Every day we hear about a new fad diet, but are they really benefiting us? Learn more about intuitive eating from Melissa Bistricer, MS, RDN.
You have successfully lost a good amount of weight on the Keto diet. So, how do you keep the weight off? There is a supplement that’s been studied in a number of human clinical trials called Phase 2 and it has been proven to keep the lost pounds of fat from returning.
According to a new Yale University study published in the journal Science Immunology, mice that were fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus better than mice fed a diet high in carbohydrates.
What is the Keto diet?
The latest health and dietary trend is the ketogenic diet – or keto for short – which is a low-carb, high fat diet that aims to put your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Ketosis enables your body to use fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates from sugar by producing ketones, or small molecules that are alternative fuel sources for the body when sugar (glucose) is in short supply. Ketones are produced by the liver when you eat very few carbs, moderate amounts of protein, and large amounts of fat.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, previous research shows good evidence of faster weight loss when patients go on a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet, compared to participants on a more traditional low-fat diet, or even a Mediterranean diet. Further, a ketogenic diet has been shown to “improve blood sugar control for patients with type-2 diabetes, at least in the short term.” Now, this new study by Yale University researchers says it may even have benefits for your immune health.
How the Keto Diet Impacts Immunity
Researchers of the study report, “the ketogenic diet activates a subset of T-cells in the lungs not previously associated with the immune system’s response to influenza, enhancing mucus production from airway cells that can effectively trap the virus.”
The study showed that mice fed a keto diet that were infected by the flu virus had a higher survival rate than mice on a high-carb normal diet. Specifically, researchers found that the keto diet triggered the release of gamma delta T cells, immune system cells that produce mucus in the cell linings of the lung — while the high-carbohydrate diet did not.
Co-senior author Visha Deep Dixit, reported, “This study shows that the way the body burns fat to produce keto bodies from the food we eat can fuel the immune system to fight flu infection.”
Are you currently on the keto diet? What are some of the benefits that you’ve seen? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.
The Keto diet has become a huge diet trend. But many following the diet celebrate “cheat day”, which researchers say, could cause your body damage. Here’s why.
Written by Amanda Williams, MPH
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is known to be high in carbohydrates. But the rate at which our bodies convert those carbs into sugar is very high. That’s where Benfotiamine comes in!
Think about going to a backyard barbecue and seeing those beautiful grill marks on the chicken, steak, cob of corn, or green peppers. This crispy, blackened appearance is from a reaction – but not a good one! This type of alteration to the food is known as the ‘Maillard reaction’, which creates harmful AGE’s.[i]
What are AGE’s?
The creation of Advanced Glycation End Products, or AGE’s as they are more commonly known, are harmful to your health. Their formation is part of normal metabolism processes, however, if excessively high levels are reached in tissues and circulation (and many times this is the case due to our modern, largely heat-processed diets), they can become dangerous. These AGE’s have been linked to the development and exacerbation of many common chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cognitive impairment, and kidney disease.[ii] AGE’s can affect the following systems; cardiovascular, nervous, urinary, endocrine and ocular. What makes AGE’s so harmful is their ability to deactivate key enzymes, damage the DNA of the cell, create oxidative stress, disrupt cell signal pathways, and drive up inflammation throughout the body.[iii]
The Importance of Vitamin B1, Benfotiamine
The SAD diet, or the Standard American Diet is known to be high in carbohydrates. The rate at which our bodies can convert carbohydrates into glucose from the SAD diet is very high, creating a high demand of Thiamine (Vitamin B1). Our body utilizes Thiamine to prevent advanced glycation end products from doing significant damage.
The main problem with Thiamine is that it is quickly depleted by glucose. Also, being that it is a water-soluble vitamin, Thiamine cannot easily cross into cell lipid membranes. This is where a highly unique lipid form of Thiamine, called Benfotiamine comes into the picture.
Benfotiamine can significantly increase the uptake of Thiamine into the cells by up to 40% in the liver, heart, brain, and muscles, thereby reducing the formation of harmful AGE’s. [iv] With Benfotiamine, we can positively affect the way the body handles excess glucose. There are many ways that Benfotiamine is the superior form of Vitamin B1.
- Activation of transketolase. This enzyme converts toxic glucose metabolites into harmless compounds.[v]
- Reduces inflammation by inhibiting Nuclear Kappa Factor Beta (NF-kB).[vi]
- Reduction of Beta Amyloid plaques and Tau proteins, both linked to Alzheimer’s disease.[vii]
- Reduction in oxidative stress[viii]
The many studies that have assessed the impact that Benfotiamine can have on human health are extensive. For example, a study in England at The University of Essex, showed that Benfotiamine had a protective role in the kidney function of diabetics.[ix] As their research indicated, diabetic nephropathy is a severe complication of the disease, and Benfotiamine had the following effects:
- Reduced oxidative stress in the kidneys.
- Lowered AGE’s by 50% in kidneys.
- Inhibited the development of microalbuminuria by 80%. Microalbumin is a protein that indicates kidney disease.
Benfotiamine has been shown to be so beneficial that The Burke Medical Research Institute in conjunction with the National Institute of Aging, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, and Columbia University are conducting a clinical trial to determine if Benfotiamine can minimize cognitive decline in older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild Alzheimer’s disease.[x]
Based on the scientific research and documented evidence of the benefits of Benfotiamine, it is inconceivable not to recognize its significance in promoting multiple health benefits. Whether you are suffering with nerve pain, lowered kidney function, arterial disease, cataracts, insulin resistance or declining memory, Benfotiamine is a wonderful option to consider. Benfotiamine is a highly absorbable form of B1 that supports the mind and body.
[i] Sztanke K, Pasternak K. The Maillard reaction and its consequences for a living body. Ann Univ Mariae Curie Sklodowska Med. 2003;58(2):159-62
[ii] Uribarri J, Cai W, Sandu O, Peppa M, Goldberg T, Vlassara H. Diet-derived advanced glycation end products are major contributors to the body’s AGE pool and induce inflammation in healthy subjects. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:461-6.
[iii] Vasdev S, Gill V, Singal P. Role of advanced glycation end products in hypertension and atherosclerosis: therapeutic implications. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2007;49(1):48-63
[iv] Bitsch R, Wolf M, Moller J, Heuzeroth L, Gruneklee D. Bioavailability assessment of the lipophilic benfotiamine as compared to a water-soluble thiamin derivative. Ann Nutr Metab. 1991;35(5):292-6
[v] Hammes HP, Du X, Edelstein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic retinopathy. Nat Med. 2003 Mar;9(3):294-9
[vi] Hammes HP, Du X, Edelstein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic retinopathy. Nat Med. 2003 Mar;9(3):294-9
[vii] Pan X, Gong N, Zhao J, et al. Powerful beneficial effects of benfotiamine on cognitive impairment and beta-amyloid deposition in amyloid precursor protein/presenilin-1 transgenic mice. Brain. 2010 May;133(Pt 5):1342-51
[viii] Stirban A, Negrean M, Stratmann B, et al. Benfotiamine prevents macro- and microvascular endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress following a meal rich in advanced glycation end products in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2006 Sep;29(9):2064-71
[ix] Babaei-Jadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, Battah S, Thornalley PJ. Prevention of incipient diabetic nephropathy by high-dose thiamine and benfotiamine. Diabetes. 2003 Aug;52(8):2110-20