We are pleased to meet with Giovanna Muscogiuri, Assistant Professor at University Federico II of Naples, staff member of The UNESCO Chair on “Health Education an Sustainable Development” Federico II University and project leader of European Guidelines for Obesity Management in Adults with a Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet group on behalf of the EASO Obesity Management Task Force (OMTF)
Giovanna, congratulations on the publication of European Guidelines for Obesity Management in Adults with a Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33882506/
Thank you Sheree. The new European Guidelines for Obesity Management in Adults with a Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet was born from the need to provide useful information on the use of this valuable nutritional approach to doctors and nutritionists who care for patients with obesity. The Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet (VLCKD) has been shown to produce beneficial metabolic changes in the short-term, along with weight loss, metabolic derangements associated with weight excess have improved, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. The mechanism of the VLCKD for weight loss is based on the reduction of glucose intake—the main source of energy for all cells in the body, which is obtained by eating carbohydrate foods—an alternative fuel called ketones is produced from stored fat (thus, the term “keto”-genic). The brain needs the most glucose in a steady supply because it can not store glucose. During fasting, or when a little amount of carbohydrates are eaten, the body first pulls stored glucose from the liver and temporarily breaks down muscle to release glucose. If this continues for 3-4 days and stored glucose is fully depleted, blood levels of insulin decrease, and the body begins to use fat as its primary fuel. The liver produces ketone bodies from fat, which can be used in the absence of glucose. The advantages of this nutritional approach compared to the current hypocaloric diets are several and include 1) a satiating effect with decreased food cravings due to the high-fat content of the diet; 2) a decrease in appetite-stimulating hormones; 3) a direct hunger-reducing role of ketone bodies; 4) promotion of fat loss versus lean body mas; 5) increased calorie expenditure due to the metabolic effects of converting fat and protein to glucose and few and manageable side effects”.
I believe that The Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet will become a promising approach to help address obesity.
Finally I would like to thank all the colleagues that participate to the draft of these guidelines because this huge body of work would not have been possible to complete without their support. In particular I would like to thank professor Annamaria Colao for being my mentor over these years, for giving me the opportunity to do research in a formal research environment and for motivating me to reach high, professor Marwan El Ghoch for working closely with me in reaching this achievement, professors Volkan Yumuk and Maria Hassapidou for their insightful suggestions and last but not least professor Luca Busetto for providing me with the idea of pursuing this project. His continuous encouragement and belief in my abilities have provided the motivation that I needed to complete these guidelines.