Do CBD And The Keto Diet Complement Each Other?
When it comes to health and wellness, CBD and the ketogenic diet are both popular darlings. But are they compatible? According to available research, their benefits appear to be complementary. That means, not only are CBD and keto compatible, but they could be a true dynamic duo.
Here's how combining CBD with a ketogenic diet could help you feel lighter, healthier, and more energised.
What is the keto diet?
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It helps you burn fat more efficiently by depriving your body of glucose, prompting it to enter a state known as ketosis. Glucose (sugar) is the body's primary source of energy. When glucose is in short supply, your body turns to burning fat in order to produce energy molecules called ketones.
Carbohydrates are the main source of glucose in our diet. When we eat a ton of bread, pasta, and sugars, whatever our body doesn't immediately burn for energy gets stored as fat. A low-carb, high-fat diet pushes your body to enter ketosis and fuel itself in a different way—burning fat instead of stockpiling it.
Guiding your body into a state of ketosis can have a myriad of benefits. Many followers of the keto diet report reduced hunger, and weight loss. A ketogenic diet can also reduce inflammation and lead to greater insulin sensitivity. While it's not a treatment for diabetes, reducing your body's resistance to insulin through keto could have preventative benefits.
The benefits of CBD and keto
CBD and the keto diet have both been subject to a lot of hype in recent years. But don't discount them as mere trends—there are good reasons they've been making waves across the health and wellness sector.
Here are some of the ways the two could make a great team to support health and well-being:
Body fat isn't all the same. It can be good, bad, and even comes in different colours. White adipose tissue is the type of fat we tend to think of. It's the result of the body storing excess calories. Too much white fat leads to obesity and related health problems such as heart disease and metabolic disorders. The risk is higher when a large amount of white fat is stored around the abdomen.
On the other hand, brown adipose tissue represents a more compact energy store. It's full of iron-rich mitochondria and, unlike white fat, could actually help burn calories and fight obesity.
Research suggests that CBD may promote "fat browning", the conversion of "bad" white fat into "good" brown fat. Recent research published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry found CBD to increase markers associated with fat browning and to stimulate lipid metabolism. That means CBD could encourage the breakdown of fat for energy, boosting the already formidable fat-burning effects of the keto diet.
Boosting metabolism, controlling appetite
CBD may also help to regulate metabolism and appetite. Studies have shown that the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in regulating food intake, metabolism, and endocrine function. The endocrine system is responsible for producing hormones that make us feel hunger. CBD has the capacity to influence the ECS in complex ways. It could therefore play a role in promoting a balanced, healthy metabolism.
The keto diet has complementary effects. By reducing glucose intake, the keto diet prompts your body to burn fat for energy. At the same time, it decreases levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin. Crucially, the keto diet doesn't require you to deprive yourself or drastically cut calories. Replacing carbohydrates with foods that are high in fat will leave you feeling satiated. It also helps stabilise blood sugar levels, leading to fewer spikes, crashes, and cravings.
Combatting insulin resistance and metabolic disorders
A ketogenic diet can actually help combat insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a blood sugar problem that's a precursor to conditions like type 2 diabetes. Here too CBD could be a great companion to keto. A study published in the American Journal of Pathology found CBD to display "tremendous" therapeutic potential for the treatment of metabolic disorders.
Neither CBD nor keto represent a cure or standalone treatment for diabetes. However, they could be useful as preventative measures. Available studies are preliminary, yet they suggest that these are worthwhile avenues for further research.
Chronic inflammation has been called "the silent killer". This ominous moniker is a reference to heart disease, cancer, diabetes—even Alzheimer's. In fact, those are just a few of the serious health conditions that have been linked to persistent, low-level inflammation.
The good news is that both CBD and keto demonstrate anti-inflammatory effects. They may even share a mechanism of action. Studies have found that CBD and ketosis each appear to suppress cytokines, the proteins that signal an inflammatory response. Combining CBD oil supplements with a keto diet could be a powerful combo for immune regulation, helping to calm excess inflammation.
Protecting heart and brain health
Combatting chronic inflammation is essential for heart and brain health. This is a specific area where CBD and keto seem to help each other shine.
A 2018 review in the journal Surgical Neurology International notes that CBD boosts levels of the neurotransmitter adenosine. Increased adenosine is associated with decreased inflammation as well as neuroprotective effects. Research has also demonstrated CBD's success in protecting the endothelial cells that line the coronary artery. To put it another way, CBD shows promise for support of both brain and heart health.
Let's not forget keto's contribution. Studies have shown that a ketogenic diet reduces "bad" LDL cholesterol while increasing heart-healthy HDL cholesterol. According to research conducted on animal models, it's also promising as a dietary method for combatting Alzheimer's.
In fact, both keto and CBD are considered promising therapies for Alzheimer's and treatment-resistant epilepsy. The keto diet was actually first devised as an epilepsy treatment. It's only recently that keto has become popular for weight loss and wellness more generally.
Can CBD ease the transition to ketosis?
For those just starting the keto diet, CBD could even help ease your transition to ketosis. A ketogenic diet ultimately stabilises blood sugar and boosts energy levels. However, that doesn't happen right away. When you first cut down on carbohydrates, you may find yourself feeling sluggish, irritable, even foggy-headed. That's because your body needs time to adapt. It is used to getting energy from glucose, and you'll need a few days to transition to burning fat instead, allowing your body to ramp up production of those energising ketones.
CBD has been studied for its anxiolytic properties. It could help soothe any irritability you might experience as a keto diet initiate. Researchers have also noted CBD's potential as a therapeutic agent for sleep support. Through its effects on the endocannabinoid system, CBD may help balance your circadian rhythm. One study even found that CBD appears to combat excessive daytime sleepiness. This might benefit anyone suffering from daytime fatigue after making the switch to a ketogenic diet.
CBD and keto — a promising pair
So, are CBD and the keto diet a good match? They certainly seem to be. Both have been studied for very similar effects, and combining them could provide a boost to their overall benefits. That said, a lot of the research into CBD is preliminary. More studies are needed to confirm its true therapeutic power. The good news is, most of the current studies are very promising.
If you have questions or any pre-existing health conditions, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor before drastically changing your diet or starting a new supplement routine. If nothing seems amiss, consider trying a ketogenic diet alongside a regimen of CBD oil. Along with an active lifestyle, these simple changes could help you feel lighter, more invigorated, and ready to live your best life.