Part 2: The Mitochondria and Ketogenics
There's a point to where the degree of ketogenics, or putting yourself in a state of ketosis will not work in your favor; the situation can slow other body processes. The point of going through ketosis, which at times isn't as pleasant for most (if you can handle deep ketosis without issue, awesome), is to burn through your body fat storage without sacrificing other valuable nutrients during the process.
Yes, you do lose a little muscle and water along the way of a weight-loss program. However, what if there's a significant amount lost? What if you can maintain your precious muscle and other vital nutrients with ketosis? It does not matter if you're an athlete, or an elder individual suffering from osteoporosis or symptoms associated with this condition, maintaining your muscle integrity, can strengthen your skeletal system as a means of support. Without it, you're more likely to become prone to injuries. This doesn't apply to just these two examples, but can relate to other demographics.
I'm I against the Keto way? Not at all. I'm all for it. However, there's a responsible way to do so.
Several years ago, working for a weight-loss company, their premise to weight-loss was ketosis. The distinction they made, was that it was gauged to a certain degree of ketosis; that being of a mild state. Providing better results with higher efficacy compared to severe ketosis. Though their macronutrient ratio (after crunching the numbers) were 40-45% protein, 30-35% carbs, and 20-25% fat: a bit high in protein. I took it upon myself with my client care to the next level by creating calculations and percentages to ensure higher efficacy.
"Out of X amount of pounds lost, how much was body fat?"
The objective was to have my clients lose at least 80% body fat out of total pounds lost. That's a tall order, however success is not reached by an "any means necessary" approach in the spectrum of nutrition. My procedure was to ask about their symptoms and how they generally felt once after weight-ins and analyze their bi-weekly values. More often than not, when a person has less than 80% body fat loss out of total pounds lost, I would receive comments feeling:
Sluggish, tired, "diet brain" or fogginess, weak, muscle tautness decreased, lethargy, moody, irritable, etc.
A published study from Nutrition Metabolism of London 2012, conducted by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello, suggested great results with an average loss of about 22 pounds with each client. However, looking closer to the data, the average body fat loss was 57%. What was the other 43% that was lost? If I had a 57% on my test, I don't think anyone would confer with my knowledge.
Severe ketogenics can deplete or slow the replenishment of some important nutrients, as well as a crucial intermediate and other metabolic constituents, which can impede the smooth turning, high energy-producing cycle known as Krebs or the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle; stated in the February 12th article of the Mitochondria.
Also known as the Citric Acid Cycle (CAC), the Krebs cycle depends on the four-carbon intermediate, oxaloacetate, and two carbons from acetyl-CoA to condense together into the six-carbon citrate for the cycle to even start.
To what point does the cycle starts to slow down?
Without an ample supply of Oxaloacetate, there will be a major "overflow" of Acetyl-CoA (Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism 2009), which can gum-up the process. Robert Lustig M.D. refers to it as "mitochondrial constipation" (Fat Chance 2013). Once again, yes, fat provides more calories than proteins and carbs, 9 to 4. However, low levels of Oxaloacetate, the precursor to energy production in the mitochondrial matrix, will slow the process. Thus, the intermediate is like a needed catalysis to match the appropriate ratio to have the cycle turn with ease.
Think about trying to ride a bike starting on the highest gear. The highest gear should be able to provide you more torque and power, but because you didn't give yourself enough starting speed to catch up to the 9th gear, the workload is much more demanding just to reach the right pace.
The Krebs cycle and nutrient metabolism has been very interesting in the sense of which is more efficient with creating ATP energy; fat or carbohydrates? Frequent metabolism of a very high fat diet with little carbohydrates to spare, can lead to low levels of Oxaloactate. High carbohydrate diets, because of the types of carbs selected, has also created a lot of health problems. So which is better?
It's like asking whom is better, mom or dad? Of course mom has more notoriety, but dad is also important. If there was a ratio that can help the general population with little ill effects, whether it is minor or major; start off with 40% Fat, 40% Carbs, and 20% Protein. If you would like to deviate the ratios to your own preference, you can subtract 5% from carbs and allocate them to fat 5% at a time to have a gradual, safe, approach.