By Dr. Mercola
If you or a loved one has been struggling with low energy, excess weight or a chronic or degenerative disease like type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's or cancer — or if you simply want to optimize your health and longevity — I have great news for you. In an earlier article, I announced that my book, "Fat for Fuel," would be complemented by an online course on Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy (MMT) — a collaboration with nutritionist Miriam Kalamian, who specializes in nutritional ketosis.
That course is now available, and for a limited time, you'll receive a $100 discount and over $200 in bonuses, plus free access to a future audio webinar that is currently being put together. I'm proud to say, there's really nothing else like it out there. The course consists of seven comprehensive lessons to teach you the keys to fighting chronic disease and optimizing your health and longevity. If you or someone you love has cancer, it will also augment any oncological treatment you might be undergoing.
MMT is a whole new way of looking at nutrition, merging decades of my own research with the latest science on mitochondrial health, all of which has been peer-reviewed by more than two dozen experts, including physicians, researchers and scientists. Worksheets, additional reading, meal planning resources and recipes, with guidelines on how to tailor the program to your unique physiology, are all included. You'll also learn a number of other non-diet related ways to boost your mitochondrial health.
Why Are Mitochondria so Important?
Mitochondria — the tiny energy factories within your cells — are the key to optimal health and healing because they generate the energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP) your body needs to stay alive and thrive. They're also responsible for apoptosis (programmed cell death) and serve as important signaling molecules that help regulate your genetic expression. This is a function even most doctors are unaware of.
When your mitochondria are damaged or dysfunctional, not only will your energy reserves decrease, contributing to fatigue and brain fog, but you also become vulnerable to degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative decay.
Unfortunately, mitochondrial damage is more the norm than the exception these days, thanks to the prevalence of processed food diets, inactivity, lack of sun exposure and excessive exposure to toxins and non-native electromagnetic fields from cellphones, routers, cellular towers and more. On the upside, your body does have amazing capacities for regeneration and renewal, but to do that, you have to supply it with the proper fuel.
This is why your diet is such a crucial component of disease prevention and treatment. And, contrary to conventional advice, a ketogenic diet — which is very low in net carbohydrates and high in healthy fats — is actually a vital key to boosting mitochondrial function, thereby suppressing disease and supporting healing.
The importance of avoiding unhealthy fats and using healthy fats in your diet simply cannot be overstated. When your body is able to burn fat for fuel, your liver creates water-soluble fats called ketones that burn far more efficiently than carbs, thereby creating fewer reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals that can damage your cellular and mitochondrial cell membranes, proteins and DNA.
All cellular membranes are made of fats, which act as insulators and are connected through a conductor. This arrangement sets up a biological capacitor to store electrons. However, not all fats work the same way. When you consume damaged fats, or worse, heated and hydrogenated vegetable oils, the fatty acids in your cell membranes become nonfunctional and unable to store body voltage, which further boosts your risk for disease.
The Benefits of a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet
The MMT diet is a cyclical ketogenic diet, high in healthy fats and fiber, low in net carbs with a moderate amount of protein. Nutritional ketosis is the metabolic state associated with an increased production of ketones in your liver; i.e., the biological reflection of being able to burn fat, and is defined as having blood ketones in the range of 0.5 to 3.0 mmol/L.
However, a key component that differentiates MMT from most other ketogenic eating plans is its emphasis on CYCLICAL ketosis. Once your body starts to burn fat for fuel, you need to switch to a cyclical ketogenic diet, as long-term continuous ketosis has some serious drawbacks that may actually undermine your health and longevity.
The "metabolic magic" in the mitochondria actually occurs during the refeeding phase, not during the starvation phase. Alas, you cannot get to that magic unless you first go through the starvation phase. This is why we refer to the MMT plan as a cyclical ketogenic diet. So, just what might you gain from MMT? The following chart lists some of the most important benefits of this program:
By rebalancing your body's chemistry, weight loss and/or improved weight management becomes nearly effortless. Studies have shown a ketogenic diet can double the weight lost compared to a low-fat diet.3 By reducing hunger and carb cravings, it also lowers your risk of overeating.
When burned for fuel, dietary fat releases far fewer ROS and secondary free radicals than sugar. Ketones are also very effective histone deacetylase inhibitors that effectively reduce inflammatory responses.
In fact, many drugs are being developed to address immune related inflammatory diseases that are HDAC inhibitors. A safer and more rational strategy is to use a ketogenic diet, as it is one of the most effective ways to drive down your inflammation level through HDAC inhibition.
Reduced cancer risk
While all cells (including cancer cells) can use glucose for fuel, cancer cells lack the metabolic flexibility to use ketones for their energy needs, which your regular cells can. Once your body enters a state of nutritional ketosis, cancer cells are more susceptible to being removed by your body through a process called autophagy. A cyclical ketogenic diet is a fundamental, essential tool that needs to be integrated in the management of nearly every cancer.
Increased muscle mass
Ketones spare branched-chain amino acids, leaving higher levels of them around, which promotes muscle mass.4 However, be careful and make sure to implement cyclic ketosis. Chronic ketosis will actual result in muscle loss as your body is impairing the mTOR pathway, which is important for anabolic growth. mTOR needs to be stimulated, just not consistently, as many people do with high protein diets.
Lowered insulin levels
Keeping your insulin level low helps prevent insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and related diseases. Research has demonstrated that diabetics who eat a low-carb ketogenic diet are able to significantly reduce their dependency on diabetes medication and may even reverse the condition.5
Lowering insulin resistance will also reduce your risk of Alzheimer's. Recent research strengthens the link between insulin resistance and dementia even further, particularly among those with existing heart disease.6,7,8
One of the first things people really notice once they start burning fat for fuel is that any former "brain fog" lifts, and they can suddenly think very clearly. As mentioned earlier, ketones are a preferred fuel for your brain; hence, the improved mental clarity.
