Thematic series on caloric restriction and ketogenic diets

Chemical structures of the three ketone bodies  
Chemical structures of the three ketone bodies: acetone (top), acetoacetic acid (middle), and beta-hydroxybutyric acid (bottom)
The September issue of the Journal of Lipid Research marks the beginning of a new thematic review series examining how diet modifications improve general health and manage a broad range of chronic diseases.
 
Caloric restriction, a type of controlled therapeutic fasting, reduces oxidative stress and damage while promoting more efficient energy metabolism. Ketogenic diets — characterized by low carbohydrate, sufficient protein and high fat intake — have been used primarily to manage seizures in epileptic children. However, more recently, these diets have shown promise, along with drugs and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, in managing cancer, and they may have applications in managing certain neurological diseases.
 
After they are consumed, carbohydrates are broken down to glucose, raising sugar levels in the blood. Because a ketogenic diet minimizes the intake of carbohydrates while also increasing fat intake, sugar levels in the blood are lowered, and the liver is able to take fat consumed and produce ketone bodies, which are released into the bloodstream. As the ketones are taken up by cells of the body, cells break down the ketones instead of sugar for energy, a process called ketosis.
 
The following JLR reviews address this subject:
Editorial board member Thomas N. Seyfried of Boston College is coordinating the series. In 2012, Seyfried published the textbook “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer,” which presented methodology and findings of the sources and prevention of cancer.
Mary L. ChangMary L. Chang (mchang@asbmb.org) is publications manager for ASBMB.