Over the past few years, ketogenic diets have become one of the most popular weight loss tools out there. Numerous studies show ketogenic diets are effective for weight loss in obese and overweight individuals and if you do a quick social media search for “Ketogenic diet” or “Keto” you will find countless anecdotes that support these scientific studies.
The therapeutic benefit of ketogenic diets goes beyond weight loss. These diets have been used for nearly a century for the treatment of childhood epilepsy and are currently being investigated for treating other neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Despite the usefulness of ketogenic diets, we still don’t fully understand how they work! We know that following a ketogenic diet decreases blood glucose and insulin, and increases concentrations of ketone bodies in blood and tissues. But a lingering question that nutrition scientists are still trying to answer is whether it is the presence of ketones or the absence of carbohydrates that mediates the effects of following a ketogenic diet.