Internist, anesthesiologist and surgeon use of ketogenic diet

Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2018 Mar;64(1):84-93. doi: 10.23736/S1121-421X.17.02377-7.


Ketogenic diet is being increasingly utilized in recent decades because of its success as an effective tool for short and intermediate-term weight loss. Promoting physiological ketosis from a drastically low carbohydrate diet is the fundamental basis for this diet regime. Though debated, these diets have been demonstrated to be effective, at least in the short- to medium terms, to manage excess weight, hyperlipidemia, and other cardiovascular risk factors. We reviewed the cardiovascular, metabolic, anesthetic, and postsurgical profiles in the literature and summarized technical issues of anesthesia and surgery along with long-term changes from published papers. Doubts with ketogenic diet were raised due to possible renal damage caused by significant excretion of nitrogen found in animal models, the effects of acidosis, and the concerns of increasing triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Though current literature supports the efficacy of very low carbohydrate keto-diets their potential negative effects on renal function and acidosis are debated. An increase in nitrogen excretion during protein metabolism in the postoperative period could lead to renal damage. Research on the value of ketogenic diets is emerging because of its value in weight loss and in managing other pathologies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology*
  • Diet, Ketogenic*
  • General Surgery*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*