KETO AND LIPOMA

Yes, Keto can significantly reduce Lipoma Dystrophy ( Fat Tumors )

As a TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine)-druid and personal chef, I have often written blogs about travel, food, and nutrition. This blog originated from personal curiosity to experience what it feels like to place myself onto a strict diet regiment equal to what I design and guide many clients/friends to achieve my professional help. My motivation was to document my physical and mental challenges during a Keto diet and share various sensations while preparing, adapting, and maintaining a strict lifestyle.

It turned out to result in much more than I expected.

The astonishing change deserved to be shared. There is not enough scientific-based evidence and research available about Keto to factually make any valuable claims. However, I have attempted to document and verify as many details as a singular chef can to present others with an “idea” of how to correctly tweak your own journey and benefit from a similar health success.

Thank you to my doctor for taking the time to explain my blood tests and play along.

Thank you to my pharmaceutical buddy Cady (IMS supplements) for your patience in explaining the complexity of lipids and your curricular research whenever I needed science-based info.

Thank you to my bicycling buddies, the “sexy7,” for keeping up with my diet restrictions and being good sports and support!

Somewhere in January 2018, I knew about as much about Keto as you do probably… I was familiar with the Netflix documentary The Magic Pill helping Autism and diabetics… In my profession, I research food and its effect on us beyond average. No, I’m not that easily convinced, even if the editing is brilliant! As a nutritionist/chef, I am well informed about food studies, health trends, over-blown food claims, questionable benefits on shiny packaged pills and powders, and the dangerous endorsements by celebrities and TV doctors desperately promoting dietary products or elixirs that (ab-)use ancient wisdom. I studied TCM in Singapore and worked closely with some of the world’s foremost scientists, DNA fingerprinting plants, and the essence we consume for health benefits. That usually results in me warning others about crazy diet trends, from Kombucha to Juicing… Serious crap packaged under the umbrella of nutrition is promoted with borderline dangerous hypes to sell products wrapped in “health and longevity” but lacking a scientific base: being a TV doctor does not override science… The simplicity that “one idea” could be right for everyone is so absurd.

Keto: persimmon, chestnut, onion, chayote, figs, onions, radish, herbs & avocado

I stand there, quietly, when confronted with the “…what do you think”- question: unable to respond to people holding a plastic bottle filled with “essence” in hand, trying to get me to verify that their fresh product – with an expiration date of two months – could be beneficial to their well-being. No, but I admire your support for placebos and junk science.

Everything you consume, through your ears, eyes, nose, skin, and mouth, becomes medicinal as soon as you achieve a purpose or goal. Just “living healthy” is a myth in 2019!

caterpillar mushroom Cordyceps Sinensis

My trial started in January when I started a daily dose of Cordyceps Sinensis. It is a byproduct of an invasive fungus that grows on caterpillars. It is well documented in Chinese Medicine recorded as far back as two thousand years for its liver and kidney boosting functions and lung Yin nourishing properties. It popped up in modern mainstream media around 2008 after Chinese Olympians were accused of doping – it turns out they took Cordyceps supplements which modern science has shown to boost athletic performance abilities…

TCMchef Raphael bicycling in Sun Valley, ID

As an avid road bicyclist in preparation for my 7th ALC (www.AIDSLifecycle.org) – a 545-mile journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles – I started a daily regimen of 1000mg (qd) of Cordicepts to improve vitality and boost energy by increasing ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) levels. Six weeks before the strenuous 7-day bike ride, I went “cold turkey” on a Keto diet.

(Energy on a cellular level occurs when ATP is broken down to ADP and inorganic phosphate. It is the cleaving off of one of the phosphates that create the individual cells’ energy.)

My basic food intake was designed to fulfill three main categories: no processed or artificial sugars, a tiny amount of carbs, and no coffee. The idea of being free of bonking and cramping was alluring… If you’re not familiar with some terms, google them – otherwise, my blog could become endlessly long. My diet was designed to bike ride for 7 days, an average of 80miles/day.

I chose to exclude ALL grains, some starchy and sweet fruits; I avoided bananas, peaches, and melons. However, avocados, berries, and an occasional apple or citrus fruit were okay. Blueberries are high in carbs, though strawberries, rasp- and blackberries are fine.

