The diabetic carb-kidney connection

A low-carb diet won’t just help diabetics lose weight, seize control of their blood sugar and lower the risk of heart problems–it can also turn back the clock and undo some of the disease’s deadliest damage.

And now, a study on mice shows how a modified version of the diet can actually reverse kidney failure–and if it works in humans, it may even eliminate the need for dialysis.

Researchers induced kidney failure in mice with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, then put half on an extreme version of the low-carb diet. These mice got up to 87 percent of their calories from fat, with most of the rest from protein and very little from carbs.

The other half was put on a more typical high-carb diet–much like the human diabetics who’ve been gobbling down carbs based on deadly advice from the American Diabetes Association. (Read this for more on why you should ignore everything you hear from the ADA.)

After eight weeks, the mice on the extreme low-carb diet were like new rodents– at least on the inside: Their kidneys had actually repaired themselves, especially in those that had type 1 diabetes.

If this works in humans, researchers say it could actually cure diabetic kidney failure in as little as a month, according to the study in PLoS ONE.

Just one note here: The diet was so high in fat and so low in protein that it’s extreme even by the most die-hard low-carb standards. It actually mimics the effects of starvation, and should only be used for a limited period–and only under the close supervision of a doctor.

And if you’re not suffering from kidney problems yet, do yourself a favor and get back on track now with a more traditional low-carb diet along with some regular movement–even a simple daily walk through the park.

Many diabetics who surrender sugar, flour, and the rest of the carbs and start moving again find they need fewer and fewer meds to keep the disease under control–and some reach the point where they no longer need insulin or even the dangerous diabetes drugs that come with as many risks as the disease itself.

Just don’t forget the bad habits that brought the disease in the first place–and make sure you don’t let them creep back in.

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Edward Martin

Edward Martin writes House Calls, a daily letter chronicling the most cutting-edge alternative methods for beating diabetes and cancer, to the latest FDA foul-ups and Big Pharma conspiracies.

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  1. Anonymous says

    Very excellent advice fits perfectly with the anti aging, functional and regenerative medicine wave ..THAT WILL swamp us in the next 30 years. Thank goodness!

    Robin Small

  2. Anonymous says

    This is very interesting and provocative. I would really like to see who did the test and how the tests were conducted. Could you please post the links to this information so we can look even further into these helpful findings.
    I enjoy your enlightened viewpoint

  3. Patrick says

    I have been taking The UNIVERSAL brand[3100] High Protein Bodybuilding powder. But it has 162 Grams of complex carbs and 35 gremas of protein per serving.My g/friend is doing very well on it and can out work many who are years younger, and stay sharply focused. I am type 2 and have shown improvement in clearing skin problems and cut healing, but the neuropathy in feet remain , esp after sleeping/resting. Is this a good product for me? Thanks.

  4. Anonymous says

    I think that is something that definitely needs more research. LOW PROTEIN diets are the established treatment for declining kidney function. Emory University even did human research on this.

    This is dangerous advice. The one person I know who followed an extreme low carb diet trying to control her diabetes LOST kidney function.

    Complex healthy carbs need to be part of a diabetic diet.

    Doris Wilson
    Lyman, SC 29365

  5. Doris Wilson says

    I went to the research. It is PROTEIN restriction, and NOT high protein without carbs. I expect much better out of your web site than this. Please clarify this for your readers before someone with kidney issues loses function.

  6. ReadItAgain says

    Doris it is a ketogenic diet..a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.

    This article simply reports what the study consisted of and found.

    And did you even read the part that says:
    “Just one note here: The diet was so high in fat and so low in protein that it’s extreme even by the most die-hard low-carb standards. It actually mimics the effects of starvation, and should only be used for a limited period–and only under the close supervision of a doctor. ”

    Mr Martin NEVER advises anyone to attempt this on thier own and in fact gives a warning. He simply reported on the exciting results of an early MOUSE experiment.

  7. Lori says

    The practical application taken from this article, in my opinion, is that we should all reduce or eliminate simple carbs, minimize complex carbs (but eat tons of vegetables), and optimize fats and proteins.

  8. Rett says

    I have for a long time now understood that type 2 diabetes is a non insulin depend illness. I am type 2 and I do not take insulin or any other blood glucose reducing drug. I have read that diabetics that don’t do the mainstream protocol to “manage” their disease fare no better than those who do. I believe all those fake oils in our favorite supermarkets are not helping but every time I read or watch mainstream at work, they use canola oil or soybean oil (so called vegetable oils today). I try to tell other diabetics but because I have no degrees in medicine, what I would share with them that comes from real doctors is of no value to them. I am from now on not sharing anything I have learned since my mild heart attack in late 2001. If they ask, I will share.

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