes medications, just by going onto a ketogenic diet. The reason being because it released the tax on the insulin and released the tax on the pancreas, making it a lot easier to handle, and making the beta cells have a chance to actually recover.
Type 1 and the Ketogenic Diet
Then we have to look at type 1 diabetes. Now I’m going to tread lightly here because type 1 diabetes is still a little bit of a mystery when it comes down to the ketogenic diet. But we do know that it is an autoimmune condition, and the ketosis diet has a lot of an effect on autoimmune conditions and inflammation in the first place. What we have to look at is the fact that when you go on a ketogenic diet and you’re type 1, you still have a need for insulin, because insulin is going to help prevent ketones from getting too high. We still have a little bit of insulin that plays a rule when we’re talking about ketosis. We don’t want our ketones to get too high, because that leads to ketoacidosis, and that’s where insulin comes in. And a type 1 diabetic needs to be concerned with that. The study that’s most popular right now takes a look at one individual that was medically supervised, that wanted to slowly reduce the amount of insulin that he had to take. Under medical supervision he went in to nutritional ketosis, started to reduce his insulin that he was taking, and over a period of six and a half months, was able to reduce it dramatically and eventually come off.
The theory is that, because of this relationship with ketosis and inflammation, simultaneously as you are able to start reducing the amount of insulin that was needed, you are also increasing your body’s ability to fight off the inflammation that could be rendering the beta cells useless. So, ketosis potentially has a healing effect on the autoimmune aspect of type 1 diabetes, while simultaneously reducing your need for as much insulin. Now again, I’m not going to go into a lot of detail because this is just one study, and the story of type 1 diabetes and ketosis is still a little bit of a mystery, but it’s starting to show some pretty promising results. But anyhow, this is a general breakdown of the ketogenic diet and insulin and diabetes.
I hope that you ended up getting a lot of detail and understanding how it truly works within the body. So, keep it locked in here with Keto-Mojo, it is our mission to bring the top educational content when it comes down to true science and true ketosis research. If you want absolutely unbiased opinions on ketosis, and how it works in the body, make sure you’re checking back frequently, so you can learn, and you can be on the forefront of ketosis research. We’ll see you soon.