I started with a generous scoop of coconut fat; it tasted delicious after ten days. Eggs, cooked broccoli, crispy bacon, a few berries, nuts, or avocado was stapling items. I skipped my routine of adding sauces, dips, and preserves and opted for (low) salt only. This included a few dried dates, figs and variations of salted nuts and sugar-free peanut butter: no crackers, rice, oats, millet, or quinoa products.

I avoided any “Keto” pre-packaged products; the preservatives/additives are terrible and strenuous on your digestive tract. The same motto should be applied when going Vegan. Products named after meat items (…yes, its super odd…) are regularly substituted with agents that clog digestion and are unhealthy. All radical change sounds difficult at first: but I had a clear goal in mind.

My bike snacks consisted of starch-free coconut bites (yes, that’s a fruit), soft meat jerky (yes, measure your sugar content), and walnuts. I reduced sugar-loaded protein shakes, and my electrolytes were all chosen to be sugar-free (0.5 g) and without artificial colors. I carried boiled eggs with me and dates.

For lunch, I ate limited uncooked greens except for salad leaves. No kale and raw veggies; Broccoli, spinach, and sweet peas need to be bruised or steamed to avoid digestive struggles (gas). I sternly reduced my intake of garbanzo beans, peas and carrots. Salad greens (young leaves), cucumbers, radishes, bell-peppers occasional cooked/baked yam, and gourdes are all fine. No potatoes, no corn, or grains. No fresh dairy or soy milk, except aged cheese and butter… No LDL  oils (no palm oil or canola) but  Avocado, sesame and olive oils are good; (Lots of it)! I drank lots of (read sugar content) coconut water, daily teas with real honey (again, this is my suggestion – honey is medicinally high on my chart).

My fat intake tripled: from crisp bacon to all meats, chicken skin on, fats and fish. My “snack” exceptions were cashew nut milk, occasional figs and dried ginger (wash the sugar off), and dark 90-95% cocoa low-sugar Swiss chocolate with aged cheese. I measured as best as possible by sucrose intake, not to overreached 20g/day. My carbohydrate intake was fewer than 50g/day. I prepared for a high-intensity sports week, burning 5000 calories/day and relying on a constant fat-supplement intake during the ride. That included boiled eggs, dried meat, raisins, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and macadamia nuts.

I will elaborate on my precise foods upon request, but each of us is different, and you need to find a personalized solution. In my case, I cut out alcohol and substituted coffee with dandelion powder (DandyBlend). Yes, I’ve heard it all from the sexy7 coffee addicts (my bike team) – but it actually tastes delicious and boosts the spleen function responsible for both digestion and fat burning!

Simplified, the Keto diet is based on the body transitioning from converting (burning) carbohydrates into energy from either sugars or starches (complex carbohydrates) to using ketones to fuel both the muscles and the brain. Ketones are produced from fat, so nutritional ketosis is appealing as a lazy weight limiting solution, although increased activity will dramatically speed up the results. It’s appealing to athletes because, in this state, they have a virtually unlimited reserve of fat calories to pull from. An athlete can only store 1500-2200 calories worth of carbohydrates in their muscles, blood and liver. When re-fueling (energy bars loaded with fructose, sucrose, maltodextrin and fast-absorbing whey protein), you have sugar-energy available within seconds, but ketosis (fat-energy conversion) takes minutes to activate. This is why you have to calculate your re-fueling on long-distance events.

In bicycling (and other sports as well), bonking means that you haven’t taken in enough carbohydrates and have exhausted your body’s glycogen stores, leaving you with abnormally low blood glucose levels. That’s when your body screams for carbs, your muscles ache, and you feel dizzy and sweat a ton.

A bicyclist being fueled by ketones is desirable and bonk-proof. Once the brain adapts and uses ketones for energy, you can sustain long distances without carb cravings and irritating mind games. Thus, you have no sugar highs and lows where the brain is starving for energy, as it can get all the energy it needs when it needs it. The brain derives 75% of its energy from ketones, and the remaining parts of the brain use glucose stored in the liver. (Gluconeogenesis (abbreviated GNG) is a metabolic pathway that results in the generation of glucose from non-carbohydrate carbon substrates such as lactate, glycerol, and glucogenic amino acids).  Yes, your lactic acid actually converts back to fuel instead of blocking your muscles and making you cramp. You are off the insulin and glucose rollercoaster: no shakes, rapid glucose drops, or painful lactic acid after-burn; because your pain-regulating natural epinephrine and cortisol levels are elevated.

