Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Effects of Ketogenic Dieting on Skeletal Muscle and Fat Mass

Rauch et al [1] assigned 26 men to a periodized 10 week resistance training routine and either a 75% fat, 5% carbohydrate ketogenic diet (VLCKD) or a conventional 55% carbohydrate, 25% fat diet.

The men assigned to the 75% fat, 5% carbohydrate diet gained almost twice as much muscle in 10 weeks compared to those assigned to the 55% carbohydrate, 25% fat diet.

It may be that the high fat, high cholesterol, low carbohydrate diet raises anabolic hormone levels or has an anticatabolic effect.

Manninen [2] reports that VLCKD may reduce muscle catabolism by the following mechanisms:

1 . Raising adrenaline levels.  Low blood sugar stimulates adrenaline release, and adrenaline inhibits proteolysis of muscle.

2.  Raising ketone body levels.  Very low carbohydrate intake raises ketone body production, and ketone bodies inhibit oxidation of amino acids.

3. Raising growth factor levels.  A high protein ketogenic diet appears to raise levels of skeletal muscle expression of IGF-I mRNA about 2-fold.

4. High protein intake.  High dietary protein intake stimulates muscle protein synthesis.

Thus, a VLCKD may be both more anticatabolic and anabolic than a high carbohydrate, low fat diet.


1. Rauch, Jacob T et al. “The Effects of Ketogenic Dieting on Skeletal Muscle and Fat Mass.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 11.Suppl 1 (2014): P40. PMC. Web. 2 May 2017.

2. Manninen, Anssi H. “Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets and Preservation of Muscle Mass.” Nutrition & Metabolism 3 (2006): 9. PMC. Web. 2 May 2017.


Shameer Mulji said...

based on your more recent posts, how have your dietary patterns shifted? LCHF? Or Keto diet?

Don Matesz said...


I have done a lot of thinking about my various experiences with whole foods plant based diets and my interpretation of paleolithic diet, which was quite liberal with plant foods. I am preparing a document that reviews those experiences, blood tests taken at various points in the last 10 years (on paleo-esque and on vegan), and the health issues I have been trying to address. I hope to have it finished by next week. Anyway, this brought me to a hypothesis that I have not gotten the results I was seeking (remission of very chronic inflammatory skin conditions) from either whole foods plant based diets or my previous version of paleo/primal diet because I have a lower tolerance for carbohydrate, and perhaps certain phytochemicals, than I previously would have even imagined. The clue was in my blood work and in how I responded to both strict high carbohydrate plant based diets and my Garden of Eating paleo-like diet, but I missed it for lack of knowledge and perspective that I only recently gained. To test this hypothesis I need to try dairy-free LCHF, VLCHF, ketogenic, and perhaps even plant-food free diets, so that's what I am doing. We'll see what happens. Stay tuned for my posting.

Unknown said...

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