Genetics, Evolution, and Not Dying on the Keto Diet
After his MCT Oil ketogenesis experiment, Mike rants about the keto diet and our wonderful ability to adapt to all kinds of situations and not die thanks to evolution via natural selection.
Three major points:
1. The healthy human body is able to adapt to various circumstances, and your body just might be more efficient at handling one kind of circumstance/process than another due to your genetics.
EXAMPLE: If you are a vegan, you need proper gene encoding for delta-5 desaturase and delta-6 desaturase enzymes or else you’re not going to convert ALA to DHA very well and MUST find a way to directly supplement DHA or you’ll suffer badly. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20045144, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3877907/)
So just like certain genetic switches are especially bad for vegans, I’m arguing the same kind of switches probably exist for ketogenesis, gluconeogenesis, krebs activity, and more.
2. If you’ve been struggling with diet all your life and something has simply felt “wrong”, maybe it’s time to stop reading the propaganda (and that’s exactly what it is — stay tuned for next rant) and start trying COMPLETELY different things. And a keto diet may be one such thing.
3. Research studies on specific dietary controls are starting to seem relatively vague and somewhat useless on a personal level if these studies are not large and do not cross-reference their results with the genetics of the participants. With enough data, you could eventually figure out that “XYZ Gene means you should not use the keto diet” but unfortunately we don’t have that data available to us.
EXAMPLES of genes that may affect outcomes for keto dieters:
1. PPAR-alpha activity is needed for ketosis, so if yours is downregulated, there could be trouble: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17550778/
2. Cholesterol may go very high when consuming a high saturated fat for people with ApoE3 and ApoE4 genotypes https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4757735/ so keto diet’s probably a bad idea for these kinds of people
3. Epileptic patients with SNPs single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, pronounced snip) in the KCNJ11 (rs8175351, rs5219, rs5215) and BAD (rs34882006, rs2286615) genes did worse on three months with the keto diet than the others.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4819482/)
This is all good but we need to know more and it’d be great to have a 23andMe “Plugin” for it.
WARNING: Keto Dieters are often selenium deficient (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/27873289/), and selenium-deficient cardiomyopathy has occurred in children (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19027591), so check your multivitamin or supplement Selenium!! This is why Giant Sports added it to Giant Keto. Good for the thyroid too.
See the MCT Oil — Ketone Experiment, where this rant originated:
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