The Gene That Makes the Ketogenic Diet Dangerous

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., DACBN, MS, CFMP

With all the craze about the ketogenic diet it would behoove one to know if they are a candidate for this type of diet.

First for those not familiar with the ketogenic diet here is a short summary:

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used mainly to treat hard-to-control epilepsy in children. Here are 8 additional benefits:

  1. Triglycerides Tend to Drop Drastically
  2. Increased Levels of ‘Good’ HDL Cholesterol
  3. Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
  4. May Lower Blood Pressure
  5. Effective Against Metabolic Syndrome
  6. A Greater Proportion of Fat Loss Comes From Your Abdominal Cavity
  7. Improved ‘Bad’ LDL Cholesterol Levels
  8. Therapeutic for Several Brain Disorders (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease)

Now with all of these benefits the scientific literature has investigated if indeed this type of diet is beneficial for all people.

Well it may ultimately come down to your genes. Most specifically, your APOE genotype.

The three different types of APOE genes are as follows:

APOE2 – Best suited to a High Fat / Low Carb Diet (saturated fats are good)
APOE3 – Suitable For Both
APOE4 – Best Suited For A High Monounsaturated Fat / Low Carb Diet (Avoid Saturated Fats)

Research studies have shown that APOE4 carriers are most effected by high cholesterol, and benefit more from a low saturated fat diet, instead using monounsaturated fats,  low carb diet, whereas APOE 2 carriers suit a high fat low carb diet, regardless of the saturated fats.

So what should you do?

Ask your doctor to order the APOE genotype blood test and see if you are in fact a carrier of the APOE4 gene.

If you are a carrier of the APOE4 gene, I recommend decreasing your consumption of saturated fats and focus more on monounsaturated fats.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1721.cfm