One of the reasons you can survive a long time without food is due to the process of ketosis, which spares protein breakdown.9 A fairly consistent effect seen in people on a ketogenic diet is that blood levels of leucine and other important structural proteins go up, allowing these proteins to perform a number of important signaling functions.
Ketones also mimic the life span extending properties of calorie restriction10 (fasting), which includes improved glucose metabolism; reduced inflammation; clearing out malfunctioning immune cells;11 reduced IGF-1, one of the factors that regulate growth pathways and growth genes and is a major player in accelerated aging; cellular/intracellular regeneration and rejuvenation (autophagy and mitophagy).12
What You'll Learn From This Course
In this course, you will be guided through seven engaging lessons to teach you how your body works at the molecular level and how different foods affect your body. We'll provide you with practical strategies to follow, and show you how to monitor your progress.
Each week, a new lesson will be released on our private online learning website. However, once you purchase the course, you'll have lifetime access to all the videos, so you can work through the program at your own pace. Here's a general overview of what you'll find in each of the lessons:
To start, you'll learn:
• Why your body needs to be able to burn fat as its primary fuel.
• The real cause of the epidemic of disease, which is not being taught in medical schools.
• The truth about fats: why they've been vilified, the best fats to eat and the ones to avoid.
• The healthiest foods you'll want to be sure to include in your diet, and the most toxic foods to avoid.
• The difference between MMT, Atkins and Paleo diets.
Next, you'll learn:
• What mitochondria are and why they're so important.
• Why dysfunctional and damaged mitochondria are at the heart of all chronic and degenerative diseases.
• What causes most mitochondrial dysfunction and damage.
• What to expect as you shift to burning fat, and what will be happening within your body.
Now, it's time to start tailoring the program to your unique physiology. Here, you'll learn:
• Detailed guidelines for starting a ketogenic eating plan.
• The essential kitchen tools you'll need to start this program and how to use them.
• How to do a "pantry sweep" to remove the foods in your kitchen that are detrimental to your success.
• Rules for food shopping: what to look for and what to look out for, such as surprising sources of hidden sugar.
• Three ways to kick-start nutritional ketosis and how to determine which method is best for you.
• How to set targets and track your progress.
In this lesson, we'll teach you how to create some scrumptious dishes that are high in healthy fats and low in net carbs, including my signature superfood smoothie and a daily salad that is anything but boring. You'll also receive:
• A simple, customizable meal template that covers breakfast, lunch and dinner choices and decadent snack options.
• Straightforward rules to make your first three weeks on this plan easy and effortless.
• Tips on how to sidestep challenges to starting or maintaining your MMT plan, including addressing food allergies, aversions and intolerances.
We'll also include two bonuses:
1. Tips to help you stay on the program even on vacation and during busy work travel.
2. Step-by-step guidance on how to grow your own sunflower seed sprouts.
Time to dive deeper into the nuances of the MMT health plan. Here, you'll learn:
• Why the nutritional information commonly taught in schools is terribly flawed.
• Miriam's firsthand account of how MMT played a critical role in her son's cancer treatment.
• Common challenges people face on their first month on MMT, and how to troubleshoot.
• How to be "keto-adaptive" in social situations like dining out, parties and vacations.
• Straight talk on hunger and cravings, and how to ensure you won't experience either.
• How to make MMT a lifelong health plan, with tips on exercise, sleep hygiene and stress management.
As I mentioned earlier, there are ways to boost mitochondrial function besides food, and one of these is sun exposure. In fact, aside from your diet, light is the most critical physical component to optimizing your health, thus you'll learn:
• How to reap the benefits of sunlight.
• The truth about sunscreen that even most dermatologists won't acknowledge.
• Why vitamin D supplements are a poor replacement for sun exposure.
• The enormous negative influence that florescent and LED lights have on your health.
• The dangers of blue light (computer screens, tablets, TV and phones), and a simple way to protect yourself.
Another lifestyle strategy that has an enormous impact on your mitochondrial health and function is exercise, which is the topic of lesson seven. In this segment, you'll learn:
• The biggest mistakes people make when exercising and what traps to avoid.
• How to integrate fitness into your MMT plan, even on a busy schedule.
• A simple exercise sequence that will take you only minutes a day.
• How to do the "nitric oxide dump," one of the quickest, most innovative workouts you can do to improve your health.
• The importance of grounding to the earth.
Cyclical Ketosis Is the Answer for Most Ailments
The evidence is clear and overwhelming: Excessive net carbohydrate intake is the primary factor that determines your body's fat ratio, and processed grains and sugars (particularly fructose) are the primary culprits behind our skyrocketing obesity, diabetes and chronic disease rates.
Today, two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese,16 1 in 5 deaths is obesity-related,17 half have prediabetes, diabetes or other chronic illness18 and 1 in 3 women and half of all men will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. There's an answer to all of these terrible health trends, and it all starts with the nutritional composition of your diet.
To improve your mitochondrial function through diet, the key is to eat in such a way that your body is able to burn fat as its primary fuel rather than sugars. My MMT program will teach you everything you need to know to safely and effectively improve your mitochondrial function, thereby regaining your health and boosting your longevity.
It's also one of the most effective ways to shed excess weight. In fact, many end up losing weight even if they don't intend to, or think they need to. It's simply a side effect of rebalancing your body's chemistry. And, contrary to weight loss diets, a cyclical ketogenic diet makes weight management virtually effortless once you've lost the excess.
If optimal health is your goal, this course is for you. And you have absolutely nothing to lose. If you're not completely satisfied, simply call Hay House customer care within 60 days of purchase for a full refund, no questions asked.