Low Carbs and Gluconeogenesis

There’s an unwarranted fear of Gluconeogenesis (GNG) in some parts of the Keto/Low Carb community. I think it comes out of the Diabetic community where diabetes is understood as high blood sugars. The idea that the body makes extra glucose is scary and limiting that production seems desirable.

But, did you know that the Low Carb diet itself increases Gluconeogenesis? Here’s the study which compared rates of GNG between high and low carb diets (Bisschop, P.H., A.M. Pereira Arias, M.T. Ackermans et al. The effects of carbohydrate variation in isocaloric diets on glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in healthy men. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 85:1963-1967, 2000.).

Gluconeogenesis was about 14% higher after the very low carbohydrate diet (6.3 6 0.2 mmol/kgzmin;P 5 0.001) compared to the control diet, but was not different between the high carbohydrate and control diets (5.5 6 0.3 vs. 5.5 6 0.2 mmol/kgzmin).

The reason this happens is that GNG is necessary in the low carb diet. The body has a minimal need for glucose that exceeds what is provided on the low carb diet. The extra required glucose must be made via GNG.

People on higher carb diets get a glucose shot with every carb meal. It’s during the times of sufficient dietary carbs there’s no need for the body to do GNG. Hence, a lower level of GNG. But during those overnight hours there’s no food coming and and everyone uses GNG to keep up their blood sugar levels.

Author: Doug

I'm an Engineer who is also a science geek. I was pre-diabetic in 1996 and became a diabetic in 2003. I decided to figure out how to hack my diabetes and in 2016 found the ketogetic diet which reversed my diabetes.

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