Ketogenic Diet: an Endocrinologist Perspective

Curr Nutr Rep. 2019 Dec;8(4):402-410. doi: 10.1007/s13668-019-00297-x.


Purpose of review: Obesity and its related comorbidities make up a large part of healthcare expenditures. Despite a wide array of options for treatment of obesity, rates of sustained weight loss continue to be low, leading patients to seek alternative treatment options. Although the first medically utilized ketogenic diet was described nearly 100 years ago, it has made a resurgence as a treatment option for obesity. Despite increased popularity in the lay public and increased use of ketogenic dietary strategies for metabolic therapy, we are still beginning to unravel the metabolic impact of long-term dietary ketosis.

Recent findings: There are a number of recent trials that have highlighted the short- and long-term benefits of ketogenic diet on weight, glycemic control, and other endocrine functions including reproductive hormones. This review is a summary of available data on the effectiveness and durability of the ketogenic diet when compared to conventional interventions. Ketogenic dietary strategies may play a role in short-term improvement of important metabolic parameters with potential for long-term benefit. However, response may vary due to inter-individual ability to maintain long-term carbohydrate restriction.

Keywords: Diabetes; Ketogenic diet; Obesity; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Weight
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy
  • Diet, Ketogenic*
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Endocrinologists*
  • Glycemic Index
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Ketone Bodies / metabolism
  • Ketosis
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Testosterone
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Weight Loss


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin
  • Ketone Bodies
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Testosterone