Thursday, December 12, 2013

DR. JEFF VOLEK AND THE ZERO CARB DIET

I just finished watching the very interesting conference of Dr. Jeff Volek on: “The many Facets of Keto-Adaptation: Health, Performance & Behond” that can be viewed on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC1vMBRFiwE#t=68

I was amazed how much new science came out in the last few years on VLCKD (Very Low Carb Keto Diet) and this video details many of them for us. Dr. Volek is an excellent speaker, making knowledge simple and accessible and his “slide show” is the best thing I saw in any conference in the last years.

This doctor is THE leading Low Carb researcher in the US and he works and teaches at the University of Connecticut. He has a lab and funds available for his experiments and has publish, aside many books, excellent clinical studies on VLCKD.

We may think the knowledge of VLCKD is related to famous Dr. Atkins work but what he really did is simply making the science of restricted carb diet available for laypersons in the last half of the 20st Century. We must know this type of diet was used for a long time before him and always had records of safety and effectiveness despite what media may have tried to tell uw. We must never forget that before using insulin injection, a VLCKD was THE way diabetic were treated… and the results were great. Then, when we could commercially produce insulin, the LC diet approach “went dark” and sells of insulin when… up!!!

So here are some highlights I find interesting in Dr. Volek conference:
First, and very interesting for Zero Carb folks, he explains clearly why they are no “one size fits all” level of carb restricted diet. Some folks can do quite well and be keto-adapted (burning fat for energy) with 50 g carbs per day, while many others need to go down under 20 g and, as we well know, some like us must go down to zero carb to get some results…
One fascinating discovery he made while studying the metabolic effect on VLCKD on blood profile, is all folks on a seriously restricted carb can eat 3X the quantity of saturated fat compare to the recommended low-fat diet and, still, have LOWER blood level of saturated fat. The reason being that when keto-adapted, any individual burns fat, which includes saturated fat, to answer his energy needs… Imagine: the control group in his study, which was doing a low fat-high carb diet had higher saturated fat levels in their blood… the reason being they produced more triglycerides because of their high carb diet and these said triglycerides, for a big part of them, are saturated…
Dr. Volek is also very interested in athletes’ performance, which, by the way, is beginning to be very popular, as “burning fat for energy” means the reserve are much higher comparing to “burning muscle glycogen for energy”, which is sort of limited… His researches has shown that on a VLVKD, resistance training produce more weight loss and MORE MUSCLE GAIN, then on a VLCKD by itself or even just resistance training by itself. There seems to be some additive effect on a VLCKD. I found this fascinating!!!
Also interesting, he observed that calorie restriction, which is known as a way to slow/stop aging is NOT more efficient then a VLCKD for the same purpose. Which means the “biological markers” on a carb restricted diet are the SAME as on calories restricted diet... if not even better… without the pain of restricting calories…
Dr. Volek also demonstrated ALL the problems areas related to the metabolic syndrome such as hypertension, diabetes, heart problems ect, which affects numerous people in our society (probably up to 75 % according to his estimate) are better controlled when patients go on a VLCKD than any drug or other available treatment.
Cutting on carb intake causes a decrease in insulin production and this diet is the most powerful tool to do it. He also insists the level of “nutritional ketosis” achieved from carb restriction is completely different from “ketoacidosis” that a diabetic may experience; as, by definition, the acidosis of "ketoacidosis" is 10 times higher AND ALWAYS associated with and extremely high blood sugar in this pathology. So there are no needs to fear “nutritional ketosis”!!!
He also underlines carbohydrates was traditionally considered a MACRONUTRIENT but he insists to say it was a mistake to do so, as carbohydrates are NOT essential in a diet for proper human function.
Finally he explains why uric acid levels on a VLCKD may go up BUT the increase is limited to the first month of the diet. Anyway, as we well know, the same thing is also true for cholesterol. Which means anyone wanting to control the effects of a restricted carb diet on his blood profile should ALWAYS wait for at least 3 months before doing any control, the necessary time for the body to get adjusted to the “stress of loosing weight”…
I strongly recommend to everyone watching this conference of Dr. Volek. It is quite shooting to ear from a searcher himself “the more then excellent results” he got in his well-made studies, adding, day after day, more and science to this great way of eating!!!
Denis




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