Proponents of Keto point to the metabolic advantage of relying on fat instead of carbohydrates. Critics point out the physiological limitations of eliminating carbohydrates as a quick fuel for performance.  Scientists and coaches prefer high-carbing because, in competitive sports, a millisecond establishes world records. A lot of money is invested in selling sports products that enable the quick absorbable carbs that make that possible.

Keto products are rising in the current marketplace too. As a TCM chef, I’m opposed to chemically or genetically manipulated foods. I occasionally sucked down a GU gel before tackling a hill, clearly feeling the energy boost derived from it! So, at this point, I learned that I must be burning >500calories/hour or calculate carefully not to overstep 6g of sugar intake within a two-hour period to “drop out” of ketonic state (each body has various levels of this measurement). Coconut water, Nuun, GU gel, and some other food choices contain sugars!

Let’s start with a few scientific facts and simple logic: High-Fat Low-Carb (HFLC) Ketosis does not improve endurance performance… you have to train your body! Exogenous ketones could be an additional fuel source for endurance athletes. However, dietary ketosis has limitations that make it difficult to implement practically. Carbs are way easier to intake, convert, and absorb while biking. However, in the long run, with Keto, your submaximal pace is less stressful on both your liver and your muscles! Your recovery is less dramatic.

It takes approximately 20% more oxygen to liberate energy from fat as compared to carbohydrates. This means relying primarily on fat reduces its economy as an energy source. That’s when Cordyceps balances the problem: On an HFLC and Cordyceps regiment, my heart rate came down 10%, and my blood oxygen level rose 20%! This super exceeded my expectation.

However, I had very little fuel available for anaerobic glycolysis without stored and exogenous carbohydrates during the competition. My metabolic shortcut to rapidly-produce energy by partially burning carbs was not available. I could not keep up with energy demand during short, high-intensity efforts. After comfortable high-speed flat rides, my fellow riders (the sexy7) climbed up a hill, yet I could not produce the energy burst needed to keep paste.

In Ketosis, despite my liver still producing glucose, I had no immediate reserve or ability to access a much-needed high-intensity burst of energy from carbohydrates. I was forced to maintain a slower but painless speed.  On the flats, I was rewarded with a shorter recovery time, able to catch up, and my average heart rate was lower even during hill-climbing compared to previous recordings.

While long cycling events may have a moderate overall intensity, high-intensity peaks with periods reaching the lactate threshold. My conclusion: Keto is not ideal when a competitive fast burst of energy makes a winning difference. Athletes in ketosis can perform well at a steady endurance pace and do so for many hours while consuming far fewer calories than carbohydrate-dependent competitors. As a result, ketosis may be a good solution for athletes who consistently struggle with gastric distress (GI) during long-distance events versus relying on “chemically” fabricated energy bars and sugar-loaded intake.  Iron Man, here I come!

Keto is not a new diet. Think of hibernating animals consuming large amounts of plant carbs, and then in the winter stage, they lower their heart-beat while their body transitions – after one month of sleeping – from burning carbs into ketosis, burning energy from fat. They awake slim but alert, strong and energized to hunt, re-carb and defend themselves while regaining strength and weight.

I expected this to be a challenge and therefore prepared accordingly. Within eight days of starting my diet, my body turned Ketonic – much faster than expected! I woke up and felt crisp, alert and energized. I had avoided the Keto flu (symptoms can actually feel similar to withdrawing from an addictive substance) as I had experienced in past trials. This was because of my strict implementation of increased activity at the gym and on the bike.

During the next two weeks of “transition,” my training performance suffered. My average pace was slower than normal. I took three boot-camp morning lessons per week, feeling sluggish and heavy; my perceived exertion levels went up at all activity intensity levels. Recovery, however, was faster than normal. Once my body adapted to fueling itself primarily on ketones, my optimal athletic performance bounced back. Still, I often felt that my increased output and power required more mental and physical effort.  I outperformed on all levels compared to prior Strava (GPS analytics and performance app for sports enthusiasts) results over the same terrain and hills from the past.

