Spending some time doing research tonight and fell upon this incredible article on MedMerits about utilizing the ketogenic diet in the treatment of epilepsy! And oh my goodness, my data-driven personality is overflowing with happiness! This one paragraph brings home the entire article:
“The insulin to glucagon ratio is one of the main determinants of the metabolic switch from glucose oxidation and fatty acid storage to the lipolysis and ketogenesis mode. High insulin to glucagon ratio will facilitate the former, whereas the opposite will enhance the latter.”
In Layman’s terms: Higher insulin and lower glucagon will promote using glucose for fuel and fat storage. Lower insulin and higher glucagon will promote using fat for fuel and the creation of ketone bodies! HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT?!
Now what truly got me to follow the clicks to this website was its discussion of ketone bodies as they apply to children. Children have a greater capability to extract and oxidize ketones (Persson et al 1972; Dodson et al 1976). Naturally, children are able to be in ketosis more readily or consistently than a pubescent teenager can be. Why is this? HORMONES! When hormones of all types (i.e. estrogen, cortisol, testosterone, etc.) change, your body is pulled away from homeostasis and recognizes stress in the body. This stress can induce a rise in insulin, which pulls the child (fine, pre-teen) away from the ketosis that was once the metabolic mode of choice.
Besides puberty or any other pre-existing health condition the child may experience, NUTRITION (or lack thereof) is pulling our world’s children out of ketosis, especially in the United States and other civilized countries. Stores are riddled with snack food full of unhealthy carbohydrates and sugar that parents allow their children to consume regularly. Sweet treats like ice cream, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and all kinds of other sugar-laden foods are used by many parents and teachers as a reward for a job well done or as a barter to convince the child to do what was asked of them.
Increased glucose consumption->Increase insulin secretion->Increased childhood obesity
Now, this is WELL within our parameters of control.
Ketosis tends to be more difficult to induce in patients younger than 1 year old and older than 10 years old (Schwartz et al 1989b). This means what we feed our children between ages 1 and 10 is the MOST important metabolic time of their lives. If we teach children how to enjoy those yummy foods occasionally, they will have a healthy relationship with food. They will continue to consume ketone bodies as fuel, keeping their brains and bodies in optimal health. Integrating exogenous ketones (like the delicious orange and chocolate KETO//OS flavors!) into your child’s daily nutrition will help them EVEN MORE!
Nutritional ketosis cannot harm your child… because that’s how they operate naturally! Negative changes during their adolescence are what alter their metabolic success as they age.
I am not a doctor, and have no intent of telling you what to feed your child. However, I do know that excess sugar and inadequate nutrients in your child’s food may be the reason they are suffering with ADD, diabetes, epilepsy, obesity, among many others. So, next time you catch yourself risking your child’s health for the sake of a relationship you think might be hard to keep, please save the relationship for the sake of your child’s health.
Concerned for Their Future,