The most noteworthy studies into the paleolithic ketogenic diet have focused on children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Hungarian scientists, Dr Csaba Tóth and Zsofia Clemens, from Paleomedicina Hungary, have reported successful results from children with new-onset type 1 diabetes who have adopted the paleo keto diet.

These benefits include reduced inflammation and the preservation of insulin-producing cells, which led to the cessation of insulin injections for several months, even years.

Research into the paleo keto diet is limited to case studies where the subjects were medically supervised throughout. The diet remains new, even among medical circles. Animal meat-fat based diets have, however, been followed by children and later life-long in adults in traditional foraging societies without any side effects.

Consequently there is insufficient evidence to suggest that a paleo keto diet could be recommended for children.

You should consult your healthcare professional if you wish to investigate how a paleo keto diet would affect your child. A paleo keto diet should never be used as a replacement for insulin injections without professional medical guidance.

Can paleo keto diets restore insulin production?

One of Tóth and Clemens’ first case studies investigating the paleo keto diet in a child with type 1 diabetes was published in 2014. [330]

A 19-year-old male with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes was studied, having previously begun an insulin regime and prescribed a high-carbohydrate diet Twenty days later, he adopted the paleo keto diet and ceased insulin injections.

“Strict adherence to the diet resulted in normal glucose levels and a more than three-fold elevation of C-peptide level indicating restored insulin production,” wrote Tóth and Clemens.

C-peptide is released by the pancreas with insulin and is used to measure how much insulin is naturally produced when a person is also taking doses of insulin (by injection or pump).

They hypothesised this increase in C-peptide levels occurred because the diet reversed the autoimmune process in which insulin-producing cells are destroyed in newly-diagnosed type 1 diabetes patients.

The, in 2015, the paleo keto diet received mainstream news coverage. Tóth and Clemens reported a nine-year-old boy with new-onset type 1 diabetes came off insulin injections for 24 months upon adopting the diet. [330]

Tóth insisted that this was not a honeymoon period He argued that it was the diet that stopped the boy’s insulin cells from decaying, leading to normal blood sugar levels without any side effects.

After two years the boy stopped the diet and therefore required insulin injections.However, the findings are still remarkable.

Should my child go onto a paleo keto diet?

These case studies show that the paleo keto diet could be tremendously beneficial for children with new-onset type 1 diabetes.

While new-onset type 1 diabetes patients were able to come off insulin injections upon adopting the diet, the researchers do not believe this will be the case among adults and even adolescents with long-standing diabetes.

In this group, they say the diet will only lead to health improvements when used as an adjunct to insulin injections, but note it could still have benefits for blood sugar regulation and avoiding diabetes-related complications

Consult with your doctor

Due to the intense medical supervision the children in these cases were under, they were kept safe throughout and their health markers were regularly monitored.

This will not be practical for the majority of parents, and it is essential to discuss the diet with your child’s doctor if you believe it is something you wish to pursue.

Read more about Precautions with a Paleo Keto diet

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