I started the high endurance event in the seventh week of my Keto diet. During the 7 day, 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I lost 5lbs of body weight. I started at 6’1”/190 lbs at the young age of 55. Throughout my life, I’ve never had a serious weight problem. I have remained within athletic norms for years,s with only a small amount of belly and lower back fat accumulating.

(That went all out of balance when Covid happened….) My skin was thinner. I felt alert, awake and fit. My skin quality had improved, my bowel movements were regular, and chronic sciatica (diagnosed spinal stenosis) was no longer a bother.

There was one “hick-up” to report: On day 3 on the ride, I ate one sugar cookie and consumed sugar-loaded drinks exceeding my limited carb intake by about 35g of processed sugar. That night I awoke with violent stomach cramping and vomited three times. I continued the next day with “my” strict Keto diet, and all went smoothly.

I did a full blood panel on the fourth week of turning ketonic, and to the surprise of my doctor, all my vital signs had improved. Even my borderline diabetic lipid indicators showed healthy and normal results for the first time in many years!

What is even more astonishing is a “side-effect”:  I only discovered after the ride. Having had Lipoma (Lipoma is a benign tumor composed of adipose (fat) tissue) for the last twenty years, I have searched for treatment for an equal amount of time. There is no scientific resolution in coping with these fat deposits. Plastic surgery leaves a scar, steroid injections do not produce satisfying results, and injecting them with calcium chloride was unsuccessful and dangerous. My doctor had documented 121 of these benign visible lumps on my torso, upper legs, and arms. Clearly, they are invisibly present in my interior, maybe even in areas where they can cause serious hazards (think pressing on spinal nerves or causing swelling of organs…).

Lipoma, a Benign Neoplasm/ Fatty Tumor

They are all nearly gone! The largest lipoma documented on my lower back was 4.5cm x 2.5cm and now is 90% reduced. Not just some, not just reduced… Most of them are gone!

If you are someone with lipoma and interested in consulting with me about a personalized Keto-based diet, I would love to help you find an efficacious personalized regimen. In exchange, you will be helping me create an anonymous blind study to document my discovery and present it to UCLA’s medical board. It would be combination therapy with Cordyceps (www.EuYanSang.com) and a high-endurance sports effort to stir up scientific interest.

Please share this blog as you see fit. It is estimated that more than 5 million people are living in the US with incurable Lipoma lumps.

TCMchef raphael (private chef service available)

attached is a message shared on 02.22.2021:

Dear Friend writing me;

I have had lots of reflections about the article mentioned above and responded to most. Thank you for reaching out;

True Keto is not a “lifestyle” nor a permanent way of eating. Medicinally it’s NOT recommended you do it for more than 21 weeks. Most people can develop serious side effects after 11 weeks. In my article, I documented my personal episode of a limited time, under the supervision of medical experts, for no specific reason. I discovered the Lipoma benefit by accident and posted updates onto the blog here to follow up.

From the way you posted your question, it sounds like you are under the assumption “Keto” is a diet or a thing one can do for a long time. The problem might be that the food marketing place has become inundated with tons of junk products labeled Keto to attract a trendy consumer associating the word with healthy foods. They are not. None of these “power bars” and most “un-natural foods” are actual KETO items in a serious Keto diet.  In a ketonic state, your body drives energy converted from fat; although an amazing experience for a short while – the long-term consequences include kidney damage and plenty of other side effects… I’ve listed most foods to help others convert into Ketonic State in my blog.

For the lipoma reduction, I can safely recommend a 10-12 weeks journey, but it requires that you combine your lifestyle with a serious daily exercise that gets your heart rate over 175bpm for a minimum of 25-30 minutes ( I did 2 hours).

Yes, my lipomas and that of many others – since I’ve posted the blog – have stayed significantly reduced or even gone. I have changed my diet during the last two years and contributed that success to these adapted changes. They include reduced sugar intake: I void most processed foods and eat very few animal products.

Let me know when you are thinking of trying it out. Most of the information you need to get on your journey is listed in the blogs and the attached updates.

Big hugs, TCMchef Raphael

As of 07.25.2021: Keto/Lipoma has never been researched, but my personal experience and the stunning results by many on a serious ketonic trip, combined with strenuous exercise, show amazing results in shrinking fat tumors.

Let me guide you…