Take a look at this PBS video sent to me by one of our readers – and try not to punch your monitor near the end:
So close …
Okay, let’s focus on the positive for now. I was delighted to hear one of the on-screen experts explain that high glucose levels appear to cause repeated injury to the kidneys.
Well-meaning people have tried to warn me over that a “high protein” diet is hard on the kidneys. Why? Because damaged kidneys leak protein. But that doesn’t mean protein is causing the damage. If your kitchen pipes start leaking water, do you assume the damage was caused by water? Of course not. The kidneys are damaged by excess glucose, and then they leak protein.
I was delighted again to hear a researcher explain that ketones can be used as an alternate energy source by most cells in the body, and that on a ketogenic diet the body switches from being primarily a glucose-metabolizing machine to a fat-and-ketone metabolizing machine.
As I like to explain it to people, you can be sugar-burner or a fat-burner. I find life as a fat-burner much more pleasant … more consistent energy, better mood, no more creeping weight gain, and no more ravenous hunger if I skip a meal. As I write this, I’m 23 hours into a 24-hour intermittent fasting day, and I feel fine.
I was delighted yet again when the researchers speculated that removing glucose from the picture might help the kidneys recover, then discovered that putting mice on a ketogenic diet did indeed reverse the kidney damage caused by diabetes. Sure, it’s just a rodent study with results that may or may not apply to humans, but as the researcher said, it’s a proof of principle, an avenue to be explored.
All right! Cool! Great story so far. I was anxiously waiting for the part where he suggests we try the same diet on diabetic humans with damaged kidneys in a clinical trial.
And that’s when it all went south:
But the researchers are quick to point out that what happened to the mice does not mean that people with kidney disease should switch to a high fat diet, which could cause other health problems.
Say what?! A diet that reverses kidney damage is going to kill you by … doing what, exactly? Giving you heart disesae? Are you telling me we’re going to examine these startling results through the lens of the ancient and discredited Lipid Hypothesis?
Yes, apparently we are.
“We don’t want to put anyone on the diet itself. We just want to figure out how the diet works so that we can replicate the effects of the diet in a drug.”
Head. Bang. On. Desk.