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Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu

Why 1+1 Keto Has The Benefits of Altitude Training

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This is kind of a placeholder note for some reading I'm doing on some of the likely benefits of 1+1 Keto (fasting every other day on a keteogenic diet, which Sylvie and I both follow), and how they mirror the proposed benefits derived from training at high altitude. This article lays out some of the base facts, from it's conclusion:

In recent years, the impact of exercise training on autophagy becomes a hot spot in the field of exercise science. Exercise training can accelerate the metabolism of proteins, glucose, and fatty acids, improve mitochondrial biogenesis and promote angiogenesis, and delay the aging of skeletal muscle. These effects may be related to autophagy induced by exercise training. The reasonable mechanism of high altitude training-induced autophagy to improve exercise performance is summarized in Figure 1. High altitude training may induce autophagy and mitophagy so as to maintain the quality of skeletal muscle and remove dysfunctional mitochondria, thereby maintaining high efficiency of energy metabolism to meet the increased demand for energy. On the other hand, high altitude training may activate HIF-1 to stimulate the expression of EPO and VEGF, thereby increasing hemoglobin mass and capillary density of muscle.

Autophagy Is a Promoter for Aerobic Exercise Performance during High Altitude Training

The study focuses on how one of the likely mechanisms by which altitude training can improve athletic performance is the inducement of autophagy (and mitophagy) which work to kind of clean up the cellular house, breaking down cells, proteins and mitochodria what are no longer functioning. Both Altitude training and fasting produce autophagy, and because 1+1 Keto involves regular fasting protocols, the likelihood of promoted autophagy are high. This cleaning of the house, for high performance athletes would seem a large scale, long term benefit. The second method by which athletic performance is improved, suggested in the study, is the activation of the HIF-1 gene, which stimulates EPO and VEGF. Compellingly, the other "1" in 1+1, the ketogenic diet has been shown in mice to activate the same gene:

Limited evidence from precious studies suggest that KD is able to alleviate excitotocity, oxidative stress and apoptosis (Shaafi et al., 2014). Puchowicz et al. (2008) found the hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) level was elevated after 3-week KD treatment because increased succinate inhibited the prolyl-hydroxylase, an enzyme responsible for the degradation of HIF. Our previous study reported the transcription of HIF target genes including erythropoietin (EPO), endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF), Glut-1 and MCT4 increased and this increase was partly related to the elevated HIF expression (Yang et al., 2017).

Ketogenic Diet Improves Brain Ischemic Tolerance and Inhibits NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation by Preventing Drp1-Mediated Mitochondrial Fission and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress


So we have a kind of pairing in 1+1 Keto. You have the combination of regularly tempo-ed fasting which promotes autophagy and mitophagy added to the possible HIF gene activation by the ketogenic diet. The added piece to all of this is that mitochodrial benefits in general have been ascribed to the ketogenic diet, including the argument that it increases mitochodrial density (which really is the increase in the number of tiny cell engines throughout your tissue). More horsepower, just in terms of numbers per square cm of tissue.

You can see some of the discussion of ketogenesis, fasting and mitochondria in these articles:

The Ketogenic Diet and The Mitochondria

Managing Your Mitochondria

Fasting, Longevity and the Mitochondrial Connection

Nutritional Ketosis and Mitohormesis: Potential Implications for Mitochondrial Function and Human Health


This is the really interesting thing when thinking about 1+1 Keto. Theoretically, broad brush, one has a dietary approach, that especially for elite athletes, that should promote mitochondrial density (more cell engines), but also increase the clean-up process of damaged cells that occurs through oxidative stress, and should trigger the HIF genes that promote EPO and VEGF. You are increasing the overall horsepower of your cellular mass, but also increasing the capacity of your body to repair the additional stress high-horsepower might bring. Another reason why alternate day fasting might be the ideal 1+1 partner to the ketogenic diet for athletes. A cycle of growth and repair.

A secondary thought behind this is that we tend to think of the benefits of a diet occurring in a matter of days, or maybe a month or so. When I eat this, then I feel this, and can do that, etc. But this kind of still theoretical reform is happening, supposedly, at a much lower, fine-comb level. At the cellular level, whose effects might be born out in years and years, rather than in months, or a single year. I'm not sure what it is, but there is a very strange feeling I get when watching Sylvie's physical transformation of the last year or so (keto for more than a year, 1+1 Keto for 6 months), where I just get the feeling she is becoming more and more Wolverine. Maybe the changes are happening at this level, but her recovery from pretty much everything seems to have this kind of long wave, basenote quality.


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On 8/22/2019 at 1:05 AM, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Two other related articles:

The 5 Stages of Intermittent Fasting

How Long Until Autophagy Kicks In


And interesting video on mTOR, fasting and ketogenic diets


Can recommend another good resource on autophagy, rapamycin, and mTOR:

Dr. Peter Attia: Fasting, Autophagy, and mTOR Inhibition – High Intensity Health (24 June 2019)

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