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Obesity and Weight Management

Effects of ketosis

02/03/2004

Question:

What are the effects of a person who is not diebetic but is in ketosis - like the people that are on the Adkins diet. Short term and long term effects on the body. thank you.

Answer:

When your body is not receiving enough energy from carbohydrates, your body begins breaking down fat stores into ketones, which can be used as energy.  However, the brain does not use ketones effectively and becomes sluggish.  Therefore your body begins to breakdown muscle and  organ tissue to provide the energy for the brain. When you begin to lose muscle mass, your metabolism will also decrease.  Muscle mass burns calories and thus drives your metabolic rate. The only way to spare the muscle and organ tissue is to get carbohydrates in the diet.  Also, long term ketones are hard on the kidneys and can increase enzymes.

Hope this helps.

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Response by:

Angela Blackstone, RD, LD
Staff Dietitian
Metabolic Surgery Program
Wexner Medical Center
The Ohio State University