Alert
Close

Top the Trizzle leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
AARP Games Tournament

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Health Discovery

High Fat Diet May Be Able to Reverse Kidney Failure

The experiment worked in mice, humans are next

The ketogenic diet now used for epilepsy in children is a tightly controlled high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that stimulates the production of substances called ketones, produced when body fat is broken down for energy. Although cells normally burn glucose for energy, if the body is starved of carbohydrates, it will start to use ketones as an alternative source of fuel. The diet is high in fat but extremely low in carbohydrates and protein, and failure to adhere to the correct proportions disrupts the diet's effectiveness.

Bacon and Eggs are part of a ketogenic diet

A low-carb breakfast of eggs and bacon. — Influx Productions/Getty Images

A ketogenic diet meal might include an omelet made with eggs, heavy cream, butter and cheese. Or a small portion of chicken, a bit of fruit and large helpings of fat. The kinds of foods that provide fat include butter, heavy cream, mayonnaise and canola or olive oil. The diet completely eliminates candy, cookies and desserts. All foods must be carefully prepared and weighed on a scale.

The next step is to test the diet on diabetic men and women with kidney failure.

"We don't yet understand how the diet works," Mobb says. "Once we learn that, we can identify ways to mimic the diet's effect."

If this diet works as well on people as it did on the mice, "it would be a dramatic improvement in our ability to slow or reverse the damage caused by diabetes," says kidney specialist Lynda Frassetto, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the research. But that's a big "if" because "it's often true that what you can do in mice cannot be replicated in humans." This is interesting research but not yet ready for prime time, she says.

The study shows that it's feasible to reverse diabetic kidney failure, notes Mobbs. "Whether this is the best way to do it for people is uncertain," he says, "but it can be done. And that should give us all reason to hope."

Nissa Simon is a freelance writer who lives in New Haven, Conn.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% off eye exams and 30% off eyeglasses at Pearle Vision.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.