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Dr. Stephen Phinney: Does a ketogenic diet improve inflammation?

What is the research on inflammation
and low carbohydrate interventions?
I mean speaking to our trial
and the data that we have now,
if you look at the HSCRP
data we’re seeing significant improvements
in CRP from baseline to when you’re
in this group of people.
And I think that in the study you mentioned
with Jeff, and I think
it was Cassandra Forsyth’s paper
a significant improvements
in CRP, and and I think you
did pretty inflammatory cytokines
too, right? That one had TNF
Alpha and IL6 and I think at the
end of those 12 weeks you also had
improvements. Yeah that study
was in People With Metabolic
Syndrome for 12 weeks duration.
And let me just say that
you know different researchers have
their pet biomarkers.
So somebody wants to know IL6,
somebody else likes…
and this sounds like alphabet soup here.
IO1 beta,
or TANF alpha,
or IGF 1…pi1.
I mean these are all – so rather
than pick
somebody is favorite
and then upset somebody else because
didn’t pick their favorite.
We studied 14 biomarkers
in these people after 12 weeks.
After 12 weeks
for all 14,
none of them had a superior
response such as a greater lowering
in the high carbohydrate low fat group.
So none of them were better off
compared to the low
carb ketogenic group.
Th e low carb ketogenic group,
Th e low carb ketogenic group,
7 out of the 14 were not just
7 out of the 14 were not just
lower but significantly lower.
So which in both of them were weight
loss studies there.
Both groups lost weight
but the ketogenic diet markedly
and consistently down regulated a
number of biomarkers; and by the way
those are also bio-active compounds,
they’re also doing things.
So we were changing inflammation
at a number of different cellular
sites within the body in a
way and we think that’s much better
than targeting one single biomarker
than targeting one single biomarker
and making that go down – is what
and making that go down – is what
is typically done with drugs
that are targeted for
anti-inflammatory effects.

Randall Smitham



  1. Akane Cortich Posted on September 11, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Cancer patients with Cachexia improve on a keto diet. Cachexia being inflammation likely caused by cancer metabolism by products.

  2. Bid Now Posted on September 13, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Amber O'Hearn posted 9/13/18 on FB (Lower Insulin) that PUFA was more ketogenic than saturated fat, and that she addressed this in her presentation at AHS18. This is something that I do not recall reading in Dr. Phinney's books. I'm not suggesting chasing ketones, however this might make a good video for Virta as well. I was somewhat surprised at this information.

  3. Richard Mathews Posted on January 9, 2019 at 1:13 am

    Over a year and a half on 15mg of Prednisone for an autoimmune condition, with no hope of getting off. I began a Ketogenic diet and 3 months later I was off Prednisone. 8 months off with no flares, no pain. Cutting carbs cuts inflammation.