Beneficial effects of ketogenic diet in obese diabetic subjects



Obesity is closely linked to the incidence of type II diabetes. It is found that effective management of body weight and changes to nutritional habits especially with regard to the carbohydrate content and glycemic index of the diet have beneficial effects in obese subjects with glucose intolerance. Previously we have shown that ketogenic diet is quite effective in reducing body weight. Furthermore, it favorably alters the cardiac risk factors even in hyperlipidemic obese subjects. In this study the effect of ketogenic diet in obese subjects with high blood glucose level is compared to those with normal blood glucose level for a period of 56 weeks.

Materials and methods

A total of 64 healthy obese subjects with body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, having high blood glucose level and those subjects with normal blood glucose level were selected in this study. The body weight, body mass index, blood glucose level, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, urea and creatinine were determined before and at 8, 16, 24, 48, and 56 weeks after the administration of the ketogenic diet.


The body weight, body mass index, the level of blood glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and urea showed a significant decrease from week 1 to week 56 (P < 0.0001), whereas the level of HDL-cholesterol increased significantly (P < 0.0001). Interestingly these changes were more significant in subjects with high blood glucose level as compared to those with normal blood glucose level. The changes in the level of creatinine were not statistically significant.


This study shows the beneficial effects of ketogenic diet in obese diabetic subjects following its long-term administration. Furthermore, it demonstrates that in addition to its therapeutic value, low carbohydrate diet is safe to use for a longer period of time in obese diabetic subjects.

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We would like to thank Mrs. Elizabeth Mathew, Department of Anatomy for expert technical advice and assistance.

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Correspondence to Hussein M. Dashti.

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Dashti, H.M., Mathew, T.C., Khadada, M. et al. Beneficial effects of ketogenic diet in obese diabetic subjects. Mol Cell Biochem 302, 249–256 (2007).

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  • Obesity
  • Blood glucose
  • Cholesterol
  • LDL
  • HDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Low-carbohydrate diet
  • Ketogenic diet