It’s no secret the ketogenic diet can have numerous benefits for a range of chronic health conditions beyond diabetes and epilepsy. The science is mounting, and people with success stories are shouting from the rooftops that this way of eating can be positively life-changing. Evidence from case studies, animal research, and human-controlled studies are promising.
From lowering inflammation to lowering blood sugar and insulin levels, going keto means so much more than ditching heavy carbs! Let’s discuss eight health conditions that might benefit from a ketogenic diet.
Epilepsy is a disease involving seizures and excessive activity in the brain. While some people respond to anti-seizure medications, others choose not to, can’t tolerate the side effects, or don’t respond to the drugs, leaving them searching for other options. Epilepsy has the most research supporting it, with several dozen studies on the topic.
Research reveals seizures usually improve in around 50% of epilepsy patients following a classic ketogenic diet [1,2,3]. Researchers analyzed brain activity of children with epilepsy and discovered improvements in numerous brain patterns in 65% of those on a ketogenic diet. This was regardless of whether they had fewer seizures .
Check out these inspiring epilepsy success stories here at Ketogenic.com:
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder often resulting in infertility and irregular menstruation. Women with PCOS tend to have symptoms related to higher testosterone levels, such as acne. Among the anecdotal evidence online, you can also find published studies confirming the benefits of the ketogenic and low-carb diets for PCOS .
One 6-month study of eleven women with PCOS on a ketogenic diet showed an average weight loss of 12%. Reproductive hormone levels improved, and fasting insulin declined by 54%. Two women suffering from infertility actually got pregnant .
One of the most common benefits of starting the ketogenic diet is improved blood glucose levels; this is why going keto is popular among type 2 diabetics.
People with diabetes frequently report impressive reductions in blood sugar levels when going keto! This can be seen in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Dozens of controlled studies show a very low-carb diet helps regulate blood sugar and provide other health benefits [7,8].
For example, in one 16-week study, 17 of 21 people on a ketogenic diet could stop or reduce their dosage of diabetes medication. Participants also lost 19 pounds on average and decreased blood pressure, triglycerides, and waist size. It’s clear the ketogenic diet shows promise for diabetes .
4. Some Cancers
Cancer is one of the heaviest words to hear, say, or carry. Fortunately, scientific research suggests a ketogenic diet might help some types of cancer when used along with traditional treatments like radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery .
Researchers point out the association between obesity, elevated blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, and cancers like breast cancer. Many experts and researchers recommend restricting carbs to lower insulin and blood sugar levels, which may reduce or even prevent tumor growth [11,12].
Animal studies show ketogenic diets might reduce the progression of different types of cancer, including cancers that have spread to other areas of the body [13,14]
Some experts believe the ketogenic diet has the largest benefits for brain cancer, and case studies and patient data analyses have shown promise for brain cancers like glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive and common type of brain cancer [15,16].
Be inspired by some of the cancer success stories here at Ketogenic.com:
The keto diet can even be effective for dogs with cancer! Check out Blazer’s story for more info on the keto diet and cancer in beloved pups!
When you think about the health benefits of following the ketogenic diet, you probably think of improved glucose levels or reduced body fat, but going keto has actually been shown to be beneficial for psychological and developmental disorders too!
The hallmark symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are problems with communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. Autism is often diagnosed in childhood and treated with speech therapy and other therapies. Animal research suggests ketogenic diets might be useful for improving ASD behavior patterns [17,18,19].
One study of 30 children with autism found that 18 children experienced a reduction in symptoms after following a cyclical ketogenic diet for 6 months .
Read some of the success stories on autism and the keto diet here at Ketogenic.com:
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